Use and abuse of English

02 Oct, 2022 - 00:10 0 Views
Use and abuse of English

The Sunday News

Charles Dube

Conceives, Perceives
A person conceives a plan or an idea that is completely new. A person perceives that already exists. For example, the ring leader conceived a plan to steal from the school tuck shop. He perceived that his colleague could not be trusted.

Council, Counsel. — Council is a collective noun meaning “a group of people who gather together to make decisions. For example, we have councils running towns or villages. Counsel is a verb meaning “give advice”, or a noun meaning advice.

Noun: The council met to consider the following year’s budget. Verb: The teacher counselled him about the courses he could do at higher level. The counsel of his bank manager saved him money.

Custom, Habit — A custom is a practice that has been followed by a large group of people for a long period of time. A habit is a common practice of a person or some people. It became his habit to go fishing on Saturday. It is the custom of the Xhosa people to carry out circumcision in winter.

Device, Devise — Device is a noun meaning “invention, tool or plan.” Devise is a verb meaning “invent, plan or work out.” Noun: He invented a simple device to assist him in checking his crop’s moisture. Verb: They will devise a machine to check crop moisture. Verb: The prisoner devised a way to escape from prison.

From the brackets select the correct answer to complete the following sentences. He was unable to (conceive, perceive) the bird in the tree. Production at the factory has increased (considerable, considerably) this month. The actress must be congratulated (for, on) her performance. He could not cope (with, up with) his financial problems. The town (counsel, council) decided to increase the rates.

A strange (devise, device) was used to raise water from the river. He has the bad (habit, custom) of biting his nails. She heard his ridiculous excuses with (unbelief, disbelief). He seemed (uninterested, disinterested) in her offer to help. He has four sons, but Jason is the (elder, eldest). She is not a qualified nurse so she is not (illegible, eligible) for the post. She was embarrassed (at, by) her silly mistake.

They decide to (immigrate, emigrate) to another country. The manager refused to (enter, enter into) any argument with the workers.
Every one, everyone: Every one refers to the individual members of a group of things. Everyone is a pronoun meaning every person. Every one of the library books is damaged. Everyone in the class helped fundraise for the needy.

Flammable, inflammable both mean “easily set alight”. The opposite of these two words is non-flammable.
Formally, formerly: These two words are sometimes confused because of some similarity in pronunciation. Formally means “in an acceptable manner.” Formerly means previously. He formally told them that he had been transferred from the current work station. He works here now, but formerly he worked in Lupane.

Flash, Flush. Water flushes things out or away. Flash relates to light or very quick movement. A light flashed in front of them sending fear in their spines. Residents tried to flush out items blocking their sewer pipes. Choose the correct answer from the brackets to complete the following sentences: There is no doubt that everyone, every one) of them is keen. If the pipes are (flushed, flashed) out the water will flow.

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He had (formally, formerly) worked as a merchandiser but was now a salesman. Full, ful: Full is an adjective. –Ful is a suffix that is added to nouns. A cup full is a cup full of something. A cupful is a quantity of something that would fill a cup. She is carrying a cup full of milk. The plural of nouns ending in –ful is formed by adding s to the suffix, not to the base word.

For example, it is wrong to say: He drank four cupsful of tea but it is correct to say he drank four capfuls of tea.
Use of may and might: We use may and might to talk about possible happenings or possible actions in the future. Study these examples: I’m not sure where to go for my holidays but I may go to Dubai. (= perhaps I will go). The weather forecast is not very good. It might rain this afternoon. (=perhaps it will rain). I can’t help you. Why don’t you ask Lenny? He might be able to help you. (=perhaps he will be able to help.

The negative form is may not or might not (mightn’t) Jane may not come to the meeting today. She isn’t feeling well. (= perhaps she won’t come). It doesn’t matter whether you use may or might. You can say: I may go to Dubai. Or I might go to Dubai.
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