|UNIT 99||Vague language|
In spoken English, we often use words that are vague [not clear/precise/exact].
I have a vague idea where it is. [I know the general area, but I don't know exactly where.]
I have a vague memory of the game. [I can remember some of it, but not very clearly.]
To refer to actions, ideas, and facts:
The main thing [fact] about John is that he likes everything to be well organized.
Hitting that child was a terrible thing [action] to do.
To refer to countable objects (often the speaker and listener know what the object is, or the speaker has forgotten the name of it at the moment of speaking):
What's that thing (bicycle) doing in the house?
Put those things (cups and saucers) in the cupboard.
To refer to a general situation:
How are things at school? [school in general]
Lately, things have been going really well, [life in general]
We sometimes use stuff (informal) to refer to uncountable nouns (or a group of countable nouns) when it is not necessary to be precise and give the exact name. Often the listener knows what the speaker is talking about.
|C||Kind of / Sort of...|
These words have the same meaning, but approximately is more formal than the others:
The train should arrive in approximately twenty minutes.
It's about three miles to the house.
I'll see you around noon.
We are expecting 100 guests, more or less.