4000 Essential English Words

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  • 4000 Essential English Words

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    www.irlanguage.com 4000 Essential English Words 6

    www.irlanguage.com 4000 Essential English Words 6

    Paul Nation

    © 2009 Compass Publishing

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    email: info@compasspub.com


    ISBN: 978-1-59966-407-1

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    Unit Target Words Page

    alleviate, astrology, differentiate, disrupt, equation, err, erroneous, frantic, hull, inadvertent, improvise,

    1 8

    latitude, mariner, multitude, nuisance, permanence, revolve, soothe, stranded, volatile

    arduous, attain, coexist, conceive, dubious, ego, elastic, endeavor, engrave, excavate,

    2 14

    jagged, locale, mold, outright, periphery, plaster, shovel, skeletal, terrestrial, vicious

    absurd, anemia, aristocracy, aristocrat, attire, craze, enlarge, excess, feminine, hallmark,

    3 20

    pad, predominant, reputable, rouge, signify, strap, tangle, vanity, vie, vulgar

    attic, chunk, civic, descent, din, dissatisfy, fuss, gourmet, hence, intrinsic, kettle, ministry,

    4 26

    ordeal, outspoken, overwork, particular, pungent, snore, soundly, superintendent

    alternate, apologetic, benign, char, clarify, distress, dogged, ensue, gasp, negotiate,

    5 32

    overdose, persuasion, relay, reluctance, restate, sesame, sip, verge, wary, waver

    ashore, contradict, counterpart, devoid, diverge, elude, embryo, fend, fictitious, gazette,

    6 38

    homogeneous, obstruct, plunge, prolong, publicize, sparse, surplus, theorize, verify, vigorous

    altar, arthritis, botany, credible, deceased, deception, decipher, dung, dusk, gratify,

    7 44

    hone, mash, ornate, pneumonia, psychic, psychotic, scope, sinister, strife, therapeutic

    congested, courier, deform, etiquette, exclusive, freight, garment, insomnia, intuitive, liable,

    8 50

    obsess, overboard, premium, privilege, propel, socialize, suppress, tram, unsettle, warp

    artery, deterioration, elusive, forage, impede, induce, inseparable, invalid, magnify, mainstream,

    9 56

    microbe, negligible, paralysis, pest, prevail, respiration, rupture, savage, stun, susceptible

    accumulate, aerial, apparatus, avalanche, consistency, convection, discharge, intact, mortal,

    10 62

    omen, overcast, poignant, ranger, rubble, seclude, sideways, sob, sober, speck, upbringing

    advocate, authorize, civilian, commodity, conquest, disclose, dynamics, enroll, envious,

    11 68

    euphoria, festive, jolly, lentil, marshal, morale, prophecy, sage, senate, sentiment, unrest

    adorn, bliss, butler, cramp, dilapidated, evoke, farewell, faucet, filth, flaw, grin,

    12 74

    housekeeping, mound, numb, reckless, slate, stool, testament, timber, valve

    certify, collaborate, compile, counteract, curb, diagnose, enact, federation, gross, humane,

    13 80

    intolerable, needy, onset, pledge, prohibit, rash, render, smallpox, transmit, vow

    camouflage, contemplate, contend, cot, enlist, frontier, handbook, hesitant, lush, marrow,

    14 86

    outfit, paw, quiver, splendid, stray, substantial, torch, tract, vigil, weary

    adhere, administer, compassionate, contaminate, deficiency, epidemic, hazard, imperative, intestines, manifest,

    15 92

    metabolic, overcrowded, paramount, practitioner, provision, replenish, sterile, upgrade, viable, voluntary

    www.irlanguage.com Unit Target Words Page

    amid, backstage, billionaire, brute, clumsy, collide, culprit, evacuate, flammable, mob,

    16 98

    premature, resent, satire, scrutiny, segregate, subject, testify, tumult, underestimate, uproar

    accelerate, anew, defect, dreary, duplicate, electromagnetic, electron, glide, ingenious, innovation,

    17 104

    innovative, launch, meteorological, meteorology, penetrate, propulsion, simulate, spur, stimulate, tenacious

    beforehand, centigrade, chatter, concerto, condense, cove, deteriorate, exterior, freeway, hearty,

    18 110

    hospitable, manor, monastery, nursery, outstretched, parcel, profile, vivacious, winding, zip

    airway, Almighty, advent, constellation, definitive, equate, inhale, invoke, lunar, novelty,

    19 116

    outmoded, personalize, pertain, primal, psychiatric, psychiatry, reflex, seizure, session, utensil

    adhesive, adverse, dependency, dump, eternal, fluctuate, fro, inclusion, intermediate, intermittent,

    20 122

    mentor, phoenix, photosynthesis, pollen, regain, reverse, swarm, texture, tickle, vibrant

    abolish, amend, aspire, censor, charter, constitution, cosmopolitan, disseminate, flatter,

    21 128

    infamous, lame, limp, outburst, pathological, phenomenal, poll, remorse, secrecy, tackle, trance

    coward, delete, firsthand, earnest, ethnic, exclude, fluent, imperial, inclusive, legislature,

    22 134

    linguistic, monolingual, nationality, patriot, prosecute, racial, solemn, solidarity, tact, undermine

    allocate, appetizing, blizzard, cavity, clockwise, concentric, courtesy, crisp, discord, frigid,

    23 140

    generate, glacial, interchange, locker, multicultural, omission, oversee, pierce, replicate, wavy

    abide, conversion, cram, defer, export, fume, habitual, justify, output, overpopulation, patent,

    24 146

    penalize, petroleum, prototype, scrap, sector, subscribe, subsist, suspend, synthesis

    acrobat, advocacy, communal, fluid, harmonize, industrious, inventive, judicial, Mandarin,

    25 152

    metropolitan, mimic, misguided, rehearse, scorn, sensory, staple, statute, veteran, villain, vine

    constrain, depot, emulate, forefinger, guts, inherent, intimidate, janitor, moist, nope,

    26 158

    prod, ransom, restrain, saliva, spit, sprint, stunt, tolerant, vampire, yawn

    analogy, ancestry, archer, conspiracy, deputy, earl, fragrant, funnel, hereditary, hymn,

    27 164

    invert, prey, procession, prophet, sarcastic, seasoning, sodium, tyranny, tyrant, vinegar

    adjoining, allege, arch, assemble, casualty, erect, foul, hectare, heighten, hospitality,

    28 170

    mansion, outnumber, overjoyed, pasture, petition, renovate, revise, slab, terrace, turf

    analogous, binoculars, bulk, comprise, depict, dual, Fahrenheit, fulfill, grove, ore, outback,

    29 176

    outweigh, paradox, pier, shortcut, tariff, thermometer, tilt, vice versa, whereabouts

    amber, charcoal, columnist, courteous, credentials, crickets, delta, detergent, euphemism,

    30 182

    expire, granite, gravel, haunt, liberal, maze, moss, peck, pebble, reservoir, streak


    www.irlanguage.com About the Vocabulary

    The 600 words in each book of this series along with the additional target words

    presented in the appendices included in the first three books of the series are the most

    useful words in English. They were found by analysis of a collection of English course

    books from various levels in the primary, secondary and tertiary school systems. The

    words included in this series were chosen because they occurred many times in different

    levels of these materials. Because of the way

    that they were chosen, these words have the following characteristics:

    1 They are useful in both spoken and written English. No matter what English course

    you are studying, the words in these books will be of value to you.

    2 Each word in these books is a high-frequency word. This means that the effort in

    learning the words is well repaid by the number of times learners have a chance to

    encounter or use them.

    3 These books as a whole cover a large proportion of the words in any spoken or written

    text. They cover at least 80% of the words in newspapers and academic texts, and

    at least 90% of the words in novels. They also cover at least 90% of the words in


    About the Books

    The activities in these books are specially designed to make use of important learning

    conditions. Firstly, the words are introduced using sentence definitions and an example

    sentence. The activities that follow in the units encourage learners to recall the meanings

    and forms of the words. Some activities also make the learners think about the meaning

    of the words in the context of a sentence—a sentence different from the sentences that

    occurred in the introduction of the words. Moreover, each unit ends with a story containing

    the target words. While reading the story, the learners have to recall the meanings of the

    words and suit them to the context of the story. Such activities help learners develop a

    better understanding of a common meaning for a given word which fits the different uses.

    Illustrations for each target word are provided to help learners visualize the word as it

    is being used in the example sentence. These word/image associations aim to help

    students grasp the meaning of the word as well as recall the word later.


    www.irlanguage.com It should be noted that words have more than one grammatical category. However, this

    series focuses on the word’s most common form. This is mentioned to remind learners

    that just because a word is labeled and utilized as a noun in this series does not mean

    that it can never be used in another form such as an adjective. This series has simply

    focused on the word in the form that it is most likely to be expressed.

    Supporting Learning with Outside Activities

    A well-balanced language course provides four major opportunities for learning: learning

    through input, learning through output, deliberate learning, and fluency development. The

    highly structured activities in these books support all four types of learning opportunities.

    In addition, learning can further be supported through the following activities:

    1 Have students create vocabulary cards with one word from the unit on one side of the

    card and the translation of the word in the student’s first language on the other side.

    Students should use the cards for study in free moments during the day. Over several

    weeks, students will find that quick repeated studying for brief periods of time is more

    effective than studying for hours at one sitting.

    2 Assign graded readers at students’ appropriate levels. Reading such books provides

    both enjoyment as well as meaning-focused input which will help the words stick in

    students’ memory.

    3 Practice reading fluency to promote faster recall of word meaning for both sight

    recognition and usage. Compass Publishing’s Reading for Speed and Fluency is a

    good resource for reading fluency material.

    4 Include listening, speaking, and writing activities in classes. Reinforcement of the

    high-frequency vocabulary presented in this series is important across all the four

    language skills.

    Author Paul Nation

    Paul Nation is professor of Applied Linguistics in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

    at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has taught in Indonesia, Thailand, the United States,

    Finland, and Japan. His specialist interests are language teaching methodology and vocabulary learning.

    www.irlanguage.com alleviate [aii vieit] v.

    To alleviate pain or suffering means to make it less intense or severe.

    —► She needed something to alleviate the pain in her back.

    astrology [astralsd3i] n.

    Astrology is the study of the stars in the belief that they influence people’s lives.

    —»Jack, who studies astrology, believes that the stars can predict the future.

    differentiate [difarenjieit] v.

    To differentiate things or people is to show the difference between them.

    —► It was hard to differentiate between the identical twins.

    disrupt [disrApt] V.

    To disrupt something or someone is to prevent them from working.

    —► The loud crash disrupted the class lecture.

    equation [i(:)kwei3an] n.

    An equation is a math operation to determine the value of something.

    —► I used the Pythagorean theorem to solve the equation.

    err [ax] v.

    To err means to make a mistake.

    —► The pilot erred in his estimate of the time it would take to make the trip.

    erroneous [irounias] adj.

    When something is erroneous, it is incorrect or only partly correct.

    —► The child held the erroneous belief that time machines were real.

    frantic [frsentik] adj.

    If people or things are frantic, they behave in a wild way because they are frightened

    —* The cat became frantic when I tried to give it a bath.

    hull [hAl] n.

    The hull of a boat or tank is the main body of it.

    -»Afterthe wreckatsea, the ship’s hull was the last part to sink.

    inadvertent [inadvertent] adj.

    When an action is inadvertent, it is done without realizing what you are doing.

    —* She made an inadvertent error when she knocked over the nail polish.

    oa www.irlanguage.com I

    improvise [impravaiz]


    To improvise something is to do it with whatever is available or without planning.

    —► There was no meat for the pizza, so we improvised with what was in the fridge.

    latitude [Isetej/uid] n.

    The latitude of a place is its distance from the equator.

    —* The device was able to tell the traveler his exact latitude.

    mariner [mseranar] n.

    A mariner is a sailor.

    —► The old mariner used his telescope to find the shore.

    multitude [mAltipid] n.

    A multitude of things or people is a very large number of them.

    —> A multitude of people were waiting at the airport.

    nuisance [ryu.'ssns] n.

    A nuisance is a person or thing that is annoying or causes a lot of problems.

    —► The teenager considered her noisy little brothers to be quite a nuisance.

    permanence [paxmanans] n.

    The permanence of something is its ability to last forever.

    —► Poor results will threaten the permanence of the new teaching system.

    revolve [rivdlv] V.

    To revolve around something is to keep it as the main feature or focus.

    —» My life revolves around sports.

    soothe [su a] v.

    To soothe means to calm someone who is angry or upset.

    —► The mother soothed her crying baby by rocking him in her arms.

    Stranded [straendid] adj.

    If someone is stranded, they are prevented from leaving a place.

    —» When the plane left, my sister and I were stranded in China.

    volatile [vdlatil] adj.

    When something is volatile, it is likely to change suddenly and unexpectedly.

    —► The volatile volcano might explode at any moment.

    www.irlanguage.com E x e r c i s e 1

    Write a word that is similar in meaning to the underlined part.

    1. He chose to paint a picture on the main body of the boat.

    2. When the plane crashed on the island, the passenger knew he was prevented from leaving.

    3. I admired the very large number of stamps in his collection.

    4. I took some aspirin to make less my back pain.

    5. The countries were concerned about the treaty’s ability to last forever.

    6. Australia’s distance from the equator is less extreme than I imagined.

    7. I’m still not sure if the math operation I did was correct.

    8. When the rats got out of the cage, the girl was behaving in a wild wav because of fear.

    9. The incorrect or partly correct information gave us the wrong idea about the president.

    10. When he forgot his rope at home, he had to make one using whatever was available.


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