Why NICE isn’t so NICE…

When I think of matura oral exams I have attended as an examiner so far, there are three words that come to my mind first – NICE, HAPPY and SMILING. I guess, if we made statistics of the words used most frequently on exams, this ‘holy trinity’ would be at the top.
– Do you think the people are enjoying the party?
– Yes, because they are happy and they are smiling.
This is what we, examiners, hear so often that it really makes us sick. And it’s not difficult to guess that if you make the examiners sick, your exam result is not going to be too impressive.
boy-teddy-bearSuch well-worn, over-used words are sometimes called ‘lexical teddy bears’. Why teddy bears? Well, because we are so attached to these words that it’s difficult to stop using them. Just like a little kid cannot break away from his or her favourite teddy bear toy.
So what can we do about it? Well, grow up! Leave your lexical teddy bears at home and DO NOT take them to matura exam with you! Take some more sophisticated words instead. You can find the lists of such words below. Do not just look at them and forget them. I do encourage you to try to learn at least two synonyms of each lexical teddy bear and use them whenever you speak English. I can assure you it will help you pass matura exam with flying colours!

If you have any other ideas of words which can substitute popular lexical teddy bears – feel free to leave a comment and share them!

www.falibo.com 2










www.falibo.com 3






Pictures sources:  www.p19.edu.gorzow.pl, www.falibo.com 3

6 Responses to Why NICE isn’t so NICE…

  1. I think that words like: love, ok , super and great are also very popular.

  2. Yes, right. And any idea how to substitute them?

  3. maybe ; great -> splendidly, ok -> in order, all right, love -> cherish, hold dear ?

  4. I think that people never analize what they want to say, they use the easiest words to talk about their feelings. That’s why you see how important it’s to learn new, more complicated words, and show that the oral exam isn’t so difficult 🙂

  5. I think that a ‘lexical teddy bear’ word is ‘because’. I found a few alternatives words like a since, cause, forasmuch.

  6. I think that the phrase ‘They are smiling’ is a ‘lexical teddy bear’. We can replace it with ‘They have a beaming smile’

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