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Vocabulary Quiz
grueling • outsider • used to
blossoming • volatile
  1. The trees are right now, and they're giving me really bad allergies.
  2. Although he's a capable employee, his boss doesn't like his personality in the office.
  3. When I'm traveling, the food is the most difficult thing to get .
  4. Most of the people in the town have lived here their whole lives, so everyone new feels like an at first.
  5. Wednesdays are my most day of the week, because I have school, work and tutoring.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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599 Life in Togo

Michael talks about life in Togo in West Africa.

  • Transcript
  • Vocabulary
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview. Learn more here.


It was a very grueling job, but very, very exciting work.

If a job is 'grueling,' it is very difficult.  We usually use this word to describe something that is physically difficult.  Notice the following:

  1. January is always a grueling month at the office.
  2. It was a grueling hike, but the view from the top of the mountain was incredible.


So there was this feeling of always being an outsider.

If you are not part of a group or don't feel like you fit in, then you are an 'outsider.'  Notice the following:

  1. Although she went to their parties, she always felt like an outsider.
  2. When I moved to my new school ,everyone was very friendly, and nobody treated me like an outsider.

get used to

So it was sort of hard to get used to that.

If you 'get used to' something, you become accustomed to it.  For example, if you move to a hot place you will be very uncomfortable at the beginning, but slowly you will get used to it and the weather will feel normal.  Notice the following:

  1. I will have to get used to waking up early.
  2. She never got used to his habit of leaving water bottles everywhere.


You could just literally see flowers growing, plants blossoming.

Plants or trees 'blossom' when they grow flowers.  Notice the following:

  1. When the trees begin to blossom in the spring I get really bad allergies.
  2. The apple tree by our house is beginning to blossom.


It's a very volatile country.

Something that is 'volatile' changes very easily. When talking about a country being volatile, it typically means that violence can break out at any moment. Notice the following:

  1. It's very difficult to predict her reaction to things because she has such a volatile personality.
  2. The weather here is very volatile, so it's hard to plan any outdoor activities.


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