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Learn These Key Vocabulary Words with 2 Very Different Meanings

Everyone knows the main meanings of key English vocabulary words like “stand”, “tell”, "should", and “suggest”, but do you know the important 2nd meaning of these words? Learn the common second meaning of these 10 words.

Should = if

  • Should you lose your ticket, you’ll have to buy a new one (if you lose your ticket)

  • Should the jury find him guilty, he’ll go to jail (if the jury finds him guilty)

  • Should you require any help, just call me (if you need any help)

To stand = to tolerate

  • I can’t stand his voice! (I can’t tolerate)

  • How can you stand that smell? (How can you tolerate?)

  • He can’t stand seeing his ex-girlfriend (he can’t tolerate seeing)

To run = to manage

  • He runs his own business (he manages)

  • My parents run a small hotel (my parents manage)

  • who is running this event? (who is managing this event?)

To see = to understand

  • Don’t you see? (Don’t you understand?)

  • I see what you mean (I understand)

  • He doesn’t see my point (he doesn’t understand)

To tell = to determine

  • I can’t tell the difference (I can’t determine)

  • Can you tell which boy is older? (Can you determine?)

  • It’s hard to tell when someone is lying (It’s hard to determine)

To suggest = to imply

  • She suggested that the food wasn’t good (she implied)

  • His behaviour suggested that he disagreed with me (his behaviour implied)

  • His tone suggested he was being sarcastic (his tone implied)

To kid = to joke

  • I’m just kidding (I’m just joking)

  • Are you kidding? (Are you joking?)

  • Don’t take his comments seriously. He was kidding (he was joking)



To object = to disagree

  • I hope he doesn’t object (I hope he doesn’t disagree)

  • She objected to my proposal (she disagreed)

  • My lawyer objected to the witness’s statement (my lawyer disagreed)

To bet = to be sure (usually when you are giving your own opinion/prediction)

  • I bet that he'll arrive late like usual.

  • I bet they will break up soon. They seem like an unhappy couple.

  • I bet the traffic will be terrible. It's always bad in the morning.

To bear = to produce children

  • Women are not bearing as many children as they used to (women are not producing children)

  • She bore four children (she produced four children)

  • Women who bear children over 40 have increased health risks (women who produce children over 40…)

Note: this is where the past participle “born” comes from “I was born (by my mother) in 1987.”


Do you want to understand the important difference between confusing words like "to/for", "at the end/in the end", "even if/even though", "make/do", "either/neither", "in/into/on/onto", "used to do/be used to doing" and over 90 more lessons like this? Click on the link below to learn about my book!



Practice

Rewrite each sentence below using one of the words from this lesson:

kid / should / bear / bet / tell / see / object / suggest / run / stand

  1. She manages her own catering company.

  2. The author of the article implies that the government overreacted to the pandemic.

  3. I was just joking about your hairstyle.

  4. I can’t tolerate stubborn people.

  5. It’s harder for women to produce children after the age of 35.

  6. I thought it would be a good idea to change our office layout but my manager disagreed.

  7. I’m sure she won’t remember me.

  8. I understand your point.

  9. If you require assistance, call our front desk and they will be happy to help.

  10. I can’t determine if he’s joking or being serious.

Answers

  1. She runs her own catering company.

  2. The author of the article suggests that the government overreacted to the pandemic.

  3. I was just kidding about your hairstyle.

  4. I can’t stand stubborn people.

  5. It’s harder for women to bear children after the age of 35.

  6. I thought it would be a good idea to change our office layout but my manager objected.

  7. I bet she won’t remember me.

  8. I see your point.

  9. Should you require assistance, call our front desk and they will be happy to help.

  10. I can’t tell if he’s joking or being serious.



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