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Exploring new phrasal verbs: drilling down and dialling it up (part 2)

Exploring new phrasal verbs: drilling down and dialling it up (part 2)

This is the second in a series of two posts about the process of putting together the new edition of the COBUILD Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs, published together with a new edition of COBUILD Dictionary of Idioms.

In the last post, we considered various interpretations of the term ‘phrasal verb’ and  examined how they are used in terms of grammar and register. We then looked at how we at Collins went about identifying both new phrasal verbs and new uses of existing ones. 

Exploring new phrasal verbs: drilling down and dialling it up (part 1)

Exploring new phrasal verbs: drilling down and dialling it up (part 1)

With new phrasal verbs continuing to proliferate in the English language, we at COBUILD surveyed a variety of news and other media sources to identify the most frequent new phrasal verbs for the Collins COBUILD Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs.

Work on Your Idioms: digging below the surface

Work on Your Idioms: digging below the surface

Idioms can be a really fun part of language learning with their colourful imagery and quirky cultural connections. However, they can also be a real challenge for learners. There are such a variety of idioms in English and many are impossible to decode on first meeting.

 

Work on Your Phrasal Verbs: focusing on contemporary usage

Work on Your Phrasal Verbs: focusing on contemporary usage

Multi-word chunks of language, such as idioms and phrasal verbs, make up a large proportion of any written or spoken text, so they’re really key fo...

Grammar or vocabulary? A blurry line

Grammar or vocabulary? A blurry line

This article has been written by Julie Moore, who is an ELT materials developer and lexicographer. Most language learning coursebooks include gramm...

Exploring language change

Exploring language change

When a new edition of a grammar is launched, teachers and students may well wonder what can be new about a grammar. We all know about new words, which grab the headlines at every new edition of a big dictionary, but what does an editor do when she is asked to update a pedagogical grammar, taking account of developments that have occurred in the language over the past 20-or-so years?

Futurity

Futurity

Very early on in my teaching career, I remember addressing a class of Russian teenagers with the statement, ‘Will is the future tense in English.’ It was only later as I started developing as a teacher and gaining greater insight into the grammatical system of English that I started to see that there’s much more to will than meets the eye. Click here to read more.

Nonstandard usage or error: where should we draw the line?

Nonstandard usage or error: where should we draw the line?

This article has been written by Penny Hands, who is one of the contributors to the Collins COBUILD English Grammar. If we’re going to talk about nonstandard English, it’s a good idea to start by asking what Standard English (SE) is.

Modality and conditionals

Modality and conditionals

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

Sun Tzu

The quote above, attributed to an ancient Chinese military strategist, is often used in leadership training to encourage people to act on their ideas and see them through to completion. But we’re interested in it for another reason: the language it contains, namely modals and a conditional sentence. In this blogpost we’re going to discuss each of these areas of language in turn.

Understanding academic grammar

Understanding academic grammar

For students new to dealing with academic texts in English, they can seem daunting; full of long words and long complex sentences. Are academics just trying to show off how clever they are and confuse their poor readers? Well, maybe just a little bit sometimes, but most of the time, there are good reasons for the grammatical choices made by academic writers. Understanding the reasons for those choices can help students of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) make more informed choices in their own writing.

Tense vs aspect

Tense vs aspect

Tense and aspect are often labelled as the same thing. It’s not uncommon to see the present progressive referred to as ‘the present progressive tense’ or will have + past participle referred to as ‘the future perfect tense’, for example. However, tense and aspect are not the same thing.

Grammar and register

Grammar and register

This article has been written by Julie Moore, who is an ELT materials developer and lexicographer. Our last post focused on the difference between ...