Improve your English – 186 [Archives:2003/638/Education]

June 2 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions (50)
Making Plans (I)

A plan consists in making arrangement for doing something. It is a supposed course of action considered in advance. Sometimes, we execute what we planned; at others, we change our plans. First, let's consider some of the expressions we use to plan out.

– He is hoping to complete construction of his house in two months (Hope)
– I am trying to pay off all my loans soon (Effort)
– I'll have the book delivered at your house latest by this afternoon (Arrangement)
– We're thinking of going to Aden during the Eid holidays. (Plan)
– I'm planning to write the lessons well in advance. (Plan)
– The teacher suggested that we would complete the lesson in two extra lectures. (Plan)
– We'll, hopefully, buy a new car this month. (Plan)
– They are proposing to pay a visit to Kawkaban and Shibam during the weekend. (Plan)
– The father intends to distribute his property among all his children. (Intention)
– What I'm going to do is to introduce the lesson through an interesting story. (Intention)
– You're to go to the station and receive the guest. (Arrangement)
– We have to finish revision of this course by the end of this week because the exam commences next week. (Intention)
– You'll have to be proficient in English before hoping to win a scholarship to England. (Precondition)
– I'm taking steps to improve my health through proper diet and regular exercise. (Action)
– We have got to eradicate the problems of illiteracy and unemployment within next five years. (Compulsive need)
– The govt have plans to set up a university at Mahweet. (Plan)

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. I have never and will never do such a thing.
2. He knows to prepare French toast.
3. Whatever happens, keep on to try.
4. It is no use to ask him – he is not interested in it.
5. He seldom or ever plays cricket.

Answers to last week's questions
1. I hear that he is not very intelligent.
2. The books ordered have not arrived.
Note: 'The books ordered' is a shortened form of “the books which were ordered”.
3. In the end he achieved his goal.
Note: “In the end” means at last or finally; 'at the end' means at the farthest point or part. Example: 'There is a restaurant at the end of this street.”
4. Her father would not let her go.
5. The train had left before I arrived.

III. Increase your Word Power
A) How to express it in one word
1. Place where rubbish, etc. may be unloaded and left.
2. Short and fat.
3. A child who is a slow learner at school.
4. Of twelve or twelfths.
5. Make a fool of someone.

Answers to last week's questions
1. Of uncertain value or meaning: dubious (adj)
2. A piece of music by two performers: duet (n)
3. A slow thinking person: dullard (n)
4. To be unable to speak because of wonder: dumbfound (vt)
5. An object made to look like and take the place of a real thing: dummy (n)

B) Foreign phrases and expressions
Use the following phrases in illustrative sentences
1. addendum; 2. amour courtois;
3. ad baculum; 4. ad hominem;
5. ad ignorantiam

Answers to last week's questions
1. ex gratia (Lat. Adj) (payment made to help someone or as a gift): An exgratia payment of $1000 was made to the next of kin of the air crash victims.
2. ex libiris (Lat. Prep) (Used before the owner's name written inside a book): “Ex libiris Prof. Mohammed” I have to return it to him in time.
3. ex officio (Lat. Adj) (someone who is made a member of an organization because of his rank or position): The President of the University is the ex officio member of the college governing council.
4. exparte (Lat. Adv.) (one sidedly): The case was decided exparte.
5. expose (Fr. N) (a story in a newspaper or on TV that shows the people the truth about something): The article is an illuminating expose on the government's corrupt practices.

C) Words Commonly Confused
Bring out the meaning differences in the following pairs of words
1. miss, amiss; 2. amen, amenable
3. ambient, ambience 4.amateur, professional
5. a.m, A.M

Answers to last week's questions
1. anonymous (adj) (without a name): He received an anonymous letter.
unanimous (adj) (showing complete agreement): The committee took a unanimous decision to support the decision of the Chairman.
2. animation (n) (liveliness): The speech was marked by a spirit of animation.
animism (n) (belief that all objects have souls): Animism is one of the principal tenets of the Hindu Philosophy.
3. ancient (adj) (belonging to time long past): Yemen was the cradle of an ancient civilization.
old (adj) (out of date): He is known for his old-fashioned ideas.
4. anarchism (n) (political theory that government and laws are undesirable): Anarchism is detrimental to the principles of lawful governance.
anachronism (n) (a person or thing that is or appears to be in the wrong period of time): “Sailing boats are an anachronism in this age of fast travel.”
5. amoral (adj) (not concerned with morals): Art is neither moral, nor immoral; it is amoral.
immoral (adj) (contrary to morality): He was expelled from the college for his immoral conduct.

D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following phrases in sentences
1. become of; 2. in all fairness;
3. awake to; 4. away with;
5. right away

Answers to last week's questions
1. at one's back (giving support or protection): He doesn't care for any body because he has the Dean at his back.
2. at the back of (behind): There is a garden at the back of the house.
3. get the axe (the ending of a plan): We were planning to organize an excursion, but it got the axe from the Dean.
4. have an axe to grind (have private interests to serve): He has an axe to grind by supporting the move.
5. far and away (very much): Work-culture in the Faculty at Mahweet is far and away better than that in many other faculties.

IV. Grammar and Composition
A) Grammar
Do as directed:
1. I go to Sana'a )) the week ends.
(Fill in the blank with the correct preposition.)
2. If they )) (play) well, they could have won the match.
(Use the correct form of the verb given in the bracket.)
3. The boy won the prize. He is the captain of the team.
(Combine the sentences using a relative pronoun.)
4. He spoke incoherently. One might think he was mad.
(Combine the sentence using 'as if'.)
5. He is innocent. It is obvious.
(Combine the sentences making one of them a noun clause)

Answers to last week's questions
1. Never before did I feel so bored in an excursion.
2. In no other country can you find people who are so friendly.
3. Not until very late in the evening did I realize that I was in the wrong party.
4. Under no circumstances shall I ever buy a second hand washing machine.
5. At no other time shall I refuse to help a friend in difficulty.
6. No sooner had I entered home feeling very tired than the phone rang.
7. Hardly ever did I have such a pleasant experience as I had during the evening walk yesterday.
8. In none of the previous holidays did it rain so much and make me feel so miserable.
9. Never again leave the house without informing me!
10. No longer will you have to pay so many taxes if I win the election.

B) Composition: Paragraph Writing
Expand the idea contained in the saying:

Answers to last week's question:

This opening sentence of Rousseau's famous “Social Contract” implies the supremacy of individual freedom and is intended to denounce the tyranny and subjugation of royal authorities Rousseau, the great French Philosopher, gave a clarion call to the people to shake off the shackles of feudalization of the then French Emperor. The sentence intends to uphold the freedom of spirit of human beings which is one of their basic rights. Man may be subjugated by the external force of authority, and be made servile but no one, not even the most powerful king or emperor, can ever control his inner self. But the saying is a half-truth. As the annals of human history tell us, man as a social animal, needs rules to lead a well-regulated life in the society. However, no ruler should misuse the laws and oppress people by his tyranny. No one should try to stifle the freedom of conviction, faith or belief of an individual.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“So lose not heart.
Nor fall into despair:
For ye must gain mastery
If ye are true in faith.”

VI. Words of Wisdom
“A beautiful face is a silent commendation.”