Bizarre words in English

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,184 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

Like many languages, English has kept some old words that are only used in specific situations. You need to recognize these words and know their meanings.

Here is a list of some uncommon words that you might read or hear:

abide - Abide means "to stay, to wait patiently". But it is also used in the negative to mean "can't stand", as "I can't abide his arriving late to every meeting!"

bide - bide also means "to wait", usually in the sense of waiting for something to happen. For example, "She is biding her time before telling her mother that she is quitting her job." It is almost always used in the expression "bide time".

boon or bane - boon or bane means a positive result (boon) or a negative result (bane). It is often used as a first line in a paragraph and then the two options are explained afterward. For example, "Is organic farming a boon or a bane for the consumer?"

if need(s) be - if need(s) be means "if necessary". It is used in a sentence, for example, "We are out of milk? I'll go to the store if need be.

yonder (yon) - yonder and yon mean "over there, far away". They are both used as adjectives, for example, "I saw a fox in yonder field", or "He climbed yon mountain when he was young."

Put the correct word in the blanks in the following sentences.

1. He is simply ____________________ his time until a better offer comes along.

2. Do you think that encouraging immigration is a _____________________________ for the country?

3. I _____________________ these constant meetings when we get nothing done.

4. They will turn on the heat ________________________, but right now the room is comfortable.

5. We are going fishing in ______________________ river, it looks close but it's actually a long walk.

Click here for the correct answers.

1. He is simply biding his time until a better offer comes along.

2. Do you think that encouraging immigration is a boon or a bane for the country?

3. I can't abide these constant meetings when we get nothing done.

4. They will turn on the heat if need be, but right now the room is comfortable.

5. We are going fishing in yonder river, it looks close but it's actually a long walk.
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