Improve Your English: 296 [Archives:2006/994/Education]

October 30 2006

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say

Situations and Expressions (93)

Wishes for a sister (ii)

A sister is a jewel to a brother the glow of whose affection never diminishes under any calamity. She remains a perennial source of solace and bliss for him.

– Loving sister!'Anything you can do, I can do better', was our sibling motto, but when I look at the individuals we both have grown into – you surely did better. You are so sweet, sister.

– Never was a sister so loving, through and through, more understanding or more loveable than you. Never was there a sibling, who made such a dear and faithful friend. Never was there a closeness like ours, on which joy and happiness largely depend. Never was there a bond so very strong and so very special through and through, so very deep, so very true, and so very wonderful, too.

– Each bloom is happy, dear sis, for your birthday is a time to spread fragrance. And today every heart is overjoyed to wish the best for someone whose smiles matter a lot.

II. How to Say it Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1. Talib live in the house next door.

2. She plans to go to the college after she's finished the school.

3. Did you buy any tomato when you went shopping?

4. I've never seen somebody that tall before.

5. There isn't many traffic along the streets where I live.

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. Shakeer is a lawyer, like his father.

2. For most of the journey there was clear blue sky.

3. Can you shut the door after you, please?

4. When I was young, I used to collect stamps as a hobby.

5. For some reason, Tawfeek doesn't want to come on holiday with us.

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. A cheerful person who likes doing things rather than using his mind.

2. State of overflowing

3. Oozing out of drops of liquid

4. Small hole in cloth

5. Using cautious and slow strategy to wear out opposition

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. Handover a fugitive foreign criminal to the proper authorities of his own country: extradite (vt)

2. Lectures from outside a university: extramural (adj)

3. Perception of external events without the use of any of the known senses: extrasensory (adj)

4. Going beyond what is reasonable in ideas, speech, behavior: extravagant (adj)

5. Operating from the outside: extrinsic (adj)

(B) Words often confused

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

1. abuse, misuse, disuse

2. concur, conquer

3. concave, conclave

4. concurrent, recurrent

5. hospitable, hospital

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. misappropriate (vt) (apply somebody else's money to a wrong, especially one' own use): The Accountant misappropriated the Faculty's funds.

expropriate (vt) (dispossess somebody from an estate): The defaulter was expropriated from his property to recover the outstanding loan.

2. extant (adj) (manuscripts, documents still in existence): The extant manuscripts of the deceased poet have been published posthumously.

extent (n) (length' area; range): I'm amazed at the extent of his arrogance.

3. contemporary (adj) (of the time or period to which reference is being made): Contemporary trends in English poetry were discussed at length by the teacher.

extemporary (adj) (spoken or written without previous thought or preparation): Although the speaker spoke in an extemporary manner, the talk was very informative.

4. erosion (n) (wearing away): Erosion of traditional values among some sections of the youth is a matter of concern for everybody.

corrosion (n) (slow destruction by chemical action or disease): Scientists are researching how to prevent corrosion of the antique monument due to the saline climate.

5. contemptible (adj) (deserving or provoking contempt; vile, base, mean): Those who are selfish or self-centered are contemptible.

contemptuous (adj) (showing or expressing contempt): He always shows contemptuous behavior to the minority community.

(C ) Synonym and Antonyms

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

1. assiduity

a. persistence b. diligence

c. constant attention

d. unwearied in application

2. axiom

a. a self evident truth

b. a universally received principle

c. a postulate assumption

d. to consider worthy

3. baroque

a. vigorous

b. exuberant style in architecture and art

c. whimsical d. flamboyant

4. boisterous

a. wild b. noisy

c. turbulent d. stormy

5. cacophony

a. a disagreeable sound b. discord of sounds

c. harsh sounding d. jarring sound

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

Word Synonym

1. ameliorate to improve

2. annihilate to put out of existence

3. anomaly irregularity

4. askance to look with suspicion

5. arrant downright

(ii) Antonyms

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

1. debonair

a. inelegant b. safe

c. fashionable d. fresh

2. delicious

a. pleasant b. odious

c. sweet d. none of these

3. deviate

a. stray b. conform

c. abide d. change

4. diligent

a. careful b. lazy

c. intelligent d. harmless

5. emerge

a. disappear b. outcome

c. appear d. none of these

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

Word Antonym

1. cryptic manifest

2. contemptible likeable

3. distinguished ordinary

4. disparage appreciate

5. dissipate economise

(D ) Spelling

Choose the correctly spelt word

1. a. introgative b. intorogative

c. interrogative d. interogative

2. a. immediately b. immedeately

c. immedetly d. immideately

3. a. journey b. journy

c. jorney d. jerney

4. a. knowledge b. knowlege

c. knolege d. knowlidge

5. a. litterateur b. litteerature

c. literrature d. literateur

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. grammar 2. heterogeneous

3. humorous 4. harassment 5. imitate

(E ) Phrases and Idioms

Use the following phrases in sentences

1. hold our horses

2. bite (some one's) head off

3. run a mile

4. what's up with

5. be not getting any younger

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

1. pluck up courage / screw up one's courage (to force oneself to do something, although one might be feeling afraid or unwilling): She plucked up courage and asked her father's permission to go to the party.

2. teething troubles (problems or difficulties which occur at the start of something): The entrepreneur faced teething troubles to start the project.

3. like a shot (very willingly or eagerly): My wife jumped like a shot at the idea of going on the excursion.

4. hit the hay (to go to bed): My eyelids are heavy with sleep – I'm going to hit the hay.

5. take a shine to (someone/something) (to become fond of someone or something): She seems to have taken a shine to her classmate.

IV. Grammar and Composition

(A) Grammar

Verbs + prepositions

Fill in the missing verbs or prepositions in these sentences

1. On her birthday, many friends came to ) her.

2. In my dream, everyone was laughing ) me.

3. You really ) me of your brother. You look like him and you sound just like him, too.

4. She was so terrified of speaking in the debate, she was ) with fear and her hands were shaking.

5. The court passed orders to prevent him ) keeping animals again.

6. I'm not interested )) concert.

7. We might have a picnic tomorrow or we might not ) it all ) on the weather.

8. As she didn't know the town, she asked the bus driver to tell her where to ) off.

9. She ) in passing her driving test at the third attempt.

10. I have employed a nurse ) looking after my baby girl.

11. Our dog is very ) at doing tricks.

12. She got top marks in all her exams, so her parents were very ) with her.

Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions

Requests and replies

1. Would it be all right if I did my homework in the dining room?

Yes, that would be fine, as long as you clean everything before dinner.

2. Would you mind if I made myself a cup of tea?

Of course not. The kettle's just boiled.

3. Do you mind if I come back quite late this evening?

No, not at all. We'll let you have a spare key, if you like.

4. Is it Ok if my parents phone me here?

Yes, by all means. Do they know the number?

5. I was wondering if I could borrow your bicycle tomorrow.

Sorry, that's not possible. It's got a puncture.

6. Would it possible for me to invite some friends over?

I'm afraid not. We've already got some other people coming over.

Expand the central idea contained in the maxim



Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions


Most of us are susceptible to finding fault with others. When we are critical of others we tend to forget that to err is human. No one, including ourselves, is immune to making errors at one time or another. Each of us is fallible, each one of us is vulnerable. When we criticize someone we assume that we are infallible. But ironically, man's greatest fallibility is his sense of infallibility. So a wise man refrains from pointing accusing fingers at others because he realizes that all of us are errants and are in the same boat. We are metaphorically in a glass house in the sense that we are surrounded by a fragile cover which is brittle or easily breakable. If we throw a stone of criticism or accusation, we are most likely to be paid back by the same coin. Our bullet of criticism is most likely to boomerang on us and hurt us. So we should think twice before slandering or maligning any one. We should do unto others what we want to be done to us.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran

“For them will be a Home of Peace with their Lord: He will be their friend, because they practiced (righteousness).”S6: A127

VI. Food for Thought

“I am still learning.”)Michaelangelo