Who doesn’t love autumn? All those beautiful red and yellow leaves, frosty walks, hot chocolates and cosy jumpers... what’s not to like? If you’re looking to expand your autumn vocabulary this October, you’ve come to the right place. Express yourself this season with our Brighter English A-Z of Amazing Autumn Words.
For extra English practice, why not have a go at the tasks below?
Task 1: Translate the words into your own language and write them in your vocabulary notebook.
Task 2: Write an example sentence for each word in English.
Task 3: Write the answers to the autumn questions in bold. For extra speaking practice, ask and answer the questions with a friend.
Task 4: Make a Quizlet set of the words you find hard to remember, and play games to practise them.
If something’s abundant it means there’s plenty of it. Autumn is the season of abundance, when lots of varieties of fruit and vegetables are ripe and ready to be picked.
Which autumn foods are abundant in your country?
An acorn is an oval shaped nut that grows on an oak tree. At this time of year, acorns fall to the ground and are eaten by wild animals, particularly squirrels.
Autumn days are often cold and blustery, so you have to wrap up warm. Blustery weather means rough winds, so British people have to hold on tight to their umbrellas or they’ll fly away!
What’s the autumn weather like where you live?
Something crunchy makes a loud sound when you bite or crush it. Although we usually tend to think of foods being crunchy, autumn is full of crunchy sounds. Can you guess why? That’s right, from walking through piles of autumn leaves. The leaves dry up after they fall from the trees, so they make a loud, satisfying noise when you step on them. Hands up if you’ve done this just for fun?
Have you noticed that some trees turn red and gold, while others stay the same? A deciduous tree is one which loses its leaves each autumn, but an evergreen tree stays looking lush and green all year round.
In summer the days are really long but in autumn they start to get shorter, and it gets darker earlier. There are two times in the year when the days and nights are the same length and this is known as an ‘equinox’. We have one in Spring around the 22nd March, and another one in the autumn around the 22nd September.
Do you celebrate the autumn equinox in your country? If so, how?
To be ‘by the fireside’ simply means near to or next to the fireplace. Open fireplaces and wood-burners are popular in Britain and you can still find them in many British houses today. Is there anything better than relaxing next to a crackling fire on a cold, blustery day?
When the air drops below freezing, it forms a thin layer of ice on anything it touches and this is known as frost. Frosty mornings are bitterly cold, but stunningly beautiful. Look out for the beautiful patterns it makes on leaves, cobwebs and windows.
We can describe the yellow colour of the leaves as they start to die and fall from the trees as ‘golden’, as well as the glow of the hazy, autumn sun.
What other examples of the word ‘golden’ can you think of?
harvest (v) (n)
Many foods are planted and grown during spring and summer and are ready to eat in autumn. The time when farmers gather their crops is known as harvest time. In Britain, we celebrate the harvest with fairs, feasts and festivals.
What special things do you do to celebrate the harvest in your country?
Many animals take a long sleep over the winter and wake up again in the spring. This is called ‘hibernating’. Hedgehogs, bees, squirrels and bats all hibernate here in the UK, and with such cold, miserable winters, who can blame them?
Which animals hibernate for the winter in your country?
howl (v) (n)
A howl is a loud, high pitched cry that can be made by a dog or a wolf. We can also use it to describe the spooky sound the wind makes when it blows strongly past buildings or down narrow streets.
Have you ever looked out of your window and not been able to see too far? This is due to a typically autumn weather known as mist. It’s caused by tiny droplets of water in the air, and it’s these droplets that stop you from seeing clearly.
The light that comes from the moon is known as ‘moonlight’ and the adjective form is ‘moonlit’. With its shorter days and longer nights, autumn is the perfect time for that moonlit walk.
How many other adjectives can you think of to describe an autumn night?
After a spring and summer of barbecues, picnics and outdoor parties, we move our social activities indoors as the days get colder. This means the gardens we’ve been pruning and mowing diligently start to get neglected. The grass gets longer and our plants get bushier because we stop cutting them as much. This means our gardens get pretty overgrown…but only until next spring.
A delicious orange vegetable with a scary reputation, a pumpkin is a type of large, round squash. A squash is vegetable that’s typically used in soups, stews and pies – it’s a tasty autumn comfort food. We also use pumpkins as decorations for Halloween. We carve frightening faces into them and put them on our doorsteps for trick or treaters to enjoy.
What foods do you like to eat in autumn? Why?
Russet is a reddish-brown colour. It’s also a delicious type of apple. If you were writing a poem, you might describe the colours of autumn leaves as russet and gold.
How many other things can you think of that are russet in colour?
This adorable, long-tailed animal can often be seen out and about in autumn. Squirrels are small and agile and live high up in the trees. They’re winter hibernators, so at this time of year, they’re looking for nuts, seeds and fruit to store away for winter.
If you get a lot of autumn rain in your country, you’ll know that it makes the ground wet and soft, or ‘soggy’. Your clothes might also get soggy if you forget your umbrella on a rainy day.
Something spooky is strange and frightening. It’s usually used to describe places such as old houses, dark woods or abandoned buildings.
What’s the spookiest place you’ve ever visited? Why did it frighten you?
If something is unpredictable, it changes so often that you can’t predict what’s going to happen next. Autumn is a very unpredictable season, especially in terms of the weather. It can be rainy and blustery one day and sunny and warm the next.
Although we can describe a lively person as ‘vibrant’, we can also use it to mean ‘bright and colourful’. So when autumn leaves change from green to yellow, red and gold, they look more vibrant.
Do you like to wear vibrant colours? Why/why not?
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of our Autumn A-Z! We hope you’ve enjoyed learning some new words and taking positive steps to improve your English vocabulary today. If you’d like to take your English to the next level this season, simply send us a message to find out more about our courses and how we can help you achieve your learning goals.
We’d love to find out more about your country in autumn and get a sneak peek at some of your answers to our questions. Share your ideas with us and our Brighter English community in the comments below.