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Interpretation Skills

Interpretation is the ability to read meaning along with the reading of the text. If you are able to exactly understand what the author conveys then you have good interpretation skills. If not then you need more knowledge about the various rules of punctuations and grammars to understand them better. This article covers these grammatical conventions and the meaning they imply in the text.

Where is Interpretation Skill required in GP?

Interpretation skill is required most evidently in two areas of General Paper.

Understanding the question

If you don't understand the question properly then you may write different answer than demanded by the question. Thus, you may write answer off-topic and irrelevant.

Understanding the comprehension passage of 8001 paper

Comprehension passages are developed deliberately to trap you. If you cannot understand the passage and the questions that follow it, you cannot help but fall into that trap. Here, you need good interpretation skill which comes to a person after a very long practice of reading and learning. Therefore, you need to work very hard to achieve this skill if you aren't much good at reading, i.e., you have problems with vocabulary, grammar, and don't know various sentence structures.

Also this skill is required in most of the aspects of General Paper indirectly.

The exam paper of GP requires you to write an essay of 50 marks with 30 marks for your "Content" and 20 marks for your "Use of English." You have to do a lot of research for a single essay to collect more and more information on the subject, and read and interpret them correctly. Therefore, the 60% of your marks lies in the correct interpretation of the texts you have read or prepared for the contents of your essay.

Also you can use some interpretation skill techniques to enhance your writing, or to communicate your message more effectively. You would be able to use various tones; however you should know what the various tones are at first. The sentence may be simple, without any difficult vocabularies, but it may imply opposite meaning, i.e., the ironical one. Quite a lot of these types of sentences can be understood with the knowledge of the following basic rules or conventions used in writing. Also you can use these conventions in your own sentences to make your writing witty and effective.

Tones used in speaking and writing

The meaning of a sentence lies in the tone used to write it. The words are same, in speech and writing, but they bear different meanings in different circumstances, just because their tones are different. Although same words are used, there is, however, a distinction between them in both speech and writing. The examples below can help you to understand some of the tones frequently used in speech and writing.
I don't play cards much.

This is a straightforward statement. It means what it seems to mean.


I don't play cards - much!
Here, the tone is ironical or self-mocking. The speaker probably plays cards more than he or she should.


They said it was interesting.
Again this is a straightforward sentence.


They said it was interesting?
Here, the speaker implies that he finds it hard to believe.


They said it was interesting!!
The speaker means that he agrees with them. He thinks that was amazing as described by them.


They said it was interesting...
Here, the speaker has some reservations OR He is about to tell you more on the subject.


They said it was "interesting".
That was the word they used, however that seems a strange word to use in those circumstances. The businessmen and politicians mostly use some words to promote their products or the election campaigns which are fascinating to hear but are doubtful in nature. Such words are quoted by the writers to emphasize what they actually said or to ironically mock them up.

Punctuations Convention & How to give Additional Information

Commas, in the sentences, are used to provide additional information, which is optional and can be discarded while reading.

Here the actual message, discarding the additional information, is:
Commas are used to provide additional information.

As you can see above, the commas are used to make sentences more informative, attractive, meaningful and organised yet still maintaining their concise theme. Therefore, their importance can never be ignored.

To master using the commas, I want you to notice the places where they are used to provide additional information when you read any kind of text. If the sentence still holds the meaning after discarding the text between the commas then that text is additional information and that can be discarded to get actual sense of the sentence. Its purpose is to facilitate the understanding of the text by providing extra information. You may also try them in your writing but you should be correct.


Sometimes, you remember something which would have been appropriate in the sentence you just wrote and you want to include it in that sentence. What would you do? Just give a dash (-) and then pen the thought as an afterthought. Here are a few examples:
Dashes (-) are used to add an afterthought - sometimes.

It was an excellent film - apart from the violence.

What are the applications of these skills for you?

Even if you are going to sit for paper 8004, the paper with both essays, you can use these sorts of sentences to express your arguments in a more effective, witty or the ironical way. You need to make sure, however, that your arguments indeed imply the meaning you wanted to convey.

Again, for those of you who will be appearing for a comprehension passage, the knowledge of these skills will help you draw out (construe) the true meaning implied in the text, easily and quite confidently. This will ultimately help you to solve the questions and perform critical analysis of the text quite easily.


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