The Golden Nugget

golden nuggetThis Chinese tells of two friends who would do anything for each other. So much so, that when they find a valuable piece of gold they decide to leave it where it is so as to not cause trouble between them. What I can’t understand is why they didn’t think to sell the gold and share the money. Anyway, it is a nice story with an even happier ending.

Pre-Intermediate Vocabulary Help / Exercises

The words and expressions in our Simplified English story which are not in our Pre-Intermediate level 1200 word list are: , , , , , , , , , and .

There is also a word that is in our Pre-Intermediate word list but has a meaning in the story which is different to the one most commonly used. The word appears twice in the story, first with its most common meaning (a season) and second with a lesser known meaning (a source of water coming up from the ground).

General Comments on the Story

chinese wonder bookOur source for The Golden Nugget was The Chinese Wonder Book, a classic collection of Chinese folktales by educator and author Norman Hinsdale Pitman. The book was first published in 1919, and can be downloaded in various forms from Project Gutenberg here.


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folktale(n: folktale pl folktales) A story that is part of the traditions of a group of people and was handed down in spoken form before books and printing. 9000

explode(v: explode, explodes, exploded, exploding) 1. To suddenly break apart with a loud noise, sending parts flying outward. 2. To move with sudden speed and force. The race horses exploded out of the starting gate.
(n: explosion pl explosions) The act of exploding. 3000

fairy(n: fairy pl fairies) An imaginary creature having magical powers. 4000
In early literature, fairies could change themselves into any form. Thanks to Walt Disney, most people today think that they all look like the picture on the left.

fresh air(n: fresh air, noncount) Air that is clean and pure, coming from the outdoors. (อากาศใหม่)

nugget(n: nugget pl nuggets) A solid mass or lump of a valuable metal such as gold. (ก้อนโลหะมีค่า) 8000

pine(n: pine pl pines) A tree that stays green throughout the year and has long, thin needles instead of leaves and hard cones instead of fruit. (ต้นสน) 6000

reward(n: reward pl rewards) A benefit that someone gets or is offered for doing good work, good behavior etc. (สิ่งตอบแทน) 3000

selfish(adj: selfish) Having or showing concern only for yourself and not for the needs or feelings of other people. (เห็นแก่ตัว) 1000

slave(n: slave pl slaves) Someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay. (ทาส) 3000

treasure(n: treasure pl treasures) 1. Something valuable (such as money, jewels, gold, or silver) that is hidden or kept in a safe place. (ขุมทรัพย์) 2. Something very special, important, or valuable. (ของมีค่า) 2000

wise(adj: wise, wiser, wisest) Having gained a lot of knowledge from books or experience or both and able to use it well. (ฉลาด)
(n: wisdom; noncount) 1. The knowledge gained from books or experience. 2. The quality or state of being wise. (ปัญญา; สติปัญญา) 2000

natural springcoiled spring(n: spring pl springs) 1. The season of the year between winter and summer when plants begin to flower or grow leaves. (ฤดูใบไม้ผลิ) 2. A source of water coming up from the ground. (น้ำพุ) 3. A twisted or coiled piece of metal that returns to its original shape when it is pressed down or stretched. (สปริง; ขดลวดที่เด้งได้) 2000

e-book(n: e-book pl e-books) A book whose contents are in an electronic format so that it can be downloaded and read.

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