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TOEFL vocabulary. Study the words and fill in the blanks below.

Get more practice with the story: Shillong.

Ancient (Ānshent): adj -- very old, often related to past centuries, though informally used to exaggerate oldness

In ancient times, people had to suffer through many diseases.
Sorry, but your stove is ancient. You really need to buy a new one. 

Brilliant (BRILyunt): adj - radiating a lot of light, also used to describe intelligence or perfection in an art

The stars are brilliant tonight. You can see thousands of them.
That's a brilliant idea. I'm sure everyone will agree.
I'm going to a concert tonight. Everyone says that this pianist is a brilliant musician. 

Celebrated (SELebrāded): adj - well-known, famous

He's a celebrated mathematician. Everyone in mathematics knows who he is.

Commonplace (COmunplace): adj - very normal, related to normal, everyday things

The professor said that my essay was commonplace. He wants me to try harder.
In southern American states, the use of colorful speech is commonplace.

Critical (KRIdikl): adj - reasonable and unemotional, analytical, often used to describe dislike

Please don't be too critical of my essay. I wrote it last night between 1am and 4am. 
She walked around the museum and looked at all the paintings with a critical eye.

Practice: Complete the sentences with the correct word (answers are at the bottom of the page):

1. The ________________ author has published 20 novels and appeared on many talk shows.

2. My husband is worried about seeing his uncle. His uncle is always ________________ and never says nice things.

3. I'll introduce you to my teacher. He's _________________! He helped me understand algebra.

4. Her mother sent her a teapot for Christmas. Only later, she learned it was an ___________________ family heirloom.

5. I know you liked that book, but I thought it was ______________________. I have read many other books just like it. 

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Answers: Practice 1: 1. celebrated, 2. critical, 3. brilliant, 4. ancient, 5. commonplace
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