Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Dear Departed - Vocabulary

Irregular Plurals
I. Read the following sentence from your text and notice the underlined word.

Victoria runs across to Able and sits on the floor at his feet.

The underlined word 'feet' is the plural form of the word 'foot'. This is an irregular plural form. As you know the plural forms of nouns are usually formed by adding 's'. But there are some irregular ways of forming plurals.

(a) Plurals of some Lain words. (eg: datum - data; medium - media)
(b) Plurals of some Greek words. (eg: axis - axes; basis - bases)

Now write the plural forms of the following nouns given in the table and say whether each of them is 'Latin' or 'Greek' word.

Singular Noun
Plural Noun
Latin plural
Greek plural









Exclamations / Interjections
II. Look at the following list of interjections (exclamations) taken from the text.
Ah       Oh       Eh        Er         Ay        Oho     Hist

An interjection is a word added to a sentence to convey emotion of happiness, displeasure, anger, annoyance etc. It is not grammatically related to any other part of the sentence.

Here is a list of sentences with exclamations or interjections used in different contexts in the play. Now observe the sentences and decide which emotion is expressed in each context. Put a tick ( ) in the appropriate box. The first one has been done for you.

Sentences taken from the play
Interjection /
Exclamation used
The emotion / feeling expressed in the context
by using the interjection

Pleasure /
delight /
Distress /
Ah! He was drunk this morning.

Oh, grandpa, I’m so glad you ‘re not dead.

Eh? What’s that? Who’s gone dead?

Er-Fred – Alb – Isaac.

Ay, Melia and Henry, what the devil did you mean by shifting my bureau out of my bedroom?

Oho! So that’s why you’re all in black today.

Hist! Listen.

Compound Adjectives

III. Read the following sentences from your text and notice the underlined words.
  1. Henry and Mrs. Slater stagger in with a pretty, old-fashioned bureau.
  2. Mrs. Slater rised briskly at length in a business-like tone.
  3. His bright eyes twinkle under his heavy, reddish-gray eye brows.
  4. I’ll not be quiet. Oh, I call it a double-faced behaviour
The underlined words in the above four sentences are ‘compound adjectives’ in hyphenated form. A compound adjective is an adjective that comprises more than one word. Hyphens are used to link the adjectives together to show that they constitute one adjective.

Make compound adjectives choosing one word from list ‘A’ and another word from list ‘B’ and fill in the blanks with them.

List ‘A’
List ‘B’
Compound Adjective
eg.  clear-sighted

  1. Sindhu is very clear-sighted about her choice.
  2. The headmaster suggested a ____________________ trip to Hyderabad.
  3. The _____________________________ girl who is under the tree is my sister.
  4. All the people were shocked at the sight of this _______________ murder.
  5. After the terrible tempest, the ___________________ sailing boat was unusable.
  6. Prasad booked a room in a ___________________ hotel for Srikanth.
  7. Every week, __________________ eggs are used by my mother to make some wonderful cakes.
  8. This _____________________ coat is too large for me.
  9. It was a _____________________ war between the English and the French.
  10. I like to correspond with this __________________ teacher. She speaks about interesting topics.
Words often Confused
Read the following sentences and notice the underlined words.
1. Mrs. Jordan said, 'Except his gold watch. He promised that to our Jimmy (except = excluding or apart from)
2. The Slaters did not accept the proposal of the Jordans. .(accept = allow)

In the above sentences the words except and accept look and sound alike. But they have different meanings and spellings.

There are many such words in English that look or sound alike but have very different meanings. It's easy to get confused with these.

A.  Write words that are likely to be confused with the words given. Find their meanings and use them in sentences of your own to show the difference in meaning.
1.  alter -                                                              2.  principal -
3.  gait -                                                                4.  canvas -
5.  check -                                                            6.  ceiling -
7.  complement -                                              8.  stationary -
9.  all ready -                                                       10.  advice -

B.  Read the following paragraph. It contains errors in words often confused. Correct them and rewrite the paragraph replacing them with the right words.
It was one of those October daze when it was a pleasure to be alive. The sky was blew and the heir was cold and sharp with a cent of wet earth as the mourning sun warmed the chilled countryside. And then I caught site of a lonely be struggling to find the pollen of a final flour . Wear had he bean , this sad worker , doomed so soon to dye ? I marvelled at his energy as he climbed along so many bear stalks. Finding nothing, he flue on and disappeared from cite. I continued my walk to a country in where, sitting outside , I contentedly sipped my beer , musing all the wile on the mixed fortunes of life.

Idiomatic Expressions

Here is list of idioms and idiomatic expressions used in the play, 'The Dear Departed'. Guess their meanings. Then look them up in a dictionary, note down their meanings and use them in your sentences.

  1. get one's own way
  2. for ages
  3. set foot
  4. drive a hard bargain
  5. get rid of
  6. give way
  7. at length
  8. on purpose
  9. took by surprise
  10. at a loss

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