New Year’s Resolutions – useful vocabulary!

Happy New Year to everybody reading my blog, I hope 2019 will be a great year for you!

It’s the time of the year when we make plans and resolutions that we’ll hopefully keep during this year. But do we actually keep them? Apparently, only 46% of the people who made New Year’s resolutions were successful! And usually, the resolutions people make aren’t even new: they’re the same resolutions from the previous year that weren’t fulfilled! How funny is that?!

I know this from myself because I had the same New Year’s resolution for 3 years in a row: to go to the gym weekly! I only managed to keep it last year… I still consider it a success! 😉

Next, let’s look at some English expressions to talk about New Year’s resolutions. The 10 most common New Year’s resolutions people make at the beginning of the year are:

  1. Exercise more/ Lose weight
  2. Change job/career
  3. Give up alcohol or chocolate
  4. Learn (take up) a new skill or hobby
  5. Eat healthier food
  6. Save more money / spend less money
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Spend more time with family and friends
  9. Travel more
  10. Read more

From this list you can see some common word combinations: lose + weight; give up (similar to quit) + alcohol (generally a bad habit); change + job; learn (take up) + a hobby; save/spend + money; quit + smoking; spend + time.

These word combinations are called collocations and if you’re not sure what words go together well, I can recommend a useful tool to use: the Oxford Collocation Dictionary! It’s great to check what word combinations are correct in English.

My French students often translate from French and say: “I spent a great moment with my friends”, which isn’t correct because in English “to spend” doesn’t go well with “moment”. It’s better to say “I spent a wonderful evening with my friends” or just “I had a great time with my friends”.

My New Year’s resolution this year is to spend more time or, at least, to keep in touch more with my friends! What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more blog posts.

Please contact me for any reason; I love receiving messages and answering questions!


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