All posts by Fatiya

#WOTD: Nitpick

Hi fellas, have you ever corrected someone’s insignificant typo or other ignorable mistake? Well, did you know there’s a word for that? It’s “nitpick“.


Did you mean: nitpick


Nitpick” can act as a verb or a noun. The word means criticizing small and unimportant detail. For example, when your friend type “Youre welcome” in a text message and you correct him saying he missed an apostrophe, you’re nitpicking at him. When using “nitpick” as a verb with an object, you can say “nitpick at” or “nitpick about“.

Here are some example sentences with “nitpick”:

“It’s a really well-designed house, I can’t find thing to nitpick about.”

“People can nitpick all they want but I’m still proud of my first published book that I worked very hard for.”

“We get along very well although sometimes we can’t help nitpicking at each other.”

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, March 2, 2017

#EngTrivia: ‘That’ vs. ‘Which’

Hey, fellas! Today, I want to talk about yet another usage case where two words look interchangeable but are actually not. The words are ‘that’ and ‘which’. Both words are used to introduce a particular clause in a sentence.

The usage rule is actually simple: In a restrictive clause, use ‘that’. In a non-restrictive clause, use ‘which’. You can read more about restrictive and non-restrictive clause here.

Pay attention to this sentence:

  1. Dave’s wall art that I bought yesterday is my favorite.
  2. Dave’s wall art, which I bought yesterday, is my favorite.

The first sentence implies that Dave has created more than one wall art, but my favorite is the one that I bought yesterday. That I bought yesterday’ is a necessary information. This is what we call restrictive clause. Therefore, we use ‘that‘ to introduce the clause. Without the clause, we don’t know which wall art of Dave’s that I’m talking about, since Dave has created more than one artwork.

In the second sentence, I’m saying that Dave’s wall art is my favorite. I’m probably comparing it with other people’s artworks that aren’t Dave’s. And I happened to purchase the wall art just yesterday. ‘Which I bought yesterday‘ is just an additional information. Even if I remove the clause, the sentence is still complete. This is what we call non-restrictive clause. We use ‘which’ to introduce this clause.

There you go, fellas. I hope it clears the confusion regarding the usage of ‘that’ and ‘which’.

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, February 16, 2017


#IOTW: Idioms for overwhelmed multitasker

Have you ever tried to do more than one thing at a time, e.g., tasks or activities? Did you succeed in accomplishing all of them?

Well, I always try to find occasions where I can squeeze more activities while doing another because I always have so much things that I want to do. Sometimes I succeed because they’re relatively easy, like ironing my clothes while listening to a thought-provoking podcast. But sometimes I fail, like when I tried singing along to my playlist while writing. I ended up writing what I sang! And apparently, that’s a problem that a lot of us have in common, that there are actually several idioms about doing multiple things at the same time. So now I want to share you some of those idioms about doing multiple things at the same time, or as we like to call it, multitasking.
1. To walk and chew gum (at the same time): to be able to do more than one thing at a time.
  • Example:
    • You’re the kind of person who walks and chew gum at the same time, so I guess this task load won’t be a problem for you.
2. To spread oneself too thin: to try to do too many things at once.
  • Example:
    • I think Sarah is spreading herself too thin, she takes 10 courses this semester, works at the lab, and teaches several private students.
3. To have too many irons in the fire: to be engaged in too many activities.
  • Example:
    • Would you please do the dishes tonight? I’m having too many irons in the fire right now to do the chores.
4. Torn between something and something: finding it very difficult to choose between two possibilities.
  • Example:
    • I’m torn between writing my field trip report and writing the new article for my community.
Wow, at this point it starts to get a more and more overwhelming, right, fellas?
5. To rob Peter to pay Paul: to pay a debt, obligation, etc. by creating or leaving unpaid another.
  • Example:
    • I haven’t finished sewing the blue dress, but I’m gonna have to rob Peter to pay Paul again, because I only have 6 hours to knit this hat.
6. To burn the candle at both ends: to work oneself from early in the morning until late at night and get very little rest.
  • Example:
    • He has to burn the candle at both ends every day if he wants to be able to cover his family expenses.
7. To fall between two stools: to fail to achieve either of two aims as a result of not being able to choose one to focus on.
  • Example:
    • We need to narrow our target now in order not to fall between two stools.
Is there any idiom that relates with your multitasking activity right now, fellas? Which idiom is it?

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, February 2, 2017

#EngQuiz: ‘Can’ vs ‘be able to’

Hi, fellas! In this post, we’re doing an #EngQuiz on the usage of “can” vs “be able to” that we have discussed before. Choose the correct word or phrase to fill these sentences!

1. She has confirmed that she _____ attend the meeting tomorrow.
a. can
b. is able to
c. both are correct
Correct! We can use either “can” or “be able to” to talk about the ability to do something on a specific occasion in the future.
2. He said he stayed up late last night but he _____ write anything.
a. can’t
b. couldn’t
Correct! We can use the past form of either “can” or “be able to” in negative statements about something in the past.
 c. isn’t able to
d. weren’t able to
3. I _____ juggle up to four balls at a time.
a. can
b. am able to
c. both are correct
Correct! We can use either “can” or “be able to” in the present tense to talk about an ability to do things.
4. _____ win one of the doorprize back then?
a. Can you
b. Could you
c. Are you able to
d. Were you able to
Correct! We only use was/were able to to talk about something we succeeded in doing on a specific time in the past.
5. If the device is too hot, it _____ damage the battery.
a. can
Correct! We only use can or could in the present tense to talk about possibilities.
b. is able to
c. both are correct
6. I _____ crawl through that little gap between the bushes when I was a kid.
a. can
b. can’t
c. could
Correct! We can use either “could” or “was/were able to” to talk about an ability that someone doesnt have anymore.
d. were able to

Compiled and written by @fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, January 19, 2017


#EngClass: Direct and indirect object

In this post, we are going to learn about what direct object and indirect object are, and how to identify and use them in a sentence.

Direct object

A direct object is a noun, a phrase, or a pronoun that follows a transitive verbA simple sentence containing a transitive verb and a direct object usually follows this formula:

  subject + transitive verb + direct object
  • Example:
    Sally buys a watch.



a watch


transitive verb

direct object

A direct object answers the question “what?” or “who?” in a sentence. The direct object in the example sentence above answers the question, “What does Sally buy?”

Indirect object

Pay attention to this sentence:

Evan gives his mother a gift.

“Evan” is the subject, “gives” is the transitive verb, but which is the direct object “his mother” or “a gift”? Let’s identify the direct object by asking the question “What does Evan give?” The answer is, “Evan gives a gift,” not “Evan gives his mother.”

So what is the role of “his mother” in that sentence? Yup, you guessed it, fellas, “his mother” acts as the indirect object of that sentence.

The indirect object of a sentence is the recipient of the direct object. It always comes between a transitive verb and a direct object. If a sentence contains an indirect object, it usually follows this formula:

  subject + transitive verb + indirect object + direct object 

An indirect object answers the question “to what/whom” or “for what/whom” an action is done. Let’s ask, “To whom Evan gives the gift?” The answer would be, “to his mother”. You can also see in the example sentence that “his mother” comes between the verb and the direct object. So, that is how you identify that “his mother” is the indirect object of that sentence.

An indirect object is basically a prepositional phrase in which the preposition “to” or “for” is not stated. If a sentence contains an indirect object, you can reform it following this formula:

  subject + transitive verb + direct object + to/for indirect object

So, you can also modify the example sentence into this form:

Evan gives a gift to his mother.

This modification is useful when the direct object is a pronoun instead of a noun. For example, you might say, “My sister doesn’t use her blue purse anymore, so she handed me it,” because you want to follow the first formula.


handed me it
subject transitive verb indirect object

direct object

You follow a valid formula, but that sentence sounds a little weird, doesn’t it, fellas? That’s when the second formula can be useful to smooth out your sentence so that it sounds more natural.

You can modify that sentence like this, “My sister don’t use her blue purse anymore, so she handed it to me.” Now the sentence sounds more natural and can be easily understood.


handed it to me
subject transitive verb direct object

prepositional phrase

So now you know what direct object and indirect object are, how to identify them, and how to form a sentence using both types of object. Understanding these grammar terms also helps you deal with grammar more easily in the future.


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, January 12, 2016


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#EngTrivia: Various Meanings of ‘go off’

Good evening, fellas! Today I want to talk about a phrasal verb that often confuses me. It’s “go off”. If you want to know what a phrasal verb is, you can click here to read more about it. “Go off” confuses me a lot because it has a lot of meanings that are very different depending on its context in a sentence. Let’s walk through the meanings of “go off” one by one.

  1. If you say someone goes off, that means he/she leaves a place and go somewhere elseExample: After finishing her writing goal today, she went off to her favorite cafe to have a nice drink as a form of small celebration.
  2. If you say how an event went off, you explain how it happened in a specific way. Example: The seminar went off really well and we learn a lot from the brilliant speakers.
  3. If a machine or light goes off, that means it stops working or dies. Example: The printer went off right before it started printing the last page.
  4. If a warning device such as an alarm or a siren goes off, that means it starts making a sound/noise. Example: My phone suddenly went off with my embarrassing ringtone during class because I forgot to turn on the silent mode. See, fellas? I always thought that a cellphone going off means it turns off. We tend to think “off” indicates that something stops working. Turns out, our phone “going off” means it is making a noise (alarm or ringtone) instead of shutting down.
  5. If an explosive thing or a gun goes off, that means it explodes or it fires. Example: It was pretty fun for me to just sit on the rooftop in New Year’s Eve and watch the fireworks go off from every direction.
  6. (British English) If you go off something, that means you stop liking it. Example: I start going off fantasy novels. I’m into sci-fi now.
  7. (British English) If food or beverages go off, that means it’s not fresh and starts going bad. Example: This milk tastes funny. I think it goes off.

So, now you see how the meaning of “go off” varies. If you read something that you think doesn’t make sense, it could be that one of the words have another meaning that you don’t know. You can always check the dictionary to be sure that you really know what a word or phrase means in a particular sentence.

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @Englishtips4U on January 5, 2016.

#EngTrivia: “Can” vs “Be Able to”

In this post, we will talk about the use of “can” and “be able to”. “Can” and “be able to” are often interchangeable, but there are some occasions where only one of them is correct.

Both “can” and “be able to” is used:

1. In the present tense to talk about an ability to do things. In this case, “can” is more common, while “be able to” sounds more formal and less natural.

  • Example:
    • “I can play guitar.” ✔
    • “I am able to play guitar.” ✔
  1. To talk about the ability to do something on a specific occasion in the future.
  • Example:
    • “I can do the interview tomorrow.” ✔
    • “I am able to do the interview tomorrow.” ✔
    • “When I’m done writing this essay, we can hang out.” ✔
    • “When I’m done writing this essay, we will be able to hang out.” ✔

3. To talk about an ability that someone doesn’t have anymore.

  • Example:
    • “I could stay up until 3 AM when I was a student.” ✔
    • “I was able to stay up until 3 AM when I was a student.”✔


We only use “can” or “could” in the present tense to talk about possibilities.

  • Example:
    • “With that much preparation, I think they can win the academic bowl.” ✔
    • “With that much preparation, I think they are able to win the academic bowl.” ✖


We only use “was/were able to” to talk about something we succeeded in doing on a specific time in the past.

  • Example:
    • “I was able to sleep last night.” ✔
    • “I could sleep last night.” ✖


However, it is okay to use either “could not” or “was/were not able to” in negative statements about something the past.

  • Example:
    • “I couldn’t ride a bike when I was a teenager.” ✔
    • “I wasn’t able to ride a bike when I was a teenager.”✔
    • “We couldn’t get tickets to the premiere yesterday.” ✔
    • “We weren’t able to get tickets to the premiere yesterday.” ✔


By the way, you can read more about the usage of “can” vs. “could” as well as other modal auxiliary verbs in this article. Feel free to drop a comment if you have any question.


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, December 29, 2016


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#USSlang: Money

In this post; we would like to share the most common American slang for money.

  1. Bill. Meaning: one hundred dollars, or a piece of paper money.
    • Example:
      • a fifty-dollar bill.
  2. Wad. Meaning: a considerable amount of money.
    • Example:
      • a wad of cash.
  3. Buck. Meaning: commonly means a dollar, but can also mean an amount of money in general, or a hundred dollars.
    1. Example:
      1. his bag costs only fifty bucks.
      2. You can earn more bucks as you go.
  4. Fin/fiver/five-spot. Meaning: five-dollar bill.
  5. Sawbuck/ten-spot/Hamilton. Meaning: ten-dollar bill. Alexander Hamilton is pictured on the $10 banknote.
  6. C-note or Benjamin. Meaning: 100 dollar bill.
  7. Grand. Meaning: a thousand dollars.
    • Example:
      • five grands for a one-year program.
  8. Nickel. Meaning: originally refers to a coin worth five cents, but as a slang term it means something that costs five dollars.
  9. Dime. Meaning: originally means a coin worth ten cents, but as a slang term it means ten dollars.
  10. Other general terms for money: scratch, dough, moolah, cheddar, and smacker.

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on December 15, 2016.

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EngQuiz: Different Ways to Walk

Hello, fellas. Yesterday, we have shared some vocabularies about different types of walking, which you can review here. Now let’s do an #EngQuiz on those vocabularies. Choose a word inside the brackets to fill in the blank.

  1. They _____ around the stage as if they were some famous fashion models. (stomp/strut/shamble)
  2. We try not to make any sound by _____ across the room because grandpa is asleep in front of the fireplace. (tiptoeing/limping/stepping)
  3. The dim light inside the theater makes him trip on someone’s foot and _____ towards his seat. (tiptoe/stumble/pace)
  4. The siblings _____ along the street, enjoying the nice weather. (stalk/step/amble)
  5. Julian _____ towards the chair next to me, telling me he just fell off his bike. (stomps/marches/limps)
  6. It’s almost 7 am. The students who stroll begin to _____ so as to not come late to school. (stride/march/saunter)
  7. My little sister is pretending to be a giant. She _____ around the kitchen while making noises in a made-up deep voice. (steps/stomps/stumbles)
  8. He likes to _____ back and forth in the room when he’s thinking. (pace/shamble/stalk)

Here’s the recap of our #EngQuiz session on Twitter. You can scroll through it to see the correct answers.

Compiled by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on December 9, 2016.

#EngVocab: Different ways to walk

Do you know you can describe the way you walk if you use a different verb in your sentence? For example, when you’re having a leisure time in a park, you walk slowly and enjoying your surroundings. You can say you stroll around the park. That means you walk in a leisurely manner, no rush at all. So, here are some verbs to describe the different ways of walking.

1. Amble: to walk slowly or leisurely (similar to stroll).


  • Fred ambles along the path towards Beth’s house.

2. Limp: to walk lamely, especially with irregularity, as if favoring one leg. 


  • 👩: Why are you limping👧: I sprained my ankle.

3. March: to walk steadily and rhythmically forward in step with others.


  • The scouts marched towards their leader.

4. Pace: to walk or stride back and forth across; to walk (a number of steps) in measuring a space.


  • Upon waiting for the test result, he paces the corridor nervously.

5. Saunter: to walk slowly in a casual way (similar to amble and stroll).


  • She points at the girl who is sauntering across the hall.

6. Shamble: to walk in an awkward, lazy, or unsteady way.


  • I can hear the sound of someone shambling outside my house.

7. Stalk: to walk with a stiff, haughty, or angry gait.


  • My sister stalked off my room because I refused to share my chocolate with her.

8. Step: to walk a short distance to a specified place or in a specified direction.


  • Please do not step on that white line. The paint is still wet.

9. Stomp: to walk with forcible, heavy steps.


  • The fierce instructor stomps into the room.

10. Stride: to walk with long steps, especially in a hasty or vigorous way.


  • In this campus, people don’t walk; they stride everywhere.

11. Strut: to walk in a pompous manner.


  • Ramona struts into her house with the butterflies she managed to catch, leaving Howie who got nothing at all.

12. Stumble: to miss one’s step in walking or running; trip and almost fall.


  • Exhausted from the soccer practice, he stumbles into his room and throws himself onto the bed.

13. Tiptoe: to walk or move quietly on one’s toes.


  • The baby is now asleep, so Mom tiptoes out of the room to do another chore.

Definitions are taken from


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, December 8, 2016



#IOTW: Idioms about hard work

Hi, fellas! How are you? I’ve been working my fingers to the bone to finish my tasks today, to exaggerate a bit.

If any of you are students, these days might be your busiest too, I guess, because the end of the school term is pretty close. Before you get the holiday you deserve at the end of this month, you have to work hard for exams first.

So maybe you want to know some idioms you can use to express the hard work you’re going through. Well, here are some idioms related to hard work that we have curated for you:

  1. Blood, sweat and tears. Meaning: a lot of effort and suffering.
    • Example:
      • It must have taken the author’s blood, sweat, and tears to write this really good novel.
  2. Fight tooth and nail. Meaning: to use a lot of effort to oppose someone or achieve something.
    • Example:
      • He’s fighting tooth and nail to get his manuscript accepted by the end of this year.
  3. Go the extra mile. Meaning: to do more and make a greater effort than is expected of you.
    • Example:
      • I have achieved the monthly sale goal, but there is nothing wrong with going the extra mile to get more items sold.
  4. Go into overdrive. Meaning: to start working very hard.
    • Example:
      • As this term reach its end, the students go into overdrive and review their notes every day.
  5. Keep nose to grindstone. Meaning: to continue to work very hard without stopping.
    • Example:
      • She has been keeping her nose to grindstone for the SNMPTN test next week.
  6. Make headway. Meaning: to make progress.
    • Example:
      • Kevin continues to make headway to become a good animator.
  7. Pull out all the stops. Meaning: to do everything you can to make something successful.
    • Example:
      • Jan has been pulling out all the stops to get accepted to a medical school and now her efforts have paid off.
  8. Sink your teeth into. Meaning: to start to do something with a lot of enthusiasm.
    • Example:
      • Software development is something she has always wanted to sink her teeth into.
  9. Burn the candle at both ends. Meaning: to get little sleep because you are busy.
    • Example:
      • With the deadline only one week away, he has to burn the candles at both ends to finish his draft.
  10. Pull your socks up. Meaning: to make an effort to improve your work.
    • Example:
      • You have to pull your socks up if you want to get an A on this subject.

Source: Cambridge Idioms Dictionary


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, December 1, 2016


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#WOTD: Eloquent

Hi, fellas! How did you spend your day?

I want to highlight that I spent my breaks from work today to watch some inspiring TED Talks. What I admire about the speakers in those talks is how eloquent they are. I think their eloquence is part of what makes their talks powerful and persuasive.

Anyway, that brings us to our #WOTD today: Eloquent.

Eloquent is an adjective. The word means having the ability to use language clearly and effectively. An eloquent person is good at speaking and persuading people. Eloquent can also mean clearly expressing feeling or meaning when the word is used to describe speech or a writing. Words synonymous to eloquent are articulate, expressive, and fluent.

In addition to the sentence that I tweeted earlier, here are more examples of how to use eloquent in a sentence:

  • Her argument was expressed so eloquently that the audience can’t help but agree with it.
  • That eloquent storyteller has published a very beautiful novel recently.


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, November 24, 2016


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#EngQuiz: Transitive vs. Intransitive Verbs

Last week, we learned about transitive and intransitive verb, and now, we are going to do a quiz on that topic. On these 10 sentences, you are to decide whether the verbs I write in ALL CAPS are transitive or intransitive.

  1. The farmer didn’t GO to her ricefield this morning.
  2. The stars SPARKLE so bright.
  3. He made everybody swear to KEEP the secret.
  4. I DRAW a square on the paper.
  5. We failed to get the discount because the sale has ENDED.
  6. The student STOPS the bus and climbs up.
  7. We AGREED to meet up next week.
  8. I sit still and LISTEN to the sound of an approaching car.
  9. Catey DRAWS for a living.
  10. Hank ENDED the livestream five minutes ago.

Below are the tweets from our #EngQuiz session on this topic. You can scroll through them to find the answer.

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on November 17, 2016.

#EngClass: Transitive and intransitive verbs

In this post, we will talk about transitive and intransitive verb and how those two differ. Let’s cut to the chase!

Transitive Verb

A transitive verb requires an object.


“I carry a stick.”

In the sentence above, carry is the transitive verb and a stick is the noun that acts as the object in that sentence. The object following the transitive verb can be a noun, phrase, or pronoun that is affected by the action of the verb. It always answers the question “What?” – What do I carry? I carry a stick.  Using a transitive verb without an object will make an incomplete sentence – simply saying “I carry” without an object would not make sense. has a tip for remembering the name of the verb: think of a transitive verb as transferring their action to the object.

Intransitive Verb

An intransitive verb don’t have a direct object receiving the action. It can be followed by an adverb or a prepositional phrase, but it can never be followed by a noun.


“He sits.”

The sentence is complete without an object. Therefore, sit is an intransitive verb.

“He sits” can be followed by a prepositional phrase such as “on a wooden chair”. But using a noun immediately after the verb, e.g., “He sits a wooden chair” would make an incorrect sentence because the verb can’t take an object.

However, many verbs can be both transitive or intransitive, depending on what follows them in the sentence. In one sentence, a verb may require an object, while in others it does not require an object. A few examples of verb that can be transitive and intransitive: run, play, return.

“She runs across the street.”

In the sentence above, run acts as an intransitive verb because across the street is a prepositional phrase.

“Dad runs a stationery shop.”

Run is a transitive verb in this sentence because a stationery shop is a noun that acts as the object.

If we confuse transitive and intransitive verb, our sentence may be incomplete or incorrect. Therefore, it helps to know the difference between those two kinds of verb and how to use them in a sentence.


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, November 10, 2016

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#EngQuote: Honesty

Hey fellas! How was your day? I hope it was fine. Mine, to be honest, wasn’t really interesting. By the way, why do we say ‘to be honest’? Why do we feel like we have to warn people when we’re about to tell some truth? To answer it myself, I think it’s because honesty isn’t always good to hear. Sometimes the easy and acceptable answer is not the truth. And sometimes we’re tempted to lie, because it saves us from awkwardness or difficult situations, albeit only in the short run. In the long run, honesty is important – it’s how we gain trust, and therefore nurture good relationships with people.

That said, I’m going to share to you some quotes about honesty:

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” —Mark Twain

“Every lie is two lies — the lie we tell others and the lie we tell ourselves to justify it.” —Robert Brault

“A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future.” —Anonymous

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.” —Winston Churchill

“Honesty doesn’t always pay, but dishonesty always costs.” —Michael Josephson

“The truth needs so little rehearsal.” —Barbara Kingsolver

“The biggest consequence to telling a lie is, it leads you to telling another one.” —Gary King

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.” —Thomas Jefferson

“One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.” —Mark Twain


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on November 3, 2016.

#EngQuiz: See, Look, Watch

Following one of our previous posts #EngTrivia: See, look, watch, let’s follow it up with some exercise?

Fill in the blanks with see, look at, or watch.

1. We _____ the door all day but no one knocked with the package we’ve been waiting for.
look at
2. She wore a green T-shirt when I _____ her yesterday.
looked at
I’m going to _____ John’s new vlog as soon as I got home.
look at
3. _____ the horizon! I think that’s a ship approaching.
look at
4. Inferno is now playing in theaters, right? Have you _____ it?
looked at
5. Can you _____ the baby? I need go outside for a minute to talk to Mrs. Baker.
look at
6. He keeps _____ his watch hoping the time will run faster.
looking at
7. Pause the video at 5.11 and _____ the scene, can you _____ Eva in the crowd?
see, look at
look at, see
watch, see
8. Don’t _____ a stranger like that. It’s impolite.
look at
9. I keep _____ an error message when tweeting, please fix this bug.
look at


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, October 27, 2016


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#EngTrivia: ‘See,’ ‘look,’ ‘watch’

Let’s talk about these three verbs: ‘see,’ ‘look,’ and ‘watch.’ These verbs are easily confused as they all relate to an action that we do with our eyes. So let us break down each of those verbs to understand how they differ.


If you ‘see‘ something, you are aware that the thing is there, but you may not pay attention to it.


  • “I saw a cellphone in that room, but I don’t remember what kind of phone it was. Could it be your lost phone?”

Look (at)

If you ‘look‘ at something, you intentionally try to see it, and you pay attention to it. Much like ‘menatap‘ in bahasa Indonesia. Note that we are talking about ‘look’ as an intransitive verb (not followed by object or complement), therefore it is followed by preposition ‘at.’


  • “I look at the novel that I just bought and decide that now is not the time to read such a thick novel.”


If you ‘watch‘ something, you pay attention to it for a period of time, anticipating and following any movement. Watch can mean ‘menonton‘ or ‘mengawasi‘ in Bahasa Indonesia.


  • “Could you watch my bag while I go to the restroom?”

See or watch a movie?

‘See’ and ‘watch’ are also often confused when it comes to talking about movies. So, do you ‘see’ or ‘watch’ a movie?

Well, both ‘see’ and ‘watch’ can be used to talk about movies or TV programs, but we usually say we ‘see a movie‘ when we refer to going to the theater. If you say you ‘watch a movie,’ it implies that you watch it on TV or DVD or a streaming service.

So, has that cleared up the confusion yet?

Compiled and written by @fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, October 20, 2016

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#IOTW: Outer Space Idioms

  1. Out of this world. Meaning: extraordinary.
    • Example:
    • I climbed Mount Sindoro last week. Man, the view from up there were out of this world!

  2. Living on another planet. Meaning: not realizing what is going on; having unreasonable ideas.
    • Example:
    • They think they can run that kind of business with just 50 million rupiahs in their hands. It’s like they’re living on another planet.

  3. Living in cloud cuckoo land. Meaning: believing naively that impossible things might happen.
    • Example:
    • If you think the designer can finish that amount of work in three days you’re living in cloud cuckoo land.

  4. (Having) stars in one’s eyes. Meaning: hopeful and enthusiastic about what is going to happen to you in the future.
    • Example:
    • I see some of the new students enter their first ever classroom with stars in their eyes.

  5. Written in the stars. Meaning: certain to happen, intended to be.
    • Example:
    • It’s written in the stars that he would become the king of our kingdom.

  6. Not rocket science. Meaning: requires no extraordinary skill or intelligence.
    • Example:
    • Simply plug in the power cord and push the power button. It’s not rocket science.

    • “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to plug in the power cord and push the power button.”


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, October 13, 2016


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