All posts by fathrahman

#GrammarTrivia: Be + To Infinitive

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to use be + to infinitive.

Be + to infinitive is used to express formal or official arrangements or to give formal instructions or orders.

Examples:
1) The Prime Minister is to visit Indonesia next month. (formal or official arrangements)
2) All students are to attend the class. (formal instructions or orders)

The structure is often used in newspaper, radio and television reports to talk about future events and expresses near certainty.

Examples:
1) The government is to increase tobacco duty.
2) A man is to appear in court this morning charged with the murder of the footballer.

Be + to infinitive is commonly used in conditional sentences to express a precondition.

Examples:
1) They will have to study hard if they are to pass the exam.
2) If I am to catch the train, I shall have to go now.

Sources:
BBC Learning English, https://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv103.shtml
English Practice, Be + infinitive, https://www.englishpractice.com/improve/infinitive/
Grammaring, BE + TO-infinitive, https://www.grammaring.com/be-to-infinitive

Compiled and written @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

#GrammarTrivia: Objects of Prepositions

Hello, fellas. This session is about objects of prepositions. They are objects following prepositions in prepositional phrases.

Common prepositions are:
about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, besides, between, beyond, by, despite, down, during, for, from, in, into, like, near, of, off, on, out, over, since, through, throughout, till, to, toward(s), under, until, up, upon, with, within, without

(More on prepositions: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/09/17/engclass-prepositions/)

The object of a preposition is a noun, pronoun, gerund, or noun clause. Objects of prepositions are not the subject of a sentence.

Examples:
1) The student comes to the library.
2) They studied together without you.
3) She is interested in learning English.
4) The teacher is thinking about what he can do to motivate her students.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Deborah Phillips, Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, Februari 18, 2020

#GrammarTrivia: Using “Of” in Expressions of Quantity

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to use of in expressions of quantity.
Of is always contained in several expressions of quantity:

a lot of
lots of
a number of
a great deal of
a majority of
plenty of

Examples:
1) A number of books have been sold.
2) A number of my books have been sold.

Some expressions of quantity sometimes contain of and sometimes not. They use of when the noun is specific or preceded by any possessive, this/that/these/those, or the. Of is not used if the noun is nonspecific.

all (of)
most (of)
almost all (of)
many (of)
much (of)
a few (of)
a little (of)
one (of), two (of), three (of), etc
both (of)
several (of)

Examples:
1) Many of my students are foreigners.
2) Many of those students are foreigners.
3) Many of the students are foreigners.
4) Many students are foreigners.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, January 20, 2020

#GrammarTrivia: Be Supposed To

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to use be supposed to.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2012/02/24/engtrivia-suppose-supposed-to-supposed-to-be/)

Be supposed to is used to convey the idea that someone expects something to occur. Be supposed to often conveys expectations about scheduled events or correct procedures.

Examples:
1) The meeting is supposed to begin at 11:00.
2) The election of the government is supposed to be carried out by secret ballot.

Be supposed to also conveys expectations about behaviour.

Example:
You are supposed to park here.

In the past, be supposed to conveys unfulfilled expectations.

Example:
She was expected to participate in our discussion last night. (The speaker expected her to participate, but she did not)

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary – 4th Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

#GrammarTrivia: Irregularities in Subject-Verb Agreement (2)

Hello, fellas. Tonight we have the second session of several irregularities in subject-verb agreement.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2019/12/24/grammartrivia-irregularities-in-subject-verb-agreement/)

People, police, and cattle are plural nouns and followed by plural verbs, even though they do not end in –s.

Example:
Many people learn English to study overseas.

Some nouns of nationality ending in –sh, -ese, and –ch can refer to language or people, e.g., English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, French. They can be followed by singular or plural verbs.

Examples:
Chinese is an international language.
The Chinese are hard workers.

Several adjectives can be preceded by the and used as a plural noun (with no final –s) to refer to people having the quality, e.g., the poor, the rich, the young, the elderly, the living, the dead, the blind, the deaf, the disabled.

Example:
The young want a change.

Source:

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, January 6, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Irregularities in Subject-Verb Agreement

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn some irregularities in subject-verb agreement.

Sometimes a proper noun (the name of a particular person, place, or object spelled with a capital letter) that ends in –s is followed by a singular verb because it is singular. The singular pronoun it is used if the noun is changed to a pronoun.

Example:
The United Nations has 193 member states.

News is a singular noun.

Example:
Bad news is good news.

Fields of study ending in –ics are followed by singular verbs.

Example:
Economics is interesting.

Several illnesses which end in –s require singular verbs, such as diabetes, measles, mumps, rabies, rickets, shingles.

Example:
Measles is an infectious disease producing small, red spots all over the body.

Expressions of time, money, and distance are usually followed by a singular verb.

Example:
Five dollars is enough to pay.

Arithmetic expressions require singular verbs.

Example:
One and three equals four.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary: 4th Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, December 24, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Stative Verbs

Hello, fellas. Our session today is about stative verbs.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2014/04/13/engclass-stative-or-non-continuous-verb/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2016/07/29/grammartrivia-non-continuous-verbs/)

Stative verbs are verbs which have stative meanings. They are used to describe states: existing conditions or situations. They are usually not used in progressive tenses.

Verbs having stative meanings:

  1. Mental state: know, realize, undertand, recognize, believe, feel, suppose, thinks*, imagine*, doubt*, remember*, forget, want*, need, desire, mean*
  2. Emotional state: love, like, appreciate, please, prefer, hate, dislike, fear, envy, mind, care
  3. Possession: possess, have*, own, belong
  4. Sense perceptions: taste*, smell*, hear, feel*, see*
  5. Other existing states: seem, look*, appear*, sound, resemble, look like, cost*, owe, weigh*, equal, be*, exist, matter, consist of, contain, include

Note: Verbs with an asterisk (*) have stative and progressive meanings and uses.

Examples:

1) The food tastes delicious.
In the sentence above, tastes describes a state that exists.

2) The chef is tasting the sauce in his kitchen.
This example describes the action of the chef putting something in his mouth and actively tasting its flavor.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, December 8, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: The Subjunctive in Noun Clauses

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to use the subjunctive in noun clauses.
(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/10/10/engclass-subjunctive/)

Sentences using the subjunctive usually carry the meaning of importance or urgency. A subjunctive verb only uses the simple form of a verb. There is no present, past, or future form in the subjunctive. Its verb is neither singular nor plural. A subjunctive verb is used in noun clauses with that following certain verbs and expressions.

Verbs and expressions followed by the subjunctive in noun clauses:

advise
ask
demand
insist
propose
recommend
request
suggest
it is essential
it is imperative
it is important
it is critical
it is necessary
it is vital

Examples:
1) She demands that I be on time.
2) The teacher insisted that we do the homework.
3) He recommended that they (should) not go to the stadium.
(Should is also possible after recommend and suggest)
4) It is necessary that she be forgiven.
(Passive: simple form of be + past participle)
5) I suggested that they (should) make a decision immediately.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on  Wednesday, November 20, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Using “How About” and “What About” (Revisit)

Hello, fellas. How are you today? In this session we will learn the use of how about and what about.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2014/04/24/engtrivia-how-about-vs-what-about/)

The meaning and usage of how about and what about are the same. Both carry the meaning of suggestions or offers. How about and what about precede a noun (or pronoun) or the –ing form of a verb.

Examples:

1) A: We need an additional player.
B: How about (What about) Danny? Let’s ask him if he wants to join.

2) A: What should we do tomorrow?
B: How about (What about) going to the beach?

How about and what about are commonly used in informal spoken English, but are frequently not used in writing.

How about you? and What about you? refer to the information or question immediately preceding them.

Examples:

1) A: I’m hungry. How about you?
B: Yes. I’m hungry too.

2) A: Are you tired?
B: No. What about you?
A: I’m a little tired.

Source:

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, November 7, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Using ‘Which’ to Modify a Whole Sentence

Hello, fellas. Today we will learn how to use which to modify a whole sentence. Which is usually used in a clause modifying a noun or a relative clause (an adjective clause)

(More on relative clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/08/engclass-relative-clause/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/09/engclass-relative-clause-2/)

A sentence is modified by which in informal and spoken English. It is not generally deemed appropriate in formal writing. If it is written, a comma comes before it to reflect a pause in speech.

Examples:

1) Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League. That did not surprise me.
Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League, which did not surprise me.

2) We are facing a long dry season. This is too horrible.
We are facing a long dry season, which is too horrible.

The pronouns that and this refer to the ideas of the previous sentences “Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League” and “We are facing a long dry season”. Then, they are replaced by which.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written  by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: The Use of ‘The’ or No Article with Names

Hello, fellas. This session is still related to when we should use articles or not.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2019/09/18/grammartrivia-using-a-or-no-article-for-generalization/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2019/10/05/grammartrivia-the-use-of-the/)

1) The does not precede titled names.
Examples:
I saw Mr. Jones.
Doctor Charles graduated in 2004.
President Obama spent his childhood in Indonesia.

2) The does not come before the names of continents.
Examples:
There are many great football players in Europe.
Africa is often hit by starvation.

3) The names of most countries are not preceded by the.
Examples:
Germany produces several prominent scientists.
Massive floods took place in China.

4) The comes before the names of only a few countries, such as the United States, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, the Dominican Republic.
Examples:
Donald Trump is the President of the United States.
Euro 1988 was won by the Netherlands.

5) The is not used with the names of cities.
Examples:
Kuala Lumpur was the capital city of Malaysia.
There are many football clubs in London.

6) The is used with the names of rivers, oceans, and seas.
Examples:
The Nile River is in Africa.
The Indian Ocean is known for its wave.

7) The does not precede the names of lakes.
Example:
Samosir lies in the middle of Lake Toba.

8) The comes before the names of mountain ranges.
Example:
Many tourists visited the Alps.

9) The is not used with the names of individual mountains.
Example:
They climbed Mount Merapi.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, October 13, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: The Use of ‘The’

Hello, fellas. This session is still related to the previous session about the use of an article.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2019/09/18/grammartrivia-using-a-or-no-article-for-generalization/)

Beside a/an, the other article is the. The precedes

1) singular count nouns
e.g. the cat

2) plural count nouns
e.g. the cats

3) noncount nouns
e.g. the fruit

The is used when the speaker and his/her listener are thinking about the same specific person(s) or thing(s).
e.g. Have you fed the cat?

In the example above, the speaker and the listener are thinking about the same specific cat. The listener knows which cat the speaker is talking about. There is only one cat about which the speaker could be talking.

The is also used when the speaker mentions a noun the second time.
e.g. I had a book. I gave the book to Sally.

I had a book constitutes the first mention. In the second mention, the listener knows which book the speaker is talking about: the book the speaker had.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Using “A” or No Article for Generalization

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to use a or no article. A or no article is used when a speaker is making a generalization.

A comes before a singular noun when a generalization is expressed.

Examples:
1) A leaf is green.
2) A cat makes a good pet.

In the above-mentioned examples, the speaker is talking about any leaf and any cat, all leaves and all cats, leaves and cats in general.

No article is used when a speaker is making a generalization with a plural count noun.

Examples:
3) Leaves are green.
4) Cats make good pets.

The meaning of these examples is similar to that of example 1 and 2. Sometimes an expression of quantity (e.g., almost all, most, some) is used in a generalization.

Examples:
5) She saw some cats in her room.
6) Most students read books.

If a generalization is about an uncountable noun, no article is used.

Examples:
7) Milk is good for your health.
8) Fruit contains vitamins.

Some can be used in the generalization of an uncountable noun.

Examples:
9) Can you get me some food?
10) He drank some milk.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, September 14, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Length of Time (How Long & It + Take)

Hello, fellas. How long have you been learning English? In this session we will learn how to ask about and express length of time.

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a question about length of time is started by how long.

Examples:
1) How long did you sleep last night?
2) How long will they stay in New York?

How long can be replaced by how many + minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years.

Example:
How many weeks will they stay in New York?

On the other hand, length of time can be expressed by this formula:

It + Take + (Someone) + Length of Time + Infinitive

(Infinitive = to + the simple form of a verb)

Examples:
1) It takes 90 minutes to play football.
2) It took Mary two months to write her book.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, August 27, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Conditional Sentences Using ‘As If’, ‘As Though’ and ‘Like’

Hello, fellas. How’s life today? On this occasion we will learn several forms of conditional sentences. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a conditional sentence usually comprises of an adverb clause of condition or if-clause, which contains a condition, and a result clause, which shows a result. Besides, an adverb clause can be introduced by whether or not, even if, in case, in the event that, unless and only if.

(More on conditional sentences: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/06/04/engclass-conditional-sentences-revisit/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2019/02/05/grammartrivia-other-forms-of-conditional-sentences/)

Conditional sentences can also be formed by using as if, as though and like. The use of as if or as though usually carries the same meaning as an untrue conditional sentence.

Examples:
1) She kept playing as if she were a child.
Fact: She is not a child.
2) He explained the lesson to his classmates as though he had learned all the materials.
Fact: He did not learn all the materials.

In conditional sentences, like precedes a clause. However, it is not generally considered appropriate in formal English and more common in informal English.

Example:
It looks like it is going to be sunny.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: The Past Perfect Progressive

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn the past perfect progressive.

To begin with, we need to understand the past perfect first. The past perfect conveys an idea that an activity was completed before another activity or time in the past.

(More on the past perfect: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/12/26/engclass-past-perfect-tense/)

Example:
Felix had finished his study when Mary started her tertiary education.
First: Felix finished his study.
Second: Mary started her tertiary education.

In the past perfect progressive, the emphasis is put on the duration of an activity that was in progress before another activity or time in the past.

Example:
She had been reading a book for two hours before I came.

The past perfect progressive may also express a meaning that an activity was in progress close in time to another activity or time in the past.

Example:
He was tired because he had been running.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, August 4, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Relative Clauses to Modify Pronouns

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn the use of relative clauses to modify pronouns.

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a relative clause is a dependent clause modifying a noun. Further information about a noun is described, identified, or given by the clause. It is also called an adjective clause.

(More on relative clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/08/engclass-relative-clause/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/09/engclass-relative-clause-2/)

Relative clauses can also be used to modify indefinite pronouns (everyone, everybody, everything, someone, somebody, something, anyone, anybody, anything, no one, nobody, nothing)

Example:
1) There is somebody whom she wants to see.
2) Anything which they said was irrelevant.

Pronouns such as the one(s) and those can be modified by relative clauses, too.

Example:
1) Catherine was the only one whom I talked to in the class.
2) The governments provide scholarships for those who are unable to pay their tuition fees.

Relative clauses are extremely rarely used to modify personal pronouns (I, you, she, he, it, we, they). Even though it is possible, it is very formal and uncommon.

Example:
It is I who help the students.

Source:

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, July 19, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: “Always” in the Progressive

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn the use of always in the progressive.

Always is usually used in the simple present to describe habits or everyday activities.
Example: I always go to school at 6:30.

It may be used in the present progressive to complain, express annoyance or anger.
Example: She is always coming late!

Beside always, the words forever and constantly can also be used in the present progressive to convey annoyance.
Example: She is always/forever/constantly coming late!

Always, forever, and constantly may be used in the past progressive to express annoyance or anger.
Example: She was always/forever/constantly coming late.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, July 6, 2019