English word of the day: PLACATE

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Hi students! It’s Shayna from espressoenglish.net and our word of the day is another verb – placate. Say it after me – PLA-cate. Placate.

When you placate someone, it means the other person is angry and you do something to make them calmer – typically by giving them something they want, or agreeing or promising to do something.

Sometimes you give them exactly what they want – like if a child is upset and crying because she wants some candy in a store, and her mom buys the candy to placate the child, to give her something to make her stop being angry.

But you can also placate someone by giving or promising them something else that’s not exactly what they were demanding. Let’s say the employees of a company are complaining about their salaries and they really want raises, but the company just doesn’t have enough money to do that. The company might try to placate the employees by offering a different benefit, like more flexible schedules or more time off. Although it’s not exactly what the angry employees wanted, it is a good thing that helps calm them down and satisfy them, it helps placate them.

Sometimes you might try to placate the other person, but it doesn’t work. Imagine a husband who totally forgot his wife’s birthday, and she’s really mad at him. He might buy her flowers in an attempt to placate her, but that might not be enough – she might still stay angry for a while because she wanted a more thoughtful gift or a special birthday dinner.

Now put this word of the day into practice – talk about a time when you have had to placate someone, or someone has placated you. Thanks for joining me, and I’ll talk to you in the next video.


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