Improve Your English – 182 [Archives:2003/634/Education]

May 5 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu

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

There are a number of expressions conveying one's attitude to work. They typically reflect one's personality traits in general and their commitment, devotion and dedication to duty in particular. So here are a few more expressions capturing different attitudes to work:
– There's due incentives for hard work.
– One feels a spontaneous impulse to put in one's best. The feedback is instantaneous and encouraging.
– It makes me grow professionally.
– A very enriching experience, indeed: personally, intellectually and professionally.
– I'm going steady in my job.
– It's exasperating, a donkey's job.
– It's boring and monotonous.
– O God! I feel it's the dead end.
– So many bottlenecks at every stage. You feel insecure every moment.
– It sucks blood out of me. I hate it.
– It's exhausting, taxing beyond measure.
– It's tedious and soul-destroying.
– The moment I enter the office I become a part of the machine; it's so mechanical and tiring.
– An unmitigated boredom: that's precisely my work experience.
– It's so frustrating to be part of a soulless profession. To make matters worse, I'm badly paid.
– The worst part of the job is that it requires unskilled, manual labor and offers no scope for creativity.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. This man always puts on black shoes.
2. I wear my clothes in the morning.
3. Rami does not afraid from anybody.
4. Thousands were injured in the war.
5. He was wounded in a motor accident.

Answers to last week's questions
1. I was absent once or twice.
2. He rises very early in the morning.
3. Telling lies is a very bad habit.
Note: A 'habit' is personal and belongs to an individual, but 'custom' is social and belongs to a community.
4. This is the scene of a beautiful lake.
Note: A 'scene' refers to one particular place, while 'scenery' refers to the general appearance of a country and cannot be pluralised.
5. These two boys help each other.
Note: 'Each other' is usually used when there are two persons being referred to, while 'one another' is used when there are more than two persons.

III. Increase your word power
A) How to express it in one word
1. Make people, animals, or clothes thoroughly wet.
2. To clean and prepare meat for cooking.
3. The first row of raised seats in a theatre.
4. The last rehearsal of a play before its public performance.
5. To wear someone's clothes for fun.

Answers to last week's questions
1. A bridge that can be pulled up to let ships pass: drawbridge (n)
2. Room in which guests are received: drawing room (n)
3. To stretch something in space and time: draw out (vt)
4. A very attractive person of the opposite sex: dreamboat (n)
5. A beautiful and happy place that exists only in one's imagination: dream-land (n)

B) Foreign phrases and expressions
Use the following expressions in sentences
1. angst; 2. decor; 3. defacto;
4. dejavu; 5. dejure

Answers to last week's questions
1. debut (Fr) (a first public appearance): The actress made her debut in a children's film.
2. chauffeur (Fr) (driver of a car who is paid for his services): He is employed as a chauffeur.
3. compos mentis (Lat) (with a sound mind): I hope you would maintain compos mentis before the exam.
4. deo volente (Lat) (God willing): Deo volente, we will surmount the problem.
5. cul-de-sac (Fr) (a blind alley, open at one end only): We seem to have reached a cul-de-sac.

C) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. responsible, responsive
2. halo, hello
3. beatification, beautification
4. apposite, opposite
5. among, between

Answers to last week's questions
Quite can have two different meanings according to the context
a completely/extremely. Example: I'm quite sure. She is quite happy with her husband.
b. To a certain extent. Example: The food was quite good.
So, the meaning of 'quite' depends on the word it refers to in a certain context.
In speech the tone with which it is used gives a clue to its meaning
'Fairly' and 'rather'
'Fairly' has a positive meaning whereas 'rather' has a negative meaning and conveys what the speaker doesn't want. 'Rather' is used in comparison only.
Example: The weather today is fairly good.
You are rather luckier to have passed in the exam.

D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following phrases in sentences
1. back away
2. a back handed compliment
3. in the background
4. background information
5. put one's back into

Answers to last week's question
1. back up (to support): All Arab countries back up the Palestine cause.
2. backtrack (to go back over the same path): The government is backtracking from its electoral promises.
3. get in through the back door (to get a job through having an unfair advantage): He is trying to take advantage of his father's position and get in through the back door.
4. back out (to fail to fulfil a promise): Once he gives a promise, he sticks to it and doesn't back out at the last moment.
5. back onto (to be near to at the back): The house backs onto the river.

IV. Grammar and Composition
A) Grammar
Change the following sentences so that you make just one sentence which contains a noun followed by at least one adjectival phrase.
Example: In Yemen Times you find many interesting articles. These are written by Ismail Al-Ghabry
In Yemen Times you find many interesting articles written by Ismail al-Ghabry.
1. Mohammed bin Sallam is a freelance journalist. He works in Sana'a.
2. Near Tahrir square there is a new block of flats. Ramzy lives there. (Ramzy lives
3. Near his parents' home there is a beautiful house. It was built in 1958. Basham once set his heart on it. (Basham
4. Nasry has a lot of friends. They live in the center of Sana'a. That's the problem.
5. Masani is considering the idea of buying a new car. The idea was suggested by his friend Hayaf.

Answers to last week's questions
1. a. I'd like to live in a house constructed newly. (Past Participle)
b. I'd like to live in a house facing the sea. (Present Participle)
c. I'd like to live in a house near the city center. (Preposition)

2. a. I have never met anyone bent upon revenge. (Past Participle)
b. I have never met anyone having such robust optimism. (Present Participle)
c. I have never met any one with such pleasing manners. (Preposition)

3. a. Books read tend to interest me more than books unread. (Past Participle)
b. Books describing adventure tend to interest me more than books narrating uninteresting events. (Present Participle)
c. Books in the bookshop tend to interest me more than books with me. (Preposition)

4. a. Children interested to spoil their parents' fun really get on my nerves. (Past Participle)
b. Children crying all the time really get on my nerves. (Present Participle)
c. Children with running nose really get on my nerves. (Preposition)

5. a. Television programs designed to boost viewers' morale are very stimulating. (Past Participle)
b. Television programs showing scientific themes are very stimulating. (Present Participle)
c. Television programs on the lives of great men are very stimulating. (Preposition)

B) Composition
Expand the idea contained in the maxim

Answers to last week's questions
This line by the English Romantic poet Wordsworth depicts his conception of the child's latent capacity and knowledge. The child is in possession of the unique treasure of natural piety. He worships at the innermost shrine of heart where the grown up man is unable to enter because he has lost the purity of his mind by his ignoble association with the mundane affairs. Moreover, the child in addition to being pious, 'knows more' than the grown up man about God. The child is a 'mighty prophet, a seer blest'. Obviously, Wordsworth is emphasizing the greater innocence and wisdom of the child. The poet is placing the child in the category of a seer and not calling him an undeveloped man. Just as father deserves our respect, in the same way the child also deserves our respect rather than our contempt. We should not teach him, but have the humility to learn from him. It is in this sense that the poet Wordsorth calls the child the 'Father of the man'.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“To Allah belongeth all
That is in the heavens
And on earth.
He forgiveth whom He pleaseth
And punisheth whom He pleaseth;
But Allah is Oft-Forgiving,
Most Merciful.”

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Our content is our best having.”