Improve your English – 179 [Archives:2003/631/Education]

April 14 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (46):
Expressing in how many cases a statement is true (III)
(Use of negative inversions)
The purpose for which negative inversion is used is to give emphasis to what is said or written. Although negative inversion occurs both in speech and writing, yet it is used more often in writing than in speech since there are several mechanisms such as stress and intonation for marking emphasis in speech.

– Only in a few cases has the medicine proved ineffective.
– Not only did he neglect his studies, but he also ruined his health.
– Rarely does one come across such gruesome instances of cruelty.
– Never did I feel a calm so deep.
– Not a moth is cloven in vain; there is a purpose for everything.
– Not an eyebrow was raised when the leader delivered his speech.
– Nothing but misery and turpitude seems to be in store for me.
– Not a single voice of protest was heard when the decision was announced.
– Not a soul could resist tears when the body of their departed leader was cremated.
– Not till/until the police resorted to the third degree torment did the criminal confess his guilt.
– Nowhere else would you find people who are so simple and loving as here.
– No one is prepared to believe a habitual liar and a bribe giver like him.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. Ahmed is absorbed at his work.
2. Do your work without speak.
3. I asked my friend his book.
4. The student failed to answer to my question.
5. I last night went to a park.

Answers to last week's questions
1. He is better than any other student.
2. I am junior to him.
3. Mohammed is superior to Faiz.
4. It is a perfect answer
Note: Some adjectives are not compared because they denote meanings which do not admit variation of degree or qualities already possessed by them to the utmost possible extent. Some such adjectives are: unique, ideal, perfect, extreme, chief, entire, complete, round, square, universal, impossible, golden, infinite, and perpetual.
5. His motor car is more expensive than his neighbour's.
Note: We cannot use 'one' or 'ones' immediately after a genitive or possessive adjective. If, however, these words are preceded by an adjective, they can come after a genitive or a possessive adjective.
Ex: His new house is better than my old one
My old watch is in a better condition than his new one.

III. Increase your Word Power
A) How to express it in one word
1. To sleep lightly
2. A group of twelve
3. A group of twenty
4. Very severe or cruel
5. First public appearance
6. The first rough written form of anything.

Answers to last week's questions
1. Treated badly by those in positions of power: downtrodden (adj)
2. Towards the lower part or business center of a town: downtown (adj)
3. Going in the direction that the wind is blowing: downwind (adj)
4. The property that a woman brings to her husband in marriage: dowry (n)
5. The oldest, and most experienced member of a group: doyen (n)

B) Foreign phrases and expressions
Use the following phrases in illustrative sentences
1. corpus delicti; 2. coup de grace;
3. coup d'etat; 4. cr'che; 5. cuisine

Answers to last week's questions
1. concierge (Fr) (a caretaker): We have a vigilant concierge in our building.
2. confr're (Fr) (a person who shares in one's job or interests): I am lucky to have the company of a conscientious confr're in my office.
3. consomme (Fr) (clear soup made from meat or vegetables): Consomme is served as a first course in this restaurant.
4. cordon bleu (Fr) (a very good cook): Such a splendid meal is possible only by a cordon bleu.
5. corps de ballet (Fr) (a group of ballet performers): We had the opportunity of witnessing an excellent performance by a skilled corps de ballet.

C) Word commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. abjure, adjure
2. adaptation, adoption
3. adoration, adulation
4. advantageous, adventitious
5. adventuress, adventurous

Answers to last week's questions
1. action (n) (process of doing things): Every action has its equal and opposite reaction.
auction (n) (public sale at which goods are sold to the highest bidder): He bought the car at a public auction.
2. address (vt) (say something in speech): The President addressed the gathering.
redress (vt) (do something that compensates for the wrong): The man was repentant and willing to redress the wrongs.
3. addict (n) (a person who is given up to a bad or harmful habit): He is a drug addict.
edict (n) (an order or command): We always obeyed grandfather's edicts.
4. addition (n) (process of adding): There is a new addition in his family.
edition (n) (form in which a book is published): The book has appeared in a revised edition.

D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following phrases in sentences so as to bring out their meanings
1. strike a balance; 2. bad blood; 3. bad debt;
4. in a bad temper; 5. go bad

Answers to last week's questions
1. save one's bacon (to escape with difficulty from loss, harm, blame): He saved his bacon by arriving at the function just in time.
2. backwards and forwards (first in one direction and then in the opposite direction): He walked backwards and forwards trying to locate the post office.
3. barge into (to rush in rudely): The door burst open, and a stranger barged into the room.
4. lose one's balance (feel disturbed): She lost her balance when she heard that her child was involved in an accident.
5. off balance (in danger of falling): The cyclist was off balance in the crowded road and was about to fall.

IV. Grammar and composition
A) Grammar
Complete the spaces in the following paragraph, using appropriate words and phrases given:
In other words, that is (to say), for example, for instance, to be precise, namely, at least, particularly, in particular, especially, what is more, (and) in fact, and actually, (or) rather, (or) better, furthermore

British English and American English are different languages, )) they are distinctly different dialects of the same language. Nevertheless, the two 'dialects' are slowly moving closer together for a variety of reasons, )) as a result of telecommunications. There has been a kind of rivalry for well over two centuries. )) this rivalry has expressed itself in 'mutual snobbishness', )) each language has been regarding the other as somehow 'inferior'.
Attitudes in Britain have changed a lot in the last twenty years )) the attitudes of some people have changed. Young people, )) university students, tend to use more 'American words' than their elders. You will still find the occasional true-bred English 'bulldog' who insists that the American language, )) the accent , has a corrupting influence. What such people do not seem to realise is that English is a living language, and )) the importation and coining of new words and phrases is absolutely essential in our ever-changing world.

Answers to last week's questions
1. Most of us became very tired soon. (Declarative)
2. We got a ticket for the show without any difficulty. (Declarative)
3. Tell me all about the incident. (Imperative)
4. Who/Whom did the teacher give her notes? (Interrogative)
5. Work in the school begins at 8 A.M. (Declarative)
6. What a beautiful sight! (Exclamatory)
7. How did he speak at the meeting? (Interrogative)
8. Please get me a pair of scissors. (Imperative)
9. Let us go on a picnic tomorrow. ( Imperative)
10. How gracefully she walks! (Exclamatory)

B) Composition
Expand the idea contained in

Answer to last week's question

Our actions are a kind of investment, the fruit of which returns to us multifold, in much the same way as a farmer's sowing the seeds and his labour is returned to him in the form of the yield of his crop. Just as the farmer's output is dependent on the quality of seeds and the manner of his sowing them, similarly the results we get are contingent on the nature of our action. We are rewarded for our noble action and punished for our misdeeds. As this proverb forewarns us, sooner or later we all have to account for our wrong doings and suffer the consequences of our bad acts. We have to be paid in our own coins and can not escape punishment. Although the wrong doer may have a temporary relief from penalty, in the divine scheme of things one day or another he would be brought to book. Moreover, his guilty conscience would become the worst accuser and would never allow his mind to rest in peace. We have to bear in mind that bad deeds will never bear good fruit. Therefore, we should refrain from indulging in any evil thought or action.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“To Allah belongs all
That is in the heavens
And Earth: to Allah
Do all matters return”

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Lend money to an enemy, and thou'lt gain him; to a friend and thou'lt lose him”
)Benjamin Franklin