Festive Fun from ACET

We’re getting into the full swing of Christmas here at ACET so in keeping with the Christmas theme here are some useful acrostics!


Christmas Grammar

C           causative                    I am busy, so I had my gifts wrapped in the shop.

H           homophones              The carol singers are here, I can hear them outside.  

            infinitive                      Remember to buy a holly wreath for the door.  

S           suffix                           Decorate the tree with homemade decorations.  

T           transitive                     Children love to decorate the tree!

M          modal                          You should put up your Christmas tree soon. 

A           auxiliary                      I have always enjoyed Christmas.

S           superlative                  I hope you have the best Christmas ever!

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Christmas Food

C         is for                            Cherries in the Christmas cake

H         is for                            Delicious baked ham

I           is for                            Ice cream with Christmas pudding

S          is for                            Spices added to make tasty mulled wine

T          is for                            Turkey – a Christmas day essential

M         is for                            Mashed potato – another key ingredient

A         is for                            Apple cider – a warming drink on a cold winter’s night

S          is for                            Sweets – a tasty treat indeed

Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself and have fun with your family and friends. 

See how many words you can think of beginning with the letters of Christmas in these categories. I’ve given an idea to get started:

Sport and Hobbies                              C is for            Chess

Travel and Holidays                            C is for            Cruise

School and Education                        C is for            Correct

Merry Christmas!

From Laura

ACET Idiom of the Week!

This week’s idiom is You could cut the air with a knife!

Chess (1)Look at this picture of a chess championship and imagine the atmosphere there. Are the people relaxed and are they laughing and chatting? No, they aren’t.  They are tense and nervous and the air is thick with the tension and stress.

To describe this type of atmosphere we use the idiom ‘you could cut the air with a knife’.

Other examples

The smoke was so thick you could cut it with a knife

When I walked in they all stopped talking and you could cut the air with a knife.

We might also use it to describe a situation in which we feel angry or nervous and we feel that something unpleasant is going to happen. For example: When I made a complaint at the meeting, the other people did not like it and you could cut the air with a knife.

More idioms with knife

The knives are out – we use this to mean that people are being unfriendly and deliberately causing problems

Like a (hot) knife through butter – this means to do something very quickly or easily.

Stick the knife in – this can be used to criticize someone strongly especially when someone is weak

So, next time you are chatting, try to use one of these idioms – show your friends how good your English is 🙂


Keep Your English Up-to-Date

English is an evolving language and new words and expressions are often added and the meaning of existing words can change.

Let’s take a look at some new words and the new use of some existing words.

floordrobe‘Floordrobe’ – where do you keep your clothes? In a wardrobe or a chest of drawers? Perhaps you keep your clothes are on the floor, then you have a floordrobe. There are no hangers or drawers or doors, just drop your clothes on the floor – it’s so much easier to find in the morning if you just leave them on the floordrobe!

whatever‘Whatever’ has many functions, such as:

We can use it to mean everything or anything, for example: ‘You can have whatever you want for your birthday’

We also use it when we can’t think of the word we want or it is not important, for example: ‘you can use any colour, red, green or whatever.

However, nowadays, it is used more and more often as an exclamation to dismiss someone or show an indifferent attitude. ‘Whatever!’ By using this intonation, people stop an argument either because they know they won’t win it or they are wrong.



Use some of the sites above to look at the meaning of ‘selfie, ‘ginormous’ ‘chillaxing’ ‘newbie’ and ‘glamping’.

Do you know of any new words that you would like to tell us about? Let me know! Laura