Improve Your English – 219 [Archives:2004/704/Education]

January 19 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (60):
Good wishes for success in Exam (III)

Exam is an acid-test which brings out the best in a student. It is a time of stock-taking, a time of reckoning, a time of looking ahead when a student is required to put his best foot forward. As such a student needs a strong power of concentration and an indomitable will to go that extra mile to prove his mettle.

– Emerge a winner. For a positive attitude can take you to the heights of glory. May your belief in your capabilities, coupled with good-luck, bring your way a world of success. With best wishes for your Exams.
– This comes to inspire you to scale great heights of success in your exams where you can achieve whatever you want to. Just bring out the special something from deep within you. Best of luck in your exams.
– Exams are here. It's time to prove your intelligence, dear! Show that you're the best and this wish will help you in your quest. Wishing you success in your exams.
– Look to the future and set your sights high ) that big world out there can be yours if you try. Tomorrow is waiting ) It's boundless and new ) And the future belongs to any one who has the courage to pull through.
– You can if you believe you can.
– There is a lot of pride in every thought of you and lots of love behind this wish for you. Best of luck for your exams.
– Wish you success. Some one who is as graceful and gracious as you always are, deserves a fair measure of success so that you may win contentment and pleasure day by day, hour after hour.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. There are one hundred eight students in Level Four.
2. Basam and Ramzi's computer skills are praiseworthy.
3. Those news were broadcasted from BBC yesterday.
4. Both Radi as well as Abdu are intelligent.
5. All my family members are in India.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The young man denied having stolen the watch.
2. We met yesterday, but he didn't tell me about this.
3. This room is much too small for six persons.
4. Why should the rich look down upon the poor?
5. This house is as bad as, if not worse than the other.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. The other side of the globe.
2. A person guilty of the criminal act of setting fire to property.
3. Science of cultivation of trees or shrubs.
4. Study of antiquities, especially of prehistoric period.
5. The mistake of placing something in the wrong period of time.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Allowance due to a wife from her husband on separation: alimony (n)
2. A person who considers the wellbeing and happiness of others first: altruist (n)
3. A substance in the blood tending to neutralize matter that is harmful: antibody (n)
4. The science of cultivation and maintenance of beehives: epiculture (n)
5. Animals living in water: aquatic (adj)

(B) Foreign phrases and idioms
Give the source of origin and the meaning of the following:
1. inter alia 2. lingua franca
3. locus standi 4. magnum opus
5. marriage the convenance

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. ibidem (Lat.): in the same place, thing or case
2. in camera (Lat,): in a private room
3. in toto (Lat.): in its entirety
4. impasse (Fr.): a deadlock
5. In memoriam (Lat.): to the memory of

(C) Words Commonly Confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words:
1. fist, feast 2. foist, hoist 3. kill, keel
4. fog, mist 5. flogging, flagging

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. relay (vt) (send out a broadcast program received from another station): The President's speech on the Unification day was relayed by all the radio stations.
rely (vi) (depend upon with confidence): You can rely on me for help in case of any difficulty.
rally (vt) (come together in the face of threat or danger to make new efforts): The troops rallied round their commander to devise new strategies.
2. sense (n) (power to understand and make judgments): He has a strong business sense.
sensibility (n) (delicate emotional impressions): She is endowed with a fine artistic sensibility.
3. sensible (adj) (reasonable, having or showing good sense): It's a sensible opinion.
sensitive (adj) (quick to show or feel the effect of a force): I am sensitive to cold.
4. slide (vt) (slip along): He slid along the ice.
skid (vi) (move or slip sideways of a car out of control): The car skidded off the road and fell into a gorge.
5. poach (vt) (to catch or shoot animals, birds, or fish illegally): A man was caught poaching tuskers for ivory.
pouch (n) (small bag carried in the pocket): He always carries a pouch of tobacco with him.

(C) Idioms and phrases
Illustrate the meanings of the following in sentences
1. to hang in the balance.
2. to hit the nail on the head.
3. to have the upper hand.
4. to hold water.
5. to leave no stones unturned.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. to cry over spilt milk (to feel sorry for what has already happened): There's no use crying over spilt milk.
2. to cut a sorry figure (to create a poor impression): The speaker could not answer the audience's questions and cut a sorry figure.
3. to die in harness (to die while performing one's duty): The worker died in harness; so his son was given employment in the factory.
4. to end in smoke (fail): All the government's schemes are bound to end in smoke due to the resource crunch.
5. to go to the dogs (to be ruined): Law and order will go to the dogs unless prompt action is taken to remedy the situation.

IV. Grammar and Composition
(A) Grammar
Use 'avoid' or 'prevent' to complete the following sentences
1. It was difficult to ))- catching smallpox during an epidemic.
2. Most doctors agree that it is better to ))- a diseases than to cure it.
3. People with infectious diseases should try and ))- contact with other people.
4. She was so frightened of injections that she kept ))- going to see the doctor.
5. The vaccination will ))- you from catching cholera.
6. The government is trying very hard to ))- chickenpox from spreading.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. My uncle lived in India until he was 35 and then came to England.
2. I hope that the meeting will have finished by 11.30.
3. I think I'll wait until she gets here, but if she hasn't come by nine o'clock, I'll get a taxi.
4. In the film, the detective knows who the murderer is by about half way through, but he doesn't reveal the killer's identity until right at the end.
5. Make sure that this work is completed by Monday at the latest.
6. The children are usually home by four o'clock.
7. I'm going to the States for a holiday and I'll stay there until the end of September.
8. You've been in Yemen for five years! You ought to know how to make simple conversation in Arabic by now.
9. He won't be able to move into the new house by the end of March, so he'll be staying with friends until then.
10. It was such an awful film I'm surprised you stayed until the end.

(B) Composition: Paragraph Writing
Expand the central idea embedded in the proverb

Last week's topic
One who finds himself in the position of asking for help has to be content with what the donor is pleased to offer. A person at the receiving end has no right to grumble or complain about the magnitude of munificence, however meagre it may be. After all, something he receives is better than nothing, because his hopeless condition has left him at the mercy of the giver. But the donor should not be blind to the fact that the beggar or the person in distress and, consequently in need for help, has a basic sense of dignity and self-respect. The person in the position to offer a gesture of charity has no moral right to injure his self respect even though the unfortunate victim of destiny is in a destitute condition. We can never ignore the stark reality that very often men are forced to beg because of dire circumstances which, however, cannot rob them of the right to live with a sense of dignity. As such they shouldn't be dealt with sternly, cynically or inhumanly, but with empathy and compassion. A beggar may not have the right to choose, but he doesn't deserve to be subjected to humiliation and indignity.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“Allah doth wish
To make clear to you
And to guide you into
The ways of those
Before you; and (He
Doth wish to) turn to you
(In mercy): and Allah
Is All-knowing, All-wise.”

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Love is life. And if you miss love,
you miss life.”
)Leo Buscaglia