Thursday, 20 September 2018

Homework 2017-2018

You can do the exercises in Units 1-20


In this blog you will find extra material to improve your English. 

General School Information
Bibliography C2
Unit 1         1.1        1.2         1.3       Exam folder 1
Unit 2         2.1        2.2         2.3       Writing folder 1
Unit 3         3.1        3.2         3.3       Exam folder 2
Unit 4         4.1        4.2         4.3       Writing folder 2     Revision U 1-4
Unit 5         5.1        5.2         5.3       Exam folder 3 
Unit 6         6.1        6.2         6.3       Writing folder 3
Unit 7         7.1        7.2         7.3       Exam folder 4
Unit 8         8.1        8.2         8.3       Writing folder 4     Revision U 5-8
Unit 9         9.1        9.2         9.3       Exam folder 5
Unit 10       10.1      10.2      10.3       Writing folder 5
Unit 11       11.1      11.2      11.3       Exam folder 6
Unit 12       12.1      12.2      12.3       Writing folder 6     Revision U 9-12
Unit 13       13.1      13.2      13.3       Exam folder 7
Unit 14       14.1      14.2      14.3       Writing folder 7
Unit 15       15.1      15.2      15.3       Exam folder 8
Unit 16       16.1      16.2      16.3       Writing folder 8     Revision U 13-16
Unit 17       17.1      17.2      17.3       Exam folder 9
Unit 18       18.1      18.2      18.3       Writing folder 9
Unit 19       19.1      19.2      19.3       Exam folder 10
Unit 20       20.1      20.2      20.3       Writing folder 10   Revision U 17-20

Get ready for the speaking exam

English C2 Blog Posts  

1. Writing and presentation: 

Personal Profile: My Life in 5 Minutes  (200 words) (deadline: 11 Oct)
Write a personal profile for your new English class  
You will find useful language here. And here:
Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking
Present it to the class without reading

Speaking: write a five-minute presentation (200 words). Use this Guide. (deadline: 18 Oct).
Topic: Changes and Expectations . Get your ideas here:

Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking

Objective Proficiency p.12. Changes. Speaking 

Objective Proficiency p 16. Expectations. Extra Speaking

3. Writing:
An essay (200 words) (deadline 30 Oct)
Write a balanced discussion ( essay ) on the following theme: "Do people always live up to our expectations? What is the right thing to do? And is it what is right always fair?" You can also get some ideas on this topic here.

You can get more information on writing essays on pages 22 &23, 56 & 57, here and here. You will find useful language, here, here , here , here  and here  

Here you have other ideas for a balanced discussion (discursive essay):  "The internet poses one of the greatest threats to our existence"
 "The process, the necessity and the inevitability of major political, cultural, and social change". You can also get some ideas on this topic in Unit 1 and on this website
Speaking: write a five-minute presentation (200 words). Use this Guide. (deadline: 6 Nov).
Topic: Travel and Work. Get your ideas here:

Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 16. Travel. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 17. Living In the Lap of Luxury Vs Living Rough in One Snapshot. Extra Speaking 

Objective Proficiency p 157. Immigration. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 21. Work. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 128. Work. Extra Speaking

5.1 Writing:
A review (200 words) (deadline 15 Nov)
An international magazine wants readers to contribute writing a review about a musical, opera, concert or music event they have recently been to. You can get information on writing reviews on pages 38 & 39. You can find some useful vocabulary about the topic of music here. Finally, you can find useful language for writing here. 

Here you can find useful language for reviews.

5.2 Writing
A 100-Word Short Story (100 words) (deadline 15 Nov)
Not a word more, not a word less: Can YOU write a 100-word short story? Enter this competition where the winner will receive £250 in book tokens.


TO ENTER, send your work to Entries must be received by midnight on Friday, November 17, 2017. Entries must run to exactly 100 words, excluding the title. The top ten stories will be published in The Mail on Sunday and the winner will receive £250 in book tokens. 
Find out more here

6. Speaking: write a five-minute presentation (200 words). Use this Guide. (deadline: 22 Nov).
Topic: Anecdotes, the animal world, and the weather and climate change. Get your ideas here:

Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 24. Guess What! Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 28. Feel Hard Done By

Objective Proficiency p 24. Animals. Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 24. The Weather and Climate Change. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 26. How Does the Weather Affect Your Mood? Speaking 

Objective Proficiency p 112. The Environment. Extra Speaking

7. Writing:
A Narrative:
write a narrative for a school contest entitled The Story behind the Picture. Choose a photo and write a story related to the photo. The winners of this contest will win a prize (a book voucher). (Calibri 12. 200 words). Photo size: 10 x 15 cm. (Deadline 29 Nov)

8. Writing
An essay
(200 words) (deadline 11 Dec) Write an essay in response to an article on ethical treatment of animals.
This is an excerpt from the article:

  • Humans are superior, non-human animals are inferior. Animals were put here as the playthings of humans, for us to do with them what we want. We are able to farm them and control them, we can change their genetics and what they look like, animals have no minds of their own. We eat them, race them and catch them for sport. We even refer to undesirable human behaviour as animal. In this world you either harm or you are harmed. God gave humans the ability to harm, so we do. Animals are here for us to exploit. Maiming and injuring an animal is no different to eating it.

Write your discursive essay. (Objective Proficiency p 56). 
You will get more ideas on how to write an essay on pages 22 &23, 56 & 57  and here. You will find useful language, here, here , here , here  and here
You  can also get some ideas and vocabulary on this topic here

Other ideas for writing a discursive essay:
"Do we as a society take music as seriously as we should?" You can also get some ideas and vocabulary on this topic here .

Speaking: write a five-minute presentation (200 words). Use this Guide. (deadline: 18 Dec).
Topic: Crime and Punishment, feelings and emotions. Get your ideas here:

Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 26. Crime and Punishment. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 28. Feelings and Emotions. Extra Speaking

10. Writing
A problem-solution essay (200 words) (deadline 10 Jan): find the details HERE

Speaking: write a five-minute presentation (200 words). Use this Guide. (deadline: 22 Jan).
Topic: Food and health, shopping and consumerism . Get your ideas here:

Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 36. Food. Extra Vocabulary

Objective Proficiency p 36. Food. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 36. Can We Eat Our Way Out Of Climate Change? Extra Listening

Objective Proficiency p 120. Health. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 43. Just For the Lulz. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 47. Advertising and Shopping. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 76. Clothes. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 128. The Economy. Extra Speaking

12. Writing: 
A proposal (200 words) (deadline 7 Feb)
Your local English radio has started a campaign to try to improve your town. It has invited listeners to send in formal proposals on ways of improving it; these will be considered in a panel discussion on air, voted on by listeners, and the best one sent to the council.
Write your proposal identifying the main problems in your town and making formal recommendations for improving it, with reasons. You can find useful vocabulary to talk about cities here.
More information on writing proposals:

Here you can see examples of how to write proposals. 
Finally, you can find useful language for writing here

Another idea for a proposal: find the details here

13. Speaking: write a five-minute presentation (200 words). Use this Guide. (deadline: 14 Feb).
Topic: Music, art and entertainment. Get your ideas here:

Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 55. Music. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 59. Art or Not Art. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 63. Art and Sight. Extra Speaking 

14. Writing: 
An article (200 words) (deadline: 21 Feb)
An English-language newspaper is inviting readers to contribute to a series of articles about globalisation. You decide to write an article explaining your personal views on this topic. 

Get some ideas here: 
Objective Proficiency p 84. Languages and Globalisation. Extra Speaking  
Objective Proficiency p 17. Living In the Lap of Luxury Vs Living Rough in One Snapshot. Extra Speaking
BBC - GCSE Bitesize: What is globalisation? 
How the World Was Won: The Americanization of Everywhere 
Simon Anholt interview: ‘There is only one global superpower: public opinion’

To see how to write articles click here and also here. You can also get some ideas on how to write articles on pages 90, 91, 158, 159, 174 & 175. Finally, you can find useful language for writing here. 

Another idea for writing an article. 
Find the details here.  

15. Speaking:

Make a Presentation (200 words) (deadline: Feb)  
Give a 5 minute presentation on one of the curriculum topics

30 Oct: tell your teacher the topic
Feb: give the presentation  

Useful language:

Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking

16. Writing: 
A report (200 words) (deadline 7 Mar)
You work for a company that needs to adapt to the current market needs and trends. Your manager has asked you to write a report about how the Millennial generation is fundamentally changing our culture of consumption and what the company can do to meet their needs and be highly profitable.  You can get some ideas here.
You can get information on writing reports on pages 106 & 107. Finally, you can find useful language for writing a report here, here and here

Another idea for writing a report:
You work for the tourist office in your area. Your manager has asked you to write a report in English on the places that are popular with tourists who are interested in art. You should briefly describe the most popular places. Your report should also recommend two or three improvements that would enhance the tourists' experience and explain why these would attract even more visitors. You can find useful vocabulary to talk about art here.

Speaking: write a five-minute presentation (200 words). Use this Guide. (deadline: 14 Mar).
Topic: Housing. Get your ideas here:

Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 70. Digital Human: Home. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 70. Homes. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 71. City Living. Extra Speaking

18. Writing: 
Write a letter (200 words) (deadline: 21 March)
You are concerned about the food that is given to children at schools today. You decide to write a letter of complaint to the Department of Education outlining your concerns for school food today and the actions you think need to be taken by governments to ensure our children continue to get the great all round food education they need to feed themselves better in the future and to help reduce the crippling rise in obesity.
You can get more information on writing letters on pages 124 & 125. You will also find a letter writing guide here and here . You can find useful language here, here: Formal letters, here:  How to write.  and here.
You can get some ideas on the topic here: 
Objective Proficiency p 124. Tackling the Obesity Problem. Extra Listening
Objective Proficiency p 123. Sweet Tooth Gone Bad: Why 22 Teaspoons Of Sugar Per Day Is Risky. Extra Listening 
Objective Proficiency p 120. Why Calories Count. Extra Listening 
Objective Proficiency p 120. Diet and Exercise. Extra Vocabulary 
Objective Proficiency p 120.For Mind And Body: Study Finds Mediterranean Diet Boosts Both . Extra Listening  
Objective Proficiency p 120. Obesity on the Rise. Extra Listening  
Objective Proficiency p 120. Childhood Obesity. Extra Listening 
Objective Proficiency p 120. Me and My Shadow. Extra Listening 
Objective Proficiency p 120. Weight Bias at Home and School . Extra Listening

Another idea for writing a formal letter:
You have read an article that appeared on the NPR website entitled "Will We 'Fix' The Weather? Yes. Should We Fix The Weather? Hmmm". You decide to write a letter to the writer of the article, , commenting on the views expressed and giving your own opinions. Finally, you can get some ideas for your response in the comments readers have left below the article

19. Speaking: write a five-minute presentation (200 words). Use this Guide. (deadline: 11 Apr).
Topic:  Education; languages and globalization; science and technology. Get your ideas here:

Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 79.The Educators: Daisy Christodoulou. Extra Listening and Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 79. Education. Speaking 

Objective Proficiency p 84. Languages and Globalisation. Extra Speaking 

Objective Proficiency p 90. Science and Technology. Extra Speaking.

Objective Proficiency p 109. Travel. Extra Speaking

20. Writing: 
Write a review (200 words)(deadline: 18 April)
Write a review of two books you have read this year.   Useful language. You can also find some more useful language on pages 140 and 141. (Deadlines: before 30 Oct tell your teacher the book you are going to read. In April hand in your review).  Click here for a list of readers and more instructions for this assignment. 

21. Speaking: write a five-minute presentation (200 words). Use this Guide. (deadline: 25 Apr).
Topic: Relationships, politics . Get your ideas here:

Speakout Advanced p 63. Monologue. Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 92. Relationships. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 96. Living Alone. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 156. Politics. Extra Speaking

Objective Proficiency p 152. Major Events and the Most Relevant People. Extra Speaking

22. Writing:
Write an article. (200 words) (deadline: 2 May)
Find the details here: Objective Proficiency p 158. Writing an Article

23. Writing:
Last assignment:
Reflection: write a letter to your teacher
(150 words)(deadline 14 May)
We are approaching the end of the academic year. You decide to write a letter to your teacher giving him some feedback about the course. In your reflection you can include aspects of the course that you loved or loathed; what you found useful or useless; suggestions for the future and any other aspect you may consider worth pointing out in order to improve the teaching and learning process of this course.
You will find a letter writing guide here and here . You can find useful language here.
Formal letters.
How to write. 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Interesting vocabulary for the C2 level

scourge: /skɜːdʒ/ (N)
1. scourge (of somebody/something) (formal) a person or thing that causes trouble or suffering. E.g. the scourge of war/disease/poverty. Inflation was the scourge of the 1970s.
2. a whip used to punish people in the past.

scourge: (V)
1. scourge somebody (literary) to cause trouble or suffering to somebody. E.g. He lay awake, scourged by his conscience.
2. scourge somebody (old use) to hit somebody with a whip.

accrue: /əˈkruː/
1. to increase or accumulate over a period of time. E.g. Interest will accrue if you keep your money in a savings account. accrue (to somebody) (from something) economic benefits accruing to the country from tourism. Interest will accrue on the account at a rate of seven percent.Little benefit will accrue to the city (= it will receive little benefit) from the new transport links. Common sense that accrues with experience. I have accrued 15 days of sick leave. How has he accrued all that power?
2. accrue something to allow a sum of money or debts to grow over a period of time. Accumulate. E.g. The firm had accrued debts of over $6m.

bring something to the fore to make something become noticed by people.

come to the fore (British English also be to the fore, North American English also be at the fore)
to be/become important and noticed by people; to play an important part. E.g. The problem has come to the fore again in recent months. She has always been to the fore at moments of crisis.

usurer: /ˈjuːʒərə(r)/ a person who lends money to people at unfairly high rates of interest. E.g. The nation remains at the mercy of banking usurers.

a character in Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice. He is a Jewish moneylender who demands a pound of flesh from somebody who cannot pay back the money that he borrowed. Although the play shows him as a person who is treated badly as well as a person who treats others badly, his name is sometimes used in a negative way to describe people who lend money at very high rates of interest. E.g. If only I had know he was such a Shylock.

give somebody/get a roasting
to criticize somebody or be criticized in an angry way. E.g. I got a roasting from Mum for being back late.
/ˈɡruːəlɪŋ/ very difficult and tiring, needing great effort for a long time. E.g. a gruelling journey/schedule/task. I've had a gruelling day.  

/ kənˈfaʊnd/ somebody/something: to prove somebody/something wrong. E.g. To confound expectations. She confounded her critics and proved she could do the job. Latest figures from Wall Street continue to confound analysts’ expectations of a fall in share prices.

very busy; full of activity. E.g. to lead a hectic life. A hectic schedule. Today was too hectic for me.

/ˈpeɪnzteɪkɪŋ/needing a lot of care, effort and attention to detail. E.g. he's terribly painstaking about his work Sp. no escatima esfuerzos en su trabajo.  Painstaking research Sp. concienzudo. The event had been planned with painstaking attention to detail.

/ˈmiːniəl/ (of work) not skilled or important, and often boring or badly paid. E.g. menial jobs/ work. Menial tasks like cleaning the floor. 

/ˈsɪnɪkjʊə(r)/ a ​paid ​position that involves little or no ​work. E.g. I never ​thought of my ​job as a sinecure.

/ˈkʊʃi/ very easy and pleasant; needing little or no effort. E.g. a cushy job

a cushy number
(British English) an easy job; a pleasant situation that other people would like. E.g. It’s all right for him—he’s got a very cushy number.

knuckle down (to something) /ˈnʌkl/
(informal) to begin to work hard at something. Get down to. E.g. I'm going to have to knuckle down to some serious study.
knuckle: (N) any of the joints in the fingers, especially those connecting the fingers to the rest of the hand.

get down to something  
to begin to do something; to give serious attention to something. E.g. Let's get down to business. I like to get down to work by 9. get down to doing something It's time I got down to thinking about that essay. 

pull your socks up
(British English, informal) to try to improve your performance, work, behaviour, etc. You're going to have to pull your socks

put your best foot forward
to make a great effort to do something, especially if it is difficult or you are feeling tired. E.g. You really need to put your best foot forward in the interview if you want to get this job. When you apply for a job, you should always put your best foot forward. I try to put my best foot forward whenever I meet someone for the first time.

using or involving every possible effort and done in a very determined way. E.g. all-out war. an all-out attack on the opposition. We made an all-out effort to get the project finished on time. Going all out to win. an all-out sprint.

go the extra mile (for somebody/something)
to make a special effort to achieve something, help somebody, etc. To go beyond what is necessary or expected in order to please someone, achieve something, or get something done correctly. E.g. I have to say, our lawyer really went the extra mile in making sure every aspect of our case was watertight. Suzy always goes the extra mile to make my birthday special. I like doing business with that company. They always go the extra mile. My teacher goes the extra mile to help

go to great lengths
to try very hard to achieve something. E.g. Some people go to great lengths to make their homes attractive. He'll go to any lengths to get what he wants. We went to great lengths to ensure that this film was historically accurate. I appreciate that the tutor went to great lengths to make sure I understood the assignment.

God helps those who help themselves (saying) ​said to show you believe that if you make an effort to achieve something, you will be successful. E.g. A: "I'm really praying hard for an A on my exam." B: "You'd better start studying. God helps those who help themselves."

strive, strove, striven (also strive, strived, strived)
to try very hard to achieve something. E.g. strive (for something) We encourage all members to strive for the highest standards. We strive for perfection but sometimes have to accept something less. strive (against something) striving against corruption strive to do something Newspaper editors all strive to be first with a story. She strove to find a solution that was acceptable to all. Mr Roe has kindled expectations that he must now strive to live up to. We must strive to narrow the gap between rich and poor. We are constantly striving to improve our service.

strain every nerve
to make the greatest possible effort. E.g. She's straining every nerve to get the work finished on time.

heuristic /hjuˈrɪstɪk/ teaching or education encourages you to learn by discovering things for yourself. Encouraging a person to learn, discover, or solve problems on his or her own, as by experimenting, evaluating possible answers or solutions, or by trial and error. E.g. a ‘hands-on’ or interactive heuristic approach to learning. a heuristic teaching method.

keep somebody on their toes
to make sure that somebody is ready to deal with anything that might happen by doing things that they are not expecting. to make someone concentrate so that they are ready to deal with anything that might happen. If you say that someone or something keeps you on your toes, you mean that they cause you to remain alert and ready for anything that might happen.  E.g. Surprise visits help to keep the staff on their toes. Regular surprise visits help to keep the staff on their toes. This job really keeps me on my toes. He keeps changing the rules, just to keep us on our toes. His fiery campaign rhetoric has kept opposition parties on their toes for months. With a test every Friday, she keeps her students on their toes.

knee-deep: /ˌniː ˈdiːp/
up to your knees. E.g. The snow was knee-deep in places.  knee-deep in mud. knee-deep in snow. knee-deep in water. knee-deep in leaves.
(figurative) I was knee-deep in work.

otherworldly: /ˌʌðə ˈwɜːldli/
concerned with spiritual thoughts and ideas rather than with ordinary life. E.g. There was an other-worldly quality to her performance that night.

besmirch somebody/something (formal) to damage the opinion that people have of somebody/something. Sully. E.g. He had deliberately set out to besmirch her reputation.

sully: /ˈsʌli/
1. sully something to spoil or reduce the value of something. E.g. By cheating they have sullied the good name of their country.
2. sully something to make something dirty. E.g. She wondered if she dared risk sullying the gleaming sink.

spearhead: /ˈspɪəhed/
spearhead something (V) to begin an activity or lead an attack against somebody/something. E.g. He is spearheading a campaign for a new stadium in the town. British troops spearheaded the invasion. Joe Walker will be spearheading our new marketing initiative.

spearhead: (N)
a person or group that begins an activity or leads an attack against somebody/something. E.g. American troops formed the spearhead of the attack.

inconspicuous: /ˌɪnkənˈspɪkjuəs/ not attracting attention; not easy to notice. Opp conspicuous. E.g. She tried to look as inconspicuous as possible. These small birds have a dull brown coat which makes them inconspicuous.

inconspicuously: /ˌɪnkənˈspɪkjuəsli/
in a way that does not attract attention or is not easily noticed. E.g. to stay inconspicuously in the background.

conspicuous:/kənˈspɪkjuəs/ easy to see or notice; likely to attract attention. E.g. Mary's red hair always made her conspicuous at school. I felt very conspicuous in my new car. The advertisements were all posted in a conspicuous place. The event was a conspicuous success (= a very great one). Bay windows are a conspicuous feature of his architecture.

give something a whirl
(informal) to try something to see if you like it or can do it. E.g. I’m not sure I’ll like skiing, but I’ll give it a whirl.

statistic: /stəˈtɪstɪk/
1. statistics (informal stats) [plural] a collection of information shown in numbers. E.g. crime/unemployment, etc. statistics. According to official statistics the disease killed over 500 people. Statistics show that far more people are able to ride a bicycle than can drive a car. These statistics are misleading.
2. (informal stat) [countable] a piece of information shown in numbers. E.g. An important statistic is that 94 per cent of crime relates to property. I felt I was no longer being treated as a person but as a statistic.
vital statistics:
figures that show the number of births and deaths in a country.

take a dim view of somebody/something
to disapprove of somebody/something; to not have a good opinion of somebody/something. E.g. She took a dim view of my suggestion.

cut and dried: decided in a way that cannot be changed or argued about. E.g. The inquiry is by no means cut and dried.

call something off: to cancel something; to decide that something will not happen. E.g. to call off a deal/trip/strike. They have called off their engagement (= decided not to get married). The game was called off because of bad weather.  Let's Call the Whole Thing Off (means to completely end it all. The title of the light-hearted duet Let's Call the Whole Thing Off, written by George and Ira Gershwin, refers to breaking up a relationship. The couple singing is always disagreeing and arguing. But by the end, they realize that they can’t live without each other and agree to disagree!)

browbeat somebody (into doing something) to frighten or threaten somebody in order to make them do something. Intimidate. E.g. They were browbeaten into accepting the offer. The witness was being browbeaten under cross-examination. There was no way this man was going to browbeat her.

clock in/on
(British English) (North American English punch in)
to record the time at which you arrive at work, especially by putting a card into a machine. E.g. Staff should clock in on arrival. I clock on at 8 a.m.

veracious: /vəˈreɪ.ʃəs/ honest and not telling or containing any lies. E.g. a veracious and trustworthy historian.
unveracious: 1.(of a person) not veracious; not tending to speak the truth; untruthful.
2.not veracious; untrue; inaccurate

deranged: /dɪˈreɪndʒd/
unable to behave and think normally, especially because of mental illness. Sp. demente. E.g. mentally deranged. a deranged attacker. At first I thought he was deranged. The plan seemed to be the product of a deranged mind.

begrudgingly: /bɪˈɡrʌdʒɪŋli/ (also grudgingly /ˈɡrʌdʒɪŋli/)
in a way that is given or done unwillingly. Reluctantly. E.g. She grudgingly admitted that I was right.

outlandish: /aʊtˈlændɪʃ/ strange or extremely unusual. Bizarre. Sp. extraño. E.g. outlandish costumes/ideas. As the show progressed, it got ever more outlandish. My outlandish (estrafalario, extravagante) uncle wears shoes to bed.

cumbersome: /ˈkʌmbəsəm/
1. large and heavy; difficult to carry. Bulky. E.g. cumbersome machinery. Rachel dragged the cumbersome suitcase across the room.
2. slow and complicated cumbersome legal procedures. E.g. Getting a building permit is sometimes a cumbersome process. cumbersome legal procedures
3. (of words or phrases) long or complicated. E.g. The organization changed its cumbersome title to something easier to remember.

awkward: /ˈɔːkwəd/
1. making you feel embarrassed. E.g. There was an awkward silence. I felt awkward because they obviously wanted to be alone.
2. difficult to deal with. E.g. Don't ask awkward questions. You've put me in an awkward position. an awkward customer (= a person who is difficult to deal with) Please don't be awkward about letting him come. It makes things awkward for everyone when you behave like that.
3. not convenient. Inconvenient. E.g. Have I come at an awkward time?
4. difficult or dangerous because of its shape or design. E.g. This box is very awkward for one person to carry. This tool will reach into awkward corners, such as under kitchen units.
5. not moving in an easy way; not comfortable. E.g. He tried to dance, but he was too clumsy and awkward. I must have slept in an awkward position—I'm aching all over.

on hand
available, especially to help. E.g. The emergency services were on hand with medical advice. We will be on hand to answer any questions.

(be/hang/lie) in the balance
if the future of something/somebody, or the result of something is/hangs in the balance, it is uncertain. E.g. The long-term future of the space programme hangs in the balance. Tom’s life hung in the balance for two weeks as he lay in a coma. It is no exaggeration to say that the European Union's future lies in the balance.

at a loss confused and not knowing what to say or do
. E.g.  His comments left me at a loss for words. He hesitated and briefly appeared at a loss for words. I'm at a loss what to do next.  I was at a loss to understand what had happened. "I am at a loss to see how this happened," he said.  She became popular, and was at a loss to know why.

loss: money that has been lost by a business or an organization. E.g. The company has announced net losses of $1.5 million. We made a loss on (= lost money on) the deal. Run/operate at a loss. We are now operating at a loss.  If my business is running at a loss, can I reduce employee wages?

at somebody's beck and call always ready to obey somebody's orders. Continually at someone's disposal to carry out his wishes. E.g. She is constantly at the beck and call of her invalid father. Don't expect to have me at your beck and call.
Beck:  A gesture requesting attention, such as a nod or wave.
Beckon: to give somebody a signal using your finger or hand, especially to tell them to move nearer or to follow you. Sp. llamar con un gesto. E.g. He beckoned to the waiter to bring the bill. The boss beckoned him into her office. She beckoned him to come and join them.

up for grabs (informal) available for anyone who is interested. If something is up for grabs, it is available and many people are trying to get it or win it. E.g. There are £25000 worth of prizes up for grabs in our competition!  We've got $1000 up for grabs in our new quiz. All you have to do is call this number. The state's senate seat will be up for grabs in the next election.

(be) up in arms (about/over something) (informal) to be very angry about something and ready to protest strongly about it. E.g. Local businessmen are up in arms over the new parking regulations which will make shopping very inconvenient for customers. The entire population is up in arms. They are up in arms, ready to fight. Wally was up in arms about the bill for the broken window. I am really up in arms about what happened.

up the creek (without a paddle) (informal) in a difficult or bad situation. In trouble. E.g. I was really up the creek without my car. If we don't get this contract, we're up the creek! If any more people resign, we'll be really up the creek. If the police raided us I’d be up the creek. I'm sort of up the creek and don't know what to do. You are up a creek! You got yourself into it, so get yourself out.

by degrees slowly and gradually. E.g. By degrees their friendship grew into love. The disease was killing him by degrees. Rivalries and prejudice were by degrees fading out. We reached the desired standard of efficiency by degrees.

By the look of it/things: judging by the information we have now. E.g. By the look of things, we won't be able to take our holiday till the autumn. It's going to rain today by the look of it(= judging by appearances).

by the same token: something that you say which means that the thing you are going to say next is true for the same reasons as the thing you have just said. Used to mean that something you are about to say is also true, for the same reasons as what has just been said. E.g. The penalty for failure will be high. But, by the same token, the rewards for success will be great.  I don't think that prices will go up but, by the same token, I don't see them going down either.

for kicks: for the excitement one gets. Because you thought it would be exciting. E.g. What do you do for kicks? I just play the banjo for kicks – I'm not very good at it. Rich kids turning to crime just for kicks.
He decided to steal something from the shop, just for kicks.

for the record something that you say before you tell someone something important that you want them to remember. E.g. And, just for the record, we were never any more than good friends. Just for the record I would like to clarify something my colleague said earlier. And, for the record, he would be the last person I'd ask. It doesn't matter now, but just for the record – you were wrong.

for two pins  used to say that you would like to do something, even though you know that it would not be sensible.
Used to convey strong temptation to do something, typically from annoyance or irritation. E.g. I'd kill him for two pins. For two pins I'd tell her what I really think of her.

in the bag if something is in the bag, you are certain to get it or to achieve it. E.g. Nobody knows who'll get the job, despite rumours that Keating has it in the bag. The election is in the bag unless the voters find out about my past.

be/live in clover /ˈkləʊvə(r)/ (informal) to have enough money to be able to live a very comfortable life. In great material comfort. E.g. We’ll be in clover down there, lying around in the sun and fishing on the lake. Food retailers are in clover.

in/like a flash very quickly and suddenly. E.g. The weekend seemed to be over in a flash. The answer came to me like a flash. She was out of the back door in a flash

dependable: that can be relied on to do what you want or need. Reliable.

dependent: needing somebody/something in order to survive or be successful. E.g. a woman with several dependent children. dependent on/upon somebody/something You can't be dependent on your parents all your life.

inexpert: /ɪnˈekspɜːt/ without much skill. E.g. an inexpert dancer.

connected (with somebody/something) (of two or more things or people) having a link between them. E.g. jobs connected with the environment. The two issues are closely connected. The fall in retail sales is directly connected with the decline in employment.

Shine a light on something: to make something clear or easier to understand by giving more details or a simpler explanation. The programme shines a light on the secretive organisation.

draught: /drɑːft/ (North American English draft)
a flow of cool air in a room or other confined space. E.g. There's a draught in here. A cold draught of air blew in from the open window. I was sitting in a draught. She shivered in the icy draught.

drought: /draʊt/ a long period of time when there is little or no rain. E.g. two years of severe drought. one of the worst droughts on record. The country’s entire grain harvest has been hit by drought.

draft: /drɑːft/
a rough written version of something that is not yet in its final form. E.g. I've made a rough draft of the letter. This is only the first draft of my speech. the final draft (= the final version) The legislation is still in draft form. a draft constitution/treaty/agreement

1. tumble (somebody/something) + adv./prep.
to fall downwards, often hitting the ground several times, but usually without serious injury; to make somebody/something fall in this way. E.g. He slipped and tumbled down the stairs.
2. tumble (down) to fall suddenly and in a dramatic way. E.g. The scaffolding came tumbling down. (figurative) World records tumbled at the last Olympics.
3. to fall rapidly in value or amount. E.g. The price of oil is still tumbling.
4. + adv./prep. to move or fall somewhere in a relaxed, uncontrolled, or noisy way. E.g. I undressed and tumbled into bed. A group of noisy children tumbled out of the bus. The water tumbled over the rocks. Thick golden curls tumbled down over her shoulders. (figurative) Her words came tumbling out.

renaissance: /rɪˈneɪsns/ (AmE /ˈrenəsɑːns/)
1. the Renaissance the period in Europe during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries when people became interested in the ideas and culture of ancient Greece and Rome and used these influences in their own art, literature, etc. E.g. Renaissance art.
2. a situation when there is new interest in a particular subject, form of art, etc. after a period when it was not very popular. Revival. E.g. The British film industry is currently enjoying something of a renaissance. to experience a renaissance.
fleeting: lasting only a short time. Brief. E.g. a fleeting glimpse/smile. a fleeting moment of happiness. We paid a fleeting visit to Paris.

get somebody's goat: (informal) to annoy somebody very much. E.g. It really gets my goat – the way she keeps interrupting all the time.

be/get carried away: to get very excited or lose control of your feelings. E.g. I got carried away and started shouting at the television.

be set on something/on doing something: to want to do or have something very much; to be determined to do something. E.g. She's set on a career in medicine. He's set on getting a new car.

set your sights on something/on doing something
to decide that you want something and to try very hard to get it. E.g. She's set her sights on getting into Harvard. I had set my sights on a career in journalism.

set your heart on something, have your heart set on something
to want something very much. E.g. They’ve set their heart on a house in the country. She’s got her heart set on English lessons.

be (dead) set against something/against doing something
to be strongly opposed to something. E.g. Why are you so dead set against the idea? 

in line with something: similar to something or so that one thing is closely connected with another. E.g. Annual pay increases will be in line with inflation. We try to keep our prices in line with our competitors.

in agreement with
if a set of facts is in agreement with another, they both show or prove the same thing. E.g. be in agreement with: These findings are in agreement with our previous conclusions.

in keeping (with something)
appropriate or expected in a particular situation; in agreement with something. E.g. The latest results are in keeping with our earlier findings.

out of keeping (with something)
not appropriate or expected in a particular situation; not in agreement with something. E.g. The painting is out of keeping with the rest of the room.

in harmony with
E.g. This is in complete harmony with our earlier discussions. Fred's position is quite clear. What you have said is not in harmony with Fred. Cities should be built in harmony with the landscape.

at variance (with somebody/something) /ˈveəriəns/
(formal) disagreeing with or opposing somebody/something. E.g. These conclusions are totally at variance with the evidence. He uttered a string of oaths, so oddly at variance with his usual smooth and civilized manner.

in/out of step (with somebody/something)
1. putting your feet on the ground in the right/wrong way, according to the rhythm of the music or the people you are moving with
2. having ideas that are the same as or different from other people’s. E.g. He was in step with the times. She was out of step with her colleagues. His views are out of step with the board's.

nag: to keep complaining to somebody about their behaviour or keep asking them to do something. Pester. E.g. nag (at somebody) If you stop nagging at me, I might actually do it. Stop nagging—I'll do it as soon as I can. nag somebody (to do something) She had been nagging him to paint the fence.

pester: to annoy somebody, especially by asking them something many times. E.g.  pester somebody for something Journalists pestered neighbours for information. pester somebody with something He has been pestering her with phone calls for over a week. pester somebody/something The horses were continually pestered by flies. pester (somebody to do something) The kids kept pestering me to read to them.

badger: /ˈbædʒə(r)/ to put pressure on somebody by repeatedly asking them questions or asking them to do something. E.g. badger somebody (into doing something) I finally badgered him into coming with us. badger somebody about something Reporters constantly badger her about her private life. badger somebody to do something His daughter was always badgering him to let her join the club.

buffer: /ˈbʌfə(r)/ a thing or person that reduces a shock or protects somebody/something against difficulties. Sp. amortiguador. E.g. buffer (against something) Support from family and friends acts as a buffer against stress. Buffer (between something and something) She often had to act as a buffer between father and son.

run wild: 1 to grow or develop freely without any control. E.g. The ivy has run wild. Let your imagination run wild and be creative. 2 if children or animals run wild, they behave as they like because nobody is controlling them. E.g. Those boys have been allowed to run wild.

Like chalk and cheese: (British English) if two people or things are like chalk and cheese or as different as chalk and cheese, they are completely different from each other. E.g. Frank and I will never get along. We're chalk and cheese.
get on like a house on fire: if two people get on like a house on fire, they like each other very much and become friends very quickly. E.g. I was worried that they wouldn't like each other, but in fact they're getting on like a house on fire.  
click: to become friends with somebody at once; to become popular with somebody. E.g. We met at a party and clicked immediately. click with somebody He's never really clicked with his students.
hit it off (with somebody) (informal) to have a good friendly relationship with somebody. E.g. We hit it off straight away. 
 take a shine to somebody/something  (informal) to begin to like somebody very much as soon as you see or meet them. E.g. He seems to have taken a shine to you. 
 rapport: /ræˈpɔː(r)/ 
rapport (with somebody) | rapport (between A and B) a friendly relationship in which people understand each other very well. E.g. She understood the importance of establishing a close rapport with clients. Honesty is essential if there is to be good rapport between patient and therapist. There was little rapport between the two women. She felt an instant rapport between them. 
Like a bat out of hell: (informal) very fast. E.g. He ran out of the building like a bat out of hell.
Throttle: a device that controls the amount of fuel that goes into the engine of a vehicle, for example the accelerator in a car. Sp. acelerador. E.g. He drove along at full throttle (= as fast as possible).
(at) full pelt/tilt as fast as possible. E.g. He ran full pelt to the bus stop. He was going full pelt down the motorway but he still didn't make it to the airport in time. I ran downstairs at full pelt. He came running down the hill at full tilt.
As warm as toast: very warm and cosy. E.g. The baby will be as warm as toast in that blanket. We were as warm as toast by the side of the fire.
A Dutch uncle is an informal term for a person who issues frank, harsh, or severe comments and criticism to educate, encourage, or admonish someone. Thus, a "Dutch uncle" is the reverse of what is normally thought of as avuncular or uncle-like (indulgent and permissive). 
avuncular: /əˈvʌŋkjələ(r)/ behaving in a kind and friendly way towards young people, similar to the way a kind uncle treats his nieces or nephews. 

indulgent: tending to allow somebody to have or do whatever they want. E.g. indulgent parents. an indulgent smile. Mothers tend to be less indulgent towards daughters.  
put your foot down
1. to be very strict in opposing what somebody wishes to do. E.g. You've got to put your foot down and make him stop seeing her.
2. (British English) to drive faster. E.g. She put her foot down and roared past them.
To have the memory of a goldfish
I'd lose my head if it weren't screwed on 
stomach something: /ˈstʌmək/ to approve of something and be able to enjoy it; to enjoy being with a person. E.g. I can't stomach violent films. I find him very hard to stomach. She couldn't stomach the sight of him.  Losing to their rivals was difficult to stomach. I majored in film, yet I can't stomach the idea of working in Hollywood.
Bring to bay: to force into a position from which retreat is impossible. E.g. The police unleashed a couple of dogs who speedily brought the thieves to bay.
shanty town: /ˈʃænti/ an area where very poor people live in shanties (a small house, built of pieces of wood, metal and cardboard, where very poor people live, especially on the edge of a big city).
hold/keep somebody/something at bay to prevent an enemy from coming close or a problem from having a bad effect. E.g. I'm trying to keep my creditors at bay. Charlotte bit her lip to hold the tears at bay. During my college years, the only things I had to keep hunger at bay were beans, rice, and plain pasta. You have to start meeting your minimum monthly repayments if you want to keep your creditors at bay. These tree frogs have a powerful poison on their backs that helps keep predators at bay.
 out of harm’s way in a safe place where somebody/something cannot be hurt or injured or do any damage to somebody/something. E.g. She put the knife in a drawer, out of harm’s way. I prefer the children to play in the garden where they’re out of harm’s way. 
keep somebody at arm’s length to avoid having a close relationship with somebody. To not allow someone to become too friendly with you. E.g. He keeps all his clients at arm's length. I always had the feeling she was keeping me at arm's length.

To cash in on: to gain an advantage for yourself from a situation, especially in a way that other people think is wrong or immoral. Sp. Aprovecharse de. E.g. The film studio is being accused of cashing in on the singer's death. To cash in on an idea. 
capitalize on/upon something: to gain a further advantage for yourself from a situation. Take advantage of. E.g. The team failed to capitalize on their early lead.
overparent: (V) usually as noun overparenting Be excessively involved in the day-to-day life of one's child or children, typically in the desire to shield them from difficult situations or help them succeed.‘highly motivated, loving mothers often engage in a kind of zealous overparenting’
Self-efficacy, /ˈɛfɪkəsi/ also referred as personal efficacy, is confidence in one's own ability to achieve intended results. Let your children develop self-efficacy.

go-getter: a person who is determined to succeed, especially in business. an aggressively enterprising person. "boys are expected to be assertive go-getters"