Improve Your English – 181 [Archives:2003/633/Education]

April 27 2003

I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (47):
Describing work experience (I)

There are two types of people on the basis of whether they do or don't enjoy their work. Those who take their job seriously and as a challenge to fulfill their potential are usually an innovative, imaginative lot. They make an all-out effort to put in their best into the job and enjoy every bit of their experience. On the other hand, there are others, usually shirkers, who see their work, not as an opportunity to serve, but rather as a matter of compulsion. They keep grumbling about their job. Let's in this lesson, study some of the expressions conveying these mutually opposite feelings as well as some other ideas relating to work and work experience.

– There is immense job satisfaction in my new job.
– My job is fairly interesting and challenging.
– There's scope for demonstrating one's potential.
– Thank God! I have opportunities to exhibit my self-worth.
– A lot of freedom and flexibility is what makes me enjoy my job thoroughly.
– I have ample scope to introduce innovation in the job.
– I feel I'm cut out for this job.
– Nice salary, good perks, other fringe benefits, and a most sensible boss. What more do I look for?
– Only sky is the limit in here if you have the brains. I enjoy every bit of my job.
– It is the kind of job where you can not only prove your mettle, but go that extra mile.
– In my job I feel I'm not working to live, but living to work. It's so exciting, so inviting, so fulfilling.
– My work is demanding, no doubt, yet it is richly rewarding.
– It's so inspiring and stimulating.
– The job offers you a lot to show your creativity and imagination.
– There's so much of public relation involved. Each day is a new learning experience there.
– I feel so depressed. Didn't find a job up to my choice. Hence, I'm unemployed.
– He was recently fired by his employer.
– I may be declared redundant, I'm afraid.
– He has been handed in a prior notice for compulsory retirement.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. I was absent one time or two times.
2. He raises very early in the morning.
3. Telling lies is a very bad custom.
4. This is the scenery of a beautiful lake.
5. These two boys help one another.

Answers to last week's questions
1. He accused the man of stealing.
2. Faiz has not come either.
Note: 'also' or 'too' is changed into ' not… either' in a negative sentence.
3. I want you to tell me the truth.
Note: With verbs like 'want', 'like', 'wish', etc., the subject of the infinitive (here 'you') is mentioned if it is different from that of the main verb (here 'I').
4. From now on I will study hard.
5. When school is over I go home.

III. Increase your word power
A) How to express it in one word
1. A bridge that can be pulled up to let ships pass.
2. Room in which guests are received.
3. To stretch something in space and time.
4. A very attractive person of the opposite sex.
5. A beautiful and happy place that exists only in one's imagination.

Answers to last week's questions
1. A person who makes drawings of all the parts of a new building: draughtsman or draftsman (n)
2. To feel weak after illness: dragdown (n)
3. A list of characters in a play: dramatis personae (n)
4. A measured amount of liquid swallowed at one time: dose (n)
5. A state of affairs in which neither side wins: draw (n)

B) Foreign phrases and expressions
Use the following expressions in sentences
1. debut; 2. chauffeur;
3. compos mentis; 4. deo volente;
5. cul-de-sac

Answers to last week's questions
1. cure (Fr) (a parish priest): He was a devout cure.
2. curriculum vitae (Lat) (a short written account of one's education and past employment): I have sent my curriculum vitae to the prospective employer.
3. dauphin (Fr) (the eldest son of the king of France): The dauphin abdicated the royal throne in favor of his younger brother.
4. debacle (Fr) (a sudden and great disaster): The cyclone that hit the coastal town of Paradip in eastern India three years ago was an unprecedented debacle.
5. debris (Fr) (scattered remains): People tried to search for their belongings from the debris after the explosion.

C) Words commonly confused
Bring out the differences in meaning of the following pairs/groups of words
1. fairly, quite fairly, rather
2. amenity, facility
3. sink, drown
4. kill, murder, assassinate

Answers to last week's questions
1. custodial (adj) (related to the state of being in custody): The cause of the custodial death of the accused is being investigated.
custodian (n) (a person who has power of supervision of somebody or something): After the child became an orphan, his uncle became his legal custodian.
2. custom (n) (usual and generally accepted behavior among members of a social group): It's our custom to wear new dress on occasion of Eid.
customs (n) (import duties): Customs duties on the imported goods have been paid at the airport.
3. cut-out (n) (a figure cut out of wood or paper): A life-size cut-out of the President was fixed on the building .
cut out (vt) (to remove by cutting): He cut out the advertisement from the newspaper.
4. cut-throat (n) (a fierce criminal): He is a dreaded cut-throat.
cut throat (vt): I would rather die from hunger, than cut some one's throat to survive.
5. door keeper (n) (a person who guards the main door of a large building and lets people in and out): The door keeper of the building is very courteous to visitors.
door man (n) (a man in a large or official buildings who watches the door as well as helps people to find taxis, etc.): You can ask the door man to find you a taxi.

D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following phrases in sentences
1. back up; 2. back track;
3. get in through the back door;
4. back out; 5. back onto

Answers to last week's questions
1. in bad faith (to act dishonestly): I never imagined that he would act in such bad faith and dare to deceive me.
2. contrary to (in opposition to): You can't act contrary to rules.
3. to the contrary (to the opposite effect): I have nothing to say to the contrary.
4. on the contrary (used for expressing strong opposition to what has been said): I don't dislike my job; on the contrary I like it very much.
5. open and above board (without deception): All his actions are open and above board.

IV. Grammar and composition
A) Grammar
Complete the following sentences using adjectival phrases with a) a past participle, b) a present participle, c) a preposition.
1. I'd really like to live in a house
2. I have never met any one
3. Books tend to interest me more than books
4. Children really get on my nerves.
5. Television programs are very stimulating.

Answers to last week's questions
1. The new sex discrimination act gives women equality of opportunity in the field of employment.
2. Men have previously tended to treat women badly or like second class citizens.
3. It was only people with unconventional beliefs who thought that women should not be exploited.
4. It is possible that a lot of men still are prejudiced or have prejudices against women.
5. The new law, however, means that women cannot be discriminated against.

B) Composition
Expand the idea contained in the line

Answer to last week's question


In this oft-quoted line from his poem 'Ode to the West Wind', the English Romantic poet P. B. Shelly not only states a universal truth, but also gives us a message of hope. 'Winter' here stands for 'miseries and misfortunes', and 'spring' symbolizes 'prosperity and happiness'. Just as the cold, cheerless and comfortless days of winter are replaced by the greenery and cheerful, colorful bloom of spring, in the same way the bitter and biting days of misfortune lead to fair and smiling days of happiness. No misery is endless, no misfortune everlasting. Sooner or later they will come to an end. The dark clouds of suffering will pass and Dame Fortune will smile upon those who are for the time being groaning under the burden of the calamity of the blind misfortune. Just as seasons of grim and lifeless days of winter are followed in a cyclic way by the blooming days full of life, in the same manner there is a cycle of fortune as well in which torture is followed by joy. The implied meaning of Shelley's question is that we should not lose heart in the face of adversities, but face them boldly, bravely and bide our time with patience and fortitude till better days return.

IV. Pearls from the Holy Quran
” There is no victory
Except from Allah,
The Exalted, the Wise

V. Words of Wisdom
“Silence is one great art of conversation.”