Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 29 March 2015





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

How to use although

We use 'although' to say that things are not as we expect.
As a conjunction 'although' means "despite the fact that."
I decided to walk alone, although I knew it was dangerous.
The husband wanted to go abroad for employment, although his wife begged him not to.

Note: 'Although' is one of the 50 words most often spelled wrongly by learners.
Although I was tired, I didn't go to bed early.
I didn't go to bed early, although I was tired.

Note: A comma is placed before the word 'although.'
Although Amanda did not attend school regularly, she passed the examination.
Amanda passed the examination, although she didn't attend school regularly.
Although Mala had fever, she went on working.
Mala went on working, although she had fever.
Although she is efficient, I don't like her.
I don't like her, although she is efficient.
Although John is a big man with a moustache, he is very kind.
John is very kind, although he is a big man with a moustache.
Although she is a graduate, her English is very weak.
Her English is very weak, although she is a graduate.
Although I know her well, she doesn't talk to me.
She doesn't talk to me, although I know her well.
Although it was raining, he went out without an umbrella.
He went out without an umbrella, although it was raining.
Many employees reported for work late, although they were provided with transport facilities.
Mary arrived late, although her sister came on time.
Although he was hungry, he didn't eat anything at the party.
We kept all the doors and windows open, although it rained heavily.
Although Sam was interested in the lecture, he couldn't understand it.
Although she was thirsty, she refused to drink anything.

'Although' is used to introduce a clause of concession.
Although cars are expensive, people buy them.

'Although' requires a subject and a noun.
Although the meal was not tasty, she ate it.
Although it is dangerous, some people ride motorcycles without helmets.
Although she was inexperienced, the company offered her a very high salary.

Match words and meanings

Here's an exciting way to enrich your vocabulary. Match the words in column 'A' with their meanings in column 'B' and check your answers with the key. The first has been done for you.

[Column A]
Y 1. drivel
... 2. drizzle
... 3. dromedary
... 4. drone
... 5. drool
... 6. droop
... 7. drop
... 8. droplet
... 9. dropout
.. 10. droppings
.. 11. dross
.. 12. drought
.. 13. drown
.. 14. drowsy
.. 15. drubbing
.. 16. drudgery
.. 17. drum major
.. 18. drumstick
.. 19. dry clean
.. 20. dry dock
.. 21. dryer
.. 22. dry land
.. 23. dual
.. 24. dual-purpose
.. 25. dub

[Column B]
A. rain in very small light drops
B. a person who leaves school before finishing a course
C. the person who leads a marching musical group
D. to clean clothes with chemicals, not water
E. an area of water which can be emptied and used for repairing ships
F. to allow saliva to flow out of your mouth
G. solid waste produced by animals
H. to die by being unable to breathe under water
I. a camel with one hump
J. a stick for beating a drum
K. a machine that dries things
L. beating or serious defeat
M. to fall
N. a low continuous noise
O. something which has no use or value
P. being in a state between sleeping and being awake
Q. land and not sea or water
R. able to be used to do two things
S. to give something or someone a particular name
T. with two parts
U. a small drop of liquid
V. hard boring work
W. a long period when there is no rain
X. to bend or hang down heavily
Y. nonsense


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


Prepositions Part 5

'Since' and 'Before'

'Since' means "from a particular time in the past until a later time, or until now."
England have not won the world Cup in Football since 1966.

Note: 'Since' is used for time, never for place. It is often used with a present perfect or past perfect tense.

They have been here since Sunday.
I haven't seen Amanda since her return from Singapore.
Has he written to you since he left home?
Since my accident I have been using crutches.
She has worn spectacles since her childhood.
I have been waiting for you since 9 a.m.
We have been close friends since our childhood.
I have worked here since 1991.
It is 10 years since I last saw him.

Note: Do not confuse 'for' and 'since.' Use 'for' with periods of time.
She has been waiting here for one hour.
We have lived in this house for 30 years.

Use 'since' with the date, time and year.
She has been waiting here since 9 a.m.
We have been living in this house since 1974.
She has been looking after me since my mother's death.
Eranga has been sleeping since 10 p.m.

As a preposition 'before' means 'in front of.'

The letter 'C' comes before 'D' in the English alphabet.
She puts her child's needs before her own.
You have three months before you enter the university.
The visiting Prime Minister stood before the Maha Sangha to receive their blessings.

We use 'before' with places.
The post office is just before the police station.

When someone appears before someone else, he will be questioned.
The suspects who appeared before the judge pleaded not guilty.

'Before' can be a preposition, conjunction or adverb.
Before signing the document I read the instructions. (Preposition)
Before you sign the document, read the instructions. (Conjunction)
I have seen this film somewhere before. (Adverb)

'Before' is used with a particular time or date.
Please call me before 8 p.m.

'Before' can mean 'before now.'
I have never seen a crocodile before.

'Before' is used in a list, series or set.I think you were before me in the queue.

Read the chapter before this.

Quiz on idioms

An idiom is a special kind of phrase. It is a group of words which have a different meaning when used together from the one it would have if the meaning of each word were taken individually. Tick the meaning of the following idioms and check your answers with the key.

1. If you listen to someone with half an ear ...
(a) you do not give your full attention to them
(b) you give your full attention to them
(c) you believe everything they say

2. If you have an ear for something ...
(a) you cannot learn it quickly
(b) you can learn it quickly
(c) you will hear it all the time

3. If you keep your ear to the ground ...
(a) you will hear strange sounds
(b) you will not know what people are saying or doing
(c) you can find out what people are saying or doing

4. If you lend an ear to someone ...
(a) you listen to them carefully
(b) you ignore them completely
(c) you do not listen to them

5. If you play it by ear ...
(a) you deal with things as they happen
(b) you take action after careful thought
(c) you listen to everybody

6. If you turn a deaf ear to something ...
(a) you are confused
(b) you consider it
(c) you refuse to consider it

7. If you are all ears ...
(a) you are eager to listen to someone
(b) you hear disturbing sounds
(c) you are very happy

8. If someone has nothing between their ears ...
(a) they are intelligent
(b) they are stupid
(c) they are dishonest

9. If something you say falls on deaf ears ...
(a) they take no notice of what you say
(b) they listen to you eagerly
(c) they tend to forget what you say

10. If you have steam coming out of your ear ...
(a) you are mentally unsound
(b) you are very happy
(c) you are very angry


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


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