The Last Night of the World

last night of the worldThis story by Ray Bradbury opens with a question: “What would you do if you knew this was the last night of the world?” A happily married American couple learn that the world is going to end sometime during the coming night. They decide that the best thing to do is accept the fact and go through their evening routines as usual. They even manage to share a joke and go to bed laughing. What would you do?

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 .

General Comments on the Story

illustrated man“The Last Night of the World” was originally published in Esquire Magazine in February, 1951. Later in the same year, it was included in Ray Bradbury’s famous book The Illustrated Man. The Esquire version was very short. Bradbury added some extra dialogue between the couple toward the end of the story for the book, almost doubling its length. We have used the Illustrated Man version.

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atomic-bomb(n: atomic-bomb pl atomic-bombs) A bomb that produces a very powerful explosion when atoms are split apart.
A bomb is a device that is designed to explode in order to injure or kill people or to damage or destroy property.

bomber(n: bomber pl bombers) 1. A person who bombs. 2. A military airplane built for dropping bombs.
(n: bomb pl bombs) A device that is designed to explode in order to injure or kill people or to damage or destroy property.
(v: bomb, bombs, bombed, bombing) To attack (a place or people) with a bomb or bombs. 2000

(n: coincidence pl coincidences) A situation in which events happen at the same time in a way that is not planned or expected. 3000

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

except(prep, conj: except, excepting) 1. Leaving out or not including someone or something. The stores will be open daily except Sundays. 2. Used to introduce a statement about the only person or thing not included in a previous statement. Employees were not allowed to leave except in an emergency. 1000

fresh(adj: fresh, fresher, freshest) 1. [of food] Newly made, gathered, arrived; not frozen, canned, etc. 2. [of air] clean and pure, coming from the outdoors. 2. [of people etc] healthy; not tired. 3. [of weather etc] cool; refreshing. 4. [of water] without salt. 5. another; different; not already used, begun, worn, heard etc. a fresh piece of paper; fresh news 2000

germ(n: germ pl germs) A very small living thing that causes disease. Tuberculosis is caused by a germ. 5000

neat(adj: neat, neater, neatest) Tidy, with everything in the right place; well-ordered; not messy. 3000

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

pour(v: pour, pours, poured, pouring) 1. To [cause to] flow in a steady stream. She poured the milk into a bowl. Water poured down the wall. People were pouring out of the factory. 2. [only with 'it' as subject] To rain heavily. It was pouring this morning. 2000

proud(adj: proud, prouder, proudest) 1. Feeling very pleased because of something you have done or own, someone you know, etc. She felt proud as she watched her daughter graduate. 2. Having a too high opinion of oneself; arrogant. She was too proud to talk to us. 2000
(n: pride, noncount) A feeling of pleasure and satisfaction at one's achievements, possessions, family etc. She watched with pride as her daughter graduated. 3000

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. 3000

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

stir(v: stir, stirs, stirred, stirring) To mix (something) by making circular movements in it with a spoon or similar object. He put milk and sugar into his coffee and stirred it. (คนให้เข้ากัน) 3000

warfare(n: warfare, noncount) Military fighting in a war. (การทำสงคราม; การสงคราม) 6000

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