Common Vocabulary Words Practice (page 3)
Read the following study guide for a concept review: Common Vocabulary Words Help
Common Vocabulary Words 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.
After we rang the doorbell, someone let us in, and we immediately turned on our most genteel manners. We mingled a little with the adults and some of the other kids there, and no one seemed to realize that we were crashing the party. Our plan was working smoothly when Pete suddenly erupted with a loud guffaw after Joe whispered a wisecrack in his ear. Pete's insouciance is one of the things we love about him, but sometimes such a happy-go- lucky attitude can be a problem. He can be absolutely obtuse about when and where he ought to restrain himself. When those around us quieted and cast disapproving stares in our direction, we wandered off in search of a bevy of young ladies to entertain. We found a few in the large dining room. Pete approached one with an oddly attractive pallor to her face, which was accentuated by her beautiful dark eyes and gorgeous black hair. He made them all laugh within a few moments, and then Pete introduced us to the pale girl's two friends. We asked the three of them to dance. Two said yes, but the third remained inert, so I stayed to talk to her. She was disconsolate. I soon learned she had recently broken up with the boy she had been dating and had come to the party only at her friends' insistence. She had been making a few attempts to enjoy herself, but she was ambivalent about meeting anyone or trying to have a good time. Knowing that a good remedy for an aching heart can be two moving feet, I pulled her out onto the dance floor. By the end of the party, she was laughing and singing, and on the way out all three girls thanked the hostess for inviting such charming young gentlemen to dance with. She laughed and said it was her pleasure, but as we exited past the woman's puzzled, smiling face, I could see her confusion. Of course, when Pete said this party had been better than her last and gave the woman a good-bye kiss, it did nothing but addle her further.
Insert the correct word from the vocabulary list into the following sentences.
- I hate to be such a(n) _____, but it seems the only way to get the boss to notice the hard work I am doing is to make her feel like she is the genius who came up with the idea in the first place.
- We suspected that the suspicious-looking man in the dark sunglasses was attempting to _____ the valuable sculpture.
- His _____ manners were a pleasant, new side to him we had not seen before.
- The cord was unplugged and I knew the blades were _____ , so I thought it was safe to try and repair the fan.
- I don't like my tea very sweet, so I'll just have a _____ of sugar.
- If a story is written from a(n) _____ point of view, the reader can learn what all of the characters are thinking.
- Joe felt _____ about hearing his best friend had been accepted at the university because it was so far from home.
- Because the clay was still _____ , she was able to alter the nose of the statue to make it a better likeness.
- The mother warned her children to avoid the mud, but she knew if they passed the big puddle in the back yard they would _____ in it until they were filthy.
- Even in the brightly lit laboratory, the un natural _____ of the corpse unnerved us.
- Once it was clear that no rescue party would be coming, several of the survivors grew completely _____ , and it seemed nothing could ease their minds.
- When the models posed for the picture, everyone could see what a(n) _____ of beauties they were.
- If she can put aside her _____ beliefs for the sake of the public good, I think she will make an excellent governor.
- I am working hard on the project, but if I answer the phone it will just _____ me and make me lose my train of thought.
- I wish I had my brother's _____ so I would not worry so much about finding a job this summer.
- I think that goes under the general _____ of "things that will get you fired in under an hour."
- Jill's new guitar has such a beautiful, _____ tone.
- I heard a(n) _____ from across the room, and I knew my comical uncle must have been telling some of his jokes again.
- The pain in my side was not _____ ; I felt sharp stabs of pain every time my torso twisted even just a bit.
- Some strange _____ sound rose from the sleeping patient's mouth.
The following exercise lists vocabulary words from this lesson. Each word is followed by four answer choices. Three of them are synonyms of the vocabulary word in bold. Your task is to choose the one that is NOT a synonym.
- incapable of moving
- well mannered
- one who is rude to the boss
- one who flatters the boss
- one who always showers compliments on the boss
- one who offers to pick up the dry cleaning for the boss
- roll around in
- a carefree attitude
Read the question carefully and look for tricky words like not and opposite.
Choose the word from the vocabulary list that means the opposite, or most nearly the opposite, of the following groups of words.
- sharp, acute, sensitive
- explain, teach, illustrate
- fixed, permanent, stable
- impartial, unbiased, unprejudiced
- certain, decided, sure
- ignorant, naïve, limited in knowledge
- avoid, reject, eschew
- rude, impolite, discourteous
- color, brightness, tint
- give, present, donate
Match the word in the first column with the corresponding word in the second column.
- inert a. changeable
- smidgen b. throaty
- addle c. group
- guttural d. inactive
- obtuse e. resounding
- purloin f. dull
- mutable g. small particle
- resonant h. sad
- bevy i. confuse
- disconsolate j. steal
Sometimes it's easier to eliminate than it is to choose. Always see if you can eliminate any wrong answers on a test question.
Many of the words in this chapter's vocabulary list have several synonyms. Find a good thesaurus and look up the synonyms for each word. Try to list five synonyms for each word. If you have difficulty finding the word in the thesaurus, use an alternate form of the word (like resonate for resonant). Your synonyms may be one word long or you may choose to write a few words in a phrase that makes the meaning clear.
To practice your spelling skills, as well as your understanding of the meanings of the words from this chapter's vocabulary list, construct another crossword puzzle. Choose one of the longer words to start with, and write it down in the middle of a page. Then find a word that you can connect to this word because they both share a letter, and write the second word going down through this word. Then try to connect a word to that word, and continue doing this until you have connected every word on the list. Draw boxes around all the letters (or just use graph paper), and place a number in the box with the first letter in each word. Finally, make a list of clues for your crossword puzzle for both the across and the down words. Can any of your friends solve your puzzle?
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
Because the boys in this passage are trying their best to blend in at a fancy party they were not invited to, we can guess that when they put on their best genteel manners upon arriving, they are trying to be polite, refined, and gentlemanly. Pete's loud guffaw that disrupts the room after Joe whispers a joke in his ear helps us understand that guffaw means a loud, rough burst of laughter. The next sentence helps us identify Pete's lovable insouciance as his troublesome, happy-go-lucky attitude. Since the narrator feels Pete can be obtuse about noticing when to restrain himself, we can conclude that obtuse can mean insensitive, or slow to understand or notice. Since the boys search for and find a bevy of young ladies, we must assume that bevy is a group of some kind. The pale girl's dark eyes and hair accentuate her pallor, making it possible for us to guess that pallor means lack of color or unnatural paleness. The third girl chooses not to dance and remains inert, so we can read inert as inactive or incapable of moving. The reason she won't dance is because she is heart broken, which helps us understand that the word disconsolate means sad, hopeless, or dejected. Since she seems to have mixed feelings about being at the party, trying to meet new people, and enjoying herself, we should assume that ambivalent means divided and uncertain feelings, or feeling two opposite feelings at the same time. Finally, Pete's humorous attempts to add to the hostess's confusion at not recognizing the party crashers helps us conclude that addle must mean confuse, fluster, or muddle.
- sycophant. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- purloin. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- genteel. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- inert. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- smidgen. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- omniscient. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- ambivalent. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- mutable. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- wallow. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- pallor. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- disconsolate. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- bevy. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- partisan. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- addle. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- insouciance. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- rubric. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- resonant. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- guffaw. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- obtuse. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- guttural. If you got this question wrong, refer back to the word's definition.
- c. boisterous. Inert means not moving or not able to move, and boisterous means noisy and exuberant, which is not a synonym.
- b. soft. Genteel means polite, refined, and gentlemanly or ladylike. You may have confused soft and its synonym gentle with genteel.
- a. one who is rude to the boss. A sycophant is one who tries to get ahead by flattery. Choice a is the only choice that is not appropriate.
- d. avoid. Wallow means to overindulge in something, making a spectacle of oneself, like the way a pig will roll about in the mud. Avoid means to steer clear of, so it is not a synonym.
- b. anxiety. Insouciance is an easygoing and happy-go-lucky attitude. Since anxiety means painful uneasiness of the mind, or worry, it is not a synonym.
- d. weak. Resonant is used to describe sounds and means vibrant, full, and resounding. Weak would not be a synonym because resonant sounds are strong, loud sounds.
- c. plenty. A smidgen is a very small particle or amount. Since plenty means an abundance or full supply of something, it is not a synonym.
- a. frown. A guffaw is a loud burst of laughter. Since a frown is a look of displeasure or disapproval, it is not a synonym
- d. example. A bevy is a group or flock. Since an example is a model or specimen of something, it is not a synonym.
- b. ecstatic. Disconsolate means sad, dejected, and hopeless, so ecstatic is not a synonym.
- Obtuse means dull and not sharp, or slow to notice, the opposite of the words listed.
- Addle means to confuse, fluster, or muddle, the opposite of the words listed.
- Mutable means changeable or variable, the opposite of the words listed.
- Partisan means strongly devoted to one side in a conflict or a political party, the opposite of the words listed.
- Ambivalent means having conflicting feelings about something, the opposite of the words listed.
- Omniscient means all knowing, the opposite of the words listed.
- Wallow means to overindulge, the opposite of the words listed.
- Genteel means refined, polite, and elegant, the opposite of the words listed.
- Pallor means a lack of color, or an unnatural paleness, the opposite of the words listed.
- Purloin means to steal, the opposite of the words listed.
Crossword Puzzle Solution
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