Start exploring the English language today! Start your FREE email English course now!
Google  
English-Test.net
 
close at hand
rubber
nearby
severe
simple
full quiz correct answer

ESL Story: The language of silence

Front gardening I hate
Driving lessons
Learning to teach
Holiday in waiting
What's your sense of direction like?
The scariest thing...?
Do people still get married?
The soccer world cup and 'Wibledon'
Difficult pairs: credible vs. credulous
Difficult pairs: loose vs. lose
Difficult pairs: listen vs. hear
Difficult pairs: people vs. person
Difficult pairs: speak vs. talk
Difficult Pairs: see vs. look
The behaviour of cats and dogs
Seriously though
Just me and English
From one extreme to the other
Are you a gestculatory sort of person?
Englishes?
Are you a TV or radio person?
Emails?
Are you a nitpicker?
Putting your foot in it
The language of surprise
Have a nice cliché
The language of suspicion
The language of understanding
The language of ups and downs
The language of praise
The language of sleep
The language of sarcasm
The language of silence
The language of pessimism
The language of optimism
The language of relaxation
The language of work
The language of yes
The language of numbers
The language of army
Gerund or infinitive?
A born fiddler
How good is your Polish?
A matter of degree
The Knoblauch-Garlic Story
How to get to Heraklion?
Negotiating a Commission
What does it take to be a firefigher?
How to start a beauty salon?
How to make lambs suckle?
Hooked up
Don't mess with the Russians
China Kid
China Kid (2)
A story behind a family tree
A story behind a family tree (2)
A story behind a family tree (3)
Knit
English Language Exercises 2206 English Exercises
This English grammar test package will help you learn new phrases, idioms, expressions and grammar structures every single day. And you won't even have to cram any grammar rules or vocabulary words into your head. Instead, you will be absorbing bits and pieces of the English language almost without realizing it.
 

Listen to this lesson (English audio, MP3)

Please activate Javascript for view MP3 player



Shut up is still regarded by most people as an impolite expression but you hear it nevertheless used in everyday conversation and the tone in which it is spoken indicates its severity or casualness. Thus, a child shouting shut up to his parents would, we imagine, be reprimanded but in adult conversation the remark: “Oh come on, shut up! I’m trying to be serious!” would be quite harmless in it’s request for co-operation. More formally “Be quiet” and “Keep quiet” as orders call for greater respect.

Entertaining English Usage EssaysPrintable, photocopiable and clearly structured format
Designed for teachers and individual learners
For use in a classroom, at home, on your PC or anywhere
 

And “Hold your tongue!” has a dramatic and almost medieval severity all of its own. Less awe-inspiring are “Pay attention now please!” and “May I have your attention please?” On a more friendly level when we want quiet we can simply say, ”Would you mind?” or “Settle down now” and for a humorous effect we use “Right, let’s have some hush.” Two expressions used in special circumstances are “Order, order” called out in a debating chamber and “Silence in court!” used in a court of law.

Of course, being quiet can also mean as we say keeping yourself to yourself or not revealing secrets or personal feelings. We keep mum or clam up when we are guarding private information. When others tell us an important piece of news that they don’t want advertised around they advise us: “Keep it under your hat, don’t spread it around, don’t tell a soul” or simply “Keep it to yourself.

Intentionally preventing information from reaching the public notice can also have sinister motives. So we speak of an incident concerning well-known people as being hushed up. The idea behind this is that we ought to know about the incident but it is deliberately being kept secret to avoid embarrassment to those involved. In a similar vein if the press is not allowed to publish a story we say it is being gagged.

Then there are expressions that point to an absence of noise: It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop; they sat there the whole evening and didn’t utter a sound or more chilling: a deathly hush fell over the audience when they heard the news. But perhaps the most effective word of quietness is silence in its various forms. Silence is the word written on notice boards in, for example, public library reading rooms. The verb to silence: All opposition was silenced when the minister explained the reason for the Government’s action. A deserted village may be described with a comparison as silent as the grave and an ominous silence could be used with reference to a lack of comment where normally some reaction would be expected: An ominous silence followed John’s suggestion to do the cooking that evening, none of us dared say what we were really thinking. Now I take my leave and say no more with the appropriate thought that

Silence is Golden.

Dear Friend,
If you have any questions or comments regarding this essay, please post your answers on the forum here: Silence.

Many thanks.

If you have any English grammar or vocabulary questions,
please post them on this English Grammar Forum.


Next:ESL Story: The language of pessimism

Author: Alan Townend


  copyright © 2003—2019 english-test.net  
 
Get FREE English course via e-mail