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Fun Easy English Classroom July 28


Learn American
English vocabulary
beginning with
letter P
American English Vocabulary - Letter P

Today in the classroom you are going to learn some words you should know beginning with the letter P.
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American English Vocabulary - Letter P

The words on this page came from the VOA, Voice of America, Special English Word Book. Use the Fun Easy English dictionary for a more detailed explanation of each word.
  • pain - n. a hurt or suffering somewhere in the body
  • paint - v. to cover with a liquid color; to make a picture with liquid colors; n. a colored liquid used to cover or protect a surface
  • paper - n. a thin, flat material made from plants or cloth often used for writing
  • parachute - n. a device that permits a person or thing to fall slowly from an airplane or helicopter to the ground
  • parade - n. a group of people and vehicles moving together to celebrate a special event or anniversary
  • pardon - v. to forgive for a crime and release from punishment
  • parent - n. a father or mother
  • parliament - n. a government lawmaking group
  • part - n. something less than the whole; not all of something
  • partner - n. a person who takes part in some activity in common with another or others. ("The two men were business partners.")
  • party - n. a group of people working together for a political purpose; a group of people or friends gathered together for enjoyment
  • pass - v. to go by or move around something; to move along; to cause or permit to go
  • passenger - n. a person travelling by airplane, train, boat or car who is not the pilot or driver
  • passport - n. a document permitting a person to travel to another country
  • past - n. the time gone by; the time before; ad. recent; immediately before; former
  • path - n. a narrow way for walking; a way along which something moves
  • patient - n. a person being treated by a doctor for a health problem
  • pay - v. to give money for work done or for something bought
  • peace - n. the condition of freedom from war, fighting or noise; rest; quiet
  • people - n. any group of persons; all the persons of a group, race, religion or nation ("the American people")
  • percent - n. a part of every hundred ("Ten is ten percent of one hundred.")
  • perfect - ad. complete or correct in every way; completely right or good; without mistakes
  • perform - v. to speak, dance or sing in front of others
  • period - n. an amount of time within events, restrictions or conditions
  • permanent - ad. never changing; lasting for a very long time or for all time
  • permit - v. to let; to make possible
  • person - n. a man, woman or child
  • persuade - v. to cause someone to do something by explaining or urging. ("The police persuaded the criminal to surrender his weapon.")
  • physical - ad. of the body
  • physics - n. the study of motion, matter and energy
  • picture - n. something that shows what another thing looks like; an idea or representation of something as seen by the eye; a painting; what is made with a camera
  • piece - n. a part of something larger
  • pig - n. a farm animal used for its meat
  • pilot - n. one who guides or flies an airplane or helicopter
  • pipe - n. a long, round piece of material used to move liquid or gas
  • place - v. to put something somewhere; n. an area or a part of an area; space where a person or thing is; any room, building, town or country
  • plan - v. to organize or develop an idea or method of acting or doing something ("They plan to have a party."); n. an organized or developed idea or method ("The plan will not work.")
  • planet - n. a large object in space that orbits the sun ("Earth is a planet.")
  • plant - v. to put into the ground to grow; n. a living growth from the ground which gets its food from air, water and earth
  • plastic - n. a material made from chemicals that can be formed and made into things
  • play - v. to have fun; to not work; to take part in a sport; to make music on an instrument; n. a story acted in a theater
  • please - v. to make one happy; to give enjoyment
  • plenty - n. all that is needed; a large enough amount
  • plot - v. to make secret plans; n. a secret plan to do something wrong or illegal
  • poem - n. words and their sounds organized in a special way to express emotions
  • point - v. to aim one's finger toward; to aim; n. the sharp end of something
  • poison - n. a substance that can destroy life or damage health
  • police - n. a government agency responsible for guarding the public, keeping order, and making sure people obey the law; members of that agency
  • policy - n. an established set of plans or goals used to develop and make decisions in politics, economics or business
  • politics - n. the activities of government and of those who are in public office
  • pollute - v. to release dangerous or unpleasant substances into the air, soil or water
  • poor - n. people with little or no money; ad. lacking money or goods; of bad quality
  • popular - ad. liked by many people; generally approved by the public
  • population - n. all the people in a place, city or country
  • port - n. a city where ships load or unload goods; a place on a coast where ships can be safe from a storm
  • position - n. a place; the way of holding the body; the way a thing is set or placed; a job (or level of a job) in an organization
  • possess - v. to have; to own; to control or be controlled by
  • possible - ad. able to be done; can happen or is expected to happen
  • postpone - v. to delay action until a later time
  • pour - v. to flow; to cause to flow
  • poverty - n. the condition of being poor
  • power - n. the ability to control or direct others; control; strength; ruling force; force or energy used to do work ("Water power turns the wheel.")
  • praise - v. to say good things about; to approve
  • pray - v. to make a request to a god or spirit; to praise a god or spirit
  • predict - v. to say what one believes will happen in the future. ("The weather scientist predicted a cold winter.")
  • pregnant - ad. carrying a child within the body before it is born; expecting to give birth to a baby
  • present - v. to offer for consideration ("We will present our idea to the committee."); n. a gift ("I gave them a present for their anniversary."); now ("The present time is a good time."); ad. to be at a place ("I was present at school yesterday.")
  • president - n. the chief official of a country that is a republic; the leader of an organization
  • press - v. to urge strongly; n. newspapers, magazines and other publications
  • pressure - n. the force produced when something is pushed down or against something else
  • prevent - v. to keep or stop from going or happening
  • price - n. the amount of money for which anything is bought, sold or offered for sale
  • prison - n. a place where a person is kept as punishment for a crime
  • private - ad. of or about a person or group that is secret; opposite public
  • prize - n. something offered or won in a competition; something of value that one must work hard for to get
  • probably - ad. a good chance of taking place; a little more than possible
  • problem - n. a difficult question or situation with an unknown or unclear answer
  • process - n. an operation or series of changes leading to a desired result
  • produce - v. to make; to create; to cause something to be; to manufacture
  • profession - n. a job that requires special training
  • professor - n. a teacher at a college or university
  • profit - n. money gained from a business activity after paying all costs of that activity
  • program - n. a plan of action; the different events or parts of a meeting or show
  • progress - n. movement forward or toward improvement or a goal
  • project - n. a planned effort to do something
  • promise - v. to say one will do something; n. a spoken or written agreement to do something
  • propaganda - n. ideas or information used to influence opinions
  • property - n. anything owned by someone such as land, buildings or goods
  • propose - v. to present or offer for consideration
  • protect - v. to guard; to defend; to prevent from being harmed or damaged
  • protest - v. to speak against; to object
  • prove - v. to show to be true
  • provide - v. to give something needed or wanted
  • public - ad. of or about all the people in a community or country; opposite private
  • publication - n. something that is published such as a book, newspaper or magazine
  • publish - v. to make public something that is written; to include something in a book, newspaper or magazine
  • pull - v. to use force to move something toward the person or thing using the force; opposite push
  • pump - v. to force a gas or liquid up, into or through
  • punish - v. to cause pain, suffering or loss for doing something bad or illegal
  • purchase - v. to buy with money or with something of equal value; n. that which is bought
  • pure - ad. free from anything that is different or that reduces value; clean
  • purpose - n. the reason or desired effect for doing something; goal
  • push - v. to use force to move something away from the person or thing using the force; opposite pull
  • put - v. to place; to set in position
From YOUR Teacher: Words You Should Know

Fun Easy English Words You Should Know comes from  the VOA, Voice of America, Special English Word Book Vocabulary. Special English, now called Learning English, consists of 1,500 essential words which anyone learning English should know.
News Words - Letter P

The videos on this page came from the VOA, Voice of America, News Words program. Use the Fun Easy English dictionary for a detailed explanation of words you do not understand. Click the full screen button on the video to make it easier to watch and to read the video script.
Word Video  
Additional Lessons
About These Lessons

The following classroom lessons are great for students who want additional listening and reading practice.
  • Travel America - Beginner Level. Do you love America and American English? Learn before you travel. Facts and other cool stuff about your favorite U.S. state. Great English reading practice.
Travel America - New Jersey
(Beginner - Reading)

Learn some interesting facts and read interesting stories about New Jersey.
New Jersey

Italian Giovanni da Verrazano, in 1524, was the first European to explore the area we know today as New Jersey. One of the original 13 states (it joined the Union in 1787), it was named after the island of Jersey in the English Channel. New Jersey is referred to as the "Garden State" because of its fertile farmland. General George Washington won a key Revolutionary War battle at Trenton when he crossed the Delaware River from Pennsylvania and surprised the Hessian soldiers stationed there. Trenton is the state capital, and the flower is the purple violet. "Atlantic City, a resort town and former home to the Miss America pageant, attracts visitors from around the world."
Flag of New JerseyNew Jersey State Flag

In 1780, during the Revolutionary war, General George Washington directed that the regiments of the New Jersey Continental Line have a flag of dark blue and buff (buff and Jersey blue are now recognized as the official state colors of New Jersey).

General Washington presumably selected these colors for historic reasons; New York and New Jersey were both originally settled by the Dutch, and dark blue (Jersey blue) and buff were Holland's (the Netherlands) insignia. The center of the flag features New Jersey's coat of arms (featured on the great seal of New Jersey).

Symbols on New Jersey's Coat of Arms

Three plows on the shield honor the state's agricultural tradition. The helmet above the shield faces forward, an attitude denoting sovereignty (fitting for one of the first governments created under the notion that the state itself is the sovereign). The crest above the helmet is a horse's head (the horse is also New Jersey's official state animal).

The supporting female figures are Liberty and Ceres (Roman goddess of grain - a symbol of abundance). Liberty carries the liberty cap on her staff and Ceres holds a cornucopia filled with harvested produce; they are supported by a banner that reads "Liberty and Prosperity" (New Jersey's state motto).
Source: State Symbols USA
The great seal of the state of New JerseyNew Jersey State Facts

Picture: state seal of New Jersey
State Capital Trenton
Nickname Garden State
Motto Liberty and Prosperity
Statehood December 18, 1787 (3rd)
Origin of Name Named for the Channel Island of Jersey in honor of Sir George Carteret, one of the two men to whom the land was given
Largest Cities Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Trenton
Border States Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania
Area 7,419 sq. mi., 46th largest
State Bird Eastern Goldfinch
State Flower Violet (viola sororia)
State Tree Red Oak (quercus borealis maxima)
State Song None
Map showing the location of New JerseyTravel and tourism site for New Jersey - This state travel and territorial tourism site provides ideas for your vacations, meetings, and more.
New Jersey Stories
The Marlboro Tree

How old do trees live to be? There is a black willow tree in Marlboro, New Jersey, that is more than 150 years old. It started growing before the Civil War. Not only is the Marlboro Tree old, but it's also huge. It's 76 feet tall and over 19 feet in circumference (the measurement around the trunk of the tree). Five adults would have to hold hands to fully encircle the trunk. The Marlboro Tree is the largest black willow in New Jersey and the largest tree in Marlboro. In fact, the New Jersey Forest Service has certified it as a "State Champion" because of its size.

Black willow trees usually grow along lakes and streams, where they help prevent erosion (the wearing away of soil by water). Black willows have blackish-colored bark and are known to have several trunks on one tree. The wood of the tree is light and flexible, so it is often used to make artificial limbs, wicker baskets and furniture.

The Marlboro Tree is also special because it grows in an area where many dinosaur fossils have been found. Because of its unique history, the town has made a special effort to preserve the Marlboro Tree for future generations to enjoy.
Clean Ocean Action's Beach Sweep

Have you ever been part of a volunteer clean-up crew, picking up litter or trash? If so, you know just how much garbage can collect on streets or in parks. In New Jersey there was another place that had a lot of litter -- the beaches.

By the 1980s, thanks to ocean dumpsites and runoff water, pollution was ruining New Jersey's beaches. Runoff water, which is often polluted, flows into streams and ends up in the ocean.

To help clean up New Jersey's polluted beaches, a group called Clean Ocean Action holds Beach Sweeps. One of the longest running cleanups in the world, the Beach Sweeps first started in 1985 at Sandy Hook with 75 volunteers. Today, volunteers of all ages "sweep" the beaches by picking up garbage and other debris and writing down what they collect. The list of litter provides information that is used to educate the public about the pollution problem.

Volunteers usually pick up plastic, glass, metal, wood, and styrofoam. They have also collected some unusual items from the beaches, such as a shopping cart, a microwave oven, a toilet, mattresses, Christmas decorations, and a wig! Keeping a list of items helps people realize that garbage can come back to us if we don't dispose of it properly.
Walking the Boardwalk in Atlantic City

Have you ever played Monopoly? Did you know that the game's most expensive property, Boardwalk, comes from an actual place in New Jersey, called Atlantic City?

The pleasant climate and beaches of Atlantic City had already made it a popular resort destination for New Yorkers by the time the first section of its famous boardwalk was constructed along the beach in 1870. Alexander Boardman, a railroad conductor, thought of the idea of constructing a boardwalk to keep sand out of the railroad cars and hotels. The city used its tax revenues to build an 8-foot-wide temporary wooden walkway, which could be taken down during the winter. The walkway was later extended and made permanent. The rolling chair, introduced in 1884, was the only vehicle allowed on the boardwalk. Guests could be rolled down the boardwalk while sitting down.
Liberty Science Center "Camp-Ins" Program

Why is this girl's hair standing on end? It is this way because of static electricity.
Everything is made up of millions of tiny particles, called atoms. Inside atoms are protons and electrons, which have positive and negative electric charges. When you rub two things together, some of the negative charges, or electrons, move from one surface to the other. The object that loses electrons becomes positively charged, and the one that gains electrons becomes negatively charged. Opposites (positive and negative) attract, so the objects pull together. This is static electricity.

Objects with the same charge push away from each other. When the girl in the photo touches the ball with static electricity inside it, it sends a static charge through her body and into each strand of hair. Because each strand has the same charge, the strands push away from each other, so her hair stands up. (This experiment was done in the safety of a museum; it is not something to try anyplace else.)

Experiments like these are best attempted in a museum. The girls in the photograph are visiting the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey. Several times a year, the center holds a "Camp-In," where groups of kids have fun with the science exhibits until late at night, and then they sleep over in the museum.
The Battle of Monmouth

Her name was Mary Hays McCauly, but she was better known as Molly Pitcher. Do you know who she was? Or how she got her name?

Mary Hays was the wife of William Hays, an artilleryman who fought in the Battle of Monmouth during the Revolutionary War.

The battle began as General Henry Clinton led his British forces from Philadelphia and started marching through New Jersey. On the morning of June 28, 1778, a scorching hot day, General George Washington ordered General Charles Lee to attack the British near Monmouth, New Jersey. The British and American armies fought all day in the intense heat.

Dodging the bullets was Mary Hays, who brought pitcher after pitcher of water to the thirsty troops. She also assisted the injured troops. When her husband fell in battle, she took his place at the cannon. This was the second time on an American battlefield that a woman had worked a cannon. (The first was Margaret Corbin during the defense of Fort Washington in 1776.)

For her heroic role, General Washington made her a noncommissioned officer. After that she was widely known as "Sergeant Molly." A sculpture on the battle monument commemorates her courageous efforts.
The Irish of the Fifth District

Leprechauns, shamrocks, St. Patrick's Day, and jigs -- these are the things we usually think of first when it comes to Irish traditions. But did you know that bagpipe bands are also a big part of Irish culture? The boy in the photo is part of the Bergen pipe band in Bergen County, New Jersey.

A pipe band is a traditional Scottish or Irish musical group of bagpipers and drummers. A bagpipe is a wind instrument that gets its air supply through a bag. Every member of a pipe band wears a kilt, a knee-length tartan, or plaid skirt, traditionally worn by Scottish or Irish men.

Pipe bands are a tradition for Irish Americans in New Jersey. The Irish are the second largest ethnic group in this state. Their ancestors came in large numbers, especially during the 19th century. Pipe bands are one way Irish Americans in New Jersey keep their culture alive.
The Still Family

You may not know it, but there is royalty in America. Although we don't honor royalty as people in other countries do, the Still family, which has been in New Jersey since the early 1600s, is descended from a Guinean prince from Africa. The prince and his people intermarried with the Lenape Indians, who lived in the area.

Before the Civil War, the Still family was active in the anti-slavery movement. At the time, many slaves in the South escaped through the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was made up of a network of people who secretly helped slaves escape to the Northern states or Canada. While many white Americans were a part of the Underground Railroad, free blacks gave the most assistance to runaway slaves. The Still family hometown, Lawnside, New Jersey, was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Two members of the Still family, William and James Still, were conductors -- people who helped out along the way.

In 1872 William Still wrote the classic book The Underground Railroad about the heroism of the runaway slaves, many of who stopped at his house on their way to freedom, and the people who helped them escape. If you want to learn more about the people on the Underground Railroad, this would be a good book to read.
Source: Library of Congress
National Monuments of New Jersey

The following is a description of national monuments in the state of New Jersey. There are no national forests or parks in this state. If you plan to visit or live in New Jersey for awhile then you should definitely plan to visit some of these fantastic places.
National Monuments
Statue of Liberty

This iconic statue, built in 1886 on Liberty Island and 151 feet (46 m) tall, commemorates the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence and is a gesture of friendship from France to the U.S. Liberty Enlightening the World is a symbol of welcoming immigrants to the U.S. and is listed as a World Heritage Site. Ellis Island, where 12 million immigrants entering the U.S. passed through, is included in the monument. This national monument is also partially located in the state of New York.
Travel America
Travel America

Do you love America and American English? Learn before you travel. Facts and other cool stuff about your favorite U.S. state. Visit the Fun Easy English Travel America pages. Read about the beautiful National Forests, Parks, and Monuments. Great English reading practice.
Drive America

Planning to drive in America? Learn the rules and regulations. Great English reading practice.
Additional Information
Avoid Ineffective Study Methods

The complete lesson includes an audio program explaining this topic, the script for the audio program, a words in this story section, and other important information.
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Audio Program

Listen to the audio program explaining this topic.
Improve Your Pronunciation by Training Your Ears

The complete lesson includes an audio program explaining this topic, the script for the audio program, a words in this story section, and other important information.
Click for the complete lesson
Audio Program

Listen to the audio program explaining this topic.
Improve Your Long-Term Memory by Spacing Practice

The lesson includes an audio program explaining this topic, the script for the audio program, a words in this story section, and other important information.
Click for the complete lesson
Audio Program

Listen to the audio program explaining this topic.
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