Lesson Notes By Weeks and Term - Junior Secondary School 3

Vocabulary Development: Synonyms and Antonyms

SUBJECT: ENGLISH LANGUAGE                                     




TOPIC: Vocabulary Development: Synonyms and Antonyms


Synonyms are words that have almost the same meaning. Study the following examples with the aid of a dictionary:

Words                Synonyms 

holy                pious, religious, godly

active                dynamics, energetic, fast, quick

callous                unfeeling, unsympathetic

law                rule, legislation, regulation, statute

educated            learned, informed, literate

start                begin, commence, initiate

happy                glad, pleased satisfied

famous                popular, well-known, eminent

own                possess, have

feeble                weak, faint

show                reveal, exhibit

aim                purpose, intention, objective, goal

dangerous            risky, perilous, hazardous


Antonyms are words that are opposite in meaning or nearly opposite in meaning

Words                        Antonyms

quiet                noisy, troublesome

start                end, stop

empty                full

friend                 foe, enemy

idle                busy

famous                notorious

accept                reject

expel                admit

monotony            variety

virtue                vice


Some antonyms are formed by adding prefixes to the words e.g; im, in, un, il. Di, etc. each of these prefixes means ‘not’

Words                Antonyms

pure                impure

correct                in correct

literate                illiterate

active                inactive

possible            impossible

logical                illogical

orderly                disorderly

lucky                unlucky

kind                unkind

advantage            disadvantage



  1. Write a synonym for each of these words: humble, broad, openly, wise, profound, industrious, expensive, modern, buy, and correct
  2. Give the antonyms of the words below:

conceal, clever, best, inferior, approve, feeble, able, allow, callous, invaluable



Countdown English by Ogunsanwo; English Grammar by P.O Olatunbosun.



Read page 107 (Synonyms and Antonyms) of Exam Focus and page 101of English Grammar by   P.O Olatunbosun.


TOPIC: Structure: Active and Passive Voices


An active sentence is one in which the subject performs an action or does something. In this case, the sentence follows the normal order of the subject, verb and object or subject and predicate.


    Bola\ kicked\ the ball.

    Tunde \visits\ a doctor\ every month.

    I\ ate \yam\ yesterday.

    The children\ are playing\. Football.


All the sentences above are in the active voice.

A passive sentence is realized when the object takes the position of the subject, i.e when the object is mentioned first before the subject.

Often times, passive sentences are used:

When we do not know the subject or performer of the action, e.g The book was stolen yesterday.

When the subject is not that important:



    The rice is then boiled for twenty-five minutes.

------ when the performer/subject is known by everybody.

    The evening news is read at 6pm


Examples of passive sentences are:

    A song was composed by Tayo

    The students were flogged by the teacher

    They will be taken home by her.


Changing Active Sentences to Passive Ones.

To do this, some changes take place: 

  1. The active object becomes a passive subject
  2. The active subject becomes agentive adverbial introduced with the preposition ‘by’

iii.    An appropriate form of auxiliary ‘BE’ is introduced before the main verb


Now change the following active sentences to passive ones:

Active sentence > They sang some songs.

Passive sentence > Some songs were sang by them.


Active sentence > Women prefer smaller cars.

Passive sentence > smaller cars are preferred by women.


Active sentence > His trap has caught a rat. 

Passive sentence > A rat has been caught by his trap. 


Active sentence > The teacher is flogging the students.

Passive sentence > The students are being flogged by the teacher.



Change the following to passive sentences: 

  1. He will do the work.
  2. I will have finished the assignment by 4o’clock.

iii.    The boy writes two letters every week.

  1. She is writing a letter.

Change the following to active sentences

  1. The work would have been done by her
  2. The ball was kicked by me
  3. The novels were written by him



English Grammar by Olatunbosun; Exam Focus: English for JSCE



Read “Active and Passive Structures on page 51-52 of English Grammar and page 76-77 of Exam Focus


TOPIC: Grammar: Phrasal Verbs and Idioms


A phrasal verb is a group of words that consists of a verb and a particle, usually a preposition. We must understand that the meaning of a phrasal verb cannot be understood from the meanings of individual words taken in isolation. Rather, it has to be understood from the entire phrase.


Consider the following:

turndown > refuse: I turned down his offer.

give in > surrender: we refused to give in to the opponents.

put off > postpone: The meeting was put off till next week.

take to > like: Children take to whoever plays with them

take after > resemble: I take after my mother.

take in > understand: She took in everything the teacher said. 

An Idiom is a group of words/ a phrase/ an expression whose meaning cannot be understood from the ordinary meanings of the words consisted in it. In other words, an Idiom is an expression that has a special meaning.



Idioms                    meanings

Fish in troubled waters        try to get an advantage from a difficult situation

Not bat an eyelid             show no surprise at all

Bite off more than one can chew.    try to do what one finds difficult

Put all your eggs in one basket    depend on a single plan of action or person for success

Bury the hatchet             stop disagreeing with each other

Pick holes in                to find the weak points

Kick the bucket            die

Lion’s share                the largest part

Beat about the bush            avoiding the important matter

Nip the crisis in the bud        prevent the crisis from developing further



Write the meaning of each of the following:

Bow down.  

Come by

Set off

Take aback

Back up

Give up


Back out

Put out

Hand in



Countdown English by Ogunsanwo; Exam Focus; English Grammar by Olatunbosun



Read more about phrasal verbs and idioms on page 93-95 of English Grammar by Olatunbosun.


TOPIC: Comprehension: Aikin Mata (A play)


  • Summary
  • Evaluation

The play is an extract from “Aikin Mata.” It features three characters- the dance leader, Alkali and Magajiya. The play shows how women abolished war by seizing power and control over all the money (kudi) in the land.



Do practice 2 on pages 190&191



Effective English for J.S.S 3



Read page 189 of Effective English for J.S.S 3


TOPIC: Speech work: Diphthongs


A diphthong is the combination of two vowel sounds produced together with the gliding movement of the speech organs. This means, to realize a diphthong, you glide from the first sound to the second one. There are eight diphthongs in English language.

They are:

    \ eɪ \ as in age, date, make, raid, crane, eight

    \ əʊ \ as in dough, old, home, go row, crow, toe, sew

    \ aɪ \ as in buy, rice, cry, tie, height, high

\ aʊ \ as in cow, bout, bough, doubt

\ ɔɪ \ as in boy, boil, moist, buoy

\ ɪə \ as in fear, beer, clear, fierce

\ eə \ as in air, bare, fair, share

\ ʊə \ as in poor, pure, sure



Indicate the diphthongs represented in the words below

foe \ \

crowd \ \

vain \ \

pair \ \

Island \ \

sow \ \

noise \ \

plough \ \

rear \ \

know \ \



Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology by Fatusin; Diction in English (year 10)



Read page 145 (diphthongs) of Exam Focus and Diction in English year 9


TOPIC: Writing: Argumentative Essay


An argumentative essay is one in which a candidate presents a subject with the aim of persuading his/ her audience to agree with his/her own point of view against another one. All forms of debate are argumentative essays but not all argumentative essays are debates. We may develop an argument for the following reasons:

  1. To prove a point
  2. To present a point of view

iii.    To balance the two sides of an issue.


In a debate, your audience determines how you start. There is need for vocative i.e greeting the people that are present, e.g, The Chairman, The Judges, Time-keeper, The Audience, or Ladies and Gentlemen. But, in an argumentative essay that is not a debate, there is no need for the vocative, rather, you write the topic and present your own points in a systematic way.


The language, i.e, your choice of words, must be forceful and convincing. Questions may be asked from the audience, references (allusions) can be made to history, bible, other books etc. Lastly, make sure your final words are as conclusive as possible. 



Write to support or oppose the topic “Teachers are better than farmers in a society.



Countdown English by Ogunsanwo



Read more on argumentative essay from Exam Focus, page 20



  1. Use the following phrases in sentences.

has been, have been, is being, will be, will have done, will have been done.

  1. Change the following sentences to the passive voice.
  1. I am kicking the ball.
  2. He has written two letter.
  3. He has warned the student
  4. They were changing the sentence
  5. The boy had written two letters when the rain started.



  1. Make a list of ten idioms and give their meanings.
  2. Do practice 2 on page 159 of Effective English bk3

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