Harrison Bergeron

harrison BergeronThis story by science-fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut is one of several that he wrote about future worlds in which people’s lives are controlled and everyone is made equal. In this one the strong must carry heavy weights, the beautiful must wear masks, and the clever must wear radio earphones through which sharp sounds are played to stop them thinking too clearly. As is usual in such worlds, at least some of those in government aren’t forced to be equal… in this case the Handicapper General and her “H-G” men.

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: , ballerina, , ceiling, constitution, earthquake, , handicap, headache, headphones, , mask, screen, , signal, studio, , , , , and .


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announce(v: announce, announces, announced, announcing) To officially tell people about something. The government announced that they will cut taxes.
(n: announcement pl announcements) A written or spoken statement that tells people about something. Many people were surprised by the government's announcement about the tax cuts. 2000

ballerina(n: ballerina pl ballerinas) A woman or girl who is a ballet dancer. 10000
(n: ballet pl ballets) A kind of dancing that is performed on a stage with no talking or singing, and uses only dance, music, costumes, and scenery to tell a story. 5000

ceiling(n: ceiling pl ceilings) The inside surface at the top of a room. 3000

(n: constitution pl constitutions) The general laws of a country that set down the rights of the people and how the government works. 5000

crash(v: crash, crashes, crashed, crashing) 1. To damage something (such as a car) by causing it to hit something. She crashed the car into a tree, but no one was hurt. 2. To make a loud noise by falling, hitting something, etc. The glass crashed to the floor. 3000

dessert(n: earthquake pl earthquakes) A shaking of a part of the earth's surface that often causes great damage. 5000

equal(adj: equal) Not changing; the same for each person. People in our country are equal before God and the law. 1000

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

gentleman(n: gentleman pl gentlemen) 1. A polite word for a man. Two gentlemen arrived this morning. (สุภาพบุรุษ) 2. A man who treats other people in a proper and polite way. He is a true gentleman. (สุภาพบุรุษ) 2000
Used especially when speaking formally to a group of people. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

handicap(n: handicap pl handicaps) 1. A physical or mental condition that may limit what a person can do; something that makes doing something more difficult. The loss of a finger would be a handicap for a pianist. (ความไม่สมประกอบ). 2. (in a race, competition etc) A disadvantage of some sort given to the best competitors so that others have a better chance of winning. (การเสียเปรียบ) 3000

headache(n: headache pl headaches) An ache or pain in the head. All this noise is starting to give me a headache. (ปวดหัว) 3000

headphones(n: headphones, plural) A device that is worn over your ears and used for listening to music, the radio, etc., without having other people hear it. (หูฟัง) 6000

lady(n: lady pl ladies) 1. A polite word for a woman. A gentleman should always open the door for a lady. (คุณผู้หญิง) 2. A woman who behaves in a proper and polite way. Her mother was always telling her to act like a lady. (สุภาพบุรุษ) 3. In the U.K., the title of a woman of noble rank. (ท่านผู้หญิง) 4. Used especially when speaking formally to a group of people. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. 1000

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

mental(adj: mental) Of or relating to the mind. She was worried about her son's mental development. (เกี่ยวกับจิตใจ) 2000

pain(n: pain pl pains) The physical feeling caused by sickness, injury, or mental or emotional hurt. He felt a sharp pain in his back. It caused him pain to talk about his wife's death. (ความเจ็บปวด)
(adj: painful; painless) Causing pain. A painful injury. (ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดความเจ็บปวด) Without pain. Painless childbirth. (ซึ่งไม่เจ็บปวด) 2000

scream(v: scream, screams, screamed, screaming) 1. To suddenly cry out in a loud and high voice because of fear, pain, surprise, etc. 2. To say something in a loud and high voice because you are angry, afraid, etc. (กรีดร้อง) 3000

screen(n: screen pl screens) 1. A large, flat, white surface on which images or movies are shown. (ฉากหรือจอ) 2. The usually flat part of a television or computer that you look at when you are using it. (จอแสดงผล) 2000

shake(v: shake, shakes, shook, shaken, shaking) To move back and forth or up and down with short, quick movements. (สั่น) 2000

signal(n: signal pl signals) 1. Something (such as a sound, a movement of part of the body, or an object) that gives information about something or that tells someone to do something. They communicated with each other by using hand signals. (สัญญาณ) 2. A message, sound, or image that is carried by waves of light or sound. The phone signal is not very strong here. (ส่งสัญญาณ) 2000

studio(n: studio pl studios) 1. A place in which movies or TV programs are made, or a company that makes them. (โรงถ่ายภาพยนตร์) 2. A room where an artist works or people go to learn, practice, or study an art such as singing, dancing, or acting. (ห้องทำงานของจิตรกรหรือช่างภาพ) 4000

awe(n: awe, singular) A strong feeling of fear, respect or wonder. The child looked in awe at the king. 10000

burgle(v: burgle, burgles, burgled, burgling; also burglarize) To illegally enter a building and steal things. They were caught burgling a jewelry store.
(n: burglary pl burglaries) The act / crime of illegally entering a building to steal.
(n: burglar pl burglars) A person who who commits burglary. The burglar stole her jewellery. 3000

grace(n: grace, noncount) A way of moving that is smooth and attractive. The dancer's movements had very little grace. (ความสง่างาม)
(adj: graceful) 1. Moving in a smooth and attractive way. The dancer's movements were not very graceful. 2. Having a smooth and pleasing shape or style. Swans have a long and graceful neck. (นุ่มนวล) 2000

junk(n: junk, noncount) Old things that have been thrown away or that have little value. The garage was full of junk like broken bicycles and old washing machines. (เศษของที่ไม่ใช้แล้ว) 5000
(n: junkyard pl junkyards) A place where you can buy, sell, or leave junk. The old car was taken away to the junkyard.

shotgun(n: shotgun pl shotguns) A gun with one or two long barrels that shoots many small metal balls (shot) over short distances. They are mainly used for hunting. Very small balls (bird shot) are used for small animals; larger balls (buck shot) are used for larger animals. (ปืนลูกซอง) 5000

technician(n: technician pl technicians) A person whose job relates to the practical use of machines or science in industry, medicine, etc. They hired a technician to help maintain the office's computers. (ผู้ที่มีความชำนาญเฉพาะด้าน) 6000

throne(n: throne pl thrones) 1. The position of king or queen. (ตำแหน่งกษัตริย์) 2. The special chair for a king, queen, or other powerful person. (ราชบัลลังก์) 5000

thunder(n: thunder, noncount) The loud, deep rumbling sound that follows a flash of lightning during a storm. (ฟ้าร้อง)
(v: thunder, thunders, thundered, thundering) To make a very loud, deep noise. (ส่งเสียงดังคล้ายเสียงฟ้าร้อง) 3000

tissue(n: tissue pl tissues) A piece of soft and very thin paper that is used for wiping the nose etc. He bought a box of tissues for his cold. (กระดาษบาง ๆ สำหรับเช็ดหน้าหรือเช็ดมือ) 3000

waist(n: waist pl waists) The narrow part of the human body between the stomach and hips. (ก้น) 5000

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