Direct -Indirect exercises in English grammar

November 30, 2012 at 7:23 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Grammar lessons …..

Direct to Indirect …

a. The mother said, “Son, don’t get up from the seat till your father retuns.”

b. The boatman told the passengers, “If you don’t pay the fair in full, I will not ferry you.”

c. The leader told the gathering, “If I am elected, I will have loans sanctioned to you to buy sewing machines.”

d. The doctor assured the patient saying, “If you take the injection today, your pain will vanish tomorrow.”

e. The landlord demanded, “You must pay the rent now.”

f. The shopkeeper told the customer, “This toothpaste may not be as good as you think.”

g. The captain told his players, “This is the last chance for us to redeem our prestige.”

h. The husband told his wife, “It is better we see another doctor as the pain does not appear to go away.”

i. The milkman told his son, “We may sell of this cow as its yield has gone down sharply.”


Indirect to Direct …

a. The mechanic told the car owner that it was high time he got his car serviced.

b. The doctor strongly advised the patient to give up smoking if he wanted deliverance from cancer.

c. The boy told his friend Ashok that they should go to the orchard to pluck some mangoes.

d. The fish vendor promised his valued customer saying that he would never sell rotten fish again to him.

e. The constable warned the he would not hesitate to use his lathi if they continued to protest like that.

f. The husband proposed his wife to go to a cinema.

g. The fire brigade personnel loudly asked whoever was inside the burning building to come out at once.

h. The carpenter refused the customer’s request to do the repair as the latter hadn’t paid his bills.

i. Shanti told Ramesh to stop coming to her house to meet her.


Answers will be posted tomorrow.


Tricky word-use exercises

November 24, 2012 at 7:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Answer for the previous preposition exercises …. It is ‘through’ in all spaces.

In the many blank spaces in the following paragraphs, just one verb in different tenses (like go, went, gone, going) will fit in. Decide what is the common verb from among the following three choices.

a. Go
b. Take
c. Draw

Fill in the blanks with the suitable form of the verb.



One day, I happened to see my 7-year-old granddaughter Milonee ——- a man’s figure. I was quite amused. I told her, “Milonee, Why don’t you —– me; you’re at art school, you must be able to draw.” She appeared nervous. She —- a wavering line down the plain paper she had before her.

Just then a bullock cart —– by two bullocks —— up near the front door of our villa. I got up and went to see who was inside. There was an awkward-looking cargo inside. It was wrapped with a blanket. Underneath the blanket, there appeared to be a small human body. I was a bit terrified at such an unusual sight. I —— back the blanket and uncovered the body. It was my 9-year-old grandson Vineet, who sprang up. He burst out laughing, having fooled me. My wife, who was a silent spectator till then, was clearly amused at the prank. ‘Vineet, she whispered, —— the lad aside, “You deserve a chocolate for this plan.”

At around this time, my son returned from office. His car —— in to the front garage. My daughter and daughter-in-law were playing a badminton match in the court beside our villa. They were locked at 20-20. I wanted them to come and enjoy the joke Vineet had played on me. But, I did not disturb them as their fierce encounter was drawing to a close.
Vineet had another rat to pull out of his hat. He —- a gun and peered into our horrified eyes. ‘Was it a real one or just a toy?’ I was not the least amused as we knew his father keeps licensed gun at home. We yelled at the lad to lower his weapon. But, Vineet remained frighteningly tense. We did not know how to react.
Our security guard was seeing the drama from a distance. He is a retired police man. During his career, he had handled many hostage situations. Obviously, he had plenty of experience to —— on.
We did not pay him much; just enough to sustain himself. He just ——— out a spending allowance every fifteen days.
——————————-To be continued——————

Intimidation of opinions — When will India bury such tendencies?

November 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Shaheen and Renu pay a price for their opinions.

(Ideas drawn from Hindu editorial)

In the aftermath of Bal Thackeray’s demise, a large part of Mumbai appeared to be immersed in frenzied mourning. The Maratha firebrand’s death, however, did not evoke the same grief in all Mumbaikars’ hearts. Some saw it as a highly exaggerated and competitive show of grief. In the midst of this, two young women had the temerity to express their opinion about the show of grief, which appeared to them as somewhat orchestrated.

One of them, 21-year old Shaheen Dhada wrote in her Facebook site, “With all respect, every day, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on,”. Another young lady, 20-year old Renu Srinivasan from Palghar in the neighbouring Thane district, ‘liked’ it. The post continued: “Just due to one politician’s death due to natural causes, everyone just goes bonkers. They should know, we are resilient by force, not by choice. When was the last time, did anyone show some respect or even a two-minute silence for Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Azad, Sukhdev or any of the people because of whom we are free-living Indians? Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced. Today, Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect.”

The two young ladies have been arrested by the police on charges of “promoting enmity between classes” and “sending offensive messages through [a] communication service,” The arrest has caused a massive show of protest from all quarters. The Press Council of India Chairperson Markandey Katju said the arrests were illegal and demanded action against the police — Maharashtra Director-General of Police Sanjeev Dayal ordered a probe into their arrest.

The women were earlier booked for hurting religious sentiments under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, along with Section 66A of the Information Technology Act. On investigation, the police modified the charges, withdrawing Section 295(A). They were formally arrested on Monday morning, and later released on bail by a local court on a bond of Rs.15,000.

On Sunday night, mobs of angry Shiv Sainiks vandalized a medical clinic run by Dr. Dada, an uncle of Shaheen. The police initially restricted access of media persons to Shaheen.

Nevertheless, Shaheen gave vent to her exasperation by changing her profile in the Facebook page. It now shows a girl’s face whose voice has been muzzled by a tape sealing her mouth. Her uncle remonstrated saying she had merely re-posted the message someone had forwarded to her on Sunday. After she posted it, her friend Renu, a B.Sc (Botany) graduate, ‘liked’ it.
Shaheen was discreet enough not to mention Balasaheb Thackeray’s name anywhere. But, some strident Shiv Sena supporters saw it, and wreaked vengeance on Dr. Dhada who was not even remotely connected with the matter.

This shows that the departed leader’s followers are determined to besmirch the name and legacy of their leader.


More preposition exercises — Key to good writing skills

November 22, 2012 at 5:22 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Answers to yesterday’s exercise on ‘by /with’ … All answers will be ‘by’.

Insert the right preposition ………..

1. The disgusted girl had had enough of her lover’s tantrums. One morning she got up from her bed and called him to say, “I am through with / beyond you.”

2. There is a road running along the length of the village. It comes from a far-off town and goes to a distant city. This is my ancestral village. While describing it, I say, “My village lies on a winding / through road.”

3. The young man was proceeding to the nearby town Mogalserrai for an interview. He was late for the train in which he had booked a seat. He was forced to travel in a running / through train from Delhi, although he was not authorized to board it.

4. I was greatly annoyed to see the lackadaisical approach of the hospital staff towards my ailing wife. I wanted to bring it to the notice of the minister. On my persistence, the receptionist put a call into / through to the minister’s office.

5. He had not received his pension even after three long years of his retirement. He was distraught. Being a law-abiding citizen, he decided to seek justice by / through the proper channels.

6. Lactating Chinese mothers were horrified to see high Dioxin levels in their own breast milk. Later, on investigation, it became evident that the Dioxin had got into their system by / through contaminated vegetables and meat.

7. I told my landlord that I would be away from December 7 until / through February 15.

8. When I returned from office early one day, I was amused to see my teen-age daughter flipping in / through the pages of the Bhagvat Gita.

9. My wife was quite nervous before her first delivery. In the hospital, I was quite relieved to see my childhood friend Dr. Ramesh in charge of the Delivery word. I introduced him to my wife and told her reassuringly, “Dr. Ramesh will see you through / by.”

10. In the psychiatric ward you will come across many who had been into / through very turbulent times in their lives.”

———————————————–End————————–End——————————————- ——

Grammar confusion — Use of ‘by’ and ‘with’

November 21, 2012 at 1:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Some confusion on the use of ‘by’ and ‘with’ …….

a. The district health authorities tried to control the spread of malaria with/ by attacking the parasites.
b. The defense lawyer substantiated his views with / by the use of precise reference to earlier judgments of the Supreme Court.
c. My sister-in-law mostly calls me by / with my last name, which I find quite amusing.
d. After the proposed rail passenger fare hike comes into force, the cost of travelling with / by bus will equal the cost of train travel.
e. As power went off soon after the storm, the whole family ate their dinner with / by candle light.
f. The Member of Parliament demanded to have the employment figures of the minority community with / by age and occupation.
g. To get the area of a rectangle multiply its length with / by breadth.
h. I had misplaced my umbrella. Later, I discovered that it was with / by the hairdresser whom I had visited in the afternoon.
i. During the interview, the unemployed youth told his employer, “Anything you give is right with / by me.”


Narayanswamy’s bravado backfires

November 13, 2012 at 2:20 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Narayanswamy’s plans for CAG..

Narayanswamy, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office put his foot in his mouth when he suggested that the Controller and Auditor General of India (CAG) should be made a multi-member body. It has drawn a sharp reaction from the Opposition and the anti-corruption crusaders like Arvind Kejriwal and others.

In the past three years, the government has tried to undermine the many respected institutions of the Indian democratic structure. The attempt had started some five years ago when the Congress Party foisted Ms. Pratibha Patil to the post of President in preference to Dr. Abdul Kalam whom an overwhelming majority in India wanted to give a second term. Ms. Patil demited office with cartloads of official gifts she, as President, had received from foreign dignitaries. Whatever spin she put on this, the action was perceived to be very unbecoming of an out-going president.

This emboldened the Congress Party to start putting pliable persons in key places. The unsavoury row over the resignation of the earlier CVC bolstered this perception. Then came the most disgusting impropriety allegations against the ex-Chief Justice of India, Mr. Balakrishnan and few more judges. The government was languid in its response in cleaning up the mess. The country watched with anger and helplessness at the government’s inaction.

Soon to follow was the undeclared feud with the now-retired Army Chief. The Defence ministry did not emerge out of this episode with any great glory.
The succession of corruption allegations and the virtual nullification of the powers of the CBI and ED has annoyed the people of India greatly. These two organizations now serve the Congress Party with more loyalty than they serve the country. Subverting these two agencies to make them act as intimidators of political foes has been politically expedient for the Congress Party, but such acts have done immense damage to the credibility of the government and the ruling coalition. All these are being watched keenly by all. The people’s anger will come back with vengeance at the time of the next poll.

As if all this was not enough, Narayanswamy has floated an idea on restructuring of the CAG at the most inopportune time. The CAG has acted fearlessly in exposing the wrongdoings of the government. A mature government would have shown far more sagacity in treating the CAG criticisms gracefully by acting promptly on it. Instead of doing this, the Congress Party has unleashed a malicious campaign against Vinod Rai, the man who heads the CVC. People are indeed very distraught at such attitude.

When public anger against the government is reaching a boiling point, trying to tweak Vinod Rai’s authority in any manner will surely inflame public anger.
Owning up mistakes and trying to correct them sincerely are the hallmarks of character, be it for an individual or for a political party. Sadly, the Congress Party seems to lack this very visibly.


Learn to use the right adjective

November 10, 2012 at 3:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Select the proper adjective….


How will you describe ….. (Select the best one/two adjectives.)

a. A father who does not even ask his daughter’s opinion even once before finalizing a match for her……. (aloof, insensitive, arrogant, domineering, overbearing, outmoded, stone-hearted)

b. A man who just looks on at an accident victim groaning in pain on the road ..(indifferent, callous, un-civil, cruel, self-centered, selfish)

c. A man who brings gifts for his wife on every small occasion, but has develops an affair with another woman .. (deceitful, treacherous, womanizer, flamboyant, flirtatious, cunning)

d. A man who quarrels with people around him over petty matters .. (quarrelsome, truculent, irksome, troublesome, mischief-monger, wicked)

e. A boy or a girl who shows superhuman talent in any good thing from his very childhood … (amazing, prodigious, praiseworthy, mind-boggling, extraordinary)

f. A man who does not speak much about what he thinks … (reticent, introvert, self-conscious, secretive, silent)

g. A mother who lavishes too much affection on her child .. (doting, adoring, fawning, lovesome, lovesick)

h. A politician who is fat and wealthy .. (bully, bloated, mushy, oversized, gaudy)

i. A person who is inordinately proud about himself and his achievements … (vainglorious, arrogant, boastful, overbearing, flippant)

j. A woman who quarrels over small things … (truculent, vixen, trouble-maker, quarrelsome, acid-tongued)

Post your answers on my blog to get my feedback.


Learning words from Dryden’s Mac Flecknoe

November 9, 2012 at 2:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Dryden’s Mac Flacknoe …

Understanding the difficult words used by Dryden in his poem (3) …

Choose the right word and insert it in the gap.


1. The miner was abruptly dismissed from service for habitually reporting for duty in an inebriated state. He ——— at the Manager all day, but no one took notice of him. Even his Union ignored him. (objected / complained / railed)

2. During the Kargil war, heavy tanks were ——- to the front lines, at considerable risk of being spotted and attacked by enemy aircrafts. (transported / railed / airlifted)

3. The place where the Prime Minister was to land was ——– off from the surging crowds by the local police. (separated / railed / divided)

4. By drastic reduction of public spending, the Greek government is trying to put the country’s finances back on the ———–. (control / balance / rails)

5. Gradgrind was a somewhat eccentric man with an unusual mind that quite stubbornly eulogized ‘facts’ at the expense of ‘emotion’. Quite foolishly, he had ——— himself all the wisdom in the world in the field of education. (owned / arrogated / demanded)

6. The man was a womanizer. His mind was full of lust. He habitually ——– young girls to have sex with them. (exploited / seduced / romanticized)

7. Now-a-days, young kids learn the art of writing with dot pens. In earlier times, great men of literature like Shakespeare and Kalidas did all their writing with ————– pens. (rudimentary / old-fashioned / quill)

8. Politicians all over the world, particularly in India, are adept in ———- . They give high-sounding speeches without realizing that the ordinary people treat such speeches with a certain degree of contempt. (bluster / bravado / rhetoric)

9. When bird flue breaks out, thousands of birds are ——— . (killed / culled / slaughtered)

10. The speaker made the audience laugh heartily as he ——- his speech with jokes. (interposed / spaced / intertwined)

Correct answers will be posted tomorrow.


Dryden’s Mac Flecknoe —- More words

November 7, 2012 at 7:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Word exercises to enable a young learner to understand the poem … (2)

Insert the right word in the gaps —


1. If you are tired or feel restless due to whatever reasons, don’t sit down to write an essay or solve mathematics problems. To you dismay, you will find later that you have allowed errors to —— into your work. (spoil /creep)

2. The Special Forces are a formidable component of a country’s defense shield. They are deputed to neutralize enemies in places where normal police or army personnel can not go — like a hijacked aircraft or a kidnap/ransom situation. The Special Forces are trained how to —— up on the enemy. They stand a better chance of success in such situations. (hold / creep)


3. Sandy told her friend Suneeta, “Keep away from Douglas. He is a nasty little ——–.” [Sandy was quite critical of Douglas because, in her view the guy behaved too obsequiously before his manager to get his promotion.] (stooge/ creep)


4. The owner of the two-century-old winery in France wanted to close down his business because he could not stand the price war with the cheaper Australian wine exporters. He put his plant and equipment to auction. On the last day, when the last truck load of 18-litre ——— left his gate, he broke down in grief. Nostalgia of his hey days came rushing to his mind as tears rolled down from his eyes. (drums / Kilderkilns)

5. As a souvenir, he kept back a large ——– which his great grandfather had got built using the wood from the oak trees in their backyard. (reservoir / tun)


6. The cow had mistakenly ingested some poisonous herbs. She lay there groaning in pain. ——- had caused her stomach and abdomen to swell awkwardly. (Diarrhea / Tympany)


7. R.K. Narayan’s ‘A Vendor of Sweets’ is a gripping novel. In it, Mali, the only son of Jagan, wants to swindle his father Jagan’s out of his hard-earned savings on the ———– of starting a dubious business to make story-writing machines. (pretence / guise)

8. Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc on the ———- New York city. Footages of the devastation shook me. (vast / wondrous)


9. The novel ‘A Vendor of Sweets’ has a lively description of the birth of Mali. Jagan reminisces about the way his house was ——- by a radiance of joy on arrival of Mali after ten years of his wife Ambika remaining childless. (inundated / transfused)


10. The burglar effortlessly opened the main door of the flat and decamped with the valuables. The police felt the thief must have somehow managed to ——— a copy of the key. (purloin / reproduce)


Corrected answers on November 16


Dryden’s Mac Flecknoe — Understanding the words

November 6, 2012 at 2:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Word exercises to enable a young learner to understand the poem …


Insert the right word in the gaps —

1. Check the —— in the cough syrup bottle before you buy it. (label / level)

2. More than preferential tax exemptions, Indian industrialists clamoured for a —- playing field so that they could effectively compete with the MNCs entering India. (label / level)

3. Just because the —– of corruption in India has risen to absurd proportions, it would be unfair to ——- all politicians as corrupt. (label / level)

4. Being a loner and introvert in mentality, I hate going to ———- gatherings where people behave in very disorderly way. (raunchy, rambunctious)

5. Prospecting for crude oil in sea is a risky proposition. Such ————— explorations are fraught, expensive and at times, may turn out to be totally futile. (subhuman / subterranean)

6. Many films have been made centered around the spies who worked during and after the WW 2. The spies operated in their ———– world full of betrayers, patriots, crooks and whores, out to destroy careers of un-suspecting men for petty financial gains. (subterranean / wonderful)

7. It was a cold morning. Reluctantly, Lucy got up from her bed, put on her —— tightly around her body, and headed towards the railway station to receive her friend. (woolen cap / mantle)

8. After the old man breathed his last, the —— for running the huge business fell on his eldest son. (duty / mantle)

9. It was the middle of the harsh winter. The poor man spread a ——— on the floor of his one-room shack to stave off the cold of the damp floor and slept. (bed sheet / drugget)

10. The audience burst into peels of laughter when the boy, excited by the clapping of the people in his front, began to ——– the visions he has in his life. (proclaim / declaim)

11. The lone cowherd boy played his ——- to fight his boredom. (bugle / lute)

12. Being quick-witted and a master in words and spellings, the boy loved exercises in ——–. (comprehension / anagram)

13. The boy was extraordinarily intelligent, but was wayward too. When he grew up, he turned his ——— talents to the smuggling trade. (wicked / felonious)
14. The newly-started private degree college had not received recognition either from the government or from any university. But, the management had the ——— to ask for huge donations from students seeking admission. This landed trustees of the college in trouble later. (audacity / gall)

15. The boy was born in a family headed by a matriarch who was an eminent writer. Her great grandson looked upon her as a ——– and strove hard to become a poet. After about five years of hard work, he sought into fame. (role model / muse)

Answer on November 13

———————————— End ——————————

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