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Friday, September 26, 2008

ESL Student Blog: The ‘Cutting’ Verbs

Some English verbs have the same basic meaning as the verb ‘cut’. Yet, each of these verbs has an additional meaning describing a special way of cutting.

To ‘cut’ something, we need to separate it into parts using a sharp tool such as scissors or knife:

They cut their wedding cake holding the knife together.

If we cut something out from paper or material, we form different shapes:

The girl cut out a monkey mask from construction paper.

To carve we need to cut away pieces of material, usually wood, stone, metal (also called engraving) or even fruit and vegetables in order to get a desired shape:

Every Halloween we carve a pumpkin to make Jack-oh-Lantern.

We trim or clip something to make it tidier:

I trim my beard and moustache every so often.
I gave myself a pedicure today. I clipped and filed my toenails and then applied two layers of red nail polish.
We snip something if we cut it in small quick strokes (movements):

Today Kathy is cooking with fresh herbs that she snipped from her backyard.

We prune trees and bushes to remove some of their branches and canes so that they grow healthier or develop a special shape.

We have such a fast growing hedge. We prune it at least three times a year!

Choose: cut, cut out, carve, trim, clip, snip or prune. Use the verbs in the right tense. In some sentences more than one answer is possible and some verbs may be used more than once.

1. She _____ the corner off the carton of juice.
2. The year 800 A.D. was _____ on the wooden bowls found by archaeologists last week.
3. The kids _____ a few photographs from the magazine and glued them onto the poster.
4. She took her dog to the grooming salon to _____ his coat.
5. The Mayor was invited to _____ a ribbon at the opening of a new museum in the city.
6. He is going to _____ all the branches overhanging the sidewalk.
7. She accidentally _____ her finger while chopping the vegetables.

Answer Key: (1) snipped (2) carved (3) cut out (4) clip/trim (5) snip (6) prune (7) cut
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 12:12 AM
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