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Studying overseas: 10 English words you need to learn before you go

Studying overseas: 10 English words you need to learn before you go Global Grasshopper

This is the second in series of posts on studying overseas from education expert Sophie Watts, here’s her light hearted post on what words she thinks you’ll need to swot up on before you study in the UK…

The English language is full of weird and wonderful words and phrases, some of which are overused, while many are underused. Of course, when learning English you should study vocabulary that is practical for a day-to-day basis, but it can be fun to learn those slightly more sophisticated ones too. For some fabulous, lesser-used words that you may not be taught straight away in a language school, read on:

Clandestine, confidant and coerce

Clandestine means secret. Do you remember the time when you told your parents you were going to study in the library, when in fact you went to meet “a friend” for a clandestine liaison! Then shortly afterwards, you entrusted your sibling with your secret, who then became your confidant, although you did have to force and persuade them to keep quiet (coerce).


Fractious means troublesome or irritable. Remember as a child when you insisted you were not tired at all, and your fractious behaviour when you crushed your jam sandwiches all over the floor persuaded your parents it was time for bed.

Impeccable and meticulous

Impeccable means exemplary or flawless. If your grades are as impeccable as your sibling, then you too will receive a car for your graduation present! They certainly should be impeccable after your meticulous (attention to detail) project handiwork.


Studying overseas: 10 English words you need to learn before you go Global Grasshopper

Capricious means erratic and unpredictable. If you have ever been to England you will know that the capricious weather makes planning outdoor pursuits tricky – one minute the sun is out, the next, it’s raining.


Insatiable means incapable of being satisfied. After a session at the gym, you might go home and eat all the contents of your fridge because you feel as though you have an insatiable appetite.


Antipathy means intense dislike or hostility. The time when you receive yet another grade C- after endless hours of effort, sweat, tears and determination to get an A, could only lead to an increase in antipathy towards your tutor.


Resplendent means gleaming, shining and splendid. Look back on these ten resplendent words of the English language and try to pop them into conversation, which will amaze, excite and astound your colleagues, tutors and friends, or make that vital first impression that always counts!
So, how many of these were you already dropping into sentences? Most of these words won’t get taught in your standard English class but only come through talking to people who are fluent in the language, so take pride if you do know them. However if you’re looking to further your knowledge and understanding of English, language schools such as Alexanders College, who specialise in academic preparation, are a good place to consider. As the main focus is to push towards qualifications, they will look to build upon and the students’ current language level, ready for school or university in England.


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