Vocabulary | Listenings


Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.


Reading is the easiest way to take in English. Listening is a much harder skill and one that has to be developed as you study the language. There are lots of speech features that arise when native English speakers speak English. These speech features, such as elision, simplification, intonation, stress, and rhythm, and the way in which speakers may miss out sounds or whole words, are important to understand if you are to be able to listen to and fully understand spoken English. These Britlish Library Activities will help you to develop you listening skills.  

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I have designed this lesson to look at the vocabulary of wealth. Whether you are poor, wealthy, or stinking rich, you will learn much about the words we use to describe people who do have money. You will also learn about some common portmanteau words. If you don’t know what a portmanteau word is, you really do need to do this lesson. The vocabulary of wealth we’ll look at includes: acquisition, affluence, billionaire, capitalist, consumer, flush, impoverished, loaded, made of money, man of means, millionaire, minted, prosperous, rolling in it, stinking rich, trillionaire, wealthy, well-healed, well-off, and well-to-do.

From the OED

Additions 1997

affluenza, n. (æfluːˈɛnzə) 

[Blend of affluen(ce n. or affluen(t a. + in)fluenza n.] 

A psychological malaise supposedly affecting (esp. young) wealthy people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation. 

   1979 Washington Post 25 Oct. d1/6 A Boston paper even referred to the people she [sc. Ann Beattie] writes about, usually disenchanted orphans of Affluenza, as the Beattie Generation.    1984 N.Y. Times 15 May c4/6 ‘Affluenza’ is the name coined by one researcher for the maladies wealth can bring.    1986 Omni Jan. 28/2 Levy believes that affluenza is a peculiarly American affliction.    1990 Times 12 June 3/3 ‘Affluenza’ is defined as ‘that nauseous guilty feeling that creeps over people who make more money than they think they are worth’.    1991 Mother Jones Sept.–Oct. 4/1 Stand up for children‥living in poverty and too many others the victims of ‘affluenza’, neglect, and alienation.

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