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Sunday, 9 May 2010





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Grammar patterns with 'start'

'Start' is a regular verb (start, started, started) meaning "to begin" or "to cause to begin." As a noun it means "a beginning."

1. Use 'start' to talk about things getting into action.

I cannot start up this machine. (I cannot make it work)

The driver says, "the bus won't start."

Did the play start on time?

After the interview I was asked when I could start.

Classes will start after the holidays.

The programme started on Monday.

2. Use 'start' to talk about beginning a process.

When does your son start school?

We had just boarded the train when my mobile phone started ringing.

Don't start the engine until I give you a signal.

Many people start various courses, but give them up half way.

She started taking medicine for tuberculosis after repeated warnings.

3. Use 'start' to talk about an action or process beginning.

We wanted to play but it started raining.

The baby started walking very happily.

Start answering the question paper, now.

I started my career way back in 1961.

She started writing novels at the age of 20.

4. Use 'start' in phrasal verbs

The New Year vacation started off on March 29. ("off" cannot be dropped) - began

Frogs start out life as tadpoles. (start as one thing and change into something else)

The students started out their journey to Sri Pada on April 1. (began)

When does your son start school?

I cannot start up this machine. (I cannot make it work)

Father started up a land sales business. (began)

5. Some adjectives are frequently used to qualify 'start'.

The election campaign got off to a good start.

Everything failed because it was a bad start.

Although Anoma failed the examination twice she determined to make a fresh start.

The opposition campaign got off with a shaky start.

6. Set phrases

A: Why don't you like this product?

B: Well for a start, it's not durable. (you give a reason)

The drama was a failure from start to finish. (from the beginning to the end.)

She didn't like me right from the start. (from the very beginning)

It's getting dark so I think we should get started. (start now)

Know your idioms

Idiomatic expressions are forceful, vivid and brief, they are also the most difficult part of the language. Here is a quiz to test your knowledge of idioms. Simply tick off (a), (b), or (c), which you think is nearest in meaning to the given idiom. Check your answers with the key and learn from your mistakes.

1. Thousands of soldiers laid down their lives in order to defend their motherland.

(a) died to defend their country

(b) were killed

(c) ran away from the battlefield

2. My aunt is 80 but she is the picture of health.

(a) not healthy

(b) she looks very healthy

(c) she looks healthy in photographs

3. I think I should make myself scarce now.

(a) apologise

(b) stay

(c) leave

4. It is useless arguing with him, his word is law in this establishment.

(a) he has no authority

(b) everyone must obey him

(c) everybody respects him

5. I do not wish to make a decision on the hoof. I need time to think it over.

(a) quickly

(b) leisurely

(c) patiently

6. I knew from the word go that he was not the ideal candidate for this job.

(a) at once

(b) from the start

(c) after some time

7. A: Do you find him attractive?

B: In a word - no

(a) definitely

(b) at last

(c) in short

8. The new minister's main aim is to knock the economy into shape.

(a) improve

(b) degrade

(c) delay

9. Without a shadow of doubt this is the best novel I've read so far.

(a) perhaps

(b) without any doubt

(c) sometimes

10. Why don't you break the news?

I've some work to do.

(a) hide

(b) postpone

(c) to be the first to tell



1(a), 2(b), 3(c), 4(b), 5(a), 6(b), 7(c), 8(a), 9(b), 10(c)


Ways of showing ownership or relationship

There are various ways of showing ownership or relationship.

Somebody has torn some pages of the book.

We usually add 's to a person or an animal to do so.

The girl's books were lying on the table.

My father's boss is a strict disciplinarian.

The dog's kennel was near the gate.

The elephant's trunk was damaged in the accident.

The bird's beak was red.

Simply add ' to plural nouns ending in 's' and 's to plural nouns not ending in 's' to show ownership or relationship.

The ladies' hats were blown away by the wind.

The girls' father is our class teacher.

Mother is polishing the children's shoes.

The men's clothes were cheap.

The women's blouses are sold in the shop.

We use 'of' to show relationship or association with a plant, place or object.

He cut down the branches of the tree.

The roof of the house was damaged by the storm.

One leg of the chair is broken.

Somebody has torn some pages of the book.

The leaves of the trees are falling.

It is possible, sometimes to use 's with plants, places and objects.

He designed the company's logo.

China's population has reached one billion.

The city's mayor will be elected tomorrow.

Fill in the missing vowels

The following is a list of objects found in your home.

1. T...mbler

2. J...g

3. T...ble

4. F...rk

5. B....ll

6. C...lendar


8. T...rch

9. Bottl...










Key: 1. u, 2. u, 3. a, 4. o, 5. e, 6. a, 7. a, 8. o, 9. e, 10, o, 11. u, 12. i 13. u, 14. a, 15. a, 16. oo, 17. o, 18. oo, 19. e, 20. i.


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