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Three words ‘a’ ‘an’ and ‘the’ are called articles.

Articles are of two types:

  1. Indefinite Articles
  2. Definite articles
  1. Indefinite Articles – ‘A’ and ‘An’ are weakened form of one and are called Indefinite Articles as they do not point out to any particular person or thing.
  2. Definite article – ‘The’ is called the definite article because it points out some definite or particular person or thing.

Use of Indefinite articles ‘A’ and ‘An’:

Use of indefinite article ‘A’;

  • Before a word beginning with a consonant sound:

  A boy, a pen

  • Before a word beginning with the sound ‘yu’

A university, a union, a unicorn, a usage, a European, a unicorn

  •  Before a word beginning with the sound ‘wu’

A one-pound note, a one-eyed monster

  •  Sounded ‘h’ words

A horse, a hero, a holiday

Uses of ‘An’:

  • Before words beginning with a vowel sound

     An orange, an umbrella, an eagle, an ass

  • Before words beginning with a silent ‘h

An honest man, an hour, an heir

  •  Before words beginning with consonant letters but having vowel sound

An M.P, an M.A, an M.L.A, an S.P, an S.D.O, an L.L.B, an F.R.C.S, an S.O.S, an N.G.O, an L.C.D.

  The letters (F.L.M.N.S) are pronounced with a vowel sound in some words.

  • Before a singular countable noun.

 I saw a girl skipping in the park.

  • Before a single countable noun which stands for a group.

A woman has to work to live. A dog needs care.

  • In certain expressions of speed ratio and price.

A dozen oranges. A lot of people. A great deal of hardwork ensures success.

  • In expressions of speed ratio price.

Rupees 50 a kilo. Twice a day. Twenty kilometres a litre.

Definite Article ‘The’

We  use ‘the’  when we mean a particular person or thing.

Use of definite article ‘The

a) When we speak of a person or thing for the second time.

     Eg. Take a chair.

    Take the chair near the window

b) When it is very clear what we are speaking about, we use the.

     Eg. The moon is shining in the sky.

      The telephone is ringing.

      The door of the study room is locked.

c) We use the with  names of:

  •  rivers, seas, oceans, canals, mountain ranges, group of islands.

The Ganga, the Indian ocean, the Himalayas, the Maldivies.

  • Deserts, forests,

       The Thar, the Kalahari, the Sundarbans, the Sherwood Forest

  •  Well known buildings, holy books, news papers.

The Taj Mahal, the Gita, the Telegraph, The Times

  •  Trains , ships, aeroplanes.

The Orient Express, the Titanic, the British Airways

  • Musical instruments

       The violin, the guitar, the piano

  •   Some countries which suggests accumulation of units.

    The U.S.A , the U.K,  the U.A.E. the Punjab, the Sudan

  •   With superlatives.

     The most beautiful, the biggest

  •   With ordinals.

    The first, the last

  • With directions

The East, the North, the South, the West

  •   Adjectives to denote the whole class.

    The rich, the poor.

  •   Before names of races, groups, and communities.

     The Hindus, the Chinese, the English

  •   Before a surname to refer to a family in plural.

    The Smiths, the Gandhis

  •  Before a known person or thing.

The flower looks beautiful. Pass the sugar please.

  •   Before the names consisting of noun + of + noun.

    The Bay of Bengal, the Bay of Naples.

  •   Before a noun made definite with a phrase/clause.

      The ship of the desert, The girl in the room.

  •   Before parallel comparatives.

      The more, the merrier. The higher you go the cooler it gets.

  • To make a proper noun common.

           John is the Einstein of his class.

           Mumbai is the New York of the East.

Before a noun to make emphasis.

This is the time to act.            He is the authority to do so.

Omission of the article

We don’t use the with

  • Proper nouns,                                    
  • Nouns that name materials,
  • Nouns that name abstract qualities.

       [  unless they have been made particular. ]

We need water for drinking.

The water we drink must be pure.

Kashmir is famous for its beauty.

The beauty of Kashmir is very famous.

The beauty of Kashmir is very famous.
Photo by Tayyab Khan


The Unknown Path

You see miracles, when you walk through nature ______________

I went out for my morning walk,
Sharp at seven today.
The crisp cool wind swept my hair;
As I went my way.

Squirrels scuttered, birds sang,
Trees waved in the breeze.
Happy clouds floated by;
Nature seemed so pleased.

I loved each moment of the morn,
Strolling through the woods.
The lonely path beckoned me;
It felt so calm and good.

I went along the lonely stretch,
Sceptical of the unknown.
The unknown soon became so dear,
That solitude became a boon.

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”

Vincent van Gogh

Simple Living, High Thinking

Simplicity has a beauty of its own.

The art of simple living is a forgotten art. There once was a time when leading a relaxed life was the norm. Life used to be the same for generations.  The peasant’s  son would be a peasant and a blacksmith’s  son a blacksmith.  Talent in profession was often inherited and hence easily acquired.  The outputs were also of exceptional quality as the techniques were time tested. The furniture or sculpture would be flawless; as, the minutest details were emphasised on by the trainer who was usually the father, grandfather or some acquaintance.

Leisure was ample, manufacturing being a time consuming job was limited to requirements.  Possessions were handed over by generations and were much valued. Extras being limited did not pollute the land which beamed with health and reflected it back on its inhabitants.

In short, life was simple. Less things, meant less hassle and less stress. With the change in times, we have lost the mind-set to live a simple life and enjoy the journey called life. The society has developed an atmosphere where a relaxed life almost seems like a crime. If a person likes to live a life of ease he would definitely go into depression, as the world around him is moving at an extremely rapid pace. The work accomplished per day has multiplied ten times over in the last three generations. Most of the time, the work is simply done because it will fetch money to spend on new acquisitions.  It would also mean that the old acquisitions will have to be discarded as there is hardly any space or need to keep them all.

Now where would these things, which cannot be kept in the house go? Naturally they would end up as trash in mountains of garbage that are being  piled up upon Mother earth without any fault of hers. These piles are non bio-degradable, and will not vanish with time. Each and every item that we buy with our hard earned money; sacrificing health, relations and priceless time, will end up in creating trash for the world.

The more you have, the more occupied you are. The less you have, the more free you are.

Mother Teresa

We will be leaving behind a world without fresh air water or anything worth living for. The diversion from simplicity is taking us to a destination where we don’t want to go. Yet, we are helpless… being socially pre-conditioned with an absurd set of expectations.

The huge skyrises, sleek cars, flyovers, industrial buildings will become an eye sore when they are obsolete and old. Many couples dread bringing children to this uncertain world. Yet, everyone contributes to the trash mountain in his or her own way…Every year, every month, every minute of the day.

It is the other living beings, the plants and animals, who are the major sufferers in spite of living the simplest life possible.  They do not waste water, add to carbon footprints, yet they have to die or become extinct because of effects of climate change.

The best things in life aren’t things.

The solution to a bleak future is adopting the lifestyle of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Simple living and high thinking.’ Eating simple food, doing physical work, reading a lot, doing good for the world; will not only keep us healthy and happy but will act as a balm for the earth’s malady.

Industrial and infrastructural development is not the only form of development.  True development will be eco-friendly and reverse the harm done in every sphere of the earth. This will only be possible if we lead a simple life and take from the earth only that much, which is essential for life. We cannot and should not go back to lifestyle of the olden days, but for the sake of our own well being, we should adopt the minimalist approach towards life.

Development is fine and necessary but it should not go beyond rationality. Every freedom comes with some duty. We should also remember out duty towards the earth, where we are merely the guests of time. If simplicity of life can bring about wellness for all. We are all winners. If we don’t spend much on unnecessary things we would also save a lot. Saving a lot would result in stress free life, resulting in good health.

One small positive change can bring about a chain of positive changes, and the end result will be bliss for all. Let the chain begin, by adopting a simple and happy  lifestyle, which will be a boon for the generations to come.

Live simply, so that others may simply live.

Rise YOURSELF higher!

In a Love World

Rise YOURSELF higher!

st.001.jpegPhoto Credit: Tofino Photography

Each of us knows the winds of the storms as they come upon us. See them as failure, tragedy and sickness. Usually, they are unexpected and higher than we believe we can endure them. No mater how they are, We can learn to use them for lifting us higher as eagle does. It uses the storm to lift it higher for it rises on the winds that brings storm.

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Hurrah! We have won the match.


An interjection is a word of exclamation, expressing a sudden feeling or emotion. They are rather marginal to language. i.e. They are not grammatically connected with any other word in a sentence.

Ah! The earthquake has destroyed many towns.

Hello! How are you?

Hurrah! We have won the match.

Alas! My dog is dead.

Oh! You scared me.

Hush! Don’t make a noise.

Ouch! I have hurt my leg.

Damn! I have lost this game.

Fie!  I am sick of you and your lies.

Wow! What a beautiful scenery it is!

Phew! That was a narrow escape.

Goodbye! See you later.

  • An interjection expresses a sudden strong feeling.


Interjections can be classified into three types.

Cognitive interjections   – these words give us information about the feelings of the speaker.

Wow! She is looking so pretty.

Emotive interjections – These words express emotions, like disgust, sorrow and fear.

Eww, What a stench!

Volitative interjections– These words act as imperative expressions commanding, requesting or demanding something from the addressee.

Hush! The baby is sleeping.

 Feelings                                          Interjections   

Surprise           –     [  Oh!   Oops!  Wow!   Gee!  What!  Boo!  Woah!   OMG!  Gosh!]

Disgust             –     [ Ugh!    Phew!     Tut-tut!      Damn!   Eww!    Yuck!  ]

Appreciation   –     [Bravo!   Encore!    Yeah!    Boo-yah!    Woo-hoo!    ]

Hatred /anger –     [Fie!      Pooh !       Hah!      Aargh!        Eek!     Rats! ]

Delight              –    [Hurray!    Cheers!     Yippee!   Bingo!    Yay!     ]

Attention         –     [Psst!     Yoo-hoo!   Hey!    Ahem!     Erm!

Greetings         –   [Goodbye!     Hello!     Hi!    Ho!    Hey!  ]

Sorrow              –  [Alas!     Ah!      Puff!     Oh!     Tsk-tsk!  ]

Onomatopoeia –    [Splash!  Bang!  Boom!  Crack!]

Pain                   –     [Ow!    Ouch!    Aah! ]

Making silent  –     [ Hush!    Shhh!  ]  

Affection          –     [ Mwah!]

Certain groups of words are also used as interjections.

Ah me!      Be quite!       Bless you!      Bloody hell!      Excuse me!      For shame!       Good gracious!    Good grief!      My goodness!       Oh God!   Oh no!     Oh dear!     Uh- oh!     Uh-huh!     Thank God!    What’s up?  Well done!          


Interjections primarily play an emotive function and are hence not usually used for academic or factual writing. These words may appear at the beginning, middle or at the end of the sentence.

Beginning of the sentence:

Wow! What a pleasant surprise.

Wow, what a pleasant surprise!

Middle of the sentence:

Look at her, my goodness, she is virtually flying!

This was certainly, my gosh, your best performance.

End of the sentence:

So it is raining again, huh?             

Hope to see you soon, goodbye!                                       

Crack! Went the thunder.


Patience brings rewards.

When you’re down and when you’re out,
You feel like dying and want to shout.
You want to run but you’re sick in bed;
From green to yellow, now lights are red.

Rest for a while, sport a false smile;
Taste of life, sometimes seems like bile.
But tarry a while and things will turn;
Once more your life, will seem like fun.

Happiness, sadness, dark and light;
Laughter, tears, friendship, fight,
Everything follows an eternal cycle,
Life’s experiences test your mettle.

Get through it with flying colours;
Happiness can’t be bought with dollars.
When things seem tough wait a while;
Then win the world, with a genuine smile.

Chandrayan – 2, A Lunar mission by Indian Space Research organisation

Chandra – means moon in sanskrit. Chandrayan – the mooncraft

Chandrayan- 2, created by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), is the 1st space mission to conduct a soft- landing on the moon’s South Polar Region, a region that is yet unexplored.

The moon being our closest cosmic body for space discovery is the best testing place to demonstrate the technologies required for future deep- space missions. It will also provide an invaluable linkage to Earth’s early history. The moon also contains an undisturbed historic record of the inner solar system environment. The Chandrayan -2 mission will therefore bring forth valuable data regarding space research. It will also look for evidence of water molecules below the lunar surface and atmosphere.

Chandrayan – 2 mission was approved by the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on 18th September, 2008. It was launched on 22nd July, 2019 at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Second Launch Pad. The lander Vikram was programed to soft land on moon’s South Polar Region on 7th September, 2019. and conduct scientific experiments for 1 lunar day, or 14 earth days. The orbital experiments were to continue thereafter for 1 year.

The lunar South Pole has long remained undiscovered, something that this mission is about to change. The South Pole is much larger than the lunar North Pole and there is an exciting possibility of presence of water in the permanently shadowed areas of the region. It also has craters that are cold traps and may contain a fossil record of the inner solar system. This mission will not only give a clearer picture of the earth’s past but will also pave the way for future deep space missions.

Chandrayan – 2 attempted to soft land Lander Vikram and Rover Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N at latitude of about 70o  South. However, at 1:51 am, Saturday, The lander Vikram went incommunicado just minutes before it was to land on the lunar surface. the communication was lost 2 km away from the moon. The lander had hard landed very close to the scheduled touchdown site. On Sunday the orbiter found the lander and clicked images of it in a tilted position but still intact. Though the signals remained elusive, efforts were on to establish communication.

ISRO Chairman K.Shivan announced on the 7th , that 90- 95% of the missions objective has already been achieved. The orbiter will now have a life span of over seven and half years and not a single year as there is still a lot of fuel left. Isro may later decide to lower the orbiters altitude to get better views of the lunar surface.

Pragyan rover pic from Isro site.

This mission is a remarkable example of ISRO’s technological sufficiency as it completely depends on home –grown technology.

  • The launcher used was GSLV Mark III, (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle). The GSLV Mark III is ISRO’s most powerful launcher, often hailed as ‘Bahubali’(The strong armed one).
  • The orbiter is placed in a 100 x 100 km lunar orbit.
  • The Lander, Vikram,( named after Vikram A. Sarabhai the father of Indian space program) was designed to execute soft landing on the lunar surface and was supposed to communicate with ISDN (Indian Deep Space Network) at Byalalu, as well as with the orbiter and the rover.
  • The rover – Pragyan (wisdom in Sanskrit)– was a 6 wheeled robotic vehicle that could travel upto ½ km and use solar energy. It was programed to conduct in–situ payload experiments.

The technology and algorithm are all proudly indigenous.

The ISRO and its missions have come a long way from the days when rocket parts were transported using bullock carts. It is a wonderful representative of the will to overcome all underpriviledges and emerge shining. In its ingenuity and self sufficiency, the mission of Chandrayan -2 proudly displays the fact that, as we reach for the moon, our future lies beyond the stars.

Pictures from Chandrayan- 2 form ISRO site.

Ref: Isro; TOI.

Infographic: Ways to Enrich your Writing

Nicholas C. Rossis

Many thanks to customwritingservice who produced the infographic and post below specifically for my blog, to help you hone your writing skills!

5 Ways to Enrich your Writing

Writing a story of fiction is the dream of many aspiring writers and even authors who have gone in different ways, such as poetry or nonfiction. Let’s face it, fiction is seductive! Inspiration comes when you least expect it, and suddenly your mind is dominated by universes and characters that don’t belong to our reality. It is the author’s job to navigate this wild territory of their imagination and to convey in engaging words their knowledge of this new world.

But with so many cluttered ideas in mind, knowing how to write a fictional story is not as simple as the first light of inspiration makes it seem. You must now write hard and with discipline, until you finish a work that…

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'Real happinesss is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit'
Hosea Balou
Happiness is enjoying little things in life.

We look for happiness here and there,

       In crowds , solitude, everywhere.

We search for it in lessons learnt,

     Our trials leave, no stone unturned.

Not knowing what we really need,

     Endlessly we fulfill our greed.

But, happiness lies in little things,

    Kindness, smiles and sweet nothings.

A merry morning, or summer rain,

   Fills us with peace and leaves no pain.

So look for joy in birds and trees

For, good things in life are always free.

Happiness is the best make up.
Drew Barrymore.


Apples, grapes and bananas are good for health.

A conjunction is a word which joins words, phrases or clauses. Conjunctions may also be called joining words.

Two and two makes four.

He will pass if he works hard.

Did you know that she has won the competition?

I cannot see how she can win.


Conjunctions are mainly of two types:

  1. Coordinating conjunctions
  2. Subordinating conjunctions

The third subtype is Correlative conjunctions.


Coordinating conjunctions are words which connect units of equal status and function (ie. Coordinate or independent clauses)

{Independent clause – a part of a sentence that makes complete sense}

Kamal and Dave are good friends.

She reached the station in time but the train was late.

[for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so (Fanboys)]are the main coordinating conjunctions. Some other  conjunctions are [ therefore, too,  either, , neither, however, nevertheless, so, then]

Coordinating conjunctions can be sub divided into four types.

  1. Cumulative orCopulative –   and, also, too, as well as, both…and

(These words merely add one statement to another)

I worked for a long time and did not rest.

  1. Alternative or  Disjunctiveeither…or, neither…nor.

(These words express a choice between two alternatives)

Either he is crazy or he is a genius.

  1. Adversative or Conjunctive Adverbsstill, yet, only, but, however, nevertheless, moreover, furthermore, otherwise, finally, consequently

(These words express opposition or contrast between two statements)

The tortoise was slow; however, he won the race.

  1. Illative  – therefore, for , so, then, so…then

(These words express an inference)

He must have neglected his studies; for he failed.


Subordinating conjunctions connect subordinate or dependent clauses in a sentence.

{ Dependent clause – part of a sentence that does not make complete sense on its own. It depends on the main clause to complete its sense.}

He failed to catch the train because he was late.

I cannot leave the shop until he comes.

[after, although, as , as if, as soon as, because, before, ere, if, how, like,  since, so that, that, than, till, though, unless, until, where, when , while, whither, why,] are subordinating conjunctions.

Subordinating conjunctions may be divided into different groups according to their meaning.

  1. Cause or Reasonbecause, as, since

As she was not at home, I came back.

  1. Conditionprovided, supposing, unless, as, if, whether

I will stay at home if it rains.

  1. Comparisonthat, as…as

He is as tall as his father.

  1. Contrastthough, although, however, even if

She may kill me, yet I will trust her.

  • Purposein order that, so that, that, lest

Oly practises hard so that she could win the prize.

  • Result or effect so…that

Sam sings so loudly that he never needs a microphone.

  • Time  – after , before, as soon as, as long as, since, till, until, while

He completed his work before he left.


Correlative conjunctions are conjunctions used in pairs.

As (so)….as  –  He is as brave as a lion.

 Both… and  –  She is both a writer and a soldier.

Either…or Either you word hard or fail.

Neither…norNeither Ron nor Rick agreed to do the shopping.

No sooner… than –  No sooner did she go out than it began to rain.

Such…as Such teachers as those inspiring students deserve respect.

Scarcely/ Hardly…when  –  I had scarcely began to read when the lights went off.

The same… as – Robert gets the same amount as his friend Bob.


Conjunctions, which merely join two parts of sentences must be distinguished from Relative Pronouns, Relative Adverbs and Prepositions, which also connect words and act as linkers but do more than merely joining sentences.

This is the masterpiece that Picasso painted. (Relative Pronoun)

Here that refers to the masterpiece and acts as a pronoun.

This is the place where Shakespeare was born. (Relative Adverb)

Here where modifies the verb was born and joins the two parts of the sentence.

Dina and Mina went to the market. (Conjunction)

Here and simply joins two parts of the sentence and does no other work.


Rule 1. In case of sentences having more than two words or phrases put comma after each item except the last one.

I like fish, meat, eggs and sweet.

Rule2. In case of only two words or phrases no comma.

He often visits orphanages and old age homes.

Rule 3. I case of two coordinating clauses joined by a conjunction, put comma after the first independent clause just before the conjunction.

Independent clause, conjunction independent clause.

I’m not very hungry, so I will not eat now.

Rule 4. In case of subordinating conjunctions put comma after the dependent clause only if it is followed by the independent clause.

Dependent clause,subordinating conjunction independent clause.

Independent clause subordinating conjunction dependent clause.

After her results, she joined the army. { She joined the army after her results.(no comma)}

Rule 5. In case of conjunctive adverbs, put semi colon (;) after the first independent clause and a comma (,) after the conjunction, just before the second independent clause.  

Independent clause; conjunctive adverb, independent clause.

He went to the station; however, he failed to catch the train.

Make hay while the sun shines.

Comments regarding improvements and modifications would be highly appreciated.

References : High school English Grammar; New Madhyamik Grammar and composition.