English @ the Movies: ‘Something Fishy’ – VOA Learning English (Jun 24, 2017)

On English @ the Movies we talk about the saying “something fishy” from the funny movie “The House.” It is about parents who open a gaming business to pay for their daughter’s university. Is “something fishy” about fishing? Watch our video and find out!

This was originally published on www.learningenglish.voanews.com and reproduced here with permission.

Courtesy: Voice of America

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A foregone conclusion – The Hindu (Jun 24, 2017)

A foregone conclusion – The Hindu (Jun 24, 2017)

It may have the trappings of an ideological battle, but the 2017 presidential election has become a platform for political messaging. With the Bharatiya Janata Party… For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-1

  1. a foregone conclusion (phrase) –  predictable result, predictable outcome, inevitability.
  2. set the tone (phrase) – to establish the quality /attitude /character for something.
  3. trappings (noun) – outward features, frills/extras, ornaments/decoration.
  4. constrain (verb) – restrict, limit, restrain.
  5. follow suit (phrase) – emulate, copy, follow.
  6. but that (phrase) – except that.
  7. lent (past participle of lend (verb) – add, give, furnish/provide.
  8. be swathed in (verb) – wrap, envelop, cover.
  9. report card (noun) – an evaluation (of performance).
  10. intent (noun) – aim, purpose, objective.
  11. garner (verb) – gather, collect, accumulate.
  12. the fold (noun) – group, community, company.
  13. oblige (verb) – compel/force, coerce, pressurize.
  14. depressed (adjective) – poor, disadvantaged, deprived.
  15. bolster (verb) – strengthen, support, reinforce/boost.
  16. clutch (noun) – group, set, collection.
  17. coup (noun) – success, triumph, master stroke.
  18. pull off (phrasal verb) – achieve, succeed in, accomplish.
  19. backing (noun) – help, support, assistance/aid.
  20. weigh (verb) – consider, contemplate, assess.
  21. fallout (noun) – adverse results; repercussions, after-effects.
  22. embroil (verb) – involve, entangle, catch up.
  23. faction (noun) – a small group, section, division (of dissenter within a large group).
  24. restive (adjective) – restless, dissentious, out of control.

24JUN17_WL1pdf

Note:

  1. Click each one of the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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The clean-up begins – The Hindu (Jun 23, 2017)

The clean-up begins – The Hindu (Jun 23, 2017)

Armed with the powers, a little over a month ago, to get lenders and defaulting borrowers to sit down and address the messy task of cleaning up toxic bad debts, the… For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-1

  1. insolvency (noun) – failure/collapse;  financial ruin, bankruptcy, indebtedness.
  2. sit down (phrasal verb) – accept an unwelcoming situation.
  3. debts (noun) – bill, financial obligation, outstanding payment.
  4. whip (noun) – used to refer to something acting as a stimulus to action.
  5. regulatory (adjective) – executive, organizational, management.
  6. intervention (noun) – the action of intervening.
  7. imperative (noun) – necessary condition, requisite/requirement, necessity.
  8. ward off (phrasal verb) – prevent, avert, oppose/resist.
  9. underscore (verb) – call attention to, emphasize, highlight.
  10. recapitalisation (noun) – it is a type of corporate reorganization involving substantial change in a company’s capital structure, especially by replacing debt with stock.
  11. divulge (verb) – disclose, reveal, make known.
  12. in the wake of (phrase) – aftermath, as a consequence of, as a result of.
  13. downturn (noun) – setbacks, upsets, reverses/reversals.
  14. onus (noun) – responsibility, duty, burden.
  15. consortium (noun) – union, league, syndicate/corporation. Consortia is a plural form of consortium.
  16. expedite (verb) – speed up, accelerate, quicken.
  17. purview (noun) – range, scope, ambit.
  18. infancy (noun) – beginnings, early days/stages.
  19. curtail (verb) – reduce, cut down decrease/lessen.
  20. the proof of the pudding is in the eating (phrase)  – someone can only say something is a success after it has been tried out or used.
  21. retain (verb) – keep, maintain, reserve.
  22. at stake (phrase) – at risk /in question.
  23. liquidate (verb) – close down, wind up/dissolve, terminate.

23JUN17_WL

Note:

  1. Click each one of the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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Studying Sentence Patterns to Improve Your Writing: Part One – – VOA Learning English (Jun 22, 2017)

EG_22JUN17

Many English learners have spent a lot of time studying the parts of speech: adjectives, nouns and verbs, for example. But sometimes studying the English sentence from a larger perspective is useful.

One way to get a bigger view of English is to study common sentence patterns.

The English language has many patterns. In the book Rhetorical Grammar, author Martha Kolln describes seven common sentence patterns. In other writings, she says that 95% of sentences in English fit into basic patterns.

Understanding and mastering common patterns will not only help you do better on grammar tests, but improve your writing skills, too.

For example, here is a passage written by Ernest Hemingway, a famous American author. It comes from the short story “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” The story is one of the most famous ones that Hemingway wrote.

“This is a clean and pleasant café. It is well lighted. The light is very

good and also, now, there are shadows of the leaves.”

Do you notice patterns in these sentences? If you do not recognize them, you will by the end of this report! In this installment of Everyday Grammar, we are focusing on two of the most common patterns in English.

Pattern #1: Subject + BE + Subject Complement*

Consider a line from the song “Beautiful,” by Christina Aguiliera:

“I am beautiful.”

The line shows the foundation of most sentences in English:

Sentence = Subject (noun phrase) + predicate (verb phrase)

A phrase is a group of words that act as a unit. A noun phrase has an important noun, the headword noun, along with words and phrases that give more information about it. The subject of a sentence is the whole noun phrase – not just the noun!

The predicate is a verb phrase with a main verb and the words and phrases that give more information about it.

If you take the sentence from the Aguilera song, you can analyze it like this:

Subject Predicate

I am beautiful

In this sentence, the adjective beautiful acts as the subject complement. It describes “I,” the subject.

So, the song lyric is the first important sentence pattern in English.

Pattern #1

Subject + BE + Subject Complement

The subject complement can be either an adjective or a noun phrase.

For example, consider this line from the music group Queen.

“We are the champions.

We are the champions.”

In that line, the subject is “we.”

The predicate, “are the champions,” contains the BE verb along with a subject complement, “the champions.” This noun phrase is describing the subject, “we.”

You might find sentences that appear more complicated but use the same basic structure.

Consider this song by the Beatles:

Baby, you’re a rich man
Baby, you’re a rich man
Baby, you’re a rich man

At first, the sentence appears complicated, but the basic structure of the sentence remains the same: Subject + BE + Subject complement.

The difference is that the sentence has added information, a noun that is the same as the subject of the sentence.

Baby, you’re a rich man.

Noun, SUB + BE + Subject Complement

Pattern #2: Subject + BE + Adverbial

The Subject + BE + Subject Complement pattern is not the only pattern you will find with the verb BE.

Consider these two sentences:

1) My friends are at the concert.

2) The test was yesterday.

In these examples, the subject and the BE verb are followed by adverbials, which are, in this case, words or phrases that tell where or when.

In the first sentence, the adverbial structure is the prepositional phrase “at the concert.”

In the second sentence, the adverbial structure is the adverb “yesterday.”

These examples show another common BE structure: Subject + BE + Adverbial.

What does this have to do with Hemingway?

Think back to the Hemingway passage from the beginning of this story.

“This is a clean and pleasant café. It is well-lighted. The light is very

good and also, now, there are shadows of the leaves.”

The second sentence clearly uses a Pattern #1 sentence:

Subject BE Subject Complement

It is well-lighted

But if you look closely, you will see every sentence in the passage uses Pattern #1. Two of the sentences use conjunctions, but they still depend on the same basic pattern.

This is a clean and pleasant café. It is well-lighted. The light is very

SUB.+ BE +SUB COMP SUB.+BE+SUB COMP SUB. + BE

good and also, now, there are shadows of the leaves.”

+SUB COMP.

Hemingway was famous for his short, declarative style. However, he did not write using basic pattern 1 and 2 sentences only! Good writers know how to make their sentences come to life. They do not write the same sentences over and over again!

What can you do?

To help you start recognizing these patterns, I am going to give you four more sentences written by Ernest Hemingway.

Your homework is to identify which of the two basic patterns he is using. Please remember that sometimes Hemingway uses additional words. Just focus on finding the basic structure – pattern 1 or pattern 2. We will give you the answers next week in the comments section and on our Facebook page.

Here are the sentences:

1. “He is a good lion, isn’t he?”

– from “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”

2. “He must be eighty years old.”

– from “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”

3. “He was only in a hurry.“

– also from A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

4. “The treatment is for tomorrow.”

– from “Great News from the Mainland”

I’m Jonathan Evans.

I’m Jill Robbins.

And I’m John Russell.

John Russell wrote this story for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

*To learn more about these patterns, read Martha Kolln’s Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

____________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

adjective – n. a word that describes a noun or a pronoun

perspective – n. a way of thinking about and understanding something (such as a particular issue or life in general)

phrase – n. a group of two or more words that express a single idea but do not usually form a complete sentence

predicate – n. the part of a sentence that expresses what is said about the subject

analyze – v. to study (something) closely and carefully

complement – n. a word or group of words added to a sentence to make it complete

champion – n. someone or something (such as a team or an animal) that has won a contest or competition especially in sports

additional – adj. more than is usual or expected

This article was originally published on the www.learningenglish.voanews.com  and reproduced here with permission.

Courtesy: Voice of America

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News Words: Satire – VOA Learning English (Jun 22, 2017)

This news words is about humor.

This was originally published on www.learningenglish.voanews.com and reproduced here with permission.

Courtesy: Voice of America

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Jailing a judge – The Hindu (Jun 22, 2017)

Jailing a judge – The Hindu (Jun 22, 2017)

The imprisonment of Justice C.S. Karnan, who recently retired as a judge of the Calcutta High Court, for contempt is the culmination…. For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-1

  1. culmination (noun) – climaxpeak, pinnacle.
  2. unsubstantiated (adjective) – unconfirmed, unsupported, uncorroborated.
  3. hallowed (adjective) – holy, sacred; revered/worshipped.
  4. portal (noun) – gateway, entrance, opening.
  5. pragmatic (adjective) – empirical, realistic/actual, practical.
  6. under a dark cloud (phrase) –  disgraced, discredited, shamed.
  7. strip of (verb) – deprive, confiscate/divest, relieve (from power/rank).
  8. impeachment (noun) – the act of charging (a public official) with a crime done while in office (Courtesy: VOA Learning English).
  9. disdainful (adjective) – contemptuous, scornful, full of contempt.
  10. reinforce (verb) – strengthen, fortify, bolster up.
  11. waywardness (noun) –  stubbornness, wilfulness, wildness.
  12. disregard (verb) – ignore, dismiss, set aside.
  13. introspection (noun) – self-observation, broodingself-analysis; contemplation.
  14. ill-suited (adjective) – inappropriate, unsuitable.
  15. inadequacy (noun) – insufficiency, deficiency, scarcity.
  16. Collegium system (noun) – The collegium system is the one in which the Chief Justice of India and a forum of four senior most judges of the Supreme Court recommend appointments & transfers of judges. There is no mention of the collegium in the Constitution of India.
  17. recalcitrant (adjective) – uncooperative, non-compliant, confrontational.
  18. glaring (adjective) – obvious, blatant, flagrant.
  19. lacuna (noun) – a gap/empty space; missing part of something.
  20. long-winded (adjective) – lengthy, long, overlong/prolonged.
  21. cumbersome (adjective) – complicated, complex; awkward/hard to deal with.
  22. wits (noun) – intelligence, astuteness, cleverness.
  23. refractory (adjective) – obstinate, stubborn, contrary, recalcitrant.
  24. self-restraint (noun) – self-control, restraint, control.
  25. chasten (verb) – subdue, humble, flatten.
  26. remission (noun) – cancellation, setting aside, suspension, revocation.
  27. grudge (verb) – feel resentful, envy, be angry about.
  28. play to the gallery (idiom) – instead of doing his/her job, is keen on winning popularity. (Courtesy: The Hindu).
  29. martyr (noun) – a person who displays that he is suffering from/in distress in order to obtain sympathy.

22JUN17_WL

Note:

  1. Click each one of the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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It’s kicking off! (Phrasal verbs for starting things) – Cambridge Dictionary About words blog (Jun 21, 2017)

It’s kicking off! (Phrasal verbs for starting things) – Cambridge Dictionary About words blog (Jun 21, 2017)

This week we’re looking at the many phrasal verbs that are used to refer to things starting. Let’s begin with the verb ‘start’ itself as it has a number of phrasal verbs.  For further reading, visit About words, a blog from Cambridge Dictionary.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Blog post written by: Kate Woodford

Courtesy: Cambridge University Press

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American voyage – The Hindu (Jun 21, 2017)

American voyage – The Hindu (Jun 21, 2017)

Three years after his first visit to meet U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Washington for his first meeting with the new President, Donald Trump, on…. For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-1

  1. voyage (noun) – journey, trip, quest.
  2. be ground in (verb) – build, establish, set.
  3. bygone (adjective) – past, former/earlier, gone by.
  4. diaspora (noun) – the dispersion or spread of the people from their homeland.
  5. interlocutor (noun) – a person who takes part in a dialogue or conversation.
  6. inauguration (noun) – the formal admission of someone to office.
  7. adhere to (verb) – abide by, comply with, stand by.
  8. regime (noun) – system, arrangement, scheme.
  9. accord (noun) – treaty, agreement, settlement/deal.
  10. set aside (phrasal verb) – put down, abandon, discard.
  11. tone down (phrasal verb) – moderate, mitigate, modify/soften.
  12. maritime (adjective) – of or related to the sea.
  13. put off (phrasal verb) – postpone, defer, delay.
  14. substantive (adjective) – important & meaningful.
  15. chart (verb) – follow, outline, describe/detail.
  16. amid (preposition) – in the middle of, surrounded by, among/amongst.
  17. presumably (adverb) – probably, in all likelihood, undoubtedly.
  18. prevailing (adjective) – existing, present, current.

21JUN17_WL

Note:

  1. Click each one of the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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End the violence – The Hindu (Jun 20, 2017)

End the violence – The Hindu (Jun 20, 2017)

Longstanding issues such as the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland in the Darjeeling Hills of West Bengal cannot be wished away with a magic wand.  For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-1

  1. empower (verb) – authorize, entitle, permit.
  2. longstanding (adjective) – long-term, persistent, perennial.
  3. wish-away (phrasal verb) – to try to stop, go away, get rid of something.
  4. magic wand (noun) – a stick that is used to make magic things happen—sometimes used figuratively to the findings of simple solution to a problem.
  5. charisma (noun) – presence, personality/individuality, strength of character.
  6. tokenism (noun) – the policy/practice of making token (symbolic) effort for the minority unfavorably.
  7. render (verb) – furnish, give, provide.
  8. notion (noun) – idea/thought, belief, concept.
  9. moot (adjective) – disputed, problematic, unsettled/unresolved.
  10. hold (noun) – influence, power, control.
  11. indigenous (adjective) – native/local, original, domestic.
  12. stepping stone (noun) – an action/event to make progress in order to achieve a goal.
  13. grievance (noun) – complaint, criticism, objection/protest.
  14. lackadaisical (adjective) – careless, casual, lazy.
  15. mirror (verb) – imitate, reflect, reproduce.
  16. machiavellian (adjective) – devious/tricky, double-dealing, unscrupulous (dishonest).
  17. dovetail (verb) – joint, join, fit/link (together).
  18. ad hocism (noun) – actions/measures to deal with specific & urgent issues/situations only.
  19. bind (noun) – predicament, awkward/difficult situation, quandary.
  20. sympathetic (adjective) – in favour of, approving of, supportive of.
  21. articulate (verb) – express, communicate, make public/announce.
  22. proximate (adjective) – nearest, immediate, close.
  23. flare-up (noun) – eruption, outbreak, outburst.
  24. undermine (verb) – weaken, compromise, diminish/reduce.
  25. assuage (verb) – ease, alleviate, subdue.
  26. ramp up (phrasal verb) – increase something.
  27. whip up (phrasal verb) – encourage, stimulate, excite/provoke.
  28. chauvinism (noun) – excessive support, excessive loyalty (for a particular group/cause/sex).
  29. polarisation (noun) – two contrasting groups (by division).
  30. portend (verb) – augur/foretell; indicate, signal.
  31. tamp (verb) – compress, condense, flatten.
  32. intractable (adjective) – unmanageable, uncontrollable, ungovernable.

20JUN17_WL1

Note:

  1. Click each one of the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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Helmut Kohl — the unifier – The Hindu (Jun 19, 2017)

Helmut Kohl-the unifier – The Hindu (Jun 19, 2017)

The architect of a reunified Germany and a staunch champion of European integration, Helmut Kohl, who died at 87, was the longest-serving German Chancellor since World War II. For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-2

  1. staunch (adjective) – loyal/faithful, trusty, committed.
  2. champion (noun) – advocate, proponent, supporter.
  3. steely (adjective) – firm, fixed, single-minded.
  4. wilderness (noun) – a position of disfavour, particularly in politics.
  5. austere (adjective) – simple, modest, subdued.
  6. incumbent (noun) – a person who is in office and holds power, functionary, official.
  7. catapult (verb) – hurry, rush, propel.
  8. reconciliation (noun) – reunion, appeasement, restoration of harmony.
  9. stoke (verb) – (of emotional activity) encourage, incite, increase.
  10. pivotal (adjective) – central, crucial, vital, critical.
  11. culminate (verb) – come to a climax; come to an end with, terminate with.
  12. scepticism (noun) – doubt, doubtfulness, lack of conviction.
  13. instinct (noun) – skill, talent, ability.
  14. apprehension (noun) – worry, concern, disquiet/unease.
  15. embrace (noun) – welcome, approval, adoption.
  16. counterpart (noun) – a person who serves the same job/function but in a different location; equivalent.
  17. forge (verb) – form, create, establish.
  18. locomotor (adjective) – relating to locomotion (locomotion means movement/transit/progress).
  19. concomitant (adjective) – associated, related, connected.
  20. lasting (adjective) – enduring, long-lasting, long-lived.
  21. legacy (noun) – effect/outcome, repercussion, footprint.

19JUN17_WL2

Note:

  1. Click each one of the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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