Meaning of AN in English

indefinite article


5 minutes/an hour/20 years etc ago

Her husband died 14 years ago.

a breach of an agreement (= an act of breaking an agreement )

Both sides were accusing each other of breaches of the agreement.

a common/an everyday event

The death of a child was a common event in those days.

a difficult/an awkward stage

He was 13 and going through that awkward stage.

a hint/trace of an accent

I could detect the hint of a German accent in her voice.

a means to an end (= a way of achieving what you want )

To Joe, work was a means to an end, nothing more.

a means to an end (= something you do only to achieve a result, not because you want to do it or because it is important )

Many of the students saw the course as a means to an end: a way of getting a good job.

a military rebellion/an army rebellion

Marlborough considered leading a military rebellion against the new king.

a naked/an open flame (= not enclosed with a cover )

Never use a naked flame near spray paint.

a name/an identity tag

Every baby had a name tag on his or her wrist.

a parallel/an alternative universe

a party wins/loses an election

Do you think the Labour Party can win the next election?

a plane accident/an airplane accident ( also a flying accident )

Holly died in a plane accident.

(a) quarter of an hour (= fifteen minutes )

Mum was gone for about a quarter of an hour.

a quarter of an hour

I’ll meet you in a quarter of an hour .

a side of an equation (= the letters and numbers on one side of an equals sign )

Find the square root of both sides of the equation.

a side of an equation

We need to discuss the financial side of the equation.

a surprise announcement/an unexpected announcement

The Senator made the surprise announcement that he will not be seeking re-election.

a test of ability/an ability test

Examinations are not always a good test of ability.

The class was given a verbal ability test.

abandon/give up an attempt

They had to abandon their attempt to climb the mountain.

accept an application

The college refused to accept my application.

accept an award

Miller accepted the award for best comedy show.

accept an explanation (= believe that it is true or correct )

The court accepted her explanation.

accept an invitation

Are you going to accept their invitation to the wedding?

accept an invitation

She accepted his invitation to dinner.

accept an offer

In the end I had to accept his offer of £4,500.

accept an offer (= say yes to it )

Are you going to accept their offer?

accept an opportunity

I wish that I’d accepted the opportunity to retire when it was offered.

according to an estimate

According to some estimates, an acre of forest is cleared every minute.

achieve/accomplish an objective ( also attain an objective formal )

The policy should help us achieve our objective of reducing paper waste.

act as an incentive (= be an incentive )

The chance of promotion acts as an incentive for many employees.

act on an impulse (= do something because you have a sudden desire to do it )

Acting on an impulse, he decided to visit his sister.

administer an injection formal (= give sb an injection )

She was taught how to administer an injection.

administer an oath (= be the official person who listens to it )

admit an offence

He had admitted sex offences against children.

adopt/assume an identity (= give yourself a new identity )

She assumed a false identity and went to live in South America.

afford (sb) an opportunity/chance

It afforded her the opportunity to improve her tennis skills.

agree an agenda

The meeting ended in chaos as representatives were unable to agree an agenda.

amend an act (= make small changes )

In 1978 the act was amended to make the earliest mandatory retirement age 70.

an abandoned baby (= left somewhere by a mother who does not want it )

The abandoned baby was found under a hedge.

an A/B/C student American English (= one who usually gets an A, B, or C for their work )

He was an A student all the way through high school.

an abiding/enduring/lasting memory (= that you will always have )

The children's abiding memory of their father is of his patience and gentleness.

an ability group (= a group that students are taught in, based on their level of ability )

Children are divided into different ability groups.

an abject apology formal (= one that shows that you are very sorry )

The BBC issued an abject apology for insulting the Queen.

an abortive attempt formal (= unsuccessful )

They made an abortive attempt to keep the company going.

an abridged version (= one that is shortened from the original but not changed in any other way )

Reader’s Digest published abridged versions of many popular novels.

an abrupt halt (= one that is sudden and unexpected )

His career came to an abrupt halt when he was seriously injured in a road accident.

an absolute bargain

£59.99 is an absolute bargain.

an absolute maximum

Entries are limited to an absolute maximum of 100 words.

an absolute/bare minimum (= the very least amount )

He paid in five pounds, the bare minimum needed to keep the bank account open.

an absolute/complete nightmare

The whole day was an absolute nightmare.

an absolute/outright/clear majority (= a majority that has been won by more than half the votes )

There was no party with an absolute majority in the House of Commons.

an abstract concept (= based on general ideas rather than on something that exists )

He finds it hard to grasp abstract concepts.

an abstract notion

In art, how can you represent abstract notions such as peace or justice?

an abstract sculpture

an abstract sculpture of the universe

an absurd/ridiculous notion

They had the ridiculous notion that they could make a living from singing.

an abuse of power (= a wrong or unfair use of power )

This cover-up is a scandalous abuse of power.

an academic career

She wanted to pursue an academic career.

an academic curriculum (= involving studying from books, not practical subjects )

They unquestioningly accept the traditional academic curriculum.

an academic discipline (= a subject that is studied at university )

the academic disciplines of linguistics, psychology and sociology

an academic essay

Mature students often need practice writing academic essays.

an academic subject

Children who are not good at academic subjects may excel in music or sport.

an academic/practical etc turn of mind

youngsters with an independent turn of mind

an acceptable/reasonable/satisfactory compromise

By 1982 an acceptable compromise had been reached.

an accepted convention

Saying 'thank you' and 'please' is an accepted convention.

an accepted/received notion (= an idea that most people believe )

These women challenged accepted notions of female roles in society.

an accessory before/after the fact (= someone who helps a criminal before or after the crime )

an accident happens ( also an accident occurs formal )

No one saw the accident happen.

Most road accidents occur in urban areas.

an accident inquiry

The accident inquiry revealed that the accident had been caused by human error.

an accident investigation/inquiry

The two deaths are the subject of an accident inquiry.

Accident investigations often take months.

an accident investigator

Accident investigators have been there all morning.

an accident victim

One of the accident victims is still trapped in his vehicle.

an accidental hero (= someone who becomes a hero by chance )

He became an accidental hero after discovering the injured child while out walking.

an accidental/chance discovery (= happening by chance )

Some of the tombs were the result of chance discoveries.

an accident/crash victim

The crash victims were rushed to hospital.

an accurate account

Both newspapers gave fairly accurate accounts of what had happened.

an accurate record

Many hospitals did not keep accurate records.

an accurate/exact translation

The most accurate translation of the word would be ‘master’.

an accurate/reliable estimate (= fairly exact )

It’s hard to put an accurate estimate on the number of people affected.

an accurate/true picture

Our aim is to build an accurate picture of the needs of disabled people.

an accurate/true reflection

These reports were not an accurate reflection of existing attitudes.

an acoustic/an electric/a classical guitar

an acoustic/an electric/a classical guitar

an acquired taste (= something that people do not like at first )

This kind of tea is an acquired taste, but very refreshing.

an acre/hectare of land

The family owned hundreds of acres of land.

an acrid smell (= strong and bitter )

The acrid smell of smoke clung about the place.

an acrimonious exchange formal (= in which people show their anger and criticize each other )

The newspaper article led to a series of acrimonious exchanges between leading scientists.

an act becomes law

In the 40 years since the Abortion Act became law there have been repeated attempts to amend or repeal it.

an act comes into force

Since the act came into force, all public buildings must have disabled access.

an act of courage/bravery

The men were awarded the medals for acts of courage.

an act of defiance (= when you refuse to obey or respect someone )

As an act of defiance Leigh dropped out of high school a month before graduation.

an act of faith (= when you do something that shows you trust someone completely )

The signing of the treaty with Britain was an act of faith.

an act of kindness/love

We were grateful for her act of kindness.

an act of parliament (= a law that has been passed by parliament )

Their rights are guaranteed by Act of Parliament.

an act of revenge

The men were shot dead in an act of revenge for Khan’s assassination.

an act of terrorism (= when someone kills people or bombs a place for political reasons )

It was the worst act of terrorism in US history.

an act of terrorism

The prosecution alleged that the men had been responsible for many acts of terrorism.

an act of vandalism (= when someone deliberately damages things, especially public property )

These mindless acts of vandalism affect the whole community.

an act of violence

Police warned that acts of violence would not be tolerated.

an act of violence/aggression

Incidents of sexual harassment and acts of violence against women were on the increase.

an act prohibits sth

Section 47 of the Act prohibits the making of misleading statements to the police.

an action plan

My accountant developed a detailed action plan with specific targets.

an active imagination (= when someone is able to form pictures or ideas easily )

Some of the children have an overactive imagination.

an active interest

As a teenager he began to take an active interest in politics.

an active life

He lived a full and active life.

an active lifestyle

Studies show that an active lifestyle can reduce your chance of developing heart disease.

an active lifestyle (= in which you exercise )

An active lifestyle has many health benefits.

an active member

She became an active member of the Geological Society.

an active member (= one who takes part in many activities of an organization )

She was an active member of the church.

an active mind (= when someone is able to think quickly and clearly )

A fit body is crucial if you want an active mind.

an active part

Our members take an active part in fund-raising.

an active participant

The student must be an active participant in the learning process.

an active role

Most men play a less active role in family life than women.

an active role (= when you do practical things to achieve particular aims )

She took an active role in the community.

an active supporter

The company is an active supporter of animal rights groups.

an active supporter

He remained an active supporter of Greenpeace.

an acute embarrassment (= extremely severe and important )

Her memoirs were an acute embarrassment to the president.

an acute shortage (= very bad )

They were suffering because of an acute shortage of doctors and nurses.

an added advantage (= an extra advantage )

Candidates with experience in Sales and Marketing would have an added advantage.

an address book (= a book or a file on your computer, where you keep people’s addresses )

an adequate supply

The larger cities usually have more modern health facilities and an adequate supply of medicines.

an administrative chore (= a chore such as writing letters or paying bills )

filling in forms and other administrative chores

an administrative post

For the next twelve years, he held various administrative posts in Bombay.

an administrative/bureaucratic nightmare (= something that is very complicated and difficult to keep accurate records of )

Dealing with so many new applications for asylum is an administrative nightmare.

an admission charge (= for being allowed to enter a place )

There is no admission charge.

an admission of failure

Dropping out of college would be an admission of failure.

an adopted child (= legally made part of a family that he or she was not born into )

I didn’t find out that I was an adopted child until years later.

an adult learner

Many adult learners also work full-time.

an advanced civilization

Philosophy is a luxury of an advanced civilization.

an advanced country

technologically advanced countries such as Japan

an advanced learner

Mastering idioms and phrasal verbs is frequently the greatest challenge facing the advanced learner of English.

an advanced stage

Negotiations are at an advanced stage.

an advanced state of sth

The dead bird was in an advanced state of decay.

an advanced/modern society

The Greeks formed the first advanced societies in the West.

This kind of hatred and violence have no place in a modern society like ours.

an advancing army (= moving forward in order to attack )

The advancing Roman army was almost upon them.

an adventure story

an exciting adventure story for children

an adverse impact formal (= a bad effect )

The loss of forests has had an adverse impact on bird populations.

an adverse reaction formal (= a bad reaction )

The patient died after having an adverse reaction to the drug.

an adverse/unfortunate consequence (= that affects your life, a situation etc badly )

Divorce often has unfortunate consequences for children.

an advertising ban

Is an advertising ban a denial of freedom of speech?

an advertising slogan

The company has dropped its original advertising slogan.

an advertising/employment/travel etc agency

a local housing agency

an advertising/marketing/sales campaign

The store ran a television advertising campaign just before Christmas.

an advice centre/service/desk/bureau

They offer a 24-hour advice service to customers.

an advisory committee

a government advisory committee

an advisory council (= for giving advice )

The report was issued by the Advisory Council on Science and Technology.

an aerial photograph (= one taken from a plane )

Aerial photographs can be used to locate archaeological sites.

an affluent society/area etc

the affluent Côte d'Azur

an after-dinner speaker (= someone who makes speeches after formal meals )

As every after-dinner speaker knows, a joke or two is always much appreciated.

an after-dinner speech (= after a formal dinner )

He gets paid a lot for making after-dinner speeches.

an afternoon nap (= short sleep )

Dad was having his Sunday afternoon nap.

an afternoon/morning nap

She has her afternoon nap at about two.

an age gap (= a difference in age between two people )

Despite the age gap, they became good friends.

an age group

Older people are being affected by the economic downturn more than other age groups.

an age group/bracket/range

Men in the 50–65 age group are most at risk from heart disease.

The school takes in children from the seven to eleven age range.

an age limit

There’s no upper age limit for drivers.

an age limit

The lower age limit for entering the Royal Marines is sixteen.

an age restriction

Employers can no longer place age restrictions on applicants.

an age-old tradition/practice/custom etc British English

age-old customs

an ageing population (= gradually becoming older on average )

The rapidly ageing population will put a strain on the country's health care system.

an agony column British English (= that gives advice to readers about personal problems )

Romantic relationships are much discussed in all the agony columns.

an agreement breaks down (= it stops working )

an agricultural/a rural economy (= one that is based mainly on farming )

The early 1920s saw a rapid expansion in the American agricultural economy.

an agricultural/secretarial/technical etc college

I wanted a job in farm management so I went to agricultural college.

an aid programme/scheme/package

The UN aid programme provided most of the finance.

an aid worker

Aid workers warned of a worsening situation.

an aid/relief/humanitarian convoy (= taking food, clothes, medicine etc to people in disaster areas )

The United Nations aid convoy finally reached the border.

an air of excitement (= a general feeling of excitement among a group of people )

There was a real air of excitement before the game.

an air of mystery (= something that seems mysterious )

There was an air of mystery about him.

an air raid (= when bombs are dropped from planes )

His parents were killed in an air raid.

an air-conditioned coach

Travel is by air-conditioned coach.

an air-conditioning system

The building hasn’t got an air-conditioning system.

an air/bomb attack (= an attack from a plane using bombs )

Malta was under heavy air attack.

an airing cupboard British English (= a warm cupboard for sheets and towels )

an airline flight

domestic airline flights

an airline reservation

Make sure you have an airline reservation before booking the hotel.

an airline/plane/air ticket

You can pick up your airline tickets at the check-in desk.

an air/rail disaster (= an air or rail accident )

The crash was the worst rail disaster in Pakistan’s history.

an airtight/watertight container (= not allowing air or water in )

Seeds are best stored in airtight containers.

an alarm button

He hit the alarm button under the desk.

an alarm clock goes off (= rings at a particular time )

What time do you want the alarm clock to go off tomorrow?

an alarm clock (= that makes a noise to wake you up )

He forgot to set his alarm clock.

an alarm goes off ( also an alarm sounds formal )

The thieves fled when an alarm went off.

an alarm system

an electronic burglar alarm system

an alarming rate

The alarming rate of increase in pollution levels has concerned environmentalists.

an alarming/worrying/disturbing trend

I have detected a worrying trend of late.

an alarm/security system

A new alarm system has been installed.

an alcoholic drink (= containing alcohol )

Beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks will be available.

an alien concept (= an idea that is very strange or that does not exist )

In many countries, queuing for a bus is an alien concept.

an all-inclusive price/package/holiday etc

an all-inclusive vacation cruise

an all-out attack (= that is done with a lot of determination )

General Smith was in favour of an all-out attack on the enemy.

an all-out strike (= in which all the workers have stopped working completely )

The company faces an all-out strike next month.

an all-out strike British English (= when all the workers in a factory, industry etc strike )

The dockers voted for an all-out strike.

an all-round education (= including a balance of lots of different subjects )

The school offers a good all-round education.

an all-star/a star-studded/a stellar cast (= a lot of very famous actors )

The movie features an all-star cast.

an all-time high/low

The price of wheat had reached an all-time low.

an all-time record

The price of oil has hit an all-time record.

an alleged conspiracy (= that people say exists but that is not yet proved to exist )

The charges against him relate to an alleged conspiracy.

an alleged crime (= not proved to have happened )

No evidence of the alleged crime was presented.

an allergic reaction

If you develop an allergic reaction to your sunscreen, change it.

an almighty explosion old-fashioned (= extremely loud )

There was an almighty explosion and I was knocked to the ground.

an alternative lifestyle (= one that is different from most people's )

Is choosing to be green really an alternative lifestyle?

an alternative method (= a method that is different than the usual one )

Try to use alternative methods of transport, such as cycling or taking the bus.

an alternative route (= one that you can use instead )

Holiday-makers bound for South Wales are advised to find an alternative route.

an alternative solution

We need to look for alternative solutions.

an alternative source

The university is exploring alternative funding sources.

an amazing variety

The market has an amazing variety of fresh fish.

an ambiguous/vague concept (= one that is not clear or is hard to define )

Creativity is an ambiguous concept.

an ambitious goal (= an aim that will be difficult to achieve )

The agreement set ambitious goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

an ambitious programme

The European Community embarked on an ambitious programme of research.

an ambitious project

Young people often enjoy the challenge of an ambitious project.

an ambulance crew

The woman had to be rescued from her car by an ambulance crew.

an amendment to the constitution (= a change )

the First Amendment to the American Constitution

an American/English etc expression

She remembered the American expression her mother had always used: 'Life’s a breeze'.

an American/Japanese etc tourist

She saw a crowd of Japanese tourists, cameras at the ready, wandering down the path.

an amicable settlement (= when people agree in a friendly way )

Disputes were often taken to a village council, which attempted to bring about an amicable settlement.

an amount/a length of time

Customers only have a limited amount of time to inspect the goods.

an amused smile/look/expression etc

an amusing story/anecdote/incident etc

The book is full of amusing stories about his childhood.

an analysis shows sth

DNA analysis shows that the blood and the saliva come from the same person.

an analysis suggests/indicates sth

Our analysis suggests that these problems are widespread.

an ancient city

the ancient city of Jerusalem

an ancient site

The organization maintains and restores ancient sites, castles, monuments etc.

an angry denial

There were angry denials of corruption in the police force.

an angry exchange

His angry exchange with the referee earned him a yellow card.

an angry response

His comments sparked an angry response from opposition politicians.

an angry/furious expression

Her angry expression turned to one of utter despair.

an angry/threatening gesture

One of the men made a threatening gesture, and I ran.

an anguished/agonised cry (= full of distress )

She gave an anguished cry, calling his name.

an angular face (= so thin that you can see the bones )

She stared at his dark, angular face.

an announcement comes (= it happens )

His announcement came after two days of peace talks.

an annoying/unpleasant/nasty habit

He had the unpleasant habit of eating with his mouth open.

an annual competition

Last year he won the magazine’s annual photo competition.

an annual conference

the biggest annual conference for teachers of English

an annual holiday (= a holiday you take every year )

We were getting ready for our annual holiday in Cornwall.

an annual increase

The company reported a 10% increase in pre-tax profits.

an annual inspection

The aircraft was due for its annual inspection.

an annual meeting (= an important meeting held once a year )

the annual meeting of the British Medical Association

an annual quota

The US immigration laws imposed a strict annual quota for each country of origin.

an annual review

There will be an annual review of your salary.

an annual survey

Every council will be required to conduct an annual survey of residents.

an annual/a monthly fee

An annual fee of £150 has been introduced.

an annual/monthly subscription

An annual subscription to the magazine costs $20.

an annual/monthly/weekly budget

The organization has an annual budget of $24 million.

an annual/monthly/weekly cycle (= the related events that repeat themselves every year, month etc )

the annual cycle of planting and harvesting crops

an annual/monthly/weekly/daily total

The Government plans to increase the annual total of 2,500 adoptions by up to 50%.

an anonymous call (= in which the caller does not give their name )

The £10,000 demand was made in an anonymous call to his home.

an anonymous donation (= from someone who does not give their name )

The charity confirmed it had received an anonymous donation of £100,000.

an answering machine (= for recording telephone messages )

There’s a message on the answering machine.

an antenatal clinic British English (= giving medical care to pregnant women )

The staff at the antenatal clinic will give you the results of your blood test.

an anthology of poems (= a book of poems by different people )

She gave me an anthology of poems for children.

an anti-government protest

Religious leaders continued to lead anti-government protests.

an anti-government/anti-war etc rally

The peace groups made plans to hold an anti-war rally.

an anti-government/pro-democracy etc demonstration

There have been further violent anti-government demonstrations this week.

an anti-smoking/anti-bullying etc campaign

How effective has the anti-smoking campaign been?

an anti-virus program

You should update your anti-virus program regularly.

an ants' nest

a red ants' nest

an anxious/troubled/worried expression

She stood looking at me with an anxious expression.

an apartment block

I met him at his apartment block in Manhattan.

an apartment building ( also an apartment block British English apartment house American English )

a five-storey apartment block

Our apartment building is the last block on the right, opposite the bank.

an apartment complex (= a group of buildings containing apartments )

an apartment complex American English

a luxury apartment complex on Fulton Street

an apocryphal story (= one that is well-known but probably not true )

There are many apocryphal stories about him.

an apparent lack of sth (= one that seems to exist )

Adam's apparent lack of concern angered his brother.

an apparent similarity (= one that seems similar but really is not )

Many apparent similarities became less convincing on closer examination.

an appeal fails/succeeds

If the appeal fails, he will serve his full sentence.

an appeal fund (= money collected to help people who are in a very bad situation )

The appeal fund has now reached £65,000.

an appeal/request for aid

International aid agencies launched an appeal for emergency aid.

an appeals court/court of appeal (= dealing with cases in which people are not satisfied with a decision )

The appeals court rejected the defence’s argument.

an application form

Simply fill in the application form and return it to your bank.

an appointment card (= one with your appointments on )

The dentist gave me a new appointment card.

an appreciative comment (= showing that you think something is good or nice )

Appreciative comments may improve your staff’s performance.

an approaching storm (= one that is coming closer )

The horizon was dark with an approaching storm.

an appropriate measure (= a measure that is suitable for a particular situation )

In the event of an assault, staff will need to take appropriate measures to defend themselves.

an appropriate response

She laughed, which didn't really seem an appropriate response.

an appropriate/apt metaphor (= a very suitable one )

Building on sand is an apt metaphor for the challenge we face.

an approval/popularity rating

His popularity rating remains high.

an approving nod/glance/smile etc

an approximate/rough figure

He gave us an approximate figure for the cost of the repairs.

an aptitude test (= a test that measures your natural abilities )

an arable farm (= a farm where crops are grown )

Tractors represent the single biggest cost on most arable farms.

an arable field (= one used for growing crops )

Barley was growing in the arable fields surrounding the castle.

an arable/agricultural crop (= grown on farm land )

A lot of woodland has been cleared for arable crops.

an arch enemy (= main enemy, used for emphasis )

The comic book character Lex Luthor is Superman’s arch enemy.

an archaeological site

Archaeological sites are often discovered by accident.

an Arctic/Antarctic expedition

I accompanied the explorer on one of his Arctic expeditions.

an ardent/fervent supporter (= very enthusiastic )

She is an ardent supporter of the government's proposed tax reforms.

an arduous journey (= to a place that is difficult to reach )

the arduous journey to the North Pole

an arduous task (= needing a lot of effort and hard work )

We began the arduous task of carrying the furniture to the top floor.

an area of conflict (= a subject or matter that causes conflict )

There may be many areas of conflict between parents and teenagers.

an area of disagreement (= an idea or subject that people disagree about )

Substantial areas of disagreement still exist between scientists.

an area/field of research

This is a very exciting area of research.

an argument breaks out (= it starts )

The men were drunk and an argument soon broke out.

an argument erupts (= a big argument suddenly starts )

A bitter argument erupted between the brothers over who should inherit the money.

an armed attack

Armed attacks against Israeli settlements are on the increase.

an armed clash (= involving the use of weapons )

The violence could soon become armed clashes and even a war.

an armed convoy (= carrying weapons )

a heavily armed convoy of three vehicles

an armed gang (= with guns )

An armed gang stole jewels worth more than five million pounds.

an armed terrorist

They were gunned down by armed terrorists outside their hotel.

an arms embargo (= one that stops weapons being sold or sent to a country )

Ministers knew that the arms embargo was being broken.

an arms/weapons deal (= one which involves selling weapons )

A number of recent arms deals have embarrassed the government.

an army base/camp

the local army base

an army officer

Both daughters married army officers.

an army recruit

The army recruits must undergo basic training.

an army unit

The town was surrounded by army units.

an army/naval/military etc officer

an arranged marriage (= when your parents choose the person you will marry )

In their culture, there is a tradition of arranged marriage.

an arrestable/indictable offence (= one that you can be arrested for or must go to court for )

Indictable offences are tried by a jury in a Crown Court.

an arson attack (= intended to destroy a building by burning it )

Ten classrooms were completely destroyed in the arson attack.

an art collection

the National Gallery’s art collection

an art gallery

a guide to the city's museums and art galleries

an article appears in a newspaper/magazine

A couple of articles appeared in local papers, but nothing else.

an artificial environment

Animals hate being confined in an artificial environment.

an artificial pitch British English

The club is building a new artificial training pitch at its sports ground.

an artistic director (= person who controls which plays a theatre produces and how they are produced )

The artistic director announced that a new play would be staged next month.

an art/music/drama college

The Music College was founded in 1869.

an arts centre (= for art, music, theatre, film etc )

Shall we go to the concert at the arts centre on Saturday?

an arts degree (= in a subject that is not science )

She has an arts degree from Sussex University.

an assassination attempt (= an attempt to kill a leader )

De Gaulle survived an assassination attempt in 1961.

an assassination plot

The assassination plot to kill General de Gaulle was unsuccessful.

an assault case

She had to attend court as a witness in an assault case.

an assault charge

He’s in jail on an assault charge.

an assistant coach

He took a job as an assistant coach at the college.

an associate member (= one who has fewer rights than a full member )

Turkey is an associate member of the European Union.

an atmosphere of tension

Voting took place in an atmosphere of tension.

an atom/atomic bomb

Oppenheimer was the father of the atomic bomb.

an attack happens/takes place ( also an attack occurs formal )

The attack took place at around 10 pm Thursday.

an attack of nerves (= a time when you feel very nervous )

Harrison had an attack of nerves before the match.

an attempt fails/succeeds

All attempts to find a cure have failed.

an attempted/abortive/failed coup (= one that did not succeed )

There was an attempted coup against Togo’s military dictator.

an attitude exists

This attitude no longer exists in the church.

an attitude of mind British English (= a way of thinking )

Being young is simply an attitude of mind.

an attractive feature

The house had many attractive features, notably the large garden.

an attractive option (= one that sounds or is good )

If time is short, taking the car to northern France is an attractive option.

an attractive proposition

Setting up your own business is a very attractive proposition.

an attractive/handsome/pleasing etc appearance

Large blue eyes set in a long thin face give him a striking and attractive appearance.

an audible sigh (= a sigh that can be heard )

Tonight she breathed an audible sigh of relief as the show ended.

an audience cheers

The audience cheered loudly when he came on stage.

an audience claps

Most of the audience clapped but a few people jeered.

an audience laughs

He has the ability to make an audience laugh.

an audio commentary (= a recorded commentary that you listen to )

The DVD extras include an audio commentary by the film director.

an auspicious/inauspicious start (= one that makes it seem likely that something will be good or bad )

His second term in office has got off to an extremely inauspicious start.

an authoritarian regime (= with very strong control )

The post-war authoritarian regimes of eastern Europe have been replaced by democratically elected governments.

an authority figure (= someone, such as a parent or teacher, who has the power to tell young people what they can do )

The teacher is an authority figure, like the parent.

an automatic weapon (= an automatic gun )

He was shot 120 times with automatic weapons.

an autonomous region/state/republic etc

Galicia is an autonomous region of Spain.

an autopsy report ( also a post-mortem report British English ) (= that shows the results of an examination on a dead body to find the cause of death )

The autopsy report gave the cause of death as alcohol poisoning.

an auxiliary verb (= a verb that is used with another verb to show its tense, person, etc. In English these are 'be', 'do', and 'have' )

an average length

These worms grow to an average length of about 1 metre.

an average speed

Our average speed was 88 mph.

an avid/voracious reader (= someone who eagerly reads a lot of books )

She was an avid reader of historical novels.

an award scheme British English

The league started a new award scheme for young players.

an award winner

The award winners will be announced in December.

an awards ceremony (= to give people prizes for good achievements )

the annual television awards ceremony

an awards ceremony

My parents wanted to be at the awards ceremony.

The stars are gathering for the annual awards ceremony.

an away game (= played at an opposing team's sports field )

We didn't win any away games last season.

an away match (= played at the place where the opponent usually practises )

This is their last away match of the season.

An awful lot of (= a large number of people )

An awful lot of people died in the war.

an awful lot ( also a whole lot informal ) (= a very large amount or number )

He spends an awful lot of time on the computer.

an awful/appalling tragedy (= very unpleasant and shocking )

This is an appalling tragedy which will haunt us for the rest of our lives.

an awkward pause

After an awkward pause, Ray began to answer my question.

an awkward position

My foot was in an awkward position.

an awkward question (= one that someone does not want to answer )

How can we keep the press from asking awkward questions?

an awkward/uncomfortable/embarrassed silence

‘Fred tells me you like books,’ Steve said, after an awkward silence.

an ear/eye infection

She was given antibiotics for an ear infection.

an earlier version

The President vetoed an earlier version of the bill.

an early diagnosis (= at an early stage of a disease )

Early diagnosis gives patients the best chance of recovery.

an early end

Hopes of an early end to the conflict are fading.

an early frost (= one that happens before winter )

I hoped the early frost wasn’t a sign of a bad winter to come.

an early lead (= a lead early in a game, election etc )

Liverpool took an early lead with a goal from Steven Gerrard.

an early night (= when you go to bed early )

I'm really tired - I need an early night.

an early sign (= a sign near the beginning of something that shows that it is happening, or that it exists )

an early sign of spring

an early stage (= near the beginning of a process )

Patients can be treated with drugs, especially at the early stage of the disease.

an early/earlier draft (= written before others )

In earlier drafts of the speech, he criticized the pace of political progress.

an early/initial setback (= happening quite soon )

The policy has been successful, despite some early setbacks.

an early/late breakfast

We had an early breakfast and left before 7.30.

an early/late shift

Nobody wants to do the late shift.

an early/late start

It was long trip so we had planned an early start.

an earthquake destroys/damages sth

The earthquake completely destroyed all the buildings on the island.

an earthquake happens ( also an earthquake occurs formal )

Scientists cannot predict when an earthquake will occur.

an earthquake hits/strikes a place (= happens in a particular place )

The region was struck by a major earthquake last year.

an earthquake measures 5/6.4 etc on the Richter Scale

The earthquake, which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale, left more than 20,000 homeless.

an earthquake zone (= where earthquakes are quite likely to happen )

It’s not advisable to build nuclear reactors in an earthquake zone.

an easterly/westerly etc breeze

A gentle easterly breeze was blowing in from the Atlantic.

an easy mistake (to make)

She looks like her sister, so it’s an easy mistake to make.

an easy movement (= without effort )

She swung her legs off the bed in one easy movement.

an easy option ( also a soft option British English ) (= a choice which is not difficult, or which needs the least effort )

For most people, divorce is never an easy option.

an easy victory

Arsenal expected an easy victory.

an easy walk

From here it is an easy walk to the summit.

an easy way

Here’s an easy way to cut up a mango.

an easy win

The Australian appeared to be heading for an easy win.

an easy/difficult child (= easy or difficult to deal with )

Marcus was a very happy, easy child.

an easy/soft target

Some criminals now regard churches as easy targets.

an eating disorder (= in which someone stops eating a normal amount of food )

Eating disorders can be very difficult to treat.

an eating disorder (= a mental illness which causes you to eat too much or too little )

She described her battle with the eating disorder bulimia.

an eating/dessert apple (= one which is sweet enough to eat )

Use dessert apples for this recipe.

an ebb tide (= the flow of the sea away from the shore )

We sailed out to sea on the ebb tide.

an ecological/environmental disaster (= causing great damage to nature )

This region is facing an ecological disaster as a result of toxic waste.

an economic boom

the postwar economic boom

an economic crisis (= a situation in which there are a lot of problems with the economy, that must be dealt with quickly so the situation does not get worse )

The country’s economic crisis continues to deepen as workers demonstrated against rising food prices.

an economic embargo (= one that does not allow any trade or financial business with a country )

He asked for an immediate end to the economic embargo imposed last year.

an economic enterprise (= one that is intended to make money )

It's an economic enterprise, not a charity.

an economic forecast

The Bank of England revised its economic forecast in the wake of the figures.

an economic impact

It is difficult to measure the economic impact of the war.

an economic indicator (= something that shows how well the economy of a country is doing, and what is likely to happen to it in the future )

The main economic indicators show that the economy is still in decline.

an economic migrant (= someone who goes to another country to find a better job )

They are economic migrants, escaping terrible poverty in their home country.

an economic miracle

Brazil seemed to be experiencing an economic miracle.

an economic motive

Many people believed that there were economic motives to the decision to go to war.

an economic policy (= the way in which a government manages the economy of a country or area )

Controlling inflation is the main aim of the government’s economic policy.

an economic programme

The party did not have a clear economic programme.

an economic recession

The economic recession of the '70s led to a fall in recruitment.

an economic recovery

The U.S. is showing solid signs of an economic recovery.

an economic sector (= one part of the economy )

The country is making efforts to expand such economic sectors as tourism and information technology.

an economic slowdown/downturn (= when businesses become less successful )

Experts are predicting an economic slowdown at the beginning of next year.

an economic strategy

The government has changed its economic strategy.

an economic theory

His economic theory assumes that both labour and capital are perfectly mobile.

an economic zone (= an area with special trade or tax conditions )

The area has been made a special economic zone.

an economic/military/business/political etc objective

We have made good progress towards meeting our business objectives.

an economic/political/financial etc crisis

The country was headed into an economic crisis.

an editorial column (= that expresses the opinion of a newspaper editor )

the Financial Times editorial column

an educated/informed guess (= a guess based on things that you know are correct )

Stockbrokers try to make educated guesses as to which stocks will do well.

an education authority (= a government organization that makes official decisions about education in one particular area )

The school is funded by the local education authority.

an education centre

Many elderly people come to the education centre to learn to use computers.

an educational aim

the educational aims of the school

an educational establishment (= a school, college etc )

It’s a large educational establishment with over 2,000 pupils.

an education/health/sports etc correspondent

Here is our sports correspondent with all the details.

an eerie silence (= one that is strange and rather frightening )

An eerie silence descended over the house.

an effect lasts (= continues )

The effect of the drug lasts about six hours.

an effect wears off (= gradually stops )

The effect of the anaesthetic was beginning to wear off.

an effective cure

A few decades ago there was no effective cure for the disease.

an effective means

Is reducing the speed limit an effective means of reducing accidents?

an effective method

Exams are not the most effective method of assessing students’ abilities.

an effective partnership

The agency tries to forge effective partnerships with communities and private businesses.

an effective solution

The government has failed to come up with an effective solution.

an effective solution

The most effective solution to traffic congestion is to build more roads.

an effective system

The country has a simple but effective welfare system.

an effective technique

This is an effective technique for removing unwanted hair.

an effective treatment

Antibiotics are still the most effective treatment for this disease.

an effective way

What’s the most effective way to control crime?

an effective/efficient means

Speed bumps are an effective means of stopping cars from going too fast.

an effective/successful campaign

The Conservatives failed to mount an effective campaign.

an efficient means

The tram is a very efficient means of transport.

an efficient method

The railways used to provide a cheap efficient method of travel.

an efficient service

We aim to provide our clients with an efficient and friendly service.

an efficient system

We need a more efficient system for collecting money.

an efficient way

Email is an efficient way of contacting a large number of people.

an effort of will (= a big effort to do something that you find difficult because of the way you feel )

It took a huge effort of will not to cry.

an effort of will (= a determined effort to do something you do not want to do )

With a great effort of will, she resisted the temptation to look at the letter.

an elaborate lie

Her parents didn’t realise that it was all an elaborate lie.

an elaborate pretence (= one that is carefully planned and done, but obviously not true or real )

He made an elaborate pretence of yawning and said he was going to bed.

an elaborate system

The proposal has to get through an elaborate system of committees.

an elected politician

Are the country’s elected politicians trustworthy?

an election broadcast British English (= a programme by a party saying why people should vote for them in an election )

a Conservative Party election broadcast

an election broadcast (= shown before an election to persuade people to vote for a party )

a Labour party election broadcast

an election campaign

The election campaign got off to a bad start.

an election candidate British English (= someone trying to be elected in an election )

Local party members choose the election candidates.

an election promise/pledge (= one that is made while a person or party is trying to be elected )

The government has broken all its election promises.

an election rally (= a public meeting to support a politician or party before an election )

He drove to Paris to address an election rally.

an election rally

The senator was due to address an election rally that evening.

an election victory/defeat

He became prime minister after a decisive election victory.

an election year (= a year in which there is an election )

The Chancellor won’t raise taxes in an election year.

an election/campaign/manifesto pledge

The governor had kept her campaign pledge to slash taxes.

an election/electoral campaign

He was candidate in the 2008 election campaign.

an election/electoral defeat

It was their worst general election defeat since 1982.

an election/electoral victory

The Democrats were celebrating their election victory.

an electoral alliance (= made between parties before an election )

The weaker Liberal Democratic party was now considering an electoral alliance with Labour.

an electoral mandate (= gained by winning an election )

Ford took over when Nixon resigned, and thus did not have an electoral mandate of his own.

an electoral/election contest

What will be the outcome of the electoral contest?

an electrical storm (= one with lightning )

Power supplies have been affected by severe electrical storms in some parts of the country.

an electric/electricity cable

Be careful you don't cut through an electric cable.

an electricity bill (= a bill you have to pay for electricity you have used )

I pay my electricity bill by direct debit.

an electricity company

Some electricity companies may be able to offer you an environmentally friendly option.

an electricity/gas/phone etc bill

I’ll have to pay the gas bill too next month.

an electronic calculator

Candidates may use electronic calculators in the exam.

an electronic device

The shops are always full of new electronic devices.

an electronic dictionary (= small electronic machine containing a dictionary )

Electronic dictionaries are very popular in Japan.

an electronic instrument

An electronic instrument requires no tuning and very little maintenance.

an element of doubt (= a slight doubt )

There’s an element of doubt about his true age as he doesn’t have a birth certificate.

an element of luck (= an amount of luck that is involved in something )

There is always an element of luck when hiring someone for a job.

an element of mystery (= part of something that seems mysterious )

There is an element of mystery and miracle in the process.

an elementary/intermediate/advanced course

an advanced course in art and design

an element/degree of risk (= some risk, but not much )

There is always an element of risk in flying.

an email address

What’s your email address?

an email attachment (= a computer file sent in an email )

Don’t open an email attachment unless you know who sent it.

an email message

I can send email messages on my phone.

an email/mail message (= a message that you receive by email )

Just send me an email message to let me know what time.

an embarrassed silence

There was an embarrassed silence, then Gina laughed loudly.

an embarrassed smile/laugh/grin

Lucy gave an embarrassed smile and looked down at her feet.

an embarrassing incident

He left after an embarrassing incident in the bar.

an embarrassing question

The media began to ask embarrassing questions about MPs' expenses.

an emergency call (= to the police, fire service, or ambulance service )

The police normally respond immediately to an emergency call.

an emergency meeting (= a meeting that is arranged quickly to discuss a very serious situation )

The cabinet held an emergency meeting earlier today.

an emergency operation (= a medical operation that is carried out quickly when someone has been injured or become ill suddenly )

He had an emergency operation to save his sight.

an emergency operation

He had to have his spleen removed in an emergency operation.

an emergency session (= a political meeting that is arranged quickly to discuss a very serious situation )

an emergency session of the UN Security Council

an emergency situation

If an emergency situation arises, the pilot and crew must stay calm.

an emergency vehicle (= an ambulance or fire engine )

Emergency vehicles rushed to the scene.

an emergency/urgent meeting

The Council has called an emergency meeting to decide what action to take.

an emerging/fledgling democracy (= new )

the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe

an emotional bond

As soon as we met we felt an emotional bond.

an emotional reaction (= showing strong emotion, especially by crying )

I was surprised by her emotional reaction to the news.

an emotional response

When she died, the emotional response was extraordinary.

an emotional speech (= showing emotions, especially by crying )

On retiring, she delivered an emotional farewell speech.

an emotional/psychological impact

Their mother’s death had a huge emotional impact on the children.

an empire collapses (= fails and ends suddenly )

When the business empire collapsed, thousands of employees lost their jobs.

an empire crumbles (= loses power gradually )

The vast empire was beginning to crumble.

an empire falls/collapses (= loses power suddenly )

In A.D.476, the western part of the Empire collapsed.

an empire grows

As the empire grew, its new territories needed to be protected.

an employee joins a company/firm etc

Employees who join the firm after April receive a percentage of the annual bonus.

an employee leaves

When a senior employee leaves the company, we hold an exit interview.

an employment contract ( also a contract of employment ) (= an official document stating the details about someone’s employment )

There is a clause in your employment contract covering holiday entitlement.

an empty chair (= with no one using it )

She came and sat in an empty chair beside me.

an empty gesture (= something you do that does not achieve anything important )

The President's attempt at negotiation was an empty gesture which failed to satisfy his critics.

an empty slogan (= a slogan that promises something which is not actually done )

We want real progress, not just empty slogans.

an empty space

Another day we returned to find an empty space where the TV should have been.

an empty/idle threat (= one that is not sincere )

She was not a woman to make idle threats.

an empty/idle/vain boast (= a false statement that something is good or possible )

‘Making knowledge work’ is the university’s phrase, and it is no idle boast not a boast, but true .

an empty/vacant seat

Patrick spotted an empty seat near the back.

an end in itself (= the thing that you want to achieve )

The programme is not an end in itself, but rather the first step the prisoner takes towards a new life.

an endless/inexhaustible supply (= one that does not end, or seems not to end )

He has an endless supply of jokes.

an enduring myth (= that has continued for a long time )

The idea that Kennedy was shot by the CIA is one of the enduring myths of our time.

an enemy force (= a military group that is your enemy )

The town is occupied by enemy forces.

an enemy position (= a place controlled by an enemy army )

General Hunt ordered an air strike on the enemy positions.

an enemy spy

He gave information to enemy spies.

an energy bill

We are looking at ways of cutting our energy bill.

an energy company

a state-owned energy company

an energy crisis

Europe could soon face an energy crisis.

an energy shortage

California experienced energy shortages that in turn led to power outages.

an energy source

We hope to see increased usage of renewable energy sources.

an energy/oil/fuel crisis

There is an energy crisis here, with power cuts happening daily.

an engagement ring

I noticed that she had an engagement ring on her finger.

an engaging personality (= pleasant, so that people like you )

He is strikingly handsome with a very engaging personality.

an engine cuts out (= stops suddenly )

The engine keeps cutting out.

an engine idles/ticks over (= runs slowly while the vehicle, machine etc is not moving )

The taxi waited at the kerb, its engine idling noisily.

an engine runs

He parked outside the bank and kept the engine running.

an engineering/building/electronics etc firm

Fred worked for an electronics firm.

an English/a full breakfast (= a big breakfast with bacon, egg, toast etc - used especially in hotels )

A lot of people like to have an English breakfast on holiday.

an English/American/French etc equivalent

Savings and loan associations are the American equivalent of Britain’s building societies.

an English/French etc translation

He wrote the first English translation of Homer’s 'Iliad'.

an English/history/politics etc essay

He got a good grade for his English essay.

an enterprise economy (= an economic system in which there are many private businesses )

An enterprise economy can generate wealth and reduce unemployment.

an enterprise zone (= an area created by the government to attract businesses )

Many firms relocate to enterprise zones because of tax incentives.

an enterprise zone (= where businesses are encouraged )

Small businesses predominated in the enterprise zone.

an entertainment complex (= with cinemas, restaurants and other places to go )

There are plans for an entertainment complex with cinemas and a bowling alley.

an entertainment district (= where there are a lot of bars, clubs etc )

Visitors to Roppongi, Tokyo’s entertainment district, come to experience the latest fashions and have fun.

an enthusiastic amateur (= someone with a fairly low level of skill who tries hard )

There are a few professionals in the race, but most are enthusiastic amateurs.

an enthusiastic audience

They drew enthusiastic audiences at Europe's biggest rock festival.

an enthusiastic response

There has been an enthusiastic response to the introduction of soccer coaching for girls.

an enthusiastic/keen supporter

Eisenhower had been an enthusiastic supporter of the regime.

an enthusiastic/rapturous/rousing reception (= in which people show a lot of approval in a noisy way )

She received an enthusiastic reception.

an entrance exam (= in order to enter a school or university )

Jane passed the entrance exam but decided not to go.

an entrance examination (= to enter a school or university )

He had now failed the college entrance examination twice.

an entrance gate/door

Soldiers were guarding the entrance gate.

an entrance hall (= a room at the entrance to a building )

He walked through the front door into the entrance hall.

an entrance lobby/foyer (= an area at the entrance to a large building )

There was no sign of her in the entrance foyer.

an entrance/entry fee (= a fee to enter a place )

The gallery charges an entrance fee.

an entry point (= a place where people can enter a country )

The 2,000 mile border is the main entry point into the country for illegal aliens.

an entry ticket (= a ticket that allows you to enter a place )

The holiday includes a 2-day entry ticket to the Euro Disneyland Theme Park.

an entry visa (= a visa which allows you to enter a country )

Visitors to the United States must first obtain an entry visa.

an entry/exit visa

All foreigners need an entry visa.

an enviable position (= a situation that other people would like to be in )

He is in the enviable position of not needing to work.

an enviable reputation (= a good one that others would like to have )

The company has established an enviable reputation for quality.

an environmental group

a campaign by environmental groups to protect the Antarctic

an environmental hazard (= a danger or problem in the environment )

Oil from the tanker caused an environmental hazard.

an environmental impact

The environmental impact of the construction project is being investigated.

an environmental problem

Air pollution is our most serious environmental problem.

an epic journey (= a very long and eventful journey )

Lewis and Clark made their epic journey across the continental United States in the early 1800s.

an equal number/amount

Both candidates received an equal number of votes.

an equal partnership

They regard marriage as an equal partnership.

an equal probability

Each new baby has an approximately equal probability of inheriting maleness or femaleness.

an equalizing goal British English (= a goal that gives you the same number of points as your opponent )

A loud cheer went up as he scored the equalizing goal.

an equestrian statue (= a statue of someone riding a horse )

He presented the city with an equestrian statue of King William.

an era begins

A new era began for Northern Ireland with the signing of the peace agreement.

an era ends

The era of cheap oil has ended.

an error arises/occurs formal (= happens )

If an error occurs, you will have two more chances to re-enter your password.

an escape attempt/bid

She made several unsuccessful escape attempts before finally getting away.

an escape plan

You should have an escape plan in the event of a fire.

an escape route

All their escape routes had been blocked.

an escape route (= a way of leaving a building or place in an emergency such as a fire )

Check that your escape route is clear.

an escaped prisoner

Soldiers arrived, looking for escaped prisoners.

an essay question

We practised essay questions from previous exam papers.

an essay title

You will find a list of essay titles on the notice board.

an essay topic

Students will be given six essay topics, from which they must choose two.

an essential component

Controlling inflation is an essential component of the government’s economic strategy.

an essential difference

The essential difference between the two boats lies in the design of the hull.

an essential feature

A free press is an essential feature of a democracy.

an essential ingredient

Most people believe that love is an essential ingredient in a marriage.

an essential requirement

Confidence is an essential requirement for success.

an essential/fundamental difference (= a very basic one )

The fundamental differences between the two sides slowly emerged.

an essential/important item

Salt was an important item in the Roman economy.

an established convention (= one that has been used for a long time )

There are established conventions for how you should end a letter.

an established custom

He had criticized some of the school’s established customs.

an established fact (= a piece of information that has been tested and shown to be true )

It is an established fact that 1 in 10 undergraduates leave university in their first year.

an established institution (= an official organization that has existed for a long time )

The incoming prime minister was critical of many established government institutions.

an estate car British English (= one with a door at the back and folding seats )

Once you have children, an estate car is very useful.

an estimate puts sth at sth

Independent estimates put the number of refugees at 50,000.

an eternity ring (= a ring given as a sign of lasting love, especially one with stones all round it )

an ethical minefield

The issue of animal testing is an ethical minefield.

an ethnic clash (= between people of different races )

20 people died in ethnic clashes before Christmas.

an ethnic community (= people of a particular race, usually one that is not white or not the majority in a country )

Most members of ethnic communities in Britain were born here.

an ethnic group (= one whose members belong to a particular race or nation )

The university welcomes enquiries and applications from all ethnic groups.

an ethnic group

People of Ukrainian descent are Canada’s fifth largest ethnic group.

an ethnic identity (= the feeling of belonging to one race or national group )

These small tribal communities share a common ethnic identity.

an ethnic minority (= a small ethnic group living within a much larger group )

Ethnic minorities have tended to live together in the same areas of the city.

an ethnic mix (= a mixture of people from different ethnic groups who live in the same place )

The city has a wonderful ethnic mix.

an ethnic Russian/Albanian etc (= someone whose family is Russian etc, but who is living in another country )

Romania’s 1.6 million ethnic Hungarians make up about 7 percent of the country’s population.

an etymological dictionary (= showing the origin and history of words )

Etymological dictionaries show how languages borrow words from each other.

an even number (= 2, 4, 6, 8 etc )

All even numbers can be divided by 2.

an evening bag (= a small bag that a woman takes out with her in the evening )

She put her lipstick in a black velvet evening bag.

an evening breeze

People were out walking, enjoying the evening breeze.

an evening class

Mum goes to an evening class on Tuesdays.

an evening dress (= a formal dress to wear in the evening )

She arrived in a red evening dress.

an evening meal

I was just preparing the evening meal when the phone rang.

an evening newspaper/paper

I bought an evening newspaper to read on my way home.

an evening paper

Ian usually buys an evening paper on his way home.

an evening suit (= a formal suit that men wear to social events in the evening )

He put on a black evening suit.

an evening/midday meal

The evening meal is served at 7.30.

an event happens/takes place ( also an event occurs formal )

The event took place last year.

an everyday/commonplace experience (= one that is typical of normal life )

The sound of gunfire is an everyday experience in the city.

an evil spell

The people still believe in evil spells.

an exact copy/replica (= something which has been made, that is exactly like another thing )

The vessel is an exact replica of a Viking longboat.

an exact equivalent (= something that has exactly the same meaning, purpose, value etc as something else )

There is no exact equivalent in English for the phrase.

an exact match (= something that is exactly the same as something else )

The two DNA samples were an exact match.

an exam essay/script (= that someone has written during an exam )

I’ve brought in some old exam scripts for us to look at.

an exam paper

I’ve still got dozens of exam papers to mark.

an exam question

Read the exam questions carefully before writing your answers.

an exam/a test question

You have to answer twenty exam questions.

an examination paper

There will be a choice of questions on the examination paper.

an examination pass

To apply, you need at least two A-level examination passes.

an examination question

Read the examination questions carefully before writing your answers.

an examination script (= everything that someone writes in an examination )

I've just finished marking 200 examination scripts.

an examination shows ( also an examination reveals formal )

A second examination showed a small growth in his stomach.

an example shows/illustrates sth

These examples show how the disease can be passed on to humans.

an exceptional case

In the 1950s, some working class students went on to university, but these were exceptional cases.

an exceptional event

If an exceptional event occurs, such as the death of a family member, you can ask for the court case to be postponed.

an excessive use of sth

Farmers have been criticized for their excessive use of chemical fertilizers.

an exchange market (= a financial market where different currencies are bought and sold )

The pound rose against the dollar on the world foreign currency exchange markets.

an exchange of views (= when people say what they think, especially when they disagree )

There was a frank exchange of views at the meeting.

an exciting development (= a change that makes a product, situation etc better )

This exciting development could mark the end of the long-running conflict.

an exciting discovery

The existence of the new solar system was a very exciting discovery.

an exciting new sth

There are many exciting new developments in cancer research.

an exciting opportunity

The job offers an exciting career opportunity for the right individual.

an exciting possibility

Penny allowed herself to consider the exciting possibility that Jack might be at the party.

an exciting prospect (= an event in the future, about which you feel excited )

For the team, there’s the exciting prospect of travelling to many major cities.

an exciting prospect (= a person who has a good chance of success in the future )

His pace and skill mark him as one of the most exciting prospects in Super League.

an exciting time

It was the most exciting time of my life.

an exclusive club (= only open to particular people )

Unfortunately, I’m not a member of the exclusive club of millionaires.

an exclusive deal/contract (= one that says that no other person or company can do the same job )

Our firm has an exclusive contract to handle the company’s legal affairs.

an exclusive hotel

With its marble columns and crystal chandeliers, the Crillon is one of the most exclusive hotels in Paris.

an exclusive neighbourhood British English , an exclusive neighborhood AmE:

Some of these kids are from the most exclusive neighbourhoods.

an exclusive report/interview/picture (= appearing in only one newspaper or magazine )

The newspaper featured exclusive pictures of the couple’s new baby.

an exclusive school

Marjorie went to an exclusive girls’ school.

an exclusive shop ( also an exclusive store American English )

I walked along Bond Street, past all the exclusive shops.

an exclusive suburb/area

They live in an exclusive suburb on the north side of the city.

an execution takes place (= it happens )

In Elizabethan times, the execution of traitors took place on Tower Hill.

an executive committee (= that manages an organization and makes decisions for it )

He sat on the firm's Executive Committee.

an executive order (= an order from a president )

President Grant issued an executive order establishing a reservation for the Nex Perce Indians.

an exercise bike (= used for exercising indoors )

I usually go on the exercise bike and the rowing machine.

an exercise class

I usually go to my exercise class on Wednesdays.

an exercise programme/routine/regime British English , an exercise program American English (= a plan that includes different types of exercise )

The athletes follow an intensive exercise programme.

I’m finding it quite hard to stick to my exercise routine.

an exhausted sleep (= because you were very tired )

He finally woke from an exhausted sleep.

an exhibition centre

The exhibition centre has an interesting display of contemporary art.

an exhibition centre British English , an exhibition center American English (= a large building for holding exhibitions )

The exhibition will be held in the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

an exhibition hall

There’s a large exhibition hall on the ground floor.

an exhibition of sculpture

a large exhibition of modern sculpture

an exhibition stand (= a stand for showing things at an exhibition )

He took up his position at the exhibition stand.

an exhibition venue (= a place where exhibitions can be held )

We are still looking for suitable exhibition venues.

an existing client (= one that you already have )

We are very keen to keep our existing clients happy.

an exit door

Exit doors shouldn’t be blocked at any time.

an exit poll (= when people are asked how they have just voted )

The exit polls said that 46 percent of women had voted for Obama.

an exit route (= a way out of a building, plane etc, used in an emergency or a fire )

Staff must become familiar with the building’s exit routes.

an exit sign (= one showing where an exit is )

There was a red glowing exit sign over the door.

an exit sign (= one showing the names of places or roads near an exit )

Stay on the same road until you see an exit sign for Rhode Island.

an exotic flower

We grow exotic flowers from all over the world.

an exotic pet (= from a foreign country and not seen or found very often )

Often the owners do not know how to care for these exotic pets.

an exotic/far-off destination (= far away from where you are, and exciting )

The company arranges tours to exotic destinations such as Nepal.

an expansion plan

The city’s ambitious expansion plans will require major investment.

an expansion programme

The company’s aggressive expansion program will double the size of the chain in the next four years.

an expansion programme

Such an aggressive expansion programme could double the business in five years.

an expensive commodity

Consumers began to find that they could afford more expensive commodities.

an expensive gift

He was always showering Louise with expensive gifts.

an expensive mistake (= a mistake which results in someone having to spend a lot of money )

Choosing the wrong builder turned out to be an expensive mistake.

an expensive/cheap restaurant

He took her out to an expensive restaurant.

an experienced driver (= who has a lot of experience of driving )

Young drivers are ten times more likely to be killed on the road than experienced drivers.

an experiment shows/proves/demonstrates sth

His experiment showed that lightning was a kind of electricity.

The experiment proved that fabrics treated with the chemical are much less likely to catch fire.

an experiment to test/measure/find out sth

We did an experiment to test the acidity of the soil.

an expert witness (= someone who has special knowledge, for example of medicine, and who talks about it in court )

The jury had to choose between the conflicting testimonies of expert witnesses.

an explosion destroys sth

Seven people died when the explosion destroyed the bus.

an explosion kills sb

Last year, an underground explosion killed 82 miners.

an explosion occurs formal

The explosion occurred just off the coast of Greece.

an explosion of anger

The verdict was greeted by an explosion of public anger.

an explosion of colour literary

After the rain, the desert bloomed in an explosion of color.

an explosion of interest in something

There has been an explosion of interest in networking websites in the last few years.

an explosion of violence

The army had to cope with the explosion of violence that followed the elections.

an explosion shakes sth

A series of explosions shook the building.

an explosion takes place/happens

The largest explosion took place at the main post office.

an explosive bullet

An explosive bullet is a very unpleasant weapon.

an export ban ( also a ban on exports )

During the crisis, France imposed an export ban on British beef.

The ban on exports was lifted in June.

an export crop (= grown to be exported )

Cocoa is the country's main export crop.

an export licence (= an official document giving you permission to sell something to another country )

You will have to submit an application for an export licence.

an export market

The US is Scotland’s second largest export market after France.

an export permit

An export permit is required for the export of this timber.

an export/import ban

The export ban on live cattle was brought in some years ago.

an express coach (= travelling quickly without stopping much )

Express coach services run throughout the day.

an express train/a fast train (= one that does not stop at many places )

He boarded the express train to London.

an expression of anger

She tried to protect the children from his expressions of anger.

an expression of concern

His release from prison provoked expressions of concern from members of the public.

an expression of regret

The military has not offered any expression of regret over the civilian loss of life.

an expression of surprise (= one showing that you are surprised )

He looked at me with an expression of surprise.

an expression of sympathy

There was no apology, no expression of sympathy for what Anna had suffered.

an expression of sympathy

I murmured an expression of sympathy.

an extensive range

The winner will receive a brand-new kitchen from Magnet’s extensive range.

an extensive survey

We conducted an extensive survey asking patients to suggest ways in which the service could be improved.

an extensive/wide-ranging review

He is currently conducting a wide-ranging review of public spending.

an extra ten minutes/three metres etc

I asked for an extra two weeks to finish the work.

an extra/added incentive

The cash prize gives contestants an added incentive to do well.

an extra/added/additional/further dimension

Movies soon had the added dimension of sound.

an extra/additional charge

Breakfast may be served in your bedroom at no extra charge.

an extra/additional cost

At the campsite, many activities are available at no extra cost.

an extradition treaty (= one which says that people can be brought back to a country for trial )

The United States has had an extradition treaty with Mexico since 1978.

an extreme emergency (= a situation that is very worrying or dangerous )

These weapons should be used only in an extreme emergency.

an extreme example

To give you an extreme example, one lady called the police fifteen times in a single evening.

an extreme position

Few people hold this extreme position today.

an extreme sport (= one that is dangerous )

Many teenagers are attracted to extreme sports such as snowboarding.

an eye for detail (= skill at noticing all the small features )

He's a brilliant photographer with a fantastic eye for detail.

an eye test ( also an eye exam American English ) (= to find out how well you can see )

You should have an eye test every couple of years.

an eye test/a sight test

All children starting school are given a sight test.

an eye-witness account (= an account of an event, given by the person who saw it happen )

an eye-witness account of the attack

an eyesight examination/test

The cost of the eyesight examination may be refunded.

an eyewitness/first-hand report (= from someone who saw what happened )

Some were beaten and tortured according to first-hand reports from former prisoners.

an honest mistake (= a mistake, and not a deliberate action )

Thomas admitted he had broken the law, but said that it had been an honest mistake.

an honest/straight answer

The honest answer is that I don’t know.

an honorary member (= one who has been given membership as an honour )

He was made an honorary member of the Botanical Society.

an honoured guest (= one who is given special respect and treatment )

They were the honoured guests of the Queen at the Royal Garden Party.

an honours degree (= a British university degree that is above pass level )

The ideal candidate will have an honours degree.

an hour/three hours etc ago

He left an hour ago.

an hour/three hours etc earlier/before

I had just seen him a few hours earlier.

an hour/three hours etc later

An hour later she arrived home.

an hour’s walk/drive etc

It’s about an hour’s drive away.

an hour’s/a two hour etc drive

It’s a two hour drive from Calais to Thiepval.

an hour’s/six hours' etc work (= work that it took you an hour/six hours etc to do )

I did two hours’ work before breakfast.

an ice cube (= a small square piece of ice that you add to a drink )

She put a couple of ice cubes in her glass.

an icy/biting/bitter wind (= very cold )

She shivered in the icy wind.

an idea comes to sb (= someone suddenly thinks of an idea )

The idea came to me while I was having a bath.

an identity parade British English (= when someone looks at a line of people to see if they recognize a criminal )

The victim identified her attacker from an identity parade.

an identity/ID card (= one that proves who you are )

All US citizens must carry an identity card.

an idiomatic expression (= an idiom )

Try to avoid using idiomatic expressions in an essay.

an idyllic setting (= a very beautiful and peaceful place )

Three artists have come together to paint and teach in an idyllic setting in West Sussex.

an illegal act

Driving without insurance is an illegal act.

an illegal immigrant

Large numbers of illegal immigrants have found their way into the country.

an illegal migrant

Thousands of illegal migrants were caught trying to cross the sea to England.

an illegal substance (= an illegal drug )

Customs officials found an illegal substance in Smith’s luggage.

an illegal weapon

He was charged with carrying an illegal weapon.

an illegal/banned/prohibited substance (= used mainly to refer to illegal drugs )

Any player found guilty of using banned substances faces the prospect of a lengthy suspension.

an illegitimate baby (= born to an unmarried mother )

The number of illegitimate babies is rising.

an illustrated lecture (= a lecture with pictures such as slides )

Mrs Robinson gave a fascinating illustrated lecture on Spanish history.

an image consultant (= one who advises people how to improve their style or appearance )

The new Prime Minister was advised to see an image consultant.

an image problem

Politicians have an image problem as far as many young people are concerned.

an immediate ban

The group has called for an immediate ban on fur farming.

an immediate goal (= that you need to achieve very soon )

Our immediate goal is to cut costs.

an immediate halt

The government called for an immediate halt to the fighting.

an immediate threat (= the possibility that something bad will happen very soon )

The volcano erupted on Thursday but there is no immediate threat to nearby towns.

an immigrant community

There are shops catering for the various immigrant communities.

an immigrant family

A quarter of the school’s students are from immigrant families.

an impending disaster (= one that is going to happen soon )

She had a sense of impending disaster.

an impertinent question (= one which you have no right to ask )

She did not answer the maid’s impertinent question.

an import ban

The US imposed an import ban on several types of fish.

an important commodity

Crude oil is the world’s most important commodity.

an important consequence

This discovery was an important consequence of his research.

an important constraint

Their religious beliefs were an important constraint on their behaviour.

an important decision

My father made all the important decisions.

an important element

This one fact is the most important element of the theory.

an important engagement

He had an important engagement with his solicitor.

an important exhibition

an important exhibition of twentieth century art

an important factor

Human influence has been an important factor as regards climate change.

an important feature

The final-year project is an important feature of all undergraduate courses.

an important habitat

The island is an important habitat for exotic animals.

an important issue

The committee met several times to discuss this important issue.

an important means

Surveys are an important means of gathering information.

an important moment

This was probably the most important moment in his life.

an important move

I cannot decide on such an important move on my own.

an important part

Fresh fruit is an important part of our diet.

an important point

That’s an important point to bear in mind.

an important precedent

By doing this, an important precedent was established.

an important principle

One important principle is that you should give yourself plenty of reward for your success.

an important sector

Sport is now recognized as an important sector of economic activity.

an important topic

The legal team will discuss a number of important topics.

an important/big question

The book raises important questions about nationality and the role of a citizen.

an important/crucial distinction

There is an important distinction between these two types of cancer.

an important/crucial match

Luckily, all their players are fit for such an important match.

an important/essential characteristic

An essential characteristic of good teaching is that it must create interest in the learner.

an important/major industry

Agriculture is still a major industry in Scotland.

an important/major role

She played an important role in her husband’s political career.

an important/major/big step

The move is seen as a major step forward for UK firms.

an important/significant aspect

A person’s nationality is an important aspect of their identity.

an important/significant event

It’s natural to be nervous before such an important event.

an important/significant exception

The treaty was ratified by all the EU member countries, with one significant exception, Britain.

an important/significant/crucial difference

A study of the two groups of students showed a significant difference.

an important/significant/major influence

Parents have an important influence on children's development.

He was a major influence on my musical tastes.

an important/useful/valuable clue

The car used in the robbery may provide important clues.

an import/export business

Kingwell had an export business in New Zealand.

an import/export licence

An export licence was issued in August last year.

an impossible dream (= about something that cannot happen )

Having a number one record had seemed an impossible dream.

an impossible dream (= something you want, but will never happen )

For a small club, winning the cup final will always be the impossible dream.

an impossible feat (= something that is impossible to do )

She achieved the seemingly impossible feat of breaking the world record.

an impossible job/task

He faced the impossible task of paying back huge debts.

an impossible position (= a very difficult situation )

She was furious with Guy for putting her in such an impossible position.

an impressive/imposing building

the impressive buildings around the town’s central square

an improved version

The manufacturers come up with new, improved versions each year.

an improvement/rise in standards

There has been an improvement in living standards.

an impulse buy (= buying something without having planned it )

She admitted that the necklace had been an impulse buy.

an in-depth analysis (= detailed analysis) )

an in-depth analysis of global warming

an in-depth article (= one that is detailed )

Each issue contains in-depth articles and photographs.

an inauguration ceremony (= when someone becomes President, Chancellor etc )

It was the nation's 53rd inauguration ceremony.

an incentive scheme (= in which people receive money to persuade them to work harder )

There is a generous incentive scheme for the sales force.

an incentive scheme/system

The incentive scheme was introduced to encourage companies to use renewable energy sources.

an inch/25mm etc of rain

Two inches of rain fell in twelve hours.

an incident happens

The incident happened as Mrs Edwards was walking her dog.

an incident occurs formal:

The tragic incident occurred just after midnight.

an income bracket (= income level )

In general, people in higher income brackets live longer.

an income group

The budget will affect people differently, according to their income group.

an income level/group

The tax rate rises with the individual’s income level.

an incorrect/wrong diagnosis

The doctors apparently made an incorrect diagnosis.

an incorrigible liar/rogue etc

an increased/reduced risk

Those who smoke have an increased risk of heart disease.

an increase/growth in sales

The company is expecting a 20% increase in sales next year.

an increase/rise in expenditure

The government has announced a planned 4.4% increase in public expenditure.

an increase/rise in salary

They were offered a 10% increase in salary.

an indefinite period (= with no fixed end )

The painting had been loaned to the gallery for an indefinite period.

an indefinite strike (= with no end planned )

Workers at the processing plant have begun an indefinite strike.

an indelible impression formal (= lasting for ever )

Alan’s wartime experiences had left an indelible impression on him.

an independent commission

The plan requires approval by an independent commission.

an independent country (= not controlled by another country )

Malaysia has been an independent country since 1963.

an independent expert (= someone who is not controlled by, or does not receive money from, an organization or the government )

The authorities called in an independent expert to advise them.

an independent film (= a film made by a small film company )

Young directors began making small independent films.

an independent inquiry (= one that is organized by people who are not involved in a situation )

The Labour Party is calling for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the police.

an independent review

Their findings have been confirmed by a recent independent review.

an independent state ( also a sovereign state formal )

Croatia became an independent state in 1991.

an independent/sovereign nation (= one that rules itself, rather than being run by another country )

Countries that were once colonies of Britain are now independent nations.

an Indian/Thai etc curry (= made from Indian, Thai etc recipes )

an indirect result

Some job losses were the indirect result of cheap imports.

an indirect tax (= a tax on things you buy )

The effect of indirect taxes is to raise the prices of goods.

an individual sport

You have to be mentally tough to compete in individual sports.

an indomitable will (= a strong will which means you do not give in )

The indomitable will of the people remains the core strength of democracy.

an indoor game

There is a hall for indoor games and social functions.

an indoor toilet

Many cottages lacked a bathroom or indoor toilet.

an induction course (= that you do when you start a new job or position )

an industrial area

People living in industrial areas are exposed to these types of chemicals.

an industrial belt (= where there are a lot of factories etc )

the northern industrial belt of the United States

an industrial city

Sheffield is an industrial city in the north of England.

an industrial dispute BrE, a labor dispute American English (= between workers and employers )

A lot of working days are lost through industrial disputes.

an industrial economy (= one that is based mainly on industries producing goods or materials )

Expectations for growth in the main industrial economies remain low.

an industrial injury (= one that happens at work )

He was the victim of an industrial injury.

an industrial site (= where factories are )

The area is to be redeveloped as an industrial site.

an industrial society

In complex industrial societies, different groups specialize in particular activities.

an industrial town

Thousands moved to the newly forming industrial towns to work in the mills.

an industrial/industrialized nation

The rich industrial nations dominate the global economy.

an industrialized country

America and other industrialized countries

an industry declines (= becomes less successful )

The shipping industry declined after World War II.

an industry grows/expands

The clothing industry grew rapidly during the 1960s.

an industry leader (= one of the most successful companies in a particular industry )

We are now a mature company and an industry leader.

an inevitable consequence (= that you cannot avoid )

Loss of mobility is not an inevitable consequence of old age.

an inexperienced driver (= who does not have much experience of driving )

Many accidents are caused by young or inexperienced drivers.

an infant school British English (= for children aged 5 to 7 )

an infection clears up (= goes away )

Although the infection cleared up, he still felt weak.

an infection spreads

The infection spread to her chest.

an inferior position

He argued that capitalism requires some people to be kept in an inferior position in society.

an infinite number/variety of sth

There was an infinite variety of drinks to choose from.

an infinite/endless variety

There is a seemingly infinite variety of beers to choose from.

an influential position

It's useful if you have friends in influential positions.

an influx of migrants (= the arrival of people in a particular place )

The growth of towns was due to an influx of migrants from the villages.

an informal chat

Come and see me any time if you want an informal chat about jobs.

an informal/formal interview

Applicants will normally have an informal interview with the manager.

One out of every six candidates reached the formal interview.

an information centre

For further details contact the Tourist Information Centre.

an informed choice (= a choice based on knowledge of the facts about something )

The patient should have enough information to make an informed choice.

an inherent/innate tendency (= one that you are born with, which will not change )

When attacked, some people have an inherent tendency to fight back.

an inherited characteristic

Intelligence is an inherited characteristic.

an inhospitable desert (= not easy to live or stay in )

The interior of the country is an inhospitable desert.

an inhospitable/harsh environment (= one where the conditions make life difficult )

The freezing climate makes this one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet.

an initiation ceremony (= in which someone officially becomes an adult, a member of a group etc )

tribal initiation ceremonies

an injection against sth

You may need to be given an injection against tetanus.

an injury happens/occurs

The injury occurred five minutes into the game.

an inner-city area (= the central part of a city, where many poor people live )

When will something be done to improve our inner-city areas?

an innocent expression

‘It was so late,’ she continued with an innocent expression, ‘I had to stay the night.’

an innocent victim

Children are the innocent victims of war.

an innovative scheme (= using new ideas )

an innovative scheme to help the unemployed get back to work

an inorganic compound (= not containing carbon )

an inquest jury (= one that decides the cause of someone's death )

The inquest jury decided that he died accidentally by falling out of a train door.

an insatiable desire (= a desire that cannot be satisfied )

She had an insatiable desire for publicity.

an insect bite

He was worried about a large red insect bite on his back.

an insect buzzes (= makes a continuous sound )

Insects were buzzing around our heads as we walked through the forest.

an insect crawls (= moves along the ground )

A tiny insect was crawling up his arm.

an insect flies

Insects were flying around the food on the counter.

an insect species

Large numbers of insect species are becoming extinct.

an insect sting (= a hole in your skin made by an insect )

This cream is good for treating insect stings.

an inside pocket (= on the inside of a coat, jacket etc )

Gregson pulled a photo from the inside pocket of his jacket.

an inside/a private joke (= that only a few people who are involved in something will understand )

After I’d worked there a while, I started to understand some of the inside jokes.

an inspection reveals sth

The inspection revealed several lapses in safety standards.

an inspection team

The inspection team described the 1,688 pupil school as ‘outstanding’.

an inspection visit

To date no inspection visit has been made.

an inspired guess (= a very good guess that you make suddenly )

It’s hard to believe he got that right with just an inspired guess.

an inspiring example (= someone who makes other people want to do something great or good )

Jenny’s story is an inspiring example of courage in the face of adversity.

an instinct tells sb sth

Every instinct told her that he was telling the truth.

an instruction booklet/leaflet/sheet

The washing machine comes with an instruction leaflet.

an instruction book/manual

The instruction manual for the camera is over 150 pages long.

an insuperable/insurmountable obstacle (= one that it is impossible to find a solution to )

The problem does not present an insurmountable obstacle.

There are no insuperable obstacles to the purchase of the company.

an insurance broker (= a company or person that arranges and sells insurance to people )

Bellingham practised as an insurance broker.

an insurance certificate/a certificate of insurance

The courts recognize the insurance certificate as evidence of being insured.

an insurance claim

She filed an insurance claim for the missing jewellery.

an insurance company

Rachel works for an insurance company.

an insurance payment

He'd fallen behind with his insurance payments.

an insurance policy

Is the damage covered by your insurance policy?

an insurance policy (= an insurance agreement )

This insurance policy represents excellent value for money.

an insurance premium (= money that you pay regularly to an insurance company )

Your insurance premium is payable when you make your holiday booking.

an insurance salesman

He offered me a post as a life insurance salesman.

an insurance scheme

The costs involved in private medical insurance schemes have risen steeply.

an intake of breath (= when you breathe in very quickly and suddenly, especially because you are surprised )

He gave a sharp intake of breath.

His first response was a sharp intake of breath.

an integral garage (= part of a house and not a separate building )

The house has huge gardens and an integral garage.

an integral part (= a necessary part of the whole thing )

These workshops are an integral part of the course.

an intellectual/physical/technical etc challenge

I love the physical challenge of climbing.

an intelligent guess

Analysis of the archaeological site will help us make an intelligent guess as to what it was used for.

an intense desire

Fred felt an intense desire to punch Max in the face.

an intense gaze (= when someone looks at someone or something with concentration )

His intense gaze never left Delaney.

an intense interest in sth

The police are aware of the intense interest in the case.

an intensive course (= in which you learn a lot in a short time )

An intensive course in Russian is provided for those who do not already know the language.

an intercontinental flight (= a flight that goes from one continent to another, for example from Europe to Asia )

Passengers on intercontinental flights can reserve seats with extra legroom.

an interest payment (= a payment of interest on a loan )

an interest-free loan (= on which you pay no interest )

They offer an interest-free loan for two years.

an interesting comparison

The exhibition provides an interesting comparison of the artists’ works.

an interesting contrast

the interesting contrast between his early and later paintings

an interesting fact

The research revealed some interesting facts about the behaviour of cats.

an interesting point

He has made an interesting point.

an interesting proposition

A further study focussing on older people is an interesting proposition.

an interesting/fascinating subject

Fame is a fascinating subject.

an interim payment (= a payment that is made before something is finished or settled )

It may be reasonable for the builder to ask for interim payments as the work progresses.

an interior designer (= for the colours, materials etc inside people's homes )

The apartment's previous owners had hired an expensive interior designer.

an intermediate learner

These exercises are designed for intermediate learners.

an internal review (= one that an organization carries out on itself )

The Army is conducting an internal review.

an international agreement

an international agreement on combating climate change

an international appeal

The organization has now launched an international appeal for volunteers.

an international call

an international centre for/of sth

Zurich is an international centre of finance.

an international championship

It was the final game of the international championship.

an international charity (= one that operates all over the world )

The Red Cross is a well-known international charity.

an international commission

an international commission on climate change

an international company (= with offices in different countries )

She works for a major international company.

an international dimension

The foreign players bring an international dimension to the English Premier League.

an international embargo (= one that a group of countries agree to impose together )

Under the terms of the international embargo, medical aid can still be flown into the capital.

an international festival

an international festival of drama and dance

an international flight (= a flight between one country and another )

The number of international flights increased by over 5% last year.

an international star (= a star who is famous in many countries )

His performance in 'The Titanic' made him an international star.

an international terrorist

The kidnap was carried out by a group of international terrorists.

an international treaty

The US refused to sign any international treaty on cutting carbon emissions.

an international/European/British etc context

We study the work of these artists in their European context.

an international/worldwide reputation

The department has a worldwide reputation for its research.

an international/worldwide/global ban

an international ban on trade in endangered species

an international/worldwide/global conspiracy

Hitler believed there was a worldwide conspiracy to enslave Germany.

an Internet address (= the address of a website )

The company charges $100 to register a new internet address.

an Internet broadcast

An Internet broadcast can reach a truly global audience.

an Internet café (= a café with computers, where people can pay to use the Internet )

The message had been sent from an Internet café in Leeds.

an Internet connection

a high-speed Internet connection

an Internet service provider (= a company that allows you to connect to the Internet )

Your Internet service provider should be able to solve the problem.

an Internet user

The number of Internet users is doubling every six months.

an interracial marriage (= between people of different races )

Interracial marriage is more common than it used to be.

an interview question

Some of the interview questions were quite difficult to answer.

an intimate connection (= a very close connection )

There is an intimate connection between political liberty and economic freedom.

an intolerable burden (= very hard to bear )

Too many exams can place an intolerable burden on young people.

an intolerable strain (= too great to bear )

The cost of these wars put an intolerable strain on the economy.

an intravenous injection (= into a vein )

He had given the patient an intravenous injection to calm her down.

an introductory course (= for people who have never done a particular subject or activity before )

an intruder/a security alarm

The house has a system of security alarms.

an invading army

The towns were looted by the invading army.

an invaluable/outstanding contribution (= extremely useful )

He won the award for his outstanding contribution over many years.

an invasion of privacy

Random drug testing of employees is an invasion of privacy.

an inverse relationship technical (= so that when one is great, the other is small )

We concluded that there will be an inverse relationship between the market price of the bond and its true yield.

an investigative reporter (= one that tries to find out about something important )

Two investigative reporters wrote an article linking the CIA to cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles.

an investigative/investigating commission

An investigative commission was set up immediately after the incident.

an investment adviser

He has served as an investment adviser for several major banks.

an investment banker

He is an investment banker at a prestigious Wall Street firm.

an investment boom

the investment boom of the past few years

an investment fund (= for buying shares, property, etc in order to make a profit )

The building is currently owned by Argo Partnership, a Toronto-based investment fund.

an investment opportunity

She took advantage of a unique investment opportunity.

an investment scheme British English , an investment program AmE:

Most investment schemes are subject to tax.

an investment/merchant bank (= one that buys and sells stocks and shares etc )

Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank

an invitation card (= a card with an invitation printed on it )

Everyone entering will have to show an invitation card.

an iron will ( also a will of iron ) (= an extremely strong will )

Her unassuming manner concealed an iron will.

an ironic twist

In an ironic twist , the most trustworthy character in the film turned out to be the thief.

an iron/vice-like grip (= a very strong grip )

Victor took hold of her wrist in an iron grip.

an irrational fear (= one that is not reasonable )

He grew up with an irrational fear of insects.

an irresistible/uncontrollable/overwhelming urge (= very strong )

I was overcome by an irresistible urge to laugh.

an irreversible coma (= a permanent one )

He had been in an irreversible coma since the disaster.

an irrigation ditch (= taking water to fields, crops etc )

The fields were separated by irrigation ditches.

an island chain

the island chain from Asia to Australasia

an island paradise

She had booked a beach house on the island paradise of Phuket.

an isolated incident (= one that happens on its own, not together with others )

Luckily the attack turned out to be an isolated incident.

an issue comes up ( also an issue arises formal ) (= people started to discuss it )

The issue arose during a meeting of the Budget Committee.

an item of clothing

She’d bought a few items of clothing for her trip.

an item of expenditure (= something a government or person spends money on )

Housing is the biggest single item of expenditure in the budgets of most households.

an item of food/a food item

Ice cream was probably her favourite item of food.

an item of furniture

A few items of furniture had not yet been delivered.

an item of jewellery British English , an item of jewelry American English

Expensive items of jewellery should be insured.

an item of vocabulary/a vocabulary item (= a word or expression )

Students are encouraged to write down useful vocabulary items in their notebooks.

an item on the agenda/list/menu

The next item on the agenda is next month’s sales conference.

an item/article of clothing formal (= a piece of clothing )

All items of clothing should be clearly labelled.

an item/piece of baggage

How many pieces of baggage do you have?

an oak/vine/spinach etc leaf (= a leaf from a specific plant or tree )

Vine leaves stuffed with rice is a typical Greek dish.

an oasis of calm/serenity/tranquillity etc

The park was an oasis of peace.

an oath of loyalty (= a promise to be loyal )

They swore an oath of loyalty to their king.

an oath of loyalty/allegiance/obedience

They swore an oath of allegiance to the crown.

an oath of secrecy

Anyone who joined had to swear an oath of secrecy.

an obituary column (= about the life of someone who has just died )

I spotted Stephenson's name in the obituary column.

an object of desire (= someone or something you want very much )

The store provides cheese lovers with the object of their desire.

an object of pity (= someone who people feel sorry for )

He was a proud man and he didn't want to be treated as an object of pity.

an object of veneration

The sun was an object of veneration .

an objective assessment (= that is based on facts, not on feelings or beliefs )

The test results will provide an objective assessment of how much you have improved.

an objective criterion (= that is based on fact and not opinion )

The label of 'carer' was defined by the objective criterion of someone who spends more than seven hours looking after someone.

an objective measurement (= one that is not influenced by your opinions or feelings )

The test provides an objective measurement of the student’s listening skills.

an obligation arises formal (= starts to exist )

the obligations arising out of the treaty

an obligation to obey (= to have a duty to do something )

Citizens have an obligation to obey the law.

an oblique reference (= not direct )

He added, in an oblique reference to the US, that ‘some countries could do more’.

an obscene gesture (= extremely rude )

The player was fined for making an obscene gesture at the referee.

an observation deck/platform/tower (= a structure that is built in order to observe something )

The army built an observation tower on the top of the building.

an observation post/point (= a place from where you can observe something )

The peak of the mountain was a natural location for an observation post.

an obstacle in the way/path

There were still a number of obstacles in the way of an agreement.

an obvious conclusion

All her symptoms led to the obvious conclusion – she was pregnant.

an obvious example

Our climate is changing at an alarming rate. The melting of the polar ice caps is an obvious example of this.

an obvious example

This case is an obvious example of what can go wrong.

an obvious exception

The earliest historical records, with the obvious exception of Chinese, are written in Indo-European languages.

an obvious explanation (= one that is easy to see or notice )

There is no obvious explanation for his strange behaviour.

an obvious question

The obvious question is: why?

an obvious reason

The plan, for obvious reasons, was being kept secret.

an obvious successor

He doesn't have an obvious successor as leader.

an occasional reference

During the interview, he made only occasional references to his forthcoming autobiography.

an occupational hazard (= a risk that always exists in a particular job or activity )

Getting injured is an occupational hazard of the sport.

an occupied country (= controlled by an army from another country )

For many years, Egypt was an occupied country.

an occupying army (= one that is in a foreign country which they control by force )

There was constant resistance to the occupying army.

an ocean/sea/river current

Ocean currents carry young fish out to sea.

an odd number (= 1, 3, 5, 7 etc )

You can’t work in pairs if you’ve got an odd number of people.

an offence punishable by/with sth

Possession of the drug is an offence punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment.

an offensive weapon (= one that can be used to attack someone illegally )

He was charged with carrying an offensive weapon.

an offer of friendship

He turned down the King's offer of friendship.

an offer of help/support/friendship etc

Any offers of help would be appreciated.

an office block

She works in a 27-storey office block.

an office desk

I got back from holiday to find piles of papers on my office desk.

an office party

I danced with my boss at the office party.

an office/museum/hospital etc complex

a 120-acre office complex near Las Vegas

an office/school/hospital etc building

Our office building is just ten minutes’ walk from where I live.

an official announcement

No official announcement is expected until next year.

an official apology

The company has made an official apology and is offering compensation.

an official denial

The Army has consistently issued official denials of involvement.

an official engagement

This is the Prime Minister's first official engagement since the elections.

an official estimate (= accepted by people in authority )

According to official army estimates, more than 500 rebels had been killed.

an official inquiry

The outcome of the official inquiry will be eagerly awaited.

an official inspection

Preparations were made in advance of the official inspection.

an official language (= the language used for official business in a country )

Canada has two official languages: English and French.

an official letter

I received an official letter thanking me for my enquiry.

an official position

He has no official position in the government.

an official position (= one that a government or organization says officially that it has )

This was the French government’s official position.

an official reception

After an official reception at the Embassy, they visited the White House.

an official residence (= a house someone is able to use as part of their important job )

the ambassador's official residence in London

an official statement

The company is expected to make an official statement tomorrow.

an official visit/engagement etc (= one that relates to an important job or position )

The Prime Minister was on an official visit to China.

an official website

The International Olympic Committee’s official website has a lot of interesting information.

an official/administrative receiver

an official/formal report

Black graduates still face discrimination from employers, according to an official report.

an official/state visit

The president made an official visit to France this week.

an offshore island

The turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of offshore islands.

an oil company

YPF was the state oil company in Argentina.

an oil crisis (= situation in which there is not enough oil, and the price of oil is very high )

The world is facing an oil crisis.

an oil producer (= a country which produces oil )

The Soviet Union is the world's largest oil producer.

an oil refinery (= a place where oil is treated by an industrial process )

an oil refinery in Perth

an oil rig (= structure on land or in the sea with equipment for getting oil out of the ground )

an oil rig in the North Sea

an oil spill (= situation in which oil comes out of a ship or other container into the sea )

a terrible oil spill near the Shetland Islands

an oil/kerosene/paraffin lamp (= lamps that you light with a flame )

The large room was lit by a paraffin lamp on a table.

an old age pension

State old age pensions were introduced in 1908.

an old cliché

He seemed to believe that old cliché about a woman’s place being in the home.

an old friend (= someone who has been your friend for a long time )

We went to see some old friends who had moved to Harlow.

an old grievance (= one that you have felt unhappy about for a long time )

Years later, we became friends again and sorted out our old grievances.

an old joke

It reminded me of the old joke about the chicken crossing the road.

an old movie

She was watching an old movie on television.

an old quarrel (= one that has existed for a long time )

Now is the time to patch up old quarrels.

an old rival

Hindhead had a convincing victory over their old rivals, Frensham.

an old-fashioned/outdated expression

The old-fashioned expression 'in the family way' means to be pregnant.

an old/ancient legend

You will have heard the old legend about how the rocks were formed.

an old/ancient tradition

In rural Wales, the old traditions persisted.

an old/ancient/age-old custom

Here on the island, many of the old customs have survived.

an old/ancient/long-standing grudge

He said they should celebrate their achievements, not nurse old grudges.

an older audience

The programme mainly appeals to an older audience.

an older sister ( also an elder sister especially BrE )

He had two older sisters, Karen and Jacqueline.

an older/elder brother

I have two older brothers.

an old/firm/particular favourite

a sweater that’s an old favorite

an old/traditional enemy (= one you have had a long time )

In 1548, Scotland moved towards an alliance with her traditional enemy, England.

an old/traditional stereotype

Many people still believe that old stereotype.

an olive complexion (= the skin colour that is typical of Greek, Italian, Turkish etc people )

These colours complement an olive complexion.

an Olympic champion

She's a top international athlete and an Olympic champion.

an Olympic record

He won a gold medal and broke the Olympic record by 44 records.

an ominous silence (= one that makes you feel that something bad is going to happen )

‘How long will she be ill?’ There was a short, ominous silence.

an on-off relationship (= happening sometimes and not at other times )

Their on-off relationship seemed to have come to an end two years ago.

an on-off switch

I couldn’t find the on-off switch.

an online chat (= one had with someone over the internet )

With MSN you can have an online chat with your friends.

an online dictionary (= one you can use on the Internet )

There are plenty of online dictionaries available free on the Internet.

an open competition (= that everyone can take part in )

An open competition is to be held at the tennis club.

an open container (= that has been opened or that does not have a lid )

Don't keep food in open containers in the fridge.

an open ditch (= not covered )

The horse had to jump over an open ditch.

an open evening (= an evening when an institution invites the public to come in and see the work that is done there )

We went to the open evening to find out more about the course.

an open field

I saw a fox run across the open field.

an open fire (= a fire in a room that is not inside a stove etc )

Sophie warmed herself by the open fire.

an open grave (= one that has not yet been covered in earth )

He wept by her open grave.

an open prison (= one where prisoners are not restricted as much as usual )

He was transferred to an open prison.

an open question

The matter remains an open question .

an open secret (= something that a lot of people know, but do not talk about because it is supposed to be a secret )

It was an open secret that he was having an affair.

an open secret (= it is supposed to be secret, but most people know about it )

It is an open secret that she is having an affair with another man.

an open verdict British English (= stating that the facts about someone’s death are not known )

The inquest jury recorded an open verdict because of conflicting evidence.

an open wound (= one where the skin has not yet healed )

Sports players should not continue to play with open wounds.

an open-air/outdoor concert

Clapton thrilled fans at a huge outdoor concert in New York.

an open-topped bus (= one without a roof, used for showing tourists a town etc )

We took a tour on an open-topped bus.

an opening bid (= the first bid )

The opening bid was only $10.

an opening/closing ceremony (= at the beginning or end of a special event )

I stayed for the closing ceremony.

an open/standing invitation (= an invitation to do something at any time you like )

Phillip kindly gave me an open invitation to stay at his villa in Tuscany.

an opinion poll (= that measures what people think about something )

A recent opinion poll showed strong support for the government.

an opinion survey

Opinion surveys showed consistently that unemployment remained a matter of concern.

an opportune moment (= a good time to do something )

I was waiting for an opportune moment to leave.

an opportunity arises

Perhaps she would explain later, if the opportunity arose.

an opportunity comes (along/up)

We had outgrown our house when the opportunity came up to buy one with more land.

an opposition leader

The opposition leader accused the government of not being able to control unemployment.

an opposition party (= a party that is not in power )

The tax increase was criticized by opposition parties.

an opposition politician (= belonging to the party that is not in power – used in some political systems )

Opposition politicians argued that there was not enough reason to go to war.

an oppressive/repressive regime (= powerful, cruel, and unfair )

That country was held fast in the grip of an oppressive regime.

an option is open/available to sb (= a particular choice is available to someone )

Giving a prison sentence is only one of the options open to the judge.

an oral exam (= in which you answer questions by speaking )

I have my French oral exams next week.

an oral test

The oral test will consist of a conversation of about 10 minutes in German.

an orchestral concert/a symphony concert (= one in which an orchestra plays )

Tickets for orchestral concerts range from $15 to $35.

an orchestrated campaign disapproving (= organized secretly to make political events happen in the way you want )

This resulted in an orchestrated campaign of civil disorder.

an ordeal at the hands of sb (= used to say who has made someone go through something painful or difficult )

She has only just revealed her ordeal at the hands of her stepfather.

an orderly queue (= with no bad behaviour or pushing in front of other people )

She told the children to form an orderly queue.

an ordinal number (= a number such as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd that shows where something comes in a series or list )

The children learn about position and ordinal numbers when they stand in a line.

an ordinary citizen ( also a regular citizen American English )

The government is not aware of the views of ordinary citizens.

an ordinary individual

Ordinary individuals need no more than 3–5 grams of salt per day.

an Ordnance Survey map British English (= a map showing the roads, paths, hills etc of an area in detail )

an organ donor

There are not nearly enough organ donors.

an organ donor (= someone who gives an organ for an organ transplant )

Not all patients who die are suitable as organ donors.

an organ transplant (= an operation to put an organ from one person’s body into another person’s body )

Up to 5,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant.

an organic compound (= containing carbon )

the organic compounds of which living things are made

an organic farm (= a farm where artificial chemicals are not used )

Organic farms can be as productive as industrial farming.

an organic substance (= from a living thing )

Despite being an organic substance, ivory is remarkably durable.

an ornamental pond (= a pond made to look pretty, rather than a natural one )

They are ideal fish for the ornamental pond.

an Oscar/Emmy/Grammy etc nomination (= a nomination for a particular prize or award )

The novel has received a National Book Award nomination.

an ounce of common sense (= a very small amount )

Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have realised that was a silly thing to do.

an out-of-court settlement (= an agreement made to avoid a court case )

The army denied liability but agreed on an out-of-court settlement.

an outbreak of a disease (= when a disease appears in a number of people or animals )

There has been an outbreak of the disease in Wales.

an outbreak of unrest

Troops usually respond to outbreaks of unrest with force.

an outbreak of violence

There was a fresh outbreak of violence on March 24.

an outcrop of rock (= a mass of rock that sticks up above the ground )

The gulls nested on a outcrop of rock.

an outdoor café

The central square was full of outdoor cafés.

an outdoor game

Outdoor games are affected by the weather.

an outgoing/extrovert personality (= liking to talk to people )

The job requires someone with an outgoing personality.

an outline drawing/sketch

Once I am happy with the outline sketch, I start painting.

an outline map

an outline map of the island

an outpatient clinic (= for someone who does not need to stay in hospital )

There's an outpatient clinic for people with diabetes.

an outright ban (= a complete ban )

an outright ban on gun ownership

an outside toilet (= one that is outside a house, not in it )

The house was small, with no hot water and an outside toilet.

an outside/a remote chance (= a very small chance )

He still has an outside chance of winning the championship.

an outside/independent consultant (= one who does not belong to your organization )

An educational programme was planned by outside consultants.

an outspoken/vocal opponent (= one who publicly expresses disagreement with something )

He was a vocal opponent of closer relations with the United States.

an outstanding achievement (= an extremely impressive achievement )

Eisenhower' s outstanding achievement was to avoid war.

an outstanding bill (= still unpaid )

He still didn’t have enough to pay his outstanding bills.

an outstanding example (= extremely good )

The garden is one of the most outstanding examples of traditional Japanese garden design.

an outstanding individual (= with unusually good qualities )

We need a few outstanding individuals to act as leaders.

an outstretched hand (= stretched out towards someone or something )

She took her father's outstretched hand and began to walk from the room.

an outward/visible sign (= one that people can see clearly )

Kim received the news without showing any visible sign of emotion.

an oven glove BrE:

Paul used the oven glove to take the hot tray out of the oven.

an overactive/fevered imagination (= a mind that imagines strange things that are not real )

These stories are the product of an overactive imagination.

an overall budget (= total )

There has been an increase in the overall budget made available by the Government for training.

an overall majority (= more votes than anyone else )

What happens if no candidate receives an overall majority?

an overall/general picture

The study is intended to provide an overall picture of political activity in the nation.

an overhead cable (= attached to high posts )

Overhead cables can be dangerous for birds.

an overnight bag (= a small suitcase or bag for a short stay somewhere )

All you need to take is an overnight bag.

an overnight stay

Business trips may involve an overnight stay.

an overwhelming majority (= a large majority )

The resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority.

an own brand British English , a store brand American English (= sold by a particular store under its own name )

A supermarket’s own brand should cost less than the nationally advertised brands.

an own goal (= when a player accidentally puts the ball into his/her own net )

Dixon scored an unfortunate own goal against West Ham.

an ugly/nasty rumour (= a rumour about something bad )

Ugly rumours persisted that there had been a cover-up.

an ugly/unsightly scar (= unattractive )

The ugly scar spoiled and distorted his face.

an ulterior motive (= a hidden motive )

Did you think I had an ulterior motive for coming here?

an unannounced visit (= one that someone makes without first telling the person that they are going to visit )

The social worker made an unannounced visit.

an unborn baby (= not yet born )

Drinking alcohol is bad for your unborn baby.

an unborn child (= a baby that is still inside its mother )

Smoking can damage your unborn child.

an unborn infant

Unborn infants can hear certain sounds while still in the mother’s womb.

an unbridgeable gap (= a gap that cannot be closed )

He felt that there was an unbridgeable gap between the negotiating positions of the two sides.

an uncanny knack (= an ability that seems surprising or strange )

She has an uncanny knack for knowing what you're really thinking.

an uncanny resemblance (= noticeable and difficult to explain )

I'd always thought that Jo and Freddie had an uncanny resemblance.

an uncertain fate (= not clear, definite, or decided )

The Bill faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.

an unconfirmed report (= not yet supported by official information )

There are unconfirmed reports that up to 2,000 people have been killed.

an underdeveloped country (= poor and developing more slowly than others )

The disease still exists, mainly in underdeveloped countries.

an undergraduate student (= one who is studying for a first degree )

Most undergraduate students rely on student loans for finance.

an underground tunnel

The prisoners escaped through an underground tunnel.

an underground/subterranean passage

The air in these underground passages is cold and damp.

an underground/undersea cable

The electricity will be transmitted by undersea cables.

an underlying assumption (= a belief that is used as the basis for an idea, but which may not be correct )

There seems to be an underlying assumption in what he says that women are weaker than men.

an underlying assumption

There is an underlying assumption that new technology is always a good thing.

an underlying message

The underlying message of his speech was that the economic good times are over.

an underlying motive (= a motive that is not directly stated )

The treaty’s underlying motive was to make Japan a strong ally of the US.

an underlying principle

Their actions, he argued, went against the underlying principles of Christian morality.

an underlying problem

Little is being done to correct the system's underlying problems.

an underlying theme

Death and rebirth are underlying themes in all of his novels.

an underlying theme (= one that is important but not very noticeable )

One of the book’s underlying themes is the struggle for human rights.

an undeserved reputation

She has an undeserved reputation for being difficult, but really it's just her manner.

an undignified exit (= when someone leaves in a way that is embarrassing or makes them look silly )

She made a rather undignified exit, tripping down the step.

an undisclosed sum (= an amount that is being kept secret )

He sold the company for an undisclosed sum.

an uneasy alliance/relationship

The government is based on an uneasy alliance between Christian Democrats and Socialists.

an uneasy calm

Things seemed quiet enough, but it was an uneasy calm.

an uneasy compromise (= one that people are not very happy with )

The deal represented an uneasy compromise.

an uneasy compromise

The result was an uneasy compromise which no-one liked.

an uneasy peace (= when people have agreed to stop fighting, but the situation is not really calm )

An uneasy peace prevails in the region.

an uneasy peace

There was an uneasy peace in the region for nearly three years before the conflict flared up again.

an uneasy truce

It was an uneasy truce, however, and tension was never far from the surface.

an unemployment blackspot British English (= an area where there is higher unemployment than in other places )

The town became an unemployment blackspot after the factory closure.

an unenviable task (= unpleasant or difficult )

He has the unenviable task of telling hungry people that there is no food.

an unexpected compliment

John blushed at the unexpected compliment.

an unexplained absence

Did he give a reason for his unexplained absence?

an unexploded bomb

The workmen found an unexploded bomb.

an unfair advantage

Companies that receive government subsidies have an unfair advantage.

an unfair/undue burden

The new legislation put an unfair burden on employers.

an unfilled vacancy (= a job for which no one has been hired )

The teaching unions estimate there are some 10,000 unfilled vacancies.

an unfortunate coincidence

By a very unfortunate coincidence, she didn’t get either of his emails.

an unfortunate error

An unfortunate error resulted in confidential information being released to the press.

an unfortunate incident (= involving an accident or argument )

Disciplinary action may be taken over this unfortunate incident.

an unfortunate victim

If you are the unfortunate victim of a tragic accident, this card will tell doctors that you are willing to donate your organs.

an unhappy childhood

Stevens had a unhappy childhood in Manchester.

an unhappy knack (= a knack that you would not want )

He had the unhappy knack of making enemies.

an unhappy marriage

Her parents had had an unhappy marriage.

an unhealthy obsession (= an obsession that is not normal )

Our society seems to have an unhealthy obsession with staying young.

an unholy row informal (= a very angry row )

An unholy row broke out between two of the men drinking in the bar.

an uninvited guest

She was surprised when an uninvited guest turned up at the door.

An unknown number of

An unknown number of people were killed.

an unlikely alliance/coalition

Once he resigned as president, the unlikely coalition of former enemies fell apart.

an unlikely hero (= someone who you did not expect to be brave or did not expect to admire )

Baxter was the unlikely hero of the game.

an unlikely possibility/prospect

The most unlikely possibility was that she might resign.

an unlikely scenario

I might get the job, but it is an unlikely scenario.

an unlikely scenario/occurrence

They should build a new road, but that’s an unlikely scenario.

an unlikely setting

This quiet suburb may seem an unlikely setting for a top restaurant.

an unmarked grave (= one that does not have anything to show where it is or who is in it )

Until 1855, poor people here were buried in unmarked graves.

an unmarried couple

She rented the room to a young, unmarried couple.

an unmitigated disaster (= a complete failure )

The $24,000,000 movie was an unmitigated disaster.

an unnecessary expense

Paying extra for leather seats seemed like an unnecessary expense.

an unnecessary expense/cost

He thinks advertising is an unnecessary expense.

an unnecessary extravagance (= something that costs more than is necessary or more than you can afford )

The chairman called first-class airline travel an unnecessary extravagance.

an unnecessary risk

Neither team is likely to take any unnecessary risks, so the result will probably be a draw.

an unofficial report

According to unofficial reports, the president had talks with Palestinian leaders.

an unofficial strike (= not organized by a trade union )

Some workers had been sacked for taking part in unofficial strikes.

an unorthodox approach (= not the same as people usually use )

It’s an unorthodox approach that her doctor doesn’t recommend for everyone.

an unpaid bill

She had unpaid bills amounting to £3,000.

an unpleasant/nasty surprise

We don’t want any unpleasant surprises.

an unprecedented move (= never having happened before )

Barcelona began the unprecedented move of shipping in drinking water.

an unprecedented rate (= a rate that is faster than ever before )

We are losing species at an unprecedented rate.

an unprovoked attack (= in which the victim did nothing to cause the attack )

Their teenage son was knocked to the ground, kicked and punched in an unprovoked attack.

an unqualified success

The experiment had not been an unqualified success.

an unresolved issue (= that has not been dealt with )

A number of unresolved issues remain before the treaty can be signed.

an unshaven chin (= with short hairs on because a man has not shaved )

His combed hair looked oddly neat against his unshaven chin.

an unskilled worker

Some ex-miners now had jobs as unskilled workers in factories.

an unsolved murder (= for which the killer has never been found )

Police questioned the man about two unsolved murders.

an unsolved mystery

What happened to her is still an unsolved mystery.

an unsubstantiated rumour (= one that has not been proved to be true )

These are only unsubstantiated rumours.

an unsuccessful attempt/bid/effort

We made several unsuccessful attempts to tackle the problem.

an unsuccessful campaign

He quit politics following his unsuccessful presidential campaign.

an unsuccessful/a successful attempt

an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government

an unsung hero (= someone whose bravery or effort is not noticed or recognized )

These volunteers are the unsung heroes of the campaign.

an untenable position

The scandal put the President in an untenable position .

an unusual feature

The church’s most unusual feature is this window.

an unusual/unprecedented step (= something that is not usually done/has never been done before )

Police last night took the unusual step of releasing photographs of him.

an unveiling ceremony (= to show the public something new, for example a work of art )

He attended the statue's unveiling ceremony.

an unwanted baby

Unwanted babies were frequently abandoned in the streets.

an unwanted gift

You can take any unwanted gifts to charity shops.

an unwelcome guest (= someone who is not really a guest, and whom you do not want at an event )

Security guards were employed to keep out unwelcome guests.

an unwritten constitution (= a constitution that is not formally written down as a separate document )

Britain's unwritten constitution allows for flexibility when circumstances change.

an unwritten rule (= a rule of behaviour that everyone in a group understands )

There’s an unwritten rule that you never call an actor before 10 a.m.

an updated version

an updated version of the 'Best Pub' guide

an uphill battle (= one that is very difficult )

For most people losing weight is an uphill battle.

an uphill slope

It is harder to land on an uphill slope.

an upmarket image British English , an upscale image American English (= expensive and good quality )

The company is trying to promote an upmarket image.

an upper-class/middle-class/working-class accent

Sebastian spoke with an upper-class accent.

an upper/lower limit (= the highest/lowest amount allowed )

There is no upper limit on the amount you can borrow.

Ensure the temperature in the aquarium does not fall below the lower limit.

an upright posture/stance (= a straight body position )

He appears big because of his powerful shoulders and upright posture.

an upscale restaurant American English (= where richer people go )

It's interesting that rabbit has become so popular at upscale restaurants.

an upset stomach (= a stomach affected by illness )

Debbie was at home because she had an upset stomach.

an upstanding/upright citizen (= honest and responsible )

The rest of his family are honest upright citizens.

an upward/downward curve

She stood watching the upward curve of the bird's flight.

an urban area (= in a town or city )

90% of the English population live in urban areas.

an urban district (= in a town )

In 1911 over three-quarters of the British people lived in urban districts.

an urgent appeal

The fire service has made an urgent appeal for more part-time firefighters.

an urgent appointment

I can’t talk now – I have an urgent appointment to get to.

an urgent matter (= something that needs to be dealt with quickly )

an urgent meeting

Health chiefs have called an urgent meeting to discuss the problem.

an urgent message

I have an urgent message for Sam – where is he?

an urgent need (= one that must be dealt with quickly )

The most urgent need was for more teachers.

an urgent need

There is an urgent need for stricter regulation.

an urgent priority

He sees these negotiations as an urgent priority.

an urgent problem

It’s an urgent problem, and needs tackling straight away.

an urgent request

The family made an urgent request on television for help in finding their daughter.

an urgent task/job

I’ve got some urgent tasks to finish before I leave tonight.

an urgent whisper

‘Daddy!’ he said in an urgent whisper.

an urgent/important message

an urgent message for the commanding officer

an à la carte menu (= a menu listing many separate dishes which you choose from )

In the evening there is a full à la carte menu.

answer an advertisement

I answered an advertisement in the paper for volunteers.

answer an inquiry ( also respond to an inquiry formal )

The government has not yet answered our inquiry.

answer/reply to an email

She did not bother replying to his email.

appeal to an audience (= be interesting to them )

They brought new fashions into their designs to appeal to a wider audience.

arrange/organize an exhibition

The trust arranged an exhibition of his drawings in New York.

ask for an explanation

When he asked for an explanation, no one could give him an answer.

ask for/demand an explanation

When I asked for an explanation, the people at the office said they didn't know.

Furious parents are demanding an explanation from the school.

at an alarming rate

The rainforest is disappearing at an alarming rate.

at an early/late stage

I can’t change my plans at this late stage.

at an early/young age

Kids can start learning a second language at a young age.

at an ungodly hour (= very early in the morning or very late at night )

Why did you wake me up at such an ungodly hour?

attract an audience (= make people want to watch )

The first show attracted a television audience of more than 2 million.

avoid an argument

I was anxious to avoid an argument.

avoid/evade an issue ( also dodge/duck an issue informal ) (= avoid discussing an issue )

There is no point in evading the issue any longer.

base an estimate on sth (= use something as information to give an estimate )

The government based its estimate on data from the 2008 census.

be a bit of an exaggeration informal (= be a slight exaggeration )

It's a bit of an exaggeration to say he's handsome.

Be an angel

Be an angel and get me my glasses, will you?

be an improvement (on sth)

This version of the software is a clear improvement on its predecessor.

be an object/a subject of curiosity (= be something or someone that makes people curious )

Anyone new was always the object of our curiosity.

be an obstacle

This issue is a major obstacle to a successful peace treaty.

be based on an analysis of sth

This work has been based entirely on an analysis of large mammals.

be based on/rest on an assumption

Our plans were based on the assumption that everyone would be willing to help.

be bound by an agreement (= have to obey the conditions of an official agreement )

India is bound by the agreements signed under the World Trade Organisation.

be bound by an oath (= have sworn an oath )

These chiefs were bound to him by oaths of loyalty.

be called/invited for (an) interview

Applicants who are called for interview may be asked to have a medical exam.

be close to an agreement (= have almost reached an agreement )

Management and unions are close to an agreement about pay.

be committed to an ideal (= believe in it strongly )

Everyone in the party is committed to the same socialist ideals.

be considered an embarrassment (= be thought of as embarrassing )

He may be popular abroad, but he's considered an embarrassment at home.

be diagnosed with an illness (= be found by doctors to have an illness )

Her husband had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

be exposed to an infection

He was exposed to the infection while he was travelling in India.

be glad of an opportunity/chance/excuse to do sth

They were glad of the chance to finally get some sleep.

be in (an) uproar

The house was in an uproar, with babies crying and people shouting.

be in the grip of an obsession (= have extreme feelings of interest in something or someone )

At 15 I met Heather and instantly fell into the grip of an obsession.

be involved in an accident formal:

Your son has been involved in a car accident.

be involved in an activity

The men were involved in terrorist activities.

be involved in an incident

All those involved in the incident were sacked.

be nominated for an award ( also be up for an award informal ) (= to be chosen as one of the people, films etc that could receive an award )

Four films have been nominated for the award.

The book is up for an award.

be quite an achievement (= be an impressive achievement )

Working and bringing up kids on your own is quite an achievement.

be something of an obsession (= be almost as strong as an obsession )

The case became something of an obsession with him.

be under an obligation (= have an obligation )

The landlord is under an obligation to repair the house.

be/become an embarrassment

Your behaviour is becoming an embarrassment to the school.

be/become/prove an attraction

The organisers hope the event will become an annual attraction.

become an obsession

For Rosie, losing weight had become an obsession.

becoming an uncle (= your sister or your brother’s wife has a child )

I was very excited about becoming an uncle .

believe in an ideal

We believe in the ideal of justice for all.

believe/accept an excuse

She didn’t believe his excuse for one minute.

be/mark the end of an era (= be the end of a period of time in history that is known for a particular event, or for particular qualities )

The principal’s death marked the end of an era at the college.

bite into an apple

Sue bit into her apple with a loud crunch.

block an entrance

A large stone blocked the entrance to the tomb.

book an appointment British English , schedule an appointment American English (= make an appointment )

Have you booked another appointment at the clinic?

I’ve scheduled your appointment for 9.30.

boycott an election (= refuse to take part in an election as a protest )

Opposition parties have threatened to boycott the elections.

boycott an event (= refuse to go to an event as a protest )

The games went ahead despite threats to boycott the event.

break an agreement

This action broke the international agreement of 1925.

break an embargo (= trade with a country illegally when there is an embargo )

It has been almost impossible to stop countries breaking the embargo.

break (off) an alliance (= end it )

The Athenians broke off the alliance with Sparta and made alliances with Argos and Thessaly.

break/violate an agreement

The UN accused the country's leaders of breaking international agreements.

bring an accusation against sb

The accusations against him were brought by two 18-year-old women.

bring an end to sth/bring sth to an end (= make something end )

They began peace talks aimed at bringing an end to the civil war.

bring an end to sth/bring sth to an end (= make something end )

They began peace talks aimed at bringing an end to the civil war.

bring sth to an end/halt (= especially sth bad )

It is our resonsibility to discuss how this conflict can be brought to an end.

broker an agreement (= arrange an agreement between two or more opposing groups )

The US has been trying to broker an agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

budge an inch

The horse refused to budge an inch .

build (up) an empire

She built her clothing empire from one small shop to an international chain.

buy/rent an apartment

Tom rented an apartment at the top of the building.

call an ambulance (= phone to ask an ambulance to come )

Do you think we need to call an ambulance ?

call an election (= arrange for an election to happen )

The Prime Minister would be unwise to call an election now.

call for an end to sth

Demonstrators have called for an end to the fighting.

call for an inquiry/investigation

Relatives have called for an inquiry into the causes of the plane crash.

call for/demand an end to sth (= publicly ask for something to happen or be done )

The union is calling for an end to discrimination.

came within an ace of

The team came within an ace of winning the championship.

cancel an appointment

He had to cancel all his afternoon appointments.

cancel an engagement

He instructed his secretary to cancel all his engagements.

carry out an assessment

The company is carrying out an assessment of staff training needs.

carry out an assessment

The company is carrying out an assessment of staff training needs.

carry out an attack

It became clear that terrorists had carried out the attack.

carry out an attack

The man who carried out the attack has been described as white and 25 to 32 years old.

carry out an attack

It became clear that terrorists had carried out the attack.

carry out an engagement

Last year, the princess carried out over 300 official engagements.

carry out an examination ( also conduct an examination formal ) (= examine sth )

The police are carrying out an examination of the crime scene.

carry out an execution

The order to carry out his execution was sent to the prison.

carry out an experiment

Many schools need better facilities for carrying out scientific experiments.

carry out an experiment

Many schools need better facilities for carrying out scientific experiments.

carry out an explosion (= cause one deliberately )

By 1942, the United States had carried out test explosions with nuclear bombs.

carry out an inquiry

A formal inquiry into the cause of death will be carried out.

carry out an inquiry

A formal inquiry into the cause of death will be carried out.

carry out an inspection

Engineers had carried out an inspection on the plane.

carry out an investigation

The police will carry out an investigation into what actually happened.

carry out an investigation

The police will carry out an investigation into what actually happened.

carry out/commit an assault

She admitted to committing the assault.

cause an accident

75% of accidents are caused by speeding.

cause an explosion

The police do not yet know what caused the explosion.

cause an incident

His carelessness caused a major incident.

cause an injury

The injury was caused by flying glass from the car windscreen.

cause/bring about an increase

The heatwave brought about a massive increase in water consumption.

causing an obstruction

Police can remove a vehicle that is causing an obstruction .

celebrate an occasion

To celebrate the occasion, a small party was held at his home.

celebrate/commemorate/mark an event (= do something to show that you remember it )

Fans observed a minute’s silence to commemorate the tragic event.

challenge a view/an idea/an assumption etc

Viewpoints such as these are strongly challenged by environmentalists.

challenge a view/an idea/an assumption etc

Viewpoints such as these are strongly challenged by environmentalists.

charge sb with an offence

In that year, 367 people were charged with terrorist offences.

cheat in an exam British English , cheat on an exam AmE:

She was caught cheating in the exam.

cheat in an examination

Any student caught cheating in an examination will be suspended.

cherish a hope/an idea/a dream etc

willingness to re-examine cherished beliefs

choose an occupation

Young people need help with choosing a suitable occupation.

choose an option

Fewer women are choosing the option of motherhood.

cite an example (= mention an example )

The report cites the example of Sweden, where there is a complete ban on advertising on children's television.

come to an abrupt end/halt etc

The bus came to an abrupt halt.

come to an end (= end )

Arsenal’s ten-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 3–2 defeat at United.

come up with an answer (= find a way of dealing with a problem )

The government is struggling to come up with answers to our economic problems.

come up with an idea (= think of an idea )

He’s always coming up with interesting ideas.

come/go/pass etc through an entrance

People passed in single file through the narrow entrance.

commit an act of violence/terrorism/aggression etc

Anyone committing an act of terrorism will be severely punished.

commit an act formal (= do something wrong or illegal )

Anyone committing an illegal act deserves to be punished.

commit an atrocity (= commit a terrible and violent act )

During the civil war both sides committed numerous atrocities.

commit an error formal (= make an error, especially a serious one )

He knew he had committed a grave error of judgement.

commit an offence (= do something that is against the law )

He had committed the offence of dangerous driving.

complete/finish an inspection

The inspection was completed and the relevant forms filled in.

compound a crime/an offence etc

He compounded the offence by calling his opponents liars.

compound an error (= make it worse )

He refused to listen to our advice, which compounded the error.

concentrate/focus on an aspect

Accountants often concentrate on one aspect of accounting.

conduct an inspection formal (= carry out an inspection )

He was conducting an inspection in the factory.

conduct an interview

Here are a few guidelines on how to conduct an interview.

conduct an investigation/inquiry

Experts conducted an investigation into the causes of the crash.

conduct/perform an examination

The doctor will perform an examination in order to assess the problem.

consider an appeal

The US Supreme Court could refuse to consider the appeal.

consider an application (= think carefully about it before making a decision )

All applications will be considered on their own merits.

contain/include an example

The exhibition also contains some examples of his book illustrations.

contract an illness formal (= get an illness by catching it from another person )

He contracted the illness while he was working abroad.

convey a sense/an impression of sth

The music conveys a senses of sadness and despair.

convey an idea

Art can be used to convey an idea.

convey an image

At an interview, make sure your clothes convey the right image.

convict sb of an offence (= say officially that they are guilty )

The number of women convicted of serious offences is fairly small.

cope with an emergency (= succeed in dealing with an emergency )

Do you think that you could cope with an emergency?

core an apple (= remove the middle part containing the seeds )

Core the apples and cut into quarters.

correct an error ( also rectify an error formal )

We will rectify the error as soon as possible.

cost an arm and a leg (= have a price that is much too high )

A skiing holiday needn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

counter an argument/an allegation/a criticism etc

He was determined to counter the bribery allegations.

counter an argument/an allegation/a criticism etc

He was determined to counter the bribery allegations.

create an image

The company is trying to create an image of quality and reliability.

create an impression ( also convey an impression formal )

Arriving late won’t create a very good impression.

create an incentive

We need to create an incentive for people to recycle their rubbish.

cultivate an image (= try to encourage or develop an image )

He was trying to cultivate an image of himself as an intellectual.

damage an industry

Financial scandals have damaged the industry in recent years.

deal with an aspect

International banks have departments to deal with this aspect of trade.

deal with an emergency

All our ambulance drivers are trained to deal with emergencies.

deal with an emergency

Several fire crews were called to deal with the emergency at the power plant.

deal with an enquiry

Our staff will be able to deal with any enquiries.

deal with an issue/matter/question

New laws were introduced to deal with the issue.

deal with/handle an incident

The police were criticized for the way in which they handled the incident.

deal with/tackle an issue ( also address an issue formal )

The government must deal with the issue of gun crime.

The company said that it will address the issue at the next scheduled board meeting.

decide/settle/resolve an issue (= solve it )

The issue was settled after some tough negotiations.

No deadline has been set to resolve the issue.

decline an offer/invitation etc

Mary declined Jay’s invitation to dinner.

deepen/broaden an understanding

It is hoped that the research will broaden our understanding of the disease.

defeat an opponent

She came within three points of defeating her opponent.

delete an email

I accidentally deleted your email.

demand an apology

China continued to demand a full apology from the US.

deny/dismiss an accusation

The government denied accusations of corruption.

describe an incident

Police asked the victim to describe the incident.

develop an industry

More investment is needed to develop new industries such as tourism.

devise an experiment/test

He devised a series of experiments to test his theory.

discuss an aspect

Police are reluctant to discuss any aspect of the investigation.

discuss/debate an issue

They met to discuss the issue of working conditions at the factory.

dismiss an allegation/charge

She claimed that she was honest and dismissed the allegations against her.

dismiss an idea/suggestion

Both actors dismissed any idea of a romantic relationship between them.

dismiss/sack an employee (= stop employing them because they have behaved badly or broken a rule )

Seven employees were dismissed for misconduct.

dismiss/throw out/turn down an appeal (= not give permission for a decision to be changed )

The taxpayer's appeal was dismissed and the penalty upheld.

disobey/ignore an order

Anyone who disobeys these orders will be severely punished.

do an activity

He doesn't do a lot of physical activity.

do an exercise ( also perform an exercise formal )

Try to do these exercises at least three days a week.

do an inspection informal:

We did the inspection last Friday.

do an interview ( also conduct an interview formal )

The interview was conducted in French.

do well/badly in an exam British English , do well/badly on an exam AmEː

Maria always did well in her exams at school.

do well/badly in an examination

He did well in his examinations, and went on to study at MIT.

do yourself an injury British English informal (= accidentally hurt yourself )

Be careful with that knife or you’ll do yourself an injury.

do/carry out an assessment

A teacher does a yearly assessment of each child’s progress.

do/carry out an experiment

They carried out a series of experiments to test the theory.

He did some experiments with bats.

do/carry out an operation ( also perform an operation formal )

The operation was carried out by a team of surgeons at Papworth Hospital.

I’ve done this operation hundreds of times.

do/carry out/perform/conduct an analysis

No similar analysis has been done in this country.

dodge an issue/question

Senator O'Brian skilfully dodged the crucial question.

do/have an MBA

done an honest day’s work

I bet he’s never done an honest day’s work in his life!

draft an agreement (= write the conditions of an agreement, which may be changed )

The legal team will draft a second agreement incorporating these changes.

draw an outline

First, I draw out the outline of the leaf onto paper, and start adding areas of colour.

draw to an end (= to reach the end )

My holiday was drawing to an end.

draw/make an analogy (= make a comparison )

She drew an analogy between childbirth and the creative process.

earn an honest living

I’m just trying to earn an honest living .

earn £30,000 a year/$200 a week/£5 an hour etc

Newly qualified teachers earn a minimum of £24,000 a year.

eat an apple

Some people say that you should eat an apple every day.

encounter an obstacle (= find that there is an obstacle )

People should not encounter obstacles because of their age, sex, race, or religion.

endorse a proposal/an idea/a candidate etc

The Prime Minister is unlikely to endorse this view.

endure an ordeal

In his book, he describes how he endured the ordeal of prison life.

enforce an agreement

The president called for UN action to enforce the agreement.

engage in an activity formal (= take part )

Police suspect he may have engaged in criminal activities.

enter an era

We have entered an era of instant global communication.

enter into an agreement formal (= make an official agreement, which has legal responsibilities )

In 2006 the city authorities entered into an agreement with a private firm to operate the gardens.

establish/create/provide an agenda (= begin to have an agenda )

We need to establish an agenda for future research.

exert an influence formal (= have an influence )

Technology exerts a powerful influence over our lives.

express an emotion (= show or talk about )

He had always found it difficult to express his emotions.

express an interest in sth (= say that you are interested in something )

A number of well-known film directors have expressed interest in the script.

express an interest in sth

Many property developers have expressed an interest in buying the land.

face an accusation (= have an accusation made about you )

The police faced accusations of using excessive force.

face an issue (= accept that an issue exists and deal with it )

Politicians seem to be reluctant to face the issue.

face an obstacle (= have to deal with an obstacle )

The investigation has faced numerous obstacles.

face an opponent

The team were facing their final opponent of the season.

face an ordeal

He faced the ordeal of caring for his dying wife.

face an uncertain/difficult future

The company is facing an uncertain future.

fail an exam

If you fail the exam, you can retake it.

fail an examination

Michael had never yet failed an examination.

fail an inspection

He couldn’t join the army because he failed the medical inspection.

feel an effect (= notice it )

Small companies will feel the effect of the recession first.

feel an obligation

When his mother died, he felt an obligation to continue her work.

feel/experience an emotion

Seeing him with his new wife, she felt emotions that she did not want to feel again.

feel/have an urge

I still sometimes feel an urge to have a cigarette.

fight an election British English ( also contest an election British English formal ) (= take part in it and try to win )

Three independent candidates are also planning to contest the election.

fight an election/a campaign

The prime minister decided to fight an early general election.

fight/combat an infection

A new drug is being developed to combat the infection.

fill out/fill in an application (= write all the necessary information on it )

I would like to fill out an application for the position.

You can fill in the application form online.

finalize an agreement (= agree the last part )

The developer hopes to finalise an agreement this week with the local authority.

find an alternative

The program is directed to finding alternatives to oil and natural gas.

find an answer

The aim is to find a long-term answer to poverty.

find an example

We found examples of people being overcharged by as much as 50%.

find/spot/notice an error

His accountant spotted several errors in his tax return.

find/think of/come up with an explanation

Scientists have been unable to find an explanation for this phenomenon.

fire off an email informal (= send it quickly, especially because you are angry about something )

I fired off an email to the hotel, saying how disgusted I was with their level of service.

five minutes/an hour etc fast

I always keep my watch 15 minutes fast.

flunk an exam American English informal (= fail it )

I flunked all my first year exams.

flying at an altitude

We’re flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet.

foil/thwart an attempt formal (= make it fail )

Troops loyal to the general foiled the assassination attempt.

follow an occupation formal (= do one )

The third son followed his father’s occupation.

for an instant

She caught his eye for an instant .

force an entry (= get into a building by breaking a door, window etc )

The church was locked, but he managed to force an entry.

forge an alliance (= develop a new or strong alliance )

They won the election by forging an alliance with the Social Democrats.

form an opinion (= gradually decide what your opinion is )

Olson had not yet formed an opinion as to Mark’s reliability.

formulate an idea/theory

Darwin formulated the theory of natural selection.

forward an email (= send an email you have received to someone else )

Can you please forward this email on to Chris?

found an empire (= start an empire )

The Persian empire was founded by Cyrus the Great.

from an early/young age

She’d been playing the piano from a very early age.

from an economic/financial/business point of view

From a financial point of view, the concert was a disaster.

fulfil an aim/a goal/an objective

an analysis of how different countries are attempting to fulfill their political goals

fulfil an aim/a goal/an objective

an analysis of how different countries are attempting to fulfill their political goals

gain an insight (into sth) (= get a chance to understand more about something )

You can gain an insight into horses’ feelings by the physical signs they give out.

gain an understanding (= get knowledge based on learning and experience )

Drama is one of the key ways in which children can gain an understanding of themselves and of others.

gain/get/develop an understanding

Scientists continued to gain a greater understanding of the effects of radiation.

generate an income (= provide one )

He decided to invest the money to generate an income for the future.

get an allowance

Do you get an allowance for clothes?

get an appointment (= succeed in arranging one )

It’s difficult to get an appointment on Monday morning.

get an idea

She got the idea from an article in a magazine.

get an impression

What sort of impression did you get of the city?

get an injury informal (= suffer an injury )

He couldn’t take the chance of getting an injury.

get an interview

He was one of only five people to get an interview out of more than 100 people who applied.

get an opportunity

I decided to go, as I might never get this opportunity again.

get an overview

I wanted to get an overview of the main environmental concerns.

get into an argument/become involved in an argument

She didn’t want to get into another argument about money.

I left to avoid becoming involved in an argument.

get into an argument/become involved in an argument

She didn’t want to get into another argument about money.

I left to avoid becoming involved in an argument.

get/be given an airing

an issue that wasn’t given an airing during the campaign

get/develop an illness

She developed the illness when she was in her 50s.

get/develop an infection

She got a nasty throat infection which meant she couldn’t sing.

get/gain an advantage

Both teams tried to get an advantage.

get/gain an edge over sb/sth (= gain a small advantage over someone or something else )

A well trained workforce is a key factor in gaining a competitive edge over our rivals.

get/have an inquiry (= receive it )

We’ve already had a lot of inquiries about membership of the new sports centre.

get/obtain/seek advice from an expert (= ask an expert for information or advice )

Don’t make big financial decisions without first seeking advice from an expert.

get/receive an answer

She wrote to him but she never got an answer.

get/receive an apology

He received a formal apology from the company.

get/receive an award

He is the youngest person ever to receive the award.

get/receive an education

Some children grow up without receiving any education.

get/receive an email

Within seconds, I got an email confirming the booking.

get/receive an invitation

Did you get an invitation to Janet's party?

get/receive an offer

He received the offer of a place at Cambridge University.

give an account

Marshall gave the police his account of how the fight started.

give an account/description

He gave a disturbing account of the murder.

give an estimate

The builder gave me an estimate of £10,000.

give an excuse

I'll have to give my boss some kind of excuse.

give an explanation

The police gave no explanation for their actions.

give an impression

Her speech definitely gave the impression that she was enthusiastic about the project.

give in to an urge (= do what you feel you want to do, when this is wrong )

I try not to give in to the urge to gossip.

give in/hand in an essay

Half the class failed to hand in their essay on time.

give sb an advantage

His height gives him a big advantage.

give sb an answer

I’ll give you an answer tomorrow.

give sb an appetite ( also stimulate your appetite formal )

The exercise and fresh air had given us an appetite.

The aroma of the herbs and spices helps stimulate the appetite.

give sb an award

The award is given each year to the best new artist.

give (sb) an example

Let me give you an example of how this might happen.

give sb an idea

What gave you the idea for the book?

give sb an injection

The nurse gave him an injection.

give sb an interview (= interview someone )

We gave her an interview, but decided not to offer her the job.

give sb an invitation ( also issue/extend an invitation formal )

He has issued an invitation to the Chinese president to come to Washington.

give sb an outline

The leaflet gives you an outline of the Party's main policies.

give sb an outlook

June's new job gave her a fresh outlook.

give sb an ultimatum

My boss gave me an ultimatum: get better results or find another job. airing

Put your houseplants outside to give them an airing.

give/create an illusion

The mirrors in the room gave an illusion of greater space.

give/express an opinion (= say what your opinion is )

He gave his opinion only when asked.

give/issue an order

Do not fire until I give the order.

give/offer sb an incentive

If you want people to change their behaviour, it's a good idea to offer them some kind of incentive.

give/offer sb an option

Some employees were given the option of retiring early.

Buyers will usually be offered the option of paying in instalments.

give/provide an education

The school aims to provide a good general education.

give/provide/offer an overview

The report provides an overview of the recent policy changes.

give/seek/receive an assurance (that)

He gave an assurance that the work would be completed by Wednesday.

go back on an agreement ( also renege on an agreement formal ) (= not do what you agreed to do )

Republican leaders accused Democrats of trying to renege on an agreement to have a House vote.

go for an interview ( also attend an interview formal )

I went for an interview at a software company yesterday.

go for an option (= choose an option )

Which option do you think they'll go for?

go into/enter into an alliance with sb

Spain then entered into an alliance with France.

go on an expedition

We decided to go on a shopping expedition to London.

go on an expedition

After the war, Swainson went on an expedition to Patagonia.

go through an ordeal ( also undergo an ordeal formal ) (= experience something that is very bad or difficult )

I'd already gone through the ordeal of a divorce once.

The girl will not have to ungergo the ordeal of giving evidence in court.

go to an event ( also attend an event formal )

Unfortunately, the prime minister will not be able to attend the event.

go to an exhibition ( also attend/visit an exhibition formal )

We went to an exhibition of Russian art at the National Gallery.

gone on an outing

They had gone on an outing to the pool for Robert’s birthday.

grant/approve an application (= give permission to do or have sth )

What are the reasons for not granting this application?

granted an amnesty

The government granted an amnesty for all former terrorists.

greet an announcement formal (= react to it in a particular way )

The announcement was. greeted with cheers on both sides of the House.

grounds for an appeal (= reasons for making an appeal )

You need to have reasonable grounds for your appeal.

had an inkling

I had an inkling that she was pregnant.

had an orgasm

women who have never had an orgasm

half an hour ( also a half hour ) (= thirty minutes )

I’ll meet you in half an hour.

hammer out an agreement informal (= decide on an agreement after a lot of discussion and disagreement )

Traders are focused on Washington, where Republicans and Democrats are hammering out an agreement to balance the federal budget.

handle an emergency (= deal with and make decisions about an emergency )

There is always a doctor on call to handle emergencies.

handle/deal with an inquiry

Staff will be available to deal with inquiries.

have an accent

The man had a Spanish accent.

have an accident

I had an accident on my way to work.

have an advantage ( also enjoy an advantage formal )

Our parents didn’t have all the advantages that we have.

Western countries enjoyed considerable advantages in terms of technology.

have an agenda

Brown has an agenda for the university’s future.

have an agreement

They have an agreement that all workers should be union members.

have an aim

His trip to Milan, his third in two weeks, had a precise aim.

have an air of authority approving (= look like you have authority, in a way that makes people obey you )

The commander had an unmistakeable air of authority.

have an allergy

I have an allergy to cats.

have an alternative

You have a few alternatives to choose from.

have an ambition

He had an ambition to be a top cello player.

have an answer

Doctors are supposed to have all the answers.

have an appetite

There’s lots of food – I hope you have a good appetite.

have an appointment

She has an appointment with the dentist at 5 o'clock.

have an approach

In the US they have a somewhat different approach.

have an argument

I could hear my parents having an argument downstairs.

have an audience

The programme has a massive audience, ranging from children to grandparents.

have an easy time of it

You can have an easy time of it now that the kids have all left home.

have an education

The women have had little education.

have an effect on sth/sb

Eating junk food will eventually have an effect on your health.

have an engagement

I don't have any engagements tomorrow.

have an equivalent

This institution has no equivalent in any other European country.

have an even chance

I think we have an even chance of winning.

have an examination

He was examined by Dr Bower yesterday and will have another examination today.

have an excuse

Companies have no excuse for breaking the law.

have an exhibition

The college is having an exhibition of the students’ work in April.

have an explanation

Does the hospital have any explanation for why he died?

have an expression on your face

He had a very serious expression on his face.

have an expression

His face had a puzzled expression.

have an idea

I’ve had an idea. Why don’t we walk into town?

have an illness

When did you first find out that you had the illness?

have an image

The product has a rather downmarket image.

have (an) imagination

Her poems show that she has a lot of imagination.

have an impact

New technology has had a massive impact on our lives.

have an incentive

Companies have an incentive to maximize efficiency.

have an income ( also receive an income formal )

We have an income of over $100,000 a year.

have an infection

I think you’ve got an infection, so you need to rest.

have an influence on sb/sth

His works have had an influence on many modern writers.

have an injection

He had to have an injection to relieve the pain.

have an injury

Tom was OK, and had just a few minor injuries.

have an inspiration (= suddenly have an idea )

He had an inspiration while he was taking a walk in the countryside.

have an interest in sth

Steve has a keen interest in bird-watching.

have an interview

She has an interview next week for a teaching job in Paris.

have an invitation

The following week, I had an invitation to give a talk in Cambridge.

have an objection

Does anyone have any objections to the proposal?

have an objective

Our main objective is to reduce road accidents.

have an obligation

Citizens have an obligation to obey the law.

have an obsession

The poet seems to have an obsession with death.

have an occupation

The people in the region have a variety of occupations.

have an operation ( also undergo an operation formal )

Harris had a hip operation in October.

She has undergone 50 operations since birth.

have an option

At the moment, children have the option of leaving school at 16.

In a situation like this, you have two options.

have an outcome

The meeting had a very satisfactory outcome.

have an outlook

He has quite a conventional outlook.

have an overview

We need someone who will have an overview of the whole system.

have an understanding

The authorities don’t seem to have a clear understanding of the problem.

have/contain an error

If the data contains errors, the results will be wrong.

have/feel an impulse to

Rosa had an impulse to tell Henry the truth.

have/get an erection

have/hold an election

The government plans to hold an election in November.

have/hold an evening (= organize an event in the evening )

The college is holding an open evening on May 6th for year 9 to 11 pupils.

have/hold an opinion

Everyone seemed to have a different opinion.

He holds strong opinions on these issues.

have/take/adopt an attitude

Not everyone takes a positive attitude towards modern art.

having an off day

Brian never usually loses his temper – he must be having an off day .

having an open house

We’re having an open house Sunday, noon to 5 pm.

hear an announcement

Everyone was shocked when they heard the announcement.

hear an appeal (= listen to all the facts )

The FA will hear Chelsea's appeal against the fine next week.

hear an explosion

Marie was reading in bed when she heard the explosion.

highlight an issue (= bring attention to it )

The minister used his speech to highlight the issue of global warming.

hire an instrument

You could hire an instrument from a music shop.

hit a peak/an all-time high etc

Earnings hit a peak in the early 1980s.

hit on an idea informal (= suddenly think of an idea )

Then we hit on the idea of renting a cottage.

hit rock-bottom/an all-time low etc

Oil prices have hit rock-bottom.

hold an execution (= carry one out )

The executions will be held later today.

hold an inquiry

The government has refused to hold an inquiry into the incident.

hold sb up as an example (= use someone as a good example of something )

He was held up as an example to the younger athletes.

hold/mount/stage an exhibition formal (= have an exhibition )

Hayward Gallery is mounting an impressive exhibition of new British artists.

hold/stage an event (= organize a public event )

The charity plans to stage several fund-raising events this year.

host an exhibition formal (= provide the place for an exhibition )

Boston’s Museum of Fine Art hosts temporary exhibitions alongside its permanent collection.

impose an obligation formal (= put someone in the position of having an obligation )

A contract imposes certain obligations on employees and employers.

in an easterly direction

We drove off in an easterly direction .

In an ideal world

In an ideal world there would be no need for a police force.

in an instant (= immediately )

When the rain started, the crowd vanished in an instant .

in an orderly fashion

The elections were conducted in an orderly fashion .

in case of emergency/in the event of an emergency (= if there is an emergency )

The fire-exit doors should only be opened in case of emergency.

incur an expense formal (= have to pay for something )

Potential buyers incur the expense of a survey and legal fees.

inflict an injury on sb formal (= make someone have an injury )

Jenkins was accused of inflicting a head injury on one of his former colleagues.

introduce an act

In 1961, before the Divorce Law Reform Act was introduced, the divorce rate was only 2.1%.

involved in an accident (= he is one of the people in an accident )

I’m afraid your son’s been involved in an accident .

is an understatement

To say the movie was bad is an understatement .

is quite an art (= it is difficult to do )

Writing advertisements is quite an art .

issue an apology (= make an official public apology )

North Korea issued an official apology for the incident.

issue/deliver an ultimatum (= officially give someone an ultimatum )

The authorities issued an ultimatum to the students to end their protest or face arrest.

It is an illusion that

It is an illusion that the Arctic is dark in winter.

it is an offence to do sth

It is an offence to carry a weapon in a public place.

keep an appointment (= go to an appointment that you have arranged )

Please let us know if you cannot keep your appointment.

keep an open mind

It’s important to keep an open mind as you study the topic.

keep sth/get sth back on an even keel

Now that the crisis is over, we must try to get things back on an even keel.

keep/honour an agreement ( also stick to an agreement informal ) (= do what you have agreed )

It’s important to keep to your student loan agreement.

keep/stay away from an area

The police ordered people to stay away from the area.

last an hour/ten minutes etc

Each lesson lasts an hour.

The ceasefire didn’t last long.

last (for) an hour

The meeting lasted almost two hours.

launch an attack

In April the French army launched an attack.

launch an attack/assault/offensive

The press launched a vicious attack on the President.

launch/set up an inquiry (= start it )

Police launched an inquiry yesterday after a man was killed by a patrol car.

lead an attack/assault

Nelson preferred to lead the attack himself from the front.

lead an investigation/inquiry/campaign

The investigation will be led by Inspector Scarfe.

They are leading a campaign to warn teenagers about the dangers of drug abuse.

lead to an increase

They argue that the abolition of the death penalty has led to an increase in the number of murders.

lead/mount an attack

The King now prepared to mount an attack on Granada.

learn to play an instrument ( also learn an instrument )

All students at the school have the opportunity to learn an instrument.

leave an impression on sb (= make someone remember a person, place, or thing )

Janet certainly left an impression on him.

lessen/reduce an effect (= make an effect smaller or less severe )

The government must take action to reduce the effects of pollution.

level an accusation against/at sb (= bring an accusation against someone )

As a result, some outrageous accusations were levelled at her.

lift a restriction/an embargo/sanctions etc

The government plans to lift its ban on cigar imports.

lift/end an embargo (= stop an embargo )

Britain favours lifting the embargo on humanitarian grounds.

live in an apartment

He lived in a small apartment on the third floor.

locked in an embrace (= holding each other very tightly in a loving or friendly way )

A moment later they were locked in an embrace .

lodge an objection (= formally make an objection )

Residents have lodged an objection to the new development.

lodge/file/bring an appeal (= make an appeal )

Mr Sarhadi, who has lived here for three years, has lodged an appeal against extradition.

look at an option (= consider an option )

You have to look at every option as your business develops.

look at/consider/examine an aspect

Managers were asked to look at every aspect of their work.

look for an excuse

I began to look for excuses to avoid seeing him.

lose an arm/leg/eye etc

He lost his leg in a motorcycle accident.

lose an election

If the party loses the election, they may decide they need a new leader.

lose/shed an image (= get rid of it )

The party struggled to lose its image of being somewhat old-fashioned.

make an accusation

You’ve made a lot of accusations but you haven’t got any evidence.

make an agreement

We made an agreement not to tell anyone.

make (an) allowance/make allowances (for sth)

The budget makes allowances for extra staff when needed.

make an apology

I hope you are going to make an apology.

make an appeal

My client is planning to make an appeal.

make an appearance

The President made a dramatic appearance on nationwide television to announce a fresh peace initiative.

make an application

Candidates are advised to make an early application to the university.

make an ass of yourself (= do something stupid or embarrassing )

make an assessment

I had to make a quick assessment of the situation and act accordingly.

make an assumption

You’re making a lot of assumptions for which you have no proof.

make an attempt

She made several attempts to escape.

make an effort (= try )

She made an effort to change the subject of the conversation.

make an error

We made too many errors, and that cost us the game.

make an estimate

Insurers have to make an estimate of the risk involved.

make an exception (= deal with someone or something in a different way from usual on a particular occasion )

We usually require a 10% deposit, but I'll make an exception in this case.

make an expedition (= go on an expedition )

The men made expeditions to Spain, Greece and Asia Minor to find fossils.

make an impact

The product quickly made an impact on the market.

make an impression

Think about what sort of impression you want to make.

make an inquiry

The police are making inquiries to discover the cause of the accident.

make an investment (in sth)

We have made a huge investment in our website.

make an objection (= say what your objection is )

The Parish Council made several objections to the changes.

make an order (= used of a court )

The court made an adoption order.

make sth an offence/make it an offence to do sth

The Act made it an offence to sell cigarettes to children under 16.

make sth an offence/make it an offence to do sth

The Act made it an offence to sell cigarettes to children under 16.

make up/think up/invent an excuse

I made up some excuse about my car breaking down.

We’d better think up an excuse, fast.

make/arrange an appointment

Can you phone the hairdresser and make an appointment?

make/form an alliance

In 1902, Japan made an alliance with Britain.

make/issue an announcement

The next day an announcement was issued to staff, saying the company would be closing.

The government issued an announcement saying that it was not prepared to negotiate with terrorists.

make/issue/launch an appeal

Detectives are making an urgent appeal for information.

The hospital has launched an appeal to raise money for new equipment.

mark an essay British English , grade an essay AmE:

I went home knowing that I still had a pile of essays to mark.

mark an occasion (= do something special to celebrate an event )

The bells were rung to mark the occasion.

meet/fulfil/honour an obligation (= do something that you have a duty to do )

The company has been unable to meet its financial obligations.

All member states must fulfil their obligations according to the EC treaty.

The government failed to honour its obligations under the terms of the agreement.

miles/kilometres an hour (= used in speeds )

The speed limit is 65 miles an hour.

miss an appointment (= not go to an appointment you have arranged )

The train was late so I missed my appointment.

miss/lose an opportunity (= not do something you have a chance to do )

Dwyer never missed an opportunity to criticize her.

mount an assault/attack

Guerrillas have mounted an attack on the capital.

mount/launch an expedition (= plan, organize, and begin an expedition )

Ornithologists are mounting an expedition to the island in order to study the birds.

move an amendment British English (= suggest a change )

They want to move an amendment to the bill.

move into/out of an apartment (= start living in a new apartment, or leave an apartment in order to live somewhere else )

They moved into the apartment last Easter.

move into/out of an area

She had just moved into the area and knew very few people.

Many young people are moving out of rural areas.

mumble/mutter an apology (= say it quietly, especially because you are embarrassed )

He bumped into me and mumbled an apology.

munch on an apple (= eat it )

He was munching on an apple.

nationalize an industry (= make it owned by the state )

The rail industry was nationalized in the 1950s, with disastrous results.

need/require an explanation

We think the minister’s decision requires an explanation.

negotiate an agreement (= discuss particular things in order to reach an agreement )

They have been trying to negotiate an agreement with a Chinese company.

negotiate an agreement/contract etc

Union leaders have negotiated an agreement for a shorter working week.

not trust sb an inch/not trust sb as far as you can throw them (= not trust someone at all )

nurse/harbour/cherish an ambition (= have it for a long time, especially secretly )

He had nursed an ambition to become a writer for many years.

obey an impulse formal ( also yield to an impulse literary ) (= do something because you have a sudden very strong desire to do it )

Yielding to an impulse, she called him on her mobile phone.

obey an order

He refused to obey this order.

obey an order/command/instruction

The first duty of a soldier is to obey orders.

offer an apology

We would like to offer our sincere apologies for the delay.

offer an opportunity/chance/possibility

The course offers the opportunity to specialize in the final year.

offer/provide an alternative

If your first choice is not available, we always have alternatives to offer.

on an ad hoc basis

decisions made on an ad hoc basis

on an equal footing (with sb/sth)/on the same footing (as sb/sth) (= in the same state or condition as other people or things )

The new law puts women on an equal legal footing with men.

Many of the old polytechnics are now on the same footing as universities.

on an international scale (= involving more than one country )

Preparations to deal with an outbreak of the disease are being made on an international scale.

on an unprecedented scale (= more than ever before )

Propaganda techniques were used on an unprecedented scale.

on an unprecedented scale

Crime has increased on an unprecedented scale.

on the back of an envelope (= used to describe a calculation or plan that is written down quickly on any available small piece of paper )

She scribbled a few ideas on the back of an envelope.

open an envelope

I opened the envelope, pulled out the document and read it.

outfox/outwit/outmanoeuvre an opponent (= gain an advantage over an opponent by being more intelligent or skilful than they are )

Football is all about outwitting your opponents.

overcome an obstacle ( also surmount an obstacle formal ) (= find a solution to an obstacle )

We need to help young people overcome the obstacles that poverty puts in their way.

owe an obligation to sb formal (= have an obligation to support, help etc someone )

He owed an obligation of loyalty to his king.

owe sb an apology

I’m afraid I owe you an apology.

owe (sb) an explanation

I think you owe me some kind of explanation.

own an apartment

My parents own an apartment in Madrid.

pass an act

Once Parliament has passed an act, it becomes the law of the land.

pass an exam (= succeed in it )

Did you pass your final exam?

pass an examination (= succeed in it )

I really hope that Suzie passes the examination.

pass an inspection

The supermarket can only trade if it passes the cleanliness inspection.

peel an apple (= remove the skin )

Peel the apples and slice them finely.

perform an act (= do something, especially something difficult or useful )

The nurses performed many small acts of kindness.

perform an action

The children sing and perform the actions to nursery songs.

perform an experiment/study etc

Part of the Chemistry exam involves performing an experiment.

perform an operation

The surgeon who performed the operation said it had gone well.

perform/conduct an experiment formal (= do an experiment )

The laboratory began conducting experiments on rats.

perform/play to an audience

The band played to huge audiences in Mexico City and Buenos Aires.

pick up an accent

During his stay in England, he had picked up an English accent.

pick up/scoop up an award (= to get an award – used especially in news reports )

Angelina Jolie scooped up the award for best actress.

place/impose an embargo on sth (= start an embargo )

The UN imposed an embargo on trade with the military regime.

plan an escape

We planned our escape carefully and waited for just the right moment.

plank of an argument/policy/campaign etc

the main plank of their argument

a central plank of our policy

play an active role in sth

Do you play an active role in your community?

play an instrument

Can you play a musical instrument?

play/perform an essential role in sth

Antibiotics play an essential role in controlling infection.

post an advertisement (= put it on a website )

The agency has posted an advertisement on its website for graduates to work overseas.

prefer/favour an approach

I prefer a traditional approach.

present an obstacle (= cause a problem that is difficult to deal with or solve )

The lack of money presented a massive obstacle.

present sb with an award (= give someone an award at a formal ceremony )

She cried when she was presented with her award.

present sb with an ultimatum

Iraq was presented with an ultimatum by the UN to cease the invasion of Kuwait.

present/pose an obstacle (= cause an obstacle to exist )

Serious differences continue to present obstacles to an agreement.

Our reliance on fossil fuels poses an obstacle to achieving these targets.

present/project/promote an image (= behave in a way that creates a particular image )

He presented an image of himself as an energetic young leader.

prevent an accident

Steps have been taken to prevent a similar accident happening again.

prevent an escape ( also foil an escape formal ) (= stop an escape )

Walker grabbed her firmly by the wrist, preventing any chance of escape.

privatize an industry (= make it privately owned, rather than owned by the state )

The water industry was privatized in the 1980s.

process an application (= officially deal with it )

Your application for British citizenship will be processed by the Immigration Service.

process an application/claim/transaction etc

All university applications are processed through this system.

produce an effect formal

If we combine these sounds, they produce an effect that is almost jazzy.

produce/bring out an edition (= of a book, newspaper, or other product )

This special edition of the VW Beetle was produced in the 1970s.

promote an exhibition (= tell the public about it )

Our press officer contacted the local radio and TV stations to promote the exhibition.

prove an embarrassment (= be an embarrassment )

The publication of the documents proved a severe embarrassment to the company.

prove an obstacle (= be an obstacle )

The weather proved an obstacle, with nonstop rains flooding the field.

prove/support an accusation

There were very few facts to support the accusation against him.

provide an account

Freud has provided an account of the human psyche’s stages of development.

provide an example

Our brochure provides examples of the different villas on offer.

provide an income

The properties he rented out provided him with an income.

provide an outline

The first chapter provides an outline of the theory of evolution.

provide (sb with) an estimate

Could you ask him if he can provide us with an estimate?

provide sb with an incentive

Good teachers provide their students with incentives to learn.

provide/offer an explanation

This theory may provide an explanation for the origins of the universe.

provide/present/open up an opportunity

The course also provides an opportunity to study Japanese.

provide/produce an analysis

The report provided an analysis of the problems we need to address.

provoke protest(s)/an outcry

Not surprisingly, the new rules have provoked protests from gun owners.

The crackdown provoked an international outcry.

provoke/spark off an incident (= cause it to happen suddenly )

It is claimed that the police provoked the incident.

publish an apology (= print it in a newspaper )

The newspaper group was forced to publish a full apology.

publish an edition (= of a book or newspaper )

The first edition of the book was published in 1982.

publish/carry/run an article (= print it in a newspaper or magazine )

The magazine carried an article on the dangers of being overweight.

pursue an interest

Always encourage children to pursue their interests.

pursue an objective (= try to achieve something you want )

War has always been a means of pursuing national objectives.

put an end to sth (= make something end )

A shoulder injury put an end to his baseball career.

put an estimate on sth (= say the amount that you think something is )

It is impossible to put an estimate on the value of the manuscript.

put forward an argument

He rejected the arguments put forward by the company’s lawyers.

put forward an idea

In 1829 he put forward the idea that the Earth is contracting.

put in/submit an application

The company has submitted a planning application.

put on an accent (= deliberately speak with a different accent from your usual one )

When mum’s on the phone, she puts on a funny accent.

put on an exhibition (= have an exhibition )

Last summer the museum put on some wonderful exhibitions for children. an awkward position (= made it difficult for her to know what to do )

Philip’s remarks put her in an awkward position .

put/place an advertisement in a paper/newspaper

I tried putting an advertisement for lodgers in the local paper.

quoted as an example of

The nurses’ union was quoted as an example of a responsible trade union.

raise an issue/bring up an issue (= say an issue should be discussed )

Some important issues were raised at the meeting.

raise an issue/bring up an issue (= say an issue should be discussed )

Some important issues were raised at the meeting.

raise/voice an objection (= make an objection )

His father raised no objections when John told him that he wanted to become a dancer.

ratify a treaty/an agreement/a decision etc

We hope that the republics will be willing to ratify the treaty.

reach an age

The payments will be made until the child reaches college age.

reach an agreement/compromise/settlement (= decide on an arrangement that is acceptable to both groups )

Substantial progress was made toward reaching an agreement.

reach an audience

For an advertiser who wants to reach a large audience, television news easily surpasses other news media.

reach/come to an agreement ( also conclude an agreement formal )

It took the two sides several weeks to reach an agreement.

The two sides failed to come to an agreement.

reach/meet an objective (= achieve an objective )

We need to control spending in order to meet our financial objectives.

read an account

Have you read his account of the journey?

read an email

It took most of the morning to read my emails.

read an essay

Did you read her essay on ‘The Waste Land’?

read/see an article

It was good to see such an intelligent article on censorship.

receive an injection formal

The boxer received an injection of the drug before the fight.

receive an inquiry formal:

The television station has received several inquiries from viewers requesting a repeat of the programme.

receive an order

The general says he received no order to withdraw.

receive an ultimatum

We received an ultimatum from the army demanding our surrender.

record an event (= write down or photograph what happened )

Two photographers recorded the events.

recorded an open verdict

He said there was some doubt over the way Grant had died, and recorded an open verdict .

recover from an illness

It took several months for him to recover from his illness.

recover from an injury

It took her six months to recover from the injury.

recover from an operation

A man is recovering from an emergency operation after his pet dog attacked him.

recover from an ordeal

She is recovering from her ordeal after a bomb went off on the train she was on.

refuse/reject/turn down an application (= say no to an application )

Their planning application was rejected because of a lack of parking facilities.

refuse/turn down an invitation ( also decline an invitation formal )

She turned down an invitation to take part in a televised debate.

refute a hypothesis/a claim/an idea etc

an attempt to refute Darwin’s theories

refute an allegation/a suggestion etc

She refuted any allegations of malpractice.

regulate an industry (= control an industry so that it does not make unfair profits )

A new agency was created to regulate the telecommunications industry.

remove an obstacle

Opening the border removed all obstacles to trade and travel between the two countries.

renew an appeal (= make an appeal again )

Detectives renewed their appeal for help from the public.

repeal an act (= officially end it )

The Act was repealed by the incoming Labour government.

represent a change/an advance/an increase etc

This treatment represents a significant advance in the field of cancer research.

represent a change/an advance/an increase etc

This treatment represents a significant advance in the field of cancer research.

represent an improvement (= be an improvement )

A pre-tax profit of 4.3 million pounds represents a 5% improvement on last year.

resist an attempt to do sth

The rest of the board resisted his attempts to change the way things were done.

resist/control an impulse (= not do something, even though you have an impulse to do it )

Derek resisted the impulse to eat any more cake.

resist/fight/suppress an urge

She had to resist a constant urge to look back over her shoulder.

resolve an issue/matter/question

Has the issue been resolved yet?

retake an exam ( also resit an exam British English ) (= take it again because you did not do well the first time )

If you don’t do well, you’ll have to resit the exam in January.

returned an open verdict

The jury returned an open verdict .

rev (up) an engine British English , gun an engine American English (= make an engine go very fast )

As the lights turned green, Chris gunned the engine and we surged forward.

rig an election (= dishonestly arrange the result )

He accused the ruling party of rigging the elections.

run an empire (= be in charge of it )

She now runs a whole media empire.

run/carry an advertisement (= print or broadcast an advertisement )

Broadcasters are no longer allowed to run cigarette advertisements.

sail though an exam (= pass it easily )

Don’t worry - I'm sure you’ll sail through all your exams.

satisfy an urge

Her urge to travel had never been satisfied.

satisfy an urge (= do want you feel you want to do )

He satisfied his urge to travel by going to India.

sb has an attitude problem (= someone is not helpful or pleasant to be with )

Some of the male students have a real attitude problem.

scrape through an exam (= only just pass it )

He managed to scrape through the exam and stay on the course.

seal an envelope (= close it )

She sealed the envelope and stuck on a stamp.

see an exhibition

We also saw an exhibition of paintings by Sydney Lough Thompson, a New Zealand artist.

seek an alternative

People are seeking alternatives to meat-based dishes.

see/notice an improvement

After taking the tablets, he noticed some improvement in his energy levels.

seize/grasp an opportunity (= do something very eagerly when you have the chance )

She saw an opportunity to speak to him, and seized it.

send (sb) an email

Can you send me an email with all the details?

send (sb) an invitation

We sent out the invitations last week.

set an agenda (= decide on the problems you want to deal with )

The new government set an agenda for constitutional reform.

set an example (= show by your own behaviour how other people should behave )

You should be setting an example for your little brother.

set an example (= behave well in a way that other people can copy )

Parents should try to set a good example to their teenagers.

set an objective (= decide what you are trying to achieve )

Pupils should be encouraged to set their own objectives.

set off on an expedition ( also embark on an expedition formal ) (= leave at the start of an expedition )

Trent set off on an expedition to collect plants with fellow botanical students.

set off/trigger an explosion (= cause an explosion )

Investigators believe a fuel leak may have triggered the explosion.

share an apartment

I’m sharing the apartment with a group of friends.

shatter an image (= make people realise the idea they have about something is wrong )

The book shattered the image of the contented American housewife.

shed an image (= change people's opinion about someone or something )

Has the industry finally shed its negative image?

show an improvement

The sales figures show a major improvement.

sign an agreement

The two countries have signed an agreement on military co-operation.

slit open an envelope (= open it by cutting it )

I quickly slit open the envelope.

solve an equation

For homework, solve the equations on page 56.

solve an equation

At the age of six, he could solve complicated mathematical equations.

spare sb ten minutes/an hour etc

Could you possibly spare me a few moments in private used to ask someone if they have time to quickly talk to you ?

speak with an accent

She spoke with an accent that I couldn’t understand.

spend an evening (= use an evening doing a particular thing )

He spent many evenings alone in his room.

spend an hour

I spent an hour reading.

sponsor an event (= give money to an event, especially in exchange for the right to advertise )

The event is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

spread an infection ( also transmit an infection formal )

Pregnant women can transmit the infection to their unborn child.

start/cause an argument

He was deliberately trying to start an argument.

Money often causes arguments.

sth is not an easy task sth is no easy task (= something is difficult )

Recruiting experienced people is no easy task nowadays.

sth represents an achievement (= something is an achievement )

Few people realised what an enormous achievement Concorde represented.

study for an exam ( also revise for an exam British English )

She has to study for her exams.

study for an exam/diploma etc

I’ve only got three weeks left to study for my exams.

study for an examination ( also revise for an examination British English )

I have been studying all week for the examination.

stumped for words/an answer/a reply

Travis seemed absolutely stumped for words.

subject sb to an ordeal (= make someone suffer something very painful or frightening )

Simon Collier was subjected to a horrifying ordeal at gunpoint.

subject sb to an ordeal/abuse/harassment

Barker subjected his victim to awful abuse.

submit an application/claim/proposal etc

All applications must be submitted by Monday.

suffer an assault

The lawyer claimed she was drunk when she suffered the assault.

suffer an injury

He suffered a serious leg injury in a motorcycle accident.

suffer an injury

Ten people suffered minor injuries.

suffer from an illness

She suffers from a rare illness.

suffer from an infection

He was suffering from an infection of the lungs.

suggest an alternative

Do you have an alternative you can suggest?

support an event (= pay to attend a charity event in order to encourage it )

I’d like to thank everyone who came tonight for supporting the event.

survive an operation

Only one person has survived an operation to implant an artificial heart.

survive an ordeal

The woman survived her ordeal and identified her attacker.

sustain/receive an injury formal (= suffer an injury )

She sustained an injury to her hip.

swear/take an oath

As children, they took an oath of friendship.

switch off/turn off/stop an engine

Maggie pulled over and switched off the engine.

switch on/turn on/start an engine

I fastened my seat belt and turned on the engine.

sworn an oath

Remember that you have sworn an oath and so must tell the truth.

take an active interest in sth

Not many young people take an active interest in gardening.

take an active part in sth

Most of the students take an active part in sports.

take an examination ( also sit an examination British English )

Do you have to take an examination in every subject?

take an example (= consider it or talk about it )

Let’s take the example of a family with two school-age children.

take an exit/turn off at an exit

Take the next exit, junction 15.

take an exit/turn off at an exit

Take the next exit, junction 15.

take an hour (= something needs an hour to do )

It took about three hours to paint the whole room.

take an interest in sth (= be interested in something )

Jacky first took an interest in golf when he was about six years old.

take an overview

In business, you take an overview of a problem and then think of the best solutions.

take out an advertisement (= arrange for an advertisement to be in a newspaper or magazine )

Their record company took out full-page advertisements in the music press to promote the album.

take part in an activity ( also participate in an activity formal )

The children were encouraged to take part in several different activities.

take sb up on an offer/a promise/a suggestion etc

I’ll take you up on that offer of a drink, if it still stands.

take someone on an expedition

He’s taking the boys on a camping expedition next weekend.

take up an occupation ( also enter an occupation formal ) (= start doing one )

Many of his colleagues have taken up another occupation.

Our recent graduates have entered a wide range of occupations.

take up an offer/take sb up on their offer British English (= accept someone's offer )

I might take him up on his offer.

take (up) an option (= choose an option )

America was persuaded not to take up the option of military action.

take/adopt an approach (= use an approach )

There were concerns that Beijing would take a tougher approach.

take/do an exam ( also sit an exam British English )

We have to take exams at the end of each year.

takes an...approach

This book takes an unorthodox approach to art criticism.

talk to/consult an expert (= ask an expert for information or advice )

If cracks appear in your house, you should consult an expert to find out what is causing the problem.

tarnish an image (= damage it slightly )

His behaviour has tarnished the image of the sport.

tear/rip open an envelope (= open it quickly and roughly )

My fingers trembled as I tore open the envelope.

thank sb for an invitation

I'll have to write a letter thanking Martha for the invitation to her wedding.

the beginning/end of an era

The closure of the last coal mine marked the end of an era in Wales.

the collapse of an empire

He left the country after the collapse of his construction empire.

the decline of an empire (= the gradual decrease in an empire's power )

The next two hundred years saw the gradual decline of the Roman empire.

the depth of an emotion (= how strong an emotion is )

She was surprised by the depth of her emotions.

the edge of an abyss

At that time Bosnia was standing on the edge of an abyss .

the fall/collapse of an empire (= the sudden end of an empire )

After the battle of Waterloo, the collapse of Napoleon's empire was inevitable.

the left-hand/right-hand side of an equation

Add up what you've got on the right-hand side of the equation.

the magnitude of an earthquake (= how powerful it is )

Measuring stations identify the location and magnitude of an earthquake within a few minutes of the event.

the police arrest sb/make an arrest

The police arrested Mr Fox as he tried to leave the country.

Officer Singer said the police have made no arrests in the robbery.

the (rate of) return on an investment (= profit from an investment )

We expect a high return on our investment.

the scene of an accident (= the place where it happened )

Police were at the scene of the accident within minutes.

the source of an infection

Doctors are trying to locate the source of the infection.

the symptoms of an illness

Symptoms of the illness include vomiting and severe headaches.

the terms of an agreement (= the conditions that people agree on )

Under the terms of the agreement, the debt would be repaid over a 20-year period.

the terms of an ultimatum

The terms of the ultimatum required them to withdraw by noon.

the tip of an island (= the thin pointed end of an island )

We live on the northernmost tip of the island of Barbados.

the victim of an attack

She was the victim of an attack in her own home.

think of an answer

She couldn’t think of a suitable answer to his question.

three quarters of an hour (= forty-five minutes )

The journey takes three quarters of an hour.

three quarters of an hour (= 45 minutes )

She arrived three quarters of an hour late.

through an interpreter (= using an interpreter )

Speaking through an interpreter , Ahmed said, ‘I’m very worried about my wife and children.’

tighten an embargo (= make an embargo stricter and more difficult to break )

We are taking further action to tighten the embargo.

to such an extent that/to the extent that (= so much that )

He annoyed her to such an extent that she had to leave the room.

to such an extent/degree that

Her condition deteriorated to such an extent that a blood transfusion was considered necessary.

took an instant dislike to (= they disliked each other immediately )

They took an instant dislike to each other .

took an overdose

She took an overdose and died two days later. an insult (= thought it was meant to be an insult )

Their offer was so low I took it as an insult .

toy with an idea informal (= think about using an idea, but not very seriously )

I’m toying with the idea of going back to college.

trace an outline (= draw the outline of something, usually with your finger or toe )

She traced the outline of his lips with her fingers.

treat an infection

Antibiotics are used to treat the infection.

treat an injury

The injury was treated at the local hospital.

treat sb as an individual

Each student must be treated as an individual.

try an approach

Some scientists have been trying an alternative approach.

tune an instrument (= make it play at the right pitch )

The musicians were tuning their instruments before the concert began.

turn down/refuse/reject/decline an offer (= say no to it )

She declined the offer of a lift.

undergo an examination (= have one )

All new employees are required to undergo a medical examination.

undergo treatment/surgery/an operation

The cyclist underwent emergency surgery yesterday after a collision with a car.

uphold/allow an appeal (= give permission for a decision to be changed )

Judge Gabriel Hutton upheld Smith's appeal against a £250 fine.

use an approach

This approach has been used for a number of major investigations.

use an entrance

It's quicker to use the side entrance.

use an example

He used several examples to illustrate his point.

use an exit

In the event of a fire, please use the emergency exit nearest to you.

use sth as an excuse

She never complained or used her illness as an excuse.

usher in an era (= to be the start of a new era )

His death ushered in an era of political instability.

venture an opinion/question/word etc

If we had more information, it would be easier to venture a firm opinion.

Roy ventured a tentative smile.

view a house/an apartment/a property (= go to see a house etc that you are interested in buying )

violate/break an oath (= do something you promised not to do )

I do not expect you to violate your oath.

voice/state an opinion written (= give your opinion, especially in a formal situation )

She has every right to voice her opinion.

wait for an answer

Kate was looking at me, waiting for an answer.

wait for an explanation (= expect an explanation )

She continued to stare at him in silence, waiting for an explanation.

wear an expression

Their pilot wore an expression of extreme relief.

wear sth to a party/a dance/an interview etc

I’m wearing a scarlet dress to the party.

welcome an announcement (= say that you are pleased about it )

Environmental groups welcomed the announcement.

what seemed like an eternity

Here she waited for what seemed like an eternity .

win an award

Caprio won the award for best actor.

an award-winning novel

win an election

Who do you think will win the election?

win an election

Which party is likely to win the election?

win/lose an appeal

Unless she wins her appeal she will be imprisoned.

win/lose an argument

The party hopes to win the argument about how to reform the health system.

The first one who resorts to violence is usually the one who’s lost the argument.

with an easy mind

I can leave the children with my mother with an easy mind .

withdraw an objection (= stop objecting to something )

The FBI withdrew its objections to publishing the information.

withdraw an offer

They suddenly withdrew their offer at the last minute.

witness an event (= see it happen )

Luckily, a film crew were on the spot to witness the event.

work on an assumption (= act according to something that may not be true )

The police seemed to be working on the assumption that he was guilty.

work out an equation

I spent over an hour trying to work out the equation.

write an account

He later wrote an account of his experiences during the war.

write an email

Jack spent the evening writing emails and surfing the Internet.

write/do an article

The Times have asked me if I will do an article on the election.

write/do an essay

I’ve got a 3,000 word essay to write before Friday.

you’re an angel

Thanks for mailing those letters, you’re an angel .

£10/$7 etc an hour (= used to say how much someone is paid or how much you pay to use something )

The babysitter charges £5 an hour.


There'll always be an England

a harsh/a cross/an angry etc word

a means to an end

Technology is not a magic wand, but only a means to an end.

Admittedly, policy is important: but it is only a means to an end.

All in all, everything I did was a means to an end -- my own.

Don't think of computers as a daunting modern technology; they're only a means to an end.

Protection is vital: but as a means to an end, not as an end in itself.

Showbiz was a means to an end.

The separation into sequential categories of response is merely a means to an end.

The young man was merely a means to an end and, in both cases, that end had now been served.

These should be viewed as a means to an end, rather than as ends in themselves.

a year/a week/a moment/an hour etc or two

adopt an approach/policy/attitude etc

Can a school board adopt a policy prohibiting dancing at school?

He also agreed to adopt policies on affirmative action and ethics.

It is essential that these countries, too, adopt policies that will help to protect the Ozone Layer.

It is very hard convincing powers like the World Bank to adopt policies that truly help the poorest.

No-Layoff Policies Perhaps the best way to secure union cooperation is to adopt a policy of no layoffs.

Their purpose is to influence government to adopt policies favourable to them.

This structure can neither impose law upon its members nor force one of them to adopt a policy with which it disagrees.

Ultimately, planners adopted a policy of non-violence.

an A student

I was an A student, on my way to medical school.

an Aladdin's Cave

an Englishman's home is his castle

an accident waiting to happen

A student helicopter pilot wallowing around in a hover in a tight clearing is an accident waiting to happen.

Another way of putting it would be that the dollar is an accident waiting to happen.

Mr Stewart said that there was an accident waiting to happen and he feared lives would be lost.

People living near the site say it was an accident waiting to happen.

Unless, of course, it was an accident waiting to happen.

an accomplished fact

At first, the Soviets refused to accept Lithuania's secession as an accomplished fact.

an acquired taste

For many people, her dry humor is an acquired taste.

But the Moodies, propelled by pseudo-symphonic arrangements and mysticism, always were and always will be an acquired taste.

Curry is an acquired taste and heavily spiced food is surely not suitable for the stomachs of very young children.

It is an acquired taste but very refreshing.

It is an acquired taste for sensitive palates but a lot of hungry people are only too happy to tuck in.

Much of this is actually linguistics, however - something of an acquired taste.

Protective poison, an acquired taste.

They are like sushi, maybe an acquired taste.

They are rich in proteins and vitamins of the B group, but they are an acquired taste.

an act of faith

Allowing Ken to be in charge of the project was a total act of faith .

It is, even, a bit of an act of faith comparing two concurrent campaigns' performance.

It was an act of faith to open up and know that we might not have any money two weeks later.

It was by an act of faith in his science that a trim Shepelev crawled into the chamber and sealed the door.

Six were at sea, on the business of trade - an act of faith that he might have cause to regret.

The objection to the claim is that it is mere assertion or, more kindly, an act of faith .

There is no continuous evolution towards it; it requires, somewhere along the line, an act of faith on the part of management.

This is where boating turns into an act of faith .

To conclude that the universe exists because it permits us to exist is an act of faith , not reason.

an actor turned politician/a housewife turned author etc

an affiliated organization/club/member etc

an albatross (around your neck)

The project became a financial albatross for the city.

But what began as an enlightened innovation has become an albatross around the neck of the free enterprise system.

Their wingspan exceeds that of an albatross .

an apology for sth

A taxi brought us to a boarding house she knew, and we're shown into an apology for a bedroom.

Dear Maggie, I feel I owe you an apology for abandoning your esteemed Victorian values.

Proponents of such a view owe us an apology for three avoidable Tory victories.

Rawls's work is an apology for the weak, atomistic and relativistic culture which we see all around us.

Then he gave a little nod, an apology for interrupting, and leaned the bike against the back porch.

Thornton included an apology for Blake's designs.

Yet again, it is an apology for failure.

You owe him an apology for misjudging him and suspecting his motives at every turn.

an apt pupil/student

But once at university I was an apt student.

With every move she gave a little gasp, as her body, previous experience or not, proved an apt pupil.

an article of faith

But the idea is practically an article of faith among Republicans elected in the 1990s.

It was an article of faith to Be There, with or without the goods.

It would be an article of faith with him to believe that.

One must accept it as an article of faith, sufficient unto itself, for all time.

That is an article of faith for him.

When only seeing is believing the unseen reproductive anatomy of the female can not be an article of faith.

an attempt on sb's life

an avalanche of sth

A milestone on the way was the onset at Pirelli in the summer of 1968 of an avalanche of wildcat strikes.

Neighborbood filling stations, laundries, and print shops suddenly find themselves facing an avalanche of rules and reporting requirements.

Nevertheless, the article provoked an avalanche of reaction.

Often the right stuff is buried under an avalanche of garbage.

Once an avalanche of bills has you buried, it seems impossible to dig your way out again.

The wave had had its ropes cut and was erupting in an avalanche of fury that would bury everything in its path.

Watching the television for mindless comfort, trying to blot out loneliness with an avalanche of distraction.

Whatever it was precipitated an avalanche of other objects which thundered down around him as Charles fell sprawling to the ground.

an early night

Below once more, with everything as secure as she could make it, she decided she might as well have an early night.

Cancel any evening plans - have an early night.

Everyone is contemplating an early night - it has been a long day, one of the busiest for a while.

He himself had drunk one quick light beer before excusing himself for an early night.

I should have left you to fix your light snack and have an early night.

I was planning on an early night.

In any case, after dinner you will need an early night.

She tidied up the sitting-room, promising herself an early night with a book.

an early start

After an early start we were soon out of the city and climbing.

Dennis excused himself, saying he had to make an early start the following morning.

Everything must be ready for an early start tomorrow.

Good judgement of conditions, an early start and a fast, efficient ascent are essential to avoid such torrid descent.

Have you got an early start?

Or get an early start on that long weekend commute, then catch up from home.

Surely an early start on atoms and molecules must somehow be brought about.

We had an earlier start than I expected and now we are taking more time to turn the corner.

an either-or situation

an embarrassment of riches

I look forward to having the letter you wrote tonight before you called-altogether an embarrassment of riches!

If there is not quite an embarrassment of riches, there is enough to make the small investor blush at the choice.

The Prado's problem is an embarrassment of riches, with nowhere to put most of them.

They eventually suffered from an embarrassment of riches: they laughingly killed all their enemies and created their worst nightmare.

We have an embarrassment of riches here!

an eternity

We only waited five minutes, but it seemed like an eternity .

an even chance

There is a suggestion that offspring do not have an even chance of inheriting a trait from either parent.

There was always better than an even chance of something like this happening.

an extra pair of hands

But an extra pair of hands is still needed, especially during busy periods.

The clinical teacher should be part of the ward team, but must resist becoming an extra pair of hands.

We could visit a theatre, and there would be an extra pair of hands in the garden.

an eye for an eye

The government's eye-for-an-eye justice could lead to further human rights abuses.

The Old Testament ideal of an eye for an eye speaks to that need.

an eye for/on/to the main chance

an eyeful

an independent/a positive/a free etc thinker

an inquiring mind

an object of pity/desire/ridicule etc

A spendthrift with a regular, secure income is an object of desire among bankers.

Because of this, a household obliged to sponsor many feasts gains no prestige, but becomes rather an object of pity.

He left Downing Street in 1963 almost an object of ridicule, condemned in Gibbonian terms as the symbol of national decay.

Mitch's image alone does not make clear that he will be mocked rather than taken seriously as an object of desire.

She became an object of ridicule.

Unfortunately Piggy had been demoted to an object of ridicule by this point in the book so nobody listened to him.

Yet he is held up as an object of ridicule and loathing throughout the land.

an old chestnut

an old head on young shoulders

an old soak

She doesn ` t want to end up an old soak .

The father's nice enough, but a bit of an old soak and the grandmother was a dragon.

an only child

And I was an only child.

E is for Ethel For most of my life I was an only child.

I was brought up by adoptive parents as an only child.

It must be terrible to lose an only child; to lose any child.

Maman had given the impression she was an only child, she thought, but was that the truth?

Shared nannies are becoming more popular and other children can provide stimulation and company if yours is an only child.

Sometimes I think I was intended to be an only child, and got born into a large family by a mistake.

The princess grew up thinking she was an only child but one day discovered she had twelve brothers.

an open invitation

An unlocked car is an open invitation to thieves.

I extend to the hon. Gentleman an open invitation to join me on any subsequent occasion.

If a thief steals it, you could be giving him an open invitation to your home!

In my opinion, a skip should be regarded as an open invitation to selective plundering.

Is there an open invitation to abuse even in some of the innocent parts?

It would also have been an open invitation to civic disturbance.

The Carter team feared that the remark and the attitude it conveyed would be an open invitation to execute Kim.

The latter is not an open invitation to intervention or a threat to sovereignty.

The wizards designing Macintosh considered it an open invitation to childlike play, and judged that ability among its chief attributes.

an open mind

And later she was going to try to get herself to that meeting with an open mind.

Before he resolves a problem, he keeps an open mind on how that problem might be resolved.

But officially as least the police are still keeping an open mind.

He insists he has an open mind on the players he wants to keep.

In interviews after their inaugural meeting last Thursday, all vowed to keep an open mind on whoever comes before the panel.

Police say they're keeping an open mind.

Until the Profitboss makes a decision, he keeps an open mind as to what that decision might be.

While keeping an open mind, most archaeologists remain extremely doubtful.

an opportune moment/time

For those who are waiting for the most opportune time to invest in a home, this is an excellent time to do that.

This seemed like an opportune moment to ask the government to mount a tree-planting program.

His work - and his mission - comes at an opportune time.

I waited, hoping for an opportune moment to discuss the possibility of my earning a little money.

Meanwhile, he would take up the matter with Archbishop Perier at an opportune time.

Porter bought Goat Island and Preserved it at an opportune moment.

The announcement Tuesday may have come at an opportune time.

To her now he was just a young fellow who happened to be in the house at an opportune time.

Would this be an opportune time to suggest a move to help reduce the fragmentation of the industry?

an orgy of sth

a orgy of violence and looting

an ounce of prevention (is worth a pound of cure)

an ounce of sense/truth/decency etc

Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that results depend on factors other than staff efficiency. - T. Baines, Oxford.

an outside chance

Here are two more from the downs with an outside chance and one from Wendover in Buckinghamshire.

Norman pitched his into the heart of the green and had an outside chance for birdie.

Some shrewd Iowa pols also see an outside chance for former Gov.

There is also an outside chance Cadbury may itself be a bid target.

an outside figure/estimate etc

an undischarged bankrupt

On his release from prison as an undischarged bankrupt, he changed his name from Bowesfield to Sinclair.

an unfilled order

an unguarded moment

In an unguarded moment, he admitted taking the file.

As he stepped to one side, Christina had a clear view of Stephen's face in an unguarded moment.

Had his anti-female attitude been weakened during an unguarded moment?

The only human explanation was that one of us had said something in an unguarded moment.

You caught him at an unguarded moment.

an unholy alliance

an unmitigated disaster/failure/pleasure etc

On health and safety issues, however, deregulation has been an unmitigated disaster.

She had to admit that he would almost certainly not see the situation as an unmitigated disaster.

So far, the tour had been an unmitigated disaster.

The raid itself was an unmitigated disaster.

What is happening in Assam is an unmitigated disaster.

an uphill struggle/battle/task etc

However, each parlor faces an uphill battle because the city hired a financial consulting firm to review the applications.

It proved to be an uphill struggle, and was far from successful.

Kopp said he faced an uphill battle in winning approval for the bill.

Rehabilitation will be an uphill struggle.

Smith said gay-rights advocates still believe they are fighting an uphill battle in opposing the bill.

Unless you have a goal your learning will be an uphill struggle.

Voice over Police are hoping to trace original owners but admit it's an uphill task.

While critics of his decision gained momentum Thursday, the record shows they face an uphill battle.

an/the answer to sb's prayers

Excel 4 has the answer to my prayers in the Scenario Manager.

If so, a 100 per cent mortgage may look like the answer to your prayers .

If so, Lands' End may have the answer to your prayers .

She, she is the answer to my prayers .

The letter seemed to be the answer to her prayers .

To Jacqueline this was the answer to her prayers .

at an angle

The portrait was hanging at an slight angle .

He was sitting at an angle which allowed him to watch the door.

Inch by inch we tilted the cabin on its side until it leaned at an angle .

Papers are missing from each and the sheets inside have been turned back to front, and at angles .

Planes of soap solution have the property that only three can intersect along an edge at an angle between them of 120°.

She draws a man in a tuxedo, places him at an angle on the page.

They stood at angles , not quite facing each other.

This could result in the blind and pleats falling at an angle to the window.

We took the left-hand cut, which runs into the Thames at an angle .

at/from an early age

Both Maddy and Patrick were professionally successful at an early age, secure, and surrounded by helpful family.

But what about alteration of brain chemistry at an early age?

Did you start painting at an early age?

I worry about cholesterol, because my father died of a heart attack at an early age.

If you get to know about these things at an early age you lose your shame and shyness.

Robin adds that as a boy he saw both the Graf Zeppelin and R-101, obviously an enthusiast from an early age.

Spong does not advocate marriage at an early age.

Women learn at an early age that most men do not like angry women living in the same house.

be an advertisement for sth

Ben is a walking advertisement for the benefits of regular exercise.

This is an advertisement for handguns.

be an effort

I was so weak that even standing up was an effort .

Congress's effort to ban indecent materials on the Internet comes to the court March 19.

There will be efforts at the maintenance of the house or apartment, but not much interest in improvement of housing level.

be an honour to sb/sth

And one which, don't get me wrong, I was honoured to stand against.

It would be an honour to have a memorial on the site.

She also felt it would be an honour to have custody of the machine.

Sir Walter Scott once said he was honoured to be a mere twig on the Swinton family tree.

We should be honoured to see you at dinner one evening soon.

be an indictment of sth

Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath" was an indictment of agricultural labor relations.

Every adult illiterate... is an indictment of us all...

That in itself is an indictment of the Government.

The fact that, for the past four weeks, Ireland has barely been mentioned is an indictment of them all.

This list, by no means complete, is an indictment of a careless society.

be an inspiration to sb

He is an inspiration to writers everywhere.

Karen Woolley, 20, was an inspiration to many.

Secondly, our Gift Day in September was an inspiration to us all.

be an institution

The Sea Dolphin Café is not just a restaurant; it's an institution .

Cattle stealing was an institution which provided benefits to different groups.

Punch is an institution as it will probably be so remembered.

The biggest things in the normative order are institutions .

The results of such changes are institutions which concentrate very largely on advanced vocational and general courses.

The Salvation Army is an institution that performs good works, and it is entitled to its views of homosexuality.

Think-tanks, sitting uneasily half-way between government and universities, are institutions that embody this ambiguity.

Until this month, they were an institution , just like the White House.

What Brown inherited when he became speaker in December 1980 was an institution well down the road toward gridlock.

be an insult to sb's intelligence

It is an insult to our intelligence.

be an item

They're not an item any more.

All of the solos are items from original Sousa programs.

Assets A financial institution's assets are items it owns and its claims on others.

Here is an item he told me today.

Specials are items that are priced less than their regular price for a period of time, perhaps only one day.

The motivation issue is not an easy one to discuss, since it is an item which is seldom adequately defined.

Third, there are items that are not measured because of shortcomings of the data sources.

This is an item which should not be used.

be an old hand (at sth)

Helms is an old hand at backroom politics.

Blue is an old hand at such compositions and has never had any trouble with them.

Habitat is an old hand at changing habits of a lifetime.

Pete Zimmerman is an old hand at water initiatives.

These were old hands, and Dawn Run was effectively still a novice.

We are old hands in the public-school system.

be an open book

I'd always thought of Jeff as an open book.

Our foreign dealings are an open book generally a check book.

To them my future was an open book.

be an open invitation for/to sb

Leaving the car unlocked is just an open invitation to thieves.

The Carter team feared that the remark and the attitude it conveyed would be an open invitation to execute Kim.

be an overture

be an unknown quantity

Barnes was an unknown quantity, without any clear prejudice on the nuclear issue.

Swales said he had a lot of flair, but admitted he was an unknown quantity.

These arrangements are an unknown quantity and the administration may not turn out to be up to scratch.

Whatever it was they were after, it was an unknown quantity, unknown, that is, except for a lethal ferocity.

be something of a gardener/an expert etc

Alfred Walter is something of an expert on Viennese music particularly that of the Johann Strauss era.

In his own way he is something of an expert on the private lives of actresses.

Richard Holmes was something of an expert at the game, but he ended up as a down-and-out by the end.

beat/thrash etc sb to within an inch of their life

cast an eye on/over sth

Since marrying her he hadn't cast an eye on anyone else.

The professor shrugged, casting an eye over Davide's good jacket, to inform him that his information was unnecessary.

close an account

cock an ear/eye

She cocked an eye at Léonie, grunted.

conclude an agreement/treaty/contract etc

As an alternative to this bloc policy Khrushchev offered to conclude treaties of non-aggression and friendship with the states concerned.

States which did not consider a customs union to be necessary could conclude agreements with the customs union on a free-trade zone.

cop an attitude

declare an interest

If you have strong feelings about a situation declare an interest and suggest that some one else temporarily takes the chair.

It's probably best to declare an interest.

Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson has already declared an interest in him after he spent a week training at Elland Road.

Mr. Adley: I have already declared an interest.

Mr. Adley: I thank my right Hon. Friend for that reply and declare an interest in the industry.

declare an interest (in sth)

If you have strong feelings about a situation declare an interest and suggest that some one else temporarily takes the chair.

It's probably best to declare an interest .

Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson has already declared an interest in him after he spent a week training at Elland Road.

Mr. Adley: I have already declared an interest .

Mr. Adley: I thank my right Hon. Friend for that reply and declare an interest in the industry.

describe a circle/an arc etc

Chen saw the knife describe an arc through the air and felt himself flinch.

do sb an injustice

Cutting the benefits of war veterans would be doing them a great injustice .

But they do themselves an injustice .

Indeed, it may well serve to do some injustice and violence to the integrity of the substantive phenomena.

do sth on an empty stomach

I overslept and had to go to class on an empty stomach.

You shouldn't take the pills on an empty stomach.

Alendronate must be taken only with a full glass of plain water, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

I mean, neither of us had eaten since the early hours, and drinking on an empty stomach is dodgy.

I tend to be very short-tempered on an empty stomach.

No use mourning on an empty stomach.

The next two got off more lightly: two spoonfuls of vinegar three times a day, also on an empty stomach.

The sensation of nausea on an empty stomach was peculiarly unpleasant.

There was little point, Manville decided, on a man eating on an empty stomach.

They report to work at 8.30am on an empty stomach.

do sth on an empty stomach

Alendronate must be taken only with a full glass of plain water, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach .

I mean, neither of us had eaten since the early hours, and drinking on an empty stomach is dodgy.

I tend to be very short-tempered on an empty stomach .

No use mourning on an empty stomach .

The next two got off more lightly: two spoonfuls of vinegar three times a day, also on an empty stomach .

The sensation of nausea on an empty stomach was peculiarly unpleasant.

There was little point, Manville decided, on a man eating on an empty stomach .

They report to work at 8.30am on an empty stomach .

enter into an agreement/contract etc

Brunell and the team will enter into contract negotiations next week.

David Holton and Hughes already have entered into an agreement with the local state attorney to settle criminal charges.

How different it might have been if Edelman had proposed that politicians enter into a Contract With Children.

It will be entering into contracts to both buy and sell specific currencies on or between specific dates.

Similarly, business has to enter into agreements.

Traders must consider domestic and foreign exchange control regulations when entering into contracts and seeking settlement.

We have entered into agreements in good faith.

entertain an idea/hope/thought etc

He had entertained thoughts of marrying her and raising a family, but he entered the Society instead.

Most significantly on my sense of a distant but still valid national identity-until then I had entertained hopes of return.

extend/offer/hold out etc an olive branch (to sb)

feed an addiction/need etc

The feed needs to be as iron-free as possible in order that the eventual meat will be the light colour preferred by consumers.

fill an order

form an opinion/impression/idea

Members of the jury must not have formed opinions from publicity before the trial.

Among those who have formed an opinion, more say public projects should go on the ballot than not.

He conceded to Franceschelli that actually being present during the autopsy might have given him better information to form an opinion.

He was in no state to form an idea of what we were talking about.

It is the auditor's responsibility to form an opinion on the truth and fairness of the accounts.

Nor that we should not form opinions or make evaluations.

So gather information about your child, rather than forming opinions and judgments.

Yet, along with journalists, poets, literary figures, and agitators, they do help form opinions.

You should try to form an impression of the person the adjectives describe.

gain an understanding/insight/impression etc

By analysing simple situations, with essential features in common, we can gain insight into the behaviour of these complicated beams.

It is difficult to see how avoiding teaching about what is distinctive of religion can help people gain an understanding of it!

One way to gain insight into these issues is to view them through the work of some of the main protagonists.

Pupils use drama to gain insights into moral and social issues in works of literature.

Self-assessment Building self-esteem is about appreciating strengths and developing them as much as it is about gaining an understanding of weaknesses.

The trust wants to gain an insight into the county's butterfly population.

This guidance helped them gain insight into the characteristics that inhibited their own ability to persist and to complete schoolwork.

To visit them is to gain an insight into what many of our own wetlands must have been like.

get hold of an idea/an impression/a story etc

give (sb) an impression/a sense/an idea

give sb an earful

The chancellor got an earful when he asked the students for feedback.

Clairvoyantes distress me, Commuters depress me - Met Stetson and gave him an earful .

give sb an inch and they'll take a yard/mile

grasp an opportunity

One person will grasp an opportunity with enthusiasm, whereas another will recoil from the same chance with anxiety and fear.

Perhaps only Chandos boss Brian Couzens would grasp an opportunity like that.

half an eye/ear

Allen kept half an eye on the path as he worked.

Always half an ear, half a mind.

Anyone with half an eye could see Susan's antagonism towards her.

He has half an eye on where the gun went.

He told me this and that, but I listened with only half an ear.

Of course, no government with half an eye on re-election would ever legalise anything it didn't have to.

She always had half an eye for him; sometimes I thought she watched him as a tamer does a tiger.

With only half an ear for Grigoriev's response, Rostov stared across the room.

have an ace up your sleeve

have an axe to grind

have an easy time (of it)

She hasn't had an easy time of it since Jack left.

Hu did not have an easy time of it at first.

have an eye/a good eye for sth

Greene has an eye for detail.

Confidence men always have an eye for extra exits.

She says women have an eye for minutiae, they see the curtain hasn't been drawn or the untied shoelace.

They also have an eye for a catchy phrase.

have an idea (that)

But whenever I have an idea , I need to act on it as soon as possible.

I have an idea of her.

Now that we have an idea how hyperinflation gets started we can look at the causes of run-of-the-mill inflation.

Some have ideas for lyrical language.

This is because I have ideas .

We can have ideas of things we have not experienced.

We need to have an idea of what perceptions we are triggering. 141 selling Selling is one stage further than communication.

We write the first two chapters together so we have an idea of the characters.

have an off day

His work isn't usually this bad - he must have had an off day .

They must now get a result against free scoring Glenavon next Saturday and hope Bangor have an off day at Comrades.

You will have off days when you are tired or a bit under the weather.

in a good/an ill/a bad humour

in the blink of an eye

A full volley will rip through the toughest regiment causing immense casualties in the blink of an eye.

He went from frozen stillness to liquid and menacing movement in the blink of an eye.

He would be up and after them in the blink of an eye.

How often does it lose a week's work in the blink of an eye?

I had read somewhere that all the greatest discoveries had been made in the blink of an eye.

It was the uncertainty, the thought that all my happiness could be smashed in the blink of an eye.

in the twinkling of an eye

But in the supernatural universe the Great Battle was won in the twinkling of an eye.

But stop pushing me, stop expecting me to change in the twinkling of an eye.

it's an ill wind (that blows nobody any good)

keep an eye on sth/sb

But they can still learn a remarkable amount by keeping an eye on the east.

He said Kaczynski would keep an eye on his property.

I decided that I would keep an eye on Tom after that.

Mark: No, but the doctor is keeping an eye on her.&.

Meanwhile we shall keep an eye on him.

The doctor thought it best if she checked into a small, private facility where he could keep an eye on her.

Those with Internet access should keep an eye on a series of Usenet discussion groups that cater to Windows 95 issues.

You keep an eye on her, and me or Nanny Ogg will drop in when we can.

keep an eye open/out (for sb/sth)

Always keeping an eye out in case of thieves.

And we had to keep an eye open for police patrols.

For months, he kept an eye out.

He will keep an eye out, but he can not promise anything.

Male speaker All you got to do is keep an eye open and watch the break lights.

Though he works hard with all the kids, he keeps an eye out for the special ones.

Valueoriented consumers should keep an eye out for the name FabreMontmayou.

keep your/an ear to the ground

I haven't heard any more news, but I'll keep my ear to the ground.

keep/have one eye/half an eye on sb/sth

kill time/an hour etc

lay an egg

The first episode of the series laid an egg .

A few species laid eggs beneath mounds of rotten vegetation that warmed as it decayed.

Adults grow to varying sizes, depending on food available, and lay eggs in late summer.

Female brush turkeys visit the males' mounds, lay eggs in them, and depart.

Gravid female fig wasps enter figs, lay eggs and die.

In turn the later reptiles could diversify on land when they could lay eggs away from a watery environment.

The wasp lays eggs inside the eggs laid by the whitefly, thereby destroying the whitefly eggs.

These mate, fly away and the females find new plants to lay eggs on.

Within it, they copulate and lay eggs .

lend an ear

like an oven

I wish they'd turn off the heat. It's like an oven in here.

It's like an oven in here. Let's open some windows.

The heat of the day made the gymnasium feel like an oven .

Makes it like an oven , spoiling the negatives.

The room is like an oven already.

make an example of sb

But because of the publicity they had to make an example of Corey.

By making an example of Holy Trinity he could punish his Jesuit adversaries and demonstrate his orthodoxy in a single swoop.

Campbell believed he could strengthen his hand by making an example of a council member in order to demonstrate where power lay.

Canine, on the other hand, was strongly in favor of making an example of Petersen.

He had to make an example of the old man's insubordination, and make others fear to follow in his footsteps.

He makes examples of a few to scare the rest.

I think they wanted to make an example of me.

If muggers can be deterred by punitive sentencing, then some of them must be made an example of.

make an exhibition of yourself

Sam got drunk and made an exhibition of himself as usual.

Even the mouse and the cynic are constantly making an exhibition of themselves.

I didn't want you making an exhibition of yourself.

It would be dreadful if one ran out while the children were present and she made an exhibition of herself by screaming!

Somehow or other he must surely be making an exhibition of himself.

make an honest woman (out) of sb

If dishonoured her, must then make an honest woman of her?

make an issue (out) of sth

There's nothing wrong with your hair, so stop making an issue out of it.

For example, the government might make an issue of 100,000 ninety-one-day bills, each at a discount of 1,000.

He would make an issue of his right to certain beliefs.

However, do not make an issue of refusing a drink.

I have not chosen to make an issue of such distinctions here.

The secretary of state occasionally complains in public about this; no other official makes an issue of it.

Try not to make an issue of it, Dubner said.

make your/an entrance

The hero doesn't make his entrance until Act II, Scene 2.

With her long fur coat, she always made a dramatic entrance .

Dominic used to love making an entrance .

Drunk or crazy, the tall man had made an entrance worthy of Henry Irving.

Frankie tells the audience how the Producers had wanted him to make an entrance by sliding down a fireman's pole!

With the separation and distinction, light and life can make an entrance .

make/turn sth into an art form

Ronald Reagan turned it into an art form.

To avoid simultaneous borrowing and depositing you should monitor how accurate your forecasting is, without turning this into an art form.

meet with an accident

You're going to meet with an accident, Mr Chan, and so is your son.

not an ounce of fat (on sb)

He was surprised, there was not an ounce of fat on him, but he had shed five pounds.

Under their chestnut coats there was not an ounce of fat and their muscles moved without effort.

not bat an eye/eyelid

He used to tell the worst lies without batting an eye.

not give/budge an inch

And even with his size he didn't know what to do with Braden standing over him and not giving an inch .

I was just a novice and he was fairly frightening, not giving an inch until he had sounded you out.

Once on the ground again she tried pulling the horse, but still it would not budge an inch .

not one/an iota

It was none of her business and it mattered to her not one iota .

There is not an iota of evidence that such standardised testing has improved education anywhere in the world.

We have heard not one iota of evidence or heard any defense the suspect may have in this case.

of an evening/of a weekend etc

on an even keel

Confusion seems to reign in many areas of your life at present, so try to get on an even keel .

I was supposed to be a caretaker, charged with setting the branch back on an even keel .

In Chapter 11, companies' management usually remains in place while the company tries to get back on an even keel .

So when we got up here, I was really enjoying sort of keeping things on an even keel at home.

That Nigel was on an even keel again was a double comfort.

Then maybe they are on an even keel .

These two kept her on an even keel .

on equal terms/on an equal footing

open an account

A similar procedure is followed for all other open accounts.

Instead, they buy these items on open account from their suppliers on whatever credit terms are available.

Now such sales are on open account and paid mainly by cheque.

Only £1 is needed to open an account.

Only those people who live near by are allowed to open accounts.

Our friend Joan strolls into the bank and plops down $ 100 to open an account.

Roosevelt Principal Mike Price opened an account, and the checks went directly to the bank.

To open an account, children need just £1.

owe sb an explanation/apology

At the same time I felt I was owed an explanation.

At the very least a clear case is owed a clear explanation if it is rejected.

I guess I owe her an apology.

I think these people who said those hateful things about him owe him an apology.

I think you owe an apology to Clegg.

In light of this, do you feel you owe the world an apology?

Of course, a decision not to have children is a legitimate choice, and whoever makes it owes no explanation.

You owe him an apology for misjudging him and suspecting his motives at every turn.

pay/settle an old score

Oh, I heard plenty of rumours, but they were nearly all based on settling old scores.

There was no place like the thick of battle for settling an old score.

With the championship having been decided, this was likely to be their last chance to settle old scores.

plant an idea/doubt/suspicion (in sb's mind)

Their conversation had planted doubts in Dennis' mind about the partnership.

put a figure on it/give an exact figure

put a stop/an end to sth

It's time the community worked together to put an end to the violence.

Her old feeling for him had returned; she was determined to put an end to his sufferings and bring him home.

It was Gloucester who chose to put an end to it.

Judge Frossard, it seems, wanted to put an end to the inertia.

Swiftly introduce new legislation to put an end to the trauma and misery suffered by child witnesses in court proceedings.

That put an end to any stunt deemed risky, Weiss says.

This trite communication put an end to Emma's overtures and she began to fade from their lives.

Thus the event of her puberty puts an end to her pure childhood.

To put an end to such exalted talk, I asked Mendl to tell me about Spats-making machinery.

put down a motion/an amendment

put in an appearance

A few more attempts convinced him that nobody was going to put in an appearance.

He always had their maid squeeze some fresh juice when Lorna Lewis was scheduled to put in an appearance.

He wondered what time Howarth usually put in an appearance.

Napkins and old cigarette packets did not, sadly, put in an appearance.

Others, semi-sightseers, put in an appearance.

She always tried to put in an appearance at the funerals of patients who had the misfortune to die.

There was an hour yet before she need put in an appearance in the restaurant for the evening meal.

We tour a lot in late winter and early spring, too, when sleet likes to put in an appearance.

put in an appearance/make an appearance

realize an asset

receive an injury/blow

Agnes went to pick her up and received a blow from an elbow that sent her across the room.

As they straighten, curve the spine and pull in the tummy, as if you have just received a blow.

Ben stood transfixed with disbelief, his mouth open, as if he had received a blow across it.

For his outspokenness, he received a blow to the skull which sent him reeling.

He went down to protest and himself began to receive blows.

His adventure began during a practice game against the Minnesota Vikings when he received a blow to the head.

It was almost as if I had received a blow to the heart.

Wilson received an injury in the third minute, but that didn't hamper his stand on the game.

renege on an agreement/deal/promise etc

Amid an increasingly hostile war of words, Finley has criticized Racicot for reneging on a promise to cooperate with federal authorities.

They had been bitten too often by Congress reneging on agreements negotiated in good faith by the White House.

rule sb with an iron fist/hand

scramble an egg

He makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches and scrambled eggs because of his fearless use of butter.

I am the one scrambling eggs for dinner and sitting on porches with friends while the kids roam the neighborhood on bikes.

Instant scrambled eggs, frozen fried eggs, canned eggnog, and many other convenient egg foods are being market tested.

Precooked and frozen scrambled eggs with sausage are one combination of ready-to-eat breakfasts being marketed.

The year before he'd had scrambled eggs for Christmas dinner and no presents.

seize a chance/an opportunity/the initiative

serve an apprenticeship

I served an apprenticeship, worked hard and now I am in the wrong and it is not my fault.

When he was older, Taylor did serve an apprenticeship and did work as a laborer and machinist.

sign an agreement/contract/treaty etc

Clients sign contracts to become participants and agree to adhere to a rigorous schedule.

It took more than a month to find and sign a contract with another company to complete the remaining work.

Kiptanui rushed off, saying he was going to make Kimeli sign a contract.

Paup had wanted to sign a contract extension with Green Bay during the 1994 season, but the Packers never approached him.

Pre-season David Campese signed a contract with commercial broadcaster Channel Ten.

The lead police detective signed a contract with a television movie production company.

You must stop your ears whenever you are asked to sign a treaty selling your home.

stay an order/ruling/execution etc

Rivals got a stay order from the courts, though after a backroom deal in mid-March the government got its way.

sth is not an exact science

Opinion polling is hardly an exact science.

Therapy is not an exact science because everyone responds differently.

Diagnosing power in organizations is not an exact science.

The truth is that eating is not an exact science and never will be.

sth is not an exact science

Diagnosing power in organizations is not an exact science .

The truth is that eating is not an exact science and never will be.

tear up an agreement/a contract etc

that is not an option

that's/there's an idea

the germ of an idea/theory/feeling etc

It represents the germ of an idea which someday might explode into a national objective.

the/an anatomy of sth

Elkind's book is an anatomy of one man's discussion with his son about life.

For the first time, we have a chance to examine the anatomy of a secret government operation.

First, the anatomy of an ice dam; how it happens and why.

Her best-known work concerned the anatomy of seedlings.

It is hard to work out the anatomy of the brain.

Many such debatable questions raised by the anatomy of these creatures still await universally agreed answers.

These high rates reflect the anatomy of the cervical spine and the dynamic forces that act on it.

This is now widely accepted, but Mr.X, strangely, never pursued it further with reference to the anatomy of the individual golfer.

the/an incarnation of sth

De Gaulle was perceived and perceived himself as the incarnation of both revolution and restoration.

I can not remember all the incarnations of this place, but the current one is offering up some terrific food.

Once again we are reminded most powerfully of the significance of this Christmas event, the incarnation of the eternal word.

She was the incarnation of everything that had gone amiss in Sylvie's own life.

The Lone Ranger, the incarnation of the individual problem solver, is dead.

Yet the artists engaged in these works were in no mood to present the barbarians as the incarnation of evil forces.

the/an obvious choice

Duncan Sandys was the obvious choice.

Given the nature of the project, Pontus Hulten was an obvious choice to direct the artistic activities of the new Kunsthalle.

Mentheus of Caledor, the obvious choice, was dead.

Most frequently the group had several alternative plants to consider for closure rather than an obvious choice.

No problem, Mr Hinds had said, the obvious choice was Renie LaChance.

Says Ted: My father was the obvious choice.

That they have everybody back, another year bigger, stronger and smarter, makes them the obvious choice.

top an offer/a bid etc

with an eye to (doing) sth

Departments with an eye to the ratings tend to appoint established researchers with proven records, rather than younger, unpublished candidates.

Each side was building its forces with an eye to gaining military supremacy.

He had the personality for it, strong, aggressive and with an eye to a bargain.

He recently shed a number of pounds, which even some friends say he lost with an eye to a national race.

Lord Taylor's main point is to suggest that judges should pass sentence with an eye to the public's expectations.

So she works with an eye to adjusting the Outside world too.

These are also designed with an eye to reassuring those who did well out of the switch from rates to poll tax.

within an ace of (doing) sth

I came within an ace of slapping her around.

won't take no for an answer

work up an appetite/a thirst/a sweat

you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs

you can't teach an old dog new tricks

Longman DOCE5 Extras English vocabulary.      Дополнительный английский словарь Longman DOCE5.