Improve Your English: 293 [Archives:2006/961/Education]

July 3 2006

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say

Situations and expressions (91)

Mother's Day

Mother)the word conjures up an image of unbounded love and compassion. She's the one who is an unfailing source of solace and comfort in the encircling gloom.

– She takes compliments to heart like the queen that she is; she's able to hope when things seem hopeless. She is a mother who in her very essence is a gift to the world. For the loving and strong person that you are, and for all the thoughtful things that you've done I love you, mom.

– From childhood till date, there has never been a moment, never been an occasion at all, when I have needed you and you have not been there. Even if I'm to express how much I love you and want the very best of you, words would stand mute.

– Thanks for always being there, showing me how much you care, expressing your love and affection, being more of a friend, and a wonderful confidante, someone I can turn to anytime. I would like to express my appreciation for all that you mean to me for the beauty you hold within.

II. How To Say It Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1. 14% of people under the age of 25 is unemployed

2. It belongs to a friend of him.

3. They went on a three months training course.

4. We put our empty bottles in a bottles bank for recycling.

5. I've got two brother-in-laws.

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. The equipment was faulty.

2. The company is now doing a lot of business abroad.

3. The contrast between Yemen and other countries in the Arab world is striking.

4. The staff of the company are holding a meeting to discuss the pay offer.

5. 120 miles is too far to travel.

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. Tending to expand

2. From the point of view of one side only in a law case

3. Leave one's own country to work abroad

4. Woman who is pregnant

5. Likely to be useful for a purpose.

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. Going out or away of many people: exodus (n)

2. Because of one's office or position: ex-officio (adj)

3. Free somebody from blame or responsibility: exonerate (vt)

4. Much too high or great a price: exorbitant (adj)

5. Foreign or unusual in style, fashions, words, ideas: exotic (adj)

(B) Words often confused

Bring out the difference in meaning of the following pairs of words

1. erotic, erratic

2. converse, inverse, reverse

3. concert, consort

4. conscious, aware

5. rational, rationale

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. collapse (vi) (break to pieces): The roof of the house collapsed suddenly.

lapse (n) (slip of the memory, tongue, or pen): I couldn't recall his name. Sorry for the memory lapse.

2. woolen (adj) (made of wool): I have a good range of woolen clothes.

woolly (adj) (looking like wool): She has a head of woolly hair.

3. search (vt) (examine, look carefully at, through, or into): The vigilance officers searched the official's house.

research (n) (investigation undertaken in order to discover new facts, get additional information): Ismail proposes to carry on research into Arabic and English syntax.

4. road (n) (a thoroughfare, usually going from one city to another): The road from Sana'a to Mahweet is fully asphalted.

street (n) (town or village road with houses on either side): I live in Television street.

lane (n) (a narrow street or a narrow country road with hedges on the sides): Our house is situated in Al-Jeraf lane.

avenue (n) (a road with trees on either side): Park Avenue is the city center here.

(C ) Synonyms and Antonyms

(i) Synonyms

Choose the word that is closest in meaning to the one given at the top

1. abject

a. cast away b. mean

c. worthless d. wretched

2. absolve

a. to let loose or set free b. to pardon

c. to acquit d. to accomplish

3. acme

a. the top b. highest point

c. the culmination d. zenith

4. acquiesce

a. to rest satisfied

b. not making any opposition to a situation

c. to assent d. quiet submission

5. abstract

a. to draw away separate

c. to remove quietly

d. a thing existing only in India

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

Word Synonym

1. enunciate to state formally

2. propitiate to appease

3. invidious malicious

4. edifice imposing building

5. siesta short nap

(ii) Antonyms

Choose the word that is most opposite in meaning to the one given at the top

1. avant garde

a. up to date b. old-fashioned

c. rise-up d. boasting

2. absolve

a. free b. blame

c. absorb d. total

3. brusque

a. sweep b. sudden

c. obsequious d. immediate

4. benefactor

a. beneficent b. benediction

c. beneficiary d. none of these

5. brag

a. show off b. proud

c. loud d. humble

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

Word Antonym

1. erudite ignorant

2. alienate endear

3. accomplice opponent

4. apocalyptic concealed

5. ardent casual

(D ) Spelling

Choose the correctly spelt word

1. a. failar b. faliar

c. failure d. feluore

2. a. fathfully b. faithfully

c. faithfuly d. faithfuli

3. a. fourfathers b. forfathers

c. forefathers d. forefaders

4. a. fammiliarity b. familliarity

c. familiarrity d. familiarity

5. a. fairwell b. fairwal

c. fairwel d. farewell

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. etiquette 2. epilogue

3. euphemism 4. eclipse

5. fahrenheit

(E ) Phrases and Idioms

Use the following phrases in sentences

1. in (someone's) bad books

2. tighten one's belt

3. hit the roof

4. tie the knot

5. be dead to the world

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. not to be able to make head nor tail of (something) (to be unable to understand something): I was not able to make head nor tail of the lecture.

2. come clean (to tell the truth about something): Hashid decided to come clean and admit having stolen the camera.

3. have a face like a fiddle (to look unhappy): Mahmud had a face like a fiddle when the exam results were announced.

4. ruffle (someone's feathers) (to upset or annoy someone): Faiz's disobedience and bad manners ruffled his father's feathers.

5. put heads together (to discuss something): The university officials put their heads together to raise the standards of teaching and learning.

IV. Grammar and Composition

A. Grammar

Reported speech

Rewrite the passage below using reported speech

'My name is Sara, and I'm from India. I came over to Yemen about seven years ago and I've been living in Sana'a since then. When I lived in Bombay, I was a Professor in Bombay university, but now I'm working for Sana'a university and I quite enjoy it. I'm not sure if I'll go back now. I think I may because I haven't seen my family for a long time, and I know they want me to visit them.'

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

Phrases Meaning

'Are you going to (do)?' intention

'Is it going to (do)?' probability

'Will you (do?)' request

'Will you be (doing)?' something that will be in progress in the future

Sentences using the expressions above

1. Ask someone to open a window: 'Will you open a window?'

2. Ask if someone has made arrangements for attending the next committee meeting: 'Will anyone be attending the next committee meeting?'

3. Ask if there is any probability of its raining this afternoon: 'Is it going to rain this afternoon?'

4. Ask if someone intends to visit the theatre tonight: 'Is anyone going to visit the theatre tonight?'

5. Ask if someone intends to tell the truth: 'Is anyone going to tell the truth?'

6. Ask if there is any likelihood of interest rates rising again: 'Are the interest rates rising again?'

7. Ask someone to post a letter for you: 'Will you post a letter for me?'

8. Ask if someone has arranged to go abroad for their holiday this year: 'Will you be going abroad for your holiday this year?'

(B) Composition

Expand the central idea contained in the maxim


Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions



This maxim implies that human beings are mere puppets in the hands of an inexorable force which we term as divinity. We are mere servants of Allah, the most compassionate and the most gracious. His will is supreme which guides our path. 'Not a moth is cloven in vain'. However a human being boasts of himself, it is Allah's dispensation that comes to pass in a human being's life. We are only instruments to translate His commandments. So a wise person sees Allah's invisible presence in everything and feels His inscrutable ways everywhere. As such, he does not perceive himself as the 'doer' but an humble and a faithful carrier of His commands. He says 'May your wish be fulfilled, not mine.' In the ultimate analysis, it is He who is the Transcendent Lord of the Universe, the Cause of all causes, and the One who shapes our destiny. So we should cast off our ego as the doer, achiever or sufferer and surrender to His immanent will.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran

“Thy Lord knoweth best who strayeth from His Way. He knoweth best those who are rightly guided.” S6: A117

VI. Food for Thought

“Love is an energy. It can neither be created nor destroyed. It just is. And always will be.”

)Bryce Courtney