Connotative Words: Other Ways to Say Tired

tiredWelcome to our Connotative Words Series. If our earlier practice has left you exhausted, you’re in luck: today we’ll have a look at some of the other ways to say tired.

Let’s imagine that it was a long, busy day, full of frantic activity, or you’ve put a great deal of effort into something, and now you feel like you’ve lost your physical or mental energy. You’re tired, that is, you need some rest (or some sleep).  If you’re extremely tired – and simply can’t go on ‑, you can formally say “I’m fatigued”or “I’m exhausted,” but know that both function as a hyperbole (a linguistic exaggeration)

More accurate ways to say you’re extremely tired include weary, which is especially helpful after very long, hard work.  Such people are described as worn out. When they are no longer effective, like an athlete, we say they’ve been played-out.   If people in general work too much and consequently get ill or fatigue sets in, we say they’re burnt-out or run-down. Someone is overtired when they’re so tired they can’t sleep. Other ways to say tired include drained, clanked, washed-out, and whacked. People are sleepy if they need to sleep; they’re drowsy if they’re half-sleep and half-awake, but that last one is typically used to describe a medicated state.

Of course, “Tired” can also mean impatient, bored or annoyed with something (e.g., an activity) or someone. With this meaning it’s usually followed by the preposition “of”, as in “She’s tired of the same old routine.” The expression “sick and tired ofsomething means that someone is completely annoyed by it while things that boreor annoy us are tiresome. Then, too, The word exhausted also describes things which have been depleted (completely emptied, finished off, or used up), especially supplies or resources; for example:  “Their conversation was exhausted in an hour.”

Whew, well I’m knackered! We must rest here and hope we hadn’t done you in (made you very tired) learning these different ways to say tired. Please visit our home page to practice other important Connotative Words!


Business Idioms: Idioms about Progress

work way upHoping for improvement is natural. After all, we all want to get better and the same is true in business. For this reason we are going to use this installment of Business Idioms to discuss some idioms about progress.

to gain ground – to go forward or to make progress.

  • We have been number two in our industry for years but we are gaining ground on the market leaders.

Note: get off the ground is a related idiom that is used to describe making a successful beginning (e.g., Without the proper marketing our new range never had a chance to get off the ground).

a step in the right direction – an positive action that is expected to result in some advancement or improvement.

  • Although it’s still not perfect, with the changes made to our product I feel that the relaunch is definitely a step in the right direction.

Note: another similar walking based idiom is making strides which refers to making large improvement or progress (e.g., we have been making strides in the efficiency of our systems).

to go great guns – to go fast or successfully.

  • We were going great guns with the new design until we realised there was a fault with the safety of the toy and had to take it back to the drawing board.

to work your way up – to make progress in a process or structure.

  • He worked his way up from the mail room and is now a sales manager.

Note: to the top can be added to this idiom – as in work your way to the top – meaning that you reach the pinnacle of the process or structure (e.g., He started in the mail room and worked his way to the top to become CEO).

For more installments of the Business Idioms series as well as a whole host of other useful materials please visit our homepage.


School Vocabulary about Studying

studyingPreparing for an exam is stressful enough without any confusion over academic terminology. So concentrate on your coursework and let this custom-made entry be your guide to school vocabulary about studying.

to scan – to read, without close attention, for general themes

  • Headlines help you to scan a newspaper quickly and still get an idea of the day’s major stories.

to skim – to read lightly for main ideas but not specific detail

  • I didn’t have a lot of time to study last night so I just skimmed the finally chapter. I hope the test doesn’t ask too many questions from that section of the book!

Note: A closely related expression, “to get the gist,” is what results from skimming something: a general, if not detailed, idea about a situation.

to read aloud – to say the words while reading them so that others can

  • Students sometimes take turns reading aloud while in class.

Note: This expression is also written (and said) as read out loud.

to read silently – to read without speaking

  • During Study Hall students often read silently prepare for other classes.

to pour over – to read closely

  • Jane is pouring over her notes in preparation for the upcoming exam.

to hit the books – to study hard

  • Thank goodness the exam is on a Monday; I can use the weekend to really hit the books.

to learn by heart – to memorize

  • When I was in 8th grade I had to learn Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” by heart for my Language Arts class.

Note: Another expression with the same meaning that is used in the UK is to learn by rote although this is almost unheard of in the US.

to pull an all-nighter – to stay up all night studying

  • Alex pulled an all-nighter last night and is completely exhausted today.

to push through – to overcome an obstacle (be it mental or physical) in order to accomplish a task

  • Alex needed three cups of coffee to help him push through and finish all of his classes today.

Study up on this and other school vocabulary by visiting our dedicated home page!


Irish International Education Reforms

irelandThe government of Ireland moved one step forward in January with their efforts to fully implement their International Education Mark (IEP) by putting in place their long-awaited English Language Reforms this year and releasing their International List of Educational Providers back in January 20th.

The IEP, which guarantees the educational quality and ethical conduct of international student providers in the country, is part of a series of new Irish international education reforms. The Department of Justice says these reforms are designed to align their international education and immigration policies so that international students are met with “high educational standards” that provide them “effective learning environments, adequate [instructional] supports and appropriate learning contents and outcomes.”  The reforms were announced almost a year ago in May by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, who said they will “ensure that ‘visa factories’ and the people who run them have no place in Irish education.”

These measures were originally intended to take effect last October, but were delayed in order to better review the hundreds of higher education and language programs that receive international students in the country.  In spite of these delays, seventeen language schools have been closed in Ireland since 2014 thanks in part to accusations of allowing economic immigrants to pass as bona fide students. The reforms will surely bring in more school closures, according to David O’Grady, CEO of a firm that represents fifty language schools accounting for 90% of the market, as schools not listed in the ILEP will not be able to accept students who require visa.

The measures also state that language schools should provide tuition protection mechanisms that include compulsory learner protection arrangements and escrow accounts for tuition fees. They also require Irish institutions to clearly declare school ownership, shadow directors, physical infrastructure, and teaching capacity.

Ireland’s study/work policies give the industry a competitive advantage, allowing most language students to work part or full time while at school, and these new efforts suggest that that advantage is here to stay.