VOCABULARY WORKSHOP – THE KEY WORDS TO USE IN WRITING OR SPEAKING COMPETENTLY 4

The acquisition of vocabulary is one of the most important tasks in language learning. If you have enough words, you can make sense of what you are reading or listening to and you can somehow express yourself.

In short, vocabulary acquisition is much more important than grammar. The grammar we have is acquired gradually as we become familiar with the language, with the words, but first of all, we need words.

Many Books

How Do We Learn Vocabulary?

“Because children with weaker vocabularies are less likely to learn new words from listening to stories than children with larger vocabularies, teachers need to provide more direct instruction for children with smaller vocabularies” – Robbins & Ehri, 1994.

VOCABULARY knowledge is not something that can ever be fully mastered; it is something that expands and deepens over the course of a lifetime. Instruction in vocabulary involves far more than looking up words in a dictionary and using the words in a sentence.

Vocabulary is acquired incidentally through indirect exposure to words and intentionally through explicit instruction in specific words and word-learning strategies.

There are two approaches I have implemented over the years:

  • One is the deliberate study of vocabulary by reading vocabulary lists or flash cards as well as keeping handwritten lists.
  • The other, is to learn through a lot of exposure – watching age-appropriate films, television documentaries or series;  reading novels, newspapers and magazines.

Now, the strategy that you adopt will depend on your personal preference and also, in my view, how much time you have.

One thing that has helped many of my students is learning more about synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms. Understanding these three phenomena leads to better comprehension, better spelling, and more expressive writing.

In each of the following groups, circle the item that means the same as the boldface word in the introductory phrase:

  1. a feckless assistant: a. dishonest   b. able   c. ineffective   d. meticulous
  2. substantiated his story: a. filed   b. validated   c. concocted   d. dismissed
  3. skillful temporizing: a. theorizing     b. miming   c. stalling   d. debating
  4. excessive verbiage: a. verbosity    b. coyness   c. silence     d. terseness
  5. utopian views: a. realistic    b. visionary     c. old-fashioned     d. scenic
  6. wrote a moving eulogy: a testimonial    b. sermon     c. account
  7. a devious manner: a. blunt   b. clumsy   c. shifty
  8. the invidious review: a. malicious    b. succinct      c. complimentary
  9. the distraught witness: a. impartial   b. agitated   c. unjust
  10. in the pejorative sense: a. favourable      b. disparaging       c. objective
  11. exhume the treasure: a. disinter      b. dig up       c. discover
  12. incarcerated the suspect: a. imprisoned      b. released          c. followed
  13. alcyon weather:  a. refreshing      b. turbulent        c. seasonable
  14. simply arrogated the role:   a. loathed      b. adored      c. usurped
  15. interrogate the suspect: a. imprisoned   b. released      c. question

ANSWERS: 1A  2B  3A  4B  5B  6A  7C  8A  9C  10B 11B 12A  13A  14C  15C

How did fair? Once again Dear Reader, with practice you will see your vocabulary improving so much: both written and spoken.

red heart on a old opened book

Lastly, . . . consider this:

Maths (British English) — Math (American English) 

In both countries, this is the abbreviation for “mathematics.” British people wonder why Americans don’t include the “s” and Americans wonder why British people do include the “s” It’s one of the mysteries of the universe and is another topic I shall pursue later.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: BE EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

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VOCABULARY WORKSHOP – KEY WORDS TO USE IN WRITING OR SPEAKING COMPETENTLY (3)

Vocabulary knowledge is the single most important factor contributing to reading comprehension – Laflamme, 1997

SIMPLE WAYS TO EARN WIDE VOCABULARY

The core to earning a top grade mark in English Literature or Composition involves the mastery of an array of skills, chief among which, is using extensive vocabulary. This means students must never ever try to make their writing look more academic by using “clever” words for their own sake. Instead, always understand that there is a difference between a person’s passive vocabulary (the words one understands) and a person’s active vocabulary (the words one actually uses).

Ever Tried

LEARN THE CULTURE. There are a number of different kinds of English around the world. British and American English might seem the same, but there are many little differences.

When you are learning new words in English, keep in mind from which country your syllabus is coming from: the UK or USA . You should learn British English if your syllabus is from OCR, AQA or Edexcel and American English if your syllabus is from College Board or Advanced Placement, and so on.

The word color, for example, is spelled as “colour” in British English. British people use the words “brilliant” and “cheers” often, but Americans prefer to say “cool” instead of “brilliant” and “see you” instead of “cheers.”

A SYNONYM is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase.

In each of the following groups, circle the item that means the same as the boldface word in the introductory phrase:

  1. intermittent snow: A. irregular   B. uninterrupted    C. drifting
  2. A sylvan setting A. urban   B. rural  C. barren
  3. A moot issue   A. debatable   B. pressing   C. secondary
  4. Delivered a diatribe A. baby   B. tirade   C. newspaper
  5. Inane comments A. laughable      B. brief   C. sensible
  6. histrionic behavior : A. melodramatic    B. proper       C. subdued
  7. abrogate the treaty: A. ratify      B. sign   C. enforce
  8. Surprised by the perspicacity: A. shrewdness     B. betrayal      C. obtuseness
  9. an incongruous remark: A. courteous      B. jarring        C. lengthy
  10. a bucolic setting: A.countryside   B. neglected   C. urban
  11. exacerbate the injury: A. treat   B. report   C. intensify
  12. known for their idiosyncrasies: A. individualistic   B. intelligence   C. wealth
  13. a lackadaisical performance:  A. indifferent   B. energetic   C. unenthusiastic
  14. emulate the actress  A. praise     B. mimic    C. criticise
  15. banal lyrics: A. sentimental      B. trite C. effective

ANSWERS: 1a  2b  3a  4b  5b  6a  7b  8a  9c  10b 11c 12a  13c  14b  15c

How did fair?

Once again Dear Reader, with practice you will see your vocabulary improving so much in both written and spoken.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: BE EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

VOCABULARY WORKSHOP – THE KEY WORDS TO USE IN WRITING OR SPEAKING COMPETENTLY 2

Hey Folks, I am in the outbacks of Down Under visiting and this post has a bit of Australian flavor in it.

Vocabulary is the knowledge of words and word meanings.

According to Steven Stahl (2005)

“Vocabulary knowledge is knowledge; the knowledge of a word not only implies a definition, but also implies how that word fits into the world.”

Vocabulary knowledge is not something that can ever be fully mastered; it is something that expands and deepens over the course of a lifetime. Instruction in vocabulary involves far more than looking up words in a dictionary and using the words in a sentence.

Vocabulary is acquired incidentally through indirect exposure to words and intentionally through explicit instruction in specific words and word-learning strategies.

At High School, I have many a time engaged CONTEXT CLUES to teach Vocabulary and it has been very effective.

Books RangeCONTEXT CLUES

Context clues are hints that an author gives to help define a difficult or unusual word. The clue may appear within the same sentence as the word to which it refers, or it may follow in a preceding sentence. Because most of one’s vocabulary is gained through reading, it is important that you are able to recognize and take advantage of context clues.

Thus, whether you are someone learning English as a second language or a reader who is trying to build their vocabulary, by knowing the different types of context clues, you may be better able to recognize and understand new words when you are reading.

Types Of Context Clues

There are at least FIVE kinds of context clues that are quite common:

1) RESTATEMENT/SYNONYM CLUES – Here, sometimes a hard word or phrase is said in a simple way. Notice how the meaning of the darkened word is arrived at:

  • Her animosity, or hatred, of her sister had divided the family.
  • Bill felt remorse, or shame, for his harsh words.
  • This situation is a conundrum – a puzzle.

2) CONTRAST/ANTONYM CLUES – Sometimes a word or phrase is clarified by the presentation of the opposite meaning somewhere close to its use. Look for signal words when applying context clues. Notice how the meaning of the darkened word is arrived at:

  • Emma had a lot of anxiety about the exam but I had no worries about it.
  • Marty is gregarious, not like his brother who is quiet and shy.
  • Instead of making risky decisions like his brother, George took precautions.

3) DEFINITION/EXPLANATION – Here the meaning of the unknown word is clearly given within the sentence or in the sentence immediately afterwards.

  • There is great prosperity in the country but many citizens are living in poverty.
  • There was a lot of tangible evidence, including fingerprints and DNA, to prove them guilty.
  • There is a 30 percent chance of precipitation, such as snow or sleet.

4) INFERENCE/GENERAL CONTEXT CLUES – Sometimes a word or phrase is immediately clarified within the same sentence. Relationships, which are not directly apparent, are inferred or implied. The reader must look for clues within, before, and after the sentence in which the word is used. The meaning can easily be inferred from the general context of the sentence or paragraph. Consider these sentences:

  • The team was elated when they won the trophy.
  • The cat has a kind disposition and would never bite or claw anyone.

5) EXAMPLE (specific types of the unknown word are given in the sentence. The unknown word is usually a non-specific noun. What is a beverage as shown in the sentence?

  • What type of beverage would you like? We have soda, water, lemonade, sweet tea and apple juice.

6) PUNCTUATION – Here Readers can also use clues of punctuation and type style to infer meaning, such as quotation marks (showing the word has a special meaning), dashes , parentheses or brackets (enclosing a definition), and italics (showing the word will be defined).

Notice how Punctuation is used in these sentence to define a word, haberdasher:

  • Tom’s father was a haberdasher, or men’s shop keeper, in the story.
  • Tom’s father was a haberdasher (men’s shop keeper) in the story.
  • In the story, Tom’s father was a haberdasher-or men’s shop keeper.
  • Tom’s father was a “haberdasher”. He had a clothing store for men.

I have compiled a list of English@High School High Frequency Word List through phrasal sentences in which a highlighted word is used. Your task is two-fold:

  • Firstly, master the context in which the word is used so that when you write you pick the right word and vocabulary.
  • Secondly, I have exercises on vocabulary with answers given at the end. Try the exercises first before getting to the answers.

Again, Dear Reader, this needs practice.

To make it manageable, I have fifteen words for each category.

girl writing on a black keyboardSYNONYMS

This is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase.

In each of the following groups, circle the item that means the same as the boldface word in the introductory phrase:

  1. eschew easy solutions A. shun B. avoid C. condemn D. embrace
  2. germane comments:          A. harsh   B. relevant   C. apt   D. recent
  3. a coherent account: A. lengthy B. humorous C. muddled   D. clear
  4. move with celerity:   A. promptness B. sluggishness C. furtiveness   D. emptiness
  5. a pejorative connotation: A. neutral B. favourable   C. ambiguous   D. derogatory
  6. overt hostility: A. concealed   B. open      C. unwarranted     D. recent
  7. a legislative gambit: A. session   B. right   C. plan   D. concern
  8. a myopic approach to the problem: A. farsighted      B. fallacious     C. conventional   D. shortsighted
  9. an avid jogger: A. elderly   B. injured   C. passionate      D. reluctant
  10. a devious answer: A. dishonest   B. roundabout   C. correct   D. incorrect
  11. nefarious practices: A. wicked    B. ancient      C. widespread     D. commendable
  12. a verdant landscape: A. rocky   B. green   C. arid   D. snowy
  13. an articulate speaker: A. forceful   B. halting   C. fluent     D. public
  14. decry our efforts: A. praise     B. criticize   C. study     D. notice
  15. a piquant charm: A. interesting     B. sarcastic   C. subtle   D. bland

ANSWERS: 1B  2B  3D  4A  5D  6B  7C  8D  9C  10A 11A 12B  13C  14B  15A

How did fair? Once again Dear Reader, with practice you will see your vocabulary improving so much in both written and spoken.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: BE EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

COMMON IDIOMS IN USE 3

English@HighSchool would never be complete without idioms, proverbs, and expressions which are an important part of everyday English. They come up all the time in both written and spoken English.

Good Idea

Because idioms and proverbs don’t always make sense literally, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the meaning and usage of each idiom. That may seem like a lot of work, but learning idioms is fun, especially when you compare and master English idioms.

An idiom is a common expression understood figuratively, as the literal definition makes no sense.

Read the sentence and match its definition on the right:

1. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. That’s the reason he didn’t get the job. Died
2. Today’s going so badly. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other. Not making a firm decision between different choices
3. I just said it in the heat of the moment. I was angry. I know I shouldn’t have. Say exactly the right thing
4. Keep an eye on him. I think he may cheat in the exam. Watch someone or something carefully
5. Have you heard? John, down the road has kicked the bucket. Saying or doing something suddenly without thinking about it
6. I don’t want to argue with him again. It’s better to let sleeping dogs lie. When everything seems to be going wrong
7. I told him what gift you have bought him for his birthday. Sorry, I didn’t mean to let the cat out of the bag. Hurt or upset someone who is helping you
8. Don’t tell her what you really think of her if she’s helping you with your English! Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Excessive
9. I’m not sure which party he is going to vote for. He’s sitting on the fence. Avoid a conflict
10. Everything she says is very over the top. She can’t just have a few words – she has to say more than is necessary. Tell someone something that you were not supposed to

So, how did you fair? Look at the answers below for your revision:

1. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. That’s the reason he didn’t get the job. Say exactly the right thing
2. Today’s going so badly. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other. When everything seems to be going wrong
3. I just said it in the heat of the moment. I was angry. I know I shouldn’t have. Saying or doing something suddenly without thinking about it
4. Keep an eye on him. I think he may cheat in the exam. Watch someone or something carefully
5. Have you heard? John down the road has kicked the bucket. Died
6. I don’t want to argue with him again. It’s better to let sleeping dogs lie. Avoid a conflict
7. I told him what gift you have bought him for his birthday. Sorry, I didn’t mean to let the cat out of the bag. Tell someone something that you were not supposed to
8. Don’t tell her what you really think of her if she’s helping you with your English! Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Hurt or upset someone who is helping you
9. I’m not sure which party he is going to vote for. He’s sitting on the fence. Not making a firm decision between different choices
10. Everything she says is very over the top. She can’t just have a few words – she has to say more than is necessary. Excessive

writing-notes-idea-conference.jpgHere are some idioms to wet your appetite:

  1. The mystery novelist decided at the last minute to include an ex-convict, who would later prove to be innocent, as a suspect in her story; she was using this new character as a red herring.

A red herring is a distraction or an attempt to misdirect attention to something that is not important.

  1. I don’t like the new font that you used on the website, but there is no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater: just change the font back to the original and I’ll approve the design.

To throw the baby out with the bathwater is to discard something valuable or useful along with something disagreeable or unusable.

  1. If Frank hears that Maria is going to the dance with Curt, Frank is going to do something regrettable, so let’s just keep it under wraps for now.

Something that is under wraps is kept a secret or not made public.

  1. Many times the great inventor’s wife would beckon him to return to his room for sleep, but he had a fire in his belly.

To have a fire in one’s belly is to have a strong desire to accomplish difficult or creative tasks.

  1. Even though the advertised prices at Tesco’s were very low, the salesmen will attempt to nickel and dime you as you attempt to checkout.

To nickel and dime someone is to pursue small amounts of money with a fastidiousness that appears petty.

  1. When I become a rich and famous rapper, all of the people who made fun of me and said that I couldn’t rap, dance, or match my clothing are going to eat their hearts out.

To eat one’s heart out is to become very jealous or resentful of another’s success.

  1. Candy really left me holding the bag when she didn’t do her part of the project and was absent on the day of the presentation.

When one is left holding the bag, he or she receives the blame or responsibility for the actions of another.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL

VOCABULARY WORKSHOP – THE KEY WORDS TO USE IN WRITING OR SPEAKING COMPETENTLY 1

The College Board’s SAT textbook has a 3 500 Basic Word List of which students must master in order to do well in their exams. The list is divided into High Frequency words and Hot Prospects. From this premise, the importance of vocabulary is highly accentuated:

  • “Without grammar very little can be conveyed; without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.” (Wilkins 1972)

  • “When students travel, they don’t carry grammar books, they carry dictionaries.” (Krashen 1993)

The truth is that students need multiple and various exposures to a word before they fully understand that word and can apply it. They need also to learn words in context, not stand alone lists that come and go each week. Of course the way we learn words in context, or implicitly, is by reading, then reading some more.

pexels-photo-256417.jpegCONTEXT CLUES

Context clues are hints that an author gives to help define a difficult or unusual word. The clue may appear within the same sentence as the word to which it refers, or it may follow in a preceding sentence. Because most of one’s vocabulary is gained through reading, it is important that you are able to recognize and take advantage of context clues.

Thus, whether you are someone learning English as a second language or a reader who is trying to build their vocabulary, by knowing the different types of context clues, you may be better able to recognize and understand new words when you are reading.

TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES

There are at least SIX kinds of context clues that are quite common:

1) RESTATEMENT/SYNONYM CLUES – Here, sometimes a hard word or phrase is said in a simple way. Notice how the meaning of the boldfaced word is arrived at:

  • It was an idyllic day; sunny, warm and perfect for a walk in the park.
  • Her animosity, or hatred, of her sister had divided the family.
  • Bill felt remorse, or shame, for his harsh words.
  • This situation is a conundrum – a puzzle.

So, what is a synonym? It is a word or phrase that has the same meaning as the unknown word and hints at the definition.

2) CONTRAST/ANTONYM CLUES – Sometimes a word or phrase is clarified by the presentation of the opposite meaning somewhere close to its use. Look for signal words when applying context clues. Notice how the meaning of the darkened word is arrived at:

  • Emma had a lot of anxiety about the exam but I had no worries about it.
  • Marty is gregarious, not like his brother who is quiet and shy.
  • Instead of making risky decisions like his brother, George took precautions.

3) DEFINITION/EXPLANATION – Here the meaning of the unknown word is clearly given within the sentence or in the sentence immediately afterwards.

  • There is great prosperity in the country but many citizens are living in poverty.
  • Some celestial bodies, such as the planets and stars, can be seen with the naked eye.
  • There was a lot of tangible evidence, including fingerprints and DNA, to prove them guilty.
  • There is a 30 percent chance of precipitation, such as snow or sleet.

4) INFERENCE/GENERAL CONTEXT CLUES – Sometimes a word or phrase is immediately clarified within the same sentence. Relationships, which are not directly apparent, are inferred or implied. The reader must look for clues within, before, and after the sentence in which the word is used. The meaning can easily be inferred from the general context of the sentence or paragraph. Consider these sentences:

  • The team was elated when they won the trophy.
  • During the demonstration, a skirmish broke out and the police were called to restore order.
  • The cat has a kind disposition and would never bite or claw anyone.

5) EXAMPLE  – This is when specific types of the unknown word are given in the sentence. The unknown word is usually a non-specific noun. What is a beverage as shown in the sentence?

  • What type of beverage would you like? We have soda, water, lemonade, sweet tea and apple juice.

6) PUNCTUATION – Readers can also use clues of punctuation and type style to infer meaning, such as quotation marks (showing the word has a special meaning), dashes , parentheses or brackets (enclosing a definition), and italics (showing the word will be defined). Notice how Punctuation is used in the following sentences to define a word, haberdasher:

  • Tom’s father was a haberdasher, or men’s shop keeper, in the story.
  • Tom’s father was a haberdasher (men’s shop keeper) in the story.
  • In the story, Tom’s father was a haberdasher-or men’s shop keeper.
  • Tom’s father was a “haberdasher”. He had a clothing store for men.

The Library

I have compiled a list of English@High School High Frequency Word List through phrasal sentences in which a highlighted word is used. Your task is two-fold:

  • Firstly, master the context in which the word is used so that when you write you pick the right word and vocabulary.
  • Secondly, I have exercises on vocabulary with answers given at the end. Try the exercises first before getting to the answers.

Again, Dear Reader, this needs practice.

To make it manageable, I have fifteen words for each category.

  1. Forced to abase herself – lower, humiliate
  2. Abashed by her admiration – embarrassed
  3. The storm abated – subsided, decreased
  4. Abdicated the throne – renounced, gave up
  5. Aberrant nature of . . . – abnormal or deviant
  6. Unwilling to abet – aid, usually in doing something wrong, encourage
  7. Abhorred all forms of . . . – detested, hated
  8. Abjured his allegiance – renounced upon oath
  9. Act of abnegation – repudiation, self-sacrifice
  10. Refused to abolish – cancel, put an end to
  11. An abominable act – detestable, extremely unpleasant, very bad
  12. Abortive attempt – unsuccessful, fruitless
  13. Abridge the novel – condense or shorten
  14. Absolved of his sins – pardoned (an offense)
  15. The teller absconded – departed secretly and hide

In the second batch I am working on synonyms.

A SYNONYM is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase.

writing-notes-idea-conference.jpgIn each of the following groups, circle the item that means the same as the boldface word in the introductory phrase:

  1. histrionic behavior : A. theatrical B. proper C. subdued D. strange
  2. abrogate the treaty: A. ratify B. cancel C. enforce   D. sign
  3. Surprised by the perspicacity: A. discernment B. betrayal C. obtuseness  D. foolishness
  4. an incongruous remark: A. courteous B. unsuitable C. lengthy D. scholarly
  5. An ephemeral success: a. enduring b. short-lived c. phenomenal     d. enviable
  6. Exacerbate the problem: a. aggravate b. alleviate c. ignore     d. discuss
  7. Recant her testimony: a. corroborate b. record    c. read back      d. retract
  8. Countermand a directive: a. revoke b. issue c. clarify    d. ignore
  9. Irrefutable evidence: a. tainted b. circumstantial    c. indisputable    d. dubious
  10. Amused by their badinage: a. excuses b. banter c. appearance    d. singing
  11. 11. banal lyrics: A. sentimental common C. humorous   D. effective
  12. tired of their carping: A. nit-picking B. antics C. excuses  D. incompetence
  13. an intransigent opponent: A. weak B. temporary C. versatile  D. unyielding
  14. arrogate a right A. desire B. waive  C. assume  D. defend
  15. a speech filled with encomiums: A. wisdom B. platitudes C. criticisms  D. praise

ANSWERS: 1a  2b  3a  4b  5b  6a  7d  8a  9c  10b 11b 12a  13d  14c  15d

How did you fair? Once again Dear Reader, with practice you will see your vocabulary improving so much: both written and spoken.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: BE EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

COMMON IDIOMS IN USE 2

English@HighSchool would never be complete without idioms, proverbs, and expressions which are an important part of everyday English. They come up all the time in both written and spoken English.

Never StopBecause idioms and proverbs don’t always make sense literally, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the meaning and usage of each idiom. That may seem like a lot of work, but learning idioms is fun, especially when you compare English idioms to the idioms in other languages.

An idiom is a common expression understood figuratively, as the literal definition makes no sense.

Read the sentence and match its definition on the right

Common Idioms

Definitions

1. I hate my job so much I can’t bare going to work, but if I quit I don’t think I can get another job. I’m really stuck / caught between a rock and a hard place. Believing that every bad situation has a positive side / eventually leads to something good
2. I have to bite my tongue so I don’t say what I really think of him! Leave out all the unnecessary details and just get to the point
3. Come on, cut to the chase. We haven’t got all day! Having two very bad choices
4. Are you putting all of your savings into that company? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. To become comfortable in what you are doing
5. Try not to worry about it. Every cloud has a silver lining. Wanting to say something but stopping yourself.
6. It was difficult when I moved to another country but I eventually found my feet. Putting all of one’s resources into one possibility
7. My parents are very fixed in their ways. They won’t start using the internet. Doing much more than is required when doing something 
8. I think he got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. He is in a terrible mood. To refer to someone who is having a bad day
9. My mother will always go the extra mile to help people. Doing or starting something too early
10. You are taking your IELTS test next week? Aren’t you jumping the gun. You’ve only just started studying. Not wanting to change from the normal ways of doing things

pexels-photo-277124.jpegAre you getting the hang of it? I hope so. The answers are here below for you.

Common Idioms

Definitions

1. I hate my job so much I can’t bear going to work, but if I quit I don’t think I can get another job. I’m really stuck / caught between a rock and a hard place. Having two very bad choices.

 

2. I have to bite my tongue so I don’t say what I really think of him! Wanting to say something but stopping yourself.
3. Come on, cut to the chase. We haven’t got all day! Leave out all the unnecessary details and just get to the point
4. Are you putting all of your savings into that company? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Putting all of one’s resources into one possibility
5. Try not to worry about it. Every cloud has a silver lining. Believing that every bad situation has a positive side / eventually leads to something good
6. It was difficult when I moved to another country but I eventually found my feet. To become comfortable in what you are doing
7. My parents are very fixed in their ways. They won’t start using the internet. Not wanting to change from the normal ways of doing things
8. I think he got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. He is in a terrible mood. To refer to someone who is having a bad day
9. My mother will always go the extra mile to help people. Doing much more than is required when doing something
10. You are taking your IELTS test next week? Aren’t you jumping the gun. You’ve only just started studying. Doing or starting something too early

pexels-photo-515169.jpegHere is another selection of idioms to wet your appetite:

  • When something has no rhyme or reason, there is no understandable meaning and little beauty behind it.
  • To make, build, or do something from scratch means to start at the beginning of a process.
  • Mumbo-jumbo is language that is meaningless or difficult to understand.
  • To wrap one’s head around something is to fully understand and knowledgeably consider something.

Can Of Worms

A can of worms

 

  • Bells and whistles are premium options or features of new technology.
  • To catch someone red-handed is to catch them committing a wrongful act.
  • To draw a line in the sand is to make a rule or set a position and to fight passionately to maintain it.
  • As the crow flies means to get to the point or to travel in a straight direction.
  • Sour grapes is when one criticizes or otherwise disparages something that he or she cannot have.
  • The eleventh hour means the last possible time for something to occur.
  • To follow suit is to do what another has done.
  • When the deck is stacked against someone that person is competing against others who have unfair advantages.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL.

AWESOME WAYS TO RAISE YOUR GRADE IN ENGLISH @ HIGH SCHOOL – 4

pexels-photo.jpgMy posts on the  topic AWESOME WAYS TO RAISE YOUR GRADE IN ENGLISH @ HIGH SCHOOL have so far focused on the  . . .

My FOURTH and last post is on the correct use of all forms of PARENTHESES/BRACKETS.

PARENTHESES/BRACKETS

There are four main types of parentheses that can be used in writing. However, not all of them are acceptable for use within all fields of writing. The four main types of brackets are:

  1. Curved Brackets or Parentheses (…) are the most commonly used and are the focus of this article. They are always used in pairs.
  2. Square Brackets […] are most often used to include additional information from an outside source (someone other than the original author).
  3. Curly Brackets {…} are often used in prose to designate a list of equal choices.
  4. Angle Brackets <…> are typically used to enclose and illustrate highlighted information.

PARENTHESES  ( )

  • Curved brackets – ( )

Brackets (parentheses) are punctuation marks used within a sentence to include information that is not essential to the main point. Information within parentheses is usually supplementary; were it removed, the meaning of the sentence would remain unchanged.

Use parentheses [ ( ) ] to include material that you want to de-emphasize or that wouldn’t normally fit into the flow of your text but you want to include nonetheless.

If the material within parentheses appears within a sentence, do not use a capital letter or period to punctuate that material, even if the material is itself a complete sentence. (A question mark or exclamation mark, however, might be appropriate and necessary.)

  • Thirty-five years after his death, Robert Frost (do you remember him?) remains America’s favorite poet.

If the material within your parentheses is written as a separate sentence (not included within another sentence), punctuate it as if it were a separate sentence.

  • Thirty-five years after his death, Robert Frost (we remember him at Kennedy’s inauguration) remains America’s favorite poet.

If the material is important enough, use some other means of including it within your text—even if it means writing another sentence.

  • Thirty-five years after his death, Robert Frost remains America’s favorite poet. (We remember him at Kennedy’s inauguration.)

Informal writingused heavily within stream-of-consciousness writing as a way for the author to show the reader what a character is thinking without having to create dialogue. Be careful though, because the overuse of parentheses can lead to a cluttered and confusing text.

Use curved brackets for your in-text citations These citations usually occur at the end of a sentence and provide the reader with the source of the information that the author used in the sentence, eg:

  •  “It has been said that the origin of the spoon dates back to the Middle Paleolithic, when man began using the hollowed out shells of small turtles to sip water (Ferreira, 1986).”

The information in the parentheses is essential, not to the meaning of the sentence, but to avoid plagiarism.

NOTE that parentheses tend to de-emphasize text whereas dashes tend to make material seem even more important.

Using brackets—whether in a business plan or a short story—can be an effective way to include extra information in a sentence. Although they can be useful, try not to use brackets excessively or the clarity of your writing will suffer.

pexels-photo-261895.jpegTHE BRACKETS [ ]

  • Square brackets – [ ]

Use square brackets [ [ ] ] in the following situations:

You can use them to include explanatory words or phrases within quoted language, eg:

  • Lew Perkins, the Director of Athletic Programs, said that Pumita Espinoza, the new soccer coach [at Notre Dame Academy] is going to be a real winner.

If you are quoting material and you’ve had to change the capitalization of a word or change a pronoun to make the material fit into your sentence, enclose that changed letter or word(s) within brackets, eg:

  • Espinoza charged her former employer with “falsification of [her] coaching record.”

Also within quotations, you could enclose [sic] – (we italicize it)to show that misspelled words or inappropriately used words are not your own typos or blunders but are part of an accurately rendered quotation, eg:

  • Reporters found three mispelings [sic] in the report.

NOTE, also, that the word sic means “thus” or “that’s how it was” and is not an abbreviation; thus, no period. It is bad manners, however, to use this device to show that another writer is a lousy speller or otherwise unlettered. Also, use it only when it is important to maintain the original spelling for some reason.

If you have italicized or underlined words within quoted language that was not italicized or underlined in the original, you can note that change in brackets included within the sentence or paragraph:

It was the atmosphere of the gym that thrilled Jacob, not the eight championship banners hanging from the beams [italics added].

(“Italics mine” or “emphasis added” would be other acceptable phrases.)

You can use brackets to include parenthetical material inside parenthetical material, eg:

  • Chernwell was poet laureate of Bermuda (a largely honorary position [unpaid]) for ten years.

Be kind to your reader, however, and use this device sparingly.

Again, Dear Reader, the use of all forms of parentheses is not an easy concept to master if you don’t practice using them. Use them in your everyday writing so that they become second nature.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!