Great Ideas Vocabulary

This website's Main Pages (click to go there)   Home 主页    Current Update 当前更新    Resources 学习资源    Photos 影集 

  Links 友情链接    Things We've Written 我的文集   Special Features 本站特色    Site Map 本站导航    Real World 英语写作 

I've stopped updating this website, though it's pages will remain for a while. See "current update" for details.

Visit instead: and

Sister-pages:   Home Up Great Ideas Vocabulary Freshmen-Materials Vocabulary Basics KMU Vocab-grads KMU Vocab-sophomores Group Presentation Group Project Details

(▲ Links to the pages at the same level as this page. If you can't see the label, put your mouse over a button and look at the bottom of your browser.)

Vocabulary list for Great Ideas (Listening and speaking activities for students of American English)

by Leo Jones and Victoria Kimbrough, Cambridge University Press & Peking University Press

Class: English Listening/Speaking

Instructor: Mr. Michael Krigline, MA

 Xiamen University


Click "refresh" (刷新) in your browser to be sure that you load the most recent version of this page; I often change things before quiz/exam time.

blue is one-word synonyms; the "=" sign indicates key words (I may revise this before quiz and exam time, so check again!). The Chinese characters were added by my students; if you think a different translation is better, send me a note (see the home page for our address) and I'll ask Chinese friends which is better.

= you have seen this vocabulary term before; be sure you understand it!


Vocabulary list for Great Ideas (look on the "materials" page for information about this required book)

Note: We are not going through the book in order, nor in "one term", so you are responsible only for the terms/chapters covered this semester.

*key terms, =bold shows one-word synonyms (be sure you know how to spell both words)

1. You and me

*a survey: a group of questions that are asked to many people in order to discover general opinions (for a different meaning of this word, see "to survey" on my Mindyburg page vocabulary)

*classics, the classics: reference to a group of books or films that have been popular for a long time

*classic: [adj] referring to things (books, films, clothes, etc) that have been popular for a long time; sth that never "goes out of style"

to hang out (with sb): to spend a lot of time (with sb), without a specific purpose

*to jog=to run (not too fast) as a form of exercise

*ambition: an intense determination to be successful, or one's goal in life (what you desire to be successful at)

*mood: the way a person feels (happy, sad, depressed, etc.)

*embarrassed: an uncomfortable feeling related to what others are thinking about you due to sth you said or did (often sth improper or imperfect)

*puzzled: a feeling of uncertainty because sth is difficult to understand

*confused: a feeling of uncertainty because sth hasn't been explained clearly

pensive: thinking deeply and seeming a little sad

wistful: to wish for sth you can't have or obtain (often a feeling similar to sadness or hopelessness)

exasperated: to be annoyed or angry due to frustration

*donor: one who gives sth of value (e.g., money, blood, a kidney)

These adjectives (for describing people) are also mentioned in chapter one; look them up if you don't know what they mean: confused, pensive, wistful, exasperated, embarrassed, nervous, worried, puzzled, excited, curious, diplomatic, frank, outgoing, optimistic, loyal, rational, spontaneous, versatile, witty


2. Stranger than fiction

*to shoot: to fire a gun, release an arrow, or to do sth similar with a weapon (tenses: he shot; he was shot; they are shooting)

assassinate: to intentionally kill sb important, normally because you don't like their political or religious views

*coincidence [book definition]: when events happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection

House of Representatives: one part of the US Congress, based on state population (big states have more Representatives than small states) [in the other part—the Senate—each state has two Senators]

*warehouse: a storage building where companies keep things until they are needed

capture: to catch an animal or person who doesn't want to be caught

*to escape: to run away from danger, capture, hardship, etc.

identical twins: two people, born from the same mother at the same time, who look alike

*to adopt: to formally accept sth in a permanent way (e.g., adopting a child gives that child the same rights as your natural children)

*hobby=an interest; sth you do for fun (e.g., collect sth, play basketball, read novels, cook)

*law enforcement: an adj or career referring to the police

ESP: extrasensory perception, a special ability to perceive things that most people can't (like what others are thinking, or what is about to happen) [note: esp., without capital letters, is also an abbreviation for "especially"]

*to foresee: to see in advance, or to be able to make an accurate guess about something in the future

psychic (adj): referring to the mental power to do strange or surprising things (including use ESP or clairvoyance)

*superstition: [迷信] irrational but strong belief in magic, good/bad luck, omens, etc.

horoscope: a system of belief about character or personality and the things that happen to people, based on the position of the stars and planets when you were born (similar to idea behind the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac)

*phenomena: things that happen, esp. things in nature or society that are studied because they are hard to understand

clairvoyance: the ability to foresee the future

the Bermuda Triangle: an area (shaped like a triangle) in the Caribbean Sea where many ships and planes have mysteriously disappeared


3. Can I Help You?

to admire: to like or respect someone or something because you think it/he/she is "good" in some way (beautiful, impressive, honorable, professional)

*antique: [adj or n] something old and usually valuable because of its age (e.g., furniture, tea sets, very old cars)

*appliances: electrical machines used to make life at home easier (e.g., vacuum cleaner or washer)

*compliment: [n, v] a positive comment that says how you think sth/sb is good, admired, etc., or the act of praising sb with such a comment

to demonstrate: to show, esp. to show how something works or how sth is true

*equipment: [Uncountable] the special things you need to do a job or activity (e.g., computers and a projector to use multi-media teaching methods; work gloves and a shovel to plant trees; wire and a screwdriver to fix electronics)

*jeans: a pair of trousers (AmE: pants)—popular with young people—made of a strong, blue cotton material called denim

*second-hand=[adj] used; a way to describe sth that has had more than one owner

slicer: a kitchen tool that cuts things (apples, potatoes, onions) into thin, flat pieces

*stylish (in style)=fashionable; currently popular with people who keep up with modern design

*typical: [adj] used to describe something considered usual or average, or happening in the normal way


4. What a nice day

*travel agent: a person trained to help you buy airplane/train tickets or otherwise help you plan and arrange a trip

*customer: your customer is someone who buys things from you or uses your services

sweater (BrE: jumper): clothing with long sleeves used to keep your upper body warm (often made of wool or cotton)

light clothes: things you wear in warm weather to stay comfortable, like a short-sleeve shirt/t-shirt and shorts or thin cotton trousers

heavy clothes: things you wear in cold weather to stay comfortable, like a thick coat, a wool sweater and boots

ranging from… to…: used to tell someone the top/bottom, high/low of a number, price, temperature, etc. (e.g., “ranging from 22 to 25 degrees today” means that the lowest temperature is 22 and the highest is 25)

*humid: describes the air when it is full of water (moisture/dampness); most people think that hot, humid conditions are uncomfortable

flurry: a brief, light amount of snow (“We forecast snow flurries with little accumulation.”)

*shower: a brief, light amount of rain; a type of bath where you stand in a spray of water while cleaning your body (“You don’t need an umbrella; it’s just a spring shower.”)

downpour: a heavy amount of rain (“We got caught in a downpour without an umbrella.”)

to pour: describes water or other liquid that is coming out of a container rather fast; regarding rain, it indicates a lot of rain in a short time (“It’s really pouring outside!”)

thunderstorm or thundershower: a time of heavy rain, along with lightning and thunder

tornado: a small but dangerous, powerful storm where wind turns violently like a funnel or cone (this "cone" can destroy a house or easily pick up a car)

*forecast: (n&v) an educated guess (prediction) about what will happen (in the weather, the stock market, international politics, etc.)

*lining: something that covers the inside of something else (like the padded part of a coat between the leather/wool and your body or the “lining” between your stomach and the acid/food in it); the edge of a cloud

*“every cloud has a silver lining”: (idiom) used to say you can find something good in every situation (for example, when the edge of dark rain-cloud is bright like silver, it shows that the sun is still shining behind the cloud)

parade: an organized event where people march together down the street in order to celebrate an event or holiday (in America, parades often include marching bands of musicians, large balloons, floats—specially decorated vehicles—sponsored by companies and clubs, clowns, men on horses, smiling models and stars, antique cars, and much more)

*picnic: a casual time when friends or family meet together for a meal (e.g., sandwiches or other things you can eat without dishes/forks/etc.) outdoors in a public park or similar place

*“to be a picnic” or “to be a piece of cake”: (idiom) used to say that something will be easy to do (“Writing this essay will be no picnic, I promise you!” “It will/won’t be a piece of cake.”)


5. Keep in Touch

tap: faucet; the thing that water comes from in your bathroom, or the thing beer comes from in some bars

on tap: to be close by and handy (ready when you need it)

*back issues: previous editions of a newspaper or magazine. "I was looking through back issues of Newsweek Magazine for information about pollution."

*flight schedule: a list of times when airplanes leave and arrive to various destinations

chess: a strategy game played on a checkered board (Chinese people call it "International Chess国际象棋" to distinguish it from Chinese Chess象棋)

to reach (in phone context): get in touch with, make contact with. "I'm trying to reach Mr. Lee. What number can I reach him at?"

*cancel: to end or stop sth you started (e.g., a computer command, a meeting, a plan of action). "I'd like to offer my apologies because I must cancel today's lunch appointment." "When your computer gives you the chance, hit 'cancel' and the program will stop."

*to hold (in phone context): to wait for a moment. "Excuse me, another call is coming in; can you hold?" "Thank you for holding, can I help you?"

to book (a reservation): to set up a time for something, such as a night in a hotel, a flight, etc. If sth is "booked" you have a place in your name, but you may not have paid for it yet. "You're booked on tomorrow's flight, but you can still cancel if you need to."

*in regard to: in connection with; related to. "I'm calling in regard to next Tuesday's meeting. I'm afraid I have to cancel. Can you give him the message?"

*major repair: a serious problem (with a car, computer or other expensive item) that needs to be fixed.

*reliable=dependable; can be trusted to do what it is supposed to do. "This car is very reliable. It has never had any major repairs."

interior/exterior: inside/outside (of a building, car, etc). "This car has a red exterior with a white interior (seats, etc.)."

miles: a unit of measurement for distances (used in America and the UK). 60 miles = 100 kilometers

market research: an investigation (often by a company's marketing department) into what products people want to buy or not buy at certain prices in a certain location (i.e., in that product's market)

*maintenance: what is necessary to keep sth working properly (e.g., a car, your health). "This class will teach you basic computer maintenance skills."

famine: a widespread lack of food (often because of harsh environmental conditions, like a lack of rain)


*consequence=result. "Famine has political consequences, so the government must organize relief to feed needy people."

*current events: the news or things that are happening now. "Our current events class will use the newspaper instead of textbook."

to manage: to organize or otherwise control something in order to help it operate well (e.g., a company, your health, an academic department, traffic, the economy)

*management: the study of or activities related to operating sth complicated (esp a business, but can also refer to things like your health, an academic department, traffic, the economy, etc.)

to be engaged: when a man and woman have promised to marry each other. "I heard that you got engaged! Congratulations! When's the wedding?"


6. Once upon a time

*a break: (1) vacation from work or school, usually lasting at least three days (e.g., spring break, Christmas break and the break between terms). “What did you do during the break?” (2) in school, a time of rest in the middle of a class. “Take a five-minute break.”

*a crush; “to have a crush on sb”: to feel like you are in love (especially as teenagers or children) and not sure that you want the other person to know

*gas/gasoline: [AmE] the liquid fuel that a car needs to make its engine work [BrE: petrol]

a gauge: an instrument or device that shows a measurement, especially in relation to minimum or maximum (e.g., for air pressure in a tire from “flat” to “dangerous,” for fuel in your car from empty to full)

scared stiff: extremely frightened

petrified: extremely frightened, to the point of being unable to move or think

*demonstration: [positive] to show how something works (“I’m going to a demonstration today to see how the new Neo-Phone works.”); [negative] an organized protest about something (“The police broke up the student demonstration for cheaper meals.”)

*regret: feelings of sadness because of sth that you wish had happened differently; to "have no regrets" you must live in a state of forgiveness

*ceremony: a meeting or formal gathering for some important purpose (e.g., a wedding ceremony, the opening ceremony for the Olympics)

*to skip/skip out on: to choose not to do something you should do, like attend a class, read an assignment, report for work, or eat a meal (“She skipped lunch so she’s hungry.” “Tom said he would skip out on Bill’s award ceremony.”

(a trip down) memory lane: to spend time remembering the past (“They took a trip down memory lane, and talked about high school all night!”)

biography: the story of one’s life, esp. as written by someone other than yourself (an autobiography is your own version)

*statesman: [c, statesmen] a widely-respected political leader, known for his impartiality in international affairs (e.g., Henry Kissinger or Zhou En Lai)

disaster: a terrible event that happened without warning and that brought a lot of suffering, e.g., a flood, fire, or plane crash

comet: an object in space that moves around the sun; from earth many comets appear to have a tail (of burning rock and gas)

to revolve: to go around; wheels revolve around an axle, planets revolve around the sun

to be baffled: to be unable to think of an answer or solution (“This mystery baffled everyone.”)

*version: a revised copy or different description of something (“The latest version of this software doesn’t work with older operating systems.” “I heard a different version of that story.”)

tapestry: a large rug, in which the threads form pictures or patterns (esp. medieval pictures of life in Europe); figuratively, something beautiful made of many interwoven parts (esp. “life’s rich tapestry”)

*artificial=man-made, not natural (can be positive like “an artificial leg” or negative like “artificial jade” meaning “fake/false jade”)

*satellite: something that travels around a planet, under that planet’s influence [like the moon (a natural satellite) or a spacecraft (an artificial satellite)], or an area that is strongly influenced by another area [a big city’s satellite community]

microscope: a scientific tool that lets you see extremely small things (显微镜?)

calculator: an electronic machine that helps you with math problems (add, subtract, multiply, divide, etc.)

Our textbook. Your syllabus will tell you which days to bring "Great Ideas" to class.

     Click on this "picture" of our textbook info-page, and you'll see a bigger image.


7. Staying Home

*(love) affair: an intense enthusiasm for sth, or a sexual relationship outside of marriage

announcer: someone who describes an activity or sports match on TV/radio

army academy: a school for training army officers

*arrangements: plans or preparations for something

*bachelor: an unmarried man (bachelorette is for women)

cocktail party: a party at which alcoholic drinks (cocktails) and snacks are served (guests often wear formal clothes, and the main reason is to meet and chat with others at your social or income level)

*comedy: a funny story/movie/book


composer: someone who writes music

costume party: a party (fun meeting) where people dress up in funny clothes, often to look like someone else (Halloween parties are often costume parties, where people may dress as a ghost, vampire, monkey, famous person, alien, etc.)

*crime: illegal activities; an act that breaks a law

*detective: [c] sb whose job is to discover information about crime (many work as police officers, though private detectives like Sherlock Holmes [福尔摩斯] work independently)

*documentary: a film or special that talks about real events (history, trends, etc.), instead of presenting a drama about those events [documentaries often seem like “news” shows; and of course the documentary tells the “facts” from the perspective of the people who sponsor the film—not necessarily “objective” facts]

heiress: a woman who receives money from a relative when the relative dies

*macho: very masculine [a 男子汉is considered macho]

nuclear power plant: a place that contains all the machinery and materials necessary to make nuclear energy [核动力]

*pilot: sb who drives an airplane; the first show in a new series (often like a movie in length, to see if the public will be interested in a show like this)

*RSVP: “please respond” (from French); please reply to this invitation

*signature: your name, signed in an official way, such as on a bank document or application

*(TV) special: a TV program that is not a regular program, such as a special holiday cartoon or news show about a crisis

*sponsor: the company or people who pay for a TV show or film (often through advertisements)

*technician: someone who is skilled at fixing or operating a complicated machine

(to have a) temper: to easily become angry

*thriller: an exciting story/movie/book, which is normally about crime

toast: a wish expressed while drinking alcohol with others [干杯?]; a slice of bread that is intentionally  “overcooked” in an oven [烤面包]


8. Going Out

BLT: Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich

barbeque/BBQ: food cooked over an open fire or hot coals, and often treated with a tangy (sweet/sour) sauce or spices

club sandwich: A sandwich of meat, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise, with two layers of filling between three slices of toast or bread.

*concert=performance; an artistic show given by musicians or singers

*entrée=main dish; the main part of a western meal (often made with meat)

*espresso: strong black coffee made by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans

frizzed out (hair): curly, and sticking out all over the head

*genre: films, music, etc., that share certain features (popular movie genres include comedy, drama, fantasy, horror, musical, sports, romance, crime, historical, suspense & documentary)

gruesome: something that causes horror or that seems terrible

*Grammy: an annual American prize for the best song, singer, etc.

*groceries/grocery (bill): food or related things, sold in a supermarket or grocery store

Gypsy: an ethnic group of people who traveled from town to town, often working as entertainers, but historically distrusted by “settled” people [movies like this one show them as thieves as well as singers/dancers]

illusion: something that seems to be different from the way it really is

*latte: strong espresso coffee with a topping of bubble-filled, steamed milk

loin cloth: a cloth worn around the body between the waist and the legs (such as used by Sumo wrestlers or some primitive people groups)

*match=contest; a game or sport with two or more players

milk tea (also known as bubble tea and pearl milk tea): an Asian drink made with tea (often black tea), sugar and evaporated milk (the “pearls” in “pearl tea” are made of chewy tapioca balls)

orchestra: a large group of musicians playing different instruments together to create music

*Oscar: an annual American prize for the best movie, actor, etc.

pigtail: long hair worn in a braid (i.e., long hair that has been twisted)

preserved (food): food that has been processed so that it can be eaten a long time later (by treating it with salt/brine, vinegar, sugar, high temperatures, chemicals like BHT, etc.)

rare/medium/well-done: 3-6-9分熟 (“How do you want that cooked?”= 几分熟) 煮熟=well done

*ritual: a set of required actions, as in a religious or social ceremony (e.g., a wedding, baptism, tea ceremony)

*scar: the mark left after a cut or a wound heals


*sequel: a continuation; a movie sequel starts where the first movie stopped

*side(s): side dish; a serving of food that you eat with the main dish (e.g., potatoes, salad, beans, toast)

“special” (or value meal): 套餐 (“Do you have any specials today?”)

special effects: the illusions used when making movies/shows, that make remarkable things look real (e.g., burning buildings, life on distant planets, a flying man, etc.)

take away or "to go": 带走 (“Is that for here or to go?”)

*toppings: things you put on food to make it look nicer or taste better (e.g., nuts, candy, berries, cheese)


food terms (be able to “match” the English and *Chinese terms)


*boiled: 煮开过的

*chocolate: 巧克力

chowder: 海鲜浓汤

*dressing (salad dressing): 沙拉酱 (e.g., French, 1000 Island, mayonnaise)

fried: 油炸的

*ketchup (BrE tomato sauce): 番茄酱

pepper/curry/chili:  胡椒/咖喱/辣椒

pickled: 泡菜

preserve: , 罐头

ribs: 排骨

shrimp/prawn: /对虾

*spicy: ; 麻辣

steak: 牛排

*steamed: 蒸气的

*stir-fried: ()

*vanilla: 香草

veal: 小牛肉

*veggie: vegetable 蔬菜


9. One of these days

middle class: the social class of people who are neither rich nor poor, usually educated and working in professional jobs (including government positions) or running businesses; sometimes we also talk about the upper and lower middle class

*residence: [formal] the place where you live; your home. The adjective is residential (so is “residential area” or “residential district”) “What kind of residence do you live in, a rented apartment (公寓), a privately-owned condo in a multi-story building (i.e., condominium; 共管), a private house with a yard (房子), or an expensive villa in the suburbs (别墅)?” (These are AmE terms)

apartheid: the former political system in South Africa, wherein non-white people were denied equal legal status, and had to attend separate schools, live in separate areas, etc.

*shortage=a lack of something

*soybean: a high-protein, healthy Asian source of food and oil (大豆)

pollutants: the things (smoke & other waste) that make our air and water dirty (i.e, polluted)

greenhouse effect: the gradual increase in earth’s average temperatures, because of pollution; also called global warming (a greenhouse is a glass or plastic building in which plants are grown, especially when the temperature outside is too cold to allow plants to grow)

*prediction: an educated guess (forecast) about what will happen (in one’s life, sports, the weather, the stock market, international politics, or just about anything, etc.) [notice that “prediction” can be used to talk about a wider range of things than “forecast”]

*conveniences: [plural, often “modern conveniences”] things that make life easier and more convenient, like cars, indoor running water, and electricity

[better definition!] -- *conveniences: [plural, often “modern conveniences”] things that make life easier and more convenient, especially indoor running water, plumbing (toilets), electricity, and electric appliances

equator: the “line” around the center of the earth, half way between the north and south poles (赤道)

*tropical: related to or happening in the hottest parts of the world (e.g., around the equator)

*climate: the normal weather conditions in an area (rainy, cold, dry, etc.)

*commerce: related to buying/selling/trading goods and services; a government department responsible for regulating business and trade


10. Staying Healthy

*nutrition: the content of food from a health point of view (good nutrition means eating the right mix of food to get plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and everything else needed for good health)

*nutritious: describes food that is healthy, or the health-aspects of food

*garbage: trash, esp left-over food that has been thrown away [BrE rubbish]

*alcohol: [u] the general term for any drink that can make you drunk (e.g., beer, wine, mao-tai, vodka, etc.); also used for a chemical that can be used to sterilize or clean wounds, skin, medical instruments, etc. [BrE surgical spirit]

alcoholic: [adj] related to alcohol or someone who is addicted to alcoholic drinks (i.e., someone who often gets drunk)

brandy: a strong alcoholic drink made from wine

heating pad: an electric pillow used to add warmth to a sore back/leg/etc.

board: a stiff flat piece of wood, usually not too small (e.g., floor boards, a cutting board); such a piece of wood, plastic or other material that you can use for displaying information (e.g., a display panel) or on which you play a game (e.g., chess or multi-player games); a group of people who manage or oversee an organization/hospital/charity/etc.

*insomnia: the inability to sleep

ice cube: a (usually square) piece of ice that you put into drinks to make them cold (an alcoholic drink so served is said to be “on the rocks”)

*to drown: to die by being under water too long

*to get drunk: to drink so much alcohol that you lose some of your normal ability to think clearly (getting drunk also has a negative affect on your liver and other parts of your body) (喝醉)

*to jaywalk: to cross a street where you are not supposed to, that is, not at a corner or through a crosswalk (人行横道). [Jaywalking is a crime in US cities, and jaywalkers can be fined by the police, so it is rare.]

*unstable: likely to suddenly move, fall, or change for the worse

*a runny nose: what happens when you have a cold, and you can’t control the watery stuff that “runs” out of your nose

*irritable: describes someone who quickly gets angry or upset about things

*persistent: not giving up, in spite of problems or set backs


Collocation [when talking about the body, some things “ache” while others are “sore”—here is how we put these terms together in English]

I have a terrible…

      …tooth/back/head/stomach/ear ache.

      …leg/ muscle cramp.

      …sore throat/nose/foot/toe/hand/finger/arm/leg/ shoulder/neck.


A pain pill /a massage/ acupuncture /aroma therapy /gargling salt water /doing stretching exercises… works for me. [notice that “works” can be used with a singular noun (plus article), a non-countable therapy, or a gerund (-ing term)]

My back/head/arm/stomach/foot/etc is killing me.

*Get off my back. = Stop giving me a hard time; stop making me feel bad with your words.

to give sb a hard time means to annoy someone or make his life difficult (often by complaining about a bad habit or continually suggesting a change in lifestyle)

I’m starving! = I’m very, very hungry.

*I’m at the end of my rope. = I am so anxious/worried about something that I really don’t know what to do; I’ve tried every solution I can think of but I still have this problem


11. All in a day’s work

*to get a promotion: to be moved up to a better job, higher pay, more responsibility, etc., especially within the company you already work for

*to deal with: to handle or solve sth like a problem or need

to pick or pick out: to choose or select

*to be bad for (your back/career/health/relationship/etc): to have a negative effect on

*to come up with (an idea/solution/plan/etc): to creatively think of or find sth

*routine: a series of repeated actions (such as a dance act or sth you do over and over at work)

to contact: to communicate with (“I need to contact the manager to get an answer.”)

to negotiate: to talk about something from more than one perspective, trying to reach an agreement

*figures: numbers (“I’m not very good with figures, but I’m good at remembering names.”)

*the books: a company’s financial records (“An accountant keeps his company’s books.”)

manager: someone who directs a group of people or supervises some aspect of a company’s work

*benefits/benefit package: what you get for doing your job, including pay, insurance, and perks

*perks: special benefits companies give to certain employees, often to attract them to work there, such as the use of a car, free travel or food, free housing, product samples for personal use, etc.

*résumé (notice the accent marks): a favorable summary of your educational background, employment history, and other information of interest to potential employers


15. The persuaders

snide comment: an amusing statement, often spoken softly, meant to hurt someone’s feelings or make them look bad

terminal: a place where airplanes or buses arrive and depart from

*miracle: something very good that happens when you didn't expect it; a good thing that God does, and that is normally impossible (奇迹?)

*portable: easy to move

*insane: crazy, but sometimes used to say that something is offered at a great price (“We have insane prices and unbeatable service.”)

*commercial: (in this context) an advertisement; a written or spoken attempt to persuade you to buy or do something

campaign: a series of meetings, ads, or activities with a specific end in mind

to orient: to design or direct (“You must orient your ad to appeal to certain people.”); to make sb familiar with his/her surroundings (“This note will help me get oriented to my new schedule.”); to get sth to face in a certain direction

*slogan: an easy-to-remember phrase that should help customers think positively about your product (“Good to the last drop” “Just do it” “Finger-licking good”)

night shift: work hours that start after it gets dark outside


This resource was created by and for our students under my understanding of "fair use" for educational resources.  

 2009 Michael Krigline. As far as I am concerned, people are allowed to print/copy it for personal or classroom use.

(Please see our “Website Standards and Use Policy” for materials available at, and for information about the sources of definitions used on this website.)

Click in the boxes below to go to some of our most popular pages. If you get lost, just click "Home."

(There is a "search" box on the home page)


Site map (To search within any page, type "ctrl + f")

Current Update

& how to contact us

Resources  for students & teachers

Links for English Learners

EFL Movie Study Guides

Better Writing Study Guide

Our Students photos

Photo Index

South Carolina & USA photos

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Favorite Links

Things We've Written (articles)

Introduction to China

Life in China photos

Music Page & mp3 downloads

Archive Index

Real World Writing (my textbook)

See our Policy regarding the use of materials available at or