wordchoice

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chomp!
chomp!
This presentation is
brought to you by
Grammar Bytes!,
©2017 by Robin L.
Simmons.
Appropriate Wor ds or
Expressions in Context
Astonished?
Astounded?
Bewildered?
Confounded?
Dazed?
Dazzled?
What’s the
right word?
This presentation will
help you distinguish
between
appropriate and
inappropriate
words or expressions
for the given
context.
On an objective test, an
item evaluating the skill
might look like this ...
Sample Item
When Lawrence stuck French fries up his nose,
we shouted, “Yuck!” We were __________ by his
behavior.
A. unfazed
B. dazzled
C. repulsed
repulsed
Is unfazed,
Repulsed, which
dazzled, or
means disgusted
repulsed the best
or sickened, is
word to fill the
the right choice.
blank?
What if I don’t
know any of
words that are
options?
Don’t panic!
Try to
determine the
right word by
looking for
clues about
meaning!
Clue 1: Look for a definition.
Sharilyn suffers from cynophobia, or the fear
fearofof
dogs
soshe
shewon’t
won’tbe
beinterested
interestedininadopting
adoptingaa
dogs, ,so
puppy.
Look for
Look at the
commas,
sentence! The
parentheses,
author has
or dashes that
defined it for
encapsulate
you! It means the
(or set off) the
fear of dogs.
definition.
Cynophobia!
That’s such a
big word! How
am I supposed to
know what it
means?
Clue 2: Look for examples.
My dog Jack is obdurate; for
forexample,
example
won’t
he, he
won’t
get
off the
get
off couch
the couch
when
when
I askI ask
or come
or come
when
when
he’she’s
called.
called.
Look
at the
Look
for phrases
like toThe
sentence!
illustrate
author gives
, for
examples
instance!, You
or
such
as that
can conclude
that
provide
Jack is
examples
stubborn,that
a
define
synonym
the word
for
obdurate
.
you
don’t know.
Obdurate!
That’s another
big word! I
don’t know what
it means!
Clue 3: Look for contr ast.
Jill was sick
sickwith
withthe
theflu,
flu,so
sowhen
whenwe
weexplained
explainedthe
the
salubrious properties of chocolate-broccoli muffins,
she ate one.
Look for an
Look at the
antonym—a
sentence! If she’s
word that means
sick, she wants
the opposite—
to get well, so
to help figure out
salubrious
the meaning of
must mean
the word you
health-giving!
don’t know.
Salubrious!
I’ve never
heard of it! How
am I supposed
to know if it’s the
right word or
not?
Clue 4: Infer the meaning.
Everyone calls that boy Sparky.
SparkyOnly
. Only
mother
hishis
mother
refuses to use the sobriquet, shouting, “Cornelius!”
“Cornelius!”
when dinner is ready.
Guess, or
Sparky
infer, the
must
be a
meaning!
nickname
,
Mothers
like to
which
ischildren
what a
call
their
sobriquet
by their real
is!
names.
Sobriquet!
Who uses that
word! I don’t
know what it
means!
At many objective exams, you
c a n not use a dictionar y!
X
W hen in doubt, rely on
“gut” feelings.
Your eyes have seen in print—and your
brain has registered —all of the possible
words that you will encounter for this skill. If
you don’t know the meaning of any of the
words, go with the one that feels right.
Hey, I’ve seen
that word
before!
Quick Test
Directions: In the items that follow, choose
the most effective word or phrase within the
context suggested by the sentence(s).
Your
turn!
Let’s see
what you
can do!
Item 1
After an exhausting all-nighter to finish Professor
Clark’s research paper, we found his dull lecture
the next morning __________.
A. uplifting
B. excruciating
excruciating
C. inspiring
Item 2
After Betsy’s last purchase of a lemon—and the
dealership’s unwillingness to repair problems that
she thought the warranty covered—Betsy
__________ the contract for her new car before
she signed it.
A. scrutinized
scrutinized
B. skimmed
C. glanced at
Item 3
Walter winced as he tasted the sauce, shook his
head, and sighed. His __________ for Loretta’s
cooking was obvious.
A. horror
B. excitement
C. disdain
disdain
Item 4
The students wished Professor Davis gave
__________ directions for essays. Instead, the
assignment sheets are pages long and chocked
full of requirements.
A. complicated
B. wide
C. succinct
succinct
Item 5
Sara was filled with __________, for she had
emailed Professor Carson to explain that she was
too ill to attend class but then ran into him at the
Student Center, a tennis racquet in her hand.
A. trepidation
trepidation
B. mirth
C. brevity
Item 6
Simon had to __________ his cell phone after it
rang for the third time in class.
A. relinquish
relinquish
B. amputate
C. postpone
Item 7
Roger’s car holds four people comfortably, but he
stuffed nine classmates into the little vehicle.
Larissa had difficulty __________ herself from the
backseat when they arrived at her house.
A. modifying
B. hovering
C. extricating
extricating
Item 8
Winston read his essay with a ruler, scrutinizing
each line for errors. When he finished, he read it
again just as carefully. We found his behavior
__________, but teachers loved his control of
grammar.
A. punitive
B. redundant
redundant
C. lackadaisical
Item 9
Larry dyed his hair blue and green and painted his
face and torso in the same school colors. In
addition, he wore flippers on his feet and hands.
When his girlfriend Maria saw his game-day
preparations, she gasped and declared them
__________.
A. subdued
B. ostentatious
ostentatious
C. pedestrian
Item 10
We followed the guide down the stairs to the floor
below the lobby. Then we toured the __________
storerooms where the museum kept priceless
treasures not on display.
A. subterranean
subterranean
B. lofty
C. incapacitated
After the
denouement
Or the End.
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