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Posted at: Oct 10, 2018, 12:42 AM; last updated: Oct 10, 2018, 12:45 AM (IST)KNOW YOUR ENGLISH

The power of two

The power of two

Sharon Philip

They say English is a funny language. Its spelling, for example, is never in black and white — often the pronunciation is completely different from how a word is spelt. Its grammar can seem confusing, making non-native learners blow hot and cold over learning it. Indeed, any person that takes up English as a foreign or second language sooner or later has to encounter its frustrating quirks.

Let’s look at one of the more unique sets of phrases in English called Binomials. These are basically a combination of two words used together. Though they exist in all languages, in English they are rather unique. Learning them is essential for attaining a native-like fluency of the language. Here are a few of the most common ones:

1 Give and take – This means mutual concessions or compromises.

2 Pick and choose – This means select only the best from a number of alternatives.

3 Peace and quiet – This means tranquillity and freedom from disturbance.

4 Here and there – This means in different places.

5 Back to front – This means something or things have been arranged the he wrong way or in an illogical manner.

Choose the appropriate binomial phrase and complete the sentences below.

1 There has to be ________________________ on both sides for the deal to work.

2 He’s so successful he could _______________ from the world’s most beautiful women.

3 I moved away from the big city to find some ____________________ in my retirement.

4 We find rare books in used book stores_____________.

5 The young and inexperienced mechanic fitted the exhaust pipe _____________________ on my car.

— Inputs from Sharon Philip, Enguru App


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