Using Academic Verbs

Fill in the blanks with the most appropriate word. Each numbered sentence has the same word but you may need to change the form.

  • consume
  • distribute
  • enable
  • erode
  • identify
  • indicate
  • reinforce
  • vary
  1. If rock or soil erodes is eroded by the weather, sea or wind, it cracks and breaks so that it is gradually destroyed; if someone’s authority, right or confidence erodes is eroded, it is gradually destroyed or removed; if the value of something erodes is eroded by something such as inflation or age, its value decreases.
  2. If one thing indicates another, the first thing shows that the second is true or exists; if you indicate an opinion, an intention or a fact, you mention it in an indirect way; if you indicate something to someone, you show them where it is.
  3. If things vary, they are different from each other in size, amount or degree; if something varies or if you vary it, it becomes different or changed.
  4. If you distribute things, you hand them or deliver them to a number of people; when a company distributes goods, it supplies them to the shops or businesses that sell them; if you distribute things among members of a group, you share them among those members.
  5. If someone or something enables you to do a particular thing, they give you the opportunity to do it; to enable something to happen means to make it possible for it to happen; to enable someone to do something means to give them permission or the right to do it.
  6. To consume an amount of fuel, energy or time means to use it up; to consume means to eat or drink something. A consumer is a person who buys things or uses services.
  7. If you reinforce a feeling, situation, or process, it makes it stronger or more intense; if something reinforces an idea or point of view, it provides more evidence or support for it; to reinforce an object means to make it stronger or harder; to reinforce an army or a group of police means to make it stronger by increasing its size or providing it with more weapons.
  8. If you can identify someone or something, you are able to recognize them or distinguish them from others; if you identify someone or something, you name them or say who or what they are or what their purpose is; if you identify something, you discover or notice its existence.

Source: Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary. 1995. Collins Publishers.;

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