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Advanced ESL: Vocabulary Words

Study these vocabulary words. Then practice with SAT vocabulary questions.

Aural (AH-rul): adj -- related to hearing or the sense of hearing
Some people prefer aural learning to visual learning. They prefer lectures or audio recordings.
His aural abilities have been limited since his last heart attack.
Archaic (ar-KĀ-ik): adj - from very old times, related to olden times
Technology is moving forward so fast that soon any computer larger than a laptop will seem archaic.
We watched a documentary about animals from archaic times. Many are extinct today.
Copious (CŌ-pee-us): adj - having quantity, plentiful
Most good students take copious notes, though people take notes in different ways.
Copious mountain flowers filled the hillside with color.
Transient (TRAN-zee-unt): adj - not lasting, coming and going quickly, n. a person who comes and goes, who generally lacks a home
We took care of the transient cat off and on for three years. I wonder how many other neighbors gave it food.
Many jobless people became transients during the Great Depression.
Innocuous (in-NO-kyoo-us): adj - harmless, not having harmful effects
That is technically a poisonous snake, but the poison is innocuous for people. It can only harm small rodents.
He thought that everything he said in his speech was innocuous. He was shocked when he found out that some people were offended. 

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

1. After saving money, she spent three months living a ___________________ lifestyle in Europe. She visited England, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and Austria.

A. innocuous
B. transient
C. copious
D. archaic
E. aural

2. His ______________ abilities were very strong. If you played a scale on a piano, he could tell you what notes you played when he was five years old.

A. innocuous
B. transient
C. copious
D. archaic
E. aural

Now study more words and practice them. After that, there are practice problems using all 10 words on this page.

Scintillating (SIN-ti-lā-ding):  adj -- extremely interesting, brilliant
I love listening to that lecturer. His ideas are scintillating!
Your short story is scintillating. I could not put it down.
Jocular (JO-kyoo-ler): adj. - characterized by joking, related to joking
I was impressed by her jocular nature. She made jokes so easily!
Though he was in a jocular mood, everyone else was serious and dispirited.
Flippant (FLI-pent): adj - talkative, though without meaning, thoughtless and disrespectful
That girl's flippant gossip caused problems for a lot of people. 
Don't be flippant with me. I'm trying to have a serious conversation with you.
Arboreal (ar-BŌR-ee-ul): adj - related to trees
There is a beautiful arboreal forest to the south of the city. There are many different kinds of trees.
That nonprofit has several arboreal projects that would benefit the environment.
Sanguine (SANG-gwin): adj - optimistic, pleasantly confident
She was well-liked in the sorority because of her sanguine disposition.
His sanguine words helped me to see that my depression was temporary.

More Practice. Complete the sentence with the missing word or words.

3. I'm hoping Scott can join us tonight. His _______________ company will cheer me up.

A. jocular
B. arboreal
C. flippant
D. scintillating
E. transient

4. Though she had a lot to say, she was just being ________________. The things she said were fairly insensitive.

A. jocular
B. arboreal
C. flippant
D. scintillating
E. transient

5. I have to believe that her cancer will be ___________________. She has such a ____________________ disposition, I think she will be able to beat it. 

A. innocuous ... flippant
B. aural ... transient
C. transient ... sanguine
D. copious ... flippant
E. sanguine ... copious

6. The two roommates completely disagreed about the lecturer. While one thought the professor's arguments were ____________________, the other thought that the ideas were _______________.

A. innocuous ... arboreal
B. jocular ... aural
C. copious ... flippant
D. scintillating ... archaic
E. copious ... archaic

7. Many small animals that live in _______________ forests have heightened _______________ abilities.

A. innocuous ... copious
B. arboreal ... aural
C. arboreal ... sanguine
D. aural ... innocuous
E. flippant ... jocular

8. He has a ________________ vocabulary when it comes to funny words. We love his _____________ nature.

A. jocular ... copious
B. transient ... jocular
C. sanguine ... flippant
D. copious ... jocular
E. scintillating ... aural

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Answers: 1. b, 2. e, 3. a, 4. c, 5. c, 6. d, 7. b, 8. d