Scientific English as a Foreign Language
Answers to Lesson of August 7, 1998
In my drafts of scientific publications, I often find myself repeating the same verbs. When editing my first attempts, I try and create as much variety as possible by using a large selection of verbs. This is hard for you, the non-native speaker, because your vocabulary is understandably less well developed. Here are lists of verb groups that may help you extend your vocabulary. The words within the same group are not necessarily synonyms, but are related. I shall quiz you on their meanings and usage some other time!
|Verbs related to ACQUISITION:||acquire, obtain, retrieve, compile, accumulate, assemble, amass|
|Verbs related to CAUSATION:||yield, give, result, return, derive, follow, cause, effect, originate, contribute, produce, create, kindle, determine|
|Verbs related to intellectual COMMUNICATION:||communicate, reason, comprehend, understand, estimate, evaluate, realize, demonstrate, appreciate, judge, grasp, debate, inquire, argue, contend, induce, deduce|
|Verbs related to DESCRIPTION:||describe, discuss, comment, account, state, report, specify, summarize, delineate, portray, characterize, detail, recount, recite, itemize, show, display, summarize, elaborate|
|Verbs related to OBSERVATION:||observe, see, note, notice, discern, distinguish, discriminate, differentiate, perceive, recognize|
|Verbs related to REPRESENTATION:||represent, illustrate, show, indicate, mark, label, denote, symbolize, exhibit, sketch, graph, plot, display, present, model, design, chart, image, photograph, diagram|
|Verbs related to UTILIZATION:||utilize, use, employ, serve, function, apply, work, avail, help, aid|
Two nuns went out of their convent to sell cookies. One of them is known as Sister Mathematical (S.M.), the other is known as Sister Logical (S.L.). It is getting dark and they are still far away from the convent.
S.L.: Have you noticed a man that has been following us
for the past half hour?
S.M.: Yes, I wonder what he wants?
S.L.: It's logical. It's logical. He wants to rape us.
S.M.: Oh no! At this pace he will reach us in 15 minutes at the most. What can we do?
S.L.: The only logical thing to do of course, we have to start walking faster.
S.M.: It's not working.
S.L.: Of course it's not working, the man did the only logical thing to do. He also started to walk faster.
S.M: So, what shall we do? At this pace he will reach us in less than 1 minute.
S.L.: The only logical thing we can do is split up. He cannot follow both of us.
So the man decided to go after Sister Logical. Sister Mathematical arrives at the convent and is worried because Sister Logical has not arrived yet. Finally, Sister Logical arrives.
S.M.: Sister Logical! Thank God you are here. Tell us what happened?
S.L.: The only logical thing happened. The man could not follow both of us, so he decided to go after me.
S.M.: So, what happened? Please tell us.
S.L.: The only logical thing to happen,. I started to run as fast as I could.
S.M.: So what happened?
S.L.: The only logical thing to happen, the man also started to run as fast as he could.
S.M.: And what else?
S.L.: The only logical thing to happen, he reached me.
S.M.: Oh, no. what did you do then?
S.L.: The only logical thing to do...I took my dress up.
S.M.: Oh Sister, what did the man do?
S.L: The only logical thing to do, he pulled down his pants.
S.M.: Oh, NO! What happened then?
S.L.: Isn't it logical Sister? A nun with her dress up runs faster than a man with his pants down!
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Created August 7, 1998, by Nancy Burnham and Fred Hutson.