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English for Engineers: Vocabulary for Dimensions

January 14, 2017


English is quickly becoming the language of engineering, which is why CISL now offers the English for Engineers program. With this program, Upper Intermediate and Advanced students learn the skills necessary to help them succeed in an English speaking Engineering environment. Among other things, students learn:

  • Language related to engineering (such as design, procedures, and processes)
  • How to express problems, solutions, and communication related to capabilities, limitations, problems, solutions, regulations, standards, etc.
  • Practice working with written instructions, drawings, and notices
  • Grammar, vocabulary, and writing and speaking skills focused on discussing quality, repairs, maintenance, technical requirements, regulations, standards, suitability and relative performance

Finally, students learn vocabulary about engineering and technology, such as dimensions, precision, and causes and effects. The CISL Blog has already looked at Five must-know English Adjectives for Engineers. Today we are taking a look at some college Engineering vocabulary regarding the dimensions of an object. Do you know all of these words?

Engineering Vocabulary: Dimensions


The measurement of a surface or piece of land.


Which is more difficult: calculating the area of a square parking lot . . . or skateboarding?


The distance or measurement from side to side of something


The width of the river changes during different parts of the year.


The distance around something


Which of these can you calculate the circumference of?


The distance from the top or surface to the bottom of something


The depth of the ocean scares many people . . . but not surfers!


A straight line passing from side to side through the centre of a body or figure, especially a circle or sphere.


Having a level surface; without raised areas or indentation


This flat land is perfect for playing sports, running, or biking.


The measurement of someone or something from head to foot or from base to top.

It’s amazing to think of the height of these large skyscrapers.


The measurement or extent of something from end to end; the greater of two or the greatest of three dimensions of an object.



A straight line from the centre to the circumference of a circle or sphere.

Remember high school math?


The distance through an object, as distinct from width or height.

Have you ever read a really thick book?


The amount of space that a substance or object occupies, or that is enclosed within a container.

Is it possible to calculate the volume of the ocean?

For more information on CISL’s English for Engineers (and to learn more about the Career English program, where you can spend time in an American Engineering firm!) contact CISL.

CISL San Diego English for Engineers Featured

English for Engineers: 5 must-know adjectives

September 20, 2016

CISL’s English for Engineers program offers students the opportunity to learn engineering-specific vocabulary and grammar. However, when we say “engineering,” many things can come to mind: mechanical engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering . . . there are so many fields within this industry!

Regardless of the industry you are in, the following English adjectives will help you communicate better in English.


Five English Adjectives for Engineers


Definition: something that increases in rate, amount, or extent.

Example: As the machine accelerated, the temperature increased.


Definition: something made active or operative.

Example: We experienced some technical difficulties after the machine was activated.

Definition: something converted (a substance, molecule, etc.) into a reactive form.

Example: It appears that the addition of the chemical activated a reaction.


Definition: something that moves continuously or freely through a closed system or area.

Example: The energy is circulated throughout the machine.


Definition: something that is covered.

Example: The machine is coated with a substance that makes its pistons move quickly.


Definition: metal, stone, or other materials slowly destroyed or damaged by chemical action.

Example: The corroded machine was cleaned and restored.

Bonus word: Obstructed

Definition: something that is blocked (an opening, path, road, etc.).

Example: The obstructed part of the machine was quickly repaired.


Would you like to learn more about English for Engineers at CISL San Diego? Our intensive course provides students with the following:

  • Specific vocabulary practice: students learn words focused on engineering and technology (dimensions, precision, and causes and effects, etc.)
  • English related to design phases, procedures, and processes of engineering
  • Work-related English skills: students learn to express problems and solutions, capabilities and limitations, etc.
  • Practice working with written instructions, drawings, and notices
  • Verbal focus on one’s ability to discuss quality issues, repairs, maintenance, technical requirements, regulations, standards, suitability and relative performance
  • Classroom activities focused on mock work environments for additional verbal practice with communication in engineering