Spelling and Adjective Practice (page 4)
Read the following study guide for a concept review: Spelling and Adjective Help
Spelling and Adjective Practice
Words in Context
The following exercise will help you figure out the meaning of some words from the vocabulary list by reading context clues. After you have read and understood the paragraph, explain the context clues that helped you with the meaning of the vocabulary word. Refer to the answer section at the end of this lesson for an explanation of the clues.
When my young daughter Tanya came home one day claiming she had adopted a lost puppy, I thought this an audacious move. After all, we live in a small two-bedroom apartment, and further, Tanya knows her sister is prone to allergies, especially around long-haired dogs like this pup she found. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have demanded we let the dog go. Yet, there were extenuating circumstances that seemed relevant to the decision I had to make. The playful and feisty puppy reminded us so very much of Jelly, the playful dog next door who, three months ago, was tragically killed by a speeding car. The loss had stayed with my daughters and me; our sadness was palpable, filling our home with gloom. And so I agreed that the sweet stray would become a member of our family.
Sometimes when you're writing, it can be hard to decide which adjective to use. If you get stuck, brainstorm a short list of possibilities, and then insert one word at a time to see which adjective best fits your sentence.
Insert the correct word from the vocabulary list into the following sentences.
- Because James is quite shy, he tends to get along with girls who have a(n) _____ nature.
- Her _____ behavior was shocking, as she was normally shy and reserved.
- The _____ circumstances helped to justify why the normally conscientious student didn't turn in his term paper.
- I enjoyed my job until I had to work closely with the _____ Louise—she is impossible to get along with!
- I tend to like people with a(n) _____ disposition, as I like a personality with spirit and spunk.
- It was no surprise that the day Kathryn lost her job, she had a(n) _____ expression on her face.
- Jason is so playful that it is hard to tell when he is being _____ or serious.
- It was clear by Paul's _____ behavior that he didn't care about the project.
- Andrew's _____ tastes inspired him to go to cooking school and open his own restaurant.
- After Sandy let it slip about the surprise party for Johnny, there was a _____ feeling of awkwardness in the room.
- There are _____ cultural activities to choose from in New York City.
- Because of my pale skin, I am _____ to getting freckles in the sun.
- I had to leave my last job because of my _____ boss; he thought that the best way to manage a department was by being dictatorial.
- Bob's _____ strategies may work in the short term, but eventually, his sneaky dealings will get him in trouble.
- Her coworkers respond well to Lauren's _____ demeanor, as everyone likes to be around someone who is self-confident.
- Your _____ denial is so insistent that I no longer believe that you are responsible.
- The room was too _____ for my taste with its gaudy, elaborate decor.
- The _____ storm was so huge, I thought it the most intense weather we had experienced all year.
- He never seemed open to new experiences; he and his _____ attitude mocked everything even remotely unfamiliar.
- My past experiences proved _____ to the situation once I was able to make the connection.
The following exercise lists vocabulary words from this chapter. Each word is followed by five answer choices. Four of them are synonyms of the vocabulary word in bold. Your task is to choose the one that is NOT a synonym.
- disrespectful levity
- rudely casual
- highly decorated
- excessively ornamented
- scornfully mocking
- conservative, restrained, reserved, timid
- polite, poised, tractable, malleable
- respectful, mindful, serious, courteous
- joyful, blissful, happy, mirthful
- finite, numerical, limited, homogenous
- clear, straight, honest, direct
- plain, unadorned, modest, simple
- irrelevant, disconnected, moot, unrelated
- intangible, imperceptible, subtle, untouchable
- boastful, uplifting, positive
When using adjectives, it's important to keep in mind a word's connotation, as different adjectives have different feelings associated with them.
Choosing the Right Word
Circle the word in bold that best completes the sentence.
- I found your casual, (flippant, feisty) attitude during the formal ceremony very disrespectful
- "Might makes right!" declared the (facetious, imperious) dictator.
- It's difficult to know whether you are serious when you are so (facetious, jaunty) with me
- It was very (audacious, churlish) to stand up before the crowd and recklessly begin speaking without having prepared at all.
- I can't work with you in this professional environment when you are so (extenuating, churlish).
- How can you afford your (epicurean, extenuating) tastes; they are so lavish and luxurious!
- Can't you forgive me considering the (extenuating, feisty) circumstances?
- Did you notice how (dolorous, feisty) she became when the touchy subject came up?
- His (oblique, jaunty) answers to my simple questions left me at a loss for understanding.
- She became (prodigious, prone) to illness when her immune system began to fail her.
Go to your favorite magazine and, while reading an article, story, or any considerably lengthy feature, circle all the adjectives (words that describe or qualify nouns) you come across. Take note of the nouns (people, places, things) they describe or qualify, and then ask yourself how the presence of adjectives contributes to the piece in specific cases, and also as a whole.
The next time you write an e-mail or an old-fashioned letter to a friend, see what happens to the quality and character of your prose when you make a point of including carefully selected adjectives, including those you learned in the vocabulary list.
Choose the word from the vocabulary list that best fits into the crossword puzzle. You can check your answers at the end of the chapter following the answers to the questions.
Words in Context
Tanya's move of bringing home the puppy was seen as audacious, or bold and even reckless, considering both the size of her family's apartment and the fact that her sister is prone, or susceptible, to allergies. Yet Tanya's reasonable mother is willing to consider the relevant (having bearing on the matter at hand) extenuating circumstances, which allow her to make an exception. All things considered (namely her family's palpable, or tangible gloom when the neighbor's dog died), it wouldn't be a bad idea for this feisty puppy—so obviously playful and full of spirit—to stay
Completing the Sentence
- demure. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- audacious. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- extenuate. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- churlish. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- feisty. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- dolorous. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- facetious. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- flippant. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- epicurean. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- palpable. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- myriad. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- prone. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition
- imperious. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- oblique. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- jaunty. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- vehement. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- ornate. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- prodigious. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- sardonic. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- relevant. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- e. laid-back. Feisty means frisky or spunky, so laid-back is not a synonym of the word.
- b. graceful. Demure describes modest and reserved behavior. Graceful describes pleasing, attractive movement, and though one may find modesty graceful, it would not be a synonym for demure.
- a. demure. Dolorous means exhibiting pain, grief, or sorrow. Demure means mildmannered or shy and would not be a synonym.
- b. flexible. Flippant means marked by disrespect ful levity. Being overly casual in a disrespectful manner or being pert or careless would also describe this attitude. Flexible means able to bend, change, or move, and would not be a synonym.
- c. epicurean. Ornate means elaborately and excessively ornamented. Something ornate may also be considered showy or flowery. Epicurean means devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasures and thus would not be a synonym.
- d. athletic. Jaunty means having a buoyant or self-confident air. It also means having a crisp, dapper, stylish appearance. Athletic, meaning good at sports, would not be considered a synonym.
- e. sensitive. Palpable means capable of being handled, touched, or felt. All the words in the group except sensitive denote this characteristic. Sensitive means highly receptive to senses (including, but not exclusively to, touch) and is not a synonym.
- b. prodigious. Sardonic means scornfully or cynically mocking. All the words and groups of words suggest this disposition except for prodigious. Prodigious means extraordinary or impressively great in size or force and would not be a synonym.
- c. relevant. Vehement means characterized by forcefulness or intensity. The word choices are all useful vocabulary terms that have similar meanings to vehement except for relevant, which means having a connection with the matter at hand. Relevant would not be a synonym.
- e. oblique. Myriad means constituting a very large or indefinite number. Oblique would not be considered a synonym, as it means indirect or evasive.
- audacious. Audacious means bold, the opposite of the meaning of the words in the group.
- churlish. Churlish means vulgar or difficult to work with, the opposite of the meaning of the words in the group.
- flippant. Flippant means marked by disrespectful levity or casualness, the opposite of the meaning of the words in the group.
- dolorous. Dolorous means marked by sorrow, the opposite of the meaning of the words in the group.
- myriad. Myriad means indefinite, the opposite of the meaning of the words in the group
- oblique. Oblique means slanting or misleading, the opposite of the meaning of the words in the group.
- ornate. Ornate means elaborately ornamented, the opposite of the meaning of the words in the group.
- relevant. Relevant means having a bearing on, or a connection with, the matter at hand, the opposite of the meaning of the words in the group.
- palpable. Palpable means capable of being touched or felt, the opposite of the meaning of the words in the group.
- sardonic. Sardonic means scornfully or cynically mocking, the opposite of the words in the group.
Choosing the Right Word
- flippant. Context clue is that flippant means marked by disrespectful casualness. Though being overly feisty may also be considered disrespectful, considering the context clues, flippant is the stronger choice.
- imperious. Context clue is that imperious means dictatorial and domineering.
- facetious. Context clue is that facetious means playfully jocular; when one is facetious, it may sometimes be difficult to determine whether one is joking or not.
- audacious. Context clue is that audacious means recklessly daring.
- churlish. Context clue is that churlish means difficult to work with, specifically on the grounds of vulgarity (that would be problematic in the mentioned "professional" environment).
- epicurean. Context clue is that epicurean means devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, especially fine food.
- extenuating. Context clue is that extenuating means lessening the magnitude or seriousness of (in this case, whatever the speaker did for which she asks forgiveness).
- feisty. Context clue is that feisty means touchy or quarrelsome (argumentative being a synonym thereof).
- oblique. Context clue is that oblique means indirect or evasive; such responses would not yield clarity or understanding.
- prone. Context clue is that prone means susceptible or inclined toward.
Crossword Puzzle Solution
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