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The Grammar Guru

King Kong had a fearsome reputation; people on the island shook at the sound of his name but, truth be told, he was not frightening in person; he was a shy and fearful ape. He'd shake at the sight of humans and scurry into the jungle.

One morning, Patty, who was visiting the island, was in the hotel garden, when she felt a pair of eyes on her. She thought it was the handyman, who had a crush on her.

Casually, she took a small mirror from her pocket (vanity was a close companion) and pretended to be fixing her hair, while she checked out who was behind her.

Imagine her fearful response when she saw a pair of gigantic eyes fixed on her. Actually, you would have to imagine a fearful response because she didn't even cringe. She stared back at the eyes -- and winked.

The wink sent King Kong into a fit of giggling, and he covered his mouth with his paw. Then, to Patty's dismay, he scampered away, leaving her without much of an anecdote about how she confronted a fierce creature and bravely outwitted it.

Remember: fearful -- frightened; fearsome -- frightening

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Quiz

1) Since Dennis was (fearsome/fearful) of driving at night, he made millions so he could hire a chauffeur.

2) It was a time of (fearsome/fearful) natural disasters, which kept the natives of the island (fearful/fearsome).

3) (Fearful/Fearsome) of causing a stir, the man in the moon turned his head when he had to sneeze.

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Answers

1) fearful (Now that's motivation.)

2) fearsome, fearful (Since the island was only a 40-minute commute from the city, however, the natives were reluctant to move.)

3) fearful (Earthlings who saw him sneeze became hysterical. Those who missed the sneeze rolled their eyes. Sure. Make fun.)

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