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Appropriate words 4

This is an exercise that will help you learn the differences between frequently confused words. We call them "Appropriate Words" sentence completion exercises because the key thing to learn here is the appropriate context in which you should use these words. Sometimes you can use both words, but one answer is more appropriate to use in that context. For other sentences, one word is the only possible answer. The explanations at the bottom of each page will clarify all of the answers if you're not sure about certain sentences.

1. My cup of tea was ____ after cooling on the table for 45 minutes.

 

a. tepid

 

b. boiling

 

 

2. My teacher was _____ when he learned I forgot my homework.

 

 

a. disappointed

 

b. enraged

 

 

3. After searching for a job for 3 long years, Stephanie was ____ when she was hired by the best law firm in town.

 

a. pleased

 

b. ecstatic

 

 

4. After running 20 miles in the marathon, Jonathan was exhausted, but he kept _____ along.

 

a. sprinting

 

b. plodding

 

 

5. The rose's petals have a bright ___ color.

 

a. maroon

 

b. red

 

6. The soup is too hot to eat right now. It was just ____.

 

 

a. tepid

 

b. boiling

 

 

7. When the police beat and killed several peaceful protesters, the rest of the demonstrators became ______.

 

 

a. disappointed

 

b. enraged

 

 

8. I was ____ to learn that we would have nice weather this weekend.

 

 

a. pleased

 

b. ecstatic

 

 

9. The cheetah ____ after its prey.

 

 

a. sprinted

 

b. plodded

 

 

10. I decided to wear a _____ tie instead of my yellow one because I needed to wear more subdued colors.

 

a. maroon

 

b. red

 

 

An explanation of the answers:

 

1. You may have noticed that the difference between the two answers in each sentence of this worksheet depends on degree. Let's look at number 1. Tepid and boiling both refer to something that is warm or hot. Tepid means slightly warm, while boiling means very hot (at over above 100 degrees Celsius, to be precise). Since the tea referred to in sentence 1 has been sitting for 45 minutes, it is most like no longer boiling hot. That is why tepid is the more appropriate answer.

 

2. If someone is disappointed, they are slightly let down. If someone is enraged, they are violently angry. Since it would be quite unusual for a teacher to become violently angry at a student for forgetting their homework, disappointed is the better answer. 

 

3. Since Stephanie was searching for a job for 3 years, she would probably be very happy to not only get a job, but get a job at the best law firm in town. Ecstatic means overwhelming happy, which is the answer to number 3.

 

4. Plodding and sprinting have two very different, but related meanings. To plod means to walk or trot heavily and slowly. To sprint means to run as fast as you can. Since Jonathan was exhausted, he probably could only plod along.

 

5. Maroon means brownish-red, and red means, well, red! Since maroon is naturally a darker and more subdued color, it would be unlikely to classify something as bright maroon. Red is therefore the answer.

 

6. If soup is too hot to eat, it probably isn't tepid. However, if something is at or near the boiling point, it is most likely too hot to consume. That is why boiling is the answer to number 6.

 

7. Police beating and killing a peaceful person would probably greatly anger most people. It would be too mild to say that people were disappointed. They would be enraged, the answer to number 7.

 

8. Nice weather in most circumstances is pleasing. If the weather were horrible for a long time, we could understand how a person might be ecstatic to learn that the weather will be nice. However, since that is not mentioned here, pleased is the correct answer. 

 

9. Cheetahs are the fastest land animals on the planet, and they certainly have to run as fast as they can to catch their prey. That is why sprinted is the better answer for this sentence.

 

10. The keyword in number 10 is subdued. Subdued means calming and restrained. Since maroon fits this description, it is the better answer for number 10.

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