Improve Your English – 244 [Archives:2004/754/Education]

July 12 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions (68)
Friendship Day (V)

It takes ages for forging a lasting friendship; but losing a friend takes no time. It's therefore incumbent upon a person to carefully consistently and conscientitiously work towards consolidating friendship and strengthening the bond of love and comradeship. One should do or say nothing that might adversely affect the relationship.

– Friends share their dreams with one another. We've clicked our fingers together, breaking into melodies unveiled each other's hopes and dreams, smiled and wondered when they would come true Time performs its ritual and changes a lot; but our friendship is the same, even better when the foundation is strong and as lovely as ever.
– Because you're always willing to lend a helping hand, because you listen carefully and try to understand, because I know you'll be there when I need you by my side, because you are someone I can trust and in whom I can confide, because you try to make me smile when I'm feeling blue, and because you share and care and give so very freely, too because you're someone on whom I can depend, you're the kind of person, who makes the most special kind of friend.
– A true friend lies, only to save a dear companion and always strikes the right note to set the mood swinging with joy. He is one of a kind who denies to be selfish and is helpful in difficult times. A true friend is rare and I'm lucky to have you always.
– Friend! I promise to care about you and to be someone you can really count on, to listen to you, to try my best to understand and to do whatever I can to help you find the answers you need to cheer you on, to encourage you to become everything you can be and to remind you that you're very special to this world and to me.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. The temperature of our environment is becoming dangerously hot.
2. Aisha always believes that her brothers were treated more favorably than her.
3. The guard commanded the prisoner to sit down in an angry voice.
4. He realized that his watch was slow with a shock and that he would be late for his appointment while he was cleaning his teeth.
5. This house needs painting badly.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Ahmed Azzan is the runner who I think will win.
2. Gloria was the star whom the crowd flocked to see.
3. I have seen the traveling arrangement, and you and we are starting at different times.
4. The height of the building is 40 meters. Or, the building is 40 meters high.
5. The rainfall of Cherapunji in India is greater than that of any other place.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. Languages that combine simple words into compounds without change of form or loss of meaning.
2. The scientific study of soil and the growing of crops.
3. A military officer who helps an officer of higher rank in his duties.
4. A place where military air crafts land and take of.
5. The movement of air over the surface of an air craft in flight.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Pleasant and easy to talk to: affable (adj)
2. Be engaged to marry: affiance (vt) (usually passive)
3. Project for planting large areas with trees: afforestation (n)
4. Business to be discussed at a meeting: agenda (n)
5. Person employed to find suspected criminals: agent provocateur (n)

(B) Words and phrases of foreign origin
Give the source of origin and meaning of the following:
1. paradox 2. paragraph 3. parallelism
4. paraphrase 5. parataxis

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. pamphlet (Gk 'pamphilos', 'beloved of all'): Small paper-covered book, especially on a question of current interest.
2. panegyric (Gk 'pertaining to public assembly'): A speech or poem in fulsome praise of an individual, institution or a group of people.
3. pantomime (Gk. 'all interior'): It is an exotic and spectacular entertainment particularly suitable for children.
4. parable (Gk 'side separation'): A short and simple story, related to allegory and fable, which points a moral.
5. paradigm (Gk 'example'): A pattern, exemplar or model.

(C ) Words Commonly Confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. acuity, equity
2. affection, affectation
3. confess, acknowledge
4. admittance, admission
5. besides, beside

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. ghastly (adj) (causing horror or fear): She fainted at the sight of the ghastly accident.
ghostly (adj) (looking like a ghost): His ghostly appearance terrified everyone.
2. compulsion (n) (bringing about by force): He had to sign the statement under compulsion.
obligation (n) (condition that indicates what action ought to be taken): I am under contractual obligation to teach in Sana'a University.
3. conscious (adj) (awake, aware): We should be conscious of our rights and duties.
conscientious (adj) (guided by one's moral instincts): President Saleh is a conscientious ruler.
4. handsome (adj) (of fine appearance, especially of men): He is a handsome fellow.
beautiful (adj) (giving pleasure or delight to the mind or senses): She has a beautiful face.
5. choir (n) (company of persons trained to sing together): The hymns were sung by a choir.
coir (n) (fiber from coco-nut shells, used for making ropes, matting, etc.): Coir matting is a flourishing industry in India.

(C) Idioms and Phrases
Use the following idioms in illustrative sentences
1. do one's bit
2. put the cart before the horse
3. have one foot in the grave
4. feel at home
5. fall flat on one's face

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. in the soup (in serious trouble): He is in the soup after the act of forgery came to light.
2. a bone of contention (a cause of argument): Possession of the ancestral house is a bone of contention between the two brothers.
3. cry one's eye out (to weep bitterly): When she got the news of her failure in the exam, she cried her eye out.
4. a dark horse (a person about whose talents, abilities, etc. little is known): Our team is rather a dark horse and we don't know how it's going to perform in the tournament.
5. let the cat out of the bag (to reveal the secret): We wanted to give our friend a surprise, but his careless slip let the cat out of the bag.

IV. Grammar and Composition
(A) Grammar
Finish each of the following sentences in such a way that it means exactly the same as the sentence printed before it
1. The exam was much easier than I had expected.
I had expected ))-
2. She sprained her ankle and she broke her wrist as well. Not only ))-
3. I'm going to get someone to make some new curtains. I'm going to have ))-
4. Rania felt upset because they hadn't invited her to the wedding. Rania felt upset because she ))-
5. 'It was wrong of you to stay out so late,' said Jamal. Jamal told his son that he ))-
6. People say Chinese food is the best in the world. Chinese food ))-
7. Please don't let me forget to go to the dentist.
Could you ))-
8. It is three weeks since I saw Mansour. I ))-
9. 'Wouldn't it be a good idea to apply for a job with the Yemen Times? Mujib said to me.
Mujib suggested ))-
10. The bank manager will only give me a loan if I am sure that I can repay it. The bank manager won't ))-

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. That's a lovely photo of you. When did you have it taken?
2. These clothes are very dirty. Do you know where I can have them dry cleaned?
3. I think your car needs a bit of attention. When was the last time you had it serviced?
4. Their house will be much warmer this winter because they have central heating installed.
5. He couldn't eat properly because he has his back teeth taken out.

(B) Composition
Expand the central idea contained in the maxim
72. If you would have peace,
be prepared for war

Last week's topic
71. If wishes were horses,
beggars could ride them
It is very easy to indulge in wishful thinking and build castles in the air. But it is very hard to realize any of them without cultivation of hard work or sustained efforts. If one wishes to achieve something great and good, mere imagination wouldn't help. One needs to properly plan it out and work consistently with an unconquerable will, a strong determination and a keen foresight to creatively transform the vision to a concrete reality. Annals of world history are replete with glorious examples of men of vision who have left behind footsteps on the sands of time by dint of their relentless endeavor. Had it been easy to achieve one's dreams, any one would have the wishes fulfilled. But success is not a cake walk. Being merely an armchair philosopher lost in the ivory tower of dreams leads one nowhere. What's needed is a vision coupled with an iron will and a concrete action plan.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“If ye come to a friendly
Understanding, and practice
Self-restraint, Allah is
Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful

VI. Food for Thought
“Life is never so short, but there is always time for courtesy” )Emerson