Sunday, May 9, 2010

Punctuation marks

Punctuation means putting in points and stops in writing.

. full stop is placed at the end of a sentence, and in abbreviations.
e.g. He got his B.A. degree.

, comma It is used -
- to separate words in a list.
e.g. coffee, milk, rice, biscuits, etc.
- to separate phrases or clauses.
e.g. If you don’t speak, I shall go away.
- to separate a question from the rest of the sentence.
e.g. It’s very nice, isn’t it?
before or after ‘he said’ in a conversation.
e.g. “Nothing will happen to me”, he said.

; semi colon is used to separate parts of a sentence that already contains commas.
e.g. She was firm in her stand; she would act on it, whenever she wanted to.

? question mark is used at the end of a direct question.
e.g. Where is the bag?
Is he going?

! exclamation mark occurs at the end of a sentence expressing surprise, joy, anger, shock, etc.
e.g. That’s great!
Oh, God!

’ apostrophe is used to show that a thing or person belongs to somebody.
e.g. my sister’s car
students’ corner
It is also used in short forms, to indicate that letters or figures have been omitted.
e.g. I’m (I am )
They’d (they had, they would)

“ ” quotation marks are used to enclose words in direct speech
e.g. “Why were you absent?” he asked.
”I had gone to Chennai”, she said.

Homonym

Homonym is a word that sounds the same as another but is different in meaning.

air - heir, allowed - aloud, ate - eight, bad - bade, bail - bale, ball - bawl, bare - bear, beach - beech, bean - been, beat - beet, bell - belle, birth - berth, blue - blew, boar - bore, board - bored, bow - bough, boy - buoy, brake - break, buy - by/bye, ceiling - sealing, cell - sell, cent - sent, cheap - cheep, check - cheque, coarse - course, dear - deer, die - dye, ewe - you, fair - fare, feat - feet, find - fined, flea - flee, flew - flu, flour - flower, fool - full, fore - four, foul - fowl, fur - fir, gait - gate, groan - grown, hair - hare, hall - haul, heal - heel, hear - here, heard - herd, higher - hire, him - hymn, hole - whole, hour - our, idle - idol, key - quay, knew - new, knight - night, knot - not, knows - nose, lain - lane, lead - led, leak - leek, lessen - lesson, loan - lone, made - maid, mail - male, main - mane, mare - mayor, meat - meet, medal - meddle, missed - mist, muscle - mussel, none - nun, oar - ore, one - won, pail - pale, pain - pane, pair - pear, peace - piece, peal - peel, plain - plane, pore - pour, practice - practise, praise - prays, pray - prey, principal - principle, profit - prophet, rain - reign, rap - wrap, read - reed, read - red, right - write, ring - wring, road - rode, role - roll, root - route, rose - rows, sale - sail, scene - seen, sea - see, seam - seem, sew - sow, sight - site, soar - sore, sole - soul, son - sun, soot - suit, stair - stare, stake - steak, steal - steel, stile - style, suite - sweet, tail - tale, tear - tier, their - there, threw - through, throne - thrown, tide - tied, to - two, told - tolled, vain - vein, vale - veil, waist - waste, wait - weight, weak - week, wood - would, yoke - yolk, yore - your.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Collective nouns

Collective nouns are words used to define a group of objects. Here "objects" can be people, animals, emotions, inanimate things, concepts, or other things.

Subjects and their collective terms are given below.

ants

  • An army of ants
  • A bike of ants
  • A colony of ants
  • A swarm of ants

antelope

  • A cluster of antelope
  • A herd of antelope
  • A tribe of antelope

apes

  • A shrewdness of apes
  • A troop of apes

asses (roped)

  • A coffle of asses

asses (driven)

  • A drove of asses

asses

  • A herd of asses
  • A pace of asses

auks (on land)

  • A colony of auks

auks (at sea)

  • A flock of auks

auks (on water)

  • A raft of auks

baboons

  • A flange of baboons
  • A congress of baboons
  • A troop of baboons
  • A rumpus of baboons

bacterium

  • A culture of bacteria

badgers

  • A colony of badgers
  • A cete of badgers

bats

  • A cloud of bats
  • A colony of bats

bears

  • A sloth of bears

beavers

  • A colony of beavers

bees

  • A hive of bee
  • A swarm of bees

birds

  • A flock of birds

birds (in an aviary)

  • A volery of birds

bitterns

  • A siege of bitterns

blackfish

  • A grind of blackfish

boars

  • A singular of boars

boars (wild, 12 or more)

  • A sounder of wild boars

buffalo

  • A gang, herd, or obstinacy of buffalo

bullfinches

  • A bellowing of bullfinches

bullocks

  • A drove of bullocks

bursars

  • A cheat of bursars

butterflies

  • A rabble of butterflies

capons

  • A mews of capons

caribou

  • A herd of caribou

cats

  • A clowder of cats
  • A clutter (or cluster) of cats
  • A glaring of cats

caterpillars

  • An army of caterpillars

cattle

  • A herd of cattle

chickens

  • A brood of chickens

choughs

  • A chattering of choughs

civil servants

  • A file of civil servants

colts

  • A rag of colts
  • A rake of colts

conies

  • A bury of conies

coots

  • A covert of coots

cormorants

  • A flight of cormorants

courtiers

  • A threat of courtiers

coyotes

  • A pack of coyote

cranes

  • A sedge of cranes
crocodiles


  • A bask of crocodiles
crows

  • A hover of crows
  • A murder of crows
deer

  • A bunch of deer
  • A mob of deer
dogs

  • A kennel of dogs
dogfish

  • A troop of dogfish
dolphins

  • A school of dolphins
  • A team of dolphins
dotterel

  • A trip of dotterel
doves

  • A flight of doves
ducks (on water)

  • A bunch of ducks
  • A paddling of ducks
  • A raft of ducks
ducks

  • A safe of ducks
ducks (in flight)

  • A skein of ducks
  • A string of ducks
  • A team of ducks
elephants

  • A herd of elephants
  • A parade of elephants
elk

  • A gang of elk
ferrets

  • A busyness of ferrets
finches

  • A charm of finches
fish

  • A shoal of fish
  • A school of fish

fish (drawn, netted or driven)

  • A draft of fish
fish (caught or cooked)

  • A mess of fish

flamingoes

  • A stand of flamingoes

flies

  • A swarm of flies

foxes

  • A skulk of foxes

gingers

  • A flush of gingers
geese (on land)

  • A gaggle of geese
geese (in flight)

  • A skein of geese
gnats

  • A cloud of gnats
  • A ghost of gnats

goats

  • A trip of goats
goldfish


  • A troubling of goldfish
  • A glint of goldfish
gorillas

  • A band of gorillas
grouse

  • A pack of grouse
hares

  • A down of hares
  • A mute of hares
hedgehogs


  • An array of hedgehogs
herons


  • A siege of herons
hippopotamuses

  • A bloat of hippopotamuses
horses

  • A drove of horses
  • A string of horses
hounds


  • A cry of hounds
  • A pack of hounds
impediments


  • A vagary of impediments
insects


  • a swarm of insects
jays

  • A party of jays
  • A scold of jays
  • A band of jays
jellyfish


  • A smack of jellyfish
jugglers

  • A never thriving of jugglers
kites (birds)


  • A brood of kites
  • An eyrie of kites
  • A roost of kites
  • A kettle of kites
  • A stooping of kites
  • A soar of kites
  • A string of kites
kittens (cats)


  • A kindle of kittens
  • A smattering of kittens
kittens (rabbits)


  • A wrack of kittens
knights


  • A rout of knights
  • A banner of knights
ladies


  • A bevy of ladies
lambs


  • A fall of lambs
lapwings


  • A desert of lapwings
  • A deceit of lapwings
larks


  • An ascension of larks
  • An exaltation of larks
leopards


  • A leap of leopards
  • A spot of leopards
lions

  • A pride of lions
locusts

  • A plague of locusts
lorries

  • A convoy of lorries
magpies

  • A steal of magpies
  • A tiding(s) of magpies
mallards

  • A sord of mallards
  • A lute of mallards

martens

  • A richness of martens
matrons


  • A riches of matrons
moles


  • A labour of moles
  • A company of moles
  • A movement of moles
monitors

  • A bank of monitors
monks


  • An abomination of monks
monkeys

  • A circus of monkeys
  • A tribe of monkeys
  • A troop of monkeys
  • A mission of monkeys
mourners

  • A cortege of mourners
mosquitoes

  • A scourge of mosquitoes
mice

  • A mischief of mice
mules

  • A barren of mules
  • A rake of mules
natives

  • A tribe of natives
nightingales

  • A watch of nightingales
otters

  • A bevy of otters
  • A romp of otters
owls

  • A parliament of owls
  • A stare of owls

oxen

  • A team of oxen
  • A span of oxen
oysters (young)

  • A set of young oysters
parrots

  • A pandemonium of parrots
  • A company of parrots
partridges


  • A covey of partridges
peacocks


  • A pride of peacocks
  • A muster of peacocks
  • An ostentation of peacocks
pekingese


  • A pomp of Pekingese
penguins

  • A parcel of penguins
  • A rookery of penguins
  • A creche of penguins
  • A huddle of penguins
  • A colony of penguins
performers

  • A troupe of performers
pheasants

  • A covey of pheasants
  • A bouquet of pheasants
physicians

  • A college of physicians
platypi

  • An implausibility of platypi
pigs

  • A drove of pigs
  • A fleet of pigs
  • A herd of pigs
  • A sounder of pigs

pigeons

  • A kit of pigeons
  • A loft of pigeons
plovers

  • A congregation of plovers
polar bears

  • An aurora of polar bears
polecats

  • A chine of polecats
ponies

  • A string of ponies
porpoises

  • A school of porpoises
  • A turmoil of porpoises
possum

  • A passel of possum
quail

  • A covey of quail
raccoons

  • A gaze of raccoons
rats

  • A pack of rats
  • A rabble of rats
ravens

  • An unkindness of ravens
  • A conspiracy of ravens
rhinoceroses

  • A crash of rhinoceroses
roes

  • A bevy of roes
rooks

  • A building of rooks
  • A clamour of rooks
  • A parliament of rooks
ruffs

  • A hill of ruffs
salmon

  • A run of salmon
  • A bind of salmon
sandpipers

  • A fling of sandpipers
satellites

  • A constellation of satellites
sea fowl

  • A cloud of sea fowl
seagulls

  • A flock of seagulls
seals

  • A spring of seals
  • A pod of seals
  • A plum of seals
servants

  • An obeisance of servants
sharks

  • A shiver of sharks
sheep

  • A flock of sheep
show dogs

  • A bench of show dogs
skanks

  • A swathe of skanks
snails

  • A rout of snails
snipe

  • A walk of snipe
  • A wisp of snipe
sparrows

  • A ubiquity of sparrows
  • A quarrel of sparrows
  • A host of sparrows
spiders

  • A clutter of spiders
  • A cluster of spiders
squirrels

  • A dray of squirrels
staples

  • A troop of staples
stick insects

  • A bushel of stick insects
storks

  • A muster of storks
  • A phalanx of storks
swallows

  • A flight of swallows
  • A gulp of swallows
swans (flying)

  • A wedge of swans
swans

  • A gaggle of swans
  • A whiteness of swans
  • A bevy of swans
  • A bank of swans
swine

  • A sounder of swine
  • A drift of swine
teal

  • A spring of teal
  • A diving of teal
thrushes

  • A mutation of thrushes
tigers

  • A streak of tigers
  • An ambush of tigers

toads

  • A knot of toads
tourists


  • A crowd of tourists
trout


  • A hover of trout
turkeys

  • A flock of turkeys
  • A rafter of turkeys
  • A raffle of turkeys
turtles

  • A turn of turtles
  • A bale of turtles
turtledoves

  • A pitying of turtledoves
vampires

  • A house of vampires
vipers

  • A nest of vipers
walruses

  • A herd of walruses
waterfowl

  • A plump of waterfowl
  • A knob of waterfowl
weasels

  • A sneak of weasels
whales

  • A school of whales
  • A herd of whales
  • A pod of whales
  • A gam of whales
widgeon

  • A coil of widgeon
witches

  • A coven of witches
wolves

  • A pack of wolves
  • A rout of wolves
woodpeckers

  • A descent of woodpeckers
worms

  • A clew of worms
yeomen

  • A fellowship of yeomen
zebra

  • A herd of zebra
  • A dazzle of zebra
zombie

  • A horde of zombies
  • A plague of zombies

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Characters used in SMS with their meanings

  • & - and
  • 0 - nothing
  • 2 - two, to, too
  • 2DAY - today
  • A - a / an
  • B - be
  • B4 - before
  • BC - because
  • BF - boyfriend
  • BK - back
  • BRO - brother
  • BT - but
  • C - see
  • D8 - date
  • DNR - dinner
  • EZ - easy
  • F8 - fate
  • GF - girlfriend
  • GR8 - great
  • HOLS - holidays
  • HV - have
  • I - I, it
  • Its - it is
  • KDS - kids
  • L8 - late
  • L8R - later
  • M8 - mate
  • NE1 - anyone
  • PLS - please
  • PS - parents
  • QT - cutie
  • R - are
  • SIS - sister
  • SMMR - summer
  • U - you
  • WR - were
  • A3 - anyplace, anytime, anywhere
  • ASAP - as soon as possible
  • B4N - Bye for now
  • BAU - business as usual
  • BRB - I'll be right back.
  • BTW - by the way
  • CUL - see you later
  • CWOT - complete waste of time
  • FTF - face to face
  • FYI - for your information
  • GMTA - great minds think alike
  • HAND - have a nice day
  • HRU - how are you
  • ICBW - it could be worse
  • IDTS - I don't think so
  • IMHO - in my humble opinion
  • IYKWIM - if you know what I mean
  • JK - just kidding
  • KOTC - kiss on the cheek
  • LOL - laughing out loud
  • LSKOL - long slow kiss on the lips
  • LTNS - long time no see
  • Luv U - I love you.
  • Luv U2 - I love you too.
  • MON - the middle of nowhere
  • MTE - my thoughts exactly
  • MU - I miss you.
  • MUSM - I miss you so much.
  • NP - no problem
  • OIC - oh, I see
  • PC&QT - peace and quiet
  • PCM - please call me
  • ROTFL - rolling on the floor laughing
  • RUOK - are you ok?
  • THNQ - thank you
  • U4E - you forever
  • UROK - you are okay
  • WUCIWUG - what you see is what you get
  • WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get
  • XLNT - excellent
  • :-) smiling
  • :-* kiss
  • :-)) very happy
  • :-0 shocked
  • :") blushing
  • <:3 )~ mouse
  • :’-) tears of laughter
  • :-P stick tongue out
  • :-(*) you make me sick
  • x-( you are mad
  • :-" whistling
  • ;-) wink
  • :-@ screaming
  • O:-) saintly

English conversation at the Airport

Buying a ticket:
  • I'd like to reserve a seat to Delhi.
  • Will that be one way or round trip (Single or return journey)?
  • How much is a round trip ticket?
  • It's Rs 20,000/-. Will you pay cash, by cheque (check) or by credit card?
  • Here's my Visa Card. Can I get a window seat please? I don’t want an aisle seat.
  • You can choose your seat when you check in.

Checking In:

  • Can I see your ticket and passport, please?
  • Here they are. Can I get a window seat?
  • Yes, that's no problem. You're in seat 15A.
  • Thanks. Where do I go next?
  • Go to Gate D5.

On the aircraft(Airplane / aeroplane):

  • Would you like something to drink?
  • Could I have a cup of coffee?
  • Here you are. Please fill out this form before the plane lands.
  • What is this form for?
  • It's a Customs and Immigration form. You will use that in the airport before you can enter the country.

The Arrival:

  • Thank you for flying Air India!
  • I had a good trip. Thanks for your help.
  • It was our pleasure and we hope to see you again.

Getting through Customs:

  • Do you have anything to declare?
  • I just have a packet of cigarette to be given to my friend as a gift.
  • That's fine. Have a nice stay.
  • Getting your luggage:
  • At which carrousel (a conveyer belt that carries luggage to be claimed by air travelers) will my luggage be?
  • At number 6, over there.
  • Great! I'll get a cart right away.
  • Be sure you have your luggage ticket.
  • Yes, it's right here attached to my plane ticket.

Going through Immigration:

  • What's in the small bag?
  • I have some books.
  • Could you open it please?
  • Sure.
  • Okay, you can go.

Getting out:

  • Excuse me, where can I get a taxi?
  • You can get it just outside.
  • Thank you!

Expressing shock, disbelief and something bad

Shock:

  • I was shocked to hear…
  • The news came as a complete shock.
  • We're all in complete shock.
  • Everyone's reeling from the shock of…
  • It happened out of the blue.
  • Who could have predicted it?
  • I (just) can't get over …
  • We were completely taken aback by…
  • I was just stunned by…

Disbelief:

  • I just can't believe…
  • It's unbelievable.
  • I just can't imagine…
  • Words can't describe… (How I feel about / the terrible devastation etc)
  • There's no way it could have happened.

Saying how bad something is:

  • It's so awful.
  • It's terrible.
  • What a terrible news.
  • It's a tragedy.
  • It's a catastrophe.
  • This is the worst thing that could have happened.

TOEFL

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is used to measure how well students can speak, write and communicate in English. It is most commonly used by American colleges to determine whether or not students from other countries have sufficient English language skills to succeed in their programs.

The test comes in two formats – online and in print – depending on the testing agency where the test is taken. During the test, students are expected to complete separate sections on reading, speaking, listening, and writing. This varies from other standardized tests in that most others only judge students on two or three of the four areas. Fortunately though, on the TOEFL, one piece of information may be used on more than one section. For example, a student might be able to read a short story, write a paper on what it was about, and then give a verbal explanation and answer questions from the instructor.

As with all the other common standardized tests, many companies offer prep books and software to help students prepare for the TOEFL. Students may also be able to take TOEFL prep courses or work with private tutors, although these services can be expensive. Fortunately, students who register to take the TOEFL are given access to a free practice test to take before the real thing. The practice exam simulates the different types of questions you’ll encounter on the real test, so you’ll be better prepared for the actual exam.

With the TOELF test, students are able to prove they can complete the task at hand and learn effectively in a completely English-speaking environment, even if they botch the interview process.

The test is also used by employers in some cases when they consider using foreign employees or consultants in areas that require English be spoken. For example, if you’re a non-native speaker looking for work in a customer service based position that requires you to speak English; you may be required to take the TOEFL test. Some companies test foreign employees on their ability to work in English-speaking countries before hiring them, while others test current employees before promotions and transfers.

Contractions

  • Isn’t - Is not
  • Aren’t - Are not
  • Weren’t - Were not
  • Wasn’t - Was not
  • They’re - They are
  • It’s - It is
  • That’s - That is
  • Can’t - Can not
  • Would’ve - Would have
  • Should’ve - Should have
  • Wouldn’t - Would not
  • Shouldn’t - Should not
  • Didn’t - Did not
  • Doesn’t - Does not
  • He’d - He had
  • She’d - She had
  • He’ll - He will
  • She’ll - She will
  • How’d - How did
  • How’ll - How will
  • I’m - I am
  • I’ll - I will
  • I’d - I would
  • I’m - I am
  • Ain’t - Am not