Often = (1) many times; frequently or in great quantities: The trains are often late.They often go out to dinner. (2) in many cases or instances: People are often afraid of things they don’t understand.

Every so often = sometimes; occasionally: I meet him at the club every so often.Every so often I heard a strange noise outside.

As often as not = quite frequently; usually; in a way that is typical of somebody/something: As often as not, he’s late for work.


Offence= (1) a feeling of anger caused by being offended: ‘He took offence at my slightest criticism.’ (2) the team that has the ball (or puck) and is trying to score: ‘Our team has the best offence in the league.’ Commit an offence (NOT do): ‘He is accused of committing various minor offences.’


O’clock is a contraction of “of the clock” or “on the clock” that means “according to the clock”: ‘We are expected to be there at seven o’ clock in the morning.’

Do not use o’clock for times that include minutes or parts of an hour. Compare: ‘It’s four o’clock.’ ‘It’s ten past four.’

Use EITHER o’clock OR a.m./p.m. in a sentence (NOT both). Compare: ‘The work should be completed by seven o’clock.’ ‘The work should be completed by seven p.m.’

Do not use o’clock after 6.00, 7.00 etc. Compare: ‘8 a.m.’, ‘8.00’, ‘8.00 a.m.’, ‘8 o’clock’.


Media= (1) the mass communication industry, esp. newspaper, television and radio; journalists and other related professionals collectively. (2) plural form of medium. So when you are talking about television, radio, and newspaper, use medium for singular reference: ‘Television is an important medium of infotainment.’

Use media (WITHOUT – s) for plural and group reference: ‘The mass media’, ‘The print media’.

The media usually takes a plural verb, especially in formal styles: ‘The media have shown considerable interest in the trail.’ A singular verb is sometimes heard in everyday conversation, but some careful users consider this to be incorrect.’


Matter= (1) a subject, situation or event under consideration: ‘It is a matter for the police.’ (2) used to mean ‘problem’ or trouble’ only in questions and negative sentences: ‘What is the matter?’ ‘There’s nothing the matter.’

It doesn’t matter + clause: ‘It doesn’t matter if you can’t answer all the questions. Just do your best.’

Subject + doesn’t matter: ‘The results don’t matter. Just do your best.’

Nothing/something is the matter or there is nothing/something the matter: ‘I think there’s something the matter with the central heating. It’s cold here.’ ‘Don’t worry. Nothing’s the matter. It’s just a tiny cut.’


Marriage = the act of marrying; the nuptial ceremony of becoming husband and wife considered from a purely religious or legal point of view: ‘Her parents are against the marriage.’

Wedding = the social event at which the ceremony of marriage is performed; the occasion when this ceremony takes place and the celebration that follows it: ‘I never see most of my relatives apart from at weddings.’

Married = be/get married to sb (NOT with): ‘How long has she been married to him?’


Mainly= for the most part; chiefly; primarily; to the greatest extent: ‘This movie is mainly about the pros and cons of reservation policy.’

To show that one particular feature or item is more important than all others use above all: ‘The person we’re looking for has got to be smart, intelligent, and above all trustworthy.’ ‘Above all, the government wants to avoid an increase in inflation.’


Machine = any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform tasks such as a sewing machine, washing machine or computer: ‘Do you know how to operate a machine?’ ‘The latest machines can run both types of software.’

Engine = a machine that converts thermal energy to mechanical work: ‘It was difficult to make yourself heard above the roar of the engines.’ ‘Check the tire pressures and top up the engine oil.’


Luck= (1) an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that brings good fortune or adversity: We met each other out of pure luck. Bad luck caused his downfall.

Good fortune; be lucky, be in luck, (have) a stroke/bit of luck (NOT have luck): Were lucky the coach didn’t go without us. You’re in luck, there are still a few tickets left.

When luck is used with have, it is always modified: I’ve had enough bad luck to last me a lifetime.

Luck is an uncountable noun: He’s had a lot of bad luck recently. Meeting the right partner is just a matter of luck.


Loan = (1) (noun) a sum of money that you borrow, usually from a bank: ‘They are currently negotiating a $10 million loan.’ (2) (verb) lend a painting, work of art etc. to an art gallery or museum: ‘The pictures have been loaned to the National Gallery for the forthcoming exhibition.’ (3) (verb, especially in American English) let someone use something; lend: ‘Why don’t you ask John if he’ll loan you his car.’

Borrow = receive money or something that a bank or person agrees to lend you: ‘By the end of the war the Canadian government had borrowed over $5 million from its own citizens.’