Snow and Ice
(Vocabulary, phrases and idioms)
Well, it's the second week of December now and
last weekend, our little town of Ena saw its first snowfall.
Ah, snowfall - that's a good word. Snowfall is
a good example of a COMPOUND NOUN. A compound noun is when 2 nouns (in
this case, snow and fall) come together to form one
word. There are several compound nouns connected with snow: snowman,
snowball, snowline.... There are also several compound
nouns connected with ice: iceberg, icebox...
Sometimes compound nouns can be written as
one word: iceberg;
or they can be written as 2 words: ice
cube. There are also several idioms which contain the words,
ice and snow.
This week, let's take a look at some examples of snow and ice
Vocabulary and phrases with snow
SOME FUN THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH
- You can go snowboarding
- You can go outside and make a snowman.
- You can make some snowballs and challenge your
friends to a snowball
SOME OTHER COMPOUND WORDS:
- Snow chains:
you can put these on your car wheels to make it easier and
safer to drive in the snow.
Some high mountains, especially in areas like the Himalayas have snow
on them for 365 days a year. The snowline is the point above which the
snow never melts.
a tiny piece of snow. They have very beautiful shapes if you look at
them through a microscope.
a vehicle which is used to push the snow off the roads and open them
for traffic (Note: British spelling - plough; American spelling - plow).
a storm with strong winds and heavy snow.
a deep pile of snow that has been made by the wind.
the amount of snow that falls in a particular place (e.g. What's the annual average snowfall in Japan?)
- Snowbound: unable to move because
of the snow. (e.g. There are more
than 200 snowbound passengers
sleeping in the airport).
SOME VERBS THAT GO WITH SNOW:
- The sun's just come out, so the snow
should start to thaw/melt
- It snowed this morning but it didn't settle. (i.e. It melted without
staying on the ground).
SNOW AS A VERB:
In the examples above, snow is a noun, but snow can also be used as a
- It snowed
very heavily all day yesterday.
There are also a few phrasal verbs with snow:
- We were snowed in
last weekend, so we couldn't go anywhere.
- We tried to drive into town but the roads were snowed up,
so we had to turn back.
Vocabulary and phrases with ice
ICE FOR FOOD & DRINK:
Of course, ice is sometimes kept in the kitchen. We can eat ice-cream,
put ice cubes
in our drinks, and keep champagne in an ice bucket.
British children also eat ice lollies;
American children eat the same thing but call them popsicles.
OTHER COMPOUND WORDS:
- The Ice Age: A historical period thousands of years
ago when large parts of the earth were covered with ice.
- Iceberg: a large mass of ice floating in the sea.
The Titanic was sunk by an iceberg.
- Icebox: (American English) an old-fashioned name
Extremely cold (e.g. It's really hot today - I'd love a nice, ice-cold beer).
- Ice rink: the place where you
can play ice hockey or go ice-skating.
polar ice caps: the ice at the
North and South Poles. Many people are afraid that these will melt
because of global warming.
- When the roads are covered by very thin ice which
is difficult to see, we call it black ice.
- When the roads are covered with ice and dangerous
to drive on, we can say that the roads or the ice are treacherous.
Ice and Snow - some idiomatic expressions
Sorry. I can't go out
tonight. I'm completely snowed
under with work.
(I have an incredibly large amount of work to do)
A SNOWBALL EFFECT:
<>BREAK THE ICE:
The recent success of many
young Asian women golfers has had
a snowball effect on the popularity of the game. (Adapted
from an article in Asia Week).
(= the popularity of the game has become bigger, and bigger, and
(At a party) Everyone seems a little
shy tonight, so let's play a
little game to break the ice.
(= create a more friendly, relaxed atmosphere).
PUT (SOMETHING) ON ICE:
I planned to finish my report
this week, but three of our employees are sick, so I've had to put it on ice for the moment.
(= leave a project unfinished, but plan to finish it at a later date).
Please click here to check your
Fill the blanks in the following sentences with
either SNOW or ICE:
ask me if I'm busy! I'm absolutely _______ed under this week!
building a new _______ rink in the city centre.
got caught in a really heavy _______storm yesterday evening and we had
to spend the night in the car.
you believe in the Abominable _______man?
carefully tonight. There's a lot of black ______ on the roads.
go outside and have a _______ball fight.
say that if the _______caps melt, some South Sea islands will
always like to start each new course with an ______-breaking activity.
It helps the students to relax.
Click below if you
want to try some of my other one-point lessons:
Bob's One-Point Weekly Lesson Archive.
© Robert E. Jones, 2005