Site MapHelpFeedbackGeneral versus Specific
General versus Specific
(See related pages)


  • General means broad in nature or characteristic of a larger category.
  • Specific refers to distinctive, individual things that are part of a larger category.

Directions: Identify the general category that most accurately describes the items in each group.


Jupiter, moon, sun, stars, Earth

a. words in the dictionary

b. names of games

c. solar system

d. names of planets


The answer is c. Solar system is the general term that includes the sun together with the planets and all other celestial bodies that orbit the sun. The sun, moon, Jupiter, and Earth are specific parts of the solar system. Notice that although all of the items are “words in the dictionary," it is too general to be the best answer. Your task is to find the category that most accurately the items in the list.

sun umbrella, blanket, surf board, swim fins, sun screen lotion, sunglasses
A)things for scuba diving
B)things for water skiing
C)things to take to the swimming pool
D)things to take to the beach
MP3 players, iPods, CD players, jam boxes, radios
B)equipment that plays music
C)electrical equipment
D)portable music equipment
Discovery, Bravo, HBO, Disney, MTV, Home Shopping, A&E, Lifetime, ESPN, Nickelodeon
A)television channels
B)cable television channels
D)satellite radio stations
USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times
B)radio talk shows
The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Cars
B)children's movies
C)animated children's movies
D)movies available on DVD
hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, avalanches
A)natural disasters
B)events that happen during the winter
C)things that are frightening
D)natural disasters that can be prevented
defendant, attorneys, judge, jury, verdict
A)things associated with a courtroom trial
B)things associated with lawyers
C)things associated with crimes
D)things associated with military trial
"My alarm clock didn't go off," "I missed the bus," "My ride didn't show up," "I thought it was a holiday," "Both of my grandmothers died," "I thought it was canceled"
A)things people say at parties
B)reasons students prefer to live on or near campus
C)excuses students give for missing class
D)excuses teachers make for missing class
Nile, Amazon, Yangtze (Chang Jiang), Congo, Mississippi, Rhine, Thames, Seine, Ganges
A)famous places
B)famous dances of the world
C)famous world leaders
D)famous rivers
William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush
A)U.S. presidents
B)U.S. presidents who were former state governors
C)U.S. presidents who were former military heroes
D)U.S. presidents who were married more than once

Entryways into College ReadingOnline Learning Center

Home > Chapter 7 > General versus Specific