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Definition-word items (cards) in SRS

Q
If you think that a person is uneducated and stupid because they come from the country, you call them a ________.
A
a hick [hik]

He is an obnoxious hick.
New Yorkers have a horrid way of making people feel like hicks.
On Antimoon, we use the SuperMemo terminology. A Q&A pair is called an item. A collection of items is called a... collection. In Anki, an item is called a card and a collection is called a deck.

These items are used to learn vocabulary. The question field usually contains a definition from an English dictionary. The answer field contains an English word, its pronunciation (phonetic transcription), and a few example sentences.

We usually take example sentences from dictionaries. We try to find as many examples as possible, so we use many dictionaries. We write phonetic transcriptions in our own ASCII Phonetic Alphabet, because it uses letters and symbols which you can find on your computer’s keyboard.

Examples

Q
= to listen secretly to a private conversation
A
to eavesdrop on ['i:vz drop]

We eavesdropped on the conversation at the next table.
Q
= to make an impertinent or uninvited inquiry (about a private matter, topic, etc.)
A
to pry (into sth) [prai]

Stop prying into my affairs!
Q
When you gradually wear your new shoes for longer and longer periods until you can wear them comfortably all the time, you ______________.
A
... break them in.

to break in one's new shoes
These shoes hurt my feet before I broke them in.
His new running shoes weren't broken in correctly.
Q
When you seriously believe that what you are doing is right, honest, or legal, even though it may not be the case, you do it _________.
A
in good faith

The two doctors were acting in good faith.
Q
If you hear something from someone who knows that it is definitely true, you can say that you hear it ______________.
A
from the horse's mouth

I got it straight from the horse's mouth.
Q
When you want to criticize someone because you think they behave just like everyone else and don't think for themselves, you can say that they follow _____________.
A
to follow the herd

They are individuals; they will not follow the herd.

herd [he:(r)d]
Q
When you no longer know how much time has passed since you last knew what the time was, you have ____________.
A
... lost track of time.

to lose track of time
Q
When you have made a decision, and now you doubt if it was wise, you have ____________ about this decision.
A
second thoughts

They were having second thoughts about the tax program.
He is not likely to have second thoughts at the last minute.
Q
= to utter a mischievous or disrespectful laugh, esp. one partly stifled
A
to snicker ['sni k..(r)]
(BrE to snigger)

The children snickered when the teacher tripped.

Above, the British English word for to snicker is labeled as “BrE”.

Q
= a special building or a room in a hospital where dead bodies are kept before they are buried or cremated

{1/2}
A
morgue [mo:(r)g]
mortuary ['mo:(r) tSu e ri:]
Q
= a piece of paper on which you indicate your choice when you vote
A
ballot ['b@ l..t]

These two items don’t have example sentences, because they teach simple nouns. Examples wouldn’t be very helpful in these items. Also, in the first item, “{1/2}” means that there are two correct answers, but you only need to give one of them.

Q
= a difficulty to be overcome; obstacle; roadblock; hindrance
A
hurdle ['he:(r) d.l]

The final exam is the student's last hurdle before graduation.

Here, a list of synonyms (obstacle, roadblock, hindrance) is given after the definition. Because of the list, you know that obstacle, roadblock, and hindrance are not the correct answer, and you have to think of another word.

Q
What idiom can you use to express that it was so quiet that even the smallest sound could be heard?
A
One could hear a pin drop.
You could hear a pin drop.
Q
What adjective can you use instead of "insincere" when you want to impress somebody with your vocabulary?
A
disingenuous [dis in 'dZen ju ..s]
Q
How to proverbially express the following?
Make immediate use of an opportunity; choose the best time for doing anything, the time when conditions are most favorable.
A
Strike while the iron is hot.

I wouldn't delay asking the shop to return your money if you are not satisfied with the goods. Strike while the iron is hot and go to see them while they still remember you.

iron ['ai ..(r)n]
Q
When you cannot be present at a meeting to vote in person, you arrange for someone to vote on your behalf. What special phrase can you use to describe such a situation?
A
to vote by proxy
['prok si:]

to vote in person or by proxy
Those not attending the meeting may vote by proxy.
Q
How do you describe meat or other food that is difficult to chew?
A
rubbery ['r^ b.. ri:]

Meat or other food that is rubbery is difficult to chew.
Q
How do you describe goods that are slightly dirty or damaged, because they have been displayed in a shop for a long time or have been touched by many customers?
A
shopworn goods ['Sop wo:(r)n]
Q
Imagine this situation. You cannot be with a person at an important moment in their life. You regret it and you would like to be there. You will be thinking about them. What phrase can be used in this situation?
A
to be with someone in spirit

I'm afraid that we'll be abroad on the day of your marriage, but of course we'll be with you in spirit.
Q
If you touch someone's feet with your own feet as a playful way of expressing your romantic or sexual feelings toward them, you do what?
A
I play footsie with them

['fut si:]

In the above 8 items, the question field does not contain a definition from a dictionary. We changed a dictionary definition into a question. The question often gives additional information — for example, that the correct answer is an idiom or a rare word.

How to repeat

  1. Read the definition in the question field.
  2. Say or think the word.
  3. Compare your answer with the correct one in the answer field. Don’t forget about pronunciation!
  4. Read the example sentences in the answer field. This helps you learn how to use the word.
  5. Choose a grade.

Comments

These items are similar to “classic” items, used in commercial collections like Advanced English by SuperMemo World. (But the classic items don’t have example sentences in the answer field.) We used these type of items for many years — through most of our learning process. They are effective, but nowadays we prefer sentence items.