“Onomatopoeia” (pronounced “on-uh-mat-uh-pee-uh”) is when a word sounds like the word it describes. For example, a “moo” is the sound that a cow makes, while “bark” is the sound that a dog makes.
We use onomatopoeia all the time when we speak English – but you don’t often find these words in textbooks. When you use them, you’ll sound more natural!
Here are ten onomatopoeic words that describe summer in English.
buzz – the sound that bees and other insects make
“Bees were buzzing around the flowers.”
clink – the sound of glasses touching
“They clinked their glasses to make a toast.”
crackle = the short, sharp sound that a fire makes, or when you hear lightning in a storm
“A few leaves started to crackle, then the fire caught.”
flip-flop = the sound you make with your feet when you wear “flip-flops” (beach sandals)
“I need a new pair of flip-flops.”
plop = the sound that a stone makes when you drop it in water
“We threw pebbles in the sea and listened to them plop.”
roar = a loud sound that lions make – or big waves
“We can hear the roar of the waves from our hotel balcony.”
slap = the sound you make when you hit your arm or leg to kill an insect
“I spent all evening slapping mosquitoes off my legs.”
sizzle = the sound meat makes on the barbecue
“It makes me hungry to hear the sausages sizzle.”
splash = when you move water with your hands
“We’re going for a splash in the sea. Want to come?”
zip = the noise a zip makes when you close (or open) it
“I love camping. All you need to do is zip up your tent at night for a good night’s sleep.”
Now listen to the audio of these words.
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