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Proverbs and idioms

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ENGLISH FIRST ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE

Grade 9

‘PAWS AND POLLEN’

Module 17

PROVERBS AND IDIOMS

Activity 1:

To expand vocabulary

[LO 6.9]

Much vocabulary relates to animals and plants.

Read the following idioms and proverbs for a start.

In your group discuss what is meant by each of these sayings.

Take home those you are unsure of and see if your parents can help you.

Table 1
To have green fingers
To hear through the grapevine
To be a dog in a manger
To be mutton dressed up as lamb
To be a wolf in sheep’s clothing
To have goose flesh
To reap what one sows
To take a horse to water but not to be able to make it drink
To cast pearls before swine
Not to count your chickens before they have hatched
Table 2
To know that all his geese are swans
To have cooked his goose
Not being able to say “Boo” to a goose
To kill the goose that lays the golden egg
To pluck ones goose
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander
To be in the doghouse
To be as sick as a dog
To go to the dogs
To rain cats and dogs
To let the cat out of the bag
To put a cat among the pigeons
To be a rose among the thorns
To be a thorn in the flesh

[24]

Many countries have flowers or plants as their national symbols.

Can you match the following national flowers to their country?

Table 3
  C ountry S election
Lily (Fleur-de-lis)   Scotland
Pomegranate   France
Rose   Ireland
Shamrock   Canada
Thistle   England
Sugar Maple   Spain

[6]

If you could have a plant or flower to represent you, what would you choose and why would you choose that particular plant or flower?

Share your choice with the class. You can learn something about one another!

Activity 2:

To learn correct language structure and use

[LO 6.8]

Let us learn about language!

We are going to base our language exercises on the following article from the Your Family (June 2003):

Floral History

The earliest record of South African flora was made by Justus Heurnius, a Dutch missionary who collected and recorded plants in 1624 while the ship he was sailing on from Batavia to Holland took on fresh water in Cape Town.

By 1700, almost 1000 Cape plants had been recorded. One of the governors of the Cape, Ryk Tulbagh, a lover of wild flowers, was responsible for sending plants, bulbs and seeds from the Cape to Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanical expert, who devised the system by which all living things are named.

In 1772 Sir Joseph Banks, the acting director of Kew, before it became a public garden, sent Francis Masson to collect plants from South Africa. Masson sailed with Captain Cook to Cape Town, where he collected more than 400 species of plants, including seventy-nine different species of Proteas and fifty species of Cape Pelargoniums. It was Masson’s collections of Cape flora that gave Kew its reputation as a leading botanical institution.

South African plants also found their way to Australia aboard ships on their way to the ‘new colony’. These include Nerine, Gazanias, Ericas and Clivias, as well as weeds such as Oxalis and Kikuyu.

1

2. Let us revise the USES (FUNCTIONS) OF THE COMMA.

You would have noticed that the writer has made use of a number of commas. See how:

a) Commas are used to separate several successive nouns; e.g. Terriers, Labradors, Alsatians and Poodles are all types of dogs.

Quote a sentence from the passage which illustrates this use. [2]

  1. a) Commas are used to separate several successive adjectives; e.g. The cat was sleek, lithe, quick and feline.

Write your own example to illustrate this use.[1]

  1. a) Commas also separate several successive adverbs; e.g. The lion stalked his prey slowly, slyly and successfully.

Can you write your own sentence to illustrate this function of the comma? [1]

d) Commas also separate successive actions; e.g. The watch-dog ran to the fence, surveyed the road, saw nobody and left.

Can you write your own sentence to illustrate this function of the comma? [1]

e) Commas are used to introduce direct speech (someone’s direct words). Look at the following examples:

Table 4
“Can you tell me,” asked Sipho, “what South Africa’s national flower is?”
“No, I’m afraid I can’t,” Ruby answered.
Jalpa exclaimed in surprise, “Come on guys, it’s the Protea of course”.

Did you notice the different positions of the comma in each of these three sentences?

  • In the first example Sipho’s sentence is interrupted by ‘asked Sipho’.

The comma afterme’ indicates that his direct words continue.

  • In the second example, although Ruby has completed her sentence, a comma instead of a full-stop is used.
  • Refer to the last example. Is there a similar use of the comma in the passage? [1]

f) Commas separate adverbs and adverbial phrases; e.g. Nevertheless,he bought the dog. However, I shall keep an eye on him.

He did, in fact, become a loving owner.

We were, on the contrary, very pleased with his decision.

g) Commas separate words and phrases in apposition; e.g. The dog was returned to his owner, Mr Blake, at number 103 Durban Road.

Find an example from the passage that illustrates this. [2]

h) Commas separate participial phrases; e.g. Having eaten its food, the puppy went to sleep.

Does a sentence from the passage illustrate this use? [1]

i) Commas can also indicate parenthesis. This means commas can take the place of brackets; e.g. Labradors, golden as well as black, love children and water.

Quote an example from the passage to illustrate this function. [2]

j) Commas indicate the vocative (it separates the name of the person being spoken to from the words being said); e.g. ‘Thembi, get your dog to a vet as soon as possible.’

k) A comma is used to separate words such as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, ‘Please’ etc. e.g. ‘Yes, that will help, thank you.’

A lot to take in? Never mind, once you have understood, learnt and practised and used these, you will never forget them! The standard of your writing will also improve with accurate punctuation.

3. DEGREES OF COMPARISON

‘‘The earliest record of South African flora…’

The word earliest is an example of a degree of comparison.

Adjectives and adverbs have three degrees of comparison:

Table 5
Simple Comparative(comparison between two) Superlative(the highest degree)
big big biggest
happy happy happiest
beautiful beautiful most beautiful
conservative conservative most conservative

What to remember:

The comparative and superlative are formed as follows:

  • When the word consists of one syllable, add –er (for comparative), -est (superlative) e.g. big, bigger, biggest.
  • When the adjective consists of two syllables that end in –y, -er, -ly; add –er, -est. e.g. happy, happier, happiest; clever, cleverer, cleverest; silly, sillier, silliest.
  • When adverbs consist of more than one syllable, have more (comparative) and most (superlative) placed before the positive e.g. cleverly, more cleverly, most cleverly.
  • When adjectives consist of two syllables with the stress on the first e.g. careful, or more than two syllables e.g. con-ser-va-tive; place more (comparative) and most (superlative) before the positive degree.
  • There are some irregular adjectives: good, better / little, less / bad, worse / many/much, more.
  • There are some irregular adverbs: little, less, least / much, more, most / bad, worse, worst / well, better, best.

Exercises:

1. What is the difference between the following?

Add –er or more to each of the words below and use it in a sentence to describe the difference between the pairs.

Table 6
exotic higher dangerous intelligent small
  • People and monkeys.
  • A lion and a cat.
  • An orchid and a daisy.
  • A rat and a mouse.
  • An eagle and a guinea-fowl.

Example: What is the difference between a twig and a branch.

A twig is smaller than a branch.

2. Look at the picture and then complete the sentence using a degree of comparison.

The Great White and the Zambezi shark are both feared, but the Great White is more feared than the Zambezi.

2.1 Our dog and cat eat very quickly, but our dog eats __________

2.2 The lion, cheetah and leopard all run fast, but the ___________

2.3 Lavender and cacti require little water, but cacti require _________________

2.4 All animals have good camouflage, but the chameleon has the __________

(4)

[20]

Assessment

Table 7
LU 6
Language Structure and UseThe learner will know and be able to use the sounds, words and grammar of the language to create and interpret texts.
We know this when the learner:
6.3 understands and uses direct and indirect speech;
6.8 uses some language to talk about language (meta-language – terms such as “paragraph”);
6.9 expands vocabulary (e.g. uses prefixes to form new words: autobank, autobiography, automatic).

Memorandum

ACTIVITY 2:

Table 8
To have green fingers: to have a knack with plants/gardening
To hear it through the grapevine: to hear news through a number of people and not directly from the source
To be a dog in a manger: Those who will not let others enjoy/ have something and yet derive no enjoyment / benefit from it themselves
To be mutton dressed up as lamb: an older person dolled up as a youngster
To be a wolf in sheep’s clothing: an enemy posing as a friend
To have goose flesh: the pimply reaction of the skin to cold / shock
To reap what one sows: to get out what one puts in e.g. effort
You can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink: one can present opportunities but one cannot force action
To cast pearls before swine: to offer wisdom to an unappreciative audience
Not to count your chickens before they have hatched: make sure that a thing is actually yours before you speak and act as if it were
All his geese are swans: to overestimate; to see things in too rosy a light
To cook his goose: to ruin his chances
He can’t say 'Boo' to a goose: he is timid and cannot stand up for himself
To kill the goose that laid the golden egg: he sacrificed future reward for present gain
The old woman is plucking her goose: it is snowing
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: what’s good for one is good for the other
To be in the doghouse: to be in disgrace
To be as sick as a dog: to be very ill
To go to the dogs: to go to ruin
To rain cats and dogs: to pour with rain
To let the cat out of the bag: to disclose a secret
To put a cat among the pigeons: to stir up trouble
To be a rose among the thorns: to be the only man among a group of women
To be a thorn in the flesh: to be a source of constant irritation

(24)

Table 9
Lily (Fleur-de-Lis) France
Pomegranate Spain
Rose England
Shamrock Ireland
Thistle Scotland
Sugar Maple Canada

(6)

ACTIVITY 2:

COMMAS

“was responsible for sending plants, bulbs and seeds…”

“These include Nerine, Gazanias, Ericas and Clivias…”(2)

Any acceptable example (1)

Any acceptable example (1)

Any acceptable example (1)

No (1)

“One of the governors of the Cape, Ryk Tulbagh, a lover of wild flowers…”

“… Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanical expert…”

“..Sir Joseph Banks, the acting director of Kew, before it …” (2)

“… he collected more than 400 species of plants, including seventy-nine

different species of protea…” (1)

“…Ryk Tulbagh, a lover of wild flowers, was responsible…”

“…the acting director of Kew, before it became a public garden, sent Francis Masson…” (2)

DEGREES OF COMPARISON

(a) People are more intelligent than monkeys.

(b) A lion is more dangerous than a cat.

(c) An orchid is more exotic than a daisy.

(d) A mouse is smaller than a rat.

(e) An eagle flies higher than a guinea-fowl. (5)

2.1 …our dog eats more quickly than our cat does.

2.2 …cheetah runs the fastest.

2.3 …less water than lavender does.

2.4 …best camouflage of all. (4)

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