Improve Your English: 304 [Archives:2007/1068/Education]

July 16 2007

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say

Situations and Expressions (96): Friend

A friend lends charm to life. A true friend is a partner for life who sincerely sustains and unselfishly nurtures a friend through the thick and thin of life's grim battle.

– You make an excellent friend because you're willing to lend a helping hand, because you listen carefully and try to understand, because I know you'll be there when I need you by my side, because you're someone I can trust and in whom I can confide, because you try to make me smile when I'm feeling blue, and because you share and care and give very freely, too.

– True friends are like your own shadow, always by your side, to watch your every step, every stride, unlike a smile that comes for a while, only to leave a dry impression on the face; unlike a dream that comes with a lovely sleep, only to be broken with the first light; unlike a mark that imprints on the sand, only to be erased with a fresh tide, unlike others, who sometimes are never by your side. Friends always stay beside, in all seasons of life.

– Friends share their dreams with one another. We have clicked our fingers together, breaking into melodies; unveiled each other's hopes and dreams, smiled and wondered, when they had come true Time performs its ritual and changes a lot; but our friendship is the same, even better, where the foundation is strong and as lovely as ever.

– A note of thanks for a very special you! What is an honest friend? Somebody loving, someone we count on when we can't be there to safely look after the ones whom we love with warmth and concern and the finest of care. You're somebody special to look after others. With all of the love and concern that you show, you're warm and dependable, caring and kind and you're treasured far more than you'll ever know. Thank you very much.

II. How to Say it Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1. 'How are you?' 'I'm very fine, thanks.'

2. The agitation was mainly concerned about working conditions.

3. I felt confident to pass the exam.

4. He was not sufficiently aware enough to understand the situation

5. I haven't got enough cash on me for paying the bill.

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

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

2. The boy was sorry and he apologized to the teacher.

3. She asked the man opposite the time.

4. You are asking me to do a completely (or quite) impossible job.

5. Bill Gates is hugely (or very) rich.

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. Apparatus for holding back solid substances in an impure liquid passed through it.

2. Closing scene of an opera

3. Gay and elegant dress or appearance

4. Artful or delicate way of dealing with a situation

5. Not yielding when pressed

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. Moods or weather often changing: fickle(adj)

2. Slender wire in an electric bulb: filament (n)

3. Of a son or daughter: filial (adj)

4. Member of a legislature who tries to prevent passage of a bill making long speeches: filibuster(n)

5. Ornamental lace-like work of gold, silver, or copper ware: filigree(n)

(B) Words often confused

Bring out the difference in meaning of the following

1. naturism, naturalism 2. wife, waif

3. vacation, vocation

4. exceptional, exceptionable 5. ceremony, function

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. present (n) (gift): I gave a birthday present to my friend.

presentation (n) (the act or action of presenting something): There are two presentations of the musical concert each evening.

2. contrast (n) (comparing one thing with another so that differences are made clear): The contrast between the two sisters is striking.

contradiction (n) (absence of agreement): There is a marked contradiction in the witness' statement.

3. cloth (n) (material made by weaving cotton, wool, silk, linen, etc.): I bought 3 meters of table cloth.

clothing (n) (collective clothes): We bought some articles of clothing ahead of the festival.

4. put (vt) (move so as to be in a certain place or position): He put his mobile phone in his pocket.

keep (vt) (have in one's possession and not give away; not lose; preserve): Please keep this in safe custody while I'm away.

5. ability (n) (power to perform acts, physical or mental): No one doubts your ability to accomplish the task.

capacity (n) (the amount that something can hold or produce): He has a mind of great capacity.

(C) Synonyms and Antonyms

i. Synonyms

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

1. insinuate

a. pierce b. sinful

c. suggest d. low

2. leonine

a. lotion b. lying

c. lion-like d. submissive

3. model

a. parade b. procession

c. paradigm d. idle

4. nightmare

a. story b. journey

c. frightening dream d. owl

5. stable

a. uniform b. fluctuating

c. permanent d. unvarying

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Synonym

1. frisk gambol

2. genre style

3. histrionic theatrical

4. ingenuous artless

5. ideograph symbol

ii. Antonyms

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

1. marine

a. naval b. land

c. bird d. none of these

2. modesty

a. coyness b. ostentation

c. relegation d. peering

3. nervous

a. agitated b. fearless

c. shaky d. timorous

4. overt

a. secret b. open

c. coy d. divert

5. obese

a. fat b. thin

c. explode d. obedient

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Antonym

1. legendary ahistorical

2. lament rejoice

3. loyalty perfidy

4. misgiving assurance

5. momentous frivolous

(D) Spelling

Choose the correctly spelt word

1. a. abdomen b. abdumen

c. abdomein d. abdomeen

2. a. aboration b. aberration

c. aberation d. abberration

3. a. abbeyance b. abbeyence

c. abeyance d. abeyence

4. a. abor b. abhur

c. abur d. abhor

5. a. ablution b. ablotion

c. ablaution d. abletion

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. woolen 2. carry 3. abandon

4. abbey 5. abbreviate

(E) Phrases and idioms

Use the following in sentences

1. run (something up the flagpole 2. play for time

3. over the top 4. be rushed off one's feet 5. that's flat

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. as thin as a rake (very thin): You should take balanced diet and exercise; you're as thin as a rake.

2. make the grade (to do as well as required): You must make the grade in your new station.

3. see the last of (someone/something) (to see someone or something for the last time, not to see the person or the thing again): She broke down when she saw the last of the house she lived in for many years.

4. lock the stable door after the horse has bolted (to take action which is too late): The police began patrolling after the clash but it was useless as it was a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.

5. a wild goose chase (an attempt to do something that has no chance of success): The police tried to rescue the hostage from the hands of the kidnappers, but it ended in a wild goose chase.

IV. Grammar and Composition

A. Grammar

Fill the blanks in the sentences with one of the following words connected with law

fined, prosecution, court, jury, lawyer, cross-examined, witnesses, evidence, accused, defence, trial, verdict, guilty, sentenced, judge

1. The )) of Mr. Malik opened at the High Court today.

2. Mr. Malik has been )) of stealing large sums of money from his company.

3. At the beginning of the trial, the twelve members of the )) came into the )) and sat down.

4. Everyone stood up when the)) who was wearing a white wig, came in.

5. After a few minutes, the lawyer for the )) said that he would prove that Mr. Malik had stolen the money.

6. He questioned a number of )) who had heard Mr. Malik talking about stealing the money.

7. Then the )) for the )) got up and said that he would show that Mr. Malik had done nothing wrong.

8. He )) the witnesses, and tried to show that the )) that they had given was not true.

9. At the end, the jury went out of the court to make their )).

10. They decided that Mr. Malik was )) and that he had stolen the money.

11. The judge )) him to two years in prison.

12. He also )) him $5,000

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. I remembered to post the letter: I didn't forget to post the letter.

2. I remembered posting the letter: I recall that I posted the letter.

3. I reminded you to post the letter: I told you to post the letter.

4. I remembered you posting the letter: I recall that you posted the letter.

5. I forgot to post the letter: I didn't post the letter.

6. I've forgotten posting the letter. I posted the letter, but I don't recall it.

B. Composition

Expand the central idea contained in the maxim


Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions


One should leave alone things which may cause trouble. One should not invite trouble by invoking the bitter memory of the past, and leave things as they are. One should be tactful in avoiding a past controversial or contentious issue because, if one digs the past, then that might lead to unpleasant situation. It is likely to rub the sore which might have healed to some extent and, eventually, lead to an explosive situation that is not good for any one. So rather than fomenting trouble, one should let bygone be bygone, bury the past and avoid to raise a storm over a fruitless past event. Let's not sentimentalize the past and without bothering for the probable consequences, and without carefully considering the pros and cons, thoughtlessly remind others about an unsavory occurrence in the recent or remote past. In the ultimate analysis, we should exercise utmost discretion in our dealings and carefully decide about the acts of our omissions and commissions.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran

“And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing: so follow it and be righteous, that ye may receive mercy”)S6:A155

VI. Food for Thought

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.

)H. Jackson Brown Jr.