Using synonymous language
Wednesday 8 February 2012
by Ken Paterson
For better or worse, we often seem to repeat what the person we’re talking to has just said:
- The traffic is awful today.
- I know. Terrible, isn’t it?
When we were researching ‘A Handbook of Spoken Grammar’ (follow the links ‘Titles’ and ‘Language Practice’ on the DELTA website for details), we noticed three types of ‘synonymous language’:
1. single word adjectives, as in the example above, sometimes with a tag question;
2. phrases with a similar meaning:
- He’s got some interesting things to say, but he just keeps talking!
- You’re right. He never stops.
3. the adding of a dependent clause:
- She can be quite rude with people, Joanne.
- Unless she wants something, yes.
The third of these is the least common, and can sound a bit stagey. Our editor, Tanya Whatling, pointed out that this device is quite often used on detective shows:
- He’s a hygiene freak, apparently. Always wears gloves, even at home.
- Which may be why there are no prints.
We explore these three devices in the book, and offer students some practice exercises.
It can be quite an interesting ten-minute activity for students to give the devices a go in class. Students prepare a few everyday opening lines and then try them out in pairs. But note that partners need to be given plenty of time to compose their synonymous response when they do this the first time!
Next time …. ‘heads’:
- That book on the desk, is it yours?
Delta Development Blog
This blog will be updated at least once a week, so add it to your bookmarks. You can also subscribe to the feed to be notified when it's updated.
Meet the Bloggers
- Bob Dignen & Steve Flinders (February to April 2013)
- Hania Kryszewska & Paul Davis (April to June 2012)
- Louis Rogers (January to March 2012)
- Ken Paterson (December 2011 to February 2012)
- Richard Brown & Lewis Richards (September to November 2011)
- Liz Walter & Kate Woodford (September to October 2011)
- Kyle Mawer & Graham Stanley (April to August 2011)
- Nik Peachey (from November 2010)
- Nicky Hockly (September & October 2010)
- Julie Pratten (July & August 2010)
- Gill Johnson (April 2010)
- Chaz Pugliese (March 2010)
- Luke Meddings (August 2009)
- Lindsay Clandfield (July 2009)
- Duncan Foord (June 2009)
- Scott Thornbury (May 2009)
The Business English Teacher
From the multi-award-winning DELTA TEACHER DEVELOPMENT SERIES. The Business English Teacher is a book not only for teachers who are thinking of making a career move into the field of business English teaching but also for those who would like to increase their skills and develop their potential.
Teaching Online is essential reading for any teacher interested in online teaching and course delivery. It deals comprehensively with both the tools and the techniques necessary for online language instruction.
Part of the Delta Teacher Development Series. Being Creative takes you on a journey that reveals how all teachers have the potential to become creative. Whether you are experienced or new to the classroom, Being Creative allows your teaching to take flight.
The Book of Pronunciation
Part of the multi-award-winning Delta Teacher Development Series. The Book of Pronunciation is a definitive account of the key role pronunciation plays in teaching and learning, providing a highly authoritative but hugely accessible overview of the essential elements of English pronunciation as well as a wide range of classroom practice.
Culture in our Classrooms
Part of the Delta Teacher Development Series. Culture in our Classrooms acknowledges the role of culture in the English Language Teaching classroom and provides lesson content which is relevant, useful and engaging for students.
Teaching Unplugged was awarded the British Council 2010 ELTons UK Award for Innovation. Teaching Unplugged is the first book to deal comprehensively with the approach in English Language Teaching known as Dogme ELT.
DIGITAL PLAY - 2012 ELTONS WINNER IN INNOVATION IN TEACHER RESOURCES! Digital Play is a pioneering book on the use of computer games in language teaching. Authors Kyle and Graham are experts in teaching with technology and training teachers in innovative classroom practice.
The Developing Teacher
The Developing Teacher has been awarded the 2009 Duke of Edinburgh/ESU Award for Best Entry for Teachers. The Developing Teacher suggests that teachers themselves are the most powerful agents of change and development in their own professional career.
The Company Words Keep
Part of the multi-award-winning Delta Teacher Development Series. The Company Words Keep is a practical and thought-provoking guide for language teachers, showing how the latest insights into “language chunks” can lead to learners acquiring natural and fluent English.
Helen Beesley on Going Mobile :
Thanks for your interest in this title! It is available on...
December 9, 2014 10:01 am
Azra Ahmed on Going Mobile :
This is a much needed book. I’d love to get a copy. Is it...
December 9, 2014 8:52 am
Helen Beesley on Delta Professional Development Webinars :
Hello Amela, The last webinar of...
December 2, 2014 11:44 am
amela on Delta Professional Development Webinars :
Hello, how many webinars we are going to...
November 28, 2014 3:06 pm
Ana Paula Santos Lopes on Say Hello :
Thank you for your materials, guides and suggestions...
November 17, 2014 3:56 pm
6 Oct 14
1 Oct 14
6 Aug 14
2 Jul 14
28 Apr 14
24 Apr 14
24 Apr 14
14 Apr 14
19 Mar 14
19 Mar 14
8 Mar 14
3 Mar 14
3 Dec 13
3 Dec 13
3 Dec 13