All posts by alicesaraswati

Content creator to www.englishtips4u.com

#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
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#EngTrivia: Anastrophe

#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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#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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#ENGVOCAB: VARIOUS WAYS TO SAY ‘TO CRY’

This is such a time to be alive, fellas. Not only are we in a middle of a global pandemic and climate crisis, many people are struggling to make ends meet (to survive). Sometimes, it’s okay to take a break and sort out the emotions you are feeling.

Crying is one of some healthy ways to cope with stressful situations. However, it’s sometimes underrated because someone who cries is perceived as fragile or weak, whereas we know that expressing our emotions in a healthy way is actually a sign of strength.

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

On this article are going to discuss several words we can use as an alternative of ‘to cry.’

1. To sob (terisak) = To shed tears audibly or sometimes noisily.

2. To weep/to shed tears (meneteskan air mata) = Usually used to describe someone who sheds tears quietly.

3. To wail (menangis sambil berteriak) = A cry caused by a deep pain, grief, and anger.

4. To bawl (menangis keras dan lama) = Typically more dramatic, more noisy, and lasting longer than sobbing.

5. To snivel (menangis pelan) = To cry and sniff in a feeble way.

6. To blubber (menangis tak terkendali) = To sob noisily and uncontrollably.

7. To squall (menangis keras, biasanya dilakukan bayi atau anak-anak) = Of a baby or a small child to cry noisily and continuously.

I hope you find this article useful. Having feelings or emotions is not wrong, fellas, and we could learn to handle them in a healthy way, as not to overwhelm us and the people around us. Stay safe and healthy!

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 8 October 2020.

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#ENGTRIVIA: PUNS

“A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it is two-tired.”
Can you guess what is happening in this sentence, fellas?

If you’re thinking of a pun, you guessed correctly. A pun, also called paronomasia, 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.

We have a bicycle on the example, which is said not being able to stand on its own because it’s ‘two-tired.’ ‘Two-tired’ here is a reference to the bicycle having two tires as well as being ‘too tired.’

In some parts of the world, puns are almost similar to dad jokes. They often make us cringe for how unfunny they are, but we laugh regardless. Here are some examples of puns that I hope will brighten your Monday evening.

1. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering. (yourdictionary.com).
Explanation: A bunch of puppies are called a litter. At the same time, ‘littering’ also means throwing away trash carelessly. This is why the mama dog was cited for littering, or giving birth to a litter.

2. What do you call a camel with three humps? Pregnant. (Zootopia).
Explanation: A camel normally has one or two humps. The third hump is the pregnant belly.

3. Why do cows have hooves instead of feet? They lactose. (Twitter user @getthebagcoach).
Explanation: Cows produce milk that contains lactose. They also ‘lack of toes.’

4. I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. And then it hit me. (Wikihow).
Explanation: The baseball was getting bigger because it was getting closer to the speaker. The sentence ‘and then it hit me’ explains that the ball hit the speaker and at the same time, the speaker realised what was happening.

5. (Source: Unknown).
Explanation: Taken from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics, “Is this a real life or is this just fantasy?”
But fantasy is written as Fanta-sea which is showed in the picture as a sea of orange Fanta.

6. (Source: mentioned on the picture).
Explanation: The ‘home’ says to the ‘honey’ that it is home, similar to how someone says to the significant other, “Honey, I’m home.”

7. She’s a skillful pilot whose career has really taken off. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Explanation: An airplane takes off and lands or touches down. Meanwhile, ‘to take off’ also means to be successful. Therefore, the sentence has double meanings. The first meaning is that the pilot takes off with her plane and the second is that her career is successful.

8. What’s the difference between a hippo and a zippo? One is really heavy and the other is a little lighter. (boredpanda.com).
Explanation: A hippopotamus is heavier than a zippo, which is a lighter.

Stay excellent, everyone!

Artwork by: Lisa Slavid/peadoodles

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 28 September 2020.

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#ENGVOCAB: SIMILAR WORDS, DIFFERENT MEANINGS

There are similar words that have different meanings and they are often confused with one another. Raise your hands if you’ve ever mixed up ‘dateline’ and ‘deadline.’

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

Here are some of them:

Bully and bullish

These two words might seem similar, but they actually have different meanings.
‘Bully’ is an action of or a person who is intimidating those who seem more vulnerable.
‘Bullish’ is of someone who has personal qualities that resemble a bull: strong, assertive, and confident.

Childish and childlike

‘Childish’ means having personal qualities like a child but in an immature context.
‘Childlike’ means similar to a child in an adorable and innocent way.

Dateline and deadline

Some of us might have used ‘dateline’ to describe the latest time by which something should be completed, whilst we should have used ‘deadline’ instead.
‘Dateline’ is a line at the head of a news article that shows the time and place of when and where the article was written.
‘Deadline’ is the latest time by which something should be completed.

Exhausted and exhaustive

‘Exhausted’ means tired, drained, or spent.
‘Exhaustive’ means thorough or detailed.

Fiend and friend

Ever heard of or read the word ‘fiend,’ fellas? It looks similar to ‘friend,’ right? It actually has a completely different meaning because a ‘fiend’ is an evil spirit or a demon.
A ‘friend’ is a companion.

Handy and handful

These two words came from the root ‘hand.’
Something is ‘handy’ if it is useful.
Something is ‘handful’ if it has the quantity that fills our hands.
Someone is ‘handful’ if they are difficult to deal with.

Invisible and invincible

Something is ‘invisible’ if it cannot be seen.
Something is ‘invincible’ if it cannot be defeated.

Vile and veil

‘Vile’ is of someone who is extremely unpleasant, morally bad, or wicked. ‘Vile’ is synonymous with ‘evil.’
‘Veil’ is a piece of clothing that covers the face, usually worn by a woman.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 24 September 2020.

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#EngTrivia: Commonly Misused and Misspelled Vocabulary (2)

#EngTalk: Accents

Hi, hello, everyone. How are you today? I hope you are safe and healthy.

Who here is a fan of British accent? I know I am. It just sounds strong, distinct, and unique, although sometimes it takes me a while to understand what the speaker is saying. I often find myself trying to imitate the accent. Most people that I speak with say that I have American or Australian accent, though, so I’m not sure what happened. What do you think of the many, many accents from English speaking people?

@NeNi961111: OH MY!! MEEEEE. I like British accent so much, want to speak, but end up with American accent.

@RAKemal: I used to have (mimic?) standard British accent. Then I went to a week-long Indonesian-American joint-conference and there went my accent.

@sfn520: I don’t know what accent I’m using, I just speak English.

@mrivaldi__: I am! i feel mesem2 sendiri, if i’m watching british got talent. Their voices was quite sexy.

@fatimatulKN: I am a big fan of harry potter movies, jolly (british-korean youtuber), sorted food (british cooking youtube channel). British accent itu kedengeran classy, sophisticated, well educated, kayak yg pinter gt orangnya yg ngomong.

Photo by Ian Panelo on Pexels.com

English came from the UK but even in its home country, there are several areas where people speak with different accents and dialects. Cockney, Geordie, Scottish, and Estuary English are some of them.

@NeNi961111: I only know Scottish, and that’s quite difficult but never the other 3 before.

@Keystone_Eng: Yes, its one of the things I love about England, there are loads of different accents. There are many different accents in the UK. For example, my native accent is a Yorkshire accent. It’s very different to the other accents.

One of my friends has a strong Cockney accent despite being born and growing up in Indonesia. If you are looking for an example of Cockney accent, watch the movie My Fair Lady (1964). The leading lady, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), speaks in a strong Cockney accent and is then transformed into an upper class lady by a phonetics professor, Henry Higgins.

“The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain…”

The trailer of My Fair Lady (1964).

Personally, I consider correct pronunciation is more important than trying to acquire an accent. After all, the purpose of language is to help two people communicate, so as long as both have the same understanding on the topic, it is fine.

Of course the case would be different if you are taking a test to measure your English proficiency in relations to scholarship or work opportunities, for example TOEFL or IELTS. The institution that requires the test might apply a certain standard.

Do you agree that paying attention to correct pronunciation is more important than accents?

@gluon0x: We are on the same page.

@sfn520: Yes, I agree. I don’t pay much attention to my accent, as long as my pronunciation is understandable. And I learn English so that I can read some English movies, comics, etc.

@fernandoqc6: Yeah, totally agree. Additionally, there are some other strong accents. These kind of accent (such as French, Indian) should be tough to “change” it.

@NeNi961111: Agreee

Compiled and written by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 10 September 2020.

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#EngTrivia: Rupert Grint’s Accents

#EngTrivia: Idioms and Expressions with the Same or Similar Meanings in English and Indonesian

What are you doing for the Saturday night? I hope that you are staying safe at home but if you must go outside for essential purposes that cannot be delayed, please exercise safety precautions.

Several years ago, we posted an article about common expressions in English and its Indonesian counterparts. You can check it here: Expressions in English and Their Indonesian Counterparts Part 1 and Part 2. 

The background of these articles was that there are expressions in English that we cannot quite translate into Indonesian; we just know what they mean, thus we were trying to find similar expressions in Indonesian to help understand the English version better.

For this article, we are going to do something similar: we’ll start a series of idioms and expressions that have similar or even the same meanings in English and Indonesian. An example submitted by one of our followers on Twitter:

@fatfukuro: Don’t judge a book by its cover (Eng) and jangan menilai buku dari sampulnya (Ina).

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So here is the list of what we compiled so far:

  1. Backbone (Eng) = Tulang punggung (Ina)
    Meaning: the chief support of a system or an organisation.

  2. Backstab (Eng) = Menusuk dari belakang (Ina)
    Meaning: the action or practice of harming someone’s reputation whilst feigning friendship.

  3. Big-headed (Eng) = Besar kepala (Ina)
    Meaning: conceited or arrogant.

  4. Big-hearted (Eng) = Besar hati (Ina)
    Meaning: kind and generous.

  5. Big mouth (Eng) = Besar mulut (Ina)
    Meaning: a boastful person.

  6. Blue blood (Eng) = Darah biru (Ina)
    Meaning: a person of noble or royal birth.

  7. Bookworm (Eng) = Kutu buku (Ina)
    Meaning: someone who loves reading.

  8. Brainwash (Eng) = Cuci otak (Ina)
    Meaning: force someone to adopt a radically different belief.

  9. Brokenhearted (Eng) = Patah hati (Ina)
    Meaning: overwhelmed by grief or disappointment.

  10. Cold-blooded (Eng) = Berdarah dingin (Ina)
    Meaning: deliberately cruel or violent.

  11. Cool-headed (Eng) = Kepala dingin (Ina)
    Meaning: calm.

  12. Empty-handed (Eng) = Tangan hampa (Ina)
    Meaning: unsuccessful, fruitless effort.

  13. Fall in love (Eng) = Jatuh hati (Ina)
    Meaning: develop romantic feelings towards someone or deep liking for something.

  14. Flesh and blood (Eng) = Darah daging (Ina)
    Meaning: someone related to us by blood.

  15. Get some fresh air (Eng) = Cari angin (Ina)
    Meaning: go outside to take a break from a possibly stressful situation.

  16. Go in one ear, out of the other (Eng) = Masuk kuping kiri, keluar kuping kanan (Ina)
    Meaning: of a piece of information that is quickly forgotten.

  17. Golden child (Eng) = Anak emas (Ina)
    Meaning: a favoured child amongst a group of children.

  18. Half-heartedly (Eng) = Setengah hati (Ina)
    Meaning: not feeling fully committed or engaged to an activity.

  19. Head of the family (Eng) = Kepala keluarga (Ina)
    Meaning: someone who leads a family.

  20. Heavy heart (Eng) = Berat hati (Ina)
    Meaning: with much sadness and regret.

  21. Hot seat (Eng) = Kursi panas (Ina)
    Meaning: being in a position of heavy duty and responsibility.

  22. Iron fist (Eng) = Tangan besi (Ina)
    Meaning: of a government or someone exercising power in a ruthless or oppressive manner.

  23. Law of the jungle (Eng) = Hukum rimba (Ina)
    Meaning: of a world where those who are strong and apply ruthless self-interest will be most successful.

  24. Lift one’s hat to… (Eng) = Angkat topi (Ina)
    Meaning: praise, salute, congratulate, or pay tribute to someone.

  25. Open arms (Eng) = Tangan terbuka (Ina)
    Meaning: a warm welcome.

  26. Open secret (Eng) = Rahasia umum (Ina)
    Meaning: of a secret who is known to many people.

  27. Out of control (Eng) = Hilang kendali (Ina)
    Meaning: of something that’s no longer possible to manage.

  28. Pen pal (Eng) = Sahabat pena (Ina)
    Meaning: someone with whom we develop friendship by sending letters to one another, particularly if we live in different countries.

  29. Put one’s hands up (Eng) = Angkat tangan (Ina)
    Meaning: raise one’s hands to surrender.

  30. Quick on one’s feet (Eng) = Cepat kaki (Ina)
    Meaning: able to think and take quick action.

  31. Right hand (Eng) = Tangan kanan (Ina)
    Meaning: an assistant, the most important position next to someone.

  32. Scapegoat (Eng) = Kambing hitam (Ina)
    Meaning: someone who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others.

  33. Silent witness (Eng) = Saksi bisu (Ina)
    Meaning: an object that displays traces of evidences of a crime.

  34. Stage fright (Eng) = Demam panggung (Ina)
    Meaning: nervousness before or during an appearance before an audience.

  35. Stepping stone (Eng) = Batu loncatan (Ina)
    Meaning: an action or event that helps someone to make progress towards a specified goal.

  36. Take something to one’s heart (Eng) = Memasukan ke dalam hati (Ina)
    Meaning: take criticism seriously and be affected or upset by it.

  37. Tangled web (Eng) = Benang kusut (Ina)
    Meaning: of a situation or a problem that is confusing or difficult to solve.

  38. Throw a towel (Eng) = Lempar handuk (Ina)
    Meaning: stop trying or doing something because lacking of determination or conviction that one can win or be successful.

  39. Turn a blind eye (Eng) = Tutup mata (Ina)
    Meaning: pretend not to notice something is happening, usually something bad.

  40. Two-faced (Eng) = Bermuka dua (Ina)
    Meaning: of someone being insincere or acting one way in certain situations and then in a contrary manner in others.

  41. Walk away (Eng) = Ambil langkah seribu (Ina)
    Meaning: easily, casually, or irresponsibly abandon a situation in which one is involved or for which one is responsible.

  42. Wash one’s hands of… (Eng) = Cuci tangan (Ina)
    Meaning: not wanting to be involved with someone or something, not taking responsibility of someone or something.

  43. Watch one’s mouth (Eng) = Jaga lidah/mulut (Ina)
    Meaning: being careful of what one says.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 11 July 2020.


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#EngQAs 6 July 2020: ‘in the bed’ or ‘on the bed,’ How to Improve English for Children, and Is Grammar Important?

On our special #EngQAs, our followers on Twitter are invited to send their questions related to English learning and we will try to answer it within the session. Here are some questions that were sent to us on 6 July.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

  1. By @lvlcnrn: Which one is correct: in the bed or on the bed?
  2. By @SDN2_PanSi: How to improve English skills for elementary students?
  3. By @Adith_Thyo: Grammar dalam bahasa Inggris perlu/pentingkah?

 

Answers:

  1. I personally prefer using ‘on the bed’, as in my understanding, the preposition ‘on’ means physically in contact with or supported by a surface. The phrase ‘in the bed’ might refer to being inside the bed, as in the bedroom. More on preposition: #GrammarTrivia: “in” vs. “at” (Prepositions of Place)
  2. It’s important to constantly repeat the parts of speech (word types) and improve the children’s vocabulary. Here are some tips that you can also try: #EngTips: Learning at Different Ages
  3. Sangat penting, karena grammar adalah tata bahasa yang membantu kita berkomunikasi dengan lebih efektif. Akan tetapi, jangan khawatir berbahasa Inggris karena takut salah grammar. Dipelajari saja sambil jalan. More on whether grammar is important: #EngClass: Understanding the Basics of English Grammar

 

Remember that our DM on Twitter and our mention tab are open for you to discuss any topics that are related to English learning. Mention us or send us a DM.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 6 July 2020.


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#EngTalk: Lunch and Snacks

Some of you might have returned to work at the office and we are all aware of the risks and difficulties. Take care of yourself, fellas, and keep your surroundings clean and hygienic.

Over the past few days, Indonesian Twitter users have been engaged in quite an odd debate about packed lunch. It started when a lady uploaded ideas for lunch boxes that she’d been preparing for her husband and apparently some people thought she was being too nice to her husband. Some also questioned whether she did that because she was a woman and assumed that it was her duty to be in the kitchen.

I personally think the lunch box was sweet and commendable. Preparing food for our loved ones is an act of love. It’s just as simple as that. Bear in mind that anyone can prepare food for anyone they love, regardless of the gender. After all, cooking is one of the basic surviving skills.

Furthermore, preparing our own meal ensures that we know what goes into the meal and helps us control our portion as not to overeat.

What do you think about this matter, fellas?

agil (@IvIcnrn): well said here. just can’t understand why some people got mad about it.

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Photo by Keegan Evans on Pexels.com

For health reasons, I have been eating mostly plant-based food. I limit meat and poultry consumption to once a week or once in two weeks. I still eat fish and eggs and dairy products, though, so I cannot really say I am a vegetarian or pescatarian.

I have also limited my carbohydrates intake and, if possible, replacing the carbs with something that contains a lot of fibres and low glycemic index. Our metabolism rate slows as we age, so unless we are really, really physically active, all the excess carbs will turn into fat. By now you must have started guessing how old I am, LOL.

Instead of having three big meals a day, I limit my daily intake to one big meal in the morning and then settle for fruits and vegetables for the rest of the day, usually 3-4 times.

My favourite type of vegetable dish to prepare is ‘pecel’ or assorted boiled vegetables (usually spinach, water spinach, bean sprouts, and long beans) with spicy peanut sauce. I love peanut sauce and the taste it gives to the vegetables.

I feel so fortunate living in Indonesia because we have plenty of vegetables to go with our daily meals. We can simply go to a small neighbourhood stall in the morning to buy a pack of vegetables with affordable price. And we can cook them in various ways, too. We can be creative with carrots, green beans, mustard greens (sawi), bok choy, cabbages, lettuces, tomatoes, and many more.

Don’t forget tempe and tofu, which are basically Indonesian staple food. They also have good amount of protein in them. Sometimes, I simply boil them and prepare separated dipping chili sauce.

For the snack, if I feel really hungry, I go with yam, sweet potato, edamame, or a bowl of fresh fruits as watermelon, pineapple, and papaya are pretty easy to find.

What about you, fellas? What are your favourite lunch menu and snacks in between meals? Share it on the comment section below.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 2 July 2020.


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#EngTrivia: Extended Family Members

When it comes to family members, we have our immediate family members consisting of our parents, siblings, spouses, and children. This group might also include our half-siblings (siblings we have from different parents).

And then there are our close relatives, such as grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

What we also count as our relatives are the extended family members, who are still related to us by blood but not as close as our immediate family members or our close relatives. Who are they and how do we address them?

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Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Say, my grandfather has a younger brother. In Indonesian, I will simply call him ‘Kakek’ or grandfather, just as how I call my grandfather. But in English, I will refer to him as my great uncle. The same applies to great aunt.

And then I have a cousin, who is a child of my parent’s sibling. I will refer to this cousin as my first cousin. If my parent’s cousin has a child, that person is my second cousin. My child will also refer to the child of my cousin’s as the second cousin.

What about my parent’s cousins? In Indonesian, I will call them uncles and aunts. In English, they are still called cousins only with ‘removal’, that implies different generation. For example, my father’s first cousin is my first cousin once removed. The term applies both ways. My father’s first cousin will also refer to me as his/her/their first cousin once removed. My children will refer to them as the first cousin twice removed and vice versa.

The last but not least, we have the in-laws, who are related to us by marriage. Our spouse’s parents are our parents in law and our spouse’s siblings are our siblings in law.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 20 June 2020.


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#EngKnowledge: Twitter Handles to Expand Your Vocabularies

Many of us are on self-quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only to keep ourselves safe and healthy, we are doing this to prevent further transmission of the virus to other people with whom we interact. We might not be showing symptoms (asymptomatic), but it does not always mean we are not carrying the virus with us. For me, it is better to be safe than sorry.

However, being on self-quarantine does come with challenging times. Eventually, I noticed my sleep pattern changes as I sleep or take frequent naps during the day and stay awake almost the whole night. Do you also experience the same?

I figured that I needed to find new interests to keep me busy and I decided to read and learn more especially about topics that I had never really touched before the pandemic.
Recently, I completed the 30-day word challenge by Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Merriam Webster
Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s Twitter handle

On this article, I’m going to share some accounts that will help you expand your vocabularies and learn grammar effectively.
1. Merriam-Webster dictionary
@MerriamWebster provides you with Word of the Day, the background story behind words and phrases, and trending words.

  1. Dictionary.com
    @Dictionarycom also provides word of the day and trending words, with quite a sassy and hilarious manner.
  2. The Oxford English Dictionary
    My most favourite feature of @OED is its Word of the Year, which doesn’t only cover the most searched word of the year as it might also introduce a new word that is widely used but not registered on any dictionaries yet.
  3. The Yuniversity
    @The_YUNiversity posts daily vocabulary and grammar lessons in just a few tweets and helpful infographics. Its explanation is also really easy to comprehend. Bonus: KPop fans will relate so much to this handle.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 11 June 2020.


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#EngKnowledge: World Environment Day 2020

Hello everyone, how are you doing? It’s been raining a lot here in Bali, Indonesia, despite we have entered dry season. By the way, did you know that 5 June is celebrated every year as World Environment Day?

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Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

World Environment Day (WED) is observed every year on 5 June to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action to protect nature and the planet Earth.

UN designates 5 June as World Environment Day in 1972 and two years later (1974), WED is celebrated for the first time under the slogan “Only One Earth.” During 1974-1983, WED was celebrated 10 times but only in three countries (USA, Canada, and Bangladesh).

World Environment Day 2020 is focusing on biodiversity and will be hosted in Colombia in partnership with Germany. The theme of World Environment Day 2020 is “Celebrate Biodiversity.” Videos highlighting the biodiversity and environmental achievements of different regions of Colombia will be featured throughout the day, including images and drone footage of strategic ecosystems. We can join the conversation online with the hashtag #ForNature.

Air pollution, overpopulation, deforestation, and climate crisis have been some of the major factors that affect our environment. By actively participating to decrease the impact of any factors above, we might have hope for a better environment. Humans are not the only species on this planet and our actions have significant impact on the existence of other species. Furthermore, studies show deforestation and loss of wildlife cause increases in infectious diseases, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We have only one Earth and we live on this world together, fellas. Let’s let nature be nature and do our parts to help reduce the negative impact of climate crisis. Stay safe everywhere you are.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, 5 June 2020.


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