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.

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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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. 2. A wire wound into circles that carries electricity. 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. 8000

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

currents(adj:current) Happening or existing now; belonging to or existing in the present time. The current month.
(adv: currently) At the present time.
(n: current pl currents) 1. A continuous movement of water or air in the same direction. A river current. 2. A flow of electricity. An electrical current. 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.
(n: demonstrator pl demonstrators) Someone who demonstrates how something is used or done. 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. 2000

flash(n: flash pl flashes) 1. A quick showing of a bright light. A flash of lightning. 2. A sudden appearance or occurrence of something. A flash of anger/color. 3000

flashlight(n: flashlight pl flashlights) A small portable light worked by an electric battery. 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. 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. 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. 2000

(n: knob pl knobs) 1. A round switch on a television, radio, etc.; a dial. The left knob controls the volume. 2. A round handle on a door, drawer, etc. The knob is stuck and I can't open the door! 3. A hard rounded part standing out from the main part of something. 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.
(adj: magnetic) Of, or having the powers of, or operating by means of, a magnet or magnetism. A magnetic force. 3000

missile(n: missile pl missiles) 1. An object that is thrown, shot, or launched as a weapon. 2. A rocket-powered weapon that explodes when it hits a distant target. 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. 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. 4000
(n:ˈphysicist pl physicists) A person who studies, or is an expert in, physics. 9000

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

professor(n: professor pl professors) 1. [the U.S.A.] Any teacher at a college or university. 2. [the U.K. and most other English speaking countries] A university teacher who is head of a department. 3. [some Asian countries] A university teacher of the highest rank. 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. 2. A spacecraft or missile that is powered by a rocket engine. 3000
(n: rocket-ship pl rocket-ships) A spaceship that is powered by rockets.

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

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