English Channel Learning English


Guillotine: a device for beheading a person by means of a heavy blade that is dropped between two posts serving as guides (widely used during the French revolution)/ an instrument for surgically removing the tonsils.

‘During the French Revolution many important ruling monarchs were guillotined by the masses.’

Miso pedia: hatred of children, especially one’s own.

God Speed : Good fortune; success (used as a wish to a person starting on a journey, a new venture)

God Speed as you are going to pursue higher studies.’

Posthumous: occurring after one’s death. (Posthumous novel, award etc).

‘Saadat Hasan Manto was posthumously honored by Nishan-e-Imtiaz.’

Silhouette:  a two dimensional representation of the outline of an object.

‘This picture has just amazingly captured the silhouette of Badshahi Masjid.’

Pair of Words:
Complement, Compliment:  a compliment is an expression to admire and praise but a complement is something that helps another thing to get completed.

‘He complimented her on her elegant dressing.’
‘She complemented the dish by garnishing with mint leaves and a lemon.’

Conservative, conservative:  if the word is with small c, it means rigid, conventional, opposed to change whereas with capital C it refers to a member or supporter of a Conservative political party.

Currant, current: a currant is a small, dark grape. Current is a flow (of electricity, water) and also it is related to something existing in the present time.
‘I cannot bear this current hectic routine.’
The water current at this point of the stream is strong enough to wash away whatever comes in the way.’

Decent, descent, dissent: Decent refers to being good, respectful and ethical.  Descent is a movement downwards and Dissent refers to disagreement.

He is a decent person.’
Everywhere we look we see brutality, stupidity, until it seems that there is nothing else to be seen but that-a descent into barbarism, everywhere, which we are unable to check.

Doris May Lessing, Prisons We Choose to Live Inside (1986)

Two of the justices dissented from the majority’s decision.’

Reading Comprehension:

Reading is an independent, silent, purposeful, active process which demands focus and attention. You have to construct meaning after interacting with the text. In the CSS exam, there is always a question related to comprehension passage which follows questions to answer. This time I am sharing the qualities of an effective reader.

These tips can help you attempt the particular question in a better way.

The effective reader sets goals. (For you is to find answers so read the questions first)

The reader focuses on the title, subtitles, illustrations, repetitive words to get an idea about the text.

The reader makes predictions as he reads.

The reader reads selectively and assesses what should be ignored.

The reader uses word-attack skills and guesses the meanings of difficult and unfamiliar words from the context.

The reader relates the given information to his prior knowledge. (As per his exposure, experience, and reading.)

The reader reads effectively and efficiently (not wasting so much time on the given passage.)

Fluent readers scan, skim and evaluates. (scanning: reading for finding specific information, skimming: quick reading to get the gist and main idea)

The effective reader uses the syntax and utilises the non-text (punctuations, signs).

The reader recognises the implications and makes inferences (conclusions).

Particularly for comprehension passage, read quickly to get the general idea, look at the questions and then re-read to find the content of the given questions. Finally you have to use your own words to compose the answers.

By: Maryam Jahangir

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