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Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Top Words. My name is Alisha and today, we're going to talk about 10 words for fighting. So, let's go!
1. attack
First word is attack, attack, the verb attack. So, attack means, for example, punch someone, kick someone, to show aggression towards someone, to be aggressive in your… with your body or with your words. So we can say to attack someone verbally, verbally meaning with your words, or attack someone physically, physically meaning with your body or with an object. I don't know who I'm gonna attack with a phone. But yeah, physically or verbally attack someone. One point about this word; however, some of my students say attack like for example…
"She attacked to him."
After the verb attack, there is no preposition like "attacked to" is incorrect. Please follow attack with the object of the attack. So for example…
"He attacked me."
"I attacked him."
"The green team attacked the red team."
"I attacked my refrigerator."
What? I don't know.
But anytime you show aggression or someone shows aggression to another thing… What is with my hair? My hair is attacking me right now, seriously. It's like it wouldn't leave me alone. We use attack actually in this very casual way, sometimes, to show like to… to give the nuance that another object is kind of being too aggressive for us. So, if for example, an object falls from like your closet or something falls onto you, you can tell your friends a story that sounds a little funny like…
"Ah! Something attacked me in my closet."
Or like
"My coat attacked me."
"The door attacked me when I tried to open it."
So, it sounds like some… there was too much aggression. It sounds like you were the victim of something. We can use attack in this way to kind of create a little bit of humor or to make storytelling a little more interesting. But please remember, no preposition after attack. We can; however, use attacked by, but that's when we use the passive voice. So like…
"I was attacked by a duck."
Whatever. In the passive voice, when we use the passive voice, he was attacked by…, was attacked by (something). In that case, we should follow attacked with the preposition by. However, in like in an active-voice sentence, "I attacked you," please use no preposition.
So, in one more example sentence…
"My neighbor was attacked by a dog."
2. war
Next word is war, war. So we use war, usually, for arguments or disagreements, usually physical disagreements, the people actually fight, physically fight and verbally too. We use war for two countries, usually. So like the US and Japan or Germany and Britain or Russia and Canada like that did not happen, but just for example. So, two or more countries who are fighting and there may be soldiers and physical fighting and policy debates and so on. That is called war, war. We can also use war as a verb too, to war with someone. So like, the US warred with Japan, for example. So to war and we have to be at war. We can use both of these expressions to talk about fighting between two countries, two or more countries.
So, in a sentence…
"Those countries have been at war for a long time."
3. fight
The next one is the word fight, the simple word fight. So as I mentioned, we can use fight for a verbal, with your words, a verbal argument or we can use it for a physical argument, with your body or with an object. So fight is usually used for like… for like physical like a fist fight or kicking, punching, that sort of thing. We typically use a fight… we use fight in cases where like two people are both involved, two people are both participating. We use attack in situations where maybe one person is being aggressive and the other person is trying to like protect themselves. A fight is where both people or a group of people maybe, are all participating in aggressive behavior, a fight. The same applies to verbal situations, so for example, when couples fight. Usually, though not in all cases unfortunately, usually, it's a verbal fight. So, we could say, "We had a fight." If a couple… if a member of a couple says, "we had a fight," it usually means a verbal fight. Unfortunately, physical fights do happen among people, but we can use the verb fight for both of these situations.
So let's see…
" got in a fight with my mom yesterday."
That's not true.
I fought… past tense, "I fought my coworker for the promotion."
So, in that case, it means like to… it's like challenging something or trying to challenge yourself or racing someone, so we can use fight in this way too.
In one more sentence...
"Don't fight with your brother."
4. quarrel
The next word is quarrel, quarrel. This is a great pronunciation point, quarrel, quarrel. Work on that, that Q-U sound /qu/, /qu/, quarr...el, quarrel, nice pronunciation point. Anyway, the word quarrel is a more formal word which means fight and quarrel usually refers to a verbal argument. So like couples have a couple's quarrel or I quarreled with my neighbor or I quarreled with my boss over a raise. It sounds a little bit formal and generally, this word is not used so much in speech because honestly, it's quite difficult to say, even for me to say. It's like quarrel, quarrel. It just sounds weird and honestly, fight is easier to say and fight is more commonly used in everyday speech. Of course, quarrel is not incorrect, so you can use it and it's great for pronunciation points. But this usually refers to a verbal argument.
In a sentence…
"The people who live upstairs had a quarrel last night."
5. argue
So the next word is argue. The noun form is argument. To have an argument or to argue with someone. So argument is more than one person having an aggressive discussion. To argue with someone is, usually, it has sort of a negative nuance about it, like…
"I argued with my neighbors about the noise."
"I argued with my client about the project."
"I argued with my boyfriend or girlfriend about our relationship."
"I argued with my dog…"
No, that doesn't make sense.
So, we can't use argue with a dog because the dog does not argue. We need another participant, so there must be at least two people involved to have an argument. It's a two-way sort of thing.
One more example…
"I hate arguing."
6. punch
The next verb is punch, punch. So I started this video with a punch. Punch is an attack that you do with your hand, your arm, your fist. Usually, it's this sort of motion or maybe it's this sort of motion, any motion that you make with your upper body like this, so to punch, like…
"I'm going to punch a wall because I'm super angry."
"The drunk person at the bar punched another customer. Oh my gosh!"
"Don't punch your brother."
"He punched me in the face."
I don't even know. These are very silly example sentences, but I hope nobody's getting punched. I hope nobody's doing any punching.
But in one more example sentence…
"That guy punched me in the face."
7. kick
The next verb is kick, kick. So if punch is with your arms and your hands, kick is an attack showing aggression with your legs, with your feet. I'm not going to demonstrate because this is a program that's shot from the waist up. So, a kick is with your legs. So, we use kick when playing soccer and other like, you know, sports and stuff, but for attacks as well, we use kick. And again, similar to attack, you should always follow a punch and kick with the object of the action. So, who is being punched? Who is being kicked? Like that guy kicked me or my dog kicked me or the horse kicked me or I kicked my brother or my mom kicked a bucket in the garden. So, always follow these verbs with the object, the object that is receiving the action, okay.
In one more sentence…
"My sister kicked me."
8. destroy
Destroy, destroy. So destroy is used, usually, for like a large scale… for large-scale damage. So to destroy something means to 100% like kill or finish or remove something. So, to destroy a city is like everything is a mess. It's just you can't use it anymore. We can use destroy of course for like war or maybe for like a house like…
"The tornado destroyed my house."
Or, I don't know, I destroyed my cake when I dropped it, for example. But we can also use destroy for like mental situations like…
"Ah! The test was so difficult, it destroyed me."
So, in that case, it was really difficult for me mentally. We can use destroy for physical destruction, physical… yeah, physical problems that we can no longer use something, but we can also use it for mental situations, like, ah, this is so stressful, it's destroying me mentally, for example, okay.
In a sentence…
"They want to destroy our city."
9. battle
The next word is battle, battle. Battle is used more often to refer to fights and wars throughout history. We don't use battle so much in everyday conversation these days, but if you play video games, you might see battle in video games a lot, like to start a battle, to end a battle, to have a battle. It has a sort of like a Renaissance or like a 1600, 1700's feel to it of like, you know, knights and kings and queens and horses and people running out to fight. We, we…that's sort of the image it conjures, but the image it conjures means that's sort of what we can imagine in our minds. But battle is typically used for, yeah, for talking about specific fights in wars, so like the Battle of 1812. Is that a thing? I don't know, oh gosh, my history. Oh, someone is gonna yell at me, sorry in advance for my bad history. So like a specific battle name like the battle of blah, blah, blah. You might see that in history textbooks. That means a specific fight in a specific location, at a specific time. But yeah, we can use battle for like a… to talk about a specific fight at a specific time. It's not used that much these days, usually for historical purposes, okay.
In a sentence…
"There have been many epic battles in history."
10. squabble
The next word is squabble. Squabble is another fun word. Squabble also has that /qu/ sound like quarrel, but squabble is easier to say. Squabble means a small fight. It's a very small fight, a small argument about a small problem. So, it's usually like homework or housework or forgetting a small detail, something like that. So, you squabble about blah, blah, blah. So like, we squabbled about chores, we squabbled about homework, we squabbled about our electricity bill, something small, hopefully, is when we use squabble. Again, this is not such a common word. You can use it if you like, but I would say in most cases, we just use fight or argue instead.
In a sentence…
"We squabbled about house cleaning responsibilities."
Okay, so that's the end. Those are 10 words for fighting. So, those are a few ways that you can talk about attacks or arguments or quarrels, squabbles, war, and so on. So, I hope they're useful for you. If you have any questions or comments or just want to try to make an example sentence, please let us know in the comments. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Top Words and we'll see you again soon. Bye!