This practice activity requires you to use the euphemisms in this article.
Read the article and then try the practice exercise.
Instructions: The following sentences sound a bit harsh. What euphemisms could you use to say the same thing but in a softer, less direct way? In some cases, more than one answer is possible.
1. One of our employees spent some time in prison when he was younger.
2. Martin’s uncle died in World War II.
3. Chelsea was an advertising executive, but now she’s a housewife.
4. George works as a trash man, but is currently looking for work as a janitor.
5. Sally’s German Shepherd had to be killed. It had cancer.
6. Sir, I’m very sorry but there is a problem with your order. It looks like it won’t be shipped until Thursday.
7. Did the doctor recommend getting an abortion?
8. The job offer sounds great, but I was hoping for better pay.
9. I think it’s great that our company provides employment opportunities to the mentally retarded.
10. Our boss wants us to complete this report by the end of the day.
11. You owe our company some money. Please pay us as soon as possible.
12. A local teacher was removed from duty due to his drug addiction.
13. I wouldn’t show that movie to your child. There is a lot of sexual content.
14. Give me a couple minutes to go to the bathroom, and then we can continue the conference call.
15. Let’s buy some used furniture instead of spending a fortune on a new bedroom set.
16. I heard a rumor that our company is planning on firing several salespeople on Friday.
17. Mrs. Smith’s secretary will arrange the meeting and send out a schedule.
18. I saw an interesting documentary about prostitutes in Amsterdam.
19. Poor children are more at risk to drop out of high school.
20. Karl is the fat man who sits next to Angela in Accounting.
21. I had to pick up my friend from a party last night. He was drunk and unable to drive.
22. Several students in my English class are from third world countries.
23. I’m unemployed right now, but I hope to find something soon.
24. Is the death penalty a possibility in this trial?
25. I was very sorry to hear about your grandfather’s death.
26. We can’t give specifics on the case, but we can inform you that we have arrested someone.
27. Several prisons are hiring. You should apply.
28. Are there many illegal immigrants in this industry?
29. Some old people are upset about the government cuts.
30. Our firm has 15 lawyers, all with over 15 years’ experience in family law.
31. The war has been controversial because of the accidental civilian deaths.
For more practice, see the Practice Exercise section of the site.