Quote of the week

No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined.
No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunnelled.
No life ever grows until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick ( Living Under Tension )

Everything Simplified

Important Prepositions You Should Know

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Prepositions are words which begin prepositional phrases. A prepositional phrase is a group of words containing a preposition, a noun or pronoun object of the preposition, and any modifiers of the object. -Townson
I'm bringing you some very important prepositions which everyone should know especially if one is not a native speaker of English language.

Commonly Used Prepositions
Abstain fromAccount for
Accuse ofAccustomed to
Adapted toAddicted to
Approve ofAssociated with
Aware ofBenefit from
Blame forCapable of
Compatible withComposed of
Consist ofContent with
Contrary toContribute to
Convert toCope with
Count onDedicate to
Dependent onDeprived of
Derive fromDevoid of
Devote toDiffer from
Distinct fromDistinguish from
Emerge fromEqual to
Exempt fromExposed to
Famous forFed up with
Focus onGet rid of
Hinder fromIndifferent to
Infer fromInsist on
Involve inIrrespective of
Keen onLead to
Notorious forObliged to
Obsessed withOppose to
Peer atPersist in
Prevent fromProne to
Recover fromRefrain from
Respond toResponsible for
Short ofSpend on
Stem fromSucceed in
Suffer fromSuperior to
Susceptible toTend to
Vote forWorry about
Yield tofond of

Let's now move one step further and learn about using prepositions according to certain rules.

For time
PrepositionsUsageExamples
agocertain time in past5 days ago, 56 minutes ago
atnight
weekend
specific point of time
-
-
at 10:04 am
beforeearlier than specific timebefore 2010
byup to a specific timeby 10 o'clock
fortime periodThe cabinet is elected for 5 years.
inmonths
seasons
time of day
after a period of time
year
in March
in Spring
in the morning
in 3 hours
in 2016
ondays of the weekon Friday
pastfor telling time19 past ten
sincefrom a specific timesince 1992

Prepositions for Places/Positions

Positions of red ball with respect to the box/black ball

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Life in a Biologist's View

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This is probably one of the deepest questions man can ask and one of the greatest mysteries facing him.
Scientists have discovered that all living things are made of a material called protoplasm. They can make a chemical formula for protoplasm, and they can take molecules of various elements and compounds to put them together and make materials like protoplasm. But the materials they make are not alive!
All man can do is examine the living creatures on earth, in all sizes and shapes and wherever they live, and find what it is they have in common. Then we can say that these common qualities make up life.
Let's see what these qualities are.

Growth

All living things must be able to grow. They grow to a fairly definite size and shape. A kitten becomes a cat; an acorn becomes an oak tree and so on. For some living things, it takes a short time to grow to full size but this is not the case for every living organism; a redwood tree may take thousands of years.

Repairers

All living things, being alive, can repair and replace parts of themselves. A lobster can grow a new claw; human beings can grow new skin or bones; trees grow new leaves and branches.

Reproduction

Another characteristic shared by living things is the ability to reproduce. If this ability didn't exist, living things would have disappeared from the earth as they grew old and died. Animals, fish, birds, insects, plants-all produce offsprings.
Do you know?
     Viruses have all the qualities of non-living things, but they can reproduce. For this reason they are considered to be a link between living and non-living things.

Environmental Behaviour

Living things are capable of adapting the environment they live in. Man can do this better than any other creature because of his brainpower. But plants can do this only to a limited extent.

Response

Living things can also respond to stimuli which means if something outside of them affects them, they react. When we smell food, we respond; flowers grow towards the light.
This doesn't tell you what is life, but it does describe the qualities that things must have to be considered alive.

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Reforms Brought by Mustafa Kamal in Turkey

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Mustafa Kamal Pasha
Image Source: Wikipedia
Mustafa Kamal Atatürk was the founder and the first president of the Republic of Turkey. He liberated the Turkish nation not only from the external enemies but from the internal enemies as well. He pushed back the Allies and abolished the Sultanate. Similarly, his reforms made Turkey a thoroughly progressive democratic republic. This article accounts for his efforts in a piled-up manner.

History

After the WWI, Turkey was under the control of Allied forces. The Sultan (of Ottoman Empire) and old liberals were merely puppets whose strings were controlled by the occupation forces. The Sultan considered it the best option for Turkey to collaborate with the conquerors.
The Sultan sent Mustafa Kamal to Anatolia as a Governer General in order to crush the rebellion led by Kiyazim Karabekar. However, Mustafa Kamal had other plans. As soon as he reached Anatolia, he met Ali Faut, the commander of a small army corps, and sketched out a resistance plan. It was decided that they should form a National Army. The summary of this meeting can be described as:
As the Sultan and the Central Government are in enemy hands, we must set up some temporary government in Anatolia.
Remarkable efforts were put up for this cause. Leading Patriots hid or escaped into Anatolia, where they made straight for Ankara to join Mustafa Kamal. There on the 23rd of April, 1920 the revolutionary Turkish Grand National Assembly met with Mustafa Kamal as President.
Don't miss: Who Was Bolivar?

Reforms

Mustafa Kamal
Image Source: Wikipedia
After abolishing the Khilafat, Mustafa Kamal took over as the first President of new Turkey. He brought many revolutionary reforms in the Turkish system for which he is known as "Atatürk" meaning Father of the Turks. Some of his efforts are described below:

Removal of Illiteracy

Before Mustafa Kamal's accession to power, state education was unknown to the country. He took the gigantic task of educating the masses as well as training the teachers. The first step in revoming illiteracy was to simplify the "script" by replacing the old (Arabic) script with the Roman script. He himself visited towns and villages, chalk in hand, teaching how to use the new script.

Empowering Women

On assuming power, Mustafa Kamal decided to liberate women by abolishing veil. He was well aware of the importance of educated women for a nation. He encouraged women to educate themselves for their better future. He emphasized the need for women to play their role in country's progress working side by side with men folks.

Change in Dresses

Atatürk abolished wearing fez which was Greek in origin. However, he made it compulsory to wear Western hats. This reform was necessary to remove all the traces of the past slavery during the days of Ottoman Sultanate.

Purification of Language

The first Turkish President set a committee to simplify and purify Turkish language which was a mixture of Arabic, Persian and original Turkish words. The committe's task was to replace the Arabic and Persian words with original Turkish words. Moreover, he prohibited the use to title "Pasha" and hence, every man became "bay" and every woman became "bayan".

Industrial and Economic Development

Under Mustafa Kamal, the industrial and economic development of Turkey was so rapid that it achieved, in few years, that much progress which took the west 150 years to achieve. To give idea of the progress, one has to take notice of some of the facts and figures.
  1. In 1919, Turkey had only one railway, almost no modern standard roads and 150 factories. But in 1933, the figure rose to 2000 with large lengths of high standard transport facilities.
  2. The banking system was organized and the public debt was reduced to one-tenth of its former size.
Don't miss: Napoleon Bonaparte

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Did You Know this About Holy Qur'an?

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Facts about Holy Qur'an
Qur'an is the holy book of Islam. ALLAH ALMIGHTY (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), for the whole humanity, dismounted it on His last Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم). Knowledge of everything in this universe is enclosed in Qur'an. Qur'an is a complete code of conduct for everyone till the Doomsday. Disbelief in Holy Qur'an is kufr (کُفر).
ALLAH (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), in Holy Qur'an, says:
Qur'an guides to the right path
Here are a few things you must know about Holy Qur'an being a Muslim:
  • Qur'an was fully disclosed in 22 years and 5 months (approx.)
  • 114 total number of chapters (Surah)
  • Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) was 40 when he (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) received the first revelation
  • Qur'an has 30 divisions (Para)
  • 6,666 total verses (ayah) in Qur'an ( according to some scholars the exact number is 6236 if tasmiyah is not counted as ayah )
  • 1015030 number of dots
  • 1000 total number of raque (رکوع)
  • 70 times the word Qur'an is used in Qur'an
  • 3 surah start with one letter: Qaf (سورة ق‎), Sad (سورة ص), Noon (سورة القلم)
  • 6 chapters named after Prophets
  • 25 Prophets' names are mentioned
  • Name of Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) appears 4 times
  • The name of Musa عليه السلام (Moses) used 136 times
  • The name of Isa عليه السلام (Jesus) used 29 times
  • 43 number of times, the name of Nuh عليه السلام (Noah) appears
  • 10 rewards for reciting one letter
  • The longest chapter of Holy Qur'an is Al-Baqarah (سورة البقرة‎)
  • The shortest chapter of Holy Qur'an is Al-Kauthar (سورة الكوثر‎)
  • Al-Yaseen (سورة يس) is the heart of the Qur'an
  • Al-Tauba ( سورة التوبة‎) is the only chapter that starts without tasmiyah
  • Al-Fatiha (سورة الفاتحة) is also known as mother of Qur'an
  • Ar-Rehman (سورة الرحمن) is the zeenat (Embellishment) of the Holy Qur'an
  • Surah Quresh is named after the tribe of Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم)
  • The only lady mentioned in Holy Qur'an is Maryam عليه السلام (Mary)
  • The only talked about day of the week is Friday
  • Best drink mentioned in Qur'an is milk
  • The best eatable thing mentioned in Qur'an is honey
Qur'an is the ultimate source of guidance for all mankind. Qur'an has the infinite qualities. On the base of these qualities Qur'an has many names, some of those are:
  • Al Kitab (الکتاب)
  • Al Zikr (الذکر)
  • Al Majeed (المجید)
  • Al Balagh (البلغ)
  • Al Aziz (العزیز)
  • Al Muhaiman (المھیمن)
  • Al Mutahhara (المطہرہ)
  • Al Dua (الدُعا)
  • Al Furqan (الفُرقان)
  • Al Noor (النور)
  • Al Kalam (الکالام)
  • Al Shifa (الشِفا)
  • Al Mubarak (المُبارک)
  • Al Kareem (الکریم)
  • Al Hakeem (الحکیم)
  • Al Mubeen (المُبین)
Note: this info is verified by most of the scholars. Some scholars, however, may disagree.

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Tips to Master Reading Comprehension & Précis Writing

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Reading Comprehension & Precis Writing
Image Source: StockSnap

Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension is one of the most important questions (in Pakistani Educational System) if one is taking a linguistics exam in which one has to read a passage and answer the questions asked relevant to that passage. Comprehension means to extract the hidden information. We have been doing this all our lives; read a lesson and answer the question asked at the end of the lesson.
I'll cover some important step one must follow to master reading comprehension and, of course, excel in the examination.

Step 1:-

Skim through the passage multiple times in order to get a gist of it and get to know its main idea. This step is often called earmarking. Earmarking is done to find the thesis sentence of the paragraph. Skimming makes you aware of which information is where in the paragraph. Make sure you underline important phrases / words.

Step 2:-

After you've read the piece of text and marked some important information, you are now able to answer the questions. Read the questions carefully and recall the main idea which you had got from Step 1 The question asked can be of following four types:
  1. Specific Point Questions
  2. Main Idea
  3. Inference or  Indirect Questions
  4. Words' Meanings
Specific point questions are those which you can answer by just copying some part of the passage. The main idea of the passage can also be asked which is not a big deal if you've done Step 1 with a lot of care. Inference questions are the most important ones. Inference questions are those which you have to answer by understanding the indirect meaning of the text (which comprehension really is all about) and answer in your own words.

Step 3:-

Now, you know the passage well and have read the questions, you can now search for the answers from the passage. This step is called scanning. In scanning, the information gathered in Step 1 enables you to answer the questions.
I've discussed Step 1 in other 2 steps also, this makes it clear how important is to read and understand the paragraph before moving on.
Quick Tip:
      After enough practice, you can perform Step 2 in the beginning and then perform Step 1 and Step 3 together. This would save a lot of time.

Précis Writing

Précis writing, like comprehension, is very important when it comes to showing one's writing skills. Précis means to write the main idea of something in one's own words by concizing the original text. Précis writing has no steps to follow, instead it has some tips one should always remember while writing a précis:
  • Read the passage carefully and count the number of words or make a wild guess
  • The précis should not be more than one-third of the original text
  • Facts, figures, and dates are supporting the main text, so they can be omitted
  • Repeating ideas must be excluded
  • Always write the writer's point of view 
  • Never try to merge your own ideas into the original theme
  • Try to use one-word substitutions as much as possible
  • Adverbs should be used instead of long explanations
Quick Tip:
      Beginners can divide the original text into as many parts as they like and then precise each part one by one. Summing these parts` précis will get the job done!

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10+ Top Interviewing Tips

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Interviewing Tips
Image Source: StockSnap
Everyone has to face interviewing at least once in life. For better future, one really needs to flourish in an interview as jobs and admissions in well-reputed institutions are only ensured iff  one takes the interviewer by surprise. I've compiled a short list of tips that can help you getting a decent job. You must go through these before having a feeling of regret.
  • Research the opportunity before you visit
  • Prepare a list of questions you want to ask
  • Dress professionally and be neat and well-groomed
  • Arrive a few minutes early
  • Take a few copies of your CV, a notepad and pen
  • Maintain eye contact and show interest in everyone involved in the interview
  • Confidence is the key
  • Never discuss money
  • Do not have more than one alcoholic drink before the interview
  • Show equal respect to all you meet
  • Follow up with a thank you note to each interviewer

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How did Navies Originate?

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Navies
The first navies were created when the armed men of a tribe or town went to sea in large ships they had, in order to give a battle to their enemies and raid territory from the sea. The ships used were ordinary fishing or commercial ships. Later on, ships were especially designed for purposes of war.
Do you know?
     Originally, the navy of a country meant all of its ships, whether used for war, carrying of merchandise or fishing.
At the time of ancient Greeks and Romans, the very first long ship was built for speed in war, instead of round ones to carry merchandise. When the Persians threatened to attack Athens in 483 B.C., the Greeks increased their navy from fifty to one hundred long ships. By the end of the fifth century B.C., this fleet of long ships had increased to 300 and later even to 360, which makes it quite a navy! In times of peace, these warships were kept on slips and undercover in sheds.
The most ancient warships were many-oared galleys, each requiring a  great number of rowers. These great rowing galleys were used to ram other ships or as a mean of boarding the enemy ships.
In both the ancient Greek and Roman navies, there were many similarities to the organization of a modern navy. The Greeks had a captain, a sailing master, a number of petty officers, seamen and oarsmen, and soldiers or marines. The Romans always had a body of soldiers, called the classici, who were especially assigned to service in the navy.
Today, of course, a navy is a very complicated organization with dozens of types of ships and units organized to maintain them. Pakistan Navy is one of the best navies in the world.

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List of Commonly Used Idioms with Translation (Part-II)

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An idiom is a phrase or a fixed expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. An idiom's figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning. -Wikipedia
Idioms
Image Source: StockSnap
If you have missed the first part of this post, you should check the first part out before going any further.
Here comes the second part:

Commonly Used Idioms
Idioms Sentences
The lion's share (ذیادہ حصہ) You will get the lion's share in the profit.
To add insult to injury (زخم پہ نمک چھڑکنا) My remarks added insult to injury and he left the party.
To and fro (اِدھر اُدھر) The lion was moving to and fro in the jungle.
To be at a loss (مشکل میں پھنسا) I am at a loss and do not know what to decide.
To be at large (آزاد) The robber is still at large.
To be taken back (منسوخ کرنا) I was taken back to know her dishonesty.
To bear the brunt of (نقصان اُٹھانا) Pakistan could not bear the burnt of Indian Army.
To beat about the bush (اِدھراُدھرکی باتیں کرنا) All the students beat about the bush to waste time in the classroom.
To blow one's trumpet (اپنی بڑائ خودکرنا) I do not like him because he always blows his own trumpet.
To break the ice (بات شروع کرنا) There was pin-drop silence in the room then Haider broke the ice.
To break the news (ضروی اطلاع دینا) An unknown man broke the news of Watson's murder.
To bring home to (قائل کرنا) I brought him home to the importance of education.
To burn the midnight oil (رات کو کام کیلئے جاگنا) He burnt the midnight oil near the examination and go through.
To burry the hatchet (صلح کرنا) Let us burry the hatchet and be partners again.
To call a spade a spade (صاف صاف کہنا/کانےکوکاناکہنا) If you call a spade a spade, you will pick up quarrels with many.
To call in questions (شک کرنا) Their demands cannot be called in questions.
To call to mind (یادکرنا) He could not call to his mind who had borrowed his book.
To carry the day (میدان مارنا) Babar carried the day at Panipat.
To carry weight (وزن/اہمیت رکھنا) His arguments carry weight.
To catch one red-handed (رنگے ہاتھوں پکڑنا) The police caught the thief red-handed.
To come of age (بالغ ہونا) He will take care of his property after coming of age.
To cry for the moon (کھیلنے کو چاند مانگنا) Do not cry for the moon, you can't get her.
To cut a sorry figure (ناکام رہنا) She cut a sorry figure in her maiden speech.
To cut the quick (جزباتی متاثر کرنا) Your remarks cut him to the quick.
To die in harness (نوکری کے دوران مرنا) Our Prime Minister Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan died in harness.
To eat humble pie (معزرت کرنا) I had to eat humble pie for your misconduct.
To eat one's words (الفاظ واپس لینا) You should eat your words that you have just spoken.
To egg on (حوصلہ افزائی کرنا) His friends egged him on and he continued his struggle.
To end in smoke (بےکار ہونا) All my plans ended in smoke.
To fall back upon (انحصار کرنا) After her husband's death, she had no one to fall back upon.
To fall flat (کارآمدنہ ہونا) My advice fell flat upon him.
To find fault with (تنقید کرنا) Tayyab always finds fault with others.
To follow suit (نقل کرنا) The master ran after the thief and his servants followed suit.
To get into hot water (مصیبت میں پڑنا) By picking a quarrel with the man, you will get into hot water.
To get on one's nerves (تنگ کرنا) I do not like her at all because she is always getting on my nerves.
To get over (قابوپانا) At last he got over his difficulty.
To get rid of (جان چھڑانا) You should get rid of bad habits.
To get wind of (افواہ سننا) He got wind of the attack and ran away in time.
To go to the wall (بےکار ہوجانا) By moving in a bad company, he went to the wall.
To hit the mark (مقصدحاصل کرنا) Ali hit the mark and got his aim.
To hold water (وزن رکھنا) Your argument does not hold water.
To keep up appearance (سب ٹھیک ہونےکادکھاوا کرنا) They are very poor but they keep up with appearance.
To leave in the lurch (مصیبت میں ساتھ چھوڑنا) Good friends will never leave you in the lurch.
To look after (خیال رکھنا) Children must look after their parents when they get old.
To lose heart (دل برداشتہ ہونا) Do not lose heart, go on working.
To make amend for (تلافی) You should make amend for this loss.
To make both ends meet (گزارہ کرنا) Now-a-days, poor people hardly make both ends meet.
To make light of (اہم نہ سمجھنا) He made light of my counsel and was ruined.
To nip in the bud (برائ روکنا) We should nip the evil in the bud.
To play a second fiddle (معاونت کرنا) A servant should play a second fiddle of his master.
To pocket insult (بےعزتی برداشت کرنا) He could not pocket insult and slapped him.
To read between the lines (توجہ سے پڑھنا) I read between the lines and did not sign the agreement.
To rise to the occasion (موقع) He rose to the occasion and become successful.
To see eye to eye with (متفق ہونا) I do not see eye to eye with you in this matter.
To show the white feather (بزدلی دکھانا) He showed the white feather when the enemy came.
To steal a march upon (پیچھے چھوڑنا) He kept on working and stole a march upon others.
To swallow the bait (کوئ بات مان لینا) He is very simple and can easily swallow the bait.
To take heart (حوصلہ حاصل کرنا) He took heart and passed the test.
To take the chair (سربراہی کرنا) THe principal took the chair in the meeting.
To take to heart (دل پر لینا) He took his father's death to heart.
To take to task (بُرابھلاکہنا) He was taken to task for making a mischief.
To talk shop (کاروبارکی باتیں کرنا) He always talks shop and disliked by others.
To the letter (الفاظ کے مطابق) The village boys obey the orders of their teachers to the letter.
To turn a deaf ear to (دھیان نہ دینا) He always turns a deaf ear to his parents' advice.
To turn over a new leaf (سُدھرجانا) The sinner turned over a new leaf after his meeting with the preacher.
To turn the corner (بیمارکاٹھیک ہونا) God be thanked, the patient has turned the corner.
To win laurels (داد وصول کرنا) The soldier fought bravely and won laurels.
Tooth and nail (پوری قوت کےساتھ) We shall fight tooth and nail to defend our country.
Through thick and thin (ہر طرح کے حالات میں) I shall help you through thick and thin.
Throw to the dogs (پھینک دینا) He has thrown many books to the dogs.
Under a cloud (مشکل میں) All his friends left him when he was under a cloud.
Walk with God (خداکی رضاسے جینا) Those who walk with God live perfect lives.
When pigs fly (کوئی ناممکن بات) He will start working hard when pigs fly.
With flying colours (شان و شوکت کے ساتھ) The conquerer entered the city with flying colours.
Yeoman service (موثر) Quaid-e-Azam gave Yeoman service to the nation.

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