Friday, December 30, 2011


Superlative + noun + in the world: ‘Hirakud dam is one of the longest earthen dams in the world.’
All over the world = everywhere in the world: ‘Since joining the newspaper, she’s travelled all over the world.’ ‘There will be teams from all over the world.’ ‘Her novel is famous all over the world.’

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Transport = (i) the system that carries passengers (or goods) from one place to another: ‘I spent most of my money on hotels, food, and transport.’ ‘Trains are still my favorite form of transport.’ ‘People should be encouraged to use public transport.’ (ii) something that serves as a means of transport, such as truck, bus etc.: ‘Applicants must have their own transport.’
Transport is an uncountable noun.
Transportation usually refers to the process or business of moving things, especially goods, from one place to another: ‘Information regarding the transportation and storage of nuclear waste is difficult to obtain.’

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


When you mean ‘have an effect on’, use affect (NOT touch): ‘How will these new taxes affect people on low incomes?’ ‘Farms in the south of the country have been seriously affected by the drought.’
Get in touch with = communication with (someone) by letter or telephone: ‘Don’t wait until Christmas before you get in touch.’ ‘Mrs Tylor wants you to get in touch with her.’
Come into contact with = meet: ‘In my profession, I come into contact with a lot of teachers.’

Monday, December 26, 2011


Top = (i) at the top of a page or sheet of paper (NOT on) (= the uppermost part of anything): ‘Please write your name clearly at the top of First page.’ (ii) highest or extreme point of something (usually mountain or hill): ‘The view from the top was wonderful.’ (iii) the upper flat surface of something: ‘I eventually found the keys on top of the television.’ (iv) the highest position (as in rank or achievement): ‘She topped in her class.’

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Whole = (i) including all components; being one unit; complete: ‘She read the whole book in one day.’ ‘The whole idea is to help him indirectly.’ (ii) constituting the total sum or undiminished entirely: ‘He owns the whole island.’ ‘She gave her whole attention to studies.’
As a whole = considered as a single body or unit: ‘The country as a whole is not ready for another election.’
On the whole = generally speaking: ‘On the whole, I can see no reason why you shouldn’t apply.’

Friday, December 23, 2011


Want = (i) have a wish for: ‘I want to go home now.’ (ii) have a requirement for: ‘We want a science graduate for this job.’ (iii) to wish or demand the presence of: ‘I want you at home by evening.’ (iv) be deficient in; lack: ‘Flood victims still want food and shelter.’
Want sb to do sth: ‘The doctor wants me to go for another check-up in two weeks time.’
For polite requests, use would like (NOT want): ‘If you’re not too busy, I’d like you to have a look at my homework.’ ‘I’d like you to send me the coat if you find it.’

Thursday, December 22, 2011


What = used with noun to ask question seeking information about something or somebody: ‘What is your name?’
What is not used as a relative pronoun. After all, everything, anything etc., use that or nothing: ‘You can have anything (that) you like.’ ‘I have everything (that) I need for the time being.’
When you comment on a previous statement, use which: ‘Lizzie ate the whole box of chocolates, which was sent by her uncle.’
When a wh- clause is part of a sentence (e.g., the subject or the object), the subject and verb in the wh- clause do not change places: ‘Why did she leave so soon?’ ‘Do you know why she left so soon?’

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Trust in = (formal or literary) have faith in: ‘All will be well as long as you trust in God.’
Trust (WITHOUT in) = believe that someone is honest (and will not hurt or deceive you): ‘He’s just a bit too friendly and I’m afraid I don’t trust him.’ ‘I’m the only person he’ll trust to look after his money.’

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Thus (= generally used to introduce a logical conclusion) is used only in formal styles: ‘All vaccines carry some risk of side effects. Thus emergency equipment and appropriate drugs should be available at all immunization sessions.’

In non-formal styles use so: ‘The smell of paint can give you a headache and so it’s good idea to keep the windows open.’ ‘He is biased and so cannot be trusted.’

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Wait = stay somewhere until someone comes: ‘I’ll wait here until you get back.’ ‘It’s quicker to walk than wait for a bus.’

Expect = believe that someone or something is going to come: ‘The train is expected to arrive in the next five minutes.’ ‘I can’t leave the house. I’m expecting visitors.’
Wait for sb/sth: ‘I’ll wait for you outside the post office.’ ‘What can I do while I’m waiting for the paint to dry?’

In informal styles, to show that you are really looking forward to something, use I (just) can’t wait or I can hardly wait: ‘I can’t wait to see you again.’ ‘I can hardly wait for the holidays to begin.’

Friday, December 16, 2011


Threat (noun) = (i) something/somebody that is a source of trouble or danger: ‘Flood is a constant threat in Odisha.’ (ii) a warning that something unpleasant is imminent: ‘They are under threat of arrest.’ (iii) an expression of an intention to inflict harm, injury on other: ‘The letter is full of threats and accusations.’ ‘The President said he would stand firm and not give in to threats from terrorists.’
The verb is threaten: ‘Whenever they have an argument, she threatens to leave him.’ ‘He is threatening the magazine with legal action unless they publish a full apology.’

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Voluntary = (i) normally controlled by or subject to individual volition: ‘Voluntary muscle contraction.’ (ii) supported by charitable donation: ‘Voluntary hospital’ (iii) of free choice: ‘Participation in the programme is completely voluntary.’ (iv) undertaken deliberately; intentional: ‘He is accused of voluntary manslaughter.’
Voluntary is an adjective (NOT a noun). It describes someone who agrees to work without being paid or work that is not paid: ‘On Saturdays she does voluntary work at an old age home.’
The noun is volunteer = someone who decides to do something willingly, not by force: ‘I need three volunteers to help me move the piano.’

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Thing = (i) state of affairs in general or within a specified sphere; matters: ‘Things are improving now.’ (ii) a special situation: ‘It is a remarkable thing.’ ‘I found the whole thing very boring.’ (iii) an action, deed: ‘How can you do such things.’ (iv) possession in term of object, clothes etc.: ‘Pack your things.’ (v) any attribute or quality as having its own existence: ‘The only thing I like about her is her sincerity.’ (vi) what somebody says or thinks: ‘She says the first thing she thinks of.’ (vii) detail or point: ‘Please check every little thing.’

Avoid using thing after an adjective when the adjective can be used on its own: ‘To obtain a bank loan when you don’t have a job can be very difficult.’

Note however the commonly used phrase a/the good thing: ‘The good thing about this school is that all the teachers are very enthusiastic.’

Something + adjective, anything + adjective, etc: ‘Did you notice anything unusual?’

The use of many things often sounds unnatural. Instead, use a lot, a great deal, etc.: ‘She said that she had a lot to do.’ ‘In just one or two sessions you can learn a great deal.’

Note also the phrase all about: ‘The best person to ask is David – he knows all about tropical plants.’ (= he knows everything about …)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Vocabulary = (i) all the words in a particular language or all the words (in a language) that someone knows: ‘English has a vast vocabulary.’ ‘By the end of the course, students should have an active vocabulary of around 2000 words.’ (ii) the system of techniques or symbols serving as a means of expression: ‘He introduced a wide vocabulary of techniques.’

Monday, December 12, 2011


There = (i) used to show that something exists or takes place: ‘There’s a hair in your soup.’ ‘Suddenly there was a loud bang.’ ‘There are two police officers waiting to see you.’ Note: in this pattern there has no meaning. It simply fills the subject position (ii) in that place or location: ‘We will reach there in time.’ ‘I used to live there for last three years.’ (iii) in that respect: ‘His anger was justified there.’ (iv) on that point: ‘I don’t agree with you there.’ (v) used to attract somebody’s attention to a particular thing, person, or fact: ‘There is the house I was telling you about.’

Use there is/was when the following noun is singular/uncountable: ‘There was smoke all over the house.’ Use there are/were when the following noun is plural: ‘There are many times when I would prefer to be alone.’

Note: a lot of, plenty of, etc. do not affect the number of the verb. Compare: ‘There was a lot of traffic on the road.’ ‘There were a lot of cars on the road.’

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Vision = (i) an idea or picture formed by imagination: ‘This romantic vision of a world without war is far off reality.’ (ii) the ability to see; visual faculty: ‘The owls have perfect night vision.’ (iii) the ability of great perception; foresight: ‘He is a man of vision.’ (iv) a religious or mystical experience of a supernatural appearance: ‘The idea came to me in a vision.’

View = the way you think about something that exists now: ‘This report sets out the views of our members very clearly.’ ‘At that time there was a widely held view that fascism was not a threat to Europe.’

Friday, December 9, 2011


View = the whole area that you can see from somewhere, especially when you can see a long way into the distance; scene: ‘His studio has a spectacular view over Sydney Harbour Bridge.’ ‘I’ve booked a room with a view of the sea.’

When you are talking about the act of seeing something, use the sight of: ‘The sight of so many people dying from disease and hunger made me feel ill.’

Look at/admire/enjoy the view (NOT see/watch): ‘We asked the driver to stop the car so that we could look at the view.’

Have/get a (good) view from a particular place (NOT see): ‘If you stand where I am, you get a much better view.’

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So + adjective/adverb + that clause: ‘I’m so tired that I can’t keep awake.’

Use so that to express purpose (NOT that): ‘The burglars put off all the lights so that they wouldn’t be seen.’

When making a comparison, use as/so … as (NOT as/so … that): ‘It’s as hard to get into university today as it was ten years ago.’

When giving a reason for something, use since or as (NOT that): ‘Instead of cooking, why don’t we get a take-away, especially as it’s so late.’

That is used to introduce an identifying relative clause (one, which identifies, defines, or restricts the preceding noun): ‘The woman that is sitting behind us is Tom’s music teacher.’

To make a precise reference to a previously mentioned action, use do so (NOT do that): ‘I asked him to take his feet off the seat but he refused to do so.’

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


In vain usually comes after verbs such as try, search, hunt, look, wait, fight etc. or after the verb be: ‘Her voice was beginning to rise and she tried in vain to control it.’ ‘A team of surgeons battled save him but it was all in vain.’ ‘I was never in any doubt that my efforts would be in vain.’

In other situations, use without success or to no avail: ‘They did everything they could to protect her, but (all) to no avail.’ ‘The police did their best to rescue the hostages but without success.’

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


When technology has a general meaning it is uncountable: ‘The country’s economic fate depends on access to foreign technology.’

Technology is a countable noun only when you refer to a particular area of activity: ‘The system uses advanced satellite technologies.’

Technology = (the study of) the use of scientific theories and methods for practical purposes: ‘Can you imagine what the world would be like without science and technology?’ ‘Space research has produced major advances in computer technology.’

Monday, December 5, 2011


Technique = a way of doing something, especially one that requires special training. ‘Thanks to these new surgical techniques, patients spend far shorter periods in hospital.’

Technical = (1) involving or requiring detailed knowledge, especially of an industrial or scientific subject: ‘The flight was cancelled due to a technical problem.’ (2) connected with skills needed for a particular job, sports, art etc.: ‘The job requires proper technical training.’ (3) of or relating to or requiring special knowledge to be understood: ‘Technical language’, ‘Highly technical matters are hardly suitable for common people.’

Saturday, December 3, 2011


When society means ‘the general system that helps people to live together in an organized way’, it is uncountable noun and is used without the: ‘People who drink and drive are a threat to society.’ ‘I was asked to give a talk about role of women in present society.’

Friday, December 2, 2011


When you have a conversation, you talk (to someone) about something: ‘We talked about where we could go at the weekend.’

When there is something that you want someone to know, you tell them about it: ‘She told me about her holiday plans.’

When you use a language for conversing or communicating, you speak (NOT talk): ‘Do you speak Italian?’ ‘I didn’t know you could speak Greek.’

Talk to sb (about sth): ‘The manager would like to talk to you when you have a moment.’

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Taste = (i) flavor: ‘I don’t like the taste of strawberry.’ (ii) to test the quality of food or drink by taking a little into the mouth: ‘The chef tasted the soup and added a little salt in it.’ (iii) to eat or drink a small quantity of: ‘She offered to taste the wine.’

When you have something to eat or drink for the first time, you try it. ‘I think I’ll try the onion soup. What’s it like?’

Have good/poor/little/no taste (in sth), (without a/an) = a person’s ability to choose things: ‘She has good taste in music.’

Be in good/poor/bad taste: ‘These advertisements are in very bad taste and in my opinion should be banned.’