Unit 22

Question 1 : What are the differences between ‘accept ‘and ‘except’, ‘affect’ and ‘effect’?
Question 2: What are the differences between ‘street’ and ‘road’?

Unit 22



Hi everybody, this is Misterduncan in England. How are you today? Are you ok? I hope so! Are you happy? I hope so!

Here I am back again with you all for another peep into my bulging email box. So many of our questions and comments have been popping up in there during the past few weeks, so today we will take a look at some of them. Starting off with this one!

What are the differences between ‘accept ‘and ‘except’, ‘affect’ and ‘effect’?

This question was sent in by Patrick who lives in Sweden. The words ‘accept’and ‘except’ are totally different to each other and share no definitions whatsoever. ‘Accept’ means to take something with agreement. ‘I accept your apology.’You agree to something. ‘I accept your new rules and will follow them’.

You accept with something. ‘I accept your opinion.’ To receive something given to you as a reward or prize. ‘He accepted his prize.’ To allow someone to join a group. ‘She was accepted by the university.’ ‘Except’ means ‘apart from’ or ‘but’. ‘All the class is here, except two.’ To leave something out or to choose to exclude something or someone. ‘You are all welcome, except Peter.’ There is also ‘exception’. This means something which can sometimes be left out or a rule that can be changed for certain people or a certain situation. ‘An exception to the rule.’

The words ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ may on the surface seem similar, but in many cases, they have different meanings.

‘Affect’ refers to the influence of something. The process of one thing acting on something else, resulting in change. To cause distress or…upset. How one thing can shape another. The action of influencing something. ‘The bad weather can affect the crop.’ ‘Not getting enough sleep will affect my work.’ ‘Affect’ is always used as a verb and can be used in both a positive or a negative way. It is worth noting that ‘affect’ can also be used to describe a false action. ‘He affected a smile, even though he felt unhappy.’

The word ‘effect’ often relates to the outcome of an action. What happens as a result of one thing or more occuring. It can express the result of the cause. One thing has an effect on another. A special effect is a visual action done in a spectacular or entertaining way for example – a special effect in a movie. ‘Effect’ can be a noun or verb. The lights used on a stage are the effects. You can be effective, which means ‘able’, ‘useful’ or ‘successful’. ‘Effect’ can mean your personal belongings. Your clothing and other items can be your ‘personal effects’.

What are the differences between ‘street’ and ‘road’?

This is an interesting question and it was sent in by Winto who comes from Indonesia.
Generally speaking a street is narrower than a road. It is often seen as less busy, with not so much traffic. Having said that we can use other words to describe the nature of a street.  So a street can be busy or crowded, while a road can be quiet and deserted.

There are no distinct definitions that divide the two, as they both can vary. Houses can be found along both streets and roads. Even in busy cities, streets and roads can be found near each other. But as a general rule, streets are narrow and roads are wide.

The word ‘road’ can also be used to describe the actual surface on which vehicles travel. The road surface can be the road. We talk about the road being made of a certain material. ‘The road is made of concrete, or tarmac.’ The word ‘road’ can be used as a general term for all types of access and thoroughfares. ‘Avenue’ is a road straight road, often lined with trees. ‘Close’ is a road that can only be entered from one end, this is sometimes called a ‘cul de sac’, which is French or ‘bottom of the bag’. ‘Lane’ is a narrow road, often found in the countryside. Some lanes consists of nothing more than a dirt track and can be very hazardous or dangerous to motorists driving cars and pedestrians walking ‘on foot’.

A very useful idiom!

Here is a very useful idiom, for all those of you who are going out for a meal with friends. The idiom is ‘go Dutch’. If you “go Dutch’, then it means that each person at the table must pay for their own meals and drinks. Even if two people are going out for a meal, they may decide to ‘Go Dutch’.

So there is no chance of one person paying the whole bill. This is usually agreed before the meal begins. The phrase originated during past events, when England and the Netherlands fought over trade routes, way back in the 17 th century. The meaning at that time was a derogatory (insulting) one, however many people still use it today, completely unaware of its origins. The term is often used in England and to a lesser degree, the USA, where it is referred to as a “Dutch treat”. Of course, instead of going Dutch, you can simply say… ‘Let’s split the bill.

It’s that time again.

Ladies and gentlement, boys and girls and all those in between. It’s that lovely moment. Yes, it is here again to grace us all with its splendicious presence. What? Spendicious isn’t a real word? Well, maybe it should be!
It’s the word of the week.
This week’s word is …malevolent.

This is an adjective which means to do something in a mean or nasty way. To show spite or unkindness through an action. To have wicked or unkind presence. ‘Malevolent’ – to show spite. To do something that causes upset or distress. Synonyms of ‘malevolent’ include – ‘malicious’  ‘mean  ‘nasty’ ‘spiteful’  ‘wicked’. The opposite of ‘malevolent’ is ‘benevolent’.

It is time for me to leave you, but I will be back again very soon with more lessons and of course more of your questions and comments, right here on ‘Ask Misterduncan’. Thank you for watching me, answering you.  This is Misterduncan in England saying …Ta ta for now.

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