Thanks for your response to the assignment I gave you last night. I hope you have seen my comments / corrections.
It was quite embarrassing to see that some of you didn’t use capital letters where necessary. These things are taught at school. Let me remind you that names of persons and places (cities, villages, countries etc) always start with capital letters like Mushtaq Ahmed, Lahore, Pakistan etc. Abbreviations ( short forms ) like BA, MA, DC, MNA, MPA are also written in capital letters, not as ba, ma, dc etc.
As for other errors, you will get over them if you keep up reading regularly. As I always say, the more you read, the better you write.Munawar Ali Malik –1 November 2018
Seven of you (Muhabat Ali Khan Niazi, Mashooq Khoso, Qamarul Hassan, Muhammad Umar Farooq, Yash Mahi, Shirjeel Jilani and Jinsar Laghari) responded to my last night’s post. Addressing their difficulties may take a few more posts.
For a start, let me first address Mr Muhabbat Ali Khan’s issue. He says he can’t speak or write English fluently for two reasons. Firstly he complains of lack of vocabulary, Secondly he says he is not good at grammar,
As for vocabulary, you can give only what you have. If you have 10 rupees, you can’t give 20. Lack of vocabulary is due to lack of reading. Reading regularly is the only way to acquire a large vocabulary. There is no short cut.
As for knowledge of grammar, I have repeatedly told you, grammar can’t teach you English. Grammar relates to the mechanism of a language. You need not be a mechanic to drive a car. First learn driving, and when your car has a fault only then consult a mechanic. I hope you get my point. Munawar Ali Malik –3 November 2018
In response to my post dated November 2, Mashooq Khoso names two problems related to speaking English. The first is the difficulties of pronunciation ; the second, hesitation in speaking English.
To be honest, it is our national misfortune. Students of public ( government ) schools don’t have exposure to spoken English, because the teachers don’t speak English in the classes.
Let’s also remember that only listening cannot ensure learning to speak easily. As they say in English, it takes two to make a quarrel, or in Urdu we say تالی دو ھاتھوں سے بجتی ھے , speaking can best be learnt by listening and speaking. That means conversation is the best way to learn speaking.
The students of English medium schools can speak English easily, because their teachers speak and ask questions in English.
For listening, Mr Kamran has offered very good advice in his comment on my post. You could follow his advice.
More of this tomorrow, IN SHA ALLAH. Munawar Ali Malik – 4 November 2018
With reference to my post dated November 2 :
In his comment Shirjeel Jeelani wants to know how to use uncommon words without damaging the beauty of expression.
Well, English offers an immense variety of vocabulary. Use of words depends on the purpose of writing. The language of a court judgement, an official letter or report is a bit different from the language in common use. A letter to the editor of a newspaper is different from a letter to a friend. When you have built up a large vocabulary through regular reading, you can choose the right words for best expression. If Mr Shirjeel is still not satisfied, he is welcome to ask a more specific question.
Mr Jinsar Laghari has also raised some issues in his comment. I’ll respond to his comment tomorrow, IN SHA ALLAH. Munawar Ali Malik –5 November 2018
This again refers to my post dated November 2.
Mr Jinsar Laghari has some confusion about use of Prepositions (in, on, to etc).
My answer is simple . Prepositions are entirely beyond the control of grammar. No single rule of grammar gives us all the uses of any Preposition. A Preposition gets its meanings from combination with other words in the form of phrases. When a Preposition follows a Verb, it becomes an Adverb , like bring in, take off, get over etc. The combination is known as Phrasal Verb. When it comes before a Noun or Pronoun etc , the combination is known as Prepositional Phrase, like in the room, to me etc.
Please remember that use of Prepositions is entirely a matter of usage. Munawar Ali Malik –6 November 2018
More about Mr Jnisar Laghari’s confusion regarding Prepositions :
In his comment dated November 2, he says the Preposition IN means ‘begin’ when we say IN THE NAME OF ALLAH.
Mr Laghari, please remember that IN does NOT mean begin here. IN THE NAME OF ALLAH is not a complete sentence, but a fragment ( piece) of the sentence I BEGIN IN THE NAME OF ALLAH. The words I BEGIN are understood, though they are not written. Just like we say ” Will come tomorrow” instead of “I will come tomorrow”. It is the latest style.
Mr Laghari is also a bit confused about more than one meanings of words like OFF , ABOUT etc.
My advice :
1. Just keep up reading regularly. You will gradually learn the various meanings of words. There is no formula for this purpose. .
2. A Preposition has NO MEANING until it comes in a Phrase.
3. Please give up the habit of translating every word into Urdu. Munawar Ali Malik – 7 November 2018
The language of news headlines is different from the details given in the news items. For instance
- Man kills wife (kills instead of killed)
2. 6 bikers arrested for not wearing helmet. (arrested instead of were arrested)
3. Governor to visit Mianwali. (to visit instead of will visit)
4. Moulana Samiul Haq assassinated in his house. (assassinated instead of was assassinated)
******** (assassinate means to kill a famous or important person).
The detailed news given under these headlines are in the ordinary language of everyday use.
The language of headlines does not strictly follow the rules of grammar. But we cannot say it is incorrect. It is a matter of usage. So you see usage is more important than grammar. Munawar Ali Malik -8 November 2018
We were discussing the language of news headlines.
Could you turn the following sentences into news headlines ?
1, Punjab government has banned all appointments and transfers.
2. Two persons were killed and driver was injured as a car hit a truck.
3. Police has launched action against drug trafficking.
4, The Minster for Education will address a press conference tomorrow,
For my answer to the question please wait till tomorrow. In the mean time let me see what you can do. Munawar Ali Malik – 10November 2018
Thanks for attempting the assignment given last night. Mr Jinsar Laghari and Sharjeel Jilani score 10 / 10.
Let’s have one more assignment of the same type.
Turn the given sentences into news headlines :
1. Pakistan is playing the third one-day match against New Zealand.
2, Fifty more Utility Stores will be opened next month.
3. Prices of oil have come down.
4. A car was stolen from the club park. Munawar Ali Malik -11 November 2018
Let’s go the other way round.
Change the following news headlines into full length sentences;
1. Speeding car falls into river. 4 drowned.
2. Government plans to ban more private medical colleges.
3, Oil prices to be revised next month, Minister for oil ang Gas
4. Upper Punjab to get additional budget for education. Munawar Ali Malik – 12 November 2018
English spellings are pretty elusive. You can’t learn the correct spelling of many words through listening or speaking, because some of the letters in the word are not pronounced. It is a common issue among almost all languages,
For instance the letter و is not pronounced in the Urdu word خود
Similarly the letter ل is not pronounced in the Arabic word الناس.
So you can’t guess the correct spelling of these words from listening.
But in English the problem is more serious. There are too many words containing silent letters. These include words of very common use. For instance
bought (‘gh’ silent)
head (‘a’ silent)
talk (‘l’ silent)
More of this tomorrow, IN SHA ALLAH. Munawar Ali Malik – 13 November 2018
Some more English words with silent letters:
- fight (‘gh’ silent)
2. know (‘k; and ‘w’ silent)
3. walk (‘l’ silent)
4. column (‘n’ silent)
5. match (‘t’ silent)
I hope you know many more. My purpose is to give you an idea of the oddity of English spellings, and to show you that just listening is not enough to guess the spelling of every word. Only reading can help you to learn correct spelling.-Munawar Ali Malik -14 November 2018
Some more oddly spelt words. Look at the various sounds of ‘ch’ in the following words :
- machine (ch = sh, as in she)
2. school (ch = k, as in kite)
3. chain (ch = ch as in change, chat etc)
Could you give some examples of similar uses of ‘ch’ ? – Munawar Ali Malik – 15 November 2018
Odd though English spellings are, you need not be afraid of them. You need not make any special effort to learn spellings.The automatic language learning system in your brain does the job as you read. It works like a camera, making a picture of every new word, and saving it in its “memory card”😄. When you write, the words come from your pen to the paper like picture uploads.
I hope you get the idea. Munawar Ali Malik -16 November 2018
Only 5 of you came up with questions in response to my last night’s post.
Mr Shabbir Ahmad Niazi’s question is
Is there any rule/logic to pronounce words like FOOT, BOOT etc , and for making plural form of such words.
There is no rule. Usage is the logic. We have to pronounce the words as English speaking people ( British, Americans, Australians ) do. English has borrowed words from various languages. FOOT and BOOT seem to have come from two different languages.
I hope this explanation will satisfy Mr Shabbir.
Mr Mashooq Khoso has asked the following 5 questions.
1. How can I learn English by myself ?
2. How can I learn speaking English at home where nobody knows how to speak English ?
3. How can I learn English step by step ?
4, How can I learn English quickly ?
5. How can I learn English easily ?
1. By reading
2. The question is about the issue of speaking. It requires a detailed answer. Will address this quetion tomorrow, IN SHA ALLAH.
3. I can’t understand this question.
4, There is no shortcut, Learning takes time. The speed of learning depends on the learner’s ability to pick up, and concentration.
5. If you are honestly interested, learning is a pleasure. Munawar Ali Malik – 18 November 2018
Thanks to my learned brother, Farrukh Iqbal, for answering
Mashooq Khoso’s question about learning step by step.
Elaborating his question, Mr Khoso says he wants to know whether learning English should start with grammar, reading books, newspapers or watching English news on TV.
Graded learning starts at school with the help of textbooks. Of course some grammar is also a part of school courses.
But my Facebook class ranges from Matriculation to BA. It does not include kids of primary classes. So I’m not concerned with how to start learning from ABC.
For young learners from Matriculation to BA, reading is the best choice. As for what to read, I prefer to recommend a newspaper, because a newspaper offers a rich variety of English vocabulary in current use.
Mr Khoso’s question about speaking English will be answered tomorrow, IN SHA ALLAH.–Munawar Ali Malik -19 November 2018
Back to business after two days off in honour of Eid-e-Meeladun Nabi, صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم
Let’s address the questions from Mr Mashooq Khoso and Mr Sharjeel Jilani about the issue of speaking English.
Speaking is, indeed, the weakest area of learning English in Pakistan, as the learners have very little exposure to spoken English. Neither the society nor the teachers in general speak English. But we can, at least, make the best of a bad job by regular reading.
Reading gradually enables you to speak. The process is slow, but it works. To speak fluently, however you need practice.
Mr Jilani asks about the problem of accent. As I already said in an earlier post, the English speaking nations ( British, Americans, Australians etc ) recognise and accept Pakistani accent. So we need not worry about it. –Munawar Ali Malik -22 November 2018
English is an interesting language. Some Verbs are also used as Nouns. For instance :
- His illness was a drag on his business.
2. My computer needs a new *drive*.
3. The fresh paint gave the car a new *look*.
4. What’s your *take* on the performance of our cricket team ?
5. He raised his *left* hand to salute the officer.
6. I knew what his next *move* would be. Munawar Ali Malik -23 November 2018
Almost every Noun is freely used as a Verb these days.For instance :
- He was booked for theft
( booked = named as accused in FIR ).
2. I have nothing more to pen.
( pen = write )
3. The pencilled notes in the margin of the letter were very helpful for me
( pencilled = written with a pencil ).
4. The MNA tabled a motion for debate on oil prices.
( tabled = filed / put on record )
5. The Chief Secretary chaired the meeting on law and order.
( chaired = presided ) Munawar Ali Malik – 24 November 2018
All the sentences given below are of the same type. Could you guess how ?
- Furniture is usually made of wood.
2. Three terrorists were killed in encounter with police on Friday.
3. A college will be built on this plot.
4. He has been promoted to the next grade.
5. The road had been closed since morning.
This is a new phase of your learning. You will be learning something very interesting and useful in the next few days. Munawar Ali Malik -25 November 2018
Yes, as some of you said about the sentences given to you last night, the Verbs in those sentences were in Passive form, which means
is/ are/ was/ were/ will be/ has been etc + Past Participle Verb, commonly known as Third Form of Verb.
We often use this type of sentences in our everyday conversation or writing. For instance ;
1. Woollen garments are used in winter.
2. The scheme was launched last month.
3. I have been invited to the meeting of English teachers at Punjab University.
4. He will be informed about his profit in the business.
5. Prices of oil should be reduced.
Please note that in all these sentences the person/ persons who does / do the actions are not named.
More of this tomorrow, IN SHA ALLAH. Munawar Ali Malik – 26 November 2018
Passive form is generally used
- When it is not known who did the job. For instance
My cellphone was stolen last night.
2. When more than one persons do the job. For example
The road has been repaired recently.
3. When all or most of the people do something. For instance
The rise in gas price was strongly condemned.
4. For formal announcements, as
The meeting will be held in Jinnah Hall on Sunday. Munawar Ali Malik – 27 November 2018
The word POST has several meanings. Let’s take a look at some of the meanings when POST is used as a Noun.
- I got a parcel by post this morning.
(post = mail delivery service)
2. The soldier walked to the flag post and saluted the national flag.
(post = pole)
3. Education Department has recently advertised some posts of lecturers.
(post = job)
4. Have you seen my latest post about my early life ?
(post = information made available on the internet / facebook)
5. The police post was destroyed in the blast, but there was no loss of life.
( post = place for checking / security) Munawar Ali Malik -28 November 2018
Some of the current uses of the word POST as a Verb :
- I walked to the letter-box at the end of the street, and posted the letter.
( post = put in the letter-box or hand over to a post office official for sending )
2. I have posted a new picture of the river Indus on my facebook.
( post = display / show on internet / social media )
3. He was posted as Lecturer at MAO College, Lahore.
( posted = appointed )
4. Please keep me posted about your progress in studies.
( posted= informed ) –Munawar Ali Malik -29 November 2018
A box is a square or rectangular ( مستطیل ) container made of wood, cardboard or metal.
Some of the other uses of the word BOX.
1. Write your name in the box.
( box = rectangular blank space on a form )
2. We got a family box reserved in the hotel for dinner.
( box = enclosed space for families )
3. I found your letter in my post box this morning.
( post box = a small box outside the gate for letters)
4.When he came out of the bank he found his car boxed in by half-a-dozen other cars.
( boxed in = surrounded ) –Munawar Ali Malik -30 November 2018