Meaning of CHEAP in English



BAD : The wages in Taiwan are very cheap.

GOOD : The wages in Taiwan are very low.

BAD : The monthly payments were cheaper than I'd expected.

GOOD : The monthly payments were lower/less than I'd expected.


When you talk about costs, payments, rents, wages, salaries, incomes, expenses, taxes, fees etc, use low/high (NOT cheap/ expensive ): 'During the recession, prices stayed low.' 'People on low incomes have been severely hit.' 'Rents in Helsinki are very high compared to the rest of Finland.'

Note that price is sometimes used with cheap/expensive, but not in formal styles.


DUBIOUS : The train fare is very cheap.

GOOD : The train fare is very reasonable.

DUBIOUS : It's difficult to find a cheap flat in Tokyo.

GOOD : It's difficult to find an affordable flat in Tokyo.


Choosing the right word: GENERAL WORDS and EXACT WORDS

Some words have a general meaning, e.g. big, beautiful, good, say, make, kill . These words are useful, especially when you begin to learn English, because you can make use of them in a wide range of situations:

A big meal, a big kitchen, a big mistake etc

For each general word, however, there is usually another word or phrase which comes closer to what you want to say, and which may also sound more natural in the context:

A substantial meal, a spacious kitchen, a serious mistake etc

A major step towards fluency in English is getting to know plenty of exact words which can replace the more general words you have learned. Here are some words which can be used instead of the general word kill .

Murder To murder someone is to kill them deliberately and unlawfully: ‘The key witness was murdered before he could testify.’ A person who does this is a murderer .

Massacre Massacre is used when you talk about the deliberate killing of a large number of people, especially people who cannot defend themselves: ‘Whole native populations were massacred when the European settles arrived.’

Slaughter Slaughter is used when you talk about the deliberate killing of a large number of people, especially in a particularly cruel way: ‘Men ran through the village burning houses and slaughtering anyone that got in their way.’

To slaughter an animal is to kill it for its meat, skin etc, or as part of a religious ceremony: ‘The children couldn’t understand why the cattle had to be slaughtered.’

Execute To execute someone (or put someone to death is to kill someone as a punishment, according to the law: ‘King Charles I was executed on 30th January 1639.’

Assassinate To assassinate someone is to deliberately kill a very famous or important person such as a political leader: ‘President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.’ A person who does this is an assassin .

Commit suicide To commit suicide (or take your own life ) is to deliberately kill yourself: ‘Rather than be taken prisoner, they preferred to commit suicide.’

Destroy To destroy an animal (or have it put down/to sleep ) is to kill in a way that does not cause pain, especially because it is sick or injured: ‘The cat had developed cancer and had to be destroyed.'

Longman Common Errors English vocabulary.      Английский словарь распространенных ошибок Longman.