Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 2 October 2011





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Use of 'May' and 'Might'

We use 'may' and 'might' with an infinitive without 'to'. Both words have the same meaning.

I may go to London next week.
I might go to Kandy tomorrow.

May I borrow your umbrella?

You may go home now.
You might pass the exam.
He may apply for the job.
He might resign from his post.
We may meet our old friends at the exhibition.
We might visit the International Book Fair tomorrow.
They may give us some books free.
They might give us a discount.

We use 'may' or 'might' when it is possible that something will happen.

I may go to the theatre this evening.
She might be successful in the exam.
They might not attend the wedding.
He might not take offence at my remarks.
The judge may impose a fine.
It might rain tomorrow.
She may phone him this afternoon.
A: Are you going to apply for this job?
B: I might.

Note the difference

I am going to Kandy tomorrow. (Sure)
I may/might go to Kandy tomorrow. (Possible)

May I sit here?

The negative is 'may not' and 'might not'.

I might not go to school tomorrow.
She may not return from Canada.
Srilal may not accept the offer.
Gayani might not listen to your advice.
She may not be happy with the new house.

We use 'May I?' to find out whether it is okay to do something.

May I sit here?
May I come in?
May I have a look at your report?
May I borrow your umbrella?
May I go home now?


In English we have different words to indicate the movements of animals. Find the movements from column 'B' for the animals in column'A'. Check your answers with the key.

[Column A]


1. An ape
2. A bear
3. A bee
4. A bull
5. A cat
6. A cock
7. A deer
8. A dog
9. A donkey
10. A duck
11. An eagle
12. An elephant
13. A frog
14. A horse
15. A hound
16. A heyna
17. A lamb
18. A lark
19. A lion
20. A monkey
21. A mouse
22. An owl
23. A parrot
24. A pig
25. A pigeon

[Column B]


A. ambles
B. bounds
C. charges
D. bounds
E. climbs
F. frisks
G. gallops
H. prowls
I. flits
J. flutters
K. trots
L. lumbers
M. leaps
N. flits
O. scampers
P. prowls
Q. soars
R. ranges
S. swings
T. steals
U. struts
V. runs
W. trots
X. waddles
Y. swoops

Key: 1. S 2. L 3. R 4. C 5. T 6. U 7. B 8. V 9. W 10. X 11. Y 12. A 13. M 14. G 15. D 16. P 17. F 18. Q 19. H 20. E 21. O 22. I 23. N 24. K 25. J

Containers and contents

Match the containers in Column 'A' with contents in Column 'B'. Check your answers with the key.

[Column A]

1. Barrel
2. Briefcase
3. Bunker
4. Butt
5. Caddy
6. Carafe
7. Carton
8. Cask
9. Compact
10. Drum
11. Ewer
12. Hangar
13. Holster
14. Keg
15. Phial
16. Portmanteau
17. Punnet
18. Seabbard
19. Urn
20. Safe

[Column B]

i. tea
ii. cider
iii. clothing
iv. money
v. oil
vi. documents
vii. ashes of the dead
ix. rum
x. beer
xi. face powder
xii. wine
xiii. water
xiv. aircraft
xv. pistol
xvi. rainwater
xvii. medicine
xviii. strawberries
xix. sword
xx. coal



1. x 2. vi 3. xx 4. xvi 5. i. 6. xii 7. viii 8. ii 9. xi
10. v 11. xiii 12. xiv 13. xv 14. ix 15. xvii 16. iii 17. xviii 18. xix
19. vii 20. iv

Starters :

Correct use of punctuation marks

We use punctuation marks to make the meaning of a sentence clear. The following punctuation marks are used in English.

. Full stop or period
, Comma
: Colon
; Semi-colon
- Hyphen
_ Dash
( ) Brackets
? Question mark

Why didnít you become a lawyer?

! Mark of exclamation
' Apostrophe

Capital letters

We begin a sentence with a capital letter.
Shane comes from Nigeria.
Khan came from India.
What are you doing?
Khema is a ballet dancer.
Colombo is the commercial capital of
Sri Lanka.

We use a full stop at the end of a sentence. (.)
Anura was a brilliant speaker.
Shyamala works as a freelance journalist.
Shakespeare was a great dramatist.
Tolstoy was a Russian novelist.
We like to live happily.

Question mark (?)
When we want to ask for information, we use a question mark at the end of the sentence.

What is your name?
How old are you?
Did Nethmi pass the examination?
Where do you work?
When did she come?

Exclamation mark (!)
We use an exclamation mark to express strong emotion such as anger, surprise or sorrow.
There's a snake under your bed!
Alas! My grandfather passed away.
Ouch! My leg hurts.
Watch out! There are wild elephants here.
Jayani got the highest marks in the exam!

Apostrophe (')

The apostrophe is used to show ownership or relationship.
This is my father's car.
I want to borrow the teacher's dictionary.
Do you know Kanthi's telephone number?
I am going to the People's Bank.
Dayan's book is translated into English.

The apostrophe is also used in contractions.

"I can't do it," she said.
Why didn't you become a lawyer?
He isn't honest.
You mustn't drive fast.
Don't smoke here. [Activity]

Use punctuation marks where necessary in each of the following sentences. Check your answers with the key.

1. Mom look at the cascading waterfall
2. There is a tiger in the classroom
3. Where does Jonny work
4. We are in school
5. I dont like coffee
6. You cant leave now
7. I wont be here tomorrow
8. Were at the theatre
9. Im Benette
10 Oh no Our house is on fire


1. Mom, ..... waterfall!
2. classroom!
3. work?
4. school.
5. don't .... coffee.
6. can't ... now.
7. won't .... tomorrow.
8. We're .... theatre.
9. I'm Benette.
10. Oh no! .... fire.

Find the utterances

Different animals make different utterances or sounds. Match the animals in column 'A' with their sounds in column 'B'. Check your answers with the key.

[Column A]

1. An ape
2. A bear
3. A bee
4. A bull
5. A cat
6. A cock
7. A deer
8. A dog
9. A donkey
10. A duck
11. An eagle
12. An elephant
13. A frog
14. A horse
15. A hound
16. A hyena
17. A lamb
18. A lark
19. A lion
20. A monkey
21. A mouse
22. An owl
23. A parrot
24. A pig
25. A pigeon

[Column B]

A. crows
B. buzzes
C. bellows
D. bells
E. barks
F. growls
G. gibbers
H. howls
I. bleats
J. brays
K. bays
L. chatters
M. croaks
N. neighs
O. coos
P. purrs
Q. quacks
R. roars
S. screams
T. trumpets
U. sings
V. squeaks
W. screeches
X. grunts
Y. hoots


1. G 2. F 3. B 4. C 5. P 6. A 7. D 8. E 9. J 10. Q 11. S 12. T 13. M 14. N 15. K 16. H 17. I 18. U 19. R 20. L 21. V 22. Y 23. W 24. X 25. O.


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