ENGLISHMiscellaneous English

IMPORTANT WORDS & EXPRESSIONS (Part-I)

IMPORTANT WORDS & EXPRESSIONS

Here are some of the very important words and expressions that a candidate of any competitive exam should understand to crack an exam with good marks. They will be very useful for the competitive exams of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) or Grade-II DASS Exam of the DSSSB, and other similar exams:

1. Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Exam Tier-I & Tier-II

2. Combined Higher Secondary (10+2) Exam (CHSL) Tier-I

3. SI in Delhi Police and CPO Exam Paper-I & Paper-II

4. Stenographers Exam

5. Grade-II DASS Exam conducted by Delhi Staff Subordinate Services (DSSSB)

Words and Expressions that are included here in this very post are:

1. Use of IT IS TIME

2. Use of USED TO

3. Verbs NEED and DARE

4. MARRY TO or MARRY WITH

5. WAIT and AWAIT

CHAPTER 2: IMPORTANT WORDS & EXPRESSIONS (Part-I)

1. Use of ‘IT IS TIME’

IT IS TIME can be used in the following two ways:

i) To mean that ‘correct time has arrived to do something (means one should start doing that)

For this meaning either we use TO-INFINITIVE or FOR + OBJECT + TO-INFINITIVE after it; e.g.

a) It’s time to leave.
b) It’s time for us to leave.

ii) To mean that it’s a little late; and therefore the person mentioned would have started doing what’s required

For this meaning we use a THAT-CLAUSE after it, and the verb of this clause is in the Past Simple Tense. Use of THAT, though, is not very necessary; e.g.

It is time that we left.
= It is time we left.

[Here the past ‘LEFT’ is correct. It means we are a little late to leave; we should have left by now.]

NOTE: Sometimes the word ‘HIGH’ or ‘ABOUT’ is added to emphasize the idea. If we want to emphasise, the above sentence can also be expressed like this:

It’s high time we left. OR It’s about time we left.

2. USED TO

USED can be used in the following two ways

i) Subject + Used to
ii) Subject + Be/Become/Get + Used to

i) Subject + Used to
to express a discontinued habit; e.g.

a) I used to take singing classes. (means I do not take them now.)
b) I used not to take singing classes. (means I take singing classes now)
c) Used I to take singing classes?

NOTE-I: We cannot make negative or interrogative using DO with USED TO. This use of DO is limited to conversation only; e.g.

INCORRECT: I didn’t use to take singing classes.
CORRECT: I usedn’t to take singing classes.

INCORRECT: Did I use to take singing classes?
CORRECT: Used I to take singing classes?

NOTE-II: Remember that USED TO has no present form. So for present habits or routines we must use the SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE (not USED TO); e.g.

INCORRECT: I use to go for a walk daily.
CORRECT: I go for a walk daily.

ii) Subject + Be/Become/Get + Used to
In this structure USED is an adjective and TO is a preposition, and followed by a noun/gerund (ing form); remember that the gerund is also a noun. Here USED means ACCUSTOMED. In other words you can say it’s used to talk about something that you are familiar with so that it doesn’t seems new or strange to you; e.g.

1. a) I am used to noise. (here NOISE is a noun).
b) I am used to working in a noisy room. (means I have worked in a noisy room, so the noise doesn’t bother me; I don’t mind it.)

2. a) I’ve gotten used to smart phones.
b) I’ve gotten used to using smart phones. (means after I have used them for a while I’ve found them quite easy to use.)

3. I got used to driving on the right when I was in America.

3. Need & Dare

Both of these verbs are called Semi-modal Verbs. They are called so because they can be used as both main verbs and modal verbs. NEED and DARE can only be used as main verbs in affirmative sentences, in negative and interrogative sentence both of them can be used as main as well as modal verbs.

i) NEED

As a main verb NEED takes full infinitives (TO+V1), and as a helping verb it takes bare infinitives (V1 without TO). NEED is a main verb in affirmative sentences, but in negative and interrogative sentences it’s main verb only when DO is the helping verb with it, otherwise it itself is the helping verb; e.g.

AFFIRMATIVE SENTENCES
I need to go to my doctor today in the evening. (The sentence is affirmative, so NEED is the main verb here. You see GO is to-infinitive.)

NEGATIVE SENTENCES
a) I do not need to go to my doctor today in the evening. (Here DO is the helping verb, therefore NEED is the main verb; so GO is to-infinitive)

b) I needn’t go to my doctor today in the evening. (DO is not there, so NEED itself is the helping verb here. So GO is bare infinitive.)

INTERROGATIVE SENTENCES
a) Do I need to go to my doctor today in the evening? (Here DO is the helping verb, therefore NEED is the main verb; so GO is to-infinitive)

b) Need I go to my doctor today in the evening? (Here NEED is the helping verb, so GO is bare infinitive)

NOTE-I: The modal NEED has no past form. Instead, we use DIDN’T NEED TO or DIDN’T HAVE TO in the past; e.g.

INCORRECT: I needed not to take my wife to the doctor.
CORRECT: I didn’t need to take my wife to the doctor. OR I didn’t have to take my wife to the doctor.

NOTE-II: When NEED is followed by a noun phrase or the gerund (ing form) in negative or interrogative sentences, we must use DO/DID with NEED; e.g.

INCORRECT: I needn’t a bag.
CORRECT: I don’t need a bag.

INCORRECT: Need my shirt washing?
CORRECT: Does my shirt need washing?

NOTE-III: When NEED is preceded by NO ONE, NOBODY, ANYBODY or any negative subject we use bare infinitive (V1 without TO); e.g.

a) Nobody need know the name of the person who made the complaint.
b) Not a word need change in this paper.

NOTE-IV: When words HARDLY, SCARCELY, ONLY are used with the verb NEED, it takes bare infinitive; e.g.

a) I need hardly say how happy I am to see you here. (SAY: bare infinitive)
b) You need only push this button to make this machine run. (PUSH: bare infinitive)

NOTE-V: When a negative or interrogative clause is in the beginning, NEED takes bare infinitive, e.g.

a) I don’t suppose I need meet him. (‘I don’t suppose’ is a negative clause.)
b) Do you think I need tell Rajat. (‘Do you think’ is an interrogative clause.)

NOTE-VI: When NEED is a modal verb, it doesn’t take S with it even if the subject is third person singular (he, she, it); e.g.

INCORRECT: He needs not do it.
CORRECT: He need not do it.

NOTE-VII: We don’t use NEED in the continuous; e.g.

INCORRECT: We are needing some milk.
CORRECT: We need some milk.

NOTE-VIII: When subject of NEED is a thing we use gerund (ing form) after it, we don’t use TO form; e.g.

INCORRECT: The cooker needs to be cleaned.
CORRECT: The cooker needs cleaning.

ii) DARE

Dare is both a main verb and a modal verb. DARE has two meanings:

A) challenge somebody
B) to be brave enough or rude enough to do something

A) DARE = challenge somebody

With this meaning, it is a main verb and requires an object, means it’s a transitive verb. If any verb is following it it’s TO-INFINITIVE (to+v1); e.g.

i) I dare you to swim across the lake.
ii) She glared at Ankur, daring him to disagree.
iii) Some snakes can bite but I dare you to hold this big snake.

B) DARE = to be brave enough or rude enough to do something

With this meaning, it can be used both as a main verb and a modal verb. As a main verb, it can be followed by a TO-INFINITIVE (to+v1) or an INFINITIVE WITHOUT TO (v1 without TO). As a modal verb, it’s followed by an INFINITIVE WITHOUT TO; e.g.

MAIN VERB
a) He doesn’t dare to say anything.
= He doesn’t dare say anything.

b) Does anyone dare to go there?
= Does anyone dare go there?

MODAL VERB
a) They dared not laugh. (DARE is the helping verb here, so LAUGH is bare infinitive)
b) Dare she tell him the truth? (DARE is the helping verb here, so TELL is bare infinitive)

NOTE-I: When DARE is preceded by NO ONE, NOBODY, ANYBODY or any negative subject we can use any infinitive, means either full infinitive or bare infinitive; e.g.

No one dares to disturb him.
= No one dares disturb him.

NOTE-II: Like other modals DARE when is a modal verb doesn’t take S with it even if the subject is third person singular (he, she, it); e.g.

INCORRECT: She dares not meet you.
CORRECT: She dare not meet you.

4. ‘MARRY TO’ or ‘MARRY WITH’

A) When MARRY means ‘to become the husband or wife of somebody’, and its use is in the active voice it’s used without a preposition (you cannot use WITH or TO or any other preposition after it in this use); e.g.

INCORRECT: He married to an Indian.
CORRECT: He married an Indian.

INCORRECT: Sonika is going to marry with Rohan.
CORRECT: Sonika is going to marry Rohan.

INCORRECT: He presented a ring to the woman and asked her to marry to him.
CORRECT: He presented a ring to the woman and asked her to marry him.

NOTE: In other words you can say MARRY (someone) is a transitive verb, means it has an object. So, do not say I married with someone. It is not correct. And do not say I married to someone. It is also incorrect.

Correct example: I married Sohan 3 years ago.

B) We use TO after MARRIED (not after MARRY), that too when MARRIED is an adjective or in the passive use; e.g.

i) Ritu is married to Kapil.
ii) I got married to Ram.

NOTE-I: Don’t use the preposition WITH after GET MARRIED or BE MARRIED. Use TO; e.g.

INCORRECT: A girl shouldn’t be forced to get married with a man she doesn’t like. CORRECT: A girl shouldn’t be forced to get married to a man she doesn’t like.

NOTE-II: TO after MARRY is also used when somebody performs a marriage ceremony of somebody with other; e.g.

The priest married Jatan to Reena in the church.

NOTE-III: TO after MARRY is also used when a parent or guardian finds a husband or wife for his/her ward, e.g.

Her parents married her to a tennis player.

COMPARE
i) I am married TO Rajan. (passive or adjectival use)
ii) I married Rajan. (active use)

C) WITH after MARRY can be used in the sense like this only:

I will marry with the consent of my family.

D) MARRY OFF
When we mean to find a husband or wife for someone we use OFF with MARRY; e.g.

i) They tried to marry their daughter off to a doctor.
ii) She was married off to the local doctor by the age of 16.
iii) The father seems relieved as he has married off both of his daughters.

5. Wait & Await

i) AWAIT
AWAIT = to wait for something that you expect to happen; it’s a transitive verb, so it must have an object; e.g.

i) I am awaiting your reply.
ii) She is awaiting a letter from her mother.
iii) They are awaiting the birth of their first baby.
iv) The bill is awaiting the approval of the government.

INCORRECT: We await for your reply and apologize for any inconvenience.
CORRECT: We await your reply and apologize for any inconvenience.

NOTE: The object of AWAIT is always a thing, not a person; e.g. I am awaiting your response. (BUT NOT I am awaiting you.)

ii) WAIT
WAIT = to stay in one place because you expect that something will happen

A) With WAIT + TIME we can use it with or without FOR; e.g.

i) Put a tea bag into the cup, then add water and wait a minute or two before taking it out.
= Put a tea bag into the cup, then add water and wait for a minute or two before taking it out.

ii) I phoned the head office but I had to wait five minutes before I spoke to anyone.
= I phoned the head office but I had to wait for five minutes before I spoke to anyone.

iii) We waited hours to get the tickets.
= We waited for hours to get the tickets.

iv) Can you wait five minutes?
= Can you wait for five minutes?

v) We’ve been waiting ages.
= We’ve been waiting for ages.

B) WAIT does not require an object. If it’s a person or thing after WAIT we use ‘WAIT FOR’; e.g.

i) We are all waiting for you. (not We are waiting you.)
ii) We have been waiting for ages.
iii) I have been waiting for a bus for two hours.
iv) We are waiting for his call. OR We are awaiting his call.

C) WAIT can also be followed by an infinitive; e.g.

i) The passengers were waiting to catch the bus.
ii) I am waiting to hear from him.

D) We can use WAIT on its own, but can’t use AWAIT like this; e.g.

INCORRECT: I’ll await until he arrives.
CORRECT: I’ll wait until he arrives.

 

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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