🏡MMXXI Welcome Visitor Sign In
Page still loading ...

Short cuts : /library/English/Advanced/Vocabulary/comparing 🖶
Turn the Pages

Comparing and Contrasting

1 ALT IMG Tell another student about the last time you had a piece of really good news. What was it? How did you feel? 2 Work with another student. Look at the pictures. Decide which of the sentences (1-3) might be appropriate to use in comparing and contrasting these pictures.
  1. In the first picture I can see a man wearing glasses, boots and a heavy winter coat. He's got brown hair and he could be in his forties or fifties. The same man is on the left in the second picture.
  2. In the first picture, there's a man staring at the ground and holding some kind of machine. I think he's probably looking for something as he's concentrating hard, so the machine might be a metal detector. The second picture seems to suggest his efforts have paid off.
  3. The first picture looks as if it might be in England. It's a very muddy field with a few trees and houses in the background. It looks quite cold and cloudy. I can see the same field in the second picture but here there is also a tractor in the background.

Compare and contrast your pictures. Say what is happening in each picture and how people are feeling. Say whether you found the task easy or difficult and how you could have done it better.


Language of Approximation

  1. Look at the picture above and with a partner try and describe it as fully as possible.
  2. Listen to some people attempting the same task. At times they don't know the exact name for something so they use phrases to help them express what they want to say approximately. Make a note of phrases like this that you hear.
    EXAMPLE: As far as I can see, it looks like some kind of tube or machine or something.
  3. Now take it in turns to describe Picture A and Picture B Describe what you can see and explain what you think is happening in the pictures. If you are not sure what certain things are, use approximating phrases to express what you think.
  4. Now look at the pictures on the right. Compare and contrast them. Say which of the two offices you would prefer to work in and why.

The trials of technology

Discuss the following questions with another student.
  1. How many hours do you think it takes surfing the Internet to qualify as an 'addict?
  2. Why do you think some people become Internet addicts?
  3. Read the article below. How do your answers to the above questions compare with those given in the text?
  4. Compare your ideas with another student.
    1. Tell each other the answers you are sure about and why.
    2. Then together look at the remaining gaps and try and work out the missing pan of speech by looking at the surrounding context.
    3. Try and suggest some probable answers. Select one of them.
    4. Read the text again to make sure your ideas make sense.
    5. Look at the following types of words. From your work on the above text and previous cloze texts, say which one is least likely to be tested in this part of the exam. prepositions (in, on, at etc.) articles (a, an, the) pronouns (it, that etc.) linking words (although, so etc.) determiners (some, much etc.) nouns (lamp, earth etc.) auxiliary verbs (do, will, am etc.)

Caught in the net

It ______ can consume up to eighty hours a week, wreck relationships and damage health, and it is I the world's fastest growing addiction. Internet abuse (1)
created millions of on-line addicts (2)
suffer withdrawal symptoms (3)
they switch off their computer and panic attacks if they have no e-mail. In the first book (4)
offer health tips to the estimated 8.1 million addicts. Dr Kimberley Young of (5)
University of Pittsburgh spells out (6)
to kick the habit and get back into the real world. It is difficult (7)
tell when entertainment becomes addiction. (8)
who spends more than 40 hours a week online is probably suspect, and other clues (9)
lying about the amount of time and money (10)
spent online, neglect of other work and a withdrawal (11)
social contacts. The big attraction (12)
the Internet is that it allows people to escape into a fantasy world at any time of the day or night. (13)
ever sees you, so you (14)
be whoever you choose. It's a form of escape (15)
allows people to forget their problems for a time,' Young says. Show

In what ways do you think getting to know someone via text online is different from meeting them for the first time in a face-to-face situation e.g. at a party?


Grammar check: making Comparisons

There are nine mistakes connected with making comparisons in the two dialogues below. Find them and correct them.

Ann: So, is Alison going to get her new computer then?

Bill: Yes, well she's says it's far

faster and has lot more memory than the old one. Personally I can't see why she needs a new one. We've only just got the old one after all.

Ann: Well, technology is changing fast and presumably she'll be able to get her work done a bit more efficiently and download things from the Internet more quicklier.

Bill: True.

Ann: Do you know what I think?

Bill: No, but I'm sure you're going to tell me.

Ann: (laughing) Seriously ... I think the most interesting and possibly the less positive thing about all these changes is the way they're isolating people.

Bill: What do you mean?

Ann: Well, people don't have to work together any more in a social context. They can all work on their own from home as long as they have their personal computer.

Clare: So how's the computer course going?

David: Well, I must say, it's probably most difficult thing I've ever done.

Clare: Really? But are you coping?

David: I think so but it's a bit of a struggle at home. I really need my own study. We're thinking of moving to a slightly biger flat. We've actually seen one possibility but it's not as near the tube our present one, and there are far few good shops nearby. It's also on the noisyest main road in the area, so we're probably not going to go for it!

Look at the following pairs of pictures and make as many comparisons as you can.

EXAMPLE: Cats are more independent than dogs. They also need much less looking after...

Work with another student. In turn compare and contrast:
  1. what you were like five years ago and now.
  2. two places that you have been to on holiday.
  3. your experience of learning two different subjects at school.

Exam Maximiser Speaking: Just a minute

Look at these topics. Match the comments below to each topic as appropriate.
  1. The use of computers for learning English
  2. mobile phones
  3. robots
  4. the Internet
  1. It's amazing how much they can be used for. Soon they'll even be helping with major operations I hear.
  2. They're very useful for people travelling alone in cars, in case they break down on the motorway.
  3. It's not the same as having other people to speak to and try out new words and expressions with.
  4. You almost get too much information. It's finding your way around it all which I think is the big problem.

The trials of technology

Work in groups of four or five. One person in each group is the 'chair', the others are the players. Read the rules below.
Just A Minute rules
  1. You must speak continuously about the subject.
  2. You must not hesitate.
  3. You must not deviate from the subject.
  4. You must not repeat words except those of the original subject.
  5. You can challenge the speaker by saying 'Hesitation', 'Repetition' or 'Deviation'.
  6. The 'chair' decides whether a challenge is successful or unsuccessful. If a challenge is successful, the challenger takes over and continues to speak on the topic for however much time remains. If a challenge is unsuccessful the player continues talking on the same topic for the time remaining.
  7. The winner is the player speaking after one minute.
Listen to some people playing the game.
Work in groups of four or five and play the game. Decide who is going to begin and who will be responsible for checking the time remaining.


Writing is compulsory is all exams. You will have to read about 400 words of input material i.e. text and notes. It is essential that you read all this material carefully, selecting what is significant and ignoring what is irrelevant to the task. The task will involve writing about 250 words but this may be broken into a number of smaller parts. You may be asked to write formal letters, informal letters, reports, articles, notes or any combination of these.

Suggested procedure

TASK You are a student rep. at the college where you are studying. The director of the college has recently posted a notice outside the multi-media centre warning of its possible closure. You subsequently organised a survey of students regarding their use of the multi-media centre. The results of the questionnaire you sent out are summarised below. You have also received a note from a friend, Pablo, who is studying at another college, about how their multi-media centre is used. Write a letter to the director summarising the results of your survey and presenting suggestions/arguments to keep the multi-media centre. (200 words) Also write a note to your friend Pablo to let him know what action you are taking. (50 words)

Read the instructions very carefully and underline key words/phrases. Plan your answer. Remember to organise your writing in clear and separate paragraphs. Use linking words where appropriate. Avoid copying long phrases from the input texts. When you have written your answer, check you:
  1. have written approximately the right number of words.
  2. have used an appropriate style e.g. formal or informal.
  3. will create the desired effect on the reader.
  4. have fully answered the question.


Due to lack of use by students of the multi-media centre,
we are considering the closure of the centre to make way for more classrooms.
At present it appears that all the available facilities are under-used
(i.e. TV + Video recorders *1, computer *2,casette recorder *3) with only a few students
making use of them each day and for only a small part of the day (usually lunch-time).

Unless we are made aware of particular reasons why the centre should be maintained it will be closed at the end of the next summer course.

T. Dough
Director of Education

*1= existing videos old fashioned - get modern films
*2 = students would like to use them more but no time - include as part of classroom time.
computers are complicated to use, old and often crash. Programe boring just gap-fill exercises.
*3 = casette recorders for pracising pronunciation should be in a different section. Students don't like being overheard by other students in the same room.


Number of student responses: 40
How often do you use the multi-media centre? 80% = 0 - 1 hour per week.
Why do you not use the centre more often?
Don't know how to operate equipment / It's not open at convenient times / Boring videos and computer programs I No one available to help or to ask questions.
If the centre was improved would you want to keep it? If so, why?
75% = Yes
Students can practise the things they find difficult / They can work at own speed / They can practise pronunciation on the cassette recorders / lots of students like working with computers


Vocabulary: words from other languages

comparison The word multi as in multi-media comes from the Latin word multus meaning much or many. Below are some words that English has borrowed from different languages.
  1. Look at the words in the box and the table below. Match the words to the illustrations. Eight of the words do not have illustrations. Which words are they?
  2. Try and guess which language each word in the box comes from and put it in one of the language columns below.
  3. Now use a dictionary to check the origin and meaning of any words you were not sure of.
  4. Say how you think the words are pronounced in English. Then listen to the recording to check your answers.
  5. Work with another student. Check they know and can pronounce the words below like this:

EXAMPLE: A You throw this at weddings. B Confetti.

11 Discuss with other students.
  1. Do you know any words in your language that English has 'borrowed'?
  2. Are there any English words or versions of English words which have now become 'part' of your language? How do you feel about this? Is it a problem?
cosmonaut marmalade chauffeur psychology origami algebra kindergarten piano siesta

Greek Spanish Japanese Italian French German Portuguese Arabic Russian
drama mosquito karate confetti duvet hamburger cobra mattress mammoth
....... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

Use the prompts to write sentences with preparatory it.

EXAMPLE: Mary /study / aeronautical / engineering / university
It was aeronautical engineering that Mary was studying at university.
  1. difficult / know / what / do
  2. essential / I / get in touch / David
  3. Jane /lent / me / mobile phone
  4. Tuesday / Bill /leave / Australia
  5. terrible /few people / use public transport
  6. seem / she / not know / meeting / cancelled
  7. his parents / make / clear / they / not like / new girlfriend
  8. important / obtain /student visa
  9. I find / hard / understand why / I / not get job


A (0) successful marathon training 0 programme starts slowly, (1) ... gradually and then tapers off before the big race to (2) ... maximum 1 energy. A typical schedule for a beginner lasts six weeks, which is 2 enough time to build up the endurance and (3) ... needed to co run twenty-six miles while avoiding (4) ... . Before you begin training you 4 should be capable of (5) ... running for 45 minutes. The most important element in the programme is long 5 runs, as these allow you to develop the physical and mental (6) ... that 6 will enable you to run for several hours without (7) ... . To be fresh for 7 the race, make your final run two or three weeks before the marathon. It seems so petty and (8) ... ! While 8 we expect sibling (9) ... among our children we're often embarrassed to 9 find similar emotions ourselves. Yet we do sometimes have (10) ... animosities that can cause some of 10 the most (11) ... problems of adult 11 life. (12) ... is inherent in all aspects of life. If nations compete, it shouldn't be surprising that siblings do too - for 12 their parents' affection and then for the (13) ... of bosses, peers and 13 friends. As we grow older we usually find that there is enough love and 14 (14) ... to go round. Some siblings may be more (15) ... while others 15 have more urgent needs for love and attention and this can produce conflict.
Match the prefixes to the words or stems.
  1. auto-
  2. im-
  3. ir-
  4. over-
  5. mono-
  6. un-
  7. mis-
  8. psuedo-
  9. dis-
  1. intellectuals
  2. come
  3. conception
  4. biography
  5. logical
  6. mature
  7. logue
  8. loyal
  9. believable
  10. relevant
Form sentences by changing the order of these words. EXAMPLE: people who ignore pedestrian crossings annoys me most is what What annoys me most is people who ignore pedestrian crossings.
  1. left his passport at home happened he what was
  2. what stay at home is like to do and watch a video I'd
  3. is her sense of humour what most about Clara I like
  4. to the airport was to hitchhike what she did
  5. the way he's always gossiping is what on my nerves really gets
  6. what to find out about using my mobile phone outside Spain need to do I is

Progress check

For questions 1-13, read the following e-mail message. Use the information in it to complete the numbered gaps in the notice. Use no more than two words for each gap.


To: Irene Harman: Director of Studies
From: Tina McMahon: Computing
Services Subject: Computer Centre

Hi Irene,
Can you include the following in the notice to teachers? There's an official opening next Monday. From Tuesday someone from computing services will be there every day and we'll be offering introductory courses on word processing, e-mail and the Internet. I hope you'll get your students to come along. Teachers are most welcome too. In fact, we're not going to let people use the equipment until they've shown us they know how or have taken one of the courses. There are a few more rules we've had to make. Can you emphasise that these are to stop people wrecking the machines?
Here goes:
  1. No eating, drinking or smoking while using the equipment.
  2. No using the internet while others are waiting to use word processing software.

If they break these rules more than once I'm afraid we'll have to stop them coming into the centre.

Complete these sentences using one or two words in each gap.
  1. He........................a very positive impression on the interview panel.
  2. No one has been able to resolve the........................of what to do with nuclear waste.
  3. He made me........................so stupid when he showed them all the old photographs.
  4. By the fourth lap Criville had already........................a considerable advantage over the other riders.
  5. After her marriage broke up she couldn't........................her doubts about her ability to sustain a relationship.
  6. Having a decent breakfast really........................a difference to the way I feel half way through the morning.
  7. You can trust John. He always........................his word.
  8. He........................the promotion he'd been wanting for years.
  9. After two months of not allowing herself to so much as smile she finally ........................some control over the class.
  10. He got into some sort of ........................with the authorities and they refused to renew his residence permit.
  11. She gained invaluable ........................working with her father in the summer holidays.
  12. We resolved........................on better together.


Computer Centre The Centre opening will (0) be held on Monday 9th March. From Tuesday 10th March the Centre will (1) ... by members of the Computing Services Department. Teachers are asked (2) ... students to attend the courses on word-processing, e-mail and the internet and are urged (3) ... so themselves. No one will be (4) ... use the equipment unless they (5) ... their competence to staff or (6) ... a course. In order to (7) ... to the equipment two (8) ... rules have (9) ... by centre staff. They are (10) ... : Eating, drinking and smoking while using the equipment (11) ... . Word processing users are (12) ... priority over Internet users. Please note: repeated breach of these rules will (13) right to use the centre.
denial of the I T \ Getting away from it all

Speaking: agreeing to disagree

  1. The British Tourist Authority wants to produce its own set of postcards to promote tourism in Britain. Look at the different possibilities. Say what you like and don't like about each one and decide which three you think would be most popular with tourists and why.
  2. Listen to other people attempting the above task. Which three did they choose in the end? What were the main reasons for their choices?
  3. Listen again and make a note of three phrases you hear used to disagree very politely.
Discuss the following questions and practise the phrases you noted above where appropriate.
  1. What kinds of reactions do people have to tourists in your country? Why is this?
  2. What should tourists try and do to reduce the possibilities of having a negative effect on the places they visit?
  3. How do you think living and working in another country might be different from just going on holiday there?
  4. Do you think the amount and types of holidays that people are taking these days are changing? If so, why?
  5. If you could go anywhere in the world for a two-week holiday, where would you go and why?
  6. You are going to roleplay a meeting of members of the local tourist board. You have been asked to come up with three or four practical ideas to help significantly increase levels of tourism in your area. Student A refer to p.217 Student B refer to p.216 Student C refer to p.219 Student D refer to p.220 (optional Student E refer to p.221)

Scenes from around Britain

Playing the Bagpipes SCOTLAND
Changing word forms
Details on summary click. view "comment-thread-details" for this thread library_English_Advanced_Vocabulary_comparing

💬 Messenger

Sign in to follow page Back to the Top ⚓ Show Vocabulary Related Content