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English in Twos: Episode 27

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 five segments: quotations and their explanation, proverbs and their meanings, correct and incorrect English, vocabulary learning 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:

“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” ─Steve Jobs

Explanation: Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011),  was an American business magnate, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc., the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company’s board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT . Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Well, Steve Jobs truly captured some of the wisdom of life in this statement. Do that which you are passionate about and your work will feel effortless.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” –Steve Jobs

Explanation: this is really self-explanatory!

Proverbs and Their Meanings

There is a proverb for almost any situation. It is a wise saying that gives some advice about life. Almost every culture has its own unique proverbs. However, some proverbs exist in more than one language; people borrow them from other languages and cultures similar to theirs.

                              The truth will out

Meaning: used to say that even if you try to stop people from knowing something, they will find out in the end(Gaskiya za tai halinta in Hausa), e.g Isa thought he could get away with it, but the truth will out, and I’m sure he’ll get caught.

Knowledge is power

Meaning: the more you know, the more powerful you can be in different areas of your life e.g You should learn how to do it, please. Remember, what they say, knowledge is power.

Correct and Incorrect English

Grammatical errors come in many forms and can easily confuse and obscure meaning. Absolutely, no one is immune to errors when it comes to the English language. 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: I have before met him somewhere.

Correct: I have met him somewhere before.

Here, “before” as an adverb of time should always take the end position in a sentence.

Incorrect: I will not do the work until on Wednesday.

Correct: I will not do the work until Wednesday.

Don’t use “on” after “until” – and before names of days of the week, “until” is always the right preposition. But, you can say, I will do the work on Wednesday.

Vocabulary Learning

There are some verbs that are used with particles. Examples are sit down, get up, go out, etc. The verbs are sit, get, go, and the particles are down, up, out. These kind of combinations are called phrasal verbs. In many cases the meaning of the phrasal verbs cannot be deduced from its elements and some are polysemous (have two or more different meanings). Moreover, phrasal verbs are very important because they are so prevalent(common) in every spoken or written English.  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. Here are some phrasal verbs:

Pick sb up on sth (picks, picking, picked)

To correct someone for having said or done something wrong or something that you disapprove of.

  • I like the teacher because he does not always pick me up on my pronunciation.

Kid about/around (kids, kidding, kided)

To behave in a silly way. 

  • Tell him to stop kidding about and listen to the teacher.

Tips to Improve Your English ─ Hester

  •  Read out loud. You can record your voice. That’s a great way for intonation, pronunciation and rhythm.
  • Have English radio on in your house, even if you’re not actively listening to it, you will still be training your ears.

Thanks copiously for reading and remember ─ practice is key!

Bashir Shu’aibu Jammaje

08168757065 Twitter: @Mrbashjam


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