Structure: Sequence of Tenses


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about structure: sequence of tenses, etc. Enjoy the class!

COMPREHENSION: Listening Rudiments on Comprehension to Produce Main Points and Ideas in Speeches, Lectures or Discussions

Listening comprehension is the receptive skill needed to decode information in the oral mode. In other words, it has to do with the ability to understand what is being spoken to you. Unfortunately, as simple as these sounds, not many people can effectively listen to understand. This is a serious problem in the communication process that is often overlooked if not disregarded as a non-factor. However, to be an effective communicator, you must acquire the right listening skills and use them every time you are engaged in any form of verbal communication with people. Enumerated below are some of the rudiments to effective verbal comprehension.

1: Face the Speaker and Maintain Eye Contact: Do your conversational partners the courtesy of turning to face them. Put aside papers, books, the phone and other distractions. Look at them, even if they don’t look at you.

2: Be attentive, but relaxed: Now that you’ve made eye contact with the speaker, you have to stay relaxed and yet focused. In other words, you don’t have to stare consistently at the other speaker throughout the duration of his or her speech. You can look away now and then and carry on like a normal person. The important thing is to be attentive. The dictionary says that to “attend” another person means to:

Be present

Give attention

Apply or direct yourself

Pay attention

Remain ready to serve

3: Keep an open mind: Listen without judging the other person or mentally criticizing the things she tells you. If what she says alarms you, go ahead and feel alarmed, but don’t say to yourself, “Well, that was a stupid move.” As soon as you indulge in judgmental bemusements, you’ve compromised your effectiveness as a listener.

4: Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying: Allow your mind to create a mental model of the information being communicated. Whether a literal picture or an arrangement of abstract concepts, your brain will do the necessary work if you stay focused, with senses fully alert. When listening for long stretches, concentrate on, and remember, keywords and phrases.

6: Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions: When you don’t understand something, of course, you should ask the speaker to explain it to you. But rather than interrupt, wait until the speaker pauses. Then say something like, “Back up a second. I didn’t understand what you just said about…”

Comprehension: Irrigation

The passage is adapted from Small Scale Irrigation by Peter Stern. The sprinkler method of irrigation is discussed at length. The most common type of sprinkler used with portable systems is the rotating head sprinkler, consisting of a head, with one or two nozzles, which is rotated slowly by the action of the water passing through it, and which waters a roughly circular piece of land around the sprinkler.


Questions, Page 112

Vocabulary: Technical Words

The words related to irrigation are equipment, fields, hydraulic, trench, regions, tropical, sub-tropical, etc.


Vocabulary, Page 113

The Sequence of Tenses

In 1982, PZ’s Managing Director, Basil Sponddeas, who has spent/had spent/spends his entire life working in the company, retired/has retired. He is succeeded/was succeeded/has succeeded by George Loupos.

Where there is a choice of verbs in the above, select the appropriate one.


Practice 1, Page 91.

Consonant Clusters

The English Language permits some consonants to follow each other in a sequence without an intervening vowel in a syllable. When two or more consonants come together, they form a consonant cluster. This cluster can appear at the beginning of the syllable or the end.

In some words, it is not easy to identify consonant clusters by merely looking at the written form of the world. Such words manifest the clusters only when they are pronounced.

The following are examples:

Word                                             Correct Pronunciation

  1. new                                                          /nju:/
  2. few                                                           /fju:/
  3. cute                                                         /kju:t/
  4. tune                                                         /tju:n/
  5. view                                                         /vju:/
  6. stew                                                         /stju:/
  7. student                                                    /stju:dənt/

Clusters of two consonants at the initial position include

  1. play                                                          /plei/
  2. bright                                                       /brait/
  3. drain                                                        /drein/
  4. threat                                                       /θret/
  5. clan                                                          /klæn/
  6. hew                                                          /hju:/

Clusters of two consonants at the final position include

  1. Sacked                                                    /sækt/
  2. Washed                                                  /wכst/
  3. Marks                                                       /ma:ks/
  4. Maps                                                       /mæps/
  5. Lanes                                                       /leinz/
  6. Loaves                                                     /ləuvz/


Write the symbol of the consonants in a cluster in the following of words.

Clean, frog, human, begs, talked, dwell, eighth, thrice, cast, and shift.

General evaluation


  1. What are useful hints on answering comprehension questions?
  2. Give useful hints on understanding comprehension passages.

Speech Work

  1. Define consonant sounds.
  2. What are word stress, emphatic stress, and rhymes?


  1. Write an essay on ‘The day I will never forget’


In our next class, we will be talking about Figures of Speech.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

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