Personal observations on life

Use sharper words to convey meaning

Are you bored by the words you use? If you are bored, think how much more bored will the examiner be when you see your answer paper, The key to add zest to the language is to use sharper words that convey the exact, not generic meaning. Let us look at some of them.

come: advance, approach, arrive, near, reach

go: depart, disappear, fade, move, proceed, recede, travel

run: dash, escape, elope, flee, hasten, hurry, race, rush, speed, sprint

hurry: rush, run, speed, race, hasten, urge, accelerate, bustle

hide: conceal, cover, mask, cloak, camouflage, screen, shroud, veil.

move: plod, go, creep, crawl, inch, drag, shuffle, trot, dawdle, walk, traipse, jog, trudge, lumber, trail, run, sprint, trip, bound, breeze, stride, tear, rush, dash, dart, bolt, scamper, scurry, scoot, scuttle, scramble, race, chase, hasten, hurry, accelerate, roam, journey, trek, ride, slip, guide, slither, prance, pace, lunge

Now let us have a small exercise. Below given are some sentences with ordinary words we use. Replace them with more appropriate and sharper words given above.

  1. The mice ran across room get to the cheese.
  2. I was unhappy that he had hidden the truth from me.
  3. Many of the jobless people just go around the town,
  4. We moved fast to the supermarket as it was almost time to close,
  5. He had hidden a gun under his bed.

Personal observations on life

Correct the mistakes in the following sentences.

  1. Prepare the necessary ingredients: cheese, butter, bread, a non-stick pan and spatula.

‘’Gather/Assemble the necessary ingredients: cheese, butter, bread, a non-stick pan and a spatula.’’

(The word ‘’prepare’’ is used for things you make from scratch, especially a dish or a meal. e.g. I am preparing a meal for my family now.)2. Our school principle advised us to pay attention in classes.

2. Our school principle advised us to pay attention in class.

Our school principal advised us to pay attention in class

(The word ‘’principle’’ means moral values or ideals.)

3. What is the amount of students in this class?

What is the number of students in this class?

(The word ‘’amount’’ is used for uncountable nouns such as amount of sugar in coffee etc. Students are countable, so you have to use ‘’number of students’’)

4. I was very scared yesterday because I dream of a car accident.

I was very scared yesterday because I dreamt of a car accident.

( It is clearly the past tense.)

5. I went to watch movie yesterday.

I went to watch a movie yesterday.

6. You gained the weight last month.

You gained some weight last month.

7.Yesterday I go to market to buy three duck.

Yesterday I went to the market to buy three ducks.

8. He got a job in Microsoft.

He got a job at Microsoft.

9. I have made a decision on my future studies.

I have made a decision about my future studies.

10. The cat chased it’s own tail.

The cat chased its own tail.

11. Its a lovely day today.

It’s a lovely day today.

(It’s is a short form for It is)

12. The tree has lost all it’s leaves

The tree has lost all its leaves.

13.She bought stationary for writing.

She bought stationery for writing.

(The word ‘’stationary’’ means ‘’without moving’’. Also remember that stationery does not have a plural form. You cannot say ‘’stationeries.’’)

14.I hate to loose in badminton

I hate to lose in badminton.

15.Tomorrow I shall go  Bandar.

Tomorrow I shall go to Bandar

16. We arrived to the school.

We arrived at the school.

17. We arrived on Kuantan at 4pm.

We arrived at Kuantan at 4 pm.

18. For the first day, we went for sightseeing in the town.

On the first day, we went for sightseeing in the town.

19. It was sunny at the last day.

It was sunny on the last day.

20. We reached to the school at 4 pm.

We reached the school at 4 pm.

Personal observations on life

Vocabulary test for GCE O’level English

From paragraph 1

  1. Pick out one word from this paragraph that shows that Alice and her grandmother went shopping often.

a) Handles
b) Rituals
c) Again
d) Shock

  1. Pick out one word from this paragraph that means ”examine”.
    a) Shattered
    b) Blur
    c) Inspect
    d) Webbing
  2. Pick out one word from this paragraph that means ”broken”
    a) Plaited’
    b) Shock
    c) Knocked
    d) shattered

From paragraph 2

  1. Pick out one word from this paragraph that means ”a long time”
    a) Eventually
    b) Extricated
    c) Ages
    d) Beads
  2. “Alice’s apprehension gave way to exhilaration”. Explain in your own words what the author means here.

From paragraph 3

  1. “Soon Alice was standing next to a table with a surface that she thought that, if she touched it, ripples would circle out from under her fingers to lap at its edges.” What did the surface of the table remind Alice of?
    a) Wax
    b) Wood
    c) Water’
    d) Air

From paragraph 4

  1. What effect is created by the word ”looming” that would not be created by, for example, the word ”appearing”?

From paragraph 5

  1. Which of the following words have the same meaning as the word ”spellbound” as it is used in this passage?
    a) Happy
    b) Awe-struck
    c) Sad
    d) Confused

From paragraph 6

  1. Which of the following words have the same meaning as the word ”dilapidated” in this paragraph?
    a) Old
    b) New
    c) Fashionable
    d) Worn out
  2. Pick out one word from this paragraph that means ”untying” or ”undoing”
    a) Fastening
    b) Unfastening
    c) Clasp
    d) placed

Answers

  1. b)
  2. c)
  3. d)
  4. c)
  5. Alice’s fears changed to excitement.
  6. c)
  7. threatening
  8. b)
  9. d)
  10. b)