B.E.L.L. Tips – Scuba Diving

B.E.L.L. Tips – Scuba Diving

Issue #70

English Tips for:

Business English Language Learners (B.E.L.L.)

Scuba Diving

Each week, I will send out some handy tips and useful exercises for adults learning to navigate and use the English language. Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends and colleagues.

Learning a language is like scuba diving – a little exciting, a little scary, and diving into the unknown without direction. Some of it is beautiful and sometimes it’s dark, but when you come back to the surface (your comfort area), you feel enlightened by your discoveries.

Reading Tip

Language Level B1

Key Largo, Florida is a well-known scuba diving spot with the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world and plenty of dive shops to teach the beginner or outfit the pro. Practice your reading skills by reading more about scuba diving in Key Largo with this article:


Grammar Tip

Language Level A2

Connotation vs. Denotation

Synonyms can be tricky. Sometimes words have the same literal meaning (the word’s denotation) but suggest different feelings and associations (the word’s connotation). For example, if you want to compliment someone on his recent weight loss, you might say he looks thin or slender. Both thin and slender have positive connotations. You wouldn’t, however, use the word scrawny as a compliment. The word scrawny has a negative connotation and implies a lack of strength.

Choose the word or term with the most positive connotation.

  1. The sales associate was very ______.

    • assertive
    • pushy
  2. We purchased some _______ furniture for the break room.

    • cheap
    • inexpensive
  3. Brett told me about his ______ to increase profits.

    • scheme
    • strategy
  4. We need strong leadership from our _______.

    • politicians
    • elected officials
  5. People say that Peter has a(n) _______ management style.

    • odd
    • strange
    • unique
    • weird

Highlight all of the terms that have a negative connotation.

    • determined
    • ruthless
    • goal-oriented
    • power hungry
    • enterprising
    • stench
    • smell
    • aroma
    • stink
    • bold
    • daring
    • reckless
    • irresponsible
    • confident
    • cocky
    • arrogant
    • conceited
    • argument
    • debate
    • discussion
    • difference of opinion


Language Level B2/C1

  1. Ascent: Rising to the surface when diving; typically at the end of a dive.
  2. Bootie: Scuba gear divers wear with open-heel fins.
  3. Buddy: The person you dive with.
  4. Bottom Time: The length of your dive.
  5. Divemaster: A professional-level scuba diver who has logged at least 60 dives and is trained to assist instructors on dive boats and during certification courses.
  6. Freediving: Diving deep or staying underwater for extended periods of time without an air tank.
  7. Mask Clearing: Removing water that has gotten into your mask.
  8. No Fly/No Fly Time: The recommended timeframe you should wait between your last dive and getting on an airplane.

Flashcards to help you practice these terms.

Weekly Challenge

Language Level C1

Let’s revisit the Subjunctive mood this week:

Rewrite the noun clauses using the subjunctive mood, if necessary.

Example: The city council demanded that the mayor went to the town where the earthquake hit.

The city council demanded that the mayor go to the town where the earthquake hit.

1. It’s important that we should take action against global climate change.

2. If they hadn’t escaped to the sanctuary during the blizzard, they might have died.

3. I advise you to wear a helmet to protect yourself from stalactites.

4. If you rip that paper, you won’t be able to enter the competition tomorrow.

5. Our teacher suggests that we should help people suffering from famine.

6. The lava turns into stone after it cools down.

7. Tom insists that Jane wears a gas mask to protect herself from fumes.

8. The authorities implored that everybody is at home during the lightning storm.

9. Maggie advised that I stayed away from the earthquake crater.

10. The firefighter begs not to find the lost child in the burnt-out building.

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