Improve Your English – 188 [Archives:2003/642/Education]

June 19 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions (51)
Plans that have been changed

There is a saying, “Man proposes, but God disposes”. Sometimes our future agenda of action is modified, changed or totally rejected, depending on the contingencies of a new set of situations which it was not possible on our part to predict at the time of making plans.
Let's study a group of phrases that we normally use to indicate our changed plans. Notice, the contrast between the two parts of the sentence signaled by the use of the conjunction 'but/yet'.

– I was thinking of joining the Faculty of Khawlan, but now I've decided to continue at Mahweet.
– Ahmed hoped to get his Ph.D. award by the end of March this year, but now he has to wait longer.
– They had hoped to get married soon, but their relationship seems to have taken an unfortunate turn.
– We were planning to hold literary competitions in the Faculty, but the Head's attitude forced us to abandon the idea.
– They had planned to buy a new car, but the hike in cars prices made them give up the plan.
– The govt. was proposing to introduce a bill on electoral reforms, but the war nipped the plan in the bud.
– He had proposed to continue in his job for sometime, but the sudden illness of his son forced him to forget all about it.
– I was intending to help him, but my own financial stringency didn't permit me to do so.
– Although he had intended to go abroad, yet the non availability of visa made him alter his plan.
– I was going to help him in a big way, but later I realized he didn't deserve it.
– He was to have fulfilled his part of the commitment yet some unforeseen circumstances constrained him to withdraw from it.
– Contrary to his previous future plans, he was bound to join politics and became an MP.

II. Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. You should keep your hands clear
2. I bought a book at YR 600
3. Seyoun is further than Sana'a
4. They played football under the rain
5. The number of students are increasing every year.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. I, and thousands who think like me will not accept this.
2. Wanted immediately by company executive three bedroomed house within easy reach of the station.
3. There were a few interesting pages, but most of the book was boring
4. A case of empty coke bottles was put out after the party
5. Have you finished with the DHP?

III. Increase your word power
A) How to express it in one word
1. Fixed or settled in advance
2. Reduction to an earlier rate
3. Delightfully pretty and often small
4. Sold at a price below the standard charge
5. The scientific study of the way in which information is moved about and controlled in the brain

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Something exactly like: duplicate (adj.)
2. Likely to last for a long-time: durable (adj.)
3. Threats illegally used to compel someone: duress (n.)
4. Time just before it gets quite dark: dusk (n.)
5. Articles on which customs duties must be paid: customable (adj.)

B) Foreign phrases and expressions
Give the meanings in English of the following foreign words and expressions
1. biblio pole; 2. bibliogony; 3. bibliolatry;
4. bibliomania 5. bibliophile

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. ad populum (Lat. the argument which is intended to rouse the feelings of the crowds): The rhetoric and ad populum of the speaker was greeted with applause
2. ad vercundiam (Lat. an argument so constructed that the other person has to make a cautious reply in order to avoid being indecorous'): Participants in a debate competitions should be skilled at ad vercundiam
3. ars est celare artem (Lat.) (“art is to conceal art” implying that the best art is a spontaneous expressions of powerful feelings)
4. art nouveau (Fr. new art): During the period from 1890's up to 1914 art nouveau was widely in vogue in Europe and America
5. biblioclasm (GK) (the destruction of a book or books for religious, ideological or other reasons): Many a rare scholarly treatise has passed into oblivion due to the blind biblioclasm of certain hardcore fanatics.

C) Words commonly confused
Bring out the meaning differences in the following pairs of words
1. defy, deify; 2. repatriate, expatriate;
3. bear, endure; 4. stand, tolerate;
5. demonstrate, remonstrate

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. altar (n) (a raised platform on which things are offered to a god): Patriots don't hesitate to sacrifice their lives on the altar of the country's freedom.
alter (vt) (to become different): He has altered a lot since 1 last saw him.
2. alternate (adj.: happening by turns): The doctor comes to this clinic on alternate days.
alternative (adj) (a cause of action taken instead of another): You have several alternatives to choose from.
3. alteration (n.: the act of becoming different): I have given my coat for alteration.
altercation (n) (quarreling): An altercation between the two groups led to a violent clash
4. allusion (n) (something spoken indirectly): The poem is full of Biblical allusions.
illusion (n) (condition of seeing things wrongly): If you don't have illusions, you may not be disillusioned.
5. allow (vt) (to let someone do something without opposing them): Please allow me to explain myself
permit (vt) (to allow, especially by a formal written or spoken agreement): No one is permitted to bring a dog inside the lecture hall

D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following phrases in sentences
1. appeal to; 2. worlds apart;
3. apart from; 4. anybody's guess;
5. at any rate

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. avail someone nothing (to be of no use to someone): Slandering others will avail you nothing.
2. under the auspices of (with the help and support of ): Under the auspices of the Dean, a study tour was arranged by the English Department.
3. augur well (to be a good or bad sign of): Incidents of violence and kidnapping don't augur well for the tourism industry.
4. for aught I know (for all know): For aught I know, he is very honest and hardworking.
5. attune to (to be used to or ready for): You should be attuned to the rapid changes taking place in the society.

IV. Grammar and composition
A) Grammar
Fill the blanks in the following sentences choosing the most appropriate word
angry, ecstatic, furious, moving, taken aback, upset, amazement
1. Last night I went to see a play which was rather .
2. As I came out of the theater I saw Hamid who I had thought was in India.
Imagine my .. when he told me that he had got married to my student Aziza
3. I asked him how he was, and he said that he was .
4. When I expressed my . he was rather . because he thought I was jealous
5. This made me . because I was never jealous
6. When he saw how .. I was, he apologized

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. I always make a lot of mistakes when I speak English
2. If I do my homework everyday, my English will improve
3. Let's go to bed now. We can do the dishes in the morning
4. I want to do an exam in French. Do you know where I can do one?
5. You shouldn't make a noise when the lecture is going on

B) Composition: Paragraph writing
Expand the idea contained in the maxim:

Suggested answers to the last week's question


it is general human instinct to harm someone who harms us. This is called retaliation. Non-retaliation is seen as a sign of weakness. But we should remember what Francis Bacon, a famous English essayist says on revenge. He says, ” Revenge is a kind of wild justice”. Brutal retaliation or the principle of a tooth for a tooth, and an eye for an eye is the natural tendency of savage beasts, it is not becoming of civilized human beings. Great thinkers have advised us to rise above this animal instinct and be noble enough to forgive the wrong- doer despite his hurting us. Instead we should set an example by being good to him and spreading the culture of love. Then in course of time the one who harmed us is likely to realize his folly and repent for his misdeeds. In this way we can succeed in taking revenge on that person, not in a savage manner, but in a noble way.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“Nor can a soul die
Except by Allah's leave,
The term being fixed
As by writing”.
S.3A. 145

VI. Words of wisdom
Artists like Greek gods are only revealed to one another.
) Oscar Wilde