appear: to come into sight, to seem
A motorcycle appeared in his rearview mirror.
She appears to be a little nervous.
claim: to say as a fact
He claims to be your father’s son from another marriage.
She claims to be telling the truth, but I don’t believe her.
conflict: to be in disagreement or opposition
His story conflicts with her story, so who’s telling the truth?
Her part-time job does not conflict with her university studies.
debate: to argue in favor of one thing or of another thing
They debated what kind of government was the best.
The students debated various solutions to the problem of homelessness.
devise: to create, invent
We devised a plan to trap the mice.
He devised a simple system to purify water.
excel: to do better than most others
My son excels in math and science.
She got a raise because she excels at work.
flash: to show quickly
The police officer flashed his badge before entering the room.
She flashed him a big smile as she left the room.
hinder: to stop (someone) from doing (something)
He went to the library because the noise at home was hindering his studying.
That big tree across the street hinders our view of the ocean.
improvise: to do without any preparation
She wasn’t prepared, so she had to improvise a speech at her sister’s graduation.
The actor forgot his lines but improvised well enough to continue.
legalize: to make legal
Canada legalized marijuana for use as a medicine.
There are no plans to legalize gambling in this state.
mourn: to feel sad (usually when someone dies)
The children mourned the loss of their of their father in the war.
For months afterwards, he mourned the death of his dog.
provoke: to make (something) happen (often anger)
The crowd provoked the police into taking strong action.
If you talk about politics, it will provoke my brother into an argument.
recruit: to get (someone) to join (a group)
We need to recruit one more person to join our study group.
He’s trying to recruit me into his gang.
signify: to represent, mean
The blinking lights in the theater signified that intermission was over.
Those dark clouds signify the coming of a storm.
strive: to try hard, make a great effort
The airline strives to make sure every customer has a good experience.
He is always striving to better himself.
Study this page and when you think you’re ready, do the following exercise.