alternate fcritameit] v.
To alternate means to switch back and forth between two things.
—►The best exercise alternates muscle and heart strengthening.
apologetic [apdl0d3etik] adj.
If someone is apologetic, they are sorry about something.
-+ The boy felt apologetic after losing his sister’s favorite toy.
benign [binain] adj.
If something or someone is benign, they do not hurt anyone.
—►Many spiders look scary, but most are actually benign.
char [tjd:r] V.
To char means to burn something so that it turns black.
—►While Frank went inside to get the mustard, he accidentally charred the hotdogs.
clarify [klaerafai] v.
To clarify means to make something easier to understand by explaining it.
—►Drew tried to clarify all the functions o f Michelle’s new computer.
distress [distres] n.
Distress is the feeling of being upset or worried.
-> Failing a class caused the student a lot of distress.
dogged [dd(;)gid] adj.
When someone’s actions are dogged, they try hard to continue something.
—►Her dad bought her a new jacket after her dogged requests for one.
ensue tinsu:] v.
To ensue means to happen after something.
—►After a few minutes of lightening, thunder ensued.
gasp [gaesp] v.
To gasp means to make a noise by quickly breathing in when surprised.
—►John always gasps when watching a scary movie.
negotiate [nigoujieit] v.
To negotiate means to try to make an agreement through discussion.
Mario and Joe took a long time negotiating the contract between the companies.
o v e r d o s e [ouvardous] n.
An overdose is an instance of taking or havingtoo much of something.
—►John’s skin was burned from an overdose o f sunshine.
p e r s u a s io n [parswei3an] n.
Persuasion is the act of making someone do or believe something.
-* The persuasion of his argument convinced the customer to buy the laptop.
relay [ri:lei] n.
A relay is a race in which teams of runners or swimmers race against each other.
—►Jerry was the fastest on his team, so he ran the last part o f the relay.
reluctance [rilAktans] n.
Reluctance is a feeling of not wanting to do something.
-» Jesse took out the trash with great reluctance.
restate [ri:steit] v.
To restate something means to say it again or in a different way.
—►Mrs. Jones restated the test question to the class.
sesame [sesami] n.
Sesame is an herb that is grown for its small seeds and its oil.
—►I used the buns with the sesame seeds on them.
Sip [sip] v.
To sip something means to drink a small amount at a time.
—►Liza relaxed on the beach, sipping fruit juice through a straw.
verge [vard3] n.
The verge is the point at which something is about to happen.
—►Joan was on the verge of leaving her house when the phone rang.
wary [wcari] adj.
If someone is wary, they are cautious or mistrusting.
—►She was wary of going to school because she hadn’t done her homework.
waver [weivax] V.
To waver is to be unable to decide between two choices.
—►I wavered between eating the apple or the cake for a snack.


A Bet
Russell finished running a relay and joined his friend Becky in the cafeteria. He asked,
“What’s for lunch?”
“Sesame chicken. It’s OK, except the meat’s charred. Oh, and watch out for the chili
peppers,” Becky said.
“ Chilies don’t bother me!” said Russell.
“ My stepmother says you should be careful with them,” replied Becky.
An argument ensued about eating chilies. “ Chilies aren’t so bad. I bet I can take more
bites of this chili than you,” Russell said.
Becky was wary of eating the pepper. Despite her reluctance, she didn’t want to say no
to the bet. She wavered about whether to do it or not. She negotiated the details. “ What
will the winner get?” she asked.
“The loser has to carry the winner’s books for a year! I’ll even let you go first.”
Becky replied, “ Fine, but to clarify, you’ll carry my books for the entire school year, right?”
Russell restated the agreement, “ That’s right I’ll carry your books all year if you
win—which you won’t!”
His dogged persuasion convinced her. The chili looked benign, but Becky knew it could
cause a lot of pain. She bit the bottom of the pepper. Surprisingly, she felt nothing.
“ My turn,” said Russell. He bit the middle of the chili. Immediately, he seemed to be in
distress. He gasped and his face alternated between brave and pained expressions. He
experienced an overdose of spice. He was on the verge of tears and finally let out a horrible
cry.
“Take this,” said Becky, handing him her drink.
“That was awful!” he said, continuing to sip from the glass.
That night, Becky researched chilies. The next day she said in an apologetic voice, “ I read
that the hot part of chilies is in the middle, where the seeds are. I’m sorry—I feel like I cheated
by going first.”
Russell was relieved, not only did he learn something new about chilies, but he learned
that Becky was a good friend.