THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNICATION
ACTIVITY SET 1
1. Make a list of any five activities (e.g. riding a motorcycle) which you have to perform
regularly and which require skill. How would you rate your own skills in performing each
of these activities : Excellent, Good, Average or Poor ?
2. Which do you regard as your ‘strongest’ skill ? How did you develop this skill ?
(Narrate your experiences in developing this skill.)
3 It was said that when we communicate, we have to ‘do’ things – i.e., to perform
Describe five situations in which you were required to communicate with others (friends,
teachers, parents, relations, neighbours, etc.) during the past week. Some of these
situations may have been of a routine nature while others may have been more ‘difficult’
Describe the task or tasks that you had to perform in each of these situations. How well
were you able to perform them ?
4 How do you rate yourself, generally, as a communicator ? What do you think are your
strengths and weaknesses as a communicator ?
5 Has any one ever tried to ‘teach’ you how to communicate, either informally, outside
the classroom, or in the classroom ? In what way do you think you benefited from this
ACTIVITY SET 2
How many of the sentences below are examples of Professional English ? Give reasons
for each answer. Think of a context in which each sentence might have been used.
Think also of an appropriate response to each sentence.
1 The Taj Mahal looks absolutely incredible by moonlight.
2 The air-conditioner in my room isn’t working.
3 To stop train, pull chain.
4 Should we walk or take the bus ?
5 Come and see me after a week, when all the pathology reports are in.
6 Would you prefer a standard or a de-luxe room ?
7 What news of your family ?
8 I would like to speak to the Manager, please.
9 That was a nice movie we saw last night, wasn’t it ?
10 Can’t you hear that telephone ringing ?
ACTIVITY SET 3
1 You may have seen the ‘skull-and-crossbones’ sign, which carries the meaning
This sign acts as a ‘symbol’, communicating a particular meaning. What are some of the
other symbols of this kind which you often see in public places ?
2 The system of traffic lights used in cities is sometimes described as a ‘code’. In what
sense is it a code ? How does it compare with language as a code in communication ?
(Suggested answer : It is a ‘code’ because the red, amber and green lights are
‘symbols’, each of which conveys a meaning. This is a simple code which can
communicate only 3 messages : “Stop !”, “Wait !” and “Go !”. Language, on the other
hand, can be used to communicate an infinite number of messages.)
3 Have you heard of the ‘Morse Code’ ? What is it and how is it used ? Use the internet
to collect information on this topic and present a short report to your classmates.
4 What does the dialogue below tell you about the use of ‘code’ in communication?
Mr Irani Where are you working now, Ram ?
Ram Sir, I are working in kapda mill in Mumbai but …
Mr Irani Are you still working there ?
Ram No sir, I no working now.
Mr Irani You aren’t working ? Did you lose your job ?
Ram No sir. My boss he no like my work and he tell me go home.
Mr Irani That’s too bad. What’s the name of your boss ?
Ram Lakshmibai Rane.
Mr Irani Your boss is a woman ?
Ram Yes sir ! Very fine lady.
5 Study the examples of communication given below, applying the information which
you have just been given about the ‘factors’ of communication. How effective, in your
opinion, is communication in each case ?
Mohinder Rahul, did you go to the cricket match yesterday ?
Rahul No, I was too busy. How did it go ? Who won ?
Mohinder Oh, splendid. I scored 107 runs in 15 overs, with 13 fours
and 5 sixes. Everyone said my batting was brilliant. You
should have seen one sixer that I hit, right over the bowler’s
head. I whacked the ball so hard that …
Rahul Excuse me Mohinder, I have to go to the market to buy a few
Aamir Salman, did you watch the football match at the stadium last
Salman No, I don’t much care for football. My game is tennis.
Aamir Is that right ? I’m very fond of tennis too. What do you think of
Sania Mirza, our Hyderabadi tennis star ?
Salman Oh,she’s fantastic ! I bet she’ll be among the top ten women
players in the world in a year’s time. She …
(iii) “Whenever I am asked to express my views on the benefits of globalization, which
is fairly often, since my business ventures are scattered all over the world, I am
reminded of my early years in the business world. As I have described in my
autobiography, published in the year 2000, I started my career as a humble worker in a
textile mill in Gujarat, but because of my hard work and skill in dealing with people, I rose
to the position of General Manager within a few years. This was an unbelievable
achievement for a young man who had no formal education. But I have always believed
that if one is prepared to make the best use of the opportunities which life offers, as I
have tried to do, success is bound to follow…”
(iv) “I am always happy to return to this town, where I was born and spent my childhood.
The smaller cities and towns in our country have witnessed rapid growth – in fact, they
have grown much faster than the metropolitan centres, which are now almost saturated.
Pune and Chandigarh have become the new hubs of industry. Unfortunately, Orissa has
not experienced the same kind of growth as Maharashtra and Punjab, but let us hope
that prosperity will come to Orissa soon and that Salehpur will develop into another
Aurangabad or Ludhiana.”
ACTIVITY SET 4
1 Read through the following paragraphs and discuss whether there is enough focus
on the ‘topic’.
(i) The weather pattern in this part of the country is definitely changing. Normally, the
temperature remains at around 32 degrees Centigrade in April and goes up to a
maximum of 38 degrees in the first week of May, with 80 to 95 percent humidity. The
rains come in the middle of May. But for the last two years, the temperature has been
shooting up to 40 degrees Centigrade in April, with frequent thunder-storms throughout
April and May. Then, suddenly, in June, hot and dry winds from the north blow across
the coastal plains, taking the temperature up to 45 degrees. Many people have been
dying of heat stroke.
(ii) Mumbai has the largest number of poets writing in English. It is also the home of the
Hindi cinema industry, which has come to be known as Bollywood. The Parsi community
has contributed most to Mumbai’s prosperity. Today, there are less than 100,000 Parsis
living all over the world. Jamshedji Tata, the Parsi industrialist, who set up the well-
known Tata steel plant in Jamshedpur, lived in Mumbai.
2 Can you quote a line from a poem or song, in any language, which has remained in
your memory because of its unusually attractive wording ?
3 Very often, you see signs such “Spitting Prohibited”, “Stick no bills”, “Speed Limit 25
kph” etc. in public places. No one pays much attention to these signs because the
‘messages’ which they carry are presented in a dull and unimaginative manner.
Sometimes, however, you may come across a sign which attracts your attention
because of its unusual form. One such sign, sometimes seen on highways, is “Better
Late than Never.”
Can you describe some unusual ‘road signs’ or messages painted on the back of trucks
etc. which you have come across recently ?
4 Some advertisements displayed on hoardings etc., such as the ones put up by Amul
Dairy, are well-known for being interesting and witty. Can you think of some others ?
5 A game that children play sometimes is ‘passing the message’. The children stand
some distance apart from each other. The first child goes to the second child and
whispers a sentence into his/her ear. The second child whispers the sentence in the ear
of the third child, and so on. The last child in the ‘chain’ speaks out the sentence that
he/she heard. Very often, this sentence is quite different from the sentence whispered by
the first child. The more players there are in this game, the more interesting it becomes.
Try playing this game with a ‘chain’ of about 10 players. The following are some of the
messages that can be passed. (You can make up other messages.)
i. “If you feel the way I do, why don’t you let the others know ?”
ii. “Get those twenty empty boxes filled within an hour.”
6 A smile is usually, but not always, a sign of pleasure. What are some of the other
meanings that a smile can convey ?
Try smiling in three or four different ways to express different meanings.
ACTIVITY SET 5
How much can you guess about the ‘context’ in which the following conversation takes
place ? ( What can you say about the time, the place, the participants, the topic etc.)
Atul It’s your fault entirely that we missed the train.
Srikant No, it isn’t. You should have told me you were on Platform 3. I thought
the train would come on Platform 1.
Atul So how are we supposed to reach Kolkata now ? Walk ?
Srikant There’s another train at 10.00 p.m.
Atul That’s four hours from now. What should we do in the meantime ?
Srikant Let’s go and watch a movie. That’s better than hanging around here.
ACTIVITY SET 6
Study the following conversation between Rothin Bannerji, a young man from Kolkata
who is on a visit to America, and his host, John Ford. What kind of ‘filters’ seem to be
working here ?
John Where’re you from, Rothin ?
John And where’s that ? In which part of India ?
John Bengal ? Oh, gee ! Isn’t that great ! Seen any tigers near your
home lately ?
Rothin No. Why should I see tigers ?
John But isn’t Bengal where Bengal tigers come from ?
Rothin Oh, that’s just a name someone thought up. The so-called Bengal tigers
were found all over India. In any case, most of them have disappeared
now. There are very few of them left.
John You mean the maharajahs killed all the tigers ?
Rothin (laughing) I’m sorry to disappoint you, John, but there are no maharajas
either. They’ve vanished too !
John And the snake-charmers ? Don’t tell me they’ve gone too !
Rothin I’m afraid they have, John.
John Well, India must be a very different sort of place now. My grandpa went
there many years ago and came back with some wonderful stories, which
my dad passed on to me.
Rothin Yes, John, India has changed a lot since your grandfather’s time.
ACTIVITY SET 7
1 In each of the sentences below, which of the ‘factors’ of communication (Sender,
Receiver, Code etc.) is being focused upon ?
i I became an orphan when I was only two years old.
ii You richly deserve this honour.
iii You said you have two ‘sister-in-laws’. You should have said ‘sisters-in-law’.
iv Sorry, I can’t hear you. There’s some problem with the phone line.
v Your e-mail was so funny !
vi Inflation is expected to rise next month.
Vii The meeting will be called off as only two members have turned up.
viii I didn’t understand a word of what they said, but I loved it !
2 Comment on the following conversation :
Murali Hello, Vasu. Have you just arrived ?
Vasu Yes. Dev passed on your message to me. He said you wanted to see me
Murali That’s right. The M.D. is coming tomorrow and he wants to check this
month’s production figures. I thought I would take a last look at your
report before it goes to the M.D. It’s ready, isn’t it ?
Vasu Oh yes.
Murali Good. Can I have a look at it ?
Vasu It’s in my office in Hyderabad.
Murali But I asked you to bring it along !
Vasu Dev didn’t tell me that. He just said you wanted to see me at once.
Murali Good God ! How could he have forgotten the most important thing ?
3 Comment on the following sentences :
a When Shyam reached the station he found that the train has already arrived
before he reached the station.
b His twin sons are 15 years old now. They were both born the same year.
c She became a widow in 1988. That was the year her husband died.
d He’s such a miser that he just doesn’t want to spend any money.
e He’s a famous poet whose poems have been read by hundreds of readers.
ACTIVITY SET 8
Study the dialogues below and comment on the way in which ‘old’ and ‘new’ information
are being communicated in each dialogue.
Raman Vinod, I’d like some advice from you. This morning Latika told me
Vinod Latika ? Who’s she ?
Raman My wife, of course.
Vinod I didn’t know you were married. Anyway, go on.
Raman Well, she thinks that this new project isn’t going to succeed and …
Vinod Which new project ?
Raman The tobacco factory we’re setting up near Vizag.
Vinod I didn’t know about that. You never told me.
Madhuri Kajol, I’m going to America in December.
Kajol Yes,yes, I know, I know. You’ve already told me that several times.
Madhuri Kajol, I am going to America in December.
Kajol To America ? Really ! Oh, how wonderful ! Alone or with your
ACTIVITY SET 9
1 Comment on the pattern of communication in the following extracts :
Robert I told the boss we wouldn’t let him down this time and would finish
the job today even if it took us all day, but I don’t think he believed
me because he just said “Are you sure ?”, which was a funny thing to
say after I had told him we would definitely complete the job,
although some of the chaps in the factory fell ill and couldn’t report
for work, but these things can’t be helped, can they ? I mean, one
can only try. I say, Michael, have you gone to sleep ? You aren’t
Teacher During the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere and release oxygen into the air. Did you understand that,
class ? Is that clear, Priyanka ?
Priyanka Yes, ma’am.
Teacher Quite sure ?
Priyanka (a little doubtfully) I think so, ma’am.
Teacher Okay, let me check. Renu, what does ‘absorb’ mean ?
Renu To take, ma’am ?
Teacher Yes, you’re right, Renu. Plants take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
And do they give something back to the atmosphere ? Vivek ?
Teacher Good !
Lecturer (to class) In today’s lecture, I plan to do three things. Firstly, I will
explain some of the important principles of economic planning.
Secondly, I will point out what has gone wrong with economic
planning in India, and lastly, I will make some suggestions about
what should be done.
2 Working in groups, produce a dialogue to suit each of the situations described
below. When your dialogue is ready, two members from each group can present it
a. A junior employee in a company meets the Managing Director at an annual dinner
organized by the company for all its employees. The employee does not recognize the
Managing Director and talks to him as he would to a colleague, but when he discovers
who he has been talking to, he is embarrassed. The Managing Director helps him to get
over his discomfiture.
b. The manager of a travel agency rings up the ‘Inquiries’ counter at the Bhubaneswar
railway station to find out if the train to Chennai is running according to schedule. The
clerk who receives the call has not been trained to handle such inquiries over the
telephone and speaks in a confusing manner, giving the caller a lot of unwanted
information. The latter, realizing what is happening, tries to help out the person at the
ACTIVITY SET 10
1. How would you describe the purpose of communication in the following examples ?
i. I read in an article in the ‘London Times’ that the national dish of people in Britain is
‘chicken butter masala’. Can you imagine that ? All of us thought the British ate nothing
but fish and chips !
ii. When you’re in Kolkata, don’t forget to visit the Birla planetarium.
iii. Our state, Jharkhand, is the most rapidly developing region in the country. During
the last year, its per capita income has risen by 31 percent. The future is bright.
iv. The Reserve Bank of India has announced an increase in its ‘repo’ rate.
2 What role does ‘purpose’ play in the following examples of communication ?
a. “I need a taxi to go to the airport. Could you please call one for me ?”
“It’s difficult to get a taxi at this time. Why don’t you take an auto instead ?”
“ An auto ? But I have a lot of luggage.”
“ Oh, it can be squeezed into the space behind the passenger seat.”
“ Very well then. I’ll take an auto. Thanks.”
b. “ Have you seen the new Bangalore airport ?”
“ Yes, I was invited to the inauguration. Looks very modern.”
“ Quite. But it’s too far away from the city ! I had to fly from Bangalore to Mumbai
last week and it took me three hours to get to the new airport. I almost missed my
“ Yes, I know. You should have started at least four hours ahead of time. The
roads are so crowded !”
“ Really, this city gets worse every year.”
“Yeah, but it’s not as bad as Delhi.”
c. What do you think the relation between the Sender and the Receiver could be, in
the two examples given above?
d. Can you re-write Conversation (b) so as to give it a clear purpose? Keep the first
two lines but re-write the rest of the conversation.
(Imagine that this is a conversation between two businessmen. The first speaker wants
to set up a hotel near the new Bangalore airport and is trying to persuade the second
speaker to invest some money in his project. This is how the conversation begins :
“ Have you seen the new Bangalore airport ?”
“ Oh yes, I was invited to the inauguration. Looks very modern.
(Continue the dialogue as suggested.)
3. What do the following examples tell you about the role of ‘purpose’ in
Rajendran Morning, Ranjeeta.
Ranjeeta Good morning, Rajendran. You know Vijaya, my cousin who lives
in Hyderabad, don’t you ?
Rajendran No, unfortunately. What about her ?
Ranjeeta Oh, she’s got a job in New York and will be flying there next week.
Rajendran That’s wonderful !
Ranjeeta Lucky girl ! Her boy-friend will be joining her too. He works for
Infosys. They’ve known each other since they were in school.
Rajendran Look, Ranjeeta, I have to make some urgent telephone calls. Do
you mind ? I’ll catch up with you next week. Bye now !
Raghav Meera, a funny thing happened at the office today. The boss …
Meera Raghav, could you help Atul with his Maths homework ? He has a
Raghav Sure. But let me tell you what happened … It was so comical !
Meera Please, Raghav. Atul has been waiting for you to return from the
office so that you can help him.
Raghav Oh, all right. Where’s Atul ?
Ramesh Sunil, could you lend me five hundred rupees ? I’ll return the
money to you next month.
Sunil I’m terribly sorry, Ramesh, but I’m rather short of cash this month.
I had to buy new school uniforms for the children, you know.
ACTIVITY SET 11
1. Compare the two versions (given below) of an election speech given by a politician.
a. “ Ladies and gentlemen,
As you know, I am contesting the elections from this city as a candidate of the Jai Jawan
Party. I was a student of the Janata College in this city and was the President of the
Students’ Union. I have served the people of this city in many ways and hope to continue
serving them for many years. I request you, therefore, to cast your vote in my favour.”
b. “ Friends,
Isn’t it sad that even 60 years after independence, the people of this city are unable to
get proper health care ? There is no hospital here and when one of us falls sick, he or
she has to be taken to the capital, 100 kilometres away, for treatment. I have grown up
in this city, like most of you, and I know the problems that you face. I promise you that if I
am elected, I shall try my best to see that these problems are solved.”
Which of these two versions is likely to be more effective, and why ?
2 Read through the advertisement given below and comment on its effectiveness.
The Maruti-Suzuki Estilo
Are you a discerning Indian motorist who is tired of the ordinary ? Are you looking for a
car that reflects your good taste and fits in with your gracious life style ? If you are, the
new Maruti-Suzuki Estilo is just the car for you !
The Estilo has a revolutionary design that makes it stand out in a crowd. It offers
incredible space for a car of this size. You will love the luxury of its classy interior and its
gleaming body colours. The 63 bhp engine is whisper-quiet, and its fuel efficiency will be
a revelation to you. The all-independent suspension will enable you to travel over the
roughest roads in complete comfort and peace of mind.
It was Maruti-Suzuki that brought a revolution to the Indian car industry 35 years ago
with the Maruti 800. Since then, we have been offering world-class cars to Indian
motorists, at prices that seem too good to be true !
If you would like a test-drive in the Estilo, all you have to do is to make a toll-free call to
1600-85672. Our representative will arrive promptly at your door-step with a brand new
car, fresh from the Maruti-Suzuki showroom.
Why don’t you give the Estilo a try ?
Is the advertisement effective ? Give your own views.
ACTIVITY SET 12
1 Comment on the following exchange between a doctor and a group of mothers.
Doctor (speaking to a group of mothers) Your children are not getting enough
nutrition. You must give them plenty of milk and fruits, and an egg
First Mother Milk and fruits ! I can’t even buy rice for my child !
2 Comment on the following conversation.
Mr Thakre That was a very interesting talk on ‘Global Warming’ which you gave
us this evening, Prof Madgulkar. I really learnt a lot from it.
Prof Madgulkar Thank you, Mr Thakre. I’ll send you a copy of my new book on the
subject. I hope it will be of help to you when you are setting up your
new refrigerator plant in Aurangabad.
Mr Thakre (surprised) How did you come to know about my project, Professor ?
It is still at the planning stage !
Prof Madgulkar Well, when I was told I would be talking to a group of industrialists, I
decided to find out as much about them as I could !
Mr Thakre That’s good thinking, Professor ! No wonder we found your talk so
interesting as well as useful !
3 Imagine the following situation. You are a publisher, planning to launch a new
fortnightly magazine in English and have hired a firm of consultants to conduct an
audience survey on your behalf. The consultants report that most of your readers are
likely to be graduate housewives in the age-group 35-40, having one or two school-going
children, whose husbands have an average monthly income of 25,000 rupees.
Use this information to draft an advertisement to promote the new magazine. (Choose a
suitable name for the magazine.)
ACTIVITY SET 13
1. Compare the two ‘bad news’ letters below. How does the Sender of Letter (b) make
his communication ‘positive’ ?
Mr Anil Mangani
April 17, 2008
Dear Mr. Mangani,
This is to inform you that your services are being terminated with immediate effect, as
your performance has been highly unsatisfactory. You are often absent from the office
without leave and have been neglecting your duties during the past two months. Your
sales figures are also much below the expected target.
A cheque for Rs.15,000, covering your salary for the current month, is enclosed.
Dear Mr. Mangani,
This month you will be completing one year of service with Hindustan Electronics. Your
performance as Sales Executive during this period has been commendable. However,
as you are aware, the company is going through a difficult period. Competition in the
consumer electronics industry is rapidly increasing and we have been forced to reduce
our profit margins. It has also become necessary to adopt various cost-cutting measures
in order to remain competitive.
The Board of Directors decided, at its last meeting, to trim operating costs by reducing
the size of our Sales Promotion team, of which you have been a valued member. I regret
to inform you, therefore, that the company will be unable to utilize your services after the
31st of this month.
I realize that this will come to you as unwelcome news, but I do hope that you will
understand the constraints under which our company is operating at the present time.
We are hopeful that conditions will improve soon, and if that should happen, we shall be
more than happy to welcome you back. In the meantime, please let me know if there is
anything that I can do to assist you in finding suitable alternative employment.
A cheque for Rs. 15,000 is enclosed towards your salary for the current month.
With best wishes,
2 Imagine the following situation.
Bhawani Singh, aged 25, holds an M.B.A. degree. He was interviewed for an Assistant
Manager’s position in a marketing company, but the interviewers felt that his
communicative ability in English was poor and that he lacked confidence. He was not
Draft a ‘regret letter’ which you, as the Director of Personnel, have to send to Bhawani
3 Comment on the quality of communication in the two letters below .
Dear Mr. Patnaik,
I would like to thank you for kindly responding to our questionnaire on the quality of the
service offered by the distributors of our products in Orissa.
I am sorry to learn that you are not satisfied with their service and that your complaint
about a defect in one of our products did not receive prompt attention. On behalf of
Acme Healthcare Products, I offer you our sincere apologies and assure you that our
representative will call on you in the next two days and replace the defective product.
As the Director of Marketing and Customer Care in the Company, I consider it my duty to
ensure that all our clients are happy with the Company’s products and services. The
feedback which we receive from valued customers such as yourself is of great help to us
in maintaining high service standards, and I am grateful to you for sparing some of your
time to respond to our questionnaire.
Kindly contact me on my direct line (number 033 - 2749865) in case you need any
Director of Marketing and Customer Care
Acme Healthcare Products
Dear Sir/ Madam,
With reference to your application dated 27.4.2008 for refund of the deposit of Rs. 500
towards issue of Application Forms for the purchase of residential flats in Dhoomaketu
Nagar, Bhubaneswar, under the proposed Gruhakalpa scheme of the Housing
Development Board, the undersigned is directed to inform you that the deposited
amount cannot be refunded, vide Government Order no. 2983 / 07 of Gazette
Notification no. 69-47 A / 9744 dated 27.6.1988.
Undersecretary, Planning and Co-ordination
Department of Urban Development
ACTIVITY SET 14
Compare the two conversations below and compare on the extent to which the two
participants appear to be co-operating with each other.
Arun Ravi, the manager of the bank in Dubai to which I transferred our
account from Mosul after our construction project was shut down last
year has just written that the export scheme which was to have been
launched by the government this December has been delayed until
a new government is sworn in after the elections which were held
in July, and so …
Ravi Sorry, Arun, I didn’t get that. Could you please repeat it ?
Arun Ravi, I’ve just got a letter from the manager of our bank in Dubai.
Ravi You mean, the one where we have our account ?
Arun Yes. We transferred our account in Mosul to this bank last year. You
Ravi Oh yes. After our construction project in Mosul was shut down.
Arun That’s right. Well, the letter is about the new export scheme of the
Dubai government. It was to have been launched this December but
it has been delayed.
Ravi Why ?
Arun Well, a new government is going to be sworn in. It seems they had
a general election in July and they are waiting for the new
government to take over,
Ravi I see.
ACTIVITY SET 15
1 Describe some sounds which are present in your mother-tongue but not in English.
Give some examples of words in which these sounds occur.
2 When the words of a language are mispronounced, it sometimes becomes difficult
to understand what a speaker is trying to say.
Can you remember an occasion when you failed to understand a speaker because
he/she pronounced a word (or words) in a way that sounded strange to you ?
Some words which are very common in Indian languages have no equivalent in English.
As a result, it may become difficult for an Indian to describe to a foreigner things which
are typically Indian.
As an exercise, think of the difficulties you may have in talking to a foreigner about the
a. a typical Indian meal
b. a typical Indian wedding
c. a typical Hindi film
d. a typical Indian festival such as Deepavali or Id-ul-fitr.
i. Can you think of some examples of mother-tongue interference, at either the
phonological or syntactic level, which occurs when a speaker of a different Indian
language tries to speak your language ?
ii. What are some of the common grammatical errors which your friends make when
speaking in English ?
What language function is being performed in each of the sentences below :
a. He is a dangerous man to deal with.
b. The hot sun makes one thirsty.
c. Why don’t you run down to the station and see if the train has left ?
d. I have rarely heard a better speech than the one you made today.
e. How I wish I was free to come to your party!
ACTIVITY SET 16
i. Describe some of the major differences between the ‘standard’ form of your language
(Oriya, Hindi, Bengali etc.) and a dialect of the same language (such as the ‘Sambalpuri’
dialect of Oriya or the ‘Bhojpuri’ dialect of Hindi).
ii What are some of the commonly used technical terms in the ‘discipline’ which you are
studying (Computer Science, Pharmacy, Mechanical Engineering etc.), which might not
be understood by ‘outsiders’ ?
ACTIVITY SET 17
1. Would you describe the style in the following examples as ‘formal’ or ‘informal’ ?
What are your reasons ?
i. It is indeed a privilege for me to welcome the distinguished guests who have
graciously accepted our invitation and consented to witness the theatrical performance
which we have organized on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of this institution.
ii. Hi, fellows ! I must say it’s jolly decent of you guys to turn up at such short notice for
my birthday bash. We’ve got plenty of grub and soft drinks and there’s some real groovy
music in case you’re musically inclined. So enjoy yourselves !
Re-write the pieces above so as to change the style (from formal to informal or vice
2 Re-write the following news report so as to make it ‘bias-free’.
A teacher who wants to teach in a school meant for blind or deaf-and-dumb students
should make sure that his students are treated with kindness and sympathy. Sometimes,
the teacher may be asked to handle a batch of students who are mentally retarded.
3 Re-write the following passage in simple language.
The looming threat of inflation appears to have affected the Indian Railways finally.
Although the railway ministry has refused to raise fares despite the escalating costs of
petroleum products, other economy measures have been initiated. They are particularly
evident in the Indian Railways Catering and Touring Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary
organization of the Indian Railways. IRCTC has suspended the sale of all low-cost food
items, aptly called “Janata Food Packages.”
ACTIVITY SET 18
Study the following examples of communication. What kind of body language do
you think was used by each of the participants ?
Manager Ranjit, the boss is very pleased with the good work that you and
your boys have done. He has asked me to inform you that each
one of you will get a 50 percent pay rise from next month.
(Ranjit says nothing.)
Manager (smiling) You are surprised ? Well, you deserve it !
Manager Vinod, I have been looking at the sales figures and I find that
we have sold only 5 refrigerators this month, whereas last month
we sold 18. How do you explain this ?
(Vinod says nothing but makes a gesture.)
Manager You’re trying to tell me this isn’t your fault ? But as our Chief
Sales Executive you are responsible, you know !
Visitor (knocks on the door)
Official Who is it ?
Visitor (opening the door slightly) May I come in ?
Official What do you want ?
Visitor Could I speak to you for a few minutes ?
Official What about ?
Visitor I’m Ravi Mohapatra, Resident Representative of the “Headlines
Today” news channel.
Official So ?
Visitor I wanted to check with you a report we have received about a
bomb explosion in the car park of your office.
(The official says nothing but his body language is very expressive.)
Visitor I am sorry to have disturbed you, Sir. Please excuse me.
ACTIVITY SET 19
1 Mahto is a clerk in a government office. During the lunch break, he meets Prasad,
a colleague of his, in the canteen. He has heard that the Director, who heads the
department in which Mahto works and is a hard task-master, is about to be transferred.
As Prasad is usually very well-informed, Mahto wants to find out from him whether the
rumour is correct. Prasad is at first reluctant to share the information he has, but Mahto
questions him cleverly and manages to get the information that he wanted.
How would you describe this piece of communication, using some of the ‘labels’ that
were introduced in this chapter ?
Write out a dialogue between Mahto and Prasad, to suit the ‘scenario’ described above.
2 Rajendran works for a Bangalore-based software company. He is keen to join a
project that his company has been awarded in the USA, and he writes to the Vice
President, Projects, requesting that he be allowed to join the project team. The Vice
President calls Rajendran to his office and tries to persuade him to stay on in
Bangalore. Rajendran finally agrees.
In about 100 words, write a dialogue between Rajendran and the Vice President.
END OF SECTION 1
(LISTENING AND SPEAKING)
ACTIVITY SET 1
1. Which of the words below contain the sound that is represented by the symbol on
/n/ net, know, ring, solemn, reign, condemnation
/v/ give, receive, when, twelve, resolve
/ʧ/ teach, cheat, which, bridge
/t/ butter, tender, rest, whistle
/f/ comfort, rough, follow, laugh
/l/ talk, yellow, wheel, silk
/b/ bat, tube, climb, plumber
/r/ rotten, butter, cure, bury
/d/ dentist, wonder, wooden, shoulder
/j / judge, yellow, sky, tube
/w/ wide, shallow, widow, twenty
/ʤ/ bridge, gentleman, adjust, news
2 Which IPA symbols would be used to represent the sounds that are heard at the
beginning of the words given below?
yellow, third, zebra, forty, though, justice, shoulder, cheerful, vertical, physical
3 Which IPA symbols would be used to represent the sounds that are heard at the
end of the words given below?
living, use, tough, raise, tour, neigh, door, garage, better, weigh, hope
4 Write the following words in phonemic script, using IPA symbols:
act car put hot see five share busy very band first third
rather pleasure yesterday
5 Use appropriate IPA symbols to represent the vowel/s in each of the following
words, in the space provided.
wanted_____________ lock _____________
police _____________ court _____________
bury _____________ flood _____________
month_____________ firm _____________
March _____________ effort _____________
6 Transcribe the following words, using IPA symbols.
7 Look up the following words in the dictionary, find out their correct
try to pronounce them aloud.
*ACTIVITY SET 2
1 Listen to the following pairs of words on the CD and repeat each pair as
accurately as possible. Repeat also the sentences that you hear at the end
of each set of words.
i /p/ /f/
pad pan put pill pail leap cop beep cup
fad fan foot fill fail leaf cough beef cuff
1. My ‘father ‘promptly ‘put his ‘foot \‘down.
2 I’ve ‘filled my ‘partner’s ‘coffee ‘cup ‘five ‘times al \’ready.
ii /b/ /v/
bat bail ban best bet marble
vat veil van vest vet marvel
1 Your ‘best ‘bet will be to ‘travel in the \ ‘van.
2 ‘What are your ‘views on our ‘Bollywood \ ‘beauties ?
iii /f/ /v/
fast leaf life grief proof rifle
vast leave live (adj) grieve prove rival
1 He has ‘finally re‘fused to ‘give me \‘leave.
2 She ‘lived her ‘own ‘life and ‘vented her ‘views \ ‘freely.
iv /s/ /∫/
sip sigh seep sop same sort ass lass puss
ship shy sheep shop shame short ash lash push
1 She was ‘too ‘shy to ‘take a \ ‘sip.
2 We ‘went ‘shopping to the ‘same \ ‘shops.
2 Listen to the following pairs of words on the CD and repeat each pair.
i. /I/ / i :/
bit fist lick sit still win
beat feast leak seat steal wean
1 He ‘came ‘back from the ‘feast ‘licking his \ ‘fingers.
2 You can ‘easily ‘beat him in the ‘test if you ‘work a ‘bit \ ‘harder.
3 Listen to the following words on the CD and repeat each word.
pull full foot book look room shook wood should butcher
1 The ‘room is ‘full of \ ‘books.
2 Your ‘foot ‘looks as if it’s ‘made of \ ‘wood.
pool fool food moon move noon rule school bruise
1 Our ‘school has a ‘cool ‘new ‘swimming \ ‘pool.
2 The ‘fool says he can ‘see the ‘moon ‘even at \ ‘noon.
bed red set any gentle heavy wet rest bread
1 He ‘set the ‘red ‘flowers ‘gently on the \ ‘bed.
2 ‘Have some ‘rest and ‘eat a ‘little \ ‘bread.
at act bat bad bank cat cap fat flag rat vat
1 The ‘fat ‘cat ‘sat on the \ ‘mat.
2 He ‘left his ‘cap at the \ ‘bank.
v /ʌ /
bun bus cup dust fun gun ton couple trouble
1 We had ‘tons of ‘fun on the \ ‘bus.
2 He ‘used his ‘gun to ‘fish out a ‘couple of \ ‘buns.
arm bar car card half part father alarm disaster
1 My ‘father ‘raised his ‘arm in \ ‘alarm.
2 I ‘need some ‘parts for my \ ‘car.
box hot got not pot shot top bottle model off
1 ‘Put the ‘pot of ‘soup on ‘top of the \ ‘box.
2 Have you ‘brought that ‘bottle or \ ‘not ?
all ball call caught doll fall law talk crawl walk
1 ‘All the ‘players ‘ran for the \ ‘ball.
2 He had a ‘fall as he ‘walked ‘down the ‘hall.
bird burn learn turn first girl word shirt worse curtain
1 The ‘girl ‘put ‘down the ‘bird without a \‘word.
2 ‘Take the ‘first ‘turn to the \ ‘left.
about again alone attack connect human daughter water
1 He at‘tacked the ‘enemy a ‘gain and a\ ‘gain.
2 My ‘daughter ‘put some ‘water in the \ ‘butter.
4 Listen to the following pairs of words on the CD and repeat them.
i bus boss
ii fast first
iii hut hurt
iv lost lust
v shut shot
vi cut caught
vii pen pain
viii let late
ix wet wait
x shed shade
5 Listen to the following words on the CD and repeat them. Repeat also
the sentences that you hear at the end of each set of words.
buy cry die five high my why like fight sign white tiger
1 ‘Who will ‘buy my ‘white \ ‘tiger ?
2 I ‘don’t ‘know ‘why she ‘doesn’t ‘like my \ ‘wife.
bow (v) cow how fowl gown town loud doubt shout around
1 ‘How could that ‘cow have gone to \‘town ?
2 Your ‘shout was ‘very \‘loud.
dear ear fear hear near mere tear (n) cheer clear career
1 ‘Shout into his ‘ear if you ‘want him to \‘hear.
2 I ‘fear the ‘end of his ca‘reer may be \‘near.
poor tour sure fewer sewer
1 Your ‘tours will ‘get ‘fewer and \‘fewer.
2 I’m ‘not so ‘sure he’s ‘really \‘poor.
ACTIVITY SET 3
Listen to the following sentences spoken on the CD and fill up the blank
spaces (in the sentences below) with the word that you heard.
i You need some __________ to take stock of your work. (leisure / ledger)
ii The door had been broken open but my ___________ (luck /lock) held.
iii The farmer was unable to buy a __________ anywhere. (mill / meal)
iv The fishermen ___________ their nets. (pulled / pooled)
v The doctor examined the _________ (cot / cut).
vi You’ll have to ____________ (walk / work) for two hours every day.
vii The couple wanted to _________ (leave/ live ) peacefully.
viii The _______ (bins / beans) are ready to be used.
ix The students must wear _________ (knit/ neat) suits.
x Don’t _______ (sleep/ slip) on the ice.
xi It was a _________ (worthy/ wordy) suggestion.
xii She ________ (shells/sells) fish in the market.
ACTIVITY SET 4
Practice the pronunciation of the words in the list below.
sc- scar school score scale scooter
sk- skate skirt skin skill skid
sl- sleep slot slow sly slip
sm- small smile smell smack smart
sn- snack snatch snag snap sneak
sp- space spade special spell spill
st- stamp stand star start station
ACTIVITY SET 5
1. With the help of a dictionary, transcribe the following words phonemically (using
IPA symbols), showing the syllable divisions in the polysyllabic words.
inform business industry laboratory engineer
presentation reliable dependent tax benefit
2 Divide each word into syllables, using dots to show the syllable boundaries.
3 Try to pronounce each of the words, as shown by their phonemic transcriptions
dictionary. Ask your teacher or your fellow students to check whether you are
pronouncing the words correctly.
4 Read the transcriptions given below. Write the words which they represent in
ACTIVITY SET 7
1 Divide the words below into syllables and mark the stressed syllables. Then
pronounce each word with appropriate stress.
horizon product (noun)
2 Pronounce the following words with appropriate stress.
planet matter attempt believe talent foolish
captain dreadful avoid dismiss attain certain
suspect suggestion whisper engineer beggar dangerous
3. Mark the stressed syllable in each word below and check your answer by referring
to a dictionary.
4. Mark the stressed syllables in the following words and practice speaking them
i. Words stressed on the first syllable
boxes laughing guided boyish childhood
branches jumping mended bluish brotherhood
roses writing quarreled yellowish motherhood
teacher fearless broadly beautiful goodness
ii Words stressed on the second syllable
ahead below complete deceive receive
abridge behind compare defeat receipt
account before contain delight return
amount beside construct deform repair
*ACTIVITY SET 8
Given below are some sets of related words in which ‘stress shift’ takes place.
*Listen to the pronunciation of the following sets of word on the CD and
repeat the words, paying special attention to stress shift.
i. ‘access ac’cessible accessi’bility
ii ‘analyse a’nalysis ana’lytic
iii ‘certify cer’tificate certifi’cation
iv ‘democrat de’mocracy cemo’cratic
v ‘diplomat di’plomacy diplo’matic
vi ‘telegraph te’legraphy tele’graphic
vii a‘cademy aca’demic acade’mician
viii ‘equal e’quality equali’zation
ix ‘bureaucrat bu’reaucracy bureau’cratic
x ‘paralyse pa’ralysis para’lytic
*ACTIVITY SET 9
Listen to the following pairs of words on the CD and notice the shift in
stress. The first word in each pair is a noun and the second is a verb.
Practise the pronunciation of these words.
(Put a gap after each pair of words to allow for repetition.)
‘con.duct con. ’duct
‘re.bel re.’bel (verb)
Notice the change in the vowel as a result of stress shift.
2 Listen to the following sentences on the CD and mark the stressed
syllable in each of the underlined words below.
i His greed increased day by day
ii The increase in population must be controlled.
iii He was subjected to severe punishment.
iv Which is your favourite subject ?
v Slowly, we progressed up the mountain path.
vi The patient showed little progress.
vii Why did you desert your family ?
viii The Sahara is the largest desert in the world.
ix Permit me to introduce myself.
x Did you get your job permit?
*ACTIVITY SET 10
1 Listen to the following sentences on the CD and mark the element in each
compound word which receives heavy stress. Repeat the sentences.
1. The shopkeeper was rather hasty.
2. But the salesman was helpful.
3. That’s an expensive taperecorder.
4. Take the waterbottle with you.
5. Send for the firebrigade.
6. Did you reach the airport on time?
1. We were ‘held ‘up at the ‘level ’crossing
2. How did you spend the ‘week ’end?
3. She said she’d ‘call this ’after’noon.
4. We found these by the ’sea ’shore.
5. Why ‘blame the ’Prime ’Minister?
6. I hate to say ’good ’bye so soon.
3 Each of the sentences below contains a phrasal verb. The second element of the
phrasal verb takes a stronger stress than the first.
1. ‘Turn ’off the lights.
2. Tell him to ’hold ’on to them.
3. You’ll have to ’put ’up with it.
4. Ask him not to ’hang ’up.
5. We may have to ’call ’off the ‘match.
6. Ask him to ’hang ’on a minute.
*ACTIVITY SET 11
*1 Listen to the CD and repeat each of the sentences below. Pay attention
to the vowels and consonants, stress and rhythm.
(Allow sufficient time after each sentence for repetition)
i I ‘wish she’d ‘get ‘off that \‘ship.
ii ‘What a ‘shame the ‘shop had to be ‘shut \‘down !
iii You must ‘brush your ‘shoes until they \‘shine!
iv The ‘bus ‘fell into the ‘thorny \‘bushes.
v ‘This ‘fine ‘short ‘story should be ‘made into a \‘film.
vi ‘Fortyfive ‘famous ‘fathers will ‘feed these \‘orphans.
vii Have you ‘finished ‘all the ‘fried / ‘fish ?
viii The ‘five ‘fat ‘fools ‘fell into the \‘river.
ix You can ‘fly from ‘Frankfurt to ‘Delhi in ‘five \‘hours.
x The ‘film ‘festival is ‘finally \‘over.
i The ‘view from the ‘window is ‘very\‘beautiful.
ii ‘These ‘vegetables were ‘bought from a ‘vendor’s \‘van.
iii The ‘court has re‘fused to re‘view its \‘verdict.
iv The ‘last e‘vent will be com‘pleted before the \‘evening.
v Our ‘victory was ‘well ‘worth the \‘effort.
vi There are ‘several ‘vested ‘interests in the ‘western \‘world.
vii I ‘wonder where ‘all the ‘water \‘went.
viii The ‘weather is \‘wavering.
ix ‘Look at that ‘watch which your ‘wife is / ‘wearing !
x Will you ‘wish away ‘all the ‘good ‘work which we have /‘done ?
i ‘Send these ‘animals to his ‘private \‘zoo.
ii Its ‘easy to ‘fall in ‘love with ‘these \‘roses.
iii ‘Water ‘oozed through his \‘nose.
iv A ‘dozen of the ‘mangoes which we ‘chose have been \‘frozen.
v ‘Whose ‘toys are ‘making the ‘most /‘noise ?
vi The ‘miser will be ‘none the \‘wiser.
vii When I have some /‘leisure, I shall ‘meet you with \‘pleasure.
viii I ‘treasure your ‘love be‘yond ‘all \‘measure.
ix We will ‘meet this ‘evening under these \‘trees.
x The ‘mean ‘bees have ‘eaten all the \ ‘honey.
xi I ‘don’t ‘want to ‘sit on that ‘broken \‘seat.
xii The ‘cat ‘licked up ‘all the ‘milk that ‘leaked from the‘baby’s
xiii It’s ‘awfully ‘hot inside that \‘hut.
xiv Your ‘boss will ‘have to ‘climb into that \‘bus.
xv The ‘first ‘seat in the ‘third ‘row has been re \‘served.
xvi A ‘word in his ‘ear should su\‘ffice.
xvii Have you ‘heard that ‘word be /‘fore ?
xviii Just ‘look at his ‘awful / ‘luck !
xix This ‘book must have ‘cost you a ‘pretty / ‘buck !
*ACTIVITY SET 12
1 Listen to the following sentences on the CD and repeat them with proper rhythm.
a. Don’t make too many mistakes.
b. I shall continue my search until I find it.
c. Towards dawn he suddenly remembered the cattle.
d. One should develop a taste for reading.
e. I don’t quite understand you.
f. I didn’t expect you would.
2. *Listen first to the ‘nonsense words’ which show the rhythm of the
sentences. Then, speak the sentences aloud with proper rhythm.
DA di di DA di di DA
‘Bill is in ‘front of the ‘room.
‘Ann is a‘way for the ‘day.
‘Nice is a ‘town by the ‘sea.
3 Find the right matches.
di DA di i. Try to sleep.
di DA di di ii. You promised to phone.
di DA di DA iii. I’d like to help.
di DA di di DA iv. It’s broken.
DA di DA v. I stepped on it.
*ACTIVITY SET 13
1 Listen to the following sentences on the CD and repeat them with proper rhythm
‘Hick.o.ry ‘dick.o.ry ‘dock The ‘mouse ran ‘up the ‘clock.
‘Do it ac’cording to ‘plan. I'd ‘like to ‘cash a ‘check.
‘Give me a ‘bur.ger with ‘cheese. I'll ‘have her ‘call you ‘back.
‘Who is the ‘man I should ‘see? He'd ‘rath.er ‘see the ‘boss.
‘Twin.kle, ‘twin.kle, ‘little ‘star ‘How I ‘won.der ‘what you ‘are!
’Let me ‘help you ‘find your ‘keys. ‘Find a ‘space and ‘park your ‘car.
’Tell me ‘why you ’don't a’gree. ‘Thanks a’ lot for ‘all your ‘help.
’Don't for.’get to ’leave a ’tip. ‘Don't for.’get the ‘bread and
2 Listen to the following sentences on the CD. Each word is carefully pronounced by
the speaker. Notice how unnatural this sounds.
a. By the time he receives this letter, I will have caught the train to Paris.
b. Following closely behind the herd was a group of filthy, disgusting vultures.
c. I'll make sure to give him a ring the next time I'm in town.
3 Listen now to the same sentences, spoken in a natural manner.
4 Listen for the rhythm in the following sentences and repeat them with the same
There once was an English teacher,
With one distinguishing feature.
Whether young or old,
All her students were told,
They were good, and all did believe her!
There one was a man from Peru,
Who dreamed of eating his shoe,
he awoke with a fright,
in the middle of the night,
and found that his dream had come true!
*ACTIVITY SET 14
1. With the help of a dictionary, find out how the underlined words would be
pronounced in the following sentences. Try to pronounce the entire sentences.
i. Let us meet at 5.00.
ii I ate some bread and butter.
iii He’s from Mumbai.
iv I shall help them.
v I have come to call you back.
2* Listen to the following sentences on the CD and repeat them, paying
special attention to the weak forms of words.
Can he use it? /kən hi ‘ju:z it/
I’m hungry. /aim hʌŋri/
Bread and butter will be enough. /’bred ən ‘bʌtər əl bi: i’nʌf/
He has left the job. /hi:z ‘left ðə ‘ʤɒb/
An orange would do. / ən ‘ɒrinʤ əd ‘du:/
ACTIVITY SET 15
1. The following utterances are made with the focus on the words highlighted in each
case. Which of the responses would match each utterance?
a. Amir saw a black dog yesterday.
So it was not a cat that he saw ?
I thought it was white.
b. Amir saw a black dog yesterday.
So it was not a cat ?
I thought it was white.
c. We asked for two cups of tea.
I thought you wanted coffee.
I thought you wanted only one.
d. We asked for two cups of tea.
I thought you wanted coffee.
I thought you wanted only one.
e. I think that book is mine.
No, the other one is yours.
Are you sure?
f. I think that book is mine.
No, the other one is yours.
It can’t be. It belongs to my sister.
2. In the following sentences, what is the meaning indicated by the stress ?
a. Put the blue bag under the table in the corner.
b. Put the blue bag under the table in the corner.
c. Put the blue bag under the table in the corner.
d. Put the blue bag under the table in the corner.
e. Put the blue bag under the table in the corner.
Intonation patterns in English
* Listen to the following pair of sentences on the CD.
i. He’s \ ‘going.
ii. He’s / ‘going?
(You will hear these sentences, which are marked with an asterisk, spoken on the
CD. Listen to them carefully, noting the intonation, and repeat the sentences.)
a. The Falling Tone
i The ‘man in the ‘blue ‘shirt is my \ ‘brother.
ii ‘Pick up that ‘piece of ‘paper at \ ‘once!
iii ‘Clean up the ‘floor after you’ve ‘finished your \ ‘work.
iv What a ‘pretty ‘dress you’re \ ‘wearing !
v What a ‘pleasant sur\ ‘prise !
vi ‘What is the ‘meaning of this \ ‘word ?
vii ‘When does the ‘Puri Ex‘press ar\ ‘rive ?
viii ‘Why didn’t you ‘ask him to \ wait ?
ix She’s a ‘clever ‘girl, \ ‘isn’t she ?
x It’s ‘really ‘pleasant out here, \ ‘isnt it ?
xi Are you ‘coming \ ‘home with me?
xii Do you ‘know the \ ‘answer ?
b. The rising tone
i ‘That ‘man is ‘Seeta’s / ‘father ?
ii Is she the ‘daughter of your / ‘friend ?
iii Are ‘those ‘two ‘girls re/ ‘lated?
iv You’ll ‘leave ‘next / ‘week?
v The re‘sults are / ‘out?
vi Our presen‘tation is to/ ‘day?
vii ‘Get me a ‘glass of / ‘water.
viii Could you ‘get me a ‘glass of / ‘water ?
ix Shall we ‘take a ‘bus to the / ‘station?
x Let’s ‘take a ‘bus to the / ‘station.
xi The ‘last ‘train ‘leaves at ‘nine, / ‘doesn’t it?
xii He has in‘vited you to the ‘party,/ ‘hasn’t he ?
xiii The ‘train ‘won’t ‘leave until ‘half ‘past ‘eight, / ‘will it?
xiv ‘How did he ‘dare to a/ ‘buse you?
xv ‘When was the ‘last ‘time you / ‘met him?
FINALITY AND INCOMPLETENESS
i I ‘feel this ‘matter should be \ ‘closed.
ii There’s ‘nothing ‘more to be \ ‘said.
iii Having ‘thought ‘carefully ‘over this / ‘matter …
iv With ‘reference to your appli /‘cation
v When the ‘bus ‘finally ar/’rived, we ‘found there were ‘no \ ‘seats.
vi If you ‘ask your ‘question po/ ‘litely, you ‘may ‘get an \ ‘answer.
vii The ‘following ‘players have been se ‘lected for the / ‘team: / ‘Rahul, / ‘Sachin,
/‘Anil and \‘Sourav.
viii When the po‘lice ‘searched the ‘thief’s / ‘bag, they ‘found a / ‘knife, a / ‘gun
and a ‘five ‘hundred ‘rupee \ ‘note.
c. The falling-rising (fall rise)tone
i Could I ‘borrow your ν ‘phone?
ii She ‘says she’s ‘seen v ‘ God !
iii ‘ Did ν you?
iv A: You com‘pleted the re‘port on ‘Thursday?
B: ‘ Not ‘Thursday, v ‘Tuesday.
v v ‘Well …
*ACTIVITY SET 15
Listen to the following dialogues on the CD and practise them with a partner, with
1 A: You ‘look un \‘happy? ‘What’s the / ‘problem?
B: I ‘helped him so / ‘much. Now he’s \ ‘cheated me.
2 A: What / ‘time is it?
B: A ‘quarter ‘past \‘nine. ‘Get ‘ready for \ ‘school.
A: / ‘Oh! It ‘seems so v ‘early!
3 A: Was the movie / ‘interesting?
B : ‘Not v ‘really! I ‘don’t ‘like a ‘tragic \‘end. ‘After ‘all, v I ‘pay to be
4 Patient: / ‘Doctor, I’ve ‘come to ‘see you about this / ‘rash I’ve ‘got on my
\‘chin. It’s ‘grown in ‘size over the ‘last ‘three \‘weeks. It’s so
/‘irritating. And at /‘work, with ‘all the / ‘dust, I ‘find it ‘makes me
‘want to ‘scratch all the / ‘time.
Doctor ‘Don’t v ‘worry! It’s ‘quite ‘normal to have ‘rashes in \‘summer. ‘Use
the ‘medicines in this pres v‘cription, and ‘see me ‘after a \
5 Bookseller ‘Good / ‘morning. Can I / ‘help you?
Customer I’m ‘looking for a ‘book by \ ‘Archer. It’s called The ‘Day of the
Bookseller The ‘Day of the v ‘Jackal ? ‘Let me \ ‘see. Is ‘that the ‘book you
Customer I v ‘think so.
ACTIVITY SET 1
Identify the noun phrase and verb phrase in the following sentences. Which is the head
in each phrase ?
i. The old man smiled.
ii Little girls like to play.
iii Jonathan wept.
iv My son has returned.
v Stop !
ACTIVITY SET 2
1 Arrange the words in each of the noun phrases below in the correct order. Remove
any items which are redundant (unnecessary).
i. green my these two rubber balls
ii. the small few birds black
iii. a that my red pretty flowers
iv. your all clever small children
v. that a your new glass big table
2 Identify the pre-head items in the following noun phrase. (To which class does each
word belong ?)
i your four clever sons
ii all these red roses
iii many shiny black shoes
iv all the happy children
v the big new grey car
ACTIVITY SET 3
Fill up the blank spaces in the sentences with the articles ‘a’,’an’ or ‘the’ where necessary
i. Our house is made of _______ stone. __________ stone was brought from
________ Rajasthan in _______ truck. ________ truck took ________ week to reach
ii ________ Mishras, who are our neighbours in Berhampur, travelled by _______
Konark Express to ______ capital.
iii _________ peacock has become _______rare animal but __________ peacocks
are still quite common in Rajasthan. When I was in Bikaner last week, I was surprised to
see _________ peacock walking across __________ grass in ________ park.
iv When I was ________ child, I lived in ________ small town in ________ Madhya
Pradesh, at ________ foot of ________ Vindhyas, on _________ bank of _________
Narmada. My father sent me to _________ school when I was ________ six years old. I
went back to ________ town last year on a _________, but found that __________
school was no longer there.
v I usually drink ________ in _________ morning, but now I am drinking ________
coffee as I have come to Coorg for ________ holiday. __________ coffee which you get
in Coorg is so good that I drink _________ large cup, when I have _________ breakfast.
2 Spot the errors (if any) in the following sentences and correct them.
i The dogs and goats are the domesticated animals.
ii My brother is joining the Delhi University.
iii Elephants that are found in jungles of Orissa have big tusks.
iv Malkangiri is situated among hills of Eastern Ghats, on border between Orissa
and Andhra Pradesh.
v Rice that is grown in Uttarkhand is of excellent quality.
vi Children have gone to the bed.
vii I do not speak the English.
viii Doors of this house are made of teak wood.
ACTIVITY SET 4
1 Turn the following sentences into questions.
i. The boy should be more hard working.
ii. She must give this money to her mother.
iii. The Congress is likely to win.
iv. The Prime Minister has arrived.
v. The boys have been working hard.
vi. The girls could have been writing poetry.
2 Make the following sentences negative. (Use the contracted form.)
i The boys shall have chicken for dinner.
ii You could have won the prize.
iii She is likely to arrive just now.
iv She has been writing to her mother regularly.
v Rice is boiled before it is eaten.
vi She has had enough to eat.
3 Rewrite the sentences given below, dropping the words which have been repeated
i He told me that his brothers have returned from work so I am sure that
they have returned from work.
ii When I asked her mother if the girl would come back today she told me
that she would come back today.
iii I asked the boy if his uncle was the king of Afghanistan and he confirmed
that he was the king of Afghanistan.
iv I asked the men if they had eaten anything since morning and they
informed that they had eaten something since morning.
4 Fill up the blank spaces in the sentences below :
i “ I asked him if the shop sold sports shoes.”
“ And what was his reply ?”
“ He said it _________.” (negative)
“ Was he right ?”
“ Of course not ! The shop ________ sell sports shoes. It has the biggest
stock of sports shoes in the city.”
“ But he ___________ know that, ________ he ?”
“ Probably not. He is very new here.”
ii “Until last year, my friend was a teacher in the local school, but now he
____________ teach. He says he __________ like teaching. “
“ What ______________ he want to _______ then ?”
“ I really ____________ know. I________ think he should find some work.
I ________ like the idea of his sitting at home ___________ nothing.”
ACTIVITY SET 5
1 ‘Have’ and ‘be’ have been used as main verbs in some of the sentences below, and
as auxiliary verbs in the others. Identify the sentences in which they have been used as
i. Can I have a look at the book, please?
ii She’s just had a baby.
Iii You’re being silly.
iv Have a nice day!
v. You are excited.
vi Being stupid, you wouldn’t understand.
vii Make sure you have the car ready by tomorrow.
ix She has two brothers.
x How long has she been here ?
xi He is more to be pitied than blamed.
xii To be or not to be, that is the question.
xiii Having done the work, he went home.
xiv Have an apple.
xv Be a nice girl.
ACTIVITY SET 6
Fill up the blank spaces in the dialogues below, using sentences in which the auxiliary
verb ‘do’ is used for emphasis or for asking questions.
“The patient is very sick, but there’s no one to attend to her.
_______ you ________ the doctor ?”
“ No, but I ________ ask the nurse to ___________ the doctor.”
“ Where’s your umbrella ?”
“ I forgot to bring it.”
“ Well, I ____________ you to bring it, __________ I ?”
“ Your father thinks I am a fool.”
“ Oh, ______ he ? Well, he _______ say that you are not very bright.”
‘Are your parents thinking of buying a house in Bhubaneswar ?’
‘ Yes, they ____________ this is the best place in the world !’
ACTIVITY SET 7
1 Tina, Bina, Saru and Biru are teenagers who possess different qualities and talents.
The table below sums up these qualities.
interest in sports attitude towards taking other
others decisions skills
Tina football/ hockey friendly Quick good cook
Bina cricket helpful Slow good singer
Saru table tennis unfriendly Hesitant good painter
Biru volley ball polite incapable good house keeper
Write 5 sentences about each of these girls, describing what they can and cannot do.
2 A list of birds and animals is given below. Write one sentence about each animal,
describing what it can or cannot do.
i tiger viii crow
ii elephant ix peacock
iii giraffe x eagle
iv hippopotamus xi kite
v kangaroo xii parrot
vi lion xiii ostrich
vii deer xiv cuckoo
3 Fill in the words ‘could’ or ‘couldn’t’ in the dialogue below.
Priya Bina wanted to know if she _____ come to our party on Sunday.
Binay But we haven’t invited her!
Priya I know. But what______ I say? I_____ tell her, ‘We don’t like you and that’s
why we haven’t invited you!’
Binay No, you___________ have said that!
Priya I had to say ‘yes’. What else_______ I do?
Binay You________ have told her that you would have to speak to me first!
4 Study the sentences below. ‘Could’ has been incorrectly used in some of these
sentences. Can you spot the errors ?
i. For three days, the rescuers searched for the lost divers in the sea. They could find
them only on the fourth day.
ii It was hard work, but in the end Ravi could save enough money to build a house.
iii Jitu challenged Junaid to a game of chess last Sunday. Junaid played well but in the
end Jitu could beat him.
iv. She wanted to buy some rice. The first shop she went to didn’t have any but she
could get some in the next shop.
v My sister could talk when she was 10 months old.
vi Her husband was a very clever man. He could speak five languages.
vii I wish I could fly !
ACTIVITY SET 8
1 Some of the requests made in the sentences below are more ‘polite’ than others. Can
you arrange these sentences on a ‘politeness scale” ( Not Very Polite, Fairly Polite and
Very Polite) ?
i Can you switch on the tv ?
ii Would you mind giving Nirod the bad news when he comes in?
iii Mr Mohanty, would you please tell the driver to meet in my office at 3 o’clock?
v Would you mind not spitting on the floor ?
v Can my sister join us ?
vi May I have a cup of coffee?
vii Could you help me clean the floor, please/
viii Will you let the dog out, please?
ix Can I borrow your book ?
X Will you get me a newspaper, please?
2 Imagine that you have a visitor or guest at home, and you have to request him/her to
do certain things for you. How would you make these requests ?
(Use ‘could’ or ‘would’ if you want your request to sound polite or if you are making an
unusual request. Give a reason or excuse for making the request, for example :
Could you feed the baby, please ? I’ve got to wash the dishes .
answer the phone
water the plants in the garden
unscrew the lid of a bottle which you are unable to unscrew
pass some food on the table to you during a meal
help you to move some furniture
open a window
turn off the tv
meet someone on your behalf
ACTIVITY SET 9
1 Read the following sentences
i Gudu Can I use your computer to type out my project, Sonu ?
Sonu: Of course you can.
ii Student Could I have a look at the catalogue, ma’am ?
Librarian Sure. But this is last year’s catalogue.
iii Reporter Mr Chief Minister, may I ask what you plan to do for the victims of the
recent floods ?
Chief Minister The government is going to build new homes for them.
iv Hotel guest Would you mind if I left my bag here?
Receptionist No, not at all.
The modals in the sentences above are used to ask for permission to do certain things.
The speakers express different attitudes while seeking permission. Some of the
sentences above are informal, some formal ; some are polite, others tentative (hesitant)
etc. Which attitude is signalled by the modal in each sentence?
2 Are the sentences asking for permission (given below) formal, informal, polite or
i Mr Secretary, may I ask you a personal question?
ii Would you mind if I invited my friend/
iii Could I ask your brother for the money?
iv Can I make myself a cup of coffee?
v Could I possibly make a phone call?
vi May I use the lavatory, please?
vii Do you think I could borrow your car?
3 Use can, could, will and would to ask for permission in the situations outlined
below. (More than one answer is possible.)
You want …
i another sandwich
ii to pluck some of the oranges off the tree in your neighbour’s garden
iii to ask someone what his/her profession is
iv to accompany your neighbour to her farmhouse
v to park your car in your neighbour’s driveway.
vi to leave your briefcase on your colleague’s desk
vii to ask your boss about a leave application you sent in earlier
viii to discuss a personal problem with your professor
4 A company meeting is in progress. The speakers are speaking to each other quite
formally. During the course of the meeting they are required to ask each other for
permission as well as make requests.
Use the words would or could where required in the blank spaces below.
Mr Prasad Right gentlemen. ______ you look at the sales figures for last year which
are in front of you? I think you all have them.
Mr Murty Excuse me, ______ I ask a question with regard to the figures from the
Mr Prasad Yes, of course. What would you like to know?
Mr Murty Do they include the sales for Kerala when it was still under the Chennai
Mr Prasad Yes, they do. And now (he coughs)… Oh dear! ______you pass me that
water jug, please, and a glass? Thank you. Right. Now______I draw your
attention to the sales figures for the last quarter ? Amlan, _______you
take temporary charge of our office in Bangalore?
Mr Mitra Yes, Mr Prasad. Thank you very much.
Mr Prasad That’s all right. And _____ I ask you, Romesh, to continue in the Kolkata
office for the present?
ACTIVITY SET 10
1 Vinod and Bibhu are looking for their friend Arya. Fill in the blank spaces in the
sentences below. (More than one answer is possible.)
Vinod I can’t find Arya anywhere. Have you seen him?
Bibhu He _________ be in the gym.
Vinod No, he isn’t there. I thought he _________ be with you.
Bibhu: Well, he __________ be on the playground. Or he ________ in the
canteen, drinking coffee.
Vibhu No, I’ve looked there as well.
Bibhu Well, here comes Aditya. Let’s ask him. He ________ be able to tell us.
2 The following sentences from newspaper reports inform us about recent events. Add
a sentence to each news item, speculating about what might happen in the future. Use
i. People in Nepal have voted for the abolition of monarchy.
ii Torrential rain has caused raging floods in northern Orissa.
iii A cyclone is approaching the east coast of India.
iv The President, now 80, has been unwell for quite sometime.
v. 60 percent of the elephant habitat in the orests of Orissa has disappeared.
vi The infrastructure for games and sports has improved tremendously in China.
3 A group of engineering students has come up with several unusual products,
i a fan that is operated by solar energy
ii a fabric for shirts that can regulate the body’s temperature
iii shoes with a built-in vacuum cleaner
iv a pen that can obey voice commands
The students are trying to write sales brochures for these products, suggesting possible
uses for them in different situations. Can you help them ?
(Use may/might/can/could in your writing.)
4 In the following sets of sentences, a possible response – either (a) or (b) – is
suggested for each statement. Which option would you choose in each case ?
i. Don’t mark him absent. Let’s wait for sometime.
(a) He might have come. (b) He might come.
ii When Meena went out this evening she left her passport behind.
(a) She might have left it on purpose (b) She might leave it on purpose.
iii. Don’t leave the door open.
(a) Someone might have got in. (b) Someone might get in.
iv Nobody knows where the money has gone.
(a) It might have been stolen. (b) It might be stolen.
v Don’t occupy this seat.
(a) Somebody might have reserved it. (b) Somebody might reserve it.
What was the reason for your choice in each case ?
5 Choose the appropriate modal in each of the sentences below.
i He could/might have stayed at home, but he decided to call on his neighbour.
ii I could /might have completed the project in time if I had collected all the data.
iii If I hadn’t come to the girl’s rescue, she may/might have broken her leg.
iv Do you know where Mina left her wallet? She might/can have left it on the table.
v They might/could have got anyone to do the work, but they chose me.
vi It can/could be possible to live for at least a hundred years by eating the right food
and taking plenty of exercise
vii She may/could have watered the plants by the time her husband gets back.
viii I’m not sure where Jimmy is. He could/may be playing squash.
ix. The story may/could be true, I suppose.
ACTIVITY SET 11
1 Subir and Param are trying to decide what to do in the evening. Complete the
conversation using can, should, will and could.
Subir Well, what _____ we do this evening? _________ we go shopping ?
Param I don’t have much money. ______ we stay at home and watch tv ?
Subir Oh, no! I’m tired of watching tv.
Param ______ we go to a restaurant and have dinner ? I _____ pay for you.
Subir All right. Where ______ we go?
Param Leave that to me. I_____ take care of that.
Subir: _______ we leave now?
Param: It’s too early. Besides,I have some homework to do.
Subir: I _____ help you finish it. ________ I type out this assignment for you ?
Param: It’s on the table. I_______do the washing up in the mean time.
2 Make offers to suit the following situations.
i. The window is open and you can see the baby shivering in its cradle.
ii An old man accidentally drops some sheets of paper on the floor.
iii Your brother is unable to lift a box which is lying on the floor.
iv An old woman is unable to find a seat on the bus and clearly expects you to offer
her your seat
v Your uncle is unwell and wants someone to get him some medicines
vi A blind man is waiting to cross the street
vii Your friend does not have a book which he wants to read.
viii A stranger has been pickpocketed and has no money for his bus ticket.
ACTIVITY SET 12
1 Offer or ask for suggestions to suit the following situations. (More than one answer is
i You are taking a walk with a friend when you feel like having acup of coffee.
ii A lady you know is afraid to walk home alone. You offer to walk with her.
iii You are strolling through a park with a friend and you want to sit down under some
iv Your classmates want you to to go out with them on a Sunday afternoon but you
have an assignment to submit the next day.
v Your sister and you are in Delhi and you think the two of you should see the Kutub
vi Your friend has no where to stay for the night an you have a spare bed in your room.
vii You have met somebody for the first time at a friend’s house. He is watching a film
on television, but you would like to watch a football match on a different channel.
viii You would like your mother to come to a movie with you.
2 Your class mates and you are putting up a cultural show in the hostel. Offer
suggestions about the arrangements for the show, using the hints below.
i the place where the show can be staged
ii the decorations, lights, sound system etc.
iii the artistes to be invited to perfom
iv the guests to be invited
v the refreshments to be served.
ACTIVITY SET 13
Fill up the blank spaces in the sentences below using must, have(got) to or had to
i I’m getting late for the office so I ______________ run.
ii The cook is on leave this morning so I ___________ go out and eat in a restaurant.
iii You are always late. You ________ learn the importance of punctuality.
iv When I was in Germany for my studies I ___________ learn German.
v I promised to buy my sister a present for her birthday and I forgot all about it. Now
I’ll ___________ to think of an excuse