There are so many words in English that you might not know where to start in your vocabulary-building plan. English teachers who design course plans for vocabulary study classes sometimes have tremendous difficulty in choosing which words to focus on. It’s not easy to narrow the list down to a few thousand words, but there are only so many hours in a school day – no matter what, teachers have to choose specific words from the stupendous array of available English vocabulary words, and trust that students will continue to research new words on their own. However, leaving students without any guidance is a hazardous affair, so some direction by a teacher is very useful. A teacher can provide the definition and spelling of a word, and this will help ensure that the student doesn’t make a horrendous mistake in usage or pronunciation when they try to use the word in an essay or a conversation. When you’re not in school any more, you’ll need to provide your own support in those areas, but a good dictionary will give you the information you need. You can also use a dictionary to randomly select words to learn, either because you think they’ll be useful (and most English words will be, at some point or another) or just because you think they look interesting.
Did you find the words that end in -DOUS? There are only four common words in the English language that end in this letter pattern:
tremendous (tree-MEN-duss) adjective
Definition: Very high (in quality, in amount, in intensity).
Example: Winning the spelling competition gave me a tremendous thrill.
horrendous (hor-EN-duss) adjective
Definition: Extremely terrible or awful.
Example: The hurricane caused horrendous damage to buildings all along the coast.
stupendous (stew-PEN-duss) adjective
Definition: Huge, enormous, amazingly large.
Example: According to the Bible, Samson’s stupendous strength disappeared when his hair was cut off.
hazardous (HAH-zer-duss) adjective
Definition: Very dangerous.
Example: No matter what the tobacco companies claimed in 1950, smoking is hazardous to your health.