Improve Your English: 303 [Archives:2007/1051/Education]

May 17 2007

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say

Situations and Expressions (95)

Thank you, teacher! (III)

Teacher is an embodiment of love, a symbol of compassion, and an unfailing treasure house of qualities of head and heart that the learners love to emulate.

– Thoughtful, esteemable, admirable, caring, humble, encouraging, respectable… Some of the qualities which set you apart, dear teacher!

– For you, dear teacher, a warm note of thanks for all the lessons you've taught… for making us differentiate between the right and the wrong, for teaching us how to gain, in wisdom and in grace, for being a source of inspiration in every walk of life, for standing beside and for offering unconditional support and guidance. It's a perfect opportunity to bring together all the big and small favors that you've done and to be truly thankful for your presence in life, as it really means a lot.

– For a teacher who's a guide and a constant source of inspiration to everyone. You make each moment of the time spent with you a new learning experience, with the way you've of making us understand.

– For all the times you've listened with understanding, guided with patience and wisdom, and given so much of yourself, this comes with a world of love and thanks to you, dear teacher!

– Dear teacher!Your way of making things look better than what they actually are, is what makes you the best teacher ever…

II. How to Say it Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1. They asked me to go swimming with them, but I didn't want.

2. The sorry boy apologized to his teacher.

3. She asked the opposite man the time.

4. You are asking me to do a very impossible job.

5. Bill Gates is absolutely rich.

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

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

2. The car's in good condition. They told me so at the garage (or They told me at the garage.) (We can use tell + so after an object ('me') referring to a person.)

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

4. Amal was late, as I predicted she might be.

5. 'Will you see Marwa when you're in Moscow?' 'Yes, I hope to' ('Yes, I hope so.' Is also possible.)

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. Moods or weather often changing

2. Slender thread of wire in an electric bulb

3. Of a son or daughter

4. Member of a legislature who tries to prevent passage of a bill making long speeches.

5. Ornamental lace-like work of gold, silver, or copper ware

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. Person who has committed a serious crime: felon(n)

2. Movement for recognition of claims of women's rights: feminism (n)

3. Place where there is a boat or aircraft that carries people or goods across a river, channel, etc: ferry (n)

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

5. Complete failure, breakdown, in something attempted: fiasco (n)

(B) Words often confused

Bring out the difference in meaning of the following

1. present, presentation

2. contrast, contradiction

3. cloth, clothing

4. put, keep

5. ability, capacity

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. last (adj) (coming after all others in time or order): December is the last month of the year.

latest (n) (the most recent news, fashion, or example): What is the latest about the election results?

2. spatial (adj) (in relation to space): The university is considering the spatial aspect of its expansion proposal.

special (adj) (not common, usual, or general): The President will grace the function as a special guest.

3. smile (n) (happy expression on the face): She greeted me with a smile.

laugh (v) (make sounds, and movements of the face, showing joy): The jokes made everyone in the class laugh.

4. warrantee (n) (person to whom a warranty is made): The warrantee can claim his money back if there is a manufacturing defect.

warranty (n) (authority or guarantee): The dealer gave warranty of quality in respect of the article.

5. voter (n) (person who votes): The candidate tries to influence voters in his favor.

votary (n) (person who devotes his time and energy to religious work and service): He is a votary of peace.

(C) Synonyms and Antonyms

i. Synonyms

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

1. frisk

a) fry b) fly

c) gamble d) gambol

2. genre

a) giant b) birth

c) style d) gear

3. histrionic

a) past b) events

c) patriotic d) theatrical

4. ingenuous

a) skilful b) intelligent

c) artless d) genus

5. ideograph

a. symbol b. data

c. opinion d. imagination

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Synonym

1. dissipate to dispel

2. ecstasy exalted feeling

3. effeminate womanish

4. expedite to hasten

5. fictitious unreal

ii) Antonyms

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

1. legendary

a) ahistorical b) mythical

c) practical d) none of these

2. lament

a) rejoice b) deplore

c) cry d) complain

3. loyalty

a) consultancy b) perfidy

c) allegiance d) dishonesty

4. misgiving

a) assurance b) presence

c) doubt d) understanding

5. momentous

a) heavy b) short-lived

c) frivolous d) timely

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Antonym

1. imply declare

2. impulsive heedful

3. infringement compliance

4. kernel husk

5. keen dull

(D) Spelling

Choose the correctly spelt word

1. a) woolen b) wollen

c) wolen d) woollen

2. a) carry b) cary

c) carie d) cury

3. a) abendon b) abandone

c) abandon d) abaendon

4. a) abbie b) abey

c) abbey d) abbie

5. a) abriviate b) abbriviate

c) abbreviat d) abbreviate

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. unforgettable 2. utilize

3. vacuum 4. violent

(E) Phrases and Idioms

Use the following in sentences

1. as thin as a rake

2. make the grade

3. see the last of

4. lock the stable door after the horse has bolted

5. a wild goose chase

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. go off at half-cock (to be unsuccessful as a result of a lack of preparation): Our aim of winning the final match went off at half-cock due to the coach's wrong planning.

2. the fat is in the fire (trouble can be expected): The fat is in the fire now that his secret plan is made known.

3. put off the evil hour (to postpone something unpleasant): We should inform him about the bad news – there's no use in putting off the evil hour any longer.

4. scratch the surface (to deal with only a very small part of a problem): The father temporarily settled the issue but his advice barely scratched the surface of the long-standing disputes among the brothers.

5. put a good face on it (to pretend to be happy when it is not really true): I'm putting a good face on it, but in reality I can't stand the sight of him.

IV. Grammar and Composition

(A) Grammar

Match the sentences below with the meanings they express


1. I remembered to post the letter

2. I remembered posting the letter

3. I reminded you to post the letter

4. I remember you posting the letter

5. I forgot to post the letter

6. I've forgotten posting the letter


A. I didn't post the letter

B. I told you to post the letter

C. I recall that you posted the letter

D. I recall that I posted the letter

E. I didn't forget to post the letter

F. I posted the letter, but I don't recall it

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions


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

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

3. The hunter shot the crocodile right between the eyes.

false / artificial

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

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

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


1. Could you do me a favor, please?

2. Please don't make a fuss about food.

3. Why haven't you done your homework?

B. Composition

Expand the central idea contained in the maxim


Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions


Beauty is a concept defined as 'qualities that give pleasure to the senses (especially the eye and ear) or to the moral sense or the intellect and lift up the mind or spirit.' Physical beauty, charm or gracefulness like a blossom is merely an external manifestation, and in that sense skin deep or shallow. It is a purely subjective or personal impression and as Lew Wallace says is “altogether in the eye of the beholder.” One may appear charming to one person and may not be so to another. Physical beauty is ephemeral or transitory like the charm of a beautiful flower which fades away soon. But beauty, in the real sense of the term, is the radiance of truth, the fragrance of goodness. It refers to moral beauty and strength. Sappho rightly says “What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon also be beautiful.” The Romantic poet John Keats echoes this idea in his famous lines: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty So, while physical beauty has the depth of our skin, beauty coupled with bounty is sustainable.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran

“Whatever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfil the covenant of Allah. Thus doth He command you, that ye may remember:


VI. Food for Thought

“We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.”

The Talmud