Fine Tune Your English
Section K Miscellaneous and General
MISCELLANEOUS AND GENERAL TOPICS
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRITISH AND AMERICAN ENGLISH
Date format is
India have lost the game
India lost the game
Dance – /da:ns/
Dance - /d ns/
ONCE MEN OF PARTS NOW PARTS OF SPEECH
(Origin of words)
Brougham → pronounced as broom
From the name a lord brougham
Means that one seated closed carriage
Macadam → From the name J.L Macadam
Means that to cover the road with small broken stones
Burke → from the name burke
Means -to strangle somebody
Lynch → from the name Charles lynch
Means that action of a mob judging without legal procedures
Boycott → from the name Charles boycott
Means to refuse to deal with an individual.
ON GEESE AND MONGOOSES
Rules for plural formation:
when `s` is added some spelling adjustments are needed
Sky → skies
Fe → ves
Knife → knives
O → o +es
Mango → mangoes
- nouns from plural by changing the vowel
Man → men
nouns borrowed from other language form plural as in original language
- Nouns treated as singular even though ending in `s` .
eg : news
mumps → (diseases)
politics, mathematics (subjects)
- Summation plurals.
eg : He is dressed in blue trousers.
- Nouns that occur only in the plural form.
eg : arms → weapons
arm → not mean one weapon
A number of foreign words in English form their plurals in original language.
Radius → radii
ex → ices
Adjustments in spelling (while adding suffix `s`)
1. y →ies
Spy → spies
Boy – boies(wrong)
Boy – boys ( correct)
2.Letter names ,numbers ,abbreviation, are pluralised by adding `s`
eg: There are two t`s in matthew.
3.Nouns ending in `o` generally pluralised with `s` and `es`
`es` for –echo,hero
Both`s` and `es` - buffalo,cargo.
4. Compound plurals
- Plural in the first word.(eg.secretaries – general)
- Plural in first and last word (eg .men servants)
- Plural in the last word ( eg.postmen)
5. Three nouns
- Brother – brethren
- Child - children
- Ox – oxen.
TEN IN TO THIRTY IS THREE
Mathematical functions in English
1. 17 x 280 – seventeen times two hundred and eighty or seventeen multiplied by two hundred and eighty
2. 710 + 100 =810 –seven hundred and ten plus one hundred is eight hundred and ten.
3. 20-10= 10- twenty minus ten is ten.
Ten from twenty leaves ten
4. year can be told as two numbers
eg: 1999 – I saw him in nineteen ninety nine.
5. dealing with fraction
2/3 –two thirds
6.reading numbers .
100 –a hundred
1000 –a thousand
ON GENDER AND SEXISM
ENGLISH FOLLOWS NATURAL GENDER DETERMINED BY SEX.
BASIC RULES ON GENDER FORMATION.
1.Feminine forms of masculine formed by suffix;
‘ess’ → lion-lioness.
2.Femine formed by another word.
3.some feminine endings with ‘ess’.
4.Name of the countries are usually treated as feminine ,but if treated as geographic unit it is considered as inanimate one.
Eg: Look at Sri Lanka in the map.It is very small.
England is proud of her tradition.
5.pronouns are used after dual nouns like student,librarian etc.
Eg:Everybody should do his or her duty.
6.pedigree of an animal; sire and dam, not father and mother.
VERY GOOD BUT TOTALLY INCOMPETENT
“Do” and “action” do not collocate.
eg x Somebody did a good or wrong action
- He did something good or bad.
“Very”and “adjectives” do not collocate.
eg: x That news was very shocking.
- That news was quite shocking.
Do not use “very” before adjectives like convinced, terrible, huge, incompetent , exhausted, silent.
Instead use absolutely, totally, completely, quite , highly, etc.
“Neither is he decent nor straight forward”.
The word “nor” in the sentence is not related to neither.
Neither can be an indefinite pronoun ,an indefinite determiner or an adverb.
LONG LIVE THE COMMA
PUNCTUATION→A PART OF MEANING OF THE SENTENCE.
→DIVIDE A SENTENCE INTO PHRASES AND CLAUSES .
→ To separate words in a list. comma is not inserted before and.
Eg:Musical syllabus are do ,re ,mi ,fa ,la and ti.
→ To separate phrases and clauses.
Eg: When I went there ,a lot of people were waiting for me.
→ Adverbs should be separated with commas.
Eg :George , however , is not aware of this .
→ To Seperate tag questions.
→ To separate introductory words /phrases that apply to whole sentence.
→To introduce short quotations.
→use at the end of grammatically complete units to indicate that an addition is necessary to complete the meaning.
Eg: We failed four times ;let’s hope this time we will succeed.
→ use before an explanation.
Eg: we have to take john to hospital : he has sprained his ankle.
→ Introduce a list or a quotation.
Eg : The SQ3R system of study consists of : survey ,question ,read ,revise.
→Used to separate main title from subtitle.
THE POSSESSIVE CASE
- Possessive case is used to indicate by adding “ ‘s ”to a singular and an apostrophe to a plural noun.
Eg: John’s brother.
Parent s’ duty.
2.when two nouns are in possessive add “ ‘s” in the second noun.
Eg: Jack and Jill ’s poem.
3.Possessive of nouns ending in ‘s’ →we add an apostrophe to certain other nouns.
Eg: Henry James’s novels.
4.Two other ways to form possessive instead of ‘s’ .
- Putting two nouns together.
-a car factory.
(first noun →possessive adjective)
- Use of before nouns.
-end of the road.
5.T o put the “ ‘s” genitive rules in a nutshell:
- Personal names take ‘s.
- Collective nouns from the genitive with ‘s.
- Name of higher animals.
- Geographical and institutional names .
- Showing time.
- Special interest to human activity.
5.The ‘of’ genitive is used with inanimate nouns.
Eg : hardness of diamond.
6.Double genitive → use both “ ’s” genitive and ‘of’ genitive in same sentences.
Eg: a novel of Hardy’s.
7.Genitive form always does not show possession
Reading is the means by which the written or printed word is accessed.
Dictionary defines→ reading as the mental or vocal reproduction of the written word.
- Good reader
○ read rapidly with comprehension.
- Better reader
○read rapidly ,critically and with comprehension.
- Best reader
○Reader who is able to add retention of what is read to these attainments.
Kinds of reading
- Reading for pleasure.
- Reading of story .
2.Study type reading
- Reading for study something.
- Slow and serious reading.
- Search for some specific piece of information.
- Give information on a particular topic.
- Different types of reading → Henry madox.
1.Reading to master the contents.
4.reading for acquiring answer to a question.
PROCESS OF READING
- Fixation → Our eyes focus on a group of two or three words to send its message to the brain .such pause is fixation.
- Regression → Backward movement of eye for re-read.
- Return sweep → Eye sweeps back to the left to read next line.
FACTORS FOR READABILITY
- Average number of words in sentences.
- Number of commonly understood words.
- Average number of syllables.
- Number of long complex sentences.
- Proportion of abstract ideas.
- Number of proportional phrase.
Importance of reading:
- Reading nourishes the mind.
- Strengthen the mind.
- PREVIEWING → Exploratory reading of a text with the intention of finding out the main idea .
- Read the title and sub title.
- Read introductory sentence/concluding passage.
- Skim through the passage .
- SKIMMING→ Remove floating material from a liquid.
→It is the process by which not so much to read the text ,glance through it in order to get general idea.
How to make reading more effective?
- Reading is not just an activity of eye, brain also involves.
- Make eye movement more effectieve.
- Genuine interest.
- Speed of reading.
- Shift the reading style depending on context.
How to use library?
→Knowledge about the organization of library.
- Look books in right place.
Organisation of library.
American Dewey Decimal method.
Divide knowledge into TEN broad division.
000-099 → General.
100-199 → Philosophy.
200-299 → Religion.
300-399 → Social sciences.
400-499 → Language.
500-599 → Pure science.
600-699 → Applied science.
700-799 → Fine arts, recreation.
800-899 → Literature.
900-999 → History / Geography.
Subdivision of these books.
510 - Mathematics.
520 – Astronomy.
530 – Physics.
540 – Chemistry.
550 – Earth Science.
560 – Fossils.
570 – Biology.
580 – Botany.
590 – Zoology.
Again sub divide.
796 – Outdoor sports.
797 – water and Air sports.
798 – Horse and other animal sports.
799 – Fishing.
796.3 – ball games.
796.32 – basket ball.
EVERY LIBRARY BOOK HAS A NUMBER.
Eg: 973.7/w 498 m.
973.7 → shows it a history, geography book.
W → first letter of the authors name.
M → first letter of the title.
THREE kinds of letters.
- Business letters – for business purposes
- Job related letters - job application letters.
- Personal letters - letters between friends and family .
Parts of a letters
- Inside address
- The body of the letters
- Complimentary close
MODIFIED BLOCK STYLE
2.seven parts of the letter are flush with the left margin
2. inside address is in the block format
3.complimentary close and signature line are drawn to the right
- Intention of obtaining employment
- Kind of business letter
- First paragraph : says where you came and post applying for.
- Second paragraph : sign of the sober
- Concluding paragraph : enquires and request for the interview.
HOW TO EXPRESS IDEA
- Select a plan
- Set of ideas
- Appropriate tone
- Turn of expression
- IS letting the employee know ,what you know ,what your skills are and what have been doing.
- Should not exceed two typed pages
- Get your resume proof readed by two persons
- Resume should contain headings .
- Negative information neednot mention.
- Information can set down in sentence or phrases
- Job experience in reverse chronological order
- Personal letters written between friends and family members
- Personal letters are informal
- Place ,date at the right hand top
- Signature too is at right.
- How to choose the topic ?
- A topic in which you are really interested.
- Make sure that enough information is available.
- Topic must have the approval of supervising teacher.
- You must be competent in the topic.
- Topic must not be a controversial one.
- How to work with bibliography?
→ List of books
HELPFUL IN TWO WAYS
- To find whether enough material is available.
- Increase awareness of the subjects.
Eg :name of the author, title of the book, publication details, place of publication, publisher’s name, year of publication.
Note taking – Forms.
- Quotation: May be short or long.
→ Paraphrase: Take note in our own language.
- Gist: Summary of passage.
- Work cited
- Borrowing ideas , charts ,quotation etc. from other authors should be acknowledged at the end of the borrowed material.
→ acknowledging the researcher`s indebtedness to those authors from whose writing ideas, quotations etc. have been borrowed.
Department of English, John Paul Memorial College of Arts and Science, Labbakkada, Idukki