Saturday, 7 May 2016

Mock Exam. Reading. Vocabulary

Part 1
ill at ease feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed. E.g. I felt ill at ease in such formal clothes.

double act: two people who work together, usually to entertain an audience. E.g. a comedy double act.
dependable: that can be relied on to do what you want or need. Reliable.
lightweight: made of thinner material and less heavy than usual. E.g. a lightweight jacket.
secure: get something. E.g. to secure a contract/deal. The team managed to secure a place in the finals. She secured 2,000 votes.
Harvard Club: a club whose membership is restricted almost entirely to alumni and faculty of one university, Harvard University. The building is sometimes used for outside corporate events such as business conferences.
nut-brown: dark brown in colour. E.g. nut-brown hair.
longish: fairly long. E.g. longish hair.
blow-dry something: to dry hair with a hairdryer and shape it into a particular style.
bundle: a number of things that belong, or are sold together. E.g. a bundle of ideas.
abrasive: /əˈbreɪsɪv/ (of a person or their manner) rude and unkind; acting in a way that may hurt other people’s feelings. E.g. an abrasive style/tone/comment. Throughout his career he was known for his abrasive manner.
rough-edged: having a rough quality : not smooth or refined. If a person has rough edges, they do not always behave well and politely. E.g. I knew him before he was successful, and he had a lot of rough edges back then.
jolt: to give somebody a sudden shock, especially so that they start to take action or deal with a situation. E.g. His remark jolted her into action. The sound jolted my memory, and I suddenly remembered what had happened.
calling: vocation. E.g. He realized that his calling was to preach the gospel.
be sold on something: (informal) to be very enthusiastic about something. E.g. We were really sold on the idea.
tackiness: the quality of being cheap, badly made and/or having no taste.
high roller: a person who spends a lot of money, especially on gambling.
wallow: /ˈwɒləʊ/ wallow in something (often disapproving) to enjoy something that causes you pleasure. E.g. She wallowed in the luxury of the hotel. To wallow in despair/self-pity (= to think about your unhappy feelings all the time and seem to be enjoying them).
pitch: talk or arguments used by a person trying to sell things or persuade people to do something. E.g an aggressive sales pitch. The candidate’s campaign pitch. Each company was given ten minutes to make its pitch.
slot: A slot machine designed for gambling. E.g. lost $100 playing the slots.
comp: a complimentary ticket, meal, etc. (= one that you do not have to pay for).
blue-collar: connected with people who do physical work in industry. E.g. blue-collar workers/voters/votes.
busing: (in the US) a system of transporting young people by bus to another area so that students of different races can be educated together.
bare: just enough; the most basic or simple. E.g. The family was short of even the bare necessities of life. We only had the bare essentials in the way of equipment. He did the bare minimum of work but still passed the exam. She gave me only the bare facts of the case. It was the barest hint of a smile.
trace: mark or sign.
jar: jar (with something) to be different from something in a strange or unpleasant way. Sp. Desentonar. E.g. Her brown shoes jarred with the rest of the outfit. The only jarring note was the cheap modern furniture.
stir: to move, or to make something move, slightly. E.g. She heard the baby stir in the next room.
stiffen: to make yourself or part of your body firm, straight and still, especially because you are angry or frightened. E.g. stiffen (with something) She stiffened with fear. I stiffened my back and faced him.
bear something to show something; to carry something so that it can be seen. E.g. The document bore her signature. He was badly wounded in the war and still bears the scars. She bears little resemblance to (= is not much like) her mother. The title of the essay bore little relation to (= was not much connected with) the contents.
spoil-sport: a person who spoils other people’s enjoyment, for example by not taking part in an activity or by trying to stop other people from doing it. E.g. Don't be such a spoilsport!
cheap shot: (in sports) a blow, shove, or tackle maliciously directed against an opponent who is defenseless or off guard.
unruffled: calm. E.g. He remained unruffled by their accusations. Emily appeared quite unruffled.
urbane: /ɜːˈbeɪn/ (especially of a man) good at knowing what to say and how to behave in social situations; appearing relaxed and confident. E.g. He was charming and urbane, full of witty conversation. I looked at the urbane, relaxed figure seated opposite.
portfolio: /pɔːtˈfəʊliəʊ/ a set of shares owned by a particular person or organization. E.g. an investment/share portfolio. A portfolio manager.
at your fingertips: near you, or available for you to use immediately. E.g. He has all the information he needs at his fingertips.
have sb eating out of your hand: to ​easily make someone do or ​think what you ​want. E.g. Within two ​minutes of ​walking into the ​classroom, she had the ​kids ​eating out of her ​hand.
atrium: /ˈeɪtriəm/  (pl atria /ˈeɪtriə/) a large high space, usually with a glass roof, in the centre of a modern building. E.g. The reception was held in the atrium.
beckon: to give somebody a signal using your finger or hand, especially to tell them to move nearer or to follow you. Signal. E.g. He beckoned to the waiter to bring the bill. The boss beckoned him into her office. She beckoned him to come and join them.
perch: to sit or to make somebody sit on something, especially on the edge of it. Sp. sentarse, posarse. E.g. perch (on something) We perched on a couple of high stools at the bar. Perch somebody/yourself (on something) She perched herself on the edge of the bed. My father used to perch me on the front of his bike.
flimsy: badly made and not strong enough for the purpose for which it is used. E.g. A flimsy table.
mahogany: /ˈhɒɡəni/ the hard reddish-brown wood of a tropical tree, used for making furniture. Sp. Caoba. E.g. a mahogany table.
two-bit: not good or important. Sp. de poca monta. E.g. She wanted to be more than just a two-bit secretary.
bond: an agreement by a government or a company to pay you interest on the money you have lent; a document containing this agreement. E.g. government bonds.
A bond salesman is somebody who finds buyers for bonds and sells the bonds to the buyers.
on/onto the defensive:  acting in a way that shows that you expect to be attacked or criticized; having to defend yourself. E.g. Their questions about the money put her on the defensive. Warnings of an enemy attack forced the troops onto the defensive.
untuck: to become or cause to become loose or not tucked in (Sp. arropar). E.g.   to untuck the blankets.
city slicker: a person who behaves in a way that is typical of people who live in big cities. Sp. urbanita. E.g. We all laughed when the city slicker ran terrified from our old cow.
Saucy: rude or referring to sex in a way that is amusing but not offensive. Cheeky. E.g. a saucy postcard. Saucy jokes.
Paradoxically: (Although the opposite would be logical or expected) in a way that seems strange, impossible or unlikely because it has two opposite features or contains two opposite ideas. E.g. Paradoxically, the less she ate, the fatter she got.

Part 2
Missing paragraphs
budding: beginning to develop or become successful. E.g. a budding artist/writer
stern: serious and difficult. E.g. a stern test of nerves. We face stern opposition.
deference: behaviour that shows that you respect somebody/something. E.g. The women wore veils in deference to the customs of the country. The flags were lowered out of deference to the bereaved family.
beckons: to be something that is likely to happen or will possibly happen to somebody in the future. E.g. For many kids leaving college the prospect of unemployment beckons.

pushover: a thing that is easy to do or win. E.g. The game will be a pushover.
seep: (especially of liquids) to flow slowly and in small quantities through something or into something. Synonym trickle. E.g. Blood was beginning to seep through the bandages. Water seeped from a crack in the pipe. (Figurative) Gradually the pain seeped away.
hothouse: a place or situation that encourages the rapid development of somebody/something, especially ideas and emotions. E.g. In the hothouse atmosphere of college there are plenty of opportunities for falling in love.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Mock Exam. Multiple Choice Cloze. Vocabulary

Siege a military operation in which an army tries to capture a town by surrounding it and stopping the supply of food, etc. to the people inside. E.g. the siege of Troy
potency (/ˈpəʊtnsi/ the power that somebody/something has to affect your body or mind. E.g. the potency of desire.)
Drudgery (/ˈdrʌdʒəri/ hard boring work. E.g. domestic drudgery)
sloppiness (sloppy: that shows a lack of care, thought or effort. Descuidado, desaliñado. E.g. sloppy thinking. Your work is sloppy. A sloppy worker
Sober: /ˈsəʊbə(r)/ 1. not drunk (= not affected by alcohol)I promised him that I'd stay sober tonight. E.g. He was as sober as a judge (= completely sober ). 2. serious and sensible. E.g. He is honest, sober and hard-working.
Marauding: / məˈrɔːdɪŋ/ going about in search of things to steal or people to attack. Sp. Que merodea, que saquea. E.g. marauding gangs of youths.
Haughty: behaving in an unfriendly way towards other people because you think that you are better than them.
Scornful: showing or feeling scorn. Sp. desdeñoso. E.g. He was scornful of such ‘female’ activities as cooking.
Scorn: a strong feeling that somebody/something is stupid or not good enough, usually shown by the way you speak. E.g. She was unable to hide the scorn in her voice.
Obsequious: / əbˈsiːkwiəs/ trying too hard to please somebody, especially somebody who is important.
Mangled: mangle something to crush or twist something so that it is badly damaged. Sp. destrozar, retorcer. E.g. His hand was mangled in the machine. Mangled bodies/remains.
Far-flung: a long distance away. Sp. lejano. E.g. expeditions to the far-flung corners of the world.
Numbing: making you unable to feel anything. Sp. Que entumece. E.g. numbing cold/ fear. Watching television had a numbing effect on his mind.
Drowsy: /ˈdraʊzi/ tired and almost asleep. Sleepy. E.g. The tablets may make you feel drowsy.
Fledgling: /ˈfledʒlɪŋ/ 1 a young bird that has just learnt to fly. 2 (usually before another noun) a person, an organization or a system that is new and without experience. E.g. fledgling democracies.

Pugnacious: / pʌɡˈneɪʃəs/ having a strong desire to argue or fight with other people. Sp. guerrero. E.g. The pugnacious freshman later went on Fox to denounce the “extremists” in his party.
Forthright: /ˈfɔːθraɪt / direct and honest in manner and speech. Frank. E.g. a woman of forthright views. He spoke in a forthright manner but without anger.
Relish: to get great pleasure from something; to want very much to do or have something. Enjoy. E.g. to relish a fight/ challenge/ debate. To relish the idea/ thought of something. I don't relish the prospect of getting up early tomorrow.
Chastise somebody (for something/for doing something) /tʃæˈstaɪz/ (formal) to criticize somebody for doing something wrong. Sp. reprender. E.g. He chastised the team for their lack of commitment.
Snap: to speak or say something in an impatient, usually angry, voice. E.g. ‘Don't just stand there,’ she snapped. Snap (at somebody) I was tempted to snap back angrily at him. Snap something He snapped a reply. 
Chuck in: quit. E.g. The simple truth is, if you chuck in your job and decide to write full time, unless you're very lucky, you're going to run out of cash pretty soon.
Mindset: a set of attitudes or fixed ideas that somebody has and that are often difficult to change. Mentality. E.g. a conservative mindset. The mindset of the computer generation. 
Rampage: / ˈræmpeɪdʒ / a sudden period of wild and violent behaviour, often causing damage and destruction. Gangs of youths went on the rampage in the city yesterday. A state of emergency was declared following overnight rampages by student demonstrators. 

Backdrop. 1. a painted cloth hung at the back of a theatre stage as part of the scenery. Sp. telón de fondo. 2.  the setting or background for a scene, event, or situation. E.g. the conference took place against a backdrop of increasing diplomatic activity.
Flooring: material used to make the floor of a room. E.g. wooden flooring. Kitchen/bathroom flooring.
Bar: 1. bar something to close something with a bar or bars. E.g. All the doors and windows were barred.2. bar something to block a road, path, etc. so that nobody can pass. E.g. Two police officers were barring her exit. We found our way barred by rocks. 3.  Bar somebody (from something/from doing something) to ban or prevent somebody from doing something. E.g. The players are barred from drinking alcohol the night before a match.
Meander: /miˈændə(r)/ (+ adverb/preposition)  to walk slowly and change direction often, especially without a particular aim. Wander. E.g. They meandered around the old town admiring the architecture.
Flout something: / flaʊt/ to show that you have no respect for a law, etc. by openly not obeying it. Defy. Sp. desobedecer. E.g. Motorists regularly flout the law. To flout authority/convention.
Harangue somebody: /həˈræŋ/ to speak loudly and angrily in a way that criticizes somebody/something or tries to persuade people to do something. E.g. He walked to the front of the stage and began to harangue the audience.
Crave: crave (for) something/ crave to do something to have a very strong desire for something. E.g. She has always craved excitement.
Seethe:  1. to be extremely angry about something but try not to show other people how angry you are. E.g. She seethed silently in the corner. Seethe with something He marched off, seething with frustration. Seethe at something Inwardly he was seething at this challenge to his authority. 2. seethe (with something) (formal) (of a place) to be full of a lot of people or animals, especially when they are all moving around. E.g. The resort is seething with tourists all year round. He became caught up in a seething mass of arms and legs.
Yank: to pull something/somebody hard, quickly and suddenly. Yank something/somebody (+ adverb/preposition) He yanked her to her feet. Yank something/somebody + adjective I yanked the door open.(+ adverb/preposition) Liz yanked at my arm.
Strew: / struː/ strewed, strewed or strewn / struːn/  to cover a surface with things. Scatter. Sp. esparcir. E.g. Clothes were strewn across the floor.
Frisson: / ˈfriːsɒ̃/ a sudden strong feeling, especially of excitement or fear. Sp. escalofrío. E.g. A frisson of alarm ran down my spine. A frisson of excitement.
Hype: advertisements and discussion on television, radio, etc. telling the public about a product and about how good or important it is. Sp. bombo publicitario. E.g. marketing/media hype. Don't believe all the hype—the book isn't that good. 
Hangar: /ˈhæŋɡə(r)/ a large building with an extensive floor area, typically for housing, building or repairing aircraft.
Disposal: /dɪˈspəʊzl/ the act of getting rid of something. E.g. the disposal of nuclear waste.
Lurk: /lɜːk/ to wait somewhere secretly, especially because you are going to do something bad or illegal. Sp. merodear. E.g.  Why are you lurking around outside my house? A crocodile was lurking just below the surface.
Scrub: to clean something by rubbing it hard, perhaps with a brush and usually with soap and water. E.g. I found him in the kitchen, scrubbing the floor. He stepped into the shower and scrubbed himself all over.
Spatter: / ˈspætə(r)/ to cover somebody/something with drops of liquid, dirt, etc, especially by accident. Sp. Salpicar. E.g. As the bus passed, it spattered us with mud. 2. fall so as to be scattered over an area. E.g. she watched the raindrops spatter down.
Overrun, overran, overrun: to fill or spread over an area quickly, especially in large numbers. Sp. invadir. E.g. The house was completely overrun with mice. Enemy soldiers had overrun the island. The tiny village was overrun by tourists.
Roam: /rəʊm/ to walk or travel around an area without any definite aim or direction. Wander. E.g. The sheep are allowed to roam freely on this land. To roam the countryside/the streets, etc.
Poach: /pəʊtʃ/ to illegally hunt birds, animals or fish on somebody else's property or without permission. Sp. Cazar furtivamente. E.g. The elephants are poached for their tusks.
Hurl: 1. to throw something/somebody violently in a particular direction. E.g. He hurled a brick through the window. 2. hurl abuse, accusations, insults, etc. (at somebody) to shout insults, etc. at somebody. E.g. Rival fans hurled abuse at each other.
Huddle (up) (+ adverb/preposition) to hold your arms and legs close to your body, usually because you are cold or frightened. Sp. ponerse de cuclillas. E.g. I huddled under a blanket on the floor.
Trickle: to flow, or to make something flow, slowly in a thin stream. E.g. Tears were trickling down her cheeks.
Topple: to become unsteady and fall down; to make something do this. Sp. caerse, derrumbarse. E.g. + adverb/preposition the pile of books toppled over. He toppled backwards into the river. Topple somebody/ something + adverb/ preposition He brushed past, toppling her from her stool.
Wane: /weɪn/ 1. to become gradually weaker or less important. Sp. decaer, disminuir. E.g. Her enthusiasm for the whole idea was waning rapidly. Their popularity waned during that period. 2. (of the moon) have a progressively smaller part of its visible surface illuminated, so that it appears to decrease in size.
Curtail: / kɜːˈteɪl/ to limit something or make it last for a shorter time. Sp. acortar, restringir. Spending on books has been severely curtailed. The lecture was curtailed by the fire alarm going off. The government will curtail public spending next year.Civil liberties were further curtailed.
Gargantuan: / ɡɑːˈɡæntʃuən/ extremely large. Enormous. E.g. a gargantuan appetite/ meal
Damning: /ˈdæmɪŋ/ critical of somebody/something; suggesting that somebody is guilty. Sp. Condenatorio, mordaz. E.g. damning criticism/evidence. A damning conclusion/report.
Miserly: /ˈmaɪzəli/ 1. (of a person) hating to spend money. Mean. 2 (quantity) a miserly amount is very small and not enough. E.g. their miserly offer is unlikely to be accepted. Miserliness (noun) Sp. avaricia.
Fallacious: /fəˈleɪʃəs/ wrong; based on a false idea. Sp. erróneo, engañoso. E.g. a fallacious argument.
Shoal: /ʃəʊl/ 1. a large number of fish swimming together as a group. Sp. banco. E.g. shoals of herring. Squid travel in shoals. 2. a large number of people or things. Sp. montón. E.g.  shoals of people were coming up the drive.
Ooze: / uːz/ the very slow flow of a fluid. E.g.  I picked a fruit and watched the ooze of fig milk from the stem
Scrap: 1. [countable] a small piece of something, especially paper, cloth, etc. E.g. She scribbled his phone number on a scrap of paper.2. a small amount of something. E.g. It won't make a scrap of difference. 3.  scraps [plural] food left after a meal. E.g. Give the scraps to the dog. 4. things that are not wanted or cannot be used for their original purpose, but which have some value for the material they are made of. Sp. chatarra. E.g. We sold the car for scrap (= so that any good parts can be used again). Scrap metal. A scrap dealer (= a person who buys and sells scrap).
Smog: a form of air pollution that is or looks like a mixture of smoke and fog, especially in cities
Encroach: /ɪnˈkrəʊtʃ/ to slowly begin to cover more and more of an area. Sp. invadir, ocupar. E.g. The growing town soon encroached on the surrounding countryside. The encroaching tide (= that is coming in). The ever-encroaching hand of so-called progress.
Denude: /dɪˈnjuːd/ denude something (of something) (formal) to remove the covering, features, etc. from something, so that it is exposed. Sp. despojar. E.g. hillsides denuded of trees.
Bequeath: /bɪˈkwiːð/ 1. to say in a will that you want somebody to have your property, money, etc. after you die. Leave. E.g. He bequeathed his entire estate (= all his money and property) to his daughter. He bequeathed his daughter his entire estate. 2. bequeath something (to somebody)| bequeath somebody something to leave the results of your work, knowledge, etc. for other people to use or deal with, especially after you have died. E.g The previous government had bequeathed a legacy of problems.
Eschew: /ɪsˈtʃuː/ eschew something (formal) to deliberately avoid or keep away from something. E.g. He had eschewed politics in favour of a life practising law.
Bout: / baʊt/  a short period of great activity; a short period during which there is a lot of a particular thing, usually something unpleasant. Sp. episodio. E.g. a drinking bout. Bout of something/ of doing something the latest bout of inflation. Regular exercise is better than occasional bouts of strenuous activity.
Somersault: /ˈsʌməsɔːlt/ a movement in which somebody turns over completely, with their feet over their head, on the ground or in the air. Sp. voltereta. E.g. to do/turn a somersault. He turned back somersaults. (figurative) Her heart did a complete somersault when she saw him.
Splinter: a small thin sharp piece of wood, metal, glass, etc. that has broken off a larger piece. Sp. Astilla, esquirla. E.g. splinters of glass. To remove a splinter from your finger.
Stride: an improvement in the way something is developing. E.g. We're making great strides in the search for a cure.