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Christmas vocabulary

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

In this blog we will look at vocabulary and example sentences to be used during the Christmas season.


Here are some sentence structures we will use:

  • Question word + verb 'be' + subject + going to + present tense verb phrase

  • Question word + subject + present tense verb phrase

  • Have + subject + past participle verb phrase

  • Question word + verb 'be' + subject + continuous verb phrase


  • Subject + verb 'be' + going to + present tense verb phrase

  • Subject + present tense verb phrase

Before Christmas

Nouns

Nativity - a play of Jesus' birth, often performed by young children at school


Verbs

decorate - changing the appearance of a noun (such as Christmas tree), room or building

wrap - putting paper and other decorations around a present

watch - to look at a changing picture for a period of time

go - traveling from one place to another

spend - to use time or money for an activity


Example sentences

Decorate


Question: When are you going to decorate your house for Christmas?

  • This questions is for this year (going to...)

  • "for Christmas" = the purpose is Christmas

Answer: I'm decorating it [time chunk].

Answer: I'm decorating it tomorrow.

 

Q: When do you decorate your house for Christmas?

  • This is a general question about every year.

A: I decorate it in / on [time chunk].

A: I decorate it on December 1st.

A: We decorate it in December.

 

Q: How do you decorate your house for Christmas?

  • 'How' is asking what style or to what level is your house decorated.

A: It's simply decorated.

A: I go all out.

  • This means you do everything.

A: I keep it traditional.

  • This means the decoration is traditional.

  • 'Keep it' is used because you are not changing from the original style.

Presents


Q: Have you bought your presents yet?

  • 'Yet' is used because it is assumed you will do the activity. The activity (buy presents) is going to happen.

A: Not yet. I'll do it [time chunk].

  • "Not yet" means the activity has not been done but it will be. There is no choice.

A: Yes, I did it [time chunk].

 

Q: How many presents do you need to buy?


A: I need to get about [number].

  • You use 'about' because the number is not precise.

 

Q: Who do you need to buy for?

  • 'Who' is used because you are asking about the people you are buying presents for.

A: I need to get presents for [list people].

A: I need to get presents for my husband and a colleague at work.

A: I have to get presents for [list people].

A: I have to get presents for my husband, son and son-in-law.

A: I must get presents for [list people].


For the difference between 'have to' and 'must' click here.

 

Q: Have you wrapped your presents yet?

  • Using the present perfect tense as the subject of the sentence effects the present.

  • 'Yet' is used because the action (wrap presents) will be done.

A: No, not yet. I'll do it [time chunk].

A: Yes, I did it [time chunk].

 

Q: When will you wrap your presents?


A: I'll do it [time chunk].


Go


Q: Where are you going for Christmas?

  • 'are you' means this year.

A: We're going to my [name of person in possessive form].

A: We're going to my sister's.

A: I'm going home.

  • This means your childhood home.

 

Q: Where do you go for Christmas?

  • This means where do you usually go.

A: We go to my [name of person in possessive form].

A: We go to my wife's families.

A: I go home.


Spend


Q: Where are you spending Christmas?

  • 'are you' means this year.

A: We're spending it at my [name of person in possessive form].

A: We're spending it at my boyfriend's.

A: I'm spending it at home.

  • This means your childhood home.

 

Q: Where do you spend Christmas?

  • This means where do you usually go.

A: We spend it at [name of person in possessive form].

A: We spend it at my wife's families.

A: I spend it at home.


What's the difference between 'go' and 'spend'?


'Go' is a verb to do with moving. 'Spend' is a verb about using something (in this case, time)


I go to my parent's house. You travel to...

I go to my parent's house for Christmas. You travel to...and then the reason why (for...)


I spend Christmas at my parent's house. You use the 'Christmas time' at your parent's.


Nativity


Q: Are you going to watch [name]'s nativity play?

  • Asking about an event in the future.

A: Yes, I'm watching it on [time chunk].

A: Not this year.

  • This means no for this year, but you may watch it this year and have probably watched it previously.

Songs


Q: Do you like Christmas songs?


A: Yes, I love listening to them.

A: I like some but not others.

A: Not really.

A: No, I hate them all.

 

Q: Do you listen to Christmas songs?


A: Yes, but only near Christmas.

A: Yes, I listen to them all through December.

A: No, I hear enough on the radio and in shops.

 

Q: Which is your favourite Christmas song?


A: It has to be [name of Christmas song].

  • This is a way of saying that there's a lot of choice but my favourite is...

A: My favourite is [name of Christmas song].

A: I don't have a favourite but I like [name of song], [name of song] and [name of song].

A: I don't like any of them.


On Christmas Day

Nouns

tradition - something done for a long time.


Adjectives

traditional - describes something as being done for a long time. For example, 'traditional clothes' are clothes which have been worn by people for a long time.


Verbs

cook - preparing food

eat - consume food

play - having fun while doing an activity

unwrap - remove wrapping paper from a present


Example sentences


Christmas day


Q: Do you have a big Christmas?

  • This is asking if you see a lot of people at Christmas.

A: No, it's just [small list people].

A: Yes, there's about [number] of us.

 

Q: When do you unwrap your presents?


A: We unwrap one in the morning, then have breakfast, and then unwrap the rest.

A: We always unwrap them in the morning.

A: We unwrap all in the morning, except a big one we leave until the afternoon.

  • 'except' means everything but...

  • 'a big one' means an expensive presents

 

Q: What did Santa Claus / Father Christmas get you for Christmas?

  • Santa Claus / Father Christmas is the person children believe gives the presents.

A: I got a PlayStation.

 

Q: What did you get for Christmas?


A: I got a few books, a jumper and a bottle of wine.


Christmas dinner


Q: When do you have Christmas dinner?


A: We have it [time chunk].

 

Q: Do you have a traditional Christmas dinner?

  • A traditional Christmas dinner is turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing, roast vegetables and gravy.

A: Yes, it's very traditional.

A: No, we have [type of food].

A: No, we have pizza.

 

Q: Do you have crackers with your dinner?


A: Yes.

A: No.

 

Q: What kind of crackers do you have?

  • 'kind of' is asking for a description of the crackers

A: We have traditional ones.

A: We have luxury crackers.

A: My mum buys cheap crackers. You know, the ones with the paper hats.

 

Q: Who cooks Christmas dinner?


A: Usually mum does everything.

A: We all cook something.

A: My mum does a lot but my dad carves the turkey.

A: I do the stuffing, my brother does the pigs in blankets and my sister does the rest.

  • 'the rest' means everything else.

Christmas traditions


Q: Do you have any Christmas traditions?

  • This is an open question. It's asking whether you do anything every Christmas.

These are examples but every person's will be different.


A: We never watch TV on Christmas day.

A: My family will play a board game in the evening.

A: We always go to church in the morning.

A: I read a book.

A: My dad will play the piano and we'll sing Christmas songs.


After Christmas Day

Nouns

Boxing Day - 26th December


Verbs

take down - removing something that is up

tidy up - clearing / cleaning mess

watch - seeing something that typically moves


Example sentences

Q: What are you doing on Boxing Day?

  • This is asking about this year's Boxing Day.

A: I'll go to the sales and look for bargains.

A: I'm going to the football.

  • The person uses 'the' football because they know which match they are going to.

 

Q: What do you do on Boxing Day?

  • This is asking about Boxing Day every year.

A: I go to my girlfriend's house and see her family.

A: I normally visit my grandparent's.

A: We watch a lot of football.

A: Tidy up!

 

Q: When do you take down your Christmas decorations?


A: We take them down on the first weekend in January.

A: About a week after Christmas day.




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