Improve Your English: 301 [Archives:2007/1030/Education]

March 5 2007

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say

Situations and Expressions (95)

Thank you, teacher!

A teacher is a great nourisher. He lights the candle of knowledge in and dispels the gloom of ignorance from the minds of learners. He puts the interests of the students above his personal self and relentlessly works to extend the frontiers of their mental horizon.

– It's your approach, your words, your zeal, which shines in us, as an inspiration to live up to your ideals. Here's bowing down to you for being a teacher beyond compare.

– You're truly special because you always help me to strive for the best.

– Teacher! You are my inspiration The care, the concern, the guidance you shower, the values, the morals, the ethics you instill in me always help me go ahead in the right direction. Thanks for being such an inspiration.

II. How to Say it Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1. Opening the book, the pages had been torn.

2. Waiting in the queue for half an hour, Adnan suddenly realized that he had left his wallet at home.

3. I cut me when I was chopping vegetables.

4. My sister drew herself the picture.

5. The coffee in this coffee shop is the best one in town.

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. 'Do you like your present?' 'It's just the thing (that) I was hoping for.' (or 'it's just what I was hoping for.')

2. You are free to do whatever you want.

Note: Present Simple is used to refer to the future after 'whatever')

3. You don't mean to tell me that's the man (who/that) you paid the money to?

4. The man who broke the window wants to see you.

5. I recognized Adel easily. He was the only boy (who was) wearing a red jacket.

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. Political system in which states control most of their internal affairs

2. Weak, faint, without energy

3. Pleasing manner of speaking or writing

4. Of or like a cat

5. Friendly association or companionship

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. Not easily pleased and quick to find fault: fastidious (adj)

2. Showing self-satisfaction, quiet contentment: complacence (n)

3. Condition of being very tired: fatigue (n)

4. All the animals of an era or an epoch; fauna (n)

5. Indiscreet action, remark, etc.: faux pas (n)

(B) Words often confused

Bring out the difference in meaning of the following

1. green grocer, greengrocer

2. intellect, intelligence

3. emulate, imitate

4. stationery, confectionery

5. self, shelf

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. failing (n) (a weakness or a fault of character): None is immune to little failings.

failure (n) (lack of success): All my efforts ended in failure.

2. snob (n) (person who despises person of lower social position): He is known to be a snob.

snub (vt) (treat a less senior person with cold behavior): He felt offended when he was snubbed by the official.

3. conceit (n) (too much pride in oneself): Mohammed is full of conceit.

deceit (n) (causing a person to accept as true something that is false): She is so innocent that she is incapable of deceit.

4. require (vt) (need; depend on for success): Success requires hard work.

requite (vt) (repay; give in return): You should not requite kindness with ingratitude.

5. fatalism (n) (belief that events are decided by fate): I am a strong believer in fatalism.

fatality (n) (misfortune or accident that causes death or destruction): Many lives are lost by flood, cyclone or other fatalities.

(C) Synonyms and Antonyms

(i) Synonyms

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

1. delineate

a. to mark out with lines

b. to represent by a sketch or picture

c. to draw d. to describe

2. denouement

a. unraveling of a plot or story

b. the issue

c. event d. outcome

3. devious

a. out of the way b. round about

c. winding d. erring

4. discourse

a. conversation b. reasoning faculty

c. a treatise d. a process of combat

5. dissimulate

a. to pretend b. to conceal

c. to disguise d. to dissemble

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Synonym

1. debilitate enfeeble

2. dissipate to dispel

3. decree an order by one in authority

4. deflect to turn aside

5. defray to meet the expenses

(ii) Antonyms

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

1. hunch

a. slavery b. kingly

c. empirical d. hindrance

2. humorous

a. ludicrous b. serious

c. dull d. funny

3. inborn

a. acquired b. congenial

c. outborn d. snatched

4. idiosyncrasy

a. insanity b. sanity

c. normal d. singularity

5. impede

a. hinder b. expedite

c. interfere d. stop

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Antonym

1. grip release

2. gratuity remuneration

3. gullible shrewd

4. honorary professional

5. holiness profanity

(D) Spelling

Choose the correctly spelt word

1. a. scintilating b. scintillating

c. skintilating d. scientilating

2. a. sujjestion b. sugestion

c. suggestion d. suggeson

3. a. tomarow b. tomorrow

c. tomorrou d. tumorrow

4. a. trenquility b. tranquility

c. tranquillity d. tranqiuility

5. a. tapestry b. tapeistry

c. tepestry d. tapestrie

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. recipient

2. satellite

3. skeleton

4. sovereignty

5. spree

(E) Phrases and idioms

Use the following phrases in sentences

1. turn tail

2. cook someone's goose

3. on edge

4. be music to someone's ears

5. run (something) to earth

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. upto one's ears in (something) (deeply involved in something): I have no time to spare as I am upto my ears in finishing the assignment

2. play a losing game (to attempt to do something in which one is more likely to be defeated):When he decided to contest in the election against the President, he knew that he was playing a losing game.

3. lead (someone) a merry dance (to cause someone much unnecessary trouble or inconvenience): He is leading us a merry dance by not deciding whether to sell the house or not.

4. The pot calling the kettle black (used to describe someone who is criticizing another person for doing something that he/she also does): Mohammed blames Hussein for being irresponsible but that's the pot calling the kettle black – he always avoids responsibility.

5. a near thing (the act of having narrowly avoided an accident or punishment): You should drive carefully – that was a near thing when you overtook that bus.

IV. Grammar and Composition

A. Grammar

Use one of the following words in its correct form in sentences 1 – 10

contentment delight contempt

boredom shock pleasure

disgust happiness anger

astonishment joy amazement

surprise approval fear

amusement sadness

1. To my ____, he arrived unexpectedly on the doorstep with a huge bunch of flowers.

2. Children of all ages can enjoy themselves in ____ parks.

3. During the school holidays he suffered from intense ____.

4. Her parents happily gave their ____ when she told them she wanted to marry Jim.

5. He raised his fist in ____ at the driver who had just crashed into him.

6. The death of a loved one causes great ____.

7. Many people suffer from a ____ of heights.

8. It gives me great ____ to present you with this prize for achievement.

9. For many people a simple life is the best way to find true ____.

10. He was a very superior man, who always treated other people with ____.

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. Mujahed: 'I wish I didn't sell my house.'

2. Rawia: If only I didn't tell my boss yesterday what I thought of him.

3. Adel: I wish I didn't commit the offence so that I won't have to be in prison.

4. Nora: I wish I had prepared myself more efficiently so as to succeed in the interview.

5. Jamal: I wish I hadn't bought the cheap old car.

6. Mohammed: I wish I hadn't ventured into the drive without being fully familiar with the route.

B. Composition

Expand the central idea contained in the maxim


Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions


It is better to accomplish a task even though it is late than to give it up on the grounds of delay. When we propose to do something, we are not always in control of all the relevant factors. For some unforeseen reason there may be some delay. Some people in such circumstances become impatient and tend to abandon the attempt altogether which is not advisable. All may not be lost. Instead of losing hope one should unleash efforts in the right direction and may even achieve success at the nick of moment. A positive attitude, an optimistic mindset culminates in a positive result, notwithstanding some delay in the beginning. Examples can be multiplied from our day-to-day life. We sometimes give an appointment to meet someone; but if we are delayed for some unforeseen contingency, instead of canceling the appointment we should still try and make it. The poet may say “In delay there lies no plenty ' but in actual life sometimes when delay becomes unavoidable, one should still give it a try, although one should try to keep to the time and commitment at all costs.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran

“Your Lord is full of mercy all-embracing; but from people in guilt never will His wrath be turned back.” )S6:A147

VI. Food for Thought

It is better to deserve an honor and not get it, than to get one, and not deserve it.” )Mark Twain