Learn English Vocabulary – Left vs. The Rest

Michael Vocabulary Leave a Comment

Building up your vocabulary is essential when you are learning a second language. In this English lesson, let’s look at the difference between have something left and the rest. This will help you in your everyday English conversations, as well as on English tests such as the TOEIC exam.

I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant last night. The food is great and the portions are big. Actually, the portions are too big, so I had a lot of food left. I ate what I could, and told the waiter I wanted to take the rest home. Even though I love fried rice, there was a lot left over.

A lot of people have written to say that they have trouble using the rest and left, so today I am going to show you how these expressions are used in English conversation.

Rest is a noun and means the remaining part of something or the others in a group. We always use the rest as a set phrase because it is always a specific part of something. Here are some examples:

  • I’m going to eat half of this sandwich now, and take the rest home. ~ take the remaining part home.
  • I like to use this brand of shampoo. The rest make my hair too dry. ~ the other brands of shampoo.
  • I read half of the report in the office. I’ll read the rest on the train ride home. ~the second half of the report.
  • Jack had meetings all morning. He spend the rest of the day calling his customers. ~ the remaing part of the work day.

Left is the past participle of the verb leave, and we generally use the phrase have [something] left or There is/are [something] left to mean that [something] is remaining or unused.

  • We have 11 days left until the first day of fall. ~11 days are remaning…
  • I’m almost finished with the book. I have about 25 pages left.  ~ about 25 unread pages remain.
  • We need to buy eggs. There are only 2 left. ~ only 2 eggs remain.
  • By 10:00pm, there weren’t many guests left at the party. ~ only a few partygoers were there.

Keep in mind the best way to remember this or any vocabulary in English is to take the word or phrase write it in a sentence that’s true for you or true in your world and then memorize your sentences.

You can even take your sentences and write them in the comments below. I would love to see your examples. And if you really want help with vocabulary, sign up for my free vocabulary workshop (see below).

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!


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