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Hello and welcome to Learn English Vocabulary. My name is Jack and I’m making this podcast for you to learn or revise English vocabulary.
These podcasts are graded from A2 which is around lower intermediate all the way to C2 which is advanced. I’ll also cover some slang and some exam English.
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Today, I want to talk about making things. This is a B1 podcast so I’m going to talk about seven verbs that you can use to talk about making things.
The first is create. This is very similar to make. The learner dictionary says it means to make something exist – which is just the same as to make something. We use create a lot when talking about digital projects. You can create a new document or create a website. If you are talking about physical objects like tables or clothes you would normally say make. I think we use create more when there aren’t physical materials involved. You can create problems and governments can create jobs. If you are very good at creating things, you are creative and the things that you create are your creations.
Listen to these examples:
Dr Frankenstein created a monster.
Scientists in Oxford have created a Covid vaccine – hopefully.
The next verb is imagine. This means to picture something in your mind. To imagine something new or something that doesn’t exist is a creative act. When I was a child, my teachers would tell me off for daydreaming. To daydream means to think about things, usually nice things that you would like to happen. It means to spend time imagining things. The noun form is imagination and people say that children have very creative imaginations.
To come up with an idea
The object of the imagination, the things that you can imagine are usually pictures or ideas. Here’s an interesting phrasal verb that we use with idea: come up with. If someone has a very clever idea, perhaps a way to solve a problem at work, you might say ‘well done for coming up with that idea’ or ‘I don’t know how she comes up with her ideas’.
To dream up something
You can also dream up something which is similar but implies that the idea is fanciful and needed a lot of imagination. For example, the writer was always dreaming up new problems for her characters.
If you have an idea that you have dreamed up, and you want to create something, you need to make a design. A design is a plan, normally on paper for something that you want to create. As well as a noun, design can be a verb. You can design a website or design a room. An interior designer is a job that involves coming up with designs for the inside of buildings, usually homes. Graphic designers work on packaging and magazines and posters and websites.
If you design and then create something that is completely new, you invent something. I’m not sure you actually have to create something yourself to invent it, really you just need to come up with the idea and then design it. People say that Leonardo Di Vinci invented lots of things that might never have been created, but he made the designs in his notebooks. The person who invents something is the inventor and the thing that they invent is called the invention. There is a proverb in English: necessity is the mother of invention which means that when you really need something, you will invent it. This proverb comes from the Greek philosopher Plato, though the use of the word mother to explain the cause came from a translation from 1894.
The last verb I want to talk about today is used to talk about the creation or invention of music. The verb is compose. This can be used to talk about poetry as well, but it’s mostly used for music. Beethoven and Mozart are probably the most famous composers. Today, composers often work on film scores, that is, the music that is written specially for a film and the most famous composers are people like John Williams who has composed music for Star Wars, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park and Hans Zimmer who has composed music for the Batman films, Gladiator, the Pirates of the Caribbean and loads more.
So there you have seven B1 verbs that you can use to talk about being creative. The verbs are to create, to imagine, to come up with an idea, to dream up something, to design, to invent and to compose. If you want to test yourself to see how well you know and remember these verbs, there’s an interactive activity under the transcript on the Learn English Vocabulary support site.
If you have enjoyed this podcast, please leave me a comment or a review and don’t forget that you can read the transcript for this podcast and complete some language activities on LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk.
Thanks for listening.