1. Definition of a Sign
1. A sign is an object whose presence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else, for example a road sign which indicates that there is a sharp curve ahead.
This is a definition of a sign. Did you notice the word “presence” in the missing phrase: “the probable presence” and also in the mother sentence in the phrase: “presence or occurrence”?
Presence is “to be present” or “to be” and occurrence is “to occur” or “to happen” or “to be”. The word “presence” is contrasted with the word “absence” in the phrase “presence and absence”. This phrases describes the qualities of “being here” or not “being here”.
When the teacher marks the roll at school he marks students as “present” or “absent”.
2. Architecture is contrasted with Engineering
2. Architectural design involves the use or manipulation of mass, space, volume, texture, light, shadow, materials, and other elements in order to achieve an end which is aesthetic as well as functional. Architecture is different from the applied science of engineering in that engineering generally concentrates on the structural and feasibility aspects of design.
Look at the second sentence pattern. “A is different from B in that …. “. This is a useful pattern to learn and use in speaking and writing. Learning to write English is easier than learning to write Chinese in that the English writing system is simpler than the Chinese writing system. Can you write Chinese?
3. The Problem of Nepotism
3. It should have been designed by people who knew what they were doing but instead it was designed by relatives and friends of the manufacturer.
Are you familiar with passive voice?
4. A Definition of Industrial Design
4. The Industrial Design Society of America defines industrial design as the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.
This is a definition of design.
5. Philosophical Debate
5. Of those who do not believe in a divine creator, there are some who see the universe as a chance creation of chaos and others who see evidence of a plan or process or some kind of intelligent design.
Western society is pluralistic. There are Jews, Christians, Muslims and also other religions as well as agnostics and atheists. Does god exist? Some people do not believe god exists. Some people use the term “intelligent design” to describe god. There are many ways to describe god. Do you believe in god?
6. Fire Wardens and Emergency Procedures
6. Each floor has a designated fire warden and it is the responsibility of each employee to make that person known to him or her, and report to him or her in the event of a fire or other emergency such as a lock-down.
This is a notice about fire safety.
7. Architecture contrasted with Industrial Design
7. Architects usually design environments, spaces and structures, and industrial designers design products, services, and interactions. However, there’s a lot of cross over between the disciplines, especially in areas like interior design and environmental design.
Here we learn the distinction between architects and industrial designers.
8. Playground Supervision
8. The principal will designate a teacher to supervise the playground each day during recess and if there is an incident, then it will be the responsibility of the designated supervisor to file a report with a description of the incident.
This is a notice from a school.
9. Landscape Architecture and Landscape Design
9. Landscape design is an independent profession practised by landscape designers. It combines nature and culture. In practice landscape design forms a bridge between landscape architecture and garden design.
We learn more about people who work in the field of design.
10. The Rights of Refugees
10. Although Cambodia has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Refugees, neither Australia nor Malaysia are signatories.
This answer has clues “sign” and “signatory”.
11. A Famous Public Building
11. The Sydney Opera House was designed by a famous Danish architect by the name of Jorn Utzon. Utzon passed away in 2008.
This is a straightforward passive sentence.
12. The Visionary American Architect
12. Buckminster Fuller developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, and popularized the widely known geodesic dome.
Are you familiar with this famous architect?
13. Methods of Verifying Documents
13. Do you write your signature, when you have to sign something or do you have a stamp which functions like a signature?
Again we see context clues of “signature” in both question and answer phrase.
14. The Famous Spanish Architect of Barcelona
14. There are many impressive buildings in Barcelona which were designed by Antonio Gaudi.
Have you been to Barcelona? Can you speak Spanish?
15. Explosion in The Inner City – a News Article
15. In a report on the recent bomb blasts at a mall in Bangkok, the government ruled that the bombs had been home-made and were not designed to kill.
In early 2015 there was a real bomb blast in Bangkok. We see the words “kill” and “bomb” are context clues.
Link to More Vocabulary Tests
Do you need speaking practise?
Try this interactive Story: The Secret of the Black Drink