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Techniques in Summary Writing

By: ABIDAH BT SARAJUL HAQ * English Language Master Teacher Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman , Ipoh

Questions 19 24 in the PMR English Language Paper 1 are based on your understanding of phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions. Two sets of conversation based on given situations are tested. Students are required to give the meaning of the underlined expression. Each set of conversation is followed by THREE questions on phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions. A total of SIX questions are tested from both sets of conversations. Each phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions are followed by FOUR given options : A , B, C and D. Students are to choose the meaning that BEST fits each of the underlined expressions or to find the closest in meaning.

Examination Tips

1. Read and understand the conversation carefully. Try to get the general idea of the whole conversation. 2. Pay attention to the situation mentioned . This will inform you of the actual place where the conversation occurs. 3. Focus on the underlined expressions as you read on. 4. Ask yourself these questions to understand the conversation. a) What is the topic of the conversation ? b) Who are involved in the conversation ? c) What is the main concern of their conversation ?

What are phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions ? Phrasal verbs are idiomatic expressions, combining verbs and prepositions to make new
verbs whose meaning is often not obvious from the dictionary definitions of the individual words. They are widely used in both written and spoken English, and new ones are formed all the time as they are a flexible way of creating new terms.

Phrasal verbs consist of a verb and an adverb (particle). Phrasal verbs are a very important
feature of everyday English Language. They are used in spoken and informal English, and they are also in written and even formal English. Understanding and learning to use phrasal verbs, however, is often a problem and there are many reasons for this.

The meaning of the phrasal verb often has no relation to the meaning of either the
verb or the particle which is used with it. This means that phrasal verbs can be difficult both to understand and to remember. Many phrasal verbs have several different meanings too.

Phrasal verb
A phrasal verb can be made up of: a verb + adverb throw away

a verb + preposition

look into

a verb + adverb + preposition put up with

A phrasal verb is an idiom which consists of a verb followed by a preposition, a


verb followed by an adverb, or a verb followed by an adverb, followed by a preposition. The phrasal verbs in the following examples are printed in bold type. e.g. I ran into an old friend. We put off washing the dishes. They all look up to him. In these examples, the phrasal verb to run into consists of the verb to run followed by the preposition into, the phrasal verb to put off consists of the verb to put followed by the adverb off, and the phrasal verb to look up to consists of the verb to look followed by the adverb up, followed by the preposition to.

Phrasal verbs : PMR Practice 1

Fill in the following verbs (believe, fill, get, look, put, switch, take, throw, turn, try) with the correct prepositions (away, down, for, in, off, on, out).
Example: My parents are out. So I have to ________ my baby-brother. Answer: My parents are out. So I have to look after my baby-brother.

1. Quick!

the bus. It's ready to leave. it. the light, please? the jeans?

2. I don't know where my book is. I have to 3. It's dark inside. Can you 4. the form, please.

5. I need some new clothes. Why don't you

6. It's warm inside. 8. It's so loud here. Can you 9. The firemen were able to 10. Does your little brother

your coat. it the radio, please? the fire in Church Street. ghosts? .

7. This pencil is really old. You can

Examples of Phrasal verbs & Idiomatic expressions


A penny for your thoughts This idiom is used as a way of asking someone what they are thinking about. A penny saved is a penny earned This means that we shouldn't spend or waste money, but try to save it. A picture is worth a thousand words A picture can often get a message across much better than the best verbal description. A poor man's something Something or someone that can be compared to something or someone else, but is not as good is a poor man's version; a writer who uses lots of puns but isn't very funny would be a poor man's Oscar Wilde. A pretty penny If something costs a pretty penny, it is very expensive. A rising tide lifts all boats This idiom, coined by John F Kennedy, describes the idea that when an economy is performing well, all people will benefit from it. A rolling stone gathers no moss People say this to mean that that a go-getter type person is more successful than a person not doing any thing. Absence makes the heart grow fonder This idiom means that when people are apart, their love grows stronger. Actions speak louder than words

This idiom means that what people actually do is more important than what they say- people can promise things but then fail to deliver. Ahead of time If something happens ahead of time, it happens early or before the set time. Any Tom, Dick or Harry If something could be done by any Tom, Dick or Harry, it could be done by absolutely anyone. Apple of your eye Something or, more often, someone that is very special to you is the 'apple of your' eye.

Recommendations
There are a number of ways of learning phrasal verbs:
1) You can learn different meanings according to the main verb, for instance look up, look up to, look down, look down on, look into, etc. 2) You can learn different meanings according to the preposition or adverb, for instance let down, turn down, sit down, put down, write down, etc. 3) You can learn different verbs used for a particular subject or situation, for instance telephoning: put through, hold on, hang up, get through, cut off, speak up, etc. 4) You can learn the different meanings for one particular verb: The new job did not work out She has been working out in the gym all afternoon I have worked it out and you owe me RM 65

Personally, I feel that trying to learn verbs from a list is boring and quite difficult. It is better to learn them for different situations, then there is more chance that you'll remember them. It is even easier to treat them as you treat any other vocabulary you learn. Do not think of them as a special subject that has to be learnt. They are only words! If you find a useful phrasal verb, learn it like you would learn any ordinary word such as 'table' or 'ashtray' or others.

But make sure you write down the structure. It is ineffective to note down that turn down means decline if you do not know how to use it. It is even better to note down a couple of sentences each day in your special note book using the verb that you have come across so that you have a context to remember it in and indeed with constant practice you will understand how to use them. For further practice , try out the exercise below.

PMR Practice 2

Situation A :
Syafiq and Syamim are discussing about their preparations for the forthcoming exams . Syafiq : Hello Syamim. How are your preparations for the forthcoming exams ? Syamim : Ive been (1) under the weather lately. I had flu for the past few days. Syafiq : Im sorry to hear that . Have you seen the doctor , Syamim ? Syamim : Yes , I m feeling a bit better now. Thanks for your concern. But when I think of the exams , I have (2) butterflies in my stomach. Syafiq : Dont worry too much about it . I feel we need to take care of our health too and not to (3) burn the midnight oil too often. Syamim : Yes . Yourre right. Thats a good piece of advice. Syafiq : I sincerely hope that well pass the PMR exam with (4) flying colours.

1. under the weather A. Feeling exhausted

3. butterflies in my stomach A. feel nervous

B. Feeling excited C. Feeling unwell D. Feeling tired 2. burn the midnight oil A. stay up late B. stay in the library C. light up a candle D. light up a fire

B. feel contented C. feel like a butterfly D. feel sympathetic 4. flying colours A. satisfactory results B. unsatisfactory results C. excellent results D. unexpected results

ANSWERS PMR Practice 1 1. get in 2. look for 3. switch on 4. Fill in 5. try on PMR Practice 2 1. C 2. A 3. A 4 C 6. take off 7. throw .. away 8. turn down / switch off 9. put off 10. believe in