By Bashir Shu’aibu Jammaje
Education is the most powerful weapon, Nelson Mandela says, which we can use to change the world.
This article helps and inspires students to improve their English and encourage their interest in achieving their goals without needing to go off the course syllabus, however strict it might be.
It is divided into four segments: quotations and their explanation, proverbs, correct and incorrect English, and some tips to improve your English. All the segments are presented in twos.
Quotations and Their Explanation
Life without motivation is like sitting in a dark room with lots of fear inside. Here are two quotes that can motivate you in life.
“Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.” ─Napoleon Bonaparte
Explanation: Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821), was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution.
He dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. His wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide, and he is considered one of the greatest commanders in history.
Well, we all sometimes have powers of doing what we wish for. We just need to realise our hidden talents. Long time ago, it was impossible to make a journey in the air, but we can do it today!
“I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan
Explanation: Michael Jordan (born February 17, 1963 ), is an American former professional basketball player and the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association(NBA).
He played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with Chicago Bulls. He is arguably one of the best basketball players of all time. Surely, life is a great teacher. Never forget that the failures are the pillar of success. Some people give up after facing failure. Don’t do that!
Proverbs and Their Meanings
There is a proverb for almost any situation. It a wise saying that gives some advice about life.
Once bitten, twice shy.
Meaning: it is used to say that if you have failed or been hurt once, you will be more careful next time(wanda maciji ya sara idan ya ga tsumma sai ya razana in Hausa).
There is no (such thing as a) free lunch.
Meaning: used to say that you cannot get anything without working for it or paying for it (ba’a aikin banza a Kano in Hausa).
Correct and Incorrect English
We all make mistakes when we are learning English as a Second Language, along the way. Of course, it is inevitable.
The important thing is to learn from the mistakes so you become a more confident, capable speaker and writer.
Incorrect use of “also” instead of “either”
Incorrect: Isa does not eat beef, and I do not eat it also.
Correct: Isa does not eat beef, and I do not eat it either.
Incorrect: Habu did not get a good mark in the test, and his brother did not also.
Correct: Habu did not get a good mark in the test, and his brother either.
Note: use “either” after the preceding of ‘not’ ─ not “also”
Words and Their Meanings and Examples in Sentences
Words are of paramount importance to our lives. Voltaire once said, “Language is a very difficult to put into words.”
What is the best way to learn new words? Sound them out, The Seattle Time reported. Researchers found sounding words slowly helps people memorize new words easier.
Heavy and difficult to move
What a cumbersome generator!
Cumbersome also means words or phrases that are long and complicated
Soyinka uses cumbersome words in his writings.
Requisite/‘rekwizit/ (adjective)Needed for a particular purpose (=necessary).
He didn’t have the requisite skills.
Requisite as a noun, also means something that is needed for a particular purpose.
What is the requisite for getting the job?
Tips to Improve Your English ─ Hester
If you get nervous when speaking, take two deep breaths before you say something. You will speak better when you feel relaxed.
You are never too young or too old to start learning English. If you do try your best, you will succeed. Do not make excuses not to learn.
Thank you for reading and remember ─ practice is key!
Bashir Shu’aibu Jammaje writes from Kano State and can be reached on