Use Simple Language to Describe Unknown Words


Sometimes when you are talking to someone you want to use a word that you have learnt and forgotten or there’s a perfect word in your first language that nobody else would understand. To deal with that you need to use simple language to describe unknown words. This is called circumlocution and it is the topic of today’s post.

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Describe difficult colours using things


Sometimes there are colours you want to describe but don’t know how to. It is even difficult for native speakers to describe colours exactly. Instead, we describe difficult colours by comparing the colour to another thing.

For example, imagine you have a rug that is a very light brown, but not exactly beige.

“My rug is a kind of camel colour.”

This only works if you choose a thing that is always, or usually, one colour.

“Her car is a grape colour” could mean green or purple.

“Her car is purple like a grape” is fine.

The basic patterns you can use are:

(Subject) is/are a kind of (thing) colour.

(Subject) is/are kind of (thing) coloured.

It is a (thing)-coloured (object).

Why not add your own examples in the comments to share with other students?