Unit 1: Work | Vocabulary | B1
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Unit 1: Work | Vocabulary | B1


Below are 12 words which are all somehow connected with the world of work. Put the words into two groups.

clerk     computer     businessman     printer     telephone

colleague     secretary     manager     fax machine

typewriter     director     answering     machine

A: Office Workers B: Office Equipment


Match the following words which are related to each other in different ways:

1. earn A. colleague
2. salary B. office
3. workmate C. win
4. job D. wage
5. factory E. work


The words earn and win are often confused by students.
to earn = to get money by working; to get paid for a job, e.g. earn money
to win = 1 to gain victory in a game, contest, etc., e.g. win a match
              2 to obtain a prize in a competition etc., often by luck
e.g. He won £50 in the crossword competition.

Show that you understand the relationship and the difference between the pairs of words from EXERCISE 2 by completing the following table with their correct forms:

Pair of words EXAMPLES

Factory workers are paid a weekly 1._____________.

Teachers are being offered 2._____________ of over £15,000 a year.


I had a part-time 3._____________ as a gardener when I was a student.

Coalminers 4.____________ in dangerous and unpleasant conditions.


He doesn’t 5._____________ enough to support his family.

If I 6.____________ the lottery, I’ll buy you a car.


Workers at the car 7.____________ complained about the noise of the new machinery.

The lawyer’s 8.____________ is on the third floor.


He sometimes went for a drink after work with his 9.____________ from the building site.

She discussed with her 10._____________ the possibility of a promotion to senior manager.


In recent years, there has been a fashion for starting small businesses, e.g. small restaurants, services or shops. It takes a lot of courage and usually some financial aid in the form of a bank loan to set up your own business. It means taking a risk, too, because you can never be sure if your business will be a success. You could find yourself owing a lot of money to the bank, or, in the worst of circumstances, you could even ‘go bust’.

On the other hand, you could earn a good living if you are prepared to work hard — who knows? You could even become a millionaire!

Match the following verbs and noun phrases to form expressions which appear in the text:

1 to set up A. a living
2 to take B. bust
3 to be C. a business
4 to go D. a risk
5 to earn E. a success

EXERCISE 5  |  Word building

Complete the following table with the correct form of the words:

succeed   successful
live life, living  
  risk risky
manage   manageable
encourage courage  

Now use the information above to fill the gaps in these sentences:

1 My parents _______________ me to train as an accountant.

2 The shop's _______________ locks up at the end of the day.

3 You can't get rich without taking a few _______________.

4 I took the exam but unfortunately I wasn't _______________.

5 My grandfather _______________ to the age of ninety-eight.

EXERCISE 6  |  Frequently confused words

Fill the gaps in the sentences below with the correct forms of the words in the box:

lend     owe     borrow     debt     loan

1. I _________ a romantic novel from the library.

2. I' m going to ask my father for a _________ of £500 so I can buy a motorbike. Do you think he’ll agree?

3. If I _________ you this shirt I know I’ll never get it back in one piece.

4. I' ve spent so much money this month that I’ll soon be running into _________.

5. I' m still waiting for you to give me back that fiver you _________ me.

EXERCISE 7  |  Work-related vocabulary

The words in the box below can be combined with the word work. Sort them into two groups, those which can precede and those which can follow 'work':

house     man    load    home    paper    force

brick    book    top    over

_________________ work work _________________

Now complete the following sentences with the correct compound:

1. A work                  arrived yesterday to put up a new fence.

2. Many women complain that their husbands don't do any               work.

3. Employees are demanding higher wages to compensate for their increased work            .

4. For your                  work, complete Exercise 10 in your work              .