Word of the Week

wowWith its 120th word, Word of the Week has now come to an end. We hope you enjoyed this free feature and that it has given you an insight into the thinking and research behind the English Vocabulary Profile.

All 120 are still available to read in our archive, below. Each Word of the Week in the archive is followed by a link to the full entry for that word on the English Vocabulary Profile. To view the entries, you will need to subscribe to the EVP: to subscribe for free click here.

Word of the week: charge

The word charge is a noun and a verb, and both parts of speech are included in the English Vocabulary Profile. There are seven meanings included in the entry below and one additional meaning of the noun, CRIME, as in a charge of murder, will feature in the C levels. Learners appear to meet the noun and verb meanings to do with MONEY first, along with the phrase be in charge. Although there is no evidence in the Cambridge Learner Corpus for the verb meaning of ELECTRICITY, as in My mobile needs charging, we have taken the view that this use should be included, as it is such a part of everyday life and is probably more a spoken use.
 
To view the full entry for charge on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: bit

The noun bit appears to be known from A2 level and there are four meanings included up to B2 level. Learners at A2 level know both the meaning of SMALL AMOUNT, as in a bit of chocolate, and the informal phrase a bit, meaning ‘slightly’. Both these meanings are very useful ones for learners and will make their English sound more natural at an early stage. As the entry shows, the use of a bit gets more complicated at the B levels, with the expression quite a bit (meaning the opposite of ‘small amount’) and the further colloquial use of a bit, as in I’ll see you in a bit. Additions at the C levels will include the phrases bit by bit and bits and pieces.
 
To view the full entry for bit on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

Word of the week: at

The preposition at is a long entry in the English Vocabulary Profile, and the entry below shows meanings and phrases up to B2 level. There are four meanings at A1 alone, including the use of the word in email addresses. The phrase at least first appears at A2, with the meaning ‘as much as or more than’, as in It will cost at least £500. Several other prepositional phrases are listed at B1, including at all, at once, at the same time, along with two further uses of the phrase at least. There is also a separate B2 level meaning for at least, as in I’ve met the President – at least, he shook my hand once. Here, the phrase is used to reduce the effect of a statement, which is obviously a more sophisticated use than the other three. Such is the level of detail in the English Vocabulary Profile, which has been informed by up-to-date corpora and expert lexicography.
 
To view the full entry for at on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

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