Improve Your English – 178 [Archives:2003/630/Education]

April 7 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (46):
Expressing in how many cases a statement is true (II)

In making statements that have a broad generalizability, speakers use some phrases or expressions to indicate how certain they are about the validity of their statements. Here are some more examples of the expressions used for this purpose:

– It's a healthy sign that people in Yemen have normally an attitude of tolerance to foreigners.
– Sometimes he visits his relatives in his village.
– Occasionally I participate in qat-chewing sessions.
– In some cases road accidents are a result of mechanical failure, but in most cases accidents occur due to rash and reckless driving.
– Rarely does one come across a magnanimous person like him.
– He is a rare specimen of cruelty.
– You are an exception to the normal trend. But the exception proves the rule.
– He is a typical example of Yemeni hospitality.
– He is a class by himself.
– Isra is a unique example of grace and goodness.
– Hardly ever does one find such an attitude of indifference to others suffering.
– In one or two cases, you may find a person who is out and out dishonest.
– In a small number of cases, children become truant and run away from school.
– Only in very few cases do people without adequate qualification manage to get high jobs.
– Once in a blue moon does Fahmia meet Huda.
– A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.
– More and more people are becoming interested to settle down to an urban life in cities.
– More young men than women in modern India tend to choose their life partners, but in most cases young people go in for arranged marriage.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. He is better than any student.
2. I am junior than him.
3. Mohammed is superior than Faiz.
4. It is the most perfect answer.
5. His motor car is more expensive than his neighbor's one.

Answers to last week's questions
1. She sings beautifully.
2. I like skating very much.
3. I met him yesterday.
4. She danced badly.
5. Call me anything else but a thief.

III. Increase your Word Power
A) How to express it in one word
1. Treated badly by those in positions of power.
2. Towards the lower part or business center of a town.
3. Going in the direction that the wind is blowing.
4. The property that a woman brings to her husband in marriage.
5. The oldest and the most experienced member of a group.

Answers to last week's questions
1. Having or showing low spirits or sadness: down-hearted (adj)
2. Towards the bottom of a hill: down-hill (adj)
3. A part of the full price paid at the time of buying, with the rest to be paid later: down payment (n)
4. A heavy fall of rain: down-pour (n)
5. In accordance with practical realities: down-to-earth (adj)

B) Foreign phrases and expressions
Use the following phrases in illustrative sentences
1. concierge; 2. confrere;
3. consomme; 4. cordon bleu;
5. corps de ballet

Answers to last week's questions
1. chauteaux (Fr) (a castle or large country house in France): Prior to the revolution the French aristocracy rolled in luxury in their chauteaux.
2. chatelaine (Fr) (the female owner, or wife of the owner, of a large country house in France): Many a chatelaine in the pre-revolution France didn't approve of the cruel practices of her husband.
3. chef d' oeuvre (Fr) (the masterpiece of an artist or writer): The painting Monalisa is considered chef d' oeuvre of the painter Leonardo da Vinci.
4. comme il faut (Fr) (according to proper social standards): You shouldn't put on the bright, gorgeous suit for the condolence meeting; it's not comme il faut.
5. communique (Fr) (a joint declaration by heads of two governments): After the summit, a communique was signed by the two leaders.

C) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. action, auction
2. address, redress
3. addict, edict
4. addition, edition
5. adder, udder

Answers to last week's questions
1. adduce (vt) (put forward as proof): I can't adduce any reason for his strange behavior.
reduce (vt) (make less): In order to reduce your weight you should exercise regularly.
2. acquisition (n) (gaining for oneself): He devotes his time for acquisition of English vocabulary.
requisition (n) (act of requiring): We have made a requisition for the supply of stationery articles for our department.
3. acquisitive (adj) (fond of acquiring): He is acquisitive of new ideas in various fields.
inquisitive (adj) (showing a fondness for inquiring into other people's ideas): He is disliked for his inquisitive nature.
4. acquittal (n) (setting free of an accused person by a verdict): The acquittal of the innocent person relieved all in the courtroom.
requital (n) (repayment): His requital of our kindness by such acts of ingratitude shocked us.
5. acrimony (n) (bitterness of temper, manner, language): You should deal with him cautiously as he is known for his acrimony.
alimony (n) (money allowance paid by a man to his wife, or former wife, by a judge's order): After he divorced his wife, he has been paying her an alimony as per the court's decree.

D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following phrases and idiomatic expressions in sentences
1. save one's bacon
2. backwards and forwards
3. barge into
4. lose one's balance
5. off balance

Answers to last week's questions
1. get a bad name (to lose people's respect): He got a bad name when his clandestine deals were made public.
2. a bad egg (a person of loose character): Beware of him. He is a bad egg.
3. go from bad to worse (to keep getting worse): My financial condition is consistently going from bad to worse.
4. make the best of a bad job (to do as well as one can in a difficult position): After losing his job, he's making the best of a bad job in his efforts to regain his lost position.
5. it's a bad business (unfortunate, unpleasant): I don't want to ask him about his losing the job. It's a bad business.

IV. Grammar and Composition
A) Grammar
Given below are ten simple sentences. Indicate against each whether it is declarative, interrogative, imperative or exclamatory
1. Most of us became very tired soon.
2. We got a ticket for the show without any difficulty.
3. Tell me all about the incident.
4. Who/whom did the teacher give her notes?
5. Work in the school begins at 8 a.m.
6. What a beautiful sight!
7. How did he speak at the meeting?
8. Please get me a pair of scissors.
9. Let us go on a picnic tomorrow.
10. How gracefully she walks!

Answers to last week's questions
1. Not only is money lost, but also health is ruined by chewing qat.
2. Not until two hours did Mansour give up his waiting for Moinul and went home.
3. Nowhere else can you get fresh fruit and vegetables in Hayel street.
4. Only rarely does Mohammed go to his village home.
5. No sooner did Dr. Abdul Aziz arrive home than the telephone rang.

C) Composition
Expand the idea contained in the proverb


Answer to last week's question

These lines from the English poet Richard Lovelace suggest that freedom and slavery are not so much physical conditions as they are mental constructs. He who possesses this rare gift of spiritual freedom mocks at the physical confinement and bondage. Freedom of the soul is the real freedom. The individual or the race that possesses this mental and spiritual freedom cannot for long be held in bondage in true sense of the term. As the lines imply, a prison doesn't consist of four stone walls nor a cage, of some iron bars. A mind that is simple and innocent would take the confinement as a blessing in disguise. Such a man can enjoy unlimited bliss of mental freedom although his body is in physical captivity.
In the ultimate analysis what is of utmost importance is cultivation of a dispassionate, detached, objective mind that is least affected by external vicissitudes. Such a mind enjoys peace and tranquility that is complete and wholesome.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
” Allah means
No injustice to any
Of his creatures”

VI. Words of Wisdom
Humble hearts have humble desires
)George Herbert