My Biggest Fear

Vocabulary | Literature | Pronunciation

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

Literature

Some students like to sit back and listen to some interesting English. It doesn't get much more interesting than some of the old classics from English literature. These Activities have been created to help you get the best from the vocabulary found in some of the old classics. As you listen and read your way through these Activities, you will also broaden your understanding of English culture.

Pronunciation

No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then your English won't be much good as a means of communication. You might be good at grammar, have a broad vocabulary, and be able to explain all the aspects and tenses of English, but it's not much good if you can't be understood when you speak. I have designed these Activities to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.

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We all seem to be worried these days. We're worried about the coronavirus. We are worried about the effects of the virus on the economy. We are worried about our futures. Worries are a natural human response to circumstances which arise because, unlike most other animals, we are capable not only of agonising over the past, but also of looking into the future and thinking about how things might be. This human curse has a rich vocabulary enabling us to talk about our fears, worries, and concerns with others for, after all, a worry shared is a worry two people have got, and troubles are easier to bear if you know you are not alone in facing them. This lesson aims to help you with some of the vocabulary concerning worries and fears.

If I want to know your worries or concerns, I could ask: What’s your biggest fear? What’s your greatest fear? What’s your worst fear? What’s your biggest worry? What are you most afraid of? What are you most concerned about? What keeps you awake at night? Your Replies You might answer my questions in any of the following ways: I’m worried about… I’m afraid… I can’t stop thinking about… I can’t help thinking about… I’m worried sick about… …has been keeping me awake at night. I’m scared to death that… …is the least of my concerns. Pointless! Many great minds throughout history have pointed out that worry is ultimately pointless. I’ve gathered here a few of their wise words in the hope that they may not only assuage your fears somewhat but may also teach you some vocabulary. Don’t Worry be Happy! There is nothing so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness it is in your expecting evil before it arrives! Seneca—Epistolae Ad Lucilium. XCVIII. Unnecessary Evils! How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened! Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, Apr. 8, 1816. Illuminating Retrospect! Everyone remembers the remark of the old man at the point of death: that his life had been full of troubles most of which had never happened. Winston Churchill, Pall Mall magazine, 1924. The Human Curse Personally, I would like to say that I have seldom wasted my time worrying about things that might happen. Yet, even though I’ve gone through life with an optimistic outlook, tending to look at the positives in whatever life has brought me, I still, nevertheless, am cursed with the same curse that all humans are possessed of; the ability to imagine what the future may bring. It is this curse that provokes in us the dispiriting tendency to dwell on troubles that have not yet happened to us and which, in all likelihood, probably will not happen to us. Only Human! Self-Pity I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. D.H. Lawrence Of Mice and Men… In Robert Burn’s poem, To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest With the Plough, November, 1785, the poet ends by telling the mouse: Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me The present only toucheth thee: But, Och! I backward cast my e'e. On prospects drear! An' forward, tho' I canna see, I guess an' fear!  

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