© Palauenc05, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0. Source

A wind-sculpted tree in Lun, Croatia.

About this picture …

A tree in Lun, the northernmost village of the Adriatic island of Pag, puts up a dogged resistance to the cruel winds that frequent this stormy corner of Lika-Senj County, Croatia. Aesop’s fable of the wind and the sun is a reminder that benevolence achieves more than coercion. See also Dr Johnson on Sweet and Sour.

Worksheet No. 6

These Worksheets are based on textbooks written by NL Clay (1905-1991) and used in English schools from the 1920s to the 1960s. They focus on vocabulary, sentence structure, and clear speaking. They are best studied in pairs or small groups, because that allows you to pool ideas and encourages you to speak; but you may of course share your sentences with me.


For each group of words, compose a single sentence that uses at least one of them. They are generated randomly from a list of very common English words.

I. Top. Way. Skill.

II. Know. Likely. You.

III. Present. Free. Modern.

See more Spinners.

Bits and Pieces

Suggest words for a small amount of:

IButter. IIDanger. IIILuck. IVSympathy. VWork.

Suggested words (in A to Z order)

Pat, knob. Shred. Slice. Stroke. Whiff.

See more Bits and Pieces.


For each pair of words, use your own sentences to bring out any differences in meaning, grammar or use.

IAgo, since. IIExhibit, show. IIIHear, listen.

See more Confusables.


Use each of the following verbs in three sentences: one statement, one question, and one command. Your sentences should be at least seven words in length.

For example: Stand

→ I’ve been standing here for over an hour. [Statement]

→ How can you stand that dreadful noise? [Question]

→ Don’t just stand there, make yourself useful! [Command]

IAsk. IICollect. IIIJoin. IVLeave. VRemember. VIWait. VIIWatch. VIIIWrite.


Turn these notes into a short passage of continuous prose.

Wind and sun quarrelled. Which the more powerful? Held a competition. A traveller went by in a cloak. Wind tried to strip the cloak. Clung to it more tightly. Sun shone bright and hot. Took cloak off. Kindness stronger than force.

See The Wind and the Sun.


For each letter below, compose a sentence that includes at least three words beginning with your letter.


Read this short passage out aloud, clearly and without haste.

JENNY kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in;
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.

Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), from The Monthly Chronicle for November 1838.