Vocabulary is often difficult to assess. It is based on many factors, which include the patient's education, background, work, environment, and cerebral function. It is, however, an important parameter in assessing intellectual capacity. Patients who are mentally retarded have a limited vocabulary, whereas those with mild brain failure have a well-preserved vocabulary. Patients should be asked to define words or use them in sentences. Any words can be used, but they should be asked in order of increasing level of difficulty. The following list is an example:
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