Vocabulary #110

Here is this week’s vocabulary list.

don² -(noun) 1. a Spanish nobleman or gentleman —used as a title prefixed to the Christian name; 2. a head, tutor, or fellow in a college of Oxford or Cambridge University; broadly :  a college or university professor; 3. a powerful Mafia leader.

focus¹ – (noun) 1a. a point at which rays (as of light, heat, or sound) converge or from which they diverge or appear to diverge;specifically :  the point where the geometrical lines or their prolongations conforming to the rays diverging from or converging toward another point intersect and give rise to an image after reflection by a mirror or refraction by a lens or optical system, 1b. a point of convergence of a beam of particles (as electrons); 2a. adjustment for distinct vision; also :  the area that may be seen distinctly or resolved into a clear image, 2b. a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding, 2c. direction; 3. one of the fixed points that with the corresponding directrix defines a conic section; 4. a localized area of disease or the chief site of a generalized disease or infection; 5a. a center of activity, attraction, or attention, 5b. a point of concentration; 6. the place of origin of an earthquake or moonquake; 7. directed attention :  emphasis.

furl¹ – (verb) 1. to wrap or roll (as a sail or a flag) close to or around something; 2. to curl or fold as in being furled.

interest² – (verb) 1. to induce or persuade to participate or engage; 2. to engage the attention or arouse the interest of.

usurp – (verb) 1a. to seize and hold (as office, place, or powers) in possession by force or without right, 1b. to take or make use of without right; 2. to take the place of by or as if by force :  supplant; 3. to seize or exercise authority or possession wrongfully.

All definitions are from Merriam-Webster.com. To learn more about these words or about other words, visit this website.

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Making a Word Plural

A plural word indicates that there is more than one. If there is more than one apple, there are several apples.

Usually you just add -s to the end of a word to make it plural.

Ex: apples, books, tables

There are some exceptions.

If the word ends in s, sh, ch, or x then you add -es.

Ex: churches, grasses

If the word ends in -0 and the word before the -o is a vowel, treat as normal.

Ex: Oreos, radios

If the word ends in -o and the word before the -o is a consonant, put -es on the end.

Ex: heroes, typoes

There are also a lot of irregular plurals.

Ex: man, men; cactus, cacti

Note: Some people put -‘s for plurals. This is incorrect. Apostrophes are only used for contractions and if you are talking about possession – someone owns something. Plurals never use apostrophes.

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Vocabulary #109

Here is this week’s vocabulary list.

abreast – (adverb/adjective) 1. beside one another with bodies in line; 2. up to a particular standard or level especially of knowledge of recent developments.

contract³ – (adjective) hired to execute a contract.

eliminate – (verb) 1a. to put an end to or get rid of :  remove, 1b.  to remove from consideration, 1c. to remove from further competition by defeating; 2. to expel (as waste) from the living body; 3. to cause (as an unknown) to disappear by combining two or more mathematical equations.

gather¹ – (verb) 1. to bring together :  collect; 2a. pick, harvest, 2b. to pick up or amass as if by harvesting, 2c. to scoop up or take up from a resting place; 3. to serve as an attraction for :  accumulate; 4. to effect the collection of; 5a. to summon up, 5b. to gain by gradual increase, 5c. to prepare (as oneself) by mustering strength, 5d. to gain or regain control of; 6. to reach a conclusion often intuitively from hints or through inferences; 7a. to pull (fabric) along a line of stitching so as to draw into puckers, 7b. to draw about or close to something, 7c. to bring together the parts of, 7d. to assemble (the signatures of a book) in sequence for binding, 7e. to haul in; 8a. to come together in a body, 8b. to cluster around a focus of attraction; 9a. to swell and fill with pus, 9b. grow, increase.

obligation – (noun) 1. the action of obligating oneself to a course of action (as by a promise or vow); 2a. something (as a formal contract, a promise, or the demands of conscience or custom) that obligates one to a course of action, 2b. a debt security (as a mortgage or corporate bond), 2c.  a commitment (as by a government) to pay a particular sum of money; also :  an amount owed under such an obligation; 3a. a condition or feeling of being obligated, 3b.  a debt of gratitude; 4. something one is bound to do :  duty, responsibility.

All definitions are from Merriam-Webster.com. To learn more about these words or about other words, visit this website.

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Possession

Possession means something is owned by someone else or something else. If I own a book, it is my book.

There are two aspects to thinking about possession. The first is with pronouns. Every single pronoun has its corresponding possession form.

I becomes my or mine.

You becomes your or yours.

He becomes his.

You guys becomes their.

There are more.

There are some possessive cases for pronouns that look suspiciously like contractions. Some people get confused because possession is usually indicated with an apostrophe. For pronouns this is not the case. For every singe possessive pronoun none uses an apostrophe.

When in doubt, try the sentence with the contraction in long form. If it works, keep the apostrophe. If it doesn’t work then it is a possessive pronoun and you need to get rid of the apostrophe.

Now let’s talk about the rules of possession for everything except pronouns.

If the word is singular and does not end in -s, add ‘s.

Ex: Harold’s ball.

If the word is singular and ends in -s, you may add just the apostrophe, especially if ‘s would make it hard to say, but ‘s is not wrong.

Ex: The dress’ trim. or The dress’s trim.

If the word is plural and does not end in -s, add ‘s.

Ex: The children’s park.

If the word is plural and ends in -s, -x, -sh, or -ch add only the apostrophe.

Ex: The dogs’ owner.

Note: Plural (more than one) does not mean possession (owned by someone/something). Never use apostrophes to indicate a plural.

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Vocabulary #108

Here is this week’s vocabulary list.

contract² – (verb) 1a. to bring on oneself especially inadvertently :  incur, 1b. to become affected with; 2a. to establish or undertake by contract, 2b. betroth; also :  to establish (a marriage) formally; 3a. limit, restrict, 3b. knit, wrinkle, 3c. to draw together :  concentrate; 4. to reduce to smaller size by or as if by squeezing or forcing together; 5. to shorten (as a word) by omitting one or more sounds or letters; 6. to make a contract; 7. to draw together so as to become diminished in size, also :  to become less in compass, duration, or length.

delineate – (verb) 1a. to indicate or represent by drawn or painted lines, 1b. to mark the outline of; 2. to describe, portray, or set forth with accuracy or in detail.

endure – (verb) 1. to undergo (as a hardship) especially without giving in : suffer; to regard with acceptance or tolerance; 3. to continue in the same state :  last; 4. to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding.

inevitable – (adjective) incapable of being avoided or evaded.

remove² – (noun) 1. removal; 2a. a distance or interval separating one person or thing from another, 2b. a degree or stage of separation.

All definitions are from Merriam-Webster.com. To learn more about these words or about other words, visit this website.

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Reading

What do you read when you aren’t reading for your classes?

Some people think they have to slog through War and Peace for it to count as reading. This is not true.

Did you read an article today in the newspaper about the upcoming elections? Did you look at People magazine to see what Tom Cruise is up to or Entertainment to see how much the latest movie made at the box office? Did you go online to keep up with the NBA playoffs or to figure out which part you need to fix the disposal? Did you read the back of the cereal box this morning?

Guess what? All of this counts as reading. Reading doesn’t have to be a big thing. And every little bit will help you.

Do you know what else counts as reading?

Reading the lyrics to a song on a CD.
Reading a graphic novel or manga.
Listening to an audio book.
Reading an instruction manual.
The point is to find something that you find interesting to read.

So what have you read today that wasn’t for class?

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Vocabulary #107

Here is this week’s vocabulary list.

attract – (verb) l. to cause to approach or adhere: as a. to pull to or draw toward oneself or itself, b. to draw by appeal to natural or excited interest, emotion, or aesthetic sense :  entice; 2. to exercise attraction.

compel – (verb) 1. to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly; 2. to cause to do or occur by overwhelming pressure.

eviscerate – (verb) 1a. to take out the entrails of :  disembowel, 1b. to deprive of vital content or force; 2. to remove an organ from (a patient) or the contents of (an organ); 3. to protrude through a surgical incision or suffer protrusion of a part through an incision.

grip² – (noun) 1a. a strong or tenacious grasp, 1b. strength in gripping, 1c. manner or style of gripping; 2a. a firm tenacious hold typically giving control, mastery, or understanding, 2b. mental grasp; 3. a part or device for gripping; 4. a part by which something is grasped; especially :  handle; 5. suitcase; 6. stagehand.

select³ – (noun)  one that is select —often used in plural.

All definitions are from Merriam-Webster.com. To learn more about these words or about other words, visit this website.

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