Multiple-Meaning Words Practice Exercises (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Practice 2: Crossing Over

Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) Have you ever thought about how important a bridge is? After all, without bridges, how would people get across rivers and wide gorges? Bridges are an essential part of our transportation system for moving people and goods.

(2) The first bridges were simply trees that fell or were placed across water or canyons. The wood was strong enough to bear the weight of a person or two at a time, but not for carrying heavy loads. People made bridges by stretching rope cables across an open area. In China and other places, rope bridges are still used. They're strong enough to hold people and pack animals with light loads.

(3) Later, people built arch bridges by wedging together large blocks of stone to form a half circle. Arch bridges are among the strongest and longest-lasting: Some built more than 1,500 years ago are still being used, Even today, people build arch bridges, but usually from concrete, wood, or steel.

(4) Another kind of bridge is the cantilever. It has two independent steel or concrete beams, one extending toward the center of a river from each bank. A third beam is lifted up to connect the beams. Canada's Quebec Bridge is one of the world's longest, spanning 1,800 feet (549 m) across the St. Lawrence River.

(5) A suspension bridge spans even more space with its roadway hanging from steel cables supported by massive towers. Each cable can hold thousands of pounds of weight. Probably the most familiar suspension bridge is California's Golden Gate, with a main span of 4,200 feet (1,280 m). When completed in 1937, it was the world's longest, but in 1964, New York's Verrazano-Narrows Bridge beat that with a span of 4,260 feet(1,298 m). Then in 1981, England's Humber Bridge beat that with a span of 4,626 feet (1,410 m). And since 1998, Japan's Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge has held the record, with a span of 1,991 feet (6,529 m). Will that record be beaten? Stay tuned!

6. What is the meaning of the word bridge as used in the article?

a. the upper bony part of the nose

b. the part of a ship where the captain works

c. a card game

d. pathway structure over a river or valley

7. Which is NOT a meaning of bear as used in the story?

a. hold

b. carry

c. furry mammal

d. support

8. What is the meaning of the word beam as used in the article?

a. long piece of heavy wood or metal used in construction

b. width of a ship at its widest part

c. ray of light

d. smile

9. Which of the following words from the last paragraph is a multiple-meaning word?

a. familiar

b. record

c. steel

d. since

10. The meaning of still as used in the article is

a. "quiet."

b. "unmoving."

c. "calm."

d. "even now."

11. What is the meaning of the word light as used in the second paragraph?

a. beam

b. bright

c. not heavy

d. pale

Practice 3: Making Things Move 

Read this selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) Did you know that whatever you do, forces are at work on you? That's right. Forces keep your feet on the ground when you stand. Forces keep you sitting on a chair without slipping off. And a force guarantees that if you jump up, you're going to come down! Without forces you couldn't hold a pen to write, no matter whether you use your right or left! In the world of forces, things spin, stretch, twist, and fly, but only if something or someone applies a push or pull!

(2) Here on Earth, gravity pulls anything at or near the surface toward the center of the planet. Things have weight because of gravity's pull. The greater the pull, the more an object weighs. We use scales to measure weight. When you step on a scale, the numbers tell how much force Earth's gravity is pulling between you and the planet itself.

12. What is the meaning of the word pen as used in the first paragraph?

a. cage

b. writing tool

c. scribble

d. corral

13. Which is NOT a meaning of the word step?

a. stair

b. stage or point of directions

c. stride

d. high

14. Which is the meaning of scales as used in the passage?

a. hard pieces that cover an animal's body

b. climbs a steep, rocky hill

c. machines for weighing things

d. draws in relative proportion


1. a

2. d

3. b

4. c

5. Here are sample sentences:   I'm in a play. / Please play that song again.   The prince danced at the ball. / I hit the ball.   Fill the pitcher with cream. / He's a baseball pitcher.   She tied the bow. / The score is tied.   I bat left-handed. / The bat flew away.   Sit on this swing. / Swing your arms like this.   My head hurts. / Let's head home.

6. d

7. c

8. a

9. b

10. d

11. c

12. b

13. d

14. c

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