The Fish and the Ring

the fish and the ringIn this English , a rich and powerful man looks into the future and learns that the fate of his young son is to marry a girl from a very poor family. He wants a high society wife for his son and does everything that he can to stop the marriage, including trying to kill the poor girl twice. A hungry fish ends up teaching him the meaning of a popular 1950s song: Que Sera, Sera (What will be, will be)!

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 .

General Comments on the Story

english fairy talesOur source for the story was a children’s book called English Fairy Stories by Australian folktale collector Joseph Jacobs, first published in 1890. The book can be downloaded in various forms from Project Gutenberg here. An is available from Librivox here.


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(n: fairytale pl fairytales) A children's story that has people or creatures in it with magical powers. 14000
(n: fairy pl fairies) An imaginary creature having magical powers. 4000
(n: tale pl tales) A story about real or imaginary events; an exciting or dramatic story that may not be completely true.

(n: baron pl barons) 1. A British royal title of the lowest level. 2. An important, powerful person. 6000

beg(v: beg, begs, begged, begging) To ask (someone) in a very serious and emotional way to give you something such as food, money, etc., or to do something that you need or want very much. 2000
(n: beggar pl beggars) A person who begs, often for a way of making a living.

cliff(n: cliff plural cliffs) A high, steep surface (or 'face') of rock, earth, or ice. 3000

dine(v: dine, dines, dined, dining) To eat dinner; to have the main meal of the day. 3000
(n: dining room) A room in a house used mainly for eating in.
(n: dining table) A table around which people sit to eat.

fate(n: fate pl fates) 1. The things that will happen to a person or thing; the future that someone or something will have. The boy disappeared, and his fate was unknown. 2. [noncount] The power that is believed to control what happens in the future; destiny. They thought they would never see each other again, but fate brought them back together. 4000

float(v: float, floats, floated, floating) To [make something] stay on the surface of a liquid. 2000

guest(n: guest pl guests) 1. A visitor who stays in a hotel etc. We have accommodation for 500 guests. A person that you have invited to your house or to a particular event that you are paying for. We are having guests for dinner. Also an adjective: A guest bedroom. (ผู้มาเยือน) 3000

hut(n: hut pl huts) A small and simple house or building. (กระท่อม) 3000

noble(n: noble pl nobles) Of the highest social class; someone with a royal title. (ชั้นสูง)
(adj: noble, nobler, noblest) Having personal qualities that people admire (such as honesty, generosity, courage, etc.); honorable. (มิคุณธรรมสูง) 5000

punish(v: punish, punishes, punished, punishing) To make (someone) suffer for a crime or for something done that is wrong. (ลงอาญา)
(n: punishment pl punishments) The act or way of making (someone) suffer for a crime or for something done that is wrong. (การลงโทษ) 3000

servant(n: servant pl servants) Someone who is hired to do household or personal duties [such as cleaning and cooking]. (คนรับใช้) 1000

wedding(n: wedding pl weddings) The act of getting married; marrying. (การแต่งงาน) 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.

audiobook(n: audiobook pl audiobooks) A book that is read out loud and recorded on a CD or as a computer file so that it can be listened to.

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