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Improve your vocabulary, listening or reading skills with the quizzes below.
Vocabulary Quiz
time passes by • bad habit • work on
shallow • easy to follow
  1. Eating right before bed is a .
  2. The instructions were not . I had to read them three times.
  3. It seems like more slowly while wating in line.
  4. I am not good at typing. I need to that.
  5. Pictures books are more than novels.

Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
Mixer
Mixer #105 Books vs. Magazines
Six people share their thoughts about books and magazines and share which one they prefer.
  • Transcript
  • Audio Slide Show
  • Vocabulary

time passes by

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Time passes by when you read books.

Here, the phrase 'time passes by' means the reader is so interested in the book, time goes by very quickly. Here are some other uses:

1) Time passes by slowly when you are bored.
2) The older you become, the more quickly time passes (by).

a bad habit

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I know that not reading is a bad habit.

A bad habit is something you do often that is not good for you. Smoking is the best example. Here are two more:

1) Arriving late for appointments is a bad work habit.
2) Researchers say it takes at least 30 days to stop a bad habit.

work on it

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I've got to work on it.

To work on it means to improve something or do something better. There are many things you can work on, such as your health, a relationship, or a goal you want to achieve. Notice the following.

1) My speaking is OK, but I’ve got to work on my pronunciation.
2) I’m not having much success at making new friends. I’ve got to work on it.

shallow

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I think magazines are shallow.

We use the word shallow to talk negatively about people or topics that are not serious or don’t make us think very much. Here are some more samples.

I never watch TV. I find most programs to be boring and shallow.

My last boyfriend was so shallow. He only cared about sports and computer games.

easy to follow

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The movie was easy to follow

Easy to follow means easy to understand. Notice the examples.

1) My teacher explained the grammar in a way that was easy to follow.
2) The instruction book that came with my new cell phone wasn’t easy to follow.

deep

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Books communicate on a deeper level.

When something is deep, that means it is is very thoughtful or something people take seriously. It is the opposite of shallow. Here are a few examples:

1) Most pops songs are shallow, but some are quite deep.
2) He has a deep love for art.

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