Toy Shop

toy shopIn this story by Harry Harrison, an Air Force scientist buys a trick rocket from a toy fair to entertain some other scientists at a poker party. The trick doesn’t always work and in trying to understand why, they discover that the toy breaks a basic law of physics. What the scientists don’t know is that this is all part of a plan for them to make someone else very rich.

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: , , coil, compass, demonstrate, , flash, flashlight, , knob, magnet, missile, patent, physics, poker, professor, , rocket, tap, , thread, volt, and .

In addition, Biff Hawton uses three English s when speaking to the demonstrator in the first part of the story: The boys at the missile base will it… Put it in a bag, my boy, I wasn’t . I’m at this kind of thing.


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coil(n: coil pl coils) 1. A long thin piece of material [such as a wire, string, or piece of hair] that is wound into circles. A coil of rope/wire. (ขด) 2. A wire wound into circles that carries electricity. (ขดลวดซึ่งกระแสไฟไหลผ่าน) 7000

compass(n: compass pl compasses) 1. A device that is used to find direction by means of a needle that always points north. 2. Something that helps a person make choices about what is right, effective, etc. (เข็มทิศ) 8000

crowd(n: crowd pl crowds) A large group of people who are together in one place. (ฝูงชน)
(v: crowd, crowds, crowded, crowding) 1. To come together in a large group. (ชุมนุม) 2. To fill too full by coming together. (เบียดเสียด)
(adj: crowded) Having or containing a lot of people or things. Crowded buses. (แออัด) 2000

currents(n: current pl currents) 1. A continuous movement of water or air in the same direction. A river current. (กระแสน้ำหรือลม) 2. A flow of electricity. An electrical current. (กระแสไฟ) 1000

demonstrate(v: demonstrate, demonstrates, demonstrated, demonstrating) To show or explain how something is used or done. He demonstrated how the new vacuum cleaner worked. (สาธิต)
(n: demonstrator pl demonstrators) Someone who demonstrates how something is used or done. (ผู้สาธิต; คนสาธิต) 2000

detect(v: detect, detects, detected, detecting) To discover or notice the presence of something that is hidden or hard to see, hear, taste, etc. She thought she could detect a smell of gas. (สืบหา) 2000

flash(n: flash pl flashes) A quick showing of a bright light. (แสงที่ส่องวาบขึ้นมา)
(v: flash, flashes, flashed, flashing) 1. To shine brightly and suddenly for a short period of time. (ส่องแสงวาบขึ้นมา) 2. To show (something) for a short period of time. (แสดงให้ดูอย่างรวดเร็ว) 3000

flashlight(n: flashlight pl flashlights) A small portable light worked by an electric battery. (ไฟฉาย) 3000
Also known as a 'torch' in British English.

fuel(n: fuel pl fuels) A material [such as coal, oil, or gas] that is burned to produce heat or power. The car ran out of fuel. (เชื้อเพลิง) 2000

hook(n: hook pl hooks) 1. A small piece of metal shaped like a J fixed at the end of a fishing-line used for catching fish etc.; a fish-hook. (เบ็ด) 2. A curved device used for catching or holding things, especially one attached to a surface for hanging things on. Hang your jacket on that hook behind the door. (ตะขอ) 2000

(n: knob pl knobs) 1. A round switch on a television, radio, etc.; a dial. The left knob controls the volume. (หน้าปัด) 2. A round handle on a door, drawer, etc. The knob is stuck and I can't open the door! (ลูกบิด) 3. A hard rounded part standing out from the main part of something. (ตุ้ม) 5000

dial door knob

magnet(n: magnet pl magnets) A piece of material [such as iron or steel] that is able to attract and repel certain metals. (แม่เหล็ก)
(adj: magnetic) Of, or having the powers of, or operating by means of, a magnet or magnetism. A magnetic force. (ซึ่งมีคุณสมบัติเป็นแม่เหล็ก) 3000

missile(n: missile pl missiles) 1. An object that is thrown, shot, or launched as a weapon. (สิ่งที่ขว้าง ปา หรือยิงออกไป เช่น ก้อนหิน จรวด) 2. A rocket-powered weapon that explodes when it hits a distant target. (จรวดนำวิถี) 5000

patent(n: patent pl patents) An official document that gives a person or company the right to be the only one that makes or sells a product for a certain period of time. She took out a patent on her design. (สิทธิบัตร) 6000

physics(n: physics, noncount) A science that deals with matter and energy and the way they act on each other in relation to things such as heat, light, electricity, sound, magnetism etc. (วิชาฟิสิกส์) 4000
(n:ˈphysicist pl physicists) A person who studies, or is an expert in, physics. (นักฟิสิกส์) 9000

poker(n: poker pl pokers) 1. [noncount] A card game, usually played for money in which players bet on the value of their cards. (ไพ่โป๊กเกอร์) 2. A metal rod for moving coal or wood in a fire. (สิ่งที่ใช้แหย่หรือเขี่ย แท่งโลหะสำหรับเขี่ย)

professor(n: professor pl professors) 1. A teacher at a college or university. (U.S.A.) 2. A university teacher who is the head of a department. (U.K. and most other English speaking countries) 3. A university teacher of the highest rank. (Thailand and some other countries) (ศาสดาจารย์) 4000

rocket(n: rocket pl rockets) 1. A tube containing materials which, when set on fire, give off a jet of gas which drives the tube forward. (จรวด; พลุ) 2. A spacecraft or missile that is powered by a rocket engine. (ยานอวกาศ) 3000
(n: rocket-ship pl rocket-ships) A spaceship that is powered by rockets. (ยานอวกาศ)

tap(n: tap pl taps) A device for controlling the flow of a liquid or gas from a pipe or container; a faucet. (ก๊อกน้ำ)
(v: tap, taps, tapped, tapping) 1. To hit someone or something lightly. He was tapping the desk with a pencil. (การแตะเบา ๆ) 2. To take or use [money, knowledge, etc.] from a source. The world has many resources that have not been tapped. (ใช้) 2000

thread(n: thread pl threads) A long, thin piece of cotton, silk, wool, etc., often used for sewing. (ด้าย) 4000

voltage(n: volt pl volts) A unit for measuring the force of an electrical current; abbreviation 'V'. (หน่วยแรงดันไฟฟ้า)
(n:ˈvoltage pl voltages) A force measured in volts. Low voltage reduces the current, making the lights less bright. (แรงดันไฟฟ้าที่มีหน่วยเป็นโวลต์) 5000

weight(n: weight, weights) 1. A measurement that indicates how heavy a person or thing is. Please indicate your height and weight on the form. 2. A heavy object that is lifted during exercising. A 10-pound weight. (หน่วยวัดน้ำหนัก) 3. Something that causes worry or sadness. When I heard he was safe, I felt as if a weight had been lifted from my mind. (น้ำหนัก) 1000

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

cheering(v: cheer, cheers, cheered, cheering) To shout with joy, approval, encouragement or welcome. The crowd cheered as he crossed the finish line. (เปล่งเสียงแสดงความยินดี)
(n: cheer pl cheers) A shout of joy, approval, encouragement or welcome. Three cheers for the Queen! (การส่งเสียงเชียร์) 2000

diagram(n: diagram pl diagrams) A drawing that explains or shows the parts of something that is difficult to understand. This book has diagrams showing the parts of a car engine. (แผนภาพ; แผนผัง) 2000

invisible(adj: invisible) Not able to be seen; impossible to see. (ซึ่งมองไม่เห็น) 3000

relief(n: relief, noncount) 1. A pleasant and relaxed feeling that someone has when something unpleasant stops or does not happen. Much to everyone's relief, the airplane landed without any problems. 2. The removal or reducing of something that is painful or unpleasant. Exercise is an excellent source of stress relief. (การผ่อนคลาย) 2000

theory(n: theory pl theories) 1. An idea or explanation which has not yet been proved to be correct. There are many theories about the origin of life. (สมมติฐาน) 2. [noncount] The general principles or ideas that relate to a subject as opposed to the practice of actually doing it. A musician has to study both the theory and practice of music. (ทฤษฎี) 2000

yawn(v: yawn, yawns, yawned, yawning) To open your mouth wide while taking in breath, usually because you are tired or bored. (หาว) 5000

(n: idiom pl idioms) An expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but has a meaning of its own which is generally understood by the native speakers of a language. It's a piece of cake. [= It's very easy.] It costs an arm and a leg. [= It's very expensive.] He has kicked the bucket. [= He is dead.] (สำนวน) 8000

(v: get a kick out of) [idiom] To enjoy doing something very much. Anyone who gets a kick out of horror movies will love this show. I get a real kick out of shopping for new shoes.

(adj: born yesterday) Likely to believe something that is not true or to trust someone who is not trustworthy. Almost always used in the negative or as a question. He said he'd pay me back but I wasn't born yesterday, I'll believe it when I see it. Do you think I was born yesterday?

(n: an old hand) [idiom] Someone who has done a particular job or activity for a long time and who can do it very well. He's an old hand at working on cars.

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