Improve Your English – 216 [Archives:2003/698/Education]

December 29 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (59):
Expressing condolence and comfort (II)

Expressing condolence is an act of empathising. It is not merely a good-will gesture. It is much more than that. It is, in fact, part of a humanitarian obligation on our part to lend an emotional anchorage to the one who has suffered an engimatic and irreparable loss of the dear departed. As such, our words of condolence must reflect our genuine fellow-feeling, a sense of indulgent identification with the bereaved and a sincere projection of our grief at this crucial moment.

– May the memories you cherish bring you strength and comfort in this time of sorrow. Deepest sympathy.
– Thinking of you with compassion. There's a great sadness in parting with someone who's very dear and so close to your heart. May you find comfort in knowing that others sympathise with you and deeply care. May all the warm thoughts that are coming your way console you and help you see through. And may it bring comfort to know there are others who care very much about you.
– I'm really very sorry from the depth of my heart and I mean it.
– Deepest sympathy. There are times when every one has to traverse the path of sorrow… In this hour we're with you, with heart-felt wishes, for a hope-filled TOMORROW.
– An expression of sincere sympathy. memories of the dear departed still cast their gentle glow, to grace our days and light our paths wherever we may go. May your cherished memories of the one, who meant so much to you help you through the days ahead and bring you comfort, too.
– With sympathy and warm thoughts. Memories of one so dear will remain with you throughout the years, providing comfort in your sorrow as you face each new tomorrow.
– May tender thoughts of your loved one live forever within your heart and blossom into the most beautiful of memories. You're in our thoughts.
– God knows your sorrow. And He will always be with you in days ahead. So place your trust in Him, for faith will be your guiding light that Time can never dim, and through His mercy, you'll find that He will lead the way to His own.
– For as long as we remember, for as long as we still care, we'll never really part with those whose love we always shared. So may the cherished memories of the loved one you held dear bring comfort to each one of you and keep your loved one near. Our sincerest sympathies to you and your family.
– A few words I'm sending you in all sincerety to assure you my deep and heartfelt sympathy. When sorrow comes to those we love, we know not what to say. Words are inadequate for our feelings to convey. May God in His tender mercy, lighten the burden of your sorrow and give you comfort, to face with fortitude each new tomorrow.

II. How To Say It Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. If he will apologize, he will be excused.
2. I shall be happy, if you will tell me the truth.
3. Much of your success and prosperity in life depend on your sincere efforts.
4. Many a men have fallen a victim to temptation.
5. I who is a teacher lead a simple life.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The question of human cloning is still hanging in fire.
2. You should keep yourself abreast of the happenings around you.
3. Learning by rote is not real learning.
4. Can you lay aside your work for some time.
5. He talks as if he were my boss.

III Increase Your Word Power.

A. How to express it in one word

1. That which cannot be conquered.
2. That which cannot be wounded.
3. That which cannot be believed.
4. That which can be easily set on fire.
5. That which cannot be avoided.
6. That which cannot be expressed in words.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. That which cannot be reconciled: irreconcilable (adj.)
2. That which cannot be recovered: irrecoverable (adj.)
3. That which cannot be seen: invisible (adj.)
4. That which cannot be read: illegible (adj.)
5. That which cannot be heard: inaudible (adj.)

B. Foreign phrases and expressions
Give the sources of origin and the meaning of the following.
1) etranger 2) et tu, Brute! 3) euge
4) eureka 5) excelsior

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1) espouse (Fr.): Wife, bride
2) errare est humanum (Ltd.): To err is human.
3) ethos (Gk.): Permanent character
4) etoile (Fr.): A stranger, a foreigner
5) estancia (Spanish): A mansion

B. Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1) fair, fare 2) pain, pane 3) soul, sole
4) main, mane 5) read, reed

Suggested answers to last week's question
1) canvass (Vi.) (go from person to person and ask for votes): Despite rigorous canvassing, he was defeated in the election.
canvas (n.) (strong, coarse cloth): Canvas shoes are very light wear.
2) former (adj.) (of an earlier period): Prof Singh is my former colleague at Mahweet.
farmer (n.) (man who owns or manages a farm): He is a wealthy farmer.
3) mail (n.) (system of collecting, carrying, and delivering letters): I send letters to India by airmail.
male (adj.) (opposite of female): There is a male toilet in the corner.
4) preposition (n.) (word used with a noun or pronoun to mark its relation with another word): Mastery of the correct use of prepositions in English is a difficult task.
proposition (n.) (statement, assertion): What you suggest seems to be an interesting proposition.
5) root (n.) (that part of the plant which is normally in the soil): Roots sustain a plant.
rout (Vt.) (to defeat completely and drive away): They routed the enemy.
route (n.) (a way planned or followed): Learners should follow the learning route confidently

(C) Idioms and phrases
Illustrate the meaning of the following phrases in sentences.
1) bad blood
2) book worm
3) a fair weather friend.
4) to add fuel to the fire
5) to be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. a cold reception (a welcome lacking affection or warmth): He received a cold reception at the party.
2. black sheep (bad person): He is the black sheep of our family.
3. a bird's eye view (a general view): In the introductory lecture the speaker gave a bird's eye view of the subject.
4. a burning question (question keenly discussed): The results of the election are a burning question at present.
5. a bed of roses (easy and comfortable): Life is not a bed of roses, it's, indeed,a vale of tears.

IV. Grammar and Composition
A. Grammar
Find the word in each list, which does not belong.
1. dash stroll race hurry
2. vicious cruel violent tender
3. gentle stern harsh severe
4. simple stupid cunning foolish
5. reluctant unwilling hesitant eager
6. ruthless merciful fierce hard-hearted
7. sturdy fragile delicate breakable
8. upset trouble hurt carefree
9. innocent suspicious blameless honest
10. furious surprised mad angry

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The boy asked the teacher if he could open the window.
2. The driving instructor asked me to make sure that I look in the mirror before turning right.
3. Janet told her sister not to tell any one about the news because she wanted to keep it a secret.
4. Henry advised his wife not to drive so fast.

B. Composition: Paragraph Writing
Expand the central idea contained in the proverb


Last week's topic

The old people who are at the zenith of their life are mellow in experience and wisdom. They may be physically weak and ailing; yet they are mature enough and represent a rich reservoir of practical outlook on life. They have deep perceptions about all aspects of life which are like a torch in the encircling darkness of gloom. So younger generations should not ignore or disrespect them, but cultivate a proper regard for them because their advice is embedded in their experience that has withstood the acid test of life. Similarly, people of the new generation shouldn't pooh pooh our age-old customs, traditions and practices as dogma or superstition. Each of our traditional beliefs has been timetested and holds out a rich promise for us. Of course, it would be stupid to over-generalize and apply the maxim inappropriate contexts. Yet, without any fear of exaggeration, it can be said that to respect and honor the old is more precious than gold itself.

V. Pearls From The Holy Quran
“Of no effect is the repentance
Of those who continue
To do evil, until death

“Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I will move the earth.”
) Archimedes (Ancient Greek mathematician/physicist/287-212 BC)