Improve Your English: 306 [Archives:2007/1074/Education]

August 6 2007

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say

Situations and Expressions (97):

'Thank you' wishes (II)

Our hearts go out to persons who have caught our imagination by their acts of goodness, charity, benevolence or merely by their kind words. They are naturally held by us in highest esteem. Thanks are only a medium to express the message of our love, gratitude and sense of appreciation for their nice gesture.

– Thank you! Doing business with you is a pleasure!

– Just to say 'Thank you' for all the time. Thank you for never pushing me, for not trying to read my thoughts, for allowing me to experience the joy of opening up to another human being; thank you for never holding back, for showing me that giving doesn't mean losing something in return for always appreciating, but never expecting

– Thank you for looking at me just as I am, for seeing through my fears, for helping me to find myself and for showing love that knows no limits.

– Just want to thank you for being so caring. The heart remembers many things – the comfort that true caring brings, the happiness of memories, too, and the joy of knowing someone like you. Thanks once again.

II. How to Say it Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1. She's quite younger than me.

2. He even may help you if you ask.

3. Have something to eat before you will go.

4. I was playing football as a stone hit me.

5. Come and stay in my flat during I am on holiday in India.

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. Applications have risen this year by as much as 50%.

2. I often see my friend.

3. Dr. Ezaz is a teacher in Yemen.

4. We always had to wear uniform at school.

5. I very much admired her innocence.

Or I greatly admired her innocence.

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. Something, such as electric light fittings, fixed in place

2. Overwhelm with amazement

3. Soft, not firm muscles

4. Openly and obviously wicked crime or criminal

5. Natural or instinctive ability to do something

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. The heavens and all that is in them: firmament (n)

2. Of public revenue: fiscal (adj)

3. Splitting or division of one cell into new cells: fission (n)

4. Tailoring or dress making person who cuts out, fits, and alters garments: fitter (n)

5. Abnormal emotional attachment to a person: fixation (n)

(B) Words often confused

Bring out the differences in meaning of the following:

1. flail, frail

2. beach, shore

3. restive, restful

4. think up, think through

5. massive, missive

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. impunity (n) (freedom from punishment): He has been acquitted from the charges with impunity.

immunity (n) (safety from disease): We fall ill when the natural immunity in our body becomes weak.

2. haggle (vi) (argue, dispute with somebody for or about the price of something or the terms of a bargain): They haggled with the broker about his commission in purchase of the property.

higgle (vi) (dispute about terms): The management and the workers higgled a lot about the terms of the contract.

hassle (n) (a struggle of mind or body): It's a real hassle to make him agree on something.

3. compose (vt) (put together words, ideas, musical notes, etc. in literary, musical form): A famous choreographer has composed this ballet.

compile (vt) (collect information and arrange in a book, list, report, etc.): They compiled a dictionary of legal terms.

4. exhausted (adj) (having lost all strength): The exhausted worker fell fast asleep on the floor.

exhaustive (adj) (thorough, complete): The speaker made an exhaustive analysis of the topic.

5. incapable (adj) (too good to do something bad): I am incapable of telling you a lie.

unable (adj) (not able): We are unable to hear you.

(C) Synonyms and Antonyms

i. Synonyms

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

1. subtle

a. innocent b. soft

c. dangerous d. insidious

2. fake

a. original b. imitation

c. trustworthy d. loyal

3. infamy

a. dishonor b. glory

c. integrity d. reputation

4. repeal

a. sanction b. perpetuate

c. pass d. cancel

5. embezzle

a. misappropriate b. balance

c. remunerate d. clear

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Synonym

1. stable uniform

2. explicit obvious

3. advocates lawyers

4. managed maneuvered

5. pretensions claims

ii. Antonyms

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

1. pacify

a. calm b. irritate

c. quarrel d. none of these

2. peevish

a. timid b. cordial

c. cruel d. hard

3. protege

a. carnage b. patron

c. prototype d. producing

4. cordiality

a. proposal b. boisterous

c. dialectical d. antagonism

5. parsimonious

a. generous b. selfish

c. religious d. hereditary

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Antonym

1. oversight observation

2. pedestrian equestrian

3. protract curtail

4. poignant dull

5. perennial occasional

(D) Spelling

Choose the correctly spelt word

1. a. abreeze b. abriz

c. abrige d. abridge

2. a. abraud b. abrood

c. abroad d. abrod

3. a. abropt b. abrupt

c. abrapt d. abraupt

4. a. abscess b. obscess

c. abscesse d. absess

5. a. abscond b. obscond

c. abscand d. abscaund

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. abnormal

2. abolish

3. abominable

4. abortion

5. abreast

(E) Phrases and idioms

Use the following in sentences

1. rush one's fences

2. play it by ear

3. as high as a kite

4. be crawling with

5. pie in the sky

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. paddle one's own canoe (to be in control of one's own affairs without assistance from anyone else): I try to paddle my own canoe and not bother others with my personal problems.

2. off one's trolley (insane, very foolish): He must be off his trolley because he harbors malice to one and all.

3. make (someone's) day (make someone very happy): Seeing her poem published in Yemen Times really made her day.

4. quick off the mark (acting in a prompt or speedy manner): If you want to do well in the exam, you will have to be quick off the mark with your studies.

5. the fast lane (a competitive and highly pressured way of life): Having worked in this university, I have a feeling that I have had enough of the fast lane.

IV. Grammar and Composition

(A) Grammar

Below is a list of animals. Classify them according to the following categories






chimpanzee, eagle, whale, leopard, cockroach, cobra, robin, shark, salmon, ant, tortoise, crow, mosquito, sardine, crocodile

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

unpack, nonsense, unexpected, uncooked, discharge, illegal, misspell, improbable, improper, irregular, impossible, incorrect, unlikely, unlucky, independent, unusual.

(B) Composition

Expand the central idea contained in the maxim




To learn is “to gain knowledge of or skill in, by careful study, practice, or being taught.” The purpose of learning is enrichment of the mind, edification of the intellect, and expansion of the mental horizon. As the celebrated English essayist Francis Bacon puts it: “Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability.” Life and learning are mutually complementary. Learning, like life, is a journey, not a destination. As a matter of fact, learning is something we do all of the time. We learn from birth, through childhood and school, in work place and so forth. We learn continually as our lives change through one phase to another, from childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood. The learning process takes many forms and takes place throughout our lives. Thus we are all engaged in lifelong learning. In a broad sense, learning cannot and should not be confined to any specific time frame. Any stage of life is good enough to learn. So irrespective of the age group we fall into, let's learn and make each tomorrow a better tomorrow.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran

“In good time shall we requite those who turn away from Our Signs, with a dreadful chastisement for their turning away.” S6:A157

VI. Food for Thought

“We dream of travelling through the universe – but is not the universe within ourselves?”