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Tag Archive | exam

No more boring sentences

write well, fiction, how to write, writer

I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like we, as writers, do get so wrapped up in the actions, thoughts and relationships of our characters that we completely forget to dress it up. Sentences get so long-winded in action and thought that any descriptive narrative is just left in the dust. With this tutorial, we will remedy that. Hopefully.

You may ask: What am I to do? And I shall tell you: You just need to start small, using basic descriptive words and work up to more complicated and sophisticated sentence structures.

  • Let’s start with a plain, basic sentence.

Ollie sat underneath the tree.

  • Let’s replace Ollie with a pronoun and give the tree a species.

boy sat underneath the willow tree.

  • Ask yourself this. How old is the boy? Is he very young? Or is he more of a teen? Is the tree dying? Is it a young tree? Use words like “young” or “lively” to give your character (or any other living things in the scene) an age group and a starting point to visualizing your character for the reader. We’re just going to call the boy “young” for right now.

young boy sat underneath the willow tree.

  • Now we need some sort of action the boy (or the tree) could be doing. just sitting isn’t going to cut it. when adding more action to a sentence, it would range anywhere from a single word to an entire phrase. just make sure that when you add the action that it moves with the rest of the sentence in a coherent fashion and that there is proper punctuation to accommodate it. for our little example sentence, we’re going to add a phrase.

A young boy sat underneath the willow tree, watching a breeze.

  • “Watching the breeze” sounded all nice and fluffy when we first put it, but after we’ve read it a few times it sounds sort sort of ridiculous. One can’t literally watch a breeze, right? Here we can just add an action for the breeze to be doing simultaneously with the action of the boy. The boy doesn’t even have to have any awareness of what the breeze is doing at all. So, we will just change a few words around and add something for the breeze to do.

A young boy sat underneath the willow tree, as a breeze flitted through the bulrushes.

  • Now that you are starting to get the hand of this, we can just skip a bunch of the steps and get to the end part, where we have a lovely and descriptive sentence worthy of opening your post. Below, as you can see, we added a few more choice words, replaced some things and moved some phrases around.

As a gentle breeze flitted through the bulrushes, a young boy sat contemplating underneath the ancient willow tree.

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How to write much better

write well, how to write, ielts, toefl, English exam, language, learn

or not.

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Prepositions are not to end sentence with. 

3. Avoid clichès like the plague (They’re old hat.).

4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

5. One should never generalize.

6. Comparisons are as bad as clichès. 

7. Be more or less specific.

8. Sentence fragments. Eliminate.

9. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

10. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

11. Who needs rhetorical questions?

50 Sophisticated Words You Should Start Using


It might be time for phasing out some of the played-out words in your vocabulary and replacing them with creative alternatives? Don’t feel bad; everyone you know has been guilty of letting a “fail” or an “LOL” slip at least once in a while. But those words are tired. They need a long rest. Here are 50 sophisticated utterances to deploy instead.

Cyber Substitutes

 

  1. Supreme: Epic doesn’t mean what you think it means. Use this instead, meaning classic or perfect.
  2. Blunder: For the love of grammar, “fail” is not a noun. On the other hand, “blunder” works as both a noun and a verb. How supreme.
  3. Triumph: Instead of “FTW,” you can say, “For The Triumph!” We bet you money you can’t say it without feeling like Maximus.
  4. Fidus Achates: More than some internet acquaintance, a fidus Achates (“FEED-us uh-KAH-tays“) is a true friend. It’s like “BFF” in Latin.
  5. Fancy: It’s only a matter of time before you’ll be able to “fancy” a link or status update for which you wish to show appreciation.
  6. Cachinnate: Forget about laughing your a** off. Tell them you’re cachinnating (CACK-in-ate-ing) heartily.
  7. Woe is me: It sounds a bit like Yoda-ese, but instead of saying FML, go biblical with “woe is me.”
  8. Piquant: If you simply must inform the world how scrumptious the food you are currently eating is, please refrain from saying “nom nom nom.” Use this descriptor instead to convey appetizing flavor.
  9. Baffling: It’s too easy to just drop a “WTH” (or some variation) on some activity or news that perplexes you. Why not be baffled?
  10. Indubitably: The “Really?” ship has sailed. To express ironic dismay, go with, “Indubitably?” Trust us, it’s a can’t-miss.
  11. Desultory: Don’t be a serial “random“-dropper. If something is unexpected, call it “desultory.”
  12. Ergo: Starting a status update with “so” is nonsensical because “so” means “therefore.” But if you’re going to use “so” correctly, “ergo” works just as well and makes you sound twice as classy.

 

 

Better Buzzwords

 

  1. Donjon: Men, have you been relegated to a small segment of the house referred to as your “man cave?” You don’t have to take that. Call it your donjon, like the stronghold of a castle.
  2. Garrison: “Occupy” has been done to death. Use this if you’re moving in and taking over.
  3. Aspiration: Something that goes on your Bucket List (which hopefully you’re not still saying) is an aspiration.
  4. Pater familias: Bad: “baby daddy.” Better: “father.” Best: “pater familias.”
  5. Minutiae-peddling: This phrase is our own creation. Since 40% of all tweets are pointless babble, instead of saying “I’m tweeting” you could say, “I’m peddling minutiae.

 

Underage Upgrades

 

  1. Alas: “Oh, snap” is so out. All the cool kids are saying “alas!” after their putdowns.
  2. Forsooth: All the kids (and some adults) simply adore saying, “I know, right?” Kick it old school Archaic with “forsooth,” meaning “indeed.”
  3. Jocular: People’s eyes glaze over when they read “LOL.” Send them scrambling for a dictionary when you reply, “How jocular!
  4. Gamin: It means “street urchin,” but we can change the meaning to be more neutral if we put our minds to it. After all, we did the same thing with “dude.”
  5. Paraphernalia: Remember the nice officer who referred to your “drug paraphernalia?” That was a fancier way of saying drug stuff.
  6. Incogitable: To the kids, everything’s “wack” or “crazy.” But the silver-tongued teenager of 2012 will be sharing his or her disbelief with this mouthful.

 

Professional Pick-me-ups

 

  1. Demiurgic: “Innovative” is the second-most overused resume filler word. Since you’re already tooting your own horn, compare yourself to a Gnostic creative deity with this word.
  2. Ambitious: “Motivated” is another résumé snooze-inducer. Go ahead and say you’re ambitious; it’ll add a little edge to it that will help you stand out from the pack.
  3. Assiduous: Don’t bother telling employers you are “dynamic;” everyone they’ve interviewed has been dynamic. But if you want an original way to tell them you are hardworking, use this.
  4. Henceforth: For some reason, “going forward” has caught on as a tack-on to the end of serious statements to make them sound more complete. We’re not sure how you can go any way but forward, but at least use “henceforth” instead.
  5. “_________”: That’s a blank to represent an alternative to saying, It is what it is.” “It is what it is” is the equivalent of saying nothing, thus it has no alternative. Just keep quiet for once instead.
  6. Pandemic: Sure, a video can go viral by getting a few million clicks. But aim higher for your company; shoot for a billion clicks. People will be forced to admit your work has gone pandemic.
  7. Withal: You’re not still using “irregardless“, are you? Make the point of “nevertheless” with withal, a great word that people will think you misspelled.
  8. Veritably: Love, Actually would have been so much more original if it had been called “Love, Veritably.”
  9. Impetus: When you execs talk about giving your employees an impetus, you might be discussing raises or donuts in the break room or some other motivational tool.

 

Romantic Retools

 

  1. Cherish: Take a lesson from The Association and discover another way to say “I love you.
  2. Paragon: Tell your girlfriend she is a paragon of beauty and you’ll score major brownie points once she’s looked it up.
  3. Pulchritudinous: …Or you could call her “pulchritudinous.” How fantastic is that word? Of course, you will have to quickly assure her it’s a compliment.
  4. Recherché: Your wife’s dress isn’t just elegant, it’s exquisite, refined, exotic… recherché.
  5. Despondent: Sad is what you are when you spill wine on your pants. When your baby leaves you high and dry in the cold, cruel world, you’re despondent.
  6. Loathe: People say “hate” is a strong word, but it’s got nothing on “loathe.
  7. Abjure: There’s no doubt saying you “dumped” someone is colorful, but if you want to say it in style and with authority, say you abjured that cheatin’ man.
  8. Yearn: Do justice to your desire to possess that special someone. You don’t want to date them, you yearn for them.

 

Dignified Descriptors

 

  1. Atrocious: You spilled your coffee, broke a shoelace, smeared the lipstick on your face. That’s not a bad day, it’s atrocious.
  2. Spanking: The only socially-acceptable way to incorporate “spanking” into a polite conversation is to use it instead of the word “good.”
  3. Transcendent: If you say something is “awesome,” you’re saying it inspires fear or awe in you. So pizza cannot be awesome. What it can be is transcendent or excellent.
  4. Gobs: Make your old English teacher happy and stop using “lots.” “Gobs” is so much more fun to say anyway.
  5. Opined: “Said” is perfectly functional and perfectly acceptable and perfectly boring. If someone is giving their opinion, say they “opined.”
  6. Parry: Really, there’s no reason to use “said” unless you write for a newspaper. Parry back and forth with your debate partner using your newfound word gems.
  7. Asseverate: Last one: To asseverate is to declare earnestly or solemnly. So help you God.
  8. Altitudinous: Get creative when referring to your tall friend from high school. “That guy was downright altitudinous!
  9. Corpulent: If you’re going to call someone fat, at least find an unusual way to do it, like with this word.
  10. Lummox: So many great insult words, so little time. Take a line from Stewie and call that moron a “bovine lummox.”

SOURCE

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4 Movie Quotes to Get You Through Exams

There’s no doubt about it — exams are the pits. Being stuck in the library for hours, bored out of your mind is the absolute worst. Oh, and trying to get motivated to study instead of Facebooking? Forget about it. As much as you want to skip studying and play Call of Dutyinstead, you’ve got to snap out of it and hit the books. If the pressure of crunch time isn’t keeping you focused or getting you excited about philosophy or molecular biology, then check out these seven great movie quotes to get you through exams.

  1. “Do, or do not. There is no try.” (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

    The incredibly wise Yoda can teach us all a lesson or two about doing our best to succeed, especially when it comes to exams! Just like Yoda tells Luke Skywalker to either do something right or don’t do it at all, you should either study hard for your exams or not even bother if you’re only going to “try.”

  2. “Remember, kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.” (The Sandlot)

    Children of the ’90s know and love The Sandlot dearly. Just the thought of the movie can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but it’s the wise words of Babe Ruth that make it even more awesome. So when you’re stuck in the library studying and wondering if you’ll ever make it in the history textbooks, remember what “The Great Bambino” said about heroes and legends and following your heart, kid.

  3. “Stupid is as stupid does” (Forrest Gump)

    Feeling stupid because you can’t remember the rules of exponents or who won World War I? Well, Forrest Gump would tell you, “Stupid is as stupid does.” This Southern saying means that no matter how stupid you or others think you are, your actions are the only thing that really matters. So, if you don’t study for your exams, but still expect to get all A’s, you might be, well, stupid.

  4. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

    Take it from wiseguy Ferris Bueller; he knows a thing or two about living life to the fullest. OK, so you might not be able to play hooky or get out of taking your exams, but as soon as you’re done with the grind of finals, get outside, dine at an upscale restaurant, go to a baseball game, jump on a parade float, and just have fun, the Bueller way.

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