Learn Academic Words through Daily Topic: Relationships | Expand Your Vocabulary

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1. Reading

Topic: Relationships

Dear April,
I just started college, and my roommate is destroying my serenity (peacefulness). I am usually a calm person, but my roommate’s dour (dismal,  gloomy) nature is upsetting me. Every time I come home, she has something depressing to say, and then I too feel gloomy. What can I do to cheer us both up?
Truly,
Desperate for help

Dear Desperate,
You cannot be submissive (obedient, passive) in this situation. Don’t surrender to her unhappiness! You must exemplify (to model, to represent) the type of person you want your roommate to be. Show her how to be cheerful by being cheerful yourself. When she makes a depressing comment, respond. with a positive view. Most people prefer to be around amiable (good-natured, agreeable) people, and your roommate needs to see that. Take her out on the town, and let her see how people respond to a warm greeting and friendly face. If this plan doesn’t work, start looking for a new roommate.

Dear April,
One of my new friends has recently disappointed me. I thought we had a real affinity (fondness, attachment,  liking). We have had great times going to movies and hiking on the weekends.. However, in the last month, he hasn’t been very dependable (trustworthy, responsible) where money is concerned. He has borrowed money from me five times and never paid me back. I don’t want to appear mercenary (selfish, greedy), but I am beginning to think he is just being my friend for financial reasons. The first loan was for five dollars, but last week he borrowed seventy dollars. Yesterday I hinted about my being short on cash hoping he would pay me back; instead, he suggested I get a second job. What should I do about this friendship?
Sincerely,
Looking for change

Dear Looking,
Quit being so discreet! Tell your friend he needs to pay you back immediately. If the direct method isn’t fruitful,· you will know that he is only interested in the friendship your wallet can provide. You may have to write off the loans as a learning experience. Good friends share similar interests, but they also respect each other by paying back money. It is time to find out if your friend has a bad memory or if he sees you as his personal ATM. Good luck!

2. Vocabulary:

  1. serenity (adj) /səˈriːn/: peacefulness
  2. dour (adj) /dʊər/: dismal,  gloomy
  3. submissive (adj) /səbˈmɪs.ɪv/: obedient, passive
  4. exemplify (v): /ɪɡˈzem.plɪ.faɪ/: to model, to represent
  5. amiable (adj) /ˈeɪ.mi.ə.bəl/: good-natured, agreeable
  6. affinity (n) /əˈfɪn.ə.ti/ : fondness, attachment,  liking
  7. dependable (adj) /dɪˈpen.də.bəl/: trustworthy, responsible
  8. mercenary (adj)ˈ/mɜː.sən.ri/ : selfish, greedy