We now come to certain uses of the Basic words which are not expansions of the sense but changes of sense (sometimes not clear from the senses of the separate words) which come about when certain words are used together, as a group. They are named 'idioms' in the language books, and have three chief causes:

1. Attraction to the uses of other words-when we come to a stop (like a place). 2. Loss of some of the words normally used-as when fear of change keeps a government in (the same place, that is, keeps it in power). 3. Some special picture formed in the past, but no longer clear to everyone-as in the example of put up with.

There is no need to take much trouble about these special uses if your interest in Basic is limited to business letters, or to hearing radio talks; or if you will be talking chiefly to persons without a knowledge of normal English. But it is a good thing to have them all together, so that the learner may see the complete story in front of him. The best way is to get used to them by experience-by reading books in Basic and making a note of uses which do not seem natural to you from a knowledge of the words by themselves. Then you may go quickly on to the list of Fixed Uses which are necessary; there you are given a selection of 'idioms' which it would not be possible to go far without. The only words for which more than a very short note is needed are in two groups:

1. Come and go, put and take, give and get, together with let and keep, have and make. (All with 5 examples.) 2. At, by, in, on, to, and up, together with for and of. (All with 10 examples.)

This gives us 130 examples, and there are 20 other special uses with words in this group. In addition, there are 100 special uses with the rest of the Basic list-making 250 in all. In fact, a quick writer would make a copy of the complete list (giving every use in Basic English which is not quite regular) in less time than it takes to get through a normal meal. These fixed uses are unnecessary for anyone who is going through the Basic system for the first time; but they are listed here, so that at the end there is nothing more to come. The learner may then go back to them when the working of the rest of the system is clear. Most of them are important chiefly for purposes of ornament or smooth writing, but there are some by which very common needs are covered without going a long way round. It may be noted that for memory purposes all the 250 special uses are given in the form of stories, and the reader may be interested in working out the connections.

Acts (10 groups of 5)











Directions (8 groups of 10)









In addition

In addition to the special uses so far listed, there are 10 more names of operations and directions with separate special uses, making another 20. These are:

We are now at the end of the 150 special uses of names of acts and directions. Here are 100 more with some of the other words in the Basic list, making the 250 complete.

First come those with the other words in the group headed 'Operations':

1 To some it seems AS if there is very little hope of change in language teaching.
2 As to (for) that view, it is natural but probably false.
3 Such questions are not at ALL interesting to the normal man.
4, 5 He and his friends are happy all day (night) talking to one ANOTHER about business.
6, 7 THAT is to say, they are better at making money than at forming theories; though HEREand there a man with money may have respect for someone who has ideas about language.
8, 9 But, talking generally, it is as true as (truer than) EVER that THERE is little in common between them.
10, 11 So as to get language taken seriously by governments, schools, and so on, some new system is necessary.
12, 13 So that Basic may be the VERY thing for that purpose as WELL (as for those we have been talking about).
With General Names
14 The hole was produced by an acid ACTING on the material.
15,16 In ADDITION to this, the color was taken out, which was sad because the coat had been sent on APPROVAL.
17,18 The story is that a young woman made an ATTACK on her lover with acid in the BELIEF that he had been false to her.
19, 20, 21 The police had no belief in his story till they saw that his coat was in BITS (had come to bits).
22 The woman was out of BREATH when they came up to her.
23 She was let go on CONDITION that she got married to the man.
24 He got a new coat on CREDIT.
25, 26 But it was to his credit that he had no DESIGNS on her money.
27, 28, 29,30,31 This story is given in DETAIL because it is an example of how, in the END, even in FRONT of one's lover, acting on IMPULSE is sometimes not in one's INTERESTS.
32 If you are at a LOSS for something to do, why not go to Chicago?
33 In a short time you will probably be making LOVE to the daughter of a gunman.
International Second Language
34, 35 Then I will be able to put up a stone in MEMORY of you, with a beautiful design I have in MIND.
36 This puts me in mind of another friend who came to a bad end.
37 I have a (good) mind to make a book about him.
38 He had a NAME for keeping on the right side of the law.
39, 40 Some businessmen took NOTE of this fact when their accounts were not quite in ORDER.
41,42 In PART because he was their friend, and in part because he saw a chance of profit, he said he would take part in the organization of their company.
43, 44, 45 A meeting took PLACE at which the public took a different POINT of view from the controlling body about the accounts in QUESTION.
46,47 What story the other men gave is not on RECORD, but at any RATE they went free and my friend was sent to prison.
48 While in prison he made little ships which were much in REQUEST.
49, 50, 51 One day he was walking in STEP with the other prisoners, SIDE by side with one of his new friends, when one of the prison watchmen took him on one side.
52, 53, 54 "I am going to put a STOP to this talking,” he said, and in SUPPORT of this statement he gave him a blow across the face, which was not in (very) good TASTE.
55, 56, 57 In TIME, the wound became serious, and he was out of (not in) TOUCH with a good medical man, so it was not long before he, in his TURN was taken dead from the prison.
58, 59, 60, 61 In VIEW of these sad experiences, if you have a VOICE in the business of your friends, don't let them give WAY to bad impulses, or they may get in the way of the law.
62, 63, 64 I had this story by WORD of mouth from my friend at his death, and to keep my word to him, I am now WORKING on a book about crime and punishment. With Pictured Names
65,66 They put their boxes in the train at right ANGLES to one another, and sent them 'CARRIAGE forward.'
67 The man on the train said he would keep an EYE on them.
68, 69, 70 The camera-man had an eye for form, but he hadn't the FACE to say that she was making a face.
71, 72, 73,74 He went to the mountains on FOOT, on the one HAND; she, on the other hand, went by train, though her knowledge of the country was at first (second) hand.
75,76 When they got there, she took in hand the cooking operations, and he went to get some fish, but his fishing- line was in KNOTS.
77 After a time this got on his NERVES.
78,79 Resting in the shade of a tree which had taken ROOT near the river, he let his memory go back to his days at SCHOOL.
80, 81, 82 These flowers will have gone to SEED before I get up from here, he said to himself, unconscious of what might be in STORE for him from the woman on WATCH by the fire. With Names of Qualities -- general
83,84 Make CERTAIN before you get married that you have something in COMMON.
85,86 Everything is DEPENDENT on his comfort, so be FERTILE in bright ideas.
87, 88 Do your BEST to get the better of bad humor.
89 Do not let your GOOD-mornings (days, nights) become automatic.
90,91 It is HARD on a man if he no LONGER has any peace because he is married.
92, 93, 94 The days may go PAST quickly enough at PRESENT, and everything may seem all RIGHT.
95,96 Though two persons do not get TIRED of one another STRAIGHT away, they may later.
97,98 But it is clear from watching the happy faces of animals with YOUNG that my worst fears may not come TRUE. With Names of Qualities -- opposites
99, 100 Is this a record? I am 100 years OLD and have not ever been the WORSE for drink.

In The Basic Words are listed another 250 special uses (marked, **) which are of great help in writing high-level Basic, but are not necessary for the learner.