Saturday, December 31, 2011


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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

From a Railway carriage

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Sunday, December 18, 2011


Proverb Meanings

"The best things in life are


We don't have to pay

for the things that are

really valuable, like

love, friendship and

good health.

"A stitch in time saves nine."

Repair something as

soon as it is damaged.

That's a small repair

job. If not, you will

have a much bigger and

more expensive repair

job later. Do it now and

you'll need one stitch.

Do it later and you'll

need 9 stitches! (Why

nine and not eight or

ten? Because "nine"

rhymes, approximately,

with "time".)

stitch (noun) = a

link made with

thread in sewing

in time = not late

"Still waters run deep."

Some rivers have rough

surfaces with waves.

That's usually because

the water is shallow

and there are rocks

near the surface. But

deep rivers have no

rocks near the surface

and the water is

smooth and still. "Still

waters run deep"

means that people who

are calm and tranquil

on the outside, often

have a strong, "deep"


still (adjective) =

calm, motionless

deep (adjective) =

going far down

"He teaches ill, who teaches


The unusual structure

of this proverb may

make it difficult to

understand. It

becomes easier if we

change the structure to

"He who teaches all

teaches ill." The word

"ill" here means

"badly". So it means

that the teacher who

teaches students

everything, does not

teach well. A good

teacher lets students

discover some things

for themselves.

ill (adverb) = badly

"You can't take it with you

when you die."

When we die we leave

everything on earth. We

don't take anything

with us. Even the

richest people cannot

take their money with

them after death. This

proverb reminds us

that some material

things are not really so

valuable as we think.

"Better untaught than ill


This proverb drops the

verb "to be". But we

understand: "It is

better not to be taught

at all than to be taught

badly." It's better not

to learn something than

to learn it badly. This

idea is echoed in

Pope's famous line: "A

little learning is a

dang'rous thing;".

taught = past

participle of verb

"teach" (here used

in passive voice)

ill taught = badly


"Don't cross your bridges

before you come to them."

Don't worry about

problems before they


"Soon learnt, soon


Something that is easy

to learn is easy to


"Even a worm will turn."

Everybody will revolt if

driven too far. Even the

lowest of people, or

animals, will revolt and

hit back at some stage.

Even a worm, the

simplest of animals,

will defend itself.

worm (noun) =

small thin animal

with soft body and

no bones or legs

turn (verb) = revolt,

fight back

"It was the last straw that

broke the camel's back."

There is a limit to

everything. We can load

the camel with lots of

straw, but finally it will

be too much and the

camel's back will break.

And it is only a single

straw that breaks its

back - the last straw.

This can be applied to

many things in life.

People often say

"That's the last straw!"

when they will not

accept any more of


straw (noun) =

dried stalk of grain

(like dry piece of


camel (noun) =

large long-necked

animal used for

riding and carrying

goods in the desert

"The way to a man's heart is

through his stomach."

Many women have won

a man's love by

cooking delicious meals

for him. They fed his

stomach and found

love in his heart.

way (noun) = path;


"If the stone fall upon the

egg, alas for the egg! If the

egg fall upon the stone, alas

for the egg!"

Life just isn't fair, and

this realistic Arabic

proverb recognizes

that. The stone will

always break the egg.

Life's like that!

alas = bad luck;

pity; tough;


"Where there's a will there's

a way."

If we have the

determination to do

something, we can

always find the path or

method to do it.

will (noun) = strong



way (noun) = path,


"Marry in haste, and repent

at leisure."

If we get married

quickly, without thinking

carefully, we may be

sorry later. And we will

have plenty of time to

be sorry.

in haste = quickly

repent (verb) = feel

sorry, regret

at leisure = slowly,

over time

"One tongue is enough for a


Some people think that

women talk too much.

If they already talk too

much, they don't need

another tongue. One

tongue is sufficient.

This proverb is another

way of saying that

women talk too much.

tongue (noun) =

large, movable

fleshy part in the

mouth that we use

for talking and


"If you wish good advice,

consult an old man."

Old people have a lot

of experience. If you

want to have good

advice or

recommendations, ask

an old person, not a

young one.

wish (verb) = want,


advice (noun) =


as to what to do

consult (verb) = ask;

go to for advice or


"The best advice is found on

the pillow."

If we have a problem,

we may find the

answer after a good

night's sleep. People

also often say: "I'll

sleep on it."

advice (noun) =


as to what to do

pillow (noun) =

cushion that you

rest your head on

while you sleep

"All clouds bring not rain."

We can rephrase this:

"Not every cloud brings

rain." And that's true.

Sometimes there are

many clouds in the sky,

but it doesn't rain.

Sometimes it's the

same with problems,

or what we think are


"You can't tell a book by its


We need to read a

book to know if it's

good or bad. We

cannot know what it's

like just by looking at

the front or back cover.

This proverb is applied

to everything, not only


"Bad news travels fast."

"Bad news" means

news about "bad"

things like accidents,

death, illness etc.

People tend to tell this

type of news quickly.

But "good

news" (passing an

exam, winning some

money, getting a job

etc) travels more


"No news is good news."

This is like the proverb

"Bad news travels

fast." If we are waiting

for news about

someone, it's probably

good if we hear nothing

because "bad news"

would arrive quickly.

"Live and let live."

This proverb suggests

that we should not

interfere in other

people's business. We

should live our own

lives and let others live

their lives. The title of

the famous James

Bond story Live and Let

Die was a play on this


"Birds of a feather flock


"Birds of a feather"

means "birds of the

same type". The whole

proverb means that

people of the same

type or sort stay

together. They don't

mix with people of

another type.

feather (noun) =

part of the soft,

light covering of a

bird's body

flock (verb) = gather

in a crowd

"Tell me who you go with and

I'll tell you who you are."

Similar to "Birds of a

feather...", this proverb

suggests that like minds

stick together.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Pyramids by our students

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Spelling Problems in English

Spelling Problems

in English

Spelling words in English is

challenging work. As a matter

of fact, many native speakers

of English have problems with

spelling correctly. One of the

main reasons for this is that

many, many English words

are NOT spelled as they are

spoken. This difference

between pronunciation and

spelling causes a lot of

confusion. The combination

"ough" provides an excellent


Tough - pronounced - tuf (the

'u' sounding as in 'cup')

Through - pronounced - throo

Dough - pronounced - doe

(long 'o')

Bought - pronounced - bawt

It's enough to make

anyone crazy!!

This feature provides a guide

to the most common

problems when spelling

words in English.

Swallowed Syllables - Three

Syllables Pronounced as

Two Syllables

Aspirin - pronounced - asprin

Different - pronounced -


Every - pronounced - evry

Swallowed Syllables - Four

Syllables Pronounced as

Three Syllables

Comfortable - pronounced -


Temperature - pronounced -


Vegetable - pronounced -


Homophones - Words That

Sound the Same

two, to, too - pronounced -


knew, new - pronounced -


through, threw - pronounced -


not, knot, naught -

pronounced - not

Same Sounds - Different


'Eh' as in 'Let'




'Ai' as in 'I'





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Silent Letters (Continued from Page 1) The following letters are silent when pronounced. D - sandwich, Wednesday G - sign, foreign GH - daughter, light, right H - why, honest, hour K - know, knight, knob L - should, walk, half P - cupboard, psychology S - island T - whistle, listen, fasten U - guess, guitar W - who, write, wrong Unusual Letter Combinations GH = 'F' cough, laugh, enough, rough CH = 'K' chemistry, headache, Christmas, stomach EA = 'EH' breakfast, head, bread, instead EA = 'EI' steak, break EA = 'EE' weak, streak OU = 'UH' country, double, enough

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Palanquin Bearers :

Lightly, O lightly we bear her


She sways like a flower in the

wind of our song;

She skims like a bird on the

foam of a stream,

She floats like a laugh from

the lips of a dream.

Gaily, O gaily we glide and we


We bear her along like a pearl

on a string.

Softly, O softly we bear her


She hangs like a star in the

dew of our song;

She springs like a beam on

the brow of the tide,

She falls like a tear from the

eyes of a bride.

Lightly, O lightly we glide and

we sing,

We bear her along like a pearl

on a string.

By Sarojini Naidu

About The Poet :

Sarojini Naidu was born on

February 13th 1879 in

Hyderabad. She was a

political activist and played an

active role in the freedom

struggle of India. She was the

first Indian woman to

become the president of the

Indian National Congress. In

1947 she became the

governor of the United

Provinces (U.P. ), a position

she retained till her death in

1949. Apart from her political

career she was also an avid

poetry writer. For her

beautiful poetry she has been

lovingly called The Nightingale

of India . Some of her major

contributions are The Golden

Threshold and The Bird of

Time . In 1914 she was elected

as fellow of The Royal Society

of Literature. Her collected

English poems have been

published in The Sceptred

Flute and The Feather at the


Words to Know :

Sway : move from side to


Skim : glide smoothly over


Foam : mass of small

bubbles, froth

Gaily : merrily, happily

Dew : condensed drops of


Beam : ray of light, broad


Brow : forehead, eyebrow

(here : top of water/tide)

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Monday, December 5, 2011

What are the functions of an Article in English Grammar

What Are the Functions of an

Article in English Grammar?


English language uses

three words as articles:

"a" for indefinite singular

nouns starting with a

consonant sound, "an" for

indefinite singular nouns

starting with a vowel

sound and "the" for

definite nouns. The

number of specific rules

and exceptions regarding

usage can frustrate

students of English as a

second language, but most

uses of articles fall under

a few fundamental rules.

A/An : Substitute for One or


This is the most common

use of indefinite articles.

You should use a or an

before any singular

countable noun that is

indefinite. For example,

you say, "This morning I

saw a dog." Use a

because the dog is not

your dog nor the only dog

in town, it is just one dog

that you happened to see.

A/An : Frequency or Allotment

You say, "The show costs

$20 a person," or "I visit

my relatives twice a year."

Using a or an in this way

denotes frequency or


A/An : One Single

Using a or an in this way is

a little old-fashioned, but

you can still see and hear

it used. A or an can be

used in negative sentences

to state emphatically "a

single". For example, you

say, "We had not a thing

to eat," or "There was not

a tree in sight."

The: Known Things

This is the most common

use of the. Use the when

talking about definite

things that your audience

already knows about or

that are obvious. For

example, you say, "I

spilled my drink on the

carpet." Use the because

you did not spill your drink

on just any carpet; it was

a specific carpet in a

specific place that your

audience knows about.

The: Things Already


Use the to refer to

something that you have

already mentioned. For

example, you say, "I saw a

dog this morning," when

you first mention the dog

but later you should say,

"The dog looked hungry."

Every time you refer to

the dog after this, you

should use the.

The: Something Unique

Use the to refer to things

that are unique. For

example, you say, "I saw

the Queen of England."

There is only one Queen of

England. If you say, "I saw

a Queen of England," you

are implying that there are

many Queens of England.

The: Superlatives

Use the with superlatives.

For example, you say,

"This is the most

expensive steak I have

ever eaten," or, "Russia is

the biggest country in the

world." You use the for

both of these examples

because you are talking

about single, unique and

specific things.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011


Informal Contractions

Informal contractions are

short forms of other words

that people use when

speaking casually. They are

not exactly slang, but they

are a little like slang.

For example, "gonna" is a

short form of "going to". If

you say "going to" very fast,

without carefully pronouncing

each word, it can sound like


Please remember that these

are informal contractions.

That means that we do not

use them in "correct" speech,

and we almost never use

them in writing. (If you see

them in writing, for example

in a comic strip, that is

because the written words

represent the spoken words

or dialogue.) We normally use

them only when speaking fast

and casually, for example

with friends. Some people

never use them, even in

informal speech.

It is probably true to say that

informal contractions are

more common in American


Also note that, unlike normal

contractions, we do not

usually use apostrophes (')

with informal contractions

when written.

Listed below are some

common informal

contractions, with example

sentences. Note that the

example sentences may be a

little artificial because when

we use a contraction we may

also use other contractions in

the same sentence, or even

drop some words

completely. For example:

What are you going to

do? >>

Whatcha going to do? >>

Whatcha gonna do?


Do you want a beer?

Do you wanna beer?

D'you wanna beer?

D'ya wanna beer?

Ya wanna beer?

Wanna beer?

These informal contractions

are not "correct" English. Do

not use them in a written

exam, for example, except in

appropriate situations.

ain't = am not/are not/is


I ain't sure.

You ain't my boss.

ain't = has not/have not

I ain't done it.

She ain't finished yet.

gimme = give me

Gimme your money.

Don't gimme that


Can you gimme a hand?

gonna = going to

Nothing's gonna change

my love for you.

I'm not gonna tell you.

What are you gonna do?

gotta = (have) got a

I've gotta gun.

I gotta gun.

She hasn't gotta penny.

Have you gotta car?

gotta = (have) got to

I've gotta go now.

I gotta go now.

We haven't gotta do that.

Have they gotta work?

kinda = kind of

She's kinda cute.

lemme = let me

Lemme go!

wanna = want to

I wanna go home.

wanna = want a

I wanna coffee.

whatcha = what are you

Whatcha going to do?

whatcha = what have you

Whatcha got there?

ya = you

Who saw ya?

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Asking for Repetition:

Situations: Asking for


Speaking Situations: Asking

for Repetition

Phrases for these


Excuse me? (said like a


Pardon me? (rising


What did you say (your name


Did you say . . . ?

Can you repeat that?

Could you say that again


What was that again?

Sorry, I didn't catch that.

Could you speak up please?

Could you speak a little


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Friday, November 25, 2011



Hi! That's an interjection. :-)

"Interjection" is a big name

for a little word. Interjections

are short exclamations like

Oh! , Um or Ah! They have no

real grammatical value but

we use them quite often,

usually more in speaking than

in writing. When interjections

are inserted into a sentence,

they have no grammatical

connection to the sentence.

An interjection is sometimes

followed by an exclamation

mark (!) when written.

Here are some interjections

with examples:





expressing pleasure

"Ah, that feels good."

expressing realization

"Ah, now I understand."

expressing resignation

"Ah well, it can't be heped."

expressing surprise

"Ah! I've won!"


expressing grief or pity

"Alas, she's dead now."


expressing pity

"Oh dear! Does it hurt?"

expressing surprise

"Dear me! That's a surprise!"


asking for repetition

"It's hot today." "Eh?" "I said

it's hot today."

expressing enquiry

"What do you think of that,


expressing surprise

"Eh! Really?"

inviting agreement

"Let's go, eh?"


expressing hesitation

"Lima is the capital ."

hello, hullo

expressing greeting

"Hello John. How are you


expressing surprise

"Hello! My car's gone!"


calling attention

"Hey! look at that!"

expressing surprise, joy etc

"Hey! What a good idea!"


expressing greeting

"Hi! What's new?"


expressing hesitation, doubt

or disagreement

"Hmm. I'm not so sure."

oh, o

expressing surprise

"Oh! You're here!"

expressing pain

"Oh! I've got a toothache."

expressing pleading

"Oh, please say 'yes'!"


expressing pain

"Ouch! That hurts!"


expressing hesitation

"Uh...I don't know the

answer to that."


expressing agreement

"Shall we go?" "Uh-huh."

um, umm

expressing hesitation

"85 divided by 5 ..17."


expressing surprise

"Well I never!"

introducing a remark

"Well, what did he say?"

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Real speech of Vivekananda

Real speech of Vivekananda

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Real speech of NETAJI

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Parts of Speech Table

This is a summary of the 8

parts of speech*. You can

find more detail if you click

on each part of speech.

part of speech

function or "job"

example words

example sentences


action or state

(to) be, have, do, like, work,

sing, can, must is a web

site. I like


thing or person

pen, dog, work, music, town,

London, teacher, John

This is my dog. He lives in my

house . We live in London .


describes a noun

a/an, the, 69, some, good,

big, red, well, interesting

My dog is big . I like big dogs.


describes a verb, adjective or


quickly, silently, well, badly,

very, really

My dog eats quickly. When

he is very hungry, he eats

really quickly.


replaces a noun

I, you, he, she, some

Tara is Indian. She is



links a noun to another word

to, at, after, on, but

We went to school on



joins clauses or sentences or


and, but, when

I like dogs and I like cats. I

like cats and dogs. I like dogs

but I don't like cats.


short exclamation,

sometimes inserted into a


oh!, ouch!, hi!, well

Ouch ! That hurts! Hi! How

are you? Well, I don't know.

* Some grammar sources

categorize English into 9 or 10

parts of speech. At, we use the

traditional categorization of 8

parts of speech. Examples of

other categorizations are:

Verbs may be treated as

two different parts of


Lexical Verbs (work,

like, run )

Auxiliary Verbs ( be,

have, must )

Determiners may be

treated as a separate

part of speech, instead of

being categorized under


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Monday, November 21, 2011

Is it wrong to end a sentence with preposition?

Is It Wrong to End

a Sentence With a


Question: Is It Wrong to End

a Sentence With a



Quite simply, no. A

preposition is not a bad word

to end a sentence with. Even

in your grandparents' day a

preposition was not a bad

word to end a sentence with.

But ask a few of your friends

or colleagues if they

remember any rules of English

grammar, and almost

certainly at least one will say,

with confidence, "Never end a

sentence with a preposition."

Bryan Garner wasn't the first

to call that "rule" a


The spurious rule about

not ending sentences with

prepositions is a remnant

of Latin grammar, in

which a preposition was

the one word that a

writer could not end a

sentence with. But Latin

grammar should never

straightjacket English

grammar. If the

superstition is a "rule" at

all, it is a rule of rhetoric

and not of grammar, the

idea being to end

sentences with strong

words that drive a point

home. That principle is

sound, of course, but not

to the extent of meriting

lockstep adherence or

flouting established


(Garner's Modern

American Usage, Oxford

University Press, 2003)

For over a century even hard-

core prescriptive grammarians

have rejected this old taboo:

Now that should be the end

of it, right? But just try

convincing that friend of


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Sunday, November 20, 2011



Conditionals: Summary

Here is a chart to help you to

visualize the basic English

conditionals. Do not take the

50% and 10% figures too

literally. They are just to help







zero conditional

If you heat ice, it melts.

any time


first conditional

If it rains, I will stay at home.



second conditional

If I won the lottery, I would

buy a car.



third conditional

If I had won the lottery, I

would have bought a car.


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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Gerunds (-ing )

When a verb ends in -ing, it

may be a gerund or a present

participle. It is important to

understand that they are not

the same.

When we use a verb in -ing

form more like a noun , it is

usually a gerund:

Fishing is fun.

When we use a verb in -ing

form more like a verb or an

adjective, it is usually a

present participle:

Anthony is fishing .

I have a boring teacher.

Gerunds are sometimes

called "verbal nouns".

Gerunds as Subject, Object

or Complement

Try to think of gerunds as

verbs in noun form.

Like nouns, gerunds can be

the subject, object or

complement of a sentence:

Smoking costs a lot of


I don't like writing.

My favourite occupation

is reading.

But, like a verb, a gerund can

also have an object itself. In

this case, the whole

expression [gerund + object]

can be the subject, object or

complement of the sentence.

Smoking cigarettes

costs a lot of money.

I don't like writing

letters .

My favourite occupation

is reading detective

stories .

Like nouns, we can use

gerunds with adjectives

(including articles and other


pointless questioning

a settling of debts

the making of Titanic

his drinking of alcohol

But when we use a gerund

with an article, it does not

usually take a direct object:

a settling of debts ( not a

settling debts)

Making "Titanic" was


The making of "Titanic"

was expensive.

Do you see the difference in

these two sentences? In one,

"reading" is a gerund (noun).

In the other "reading" is a

present participle (verb).

My favourite occupation

is reading.

My favourite niece

Gerunds after Prepositions

This is a good rule. It has no


If we want to use a verb

after a preposition, it must

be a gerund. It is impossible

to use an infinitive after a

preposition. So for example,

we say:

I will call you after

arriving at the office.

Please have a drink

before leaving.

I am looking forward to

meeting you.

Do you object to working


Tara always dreams

about going on holiday.

Notice that you could replace

all the above gerunds with

"real" nouns:

I will call you after my

arrival at the office.

Please have a drink

before your departure.

I am looking forward to

our lunch.

Do you object to this job?

Tara always dreams

about holidays.

The above rule has no


So why is "to" followed by

"driving" in 1 and by "drive" in


1. I am used to driving

on the left.

2. I used to drive on the


Gerunds after Certain


We sometimes use one verb

after another verb. Often the

second verb is in the infinitive

form, for example:

I want to eat .

But sometimes the second

verb must be in gerund form,

for example:

I dislike eating .

This depends on the first

verb . Here is a list of verbs

that are usually followed by a

verb in gerund form:

admit, appreciate, avoid,

carry on, consider, defer,

delay, deny, detest,

dislike, endure, enjoy,

escape, excuse, face, feel

like, finish, forgive, give

up, can't help, imagine,

involve, leave off,

mention, mind, miss,

postpone, practise, put

off, report, resent, risk,

can't stand, suggest,


Look at these examples:

She is considering having

a holiday.

Do you feel like going


I can't help falling in love

with you.

I can't stand not seeing


Some verbs can be followed

by the gerund form or the

infinitive form without a big

change in meaning: begin,

continue, hate, intend, like,

love, prefer, propose, start

I like to play tennis.

I like playing tennis.

It started to rain.

It started raining.

Gerunds in Passive Sense

We often use a gerund after

the verbs need, require and

want . In this case, the gerund

has a passive sense.

I have three shirts that

need washing . (need to

be washed)

This letter requires

signing. (needs to be


The house wants

repainting . (needs to be


The expression "something

wants doing" is not normally

used in American English.

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Monday, November 14, 2011


Each, Every

Each and every have similar

but not always identical


Each = every one separately

Every = each, all

Sometimes, each and every

have the same meaning:

Prices go up each year.

Prices go up every year.

But often they are not exactly

the same.

Each expresses the idea of

'one by one'. It emphasizes


Every is half-way between

each and all. It sees things or

people as singular, but in a

group or in general.

Consider the following:

Every artist is sensitive.

Each artist sees things


Every soldier saluted as

the President arrived.

The President gave each

soldier a medal.

Each can be used in front of

the verb:

The soldiers each

received a medal.

Each can be followed by 'of':

The President spoke to

each of the soldiers.

He gave a medal to each

of them.

Every cannot be used for 2

things. For 2 things, each can

be used:

He was carrying a

suitcase in each hand.

Every is used to say how

often something happens:

There is a plane to

Bangkok every day.

The bus leaves every


Verbs with each and every

are always conjugated in the


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Sunday, November 13, 2011


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Saturday, November 12, 2011


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Rmsa Training-II

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modal meanings:uu
Modal auxiliary verbs can be used to convey a wide range of meanings. The table below illustrates some of the commonest, but it is by no means exhaustive.
verbs used
can, could
I need interpreters in my surgery who can speak Punjabi,2 Urdu, and Gujarati.
can, could, might, ought to, should, will, would
A suitable satellite in high orbit should do it nicely.
can, could, may, might
Candidates may enter for both examinations, if desired.
Requests and invitations:
can, could, may, might, will, would
Will you come with me?
Offers, promises, threats:
can, could, shall, should
The Company will keep a copy of all material delivered to the Publisher.
could, may, might, should, will
It could be dangerous for anybody who knows.
must, ought to, should
No matter what else they do within the group, every volunteer must do at least one shift on the phones every fortnight.
could, might, must, ought to, should
‘Perhaps you could try waders,’ suggested Preston.
Habitual actions:
might, will, would
Every afternoon she would wake from her afternoon sleep and cry pitifully, sometimes for as long as two hours.

Rmsa Training

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Thursday, November 10, 2011


Telephone Language
Here are some typical
phrases that you can use in a
telephone conversation.
Answering the phone
Hello? (informal)
Thank you for calling
Boyz Autobody. Jody
speaking. How can I help
Doctor's office.
Introducing yourself
Hey George. It's Lisa
calling. (informal)
Hello, this is Julie
Madison calling.
Hi, it's Gerry from the
dentist's office here.
This is she.*
*The person
answering says this if
the caller does not
recognize their voice.
Asking to speak with
Is Fred in? (informal)
Is Jackson there, please?
Can I talk to your sister?
May I speak with Mr.
Green, please?
Would the doctor be in/
Connecting someone
Just a sec. I'll get him.
Hang on one second.
Please hold and I'll put
you through to his office.
One moment please.
All of our operators are
busy at this time. Please
hold for the next
available person.
Making special requests
Could you please repeat
Would you mind spelling
that for me?
Could you speak up a
little please?
Can you speak a little
slower please. My
English isn't very strong.
Can you call me back? I
think we have a bad
Can you please hold for
a minute? I have another
Taking a message for
Sammy's not in. Who's
this? (informal)
I'm sorry, Lisa's not here
at the moment. Can I ask
who's calling?
I'm afraid he's stepped
out. Would you like to
leave a message?
He's on lunch right
now.Who's calling
He's busy right now. Can
you call again later?
I'll let him know you
I'll make sure she gets
the message.
Leaving a message with
Yes, can you tell him his
wife called, please.
No, that's okay, I'll call
back later.
Yes, it's James from
CompInc. here. When do
you expect her back in
the office?
Thanks, could you ask
him to call Brian when he
gets in?
Do you have a pen
handy. I don't think he
has my number.
Thanks. My number is
222-3456, extension 12.
Confirming information
Okay, I've got it all
Let me repeat that just
to make sure.
Did you say 555 Charles
You said your name was
John, right?
I'll make sure he gets the
Listening to an answering
Hello. You've reached
222-6789. Please leave a
detailed message after
the beep.Thank you.
Hi, this is Elizabeth. I'm
sorry I'm not available
to take your call at this
time. Leave me a
message and I'll get back
to you as soon as I can.
Thank you for calling Dr.
Mindin's office. Our
hours are 9am- 5pm,
Monday-Friday. Please
call back during these
hours, or leave a
message after the tone.
If this is an emergency
please call the hospital
at 333-7896.
Leaving a message on an
answering machine
Hey Mikako. It's Yuka.
Call me! (informal)
Hello, this is Ricardo
calling for Luke. Could
you please return my call
as soon as possible. My
number is 334-5689.
Thank you.
Hello Maxwell. This is
Marina from the
doctor's office calling. I
just wanted to let you
know that you're due for
a check-up this month.
Please give us a ring/
buzz whenever it's
Finishing a conversation
Well, I guess I better get
going. Talk to you soon.
Thanks for calling. Bye
for now.
I have to let you go now.
I have another call
coming through. I better
I'm afraid that's my
other line.
I'll talk to you again
soon. Bye.
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Monday, November 7, 2011


Wh-words are what , when ,
where , who , which, why and
how .
We use clauses with a wh-
word :
In wh-questions (see
Questions and Negatives):
What are you doing?
Who ate all the pies?
Why did you do that?
after verbs of thinking :
know - understand -
suppose - remember -
forget - wonder
I know where you live.
She couldn’t remember who
he was.
John wondered what was
going to happen next.
NOTE : We also use clauses
with if
I wonder if we’ll see Peter.
She couldn’t remember if she
had posted the letter.
after verbs of saying:
ask - say - admit - argue -
reply - agree - mention -
explain - suggest
I asked what she wanted.
He tried to explain how the
accident had happened.
She wouldn’ t admit what she
had done.
Did he say when he would
tell and some other verbs of
saying must always have a
direct object (see clauses,
sentences and phrases):
tell - remind
We tried to tell them what
they should do.
She reminded me where I
had left the car.
after some verbs of
thinking and saying we use
wh-words and the to-
infinitive :
We didn’t know what to do .
We will ask when to set off.
Nobody told me what to do .
Can anyone suggest where to
go for lunch?
NOTE : We use the to-
infinitive :
-- When the subject of the to-
infinitive is the same as the
subject of the main verb:
He didn’t know what to do
>>> He didn’t know what he
should do
We will ask when to set off
>>> We will ask when we
should set off
-- When the subject of the to-
infinitive is the same as the
person spoken to :
Nobody told me what to do .
>>> Nobody told me what I
should do.
Can anyone suggest where to
go for lunch? >>> Can anyone
suggest [to us ] where we
should go for lunch.
after some nouns to say
more about the noun :
Is there any reason why I
should stay ?.
Do you remember the day
when we went to Edinburgh .
That was the town where I
grew up.
We often use a wh-clause
after is :
I missed my bus. That’s why I
was late.
This is where I live.
That ’s what I thought.
Paris – that ’s where we are
going for our holidays.
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Saturday, November 5, 2011


We use the to -infinitive:
• to express purpose (to
answer "Why...?"):
He bought some flowers to
give to his wife.
He locked the door to keep
everyone out.
We sometimes say in order
to or in order not to :
We set off early in order to
avoid the traffic.
They spoke quietly in order
not to wake the children
… or we can say so as to or
so as not to :
We set off early so as to
avoid the traffic.
They spoke quietly so as not
to wake the children.
• after certain verbs (see
verbs followed by infinitive),
particularly verbs of thinking
and feeling:
choose, decide, expect,
forget, hate, hope, intend,
learn, like,
love, mean, plan, prefer,
remember, want, would
like, would love
… and verbs of saying :
agree, promise, refuse
They decided to start a
business together.
Remember to turn the lights
Some verbs are followed by a
direct object and the
infinitive( see verbs followed
by infinitive
advise, ask, encourage,
invite, order, persuade,
remind, tell, warn,
expect, intend, would
prefer, want, would like
She reminded me to turn the
lights out.
He encouraged his friends to
vote for him.
• after certain adjectives .
Sometimes the to -infinitive
gives a reason for the
We were happy to come to
the end of our journey
= We were happy because we
had come to the end of our
John was surprised to see
= He was surprised because
he saw me
Other adjectives with the to -
infinitive are:
Unfortunately I was unable
to work for over a week.
I am really tired. I’m ready to
go to bed.
We often use the to -infinitive
with these adjectives after it
to give opinions :
It’s easy to play the piano,
but it’s very difficult to play
He spoke so quickly it was
impossible to understand
We use the preposition for to
show who these adjectives
refer to:
It was difficult for us to
hear what she was saying.
It is easy for you to criticise
other people.
We use the preposition of
with other adjectives:
It’s kind of you to help.
It would be silly of him to
spend all his money.
• As a postmodifier (see
noun phrases ) after abstract
nouns like:
I have no desire to be rich .
They gave him an opportunity
to escape.
She was annoyed by her
failure to answer the
question correctly .
• We often use a to -infinitive
as a postmodifier after an
indefinite pronoun (See
indefinite pronouns ):
When I am travelling I always
take something to read .
I was all alone. I had no one
to talk to .
There is hardly anything to
do in most of these small
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Grammar movies

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Friday, November 4, 2011


Gamil Wahba from Egypt
Sometimes we say: Open the
door, will you? Sometimes
we say: Open the door,
won't you? Are both correct?
Roger Woodham replies:
more questions
question tags with the
Yes, both are correct and
there is very little difference
in meaning between the two.
There is perhaps a slight
suggestion that you might be
expecting the answer to be
no , if you use the ...won 't
you? question tag.
By adding the tag to the
imperative, open the door ,
you are softening the
instruction and turning it into
a request . Without it, it
would sound very much like a
command, so the tag has a
similar effect to the addition
of please.
…will you/won't you?
The following examples are
all variations on the basic …
will you/won't you? theme
and all show roughly the
same degree of politeness.
But note that the context of
use is now the operating
theatre and here the …won't
you? tag would be
inappropriate as the surgeon
would never expect the
answer to be no:
Hand me the scalpel,
Hand me the scalpel, will
you please?
Hand me the scalpel,
would you ?
Hand me the scalpel,
could you please ?
Could you hand me the
You can, of course, use …
would you? and …could you?
with your example, Gamil, in
addition to …will you? and …
won't you?, but note that
with the imperative we
cannot use …wouldn't you?
or …couldn't you?.
Note in the following
example, the first suggestion
is much more tentative and
less confident than the
Come back to my place
for a coffee, won't you? ~
No, I'm sorry, I can't. I've
got such an early start
tomorrow that I have to
go to bed now.
Let's go back to my place
for coffee! ~ What a nice
idea. A coffee and a
brandy would round off
that delicious meal nicely.
negative with affirmative
and affirmative with
Leaving aside imperative
structures, the normal rule
that operates with tag
questions is that you add a
negative tag to a positive
statement and a positive
tag to a negative
statement :
You would go to see Phil
in America if I gave you
the money, wouldn't you ?
You couldn't help me sort
out these overtime
schedules, could you?
The normal expectation when
you add a negative tag to a
positive statement is that
the answer will be yes .
Similarly, when you add a
positive tag to a negative
statement , you expect the
answer to be no :
They're such a lively
bunch, aren't they? ~
Yes, they are . They've
always got lots of energy.
You don't remember
meeting my uncle, do
you? ~ No, I'm sorry. I
don't .
You haven't fed the
goldfish, have you? ~ No,
I haven't . You do it.
Excessive speed was the
cause of the accident,
don't you agree? ~ Yes, I
do .
However, expectations are
not always fulfilled:
You haven't fed the
goldfish, have you? ~ Well,
actually, I have. I fed them
half an hour ago.
Excessive speed was the
cause of the accident,
don't you agree? ~ Well, I
'm not absolutely sure that
I agree with you. He was
driving fast, but not faster
than the speed limit
same way question tags
Here we are making a
positive statement to make
a guess and then adding the
tag to ask if our assumption
is correct. Study the following:
This is the final match of
the season, is it ? ~ Yes,
that's right.
So you can run a mile in
four minutes, can you ?
She's been training to be
an anaesthetist, has she?
So she's going to marry
him, is she?
He was unfaithful
straightaway, was he ?
So you think she'll sue for
divorce, do you?
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Monday, October 31, 2011


Passive Voice
The passive voice is less
usual than the active voice.
The active voice is the
"normal" voice. But
sometimes we need the
passive voice. In this lesson
we look at how to construct
the passive voice, when to
use it and how to conjugate
Construction of the Passive
The structure of the passive
voice is very simple:
subject + auxiliary verb (be) +
main verb (past participle)
The main verb is always in
its past participle form.
Look at these examples:
auxiliary verb (to be)
main verb (past participle)
by everyone.
100 people
by this company.
in euro.
in dollars.
in yen?
Use of the Passive Voice
We use the passive when:
we want to make the
active object more
we do not know the
active subject
give importance to active
object (President Kennedy)
President Kennedy
was killed
by Lee Harvey Oswald.
active subject unknown
My wallet
has been stolen.
Note that we always use by
to introduce the passive
object (Fish are eaten by
Look at this sentence:
He was killed with a gun.
Normally we use by to
introduce the passive object.
But the gun is not the active
subject. The gun did not kill
him. He was killed by
somebody with a gun. In the
active voice, it would be:
Somebody killed him with a
gun. The gun is the
instrument. Somebody is the
"agent" or "doer".
Conjugation for the
Passive Voice
We can form the passive in
any tense. In fact,
conjugation of verbs in the
passive tense is rather easy,
as the main verb is always in
past participle form and the
auxiliary verb is always be .
To form the required tense,
we conjugate the auxiliary
verb. So, for example:
present simple: It is
present continuous: It is
being made
present perfect: It has
been made
Here are some examples
with most of the possible
to be washed
It is washed.
It was washed.
It will be washed.
It would be washed.
It is being washed.
It was being washed.
It will be being washed.
It would be being washed.
perfect simple
It has been washed.
It had been washed.
It will have been washed.
It would have been washed.
perfect continuous
It has been being washed.
It had been being washed.
It will have been being
It would have been being
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Use of 'TO'

To V or Not To V
Click for Audio
The word "to" is often
confusing in English. It can be
used as part of a modal
expression, infinitive or as a
Note the usage of "to" in
the following sentences.
To V
I used to live in Utah.
I am supposed to go.
I hope to see you.
To V ing
I am used to living in Utah.
I am opposed to going.
I look forward to seeing you.
Modal expressions are
always followed by the
base form of the verb.
ought to
have to
have got to
used to
be to
be able to
be supposed to
be going to
Similar expressions are
followed by infinitives (to +
need to V
want to V
hope to V
happen to V
mean to V
tend to V
care to V
wish to V
would like to V
be allowed to V
be inclined to V
be reluctant to V
be willing to V
be happy to V
be afraid to V
be required to V
be delighted to V
be compelled to V
Many prepositional
combinations using "to"
are followed by gerunds.
look forward to V ing
resort to V ing
submit to V ing
confess to V ing
give in to V ing
admit to V ing
with regards to V ing
be accustomed to V ing
be addicted to V ing
be opposed to V ing
be limited to V ing
be dedicated to V ing
be commited to V ing
be used to V ing.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011


Cats are the most popular
pets among Americans. So it
is not surprising that there are
many expressions about cats.
Some cats like to catch small
birds, like canaries. If
someone looks very proud or
satisfied with himself, we say
he looks like the cat that
ate the canary .
Sometimes, a cat likes to play
with a small animal it catches.
So if you play cat and
mouse with someone,you
change between different
kinds of behavior when
dealing with another person.
For example, a child might
offer something sweet to her
little brother and then take it
away when he reaches for it.
A cat will often catch a small
animal and present it to its
owner. The saying that looks
like something the cat
dragged in describes
something in bad condition.
Two old and funny
expressions describe
something that is the best or
finest. Americans might say
that something is the cat's
meow and the cat's
Children might call a child who
is easily frightened a fraidy
cat or a scaredy cat . A
copycat is someone who acts
just like someone else or
copies another person's work.
A fat cat is a person with a
lot of money.
You may have known that cats
spend most of their time
sleeping. Sometimes people
sleep for a short time during
the day. This is called a cat
If you tell about something
that was supposed to be a
secret, we say you let the cat
out of the bag. If you are not
able to speak or answer a
question someone might ask
if the cat has got your
Have you ever watched
children in a classroom when
their teacher leaves for a few
minutes? When the cat's
away, the mice will play
means people sometimes
misbehave when there is no
You may have heard this
expression: curiosity killed
the cat.This means being too
concerned about things that
are not your business might
cause problems.
If your home is very small,
you might say there is not
enough room to swing a
cat. But you probably should
not try this at home!
If you ever had cats as pets,
you know it is difficult to train
them or to get them to do
something. Cats are not like
sheep or cows that can be
moved in a group. So we say
a difficult or impossible job is
like herding cats.
We leave you with a song
from the musical play, "Cats."
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Panagrams are sentences
or phrases that use every
letter in the alphebet at
least once. Check for

Brick quiz whangs jumpy veldt
Quick wafting zephyrs vex
bold Jim.
The five boxing wizards jump
B, C, F, G, H, I, J, K, M, O, P,
Q, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z are
Jackdaws love my sphinx of
black quartz.
The five boxing wizards
jumped quickly.
Five big quacking zephyrs jolt
my wax bed.
Hick Jed wins quiz for extra
blimp voyage.
Sympathizing would fix
Quaker objectives.
Mix Zapf with Veljovic and get
quirky Beziers.
Brawny gods just flocked up
to quiz and vex him.
Jim just quit and packed extra
bags for Liz Owen.
Turgid saxophones blew over
Mick's jazzy quaff.
Dumpy kibitzer jingles as
exchequer overflows.
Puzzled women bequeath
jerks very exotic gifts.
Playing jazz vibe chords
quickly excites my wife.
A boy, Max, felt quick during
his hazy weaving jumps.
A large fawn jumped quickly
over white zinc boxes.
Viewing quizzical abstracts
mixed up hefty jocks.
Five wine experts jokingly
quizzed sample Chablis.
William Jex quickly caught five
dozen Republicans.
The vixen jumped quickly on
her foe barking with zeal.
Harry, jogging quickly, axed
zen monks with beef vapor.
Five or six big jet planes
zoomed quickly by the tower.
Six big devils from Japan
quickly forgot how to waltz.
Big July earthquakes confound
zany experimental vow.
Exquisite farm wench gives
body jolt to prize stinker.
My grandfather picks up
quartz and valuable onyx
Six crazy kings vowed to
abolish my quite pitiful jousts.
Jack amazed a few girls by
dropping the antique onyx
We have just quoted on nine
dozen boxes of gray lamp
Jay visited back home and
gazed upon a brown fox and
May Jo equal the fine record
by solving six puzzles a week?
Fred specialized in the job of
making very quaint wax toys.
Freight to me sixty dozen
quart jars and twelve black
Jeb quickly drove a few extra
miles on the glazed
Grumpy wizards make toxic
brew for the evil Queen and
Verily the dark ex-Jew quit
Zionism, preferring the
The job of waxing linoleum
frequently peeves chintzy
West quickly gave Bert
handsome prizes for six juicy
Just keep examining every low
bid quoted for zinc etchings.
A quick movement of the
enemy will jeopardize six
All questions asked by five
watch experts amazed the
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Today we explain some
expressions about birds. For
example, if something is for
the birds , it is worthless or
not very interesting. Someone
who eats like a bird eats
very little. And a birds-eye
view is a general look at an
area from above.
Did you know that if you tell a
young person about the birds
and the bees you are
explaining about sex and
birth? Have you ever observed
that birds of a feather flock
together? In other words,
people who are similar
become friends or do things
together. Here is some good
advice: a bird in the hand is
worth two in the bush . This
means you should not risk
losing something you have by
trying to get more of
something you do not have.
Sometimes I can do two
things by performing only one
action. This is called killing
two birds with one stone .
But I would never really kill
any birds. I love all kinds of
animals. This is a real feather
in my cap. It is something to
be proud of.
Most of the people I work
with are early birds. They
believe that the early bird
catches the worm. They think
that a person who gets up
early in the morning for work
has the best chance of
success. Everyone in my
office works hard, but some
people have had their wings
clipped . Their jobs have been
limited. This is because the
office is organized by pecking
order . People with more
years and experience are
given more responsibility.
Some bird expressions are
about crows, chickens and
ducks. For example, when I
am driving, I always travel as
the crow flies. I go the most
direct way. Anyone who eats
crow has to admit a mistake
or defeat.
Now let's talk about my
sister. She is not very young.
She is no spring chicken. She
will work any job for chicken
feed -- a small amount of
money. She is easily
frightened. For example, she
is too chicken-livered to
walk down a dark street alone
at night. Often she will
chicken out – she will not go
out alone at night.
My sister was an ugly
duckling. She looked strange
when she was a child, but she
grew up to be a beautiful
woman. Sometimes she
thinks too much about having
something in the future
before she really has it. She
counts her chickens before
they are hatched.
Sometimes her chickens
come home to roost. That
means her actions or words
cause trouble for her.
However, my sister does not
worry about what people say
about her. Criticism falls off
her like water off a duck's
back .
Politicians are sometimes
considered lame ducks after
losing an election. They have
little time left in office and
not much power. Congress
holds a lame duck session
after an election. Important
laws are not passed during
this period.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Odyssey_people_places(for 7th E/M)

ople and Places of the OdysseyPeopleAegyptius- One of the chieftains of Ithaca who speaks at the Assembly in Book II.Aeolus- A mortal whom Zeus has appointed keeper of the winds.Agamemnon- The king of Mycenae and leader of the Achaean expedition to Troy.Alcinous- The king of the Phaeacians, husband of Arete and father of Nausicaa, he is a generous, kind, and good-humored ruler and father.Antinous- The leader of the suitors and the first slain by Odysseus. He is a cruel, greedy, and hypocritical villain, always attempting to justify his evil behavior by distorting the motives or acts of others.Anticleia- The mother of Odysseus.She encounters him in Hades while he is there.Arete- The queen of the Phaeacians, wife of Alcinous and mother of Nausicaan.Argus- The old hunting dog of Odysseus who recognizes his master and dies.Athene- Daughter of Zeus, goddessof wisdom and patroness of the artsand crafts, also known as Pallas. Odysseus is her favorite and protege.Calypso- The sea nymph who keepsOdysseus captive for nine years andwho, in hope of making him her husband, offers him immortality.Circe- The enchantress who transforms the crew of Odysseus into swine and who, when she finds that she cannot conquer Odysseus, takes him as a lover and helps him with advice and supplies on his voyage home.Demodocus- A blind bard entertains at the banquets in the palace of Alcinous.Elepnor- A young seaman in the crew of Odysseus who dies in an accident on Circe island and whose spirit reproaches Odysseus in Hades.Eumaeus- The chief swineherd of Odysseus, who remains faithful to his master during his long absence and who plays an active part in assisting Odysseus to regain his kingdom.Eupeithes- The father of Antinous. He manifests the same rashness and disloyalty that is exhibited by his son when he leads a band of Ithacans to attack Odysseus but is quick to recognize his error and apologize.Eurycleia- The faithful and devoted old nurse of Odysseus, recognizes him by the scar on his leg.Eurylochus- One of Odysseus' officers; he is an unimaginative andsober person, who wisely avoids entering Circe's palace in Book X, but who also abets the sailors whenthey slaughter the cattle of Helios.Eurymachus- The second most important suitor; he is as evil as Antinous, but far more soft and cowardly.Helen- The wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. She was the cause of the Trojan War.Hermes- Son of Zeus, the ambassador of the gods, conductor of the dead souls to Hades, and patron of travelers, merchants, andthieves.Hyperion- The god of the sun. Also known as Helios. It is his cattle which is eaten by Odysseus' crew.Irus- A cowardly bully who is a beggar on Ithaca and a favorite of many of the suitors.Laertes- The old father of Odysseus, who lives in isolation from the demands of public life, ona small farm in the back hills of Ithaca. He remains alert and agile, despite his age.Leucothoie- A sea nymph who helps Odysseus read the island of the Phaeacians during the storm in Book V.Melantho- One of the serving maids in the palace of Odysseus; she is a nasty and impudent young girl and is disloyal to her master, having become the mistress of Eurymachus.Melanthius- The chief goatherd of Odysseus. In his master's absence he has ignored his duty and has ingratiated himself with the suitors by catering to their whims.Menelaus- King of Sparta, husband of Helen, and brother of Agamemnon. Like Odysseus, he toohas a series of misadventures on his return home from Troy.Mentor- A faithful friend of Odysseus who was left behind on Ithaca as Telemachus' tutor; he is wise, sober, and loyal.Nausicaa- The daughter of Alcinous and Arete. She is a charming young maiden, in her adolescence.Nestor- King of Pylos, father of Peisistratus. A very wise and garrulous old man, one of the few survivors of the Trojan War.Odysseus- King of Ithaca, husband of Penelope, father of Telemachus, son of Laertes. He is the first of theGreek epic heroes to be renowned for his brain as well as his muscle.Peisistratus- The gallant young son of Nestor. He is the companion of Telemachus on his journey through the Peloponnesus.Penelope- The wife of Odysseus. She is serious and industrious, a perfect wife and mother in many aspects.Philoetius- The chief cowherd of Odysseus; he is brave and loyal and,despite his age, stands besides his master during the battle with the suitors.Polyphemus- A one-eyed Cyclops who held Odysseus and his men captive in his cave until he was made drunk and blinded by Odysseus.Poseidon- Younger brother of Zeus, god of the sea and earthquakes, father of Polyphemus.Because Odysseus is a sailor and must travel home by ship, Poseidonis able to do him much harm. The god bears a grudge against him because of his rough treatment of Polyphemus.Scylla- A sea monster with six heads whom Odysseus and his crewmust pass during their voyage.Sirens- Two beautiful maidens who dwell in a flowery meadow on an island somewhere between that of Circe and of Scylla. They tempt passing mariners to their deaths by their tantalizing songs.Telemachus- The son of Odysseus and Penelope. He is just entering manhood and is very self-conscious about his duty, and his father's reputation as a hero, which he feelshe must live up to.Tiresias- The most famous of all Greek seers. The legend was that incompensation for his blindness the gods had given him his awesome visionary powers. His spirit is consulted by Odysseus in Hades.Zeus- The supreme god and king ofOlympus. He is officially neutral in human affairs; his duty is to carry out the will of Destiny, but he is often sympathetic towards humans.q
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Every people has its own way
of saying things, its own
special expressions. Some of
these expressions are easy to
understand. The words create
a picture in your mind.
"As easy as falling off a log" is
one such expression. It
describes a job that does not
take much effort.
If you ever tried to walk on a
fallen tree log, you
understand what the
expression means. It is easier
to fall off the log than to stay
on it.
The expression is often used
today. For example, you might
hear a student say to her
friend that her spelling test
was "as easy as falling off a
There are several other
expressions that mean the
same thing. And their meaning
is as easy to understand as
"falling off a log." One is,
"easy as pie". Nothing is
easier than eating a piece of
sweet, juicy pie. Unless it is a
"piece of cake."
"Piece of cake" is another
expression that means
something is extremely easy
to do. A friend might tell you
that his new job was a "piece
of cake."
Another expression is "as
easy as shooting fish in a
It is hard to imagine why
anyone would want to shoot
fish in a barrel. But, clearly,
fish in a barrel would be
much easier to shoot than
fish in a stream. In fact, it
would be as easy as "falling
off a log".
Sometimes, things that come
to us easily, also leave us just
as easily. In fact, there is an
expression – "easy come,
easy go" – that recognizes
this. You may win a lot of
money in a lottery, then
spend it all in a few days.
Easy come, easy go.
When life itself is easy, when
you have no cares or
problems, you are on "Easy
Street." Everyone wants to
live on that imaginary street.
Another "easy" expression is
to "go easy on a person". It
means to treat a person
kindly or gently, especially in a
situation where you might be
expected to be angry with
him. A wife might urge her
husband to "go easy on" their
son, because the boy did not
mean to wreck the car.
If it is necessary to borrow
some money to fix the car,
you should look for a friend
who is an "easy touch". An
"easy touch" or a "soft touch"
is someone who is kind and
helpful. He would easily agree
to lend you the money.
And one last expression, one
that means do not worry or
work too hard. Try to keep
away from difficult situations.
"Take it easy" until we meet
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Every language has its own
special words and
expressions. And a story can
be told about each of them.
Hot is a simple, easily-
understood word. So are
most of the expressions
made with the word hot. But
not always, as we shall see.
The words hot potato, for
example, give you no idea at
all to the meaning of the
expression, hot potato.
The potato is a popular
vegetable in the United
States. Many people like
baked potatoes, cooked in an
oven or fire. Imagine trying to
carry a hot, baked potato in
your hand. It would be
difficult, even painful, to do
Now we are getting close to
the meaning of hot potato.
Some publicly-disputed issues
are highly emotional. The
issues must be treated
carefully, or they will be
difficult and painful if an
elected official has to deal
with them. As difficult and
painful as holding a hot
One such hot potato is taxes.
Calling for higher taxes can
mean defeat for a politician.
And yet, if taxes are not
raised, some very popular
government programs could
be cut. And that also can
make a politician very
unpopular. So the questions
must be dealt with
carefully...the same way you
would handle any other hot
Another expression is not so
hot. If you ask someone how
she feels, she may answer:
"not so hot." What she means
is she does not feel well.
Not so hot also is a way of
saying that you do not really
like something. You may tell a
friend that the new play you
saw last night is not so hot.
That means you did not
consider it a success.
A hot shot is a person --
often a young person -- who
thinks he can do anything. At
least he wants to try. He is
very sure he can succeed. But
often he fails. The expression
was born in the military
forces. A hot shot was a
soldier who fired without
aiming carefully.
Hot is a word that is often
used to talk about anger.
A person who becomes angry
easily is called a hothead. An
angry person's neck often
becomes red. We say he is
hot under the collar . You
could say that your friend is
no hothead. But he got hot
under the collar when
someone took his radio.
In nineteen sixty-three, hot
line appeared as a new
The hot line was a direct
communications link between
the leaders of the Soviet
Union and the United States.
The hot line had an important
purpose: to prevent
accidental war between the
two competitors during the
period known as the Cold
War. The American president
and the Soviet leader were
able to communicate directly
and immediately on the hot
line. This helped prevent any
conflict during an international
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Monday, October 10, 2011


Cold weather has a great
effect on how our minds and
our bodies work. Maybe that
is why there are so many
expressions that use the word
For centuries, the body's
blood has been linked closely
with the emotions. People
who show no human
emotions or feelings, for
example, are said to be cold-
blooded . Cold-blooded
people act in cruel ways. They
may do brutal things to
others, and not by accident.
For example, a newspaper
says the police are searching
for a cold-blooded killer. The
killer murdered someone, not
in self-defense, or because he
was reacting to anger or fear.
He seemed to kill for no
reason, and with no emotion,
as if taking someone's life
meant nothing.
Cold can affect other parts of
the body. The feet, for
example. Heavy socks can
warm your feet, if your feet
are really cold. But there is an
expression -- to get cold feet
-- that has nothing to do with
cold or your feet.
The expression means being
afraid to do something you
had decided to do. For
example, you agree to be
president of an organization.
But then you learn that all the
other officers have resigned.
All the work of the
organization will be your
responsibility. You are likely
to get cold feet about being
president when you
understand the situation.
Cold can also affect your
You give someone the cold
shoulder when you refuse to
speak to them. You treat
them in a distant, cold way.
The expression probably
comes from the physical act
of turning your back toward
someone, instead of speaking
to him face-to-face. You may
give a cold shoulder to a
friend who has not kept a
promise he made to you. Or,
to someone who has lied
about you to others.
A cold fish is not a fish. It is a
person. But it is a person who
is unfriendly, unemotional and
shows no love or warmth. A
cold fish does not offer much
of himself to anyone.
Someone who is a cold fish
could be cold-hearted . A
cold-hearted person is
someone who has no
sympathy. Several popular
songs in recent years were
about cold-hearted men or
cold-hearted women who,
without feeling, broke the
hearts of their lovers.
Out in the cold is an
expression often heard. It
means not getting something
that everybody else got. A
person might say that
everybody but him got a pay
raise, that he was left out in
the cold. And it is not a
pleasant place to be.
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Sunday, October 9, 2011


Generate ideas
"See" your ideas on paper
Clustering/Mind mapping
Discussing with a partner
"Hear" your ideas and others'
responses to them
Select ideas
Choose ideas that you want
to focus on; eliminate
irrelevant ideas; add new
Organize ideas
Outline. Arrange main ideas
and supporting ideas such as
details, examples , evidence ,
illustrations .
Compose the essay
Make several drafts, each
one more focused and clear
than previous one.
"Rethinking" usually produces
better results than merely
copying the rough draft, but it
is more challenging.
Revise, revise, revise !
Overall essay
Paragraph by paragraph
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Writing is a means to 1)
discover your ideas, then 2)
express them in a way your
reader(s) will understand.
To improve your writing skills,
we suggest that you consider
five things:
1. Who are you? (the Writer )
Understand yourself and your
role in the writing situation.
What position are you writing
from? (expert or inquirer,
seeker or sharer of
Are you writing as yourself or
representing someone else (a
company, for example)?
2. Why are you writing? (your
Purpose )
What do you wish to
accomplish with your writing?
What are you communication
Are you getting or giving
information, or both?
What do you want the reader
to understand or do?
3. What is your message?
(your Content )
What ideas do you wish to
Find out what they are (by
Focus in one or two main
ideas and recognize the sub-
ideas that support them.
4. Whom are you writing to?
(the Reader )
Who will read what you
What is your relationship to
How will you establish a
connection with them?
What is their position?
5. How will you write? (your
Method and Language)
How will you organize your
What language will you use
(structure and vocabulary) to
express your ideas?
What format is best (short
note, list of points, e-mail,
formal letter, researched
paper, etc.)
What standards will you use
to insure that your message
is clear and respectful to your
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

TO V OR NOT TO (The word 'to' is often confusing)

The word "to" is often
confusing in English. It can be
used as part of a modal
expression, infinitive or as a
Note the usage of "to " in
the following sentences.
To V
I used to live in Utah.
I am supposed to go.
I hope to see you.
To V ing
I am used to living in Utah.
I am opposed to going.
I look forward to seeing you.
Modal expressions are
always followed by the
base form of the verb.
ought to
have to
have got to
used to
be to
be able to
be supposed to
be going to
Similar expressions are
followed by infinitives (to +
need to V
want to V
hope to V
happen to V
mean to V
tend to V
care to V
wish to V
would like to V
be allowed to V
be inclined to V
be reluctant to V
be willing to V
be happy to V
be afraid to V
be required to V
be delighted to V
be compelled to V
Many prepositional
combinations using "to"
are followed by gerunds.
look forward to V ing
resort to V ing
submit to V ing
confess to V ing
give in to V ing
admit to V ing
with regards to V ing
be accustomed to V ing
be addicted to V ing
be opposed to V ing
be limited to V ing
be dedicated to V ing
be commited to V ing
be used to V ing
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Monday, October 3, 2011


Take 3-4 large pictures/
photos and stick them on
card. Pictures can come
from Sunday
supplements, travel
brochures, calendars,
magazine adverts etc.
Pictures specific to
students’ interests will
motivate them e.g . film
stills, cartoons, news
stories, famous paintings,
famous people.
Draw puzzle shapes on
the back of each picture
(4 -5 shapes) and cut out
the picture pieces.
Give each student in the
class a jigsaw piece. They
must not show their
piece to anyone.
Students then mingle and
question each other
about what is on their
puzzle piece to try and
find people with pieces
of the same jigsaw.
The object of the game is
to find all pieces and put
together the jigsaw. The
first complete picture
puzzle wins.
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Sunday, October 2, 2011


Some verbs can be used to express
an action, others to express status or
condition. These verbs often come in
pairs and are usually mutually
exclusive . One is used to indicate a
single occurrence, while the other
indicates a situation which is or has
been in existence for a long period of
time. See examples below.
I met John last September .
I got married in June.
Status /condition .
I have known him since last
September .
( Not : I have met John since
September .)
I have been married for one month.
( Not : I have gotten married for one
month .)
Some common semantic verb pairs
are as follows:
( When did you . . . ?)
Hear about
Find out
Put on
Get dressed
Get married
Get engaged
Get divorced
Go to sleep / Fall asleep
Fall in love
Wake up /Get up
Catch fire
Status /condition
( How long have you . . " past
participle " . . . ?)
be (here )
be (a graduate / out of school )
know / be aware of
know / be aware of
be dressed
be married
be engaged
be divorced
be asleep
be in love
be up/ awake
be on fire
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