KA WORDCAST Passages: Lesson 3

KA WORDCAST Passages: Lesson 3

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Passages Lesson Three: Reading Passage

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KA WORDCAST Passages, Lesson THREE


For this lesson you will be reading passages from an award-winning novel for young people, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, which was written by Christopher Paul Curtis.  The Watsons are an ordinary, but slightly offbeat, black family from Flint, Michigan.  The story is narrated by Kenny Watson, a bright, sensitive ten-year-old with a “lazy eye.”   Kenny’s thirteen-year-old brother Byron is an “official juvenile delinquent” who is constantly getting into trouble, which forces his parents to take drastic action.  They decide to drive to Birmingham, Alabama, and to leave Byron with Mrs. Watson’s mother for the summer vacation in the hope that staying there for a while away from his old friends and bad influences will straighten Byron out.  But the time is 1963. Birmingham is in the heart of America’s racially divided Deep South, and it is there that the narrator Kenny learns how dangerous and ugly the world can be.  In today’s reading, however, Kenny recalls a time when a teacher asked him to show off his advanced reading skills to a class of fifth-graders.  Kenny, by the way, was only in the second grade, and Byron, his big brother, was in the class!


To listen to the recording of the passage, please tune in to the KA Voicecast website.


“All right, I have a special treat for you today.  I’ve often told you that as Negroes, the world is many times a HOSTILE place for us.”

The adjective HOSTILE means feeling or showing ill will.  Synonyms include unfriendly, belligerent, antagonistic, and unkind.

The Education Secretary faced the HOSTILE student protesters and tried to reason with them, but to no avail.

Ned Devine, a local environmental activist, wrote a ferociously HOSTILE letter to the town paper, condemning all those involved in the proposed plan to develop the nature reserve.

Any comedian knows how unpredictable audiences can be.  Some are receptive and will laugh at anything, while others are openly HOSTILE and filled with hecklers.

HOSTILE also describes an enemy during wartime or other conflict.

With the town surrounded by HOSTILE troops, the townspeople had no option but to settle in for a siege and await rescue.

Intelligence agents believe that there are HOSTILE rebel forces hiding out in the mountains surrounding the capital, and that attack is imminent.

HOSTILE can also mean unfavorable to life or growth.  Synonyms include adverse, alien, and inhospitable.

Some of the world’s most HOSTILE climatic conditions are found in the Taklamakan Desert, which lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas.

Far from being a HOSTILE environment for flora and fauna, the soil near a volcano is often among the most fertile, since the volcanic ash is full of nutrients and acts as a fertilizer.

Finally, in commerce and economics, HOSTILE is used describe an unwelcome and uninvited attempt by one company to buy or take control of another company.

“Unless we act decisively,” the chairman of the board of the small company warned, “we will be vulnerable to a HOSTILE takeover by the Hunley Corporation.”

HOSTILE can also be a noun meaning someone that is HOSTILE.  Synonyms include enemy and opposition.

In the middle of the night, our squad chanced upon the camp of a platoon of HOSTILES, and we were forced to silently retreat and radio for back up.

HOSTILITY is a noun meaning an act of aggression or the state of being HOSTILE.  Synonyms include unfriendliness, hatred, animosity, opposition, and resentment.

There is still some HOSTILITY among traditionalists in the church who are not open to the introduction of female clergy.

Fernando could not contain his HOSTILITY toward the drunk driver who had severely injured his mother in a road traffic accident.

The young star was not used to criticism, especially in front of others, and stared at the director with open HOSTILITY.

The plural form is HOSTILITIES, which usually means conflict or fighting.

HOSTILITIES broke out between Germany and France in 1939, marking the start of the Second World War and forcing Great Britain’s entry into the conflict.

Rebel chiefs agreed to cease HOSTILITIES and lay down their arms throughout the country in an unprecedented move to allow peace negotiations to finally get under way.

The adverb HOSTILELY is used to describe an action or look or feeling of hatred.  Synonyms include belligerently, antagonistically, and hatefully.

After writing so HOSTILELY about the famous poet’s most recent work in a national literary magazine, the critic braced himself for a counter-offensive.



And Byron Watson, if you are incapable of taking some of the fire out of your eyes, I ASSURE you I will find a way to assist you.

The verb ASSURE has many uses.  Most commonly, it means to cause someone to feel sure about something.  Synonyms include reassure, promise, and guarantee.

It may not look like it so far, but I can ASSURE you, I know exactly what I am doing.

We need to ASSURE the Prime Minister of our loyal support during this time of political unrest.

The office manager ASSURED his secretary that she would receive a raise following her annual performance review.

ASSURE can also mean to make certain of.  Synonyms include ensure, guarantee, and certify.

The buyer must send a letter of credit from the bank to ASSURE the shipper that the shipper will be paid once the goods are despatched.

To ASSURE your place for the summer holiday sports camp, all applications forms and payments must be returned to us by July 31st.

ASSURE can also mean to inform someone about something with the intention of making the listener feel confident or secure.

I ASSURED him that travelling to Cambodia was perfectly safe provided that the usual common sense travel precautions are followed.

Age classifications and ratings for films help to ASSURE parents that a film is suitable for their child.

All our instructors are highly trained and all our equipment is maintained to the highest standard, so I can ASSURE you that your child will be perfectly safe on this adventure holiday. 

ASSURE also means to be certain of.  Synonyms include guarantee and be sure of.

To ASSURE vigorous peony bushes next season, in the early autumn prune the stalks down to within a few inches of the ground.

To ASSURE the success of this year’s Logger’s Play Day, we have invited several professional musical and comedy acts to take part in the show that closes the weekend festival.

ASSURED is an adjective form describing something that is certain or guaranteed.  It is often, by the way, used in formal business correspondence, as in the third sample sentence below.

If you choose to invest in this type of bond, you will gain an ASSURED income of five percent.

To gain an ASSURED registration date for the summer term, e-mail us or sign in at the registrar’s office by no later than the last day of the autumn semester.

Rest ASSURED that our agency will do everything in our power to develop an ad campaign for your new product that will have your target audience flocking to it.

ASSURED can also mean exhibiting confidence or authority.  Synonyms include confident, composed, self-assured, and self-possessed.

The young artist paints with an ASSURED hand, creating bold, abstract collages that resonate with meaning.

Baroness Thatcher’s 20-year-old granddaughter, who read so beautifully at the late Prime Minister’s funeral, said her ASSURED performance was due to public speaking being “in the blood.”

ASSURING is another adjective form that means giving confidence.  Synonyms include reassuring, encouraging, emboldening, and cheering.

Tim’s dad waved his son off to his third driving test with an ASSURING handshake and a cheerful thumbs-up.  “You’ll pass with flying colors this time,” he said.

ASSUREDLY is an adverb meaning without a doubt or for certain.  Synonyms include confidently, with complete confidence, and in all sincerity.

I can say most ASSUREDLY that it was never my intention to say anything to hurt your feelings, and, if I did, I’m truly sorry.

ASSUREDLY, Leslie, you can find the time to take a break from work and get out and enjoy yourself with your co-workers once in a while.

The speaker spoke ASSUREDLY about the need for passing a law to keep people from texting while walking down the street or riding a bicycle, or especially while driving a car.

ASSURINGLY is another adverb form.  It means confidently and reassuringly.

At half time, rather than rant at his team, the coach spoke ASSURINGLY to them, saying that he had every confidence in their ability to come from behind and pull out a victory.

ASSURANCE is the noun form meaning something said or known that makes a person feel confident (and sometimes too confident, as in the third sample below).  Synonyms include guarantee, promise, certainty, word of honor, and overconfidence.

Miriam gained much confidence from her doctor’s ASSURANCE that her recovery would be swift following her scheduled hip-replacement surgery.

Adverse conditions forced Jim to wait weeks to begin his solo voyage around the UK, but today, in the ASSURANCE of favorable winds, he finally set sail from Portsmouth.

Mr. Ferguson’s ASSURANCE of his own intellectual and educational superiority infuriated his son-in-law Elvin and led to many heated, even hostile, arguments between them.



If, instead of trying to INTIMIDATE your brother, you would emulate him and use that mind of yours, perhaps you’d find things much easier.

INTIMIDATE is a verb that means to fill with fear or make timid, or to coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats. Synonyms include frighten, pressure, threaten, and alarm.

The gang was notorious in the neighborhood for trying to INTIMIDATE passersby with threats and menacing behavior.

Many animals use colorful markings and threatening sounds as a way to INTIMIDATE predators and thereby protect themselves.

The local council feels that skateboarders and cyclists on the canal towpath may INTIMIDATE pedestrians, particularly the elderly, and should therefore be banned.

I took my dad along with me to the computer store when I needed to get my first PC; otherwise, I knew the salesman would try to INTIMIDATE me into buying more than I needed and spending way too much money. 

The murder trial was stopped after three days because of allegations that associates of the defendant had being trying to INTIMIDATE the jury.

The participle form, INTIMIDATED, is often used in tandem with “be” or “feel” as a kind of adjective to describe the feeling of being afraid of or threatened by someone or something.

The beginner might feel INTIMIDATED by the complexity and “brainy” reputation of chess, but it’s a great game and well worth taking up.

Do not be INTIMIDATED by e-mails that warn of the dire consequences of not following their instructions; these are scam e-mails, which you should delete without a second thought.

INTIMIDATING is an adjective that describes someone or something that arouses fear or nervousness in people.

At nearly 1,000 pages, with small-print footnotes at the bottom of nearly every page, Wallace’s novel looks INTIMIDATING, but once you start it, it actually reads very quickly.

All my mother had to do to make my sister and me stop bickering was to give us an INTIMIDATING glance with those penetrating green eyes of hers.

INTIMIDATION is a noun meaning the act of INTIMIDATING someone to make him/her do something.

Accusations of INTIMIDATION and brutality by the police against the Muslim demonstrators are being investigated by an independent body.

The queen bee rules the hive by sheer INTIMIDATION.



“I’ve pointed out time and time again how VITAL it is that one be able to read well.”

The adjective VITAL has a number of different but related meanings.  In the passage above it means indispensible or essential.  Synonyms include critical, fundamental, and imperative.

A blockade or other interruption would cut off VITAL gas and oil supplies, which would bring the country to its knees within weeks.

The following contains VITAL information on recent changes to the national health-insurance system that you and your family should be aware of.

“I don’t care if he is in an important meeting, it is VITAL that I speak with my husband immediately.  It’s an emergency.”

VITAL can also mean pertaining to or necessary to life.  Synonyms include life-sustaining.

A 12-year-old boy who fell and was impaled on a spike on a metal fence was freed by medics and went on to make a full recovery because, thankfully, the spike had missed his VITAL organs.

So-called smart textiles are being developed that will monitor VITAL signs, warn of allergens, and even cool the wearer off when the temperature rises.

The lungs perform a VITAL function in the body, supplying it with oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide through respiration.

VITAL can also mean necessary to the existence, continuance, or well-being of something.

In areas of low rainfall, irrigation is VITAL to the success of crops.

Bees provide a VITAL service by, among other things, pollinating plants, so the current decline in the nation’s bee population is something we should all be concerned about.

VITAL can also mean energetic, lively, or forceful.

Queen Elizabeth the Second remains a VITAL and charismatic monarch despite her advancing years.

The adverb VITALLY means to a very important degree.   Synonyms include extremely, truly, and highly.

It is VITALLY important that this paperwork gets submitted on time; otherwise, we could lose the bid on the very lucrative lighting contract for the new stadium.

Although some people disapprove in principle of zoos and aquariums, it can be argued that they perform a VITALLY important service by conserving some rare threatened species. 

The noun VITALITY means the state of being strong, healthy, and active.

Bonsai, being living and growing plants, need from time to time to be pruned to maintain their shape and, more importantly, their health and VITALITY.

Within just a few days of starting our patented nutrition and fitness program you will experience a noticeable boost in VITAITY and mood.

Spa resorts provide the peace and solitude you need to rest and reflect while restoring health, VITALITY, and an outer glow.

VITALITY is also sometimes used to mean the thing that distinguishes living things from non-living things.  The most common synonym is life force.

Some people decorate their homes with the most convincing artificial-flower arrangements, but if you ask me, nothing can match the VITALITY of freshly cut flowers and living plants.

Finally VITALITY can mean the power to survive.

The VITALITY of an old tradition is proven by its ability to survive by being passed on from generation to generation.

A verb that has been backformed from VITAL is VITALIZE, which means to give life to or to make more lively or vigorous.

The local council has asked for suggestions from the local community regarding plans to VITALIZE the downtown area.

This verb is often changed to REVITALIZE, and is used in the same way.

In an effort to REVITALIZE the public’s waning interest in the environment, town leaders are planning to stage a local version of Earth Day, with various hands-on, interactive activities planned.

REVITALIZE is often used in its participle form as an adjective.

With his REVITALIZED enthusiasm for acting, Lawrence has been accepting roles in all kinds of movies and is enjoying a resurgence in popularity.



If, instead of trying to intimidate your brother, you would EMULATE him and use that mind of yours, perhaps you’d find things much easier.

The verb EMULATE means to try to be as good as someone or something, especially by imitation.  Synonyms include follow, copy, mirror, and model oneself on.

It is a sign of the times that these days, rather than looking up to their parents as role models, many young people EMULATE pop, movie, and sports stars.

The refurbished steam-train carriages have been styled with original features to EMULATE a bygone era, with the addition of modern conveniences and five-star cuisine

You cannot go wrong by EMULATING Marcia’s admirable work ethic and conscientiousness.

EMULATE can also mean to compete with or rival successfully.  Synonyms include match, equal, parallel, and surpass.

It is common for children to try to EMULATE the achievements of their siblings, and a degree of rivalry is unavoidable.

It was obvious that most of those auditioning for the new production of Cabaret were trying to EMULATE Liza Minnelli’s legendary performance in the musical’s film version.

The noun EMULATION means the act of emulating or imitating.   Synonyms include following, copying, mirroring, and reproduction.

Paula’s openness to new experiences and all-round enthusiasm for life are definitely worthy of our EMULATION.

When a company produces a successful new product, it more often than not leads to EMULATION from competitors.

In the computing world, a program that adapts the workings of one computer to the workings of another is known as EMULATION software.



And Byron Watson, if you are incapable of taking some of the fire out of your eyes I assure you I will find a way to ASSIST you.

In the passage, ASSIST is a verb meaning to give help or support.  Synonyms include aid, abet, lend a (helping) hand to, and oblige.

“Could you ASSIST me for an hour or two?  I have to e-mail in this report by 3:00 p.m., and I don’t think I can make it without a little help.”

As the newly elected health and safety representative for your department, you must ASSIST in the safe evacuation of department personnel in the event of emergency.

We apologize for the delay.   If you have any travel queries, my colleague at the information desk will be happy to ASSIST you.

To ASSIST in the diagnosis of your condition, we will need to take further blood samples and conduct a few more tests.

ASSIST can also mean to act as a subordinate or helper to someone in a managerial or other official position.

You have been employed to ASSIST the Managing Director and will be expected to manage his schedule and prioritize his workload.

As an operating-room technician, you will ASSIST the surgeon in any way he or she requests.

ASSIST can also mean to help by providing money or information.  Synonyms include aid and help out.

The new welfare program is intended to ASSIST families who are living below the poverty line.

The favorable yen-dollar exchange rate has greatly ASSISTED the toy manufacturer, since most of its products are sold abroad.

The two men seen being led into precinct headquarters this morning are rumored to be ASSISTING the police in their investigation of last week’s broad-daylight bank robbery.

In sports an ASSIST is the action of one player that results in another player making a score.

Although Rooney didn’t score a goal in today’s match, he had three ASSISTS.

Ichiro had two ASSISTS in today’s game, throwing out one player at third and another at home.

The noun ASSISTANCE means the act of doing something for someone.  Its meaning changes depending on the context in which it is used.  Synonyms include help, support, service, aid, welfare, and charity.

Pat, get in here.  I need your ASSISTANCE.

Thanks to your valuable ASSISTANCE, this year’s prom was the best ever.

If you have any further questions please get in touch with my secretary Lisa who will be happy to offer you her ASSISTANCE.

The government is actively encouraging companies to employ apprentices, and, as an incentive, is offering some financial ASSISTANCE.

In times of rapid inflation like this, people living on public ASSISTANCE and social security have a tough time making ends meet.

The word ASSISTANT is usually a noun meaning a person or a helper.  Synonyms include subordinate, deputy, and auxiliary.

Robin spent three years as a photographer’s ASSISTANT before he decided to apply for a photography course at the local college.

Finally, I have a new teaching ASSISTANT whom I can trust to read and correct student papers with a critical eye for both grammar and style.

ASSISTANT can also be used as an adjective to describe a subordinate position.

“I am pleased to announce that George Bailey has been promoted to General Manager, which leaves a vacancy for an ASSISTANT manager.”



I want you to be aware that some of our kids read at MIRACULOUS levels.

The adjective MIRACULOUS comes from the noun MIRACLE, so let’s look at that first.  In its original meaning, a MIRACLE is an event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.

In the Catholic religion, for a person to become canonized as a saint, evidence that he or she has been involved in a MIRACLE is required.

In the New Testament, Jesus is reported as having performed several MIRACLES such as walking on water and feeding a multitude of people with a single loaf of bread.

In everyday usage, however, a MIRACLE is an amazing or wonderful event or person.  Synonyms include phenomenon, sensation, marvel, and wonder.

It’s a MIRACLE that anyone survived the crash of the jetliner, but three people did come out alive.

It will take a MIRACLE for the Giants to make it the playoffs this season.

We live in an age of medical MIRACLES, when cures are being found for afflictions once thought incurable.

Mr. David is a MIRACLE.  He has stepped in as interim president and in just a few short months gotten our company back in the black.

MIRACLE is sometimes used as an adjective, as in this commonly seen example:

This new MIRACLE vitamin and mineral supplement can now be yours for the low, low price of $29.95 a month.

And in literature, A MIRACLE play is a medieval drama based on a story from the Bible.

The acting company has taken on the challenge of putting on a series of MIRACLE plays for a contemporary audience.

The primary adjective form, MIRACULOUS, as used in the passage above, means being or having the character of an everyday MIRACLE.  Synonyms include marvellous, astounding, remarkable, extraordinary, very fortunate, and phenomenal.

Given the severity of the injuries he sustained in the pile-up at the Indianapolis Speedway, the driver has made a MIRACULOUS and speedy recovery.

The MIRACULOUS genome breakthrough came as a result of the concerted, decades-long efforts of researchers in various scientific fields.

The plane was headed for the skyscrapers of Manhattan, but the pilot somehow made a MIRACULOUS landing on the Hudson River.

MIRACULOUSLY is the adverb form meaning in a MIRACULOUS manner.  Remarkably, amazingly, and unbelievably are all good common synonyms.

I tumbled over the cliff and MIRACULOUSLY landed on a thin ledge that jutted out from the otherwise sheer rock face.

Though there were over 100 applicants for the position, MIRACULOUSLY, they chose me!

Javier claimed he was feeling much too ill to go to school today, but when I reminded him that there was a field trip to the zoo planned, he “MIRACULOUSLY” suddenly felt much better.



I guess I was too nervous about Mr. Alums to have RECOGNIZED the voice before, but as soon as I walked into the room I froze.

The verb RECOGNIZE has several subtly different uses.  For one, it means to be able to know or identify something.  Synonyms include perceive and distinguish.

Humans have the ability to RECOGNIZE hundreds if not thousands of faces.

There are thousands of colors in the spectrum, but we can only RECOGNIZE a relatively small number of them.

RECOGNIZE also means to know someone or something from past experience.  Synonyms include recall, remember, place, and recollect.

I RECOGNIZE that song that is playing on the radio, but I just can’t remember what it is called.

It had been thirty years since Mike and I had last met, but we immediately RECOGNIZED each other, despite our bald heads and fuller frames.

Mr. Rowson’s German shepherd can be mean, but luckily, I have learned to RECOGNIZE when he is not in a man’s-best-friend mood so I can stay out of his way.

In my line of work as an emergency response dispatcher, we come to RECOGNIZE crank calls pretty quickly, but we have to treat them as genuine just in case.

RECOGNIZE can also mean to see something as valid and genuine.  Synonyms include accept, acknowledge, and admit.

“I RECOGNIZE your concerns,” the building inspector said, “and I will do everything in my power to see that they are taken up in the next council meeting.”

Now that more and more people RECOGNIZE the necessity of recycling and energy saving and waste reduction, there is some hope for the environment after all.

RECOGNIZE is also used to talk about acknowledging a person’s right to speak in a business or governmental meeting, for example.

“The chairman RECOGNIZES the delegate from North Dakota.”

If you have a question and would like to be RECOGNIZED, please raise your hand.

The speaker RECOGNIZED the representative from the citizens’ action group and gave him permission to take the floor.

We also often use RECOGNIZE to show our appreciation for someone’s efforts.  Synonyms include be grateful for, commend, pay tribute to, and praise

With this personalized bench that has been installed in your honour, it is our great pleasure to RECOGNIZE the tremendous effort you have put in to make the community’s dream of a communal garden come true.

Thank you for your kind words.  It’s nice to have one’s work RECOGNIZED.

RECOGNITION is the noun form of the word.  Depending on its use, synonyms include acknowledgement, identification, credit, praise, appreciation, and realization.

Herman’s mother was suffering from dementia, and he searched for a sign of RECOGNITION on her face, but there was none there.

Vandals had chipped away at the statue and painted it in psychedelic colors so that it was beyond RECOGNITION.

Economists and business leaders alike welcomed the prime minister’s RECOGNITION that we are now in a true recession and eagerly awaited her economic recovery plan.

In RECOGNITION of your 35 years of devotion and service to the firm, we are presenting you with this plaque and photograph, which will both hang permanently in our Hall of Honor.

The adjective RECOGNIZABLE means easily perceived or easy to become aware of.  Synonyms include distinguishable and identifiable.

Right now, Usain Bolt is probably the world’s most RECOGNIZABLE athlete as well as the fastest man on the planet.

Free-trade products are readily RECOGNIZABLE by their “Fair-Trade Certified” labels.

With their gray beards and big bellies, many of my old classmate buddies were barely RECOGNIZABLE.  Of course, the same can be said about me!

The negative form is, of course, UNRECOGNIZABLE.

With its new white aluminum siding, landscaped lawns, and blue tile roof, the house is almost UNRECOGNIZABLE as the run-down old cottage it was when we bought it last year.



Today Miss Henry and I would like to give you a DEMONSTRATION of your own possibilities in this regard.

DEMONSTRATION is a noun meaning the act of showing how something works, making something evident, or proving something.  Synonyms include presentation, illustration, explanation, and show.

“Allow me to give you all a simple DEMONSTRATION of our new Multi-Chop 1000 food processor, after which I will be happy to answer your questions about this amazing kitchen convenience.”

Everyone on the staff had the afternoon off to attend a DEMONSTRATION of the new computer program that is to be installed in all our office computers.

I think today’s fortunately minor accident will serve as an apt DEMONSTRATION of why we insist that our safety rules be obeyed at all times.

The psychology lecturer shot off a pistol as a DEMONSTRATION of the so-called startle response, much to the surprise of his suitably “startled” students.

DEMONSTRATION can also mean a show of people’s feelings.  Synonyms include gesture and display.

Physical DEMONSTRATIONS of affection are frowned upon in many cultures, so if you plan to travel abroad, make sure you check out the local customs beforehand.

A reassuring smile can be ample DEMONSTRATION of support to a nervous young performer about to take to the stage on opening night.

Finally, a DEMONSTRATION is a public protest or march for some cause or against some public policy.

We watched the DEMONSTRATION in Trafalgar Square from an upstairs window of the National Portrait Gallery, a safe distance from the mêlée below.

After the accident and near meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, anti-nuclear DEMONSTRATIONS took place in many cities and towns around Japan.

Riot police had to be called in when a DEMONSTRATION in front of the White House against the president’s immigration policy threatened to turn violent.

DEMONSTRATION, of course, is the noun form of the verb DEMONSTRATE, whose meanings parallel those of DEMONSTRATION, as in the examples below.  Among its many synonyms are prove, illustrate, establish, ascertain, protest, display, and exemplify.

Beth Tweedle ably DEMONSTRATED her skill as a gymnast in the London 2012 Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal on the uneven bars.

The important connection between our senses of smell and taste can be DEMONSTRATED by holding your nose while eating a chocolate bar, for example, which will be far less tasty.

The salesperson plugged in and DEMONSTRATED the vacuum cleaner, sprinkling dry rice on the carpet and efficiently vacuuming it up.

Julio described the dance step, and then took hold of his partner, swung her onto the dance floor, and DEMONSTRATED the move.

Even though her father, a university professor, had forbidden it, Sarah was determined to join in and DEMONSTRATE against the rise in tuition fees.

The adjective DEMONSTRABLE means capable of being DEMONSTRATED or proved.  Synonyms include verifiable, attestable, inferable, and provable.

The job-interview process will include a practical examination where each applicant will be expected to show his/her DEMONSTRABLE skills relative to the position.

Science, unlike religion, is not based on belief or faith, but on clearly DEMONSTRABLE, empirical facts.

DEMONSTRABLE can also mean obvious or apparent.

What the journalist accused me of in his column is a DEMONSTRABLE lie.  I have never taken nor would I ever take steroids or other performance enhancing drugs of any kind, and I can prove it.

The adverb DEMONSTRABLY means in an obvious and provable manner.  Synonyms include undeniably, unquestionably, evidently, and verifiably.

The manufacturer will refund the purchase price only for problems that have DEMONSTRABLY arisen from faulty products.  

The announcer was DEMONSTRABLY affected by the poignancy of the scene she was reporting on.

There is another adjective form, by the way, DEMONSTRATIVE, which is used to describe something that proves or indicates some principle, fact, or idea.  Synonyms include illustrative, indicative, symptomatic, and illuminating.

The collapse of the bridge and the resultant loss of life are DEMONSTRATIVE of the inadvisability, indeed the tragedy, of the budget cuts that are being made in public works.

This lovely drawing is DEMONSTRATIVE of the artist’s great skill with line and perspective.

When used to describe a person, DEMONSTRATIVE means open, expressive, communicative, emotional, and affectionate.

Not coming from a particularly DEMONSTRATIVE culture, I sometimes am embarrassed by the public displays of affection I see here in London.

My sister Genie had a DEMONSTRATIVE way of speaking that included exaggerated facial expressions and big hand and arm gestures.


Tune in next week for new words from Passages, Lesson 4!