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Fun Easy English Classroom August 12


Learn American
English vocabulary
beginning with
letter S
American English Vocabulary - Letter S

Today in the classroom you are going to learn some words you should know beginning with the letter S.
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American English Vocabulary - Letter S

The words on this page came from the VOA, Voice of America, Special English Word Book. Use the Fun Easy English dictionary for a more detailed explanation of each word.
  • sabotage - v. to damage or destroy as an act against an organization or nation ("The rebels sabotaged the railroad.")
  • sacrifice - v. to do without something or to suffer a loss for a belief, idea, goal or another person
  • sad - ad. not happy
  • safe - ad. away from harm or danger
  • sail - v. to travel by boat or ship
  • sailor - n. a person involved in sailing a boat or ship
  • salt - n. a white substance found in sea water and in the ground, used to affect the taste of food
  • same - ad. not different; not changed; like another or others
  • sand - n. extremely small pieces of crushed rock found in large amounts in deserts and on coasts
  • satellite - n. a small object in space that moves around a larger object; an object placed in orbit around the earth
  • satisfy - v. to give or provide what is desired, needed or demanded
  • save - v. to make safe; to remove from harm; to keep for future use
  • say - v. to speak; to express in words
  • school - n. a place for education; a place where people go to learn
  • science - n. the study of nature and the actions of natural things, and the knowledge gained about them
  • sea - n. a large area of salt water, usually part of an ocean
  • search - v. to look for carefully
  • season - n. one of the four periods of the year that is based on the earth's position toward the sun (spring, summer, autumn, winter); a period of time based on different weather conditions ("dry season", "rainy season"); a period during the year when something usually happens ("baseball season")
  • seat - n. a thing to sit on; a place to sit or the right to sit there ("a seat in parliament")
  • second - ad. the one that comes after the first
  • secret - n. something known only to a few and kept from general knowledge; ad. hidden from others; known only to a few
  • security - n. freedom from danger or harm; protection; measures necessary to protect a person or place ("Security was increased in the city.")
  • see - v. to know or sense through the eyes; to understand or know
  • seed - n. the part of a plant from which new plants grow
  • seek(ing) - v. to search for ("They are seeking a cure for cancer."); to try to get ("She is seeking election to public office."); to plan to do ("Electric power companies are seeking to reduce their use of coal.")
  • seem - v. to appear to be ("She seems to be in good health.")
  • seize - v. to take quickly by force; to take control of quickly; to arrest
  • self - n. all that which makes one person different from others
  • sell - v. to give something in exchange for money
  • Senate - n. the smaller of the two groups in the governments of some countries, such as in the United States Congress
  • send - v. to cause to go; to permit to go; to cause to be carried, taken or directed to or away from a place
  • sense - v. to come to know about by feeling, believing or understanding; n. any of the abilities to see, hear, taste, smell or feel
  • sentence - v. to declare the punishment for a crime; n. the punishment for a crime
  • separate - v. to set or keep people, things or ideas away from or independent from others; ad. not together or connected; different
  • series - n. a number of similar things or events that follow one after another in time, position or order
  • serious - ad. important; needing careful consideration; dangerous
  • serve - v. to work as an official; to be employed by the government; to assist or help
  • service - n. an organization or system that provides something for the public ("Schools and roads are services paid for by taxes."); a job that an organization or business can do for money; military organizations such as an army, navy or air force; a religious ceremony
  • set - v. to put in place or position; to establish a time, price or limit
  • settle - v. to end (a dispute); to agree about (a problem); to make a home in a new place
  • several - ad. three or more, but not many
  • severe - ad. not gentle; causing much pain, sadness or damage
  • sex - n. either the male or female group into which all people and animals are divided because of their actions in producing young; the physical activity by which humans and animals can produce young
  • shake - v. to move or cause to move in short, quick movements
  • shape - v. to give form to; n. the form of something, especially how it looks
  • share - v. to give part of something to another or others; n. a part belonging to, given to or owned by a single person or a group; any one of the equal parts of ownership of a business or company
  • sharp - ad. having a thin edge or small point that can cut or hurt; causing hurt or pain
  • she - pro. the girl or woman who is being spoken about
  • sheep - n. a farm animal used for its meat and hair
  • shell - v. to fire artillery; n. a metal container that is fired from a large gun and explodes when it reaches its target; a hard outside cover
  • shelter - v. to protect or give protection to; n. something that gives protection; a place of safety
  • shine - v. to aim a light; to give bright light; to be bright; to clean to make bright
  • ship - v. to transport; n. a large boat
  • shock - v. to cause to feel sudden surprise or fear; n. something that greatly affects the mind or emotions; a powerful shake, as from an earthquake
  • shoe - n. a covering for the foot
  • shoot - v. to cause a gun or other weapon to send out an object designed to kill; to use a gun
  • short - ad. lasting only for a small period of time; not long; opposite tall
  • should - v. used with another verb (action word) to show responsibility ("We should study."), probability ("The talks should begin soon."), or that something is believed to be a good idea ("Criminals should be punished.")
  • shout - v. to speak very loudly
  • show - v. to make something be seen; to make known; n. a play or story presented in a theater, or broadcast on radio or television, for enjoyment or education; something organized to be seen by the public
  • shrink - v. to make or become less in size, weight or value
  • sick - ad. suffering physically or mentally with a disease or other problem; not in good health
  • sickness - n. the condition of being in bad health
  • side - n. the outer surfaces of an object that are not the top or bottom; parts away from the middle; either the right or left half of the body
  • sign - v. to write one's name; n. a mark or shape used to mean something; evidence that something exists or will happen; a flat piece of material with writing that gives information
  • signal - v. to send a message by signs; n. an action or movement that sends a message
  • silence - v. to make quiet; to stop from speaking or making noise; n. a lack of noise or sound
  • silver - n. a valued white metal
  • similar - ad. like something else but not exactly the same
  • simple - ad. easy to understand or do; not difficult or complex
  • since - prep. from a time in the past until now ("I have known her since we went to school together.")
  • sing - v. to make music sounds with the voice
  • single - ad. one only
  • sink - v. to go down into water or other liquid
  • sister - n. a female with the same father or mother as another person
  • sit - v. to rest on the lower part of the body without the support of the legs; to become seated
  • situation - n. the way things are during a period of time
  • size - n. the space occupied by something; how long, wide or high something is
  • skeleton - n. all the bones of a human or other animal together in their normal positions
  • skill - n. the ability gained from training or experience
  • skin - n. the outer covering of humans and most animals
  • sky - n. the space above the earth
  • slave - n. a person owned or controlled by another
  • sleep - v. to rest the body and mind with the eyes closed
  • slide - v. to move smoothly over a surface
  • slow - v. to reduce the speed of; ad. not fast in moving, talking or other activities
  • small - ad. little in size or amount; few in number; not important; opposite large
  • smash - v. to break or be broken into small pieces by force; to hit or move with force
  • smell - v. to sense through the nose; n. something sensed by the nose ("the smell of food cooking")
  • smoke - v. to use cigarettes or other tobacco products by burning them and breathing in the smoke; n. that which can be seen rising into the air like a cloud from something burning
  • smooth - ad. having a level surface; opposite rough
  • snow - n. soft, white pieces of frozen water that fall from the sky, usually in winter or when the air temperature is very cold
  • so - ad. in such a way that ("He held the flag so all could see it."); also; too ("She left early, and so did we."); very ("I am so sick."); as a result ("They were sick, so they could not come."); conj. in order that; for the purpose of ("Come early so we can discuss the plans.")
  • social - ad. of or about people or a group
  • soft - ad. not hard; easily shaped; pleasing to touch; not loud
  • soil - n. earth in which plants grow
  • soldier - n. a person in the army
  • solid - ad. having a hard shape with no empty spaces inside; strong; not in the form of a liquid or gas
  • solve - v. to find an answer; to settle
  • some - ad. of an amount or number or part not stated; not all
  • son - n. a person's male child
  • soon - ad. not long after the present time; quickly
  • sort - n. any group of people or things that are the same or are similar in some way; a kind of something
  • sound - n. fast-moving waves of energy that affect the ear and result in hearing; that which is heard
  • south - n. the direction to the right of a person facing the rising sun
  • space - n. the area outside the earth's atmosphere where the sun, moon, planets and stars are; the area between or inside things
  • speak - v. to talk; to say words with the mouth; to express one's thoughts to others and exchange ideas; to give a speech to a group
  • special - ad. of a different or unusual kind; not for general use; better or more important than others of the same kind
  • speech - n. a talk given to a group of people
  • speed - v. to make something go or move faster; n. the rate at which something moves or travels; the rate at which something happens or is done
  • spend - v. to give as payment; to use ("He spends much time studying.")
  • spill - v. to cause or permit liquid to flow out, usually by accident
  • spirit - n. the part of a human that is not physical and is connected to thoughts and emotions; the part of a person that is believed to remain alive after death
  • split - v. to separate into two or more parts; to divide or break into parts
  • sport - n. any game or activity of competition involving physical effort or skill
  • spread - v. to become longer or wider; to make or become widely known
  • spring - n. the time of the year between winter and summer
  • spy - v. to steal or get information secretly; n. one who watches others secretly; a person employed by a government to get secret information about another country
  • square - n. a flat shape having four equal sides
  • stab - v. to cut or push into or through with a pointed weapon
  • stand - v. to move into or be in a position in which only the feet are on a surface; to be in one position or place
  • star - n. a mass of gas that usually appears as a small light in the sky at night, but is not a planet; a famous person, usually an actor or singer
  • start - v. to begin; to make something begin
  • starve - v. to suffer or die from a lack of food
  • state - v. to say; to declare; n. a political part of a nation
  • station - n. a place of special work or purpose ("a police station"); a place where passengers get on or off trains or buses; a place for radio or television broadcasts
  • statue - n. a form of a human, animal or other creature usually made of stone, wood or metal
  • stay - v. to continue to be where one is; to remain; to not leave; to live for a time ("They stayed in New York for two years.")
  • steal - v. to take without permission or paying
  • steam - n. the gas that comes from hot water
  • steel - n. iron made harder and stronger by mixing it with other substances
  • step - v. to move by lifting one foot and placing it in a new position; n. the act of stepping; one of a series of actions designed to reach a goal
  • stick - v. to attach something to another thing using a substance that will hold them together; to become fixed in one position so that movement is difficult ("Something is making the door stick."); n. a thin piece of wood
  • still - ad. not moving ("The man was standing still."); until the present or a stated time ("Was he still there?"); even so; although ("The job was difficult, but she still wanted to do it.")
  • stone - n. a small piece of rock
  • stop - v. to prevent any more movement or action; to come or bring to an end
  • store - v. to keep or put away for future use; n. a place where people buy things
  • storm - n. violent weather, including strong winds and rain or snow
  • story - n. the telling or writing of an event, either real or imagined
  • stove - n. a heating device used for cooking
  • straight - ad. continuing in one direction without turns
  • strange - ad. unusual; not normal; not known
  • street - n. a road in a city, town or village
  • stretch - v. to extend for a distance; to pull on to make longer or wider
  • strike - v. to hit with force; to stop work as a way to seek better conditions, more pay or to make other demands
  • strong - ad. having much power; not easily broken, damaged or destroyed
  • structure - n. the way something is built, made or organized; a system that is formed or organized in a special way; a building
  • struggle - v. to try with much effort; to fight with; n. a great effort; a fight
  • study - v. to make an effort to gain knowledge by using the mind; to examine carefully
  • stupid - ad. not able to learn much; not intelligent
  • subject - n. the person or thing being discussed, studied or written about
  • submarine - n. an underwater ship
  • substance - n. the material of which something is made (a solid, liquid or gas)
  • substitute - v. to put or use in place of another; n. a person or thing put or used in place of another
  • subversion - n. an attempt to weaken or destroy a political system or government, usually secretly
  • succeed - v. to reach a goal or thing desired; to produce a planned result
  • such - ad. of this or that kind; of the same kind as; similar to
  • sudden - ad. not expected; without warning; done or carried out quickly or without preparation
  • suffer - v. to feel pain in the body or mind; to receive or experience hurt or sadness
  • sugar - n. a sweet substance made from liquids taken from plants
  • suggest - v. to offer or propose something to think about or consider
  • suicide - n. the act of killing oneself
  • summer - n. the warmest time of the year, between spring and autumn
  • sun - n. the huge star in the sky that provides heat and light to earth
  • supervise - v. to direct and observe the work of others
  • supply - v. to give; to provide; n. the amount of something that can be given or sold to others
  • support - v. to carry the weight of; to hold up or in position; to agree with others and help them reach a goal; to approve
  • suppose - v. to believe, think or imagine ("I suppose you are right."); to expect ("It is supposed to rain tonight.")
  • suppress - v. to put down or to keep down by force; to prevent information from being known publicly
  • sure - ad. very probable; with good reason to believe; true without question
  • surface - n. the outer side or top of something ("The rocket landed on the surface of the moon.")
  • surplus - n. an amount that is more than is needed; extra; ("That country has a trade surplus. It exports more than it imports.")
  • surprise - v. to cause a feeling of wonder because something is not expected; n. something not expected; the feeling caused by something not expected
  • surrender - v. to give control of oneself or one's property to another or others; to stop fighting and admit defeat
  • surround - v. to form a circle around; to be in positions all around someone or something
  • survive - v. to remain alive during or after a dangerous situation
  • suspect - v. to imagine or believe that a person is guilty of something bad or illegal; n. a person believed to be guilty
  • suspend - v. to cause to stop for a period of time
  • swallow - v. to take into the stomach through the mouth
  • swear in - v. to put an official into office by having him or her promise to carry out the duties of that office ("The chief justice will swear in the president.")
  • sweet - ad. tasting pleasant, like sugar
  • swim - v. to move through water by making motions with the arms and legs
  • sympathy - n. a sharing of feelings or emotions with another person, usually feelings of sadness
  • system - n. a method of organizing or doing something by following rules or a plan; a group of connected things or parts working together for a common purpose or goal
From YOUR Teacher: Words You Should Know

Fun Easy English Words You Should Know comes from  the VOA, Voice of America, Special English Word Book Vocabulary. Special English, now called Learning English, consists of 1,500 essential words which anyone learning English should know.
News Words - Letter S

The videos on this page came from the VOA, Voice of America, News Words program. Use the Fun Easy English dictionary for a detailed explanation of words you do not understand. Click the full screen button on the video to make it easier to watch and to read the video script.
Word Video  
Stock Market  
Supreme Court  
Additional Lessons
About These Lessons

The following classroom lessons are great for students who want additional listening and reading practice.
  • Travel America - Beginner Level. Do you love America and American English? Learn before you travel. Facts and other cool stuff about your favorite U.S. state. Great English reading practice.
Travel America - Vermont
(Beginner - Reading)

Learn some interesting facts and read interesting stories about Vermont.

In 1609, French explorer Samuel de Champlain came upon a large lake in the area we know today as Vermont and named it after himself. The state's name comes from two French words vert (green) and mont (mountain), which explains Vermont's nickname, the "Green Mountain State." Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys defended their homeland from the British during the Revolutionary War. Vermont is one of the six New England states and became the 14th state in 1791. Some of Vermont's major industries are dairy farming and tourism. One of the most picturesque states, Vermont has millions of visitors each year who come to see the leaves turn colors in the fall and the snow-covered mountains in the winter. The state flower is the red clover and the tree is the sugar maple. Vermont maple syrup is one of the state's most popular products.
Flag of VermontVermont State Flag

Vermont's state flag was authorized in 1919 and features the state coat of arms (which includes the state motto) against a field of blue.

From Vermont Statutes Online:

The Coat of Arms, Crest, Motto and Badge of the State shall be and are described as follows

(1) Coat of Arms. Green, a landscape occupying half of the shield; on the right and left, in the background, high mountains, blue; the sky, yellow. From near the base and reaching nearly to the top of the shield, arises a pine tree of the natural color and between three erect sheaves, yellow, placed diagonally on the right side and a red cow standing on the left side of the field.

(2) Motto and Badge. On a scroll beneath the shield, the motto: Vermont; Freedom and Unity. The Vermonter's badge: two pine branches of natural color, crossed between the shield and scroll.

(3) Crest. A buck's head, of natural color, placed on a scroll, blue and yellow.
Source: State Symbols USA
The great seal of the state of VermontVermont State Facts

Picture: state seal of Vermont
State Capital Montpelier
Nickname Green Mountain State
Motto Freedom and Unity
Statehood March 4, 1791 (14th)
Origin of Name Based on "verts monts," French for green mountains
Largest Cities Burlington
Border States Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York
Area 9,249 sq. mi., 43rd largest
State Bird Hermit Thrush
State Flower Red Clover (trifolium pratense)
State Tree Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)
State Song Hail, Vermont
Map showing the location of VermontTravel and tourism site for Vermont - This state travel and territorial tourism site provides ideas for your vacations, meetings, and more.
Vermont Stories
The Town Meeting

Have you ever been to a town meeting? Do you know what goes on in one? Town meetings are a popular form of local government in Vermont and elsewhere.

During these meetings, all citizens are welcome to discuss local issues such as the cost of running the schools and government. Taxes are almost always an issue. Should they be raised or lowered? What type of computers should be purchased? What to do about overdue property taxes? These are just some of the topics that could be discussed and voted on at a town meeting.

University of Vermont political science professor Frank Bryan calls the town meeting the "Secret Flame of Democracy." But some people think the town meeting has outgrown its usefulness. They say that American society has grown too large and complex for the town-meeting style of government. Others think that town meetings are "alive, but troubled." They say that town meetings are mostly attended by those who are self-employed, retired, or otherwise not working at regular daytime jobs, so they cannot accurately reflect the views of the majority of the town's citizens.

Do you think the town meeting will survive?
Vermont Maple Syrup

Do you like pancakes with maple syrup? Did you know that Vermont produces more maple syrup than any other state in the United States?

The process used to make maple syrup is essentially the same one that Native Americans first used hundreds of years ago.

For four to six weeks in the winter or early spring, farmers collect the sweet-water sap of dormant sugar maple or black maple trees. The sap is extracted through tap holes, which are carefully drilled into the trees and fitted with spouts and buckets or the more modern and common method, plastic tubing. The sweet-water sap is then boiled in pans to evaporate the liquid. The sap only yields one-thirtieth to one-fiftieth the amount of syrup as the original quantity of sap.

Maple syrup can be used to improve a number of dishes in many ways, but mostly it's used to turn pancakes and waffles into delicious treats.
Source: Library of Congress
National Forests of Vermont

The following is a description of national forests in the state of Vermont. There are no national parks or monuments in this state. If you plan to visit or live in Vermont for awhile then you should definitely plan to visit some of these fantastic places.
National Forests
Green Mountain

In Vermont's Green Mountains, this forest includes eight wilderness areas. Among the 900 mi (1,400 km) of trails in the forest are the Appalachian Trail and two National Recreation Trails: Long and Robert Frost.
Travel America
Travel America

Do you love America and American English? Learn before you travel. Facts and other cool stuff about your favorite U.S. state. Visit the Fun Easy English Travel America pages. Read about the beautiful National Forests, Parks, and Monuments. Great English reading practice.
Drive America

Planning to drive in America? Learn the rules and regulations. Great English reading practice.
Additional Information
Avoid Ineffective Study Methods

The complete lesson includes an audio program explaining this topic, the script for the audio program, a words in this story section, and other important information.
Click for the complete lesson
Audio Program

Listen to the audio program explaining this topic.
Improve Your Pronunciation by Training Your Ears

The complete lesson includes an audio program explaining this topic, the script for the audio program, a words in this story section, and other important information.
Click for the complete lesson
Audio Program

Listen to the audio program explaining this topic.
Improve Your Long-Term Memory by Spacing Practice

The lesson includes an audio program explaining this topic, the script for the audio program, a words in this story section, and other important information.
Click for the complete lesson
Audio Program

Listen to the audio program explaining this topic.
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