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English Guide: Practical Tips for Better English Communication

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 thumbnail English 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 thumbnail Someone 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 thumbnail Gratitude 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 thumbnail A 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 thumbnail Man 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 thumbnail Someone 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 thumbnail India 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 thumbnail Good 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 thumbnail Good 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 thumbnail At 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 death...
article thumbnail The 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 thumbnail The 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 thumbnail This 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 the...
article thumbnail The 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....
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 must...
English idioms for office As you get used to working in a company, chances are that you will often encounter idioms (phrases whose meanings are not obviously based on the individual words used) from your peers or bosses. Many of these are so overused that they have become clichés, but it is important that you understand these to get a clear idea of the context of the statement. While there are countless idioms that may be used in the workplace, let us just touch upon...
Sports Idioms Work is, in many ways, like sports. The ups and downs, the winning and losing, the planning and preparation, the execution and the myriad emotions- they all mirror what happens on a playing field. In fact, some career experts suggest that one should treat our jobs as a game we love, and work will be so much more enjoyable, productive and fulfilling. No wonder we have so many idioms in the English language that are related to sports. While these...

Heat and Temperature

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Introduction to Heat and Temperature

What is Heat?

heat_1Heat is the form of energy of an object that is due to the movement of its atoms and molecules. These are continuously moving around, hitting each other and other objects. When we add energy to an object, its atoms and molecules move faster, which increases its energy of motion or heat. Even objects that are very cold have some heat energy because their atoms are still moving. `Cold' is not a physical thing. It does not move from place to place, it is just the word for a relative lack of heat, just as dark is the word for a relative absence of light.



What is Temperature?

Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a body. Or, you could also say, temperature is a measure of the average heat or thermal energy of the particles in a substance. Since temperature is an average measurement, it does not depend on the number of particles in an object. In that sense, it does not depend on the size of the object. For example, the temperature of a small cup of boiling water may be the same as the temperature of a large pot of boiling water, even though the large pot is much bigger than the cup and has millions and millions more water molecules.

heat_2We experience temperature every day. When it is very hot outside, when we have a fever and feel hot, and when it is snowing outside and we feel cold. When we boil water, we wait for the water temperature to increase, and when we make popsicles, we wait for the liquid to become very cold and freeze.
                              
A heat flow diagram showing the heat flowing from the warmer water into the cooler ice  cube.

It is heat that will increase or decrease the temperature. If we add heat, the temperature will become higher. If we remove heat, the temperature will become lower. Higher temperatures mean that the molecules are moving, vibrating, and rotating with more energy.



Detecting Heat

There are many ways to detect heat. The method chosen often depends on what heat source we are trying to measure. For example, the way we detect heat in the air is different from how we detect heat from a fire or heat from objects in deep space.

Heat is measured in quantities called joules (pronounced the same as jewels) in the metric system, and in British Thermal Units (BTU) in the English system. Heat can also be measured in calories.



Measuring Temperature

Many devices have been invented to accurately measure temperature, which all started with the establishment of a temperature scale. This scale transformed the measurement of temperature into meaningful numbers.

If we want to understand what temperature means on the molecular level, we should remember that temperature is the average energy of the molecules that compose a substance. The atoms and molecules in a substance do not always travel at the same speed. This means that there is a range of energy (the energy of motion) among the molecules. In a gas, for example, the molecules are traveling in random directions at a variety of speeds -- some are fast and some are slow. Sometimes these molecules collide with each other. When this happens the higher speed molecule transfers some of its energy to the slower molecule, which causes the slower molecule to speed up and the faster molecule to slow down. If more energy is put into the system, the average speed of the molecules will increase and more thermal energy or heat will be produced. So higher temperatures mean that a substance has higher average molecular motion.


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