English Grammar Exercise – English Skill Building – 160

Writing Skill Enhancement

English Skill Building – 160

Short reading and writing exercise to improve your syntax and grammar skills.

1. What does the following sentence mean? Explain in your own words.

Russia’s efforts to wear down Ukraine’s air defenses and incapacitate its energy infrastructure with exploding drones are being met with increased ability by Ukraine to shoot down nearly all of the lumbering Iranian-made weapons. [Source : NYT]

2. Convert the above sentence in Passive form to Active form.

3. Make sentences with:

Wear down as phrasal verb,


Lumber as noun,

Lumber as verb


1. Russia is continuously sending drones carrying explosives to Ukraine. These drones come in such large numbers and so frequently that Ukraine’s air defense systems become very over-burdened. After some time, the defense systems stop working. Russia sends these drones to destroy Ukraine’s energy infrastructure like power generation plants, power supply lines etc. These drones are made and supplied by Iran. Fortunately for Ukraine, its armed forces have learned the tricks to shoot down the incoming drones. They are now able to shoot down almost all invading drones sent by Russia.

2. Passive to Active conversion…With increasing ability, Ukraine is meeting the Russian efforts to use explosive Iranian drones in order to incapacitate its air defense systems and destroy its energy infrastructure. (Active form)

3. Make sentences with:

Wear down
1. Back-to-back job interviews had sapped my mental energy and completely worn me down. To get over such stress, I went to the Jagannath Temple and spent almost half a day there sitting on the floor doing nothing. By the time I emerged, my mind was totally relaxed and fresh. This is how the Lord ameliorates our suffering.

2. In the court room, the prosecution lawyer had come half prepared for the case as he had assumed that he could prove his charges against the accused with relative ease. However, the defense lawyer had marshaled a lot of material in the form of earlier high court judgments, and judgments of the same court that took the wind out of the sails of his rival. He argued his case patiently for three long hours and virtually wore down the prosecution side. At the end, the judge acquitted the accused. The meticulous work of the defense lawyer was rewarded.

3. Soon after the train accident dozens of critically injured passengers arrived at the hospital. The doctors and nurses had to work for nearly 18 hours a day for three consecutive days trying to save the lives of the patients. The over-stretched medical staff were worn down by such burden on them, but they continued to do the grueling duty. Later, the chief minister heaped praise on them in a press conference.

1. Forest department staff often use stun guns to incapacitate wild elephants and tigers. After being hit by the bullet, the animals can’t move from their place enabling the foresters to overpower them and transport them to the zoo.
2. The government incapacitated the newly-opened medical colleges through an ordinance as they had not recruited the required number of teaching staff.

1. As noun …In Myanmar and Thailand, elephants are used to drag the lumber from forest interiors to the nearest highways.
2. As verb …The huge 50-foot-high Sal tree was cut at its base. The elephants pulled it and brought it to the saw mill where the tree was lumbered to 10-foot lengths.
Meaning 2… a. The old army truck loaded with a huge tank lumbered along the highway making a strange sound that frightened us.

b. The large water pump drawing water from the river for supply to the town lumbered (making an odd sound) the whole night forcing the maintenance staff to shut it down for overhaul.

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