1. Business Costs
1. It is difficult to account for all small breakages but we can factor that into the cost of production.
There is always damage or breakage in shipping. Who should bear this cost? The producer, or the shipper or the receiver, or an insurance company?
2. Politics and Elections
2. Because of irregularities in the way the ballot boxes were handled, there will have to be a recount.
A “recount” means you have to count again.
Are there free and fair elections in your country? Is the public manipulated by the media? Link to more vocabulary about politics and elections.
3. Children’s Literature
3. The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey. The king was in his counting house counting out his money.
Most English children learn this old nursery rhyme.
4. Human Relationships
4. If you need a friend, you can count on me.
Is this a line from a song?
5. Entertainment and Catering
5. I tried to keep count in the beginning as people came in but there were so many people that I soon lost count and I decided to just count them up after they had all entered. I know it is not the most efficient way to do it but I just couldn’t keep count of them all by myself.
Have you ever made a headcount at a function and got it wrong and not had enough food? It would be embarrassing. It is better to make too much than not enough.
6. It is ten minutes to midnight and the countdown to new year will start soon.
Do you celebrate New Year with a countdown to midnight?
7. Attendance Numbers
7. Can you make a rough headcount and let me know how many people there are?
A rough headcount is an approximate headcount.
8. Fertility Clinic
8. In cases where there is a low sperm count we can offer help with in vitro fertilisation to improve the chance of conception.
Is in vitro fertilisation common in your country? What do you think about genetic engineering for humans? Is it ok to use genes from many humans to create a human in a test tube? That is legal in the UK now. A child can have three parents. Sex has been removed from the equation.
9. In grammar quantifiable nouns like “people” and “apples” and “cars” are called count nouns or countable nouns but mass nouns like sugar and water and flower, which cannot be counted, are called non-count nouns or uncountable nouns.
Are you familiar with this aspect of grammar?
10. He put his purchases on the counter and fished in his pocket for some money to pay for them.
The counter in a shop is next to the cash register. The cash register sometimes sits on the counter.
11. French Literature
11. The Count of Monte Cristo is a novel which was written by Alexandre Dumas.
Have you read this book? Do you like French Literature? Can you speak French?
12. Banking and Politics
Is the central bank, which prints money, a government bank or a privately owned bank? Find out on wikipedia. The answer will surprise you. All the central banks are owned by private bankers. They control the world by printing money. But money is just paper!
13. Crime and Detection
13. The main suspect has a good alibi except for the time between leaving the house and arriving at the bar, and nobody can account for him during that thirty minute period, and that is when the crime was committed.
14. Airline Disaster
14. Of the fifty-one crew and passengers who were traveling on that flight, twenty-eight people have still not been accounted for.
Do you remember the terrible accident in Taiwan where the plane clipped a taxi?
15. Business and Contractual Obligations
Changes in government usually effect the economy and the value of the currency.
16. He took a terrific blow to the head and he was down for the count.
Boxing or pugilism is a sport where one opponent knocks the other down and if he is “down for the count” or “out for the count” (unconscious), he is the loser.
17. He was actually out for the count. His opponent knocked him unconscious.
18. Most children can count from one to a hundred by the time they reach that age so he might have some kind of learning difficulty.
19. There is an accounting firm in the city which employs several chartered accountants and I am sure they can help you to get your affairs in order.
20. Taxation and Business
20. One of my friends is a tax accountant and I can ring him and ask him what we should do to comply with tax office requirements.
Note – Headings
Did you notice the headings? The headings add context to the vocabulary phrases so you can learn the vocabulary in context. Much of meaning is in context and you should learn a phrase rather than just an individual word.