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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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      • Russian Federation
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    #1

    a question about passive vocabulary

    I am currently studing some vocabulary and I am not sure if this is really what I should learn. I am from Russia and in Russian there are very many words from books that regular people don't really know and it's fine. If you could tell me if it's ok for an average native speaker not to know about some of these words, it would be great. Maybe it's not ok not to know them. I don't know, I took them from classical litterature. Please don't think that I'm showing off. In fact there are more than this list but if I knew that English people normally know these words or not I could generalize about other words. Thank you for attention.

    rummage
    falter
    enthralling
    languor
    abash
    haul
    confound
    waive
    sulky
    slick
    snigger
    snuggle
    pauper
    cursory
    concur
    throng
    sprat
    halcyon
    glimmer
    ruffle
    stalwart
    acorn
    execration
    fray

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a question about passive vocabulary

    Welcome to the forums, marymex. The only word in your list that I think some native speakers might not be very familiar with is "execration".

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    #3

    Re: a question about passive vocabulary

    I'd add 'halcyon' to that.

    I deleted 'passive' from your thread title in post #1. It has no meaning here.

  3. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: a question about vocabulary

    thank you, bhaisahab.)

  4. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a question about vocabulary

    I think the OP meant this, Rover.
    "Native speakers' passive vocabulary" might sound better, I guess.

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    #6

    Re: a question about vocabulary

    While I would never discourage any person from reading, and I acknowledge that classics give pleasure in many ways, I DO NOT encourage my students to read classics. The words, situations, and thinking is not what one will encounter today, and the reader ends up having to learn a bunch of words they may never use just to follow the story.

    On your list are about three words you might actually use, maybe five more it might be good to be familiar with, and the rest are okay if you like crossword puzzles.

    I strongly urge you to find some contemporary works for your reading pleasure and language learning.

  5. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: a question about passive vocabulary

    I think many might also be unsure of "languor" and "abash".

    I had to look up "execration", having never heard of it until today. "Halcyon" was slightly more familiar from the phrase "halcyon days" and its positive associations.

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/halcyon

    The other words are still used within BrE, and indeed I have just asked a friend and they instantly understood all of them except the ones that have been mentioned in this and previous posts.


    Last edited by Eckaslike; 28-Aug-2015 at 12:38.

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    #8

    Re: a question about vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    On your list are about three words you might actually use, maybe five more it might be good to be familiar with, and the rest are okay if you like crossword puzzles.

    The question was originally about passive vocabulary and recognition, so not production. If it's words to learn to use, then I would agree that most aren't much use. If it's about words native speakers will know, then most would know most on that list. We can disagree about whether it's two, four or six that are less likely.
    Last edited by Tdol; 28-Aug-2015 at 12:38.

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    #9

    Re: a question about vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    I think the OP meant this, Rover.
    "Native speakers' passive vocabulary" might sound better, I guess.
    Passive vocabulary makes sense, but the person does talk about learning it, which makes it not passive. As passive vocab, most know it. As productive vocab, few use it.

  6. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: a question about vocabulary

    I think part of the problem here is the fact you have a mixed list of words, some of which are not that unusual, others which as Tdol says would hardly be used at all.

    The ones which I would use, or which I hear used, reasonably often are:
    rummage
    falter
    haul
    waive
    sulky
    slick
    snigger
    snuggle
    pauper
    glimmer
    ruffle
    acorn
    fray
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 28-Aug-2015 at 18:02.

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