Improve Your English: 294 [Archives:2006/969/Education]

August 3 2006

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say

Situations and Expressions (92)

Tribute to a husband

For a wife the husband is not only a dear partner on the life's highway, he is the anchor of her purest thoughts, the apple of her eye, and an integral part of her being. They share the life's ordeal hand-in-hand in perfect harmony.

– I love the closeness that we know, the things we're always sharing… I love you the way you've of holding and making me feel love, the way you have of smiling, just when Ineed to see a happy face, the way you have of being there when I need you… I love the way of feeling what I feel and the many ways you show, dear husband, that I mean so much to you… Ilove just knowing that you're always there, and that you love me, too.

– Having you as my husband fills me with such pride, I love the thought of growing old with you there by my side.

II. How To Say It Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1. Who are coming to your party?

2. She bought me a chocolate box for my birthday.

3. There have been three breaks -into this street this month.

4. I hope to go on to study for an M.A. in Applied Linguistics

5. Have you got one pen you could lend me?

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. 40% of people under the age of 25 are unemployed.

2. It belongs to a friend of his.

3. They went on a three months' (or 'three month') training course.

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

5. I've got two brothers-in-law.

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. Interpretation or explanation of a theory

2. Wipe or rub out words or names from a book

3. Brought to a high state of perfection

4. Make wrong doings seem less serious by finding out an excuse

5. Outward aspect or appearance

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. Tending to expand: expansive (adj)

2. From the point of view of one side only in a law case: exparte (adj)

3. Leave one's own country to live and work abroad: expatriate (n)

4. Woman who is pregnant: expectant (n)

5. Likely to be useful for a purpose: expedient (adj)

(B) Words often confused

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

1. lateral, collateral 2. brisk, brusque

3. expedition, expeditious 4. expose, expose

5. expound, impound

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. erotic (adj) (of or concerning sexual love and desire): The film evokes erotic feelings.

erratic (adj) (irregular in behavior or opinion): He is notorious for his erratic views.

2. converse (adj) (idea, statement which is opposite to another): 'He is happy but not rich' is the converse of 'He is rich but not happy'.

inverse (adj) (reversed in position, direction or relations): The growth in per capita income is in inverse proportion to the growth in population.

reverse (adj) (contrary or opposite in character or order): The reverse gear of a car is used for causing it to travel backwards.

3. concert (n) (musical entertainment): Let's visit the piano concert in the town hall.

consort (n) (husband or wife of the king or queen): The king paid a royal visit to the neighboring country with his queen-consort.

4. conscious (adj) (awake, knowing things, usually a man is conscious of something within himself e.g. guilt, weakness or strength): I'm deeply conscious of my shortcomings.

aware (adj) (having knowledge or realization. Generally a man is aware of something outside himself): I'm aware of the gravity of the situation.

5. rational (adj) (able to reason): Man is a rational being.

rationale (n) (fundamental reason): I fail to understand the rationale of your line of action.

(C ) Synonyms and Antonyms

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

1. admonition

a. to warn b. reproof

c. to counsel d. to advise

2. adumbrate

a. to give a faint shadow of

b. to shadow forth

c. to fore-shadow d. to overshadow

3. agrarian

a. relating to land

b. conserving the management of land

c. land distribution

d. equitable division of land

4. alight

a. to dismount b. descent

c. to perch d. to settle

5. ambient

a. going round b. surrounding (adj)

c. that which encompasses d. the air or sky

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

Word Synonym

1. abject wretched

2. absolve to let loose or set free

3. acme zenith

4. acquiesce quiet submission

5. abstract to draw away

(ii) Antonyms

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

1. benign

a. novice b. sympathetic

c. malignant d. beginning

2. credulous

a. innocent b. creditable

c. unbelieving d. worth

3. curb

a. help b. incite

c. restrain d. aggravate

4. conservative

a. reactionary b. orthodox

c. iconoclast d. saving

5. complaint

a. obliging b. inhabitant

c. misfit d. recalcitrant

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

Word Antonym

1. avant-garde old fashioned

2. absolve blame

3. brusque obsequious

4. benefactor beneficiary

5. brag humble

(D) Spelling

Choose the correctly spelt word

1. a. furniter b. furniture

c. forniture d. furnitur

2. a. fermentation b. farmentasion

c. fermentason d. formentation

3. a. fixtire b. fixture

c. fixter d. fixcher

4. a. finanser b. financier

c. finnancer d. fienancier

5. a. gineology b. geniology

c. genealogy d. genialogy

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. failure 2. faithfully

3. forefathers 4. familiarity 5. farewell

(E) Phrases and Idioms

Use the following phrases in sentences

1. in the bag 2. put the tin lid on

3. hang on like grim death 4. dead on one's feet

5. one good turn deserves another

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. in someone's bad book (unpopular with): After I criticized the boss, I'm in his bad books.

2. tighten one's belt (to economize greatly): After the heavy expenditure of the Ramadan month, I had to tighten my belt in the next month.

3. hit the roof (to become extremely angry): Our teacher will hit the roof if she knows that we haven't done the home work.

4. tie the knot (to get married): After years of wait at last they are going to tie the knot after Eid.

5. be dead to the world (to be deeply asleep): I called out Ramzy but he was dead to the world.

IV. Grammar and Composition


Peter Jackson has been stopped by a customs officer at the airport. Complete the dialogue by writing the customs officer's questions.

Officer: Good afternoon, sir. ))))

Peter: Jackson, Peter Jackson. It's on the passport, if you'd care to look.

Officer: No need to be like that, sir. Now ))))

Peter: From Switzerland.

Officer: ))))

Peter: No, nothing to declare. Just the 200 cigarettes and a bottle of gin.

Officer: ))))

Peter: Yes, I packed everything myself.

Officer: ))))

Peter: Yes, of course you can, but you won't find anything.

Officer: ))))

Peter: In those bottles? Um.. er I think those six bottles have got er little bit of brandy in them. Sorry.

Officer: ))))

Peter: I didn't declare them because I'd completely forgotten about them. I really am most terribly sorry.

Now write out the customs officer's questions in reported speech.

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

Indirect speech

I met a very interesting woman the other day. She said that her name was Sara and that she was from India. She further said that she had come over to Yemen about seven years before and that she had been living in Sana'a since then. She informed that when she had lived in Bombay, she had been a professor in Bombay University, but then she was working for Sana'a University and she quite enjoyed it. She was not sure if she'd go back then. She thought she might because she hadn't seen her family for a long time, and she knew they wanted her to visit them.

(B) Composition

Expand the central idea contained in the maxim


Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions


Adversity means unfavorable circumstances. When a person faces hostile circumstances, he banks upon his inner resources to meet the challenge confronting him. This results in drawing out the best reserve which hithertofore was dormant in him. That's why it is rightly said, “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” He banks upon the Immanent Will, the Cause of all causes. He prays to the Almighty to give him strength to tide over the sea of troubles and by opposing end them. Thus adversity becomes an acid test for him in the battle of life, teaching him precious lessons about life and its realities. This realization leads to self-actualization. Beaumont and Fletcher rightly observe: 'Calamity is man's true touchstone.' Byron, the celebrated Romantic poet comments: 'Adversity is the first path to truth.' Avon is right when he says: “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” Similarly, the Old Testament mentions: 'If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.' Seneca, the Greek philosopher, puts it succinctly in the following words: 'Gold is tried by fire, brave men by adversity.' He again remarks; 'Great men rejoice in adversity just as brave soldiers triumph in war.' As Franklin K. Lane puts it: 'The brave sight in all this world is a man fighting against odds.' As a dark cloud has a silver lining, so also adversity has a positive role to play in an individual's life, making him stronger and bolder as a brave warrior in the great drama of existence. In contrast, a person who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth and is surrounded by a set of congenial or favorable circumstances, mistakenly takes life to be a cakewalk, a bed of roses and is easily daunted by approaching vicissitudes of life. In the ultimate analysis, adversity that seems tough at the outset, turns out to be a great teacher. Paradoxical though it may sound, the fruits of adversity are sweet indeed.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran

“Eschew all sin, open or secret; those who earn sin

will get due recompense for their 'earnings'.

S6: A120

VI. Food for Thought

“If ye trusted in God as ye should, He would sustain you ever as He sustains the birds, which in the morning go forth hungry, and return in the evening filled.”)Prophet Muhmmed (PBUH)