Can-Can

can-canThe protagonist in this very short story by Arturo Vivante appears to be a happily married family man with a loving, trusting wife. When his wife dances the for one of their children, we can see that he also still finds her attractive. He knows she won’t question his going out alone for a long drive, even though this is out of character and she will surely think that he is up to something. But he has made plans to commit adultery with another woman. It is clear that he has no real love for this woman, which leaves the reader with a question: “Why would a man put his marriage and family life at risk like this?”

English Learner Vocabulary Help

The words and expressions in our Pre-Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1200 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , and . There is also a phrase that may be confusing in the sentence: As a matter of , she (the wife) didn’t really like him to leave.


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can-can(n: can-can, singular) A type of high-kicking dance traditionally performed by a group of female dancers who wear costumes with long skirts, petticoats, and black stockings.

afraid(adj: afraid) 1. Feeling fear or being frightened [of a person, thing etc]. The child is afraid of the dark. 2. Sorry to have to say that. I'm afraid I don't agree with you. 2000

arrange(v: arrange, arranges, arranged, arranging) 1. To move and organize people or things into a particular order or position. She arranged her pictures on her desk. 2. To plan or organize the details of something before it happens. We have arranged a meeting for next week. 1000

attractive(adj: attractive) 1. Having a pleasing appearance, especially one that causes romantic or sexual feelings in someone; good-looking. That's an attractive flower arrangement. She has an attractive smile. I've never really found him attractive. 2. Having a feature or quality that people like. It is a very attractive idea. 2000

especially(adv: especially) 1. To a great extent, very much; more than usually. He wasn't an especially clever person. 2. Used to single out one person, thing, or situation over all others; particularly. The soup was especially delicious. 1000

jealous(adj: jealous) 1. Feeling or showing that you want to be like another person or have something that another person has; envy. 2. Feeling or showing unhappiness or anger because you think that someone you love [such as your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.] likes or is liked by someone else. 4000

nod(v: nod, nods, nodded, nodding) 1. To move your head up and down as a way of answering 'yes' or of showing agreement, understanding, or approval. 2. To move your head up and down as a signal to someone or as a way of saying hello or goodbye to someone. 3000

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

sense(n: sense plural senses) 1. One of the five natural powers of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. (ประสาทสัมผัส) 2. A physical or emotional feeling that you experience. A sense of hunger/pain. A sense that something isn't right. (ความรู้สึก) 3. The ability to think clearly and show good judgement. Common sense (การวินิจฉัยที่ดี) 1000

tights(n: stockings, plural) Clothing for women made of thin material that fits closely over the feet and legs and goes up to the waist. Also called pantyhose [American] or tights [British] (ถุงน่องแบบแพนตี้โฮส) 4000

(v: suppose, supposes, supposed, supposing) To think that something is likely to be true; to believe or guess. (สมมติ) 1000
(phrasal verb: supposed to do/be, etc.) To be expected to do/be, etc. something. They are supposed to arrive tomorrow. (ที่คาดการณ์ไว้)
In responding to a suggestion or question, the phrase I suppose (so) is used as a way of agreeing or saying “yes” when you are not certain or not very excited or interested.

suspect(v: suspect, suspects, suspected, suspecting) To think that (someone) is possibly guilty of a crime or of doing something wrong. The police suspect him of killing the girl. (สงสัย) 2000

(n: fact pl facts) Something known or believed without doubt to be true. It is a fact that smoking is a danger to health. 1000
(expression: as a matter of fact / in fact / in point of fact) Actually, really; Used to stress the truth of a statement. She doesn't like him much – in fact I think she hates him!

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