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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

INTRODUCTION
Engineering graduates require an ever-increasing range of skills to maintain relevance with
the global environment of the new millennium. Communication skills are a vital component
of this, recognised by academia and industry alike. English language skills are also
important given its widespread status across the globe as a lingua franca. Indeed,
multilingual skills are considered a salient element in the make-up of the new global
engineer. English for specific purposes focuses the learners attention on the particular
terminology and communication skills required in the international professional field.
Engineers can relate the same theories of mathematics, of mechanics and technology, but
the modern engineer must also be able to communicate effectively in a shared tongue. This
is especially important given that engineering projects are now planned and implemented
across national and cultural borders.
Mushrooming of engineering colleges has phenomenally increased scope for good
engineers. Every engineering graduate is required a sizable amount of proficiency in English
language to make him employable. Globalization has resulted in liberal policies, which is
paving way to lot of new institutions. Fresh institutions are fundamentally weak in their basic
amenities that leads to poor outcome of the students. If we take language efficiency of the
tertiary level students in these institutions, the language efficiency is very pathetic.

IT/IT enabled industries have created large pool of employment opportunities and their crux
issue is English language proficiency. All the students are in the state of compulsion of
learning English language whereas most of the students are not at all taking any steps to
improve their language. The English teachers are simply playing blame game on their
school teachers and vice versa. Though the students have studied English for twelve years in
their school, they miserably fail even in the basics. Who should take responsibility for this?
Whether it is teachers, students, parents or society? NASSCOM report says that only one
third of the present pass out students are employable, remaining students are unemployable
due to lack of English knowledge.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

IMPORTANCE OF TECHNICAL ENGLISH

No matter what your country's official language is, most business communications these
days happen in English. Globalization has helped businesses of many economies and also
elevated English to a new level. It is important that you know business and technical English
to communicate with clients comfortably.

Most organizations have realized the importance of investing in teaching English to key
personnel and executives. English proficiency program aims at improving your knowledge
of business terminology and technical communication.

Technical and Business English is the language for communication over emails. A good
English Proficiency program will introduce you to different kinds of standard business letters.
Once you understand the use of each kind of business letter, it will become easier for you to
choose the best style of communication for the right occasion. Technical and Business
English is not about being formal but being able to understand the use of formal and
informal expressions in the correct manner. Grammar is also an important element of
technical communications.

English is also not limited to written communication. It also involves social conversation and
telephone etiquette. Accent is not as important as the use of correct and fluent speech.
Improving the fluency of spoken English will also help you in written communications. Use
of proper expressions and idioms and phrases will boost your technical English.

Another key element of technical English is to understand what others are saying. If you are
having troubles in understanding speech and often need to ask others to repeat what they
have said, it indicates that your English needs improvement. Programs aimed at improving
English Proficiency also focus on improving listening comprehension. When in business, it is
critical that you understand what your customer/client says.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Vocabulary is the building-block of any language. As you embark on the journey to


improving your English, focus on improving your vocabulary. As you learn more words and
technical terminologies, you will notice a considerable improvement in your English. Along
with learning new technical words, it is also important to learn to apply them correctly.
Practicing writing letters, simulating realistic business environments, and improving your
speech, will all help in applying the new words you have learned.

Choosing a program, that will improve your technical English needs to be done carefully.
Technical English can be improved only by practice. There is absolutely no use of just
learning new terminology if you do not know how to use them. A really good program will
help you practice the newly learned words and terminologies by simulating business
environments.

Technical English will help you perform better in your day-to-day office chores. As you
learn the nuances of technical English, you will find how easy it is to read and write
contracts or send bad news in the most polite manner. Even if your organization does not
take efforts in increasing knowledge of technical English at an institutional level, it is
worthwhile for you as an individual to invest some time in improving your English.

SIA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM & TEST


SIA GROUP has been a pioneer in serving the education sector through its various
academic publications, book distribution, retail book stores and other educational services.
Now, SIA Group is launching its unique Scholarship to promote engineering education in
Andhra Pradesh. This scholarship is intended to choose two meritorious students from each
college and provide scholarship to them. This option would be available only for first year
students of engineering.
SIA Group is a leading publisher of course guidance and study material for Engineering
Students through its spectacular publication Spectrum All-in-One journal for Engineering
Students.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

SIA ELPSS Training & Scholarship Program

SIA ELPSS Series

SIA Group intends to provide the engineering graduates with training in English Language
Proficiency & Soft Skills through its new SIA ELPSS Series Publication English
Language Proficiency and Soft Skills Training & Scholarship Program to enhance
employability of the candidates. Furthermore we shall be conducting SIA Scholarship
Test after receiving all the Scholarship Application forms to be forwarded from each college
altogether.

The following prizes would be given after the test:

First Prize

: ` 10,000/- and Spectrum All-in-One Journal for the entire course.

Second prize

: ` 5000/- and Spectrum All-in-One Journal for the entire course.

All participants

: Attractive & huge discounts on Spectrum All-in-One Journal and


Certificate of Appreciation for every participant

This test is purely for 1st year graduates of Engineering and it is an initiative of SIA Group to
make the Engineering students industry ready, more capable, confident and successful.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

ARTICLES (A, AN, THE)


English language has three articles namely a, an, and the. Articles are adjectives used before
nouns. The definite article (the) is used before a noun where the identity of the noun is
known to the user. The indefinite articles (a, an) are used before a noun that is generic or
unknown to the user and single in number. In certain instances no article is used before a
noun.
Definite Article
the (before a singular or plural noun)

Indefinite Article
a (before a singular noun beginning with a consonant sound)
Consonants (b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z)
an (before a singular noun beginning with a vowel sound)
Vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

Examples for usage of Articles :


1.

Aryans were one of the first people to invade India.

2.

The Indians eat a lot of spicy food.

3.

The Ganges flows into the Bay of Bengal.

4.

The shoe costs ` 999 a pair.

5.

Swimming is a more calorie burning activity than any other exercise.

6.

As a citizen of the country we have to fight injustice.

7.

The parcel I received yesterday was sent from the United Kingdom.

8.

He drove 90 kilometers an hour on the highway.

9.

The people who live in the France are called the French.

10.

The stone hit me on back of my leg.

11.

The doctor visits the clinic twice a week.

12.

Did you finish the work I assigned you?

13.

Sameer went to the US to meet her aunt.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

14.

This is the book I was looking for.

15.

A stitch in time saves nine.

16.

In India cricket is a passion.

17.

We need the minimum manpower to start work.

18.

The President will visit the flood victims today.

19.

The Charminar is one of the busiest shopping centres in Hyderabad.

20.

Where are the goggles I bought from the supermarket?

21.

Its a long journey by bus to Mumbai from Hyderabad.

22.

I just ate a pizza.

EXERCISE
Fill the Blanks with Appropriate Articles
1.

This is ___ apple.

2.

This is ___ book.

3.

I am ___ University student.

4.

I bought ___ laptop yesterday.

5.

We are going to __ station.

6.

He is ___ one to save me.

7.

It is ___ one rupee note.

8.

The train left __ hour before.

9.

London is the capital of ___ United Kingdom.

10.

Tennis is ___ interesting game.

Answers :
1. an

2. a

3. a

4. a

5. the

6. the

7. a

8. an

9. the

10. an

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Parts of Speech

Words in English language are classified into 8 different Parts of Speech based on the
function they perform in a sentence.
They are:
Noun
Pronoun
Verb
Adjective
Adverb
Preposition
Conjunction and
Interjection

Look! A brown fox jumped over the lazy dog and quickly ran away.

Interjection

Adjective

Noun

verb

Preposition

Adjective

Noun Conjunction

1.

Noun
The name of a person, place or thing is called a noun.
E.g. : Ahmed, Raja, Delhi, Bike, Book, Sun etc.

2.

Pronoun
The pronoun is a word used instead of a noun.
E.g. : He, She, It, They, We

Adverb

Verb

Adverb.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

3.

Verb
A word that indicates an action is called a verb.
E.g. : come, go, eat, running, waiting, jump, show, smiling

4.

Adjective
Any word speaking about the noun or showing quality of the noun is called adjective.
E.g : bright day, good boy, some people, great leader.

5.

Adverb
Any word speaking about a verb, adjective or another adverb is called an adverb.
E.g. : slowly, quickly, here, there

6.

Preposition
It shows the position of one object against another and links a noun or pronoun to
another word.
E.g. : across the road, on the table, over the mountain, in the country

7.

Conjunction
It is used to combine words and show their relation to each other.
E.g. : and, but, because, for

8.

Interjection
It shows sudden or strong emotion denoted by an exclamation mark followed after
the word.
E.g. : Alas! Oh! Stop!

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Parts of Speech and Usage


Part of the
speech

Noun

Usage

Used as a name of a person,


place or thing

Example words
Pen, dog, Hyderabad, India,
teacher, doctor, physics,
Ramesh, Zakir

I, you, he, she, it, they, us,


Pronoun

Used in place of a noun

we, our, your, his, him, her,


their

Example sentences

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam


was President of India.

Amir is an Engineering
student. He is very
intelligent. All are very
proud of him.

A, an, the, one, two, three...,


Adjective

Used to describe a noun

few, some, great, big, tall,

Gandhi was a great leader.

small, beautiful, blue, nice

Verb

Adverb

Used to show an action

is, was, are, have, jump,


come, like, work, sing, laugh

I am going to college.
Today I am playing cricket
there.

Used to describe a verb,

quickly, heavily, well, badly,

It was raining heavily. So, I

adjective or adverb

very, loudly

ran quickly inside.

pronoun to another word or

to, at, after, on, in, over,

I went to the market. It is

show position of one object

across

near to the station.

Used to link a noun or


Preposition

against another.
Used to combine words to
Conjunction

show their relation to each

and, but, when, because

other.

I like chocolates and ice


cream but I dont like cakes.

Used to show sudden or


Interjection

strong emotion denoted by

oh!, ouch!, hi!, well!, wow!,

Wow! The Taj Mahal is very

an exclamation mark.

oops!

beautiful.

List of Prepositions

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

10

aboard

behind

except

on

to

about

below

excepting

onto

toward

above

beneath

excluding

opposite

towards

across

beside

following

outside

under

after

besides

for

over

underneath

against

between

from

past

unlike

along

beyond

in

per

until

amid

but

inside

plus

up

among

by

into

regarding

upon

anti

concerning

like

round

versus

around

considering

minus

save

via

as

despite

near

since

with

at

down

of

than

within

before

during

off

through

without

Identify Parts of Speech for the Words in Bold

1.

I am an Engineering student. _________

2.

The Buddha Statue is at Hussain Sagar. _________

3.

Oh! I am sorry. I lost your book. _________

4.

I am working on a project. _________

5.

I want you to come quickly. _________

6.

Hyderabad is very famous for Biryani and pearls. _________

7.

He is a good boy. _________

8.

It is a very tall building. _________

9.

The dog ran across the road. _________

10.

I love India. _________

Answers :

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

11

1. noun

2. preposition

3. interjection

4. verb

5. adverb

6. conjunction

7. pronoun

8. adjective

9. preposition 10. noun

Tenses
Based on the timeline of an action, verbs are divided into three tenses.
They are:
Present tense
Past tense and
Future tense.
Present Tense :
Present tense stands for what action is happening currently or at the moment.
E.g. :
It is raining.
I am going to school.

Past Tense :
Past tense stands for what action completed in the past or sometime back.
E.g. :
It rained yesterday.
I went to school.
Future Tense :
Future tense stands for what action is going to happen in the future.
E.g. :
It may rain tonight.
I shall go to school tomorrow.
The above three tenses can be subdivided into Simple, Perfect, Continuous and Perfect
Continuous and each of these has a present, past and future form.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

12

PRESENT TENSES
Simple Present Tense
In Simple Present tense, the action is mentioned as it is without mentioning its
completeness.

I eat.
I work.
I go.

Present Continuous Tense


In Present Continuous tense, the action is still going on and therefore it is continuous in
nature.
I am eating.
I am working.
I am going.
Present Perfect Tense
In Present Perfect tense, the action took place at an unspecified time or recently.

I have eaten.
I have worked.
I have gone.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense


In Present Perfect Continuous tense, the action has been taking place for some time and is
still ongoing.
I have been eating.
I have been working.
I have been going.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

13

PAST TENSES
Simple Past Tense
In Simple Past tense, the action is just mentioned and is completed in the past.
I ate.
I worked.
I went.

Past Continuous Tense

In Past Continuous tense, the action was going on for a certain period in the past.
I was eating.
I was working.
I was going.

Past Perfect Tense


Past Perfect tense is used to express something that happened before another action in the
past.

I had eaten.
I had worked.
I had gone.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense


Past Perfect Continuous tense is used to express something that started in the past and
continued until another time in the past.
I had been eating.
I had been working.
I had been going.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

14

FUTURE TENSES
Simple Future Tense
Simple Future tense is used when we plan or make a decision to do something. Nothing is
said about the time in the future.

I will eat.
I will work.
I will go.

Future Continuous Tense


The future continuous tense is used to express action at a particular moment in the future.
However, the action will not have finished at the moment.

I will be eating at 2 PM.


I will be working on Sunday.
I will be going tomorrow.

Future Perfect Tense


Future Perfect tense expresses action that will occur in the future before another action in
the future.

I will have eaten the entire pizza in five minutes.


I will have worked till midnight.
I will have gone the day after tomorrow.

Future Perfect Continuous Tense


Future Perfect Continuous tense is used to talk about an on-going action before some
point in the future.

I will have been eating these tablets for two months as directed by the doctor.
I will have been working for eight hours by 10 PM.
I will have been going a long distance till we see sunset.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills


Present

15
Past

Future

Simple

I play

I played

I will play

Continuous

I am playing

I was playing

I will be playing

Perfect

I have played

I had played

I will have played before noon

Perfect Continuous

I have been playing

I had been playing

I will have been playing for an hour

Tenses Forms (Regular Verbs)

Present Tense

Past Tense

Past Participle

Present Participle

add

added

added

adding

appear

appeared

Appeared

Appearing

bless

blessed

blessed

blessing

boil

boiled

boiled

boiling

borrow

borrowed

borrowed

borrowing

call

called

called

calling

cheat

cheated

cheated

cheating

copy

copied

copied

copying

chew

chewed

chewed

chewing

complete

completed

completed

completing

connect

connected

connected

connecting

design

designed

designed

designing

develop

developed

developed

developing

dislike

disliked

disliked

disliking

drop

dropped

dropped

dropping

earn

earned

earned

earning

end

ended

ended

ending

float

floated

floated

floating

found

founded

founded

founding

gather

gathered

gathered

gathering

guess

guessed

guessed

guessing

guide

guided

guided

guiding

hang

hanged

hanged

hanging

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

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hop

hopped

hopped

hopping

heat

heated

heated

heating

hope

hoped

hoped

hoping

hunt

hunted

hunted

hunting

hurry

hurried

hurried

hurrying

ignore

ignored

ignored

ignoring

inform

informed

informed

informing

jog

jogged

jogged

jogging

join

joined

joined

joining

jump

jumped

jumped

jumping

kick

kicked

kicked

kicking

kill

killed

killed

killing

kiss

kissed

kissed

kissing

knock

knocked

knocked

knocking

last

lasted

lasted

lasting

laugh

laughed

laughed

laughing

lie

lied

lied

lying

live

lived

lived

living

load

loaded

loaded

loading

look

looked

looked

looking

love

loved

loved

loving

marry

married

married

marrying

measure

measured

measured

measuring

melt

melted

melted

melting

move

moved

moved

moving

nod

nodded

nodded

nodding

obey

obeyed

obeyed

obeying

observe

observed

observed

observing

obtain

obtained

obtained

obtaining

occur

occurred

occurred

occurring

offer

offered

offered

offering

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

17

order

ordered

ordered

ordering

pack

packed

packed

packing

place

placed

placed

placing

pour

poured

poured

pouring

practice

practiced

practiced

practicing

push

pushed

pushed

pushing

question

questioned

questioned

questioning

ready

readied

readied

readying

refuse

refused

refused

refusing

regret

regretted

regretted

regretting

reject

rejected

rejected

rejecting

remove

removed

removed

removing

repair

repaired

repaired

repairing

retire

retired

retired

retiring

return

returned

returned

returning

search

searched

searched

searching

skip

skipped

skipped

skipping

slip

slipped

slipped

slipping

smile

smiled

smiled

smiling

smoke

smoked

smoked

smoking

spoil

spoiled

spoiled

spoiling

suffer

suffered

suffered

suffering

talk

talked

talked

talking

taste

tasted

tasted

tasting

thank

thanked

thanked

thanking

tick

ticked

ticked

ticking

tie

tied

tied

tying

touch

touched

touched

touching

type

typed

typed

typing

use

used

used

using

vanish

vanished

vanished

vanishing

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

18

visit

visited

visited

visiting

wash

washed

washed

washing

watch

watched

watched

watching

wave

waved

waved

waving

yell

yelled

yelled

yelling

Present Tense

Past Tense

Past Participle

Present Participle

be

was

been

being

beat

beat

beat

beating

bring

brought

brought

bringing

catch

caught

caught

catching

come

came

came

coming

cut

cut

cut

cutting

deal

dealt

dealt

dealing

eat

ate

ate

eating

fall

fell

fell

falling

feel

felt

felt

feeling

find

found

found

finding

fly

flew

flew

flying

give

gave

given

giving

go

went

gone

going

mean

meant

meant

meaning

put

put

put

putting

read

read

read

reading

rise

rose

rose

rising

run

ran

ran

running

shine

shone

shone

shining

swear

swore

swore

swearing

take

took

taken

taking

tear

tore

tore

tearing

Tenses Forms (Irregular Verbs)

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

19

PUNCTUATION

. Full Stop

Quotation Marks

? Question Mark

: Colon

! Exclamation Mark

; Semicolon

, Comma

- Hyphen

Apostrophe

Full Stop [.]


1.

Use a full stop to show the end of a sentence.


Cricket is a popular sport in India.
Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

2.

Use a full stop after certain abbreviations.


M.B.A. admissions are open from next week.
Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam is a great scientist.
St. Marys College is a very good college.
Can we meet at 2 P.M. tomorrow?

Question Mark [?]


Use a question mark at the end of a sentence to show a direct question.
Who is the President of India?
Note : Dont use a question mark for indirect questions.
The boss asked the employee why he has not submitted the file.
Exclamation Mark [!]
Use an exclamation mark to show surprise or excitement.
Oh! I lost my mobile phone.
Hi! How are you?
Note : Exclamation can be used after interjections like Oh! Ouch! Alas! Wow!

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

20

Comma [,]
1.

Use a comma to show a pause in a sentence.


Therefore, I could not attend the classes.

2.

Use a comma with quotation marks to show what someone has said directly.
He said, Do not disturb me till an hour.

3.

Use commas for listing three or more different things.


Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata are metro cities in India.

4.

Use commas around relative clauses that add extra information to a sentence.
Amartya Sen, who was a great economist, was conferred the Nobel Prize.

Apostrophe [']
1.

Use an apostrophe to show ownership of something.


The Taj Mahal is Indias pride.
SIA Group is a students first choice for quality study material.
Note : For nouns in plural form, put the apostrophe at the end of the noun.
SIA Group is all students first choice for quality study material.

2.

Use an apostrophe to show letters that have been left out of a word.
Dont shout. I wouldnt allow any nuisance here.

Quotation Marks ["]


Use quotation marks to show what someone has said directly.
He said, "I can walk over the rope."

Colon[:]
1.

Use a colon to introduce a list of things.


There are three ingredients required in making tea: tea leaves, sugar and water.

2.

Use a colon to introduce a long quotation.


The teacher said: "Tomorrow I shall conduct a test. All students should
attend it without fail. Otherwise, they will be punished."

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Semicolon [;]
1.

Use a semicolon to join related sentences together.


Cricket is a favourite sport in India; people of all ages like and play cricket.

2.

Use a semicolon in lists that already have commas.


The three folk dances of South India are Kuchipudi, Andhra Pradesh;
Bharatanatyam, Tamil Nadu; and Kathakali, Kerala.

Hyphen [-]
1.

Use a hyphen to join two words that form one idea together.
Water-proof
Sports-car

2.

Use a hyphen to join prefixes to words.


anti-clockwise
co-worker

3.

Use a hyphen when writing compound numbers.


one-third

21

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

22

VOCABULARY

Here is a list of the most common English words. This basic vocabulary provides a good
starting point for communicating in English.

able

automatic

boat

button

cold

about

awake

body

cake

collar

account

balance

boiling

camera

colour

acid

band

bone

canvas

comb

across

base

book

card

come

act

basin

boot

care

comfort

addition

basket

bottle

carriage

committee

adjustment

bath

brain

cart

common

after

beautiful

brake

cause

company

again

because

branch

certain

comparison

against

before

brass

chain

competition

agreement

behavior

bread

chalk

complete

almost

behaviour

breath

chance

complex

among

belief

brick

change

condition

amount

bell

bridge

cheap

connection

angle

bent

bright

cheese

conscious

angry

berry

broken

chemical

control

animal

between

brother

chest

cook

answer

bird

brown

chief

copper

apparatus

birth

brush

church

copy

approval

bite

bucket

circle

cord

argument

bitter

building

clean

cork

army

black

bulb

clear

cotton

attack

blade

burn

clock

cough

attempt

blood

burst

cloth

country

attention

blow

business

cloud

cover

attraction

blue

but

coal

crack

authority

board

butter

coat

credit

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

23

crime

disgust

expert

fork

hate

cruel

distance

face

form

head

crush

distribution

fact

forward

healthy

current

division

fall

fowl

hear

curtain

door

false

frame

hearing

curve

doubt

family

frequent

heart

cushion

down

farm

friend

heat

damage

drain

fat

front

help

danger

dress

father

fruit

high

dark

drink

fear

future

history

daughter

driving

feather

garden

hole

dead

drop

feeble

general

hollow

dear

dust

feeling

glass

hook

death

early

female

glove

hope

debt

earth

fertile

gold

horn

decision

east

fiction

good

horse

deep

edge

field

grain

hospital

degree

education

fight

grass

hour

delicate

effect

finger

great

house

dependent

elastic

fire

green

humour

design

electric

first

grey

idea

desire

engine

flag

grip

important

destruction

enough

flame

group

impulse

detail

equal

flat

growth

increase

development

error

flight

guide

industry

different

even

floor

hammer

insect

digestion

event

flower

hand

instrument

direction

example

fold

hanging

insurance

dirty

exchange

food

happy

interest

discovery

existence

foolish

harbour

invention

discussion

expansion

foot

hard

iron

disease

experience

force

harmony

island

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

24

jelly

lift

medical

need

peace

jewel

light

meeting

needle

pencil

join

like

memory

nerve

person

journey

limit

metal

night

physical

judge

line

middle

noise

picture

jump

linen

military

normal

pipe

keep

liquid

milk

north

place

kettle

list

mind

nose

plane

key

little

mine

note

plant

kick

living

minute

number

plate

kind

lock

mist

observation

please

kiss

long

mixed

offer

pleasure

knee

look

money

office

plough

knife

loose

month

operation

pocket

knot

loss

moon

opinion

point

knowledge

loud

morning

opposite

poison

land

love

mother

orange

polish

language

machine

motion

order

political

last

make

mountain

organization

poor

late

male

mouth

ornament

porter

laugh

man

move

oven

position

law

manager

much

over

possible

lead

map

muscle

owner

potato

leaf

mark

music

pain

powder

learning

market

nail

paint

power

leather

married

name

paper

present

left

mass

narrow

parallel

price

leg

match

nation

parcel

print

let

material

natural

part

prison

letter

meal

near

past

private

level

measure

necessary

paste

probable

library

meat

neck

payment

process

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

25

produce

represent

sea

simple

special

profit

request

seat

sister

sponge

property

respect

second

size

spoon

prose

responsible

secret

skin

spring

protest

rest

secretary

skirt

square

public

reward

see

sky

stage

pull

rhythm

seed

sleep

stamp

pump

rice

seem

slip

start

punish

right

selection

slope

statement

purpose

ring

self

slow

station

push

river

send

small

steam

put

road

sense

smash

steel

quality

rod

separate

smell

stem

question

roll

serious

smile

step

quick

roof

servant

smoke

stick

quiet

room

sex

smooth

sticky

quite

root

shade

snake

stiff

rail

rough

shake

sneeze

still

rain

round

shame

snow

stitch

range

rub

sharp

soap

stomach

rate

rule

sheep

society

stone

ray

sad

shelf

sock

store

reaction

safe

ship

soft

story

reading

sail

shirt

solid

straight

ready

salt

shock

some

strange

reason

same

shoe

song

street

receipt

sand

short

sort

stretch

record

scale

shut

sound

strong

regret

school

side

soup

structure

regular

science

sign

south

substance

relation

scissors

silk

space

sudden

religion

screw

silver

spade

sugar

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

26

suggestion

thought

tree

wash

wind

summer

thread

trick

waste

window

support

throat

trouble

watch

wine

surprise

through

trousers

water

wing

sweet

thumb

true

wave

winter

swim

thunder

turn

wax

wire

system

ticket

twist

way

wise

table

tight

umbrella

weather

woman

tail

till

under

week

wood

take

time

unit

weight

wool

talk

tin

value

well

word

taste

tired

verse

west

work

teaching

together

very

wet

worm

tendency

tomorrow

vessel

wheel

wound

test

tongue

view

when

writing

than

top

violent

where

wrong

that

touch

voice

while

yellow

theory

town

waiting

whip

yesterday

there

trade

walk

whistle

young

thick

train

wall

white

thin

transport

war

wide

thing

tray

warm

will

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

27

SENTENCE FORMATION
Given below is a simple format of forming sentences. Most of the sentences shown in the table are
formed based on first person (I, I am). These can be modified in the following manner.

I go

They go

We go

I eat

They eat

We eat

I am

He is

I am going

She is

He goes She goes It goes


He eats She eats It eats

It is They are

He is going

I am a student

She is going

He is a student

We are
It is going

She is a student

They are going


They are students

We are going
We are students

I am

I am not

I am
very/so/too/extremely

I am in/at/on

Describing about

Describing what you

Adding descriptive

Used when you are in a

yourself/your

are not

words

physical location/place

situation/position

or using something

I am Ramesh.

I am not a girl.

I am very tired.

I am in the kitchen.

I am a student.

I am not a teacher.

I am so happy.

I am in the garage.

I am tired.

I am not a thief.

I am too hungry.

I am in a car.

I am confused.

I am not Ramesh.

I am extremely excited.

I am in a playground.

I am happy.

I am not hungry.

I am very nervous.

I am in a school.

I am twenty years old.

I am not playing.

I am in Chennai.

I am hungry.

I am not a singer.

I am in the park.

I am nervous.

I am in my home.

I am excited.

I am at the

I am sick.

supermarket.

I am thirsty.

I am at the theatre.

I am from Hyderabad.

I am at the hospital.

I am getting married.

I am at the airport.
I am on the phone.
I am on my computer.
I am on a train.
I am on duty.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

I am good at

I am + (verb)

28

I am getting

I am trying + (verb)

Used to show your

Describing an action

Used when you are

Used when you are

expertise or ability in

done by you

going to have

planning or doing

something

something

doing something
I am good at computers.

I am eating lunch.

I am getting married.

I am trying to learn.

I am good at drawing.

I am brushing my

I am getting ready for

I am trying to

I am good at cricket.

teeth.

the match.

understand.

I am good at swimming.

I am happy.

I am getting a head

I am trying to pass.

I am good at driving.

I am driving.

ache.

I am trying to call my

I am good at singing.

I am singing.

I am getting a call.

friend.

I am good at sports.

I am writing a letter.

I am getting bored.

I am trying to get a job.

I am good at running.

I am making juice.

I am getting a new bike.

I am trying to wake up

I am good at dancing.

I am cleaning my

I am getting a job.

early.

I am good at cooking.

room.

I am getting excited.

I am trying to draw the

I am going to + (verb)

I am drawing a

map.

picture.

I am trying new dress.

I am sleeping.

I am trying new shoes.

I am interested in

I am trying to sell my

karate.

books.

I have + (noun)

I have + (past
participle)

I used to + (verb)

Used to tell someone

Used to show what

Used to show a

Used to describe a

what you are planning to

you possess or what

completed action done

routine action of the

do currently or in the

you have got

by you

past which is not done

future

now

I am going to prepare for

I have a car.

I have read the article.

I used to bring lunch to

exams.

I have a laptop.

I have written that

college.

I am going to join karate

I have a good book.

letter.

I used to exercise a lot.

classes.

I have a sports bike.

I have given the

I used to play tennis.

I am going to eat biryani.

I have a headache.

money.

I used to drink coffee.

I am going to apply for

I have forgotten my

I used to study at night.

the job.

purse.

I used to stay away

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

29

I am going to buy a car.

I have cleaned the

from my parents.

I am going to invite my

desk.

I used to go to library

friends for party.

I have paid the fee.

Sunday.

I am going to donate

I have played football.

I used to write diary.

blood.

I have called her twice.

I used to watch movies.

I have seen the movie.

I used to wake up late.

I have drawn the map.

I have to + (verb)

I want to + (verb)

I dont want to +
(verb)

I would like to +
(verb)

Used to describe an

Used to describe

Used to describe

Used to describe

action which is

something you want

something you dont

something you are

compulsory for you to

to do

want to do

interested to do

I have to quit the job.

I want to go home.

I dont want to go

I would like to eat ice

I have to send an email.

I want to try this new

home.

cream.

I have to rush to home.

dress.

I dont want to try this

I would like to go to

I have to visit the doctor

I want to taste some

new dress.

picnic.

today.

sweets.

I dont want to taste

I would like to eat at the

I have to join yoga

I want to study for

some sweets.

restaurant.

classes.

exams.

I dont want to study

I would like to order a

I want to play cricket.

for exams.

cake.

I dont want to play

I would like to buy new

cricket.

clothes.

do

I would like to become


an engineer.
I was about to +
(verb)

I do not/dont +
(verb)

I don't have time to


+ (verb)

I promise to + (verb)

Used to describe

Used to describe

Used to say that you

Used to assure or

something you are going

things you do not do

cannot do something

promise something will

to do now or in the

or like.

because of lack of time

be done by you

future

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

30

I was about to call you.

I dont like to travel by

I don't have time to

I promise to remind

I was about to order

bus.

write a letter.

you.

food.

I don't smoke.

I don't have time to

I promise to help you.

I was about to finish my

I don't like black

sleep.

I promise to speak the

work.

colour.

I don't have time to

truth.

I was about to pay the

I don't speak Hindi.

attend his marriage.

I promise to come on

bill.

I dont like

I don't have time to

time.

I was about to ask him

mathematics.

play.

I promise to pay the fee

for help.

I dont eat fish.

I don't have time to

tomorrow.

I was about to buy a gift

I dont support

meet my friends.

I promise to be

for him.

ragging.

punctual to college.

I was about to apply for


the job.

I promise not to +
(verb)

I would rather +
(verb)

I feel like +
(verb+ng)

I dont feel like +


(verb+ing)

Used to assure or

Used to say what you

Used to say what you

Used to say what you

promise something will

prefer to do over

like doing

dont like doing

not be done by you

some other thing.

I promise not to tell lies

I would rather fight

I feel like going to Goa

I dont feel like going to

again.

than run away.

for a holiday.

college.

I promise not to hurt

I would rather eat

I feel like eating lots of

I dont feel like walking

your feelings.

fruits than taking junk

ice cream.

for long distance.

I promise not to disturb

food.

I feel like playing cricket

I dont feel like working.

you.

I would rather study

the whole day.

I dont feel like sitting

I promise not to fail this

than fail in the exam.

I feel like having no

for exams.

time.

I would rather finish

work on Sundays.

I dont feel like worrying

I promise not to speak

the work soon.

I feel like driving a

for small things.

loudly in the classroom.

I would rather do it

sports car.

I promise not to skip the

myself than

classes.

depending on others.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

I am busy +
(verb+ing)

I was busy +
(verb+ing)

31

I want you to +
(verb)

I am here to + (verb)

Used to speak of an

Used to speak of an

Used to say when you

Used to say why you

action which you are

action which you were

need someone to do

are at a place

involved doing currently

involved doing in the

something

past
I am busy writing notes.

I was busy writing

I want you to study

I am here to attend a

I am busy listening to

notes.

well.

seminar.

news.

I was busy listening to

I want you to play with

I am here to meet my

I am busy playing chess.

news.

me.

friend.

I am busy talking to my

I was busy playing

I want you to exercise

I am here to buy a

friend.

chess.

daily.

book.

I am busy buying books.

I was busy talking to

I want you to come

I am here to apply for a

my friend.

with me.

driving license.

I was busy buying


books.
I have something +
(verb)

I am thinking of +
(verb+ing)

Let me + (verb)

Thank you for +


(verb+ing)

Used to say that you

Used to say that what

Used when you are

Used when you want to

have something to do

you are thinking or

seeking permission to

thank someone for

which is not disclosed

planning to do.

do something

anything they have


done

I have something to

I am thinking of

Let me open the door

Thank you for helping

share with you.

joining yoga classes.

for you.

me.

I have something to tell

I am thinking of

Let me pay for the

Thank you for attending

you.

cooking today.

dinner.

my wedding.

I have something to give

I am thinking of

Let me give an advice

Thank you for sending

you.

visiting my

to you.

the gift.

I have something to

grandmother.

Let me offer you some

Thank you for visiting

show you.

I am thinking of

coffee.

my home.

I have something to ask

buying a pen.

Let me get you a taxi.

Thank you for giving

you.

I am thinking of
applying for the job.

me a lift.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

32

I don't know what


to + (verb)

Can I + (verb)

I should have +
(past participle)

Please + (verb)

Used to ask permission

Used to say when you

Used to describe what

Used to request

to do something

really do not know

you would have done

someone to do

what has to be done

but did not do

something

Can I take your pen?

I dont know what to

I should have called

Please help me

Can I drop you home?

say.

you.

Please call me

Can I call you tonight?

I dont know what to

I should have left early.

tomorrow.

Can I suggest you a

wear for the function.

I should have cleared

Please be quiet.

good book?

I dont know what to

the bills.

Please be on time to

Can I get an

write in the letter.

I should have returned

college.

appointment?

I dont know what to

the books to the library.

Please dont worry.

Can I get some tea?

buy for the festival.

I should have gone to

Please wait till I come.

Can I use your

I dont know what to

Mumbai with him.

computer?

study for the test.

Don't + (verb)
Used to tell someone

what should not be done


Dont smoke.
Dont speak loudly.
Dont stand here.
Dont neglect your
studies.
Dont skip your
medicines.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

33

COMPREHENSION PASSAGE
Comprehension is a vital section in several English exams. It tests a students ability to read,
understand, and interpret the contents of a passage. Each passage is followed by a set of
questions to be answered based on the understanding of the passage language and
contents. If a single question is well attempted, there is a fair chance of solving other
questions easily.
For solving a comprehension passage, a proper framework has to be followed. Firstly, you
should have proper understanding of the topic discussed in the passage.
The following are the series of steps to be followed for solving a comprehension passage:

1.

Content Review
The passage should be read multiple times before you begin to attempt answering
any question. This will help you in getting a thorough grip on the content, its focus
and analyse according to your understanding of the information provided in the
passage.

2.

Topic in Focus
Initially you should try to understand the central theme or idea of the passage. You
should understand what the passage is focusing on.

3.

Filter Information
Information given in the passage has to be filtered out leaving behind unwanted
things. Underlining important things will help you identify useful information from
the rest of the content in the comprehension passage.

4.

Derive Facts
From the underlined information, facts can be derived which can provide more fine
details like Who? What? When? Where and How?
Derive facts according to the focus of the passage and skip those which do not show
relevance to the focus of the passage.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

5.

34

Authors Opinion
Authors opinion on the given topic is very vital and you should understand how the
author portrays or presents his views on the topic. Based on this, you have to
understand authors agreement or disagreement regarding the topic.

6.

Analysis
Most often few passages call for answers based on the analysis of the topic or
situation discussed in the topic.

7.

Inference or Outcome
Based on the analysis, inferences can be drawn and the outcome can be determined.
Based on this, you have to note down the key findings from the passage.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

35

CONVERSATIONAL PRACTICE
GREETING
There are different ways to greet people
Greeting means welcoming someone with particular words or a particular action.
When meeting people formally for the first time, we greet by shaking hands and saying
"How do you do?" or "Pleased to meet you."
"How do you do?" isn't really a question, it just means "Hello".
When young people meet informally they sometimes greet and say "Give me five!" and slap
their hands together (high five).
Generally we do not greet by shaking hands with people we know well. We greet by just
saying 'hi' or 'hello'.
Here are some expressions you can use to greet people.

Greeting

Hi, hello.
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening.
How are you?
How are you doing?
How do you do?

Responding to greeting

Hi, hello.
Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening.
I'm fine thank you (thanks)/Okey! Thank you (thanks)/Can't complain/Not bad.
How about you?/And you?
How do you do?

Things to remember about greeting


When you greet someone and say:
"How do you do?"
This isn't really a question, it just means "Hello".

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

36

HOW TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF


Having trouble introducing yourself?
Being able to introduce yourself to a group or another person might seem daunting, but it's a social
task that pops up a lot. Here are some steps to make it easier.

Introducing Yourself to an Audience

1.

Speak clearly and confidently. Make sure your voice is loud enough for everyone to
hear you. Avoid mumbling by enunciating your consonants crisply.

2.

Make eye contact with a few people. Don't stare down or at some aimless point in the
corner of the room. Move your gaze around the group to make eye contact with a few
people as you speak. If you don't like the thought of looking into that many eyes, look at
their eyebrows or noses - they won't be able to tell the difference.

3.

Say hello, and state your name. If you're at a formal gathering, say "Hello, my name is
[first name] [last name]." If the gathering is informal, tone it down accordingly - you could
say something like "Hey, I'm [first name]."

4.

Share basic information about yourself. The sort of information you share will depend
on the audience you're addressing. If you're introducing yourself on the first day of school,
you might say where you're from and what you did over the summer. If you're introducing
yourself to a group of business associates, you might tell them what exactly your job is and
how long you've been with the company.

5.

Close the introduction. If you're going to be interacting more closely with these people in
the future, say something like "I look forward to getting to know you all of you better." If you
probably won't be talking a lot of these people later, close with something like "It's been a
pleasure speaking to you this morning/this afternoon/tonight."

Introducing Yourself to an Individual


1.

Always maintain eye contact


Eye contact shows that you are completely involved in the interaction. It also shows that you
are confident. If you are not comfortable maintaining eye contact with the person, try to
make a glance between their eyebrows. It would serve the purpose.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

37

2.

Always Smile
Smile is a very refreshing thing. It would keep the other person also feel comfortable. Always
keep a good smile on your face. This would help you to begin the conversation easily.

3.

Offer a handshake
A proper and firm handshake would show your confidence levels. Avoid crunching the other
persons hand. A handshake should be gentle but firm and should last for few seconds.

4.

Exchange names
Introduce yourself by saying, "Hello, I'm <your name>" and ask for the other persons
name. Frequently use the persons name in your conversation. It would help you to
personalize more easily.

5.

Give a brief background of yourself


Tell about your education, job, interests and other basic professional information. Talk about
the purpose of meeting the person if you are meeting for a specific purpose.

6.

Conclude the conversation


Every effective introduction should end with a pleasant note by saying how much pleased
you are after meeting the person, or how you enjoyed the conversation. You can also say
when would be your next meeting if any.

Tips

Be positive. Talk positively.


Dont backbite or speak anything bad about anyone.
Make sure your hands are clean before you offer a handshake.
Respect the other person and his/her views.
Dont eat anything that would stick to your teeth and make other person uncomfortable.
Never speak with food in the mouth.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills


Dont get distracted from the conversation.
Dont make the other person bored with lengthy talk.
Dont interrupt while the other person is speaking.
Listen carefully to what the other person is speaking.
Use appropriate body language.

Introducing yourself
Here are some expressions to introduce yourself:
My name is ...
I'm ....
Nice to meet you; I'm ...
Pleased to meet you; I'm ...
Let me introduce myself; I'm ...
I'd like to introduce myself; I'm ...

Introducing others
Here are some expressions to introduce others:
Shekhar, please meet Ali.
Shekhar, have you met Ali?
I'd like you to meet Sameer.
I'd like to introduce you to Bhaskar.
Ali, this is Joseph. Joseph this is Ali.

Useful responses when introducing yourself or other people

Nice to meet you.


Pleased to meet you.
Happy to meet you.
How do you do?

38

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

39

TALKING ABOUT ABILITY

How to express ability


To express that someone has the power or skill to do something, can and be able are used.
Examples

I can't help you.I am busy.


I'm unable to help you.
When I was young, I was able to earn my living pretty well; I could work hard. Now I
can't. I'm too old.
I can stand on my head for five minutes.
Can you speak Arabic?
Yes, I can.

Expressing ability
In the present
Express ability in the present as follows:
I can speak good English.
I can't stand on my head.
In the past
Express ability in the past as follows :
I was unable to visit him.
I couldn't eat at all when I was ill.
In the future
Express ability in the future as follows :
I will be able to buy a house when I get a good job.
The teacher can assist you after class if you have any questions.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Things to remember
Can is always followed by an infinitive without "to."
Examples:
I can ride my bike and I can drive a car, but I can't drive a lorry.
Can in the past is was able or could
Examples:
When I was young I was able to earn my living pretty well. Now I can't; I'm too old.
I couldn't hear what he was saying.
Can in the future is will be able.
Example:
When I finish my studies, I will be able to find a job.

40

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

ASKING FOR AND GIVING PERMISSION


When you ask for permission to use something that belongs to someone else you have to
do your best to be polite. It is desirable to use the word "please."

Asking for Permission


Can I go out, please?
May I open the window, please?
Please, can I have a look at your photo album?
Please, may I taste that hot spicy couscous dish?
Do you mind if I smoke?
Would you mind if I asked you something?
Is it okay if I sit here?
Would it be all right if I borrowed your mobile phone?

Giving Permission

Yes, please do.


Sure, go ahead.
Sure.
No problem.
Please feel free.

Refusing to give permission

No, please dont.


Im sorry, but thats not possible.
I'm afraid, but you can't.

41

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Dialogue
Liza, eight years old, is asking her mother for permission to use the computer.

Sara:

Please mum, can I use the computer?

Her mother:

No dear, you can't. It's time to go to bed.

Sara:

May I read a story before I sleep?

Her mother:

Sure! But try to sleep early.

Sara:

Thanks a lot mummy.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

TALKING ABOUT FAVOURITE THINGS

Talking about favourite things


When you talk about your favourite things, you talk about the best liked or most enjoyed
things.
Examples:
"What's your favourite color?" "Green."

Study the dialogue


Deepika is talking to her new friend Amena:

Deepika:

What kind of books do you like best?

Amena:

Fiction. And you?

Deepika:

Literature. And who's your favourite author?

Amena:

Chetan Bhagat.

Deepika:

I like Shakespeare.

Asking about favourite things

What's your favourite sport?


What sport do you like best?
What sport do you like most?
What kind of sport do you like best?
Who's your favourite football player?

Responding

My favourite sport is football.


I like football best.
I like football most.
My favourite football player is Maradona.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

44

MAKING OFFERS

How to make offers in English?

It is common that English speakers make offers in conversations in order to be polite and
helpful. When they do so they use these expressions:

Can I ?
Shall I ?
Would you like ?
How about ...?

English learner must be able to make offers as well as accept or reject them. The following
are useful expressions to do so.
Making offers
Can

Shall

help you?
get you some juice?

Would you like a glass of water ?


How about

some pizza?

Examples
"Can I help you?"
"Shall I open the window for you?"
"Would you like another cup of coffee?"
"Would you like me to clean the board?"
"How about a juice? "

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

45

Remember
Shall, can and will are followed by the verb without to.
Example:
"Can I help you?"
"Shall I bring you the mobile phone?
Shall is more formal than can.
Would you like is followed either by a noun, or by the verb with to.
Example:
"Would you like some tea ?"
"Would you like to drink some coffee?

Responding to offers
Accepting
Yes please. I'd like to.

Declining
It's OK, I can do it myself.

That would be very kind of you. Don't worry, I'll do it.


Yes please, that would be lovely. No, thanks
Yes please, I'd love to.

No, thank you

If you wouldn't mind.


If you could.
Thank you, that would be great.

Examples
"Can I help you?"
"No thanks, I'm just having a look." (With a shop assistant.)

"Can I help you?"


"Do you know where the post office is."

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

"Shall I help you with your maths problem?"


"Yes, please. That would be very nice of you."

"Would you like a cup of tea?"


"No, thanks." Or, "No, thank you."

"Would you like another piece of cake?"


"Yes please, that would be nice ."
"Yes please, I'd love one."

"Would you like me to do the the ironing for you?"


"If you wouldn't mind."
"If you could."

"I'll do the washing, if you like."


"It's OK, I can do it."
"Don't worry, I'll do it."
"Thank you, that would be great."

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

47

MAKING AN APPOINTMENT
Making an Appointment
Being able to make and cancel an appointment is an important skill in English. You need to
be able to:
make an appointment,
respond to an appointment and
cancel an appointment.
Here are some expressions you can use to do this concisely and clearly.

Asking to Meet
Are you

available on... / next...?


free on... / next...?

Can we

meet on... / next ...?

Would

next ... be ok?

What about

next ... ?

Is

next ... ok?

Examples:
"Are you available on the 17th?"
"Can we meet on the 16th?"
"How does the 3rd sound to you?"
"Are you free next week?"
"Would Friday suit you?"
"Is next Tuesday convenient for you?"
"What about sometime next week?"

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48

Responding to an Appointment
Yes,
....
I'm afraid
I'm sorry
I really don't think I can

... is fine.
.... would be fine.
suits me.
would be perfect.
I can't on ....
I won't be able to... on ...
on ...

Examples
"Yes, Monday is fine."
"Monday suits me."
"Thursday would be perfect."
"I'm afraid I can't on the 3rd. What about the 6th?"
"I'm sorry, I won't be able to make it on Monday. Could we meet on Tuesday
instead?"
"Ah, Wednesday is going to be a little difficult. I'd much prefer Friday, if that's alright
with you."
"I really don't think I can on the 17th. Can we meet up on the 19th?

Cancelling an Appointment

You can cancel an appointment as follows :


Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen business, I will be unable to keep our
appointment for tomorrow afternoon.
Would it be possible to arrange another time later in the week?
Im afraid that I have to cancel our meeting on Wednesday, as something
unexpected has come up.
You know we were going to meet next Friday. Well, I'm very sorry, but something
urgent has come up.
I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to meet you after all. Can we fix another
time?

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

PREFERENCES

Talking about your preferences


Questions about preferences
Which do you prefer : tea or coffee?
Which do you prefer : science or physics?
Which do you prefer to drink juice or mineral water? (Notice: prefer to + present simple)

Which do you like better basketball or football?


Do you prefer : idli or dosa?
Would you prefer to eat a pizza or a burger?
Would you rather eat a pizza or a burger?

Replies

I prefer cricket.
I'd prefer to drink juice.
I'd rather drink mineral water.
If I had a choice, I would eat a dosa.
A cup of coffee would be suitable.

Things to remember about preferences


1.

"I'd prefer" + to + verb

2.

"I'd rather" + verb

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

50

MAKING INVITATIONS

Making invitations
Do you know how to invite someone to your house for dinner or to go to the movies?
What do you say in English when someone invites you?
Here are some common expressions you can use when making or responding to invitations.

Inviting
Do you want to go to the movies tonight?
Would you like to go to the theater tomorrow?
Would you be interested in going to the stadium next Sunday?
How do you fancy going to the restaurant for dinner?
How about going to the movies?
Care to come over for lunch?
I was just wondering if you would like to come over for a drink.
We'd be delighted to have you over for my birthday party.
Accepting invitations
Sure. What time?
I'd love to, thanks.
That's very kind of you, thanks.
That sounds lovely, thank you.
What a great idea, thank you.
Sure. When should I be there?

Declining invitations
I can't. I have to work.
This evening is no good. I have an appointment.
That's very kind of you, but actually I'm doing something else this afternoon.
Well, I'd love to, but I'm already going out to the restaurant.
I'm really sorry, but I've got something else on.
I really don't think I can, I'm supposed to be doing something else.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Talking about likes and dislikes

Expressing likes and dislikes


To talk about your likes and dislikes, you can use these expressions.

Expressing likes
I like
I love...
I adore
Im crazy about
Im mad about
I enjoy
Im keen on
Expressing dislikes
I dont like
I dislike...
I hate
I abhor
I cant bear...
I cant stand
I detest...
I loathe...
Examples of likes and dislikes
I'm mad about basketball, but I cant bear ice hockey.
I adore reading poetry, but I loathe doing the housework.
If you neither like nor dislike something
"I don't mind doing the housework."

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52

Things to remember about likes and dislikes:


1.

When these expressions are followed by a verb, the latter is put in the -ing form.
Examples:
"I like listening to music."
"I hate wearing sunglasses."
I like

VERB+ING

I detest
I don't mind
2.

Note that" very much" and a lot" always come after the things you like.
Examples:
"I like basketball very much/a lot. NOT" I like very much/a lot basketball."

3.

Be careful when you use "I don't mind..."


Examples:
"Do you mind playing football?"
"No, I don't mind."(Although it's in a negative form, it means that it's ok for me. I
neither love it nor hate it.)

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

DESCRIBING PEOPLE AND THINGS


Describing
What are some good ways to describe
people?
things?
feelings?
yourself?
personality?
See the phrases below for examples of descriptions in English.
Questions
What

does Anjali / the house look like?


can you tell me about Anjali / the house?
is Anjali / the house like?

Tell

me about Anjali / the house!

Responses

Well, she's old, young, middle aged, fat, overweight, slim, thin, skinny,
blonde, red-head, well-built, tall, dark, beautiful, funny, cute,
really rich, gorgeous ...
She has

oval face, square face, round face, long, black hair, straight

got

hair, curly hair, blue eyes, round face, long nose, fair skin ,
bushy eyebrows, regular teeth, crooked teeth, rosy cheeks...

She's kind chubby, thin, slim, obese, tall, skinny, short, intelligent, silly,

of

nice, naughty...

It's

big, small, comfortable, clean ...

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

54

EXPRESSING OBLIGATION

Expressing obligation
When it is necessary or obligatory to do something, you express obligation.

Obligation in the present


I have to finish my work before this evening.
I have got to learn English if I want to live in the USA.
I must see the doctor soon because I don't feel well.
It is obligatory that I stop when the traffic light turns red.
It is necessary that I take a taxi. I'm late.

Obligation in the past


I had to work extra hours to pay my bills.

Obligation in the future


I'll have to borrow money.

Things to remember
1.

The difference between "have to" and "must" is that "have to"indicates that
someone else has imposed conditions on us.

2.

The simple past of "must" is "had to".

3.

The simple future of "must" is "will have to".

4.

Should also expresses obligation. But there is a difference between must/


have to and should:
must / have to = 100% obligation. "When the traffic light turns red, you
must stop.
should = 50% obligation. It's more an advice than an obligation. " You look
tired. You should have a rest."

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Dialogue
Policeman: Don't you know that you must stop when the traffic lights are red?
Driver:

Sorry sir. I was so absent-minded that I didn't pay attention to the


traffic lights.

Policeman: Well sir, you'll have to pay a fine!

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

EXPRESSING PROHIBITION

To express prohibition the following expressions are used.


It is prohibited to ...
You arent allowed to ...
You mustnt ...
You arent permitted to ...
It is forbidden to ...

Examples
Parking is strictly prohibited between these gates.
Students aren't allowed to come too late to school.
Drivers mustn't park their cars here.
It is forbidden to walk on grass.
Smoking isn't permitted in hospitals.
People aren't permitted to throw rubbish here.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

ASKING FOR AND GIVING ADVICE


Expressions
Asking for advice
I've got a bad toothache. What do you suggest?
What do you advise me to do?
What should I do?
What ought I to do?
What's your advice?
If you were me what would you do?

Giving advice
If I were you, I would go to the dentist.
Why don't you go to the dentist?
You'd better brush your teeth regularly.
You ought to/should avoid eating sweets.
If you take my advice, you'll go to the dentist.
It might be a good idea to brush your teeth on a regular basis.
I advise you to brush your teeth on a regular basis.
Have you thought about seeing a dentist.

Declining to give advice


I don't know what to advise, I'm afraid.
I wish I could suggest something, but I can't.
I wish I could help.
I'm afraid I can't really help you.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

58

Things to remember about asking for and giving advice


1.

"Advise" is a verb.
Example:
"I advise you to learn English. You will undoubtedly need it in your higher studies"

2.

"Advice" is a noun.
Example:
"My father gave me this piece of advice when I was young: never give up"

3.

"Ought to" has nearly the same meaning as "should". The only difference is that
"ought to " refers to a moral or external obligation but should is more of an advice.
Example:
"You ought to stop smoking."
"You should stop smoking."

4.

"You'd better" is the short form of "you had better."


Example:
"You'd better see a doctor!" = "You had better see the doctor."

Study the dialogue


Student:

I'm terrible at English and I think I should do something about it. What do
you advise me to do?

Teacher:

I think you should try this website. It's a fantastic website for beginners.

Student:

I've heard about it, but what do you think I should start with?

Teacher:

You'd better start with the lessons.Then, try the exercises.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

59

EXPRESSING LACK OF NECESSITY (ABSENCE OF OBLIGATION)

To express lack of necessity (also called absence of obligation), speakers usually use "don't,
have to", don't need to", "needn't" .
The form that we use to express lack of necessity could be one of the following:
He doesn't have to get up early.
He doesn't need to get up early.
He needn't get up early.
Expressing lack of necessity in the present
I don't have

to take my umbrella. It isn't raining.

need
I

needn't

take my umbrella. It isn't raining.

I don't have to drive fast.


I don't need to write the report myself. My secretary can do that for me.
I needn't buy all these things.
It isn't necessary to take your umbrella. It isn't raining.
Expressing lack of necessity in the past
I

didn't

have

to take my raincoat. It wasn't raining.

need
I

needn't

have

taken my raincoat.

I didn't have to tell him about my project. He already knew everything about it.
Expressing lack of necessity in the future
I

won't

have

to take my jacket. It won't be cold.

need
I won't have to call on my grandfather tomorrow morning. He'll be at the doctor's for
his regular medical check up.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Things to remember about expressing lack of necessity


1.

"Lack of necessity" is also called "absence of obligation".

2.

"Needn't" is followed by an infinitive without "to".


Example: " I needn't buy tomatoes".

3.

In the past there is a difference in the negative forms of need:


didn't need = didn't have to
I didn't need to wait, she was just on time.
(She was on time. I didn't have to wait.)
needn't = absence of obligation/lack of necessity
We needn't have waited, they didn't come.
(It was useless to wait. They didn't come)

Dialogue
A student is asking the teacher about his homework:
Teacher:

You don't have to write a long essay; a short one would be ok!

Student:

What about the grammar exercise? Do we need to revise the lesson


before we can do it?

Teacher:

No, you needn't do the exercise at home, as we will surely do it


together in the next English lesson.

Student:

Ok! Good bye sir.

Teacher:

Good bye!

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

MAKING AND RESPONDING TO SUGGESTIONS


Suggestions
The following English phrases and expressions are all used to make suggestions and give
advice to people.
Making Suggestions
Lets revise our lessons.
What about going to the cinema tonight?
How about playing cards?
Why don't we do our homework?
Couldn't we invite your grandmother to our party?
Shall we have a walk along the river?
What would you say to a cup of coffee?
Don't you think it is a good idea to watch TV?
Does it matter if we use your car?

Accepting Suggestions
Ok. Yes, let's.
Yes, I'd like to.
Yes, I'd love to.
What a good idea!
Why not?
Yes, with pleasure.
Yes, I feel like taking a walk.
That sounds like a good idea.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Refusing suggestions
No, let's not.
No, I'd rather not.
I don't feel like it.
I dislike going for a walk.
What an awful / bad idea!

Things to remember about suggestions

1.

The verb "suggest" can be followed by either:


should + verb = I suggest (that) we should go to the theater.
a verb (in the subjunctive form)= I suggest (that) we go to the movies.

2.

"That" is optional:
"I suggest that we should visit Paris."
"I suggest we should visit Paris."

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

EXPRESSING YOUR OPINION


How to express your opinion
Expressing opinion
I think...
As far as I'm concerned,..
To my mind,...
According to me,...
As I see it, ...
It seems to me that...
In my point of view / my opinion,....
From my point of view...
I am of the opinion that...
I take the view that. ..
My personal view is that...
In my experience...
As far as I understand / can see/see it,...

Agreeing or disagreeing
Agreeing with an opinion:
I agree with this opinion.
I completely agree with this view.
This is absolutely right.
I couldn't / can't agree more.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Partial agreement
I agree with this point of view, but...
This idea is right, but...
I agree with you, but...
Disagreeing with an opinion:
I'm afraid. I can't agree with you.
I disagree with you.
I don't agree with you.
I'm not sure I agree with you.
I think you're wrong.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

65

COMPLAINING - TALKING ABOUT COMPLAINTS


What are complaints?
Complaints are expressions of "displeasure or annoyance" in response to an action that is
seen by the speaker as unfavorable. Suppose you want to complain about the pizza you
have just ordered because it's too salty, what are the expressions needed to express and
respond to complaints?

Complaining
Here are expressions you can use when complaining:
I have a complaint to make. ...
Sorry to bother you but...
I'm sorry to say this but...
I'm afraid I've got a complaint about...
I'm afraid there is a slight problem with...
Excuse me but there is a problem about...
I want to complain about...
I'm angry about...
Examples
I have a complaint to make.

Your pizza is just too salty.

I'm sorry to say this but

your food is inedible.

1. I'm afraid I've got a complaint about your child. He's too noisy .
2. I'm afraid there is a slight problem with the service in this hotel.
3.Excuse me but you are standing on my foot.
4. I want to complain about the noise you are making.
5. I'm angry about the way you treat me.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

66

Responding to complaints
Positive response to complaints

I'm so sorry, but this will never occur / happen again.


I'm sorry, we promise never to do the same mistake again.
I'm really sorry; we'll do our utmost/best not to do the same mistake again.

Negative response to complaints

Sorry there is nothing we can do about it.


I'm afraid, there isn't much we can do about it.
We are sorry but the food is just alright.

Things to remember about complaints


When expressing a complaint in English, it helps to be polite. Although "I'm angry about
your pizza. It's too salty" is one possible way of expressing a complaint, it is considered
too rude and you'd better use more polite expressions if you want to get what you want!

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

67

EXPRESSING HOPE
The difference between "wish" and "hope"
How to use "wish"

Wish is most commonly used in hypothetical (or imagined/unreal) situations:


Example:
I wish (that) you were here. (Unfortunately, you're not, and I miss you.)
Sometimes wish is used in greeting and expressions of goodwill:
Example:
We wish you a "Merry Christmas."

How to use "hope"

Hope can also be used in expressions of goodwill, but the grammar is slightly
different:
Examples:
I hope (that) you have a Merry Christmas. (some time in the future)
I hope (that) you had a nice Birthday. (some time in the past)
Hope can be used to specify a desired outcome. For future hopes, the possibilities
remain open, but for past hopes, the outcome has usually been determined already.
Examples:
I hope you can come to the party on Saturday.(future possibility)
I was hoping that you would come to the party.(but you didn't)
I had hoped to see you at the party on Saturday. (but I didn't)

Other ways to express hope


You can also express hope in the following ways:
I would like to have a car.
I really want to have a car
What I really want is to have a car.
Remember:
"I wish you had done the work" is a regret. You didn't do the work (in the past) and I
am annoyed because of that.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

68

AGREEMENT, PARTIAL AGREEMENT AND DISAGREEMENT


The way people agree or disagree in an argument or discussion varies in different
languages.

Agreement
It is worthwhile saying that silence is not understood as agreement. If you agree with an
opinion or an idea, you are expected to say so.

Expressions
There is no doubt about it that...
I completely/absolutely agree with you.
I agree with you entirely.
I totally agree with you.
I simply must agree with that.
I am of the same opinion.
I am of the same opinion.
Thats exactly what I think.

Disagreement
Expressing disagreement is always respected as honest, and sometimes as courageous.

Expressions
I don't agree with you.
Im sorry, but I disagree.
I'm afraid, I can't agree with you.
The problem is that...
I (very much) doubt whether...
This is in complete contradiction to...
With all due respect,
I am of a different opinion because ...
I cannot share this/that/the view.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

69

I cannot agree with this idea.


What I object to is...
I have my own thoughts about that.

Partial agreement
You can also agree but with reservation especially when there is a doubt or feeling of not
being able to accept something completely.

Expressions
It is only partly true that...
Thats true, but
I can agree with that only with reservations.
That seems obvious, but...
That is not necessarily so.
It is not as simple as it seems.
I agree with you in principle, but
I agree with you in part, but
Well, you could be right.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

70

TALKING ABOUT CAUSE AND EFFECT


Cause and effect
When we talk about an effect resulting from a certain cause, we use expressions such
as: because, since, as, owing to, due to...
Examples

The police arrested him because he broke into a bank.


The police arrested him since he broke into a bank.
She can't read the letter as she is illiterate.
He can't run fast for he is too fat.
Owing to his intelligence, he managed to solve the problem.
Due to the bad weather, they didn't go for a picnic.

Other ways to express cause and effect


You can also express cause and effect as follows:
The cause of is
is caused by/is due to
Thanks to ...
Examples
The cause of

global warming

is pollution.

Global warming

is caused by

pollution.

is due to

Thanks to

his hard work ,

he passed the
exam.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Is there a difference between due to and owing to?


Owing to and due to are used interchangeably by native speakers although some state
that there is a difference.
a. Due to:
If you can use caused by then you can also use due to:
Example:
"The cancellation of the flight was due to (caused by) high winds."
b. Owing to:
If you can use because of then you should use owing to rather than due to:
Example
"The flight was canceled owing to (because of) high winds."
Use of thanks to
People tend to use thanks to in positive situations.
Example
"Thanks to his intelligence, he managed to find the solution to that math problem."
Sometimes thanks to is used ironically in a negative way.
Example
"Did she lose the election?"
"Yeah, thanks to you and to all the others who didn't bother to vote."
"The baby is awake thanks to your shouting."

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72

Things to remember about cause and effect


a. Due to, because of, owing to and thanks to are followed by a noun.
b. Because, since, as, for are followed by a verb.
Due to

+ Noun

Because of
Owing to
Thanks to
because
since

Subject + Verb

as
for
Examples

Due to his laziness, he didn't pass the exam.


Thanks to her beauty, she attracted the attention of all the guests.
Because / since /as / they are friends, they forgive each other's mistakes.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

73

EXPRESSING PROBABILITY
Expressing probability or improbability
There are many ways to say that something will probably or improbably happen.
Probability/improbability
...

...

may
might
can
could

... will

probably

It's

probable
improbable
likely
unlikely

that ...

doubt
suppose
guess

... will ...

'd be surprised

if ....

Perhaps ... will ...


May be

Examples of probability
It is probable that my grandfather repairs my bike.
May be/perhaps the problem wont be serious.
It will probably rain this evening.
Im likely to do the work myself.
Examples of improbability
No, probably not.
I don't suppose my grandfather will repair the bike.
I doubt my father will buy me a new computer, either.
She is unlikely to return home early this evening.
I'd be surprised if he got the best score.
It's unlikely he will find his lost keys.

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74

Expressing probability in the past


...

May

have

Past Participle

might
can
could

Examples of probability in the past


He may have robbed your computer while you were out.
The criminal might have threatened her. That's why, she was afraid of him.
The author might have carried a deep research on the subject. That's why his
book is so interesting.
Examples of improbability in the past

He may have not lived in this town. Nobody seems to know him.
She can't have helped him in his crime as they have never met before.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

75

APOLOGIZING
To apologize is to tell someone that you are sorry for having done something that has
caused him inconvenience or unhappiness.
Examples
I must apologize to Isabel for my late arrival.
I'd like to apologize for my trouble making.
Trains may be subject to delay on the northern line. We apologize for any inconvenience
caused.
Here are some expressions you can use to make and respond to apologies:

Making apologies

I do apologize for...
I must apologize for...
I apologize for...
I'd like to apologize for...
I am so sorry for...
I shouldn't have...
It's all my fault.
I'm ashamed of...
Please, forgive me for...
Excuse me for ...
I'm terribly sorry for...
Pardon me for this...
Please, forgive me for my....
Please, accept my apologies for...

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Accepting apologies

That's all right.


Never mind.
Don't apologize.
It doesn't matter.
Don't worry about it.
Don't mention it.
That's OK.
I quite understand.
You couldn't help it.
Forget about it.
Don't worry about it.
No harm done.

Remember
"I'd like to apologize" is the short form of "I would like to apologize".

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

77

EXPRESSING POSSIBILITY

What is the difference between possibility and probability?


Possibility is when there is a chance that something may happen or be true
while probability is the likelihood of something happening or being true:
Example:
"Until yesterday, the project was just a possibility, but now it has become a
real probability."
It is likely that it will happen.

Expressing Possibility
My grandmother may travel alone.
May be she will make the trip alone.
Perhaps she will visit London.
Possibly, she will go by plane.
It's possible that someone will meet her at the airport.
She might buy some presents for the family before she goes.
I suppose she might spend a lot of money on the presents.
There's a chance she'll like the city.
She will take an umbrella as it could rain heavily there.

Expressing impossibility
No, it's impossible to repair that old Chevrolet.
Even a good mechanic can't possibly fix it.
We may not be able to travel by car.
There's no chance my father repairs it tomorrow.

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MAKING AND RESPONDING TO A REQUEST

It's important to be polite when you ask for something.


You can make a request by using:
Can you ...?
Could you ...?
Will you ...?
Would you mind ...?
Here are some examples of how to make a request.
Can you

open the door for me, please?

Will you
Could you possibly
Would you mind

opening the door for me ?

Making Request
Can you show me your photo album, please?
Will you lend me your book, please?
Could you possibly show me the way to the post office, please?
Would you help me with this exercise, please?
Would you mind lending me your pen, please?

Responding to request
Sure, here you are.
Okey.
No, I'm sorry I need it.
I'm afraid I can't.

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Things to remember about making a request


1.

"Would you mind..." is followed by a gerund (verb+ing)


Example:"Would you mind lending me your book? "

2.

The response to the following request:


A : "Would you mind giving me your book? "
is either
"No, I don't mind."(which is a positive response to the request. It means
that I accept to lend you my book)
or "Yes." (which is a negative response to the request. It means that I don't
want to lend you my book.)

3.

Could is more polite than can.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

TALKING ABOUT FEAR


There are many words and expressions you can use to talk about fear.
Questions
How did you feel?
How did you react?
What was your reaction?
Were you afraid of...?
Were you scared of...?
Were you terrified of...?
Responses
I was

terrified, spooked, petrified ...


afraid of ...
frightened of ...
scared of ...

It was a

terrifying ordeal.

It

scared the hell out of me.


sent shivers out of me.
frightened the life out of me.
gave me goosebumps.

jumped out of my skin.


shook with fear.

Short dialogue
Lubna is talking about her fear when she saw the criminal.

Neha:

How did you feel when you saw the criminal?

Lubna:

I shook with fear.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

81

MAKING PREDICTIONS
Predictions
When making predictions (what we think will happen in the future) we can either use:
will followed by the verb without to
or going to followed by the verb
What (do you think) will happen?
is going to happen?

(I think) ...

will ...
won't ...
is going to ...
isn't going to ...

Examples of making predictions


"What do you think will happen next year?"
"Next week is going to be very busy, I think."
"There won't be a rise in house prices next year."
"He isn't going to win the election."
Things to remember about making predictions

"He won't do it" is the short form of " he will not do it.

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EXPRESSING CERTAINTY AND UNCERTAINTY


Certainty and uncertainty
Certainty is the state of being completely confident or having no doubt about something.
However, uncertainty is when nothing is ever decided or sure.
Expressing certainty
When you are sure that something will or will not happen in the future, use these
expressions:
For example to the question:
"Will John pass the exam?"
You may respond as follows:
Yes,

I'm

absolutely

he will.

sure
quite sure
certain
positive
definitely.
certainly.
of course.
or
No,

I'm

absolutely sure
quite sure
certain
positive
definitely not.
certainly not.
of course not.

he won't.

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Expressing uncertainty
When you are not sure whether something or someone will or will not happen, use the
following expressions.
For example, to the question:
"Will John follow a career in business?"
You may respond as follows:
Well,

it's possible,

I suppose,

but

I wouldn't like to say for certain.

it's impossible,

I'm not sure

it might be,

I doubt it.

it might not be,

I have my own doubts.

it could happen,

it's doubtful.
It's highly/very unlikely.
you never know of course,
no one can know for certain.
I can't tell you for sure.

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EXPRESSING LACK OF UNDERSTANDING AND ASKING FOR


CLARIFICATION

Here is a list of useful English phrases you can use to express lack of understanding (that is,
when you fail to understand what has been said to you) and seek clarification from the
person you are talking to.

How to express lack of understanding


When you fail to understand what has been said to you, you can use these expressions:
I beg your pardon?
I beg your pardon, but I don't quite understand.
I'm not quite sure I know what you mean.
I'm not quite sure I follow you.
I don't quite see what you mean.
I'm not sure I got your point.
Sorry, I didn't quite hear what you said.
Sorry, I didn't get your point.
I don't quite see what you're getting at.

How to ask for clarification


When you don't understand what someone has said, you can ask for clarification using the
following expressions:
What do you mean by...?
Do you mean...?
Could you say that again, please?
Could you repeat please?
Could you clarify that, please?
Would you elaborate on that , please?
Could you be more explicit?
Could you explain what you mean by...?

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

Could you give us an example?


I wonder if you could say that in a different way.
Could you put it differently, please?
Could you be more specific, please?

Clarifying one's point or idea


To clarify your idea you can use the following expressions:
Let me explain that...
Let me explain that in more detail...
Let me put it in another way...
Sorry let me explain...
In other words...
To say this differently...
To put it differently...

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

ASKING ABOUT AND GIVING DIRECTIONS


Asking about directions
To ask about directions use these questions:
How can I get to . . . from here?
How can I get to . . . ?
Can you show me the way to...?
Can you tell me how to get to . . . ?
Where is . . . ?
What's the best way to get to . . . ?

Giving directions
To give directions use these expressions:
Go straight on.
Turn left/right.
Take the first (turning) to the left/right.
Go past the restaurant/school...
The ... is beside/in front of/next to...the....

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

SHOPPING
Shopping expressions
These are expressions used when you go shopping:
Can/may I help you?
Can I try it/them on?
What size do you wear? What size are you?
What color would you like?
Extra small, small, medium, large, extra large
How does it fit?
Where is the changing room?
How would you like to pay?
Can I pay by credit card/in cash?

Shopping for a T-shirt


A: Can I help you?
B: Yes, I'm looking for a T-shirt.
A: What size are you?
B: I'm a medium.
A: What color would you like?
B: A blue one.
A: Here you are.
B: Thank you. Can I try it on?
A: Certainly, the changing room is over there.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

B: Thank you.
A: How does it fit?
B: It's fantastic. I like it.
A: Yes it looks nice on you.
B: Thank you. I'll buy it.
A: OK, how would you like to pay?
B: Do you take credit cards?
B: Yes, we do.
A: OK, here's my credit card.
B: Thank you. Have a nice day!
A: Thank you, goodbye.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

CONVERSATIONS ON THE PHONE


Telephone conversations
It is common that English speakers make phone calls either for business reasons or
personal affairs. These are expressions you can use in your conversations on the phone.
You 've reached .... company/department.
How can I help you?
Can I speak to Mr/Mrs.....?
Could I speak to ...., please?
Who shall I say is calling?
Who's calling, please?
Who's speaking?
It's Mr/Mrs... here.
It's Mr/Mrs... speaking.
Mr/Mrs... speaking.
Please hold and I'll put you through.
Just a second. I'll see if s/he is in.
Hang on for a moment.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

90

SELF DISCIPLINE
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with one step.
Chinese Proverb

Learning how to cultivate the trait of self-discipline is one of the most important success
skills that you could ever learn, as by taking the time to master it, you will become a much
more productive person who is able to accomplish more with their life and waste less time
in the process.

Self discipline means that when you have something to do, you do it, regardless of whether
you like it or not. Often this will mean having to overcome your natural urge to do what is
fun, easy and quick, and being able to do the things which are hard and necessary instead.

Since most of the things in life that will bring you long-lasting success require many hours of
hard work, just think how much your life would change if you were able to ignore all the
meaningless distractions around you and stay focused on the achievement of your goals.

But dont worry if you currently lack self-discipline at the moment, as nobody is born a
naturally disciplined person. Just like any other skill, it is something that you can learn with
practice, and the more you practice, the better you will become at it.

Improving self-discipline
To improve self discipline you may follow the following steps :
Know what you want
You should have a thought through plan. The best way to think through your plan is to
write it down. Then leave it for couple of days and read it again. Most probably you want to
change something. If you have a plan in place, make a to-do list. Just keep in mind not to
overload your list. Just add some steps and smaller goals. This ensures that you will stay
motivated for longer period of time.

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91

Make yourself a promise


It is not enough to just write down your goals. To improve self discipline you have to
commit to your plan. Make yourself a promise and dont break it.

Start small and take one step at a time


To improve self discipline you have to start from small things. Start from the things you
think you can accomplish. Reward yourself after every accomplishment. Another thing you
have to do is to take one step at a time. Pick one thing to work on and finish it before you
start another one.

Reward yourself
To keep yourself motivated, you have to reward yourself after every small achievement.
Pick something you like and reward yourself with it. Rewarding yourself reinforces good and
productive behavior. It is much easier to stay disciplined when you have something good to
wait for.

Overcome your weak moments and take small breaks


The hardest part in self discipline improvement is to overcome the weak moments. If you
feel that you are tired, take a small break. Just keep one thing in mind dont destroy your
achievements you have had so far. You can even take regular breaks to avoid total collapse.
Adjust your lifestyle
The changes and commitments you have made, have to fit to your lifestyle. Most probably
there is a need to adjust your lifestyle to support your goal to improve self discipline. There
are some things you have to give up and some new things you have to implement. Those
changes can be either mind related (positive thinking) or body related (healthier lifestyle). In
any case, it is wise to make the lifestyle adjustments step by step.

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Start Small
Start with your room. Clean it and then keep it clean. When something is out of place, train
yourself to put it where it belongs. Then extend the discipline of neatness to the rest of your
home.

Be on time
That may not seem very spiritual, but it's important. If you're supposed to be somewhere at
a specific time, be there on time. Develop the ability to discipline your desires, activities, and
demands so that you can arrive on time.

Do the hardest job first


When you do that, you will find it easier to do the simpler tasks.

Organize your life


Plan the use of your time; don't just react to circumstances. Use a calendar and make a
daily list of things you need to accomplish. If you don't control your time, everything else
will.

Accept correction
Correction helps make you more disciplined because it shows you what you need to avoid.
Don't avoid criticism; accept it gladly.

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Practice self-denial
Learn to say no to your feelings. Learn to do what you know to be right even if you don't
feel like doing it. Sometimes it's even beneficial to deny yourself things that are acceptable
to have, like a doughnut in the morning or dessert after dinner. Exercising such self-restraint
helps you develop the habit of keeping other things under control. Cultivating discipline in
the physical realm will help you become disciplined in your spiritual life.

Welcome responsibility
Welcome responsibility when you have an opportunity to do something that needs to be
done. Volunteer for it if you have talent in that area. Accepting responsibility can force you
to organize yourself.

English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

TIPS FOR ENGINEERING STUDENTS

Learn to manage your time efficiently and avoid postponing your work.
Organise your work and try to finish things in time.
Plan your studies to evade last minute preparation for exams.
Solve problems daily.
Determine difficult portions from all subjects and concentrate on them first.
Do not hesitate to get your doubts clarified from your lecturers.
Maintain running notes for every session and read the corresponding chapter from
the text book and study material.
Note down important formulae and memorize the formulae and the steps to solve
problems.
Indulge in group discussions on subject related topics with your classmates. This
would increase your subject knowledge.
Practice engineering drawing and understand its steps.
Learn new words daily and try to use them in your daily conversations.
Watch English news and read articles from leading newspapers.
Buy a story book and learn usage of words and sentence formation.
Maintain self-discipline at your home, college, neighbourhood and society at large.
Take care of your health. Eat healthy and exercise daily to stay fit.
Do not take stress and avoid night outs if you can read at day time.

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

SELF ASSESSMENT

1. This is my brother. ___ is very intelligent.


(a)

He

(b)

She

(c)

It

(d)

They

2. My phone is ___ the table.


(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

at

(d)

after

3. I go to college ___ bus.


(a)

by

(b)

through

(c)

on

(d)

with

4. Yesterday I ____to the picnic.


(a)

go

(b)

gone

(c)

went

(d)

will go

5. Can I have ____ tea?

(a)

few

(b)

some

(c)

any

(d)

much

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

6. The train _____ late yesterday.


(a)

arrived

(b)

will arrive

(c)

arriving

(d)

would arrive

7. ___ Apple is __ fruit.


(a)

a, the

(b)

a, a

(c)

an, the

(d)

an, a

8. It is __ one crore worth house.


(a)

(b)

an

(c)

the

9. My friend _____ in Hyderabad.


(a)

live

(b)

lives

(c)

living

(d)

have lived

Identify the parts of speech in the following sentences. (noun, pronoun, verb, preposition,
adverb, adjective, conjunction or interjection) Q.No 10-14

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

India is a vast country with a population of more than 1.2 billion. It is the worlds biggest
democracy.
10.

India ________

11.

Vast ________

12.

With ________

13.

Of ________

14.

It ________

15.

How old _______ she?

16.

17.

18.

(a)

have

(b)

is

(c)

are

(d)

has

How are you ________ today?


(a)

been

(b)

felt

(c)

feel

(d)

feeling

How many tablets ________ he take every day?


(a)

does

(b)

is

(c)

do

(d)

are

_________ are ten chocolates in a box.


(a)

it

(b)

they

(c)

there

(d)

these

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

19.

20.

21.

Hello! _________ you tell me the time, please?


(a)

do

(b)

are

(c)

could

(d)

will

People ________ not evade payment of tax.


(a)

should

(b)

will

(c)

could

(d)

are

He is __________

old to climb the stairs.

a) very
b) much
c) more
d) too

22.

23.

How many students _________ there in the classroom?


(a)

is

(b)

can

(c)

are

(d)

am

Could you please fetch _________ a glass of water?


(a)

(b)

me

(c)

my

(d)

our

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

24.

25.

26.

27.

28.

What __________ you doing this Friday?


(a)

will

(b)

shall

(c)

did

(d)

are

All the tickets for the match were sold out so we ____________ back.
(a)

come

(b)

came

(c)

coming

(d)

had came

Cats love to __________ butterflies in the garden.


(a)

cheer

(b)

chase

(c)

run

(d)

fly

He is ________ by the next train.


(a)

living

(b)

leaving

(c)

losing

(d)

loving

He _______ me by calling me an idiot.


(a)

praised

(b)

pleased

(c)

involved

(d)

insulted

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

29.

30.

31.

32.

33.

I _________ to travel by bus, but now I come by car.


(a)

used

(b)

use

(c)

using

(d)

am

I ________ not used to travel by local trains.


(a)

did

(b)

does

(c)

am

(d)

can

I am looking ________ to visit my grandmother next month.


(a)

up

(b)

on

(c)

forward

(d)

by

He doesnt know _________ to wear formals or casuals for the party.


(a)

which

(b)

if

(c)

whether

(d)

what

I dont like tea. No, _________ do I.


(a)

neither

(b)

so

(c)

not

(d)

and

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

34.

35.

36.

37.

38.

You _________ taken a train to go to Chennai.


(a)

had

(b)

have been

(c)

should have

(d)

will have

I should hire a taxi ____ ____ I dont get a bus.


(a)

because of

(b)

in case of

(c)

instead of

(d)

in case

He spends his time playing ____ ____ studying for the test.
(a)

in case

(b)

instead of

(c)

because of

(d)

if only

I am interested ________ Physics.


(a)

on

(b)

by

(c)

with

(d)

in

I am fond ________ chocolates.


(a)

by

(b)

with

(c)

of

(d)

to

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

39.

40.

41.

42.

43.

He asked, _________ would you like to have, coffee or tea?


(a)

which

(b)

whose

(c)

when

(d)

who

I wonder __________ he did not turn up for the match.


(a)

that

(b)

when

(c)

why

(d)

which

I had very ________ time to prepare for the exams.


(a)

few

(b)

little

(c)

a little

(d)

not

I am looking forward to _________ this.


(a)

win

(b)

winning

(c)

won

(d)

winner

He _____ to help me with the project.


(a)

suggested

(b)

offered

(c)

invited

(d)

told

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

44.

45.

46.

47.

48.

How did you manage to solve _____ a difficult problem?


(a)

so

(b)

that

(c)

absolutely

(d)

such

I was very nervous initially, but later on got _____ it.


(a)

got used to

(b)

get used to

(c)

changed to

(d)

used to

I _____ left my job when I was in London.


(a)

regret

(b)

shouldnt

(c)

ought not to

(d)

shouldnt have

She wouldnt have lost her purse, if she had been more _____.
(a)

careful

(b)

carefully

(c)

careless

(d)

caring

We can order_____ idli or dosa for the breakfast.


(a)

both

(b)

rather

(c)

either

(d)

neither

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English Language Proficiency & Soft Skills

49.

50.

I came to meet/receive my cousin, but he _____ earlier.


(a)

has left

(b)

had leave

(c)

has leave

(d)

had left

We _____ breakfast when you called over the phone.


(a)

was having

(b)

had

(c)

were having

(d)

are having

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