Qua 17 bài luận về chủ đề Social ở phần I The Ivy – League Vietnam hy vọng các bạn đã có thêm những kinh nghiệm viết luận và mở rộng vốn kiến thức cũng những kho từ vựng của mình. Hôm nay The Ivy – League Vietnam tiếp tục gửi đến các bạn 30 bài luận với chủ đề “Life and Experience”.
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Essay 18: A heroic deed
The story of man is full of heroic deeds. One of the acts of heroism that I have seen myself was that of my uncle, who was attacked by a huge tiger while we were in our plantation, one day. My uncle, a young and well-built man, and I had left our home early in the morning to do some work in the plantation. When we reached there, we could hear some dogs barking in the distance. But we did not suspect anything, and began to do our work.
While we were working, however, we noticed some foot-prints of some animal. We then examined them closely and were satisfied that they did not belong to any member of the cat family, the most ferocious of animals. We then resumed our work. My uncle took a long knife and began to cut some sticks and branches of plants scattered throughout the plantation, while I did some other work. Soon, however, I saw a movement in the bush, a short distance away. I was alarmed. I ran up to my uncle to draw his attention, but he was hardly interested in what I had to say. He continued to do his work. But shortly afterwards, my uncle himself observed the movement in the bush. Yet, he showed no signs of fear, and his composure dispelled my anxieties. He warned me, however, to be careful, and picked up an axe that had been lying on the ground. His knife, he gave to me. Then, he moved slowly and cautiously towards the bush, ready for any attack.
To our horror, a huge tiger soon emerged from the bush. But my uncle was prepared to face it, to escape seemed impossible. The tiger too seemed to be fully aware of the strength and courage of its adversary. It paused several times while advancing towards my uncle. Then all of a sudden, it sprang on my uncle, but his agility enabled him to escape the sharp claws of the brute with the slightest injury. Now with the axe still in his firm grip, my uncle struck the tigers face again and again, until it was bleeding profusely. The length of the handle of the axe made it difficult for the tiger to get to close to my uncle. That the tiger was at a disadvantage was clear to me from the beginning. In the end, however, the tiger collapsed and died. Within hours, after that all the people in our area heard of my uncle’s bravery, which saved us both from death. It was indeed a greatest act of heroism that I had witnessed.
- heroic deed (n): hành động dũng cảm
- plantation (n): đồn điền, vườn cây, khu đất trồng trọt
- well-built (adj): lực lưỡng, cường tráng
- suspect (v): nghi, nghi ngờ, hoài nghi, ngờ vực
- ferocious (adj): dữ tợn, hung ác
- composure (n): sự bình tĩnh, sự điềm tĩnh
- cautiously (adv): cẩn thận, thận trọng
8 . horror (n): nỗi kinh hoàng, sự khiếp sợ, sự ghê rợn
- spring (sprang-sprung) (v): nhảy, bật mình
- agility (n): sự nhanh nhẹn, sự lẹ làng, sự lanh lợi
- profusely (adv): ướt đẫm, nhiều, dồi dào
- collapse (v): đổ sụp xuống, ngã gục
Essay19: Crimes in society
The human society is full of activity. People work in all kinds of business Firms, government offices, factories and other places, to earn their livelihood. Some work from dawn till dark; many work only at night; and others work during the day. At the same time men with criminal tendency are engaged in all kinds of activity, which often cause great hardship and sorrow to a large number of people in society.
Men develop criminal tendencies because of numerous frustrations. Society has always failed to satisfy the social, emotional and other needs of a large number of people, many of whom have therefore turned to crime for either survival or recognition. The activities of such men represent a constant threat to the welfare society, and much being done to reform them.
But criminals cannot be reformed until they are apprehended. By that time, hundreds of people are forced to live in fear at the hands of criminals, who resort to violence at the slightest provocation. Numerous people of various descriptions have been killed by criminals without proper cause. Society is therefore straining all its resources to bring criminals to justice. Large sums of money are being spent to employ men and equipment for the prevention and detection of crime.
Criminals are desperate men, and when they are pursued, they fight tooth and nail to escape capture. Therefore, those who are employed to capture them have to be brave, intelligent and well-trained men. To have such men always on the alert for the protection of society involves much expenditure.
Punishment of criminals today, however, is not the same as what it was in the past. Society has realized its responsibility towards individuals who always find a bone to pick with ít. It is now believed that criminals could be reformed. Therefore, psychologists and others who are responsible for the welfare of criminals are doing their utmost to train criminals to live a good life in the future. Only those who commit the most serious crimes are punished severely to deter others from committing such crimes.
- tendency (n): xu hướng, khuynh hướng
- engage (v): tham gia vào
- hardship (n): sự thử thách gay go; sự gian khổ
- numerous (adj): nhiều, đông đảo
- frustration (n): tâm trạng thất vọng, tâm trạng vỡ mộng, sự làm thất bại, sự làm hỏng
- welfare (n): hạnh phúc, sự thịnh vượng
- provocation (n): sự khiêu khích
- well-trained (n): được giáo dục tốt
- expenditure (n): chi phí, phí tổn
- utmost (adj): mức sống
Essay 20: A strange happening
The mysteries of nature have always fascinated the human mind, and many of them remain unsolved for a long time. The story that I am about to relate concerns a mysterious relationship between a baby boy and a snake somewhere in Malaysia.
I was indeed intrigued when I read a report in a newspaper sometime ago that a snake had suddenly appeared in a room, with the birth of a child and that it had attempted to show some relationship with the child. I could hardly believe it. The report added that the mother or the child was finally convinced that there was indeed some relationship between her child and the snake and she allowed the snake complete freedom to play and live with the child. To make sure that the report was true, I made up my mind to visit the house where this unnatural relationship between a reptile and a human being was established.
Then, one morning, my brothers, sisters and I arrived at the house, not very far from ours. As we enter the house we were greatly surprised to find a baby boy and a large snake playing with each other mirthfully. Soon, the mother of the child appeared and narrated the events that led to the snake and the child to live together. It seems that the snake was found lying near the baby just a few hours after the baby was born. A man was called in to kill the snake; but every time the man struck at it with the stick that he brought, the child cried with pain. The man then tried to take the snake out of the room, but again the child began to cry. The child’s mother then realised that there was some mysterious relationship between the snake and her child. She ordered the man to stop molesting the reptile, and to the surprise of all those who had arrived on the scene, the child stopped crying. The snake then returned to the child without attempting to harm anyone. Since then the snake has been fed by the mother of the child, and the snake and the child have been living together as brothers.
To see this strange occurrence, many people from all parts of the country come everyday. It is said that the snake, by its touch, has cured many sick people; but the mystery remains unsolved.
- fascinate (v): mê hoặc, quyến rũ, làm mê
- intrigue (v): hấp dẫn, gợi thích thú, kích thích tò mò
- convince (adj): tin chắc, đoán chắc
- reptile (n): loài bò sát
- mirthfully (adv): vui, vui vẻ
- narrate (v): kể lại, thuật lại
- bitterly (adv): một cách đau đớn, quyết liệt, cay đắng, chua chát
- molest (v): quấy rầy, quấy nhiễu, làm phiền
Essay 21: A journey by train
The house in which I lived before was near the railway station. Trains used to pass by at regular interval and I had become so familiar with their sound and sight that I took little interest in them. It never occurred to me that I might make journey by train some day. However, when my father decided to take up a new appointment in the place where we now live, it was decided that we should travel by train. It was only then that I discovered how pleasant a journey by train might be.
My father, mother and I boarded a train one afternoon. As the train moved out of the station, I began to think of the days I had spent in our old house which I could still see from the train. But soon the house went out of sight, and I began to think of my journey itself.
The train was now moving quite fast. The first thing that impressed me was the beauty of the landscape. There were green valleys, and tropical plants could be seen everywhere. In certain places there was tall grass. All this reminded me of the geography lessons I had in the classroom. Several palm-oil and rubber plantations could be seen now and then. Sometimes I saw a few houses here and there. I also saw many vegetable gardens at several places.
The train stopped at many stations, and soon it became dark. But sometime later the moon appeared and the landscape looked romantic. As I looked outside, I felt a thrill of admiration for the great artistry of nature.
Inside the train, too, everything was interesting. Some restless passengers moved about aimlessly and their restlessness was amusing. Some were sleeping with their mouths wide open, into which some mosquitoes blundered. Others were reading magazines and newspapers. Occasionally, the ticket-checker passed by. At one corner I saw two policemen keeping a close watch on a man who was hand-cuffed.
At every station a few passengers alighted from the train while a few boarded it. Whenever the train stopped at a big station, I saw a large number of people on the platforms, smartly dressed, and often smiling. As the train moved out, many waved their hands and the passengers too waved in response. After we had passed several stations, I felt sleepy and closed my eyes. When I opened them, I saw the dim light of the dawn. I looked outside and saw the mist-covered plants. The air was fresh, and some birds were flying about. The scene looked extremely beautiful and I was lost in admiration of it. But we soon arrived at our destination and my enjoyment came to an end.
- interval (n): thời gian giữa hai sự kiện; khoảng thời gian
- appointment (n): công việc được bổ nhiệm, sự hẹn gặp
- admiration (n): sự say mê, ngưỡng mộ
- mosquito (n): con muỗi
- blunder (v): mỏ mẫm vào
- hand-cuff (v): xích tay, còng tay
- extremely (adv): vô cùng, cực độ, cực kỳ
Essay 22: Discuss “news travel fast”
Until a few decades ago news travelled very slowly. It took several days to know what was happening in places only a few miles away. But today news travels at a speed much greater than ever before.
In the past, men had to travel on root to get information, even about the most unimportant thing. There were no motor vehicles and travel was slow and difficult. As a result, news too travelled very slowly. If one’s relative died in some distant place, one received the news of the death several days later. Sometimes there was no news at all. The difficulty in getting news and information about people in other places made life dull and miserable. There was little communication among those whom we would regard as neighbours today. News was therefore difficult to send and in times of need, it was hard to obtain help.
But all this has changed today. The invention of the means of communication such as the telephone, the wireless and several others has made it possible to send and receive news within a matter of hours and minutes. Even the newspaper and the post office help to spread news and information quickly. As a result, we know what is happening today in all parts of the world. If a great man dies or a war breaks out in some corner or the earth. we receive news about it almost immediately. The ease and speed with which news travels today have helped greatly in promoting better understanding and co-operation among the peoples of the world. When the people of one place or country suffer a sudden calamity, news is at once sent to all parts of the world and help comes from many countries within a very short time. This is not possible in the past when news travelled slowly.
That news travels fast can also be known from our own personal affairs. If we are ill or if something unfortunate happens to us, our friends and relatives come to know about it very quickly. It is therefore true to say that today. “news travels fast”.
- decade (n): thờikỳ mười năm, thập kỷ
- motor vehicle (n): xe máy
- miserable (adj): nghèo nàn
- wireless (n): radio, máy thu thanh, vô tuyến
- promote (v) xúc tiến, đẩy mạnh; thăng chức
- co-operation (n): sự hợp tác, cộng tác
- calamity (n): tai họa, tai ương, thiên tai
Essay 23: World trade
In the past when men’s needs were few, it was not necessary to get things from distant lands. But today, the people of one country depend on the people of another country for a variety of things. As a result, world trade has developed.
Without world trade, it would be difficult for the people of any country to get many things which are now considered necessaries. Some countries are not rich in mineral resources. They have no iron or coal mines, while others have too many of them. Again, some countries are not suitable for agriculture while others have several fertile plains to grow crops
Further, even if a country is rich in natural resources, it may not have enough skilled men to exploit them. For such geographical and other reasons the peoples of the world have learnt to buy things which they cannot produce profitably and to sell things for which they have a special ability to produce. West Malaysia, for example, specialises in producing rubber for which there is a great demand from several courtiers in the world. But she has no ability to produce machinery and several other things. West Malaysia therefore depends on other courtiers for many of her needs. In the same way, all the countries of the world co-operate and exchange things with one another. From other countries we get motor- cars, radios, television sets and several other things, which we cannot produce ourselves. At the same time we give to other countries the things that we can produce better than many others. In this way, every country specialises in producing only a few things. As a result, the quality of goods is improved to the common benefit of the people of the world.
World trade has also raised the standard of living of the people in the world. We are able to use things made in countries across miles of ocean. As a result of all this, life has become more comfortable than what it was before; and it is realised that a country could hardly progress without world trade.
- mineral (adj): khoáng, (thuộc) khoáng sản
- fertile (adj): phì nhiêu, màu mỡ
- exploit (v): khai thác, bóc lột, lợi dụng
Essay 24: A narrow escape
Whenever my mind travels over the past events in my lifè, one incident stands out prominently to remind me of the narrow escape I once had from almost certain death.
In the rubber estates of west Malaysia there are hundreds of snakes of which the cobra is the most dangerous and venomous. This snake has a preference for cool places along the numerous streams found in the estates, where it relaxes, especially in the afternoons. Those who catch fish from these streams have, therefore, to be on the look-out for cobras. All this I did not know until I came face to face with a cobra one day, while fishing with my brother.
My brother and I were then spending our holidays in an estate where our father was employed. In the afternoons, my brother, who loves fishing, and I would go out to catch fish from the streams not very far from our father’s house. Wherever the water was shallow, we got down into the streams and searched for holes where fish usually like to shelter. When we found one, we put our hands in and often caught some fish. Fishing in this way had its moments of excitement, for at times we also caught some water- snakes, which we found to be harmless. Then, one day, I came so close to death that I made up my mind never to catch fish again in that way.
A cobra, about six feet long, was lying along the water’s edge of one side of the stream in which we were fishing. Its tail was in the water, but it was concealed by the reeds and grasses along that stream. As I put my hand into the water, my searching fingers touched something tender. Thinking that it was a fish, I gripped it at once and tried to bring it out of the water. But it resisted violently, and to my consternation I discovered that it was a cobra. I relaxed my grip at once and rushed for safety. My brother, who was a few yards away, was too surprised to speak. But he soon saw the cobra which was now rushing towards him with its hood fully opened. I picked up stick hurriedly and threw it at the cobra. Surprisingly, the cobra now turned towards me, and I took to my heels. My brother then picked up a stick and ran after the cobra and managed to kill it just at the time when I was almost exhausted. lf he had been a little late, I might have been killed by the cobra. That was indeed a very narrow escape, an escape I shall never forget.
- prominently (adv): dễ thấy, nổi bật
- narrow escape (n): suýt chết
- estate (n): vùng đất (nhất là nông thôn)
- cobra (n): rắn mang bành
- shelter (v): ẩn náu, nương tựa
- conceal (v): giấu giếm, giấu, che đậy
- resist (v): kháng cự, chống lại
- consternation (n): sự kinh hoàng
- exhaust (adj): kiệt sức, mệt lử
Essay 25: Travel as a means of education
In the past travel was considered an essential part of education. Poets and writers realised the value of travel and went out to other countries in search of knowledge. A man’s education was not completed until he had visited foreign lands.
That travel broadens the mind cannot be denied. Those who remain within the confines of their homes are cut off from the outside world. As a result, they develop a narrow outlook on life. But those who travel come into contact with various types of people whose ways of life are completely different from theirs. They see things with their own eyes and have a better understanding of the affairs of the world. The impressions that they receive while they travel remain fresh in their minds for many years, and all false impressions and ideas are removed from their minds. Thus, they are able to see things in their proper perspective and make correct judgments and decisions, and to be able to make connect decisions is a valuable part of education.
It is argued, however, that the presence of the great variety of books, newspapers, the radio and television today obviates the need for travel to acquire knowledge. One would study in the comfort and privacy of one’s own home and absorb all the knowledge that one desires. But there are many things which books cannot describe effectively. For example, the love and respect people in other lands have for us and the natural beauty of the various parts or the world cannot be described properly in words. They have to be seen and felt. Besides, not all can understand everything that they read about people away from their homes. To such people, especially, travel is an important means of education. Of course, travel involves time and money which most people cannot afford. But the value of travel as a means of education is so great that time and money spent on travel are not a waste of effort.
- broaden (v): mở rộng
- confines (n): biên giới, ranh giới
- outlook (n): quan điểm, cách nhìn
- perspective (n): phối cảnh, viễn cảnh
- obviate (v): xoá bỏ, tẩy trừ
- absorb (v): hấp thụ
Essay 26: The country I would like to visit
I have heard much about the beauty of the East as well as the West, about the wonderful islands in the Pacific and also in the Atlantic. In short, the whole world seems to be full of beautiful places. The country that I would like to visit, however, is the United States of America.
My knowledge of the United States of America is derived from the geography and history books that I have read, the films that I have seen and the stories that I have heard from people who have visited this country.
The United States of America is a vast country with a mixed population. People from many different lands have come and settled here. This mixture of different races of people with different customs, religions, cultures and abilities have created a nation unique in history. Although this country has a very short history compared with that of the other large countries in the world, it is an example to the world of how people of different races could live together in peace and harmony. The exchange of ideas among the people of so many racial origins here has contributed greatly to the progress and prosperity of the nation. There are world famous scientists, doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers and politicians whose original homes were in many different lands. The work of such men has made this country a wonderful land indeed. The roads, buildings and cinemas here may be said to be the best in the world. There are many places and things of interest such as Hollywood, the United Nations building. Niagara Falls and the skyscrapers. Even the natural vegetation and features are rich in variety. If one travels across the land, one will find different kinds of scenery in different places. Further, as the people here still follow their original customs and traditions, one will also have the feeling that one is passing through many different countries.
The people of the United States are proud of their country, for it was their country that gave the modern world ideas of freedom. The name of Abraham Lincoln will always be remembered by those who believe in the freedom of man. It was the United States, again, who saved the world from destruction in two World Wars. Such a country must be a wonderful land, and it is for this reason that I would like to visit this country some day.
- derive (v): xuất phát từ, bắt nguồn từ
- racial (adj): thuộc chủng tộc
- sky-scraper (n): nhà chọc trời
- destruction (n): sự phá huỷ, sự tiêu diệt
Essay 27: Good manners
Good manners play an important part in maintaining peace and good- will in a community. A man who has good manners does not hurt the feelings of others, and therefore he is on good terms with his friends and neighbors and also with others. In this way he helps to keep peace in society.
But a man whose manners are bad has no respect for others. He uses words carelessly and behaves rudely towards other and causes a lot of ill- will and unpleasantness. In the end, it is he himself who suffers the most. Everyone avoids him and he is forced to live almost in isolation.
To live well in a society, money alone is not enough. We should also have good manners, for it is human nature to seek friendship; and friendship cannot be bought with money. Friendship with others makes life pleasant and it has to be earned through our own attitude towards others. If we are kind to others, they will be kind to us, and kindness is the essence of good manners. Bad manners not only drive away friends but also others, including our own family members.
Even the richest man cannot afford to have had manners. For a man may have enough money to buy all the things than he wants; but if his manners are bad he will have no friends, and no one can live happily without friends. Even the members of his own family may not respect him and finally he will become a lonely man.
On the other hand, a man whose manners are good has many friends. He commands the respect of all those who come into contact with him. He does not talk ill about others. Even when he is provoked, he tries his best to use words in a way which will not offend others. He is also sympathetic towards the weak and ignorant and does not poke fun at the deformities and weaknesses of others.
There are, however, many people who behave so well outside their homes that they are respected and admired by everyone outside. But in their own homes they are worse than the devil. Such people could not be said to have good manners. Their whole behavior is a pretence and it does not take long for others to discover this. If one’s manners are good, one behaves well everywhere, even when one is away from the critical eyes of others. Only such a person can live well in society. It is therefore essential for everyone to cultivate good manners.
- maintain (v): duy trì, giữ vững
- isolation (n) : sự cô lập hoặc cách ly
- seek (v): tìm, tìm kiếm
- attitude (n): thái độ, quan điểm
- provoke (v): khiêu khích, chọc tức, kích động
- sympathetic (n): thông cảm, đồng cảm
- deformity (n): dị dạng, dị hình
Essay 28: Choosing a career
It is not easy to choose a career today. Hundreds of students are leaving schools and universities every year to seek employment in the various professions, though employment opportunities are not increasing proportionately. As a result, there is a lot of unemployment.
The inability of the various professions to absorb all those seeking employment makes the choice of a career more difficult. Before one leaves school or university, one has many plans, confident that choosing a career will not be difficult. But when the time comes to choose a career, one finds that there are others with better qualifications waiting to enter the same profession. Disillusioned, one then looks for any kind of employment. In this way, many who wanted to become police, inspectors or field assistants in the rubber estates in this country, become teachers instead, and many who wanted to become teachers, have become clerks.
The lack of institutions where people could acquire the skills necessary for a particular career makes the choice of a career even more difficult. For example, if one desires to become a journalist, one has to receive some training and instruction in a school of journalism. But if there is no such school, one is compelled to think of some other career. On the other hand, even if there are institutions where one could acquire the necessary skills, one may still experience difficulty in gaining admission to them because one may not have the financial resources or the academic ability. Thus, many who wanted to become doctors and lawyers have actually become clerks and teachers.
Further, even if one has all the academic and intellectual requirements for the career that one has chosen, one’s temperament may not enable one to make a success of that career. Thus, many who passed several professional examinations and began their career as teachers are now working in the banks and other commercial firms.
All this indicates the difficulty in choosing a career. Only a few are able to remain in the professions of their choice.
- opportunity (n): cơ hội, thời cơ
- proportionately (adv): cân xứng, tương xứng
- disillusion (v): làm vỡ mộng, làm tan vỡ ảo tưởng
- institution (n): cơ quan, tổ chức
- on the other hand: trái lại
- academic (adj): thuộc về học thuật, học vấn
- intellectual (adj): (thuộc) trí óc, (thuộc) trí tuệ
- commercial (adj): thuộc về hoặc dành cho thương mại
Essay 29: A visit to a zoo
The zoo is an artificial forest created by man. Though there are few trees compared with the natural forest, the animals, birds and other creatures found in the zoo must always remind us of the forest. It is indeed an interesting place to visit.
Even in the natural forest such a variety of animals, birds and other creatures cannot be found as are found in a big zoo. Animals which are not found in the forests of one country are caught in other parts of the world and brought to the zoo. The lion, for example, is not found in Malaysia; but one may see an African lion in the zoo at Johore Bahru.
Until I visited the zoo at Johore Bahru, a few months ago, I had no idea how informative a visit to a zoo might be. Though the zoo at Johore Bahru is not big, I found many kinds of interesting animals and other creatures there. Lions, tigers and other animals were moving about lazily in their cages. Some of the animals appeared to be bored, and they took little interest in the visitors. The monkeys, however. showed their natural agility. Whenever they saw a visitor, they ran towards him and begged for something to eat. I was indeed amused at their behavior. Most of them were caught in Malaysia and their variety was amazing.
Some of the birds too were very interesting to see. Their beautiful feathers and looks fascinated me. Birds are indeed one of the loveliest creations of God. A few birds are larger than many animals.
The lions and the tigers in this zoo were so docile that I could not but treat them as domestic animals like the dog and the cat. I went very close to them, but they showed little interest in me. I then began to think of how the animal or even human spirit could be broken by confinement. Confined to their cages, these animals had become spiritless. Even the sight of food did not seem to excite them much.
Then, there was the crocodile with its usual pretence of innocence. It refused to be disturbed. Heaven knows how it might have reacted if a child had fallen into its pit. However, my visit to the zoo had increased my knowledge of animals.
- informative (adj): cung cấp nhiều thông tin, có tác dụng nâng cao kiến thức
- agility (n): sự nhanh nhẹn, sự lanh lợi
- beg (v): xin, cầu xin
- fascinate (v): mê hoặc, quyến rũ
- docile (adj): dễ bảo, dễ sai khiến, ngoan ngoãn
- crocodile (adj): cá sấu châu Phi, cá sấu
Essay 30: The importance of the newspaper
The newspaper, today, plays a vital role in human affairs. Its importance has not been diminished by the appearance of the radio or the television. Men no longer have travel to get information. The newspaper has become the main source of information about local and foreign affairs. Though the radio and television convey important news and messages quicker than the newspaper, they seldom give the details of an incident. The newspaper, on the other hand, gives not only more details about a particular incident but it also contains more new items. This is of great importance today when political changes occur with a rapidity unknown before. Besides, the newspaper is easier to carry and it could be read at any time during the day. Further, the permanence of the printed word helps one to refresh one’s memory of certain facts and incidents reported in the past.
The importance of the newspaper has been increased greatly by the spread of education. Education sharpens one’s curiosity about events in distant lands and also makes one conscious of the necessity to maintain one’s reading habits. In both respects the newspaper appeals most, especially if one finds little time to read books.
The newspaper should, however, be read with caution, for its capacity to do harm is great. Most people believe every thing that is reported by the newspaper. As a result, the newspaper exerts a profound influence on the minds of its reader. Therefore, when some news is reported wrongly either by mistake or design, it may cause a lot of harm. On the other hand, if the policy of the newspaper is to promote the welfare of the people, it could do a lot of good. For example, it could exercise its influence to persuade the government of a country to do many things for the benefit of the people. In a country like Malaysia, where there are many races of people, the newspaper could also use its influence to promote good-will and harmony among the people. It is therefore important to know the policy of the newspaper that one reads.
In general, however, the newspaper tries to report as accurately as possible, for there are various magazines and periodicals competing with the newspaper to provide accurate information on world developments, and it is the newspaper that links us with the outside world.
- vital role (n): vai trò thiết yếu
- diminish (v): giảm bớt, thu nhỏ
- convey (v): truyền đạt, chuyển tải
- permanence (n): tính lâu dài, lâu bền, tính vĩnh cữu
- conscious (adj): có ý thức, biết được, nhận ra
- policy (n): đường lối hành động, chính sách
- accurately (adv): một cách đúng đắn, chính xác
- periodical (n): tạp chí xuất bản định kỳ
Essay 31: The things that I like most
There are so many things around us that one finds it hard to have a special preference for a few particular things. I, however, take a special interest in motor-car and television.
Motor-cars have always fascinated me. Since my childhood I have been travelling in motor-cars, and I have visited hundreds of places in this country. I have been to remote villages and almost all the towns, large and small. Travel has broadened my outlook on life. I have met various types of people, and my knowledge of the people and places of this country has increased greatly. If I am at home or if I am walking along a road, I feel the urge to travel as soon as I see a car.
It is because of motor-cars that I am able to do various types of work. In the morning I go to my school, a long distance away, in my father’s car. After school I go to my father’s plantation to help him in his work. Then I visit one of my class-mates and discuss our school work. Sometimes I visit the cinema, miles away. If there were no motor-cars, I would not have seen so much. Even in this small country, I would perhaps not have been able even to attend school.
The next thing that I like is television. Television helps us to see and hear some of the famous leaders of the world. We are also able to see some of the great events of the day. In addition, we can get news from all parts of the world, and listen to songs and music. Sometimes there are special programmes which are very amusing. The television programmes become more interesting on a rainy day. We can then sit in the comfort of our home and watch the television programme. Even if we cannot read the newspaper for some reason, television keeps us well informed about the latest developments in the world. In this respect, television is better than the radio because the pictures and incidents shown on television convey a better impression than only the spoken words of the radio.
I shall therefore always have a special preference for the motor-car and television.
- childhood (n): tuổi thơ ấu, thời thơ ấu
- broaden (v): mở rộng
- urge (adv): sự thôi thúc, sự thúc đẩy mạnh mẽ, sự ham muốn mạnh mẽ
Essay 32: My hobby
To have a hobby is to know how to spend one’s leisure moments. A hobby, besides providing an avenue of escape from boredom, can also add to one’s knowledge of human affairs. My hobby is reading.
When my day’s work is over, I sit down in the privacy of my room and read the newspaper. Reading the newspaper is like travelling round the world. As I read about the developments in the various parts of the world, I fell that I am there myself observing the incidents. I also feel that I am having contacts with many leaders and peoples of the world. This feeling is a source of pleasure to me. By reading the newspaper I have acquired a better knowledge of the world. I am aware of what scientists, economists and politicians are doing to make this world a better place to live in. At the same time, I am also aware of the activities of those who are trying to create chaos in the world.
After reading the newspaper, I take a book which requires deep concentration, such as a history book or a book on psychology. Sometimes I read a novel or a popular magazine. Through this hobby I have learned that people everywhere are the same, in all ages, and in all countries. I have also learned that the world was made not for man alone but for every creature that can feel hunger and thirst, warm and cold. It has also helped me to see not only into the most remote regions of the world today but also into the world in which our ancestors lived.
My hobby has deepened and widened my knowledge of man and his place in the universe. Reading, I think, has made men more human, broad-minded and sympathetic. It has brought me into contact with many great minds, and acquainted with the beauty of language and ideas. It has also improved my powers of expression. I have little difficulty in expressing my thoughts and feelings. Therefore, I could say that my hobby has made me a better person.
- avenue (n): đại lộ
- privacy (n): sự riêng tư, sự cách biệt
- chaos (n): sự hỗn độn, sự hỗn loạn, sự lộn xộn
- concentration (n): sự tập trung
- ancestor (n): ông bà, tổ tiên
- universe (n): vũ trụ
- acquaint (v): làm quen
Essay 33: The advantages and disadvantages of the cinema
Cinemas are a common sight nowadays. They are found in every town. The existence of so many cinemas reflects their popularity. They have indeed become the most popular places of entertainment.
The cinema attracts large numbers of people everyday. It is the magnet of the town. It sometimes attracts even those who do not wish to see a film.
As it is so popular, the cinema exerts a profound influence on the minds of many people, young and old. The influence is sometimes good, and sometimes it is bad. Films showing criminal activities and the sensual desires of man have caused much harm to many youths. Some youths have become criminals themselves though almost every film shows how the good always triumphs over the evil. The cinema has also caused many people to waste money. Such people have become so addicted to visiting the cinema that they see almost every film, good or bad. In this way money is wasted not only on purchasing tickets for admittance to the cinema but also on travelling and many other things.
Often, however, the cinema helps to spread knowledge. There are many films which show the activities of the various races of people living in the remote regions of the earth. Some films show how man has struggled through the centuries to make the world a better place to live in. There are also films which show the events that led to some of the important battles in the past. They are shown with so much realism that one remembers them for a long time. Such films are indeed invaluable, especially to those who are illiterate. In this respect the cinema could be regarded as a school. Even the dullest student learns many things if he sees an educational film in the cinema though he may learn nothing from his teacher or his books. Such is the effect of the film, and in many countries, educational authorities are trying to make the best use of the cinema to spread knowledge and information.
It is therefore clear that the cinema has many advantages as well as disadvantages. Often the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Those who visit the cinema with the purpose of learning something good are sure to benefit from almost every visit to the cinema.
- entertainment (n): tiêu khiển, giải trí
- magnet (n): nam châm
- profound (adj): sâu sắc, sâu rộng
- sensual (adj): (thuộc) xác thịt, nhục dục
- triumph (v): chiến thắng, thắng lợi
- addicted (adj): say mê, nghiện
- purchase (v): mua sắm
- realism (n): chủ nghĩa hiện thực
- outweigh (v): nặng hơn, có nhiều giá trị hơn, có nhiều ảnh hưởng hơn
Essay 34: The importance of examinations
Life today has become so complex that examinations have come to play an important part in one’s educational career. Examinations are considered so important that most students are afraid of them.
The ability to pass an examination is indeed a valuable quality. It shows that the student is able to express his thought and ideas to a manner others can understand. It also shows that the student has acquired a certain amount of knowledge in some branches of study. Besides, the mind of a student, even if he is dull, receives good exercise when he prepares for an examination. A student’s success in an examination, therefore, helps employers and others to assess his mental or general ability.
Some people, however, argue that examinations test only a certain kind of skill. They say that many people have a good memory and a special ability to pass examinations and achieve brilliant results, though they have no capacity for original thought or imagination. But it should be realized that today the syllabuses are so extensive that a student cannot expect to pass an examination by relying entirely on his memory. The student of today must not only have a fair knowledge of the subject manner but also be able to show his intelligence and power of reasoning, especially if he is sitting for a higher examination. Therefore, a student’s ability to pass an examination must indicate some of his mental powers as well as his grasp of the subjects that he has studied.
If there were no examinations, most scholars would have been less informed than they are today. Examinations compel students to read as much as they can, and as they do so, they absorb knowledge unconsciously. Further, because of examinations; teachers have to confine themselves to the syllabuses which are aimed at imparting knowledge in a systematic manner, and thus develop mental discipline. Examinations are therefore an important part of academic studies.
- complex (adj): phức tạp, rắc rối
- acquire (v): thu được, đạt được
- assess (v): đánh giá, ước định
- argue (v): biện luận, tranh 1uận
- achieve (v): đạt được, giành được
- syllabus (n): chương trình học, đề cương bài giảng
- entirely (adv): hoàn toàn
- grasp (n): sự nắm được, sự hiểu thấu
- scholar (n): học giả
- compel (v): buộc phải, bắt buộc, thúc ép
- unconsciously (adv): không tự giác, không có ý định, không có ý thức
- impart (v): truyền đạt, kể cho hay, phổ biến
- systematic (adj): có phương pháp
Essay 35: A week in hospital
I had always dreaded the thought of being admitted to hospital. The peculiar smell of the hospital, the sight of deformed and critically ill persons and dead bodies in the hospital are things that I had always wished to avoid. But a serious illness sometime ago necessitated my admission to the General Hospital in Malacca.
Though I was seriously ill and required special attention, yet the knowledge that I was in the hospital made me feel miserable during the first few days. The clothes that I had to wear in the hospital were uncomfortable and the food was tasteless. At night, when all the patients were asleep, I used to wake up and think of what might happen it the dead bodies in the mortuary nearby came back to life. I also thought of the patients who might die at anytime. Sometimes I thought that I myself might not wake up from my sleep; that I might have to leave my dear parents, brothers and sisters and never return. Tears would then flow from my eyes.
From the fourth day, however, my spirits were high. The doctors and nurses assured me that I would recover completely in a few days and that I could move about in the hospital as I wished.
I now began to think of the good work that was being done in the hospital to reduce pain and suffering. Hundreds of sick people were coming to the hospital, many with serious injuries caused by various kinds of accidents, with the last hope of survival. And while many were dying, many more were returning home with smiles on their faces. Working every minute and sacrificing their own pleasures and pastimes, the doctors, nurses, hospital assistants and all the other staffs were doing their utmost to save another life. Their humanity impressed me deeply.
I now realised what an important role the hospitals were playing in our daily life, and the disgust that I fell on the first few days was gone. After being in the hospital for a week, I returned home with a better knowledge of human misery and sacrifice.
- dread (v): kinh hãi, kinh sợ
- peculiar (adj): lạ kì, riêng biệt
- critically (adv): nguy kịch, trầm trọng
- necessitate (n): bắt phải, đòi hỏi phải, cần phải có
- tasteless (adj): vô vị, nhạt nhẽo
- mortuary (n): nhà xác
- assure (v): quả quyết, cam đoan
- sacrifice (v): hy sinh
- disgust (n): sự ghê tởm, sự kinh tởm
Essay 36: A frightening experience
How man first learnt to use fire is still unknown, but it is known that even the most primitive man, centuries ago, found it to be of great service to him as it is to us today. Man, in his early days, did not cook his food. He ate everything raw, including meat and fish. But the discovery of fire changed his eating habits completely. He now learnt to cook his food; and, when he found that cooked food was more delicious, fire became an important thing in his life.
Fire also gave the early man warmth and light. Even in his scanty clothes he could keep himself warm in his cave on rainy or cold nights. His cave was no longer dark and he could move about freely at night. Further, fire gave him protection from wild beasts, and his life was more secure than it was before. In fact, fire, like water and air, became indispensable to man; and, today, we use fire for a diversity of purposes. We use it even to operate machinery to produce goods.
But fire has to be kept under strict control, for its capacity to destroy his great. Once it is out of control, it will destroy life and property at tremendous speed and the world has lost things worth millions of dollars because of fire. And, people often use fire’s enormous capacity to great advantage. They use it to burn thousands of acres of forest and grow crops: As a result, we now find green fields where once there were forests.
On the other hand, fire has been used by men, especially of the modern age, to destroy men. In every human battle in the past fire was used to destroy the enemy. Even today, thousands of people.in many parts of the world are being destroyed by fire; and, when furious men try to make the best use of fire’s extreme anger, misery is hard to avoid. lt then reigns supremes. Innocent people, young and old, must die in thousands. It is, therefore, true to say that, “fire is a good servant, but a bad master”.
- scanty (adj): ít ỏi, thiẽu, không đủ
- indispensable (adj): tuyệt đối cần thiẽt, không thể thiếu được
- diversity (n): tính đa dạng
- out of control: vượt ngoài tầm kiểm soát
- tremendous (adj): ghê gớm, kinh khủng, khủng khiếp, dữ dội
- acre (n): mẫu Anh (khoảng 0.4 hecta)
- furious (adj): giận dữ
- supreme (adj): tột đỉnh, tối cao
Essay 37: An accident I have witnessed
One rainy day last year, while I was returning home from Mersing, a town in the east coast of Malaysia, I witnessed an accident which I shall never forget.
I was returning home in my father’s car. It was raining heavily and the road could not be seen clearly. My father, an old man, was driving slowly to avoid an accident. The journey, therefore, seemed unusually long, and I began to feel tired. Then, suddenly, a small car, running at great speed, overtook our car. My father was shocked at the recklessness of the driver of that car. We could not count the number of persons in that car, but were sure that there were at least five, including two children. My father at once predicted that tragedy would befall the occupants of the car. After this prediction I began to grow impatient. I did not wish to see any ugly scene resulting from an accident. Though the car had gone quite far its rear lights would still be seen.
In the distance there was a narrow bridge. Looking at the way the car was being driven, I too was now sure that an accident would occur and sure enough it did occur. This is how it happened.
A lorry was coming from the opposite direction. It was already on the bridge. The driver of the small car, however, could not slow down in good time. He lost control of the car which skidded and plunged into the swollen river. Somehow, the driver managed to slip out of the car, but the others were doomed. When we arrived at the bridge, we were touched deeply by what we saw. Two children were struggling in the river and we could do nothing to save them. Their mother, as we came to know later, was at the bottom of the river, trapped in the car, and they were swept away by the rush of the current and drowned. The driver, and father of the children, began to cry piteously for the wife and children he had lost so suddenly. It was indeed a very touching scene and I shall never forget this day.
- witness (v): chứng kiến, làm chứng
- overtake (v): (overtook- overtaken): bắt kịp, vượt
- recklessness (n): tính thiếu thận trọng, tính hấp tấp, tính khinh suất, tính liều lĩnh
- tragedy (n): thảm kịch, bi kịch
- occupant (n): người sở hữu, người sử dụng
- skid (v): trượt xe
- swollen (adj): dâng lên cao; phình ra
- doomed (adj): phải chịu số phận bi đát
- struggle (v): vùng vẫy, vật lộn
- piteously (adv): thảm thương, đáng thương hại
Essay 38: The importance of good roads in a country
Good roads are essential for the development of a country. The Romans realised this centuries ago, and wherever they established themselves, , they tried to improve the roads there. Today, the governments of all countries in the world are building more and more roads to gain access to the remotest regions of their countries.
Roads link towns and villages and enable the people of one place to communicate with the people of another place. When food is scarce in one place, it can be brought from another place without much difficulty. Even things which cannot be produced in one region can be brought from another region where they are produced in abundance. The invention of motor-vehicles has made it easy to transport goods from place to place. But these vehicles require good roads to travel quickly, and the better the roads the more goods can be transported from one place to another in a very short time. Thus, trade is improved.
Further, good roads help people to travel easily to places where they can work and develop their lands and industries. In Malaysia, for example, the improvement of roads has made it easy for skilled workers from the towns to work in remote villages. The people of the villages, on the other hand, have been able to learn much from the towns. As a result, there has been a lot of improvement in this country in all spheres of activity.
Finally, in times of war good roads help armies to move about without difficulty. Sometimes, a country is defeated because its army is not able to reach a place in good time owing to bad roads. Even the police may not be able to reach a place where there is some trouble if the roads are bad. For all these reasons: it is always necessary for a country to have good roads.
- establish (v): thành lập, thiết lập, kiến lập
- scarce (adj): khan hiếm
- abundance (n): nhiều, dư dật, giàu có, phong phú
- sphere (n): lĩnh vực, phạm vi, tầm ảnh hưởng
- defeat (v): đánh bại, làm thất bại
Essay 39: Life in the village
The village has always been known to be a place of peace and quiet. The scattered houses among hundreds of plants and trees at once indicate the lack of activity in the village.
The workers in the village leave their homes early in the morning to work in the plantations or towns nearby. Some have their own plantations, and some make certain articles in their homes to sell them in the towns. A few of the villagers, including women, go out to catch fish in the streams and rivers found in the village. Though the people of the village do not usually earn much, yet they seem to be contented.
In the afternoon, most of the villagers are at home. Some of them take a nap after lunch; some work in their small gardens, and some visit the small shops in the village. In various parts of the village children may be seen playing the popular games of the village. Occasionally, a cyclist passes by.
Then, in the evening, the villagers meet one another. Some play cards and other types of games peculiar to the village. Some talk about the day’s incidents in the village, and those whose minds go beyond the village discuss world events.
In almost every village there is a headman whose duty is to settle quarrels among the villagers and maintain peace in the village. Whenever there is a dispute, the villagers go to the headman who is held in such esteem that his word has the force or law. In this way the villagers have developed their own simple laws, and the crimes of cities are almost unknown to the people of the village.
During a festival, the whole village is alive with activities. Everyone is in a happy mood and plays his part to make the festival a success. This is the time for the men, women and children of the village to wear their best clothes and the village is full of colour. These simple ways of life in the village, however, must soon change. Progress in science and education has already begun to affect the outlook of the people in the village, and hundreds are leaving the village to seek their fortunes in the towns and cities.
- scattered (adj): lác đác, lưa thưa, rải rác
- article (n): hàng, vật phẩm, đồ đạc
- contented (adj): thoả mãn, mãn nguyện
- nap (n): giấc ngủ trưa
take a nap after lunch: ngủ một giấc sau bữa ăn trưa
- cyclist (n): người đi xe đạp
- headman (n): trưởng làng, già làng, tù trưởng
- dispute (n): cuộc bàn cãi, cuộc tranh luận
- esteem (n): sự kính mến, sự quý trọng
- mood (adj): tâm trạng, tính khí, tâm tính
- fortune (n): vận may
Essay 40: My favourite author
My favourite author is William Shakespeare, a man who has written enough for immortality.
Though a few hundred years have elapsed since the death of Shakespeare and volumes have been written on the life and work of this great writer, his early life still remains a subject for speculation and conjecture. It is generally believed that Shakespeare had very little schooling. Yet his keen intellect and mastery of language have earned for him the appreciation and applause of the literary world.
Shakespeare’s fame, ‘I think, originates from his ability to identify his readers with the characters in his stories. In most of his stories we find reflections of our own experiences. This shows strikingly that Shakespeare had an insight into ‘human nature and the problems of life. His tragedies such as “Macbeth’ and “Hamlet” clearly show his deep knowledge of the human mind. Man’s ambition, desperation, sorrows, frustrations and hopes are dealt with in these tragedies with such skill that the reader himself experiences all the mental conflicts and emotions, and thus gets a better idea about human nature. With equal skill, Shakespeare deals with man’s joys and pleasures in all his comedies. His comedies like, “Twelfth Night” and “As You Like It,’ are a delight to read. Through the characters in his stories Shakespeare conveys his views on life and the world. Most of his characters, such as Hamlet, are vehicles for moral instruction. Man’s nature is the theme of all his writings. By a skillful combination of words and situations, he reveals the worst as well as the best in man. His choice of words is masterly and many of his phrases are literary gems. As man’s nature is his theme, what he wrote years ago remains true even today, and it will remain so till the end of time. It is for all these reasons that I enjoy reading Shakespeare.
However, I do enjoy reading the works of other writers too, such as those of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. But they do not give the satisfaction that Shakespeare gives. I find Shakespeare’s stories so interesting that I have read the same stories several times in last few years; and, every time I read the same story, I learn something new about human nature. Shakespeare was indeed a genius.
1 favourite (adj): được mến chuộng nhất được ưa thích nhất
- immortality (n): bất tử bất diệt, bất hủ, danh tiếng muôn thuở
- elapse (v): (nói về thời gian) trôi qua
- speculation (n): sự nghiên cứu, sự suy xét
- conjecture (n): sự phỏng đoán
- applause (n): sự hoan nghênh, sự tán thưởng
- ambition (n): hoài bão, tham vọng
- frustration (n): sự làm thất bại, tâm trạng vỡ mộng
- conflict (n): sự xung đột, cuộc xung đột
- theme (n): đề tài, chủ đề
- combination (n): sự kết hợp, sự phôí hợp
- reveal (v): bộc lộ, biểu lộ, khám phá
- masterly (adj): rất giỏi, bậc thầy, tài tình
- gem (n): đá quý, viên ngọc
- genius (n): người thiên tài, người anh tài, bậc kỳ tài
Essay 41: A frightening experience
I am not one who is frightened easily; but I must admit that one night I saw a figure that struck terror into my heart.
It was a moonlit-night. I was returning home on foot from a town a few miles away. That was the first night in my life that I was out alone. The road along which I was walking was not used much at night. Even during the day, it was used only by those who worked in the rubber and banana plantations long that road. As I was walking, I could hear the noises made by squirrels, insects and owls. Creatures that love the night world such as bats were very active, and there were hundreds of shadows. All these did not, however, frighten me. I held a stick in my hand and moved rapidly towards home for my dinner. Then, suddenly, I caught sight of an old lady, a short distance away. Her head was covered with a white cloth, and she was waving to me.
Curious to know why she was there at that time of the night, I stopped for a while. As I stood there, however, vague memories of stories about ghosts began to come back to my mind. I was soon gripped with fear and took to my heels. I ran as fast as I could, and when I reached home I could hardly speak.
On the next day, however, I visited that place again to make sure that the woman was indeed a real person and not a ghost. But I could find no footprints there. Only a banana plant stood there with its leaves moving in the breeze. I realised then that it was the banana plant with its leaves moving in the breeze that looked like a woman waving her hand. I had indeed made a tool of myself; but after the previous night’s experience, this discovery was small relief to me.
- frighten (v): làm hoảng sợ, làm sợ
- moon-lit night: đêm sáng trăng
- vague (adj): mơ hồ, lờ mờ, mập mờ
- breeze (n): gió nhẹ
- previous (adj): trước
Essay 42: The value of higher education
Since the dawn of civilization, great thinkers like Plato and Aristotle have been doing their utmost to spread education to the remotest corners of the earth. It is realised that education develops the intellect and enables one to discriminate between the good and the bad. More and more universities and other education institutions are therefore being opened in all parts of the world to provide higher education.
In almost every country today, there is a lot of unemployment. Only those who have received a high standard of education are able to secure high positions in society and in the various professions. It has therefore become necessary for many people to attend institutions or higher learning to improve their prospects of employment.
Higher education confers many other benefits. It broadens the mind and increases one’s powers of thinking, reasoning and imagination. Further, it makes one more sympathetic towards others. It helps us to understand the problems and weaknesses of man, and we become less suspicious of strangers and others. We also become more thoughtful of the feelings and needs of others. As a result, we are able to mix better with people. Besides, higher education helps us greatly in deciding what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false. Therefore, people can hardly deceive or mislead us. Higher education also teaches us how to spend our leisure moments. We learn to make the best use of our spare time. Even during old age we know how to keep ourselves occupied. Again, higher education develops self-confidence. We learn to have faith in our own abilities. As a result, we are able to meet and talk with people anywhere. All these qualities, acquired through higher education, combine to make one a leader among men. One is able to live a better life in society.
The benefits of education are therefore many, and everyone should try his best to acquire the highest of education, either by attendance at an educational institution or by private studies.
1 civilization (n): nền văn minh
- discriminate (v): phân biệt
- institution (n): cơ quan, tổ chức
- suspicious (adj): nghi ngờ, tỏ ra có sự nghi ngờ
- mislead (v): làm cho mê muội, làm cho lạc đường, lạc lối
- self-confidence (n): sự tự tin, lòng tự tin
- combine (v): phối hợp, kết hợp
Essay 43: The rainy season
When the grass dry, the trees have lost their leaves, the rivers have very little water in them and the fields are parched, everyone prays for the coming of rain. But when it continues to rain for several days, there are prayers everywhere for the rain to stop, for heavy and continuous rain often causes great hardship to many people, especially in the equatorial region. The rainy season is therefore welcomed at times, and at other times, it is hated.
In equatorial countries like Malaysia, the rainy season often causes much damage to crops, life and property. People who work in the paddy- fields, rubber and other plantations have to stop their work for sometime. As a result, they lose income and suffer hardship. Farmers too suffer as they have to stop selling vegetables and poultry for a few days. Even school children experience a lot of inconvenience. They find it difficult to go to school in comfort and ease. Some places are completely under water and many children are unable to go to school. Sometimes the schools have to be closed. Even to go to the market becomes a problem, and people cannot go out to enjoy or do any work.
Continuous rain during the rainy season also causes much illness among children and adults. Sometimes many children are drowned in the floods caused by heavy rains. Bridges and houses are swept away by the floods and there is much suffering.
But if the rains are not heavy, the rainy season can bring a lot of joy to farmers and others. Rains bring water for our crops and for use in our homes. Light rains make the day cool and pleasant and people find it easy to work in the fields and other places. The soil remains moist. Plants and flowers grow easily to make our gardens beautiful. Vegetables too grow well and markets are full of green vegetables. Even animals, like cows and goats find enough grass to eat. There is also enough water for them to drink.
Yet, those who live in places where there is a lot of rainfall do not realise how fortunate they are. Only those who live in the hot deserts realise the value of rainfall. They would surely welcome the rainy season.
- parch (v): khô nẻ, rang, nung
- equatorial (adj): (thuộc) xích đạo, gần xích đạo
- poultry (n): gia cầm, gà, vịt, thịt gia cầm
- inconvenience (adj): sự bất tiện, sự phiền phức
- moist (adj): ẩm ướt
Essay 44: The importance of water
Since the beginning of time, water has continued to be an important thing to all living things. Without water nothing could live. We may change our food according to the climate of a place but we find no substitute for water. Man has always looked for pure fresh water to slake his thirst.
Water not only quenches our thirst but it is also a source of food to us. From the sea we catch large quantities of fish and other creatures. We use water to irrigate our lands to produce crops. Many parts of the world are dry and barren because there is no water there. People in such places lead a very hard life. Even the plants and animals find it a real struggle to survive. They can obtain water only by some means of ingenuity. Water also helps to increase the fertility of the land in several parts of the world. The alluvium that is brought down by rivers is very fertile and yields large quantities of crops. Even electricity, which has changed our lives completely, is produced by water-power in many countries.
Further, water is an important means of communication. We use waterways to carry our goods or trade. Water transport is cheaper than land transport and in many remote regions, rivers are the only means of communication. In many countries rivers are used to bring down timber from the hilly regions to the lower regions where the timber mills are. In this way much money is saved.
It is true, however, that water has also caused much destruction to life and property throughout human history. Heavy rainfall, swollen rivers and the angry waves of the sea have killed thousands of people and destroyed homes and crops. Yet, water is indispensable to life, and people everywhere are trying their best to bring water to places where it is scarce, to control its flow in times of floods and to make greater use of it.
- substitute (n): vật thay thế, người thay thế
- slake (v): làm nhẹ, làm dịu (đau đớn), làm nguôi
- quench (v): làm hết khát
- irrigate (v): tưới, làm ướt đất.
- barren (adj): cằn cỗi
- ingenuity (n): tài khéo !éo, tính chất khéo léo
- fertility (n): tình trạng mầu mỡ
- alluvium (n): đất phù sa, bồi tích, đất bồi
- yield (v): mang lại, sinh ra, sản xuất
- timber mill (n): xưởng gỗ
- indispensable (adj): tuyệt đối cần thiết, không thế thiếu được
Essay 45: How I spend my time after school
As I am now preparing for an important examination which will be held at the end of this year, I spend most of my time reading my books. There are, however, a few other things that I sometimes do during my leisure.
As soon as I reach home everyday after school. I have my lunch quickly in order to have as much time as possible to read my books. Eating quickly is not good for health but I have to pass my examination. Therefore, the more I am able to read the more certain I can be of passing my examination. It is for this reason that I read my books for about two hours after lunch everyday.
After reading in the afternoon, I have my bath and then a cup of tea. Having done these, I go out to my friend’s house nearby and discuss our lessons for about an hour with my friend. Sometimes we go for a walk and as we do so, we talk mainly about our lessons. My friend is very good at her lessons and she explains many of the things that I do not understand clearly in school.
Sometimes, however, I remain at home to help my mother in the kitchen, especially if we expect some visitors. I must admit that I enjoy doing such work, as it helps me to learn how to prepare a good meal. I have already learned how to make some delicious cakes by helping my mother. There are times when I spend some time working in our vegetable garden. My parents have planted many varieties of vegetables, and I help them to water the plants so that they may grow well. Further, I also spend some time decorating my house, when I feel that things in my house have become too dull to look at. At night, I study my lesson again, and go to bed late after dinner. Thus, my time after school is spent in a variety of way.
- prepare (v): chuẩn bị
- leisure (n): thời gian rỗi
- delicious (adj): ngon
- decorate (v): trang hoàng, trang trí
Essay 46: The things I dislike the most
There are many things that most people dislike. The things that I dislike the most are noise, crowds and laziness.
Noise disturbs me greatly. This is why I do not like to live in a city where noise predominates. From dawn till mid-night, vehicles run to and for in the city to make the place extremely noisy. The noise is further increased by the voices of thousands of people engaged in all kinds of activity and the sounds of other things such as busy factories and machines. For this reason, the very thought of going to a city, even for a short visit, is distasteful to me.
In the same way, I also dislike crowds. Crowds make movement difficult. If a place is crowded, it is not easy to move about or do any work. If we are in a hurry to go somewhere, a crowd can delay our progress.
A crowd can also interfere with our enjoyment of sights and visits. For example, if we go with others to places like the museum and the zoo, we may not be able to enjoy looking at the things around because of the constant fear of losing sight of the others with us, especially if they are small.
Finally, I dislike laziness because I feel that a lazy person is always a burden not only to his parents but also to others. By refusing to do any work he compels others to work for his comforts. Sometimes even a weak and poor person has to struggle to provide for a strong and healthy man who will not exert himself only because he is lazy. Such a person is certainly inconsiderate and ill-mannered towards others. As long as he gets what he needs and wants, he does not care what others think of him. I hate to see such a person, even if he is my own brother or father.
These arguments explain why I hate the things that I mentioned above.
- laziness (n): sự lười biếng, tính lười biếng
- predominate (v): chiếm ưu thế, vượt trội
- run to and fro (v): đi đi, lại lại
- distasteful (adj): khó chịu, không vừa ý
- interfere (v): gây trở ngại
- constant (adj): không ngớt, không dứt, liên miên
- burden (n): gánh nặng
- compel (v): bắt buộc, ép buộc, thúc ép
- inconsiderate (adj): thiếu ân cần, thiếu chu đáo, thiếu quan tâm
- argument (n): lý lẽ, luận cứ
Essay 47: Describe the things you enjoy doing
I do many things everyday: but the things I enjoy doing most are picking flowers and preparing my school lessons.
As a girl of fourteen years of age, I help my mother everyday. My mother is a very religious lady. Every evening, before her prayers, I go out in search of flowers which she needs during her prayers. I must admit that looking for flowers around my house is a very pleasant exercise. I go to all our neighbours’ gardens where a great variety of flowers can be found. Our neighbours are very kind and they allow me to pick as many flowers as 1 like.
As I look at the flowers, I fell extremely happy. They are so beautiful and colourful that they make the gardens the best place to visit in our area. Once I am in these gardens I spend a long time to pick flowers because of the sheer pleasure of walking inside the gardens. Then, I return to the house with the best flowers that grow in these gardens, and my mother is always happy to see them. Thus, I must say that I enjoy picking f1owers very much.
Preparing my school lessons also gives me a lot of pleasure. As I prepare them. I learn many things about the world and its affairs, past and present. 1 also learn about the people around us as well as those who are thousands of miles away in different lands across the oceans. Further, I 1earn more and more new words and phrases which help me to express my own thoughts and feelings better. Besides, the knowledge that I acquire while preparing my lessons helps me to meet and talk with people with greater confidence. It is for these reasons that I like to prepare my lessons.
Thus, the things that I like to do most not only amuse my mind but also contribute to the extension of my knowledge.
- pick (v): hái (hoa)
- religious (adj): sùng đạo, mộ đạo, ngoan đạo
- sheer (adj): hoàn toàn, đơn thuần
- confidence (n): sự tin cậy, sự quả quyết
- extension (n): sự mở rộng