Top Tips for IELTS

Compound

Today’s daily word is

compound

Notes

This is a fairly technical word with a variety of different meanings. It is also another word for discussing problems.

It is interesting to see that it operates as a noun, verb and adjective – a very English habit. Even if you may not want the word for yourself, you can still learn from it by seeing how English works. We very, very often take one word and use it in different ways without changing its form – except by adding –s, –ed or –ing. This makes English very flexible, if sometimes confusing.

Technical uses of the word

  1. In chemistry: two elements together can form a compound
  2. In finance/accounting: compound interest is calculated by accumulation of interest
  3. In medicine: a compound fracture is when a broken bone goes through the skin

Using the word in general English

Here the idea is that if something compounds the problem, it doesn’t help but it in fact makes it worse. Typically, it is used to discuss proposals that will not work.

problem: The proposed solution of introducing a minimum wage may in fact compound the problem

   

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