Consist of, comprise, be composed of, constitute, make up/be made up of, include

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The expressions such as consist (of), comprise (be comprised of), composed of, constitute, make up (be made up of), include, etc. describe the relationship of parts to the whole, or whole to parts. We sometimes use them interchangeably but not in all cases. Let’s look at the usages of each word, with attention to active and passive voices.

 

Consist of = When we want to talk about the whole and then all of its parts, we commonly use consist of: ‘North America consists of three countries: the USA, Canada, and Mexico’, ‘the club consists of members from all across the world’, ‘the crew consists of twenty men’, ‘the class consists of students from all over the world’, the trip of UN Secretary-General consists of several countries in Asia’, etc.

 

More example sentences of consist of

She got the termination letter which largely consisted of several allegations.

The proposed overbridge will consist of several overpasses and underpasses.

These evidences consisted not of videos, as you say, but of several audio clips, too.

The exhibition consists of a wide range of products aimed at the defence industry.

The magazine includes a section at the back consisting of a telephone directory.

The menu usually consisted of two or three dishes which were served in the earthen pot.

The ICU health care team consists of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, dieticians and other professionals.

 

Note that ‘consist of’ is more informal than ‘comprise’.

 

Be aware! Never use ‘consist of’ in the passive, so don’t say something is consisted of something.

The Group of Seven consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.                                        

The Group of Seven is consisted of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.                 

 

Comprise = Consist of; be made up of. The verb ‘comprise’ has an edge over the verb ‘consist of,’ if you stick to the sense that the whole comprises the parts, and use the active rather than the passive: ‘The newly formed committee will comprise seven members’, ‘the trust comprises four trustees including one chairman’, ‘the studio spans several city blocks, comprising seventeen buildings’, etc.

 

More example sentences of comprise

The collection comprises 51 classic movies.

The team comprises mostly players from the Commonwealth nations.

Consumer spending by state government now comprises 70% of GDP.

The audience comprising former players, bureaucrats and senior citizens were an enthusiastic lot.

Ad-supported cable programs now comprise more than 80 percent of all U.S. television households.

The accommodation provided by the company comprises two bedrooms, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and rear garden.

 

Note that sometimes we use comprise in the passive with of, though debatable:

The whole + is comprised of + all its parts (passive)

The course is comprised of fifteen core modules.

The committee is comprised of well-known historians.

The class is comprised mainly of Mexican and Canadian students.

 

Note that this passive use has been on the rise, may be due to its similarity to ‘be composed of’. However, it is somewhat controversial and not liked by most traditional grammarians.

 

Be aware!  Like ‘consist of’, ‘comprise’ is not followed by of unless it is used in the passive: ‘the band consists of two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer’ and NOT ‘the band comprises of two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer’.

 

Be composed of = The things that something is composed of are its parts or members. The separate things that compose something are the parts or members that form it: ‘the cake is composed of flour and eggs’, ‘a council composed of leaders of the rival factions’,  ‘this vanity table should be composed of three parts’, etc.

 

Note that there’s no difference in meaning between ‘consist of‘ and ‘be composed of‘; we use both to describe what something is formed or made of.

 

More example sentences of be composed of

This force would be composed of troops from NATO members.

All matter is found to be composed of atoms and molecules.

The current Roberts Court is supposed to be composed of more democrats.

It has been found that tears to be composed of negatively charged ions.

His idea was a smaller army to be composed of better-trained and better-equipped soldiers.

The committee will be composed of the permanent representatives of the participating States.

The newly-formed force would be composed of all combat types, including two or three carriers, transports and train vessels.

A PowerPoint Presentation can be composed of audio, video, images, text, and other media types.

 

Constitute = Be (a part) of a whole; combine to form (a whole): ‘women constitute the majority of the workforce’, here’s a collection of old photographs that constitutes the ‘family album, etc.

 

More example sentences of constitute

There were enough allegations to constitute a lawsuit.

The Barony of Erris constitutes such a large part of Mayo.

Muslims in Burma constitute at least 4 per cent of the country’s entire population.

This termination of contract, from the legal point of view, constitutes a breach of contract.

The pedestrians in the city constitute the highest number of victims of road accidents.

These so-called elite groups constituted a very small proportion of the total population.

This combined migratory population constituted more than 21.8 percent of Lebanon’s population.

The data presented by the WHO constitute only a very modest beginning toward meeting the challenge.

 

Make up = (of parts) compose or constitute a whole: ‘women make up 56 per cent of the workforce’,

We also use ‘make up’ in this way: with Liam and Emma we made up a foursome for badminton.

 

More example sentences of make up

Milk, dairy, eggs, meat, fish and poultry make up your three-year-old child’s diet.

As of 2010, there were about 14 million Jews around the world, making up 0.2% of the global population.

American shoppers make up the largest percentage of foreign buyers.

 

Note that ‘make up’ is a bit less formal than ‘constitute’, but ‘compose’ is rather formal and perhaps rather old-fashioned.

 

Be made up of = When the subject refers to the whole, make up can also be used in the passive with of: ‘the novel is made up of twelve short stories’, ‘the crew is made up of five women and three men’.

 

Include = Comprise or contain as part of a whole; make part of a whole or set. When we talk about the whole and then only some of the parts, we use include: ‘the class includes many students from Singapore and Taiwan’, the trip includes a one-night stay at Hawaii’, ‘the price includes all meals and bed’, etc.

 

More example sentences of include

She donated a few articles of furniture including an almirah, a chair and a vanity table.

The wine was quite good, and it was included in the price of the dinner.

On our trip to Maryland, we were allowed only breakfast and dinner because lunch was not included in the price.

Food and drinks are included in the entry price so it’s a bit of a bargain.

The book also includes some hints for beginners at the back.

Ending a Sentence with a Preposition

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Ending a sentence with a preposition has long been frowned upon by traditional readers and is still considered grammatically incorrect. However, it’s not technically an error. It’s perfectly OK to end a sentence with a preposition such as with, for, of, and to in the English language. ‘Where did you get this shirt from?’ and ‘This is the novel I told you about!’ sound much more natural than ‘From where did you get this shirt?’ or ‘This is the novel about which I told you!’

So, if the alternatives tend to create confusion or sound unnatural, it’s totally permissible to end your sentence with a preposition especially in casual or informal writing. Most grammar and usage guides had come to the conclusion that there was really nothing wrong with ending a sentence with a preposition (also known as preposition stranding, or sentence-terminal prepositions). For example:

Who were you speaking to?  (informal and more casual)

To whom were you speaking? (formal, but not in use in conversation)

Whom were you speaking to? (breaks out the rule of ending a sentence with a preposition, a little formal)

 

Some example sentences

Who (whom) were you sitting with?

I don’t understand what she’s talking about!

Where does she come from?

Who is she going out with?

Which movie was she cast in? (casual)

In which movie was she cast? (formal)

Where did this box come from?

 

Many English idioms and colloquial expressions end in prepositions. When you use the expressions at the end of a sentence, the sentence ultimately ends in a preposition. For example:

She gave up the job when her first child came along.

Thanks for stopping by!

The shop is all set up.

Will you calm down?

 

Is it necessary to move the preposition?

Though in informal setting, it doesn’t require you to move the preposition away from the end of the sentence, it could be your choice in formal writing. Phrases that sound natural in informal English may feel odd or awkward in formal essay, article or conversation. Here are some tips for changing sentences in formal writing.

Today is the big day; who his only daughter is getting married off to? (casual)

Today is the big day; to whom his only daughter is getting married off? (formal)

She’s the girl I’m going to work with. (informal)

She’s the girl with whom I’m going to work. (formal)

Mughal era is the period I’m focusing on. (informal)

Mughal era is the period on which I’m focusing. (formal)

Palmistry is a subject Tom knows nothing about. (informal)

Palmistry is a subject about which Tom knows nothing. (formal)

 

Some more example sentences

What should I put the honey in?

They need to decide which side they’re on.

Who is this coffee for?

There is nothing in her life to be grateful for.

There’s nothing to be afraid of.

She wished she had someone to confide in.

What did you step on?

The meeting was called off.

The matter has been dealt with.

The maid knows where your shoes are at. (‘at’ is unnecessary; the sentence is okay with ‘The maid knows where your shoes are.)

Mother doesn’t know where she’s going to. (‘to’ is unnecessary)

Fewer vs. Less

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Fewer and less both represent the opposite of the comparative adjective more. However, the main difference between fewer and less is to deduce whether fewer and less will be working with a countable or uncountable noun in the given sentence.

People often confuse when to use less and when to use fewer in a sentence. Here are some tips on how to use fewer and less correctly though there are some exceptions to the general rules about their usage.

 

Use fewer if you are referring to people or things in the plural (e.g. applesbooks, cookiesboys, students). For example:

People these days are buying fewer gold bars. (gold bars countable)

Fewer entrepreneurs have invested in real estate lately. (entrepreneurs countable)

 

Use less when you are referring to something that can’t be counted or doesn’t have a plural (e.g. sugar, moneymilktimemusicrain). For example:

People these days are buying less gold jewellery. (jewellery uncountable)

In these precarious times, people are looking to spend less money. (money uncountable)

 

Some example sentences of fewer

If fewer people used polythene waste on hills, there would be less of a threat to the ecosystem.

Fewer people smoke these days than used to.

We received far fewer lawsuits of divorce this year than expected.

Fewer than 3,500 tigers are left in the wild today.

Sam made fewer grammatical mistakes than sally (did) in essay competition.

Your guitar left me with less space in the car.

 

Some example sentences of less

Lisa now wants to spend less time with her in-laws. (determiner – a smaller amount of; not as much)

Ironically, when she was in hospital, she listened to less music.

Less is also used with numbers when they are on their own and with expressions of measurement or time, e.g.:

The baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds.

Their relationship lasted less than six months.

Brooklyn is less than 8 miles away from Madison Square Garden Center.

The child mortality is now less of a problem than it used to be. (pronoun – a smaller amount or quantity of something)

They covered that much distance in less than an hour.

Pitcairn Island has less than 50 inhabitants; most reside near the village of Adamstown.

‘Avoid less important question in studies’ (adverb – to a smaller extent; not so much)

Emma has less than fifty dollars left on her trip to Wagner Vineyards. (though we can count money, it is common sense to think of money as a bulk quantity rather than an aggregate of currency units. So, we use less rather than fewer.

Emma has fewer than fifty dollars left on her trip to Wagner Vineyards. (not wrong but would seem awkward and unexpected to the listener)

 

Now that it is clear to you as to where to use fewer and where to use less, you are less likely to make mistakes in the usage of these words. However, you have to be more careful in formal writing. In informal writing or speech, it all depends on which one sounds better to your ear.

Rise vs. Arise

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Rise (as a verb, intransitive) means to move, or appear to move, physically upwards relative to the ground; to move upwards; to grow upward; to assume an upright position; to leave one’s bed; to get up; to be resurrected; to terminate an official sitting; to adjourn.

Examples:

She reluctantly rose from the chair.

She watched the sun rise behind the mountains.

This white spruce rises to a height of twenty feet.

Put the dough in a warm place and wait for it to rise.

As the child looked on and watched nervously, the balloon rose gently (up) into the air.

She knew that might get a rise out of him. (an angry reaction)

 

Rise (as a noun): the process of or an action or instance of moving upwards or becoming greater:

There has been a sharp rise of gold prices since last week.

A considerable rise in his pay rate; a raise (US)

The rise of nationalism in Europe

The rise of female empowerment

The low rise pants aren’t always her best choice.

 

 

Arise (as a verb) means to come up from a lower to a higher position; to come into action; to spring up; being, or notice; to become operative; sensible; or visible; to begin to act a part; to present itself; to come up from one’s bed or place of repose; to get up.

 

Examples:

She arose early in the morning for her morning prayers.

The air got colder as a dark thick cloud arose above the hills.

He is not always willing to walk his talk and won’t be ready when an opportunity arose.

A problem has arisen with my ration card.

 

To distinguish the verb ‘rise’ from the verb ‘arise’, you can tell the difference that the ‘rise’ is an intransitive verb, i.e. it’s not followed by a direct object.

For example:

The sun rises in the East.

Rise can also be used to show that something abstract is going up, as for example in

Gold prices are rising again.

Arise means ‘happen’ or ‘occur’. We use it with abstract nouns (opportunity, problem, love, joy, excitement, etc.). The three forms of arise are arise, arose, arisen. It is used in formal contexts. Both ‘rise’ and ‘arise’ are irregular verbs:

The problem arose for organizers when Justin didn’t turn up for the concert.

 

Now the question arises when we use ‘rise’ and when ‘arise’. The answer is simple — we use the verb ‘rise’ when we mean to physically move in an upward direction. On the other hand, we use ‘arise’ when we want to express the sense of something coming into being, originating or happening. That SOMETHING may be a problem, a difficulty, a situation, a necessity, an occasion, etc. Hence, ‘arise’ is a verb with an abstract meaning showing that something is happening and even people are aware of it happening:

When something rises, it moves upwards.

A murmuration of birds rose from the tree-tops.

The farmer community rose (up) against the government demanding the repeal of new agriculture laws.

She promised to help her ex-husband if the occasion arose.

Now the question has arisen whether the government of the state can be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Epidemic vs. Pandemic

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The difference between the two –demics, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is that an epidemic is “an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time.” On the other hand, a pandemic is a type of epidemic (one with greater range and coverage), an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.

 

Epidemic = may be traced to the Greek epidḗmios (“within the country, among the people, prevalent (of a disease)”), may carry broader meanings, such as “excessively prevalent,” “contagious,” or “characterized by very widespread growth or extent” (often used in a non-medical sense):

 

Mother remembered hearing about the plague epidemic which had struck the town when she was 10.

The ship’s captain came down with the influenza and an onboard epidemic occurred.

An epidemic of SARS affected 26 countries and resulted in more than 8000 cases in 2003.

Haiti’s 2010 cholera epidemic went on for nearly a decade and killed nearly 10,000 people.

Sleepy Joe Biden was in charge of the H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic which killed thousands of people: Donald J. Trump

 

Some more examples:

 

After epidemics such as plague, cholera, smallpox and syphilis infected their first patients, they spread widely via means of transport.

A cholera outbreak/epidemic can occur in both endemic countries and in countries where cholera does not regularly occur.

Foot and Mouth disease is one which affects livestock such as cows and sheep, and is incredibly infectious.

An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, better known by its acronym, SARS, tore through the city in 2003, leaving 299 people dead.

Before the novel coronavirus, many momentous epidemics and pandemics altered the course of human history, killing large percentages of the global population.

 

Pandemic = is less often encountered in a broad and non-medical sense, but does have additional senses, including “affecting the majority of people in a country or a number of countries”, “found in most parts of the world and in varied ecological conditions,” and “of or relating to common or sensual love” (in this last sense the word is usually capitalized). Pandemic comes from the Greek pandēmos (“of all the people”), which itself is from pan- (“all, every”) and dēmos (“people”):

 

Unlike an epidemic, a pandemic affects people worldwide.

The main thing about a pandemic like the novel coronavirus is that it doesn’t discriminate.

The most deadly pandemic in history was the Spanish flu of 1918.

The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

The epidemic had rapidly become a pandemic, making its way around the world.

COVID-19 began as an epidemic in China, before making its way around the world in a matter of months and becoming a pandemic.

Epidemics don’t always become pandemics, and it’s not always a fast or clear transition.

 

Some more examples:

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is distinct from previous global outbreaks.

The last pandemic declared was in 2009 during the outbreak of H1N1 flu, commonly known as the swine flu.

The first cholera pandemic occurred in 1817 and originated in Russia, where 1 million people died.

In 1918, the Spanish flu caused a global pandemic, spreading rapidly and killing at least 50 million people, making it the deadliest pandemic in modern history.

Should schools be closed for a few weeks, as a way of short-circuiting the pandemic?

Europe has now become the epicenter of the pandemic, with more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China.

President just declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency.  

Even if countries vaccinate their citizens, they will not remain immune to the pandemic shock.

I was disgusted ____ his behaviour. 

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Disgusted (at/by/with)

Disgusted (adj) means ‘feeling or showing disgust; disturbed physically or mentally by something distasteful; cause (someone) to feel revulsion or strong disapproval; severely disappointed at someone or something:

We were disgusted at her incessant lying and cheating on her husband.

I am totally disgusted at you for not feeding our dog as punishment.

She is totally disgusted by what has happened.

There is a whole world of sycophantic and biased television that I am disgusted by.

We were absolutely disgusted with the way both teams behaved just after the match ended.

Disgusted at:

The Vice-Chancellor was disgusted at/with the way the police treated the students.

Mr and Mrs Franklin said they were disgusted at the situation which had left them speechless.

I was disgusted at the way the man seemed to be more concerned about his car than the victim of the crash.

Disgusted by:

They were disgusted by the violence in the campus.

Mother was disgusted by Joe’s failure.

Parents were disgusted by the glorification of violence in the movie.

He was so shabbily dressed at the party. I tried hard not to be disgusted by his appearance.

He’s disgusted by all the promises political leaders made at the time of elections.

Most locals were disgusted by the way the protestors had blocked the roads.

Disgusted with:

I am disgusted with you.

She’s totally disgusted with Bob’s behaviour.

He was disgusted with the Jury’s decision.

Jane was disgusted with the Idea of travelling by car instead of train.

My wife was really disgusted with this idiot native who had just spat on our car.

The minister was disgusted with the way anti-CAA protesters had been behaving.

Father didn’t say one word to Paul after he got bad grades in school because he was absolutely disgusted with him.

Disgusted that:

I’m absolutely disgusted that anyone should be attacked in this manner.

Wilsons were so disgusted that whatever faint chance of their granddaughter’s return is left would disappear forever.

Given all above examples, both prepositions ‘by’ and ‘with’ can fill the blank in the opening sentence while ‘at’ is less likely to work.

Hard work is telling on your health

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Tell on = The phrase ‘tell on’ in the context of the statement means ‘to have an effect that can be clearly seen, especially a bad effect’; to begin to show a negative effect that something is having on one:

 

She’s lately been under a lot of stress and it has begun to tell on her health.

Hours of stress, sleepless nights and the worry are really telling on Kim lately.

The increasing usage of mobile devices has begun to tell on public health.

The stress of working long hours is beginning to tell on Maria.

Now most women feel that husbands, followed closely by mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law are telling on their marriage.

 

Telling = (Adj) means to have a striking or revealing effect; significant. Telling effect, impact, comment, example, detail, etc.:

She was coming on well fitness-wise, but that gluttony had a telling effect on her waistline.

The type of content being circulated on social media has a very telling effect on the minds of our children.

 

More example sentences:

Since the share of total exports has fallen drastically, it has had a telling effect on all sectors of our economy.

They need to prove the cynics wrong; but if only implemented in letter and spirit, these measures can have a telling effect.

He is determined to continue with his fight in the court that has had a telling effect on his personal life.

She had become more confident after the split-up, and this had a telling effect on her career.

She condemned the world leaders in an emotional speech at UN and it had a telling effect on the audience.

The number of Coronavirus cases is not only alarming but it has a telling effect on the global economy.

Whose or Of which

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Whose = Whose is the possessive form of both who and which. We use whose to refer to “animate antecedent.” “Animate” conveys living people and animals (but not plants):

 

Hot Dog whose dislike of Reggie Mantle is no secret to anyone is now coming to terms with him. 

Here “Hot Dog” is the antecedent of whose.

The plant whose roots had been submerged in water for a long time seems to be dying.  

 

So, when there’s a reference to an animal, the construction of of which seems to be weird. Then, we use ‘whose’:

 

Researchers claim that the female cheetah named Sarah, the speed of which has been timed at 100 meter dash in 5.95 seconds, is the world’s fastest land animal. (awkward)

 

Researchers claim that the female cheetah named Sarah, whose speed has been timed at 100 meter dash in 5.95 seconds, is the world’s fastest land animal.  

 

Some sticklers for perfection say that we use whose to refer to animate antecedents only, but Henry Watson Fowler — perhaps the most strict, and old-fashioned counsellor on English usage termed it as a “folk-belief”.

 

Nevertheless, if you really want to avoid using whose, you may rephrase the sentence as follows:

The car whose one of the headlights was burned out met with an accident on the National highway.

Since the car’s one of the headlights was burned out, it met with an accident on the National highway.

 

Of which = When a possessive form is necessitated by a statement, of which is the part of a relative clause. Which is the relative pronoun and of is a preposition that is positioned at the beginning of the relative clause, instead of at the end:

 

The car, the wheel of which got flat, crashed into a pole.

The room, the roof of which is leaking, needs elaborate repairs.

President said that Democrats are just focusing on impeachment, the purpose of which is to win an election.

I saw a scary movie about ghosts of which I’ve forgotten the name.

 

Be careful! If your report is full of of whiches, then it is going to do no good. Although, on some particular instances, you might be able to use of which, most of the time, your sentence will look clumsy and unnatural. Most grammar books agree that of which is not a perfect substitute for whose. So, in the end, you will settle with replacing of which with whose when you needed to show possession. It is therefore grammatically correct to write:

 

President said that Democrats are just focusing on impeachment, whose purpose is to win an election.

 

Again, this statement looks weird:

President may try to come up with a proposal for the second term the time of which has come. (extremely uncommon)

President may try to come up with a proposal for the second term whose time has come.

 

In any case, it may be suggested that unless you’re sure that your sentence doesn’t sound too awkward, just keep away from using of which.

Wonder about or Wonder at

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Wonder about = If we wonder about something, we intend to do it in the future, either because we are interested in it and we want to know more about it, or because we are worried or suspicious about it:

I wonder about her attitude. She didn’t even raise a smile when I bumped into her at the market.

‘Where are you taking the kids this winter?’ ‘I’ve been wondering about going to the Golden State.’

But one must wonder about what would happen in the election.

He claimed to be walking 20 miles. Police have been wondering about him.

I think Mr. Wilson was wondering about the evidence at the trial.

 

More example sentences

 

When he started to nitpick at really silly things, then she couldn’t help but to wonder about his intentions.’

‘And I wonder about the people acquainted with Freddie who talk about how wonderful he is.’

She goes on to wonder about the rationale behind some of the things that he he’s been doing these days.’

If Jack can’t get basic stuff like this straight, we have to wonder about his reliability on other matters.’

We have to wonder about the company Frank keeps lately.

‘If Jack had stuck to a career in the movies, he would have been the bigger success, but I wonder about that.’

‘When her first promise doesn’t come through, it makes me wonder about her later promises.’

‘She began to wonder about Susan and then a photograph on the wall confirmed her worst fears.’

‘Here are the kinds of reports that make you wonder about the press these days.’

Police commissioner wondered about this as it began to seem more than mere accident.

 

Wonder at = If we wonder at something, we are very surprised about it or think about it in a very surprised way:

 

She walked off the party in a huff and wondered at all that had happened.

I wondered at his ability never to be the slightest upset in front of the traffic police.

We can only wonder at such a blunder at the bank.

Susan rather wondered at the choice of Liberty State Park; why had Frank changed his mind about Statue of Liberty?

There being…

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In formal English we use a clause with there being to introduce a reason for something. There being basically denotes something like ‘because there is’:

 

There being no evidence against him, Frank is unlikely to be convicted (= Because there is no evidence against him…)

There being no compelling documentary evidence of the human rights abuses, the country was let off lightly by the United Nations Security Council.

There being no alternative, Adams agreed to mortgage the 20-acre family farm in Cashel.

There being only one train every alternate day to the Balkans, he decided to fly.

There being a slowdown in auto sales, companies were forced to either shut down or axe shifts.

There being no strong objections to the proposal, they went ahead with approving the project.

There being no opposition from local residents, they are all set to organise the music festival in the neighbourhood park.

There being a complete shutdown of the factory, it is thought it will render many a worker jobless.

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