Employees may want to take some time off for different reasons, or they are entitled to a holiday from work. Below you will find some vocabulary describing different types of holiday and time off work.
STATUTORY HOLIDAY is fixed by law
MATERNITY LEAVE is a period when a woman is away from work to have a baby (but is still paid)
PATERNITY LEAVE is a period of leave given to a father when his partner has a baby
UNPAID LEAVE is when an employee receives no money
SICK LEAVE is when an employee is ill and cannot come to work
CASUAL LEAVE is given to an employee to help him/her deal with personal affairs
GARDENING LEAVE is a period of leave during which an employee is not allowed into the company offices, usually after being dismissed
SABBATICAL is a period of paid or unpaid time off work for the purposes of research, study or travel, usually used by teachers, professors
PUBLIC HOLIDAY is when all employees in the country are allowed to take a day off (BANK HOLIDAY - UK, LEGAL HOLIDAY - US)
UNAUTHORISED ABSENCE FROM WORK is when an employee is away from work without permission and without a good reason (AWOL - absent without leave)
TIME OFF IN LIEU (TOIL) is when an employee gets time off from work instead of pay for overtime
HOW TO TALK ABOUT NUMBERS THAT ARE APPROXIMATE
If you don't know the exact figure, or simply don't want to give it, for any reason, you can use the adverbs meaning 'more or less'. There is a wide array of phrases you can use to describe the value without giving the precise number. Here you'll find a handful of them.
ABOUT, AROUND, ROUGHLY, IN THE REGION OF
There were roughly 250 participants at the conference.
It will cost in the region of a 1.5 m dollars.
after a figure
Only 15 or so people came to the meeting.
Let's meet at 4-ish, shall we?
NEARLY, ALMOST, JUST UNDER, JUST SHORT OF, THE BEST PART OF
a figure that is slightly less than the one stated
The company sold almost 1,000 items.
We'll be working on this project for the best part of 1.5 years.
The share price was just under 6.5 dollars.
UPWARDS OF, JUST OVER, A LITTLE OVER, SOMETHING OVER
a figure that is more than the one stated
It will cost upwards of 20 grand a month.
They earned just over 2.6 m euro on this transaction.
colloquial noun phrases like A BALL-PARK FIGURE, A GUESSTIMATE
can indicate that a figure is approximate
I can only give you a ball-park figure.
Pleas bear in mind that this total is just a guesstimate.
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Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like to start your lessons.
Phrases used in news often contain metaphors
for example if two people are involved in struggle in courts of law they are involved in a legal battle, but they are not literally fighting. There are plenty of different metaphors connected with sport, fire, water or war which are commonly used in news reports to make articles more attractive.
a tight corner - a difficult situation
The CEO has got himself into a tight corner when he admitted to spending company's funds on private trips.
moving the goalposts - unfairly changing the rules during a course of action
The government is accused of moving the goal posts in terms of fiscal policy.
foul play - behaviour that is unfair
The competition was accused of foul play.
a level playing field - a situation in which everyone has the same opportunities.
The Ministry of Employment want a level playing field for all employed.
the ball's in someone's court - people wait for the action of the others because they have done what they could
I help her in any possible way, now the ball's in her court.
spark - cause something to start or develop
The company is trying to solve the problem of work overload as it can spark further workers' burnout.
a blazing row - a very nasty argument
My parents had a blazing row last night.
burning - very strong
He had a burning desire to succeed in his new role.
blaze a trail - do something no one else has done before
Our scientist made a breakthrough and blazed a trail for others in the field.
a storm of protest - a lot of people express strong feelings against something
There has been a storm of protest over the new legislation.
flood - appear in large numbers at the same time
Before Christmas we are usually flooded with orders .
a drop in the ocean - a very small amount compared with what is needed
The money the hospital gets from the government is a drop in the ocean.
a sea of something - a large amount of something
She looked out over a sea of smiling faces.
Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.
We all know this feeling of being tired in the morning right now in autumn. We want to sleep! We don't want to go to work or school. All we want is to stay in bed a bit longer. Not everyone can afford to sleep long enough, yet sleep is very important for our health and if you are deprived of it, you may suffer both physically and mentally.
How to talk about sleep
to crash out
to go to bed (informal)
I'm tired, I'm going to crash out.
to doze off
to fall asleep for a short time, without an intention
The lecture was so boring that I dozed off.
to hit the sack
to go to bed (informal)
I need to get up very early tomorrow. I'm going to hit the sack.
to nod off
to fall asleep, often in a sitting position
While watching a match I nodded off and didn't see the final.
to wake up later than intended, usually as the result you are late for something
Your boss will fire you if you oversleep again.
to lie in / to have a lie-in
to intentionally stay in bed and get up at a later time than normal
I'm so tired today that I think I will have a lie-in. It's Sunday, after all.
to sleep over
to sleep the night at another person's house
Mum, can I sleep over at Mary's tonight?
to be sound asleep
to be sleeping deeply
Be quiet! The kids are fast asleep.
to toss and turn all night
to sleep badly moving and changing position in bed
I spent the whole night tossing and turning - I couldn't stop thinking about today's exam.
to be wide awake
to be completely awake
It's two o'clock in the morning and I'm wide awake as I am still working on my presentation.
not to get a wink of sleep
not to sleep at all (especially all night)
My husband was snoring so badly that I couldn't get a wink of sleep last night.
Problems with sleep
Many people suffer from different problems connected with sleep. Here are some of the most common ones:
If you have insomnia you feel as if you don't get enough sleep at night, or you may have trouble falling asleep.
The noise that is produced while breathing.
It is a disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sleepwalkers can do many activities which may be dangerous, for example leaving the house while they are asleep.
If you are sleep deprived, it may have negative impact on you private and professional life. Watch Arianna Huffington and discover the power of sleep: How to succeed? Get more sleep.
When you are poor or in debt:
abject poverty - terrible poverty
Half the people in this country are living in abject poverty.
to live from hand to mouth - to barely manage financially
Many people are so poor that they live from hand to mouth.
can't make ends meet - find it difficult to manage financially
On a salary like his, it's not surprising that he can't make ends meet.
to be heavily in debt - to owe sb/the institution a lot of money
We are heavily in debt to the bank.
an outstanding debt - a debt that you have not paid
You must pay these outstanding debts immediately.
to be overdrawn - to be in debt to the bank because you have spent more money than you have in your account
Mary is $100 overdrawn at the bank.
to pay off/clear your debts - to pay the money you owe
We'll buy a new care once we have cleared our debts.
to be short of money - to have very little money
I'd love to go, but I'm a bit short of money at the moment.
There are moments we know someone is not telling truth, or basically they are lying. Obviously, we can simply call them a liar, but you may try some other phrases which could be less straightforward or neutral, or you may decide not to mince words and call a spade a spade. Learn some new phrases below:
You're pulling my leg.
That's a bit of an exaggeration.
He's stretching the truth.
He's not telling the whole truth.
She's being economical with truth.
His story is fishy.
That's an outright lie.
That's a pack of lies.
How to write an introduction to academic essays
Do you struggle with writing a decent introduction to your academic essay? Struggle no more. Below you'll find a perfectly clear design of an introduction, which can serve not only for IELTS, you can successfully apply it to any essays which require formal register.
If you still feel you need help, contact me to schedule your trial lesson.
Academic Writing - How to present an argument
Do you write a lot of essays, articles, assignments? Are you preparing for an exam like IELTS? Then you are required to present your arguments and to do so you have to use more formal style than when you speak. Learn how to do it right.
Developing an argument
These phrases are often used to open paragraphs. Pay attention to the prepostions.
be based on
This essay is based on the findings from recent research into insomnia.
for the purposes of
For the purposes of this article, the author will present two opposing thories.
I shall refer to Kawasaki's and Kotler's work, respectively.
The arguments I shall put forward are relevant to our understanding of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
on the subject of
There are many articles published on the subject of productivity at work.
with reference to
The first section reviews recent literature, with reference to the arguments concerning motivating factors.
Adding point to an argument
on top of
Bad diet, lack of exercise and stress are key factors in causing heart diseases; on top of that there is smoking, which additionally contributes to lung cancer.
in addition to
In addition to the survey, we carried out a number of interviews with some of the patients.
Drinking alcohol can lead to problems with liver. Moreover, drinking alcohol may impede cognitive abilities.
Do you need help with your writing? Contact me.
“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”
How to talk about secrets and news.
People love gossiping. Either you are a gossip or they gossip about you. Learn a handful of phrases to describe the very act of gossiping.
to confide - zwierzyć się
- to tell something secret or personal to someone who you trust not to tell anyone else
My friend confided to me that she was pregnant.
to drop a bombshell - oznajmić złą wiadomość
- to announce a sudden and often unpleasant piece of news
My son dropped a bombshell by informing us that he was going abroad.
eavesdrop (on a conversation) - podsłuchać
- to listen to someone's private conversation without them knowing:
He was eavesdropping on our conversation.
to overhear - przypadkowo podsłyszeć
- to hear what other people are saying without intending to and without their knowledge
I accidentally overheard them say they were going to fire you.
to gossip - plotkować
- to talk about other people's private lives
The employees started to gossip about their affair.
a gossip (gossipmonger) - plotkarz
- someone who enjoys talking about other people and their private lives
My mum is a terrible gossip.
indiscreet - niedyskretny
- saying things that should be secret
The actor was rather indiscreet about his relationship.
a rumour - pogłoska
- an unofficial interesting story or piece of news that might be true, and quickly spreads from person to person
Rumours are going round about CEO and his assistant.
to tell in the strictest confidence - w największej tajemnicy
- expecting not to tell it anyone else
I'm telling you this in the strictest confidence.
be the soul of discretion - uosobienie dyskrecji
- a person who keeps a secret
Don't worry, I'm the soul of discretion when it comes to delicate matters.
to breathe a word to somebody - pisnąć słowko
- to reveal the secret
You cannot breathe a word of this to anybody.
don't quote me on this - nie powołuj się na mnie
- do not tell other people I said this
Don't quote me on this, but I saw our neighbour cheat on his wife.
it's very hush-hush - to ściścle tajne
- highly confidential
It's very hush-hush, don't tell anyone!
be under wraps - trzymać w tajemnicy, zamieść pod dywan
- keep as a secret
These incidents have to be kept under wraps, or we will lose our jobs.
hear on the grapevine - uslyszeć pocztą pantoflową
- find out about something unofficially
I heard on the grapevine he is being promoted.
How to talk about decisions
A pessimist, confronted with two bad choices, chooses both.
Everyone has to make decisions. Sometimes they are less important, but sometimes they are life-changing ones. Learn new phrases to equip yourself with the language which will help you to talk about your choices and decisions.
TO BE IN TWO MINDS ABOUT STH - whether to do it or not
I'm in two minds about going to Jennifer's party.
TO BE SHORTLISTED - to be chosen from a large number of applicants for a job
Mary has been shortlisted for the position of marketing manager and now she is preparing for a job interview.
TO BE SPOILT FOR CHOICE - to have a lot of similar things to choose from
The restaurant has a big variety of dishes. I'm spoilt for choice and don't know what to choose.
TO HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART - to change the way you feel about sth
I wasn't going to do that, but I had a change of heart and did it.
TO HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO ... - to have no other choice
If you don't pay, I will have no alternative but to take legal action against you.
TO OPT FOR - to choose to do something
After much deliberation, I opted for the car.
TO REACH / COME TO / ARRIVE AT A DECISION - to decide
We have reached a decision concerning changing flats.
TO SIT ON THE FENCE - to delay making a decision when you have to choose between two sided in an argument
She criticized members of the committee for sitting on the fence and failing to make a useful contribution to the debate.
TO BE TORN BETWEEN ST AND STH - to find two things attractive and not be able to decide between them
I don't know which dress to choose. I'm torn between blue and purple.
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