English Guide: Practical Tips for Better English Communication

article thumbnailWhen it comes to learning spoken English, many people often mistake the purpose of the learning. They tend to think that acquiring English speaking skills is about speaking with a British or American accent. They couldn’t be farther from truth. The true purpose should be to learn to speak English correctly, fluently, confidently and in manner that the listener understands the communication without much difficulty.      Too much emphasis is laid on...
article thumbnail  In a recent article, we wrote about the difference between improve and improvise and how to use these two similar terms appropriately. Continuing this series on using similar-sounding English words correctly, let us consider the use of the words “affect” and “effect”.  Both terms  mean “impact” or “result” of something, but their usage  varies depending on the context in which they are being used.     Affect The word “affect” is generally used in the...
article thumbnailEnglish language has plenty of words that seem very similar but mean very different. It is quite easy to ignore the subtle difference in the words themselves and consider them to mean the same thing. This results in incorrect usage of the words when writing or speaking in English, which may confuse the listener or create a negative impression about your English Communication skills. Let’s focus on two words, improve and improvise; the former is a...
article thumbnailSomeone has rightly said, “In the mundane, nothing is sacred. In sacredness, nothing is mundane.” Mundane is boring. There comes a time when you feel saturated with the routine tasks you are doing and you feel like doing different and challenging things. Your ardent desire to take up additional work and prove your worth overwhelms you. But this needs to be communicated effectively to your boss. Your boss should be aware that you are geared up...
article thumbnailGratitude is of vital importance in human life. We need to thank people who have, directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly, made a positive change in our life. ‘Thank You’ is the least that we can say. So never shy away from that. In professional life too, gratefulness is of utmost importance, especially when someone has helped you climb up the career ladder.       It’s your promotion party and you have to give a thank you speech – this...
article thumbnail  We all have encountered situations wherein there were unavoidable or unforeseen circumstances because of which we had to extend our leave. For example, sickness, family issues, marriage etc. Now here comes the uncomfortable question – how to ask the boss for a leave extension. Quite tricky, huh?     When you are already on leave and then you have to request for extension of leave, it should be done in such a way that it is granted without much...
article thumbnailIn the US, 24th of September each year is marked as the World Punctuation Day. That there is a separate day honouring proper punctuation, indicates its importance in ensuring the correctness and beauty of the English language.       Examples galore of how the complete meaning of a sentence can change with the incorrect use of punctuation. Here are three examples from a blog post that highlight this aspect.   “We’re going to learn to cut and paste...
article thumbnailA few months back, a video of a job prospect venting out his frustrations on having to speak in English at job interviews, went viral. The protagonist of the video, a youngster, who could speak English fluently was angry that he was always asked to speak in English, and he let out his frustration with a series of expletives in Hindi. The fact that the video went viral and was shared by a large audience in the country, especially among...
article thumbnailMan is a social animal. We cannot survive in isolation. Also, we all crave for love and attention, no denying that. We are constantly expanding our social network. Be it personal or professional life, networking is of utmost importance to us: Social networking, for getting love and affection, and professional networking for career enhancement.       In this competitive world, we cannot lounge around waiting for opportunities to knock at our door. We...
article thumbnailSomeone has rightly said, “Good conversation starts with good listening”. Our teachers have often told us that we wouldn’t learn anything new from talking but we will definitely learn something new from listening. How true! There’s a lot of buzz about spoken English these days, but people tend to forget that English listening is also an integral and inseparable part of English communication, which cannot be overlooked.No wonder then the...
article thumbnailIndia is undergoing a digital revolution. The country has embarked on the ‘Digital India’ movement that has been officially promoted by the Indian government. It is therefore not surprising to see a jump in career opportunities in the field of digital marketing, especially search engine marketing (SEM). This field attracts a lot of freshers and young job aspirants. Having good English skills will enable a person to take advantage of the growing...
article thumbnailGood manners will open doors that the best education cannot.” Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything.People all over the world are judged, liked, disliked, remembered or looked down with contempt based on their manners. Good manners speak a lot about your personality.       It is imperative that you display your best behaviour when you are in a public place especially when eating out.  When you walk into a restaurant you don’t want to...
article thumbnailGood teamwork is essential not only for the growth of any organisation but also for the personal growth of individuals in the organisation. An essential component of achieving good team bonding is when team members express positive thoughts about fellow team members to them directly.  Sincere compliments and praise go a long way in making a person feel good and feel motivated to perform better for the team and the organisation.     There are a...
article thumbnailAt the outset, let us state that we hope you never have to apply for a compassionate leave. However, the reality is that most of us, at some stage of our life, end up having to request for such leaves. This article is written to specifically help you in case of such an eventuality.     Before we get into the mechanics of applying for compassionate leave, let us first understand what is compassionate leave. It is leave granted to an employee upon...
article thumbnailThe use of idioms in regular communication serves to add more ‘colour’ to the communication and makes it more interesting and engaging. Therefore, it is quite common to see the usage of lots of English idioms, especially sports-related idioms, in any office communication. As a young professional, adapting yourself to an office environment, it will help to not only be familiar with some of the common idioms but also learn to use them in your...
article thumbnailThe Indian IT & ITES industry has been one of the major employers of the young, educated workforce in the last two-three decades. The demand for qualified manpower in this sector with diverse technical skills continues to be high. Many IT professionals therefore believe that their technical skills such as programming will be good enough to give them a good and long, successful career. This is far from the truth. Excellent English communication skills...
article thumbnailThis is another article written specifically to help visitors to our blog avoid some common grammar mistakes and improve their spoken English skills. In this piece, we will focus on a common mistake that we keep hearing and reading from so many English speakers these days: the use of “one of the….” in sentences.   To start with, let us take some examples of the type of sentences that you may come across in everyday conversation. Pay specific...
blackboard Two important aspects of any language are the grammar and the vocabulary. While you focus on improving your English vocabulary, it is also important to ensure that you work on grammar as well.The truth is that grammar is the foundation and the building block for becoming proficient in English, while vocabulary lends beauty to the language.It is also true that fixing grammar issues is more challenging than building on your vocabulary. So, the...
english-can-may An important aspect of communication between any two individuals is seeking and obtaining permission to carry out any specific activity or task. Right from our childhood and school days, we have been taught to ask permission from our parents or teachers, whether this is to take or do something. Whether you will be successful in getting the permission, depends on the way you ask. Here are some key considerations to bear in mind. Be polite when you...
Welcome speech When you join a new office, it is likely that you will be given a formal or informal welcome. Depending on the size of the organisation, this may involve small or large groups of colleagues, including your managers.  The purpose of these welcome meetings is to speed up your ‘integration’ into the organisation by acquainting yourself with colleagues and the work they do. It is also to ease your nerves, make you comfortable and feel welcome into...
article thumbnailThe size of your vocabulary is one of the indicators of your command of the language. Having a large vocabulary does not automatically guarantee that one is a good communicator- because the appropriate usage of the vocabulary is even more important- but it certainly helps to have it than not. The reasons are not too difficult to understand. A big English vocabulary is empowering because it gives the freedom to use different words at appropriate times....
report by LinkedIn The nature of work is changing, and pretty fast at that! The pace of adoption of digital technologies is such that one can be rendered obsolete very quickly. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are taking over a lot of functions that previously relied on human beings, and very few professions can be considered immune to the conquest by technology. This raises serious questions on what skills will keep professionals valuable to their...
Learn-to-speak-up-in-office-meetings ‘If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skilfully, you can work miracles’. Office meetings provide a great platform for an employee to make oneself visible and be heard. The success of any meeting lies in the effectiveness of the ideas communicated. Thus it becomes imperative that you should speak effectively and make people take note of you. These meetings should be viewed as an opportunity to showcase your abilities. If you...
IELTS IELTS examination is a near-mandatory doorway that people, planning to study or work overseas in countries where the main language of communication is English,have to get through. Similar to an entrance test for certain professional courses or government institutions, the IELTS test aims to determine the proficiency of candidates in the English language. The evaluators use this test to identify different facets of English communication amongst...
funny idioms Idioms make a sentence feel lively. When you use idioms in a sentence, it adds a humorous element and make you look like a native speaker. Native speakers use more idioms and phrases in order improve their English communication skills. Knowing the correct meaning and proper usage can make you a pro in the English language.Idioms are figurative in nature and cannot be considered literal. In today’s blog, we will explain funny idioms that one...

Fractions - An Introduction


What is a Fraction?


We define fraction as a part of a whole number or fractions are for counting part of something. For example, we have a pizza which is to be shared among 4 friends so what is the share for each friend?

Below figures represent pizza and the share for one person respectively.



Types of fractions

•    Proper fractions

•    Improper fractions

•    Mixed fractions
Proper Fraction – A fraction, whose numerator is less than the denominator is called Proper Fraction.
 For example – 7/9, 3/11
Improper Fraction – A fraction whose numerator is greater than the denominator is called Improper Fraction.
For example – 17/5, 47/31
Mixed Fraction - A combination of a whole number and a proper fraction is called a Mixed Fraction.
For example – 2 3/5, 7 4/15

Conversion between Improper and Mixed fractions

In order to convert a mixed fraction into an improper fraction, we may use the following formula:

Improper Fraction = (Whole Number X Denominator) + Numerator

For example – 3 2/5 = 3 X 5 +2 = 15 +2 = 17                                                  
                                      5         5       5
Now, to express an improper fraction as a mixed fraction, we first divide the numerator by denominator and calculate the quotient and remainder and then we write the mixed fraction as

For example – 19      = 4 ¾                     [Quotient = 4, Remainder = 3]

Fractions – Standard Form

Types of fractions used in reducing fractions to their lowest or standard form

Equivalent Fractions – A given fraction and various fractions obtained by multiplying (or dividing) its numerator and denominator by the same non – zero number, are called Equivalent fractions.
For example – 3 X 2 = 6,   3 X 3 = 9,    3 X 4 = 12
                      4 X 2    8   4 X 3   12     4 X 4      16

Like Fractions – Fractions having the same denominators are called like fractions.
For example – 2, 7
                     15 15

Unlike Fractions – Fractions with different denominators are called unlike fractions

For example – 2, 7
                     13 24

How to write fraction in its standard form

Fraction In Lowest Terms – A fraction is in its lowest terms if its numerator and denominator have no common factor other than 1.

For example - Reduce 144
First we find the HCF of 144 and 180 by factorization method.
The factors of 144 are: 1,2,3,4,6,8,9,12,16,18,24,36,48,72and 144
The factors of 180 are: 1,2,3,4,5,6,10,12,15,18,30,36,45,60,90 and 180
The common factors of 144 and 180 are: 1, 2, 3,4,6,12,18 and 36
So, HCF of 144 and 180 is 36.
Dividing numerator and denominator by the HCF of 144 and 180 i.e., 36
Now, 144    = 144 ÷ 36 = 4      
        180       180 ÷ 36   5

Comparing Fractions

Comparing Fractions – In order to compare fractions, we may use the following steps:
•    Find the LCM of the denominators of the given fractions.
•    Convert each fraction to its equivalent fraction with denominator equal to the LCM obtained in step 1.
•    Arrange the fractions in ascending or descending order by arranging numerators in ascending or descending order.
For example, which is larger ¾ or 5/12?
Let us first find the LCM of 4 and 12.
We have,
2  4   12
2  2     6
3  1     3
    1     1

LCM of 4 and 12 is 2 X 2 X 3= 12

Now we convert the given fractions to equivalent fractions with denominator 12.
3 = 3 X 3 = 9
4    4 X 3   12
We know that 9 > 5
9 > 5         3 > 5
12  12       4     12

Conversion of unlike fractions to like fractions

To convert unlike fractions to like fractions we follow the following steps:
•    Find the LCM of the denominators of the given fractions.
•   Convert each of the given fractions into an equivalent fraction having denominator equal to the LCM obtained in previous step.

For example – Convert the unlike fractions 7/6, 5/9 and 5/12 into like fractions.
We have, LCM (6, 9, 12) = (3 X 2 X 3 X 2) = 36
Now, 7 = 7 X 6 = 42 ; 5 = 5 X 4 = 20 ; 5 = 5 X 3 = 15
        6     6 X 6    36   9     9 x 4    36  12   12 X 3   36
Clearly, 42/36, 20/36 and 15/36 are like fractions.

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