Community Web Version Now Available
Some fun vocabulary practice! Can you "see" the words in the video?

The short film "Words" is quite strange: despite its title, it has almost no language in it!

Instead, it's a collection of very short clips, ≈1-2 seconds long, each connected by a single word that you have to guess. Once you view the video, my explanation will become clear:

(Can't access Youtube? Here:

Let's discuss this video. Here are a few topics to get started:

1. How many "words" can you get? Are there any clips you couldn't connect to a word? Try to collocate all your answers with nouns/verbs. Here are the first few:

play music,   watch a play,   play with your friends (don't simply write "play", write the collocation too)

2. What does the idiom "That is not going to fly!" mean? Which word in the sentence has the strongest stress? Is the stress important?

3. "Light as a feather" is a fixed metaphor. Can you think of others in English, or in your language?

"Light as a feather" means "very light". It's easily understandable because "light as a feather" is such a common expression. If you said "light as a piece of paper", however, it would sound clumsy: even though a piece of paper is also light, "light as a piece of paper" is not a common expression, therefore it could confuse the listener.

Fixed metaphors are everywhere in language: eat like a pig, sink like a stone, drink like a fish, strong as an ox, clever as a fox. Can you think of any other fixed in English? What about in your language?

[ UPDATE: Visit this link to see my feedback: ]

Sep 9, 2016 5:53 AM
Comments · 22

Playing baseball!
playing an instrument
blowing out a birthday cake
fan blowing a piece of paper
a bank bill blown by the wind
trees bowing under the blow of the wind
don’t blow your nose here!, that’s disgusting!
A blow to the head
fish blowing itself (a kind of defense mechanism)
the hairdryer stopped blowing?!
braking a plate
breaking your hand!
x-ray showing a break
baseball again!
slamming on a brake
You’re breaking up man! (that means your voice keeps cutting off), I can’t hear you
a young couple breaking up
break your TV, stop them from brainwashing you!
share your food with the grandpa?!
ripping out your trousers by bending too much
the pantyhose is ripped
running through the jungle
a running nose
the paint is running down?
the faucet is running
running a red light
…I’m serious I’m gonna run away
(some jibberish on a telecom)… roger that!
an airplane is flying
a fly is sitting and then flying away
a closed fly (zipper)
that is NOT gonna fly (your plan will not be successful?)
a piano is falling off an apartment
a parachutist is free-falling
a vase is falling off
a diver is diving (or falling?)
falling down a stairs
I’m falling and I…
a beautiful waterfall
falling sleep on you lover’s (brother's?) shoulder
fall is coming
a tree is falling

""Light as a feather" is a fixed metaphor. Can you think of others in English, or in your language?"
in English? hummm, No!
in my language, you can say سبک مثل پر (just like English)

sunlight at the middle of the noon
a cigarette lighter
let there be light! (even though there is still no sun or stars!)
a light is blinking
Stadium Lights Turn Off
a flash of lightning illuminating the sky
a shooting star with its dazzling light

September 9, 2016

I love, love, love that video.

I wish I knew of similar videos for those of us learning Spanish. Thanks for sharing-- I now have a new YouTube channel to watch! 


September 16, 2016

Hi Laura - thanks for the positive feedback. "A blowfish blows up" is quite an unusual use of "blow", it means "to make yourself inflate"! Certainly not a way you'd use it in everyday life.

Normally we use blow up with an object to mean "to cause sth else to inflate", eg. I blew up the balloon

If we use "blow up" without an object, it probably means "explode", eg. The bomb blew up

September 12, 2016

It is amazing the work you have done and how clear is the document you have attached! Thank you so much for taking so much time to foster activities to make students "think" in English and answer so carefully our questions!

I know now (among other expressions) that I might run a red light or fall down stairs! :)

By the way, what does A blowfish blows up? A fish that jumps off the bowl fish?

September 11, 2016

Feedback is now available in the original discussion posting. Sorry to use a third party website, but the writing tool on italki is so infuriating to use I'm not even going to try post something so complex in the comments :-P

@Anatheme: Duly noted, thanks for the correction. I was racking my brain wondering what the correct technical term is, and ended up forgetting the basics!

September 9, 2016
Show More
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Persian (Farsi)
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Persian (Farsi)