Learning English Vocabulary

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Make sure you have used good dictionaries and online dictionaries and try each word before you post them here. Then we'll know how to help you best.

Here are some good online dictionaries.






I am a Korean exchange student studying the English language. This is only my third year in English, so my knowledge of English is still not that big. I am hoping that you could help me study English. Each week, our teacher assigns us a list of vocabulary words that we must look up. We need to know not only the meaning of the words, but also how to use them in our English conversations. If I post a list of words I am having trouble understanding, will you help me to better understand their meaning and use in the English language?

Thank you,

Thank you Writeacher! Here are some of the words I am having trouble understanding, even with the help of good dictionaries. I do not know how they are used in conversation.

1) Flounder
2) Solo
3) Porcine
4) Flatulence
5) Atrocious
6) Billious
7) Bovine

Thank you for help you can provide!

1) Flounder
This can either be a type of fish or it can be a verb meaning to fail. Here are some sentences:
My dad caught lots of flounder, so we will eat well dinner. (noun)
John was floundering in his math class, so his parents hired a tutor for him. (verb)

2) Solo = http://www.answers.com/solo
This can be either a noun or a verb or an adverb or an adjective -- meaning to do something alone, independently.
She is singing a solo in the church's choir program. (noun)
After months of flying lessons, the young man will solo in the airplane this Saturday. (verb)
He flew solo from Seattle to Portland. (adv)
Her song was intended to be a solo performance. (adj)

3) Porcine = http://www.answers.com/porcine
His porcine facial features made him very self-conscious and shy. (adj)

4) Flatulence = http://www.answers.com/flatulence
His flatulence made him very uncomfortable and almost sick. (noun)

5) Atrocious = http://www.answers.com/atrocious
Their atrocious behavior got them kicked out of the theater. (adj)

6) Bilious (only one "l") = http://www.answers.com/bilious
Usually definition #4 is used.
Her bilious temperament made others not want to spend much time with her. (adj)

7) Bovine = http://www.answers.com/bovine
Bovine animals usually move fairly slowly.

You should also note that when numbers 3 through 7 are used to describe people or their behavior, the intention is to describe them negatively. Often they can be used as insults.

Thank you very much, Writeteacher! You have helped me to better understand these words. However, I am still confused on #3-7. Is flatulence a sickness? Like a cold? Does bovine describe a big animal? Like an elephant? (That is why it is moving slowly?). Atrocious I think I understand - it means 'bad,' or 'terrible,' right? Porcine I do not understand. Sorry.

Did you check on the definitions given in the links above? They are very clear.

Please check the linked information and let me know if anything doesn't make sense.


Ok, I'll go and check. Thank you!

Writeacher, I looked at links but they are far above my level I am sorry to say. I cannot read all of those words, although I can understand parts of them. Can you simplify, please?

3) Porcine = http://www.answers.com/porcine

4) Flatulence = http://www.answers.com/flatulence
intestinal gas

5) Atrocious = http://www.answers.com/atrocious
very bad

6) Bilious (only one "l") = http://www.answers.com/bilious
sour/bad disposition (personality)

7) Bovine = http://www.answers.com/bovine

What is 'intestinal?'

An yeong haseyo, Kung Li (I hope I typed that correctly).

"Intestinal" is anything having to do with the intestines. Sundae, in Korean, is stuffed pig intestines.

It's the part of the body that connects the stomache to the anus.


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