Improve Your English: 302 [Archives:2007/1046/Education]

April 30 2007

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say

Situations and Expressions (95)

Thank you, teacher! (ii)

The shaping spirit of the teacher leaves its indelible impress on the mind and character of the learner. The teacher chisels out the best out of the learner by the Midas touch of his magnetic personality and leaves him armed to confront the challenges in the battle of life.

– The homeworks, the classworks, the lessons, the tests… everything feels so simple and easy all because of you. It's great to have you as a teacher.

– I think of you as the bright sun illuminates the whole world, yet is able to remain as bright and brilliant as ever. From one of those who has been touched by your sunny presence, here's a heartfelt 'Thank you.'

– Teacher! You're one of a kind. You're a leader, a visionary, a disciplinarian, a friend, a philosopher, a guide and, of course, a great teacher.

II. How to Say it Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1- There are a number of reasons I don't like him, but his meanness is the main.

2- The car's in good condition. They told so at the garage.

3- Nobody seemed to enjoy Abdullah's singing-but I did.

4- Amel was late, as I predicted she might.

5- ” Will you see Marwa when you're in Moscow?”

” Yes, I hope.”

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. Opening the book, I noticed that the pages had been torn.

Note: The subject of the main clause should be the same as the implied subject of the -ing clauses, 'I'.)

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

3. I cut myself when I was cutting vegetables.

4. My sister drew the picture herself.

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

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. Person who has committed a serious crime

2. Movement for recognition of the claims of women for rights

3. Place where there is a boat or aircraft that carries people or goods across a river, channel, etc.

4. Man (woman) to whom one is engaged to be married

5. Complete failure, breakdown, in something attempted

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. Political system in which states control most of their internal affairs: federation (n)

2. Weak, faint without energy: feeble (adj)

3. Pleasing manner of speaking or writing: felicity (n)

4. Of or like a cat: feline (adj)

5. Friendly association or companionship: fellowship (n)

(B) Words often confused

Bring out the difference in meaning of the following

1. last, latest

2. spatial, special

3. smile, laugh

4. warranty, warrantee

5. voter, votary

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. green grocer (n) (an inexperienced grocer. Green in this sense means inexperienced or ignorant): A green grocer as he is, he quoted a wrong price for the article.

greengrocer (n): A greengrocer sells fresh vegetables and fruit.

2. intellect (n) (the cultivated product of the basic power of the brain): Intellect distinguishes man from animals.

intelligence (n) (mental ability): She showed remarkable intelligence in taking the right step at the right moment.

3. emulate (vt) (to imitate in a healthy or competitive manner): We should emulate the ideals of great men.

imitate (vt) (blind copying): Parrots imitate human speech.

4. stationery (n) (materials for writing or office work): I need to buy some stationery for my children.

confectionery (n) (sweets, chocolates, cakes, pastry, etc.): We bought some confectionery for our guests.

5. self (n) (person's nature, special qualities or personality): He is very conscious of his self. shelf (n) (wooden board, book case, cabinet, etc.): Samira put the book back in the shelf

(C) Synonyms and Antonyms

(i) Synonyms

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

1. dissipate

a. to scatter b. to squander

c. to waste d. to dispel

2. ecstasy

a. a state of temporary mental alienation

b. altered or diminished consciousness

c. excessive joy

d. exalted feeling

3. effeminate

a. womanish b. unmanly

c. weak d. voluptuous

4. expedite

a. to free from impediments

b. to hasten c. to send forth

d. unencumbured

5. fictitious

a. unreal b. imaginary

c. obvious d. factual

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Synonym

1. delineate to represent by a sketch or picture

2. denouement unraveling of a plot or story

3. devious roundabout

4. discourse conversation

5. dissimulate to dissemble

(ii) Antonyms

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

1. imply

a. declare b. denote

c. hint d. none of these

2. impulsive

a. impetuous b. slow

c. heedful d. wayward

3. infringement

a. contravention b. compliance

c. encroachment d. dislocation

4. kernel

a. husk b. core

c. center d. heart

5. keen

a. dull b. edge

c. sharp d. weak

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Antonym

1. hunch empirical

2. humorous serious

3. inborn acquired

4. idiosyncrasy normal

5. impede expedite

(D) spelling

Choose the correctly spelt word

1. a. unforgetable b. unforgeteble

c. unforgetible d. unforgettable

2. a. utalize b. utilize

c. utillise d. utilaize

3. a. vacum b. vaccum

c. vacuum d. vacumme

4. a. violent b. viollant

c. viollent d. vaolent

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. suggestion

2. scintillating

3. tomorrow

4. tranquility

5. tapestry

(E) Phrases and idioms

Use the following in sentences

1. go off at half-cock

2. the fat is in the fire

3. put off the evil hour

4. scratch the surface

5. put a good face on it

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. turn tail (to run away): I can't believe that he turned tail in my worst misfortune.

2. cook someone's goose (to ruin someone's chances of success completely): When the champion boxer appeared, I was sure he would cook our boxer's goose.

3. on edge (uneasy, apprehensive): The passengers' relatives were on edge when they looked through the list of the victims in the air crash.

4. be music to someone's ears (to please someone very much): It was music to my ears when I heard that I was the topper in the exam.

5. run (something) to earth (to find something after long search): I finally ran my passport to earth in my drawer.

IV. Grammar and Composition

(A) Grammar

Some pairs of words are often confused. In each section, choose the appropriate words to fit the blanks in the sentences. You may need to change the form of some of the words.


1. Most of the runners finished )) 10.00 and 10.30.

2. The pickpocket was walking around )) the people in the theatre.

3. The hunter shot the crocodile right )- the eyes.

false / artificial

1. The police made a number of )) accusations against him.

2. Not long ago many people had )) teeth by the time they were forty.

3. This jam is made of purely natural products and there are no )) ingredients.


1. Could you )) me a favor, please?

2. Please don't )) a fuss about the food.

3. Why haven't you )) your homework?

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

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

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

3. During the school holidays he suffered from intense boredom as all his friends were away.

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

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

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

7. Many people suffer from a shock of heights.

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

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

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

B. Composition

Expand the central idea contained in the maxim


Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions


New things are fair. Having begun or been made only a short time ago, new things are characterized by freshness. A new broom represents a thing found or becoming known only now or recently in the past. Being unused, its freshness and efficiency is completely in tact. A new object is immune to any immediate prospect of decay and degeneration. However, with the passage of time, as the material is put to more and more use, it is subjected to wear and tear and its utility diminishes. Hence it can function to its capacity. It is a matter of common experience that when we bring in a new apparatus or gadget, its performance is at its best. In most cases, there is no complaint. But as it grows old its efficiency progressively diminishes. So a broom when it is brand new exhibits its workability at its best and sweeps the surface clean. The maxim equally holds good as far as the human resources are concerned. A newly recruited worker usually puts in his best in his new job. With the passage of time, however, his sincerity begins to dwindle and his efficiency, more often than not begins to degenerate. Obviously a man is at his best when he is new to a position like a broom is most efficient when it is new.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran

“Be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want; We provide sustenance for you and for them; ) come not nigh to indecent deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.”

S.6 A.151

VI. Food for Thought

“The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live.”)Joan Borysenko