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ESL Student Blog
Language points (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciaton) that are worth noticing for ESL students around the world.

Monday, March 15, 2010

ESL Student Blog: Para- in Paralympics and Other Related Words

Have you been watching the 2010 Paralympic Games? The athletic achievements of the participants have definitely been inspiring!

Paralympics evolved from a 1948 sporting event for war veterans with spinal cord injuries. Originally, the name Paralympics may have been related to the word ‘paraplegic’ (being paralyzed or unable to move lower part of the body), but is now universally viewed as an event running beside, alongside or parallel to the Olympic Games. Visually impaired athletes and the ones with intellectual disability are also represented in today’s Paralympics.

The affix para- has a similar meaning of ‘beside’, ‘alongside’ in a number of words in English:

paramedic - supporting or supplementing work of doctors, often the crew member on an ambulance

paralegal - supporting or supplementing work of lawyers

paramilitary - a force that functions like or assists military

parallel - event or situation happening at the same time
paraprofessional - assisting a professional (licensed) worker in a particular field

parasite - animal or plant that lives on or in another and gets food from it, ‘feeding beside’;  parasite can also be a person who lives off others and gives nothing in return.
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 1:10 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

Sunday, March 07, 2010

ESL Student Blog: Economic or Economical?

Economic relates to organization of money and/or trade in a country or region.

For example, the recent economic recession, the slowdown in economic activity, was felt worldwide. As the result of the economic downturn (reduction in the amount of economic activity), many people have lost their jobs or houses, and layoffs were far too common. How severe was the economic crisis in your country? Is your country on its way to economic recovery? How can economic stability be achieved?

Also, if something is economic, it brings a profit:

The region has an enormous economic potential due to its energy reserves.
It’s a small town. It isn’t economic to open a shopping mall here.

Economical means careful in spending, not wasteful:

Is your car economical on fuel? (Does it consume a lot of fuel?)  Is it economical to run a car with an air conditioner? What’s more economical in the long run: buying a new car or a used one, or leasing a car (making monthly payments for it)?

Do economic difficulties make people choose more economical cars?
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 8:01 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment


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