#ENGCLASS: SUFFIX -ING

Hi, hello, everyone, how was this year’s first Monday?

As I did not go anywhere and did not do anything, to me it felt like a regular working day.

On this article, we are going to discuss one question that came in through our DM. Remember that you can ask us anything by mentioning us or sending us DM, and we will try our best to answer it. However, if the answer is easily found on Google (e.g., the meaning of certain words), we would suggest you to look it up first.

The question that we received is:
“Is there any other use of suffix -ing aside of progressive tenses?”

Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

The answer is yes. Suffix -ing has several uses apart from modifying a verb in a progressive tense.

  1. Gerund
    Suffix -ing is used to form a gerund, which is a verb that functions as a noun.
    Example:
    “I like drinking a glass of milk before bedtime.”
    ‘Drinking’ here is a gerund, whilst the verb is ‘like.’
  2. Noun
    Oftentimes, suffix -ing is used to modify a verb to form a verbal noun.
    Example:
    “She lives in a nice apartment building.”
    ‘Building’ is a verbal noun.

What is the difference between gerund and noun, then, when they are both made of verbs that have suffix -ing?

Here is a tip to differentiate them. A gerund retains its verb-like properties, i.e., there is still work being done by the gerund. It could have an object, too.

Let’s take a look again at the gerund section that I tweeted above.
“I like drinking a glass of milk…”

Even though ‘drinking’ has become a noun, there is still an action attached to it. Its object is ‘a glass of milk.’

Meanwhile, on the second example, there is the noun ‘a nice apartment building.’ There is no action involved with the word ‘building’ in the sentence, which makes it a verbal noun.

  1. Adjective
    Suffix -ing can also be used to form an adjective.
    Example:
    “The exam is exhausting.”
    The original verb is ‘to exhaust’. With suffix -ing, it became the adjective ‘exhausting.’

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 4 January 2021.

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#EngClass: Infinitive and Gerund
#EngClass: Suffix
#EngTrivia: Suffix
#GrammarTrivia: Verbs + Gerunds/Infinitives
#GrammarTrivia: Possessives with Gerunds

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#ENGVOCAB: WORDS RELATED TO ANNIVERSARY

We turned 10 years old, fellas! On 2 January 2011, we started sharing English knowledge via Twitter. Thank you all for joining us in this incredible journey!

As today is our 10th anniversary, we are going to share some words related to anniversary.

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

  1. Anniversary (of course)
    This word specifically refers to a celebration or a commemoration of a certain annual event. This means ‘anniversary’ is only correct if used in regards to an event that is celebrated every year.
    Example:
    “This year, my parents will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.”

Lately, we have seen the use of ‘anniversary’ to commemorate something that happens monthly or even weekly, such as, “Happy 10th month anniversary!”

I’m not saying that it is wrong. Some English speakers do use ‘anniversary’ in that sense, informally. However, if we look into the origin of the word ‘anniversary’, we will realise that there is only one correct way to use it. ‘Anniversary’ came from Latin words ‘annus’ (year) and ‘versus’ (turning).

So, what are the equivalents for monthly or even weekly celebration?

  1. Mensiversary
    This word came from Latin ‘mēnsis’ (month) and ‘versus’ (turning). ‘Mensiversary’ is currently the most popular option for monthly celebration. The alternatives are ‘monthsary’, ‘monthiversary’, ‘monthaversary’, ‘luniversary’, or ‘lunaversary.’ The last two words, ‘luniversary’ and ‘lunaversary’ came from Latin word ‘luna’, which means moon.
  2. Hebdomadariversary
    It is quite a mouthful, isn’t it? It is proposed as the word to use to commemorate a weekly event. It came from the late Latin word ‘hebdomadal’ (lasting seven days). If you find it hard to pronounce, ‘weekaversary’ is a good option.
  3. Jubilee
    A jubilee is a celebration every 25 years, but it is now also used on the 60th and 70th anniversary. The 25th anniversary is called silver jubilee, the 50th called gold, the 60th called diamond, the 70th called platinum.

@ndyahforentina: Time flies. Thank you for being my best friend during my college till now. I always learn something new from you. My favorite tweets are about English Trivia. Stay safe and healthy, Mimiin. Keep it up!

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 2 January 2021.

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#EngClass: Ordinal Numbers with -st, -nd, -rd, and -th
#EngKnowledge: Twitter Handles to Expand Your Vocabularies
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#EngTrivia: Idioms and Expressions with the Same or Similar Meanings in English and Indonesian
#EngVocab: Similar Words, Different Meanings

#ENGQUOTE: NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNING

It’s #Page366of366. The year 2020 has been tough on each and everyone of us, but tomorrow, we will start anew. Hopefully we are all safe and healthy in the years to come.

How do you feel about the new year, fellas?

As today is the last day of 2020, I would like to share some quotes of new year and new beginning, from various sources.

  1. “You’ll never get bored when you try something new. There’s really no limit to what you can do.” – Dr. Seuss.
  2. “Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” – Alan Cohen.
  3. “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Edith Lovejoy Pierce.
  4. “Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go;Ring out the false, ring in the true.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson.
  5. “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” – T. S. Eliot.
  6. “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard.
  7. “Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” – Helen Keller.
  8. “New year—a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours.” – Alex Morritt.
  9. “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
  10. “What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” – Vern McLellan.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2021 brings you happiness, health, love, and joy with every step you take.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Source: https://www.countryliving.com/life/g4974/new-year-quotes/

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 31 December 2020.

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#ENGTRIVIA: ‘TO WAIT’ AND ‘TO AWAIT’

“I have been …-ing for two hours.”
Which word is the correct one to fill the blank, fellas? ‘Wait’ or ‘await’?

“I’m …-ing your response.”
‘Wait’ or ‘await’?

On this article, we are going to discuss the difference between ‘to wait’ and ‘to await’.

Essentially, ‘to await’ goes in line with ‘to wait for’. It requires an object. However, the object is often an inanimate object (Indonesian: benda mati).
For example, we can say:
“I’m awaiting a letter from my family.”
But we cannot say:
“I’m awaiting you.”

Meanwhile, it’s correct to say:
“I’m waiting for a letter from my family.”
Or:
“I’m waiting for you.”

Photo by Ju00c9SHOOTS on Pexels.com

You might be thinking, “But, isn’t the first example use ‘waiting for’?”

Keep in mind that the phrasal verb ‘to wait for’ can also be used to indicate the duration. So, ‘waiting for two hours’ doesn’t necessarily signify we are expecting those two hours to come.

Another difference is that ‘to await’ is considered more formal than ‘to wait for.’ For example, at the end of our work-related email, we could write, “I’m awaiting your response.” It has the same formality as, “I’m looking forward to hearing from you.”

The last but not least, we often find ‘to wait’ paired with other verbs in the same sentence.
Example:
“I’m waiting in line to board the plane now.”
There is the verb ‘to board’ aside of ‘to wait.’

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 21 December 2020.

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#ENGTIPS: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Once again, we are going to complete our movement around the sun. Many of us might be looking back to major events in 2020 and looking forward to what we are going to do in 2021.

Entering a new year is not complete without a list of new year’s resolutions. Looking back now, there were so many things I planned to do in 2020 that didn’t happen, but I’m grateful that I’m healthy. I’m also happy that many people have started receiving Coronavirus vaccine.

I’m also delighted that one of my 2020 resolutions did come true: maintaining healthy lifestyle and losing weight. If we think about it, physical and mental health should still be our priority, whether there is a pandemic or not.

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

Today, I’m going to share tips on how to make our new year’s resolutions stick.

  1. Changes on habits are more likely to stick
    It’s easy to say we are going to lose 25 kilograms by the end of next year, but we also need to think about how we are going to get there. By changing our habits (e.g.: eating habits, moving and exercising frequently), we might not see an instant result, but our body will adjust itself to the new habits and the positive changes we expected will naturally come out. It will also benefit us in the long run.
  2. Make commitments
    We should realise that whatever positive changes come with the need to commit, and we owe it to ourselves to make those commitments. However, if committing to oneself is still hard, we can start by asking other people to keep us accountable.
  3. Big goals, small steps
    Make big goals but break it down to small steps to achieve them. Let’s say we want to improve our vocabulary. Start with learning a new word every day by writing it down, finding its meaning, and using it on our daily conversation.
  4. Focus on how far we’ve come
    We can easily lose sight of our goals on the long and winding journey. When it happens, take a moment to look back and remember how far we’ve come and how many ups and downs we’ve been through.
  5. Pat ourselves on the back
    Even if we come to the end of the year not meeting our goals, think of all the positive impacts we have gained through the process. Let’s say we only managed to lose 20 kilograms but we can run for 2-3 kilometres easily. Not bad, right?

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 19 December 2020.

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#EngKnowledge: New Year’s Resolutions
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#IOTW: Idioms for New Beginnings (2)

#ENGTALK: ‘LIKE’ AND ‘LITERALLY’, TWO OF THE MOST OVERUSED WORDS

“I feel like my whole body is aching. Like, it’s literally painful from head to toe. I’m literally dying right now. Like, I don’t even know how to like describe it.”

How do you feel about the previous passage, fellas?

I personally found it tiring, because we used so many ‘likes’ and ‘literally.’ Both words are what we call fad or trendy words and they still reign supreme until today. In fact, we might have been overusing them for maybe more than a decade.

Usually, a word became trendy or overused when there is a major event that introduced it, such as the Coronavirus pandemic. With such a worldwide impact, it’s a given that the words related to the pandemic are used a lot. ‘Lockdown,’ ‘social distancing,’ and ‘quarantine’ are amongst them. In Indonesia, we have ‘new normal’ and ‘health protocols.’

When the event is finished and the trend dies down, the initially overused words will also be used less. So, what is it about ‘like’ and ‘literally’ that we love using them so much?

Let’s start with ‘like.’ I observed that most people use it as a filler because they haven’t found the next word. It’s similar to ‘umm,’ ‘err,’ or ‘you know.’

How do we avoid using it? First, we should recognise that we are using it a lot.

I noticed that I used ‘like’ a lot when I was on online meetings. As I was not able to face my colleagues or show any hand movement to them, I felt as if I need to speak constantly to show that I was still active in the meeting. Since then, I’ve learned how to pause and arrange my thoughts before saying what I have to say. This could be done by writing down what I am going to say before the meeting starts. Not only will I make the meeting more effective, I can also deliver a clear message.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now, we move on to the second word, ‘literally.’ I think it’s becoming more and more unclear to us as to when we should use this word. For example, we might say, “I’m literally going to explode,” whilst we are nowhere near the possibility of an explosion. The reason we use ‘literally’ a lot is that because we are trying to find an intensifier or trying to exaggerate what we are saying but we are not sure of which word to use.

‘Literally’ is then often used alongside words with figurative meaning (Indonesian: makna kiasan), whereas it should be used to describe a literal state of something or someone.

Why do we need to be cautious with these words? Too many filler words or intensifiers will somehow weaken our points and bring about a difficulty to send our message across, especially in a professional environment.

Source:
https://mashable.com/2015/04/04/stop-saying-like/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robasghar/2013/11/06/9-words-youre-literally-beating-to-death/?sh=5b00dff718ef

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 17 December 2020.

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#ENGKNOWLEDGE: MICHELIN STAR

Hi, hello, everyone, how are you today?

Thanks to a new commercial of a certain online marketplace, I discovered a new song that immediately got me hooked, God’s Menu by Stray Kids, which includes the line, “Cookin’ like a chef, I’m a 5-star Michelin…”

Stray Kids’ Felix on God’s Menu music video. Courtesy: JYP Entertainment’s YouTube channel.

The song is such an earworm; I can’t get it out of my head. Now, whether KPop is your cup of tea or not, most of us at least have read or heard about Michelin, a French multinational tyre manufacturer. So, what does a tyre manufacturer have to do with cooking and chefs?

In my opinion, the song is trying to say that Stray Kids is a KPop group that creates music that is one of its kind, just like cooking a special cuisine. The line is a reference to Michelin Guide and its stars, and this is our topic for today.

In 1900, brothers Édouard and André Michelin, who were the founders of car tyre manufacturer Michelin, published a book called Michelin Guide, which was basically a travelling guide for car owners to essential services and points of interest all across France, to respond to the increasing demand of cars.

The book quickly became popular amongst travellers, with several editions for other nations soon followed the French one. The first ever English version was published in 1909.

The publication of the Michelin Guide was temporarily suspended during the first World War. After seeing how the Guide was used as a prop up for a workbench, Michelin decided to charge for it (the Guide had initially been distributed for free).

Over the years, Michelin noticed the increasing popularity of the restaurant section, which then prompted the company to recruit a team of inspectors to visit and review the restaurants anonymously. The restaurant owners were not aware of the inspectors, nor were they aware of being inspected.

The restaurants that managed to impress the inspectors are then awarded with ‘Michelin star’:
– One star means a very good restaurant in its category
– Two stars mean excellent cooking, worth a detour
– Three stars mean exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey

The 3-star restaurants are on the highest tier. This group consists of restaurants that are worth a special trip by themselves, or in other words, we visit the area just to go to the restaurants. It is considered a great honour to be featured and awarded a star, even though there are some controversies as well. There are several editions of the Guide published in Europe, Asia, and America, and there are even editions for major cities in the continents.

As the Guide is published regularly, the restaurant list is also regularly updated. In France, there is always such an anticipation before the latest edition of Michelin Guide is published, one that is said to rival Academy Awards.

Basically, there hasn’t been a 5-star Michelin restaurant yet, but I still think it’s a nice song.

I hope you enjoy this brief article. Stay safe and healthy!

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 7 December 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: DIFFERENT TYPES OF PUNS

We talked about puns before. A pun is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. Check our previous article on puns HERE.

Today, we are going to discuss several different types of puns. Let’s get into it!

  1. Homophonic pun
    A homophonic pun is a pun that uses words that sound alike, but they have different spellings and meanings.
    Example:
    “I should have known that I could not finish my dinner. That was a huge mis-steak.”
    Explanation:
    The speaker did not realise the steak would come in a huge portion; so the speaker thought that they made a mistake in ordering it. Mis-steak sounds similar to mistake.
  2. Homographic pun (also called heteronymic pun)
    A homographic pun uses words that are spelled the same but have different meanings.
    Example:
    “Time flies like an arrow, while fruit flies like a banana.”
    Explanation:
    The first part of the sentence refers to how fast time passes, by saying that it ‘flies.’ The second part of the sentence also uses ‘flies,’ but here the word refers to the insect fruit flies, that like a banana.
  3. Homonymic pun
    A homonymic pun uses words that are both homophones (have the same sound) and homographs (have the same spelling). The words could also have the same meaning.
    Example:
    “An elephant’s opinion carries a lot of weight.”
    Explanation:
    An elephant has a lot of weight, so it is assumed that its opinion also does.
  4. Compound pun
    A compound pun has more than one pun in a sentence.
    Example:
    “Never scam in a jungle as the cheetahs are always spotted.”
    Explanation:
    There are two words that are punny: scam and spotted. ‘Scam’ means swindling someone out of their money, but it could also mean ‘hustling or moving in a hurry.’
    ‘The cheetahs are always spotted’ means the cheetahs are always seen in the jungle and they have spots on their coats. So, this compound pun means we must be careful in the jungle, otherwise we will get chased by the cheetahs.
  5. Recursive pun
    A recursive pun is a pun that we can only understand by knowing the origin of it.
    Example:
    “May the Fourth be with you.”
    Explanation:
    This sentence is a modification of Star Wars’ famous line ‘May the Force be with you.’
  6. Visual pun
    A visual pun uses visual cues, whether it is a drawing or a symbol.
    Example:
    “I think you’re fantastic (Fanta-stick).”
    Picture credit: on the picture

Source:
http://www.literarydevices.com/pun/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pun
https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-funny-puns-and-punny-funs.html
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-a-pun-learn-about-the-different-types-of-puns-in-literature-and-tips-on-how-to-write-a-great-pun#5-different-types-of-puns

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 5 December 2020.

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#WOTD: FLEXING

“Weird flex, but okay.”

Source: Twitter gif.

Have you ever heard or read this sentence, fellas? It’s usually directed to people who have skills or styles that are a little outlandish or out-of-the-box.

‘To flex’ in the sense of bragging about personal things is an informal expression that means showing off or flaunting something (Indonesian: pamer). According to Urban Dictionary, it dates back as far as 2004.

When did ‘flexing’ start becoming popular? The word gains popularity thanks to one of Rae Sremmurd’s songs, No Flex Zone (2014). Until today, it is one of the most used internet slangs, partly thanks to flexing culture.

Now, what is flexing culture? It is an competition to show off expensive things (gadget/electronic devices, clothings, jewelleries, merchandise, etc.), lavish lifestyle, places we recently visited, or our fine dining experience to our circle of friends and family, particularly on social media, in order to seem wealthy and up-to-date and to increase our social standing.

Many articles have pointed out the psychological effects of flexing culture; some of them are the need to always compete, the replacement of self-worth and self-esteem with material things, unhealthy coping mechanism, and unnecessary spending, but I guess it all comes back to us whether we let ourselves be affected or not.

Let us know what you think about flexing and flexing culture on the comment section below.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 23 November 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: PARADOX

Two days ago, we talked about oxymoron, which is a figure of speech that is made of two or more words with contradictory meaning. If you want to read the article on oxymoron, CLICK HERE.

Today, we are going to talk about its sibling, paradox. Both have similar features and are often mixed up.

Penrose triangle (picture by Wikipedia)

What is a paradox? The word paradox came from Latin word ‘paradoxum’, which came from Greek word ‘paradoxon’, which means ‘contrary to expectation.’

Just as an oxymoron, a paradox is also a figure of speech. Furthermore, it is a rhetorical device that seems to contradict itself, but actually has some truth to it.

Does this confuse you, fellas? To put it simply, a paradox is a statement that is logical but contrary to our expectation.

Example:

  1. “The only constant thing is change (Indonesian: satu-satunya hal yang tidak pernah berubah adalah perubahan).”
    Explanation: nothing in life is constant, except change. Change happens all the time, to everything, and to everyone, which makes it constant.
  2. “Failure leads to success (Indonesian: kegagalan adalah sukses yang tertunda).”
    Explanation: by failing over and over again, it means we keep trying and it might mean that someday we will be successful.
  3. “Social media brought us apart and brought us together (Indonesian: media sosial mendekatkan yang jauh dan menjauhkan yang dekat).”
    Explanation: focusing on social media often makes us ignore the people who are physically present around us.
  4. “The more you learn, the less you know (Indonesian: seperti padi, semakin berisi, semakin merunduk).”
    Explanation: the more knowledgeable we are, the more we will realise that there are so many things of which we have little knowledge.
  5. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend (Indonesian: musuh dari musuh saya adalah sekutu saya).”
    Explanation: meeting another enemy could easily make someone our enemy, too, but sometimes they can become our friend out of a mutual dislike towards someone else.

How do paradox and oxymoron differ?
How do we differentiate a paradox and an oxymoron when we see them in a sentence? The key is to remember that an oxymoron is made of words that have opposite meanings, while a paradox is a collection of words that contradicts itself. Check our sources below for complete reading.

Source:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paradox
https://www.dictionary.com/e/paradox-oxymoron/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox
https://tom-stevenson.medium.com/13-paradoxes-you-can-use-to-improve-your-life-today-b32d7dca4e0f

Do you have a favourite paradox, fellas? Share it with us.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 21 November 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: OXYMORON

Are you familiar with the word ‘oxymoron’, fellas? No, it has very little to do with the m-word except that they both came from the same Greek word mōros, which means ‘foolish’.

Oxymoron came from the Greek word oksús, which means ‘sharp’, ‘keen’, or ‘pointed’, and mōros which means ‘foolish’. So, it directly translates to ‘sharply (or smartly) foolish’.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an oxymoron (plural form ‘oxymorons’ or the less used ‘oxymora’) is a combination of contradictory words. Based on the literal meanings from the two Greek words, an oxymoron is autological or homological, which means the meaning of the word applies to itself, i.e.: an oxymoron is also an oxymoron.

Simply put, an oxymoron is a figure of speech (or ‘majas’ in Indonesian) made of two or more words that have opposite meanings.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Example:

  1. Bittersweet (‘bitter’ and ‘sweet’ have opposite meanings).
    “Such a bittersweet feeling overwhelms me whenever I think about the good old days.”
  2. Living dead (‘living’ and ‘dead’ have opposite meanings).
    “I’m so tired of movies with zombies or the living dead.”
  3. Deafening silence (‘deafening’ means making someone deaf because of how loud the sound is, whilst ‘silence’ means a situation where there is no sound).
    “The silence that followed the brief speech was deafening.”
  4. Pretty awful (‘pretty’ and ‘awful’ are contradictory in meanings, but ‘pretty’ is used here as an intensifier, to strengthen the word ‘awful’).
    “The singer sounds pretty awful; I think he should never give up his day job.”
  5. Love-hate (‘love’ and ‘hate’ are contradictory).
    “I have a love-hate relationship with social media; can’t live with it, can’t live without it.”

It’s pretty easy, isn’t it? The purpose of using figures of speech like oxymorons is to make your language output (writing, speaking) more colourful. Can you mention other examples of oxymorons, fellas?

@Keystone_Eng: I like:
Act naturally!
A small crowd
It’s your only choice

@NituYumnam:
~ pretty ugly
~ social distancing
~ cleverly stupid

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 19 November 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: GOOD STORYTELLING

A few days ago, one of our followers requested tips on storytelling, especially how to narrate a story in a way that the readers/audience will understand.

Bear in mind that storytelling is not only useful on writings; even audio and visual messages need a good storytelling. Whether you are telling a story verbally or via visual cues, a good storytelling skill is necessary.

Take TV or YouTube ads, for example. Even if they are told via audio-visual, most of them have good storyline. This is especially important to send a message to the audience that the products the ads are trying to sell are worthy.

If you are wondering where to start, think of a storytelling as another way of reporting something but add some emotions to it to make it more relatable to the audience. Therefore, you first need to figure out what you are trying to tell. What is it that you want other people to know? Define this first as the main idea of your story.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

From the main idea, develop the story with 4 Ps:
People: characters of the story
Place: the time and location of the story
Plot: how the story starts and ends
Purpose: what is the reason behind the storytelling

Let’s take for example the Harry Potter franchise. We have Harry as the protagonist and Voldemort as the antagonist and the others as supporting characters. They are the ‘people’ of the Harry Potter story.

The time and the location of the story are England and Scotland in the 90s, which means the story should present how England and Scotland looked like at that time. Of course, there are Hogwarts and the wizarding world as a fictional element to this story, which were created based on the author’s imagination.

And then there is plot, which begins with the murder of Harry’s parents. The story then tells Harry’s journey to defeat Voldemort and ends with Voldemort’s destruction. Along the way, there are major and minor subplots to keep the readers interested.

The last one is purpose. What is the purpose of the telling of Harry Potter story? Is it good against evil? Is it portraying the reality at the time? Is it for entertainment? Is it trying to send a message?

Once you have the general idea of the story, begin creating the structure by deciding the parts of the story that are important. How we meet the main character, how the other characters are introduced, and what happens to them.

You can use linear plot, which is a plot where events happen in chronological order. However, if you feel confident, you can try using non-linear plot. It will keep the readers/audience curious to figure out the exact timeline of the story.

Now, how do we make a storytelling effective?

1. Keep it simple
It’s good to give enough details to the story, but sometimes the less is the better, especially if there is a constraint on time and resources.

2. Keep it focused
An elaborated story is good as long as it does not stray from the purpose of the storytelling. Back to the Harry Potter example, we are all invested in how Harry will finally win the war against Voldemort, so Uncle Vernon’s family tree won’t really be necessary. Not only it does not add much to the storyline, it could also be distracting.

3. Be relatable
A great story appeals to our emotions: we care about what happens to the characters because we see parts of ourselves in them. We struggle with Harry when he is living with the Dursleys, we can understand how Ron is sometimes jealous of Harry, we are annoyed by Draco Malfoy, and some of us agree with Hermione in her bossiest, nosiest moments.

4. Use concise language
Concise means delivering a message clearly and briefly, only in a few words. Some of the ways to achieve this are reading a lot, expanding your vocabulary, and doing a lot of practice.

I hope you find this article helpful. Feel free to add your most favourite way of telling a story.

P.S.: mine is using a non-linear plot, jumping from one event to another, and preparing a plot twist or even a vague ending.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 9 November 2020.

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#ENGKNOWLEDGE: GUY FAWKES NIGHT

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot
I see of no reason why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot…”

Do you remember this line, fellas? Along with this mask?

Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on Pexels.com

Most of us heard the lines or saw the mask first on the movie ‘V for Vendetta’ (James McTeigue, 2006). The main character of the movie, V, was a victim of a biological weapon experiment. The weapon then brought England to a despotic era led by Chancellor Sutler.

V was portrayed to have taken his inspiration from Guy Fawkes. Guy Fawkes was a member of the Gunpowder Plot who was arrested on 5 November 1605. V wore a mask that was said to resemble Fawkes’ face and set a revolution on the day Fawkes was arrested, 5 November.

Due to the popularity of the movie, many people then associated the Guy Fawkes mask with a symbol of resistance against tyranny. We even have hackers that go by the name Anonymous and use the mask as their persona. However, the history of 5 November 1605 was not exactly that black and white.

If we trace the history of 5 November 1605, we could go back to the reign of Henry VIII from House of Tudor, who was the king of England from 1509 to 1547. During his reign, he declared himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. He adopted the Protestant faith which severed the tie between England and the Catholic Church led by the Pope and eventually resulted in excommunication of England by the Pope and other notable European kingdoms who supported the Pope.

Catholic churches and monasteries across England were forced to close their doors and had their assets confiscated. Anyone who spoke against Henry VIII found their heads rolling off of the chopping block (executed by beheading). This definitely caused a deep resentment between people of different faiths.

Upon his death, Henry passed the throne to his only legitimate son, Edward VI, who was also a devout Protestant. Unfortunately, Edward VI died young at the age of 15-16 and did not leave any heir. He chose his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, to be the new queen, despite having two half-sisters, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

The older sister, Mary I, was set on returning England to a Catholic state. With the nobility as her supporters, she overthrew Jane Grey and became the Queen of England for the next 5 years. During her reign, those of Protestant faith were deemed heretics and executed, which led to the coinage of the term ‘Bloody Mary.’ Her sister, Elizabeth I, almost met the same fate; she was accused of plotting against the Queen.

Eventually, Mary I fell ill and died of what was suspected to be ovarian cysts or uterine cancer, and as she had no heir, she reluctantly named her sister, Elizabeth I, who was a Protestant, as her successor. Elizabeth I then reigned for 45 years. She promoted religious tolerance and introduced a Religious Settlement which then became the foundation of the Church of England and Anglicanism.

But again, the succession was an issue, as Elizabeth was a woman and therefore could not pass on her family name. She was torn between marriage proposals from Spain and France, which in her view, would make England merely a vassal state of either kingdom. She was concerned that her marriage would again bring England to disharmony.

So she did something drastic: she chose not to marry. Upon her death in 1603, the throne then passed on to her closest Protestant relative, James VI of Scotland from House of Stuart, who then became James I and reigned upon England and Scotland.

The deep resentment caused by Henry VIII’s decision to declare himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England was still very much obvious more than half a century later. Even during the reign of Elizabeth I, there had been numerous attempts to overthrow the monarch and enthrone someone of Catholic faith, and this also happened during the reign of James I. One of the most notable ones was the Gunpowder Plot.

Set as an attempt to blow up the House of Lords (the parliament) and kill James I, the plot was discovered on 5 November 1605 when Guy Fawkes was arrested. To celebrate the fact that the King had survived the assassination attempt, people lit bonfires around London. An act called ‘The Observance of 5th November’ was then passed to enforce an annual thanksgiving to celebrate the plot’s failure. From then on, the 5th of November is celebrated annually in the UK. It is also known as Bonfire Night and Guy Fawkes Night.

So, I personally have mixed feelings about the fifth of November. I love the movie V for Vendetta, and many people apparently do, too. But it’s safe to say that the history behind Guy Fawkes is… a lot. Do feel free to add anything if there’s something I missed and correct me for any historical inaccuracy.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 5 November 2020.

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#IOTW: Idioms that are related to birds

Hi Fellas! How’s your long weekend? Did you experience something great?

In this evening I want to share some idioms that are related to bird. You might be familiar with some of them.

1. A home bird. Meaning: somebody who love to spend the time at home.
Example: “She won;t go anywhere durin gthe weekend. She’s a home bird.”

2. Bird’s eye view. Meaning: a broad perspective.
Example: “You should see this problem with bird’s eye view.”

3. Fox in the henhouse. Meaning: a trouble maker.
Example: “Randy is such a fox in the henhouse sometimes.”

4. Flew the coop. Meaning: escape.
Example: “The thief had flew the coop.”

5. Sick as parrot. Meaning: very dissapointed.
Example: “He was sick as parrot because he didn’t win the competition.”

6. Eagle eyed. Meaning: having a sharp vision.
Example: “He knows the mistakes in the articles, even the smallest ones. He’s eagle eyed an editor.”

7. A little bird told me. Meaning: someone doesn’t wish to expose the informan.
Example: “A little bird told me that you are going to be promoted.”

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Friday, October 30, 2020

#ENGCLASS: EMPATHY, SYMPATHY, AND HOW TO EXPRESS THEM

The year 2020 has been tough for everybody. Many people fell ill, lost their loved ones, lost their jobs and livelihood. During this difficult time, we can always use or offer empathy and sympathy.

Are you still unclear of what the difference is between empathy and sympathy, fellas? We will discuss it on this article, as well as how to express them.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Empathy is the ability to understand what the other person is feeling. Sympathy is feeling pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune, sometimes including the ability to offer helps or condolences.

Let’s say a friend has just broken up. By listening and understanding what the friend is going through, we are showing empathy. By offering our help to make the friend feel better, we are showing sympathy.

So, in a way, we will show more efforts in staying by our friend’s side and listening to our friend’s problem with empathy. With sympathy, we proactively offer condolences and even our assistance. Similar, but not exactly the same.

Both empathy and sympathy are emotional skills that, just like other skills, need some practicing. By meeting more people from different backgrounds, seeing their struggles, and showing kindness to those in need can be some of the ways to practice these skills.

Now, how do we express empathy and sympathy?

Just like I mentioned before, empathy requires a lot of listening and understanding. When someone going through difficult times, it’s easy for us to go to them and say, “I’ve had worse. You should do this or that.”

Sometimes, that is not what the other person needs. When someone comes to us with their problems, they don’t necessarily require solutions. Perhaps the solutions are what they’ve known all along; they only need someone to talk to.

Which is why some of the best ways to show empathy are:
– listening to the problem and acknowledging it
– saying that it’s reasonable to feel bad or upset
– thanking the person for opening up to us
– letting the person know that we are there for them

Meanwhile, to show sympathy, we can do the following:
– saying, “I’m sorry for what happened. My thoughts are with you.”
– offering help by saying, “Tell me if you need anything.”
– giving support and words of encouragement
– assisting the person

For situations that require us to show empathy and sympathy, there is one thing that we should always keep in mind: this is not about us. The person suffering the most should get the most attention, even if they are suffering silently.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 26 October 2020.

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#ENGQAS: ‘THROUGH’ AND ‘THROUGHOUT,’ ‘ACROSS’ AND ‘ALONG,’ FORMAL AND INFORMAL WORDS

If you have any questions regarding English learning, you can always send us by Twitter mention or DM with the hashtag #EngQAs. This article is to answer questions sent by one of our Twitter followers:

So, there are three questions which we will discuss one by one:
– the difference between ‘through’ and ‘throughout’
– the difference between ‘across’ and ‘along’
– the difference between formal and informal words.

‘Through’ and ‘throughout’

As a preposition, ‘through’ is mostly used to describe a movement into one side and out of the other side of something, e.g.: a tunnel, a door. It is also used to describe continuing towards a completion of something.

Example:
– “The photographers moved through the barriers to capture pictures of the march.”
– “I was halfway through Crash Landing on You when I started watching Sky Castle.”

‘Throughout’, which can also be used as a preposition, means in every part of something. Example:

There are other uses of ‘through’ and ‘throughout’ as adverbs (both ‘through’ and ‘throughout) and as an adjective (‘through’). You can find more on the dictionary.

‘Across’ and ‘along’

‘Across’ and ‘along’ are also prepositions.
‘Across’ means from one side to the other, e.g.: across the street.
‘Along’ means moving in a constant direction of a somewhat horizontal surface, e.g.: along the road.
Both words can also be used as adverbs.

Formal and informal words

Formal and informal words are such a wide topic to summarise in only one article. We have the following examples:
– ‘through’ (formal) and ‘thru’ (informal)
– ‘until’ (formal) and ’till’ (informal)
– ‘not to be’ (formal) and ‘ain’t’ (informal) etc.

The discussion can also widen to other words.
Examples:
– ‘rich’ (less formal) and ‘wealthy’ (more formal)
– ‘to ask’ (less formal) and ‘to enquire’ (more formal)
– ‘to say sorry’ (less formal) and ‘to apologise’ (more formal)
– ‘funny’ (less formal) and ‘humorous’ (more formal)

So, I would suggest enriching your vocabulary by reading more. Remember that even if the words are informal or less formal, that does not mean they are wrong. We can always use them in everyday conversation.

We have to be cautious, however, when writing an important essay or a work-related email, in which formal and professional language and diction are always required.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 24 October 2020.

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#EngQAs: Some Questions from Fellas on Twitter

#ENGTALK: TWITTER WITH NO RETWEET?

If you haven’t updated your Twitter app yet, Twitter has temporarily replaced its retweet function by quote tweet.

This is one of the efforts to curb false information, especially with everything going in the world right now. This does not mean that we cannot retweet at all; we can still give a retweet by leaving the quote part blank. However, I feel a little sad seeing such an iconic feature being changed or replaced; Twitter is almost synonymous with retweet.

Today, let’s practice our English by discussing this. What do you think of this new feature, fellas? Do you think it’s more convenient? Do you think it’s a sufficient tool for Twitter to decrease spam and false information? Share your thoughts!

Personally, I would prefer an edit button. It’s so annoying when one of our tweets goes viral with a typo. However, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey said in an interview HERE that as Twitter started as something similar to SMS, Twitter wants to retain the feeling of not taking back what we have said.

I would also appreciate the policing against bot, spam, and something that is proven to be inaccurate, for example, conspiracy theories or false news. But lately there have been many things done in this regard.

State-owned media, for example, are now marked as such. Pictures and videos are also curated to determine whether they might have been doctored. We even get pop-up notification before retweeting news article whose title does not represent the whole article.

So, at least we are getting there. But I’m still curious to read your thoughts on Twitter’s retweet. Drop it on the comment section below.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 22 October 2020.

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#IOTW: IDIOMS WITH THE WORD ‘EYE’

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘the apple of her parents’ eyes,’ fellas? It means that a child is so loved by the parents.

@NoviTanurarini: I ever heard about this phrase… Emm, I’m not sure, maybe it’s in the “Rain-Bruno Mars” lyrics…
@diptaulia: Translated to Indonesian as “anak semata wayang”

Photo by wendel moretti on Pexels.com

On this article, we are going to discuss idioms that use the word ‘eye.’

‘An eye for an eye’
It means that a person who causes suffering to other(s) should also suffer from the same injury or damage.

‘To see eye to eye’
It means two or more parties having the same agreement or a mutual understanding on a topic.

‘To turn a blind eye’
It means that we choose to ignore or pretend not to see something.

‘To keep one’s eyes open/peeled’
It means being alert or watching someone or something carefully.

‘To have an eye for something’
It means that we admire something and we want to have it.

‘To cry one’s eyes out’
It means to cry bitterly and for a long time.

‘To catch one’s eyes’
It means that something or someone has caught our attention.

‘To hit the bull’s eye’
It means hitting the target precisely.

‘Without batting an eye’
It means doing something big without a change of expression, without showing any emotions, and acting like there’s nothing unusual.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 12 October 2020.

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