Monday, 17 March 2014

Phrasal Verbs -- Exercises based on questions from different Examination question papers -- For practice


Phrasal Verbs  are usually two worded phrases consisting of   Verb & adverb  or  Verb & preposition.
Mostly phrasal verbs consist of two words but a few consist of three words which always stay together.


Examples:
We should act on the advice of our parents.
They hit upon a plan to get out of the trouble.
We went across the river in a boat.



Consider the following sentences:


1. He brought a watch for me. 

2. His uncle brought up the child.




In the first sentence bring is a transitive verb and it means 'to fetch'. But in the second sentence, another word 'up' is added to it which changes its meaning altogether. Such a word is called a phrasal verb.



Examples : Abide by, bring up, come off, fall out, give up, make up, put on & put off etc.



Phrasal Verbs are of two types : Transitive & Intransitive.



Transitive Phrasal Verb is a verb having an object e.g.

We were alarmed at his weakness.
The hunter aimed at the bird.
John gave up smoking.
The child hit upon a plan.
The principal presided over the meeting.
He quarrelled with me over a trifle.
Children take after their parents.


The words in italics in the above sentences are Transitive Phrasal Verbs because these all are followed by an object. 




Intransitive Phrasal Verb is a verb which is not followed by an object e.g.


Friends fall off in adversity.
He broke down during his speech.
Both the brothers fell out over a trifle.
The autumn season has set in.
I get up at 5 O'clock in the morning.
Fire broke out in the factory.


The words in italics in the above sentences are Intransitive Phrasal Verbs & these all are not followed by any object. 



EXERCISE  NO 1.




Out of the given options, choose one which best expresses the meaning of the bold & in  italics idiom/phrase in the sentence.  



1. John joined the class late in the middle of the session but soon he was able to catch up with other students.

1. To excel others
2. To differ from others
3. To be jealous of others
4. To come to level of others.



2. His father toiled hard to establish his new business but his all plans fell through for want of funds.

1. To be successful
2. To progress slowly
3. To fail.
4. To acclaim high appreciation.



3. The young boy worked hard and was sure to succeed but he drew blank before the interview committee.

1. went through successfully
2. showed no interest in appearing
3. was confused and puzzled.
4. was very serious in appearance.



4. The sudden windfall of riches upon his father has completely turned his head.

1. To become too haughty.
2. to fall sick.
3. to undergo a big change.
4. to be very thoughtful.



5. He was critical of the boss but for this he had to face the music and lose his promotion last year.

1. To lose interest
2. To bear the consequences.
3. To enjoy others' hostility
4. To show interest in music



6. The boss took John to task last week as he never attends to his duty seriously.

1. allotted more work.
2. To reprimand.
3. To assign important job
4.  To win favour of others



7. Apprehending the arrival of police on the scene, the culprit took to his heels.

1. To walk leisurely
2. To run away. 
3. To conceal one self
4. To prepare for a fight



8. The recent  comments published in the newspapers about the budding artist run him down.


1.     To disparage someone.
2.     To publicize against someone
3.     To make someone week
4.     To feel week and tired




9. Her father tried hard to bring her round but she paid no heed to him.

1. To make one agree/to attend to.
2. To punish someone/to undergo a  change
3. To praise someone/to accept the offer
4. To take out for a walk/to accompany someone





10.  He left no stone un-turned in making his effort to achieve the  target but all this ended in smoke.  

1. To make a futile attempt/to gain cheap popularity
2. To make all out efforts/to go waste.
3. To win favour/to lose interest
4. To go stray/to lose the job





EXERCISE  NO 2.



In the following sentences four alternatives are given for the idiom/phrase used in the sentence.Out of the given options, choose one which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.


1. As the manager was not in the good books of the boss, he was pushed to the wall.


1. To win undue favour
2. To have no say in the affairs.
3. To be insignifcant
4. To attract wrath


2. His brother promised to stand by him through thick and thin but  he backed out at the eleventh hour.

1. To support earnestly
2. To feel helpless
3. To show no interest
4. To vacillate from a promise.


3. The indifferent and negligent attitude of the elder son towards  family affairs will bring about doom for the family one day.


1. To play an important role
2. To be cause of the.
3. To be helpful
4. To make it difficult


4. He was adamant on his decision in the matter but with  the intervention of the boss in the matter he gave in.

1. yielded.

2. To go stronger
3. To bring forth
4. To make feasible


5. As the consensus alluded the matter the boss called an urgent meeting of the staff members to put the heads together.  


1. To show strength
2. To make someone agree
3. To discuss.
4. To seek help of others

6. The doctor has advised him take along morning walk
to work off the excess fat present in his body.

1. To show off
2. To get a treatment
3. To get rid of.
4. To escape criticism

7. The chairman was a little nervous and anxiously tumbled to lead off the proceedings of the meeting.


1. To enjoy oneself
2. To keep a secret
3. To start.
4. To control adminstration


8. The young man did not want to juggle with the lady by telling a lie about his wealth.  

1. To exaggerate
2. To show off
3. To deceive.
4. To force someone



9.  The young entrepreneur wanted to surpass his competitor in his business but his rival turned tables on him.



1. To accuse someone
2. To quarrel with
3. To reverse someone's action.
4. To hinder someone's action


10. The clever boy passed off the base coin to the dealer in darkness.


1. To push off wrongly.
2. To win a favour
3. To earn livelihood
4. To pay bribe









EXERCISE  NO 3.




Out of the given options, choose one which best expresses the meaning of the  idiom/phrase.  




1. To meet one's waterloo.

1. To be a martyr in war
2. To fight till one's end
3. To meet one's final defeat.
4. To die an ignoble death


2. To take with a grain of salt.

1. To talk in a sensible way
2. To make a correct judgement
3. To listen to someone with a considerable doubt.
4. To make both ends meet with difficulty


3. To eat a humble pie.

1. To eat food of low quality
2. To make a strong request
3. To have to apologise.
4. To be ashamed of


4. To sow wild oats

1. To harvest a good crop 
2. To enjoy irresponsible pleasure in youth.
3. To suffer losses in crops
4. To face great difficulties


5. To  give the devil his due.

1. To encounter with an evil spirit
2. To give credit to a notorious person even.
3. To have relation with wicked person
4. To show mercy on an undeserving person


6. To end in a fiasco.

1. To have an abrupt end
2. To end as an utter failure.
3. To meet with a nice end
4. To have no effect



7. To mince matters

1. To confuse issues.
2. To flatter someone
3. To criticise someone
4. To make a clever statement


8. To throw down the glove.

1. To win laurels
2. To be victorious
3. To accept defeat.
4. To challenge the rival



9. To put cart before the horse.

1. To do things in wrong order.
2. To do a mean job.
3. To irritate someone
4. To be angry with someone


10.  To lay hands on 

1. To extend a helping hand
2. To take possession of.
3. To steal something
4. To gather some information



EXERCISE  NO 4.




Out of the given options, choose one which best expresses the meaning of the  idiom/phrase.  



1.To zero in on

1. To suffer big losses
2. To become a pauper
3. To focus attention on.
4. To show indifference


2. To touch upon

1. To make mention.
2. To show much interest
3. To have sympathy for 
4. To make a favour


3. To straighten out

1.To report to authority
2. To make clear and resolve.
3. To iron clothes
4. To speak in plain terms


4. To reach out  to

1. To arrive somewhere late
2. To extricate someone
3. To ask for help.
4. To stretch one's arm


5. To go off with

1. To steal something.
2. To rush to
3. To make haste
4. To follow someone


6. To fiddle about

1. To tell tales
2. To make statement
3. To waste time doing silly things.
4. To show love for someone



7. To face off

1.To show off
2. To pretend to be
3. To confront.
4. To be afraid of



8. To drop over

1. To visit for a short time.
2. To fall down
3. To suffer losses
4. To stoop


9. To boss about

1. To use excessive authority.
2. To show path 
3. To guide someone
4. To give wrong expression


10. To answer for

1. To be held responsible.
2. To make response
3.  To judge something
4. To make hasty decision






EXERCISE  NO 5.



In the following sentences four alternatives are given for the idiom/phrase used in the sentence.Out of the given options, choose one which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.


1. The manager is in the habit of crying up his own wares.


1. To shout loudly
2. To praise.
3. To give away
4. To complain about


2. The enquiry officer tried to get at facts of the case.  

1. To establish
2. To arrive at/obtain.
3. To conceal/cover up
4   To deface


3. The poor beggar had nothing with him to fall back upon in his old days.

1. To have recourse to.
2. To make arrangement for
3. To seek help from others
4.  To support someone


4. All the young children looked up to him as their leader.

1. To consider/respect.
2. To expect to be
3. To pose as a
4.  To make a show of


5. The young leader always stood up for better standard of living for the poor.


1. To go against
2. To defend.
3. To oppose
4.  To praise



(Answers: Hint: The correct answer choice ends with a full stop

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

PHRASAL VERBS ------Meaning & Their Usage with explanation & examples




A combination of words that makes a complete sense or meaning is called a sentence.


A sentence is used to
---Name a person or thing
---say something about that person or thing

The word or words denoting the person or thing about which something is said are called the subject of the sentence.

The word or words which say something about the person or thing denoted by the subject in the sentence are called the Predicate.

The subject and predicate are absolutely necessary to make a complete sense in a sentence.The subject of a sentence usually comes first, but occasionally it comes after the predicate. Just in this sentence to put emphasis in the sentence.Down went the building like a pack of cards. In Imperative sentences the subject is implied and is left out as - Stand up.Here the subject 'you' is left out.

A group of words that makes a sense but not a complete sense, is called a Phrase. 

Examples :

People have come to see the fair from far and near.
The sun rises in the east.
She is a lady of virtues.

In the above sentences words in italics form a  phrase.

 A clause is a group of words forming a part of a larger sentence and having a subject and a predicate of its own and  makes a complete sense.

A Clause though is a part of a sentence yet it is independent in itself having its own subject and predicate where as a phrase also forms a part of the sentence but it is not independent in its meaning. No doubt both of these make their own sense. 



Example of a Clause:


I went to school when I was five years old.




Phrasal Verbs  are usually two worded phrases consisting of   Verb & adverb  or  Verb & preposition. Mostly phrasal verbs consist of two words but a few consist of three words which always stay together.


Examples:
We should act on the advice of our parents.
They hit upon a plan to get out of the trouble.
We went across the river in a boat.



Consider the following sentences:


1. He brought a watch for me. 

2. His uncle brought up the child.




In the first sentence bring is a transitive verb and it means 'to fetch'. But in the second sentence, another word 'up' is added to it which changes its meaning altogether. Such a word is called a phrasal verb.



Examples : Abide by, bring up, come off, fall out, give up, make up, put on & put off etc.



Phrasal Verbs are of two types : Transitive & Intransitive.



Transitive Phrasal Verb is a verb having an object e.g.

We were alarmed at his weakness.
The hunter aimed at the bird.
John gave up smoking.
The child hit upon a plan.
The principal presided over the meeting.
He quarrelled with me over a trifle.
Children take after their parents.


The words in italics in the above sentences are Transitive Phrasal Verbs because these all are followed by an object. 




Intransitive Phrasal Verb is a verb which is not followed by an object e.g.


Friends fall off in adversity.
He broke down during his speech.
Both the brothers fell out over a trifle.
The autumn season has set in.
I get up at 5 O'clock in the morning.
Fire broke out in the factory.


The words in italics in the above sentences are Intransitive Phrasal Verbs & these all are not followed by any object. 



Following are some of the examples of transitive and intransitive phrasal verbs :



This all will only add to his woes.
The patient was admitted into the hospital.
Her father did not agree with her in this matter.
All the passengers alighted from the train.
His father allotted to him this piece of land.
I was not amused at his jokes.
The stranger apologised to the host for his bad behaviour.
Please attend to what the boss says.
A gold medal was awarded to him.



The couple was blessed with a son.
The merchant backed out of his promise.
All the friends backed up him.
Some robbers broke into his house at night. 
All our efforts to bring him round to our views failed.
The old woman burst into tears.
Trees bring forth new leaves in spring.

Let me call up your name.
I called on him yesterday.
I called  at his but he was not at home.
We should call in a doctor.
The boy called out at the top of his voice.
The workers called off their strike yesterday.
Road accidents carry off a large number of people every year.
You should carry out  the orders of your boss.
His manager  will carry on the work in the absence of the boss.
On my way to office I came across an old friend of mine.
He comes of a  noble family. 
His marriage comes off on Monday.
How did you come by this book?
At last her father came round to her views.
We should cut down our expenses.
His comments cut her to the quick.
The speaker had to cut short his speech.

The horse dashed off down the road.
The waves dashed on the rocks.
It is your turn to deal out the cards.
I shall deal with him as I like.
We deal at M/s Mathew &  co.
They deal in sugar.
The examinations are drawing near.
The manager is drawing up the report.
All the friends drew back from him.


Please excuse me from attending the office today.
She expected an urgent message from her father.
The boss exempted her from payment of her dues.
Her sister excels her in dancing.


My all advice fell flat on him.
All our plans fell through for want of money.
On my way home, I fell in with a group of singers.
The robbers fell on the travellers.

Both the friends are getting on well with each other.
With a  great courage he got over all the difficulties.
He got into trouble through his own folly.
How are you getting along with your business these days?
All of a sudden the bridge gave way.
Let him go on his job.
I have gone through the book.
May he grow in wisdom as he grows in years!

This rule does not hold good in this case.
I hit upon a plan to get out of the trouble.
She will not hide the truth from her parents.
His opinion does not hold ground in this case.
All the staff members were held up to see off the chief guest.


I went there to inquire after his health.
We should not interfere with them in their affairs.
The police is inquiring into the incident.

The jury decided to jump on the proposal.

The new entrant is unable to keep up with others.
In winter we wear woollen clothes to keep off cold.
Both the brothers are keeping on well with each other.
We should not keep back anything from him.

He is lost to all sense of shame.
Look up this word in the dictionary,please.
The old man was looking for his lost purse.
We should not look down upon the poor.
Children are looking forward to summer vacation.
Children always look up to their parents.

You will have to make good his loss.
The child made up a false story to conceal the truth.
The old man made up his mind to start a new business.
The train was late but it made up  time.
The thief made good his escape in the darkness.
Both the brothers made up their difference.
The thief made off with all of their belongings.
Can you make out the meaning of this sentence?

The child owes to his parents for his progress in life.
He is occupied with his new business these days.
His speech offends against decency in manners.
Her parents are not opposed to her decision.


The swindler passed for a gentleman.
It is difficult for me to put up with such a  mean person.
He put me off with a lame excuse. 
She put out the light before going to bed.
The child was placed under the care of his mother.
All the members placed their confidence in the chairman.
The officer found negligent was placed under suspension.
Nothing can prevent him from going there.
Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
We pushed on at a quick pace.
We must pull the business through somehow. 
We should put up something for the rainy day.
The father felt puffed up at the success of his son.


A bad workman quarrels with his tools.
The stag quenched its thirst at a pond.
He quarrelled  with his neighbor over a trifle.
He quoted references from scriptures in his speech.


The company is running short of money.
The car ran over the old man.
Their family has run into a large debt these days.
The goods train ran into a stationary engine.
After the day's hard labour my father feels run down.
Sands of life are running out.
She is rejoicing at his success.
They rallied round their leader for fighting.
The swindler robbed her of her money


My father set up a new factory last year.
The old lady set out on a long journey.
The winter season has since set in.
The new teacher set all the miscreants right.
You should set about your work at once.
He set on the boys to fight.
The manager set a meeting up with the chairman.
The police stand by to avert any unpleasant situation.
My all friends stood by me in adversity.
He was not strong enough to stand against me.
All the fellow colleagues sided with me in this matter.
He is sure to succeed in his new business.


Children take after their parents.
The child took a rope for a snake.
I was taken aback on hearing his remarks.
His son has taken to the bad habit of drinking.
He took off his shirt and waived it in air.
The aeroplane took off within seconds.
The students took down what the teacher stated.
The principal took up the matter with the parents of students.
The thief took to his heels on seeing a policeman.
The child did not turn off the tap.
Please turn on the tap.
The manager has not turned up so far.
He turned down my request to him for help.
Will you please turn down TV as I am a little unwell?
Please turn up the music. I like this song very much.
Hard work has told upon his health.



Why are you whiling away your time?
This piece of cloth will wear well.
The day is wearing away.
Things wear out in course of time.
Finally the manager won over the boss to his side.
The accountant worked out the total cost of  the project.
His plans did not work out well this time.
People warm up themselves in winter by sitting in front of a fireplace.


The young lady yearns for her love.
He never yielded to odd circumstances.
The dogs yelled at the beggar.



(your comments/suggestions about the post solicited)
(Exercise for practice in the following post)

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Articles by Sh Sanjay Kaushik, Director ------SEARCH FOR A SUITABLE SYNONYM & Other




(An Article by Sh Sanjay Kaushik Director Regional Institute of English,
Chandigarh, published in the newspaper, The Tribune dated 8-3-2014.)

MIND YOUR LANGUAGE --- SEARCH  FOR A SUITABLE SYNONYM


" I am firm.
You  are obstinate. 
He is a pig-headed fool."

--Bertrand Russel (at Brain Trust, BBC)



The renowned philosopher's words show how synonyms can have different connotations or implied meanings. Denotative meanings of words found in dictionaries are their clear and direct definitions. As compared to them, connotative meanings live in the realms of human experience, depicting human emotions and cultural beliefs and practices. Some synonyms may seem interchangeable but in reality they have distinct identity,as is illustrated below:      



1. Though quite junior in the organisation, Tim decided to "refuse"  the MD's  
    invitation to the Christmas Ball.

    Options: decline/refuse/turn down


Tim could have "declined" the invitation. which amounts to requesting to be excused from attending the event.
The word "refuse" carries an element of power and should be avoided in this context.
To "turn down" in any case is better suited in reference to a proposal. In social space, the use of such synonyms is determined by the inter-personal relationship the individuals concerned share. The sentence can be reworded  as :  " Tim decided to decline........."





2. Chinese "emigration" to the USA in the early 1800s was largely voluntary.

    Options : immigration/migration/emigration


The user should choose the prefix  im- and not em- in the context, as it is migration into the US which is emphasized, not migration from China. To immigrate is to move into a new home and to emigrate means to leave one's home. The prefix im- placed before the word migration modifies the word to suit its functional requirement in the sentence. So the sentence should be read as " Chinese immigration to the USA.........."   




3. The new Mayor is “judgemental” and will take quick decisions to meet public     
    demands.

   Options : judgemental /opinionated/strong-minded



It is likely for someone “judgemental” to arrive at decisions favouring the public. People such as these are critical of other people’s ideas. And those “opinionated” are prejudiced : they may not do things in the interest of other people. The sentence will make more sense if in this situation it is reworded as “The new Mayor is “strong-minded”……..”  meaning one determined and with clear thinking.





4. Ann is so “proud” of her looks; she is forever craving for compliments.

   Options:  arrogant/proud/vain/conceited



The error in this case is at the lexical  level. Pride reflects our opinion of ourselves. Whereas it is vanity which makes people feel hollow and look for other people’s praise. So the sentence should be “ Ann is so vain about her looks……..”
Subjective use of synonyms has favourable and unfavorable conotations and therefore users  have to be cautious in their use. Arrogance is unfavorable, conceited, worse still is extreme arrogance.






Meanings of synonyms can usually have one of the three connotations : positive, negative or neutral. Our thoughts search for the suitable synonyms, their apt selection ensures the thoughts develop further. The higher our awareness of shades of meanings, the greater is our ability to create. As someone has rightly said."Jahan naa jaaye ravi, vahan jaaye kavi."













Article  by Sh Sharda Kaushik Diector Regional Institute of English Chandigarh ----The Tribune dated 15-3-2014.





MIND YOUR LANGUAGE—Punctuation for deriving deeper meaning.



“……….punctuation marks are the trafficsignals of language: they tell us to slow down, notice this,take a detour, and stop”-------------Lynn Trusse



Pauses work in tandem with voice modulation to complement word meaning in spoken and written discourse. While making it easy for us to read, they also inform us of what follows; a  surprise ,  a query or just the repeat. By the 18th century,the shapes of the punctuation and their uses, as we see them now, had been formalized. However despite the guidelines available their selection and placement can cause confusion at times distorting the meaning as illustrated below:

  1. When Jai Singh succeeded Abhay, Rana was absolutely thrilled.    


Due to misplaced comma above, a third person has been created in the situation where only two 
belonged and the message has got distorted. The third person Abhay is actually being succeeded by Jai Singh due to this error. If the comma is placed after succeeded, as was intended, the sentence will read as “When Jai Singh succeeded,……….” And Abhay Rana will be understood as one person who feels happy about Jai Singh succeeding.


   2.   Refrigerators, which are red in colour, have a strange design.



The sentence is incorrect in using the ywo commas since the writer wants to say that “some refrigerators” have a strange design and their colour is red.The writer wants to establish a separate class of refrigerators.By using commas, the writer ends up saying that “all refrigerators”  have a strange design and they are all red in colour.The sentence should be rewritten without commas to convey the intended meaning.


      3.   Members of the Doctors’ Association will visit the Senior Citizens’ Centre            today.


Since both “Doctors” and “Citizens” in the two phrases above are plural nouns with affiliation to certain institutions, they don’t  necessarily need the aphostrophe. The apostrophe is usually omitted in names of organizations like Ladies Hostel, Sailors’ Club and Officers’ Mess. The trend is more towards eliminating apostrophes. But phrases like Children’s  Festival use it since “Childrens” is not in an acceptable form.

          4.   Your attitude is your attitude. It determines how high you fly.


There is nothing wrong with the sentence above in terms of its meaning and grammar. Its problem has more to do with printing etiquette. The text is considered to be rude due to the use of all capital (all-caps) letters. According to a report published in The Wall Street Journal sometime back, even the US Navy Was planning to do away with the all-caps culture of communication, in vogue since the 19th century. The idea was to make it “more readable and less rude”. Netiquette prescribes the same norms. But acronyms like NATO, AIDS and abbreviations like BBC are always all-caps. For eye catching effects, signboards can follow the same trend.

Occasionally, some writers and linguists do raise their voice against items like the comma to brand a style of their own but almost always fail. Conventions in support of the punctuation stay strong since words derive deeper meaning from punctuation.


How important is punctuation --------
P.S.----

A sentence  without any punctuation:

The inspector said the teacher is a fool.

First method of Punctuation of the sentence:  

The inspector said,"The teacher is a fool."

Second method of Punctuation of the sentence :

"The inspector" said the teacher, "is a fool" 









(An Article by Sh Sharda Kaushik Director Regional Institute of English,Chandigarh, published in the newspaper, The Tribune dated 20-9-2014.)



MIND YOUR LANGUAGE ---   Practising Plurals



You may find lone mouse or a nest full of mice,But plural of house is houses, not hice.If the plural of man is always called men,Why shouldn't  the plural of pan be called pen?"



Besides using the regular -s or -es  ending to make a singular noun plural, English relies on some other techniques to pay the number game. Nouns like "music"  always occur in singular form but many others like "tongs" appear in pural form alone. Then there are words like " deer" ans "Focus" which donot give us the slightest idea of sound or spelling of their plurals. While deer remains the same but "focus " becomes "focuses" or "foci".



A few more examples follow:



1. The equipment, software and furniture in the language lab are a recent purchase. 


Words like "equipment, software "  and "furniture" fall in the category of uncountable nouns which do not have a plural form. 

But with certain expressions, they can become countable, as in "a piece of equipment/software"  and two pieces /two items of  furniture ". "information, advice, news and chewing gum" , all belong to this category.





2. The data is insufficient for the study.



" Data", the plural form of  " Datum" has also come to serve well as a singular noun, having more or less replaced " datum". "Data" is widely accepted in  its singular form in scientific contexts.  English in fact has several loanwords from Latin like "datum" and "medium" but there plural forms "data" and "media" have grown in acceptability as singular nouns too. Therefore weregularly read sentences like 

 " The media have covered the trial well" and also 
" The internet is an exciting media. " 


3. Julia has written a guide to manners and etiquette.


The two often go together but "etiquette" as an uncountable noun does not take the  -s ending, whereas "manners" reflecting social behaviour, always does. However whenever a reference is made   to the manner of doing something, "manner" can be used as a singular (manner) and a plural (manners), Many other words use or drop the  -s  ending depending upon their meaning. When "brain" stands for the organ , it can occur with or without the  -s ending to indicate its number but it always occurs with the -s ending to denote intellect.




4. A few major generals were promoted recently.


Nouns such as "major general ", which have two or more base words in the compounds can follow different rules of pluralisation.In "major generals" the first base word "major" modifies  the second base word and therefore gets to carry the-s ending. Just as in "baby sitters", "sitter"  becomes the key noun and is pluralized. The first element of son-in-law takes the plural element toread as sons-in-law because son has a greater meaning value in 
the compound noun. The same rule applies to "commanders-in--chief, rights-of-way" and "passers-by".



Not all nouns are rule-governed in the way they are pluralized. Numerous nouns defy logic in forming plurals and have to be learnt consciously and practised over a period of time.   a
                                                                                                             ----- Sharda Kaushik.




The Tribune Chandigarh Dated November 22,2014.MIND YOUR LANGUAGE-----Many Tales that words can tell ..........by Ratna Raman



Language is the most effective system for communication created by humans. It records and describes every activity performed by humans, establishing  very succinctly the truth of the adage"mind over matter". When we use language we are constantly transforming matter into words through the help  of sounds. The phrase "mind your language" outlines a series of responses ranging from instruction,order request and reprimand. Therefore  being mindful or careful of the words we use is an important part of our use of language."Mind your p's and q's " is an idiom that has  been around for a long time and its exact origin continues to be debated.It could have been addressed to children while teaching them to distinguish between the letters p and q in the alphabet, or perhaps to keep a tab on alcohol consumption in pubs where people drank in pints and quarts. It is now understood as an instructions akin to being on one's best behaviour  and saying "please and thank you".  ............................

The expression "Mind Your Language" works as an imperative when tying to curb the use of inappropriate un-parliamentary vocabulary. It is equivalent of "watch  your words." The most firm rebuke can be expressed by the phrase " mind your own business" cutting short of any kind of undue curiosity expressed over someone else's affairs. In all we  are required to exercise  a great deal of  mindfulness when we choose to  speak.