The Bright Side In America # Improve Vocabulary

Vocabulary is indeed a very important part of preparing for IELTS. If you are preparing for IELTS, then it is very important for you to understand the vocabulary and practice it well, is important to score well in the IELTS exam. This time we are looking at an article written on TIME magazine and understand it for the vocabulary.

Source – TIME

[PARA 1]

Charity–humanity’s most benevolent impulse–is a timeless and borderless virtue, dating at least to the dawn of religious teaching. Philanthropy as we understand it today, however, is a distinctly American phenomenon, inseparable from the nation that shaped it. From colonial leaders to modern billionaires like Buffett, Gates and Zuckerberg, the tradition of giving is woven into our national DNA.

[PARA 2]

Like so many of our social structures, the formal practice of giving money to aid society traces its origin to a Founding Father. Benjamin Franklin, an icon of individual industry and frugality even in his own day, understood that with the privilege of doing well came the price of doing good. When he died in 1790, Franklin thought to future generations, leaving in trust two gifts of 1,000 lb. of sterling silver. One to the city of Boston, the other to Philadelphia. Per his instruction, a portion of the money and its dividends could not be used for 200 years.

[PARA 3]

While Franklin’s gifts lay in wait, the tradition he established evolved alongside the young nation. After the Civil War, rapid industrialization concentrated unfathomable wealth in the hands of a few, creating a period of unprecedented inequality. In response, the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie pioneered scientific philanthropy, which sought to address the underlying causes of social ills, rather than their symptoms. In his lifetime, Carnegie gave away more than $350 million, the equivalent of some $9 billion today. His 1889 essay “Wealth”–now better known as Carnegie’s “The Gospel of Wealth”–effectively launched modern philanthropy by creating a model that the wealthy continue to follow.

[PARA 4]

Two decades later, John D. Rockefeller endowed the Rockefeller Foundation, which soon became the largest such “benevolent trust” in the world. Prior to World War II, the Rockefeller Foundation provided more foreign aid than the entire federal government.

[PARA 5]

Other, often far less well-known men and women have played a critical role in philanthropy’s evolution. One of my personal heroes is Julius Rosenwald, who made his fortune building Sears, Roebuck and Co. With his giving, Rosenwald helped construct more than 5,300 schools across the segregated South and opened classroom doors to a generation of African-American students, including Maya Angelou and Congressman John Lewis.

[PARA 6]

America’s philanthropic instinct is not limited to the rich. The nation’s history is rife with people like Oseola McCarty, a Mississippi washerwoman who gave away her life savings of $150,000 in 1995 to fund college scholarships for low-income students with promise.

[PARA 7]

What accounts for this culture of generosity? The answer is not solely altruistic. Incentives in the tax code, for one, encourage the well-off to give. And philanthropy has long helped improve the public image of everyone from robber barons to the new tech elite.

[PARA 8]

More troubling, however, are the foundational problems that make philanthropy so necessary. Just before his death, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.”

[PARA 9]

Indeed, King illuminates a central contradiction: philanthropy is an offspring of the market, conceived and sustained by returns on capital. Yet its most important responsibility is to help address the market’s imbalances and inadequacies.

[PARA 10]

Today institutional giving is undergoing a radical transformation. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg made headlines for committing $45 billion in Facebook stock through a limited liability corporation. They’re among a host of emerging donors who are experimenting with approaches to giving away their fortunes outside the boundaries of traditional foundations.

[PARA 11]

Only 26 years ago, the last of Franklin’s gifts were finally made available, having multiplied to $6.5 million. More than the sum, they represent a broader principle. We are custodians of a public trust, even if our capital was derived from private enterprise. The most important obligation is ensuring that the system works more equally and more justly for more people. This belief is core to our national character. America’s greatest strength is not the fact of perfection, but rather the act of perfecting.

WORDMEANINGSYNONYMS
1. BenevolentWell-meaning and kindlyBenign, caring, compassionate, generous, humane, philanthropic
2. virtueMoral excellence; goodness; righteousnessAdvantage, character, ethic, excellence, faith, generosity, goodness, ideal, kindness, love, merit, morality, purity, quality, rectitude, righteousness, value
3. philanthropyAltruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.Charity, generosity, alms, alms-giving, altruism, assistance, benefaction, beneficence, contribution, dole, donation, endowment, fund, relief
4. frugalityThe quality of being frugal, or prudent in saving; the lack of wastefulnessModeration, prudence, thrift, avarice, carefulness, conservation, economy, miserliness, niggardliness, parsimoniousness, parsimony, penuriousness, providence, saving, stinginess
5. waitstay where one is or delay action until a particular time or event:Interval, down, halt, downtime, hold, interim, rest, stay
6. unfathomableNot able to fathom or completely understand; incomprehensibleBoundless, immeasurable, infinite
7. unprecedentedWithout previous instance; never known or experiencedBizzare, extraordinary, fantastic, miraculous, new, remarkable, singular, uncommon, unheard- of, unique, unparalleled, unrivaled, unusual
8. endowedTo provide with a permanent fund or source of incomeBlessed. Enriched, equipped, graced, suppilied
9. segregatedRestricting to one group, especially exclusively on the basis of racial or ethnic membershipIsolated, restricted, excluded, separated, discriminative
10. rifeOf common or frequent occurrence; prevalent; in widespread existence, activity or useAbundant, alive, plentiful, popular, prevalent, rampant, replete, abounding, common, current, epidemic, extensive, frequent
11. generosityReadiness or liberality in givingGoodness, hospitality, kindness, largesse, unselfishness, alms-giving, altruism, beneficence
12. altruisticUnselfishly concerned or devoted to the welfare of othersCharitable, humanitarian, magnanimous, philanthropic, all heart, benevolent, big, bleeding heart, considerate, good scout
13. incentivesSomething that incites or tends to incite to action or greater effort as a reward offered for increased productivityEncouragement, enticement, impetus, motivation, reason, stimulus, allurement, bait, carrot, catalyst, come- on, provocation, stimulant, insistence, exhortation
14. robberA person who robs (steals)Bandit, burglar, con artist, crook, looter, marauder, mugger, pickpocket, pirate, raider, rustler, shoplifter, swindler, thief, thug, brigand, buccaneer, cardsharper, cheat, chiseler, desperado, despoiler, fence, forager, fraud, hijacker, housebreaker, prowler, punk, safecracker, pillager, plunderer, operator
15. baronsA member of the lowest grade of nobilityAristocrat, lord, peer
16. contradictionA statement or proposition that contradicts or denies another or itself and is logically incongruousConflict, difference, disagreement, discrepancy, dispute, inconsistency, confutation, contravention, defiance, denial, dissension, incongruity, negation, opposite, opposition
17. radicalOf or going to the root or origin; fundamentalProfound, basal, bottom, cardinal, constitutional, essential, native, natural, organic, original, primary, primitive, deep-seated, foundational, inherent, innate, intrinsic, meat-and-potatoes, primal
18. obligationSomething by which a person is bound or obliged to do certain things, and which arises out of a sense of duty or results from custom, law etc.Accountability, agreement bond, burden, commitment, constraint, contract, debt, duty, liability, necessity, need, promise, requirement, right, trust, understanding

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IELTS Cue Card # Dream House

We all want to live in a kind of house that motivates us to be something and do something,. The kind of house that we enter and feel like home and where we can relax. Now, everyone has their own idea of a dream house. Let us today have a look at some of the possible answers related to a cue card about dream house.

Describe a house or apartment you want to live in.

You should say:

  • What it would look like?
  • Where it would be located?
  • What facilities this would have?

and explain why you want to live there.

Sample Answer One

Home is where the heart is. We all have dreams and things we want from our lives. It’s ok to be materialistic in life and there is no harm in having some luxuries. I was born and raised up in a valley surrounded by hills so I’d like my dream house to be ideally located somewhere in between the hills. The location of the house will be a semi urban area as there are certain places in the hills that are secluded and there are no facilities available for miles. I’d like my dream home to be located in Mussorie, a small hill station resting on the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India.
The house will be a medium sized bungalow with two floors, a front and a back garden and have all the modern day amenities. The building will be designed as such that all the windows of the bungalow will overlook the Doon valley. The architecture will be of Victorian era as it will give a very colonial look to the place. The ground floor will have a big common room adjoining a modular kitchen and a bar which will have spirits from different parts of the earth. The climate is cold so all the windows of the bungalow will be double glazed to provide insulation and protect us in the harsh cold weather. The upper floor will have a big master bedroom along with two other guest bedrooms.
As I live in the city so I’ll use this house as a holiday home and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Located in nature’s lap it will be a perfect relaxation spot and a perfect holiday. Once in my latter years of life I’d like to retire there and live a calm and peaceful life in a serene environment.

dream house

Sample Answer Two

We all as humans dream fancy about our houses. So, there are some who want all the luxuries in their house while some prefer living close to nature. I want my house to be a mimic of nature. So, I want a small waterfall in my house wherein I can take bath and then I want my house to have lot of flowers and be surrounded by trees. So, that in the evening when I wish to sit down, I should feel calm and serene from inside.

Then I want my house to have a library as well. Library of the books that I have already read, so it will be more like a collection of books that I love and could offer others to read and in the library there will be my study table and in one corner will be the place where I could look out of window and see the entire nature at its best and have some thing to drink or relax. There will be part of my house, where I will allow anyone to come in and sleep over and have food just for free. Because, I want people to travel and travel with entire safety. With nothing to worry I want them to explore this beautiful world.
Also, in my house I wish to have a beautiful field wherein I could go for jogging or play some games. I don’t wish for the most expensive house in the world but I wish for the house that is the most special for me.

Sample Answer Three

Everyone has lot of dreams about their house. I too have. I wish my house to be a duplex building with spacious rooms and corridors. It is very important for me to be able to move freely and I wish to have ample space even after placing the furniture. The house should be well ventilated and the view from outside the window should be of something close to nature. I would love to have a balcony in my house with my bedroom facing the south side from where I could smell the fragrance from the garden. At the night times, I will place a chair on the balcony to enjoy the night views, especially the moonlit nights.

Although I like natural places, but for my house I would like it to be in the middle. So, somewhere where it is not very far from the city neither too close to the town. It should have the feel of a city life with no troubles that it brings along with it, like lot of traffic and noise pollution. Even more, the house should have all the modern amenities. It should have a telephone connection with which I can connect with the entire world and then there should be Internet.

Also, I need a garage wherein I can keep my car and the roof of the house should also be large as I intend to plant some small plants on the rooftop garden. Even more, it is very important to have good quality fittings,tiles and necessary elements in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Ultimately, I want to live in a big house wherein I can have a feeling of a house and can roam about freely because that is very important.

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IELTS Listening Sample Questions # Food Bank

Food Bank

The audio has been taken from BBC 6 minutes English. You can even download the audio from the given link –

Answer the following questions in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS

  1.  How many British people are estimated to have used food banks?
  2. In which year did the financial crisis took place in Britain?
  3. In which year were the cut offs to the welfare system made?
  4. What is the phrase being used to talk about underemployment?
  5. Which phrase is used to mean “unlimited access”?
  6. What is the meaning of limited stocks?
  7. Which term is used to refer to people who want something for nothing?
  8. Which term is used to refer to a food in a can that needs to be only heated?

ANSWERS

  1. 500,000.
  2. 2008
  3. 2013
  4. zero-hours contracts
  5. open door
  6. shortage of goods
  7. scrounger
  8. tinned ready meals

 

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IELTS Listening Sample Questions # Outernet

Outernet

The audio has been taken from BBC 6 minutes English. You can download the audio from the given link –

Answer the following questions in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS

  1. Which phrase has been used to mean isolated?
  2. What is the device called that stores books from the interenet and lets you read it even when you don’t have access to internet?
  3. What is the proportion of the world’s population that still has no internet access?
  4. Which term is used for the person who makes their own money called?
  5. Which word means that you send out signals or program?
  6. What is the synonym of drawback?
  7. Which word is used to symbolize that something is not connected to the internet?
  8. What is the other way of saying two-way?
  9. What is the right to use material without paying any fees called?
  10. Which word is used to refer to a tall metal tower?

ANSWERS

  1. cut off
  2. e-reader
  3. two thirds
  4. entrepreneur
  5. Broadcast
  6. disadvantage
  7. offline
  8. bi-directional
  9. copyright -free
  10. masts

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