The Looking-Glass

the looking glassThis story by Anton Chekhov is about a young woman who dreams day and night about getting married. One night she imagines settling down happily with the perfect man. However, the dream soon turns into a nightmare as she sees the reality of living and raising a family in rural Russia in the late 1800s.

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 .

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background(n: background pl backgrounds) 1. A surface, color or part of a scene that is behind or around a main figure or object. 2. The events and conditions that help to explain why something happens. 2000
The expression 'in the background' describes something that is heard or seen while something else is being listened to or watched.

beg(v: beg, begs, begged, begging) To ask (someone) in a very serious and emotional way to give you something such as food, money, etc., or to do something that you need or want very much.
(n: beggar pl beggars) A person who begs, often for a way of making a living. 2000

breath(n: breath pl breaths) The air that you take into your lungs and send out from your lungs. His breath smells like garlic. 3000
(idiom: hold your breath) To stop breathing for a short time, such as when you dive into water.
(idiom: take a deep breath) To take a lot of air into your lungs.

breathe(v: breathe, breathes, breathed, breathing) To move air into and out of your lungs; to inhale and exhale. He was breathing hard from running.
(phrasal verb: breathe deeply) To take a lot of air into your lungs. 3000

bury(v: bury, buries, buried, burying) To place in the earth and cover with soil. 3000

candle(n: candle pl candles) Wax that has been formed into a stick or another shape and has a string in the middle that can be burned to give light. 3000

carriage(n: carriage pl carriages) 1. A horse-drawn vehicle with four wheels that is used to carry people. 2. [British] A separate section of a train. A railway carriage. 4000

despair(n: despair, noncount) The feeling of no longer having any hope. 4000

fear(n: fear pl fears) A feeling of being scared or worried about something dangerous or unpleasant that could happen. Unable to walk the streets without fear of being robbed. Employees expressed fears that the company would go out of business.
(n: fear, noncount) A feeling of respect and wonder for something very powerful. Fear of God. 2000

fever(n: fever pl fevers) 1. A body temperature that is higher than normal; an illness causing a higher than normal body temperature. 2. A state of excited emotion or activity. There was a fever of activity in the hours before the enemy attacked. 3. A state of great enthusiasm or interest. Every fall the town develops football fever. 5000

(n: hall pl halls) 1. A room or passage at the entrance to a house. 2. A long, narrow passage inside a building with doors that lead to rooms on each side; also called a hallway or corridor 1000

entrance hall hallway

horror(n: horror pl horrors) 1. A very strong feeling of fear or dislike. 2. A disagreeable person or thing. Her little boy is an absolute horror. 3000
(adj:ˈhorrible) 1. Causing horror; frightening; dreadful. A horrible sight. 2. Very bad or unpleasant. What a horrible day! 2000

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]. 1000

(n: looking-glass pl looking-glasses) An old-fashioned name for a mirror.

mercy(n: mercy pl mercies) 1. Kindness or help given to people who are in a very bad or desperate situation. 2. Kind or forgiving treatment towards a person who is in one's power and should be treated severely. 5000

narrow(adj: narrow, narrower, narrowest) Long and not wide; small from one side to the other side. The bridge is too narrow for large vehicles to cross. 2000

overcoat(n: overcoat pl overcoats) A long coat worn over other clothes to keep a person warm during very cold weather. 7000

pity(n: pity, noncount) A strong feeling of sadness about the troubles or pain of someone or something. She has had a hard life and deserves your pity.
(v: pity, pities, pitied, pitying) To feel very sorry for someone or something. I pity anyone who has to work at that place. 3000

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

soul(n: soul pl souls) The spirit; the non-physical part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever. (วิญญาณ) 3000

temperature(n: temperature pl temperatures) A measurement that indicates how hot or cold something is; a measurement in degrees showing the heat of something (such as air or water). (อุณหภูมิ) 2000
(v: take someone's temperature) [idiom] To measure the person's body heat, using a thermometer. (วัดอุณหภูมิ)

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