Welcome! This site is for students to practice their English and keep up to date with environmental issues.

You can find a mixture of reading, crosswords, videos and short English lessons: these will normally be vocabulary, but I may also treat you to some grammar!

There are now over 260 lessons on this blog. Look through the Blog archive, Post labels and Popular Posts to find what you want.

If you want to print a lesson, click on the lesson title and then look for the Print Friendly icon.

''Let nature be your teacher''
William Wordsworth, poet, 1770-1850

''Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift''
Albert Einstein, physicist, 1879-1955

''... to find the word, or words, by which [an] idea may be most fitly and aptly expressed''
P.M. Roget, lexicographer, 1779-1869

Friday, 25 February 2011

Mother Earth - vocabulary lesson 3

As promised, a more difficult vocabulary lesson this week. It is from proficiency level. Enjoy!

Choose the word that best completes each of the sentences:

Many species of animals and plants today are ............... .
     dangerous          endangered          precarious          risky

It took a long time for the theory of evolution to be ............... .
     absorbed          accepted          tolerated          acknowledged
My friend is a keen amateur ............... .
     natural          naturist          naturalist          nationalist

Waste paper can be ............... instead of being burnt.
      decomposed          incinerated          recycled          renovated

There are over 850,000 named ............... of insects on this planet.
     colonies          kinds          species          varieties

Rabbits and mice are ............... .
     amphibians          carnivores          marsupials          rodents

Crocodiles and alligators are ............... .
     crustaceans          herbivores          mammals          reptiles

The lioness lay in wait for her ............... .
     game          lunch          prey          victim

Cattle and chickens are ............... animals.
     domesticated          house-trained          obedient          tame

10 Your cat has scratched me with its ............... .
     claws          nails          paws          whiskers

Need any help?! I will give you some clues if you ask! 

Look again at the words that you DIDN'T use in the gaps. Why is each wrong in the context?

This exercise is adapted from New Progress to Proficiency, OUP.



1   endangered
2   accepted
3   naturalist
4   recycled
5   species
6   rodents
7   reptiles
8   prey
9   domesticated
10 claws

So, how did you do? Any questions about the vocabulary?


  1. Well, thanks! I am not sure if I have everything right, so I am looking forward to the next Friday...And I have a problem with words naturist and naturalist...I know who naturalist is but naturist? Can you help me a bit, please?

  2. Well, a dangerous difference! A naturist is someone who likes to wear no clothes - a nudist!!
    So, be careful with your spelling!

  3. Oh :-) Thanks, good to know

  4. Got them all correct! :) But could you please explain why 'acknowledged' in no. 2 is wrong? I was not sure whether this would work too.

  5. Ooh, tricky!
    To acknowledge something is to recognise that it exists, but not necessarily to believe it or agree with it.
    So, Darwin's theory may have been acknowledged (to exist) but not accepted (as being correct/acceptable) for many years (especially by the church).