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English in Twos: Episode 13

By Bashir Jammaje

Education is the most powerful weapon, Nelson Mandela says, which we can use to change the world.

This article helps and inspires students to improve their English and encourage their interest in achieving their goals without needing to go off the course syllabus, however strict it might be. It is divided into four segments: quotations and their explanation, proverbs and their meanings, correct and incorrect English, and some tips to improve your English. All the segments are presented in twos.

Quotations and Their Explanation

Life without motivation is like sitting in a dark room with lots of fear inside. Here are two quotes that can motivate you in life.

“The only difference between a rich person and poor person is how they use their time.”─Robert Kiyosaki

Explanation: Robert Kiyosaki (1947 ─{ 73 years}, is an

American businessman and author. [1] Kiyosaki is the founder of Rich Global LLC and the Rich Dad Company , a private financial education company that provides personal finance and business education to people through books and videos. This, says that time is a variable that can be hard to control and monitor. It says, being conscious of time will result in self-improvement and goal achievement. That’s true in both your work and personal life. The one best difference between the rich and poor, to me, is that the rich set a definite time limit. And, they try to finish the task within the allotted time, and feel the excitement as they do it, even if they’re surrounded by distractions, their lists will keep them on the right track.

“Too many people are too lazy to think. Instead of learning something new, they think the same thought day in day out.” –Robert Kiyosaki

Explanation: well, I read it somewhere, that if a child continually thinks “I‘m not smart” or “I do not have friends” their behaviour may very well change to reinforce their thinking. They may not strive to work because “they are not smart” so they think working will not change the outcome. If a child thinks they do not have any friends and so keep to themselves, their actions will say to others that they do not wish to join in, that they are happy alone and so they are left alone.

But if a child says” I’m not smart” and they are helped to identify what they are feeling and why such as “I feel frustrated because I can’t do… yet”, they may begin a process of problem solving. Something that had seemed permanent now becomes more flexible. As they identify what it is they would like to be able to do and ways to achieve it, they are helped to see that what they thought was insurmountable is achievable. So, Thinking is an important mental process. It helps one to define and organise experiences, plan, learn, reflect and create!

Proverbs and Their Meanings

There is a proverb for almost any situation. It is a wise saying that gives some advice about life.

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Meaning:  if you can do something today, do it. Don’t wait until tomorrow; don’t procrastinate, e.g. You should start the assignment now, they say, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do.

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen

Meaning: used as a way to tell someone that they should either stop complaining about a difficult or unpleasant activity, or stop doing it(Fadan da ya fi karfinka…in Hausa).

Correct and Incorrect English

We all make mistakes when we are speaking or writing English as a Second Language, along the way. Of course, it is inevitable. The important thing is to learn from the mistakes so you become a more confident, capable speaker and writer. Here are some mistakes that should be avoided:

Incorrect:  How did you squeeze your shirt?

Correct: How did you crease your shirt?

Note: “squeeze” as a verb means to press something firmly together with your fingers or hand, especially to get liquid from it. As in: “he is trying to squeeze the toothpaste out.” But “crease” means, to make a line appear on  cloth, paper etc by folding or crushing it. As in: “don’t sit on my shirt. You’ll crease it!”

Incorrect: If you ask me, the knife is not enough sharp.

Correct: If you ask me, the knife is not sharp enough.

Note: “Enough” comes after adverbs and adjectives, never before them. But it comes before nouns, e.g. They don’t have enough evidence to have him arrested. Know that, the word ‘evidence’ here, is a noun.

Words and Their Meanings and Examples in Sentences

Words are of paramount importance to our lives.  Voltaire once said, “Language is a very difficult to put into words.”  What is the best way to learn new words? Sound them out, The Seattle Time reported. Researchers found sounding words slowly helps people memorize new words easier.

Resounding /ri ‘zoundin/

Resounding success/defeat/victory etc,  a very great or complete  success, defeat etc.

  • They said it was a resounding success.

Note that the ‘s’  is pronounced ‘z’ —and not ‘s’!


A person, especially, a child who talks too much.

  • Umar Farouq is a chatterbox.

Tips to Improve Your English ─ Hester

  •  Don’t be in such a hurry to move up a level. Concentrate on the level you are right now.
  •  Wacth DVDs rather than TV. It’s better to use something that you can watch over again to catch information you might have missed the first time.

A big thank-you for reading and remember ─ practice is key!

Bashir Shu’aibu Jammaje

08168757065 Twitter: @Mrbashjam



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