B.E.L.L. Tips – Word Origins

B.E.L.L. Tips – Word Origins

Issue #65

English Tips for:

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

Word Origins

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.

Have you ever wondered why a water closet (WC) is called a restroom in America and a loo in England? In American English, many different languages and cultures have influenced language because it is a country of immigrants who brought their unique customs and such from their original countries. That’s why America is often referred to as a melting pot and the culture is one that is a fusion of many other cultures.

Funny things to think about…๐Ÿค”

Reading Practice – Level B2

  • Why do Americans park in a driveway but drive on a parkway?
  • Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?
  • Why is it that when you transport something by car, it’s called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it’s called cargo?
  • Why does your nose run and your feet smell?
  • Is there another word for synonym?


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Grammar Tip

Language Level C1

Used to/Get used to/Be used to

This video explains when to use three similar phrases:

video previewโ€‹

Complete the sentences with used to/Get used to/Be used to:

  1. When my friends and I were younger, we ______ go rafting every summer. (go)
  2. I give three lectures per day. I __________ so much so that I have even gotten a sore throat. (not speak)
  3. I _______sweets, but now I can eat tons of them. (not like)
  4. Monique has never worn high heels, but since she started working as a model, she has to __________ wearing them. (wear)
  5. My son is __________ to school, so he is happy every morning when we take him there. (go)
  6. We _________more often before you changed jobs. You are so busy now. (meet)
  7. Darla has to ____________ her parents around the house more because they are getting older. (help)


Reading Tip

Reading Practice – Level C1

Americans use English differently than in other parts of the world, and they often have uniquely American phrases. Read more about it here: 20 Things Only Americans Sayโ€‹



All language levels

Use these flashcards to understand and study the parts of a dictionary entry: Dictionary Vocabularyโ€‹


Weekly Challenge

What do you do when you can’t find the right words to express what you want to say? You make it up! At least, that’s what Shakespeare did.

For this week’s challenge, here is an extra reading assignment on the words that Shakespeare invented. โ€‹

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