The Book of Sand

the book of sandArgentinean writer Jorge Borges is well known for connecting things that don’t seem real or possible with philosophy and religion. In this story a man who loves books trades a very expensive family Bible for a strange book that he cannot understand, and which seems to have a never ending number of pages.

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: anchor, basement, blond, column, devil, , Holy, , , infinite, magnify, mask, , , retire, rupee, , steal, , treasure, and .

There is also a word that is in our Intermediate word list but has a meaning in the story which is different to the one most commonly used. In a rather opening paragraph, the writer uses a number of geometrical terms (points, planes, volumes and hypervolumes). In geometry, a is a flat or level surface that extends outward like a sheet.


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anchor(n: anchor pl anchors) A heavy device (often with points which dig into the sea-bed) that is attached to a boat or ship by a rope or chain and that is thrown into the water to hold the boat or ship in one position. The ship dropped anchor as soon as it came into the harbor. (สมอเรือ) 5000

basement(n: basement pl basements) A part of a building that is below or partly below the ground. Also called a 'cellar'. (ห้องใต้ดิน) 3000

blond(n: blond pl blonds) A person who has yellow or very light brown hair. (สีบลอนด์) 5000
The word is always spelled blond when used for a boy or man, but it is commonly spelled blonde when used for a girl or woman.

(n: column pl columns) 1. A long post made of wood, steel, stone, etc., that is used as a support in a building. The front of the building had beautiful marble columns. (เสาค้ำ) 2. A group of printed or written items (such as numbers or words) shown one under the other down a page. Add the first column of numbers. (แถวในแนวตั้ง) 3. A vertical section of a page of print. The book has two columns per page. (ช่องในหนังสือพิมพ์) 3000

building columns number columns

desert(n: desert pl deserts) An area of very dry land that is usually covered with sand and is very hot. Many settlers died while trying to cross the desert. 3000

devil(n: devil pl devils) The most powerful spirit of evil; The ruler of Hell; Satan. (ซาตาน) 3000
(adj: devilish) Looking or acting like a devil; wicked, evil.

evil(n: evil, evils) 1. (noncount) The force of things that are morally bad. He believed that the world was full of evil. (สิ่งที่ชั่วร้าย)
2. Something that is harmful or causes injury to someone. They were talking about the evils of alcohol. (ความเลวร้าย)
(adj: evil, eviler, evilest) Very bad; wicked; sinful. (ชั่วร้าย) 3000

fear(n: fear plural fears) A feeling of being scared or frightened; a worried feeling caused by being aware of danger or something unpleasant. (ความกลัว) 2000

holy(adj: holy, holier, holiest) 1. To do with a god or a religion. (ซึ่งศักดิ์สิทธิ์) 2. Religious and morally good; following the rules of religion. (ที่เคร่งศาสนา) 2000

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

knock(v: knock, knocks, knocked, knocking) To make a loud, sharp noise by hitting or tapping something (especially a door to get someone to open it). (เคาะ) 1000

magnify(v: magnify, magnifies, magnified, magnifying) To cause something to appear or be bigger or greater. (ทำให้เพิ่มมากขึ้น) 4000
(n: magnifying glass pl magnifying glasses) A specially shaped piece of glass that is attached to a handle and used to make an object look larger than it is. (แว่นขยาย)

mask(n: mask pl masks) A covering worn on the face to change or hide what you look like. (หน้ากาก) 3000

retire(v: retire, retires, retired, retiring) To stop working because you have reached the age when you are not allowed to work anymore or do not need or want to work anymore. People usually retire between ages 60 and 65. (เกษียณ)
(n: retirement, noncount) 1. The act of retiring from work. It is not long till his retirement. (การปลดเกษียณ) 2. A person's life after retiring from work. He's enjoying his retirement. (ชีวิตหลังการปลดเกษียณ) 2000

rupee(n: rupee pl rupees) The basic unit of money in some Asian countries including India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. (หน่วยเงินตรารูปี) 11000

secret(adj: secret) Kept hidden from others; known to only a few people. (ความลับ)
(n: secret pl secrets) A fact or piece of information that is kept hidden from other people. Their marriage is a secret. (เก็บเป็นความลับ) 2000

steal(v: steal, steals, stole, stolen, stealing) To take (something) from the owner in a way that is wrong or against the law. (ขโมย) 3000

suitcase(n: suitcase pl suitcases) A large (usually rectangular) case that you use to carry your clothing and belongings when you are traveling. (กระเป๋าโดยสาร) 4000

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

trust(v: trust, trusts, trusted, trusting) To believe that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc; to have confidence or faith in (someone or something). (วางใจได้)
(n: trust, uncountable) Belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc. (ความเชื่อใจ) 1000

geometry(n: geometry, noncount) A branch of mathematics that deals with points, lines, angles, surfaces, and solids. (เรขาคณิต)
(adj: geometric or geometrical) 1. Of or relating to geometry. 2. Made up of lines, circles etc and having a regular shape. A geometrical design. (ทางเรขาคณิต) 9000

hypervolume(n: hypervolume pl hypervolumes) A region in geometry defined by more than three dimensions, often involving 'time' as a fourth dimension.

illustrate(v: illustrate, illustrates, illustrated, illustrating) 1. To provide (a book, lecture etc) with pictures, diagrams etc. (เห็นภาพ) 2. To make the meaning of something that you say or write clearer by providing an example. (อธิบาย) 3000
(n: illustration pl illustrations) A picture, diagram or example that serves to make something easier to understand.

nightmare(n: nightmare pl nightmares) 1. A dream that frightens a sleeping person; a very bad dream. (ฝันร้าย) 2. A very bad or frightening experience or situation. 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

(n: spine pl spines) 1. The row of connected bones down the middle of the back; backbone. We need to take an X-ray of her spine. (กระดูกสันหลัง) 2. The part of a book to which the pages are attached, and usually has the title and author's name printed on it. Stack the books so that all the spines are facing the same way. (สันหนังสือ) 5000

backbone book spine

talisman(n: talisman pl talismans) An object which is supposed to have magic powers to protect or bring luck to its owner; a charm. (เครื่องราง) 14000

volume(n: volume pl volumes) 1. The amount of space occupied by something, expressed in cubic measurement. What is the volume of the petrol tank? (ปริมาตร) 2. A book. This library contains over a million volumes. หนังสือ 3. One of a series of connected books. Where is volume fifteen of the encyclopedia? (ชุดหนังสือ) 4. An amount of something. A large volume of work remains to be done. (ปริมาณ)
(n: volume, noncount) The level of sound [such as on a radio, television etc.] Turn up the volume on the radio. (ความกังวานของเสียง) 2000

confuse(v: confuse, confuses, confused, confusing) To make (someone) uncertain or unable to understand something. (ทำให้สับสน) 2000
(n: confusion pl confusions) The feeling that you have when you do not understand what is happening, what is expected, etc.

(n: plane pl planes) 1. A vehicle that has wings and an engine and can carry people or things in the air; an airplane. We will be traveling to Rome by plane. (เครื่องบิน) 2. In geometry, a flat or level surface that extends outward like a sheet. A horizontal plane. (พื้นราบ) 2000

airplane geometric plane

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