Welcome to English with Kimberley
In this episode, I want to introduce you to the idea of defining nouns.
For example, ‘roses’ are ‘flowers’ and ‘apples’ are ‘fruit’.
OK – Quiz time!
What do you think knives, forks and spoons are?
a) cooking utensils?
or d) cloths?
It’s ‘c’ – ‘cutlery’.
Cooking utensils are things like chopping boards and pans; crockery refers to plates and bowls; and cloths refer to things like tablecloths and napkins.
Did you know that many years ago most Europeans used only spoons and knives? They also had to carry their own spoon and knife with them as they were very expensive – so it was only the rich that had them. Anyway, Italians like spaghetti and you can’t eat spaghetti with a spoon or a knife! You need a fork. So, Italians had forks as well as spoons and knives. So, over time, all Europeans had spoons, knives and forks.
Now, when we refer to a noun it often belongs to a group of nouns like our earlier examples with ‘apples’ belonging to ‘fruit’ and ‘roses’ belonging to ‘flowers’.
This is very important in definitions where we often get
- the word being defined, like ‘apple’;
- the group it belongs to, like ‘fruit’; and
- what it looks like, feels like, or does. For example, ‘An apple is a fruit that is round, delicious and grows on trees’
Open any dictionary and you will see this kind of sentence.
It’s so important that it’s worth practicing this kind of sentence as much as possible.
So when you’re waiting for a train, having a bath, or waiting for the kettle to boil why not practice by defining what you can see around you – and then perhaps look it up in a dictionary to check.
Here’s a quick quiz – just for fun!
Here are three definitions.
What am I defining in each?
a) It’s a large Australian bird that can’t fly but can run very quickly.
b) It’s a language that many people sometimes wish they didn’t have to learn.
c) It’s a tree in Australia that koala bears like to sleep in.
Did you get them – they all began with the letter ‘E’
Let’s hear them again with the answers.
a) It’s a large Australian bird that can’t fly but can run very quickly – did you get ‘emu’
b) It’s a language that many people sometimes wish they didn’t have to learn – did you guess ‘English’ and
c) It’s a tree in Australia that koala bears like to sleep in – this is a difficult one, did you manage to get ‘eucalyptus tree’?
Well done everyone for guessing the definitions.
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I hope you have enjoyed this podcast and you’ll join me again.