Learning Vocabulary: Confusing words
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack confuses Rich when talking about the Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp. The language focus is on confusing words. Do you know the difference between 'resign' and 're-sign' or 'classic' and 'classical'? Your task is to use some of the confusing words that are introduced in the podcast and write an anecdote in the comments section. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Learning Vocabulary: Confusing words
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack
Rich: and I’m Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Rich: This week we’re going to ...
Jack: Before we start this week I’m sure you’ve heard the big football news this week. The Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp has resigned.
Rich: What are you talking about? Where did you hear that? Why? No, it can’t be true?
Jack: What do you mean? I thought you’d be happy. Another three years.
Rich: Another three years?
Jack: His new contract - he’s re-signed until 2023.
Rich: You nearly gave me a heart attack. I thought you said resigned - quit his job not re-signed. Don’t confuse me like that.
Jack: Sorry, Rich. I only meant to scare you a little bit.
Rich: So, what are we going to do in this week’s show?
Jack: Well, that confusion between the words re-sign and resign was a good introduction because in this week’s podcast we’re looking at confusing words. We’re going to look at six pairs of words that English learners often confuse.
Rich: Not always English learners! I was very confused there, too.
Jack: Well, it’s easy to confuse you! This week, we’re going to do six short roleplays to help you with these confusing words and after each roleplay, we’ll look at why they are confusing.
Rich: We also have last week’s football phrase and this week’s football phrase for you to guess.
Jack: We recommend that you listen to this podcast on the Premier Skills English website because that is where we have the transcript, language examples, activities, quizzes and a discussion page to help you understand everything we talk about.
Rich: However, if you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, you can leave answers to our questions in the review section. We do read all the reviews and would love to hear from you.
Jack: Don’t forget that we have our football English podcast called This Week that you can listen to at the start of every week. This week’s episode is about Matchweek 27 and big wins for Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Rich: Some of the football vocabulary we look at includes to come off the bench, a maiden goal and an open game.
Jack: It’s on the Premier Skills English homepage, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and lots of other places right now!
Rich: In last week’s podcast, we spoke about unless with conditionals and asked you to write a few conditional sentences on the website by making some Premier League predictions.
Jack: We had some great responses and if you want to make a few predictions you can complete this lesson on our website. You need to go to our homepage, click skills, click listen and click podcasts. It’s called Understanding Grammar: Unless with conditionals.
Rich: So as we said in this week’s podcast, we’re going to be looking at confusing words but first of all we need to take a look at last week’s football phrase.
Last week’s football phrase
Rich: If you didn’t hear our football phrase last week we’re going to give you one more chance to guess now. We’ll give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase.
Jack: Well done if you got it right last week and congratulations to those of you who wrote the correct answer on the Premier Skills English website or Apple Podcasts.
Rich: Ahmed Adam from Sudan was the first with the right answer last week. Well done Ahmed Adam. Well done also to Marco Zapien from Mexico, Ali Vasheghani from Iran, Alex and Liubomyr from Ukraine, Idzingirai from Zimbabwe, Elghoul from Algeria, Rafael Robson from Brazil, Fred Zhong from China and Milos from Serbia - all of you got the right answer.
Jack: Right, remember you can write your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website or the review section on Apple Podcasts if that’s where you listen to us. Let’s hear last week’s phrase again.
Rich: The football phrase is ****** ***. Tottenham and Liverpool have got it all to do in the ****** *** after losing to Atletico Madrid and Leipzig in the Champions League. Liverpool are at home in their ****** *** but Tottenham are away so the ****** *** for them is much more difficult.
Jack: We’ll give you the answer at the end of the show and we’ll have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Introduction to Roleplay
Rich: This week we’re going to give you six short roleplays. In each roleplay, we’re talking about football and some more general topics.
Jack: There will be two words that are often confused with each other. Listen to how the words are used.
Rich: We’re going to start with two of my favourite words! Have a listen to how we use beat and win.
Roleplay 1 - Beat & win
Rich: We’re gonna win the league, we’re gonna win the league and now you’re gonna believe us and now you’re gonna ...
Jack: All right calm down. I don’t think the library is an appropriate place for that kind of thing.
Rich: Oh yeah, sorry. We’ve just beaten West Ham 3-2. I thought they were going to win, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if they had beaten us but ...
Jack: It’s one big celebration … if you’re a Liverpool fan.
Language Focus 1 - Beat & win
Rich: So, the confusing words in this dialogue were win and beat.
Jack: Liverpool won a match. Liverpool beat West Ham - the other team.
Rich: The words can be confusing because we win something like a match or a trophy or the Premier League.
Jack: But we beat someone or a team so we can win. Liverpool beat West Ham to win the match.
Rich: If you want to use win with the other team you need to say Liverpool won against West Ham.
Jack: Things that you can win include a game, a race, a battle, an argument and you can also win a prize or money or the lottery.
Rich: You can beat a person or team that you are playing, arguing or fighting against.
Jack: Both of these verbs are irregular beat - beat - beaten and win - won - won.
Rich: Let’s move on to the next roleplay. This time, listen to how we use the words play and game.
Roleplay 2 - Play & game
Rich: Do you fancy a game of tennis tomorrow?
Jack: Tennis? I can’t play tennis. I’ve never played tennis in my life.
Rich: I’ve asked a couple of others to play doubles - you’ll be fine after a couple of games.
Language Focus 2 - play and game
Rich: The confusing words in this dialogue were play and game.
Jack: Both of these words can be used as nouns and verbs but they have different meanings.
Rich: Normally, play is a verb and game is a noun. Do you want to play a game?
Jack: We play tennis. We have a game of tennis. But we can’t have a play of tennis. I think this is not confusing, but there are a couple of other meanings that can be confusing.
Rich: A play - the noun - is something you watch at the theatre. Shakespeare wrote a lot of plays. Romeo and Juliet is a play.
Jack: To game - the verb - has a couple of meanings. The closest meaning to play is when it is used to talk about playing video games. This is a new and informal use of the verb and is usually used as a gerund. Lots of people like gaming these days - the people who play video games are often called gamers.
Rich: Generally the thing to remember is to use the noun ‘game’ and not ‘play’. We say things like Would you like a game of monopoly? And not ‘Would you like a play of monopoly?’
Jack: Let’s move on to the next roleplay. This time the confusing words are the last and the latest.
Roleplay 3 - Last and latest
Rich: You must be happy with Manchester City's latest win - another trophy to add to the cabinet!
Jack: Yes, very happy. It was a great match and a great atmosphere. I'm so happy I got to go to Wembley because I missed it the last time they played there.
Rich: The last time my team played there was years ago but maybe we'll get there this season ... you never know.
Language Focus 3 - Last and latest
Rich: Last and latest are often confused. ‘Last’ usually means the final thing or the end while latest means the most recent but sometimes last can mean the most recent too.
Jack: In the example, Rich said: You must be happy with Manchester City's latest win. Here latest means their most recent as they will win more matches and titles in the future.
Rich: Then I said the last time my team played there was years ago. This is also the most recent but here I’m emphasizing the final thing in a list rather than the most recent thing in a list.
Jack: Let’s move on to roleplay four. This time, listen to how we use damaged and injured.
Roleplay 4 - Damaged & Injured
Rich: Did you see that player run into the post last week? It was really funny.
Jack: That sounds horrible. I hope he wasn’t badly injured.
Rich: No, I don’t think he was hurt. I think the post got damaged though.
Language Focus 4 - Damaged & Injured
Jack: Injured and damaged are sometimes confused.
Rich: Injured is similar to hurt and is used for people and animals while damaged is for objects.
Jack: That’s quite easy to remember. What about the word wounded? Like when you hear someone was wounded in an attack of some kind.
Rich: That confuses things more because wounded and injured are both used for people and animals.
Jack: One way to think about it is that wounds are a type of injury.
Rich: This is because wounds are usually connected to blood. A broken leg would be described as an injury but someone who had been stabbed with a knife would be described as wounded.
Jack: So, injured is a more general term.
Rich: Now listen to the next roleplay to how we use as and like.
Roleplay 5 - As and Like
Jack: No, Rich, I don’t play football like a donkey!
Rich: I wasn’t saying that at all! I was just saying that you don’t need to just kick the ball as far as possible every time you have it.
Jack: Yeah, yeah I know but I think I’m better as a defender.
Rich: I was thinking you’d be better as a substitute.
Jack: You’re so funny!
Language Focus 5 - As and Like
Rich: ‘As’ and ‘like’ are two words that are often confused.
Jack: These two words have lots of different meanings but we’re just going to look at one meaning here that is sometimes confusing.
Rich: Confusion sometimes occurs when we use as plus a noun or like plus a noun.
Jack: Rich accused me of playing football like a donkey. When we use like plus a noun it means similar to. Rich was saying I play football how a donkey would play football but he wasn’t calling me a donkey.
Rich: No, that wouldn’t be nice. I wouldn’t do that. Like plus a noun means ‘similar to’ or ‘in a similar way to’.
Jack: But when we use ‘as’ plus a noun it means ‘in the role of’ so when I said I play better as a defender I was talking about being a defender - playing as a defender - doing that job.
Rich: We often use ‘as’ with jobs. I work as an English teacher, Jack works as an English teacher, Jurgen Klopp works as a football manager.
Jack: And you said I’d be better as a substitute - that wasn’t very nice.
Rich: Sorry. OK - the last roleplay is extra tricky because we’re looking at a confusing word family. Listen to how we use the words class, classic, classy and classical.
Roleplay 6 - Class, Classic, Classy & Classical
Jack: Kevin De Bruyne is a classy player, isn’t he? Did you see him against Real Madrid last night?
Rich: Class on the grass that’s how I’d describe him. Nobody could get near him - absolute class.
Jack: I could watch him all day. A glass of wine, some classical music and watching the midfield maestro conduct proceedings.
Rich: The match will go down as a classic, too. City turning the match around like that.
Jack: It was brilliant.
Language Focus 6 - Class, Classic, Classy & Classical
Rich: The words class, classic, classy and classical can all be used as adjectives.
Jack: But some of them are not very common so don’t worry too much if you don’t understand the differences between them.
Rich: Let’s start with what often causes confusion and that’s the difference between classical and classic.
Jack: Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn composed classical music. We say classical music we never say classic music to describe this type of music.
Rich: Classic can be used as an adjective too but it’s used to describe something that is very good and has been remembered for a long time. Some people like classic rock. This is popular rock music from a long time ago.
Jack: The World Cup Final between England and Germany was a classic match. It’s still remembered today - in England anyway!
Rich: We often use classic in this way as a noun, too. The match was a classic. That song is a classic. That car is a classic.
Jack: When we are describing these things we are talking about an object that has been remembered or will be remembered for a long time in a positive way.
Rich: We also used the words class and classy to describe Kevin De Bruyne. Both of these words can be used to describe a great performer or performance.
Jack: These two words are a bit more difficult and are less common. If you say a footballer is class or absolute class you are saying that he or she is brilliant.
Rich: Outside of football the word class is not used too much and it’s really informal, it’s slang. It originally comes from the phrase top class but that word is a bit old fashioned these days.
Jack: But we still use it in football?
Rich: Yeah, we can say ‘that goal was class or absolute class’. It’s used quite a lot in football.
Jack: More generally we can talk about a class act or someone being a class act. This describes someone or an action that is very impressive.
Rich: This is more similar to the meaning of classy, too. Classy can also be used to mean sophisticated or stylish.
Jack: James Bond is classy. Kevin De Bruyne is classy in Manchester City’s midfield. He’s elegant and very skilful.
Rich: We look at these confusing words in a little more detail on the website and we have some more explanations and activities for you to complete.
Jack: You’ll find this lesson on the Premier Skills English homepage or by clicking skills>listen>podcasts>learning vocabulary: confusing words.
Rich: Your task this week is to use some of the confusing words that we have introduced in this podcast.
Jack: We’re going to give you a pair of confusing words and a situation to write about. You can write about one situation or all six but you have to include the confusing words when you write about each situation.
Rich: Situation number one: a bad tackle on the pitch. Confusing words: damaged and injured
Jack: Situation number two: something you played when you were a child. Confusing words: game and play
Rich: Situation number three: Going to the cinema. Confusing words: the last and the latest
Jack: Situation number four: a competition that you took part in. Confusing words: beat and win.
Rich: Situation number five: A job interview. Confusing words: as and like.
Jack: Situation number six: Listening to music. Confusing words: classic and classical.
Rich: OK, so you have six different situations. Think about each one and write about the ones you want and include one or both of the confusing words.
Jack: It would be great if you could reply to other listeners and tell them if they have used the confusing words correctly.
Rich: Write all your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website or on Apple Podcasts if that’s where you listen to us.
Jack: It’s your turn this week, Rich. Have you got a football phrase for our listeners?
Rich: This week’s football phrase is **** ** ****. This is an institution that honours or recognises people who have performed exceptionally well in their chosen career or field. They are often used in music and acting. The most famous is probably the rock and roll **** ** ****. The Premier League announced a Premier League **** ** **** last week. The players that enter the **** ** **** have to be retired and to have played in the Premier League.
Jack: It’s a great idea and fans can vote for players they want to see in the **** ** **** too. The vote is on premierleague.com and we’ll put a link on the website.
Rich: Before we leave you we also need to tell you last week’s football phrase. The answer was second leg.
Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below. If you get it right, we’ll announce your name on next week’s show.
Rich: If you have any questions or comments or suggestions for the podcast or anything football or English related, you can leave them on the website in the comments section, on social media, on apple podcasts or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?
I’m sure you’ve heard the big football news this week. The Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has resigned.
His new contract - he’s re-signed until 2023.
You nearly gave me a heart attack.
Do you fancy a game of tennis tomorrow?
Did you see that player run into the post last week?
The match will go down as a classic, too. City turning the match around like that.
There were a few more tricky words in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words.
In this week's podcast, Rich and Jack spoke about six different pairs of words that learners often find confusing. Let's take a look at them again:
Beat & Win
I thought they were going to win but we won in the end. We beat them 3-2.
We win something such as a match, a prize or the Premier League, but we beat someone or a team.
Liverpool beat West Ham 3-2.
We won the match.
Play & Game
Do you fancy a game of tennis tomorrow?
Tennis? I can’t play tennis.
When talking about sports we usually use play as a verb and game as a noun. It's not possible to say: Would you like a
play of football?
Injured & Damaged
I can't play at the moment because I've injured my knee.
Lots of houses were damaged in the recent storms.
Injured is used to describe people and animals while damaged is usually used to describe objects.
As & Like
No, Rich, I don’t play football like a donkey!
I was thinking you’d be better as a substitute.
Confusion sometimes occurs when we use as plus a noun or like plus a noun. When we use like plus a noun it means similar to. When we use as plus a noun it means in the role of. In the examples above, Rich is telling Jack to be a substitute because he's not very good at football. He's not saying that he is a donkey!
Last & Latest
Did you watch City's latest win?
Our last trip to Wembley was many years ago?
Latest in this example is used to mean most recent. In the second example, the last trip to Wembley is also the most recent but the emphasis is on the final event in a list.
Class, Classy, Classic & Classical
Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn composed classical music.
I love classic rock like ACDC, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
The words that are most often confused are classic and classical when we are talking about music. Classical music is a specific type of music like rock music or hip-hop. The adjective classic is used to describe something that was popular a long time ago. It can be also used as a noun. You can speak about classic football matches, classic songs, classic films and classic cars.
It's not the end of the world
I thought they were going to win, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if they had beaten us but ...
This phrase is an informal way of saying that there won't be any serious problems if something happens. It's often used in conditional sentences.
Tell us an anecdote
In this week’s task, we want you to tell us an anecdote (a short story about something you did or something which happened to you or someone you know). We have six topics for you to choose from and you can tell us one or six anecdotes. We want you to include the confusing words in brackets () in your anecdote.
- A bad tackle on the pitch (damaged and injured).
- Something you played when you were a child (game and play).
- Going to the cinema (last and the latest).
- A competition that you took part in (beat and win).
- A job interview (as and like).
- Listening to music (classic and classical).
Write all your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!