The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
Переклад цього матеріалу українською мовою з російської було автоматично здійснено сервісом Google Translate, без подальшого редагування тексту.
Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

English-couple of the week, or Why a snake cannot be poisonous


Lyudmila Balabay

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There are a lot of synonyms in English. That's true, very true! Non-native speakers rarely understand how decline differs from deny, and reject from refuse, and how they all differ from each other. But there is a difference, and it is important if you want to speak and write English correctly, and not like in the picture.

Collage: ForumDaily NY

To untangle the knots of synonyms and put each word on its proper semantic shelf, our team is starting a new series - English-pair. Each week we will look at two words that seem to have the same or very similar meaning and show the difference between them.

Today we’ll talk about the pair venomous and poisonous. In Russian, both of these words are translated as “poisonous”. Google won't let you lie.

So we often think that there is no difference between them - they are just two ways of saying the same thing. But that's not true.

Do you know how the difference between these words is explained to Americans? If you bite it and you die, it is called 'poisonous'. If it bites and you die, it's called 'venomous'.

That is, mushrooms or berries are poisonous. A person can die if they eat (bite) them. And a snake or spider is venomous. A person faces death only if these creatures bite him, and not he bites them. Perhaps you should not try to bite a cobra or a black widow - it is unlikely to end in anything good.

In general, poisonous is someone who contains poison within himself, but does not know how to actively use it. And venomous is a characteristic of a creature that can produce poison and inject it into its victim through a bite.

Share in the comments pairs (or groups) of words that confuse you. We will deal with them together.

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