Friday, January 17, 2014

Test your higher-level English vocabulary ~~ 8 useful words

to skulk - this means to hide or move around secretly, either because a person is afraid of being seen or because the person wants to do something wrong.  So if you did something embarrassing at school, you might skulk around the school hoping not too many people see you. Or, if someone is a criminal who wants to commit a crime, he might skulk around looking for an opportunity. 

docile - this word usually means submissive or willing to take orders and do what one is told to do

to dote on - to show too much emotion or affection (love) for someone; to really cater to someone because you really love that person.  

vitriol - this is literally a type of acid, therefore, figuratively, it means a very very harsh or nasty type of criticism

chagrin - when a person feels annoyed or irritated because he/she has failed at something. You often hear or read: "To my chagrin..." or "To his chagrin...." etc. i.e. To Mary's chagrin, she not only failed the test, but also failed the class as a whole. (So Mary was annoyed that something embarrassing happened to her.)

pendulous - when something is hanging very loosely or low

fallow - in the old days, farmers would leave some of their land fallow for a year so that it could recover from a previous planting and harvesting.  So leaving land fallow means not using it so that it can recover. 

Answers are below the exercise:

The current trend in the field of education is to build up a student's sense of confidence.  I remember the old days, however, when a teacher might verbally attack a student, using such __________________ that the student would be deeply embarrassed.

By the time a student reaches a university, his/her professors expect that student to be completely __________________. This is why professors are sometimes surprised when students complain or demand better efforts and more meaningful types of learning in the classroom.

I called the police and reported a guy who was just ________________ around my neighborhood. Every night when I come home I see him just kind of hiding around the corners of buildings and looking around.

The grapes in that area of the world grow to be so huge that they are __________________. They are large and round and just hang low on the vine ready to be plucked.

Because of China's 'one child' policy, parents tended to really __________________ their only child, and many of these children grew up to be very spoiled and self-absorbed.

I love gardening and my little garden has produced so many cucumbers and tomatoes. But I think I am going to leave my garden ________________ this year so that the soil can recover from previous plantings.

Bob was sure that he was going to be admitted to the graduate program he really wanted to go to. To his _______________, he was denied admission and we knew this because he started skulking around our school.

Answers are below:


dote on

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