How To Use Matter – Confusing English Vocabulary

Several of my students have asked me about the word matter and how to use it, so for today’s English lesson, let’s have a look at both the noun and verb form of this word.

As a noun, we generally use matter in a question or negative sentence. Matter means problem or trouble:

  • What’s the matter with the computer?
  • I don’t know what the matter with Jane is. She seems down today.

We usually don’t use the matter in a positive sentence. Look at this conversation:

  • What’s the matter with the computer?
  • I think the problem is the hard drive. Not, I think the matter is the hard drive.

So to answer “What’s the matter~” you can say things like “The problem is~” or  “The issue is~” etc.

As a verb we generally use matter in questions or negative sentences, but it can be used in positive sentences. Matter means, important or significant.

  • Jim: Does it matter where we have lunch today?
  • Jen: It doesn’t matter where we go, as long as it’s not fast food.

Here is another example:

  • Everything she says matters to me because I value her opinions.

There are other uses of matter as well:

Matter as a noun means physical substance and this meaning is often used in science:

  • There has been no organic matter found on the moon.
  • In physics calls, the students learned about inorganic matter.

Matter also means written or printed material like books and newspapers, but this usage is a bit formal:

  • I have prepared some reading matter for class today.
  • That company deals with digitizing printed matter.

As a noun, matter also means an issue or situation being considered or discussed.

  • The marketing problem? We discussed the matter all morning.
  • I am aware that John’s performance is not good and I have already reviewed the matter with the boss.

Well, I hope you found this lesson helpful. How about writing a few sentences using matter in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you!

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 



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Famous, Popular, Notorious – Confusing English Word Lesson

Famous, Popular, Notorious - Confusing English Word Lesson

Times Square is both famous and popular!

There are many famous sightseeing places in New York City. Some of the most popular ones are Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building. Just twenty-fine years ago, Times Square was notorious as a gathering place of drug dealers and prostitutes, but now it is the most popular place for families to visit. One of the nice but les famous spots that I like is the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum (the MET). It’s got a great view of Central Park!

For today’s free English Lesson, we are going to look at two words that are often confused, famous and popular, and I will also show you a related word, notorious. Have a look at the paragraph above once more and then check the lesson.

When something or someone is famous, it or they are well known, in other words many people know it or them:

  • There are many famous sightseeing places in New York City.
  • Johnny Depp is a famous actor.
  • The Magnolia Bakery is famous for it’s cupcakes.

When something or someone is popular, it or they are liked by many people. Popular things and people are admired and/or enjoyed by many people:

  • Times Square is a popular place for families to visit.
  • Star Wars was released in the 1970’s,. but it is still popular.
  • Dance clubs are popular with college students.

On the other hand, notorious people or places are well know for something bad, a bad quality or in the case of a notorious person, a bad action:

  • Times Square was notorious as a gathering place of drug dealers and prostitutes
  • Adolf Hitler was one of the most notorious historical figures of the twentieth century.
  • The Godfather movie depicts several notorious gangsters of the 1940’s in New York.

Now it’s your turn. How about writing a few sentences using this vocabulary in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you!

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

Want to learn English idioms offline? Check out my eBooks:

  • Trio-of-audio-books

 



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8 Phrases That Use Look – English Vocabulary Lesson

8 Ways To Use Look - English Vocabulary Lesson

She’s looking at you!

Look is an interesting verb in English. You probably know that we use look at when we use our intention, and the object of looking doesn’t move. For example, we:

  • Look at a photo
  • Look at a clock
  • Look at a flower

For today’s free English Lesson, I am going to show you 8 other common uses of the verb look.

Look at also means to examine or consider something:

  • We are looking at a new marketing plan.
  • Jack said he’s looking at buying a new car.

Look around means to move around in a place in order to view what is available there:

  • I was looking around the mall with my sister.
  • Let’s look around Chinatown. There are many interesting shops there.

Look for means search or try to find:

  • I’m looking for Jack. Have you seen him?
  • We have been looking for new office space.

Look into means to investigate something in detail:

  • The bank director was looking into the missing money.
  • The police detective is going to look into the suspect’s background.

Look like means resemble:

  • Jack looks like his father.
  • This desk looks like the desk I used in elementary school.

Look through means to peruse, and we usually look through a book, a catalog, or other printed matter:

  • I was looking through the Ikea catalog for some new living room furniture.
  • I like to look through cook books when I want to make dinner.

Look to + noun means to rely on someone for help or to do something:

  • I look to Gloria to help me with editing my books.
  • Jack looks to his boss assistance when he has trouble with a customer.

Look + infinitive (to verb) means to expect or hope to do something:

  • I am look to find a new apartment.
  • The company is looking to expand its operation in Asia.

Now it’s your turn. How about writing a few sentences using this vocabulary in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you!

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 



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Get my Happy English Phrasal Verb iPhone or iPad APP

 

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