The Ant and The Grasshopper

the ant and the grasshopperThis story by W. Somerset Maugham takes its name from a famous Aesop fable. The fable carries the message that hard work is rewarded while laziness is punished. The story presents a more realistic view of the world. Sometimes good things do happen to lazy or even quite bad people, causing them to end up better off than those of us who work hard all our lives.

Pre-Intermediate Vocabulary Help / Exercises

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

Intermediate Vocabulary Help / Exercises

The words and expressions in our Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1800 word list are: , ant, , charm, charming, cheerful, fable, , gamble, , jail, grasshopper, , jewelry, morals, punish, , , and .


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ant(n: ant pl ants) A small insect that lives in an organized social group called a colony, thought of as hard-working. (มด) 6000

charm(v: charm, charms, charmed, charming) To cause (someone) to like you or to do what you want by being nice, friendly, etc. She charmed everyone with her warm smile. (ใช้เสน่ห์) 3000

charming(adj: charming) Very pleasing or delightful; attractive. (มีเสน่ห์) 3000

cheat(v: cheat, cheats, cheated, cheating) 1. To break a rule or law, usually to gain an advantage at something. She was caught cheating in a test. 2. To take something from someone by lying or breaking a rule. He cheated his brother out of his share of their parents money. (ทุจริต) 3000

cheerful(adj: cheerful) 1. Feeling or showing happiness. 2. Causing good feelings or happiness. (ที่ทำให้รู้สึกสดชื่น) 4000

club(n: club pl clubs) 1. A heavy wooden stick used as a weapon. (กระบอง) 2. A group of people who meet to participate in an activity (สโมสร) or a place where such people meet (สถานเริงรมย์). 1000

(n: fable pl fables) A short story that usually is about animals and teaches a lesson about human behavior. (นิทานสอนใจ) 7000

forgive(v: forgive, forgives, forgave, forgiven, forgiving) To stop being angry with someone who has done something wrong or caused something bad to happen. (ยกโทษให้) 2000

gamble(v: gamble, gambles, gambled, gambling) To play a game in which you can win or lose money or other things you own; to bet money or other valuable things on an outcome, such as a horse race. (เสี่ยงโชค) 3000

grasshopper(n: grasshopper pl grasshoppers) A plant-eating insect that has long legs used for jumping. (ตั๊กแตน) 12000

habit(n: habit pl habits) A usual way of behaving; something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way, often without needing to think about it. She had a habit of biting her fingernails when she was nervous. (นิสัย) 3000

honor(n: honor pl honors; British honour) 1. Respect that is given to someone or something that is admired. We must fight for the honor of our country. 2. Something (such as a title or medal) that is given to a person as a sign of respect and admiration. He has received many honors for his research into cancer. 3. Something that shows that other people have respect for you. It is a great honor to be asked to address this meeting. 4. The quality of being honest. He is a man of honor. (ศีลธรรม) 2000

(adj: honorable or honourable) Having or showing honesty and good moral character; deserving or winning honor and respect. (มีหน้ามีตา; มีศักดิ์ศรี) 2000

jewelry(n: jewelry, noncount; British jewellery) Decorative objects (rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc.) that people wear on their body. (เครื่องเพชรพลอย)
(n: jeweler pl jewelers; British jeweller) A person that makes, repairs, or sells jewelry. (คนขายเพชรพลอย) 3000

(n: morals plural) Proper ideas and beliefs about how to behave in a way that is considered right and good by most people. (หลักความประพฤติ) 2000

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

(adj: respectable) Considered to be good, correct, or acceptable; decent or correct in character, behavior, or appearance. (น่านับถือ) 1000

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

upset(v: upset, upsets, upset, upsetting) To make someone feel unhappy or a little angry. (เศร้า) 2000

amuse(v: amuse, amuses, amused, amusing) 1. To make someone laugh or smile. (ทำให้หัวเราะ) 2. To entertain or give fun or pleasure to someone. (ทำให้สนุกสนาน)
(adj: amusing) Funny; providing enjoyment; pleasantly entertaining. An amusing story. (ม่วน) 3000

(n: career pl careers) An occupation that requires special training and offers advancement. (อาชีพ) 2000
An unskilled occupation that does not offer advancement, such as a taxi driver, would normally be called a 'job', rather then a career.

(n: fortnight pl fortnights) A period of 14 days; two weeks. I get paid once a fortnight. (รายปักษ์) 2000

(adj: immoral) Not morally good or right; morally evil or wrong. (ซึ่งผิดทำนองคลองธรรม) 6000
The prefix 'im' often means 'not' or 'the opposite of' the word that comes after it. The word moral (ทางศีลธรรม) is concerned with the principles of right and wrong. A moral person is someone who always does what they believe to be the right thing to do. An immoral person does things that they know to be wrong.

infinite(adj: infinite) Having no limits; endless. Scientists believe that the universe is infinite. (ไม่สิ้นสุด) 5000

revenge(n: revenge, noncount) The act of doing something to hurt someone because that person did something that hurt you. (การแก้แค้น) 5000

sigh(v: sigh, sighs, sighed, sighing) To take in and let out a long, loud breath in a way that shows you are bored, disappointed, unhappy, relieved, etc. (ถอนหายใจ) 4000

yacht(n: yacht pl yachts) A large boat that is used for racing or pleasure. (เรือยอชท์) 7000

A 23 minute film segment from the 1951 movie ‘Encore’, which featured three of Maugham’s short stories. The introduction to the story is by Maugham himself. To watch online, click here. To download the mp4, click here.

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