Synonyms

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Synonyms

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Have you done anything weird or odd lately? Do you know any other words that mean unusual or strange ? Finn and Catherine discuss these synonyms and more in this episode of 6 Minute Vocabulary - and find out how a cat got mistaken for a hat!

  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
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Catherine
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Catherine…

Finn
And I’m Finn. And Catherine, I see you’ve got a new phone there. Was it expensive ?

Catherine It was a bit pricey , Finn, but not as dear as my last one. But, do you like it?

Finn I love it. I’m a little bit jealous.

Catherine It is nice, isn’t it?

Finn And we used three words there: expensive , pricey and dear and they’re all synonyms. They all mean that something cost a lot of money and they’re the topic of this programme.

Catherine That’s right. Synonyms are words that have the same or similar meanings. And English speakers use a lot of synonyms, so it’s good to learn a few.

Finn It certainly is. We’ll give you lots of them in this programme…

Catherine We’ll give you a quiz…

Finn … and a top tip for improving your vocabulary using synonyms.

Catherine
So, let’s start by listening to Rob and Mike discussing a television advert.

Finn
Think about this question while you listen: what kind of pet do Mike’s kids have - and what was strange about it?

INSERT Mike You know that funny advert where the vet thinks he’s dealing with a dead cat but it’s really a furry hat?

Rob Oh yeah, it’s hilarious . That look on the vet’s face is so comical and the girl’s expression when she picks up her hat is priceless !

Mike
Strange thing is the same thing happened to me - quite bizarre actually - I was holding the kids’ hamster while they were cleaning the cage. I thought it was a bit odd because it wasn’t moving. My daughter gave me a weird look and asked why I was stroking one of her gloves!

STING

Catherine
So, what kind of pet do Mike’s kids have - and what was strange about it?

Finn
It was quite strange. The answer is: they have a hamster - but Mike thought it was a bit odd ,because it wasn’t moving.

Catherine Now strange and odd are synonyms. They both mean unusual .

Finn Listen to this clip for two more words that Mike uses to mean strange or unusual.

INSERT CLIP 1 Mike Strange thing is the same thing happened to me - quite bizarre actually - I was holding the kids’ hamster while they were cleaning the cage. I thought it was a bit odd because it wasn’t moving. My daughter gave me a weird look and asked why I was stroking one of her gloves!

Finn So we heard the word bizarre ,spelt b-i-z-a-r-r-e ,which means strange and difficult to explain. Mike thought the situation was bizarre. We also heard weird , spelt w-e-i-r-d , which also means very unusual.

Catherine Let’s listen to another clip with some more synonyms. And this time try to spot three words that mean funny .

INSERT 1 CLIP 2
Mike You know that funny advert where the vet thinks he’s dealing with a dead cat but it’s really a furry hat?

Rob Oh yeah, it’s hilarious . That look on the vet ‘s face is so comical and the girl’s expression when she picks up her hat is priceless !

Finn So hilarious , comical and priceless are all synonyms of funny . But they mean funny in a slightly different way: hilarious means very funny, in the sense that it makes you laugh out loud, comical means funny in a silly way …

Catherine …and priceless can mean extremely funny. We usually only use it with this meaning when we’re speaking. There are some other synonyms of funny, too, including humorous and amusing .

Finn And in the clip we heard two noun synonyms - look and expression , both meaning the way someone shows on their face what they are thinking or feeling.

IDENT
You’re listening to BBC Learning English.

Finn
And we’re talking about synonyms. Like strange and odd …

Catherine …and funny and amusing .

Finn Now a word of warning - we can’t always use any synonym to replace a word - it depends on the context and what exactly we’re trying to say.

Catherine That’s right. So, for example, at the beginning of the programme, I said that my new phone was pricey , spelt p-r-i-c-e-y , and I also used the word dear , spelt d-e-a-r .

Finn And both words are synonyms of expensive . But pricey is more informal and more modern than dear .

Catherine So you won’t see those written down very much.

Finn Not much, no. And our top tip for learning vocabulary is: use a thesaurus, which is a dictionary of synonyms, to help you find new words and make your English more interesting. And look for example sentences with each word to help you choose the right word for each situation.

Catherine
And now, it’s time for a quiz. Which is the odd one out? Number 1: a) expensive, b) dear, c) cheap.

Finn
That one is c) cheap , because the other two mean costing a lot money .

Catherine
Very good. And number two: a) bizarre, b) hilarious, c) weird.

Finn
And the answer is b) hilarious . Because bizarre and weird are both synonyms of strange .

Catherine Number three: a) humorous, b) hilarious, c) expression.

Finn And the answer to that is c) expression , because the other two are both synonyms of funny.

Catherine
And that’s the end of the quiz - well done if you got them right.

Finn Well done indeed. There’s more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.

Both
Bye!

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