After having two wisdom teeth taken out this week (did you hear my screams on Václavské náměstí on Monday?), today’s topic is everything teeth and Twitter! Below Get Into Twenglish presents a different way to learn English vocabulary.
A new way you can learn English and interact with the language, especially its vocabulary, is to use Twitter as your very own learning resource and search engine of authentic conversational English! If you don’t know Twitter, it’s a great example of living breathing natural English, in a written form but the register is very much spoken.
How does it work?
There’s a box on the Twitter home page where you can search for something or someone that interests you (eg your favourite film, celebrities such as Charlie Sheen and Kelly Brook and so on). Instead of searching for a particular person or thing, as English detectives we’re going to search for today’s Words of the Day: tooth and teeth.
How does this help with my English?
English is a lexically-rich language. When you type in a key word, it will give you a whole list of all the Tweets which have used this word or phrase from all over the planet!
After you click the search button, you then see is a whole collection of Tweets which include the key word(s) usually within a particular context AND the word or words which are associated with it. These are often called collocations.
Collocations are words which are commonly found next to each other or words which have a strong relationship with each other. For example, if I type in the word ‘homework’, it gives me the following examples:
– I still don’t do my homework!
– Yet I know one thing for sure: I’ll be up late tonight doing homework.
So from these two examples above we can see the verb ‘DO’ collocates with ‘homework’ [not ‘make’].
Collocations with ‘tooth’ and ‘teeth’
Here is a small sample of some expressions you can find on this week’s ‘tooth’ theme. Two questions for you:
- What collocations can you find below with ‘tooth’ and ‘teeth’?
- Can you guess their meaning?
We should have a way of telling people their breath stinks without hurting their feelings like: “Well I’m bored, let’s go brush our teeth“.
The dentist has cleaned my teeth. Tara said I was very well behaved.
well I have been working really hard! Should have been a dentist, it’s like pulling teeth here!
- @Ducce67 Jeffrey Mitchell
You have 2 options when your wife asks you what you think about what she is wearing. 1) Lie thru your teeth 2) Run like the wind
Little boy in restaurant I was just in lost his tooth. Started screaming, “TOOTH FAIRY IS COMING!!!” Hilarious.
She’s too long in the tooth to be so tediously, predictably “rebelious”. Are we talking about the designer, the clothes or her?
Damn, I’m on a diet. I need to ignore my sweet tooth.
Wow, the #Magic have to fight tooth and nail to avoid getting swept by the #Kings ! This team is not championship caliber whatsoever …
this wisdom tooth is ruining my life….
This little girl has one front tooth. Is that even possible? :-/
How did you go?
Here are the verbs which go with ‘teeth’ from the sample above:
brush, clean, pull | TEETH
to lie through your teeth
be like pulling teeth
You can also ‘pull out’ a tooth. ‘To pull teeth’ is more literal, but when you use the phrase “it’s like pulling teeth” the meaning is idiomatic (more on this in the worksheet below).
With TOOTH you can add:
wisdom, front | tooth
Then there’s the Tooth Fairy 🙂
And also the more idiomatic:
to fight tooth and nail
(to have) a sweet tooth
Still not sure? Download this free worksheet here to practise! And keep your fingers crossed for me for my next visit to the dentist 🙂
Title: It’s Like Pulling Teeth! (with answers)
nb If for some reason the link doesn’t work, try it here:
It’s like pulling teeth!
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