All posts by fathrahman

#GrammarTrivia: Double Comparatives

Hello, fellas. How do we say “Semakin cepat, semakin baik” in English? Yes. We say it through double comparatives “The sooner, the better”. But, wait. Is it correct to use article the with comparative comparison (-er, more)? Let’s check it out.

Comparisons are used to assess the value of one thing and another. They are equal comparison (as…as), comparative comparison and superlative comparison (-est, the most).

(More on comparisons: https://englishtips4u.com/2012/01/20/engclass-degrees-of-comparison/comment-page-1/)

Double comparatives comprise of two parts, each of which begins with the. The second part is the result of the first one. In double comparatives, both parts have parallel structures.

There are three structures of double comparatives:

1) the + comparative, the + comparative
e.g. The fresher, the tastier.

2) the + comparative + the noun, the + comparative + the noun
e.g. The greater the experience, the higher the salary.

3) the + comparative + subject + verb , the + comparative + subject + verb
e.g. The harder you work, the more you accomplish.

Sources:

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition
Deborah Phillips, Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test
Michael A Pyle and Mary Ellen Munoz Page, Cliffs TOEFL Preparation Guide

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, July 19, 2018

 

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#EngGrammar: Active vs Passive (IELTS Writing Task 1 Process)

Hi, fellas. Last week we learned how to structure our writing about a process in IELTS Task 1 (More: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/07/07/engtips-process-ielts-writing-task-1/). Today we will focus on when to use active voice or passive voice in such kind of writing.

1) Active Voice

Active voice is used to describe natural processes or events occurring autonomously in nature, where humans are not involved, such as rain and formation of clouds.

e.g.

task 1 rain

(http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2011/04/ielts-writing-task-1-water-cycle-essay.html)

Beginning at the evaporation stage, 80% of water vapour in the air comes from the oceans. Heat from the sun causes water to evaporate, and water vapour condenses to form clouds. At the second stage, precipitation, water falls as rain or snow.

2) Passive Voice

Passive voice is used to report processes of manufacturing a product in a factory or workshop. In passive voice, the action is more important than the person performing it.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2012/06/26/engclass-the-passive/)

e.g.

task 1 bricks

(https://www.ielts-mentor.com/writing-sample/academic-writing-task-1/988-process-by-which-bricks-are-manufactured-for-the-building-industry)

At the fourth stage in the process, the clay bricks are placed in a drying oven for one to two days. Next, the bricks are heated in a kiln at a moderate temperature (200 – 900 degrees Celsius) and then at a high temperature (up to 1300 degrees), before spending two to three days in a cooling chamber. Finally, the finished bricks are packaged and delivered.

Sources:
Ebrahim Tahasoni, Master IELTS Visuals (Academic Writing Task One): Course Materials & Supplements for Academic Candidates
Diana Hopkins and Pauline Cullen, Cambridge Grammar for IELTS with answers
IELTS Writing Task 1 Simon
Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: GRAPH REVIEW (Academic Task 1)

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

 

#EngTips: Process (IELTS Writing Task 1)

Hello, fellas. To prepare for IELTS Writing Task 1, you do not only need to practice writing based on data, but also diagrams describing how a process occurs. Here is the outline of the task.

bee process

(Taken from https://essayforum.com/writing/honey-bees-life-cycle-57460/)

1) Introduction

Like the other types of IELTS Writing Task 1, the first paragraph constitutes an introduction. It comprises of the paraphrase of the questions and an overview.

a. Paraphrase of the questions

The first sentence tells what the diagram is all about. It can be made by paraphrasing the questions. For example, the question above can be changed into:

“The diagram illustrates the various stages in the life of a honey bee” (More on paraphrasing: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/05/24/engtips-paraphrasing/).

b. Overview

The overview states at least the number of stages. You can also add information on the duration of the process and how it starts and ends.

e.g. There are five stages in the development of the honey bee, from an egg to a mature adult insect. The life cycle takes between 34 and 36 days to complete.

2) Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs are where the steps are described. Break the description into two paragraphs to make it more organised. Do not forget to include the initial and final steps mentioned in the overview, but describe them in more detail or in a different way.

e.g.

The life cycle of the honey bee starts when the female adult lays an egg. It typically lays one or two eggs every 3 days. Between 9 and 10 days later, each egg hatches and the immature insect, or nymph, appears.

During the third stage, the nymph grows in size and shed its skin three times. This moulting first takes place 5 days after the egg hatches, then 7 days later, and again other 9 days later. After a total of 30 to 31 days from the start of the cycle, the young adult honey bee emerges from its final moulting stage, and in the space of only 4 days, it reaches full maturity.

Sequence Words and Phrases

To show the order of a process, sequence words and phrases can be used.

• The First Stage

First,

In the first stage,

At/In the beginning

,The first stage is when…

The process begins/starts/commences when…

The process begins with + <noun/noun phrase>

• Middle Stages

Next,

Then,

Before

After

After this/that,

Afterwards, 

In the following stage, 

In the stage after/following this,

In the stage that follows,

• The Last Stage

Finally,

Ultimately,

Eventually,

The last/final stage is when…

The process ends when…

The process ends with + <noun/noun phrase>

Sources:

Ebrahim Tahasoni, Master IELTS Visuals (Academic Writing Task One): Course Materials & Supplements for Academic Candidates

Ielts-simon.com, IELTS Writing Task 1: life cycle essay, http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2013/01/ielts-writing-task-1-life-cycle-essay.html

Lin Lougheed, Barron’s Writing for the IELTS

Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: GRAPH REVIEW (Academic Task 1)

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Tuesday, July 3, 2018

 

#EngGrammar: Tenses for IELTS Writing Task 1

Hi, fellas. Today we are still going to discuss IELTS Writing Task 1. However, this discussion will focus on the use of tenses.

1) Past Tenses

a. Past Simple Tense

This tense is used to report events or trends occurring in the past.

e.g. In 2008, British parents spent an average of around £20 per month on their children’s sporting activities.

b. Past Perfect Tense

Past perfect tense is used when we report what happened before a particular time in the past. It can also be used to mention an event or trend taking place earlier.

e.g. By 2000, 12.4% of the US population had reached the age of 65 or more.

2) Present Simple Tense

Present simple tense is used to describe a process.

e.g. The cycle of the honey bee begins when the female adult lays an egg; the female typically lays one or two eggs every 3 days. Between 9 and 10 days later, each egg hatches and the immature insect, or nymph, appears. 

3) Future Tense

a. Simple Future Tense

Simple future tense is used to describe events or trends which will occur in a particular time in the future.

e.g. The proportion of foreign students will reach a peak at 60% in 2020.

b. Future Perfect Tense

Future perfect tense is used to describe events or trends which will occur before a particular time in the future.

e.g. The number of cars will have increased significantly by 2024.

In formal writing, expressions other than will are used to predict the future, e.g. be likely to, be predicted to, be projected to, and be going to.

e.g.

The population is predicted to rise to 22 million in 2025.

By 2021, the population of Australia is projected to have reached 23.3 million.

Sources:

Ebrahim Tahasoni, Master IELTS Visuals (Academic Writing Task One): Course Materials & Supplements for Academic Candidates

Diana Hopkins and Pauline Cullen, Cambridge Grammar for IELTS with answers: Self-study grammar reference and practice

http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2016/09/ielts-writing-task-1-separate-line-graphs-answer.html

http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2013/01/ielts-writing-task-1-life-cycle-essay.html

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, June 14, 2018

#EngTips: Numbers and Percentages in IELTS Writing Task 1

Hi, fellas. How is it going? Today we will talk about IELTS Writing Task 1. As we know, we must usually write an article based on data given in the test. Due to the fact that the data are expressed in numbers or percentages, it is essential that we know other ways of expressing them.

1) Fractions

Sometimes, data in IELTS Writing Task 1 are expressed in percentages. To avoid repetition, percentages can be replaced by fractions.

75%= three quarters

67%= two thirds

50%= a half

33%= a third

25%= a quarter

20%= a fifth

e.g.

75% of global expenditure was spent on food in 1990, while only 20% was allocated on education.

75% of global expenditure was spent on food in 1990, while only a fifth was allocated on education.

If the percentage is, for example 51% or 23%, we can use approximations (approximately, around, almost, about, nearly, just above/over, just below/under, a little/slightly more than or a little/slightly less than)

e.g.

The proportion of foreign students experienced an increase from 25% to 31% in 2004.

The proportion of foreign students experienced an increase from 25% to just below a third in 2004.

2) Comparisons using half, twice, three times etc. with as many/much…as

e.g.

In the 2004 Olympic Games, China won 32 gold medals, while Japan won 16 gold medals

In the 2004 Olympic Games, China won twice as many gold medals as Japan. 

3) double, treble, quadruple etc.

e.g.

The number of businesswomen was 20 in 1994 and it rose to 60 in 1998.

The number of businesswomen was 20 in 1994 and it trebled four years later.

4) twofold, threefold etc.

e.g.

In 1998, the proportion of unemployed people was 15%. 2 years later, it increased to 45%

In 1998, the proportion of unemployed people was 15%. 2 years later, it saw a threefold increase

Sources:

Ebrahim Tahasoni, Master IELTS Visuals (Academic Writing Task One): Course Materials & Supplements for Academic Candidates

Diana Hopkins and Pauline Cullen, Cambridge Grammar for IELTS with Answers

Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: Graph Review (Academic Task 1)

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, June 14, 2018

#EngKnowledge: Noah Webster

Fellas, do you know why Americans use honor instead of honour, color instead of colour and center instead of centre? The spelling stems from the work of one of the most influential figures in the development of American English, Noah Webster.

Noah Webster Jr. was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, on October 16, 1758. His father, Noah Webster Sr., was a descendant of John Webster, the Connecticut Governor. His mother, Mercy Steele Webster, was a descendant of William Bradford, the Plymouth County Governor.

Despite being well known for his work in the field of language, Webster studied at Yale Law School. His study began in 1774. Due to serving in the American Revolution, he was graduated four years later. Having been unable to find a work as a lawyer, he finally taught in a school in Goshen, New York.

While teaching, he was dissatisfied inasmuch as texts for children did not reflect the American culture. He said, “Let us then seize the present moment, and establish a national language, as well as a national government”. His first dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, was published in 1806. Webster argued that Americans should simplify their spelling by matching letters more closely with phonemes. He expected to standardize American English for Americans spelled, pronounced and used English words differently.

Webster’s most famous masterpiece, An American Dictionary of the English Language, was published in two volumes in 1828 and contained 70,000 entries. It took 18 years to complete the dictionary. In order to know the origin of words, he learned 26 languages, including Old English, German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Arabic and Sanskrit. It sold more copies than any English book, except the Bible. Later, George and Charles Merriam purchased the right to publish the dictionary and it became what we know today as the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Sources:
Wikipedia, Noah Webster, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Webster
Britannica Online Encyclopedia, Noah Webster, https://www.britannica.com/print/article/638653
Elyse Graham, Noah Webster, American identity, and the simplified spelling movement, https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2018/05/07/noah-webster-american-identity-simplified-spelling-movement/
Garden of Praise, Noah Webster, https://gardenofpraise.com/ibdnoahw.htm
The Atlantic, Noah Webster, Father of the American Dictionary, Was Unemployable, https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/10/noah-webster-father-american-dictionary-was-unemployable/322508/

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, June 21, 2018

#EngGrammar: Other Forms of the Passive

Hi fellas, how is life today? This article is still related to other articles about the passive. Perhaps, you already know that the most common form of the passive is be + past participle. However, there are other forms of the passive.

1) Reporting with Passive Verbs
With reporting verbs and verbs of thinking or feeling we can use
it + passive verb + that
e.g. It is said that filmmaking is a lucrative industry.
subject + passive verb + to-infinitive
e.g. Filmmaking is said to be a lucrative industry.

2) need + -ing
need + -ing is sometimes used as an alternative to the passive to without stating who does it.
e.g. Some houses need reconstructing after an earthquake occurred.

3) have/get + object + past participle
The past participle is used after have/get and the object to give a passive meaning.
e.g. I had my watch repaired.
       I got my watch repaired.
In the two examples above, I caused my watch to repaired by someone.

Sources:
•Diana Hopkins and Pauline Cullen, Cambridge Grammar for IELTS with Answers
• Fiona Aish and Jo Tomlinson, Collins English for Exams: Grammar for IELTS
• Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, June 8, 2018

#ENGGRAMMAR: ADVISABILITY

Fellas, what do we need when we do not know what to do or how to act in a particular situation? It is an advice. Today, we are going to learn the use of modals of advice.

1) Should

e.g.: You should come early.

Negative form: should not

e.g.: You should not work until midnight.

2) Ought to

Ought to is often pronounced “otta” in informal speaking. It is usually not used in the negative and questions.

e.g.: We ought to wait for the rain to stop.

3) Had better

Had better is usually stronger than should and ought to and implies a warning about possible bad consequences.

Notes on the use of had better:

• It has a present or future meaning.

• It is followed by the simple form of a verb.

• It is more common in speaking than writing.

e.g.: You had better consume less sugar.

Negative form: had better not

e.g.: You had better not eat spicy food.

Source:

• Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar

• Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, May 31, 2018

#EngTips: Paraphrasing

Hi, Fellas. How is it going? Today’s discussion is about one important element of writing. It is paraphrasing. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “paraphrase” means “to say (something that someone else has said or written) using different words”. It is essential that we understand paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism and prepare for IELTS test.

There are several methods of paraphrasing. Here they are:

Using Synonyms

This is probably the most commonly used method. Words can be replaced by their synonyms with no change in meaning. Remember, you do not need to change all words in a sentence.

e.g.:

  • Parents should teach their children to cooperate.
  • Parents should educate their kids to collaborate.

Changing Active Voice into Passive Voice, or Vice Versa

This method cannot be used for all kinds of sentences because only transitive sentences (sentences containing objects) can be changed into passive voice.

e.g.:

  • Deforestation causes global warming. (active voice)
  • Global warming is caused by deforestation. (passive voice)

Nominalization

According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, nominalization is “the process of making a noun from a verb or adjective”.

e.g.:

  • The price of oil rises. [rise (verb)]
  • There is a rise in the price of oil. [rise (noun)]

Incorporating Data

This is a method of paraphrasing related to numbers.

e.g.:

  • From 1990 to 2000, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.
  • In ten years, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.
  • In a decade, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.

Adding Information

To paraphrase using this approach, it is better for you to add information which has already become general knowledge.

e.g.:

  • Many Indonesian scholars study in London, Paris, and Berlin.
  • Many Indonesian scholars study in European cities.

Joining Sentences Using Conjunction

Conjunction is a part of speech connecting words, phrases, clauses, or sentences, for instance: and, but, because, although, etc.

e.g.:

  • Students learn English. They want to pursue their education abroad.
  • Students learn English because they want to pursue their education abroad.

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, May 24, 2018