Improve Your English – 262 [Archives:2004/802/Education]

December 27 2004

I. What to Say

Situations and expressions (74):

Good wishes for the New Arrivals

Arrival of a baby spreads ripples of joy, not only in the family, but all around. The little angel becomes a harbinger of a new dawn of hope and cheer which is celebrated in a befitting manner with pomp and ceremony.

– A baby boy. Congratulations! You must be very happy with a darling baby boy who's sure to be a special source of family pride and joy And there's just no doubt about it. Your son is lucky, too, because he'll get a lot of loving care from a mom and a dad like you. Very best wishes.

– It's a boy. A baby so tiny and new. He'll bring the greatest of joys to you. The years will be full of fun, love and laughter. And you'll be tidying up for ever after. May he fill your home with happiness. Congratulations!

– Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby boy. May the dear new baby who's yours to love and treasure bring you many, many years of very special pleasure.

– Wishing every happiness for you and that new little girl who can sunny up everyday with just a smile.

II. How to Say it Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1. The plane came from Sana'a and is bound to Dhaka.

2. He is very attached with his eldest son.

3. We must adapt ourselves with our environment.

4. I have made a complaint for him to the police.

5. Students commit prepared answers for memory before the exam.

Suggested answers to the previous week's questions

1. He has been acquitted of the charge of murder.

2. Whether he will be able to come or not depends on the weather.

3. He requested the director to admit his son to the institution.

4. On his way to the market, he was absorbed in his own thoughts.

5. She is always busy with her work.

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. The ability to believe two opposing ideas at the same time.

2. A person who is suffering from lack of money and work.

3. A drug that lowers the spirits or makes feelings dull.

4. Having or showing low spirits or sadness.

5. A part of the full price paid at the time of buying or delivery, with the rest to be paid later.

Suggested answers to the previous week's questions

1. A state of weakness of the mind caused by old age: dotage (n)

2. To examine something twice for exactness or quality: double-check (vt)

3. To cheat by pretending friendship: double-cross (vt and n)

4. To use language that is unnecessary and hard to understand: double-talk (vt and n)

5. A man who doesn't easily believe things: doubting-Thomas (n)

(B) Synonyms and Antonyms

1. Synonyms

Given below are some words followed by four answers. Mark the answer which is nearest to the meaning of the given word.

1. addiction

a. remainder b. long discourse

c. total sum d. slavish habit

2. exotic

a. strange or foreign b. temperamental

c. vain d. clear

3. archaic

a. awkward b. damaged

c. lame d. belonging to an earlier period

Suggested answers to the previous week's questions

Word Synonym

1. spurious not genuine

2. congenial kindred in spirit

3. abysmal bottomless

ii) Antonyms

Given below are some words followed by four answers. Tick the answer which gives the opposite meaning of the given word.

1. dexterous

a. courageous b. dumb

c. clumsy d. empty

2. guile

a. forsake b. innocence

c. paradox d. hard

3. facilitate

a. hinder b. recommend

c. serve d. correct

Suggested answers to the previous week's questions

Word Antonym

1. salient insignificant

2. redundance paucity

3. indiscretion circumspection

(C ) Words commonly confused

Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words

1. titillate, stimulate

2. national, nationalistic

3. confidante, confident

4. pall, pail, pale

5. statute, statue

Suggested answers to the previous week's questions

1. secret (adj) (to be kept from the knowledge or view of others): His criminal background is a closely guarded secret.

hidden (adj) (put or kept out sight): The future is hidden from us.

confidential (adj) (given in confidence): He was arrested for passing on highly sensitive confidential information to some secret agents.

Note: A secret information is known to someone; what is hidden may be known to none; what is confidential is known to the person(s) concerned and not to others.

2. epitaph (n) (words describing a dead person, as cut on his tombstone): We bowed our heads in respect after we read the epitaph on the martyr's grave.

epithet (n) (adjective expressing a quality): Alexander, the great, was an extraordinary warrior.

3. egoist (n) (one who always thinks about oneself and about what will be the best for oneself): An egoist as he is, he doesn't look to others interests.

egotist (n) (a person who talks too much about himself and believes that he is more important than other people): No one likes the company of an egotist.

4. exile (n) (being sent away from one's home or country, often for political reasons): Napoleon died in exile.

banish (vt) (i. send away as a punishment): The rebel was banished from the country.

(ii. put away from the mind): He banished from his mind the thought of winning the prize.

(D) Idioms and phrases

Use the following idioms in illustrative sentences

1. waste one's breath

2. change color

3. above one's head

4. keep one's finger on the pulse

5. make (someone's) hair stand on end.

Suggested answers to the previous week's questions

1. play havoc with (something) (to cause a great deal of damage to something): We cannot play havoc with students' careers.

2. blow one's own trumpet (to say good things about oneself): He is used to blowing his own trumpet in the public.

3. beat a hasty retreat (to go away very quickly): At the sight of his old enemy, he beat a hasty retreat.

4. red tape (annoying and unnecessarily strict rules and regulations): My file is caught up in the red tape and is gathering dust.

5. a drop in the bucket (a very small part of the amount that is needed): Your donations are only a drop in the bucket.

IV. Grammar and Composition

(A) Grammar

Make sentences using it's time to show that you think something should be done about the problem now or soon.

1. you / do your homework

2. he / find a job

3. they / settle down and have a family

4. we / go home

5. I / have a break

6. they / change their policy

7. you / take on new staff

8. we / buy a new TV

Suggested answers to the previous week's questions

1. When I dropped the tray of drinks all over the carpet, it was very embarrassing.

2. I was surprised to see him standing on the doorstep with his suitcase.

3. I was very embarrassed when I couldn't remember his name.

4. We were so bored with watching TV that we all fell asleep.

5. We were so fascinated by the program that we stayed up until 2 a.m. to watch it.

6. He is a very amusing man. He makes everyone laugh.

7. It was disappointing/annoying to see such a long queue at the post office.

8. I hate football. It's so boring.

9. I was very annoyed when he forgot my birthday.

10. The party was very disappointing as I had expected to see all my old friends there but they didn't turn up.

Remember: Adjectives with -ed describe a person's feelings.

Ex. He is interested in international law.

Adjectives with -ing describe the quality that causes the feeling.

Ex. The scenery of Mahweet are interesting and absorbing.

(B) Composition

Expand the central idea contained in the maxim

87: One man's meat is another's poison

The previous week's topic

86: No man is a hero to his valet

Most of us have two faces – one is a public face and the other a private face. The public face we maintain to project an agreeable or adorable image for outsiders. We take utmost care to camouflage and apply make up so as to present ourselves as an ideal self. This cover-up is necessarily skin deep. But our private self is our real self, characterized by follies, foibles, weaknesses, eccentricities and failings. There is a substantial difference between the public and private images. A person may manage to successfully keep his inner nature and character veiled or concealed from the public but it is difficult to hide his inner realities from his close associates. Thus it is a fact that the glittering impression that we form of a person in high place is, more often than not, distanced from reality. When the veil is removed, we are disillusioned. But closely familiar people are well aware of the ins and outs of such a person and can discriminate between the sham and real in him.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran

O ye who believe!

Call in remembrance the favor of Allah

Unto you when certain men formed the design to stretch out their hands against you

But (Allah) held back their hands from you. So fear Allah. And on Allah let believers

put (all) their trust.


VI. Food for Thought

“Faith in order, which is the basis of science, cannot reasonably be separated from faith in an ordainer, which is the basis of religion”. )Asa Gray