All posts by nkusumawicitra

Hello, it's Citra! I created and run this blog, which is called Citrabercerita. This blog is a room for Citra to tell or bercerita about everything that has crossed Citra's mind.

#EngQuote: Dead Poets Society

“Carpe diem! Seize the day!” is a famous line from Dead Poets Society film. It is an American film released in 1989. John Keating, played by Robin Williams, is an English teacher whose teaching method is unorthodox. His love for literature inspires his students. Every word coming out of his mouth is eloquent. And here are some quotes taken from Dead Poets Society film.


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, May 13, 2017

Related post(s):

#EngQuote: Cristiano Ronaldo

#EngQuote: Quote from The Notebook

#EngQuote: Secret

#EngQuote: Quotes on Joy and Happiness

#EngVocab: Suffix “-phil”

In today’s session, we’re going to cover #EngVocab: suffix “-phil.” Suffix “-phil” is derived from Greek –philos that means love. Suffix ‘-phil’ is used in two ways: ‘phile’ and ‘philia.’

When suffix ‘-phile’ is added at the end of  a word, the word means a ‘person who loves.’ When suffix ‘-philia’ is added at the end of a word, the word means ‘love for … .’

Let’s take a look at some words ending with suffix ‘phile.’
1. Anglophile. Meaning: A person who is fond of or greatly admires England or Britain.
2. Bibliophile. Meaning: A person who collects or has a great love of books.
3. Astrophile. Meaning: A lover of the stars; a person who is interested in astronomy as an amateur or non-expert.
4. Cinephile. Meaning: A person who is fond of the cinema; a film enthusiast.
5. Xenophile. Meaning: An individual who is attracted to foreign peoples, manners, or cultures.
6. Russophile. Meaning: A person who is friendly toward Russia or fond of Russia and Russian things, especially someone who is sympathetic to the political system and customs of the former Soviet Union.
7. Francophile. Meaning: A person who is fond of or greatly admires France or the French.
8. Videophile. Meaning: An enthusiast for or devotee of video recordings or video technology.
9. Technophile. Meaning: A person who is enthusiastic about new technology.
10. Pluviophile. Meaning: A lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.
11. Logophile. Meaning: A lover of words.
12. Discophile. Meaning: An enthusiast for or collector of gramophone records.

Which one describes you?

Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, May 5, 2017

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#GrammarTrivia: ‘opposite’ vs ‘in front of’

Opposite‘ and ‘in front of‘. Do these words sometimes make you confused?

It’s useful to be able to distinguish ‘opposite’ and ‘in front of’ when giving direction.  This #GrammarTrivia will explain both ‘opposite’ and ‘in front of’ as a preposition.
Opposite as a preposition means on the other side of (something or someone): across from (something or someone).

e.g. Brisbol Park Hospital is located opposite Tumaini supermarket. (The two buildings are facing each other).
In front of as a preposition means in a position just ahead or at the front part of someone or something else.

e.g. Jack is standing in front of Jill. (Jill is standing behind Jack; they are not facing each other).
That’s all for today’s session. Thank you and bye!


Compiled and written by @nkusumawicitra for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, April 28, 2017



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#EngTrivia: English Short Stories

Reading short stories can be refreshing. And most of short stories have moral values and messages that we can learn from.

We have discussed books, movies, and poems. Now, in this session we discuss English short stories.

We provide 5 short stories to share. Stay tuned!

Roman fever is a 1934 short story by Edith Wharton, an American writer. It was first published in the magazine Liberty. This story begins with two American middle-aged widows enjoying the view in Rome. With them were their daughters. Mrs. Slade & Mrs. Ansley were talking and reminiscing their memories in Rome while they were young. The story explores their long-time rivalry. This story is intriguing. In the last sentence it is found out that the daughter of Mrs. Ansley is also the daughter of Mrs. Slade’s husband.

The story Of An Hour is Kate Chopin’s three-page 1894 short story. The story evolves around oppression in marriage.The death of Mr. Mallard brought new life to Louise/ Mrs. Mallard. At first, she wept at the news but then she welcomed freedom she was longing for song long. She had loved him yet she often hadn’t loved him. Now her husband was dead, she felt free. She kept whispering “Free! Body and soul free!” In a shock twist, it was Louise who died after she learned her husband was still alive. They said she died of ‘joy’ of her husband’s return. This story might remind us of Kate Chopin’s famous short novel ‘The Awakening’ that whose theme is about woman and marriage. The difference is that the dreams of Louise remain dreams and die while in ‘The Awakening,’ the woman, Edna, fulfills her dreams.

The Nightingale And The Rose is a short story by Oscar Wilde. The story tells us about true love and sacrifice. The boy who had never fallen in love before cried for a red rose to give to his lover. But there was no red rose to be found. The nightingale that heard his sorrow helped getting the red rose by sacrificing her life. With a red rose on his hat, the boy came to the girl’s house only to get rejection. Disappointed, he threw the rose into the street. The nightingale’s sacrifice was in vain because the boy couldn’t learn from failure. He only saw the world in terms of what he read in the books.

The Necklace is a short story by Guy de Maupassant. If we live up to someone’s expectation, we can never satisfy them. This story is about a woman whose desire to climb the social ladder. For Mathilde, the necklace was a symbol of social status. However, the necklace that Mathilde borrowed brought disaster. She lost the necklace & she borrowed money to replace the necklace she lost. She spent 10 years paying back the debt. After ten years living in poverty, it turned out that the necklace she borrowed was fake. This ending is painfully ironic.

The Cactus is a short story by O. Henry. Trysdale had to experience pain and bitterness after knowing that the girl she loved married to another man. When in fact, the girl had invited him to take her hand. But he ignored the bliss in his life and was too late to realize. A man’s pride is more than anything. But, in the end, it only killed him.

I hope this post is informative and useful.


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitra for @Englishtips4U on Wednesday, April 19, 2017



Related post(s):

#EngTrivia: Ellipsis (linguistics) & ellipsis (dot-dot-dot)

#EngTrivia: NYM WORDS

#EngTrivia: CONLANGS

#EngTrivia: How to use ‘Albeit’?


#EngQuote: Cristiano Ronaldo

Hi, fellas! How was your day? I’m so excited because I’m going to talk a little about one of my favorite football players. Can you guess who he is? A few hints will help, I believe.

He is a Portuguese. He signed to MU in 2003 and played for the club until 2009. Now he plays for Real Madrid. He has won the Ballon d’Or four times.

Got the name?

Yes, he is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, also well-known as CR7. He is an inspiration. He loves to win not only on the pitch but also in every aspect of his life.  He proves that he is a true winner even though he said that he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. And his success is evident.

These are some beautiful quotes from Cristiano Ronaldo, a professional footballer who rises from zero to hero.

Lived in poor financial condition, his father said that dreams are only for the rich. This is quote particularly talks about his father and his dream. 
Live your dreams.
Take and give. He is well-known for his philanthropy. He donated money to rebuild Aceh after tsunami in 2004 and donated €15 Million to Palestinian children in Gaza.
Keep on improving.



Mental strength. Rivals can’t provoke him on and off pitch.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.


Keep on trying, but know your limit.
Never stop learning.
Talent minus hard work equals nothing.
And don’t forget to rest.


Those are 10 beautiful quotes that reflect @Cristiano‘s life and his success. I hope you find them inspiring.


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitra for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, April 14, 2017


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#IOTW: Idioms with ‘books’

“How could I be such an open book to him when, half the time, I had no idea what was milling around in his head?” -Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Hi, fellas! Do you know what it means to be an open book? Open book is surely one of those idioms with word ‘book.’ It means sb or sth that is easily understood.

Just so you know, we have covered many idioms: from parts of the body, name of places, Ancient Times, and many more.

Today, we’re going to share idioms with word ‘book.’ Here are 7 idioms with word ‘book.’

  • hit the books (mainly US and Australian informal): to study
    Ann isn’t coming. She’s got to hit the books.
  • throw the book at somebody: to severely punish someone 

    My lecturer said that she would throw the book at me if I kept procrastinating over my assignments.

  • crack a book: to open up one’s books, especially in order to study 


    You had better crack the books if you want to pass the exams.

  • read sb. like a book: understand someone’s thoughts and motives easily 

    You don’t like this gift, right? I can read you like a book.

  • blot one’s copybook: to damage one’s own reputation through bad behavior 

    She really blotted her copybook by coming late to the meeting.


    turn-up for the book(s): a surprising or unexpected event 

    So among all candidates, I am the one getting the job. That’s a turn-up for the books.

  • sing from the same hymnbook: to make the same or similar statements, especially to express the same opinions in public asa result of a prior agreement. 

    Before we release any statements, make sure that everyone from the campaign sings from the same hymnbook.  #IOTW


Compiled and written by @nkusumawicitra for @Englishtips4u on Friday, April 7, 2017





#IOTW: Idioms in Taylor Swift’s songs

#IOTW: Idioms in Taylor Swift’s songs (2)

#IOTW: Idioms on human body

#IOTW: 5 Idioms from Ancient Times

#EngTrivia: Ellipsis (linguistics) & ellipsis (dot-dot-dot)

Err … what is it called again? It’s a … an ellipsis.


Ellipsis (  )

The three dots ( … ) is known as ellipsis. It is used to quote materials and to indicate hesitation or a pause in writer’s thought.

When used to quote materials, ellipsis is to show you’ve omitted words from the original sentence, but do not change the meanings.

Police said that two people had been killed by rebels … .

(The Nation, Bangkok, Wednesday 4 December 1991)


When used to indicate a pause:

“Dear boy you’re so tall … look behind and see if there’s anything coming…”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise


Ellipsis (linguistics)

Ann: Would you like a cup of tea?

Dan: Yes, I would.

Omitting part of sentences and referring to the earlier sentence/ context to make the meaning clear is also called ellipsis. We do not need to provide substitute words or phrases which have already been said. In the previous dialogue, instead of saying, “Yes, I would like a cup of tea.” we can just say “Yes, I would.” We omit some words because “Yes, I would.” will be understood.

According to Nunan (1993), as cohesive devices there are three types of ellipsis: nominal, verbal, and clausal. Following are examples of each type. The material that has been omitted is indicated with (0).

  • Nominal ellipsis:

    Don and Dan like football. Both (0) are great football players.

  • Verbal ellipsis

    A: Are you a student?

    B: Yes, I am (0).

  • Clausal ellipsis

    A: Why don’t you bring a camera? Dan said that we are going to shoot a film, didn’t he?

    B: Did he? He didn’t tell me(0).


Many experts, however, agree that there are nine types of ellipsis: gapping, stripping, VP- ellipsis, pseudogapping, answer fragments, sluicing, N-ellipsis, comparative deletion, and null complement.

Yes … it is quite confusing when it comes to linguistics. But if you need further explanation about the ellipsis (linguistics), you can find out in any books with words ‘discourse analysis.’

I hope this #EngTrivia will develop your background knowledge that is available when you later will be studying linguistics in university.


Reference: Nunan, D. 1993. Introducing Discourse Analysis. London: Penguin Books Ltd.


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, March 31, 2017




#EngTrivia: Nym words 

#EngTrivia: ‘That’ vs. ‘Which’ 

#EngTrivia: How to use ‘Albeit’? 

#EngTrivia: See, look, watch 

#EngTrivia: Adjectival Phrase

#EngVocab: ‘poisonous’ vs. ‘venomous’

Hi, fellas! In this post, we cover the difference between poisonous and venomous.

My pet died after being bitten by a poisonous snake.
Do you spot an incorrect word choice in the previous sentence?

Many of us think that the use of poisonous and venomous is interchangeable when in fact it is not. Let’s take a look at each definition.

  • venomous: capable of putting poison or venom into another animal’s body usually by biting or stinging it,
  • poisonous: causing sickness or death by entering or touching the body : containing poison

See the difference?
A venomous creature causes death if it bites you. One example of venomous creature is King Cobra. Meanwhile, a poisonous creature causes harm or even death if you touch or eat it. Honeyvine Milkweed is poisonous. Of course Honeyvine Milkweed is not edible. If you’re lost in nature and you find this kind of plant, you shouldn’t eat this even if you’re dying of starving.

It’s easy to distinguish venomous and poisonous. Have you ever seen/read a headline saying “food venomous”? Absolutely NO. It would be food poisoning or poisonous food. It would never be venomous food. Is food able to bite you then it can cause death?

So to conclude my explanation, consider bite to distinguish venomous and poisonous. If you bite it and you die, it is poisonous. And if it bites you (you are bitten) and you die, it’s venomous.

I hope the explanation is clear. Remember word choice matters. :)


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa at @EnglishTips4U on Friday, March 24, 2017





#EngClass: Figurative speech in Blue Winds Dancing

Hello, fellas! Today we are going to refresh our minds regarding figurative speech. Do you remember what figurative speech is?

Figurative speech can be found easily in any literary works. It refers to words or phrases delivered in unusual ways to create strong images, to emphasize on certain ideas, and to compare things.

In Blue Winds Dancing essay, the author himself, Thomas S. Whitecloud uses figurative speech to deliver his ideas. I found simile, metaphor, and personification in this essay. If you want to read the essay, you can google it yourself. :)

Simile is a direct comparison that uses “like, as, seem, appears” while metaphor is an implied comparison. It doesn’t use verb such as ‘like’ and ‘as’. Personification is when objects, things, or animals are given human characteristics. We have covered this topic so feel free to click this link.

Now look at this sentence “giant cacti that were petrified hitchhikers along the highways”, the author compared cacti and hitchhikers.

“Soft in the night the drums beat. It is like the pulse beat of the world.”

In the above sentence, we understand that the drum beat represents the pulse beat of the world.

This sentence ‘… a soft wind sighs through the trees’ employs personification. Another personification: ‘…birds sing their last songs before leaving.’ well I think it’s a very common personification, even in Indonesian language we often read ‘burungpun bernyanyi’.

Well, Blue Winds Dancing essay left me in awe. It caught my attention because of its imagery. And imagery makes use of figurative speech such as simile, metaphor, personification, onomatopoeia, etc. to appeal to our physical senses. Here we come to the end of this post. I hope you will find Blue Winds Dancing essay (google will help) and read.


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @Englishtips4U on Friday, March 17, 2017



#EngKnowledge: English poems

Hi, fellas! Are you a fan of poems?

I love discussing and analysing poems together with my friends and also debating what the authors meant. Here we have compiled 6 poems which you might enjoy reading. You may share your thought about the poems and leave your comments on the comment box below.

1. Kid

Kid was nominated by UN as the best poem of 2006. It was written by an African child called Oglala Lakota.

When I born, I black
When I grow up, I black
When I go in Sun, I black
When I scared, I black
When I sick, I black
And when I die, I still black
And you white fellow
When you born, you pink
When you grow up, you white
When you go in sun, you red
When you cold, you blue
When you scared, you yellow
When you sick, you green
And when you die, you grey
And you calling me colored??

2. Oranges

This poem was written by Gary Soto. If you have a hard time wondering what these poems are talking about, this poem is not one of those. You need no background knowledge to understand this poem. This one is clear and cute.

The first time I walked
With a girl, I was twelve,
Cold, and weighted down
With two oranges in my jacket.
December. Frost cracking
Beneath my steps, my breath
Before me, then gone,
As I walked toward
Her house, the one whose
Porch light burned yellow
Night and day, in any weather.
A dog barked at me, until
She came out pulling
At her gloves, face bright
With rouge. I smiled,
Touched her shoulder, and led
Her down the street, across
A used car lot and a line
Of newly planted trees,
Until we were breathing
Before a drugstore. We
Entered, the tiny bell
Bringing a saleslady
Down a narrow aisle of goods.
I turned to the candies
Tiered like bleachers,
And asked what she wanted –
Light in her eyes, a smile
Starting at the corners
Of her mouth. I fingered
A nickle in my pocket,
And when she lifted a chocolate
That cost a dime,
I didn’t say anything.
I took the nickle from
My pocket, then an orange,
And set them quietly on
The counter. When I looked up,
The lady’s eyes met mine,
And held them, knowing
Very well what it was all

A few cars hissing past,
Fog hanging like old
Coats between the trees.
I took my girl’s hand
In mine for two blocks,
Then released it to let
Her unwrap the chocolate.
I peeled my orange
That was so bright against
The gray of December
That, from some distance,
Someone might have thought
I was making a fire in my hands.

3. I, Too, Sing America

This poem was written by Langston Hughes. This poem talks about hope for black Americans.

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

4. The Man He Killed

This poem was written by Thomas Hardy. This poem has a unique shape.

Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.

I shot him dead because —
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That’s clear enough; although

He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,
Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
No other reason why.

Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.

5. I Stop Writing the Poem

This poem was written by Tess Gallagher.

to fold the clothes. No matter who lives
or who dies, I’m still a woman.
I’ll always have plenty to do.
I bring the arms of his shirt
together. Nothing can stop
our tenderness. I’ll get back
to the poem. I’ll get back to being
a woman. But for now
there’s a shirt, a giant shirt
in my hands, and somewhere a small girl
standing next to her mother
watching to see how it’s done.

6. The Send-Off

This poem was written by Wilfred Owen.

Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way
To the siding-shed,
And lined the train with faces grimly gay.

Their breasts were stuck all white with wreath and spray
As men’s are, dead.

Dull porters watched them, and a casual tramp
Stood staring hard,
Sorry to miss them from the upland camp.
Then, unmoved, signals nodded, and a lamp
Winked to the guard.

So secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went.
They were not ours:
We never heard to which front these were sent.

Nor there if they yet mock what women meant
Who gave them flowers.

Shall they return to beatings of great bells
In wild trainloads?
A few, a few, too few for drums and yells,
May creep back, silent, to still village wells
Up half-known roads.


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @Englishtips4U on Friday, March 10, 2017

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#EngTrivia: Nym words

In today’s session, we are going to discuss about -nym words, of course excluding nymph. Here is the list of words ending with -nym.

  1. Eponym: the name of an object or activity that is also the name of the person who first found the object or did the activity.
    E.g Parkinson’s disease is an example of eponym.

  2. Homonym: a word that sounds the same or is spelled the same as another word.
    E.g. Sentence (kalimat) and sentence (hukuman) are homonyms.

  3. Hyponym: aword whose meaning is included in the meaning of another more general word.
    E.g. Rose is a hyponym of flower.

  4. Hypernym: a word with a broad meaning constituting a category into which words with more specific meanings fall; a superordinate.
    E.g. Animal is a hypernym of dog.

  5. Pseudonym: a name someone uses instead of their real name, especially on a written work.
    E.g. Lewis Carrol was a pseudonym. His real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

  6. Heteronym: each of two or more words which are spelled identically but have different sounds and meanings, e.g. tear (menyobek) and tear (air mata).

  7. Toponym: a word that is the name of a place.
    E.g. Bohemian — term referring to a person who is interested in art, music, and/or literature, and lives in a very informal way, ignoring the usually accepted ways of behaving; from Bohemia.

Source: Cambridge Dictionary

Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, February 3, 2017

#EngTrivia: Conglangs

If you are a fan of fiction work like Tolkien’s, you may recognise some words that do not exist in any dictionaries.
He invented a new language or conlang to enhance the alternative world he has created in his work to make the alternative world seems real.
Conlang is short for constructed language, which is an artificial language or a language that has been constructed, invented for a book, film, or TV series.
Some of those new words are only used in the realms of fantasy, only some are added to dictionary.
In Harry potter novels, ‘muggle’ is a very familiar term which is used to describe a person who does not have magical ability or to indicate an ordinary person.
Britons use ‘muggle’ to talk about people who lack a particular skill. E.g. She’s a muggle when it comes to gaming.”
According to Oxford Dictionary, a peter pan means a person who retains youthful features or childlike characteristics. E.g Michael Jackson was described as a peter pan of pop.
There are many other types of conlangs, from Elvish to Dothraki. Esperanto is one specific type of conglang created by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof in 1887.


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitra for @Englishtips4U on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

#EngClass: Descriptive text and report text

Hi, fellas! A couple of weeks ago, one of you asked us a question on our Line account @EnglishTips4U, “What are the differences between descriptive text and report text?”
Well, this question brings me back to those old days when I was in high school- learning English through many kinds of texts. Formal education in Indonesia indeed requires us to learn some genres of text, from descriptive text to review text. Well maybe some vocational schools do not teach certain texts as they emphasize more on English expressions rather than texts, but most schools teach genres of text. Well, this time, we are going to look at descriptive text and report text. How are they different?
First, let the definitions of both distinguish them:
1.Descriptive text is a text that describes a particular person, place or thing in detail.
2.Report text is a text that describes person, place or thing in general.

See the difference?

So, descriptive text describes specific things/places/person in details and report text describes things/places/person in general.

Do you still find it confusing? Alright! If you are going to describe a cat, not a specific cat, you write a report text, but if you are going to describe a cat named Meong, which has no fur and the cat is yours, then you write a descriptive text.

Look at this question: “What is the author’s purpose of writing this text?” Does it ring a bell to you? Well, I found that many times in English test. Every text has a communicative purpose. Description text aims to present particular things, persons, place, while the purpose of report text is to present information in general.
When writing texts, we might know a text always has its own language features. Just so you know, both texts use simple present tense. Why? They both tell actual truth. But sometimes past tense is used in descriptive text when describing about something that does not exist anymore or about history. They always feature adjectives, and noun phrases.

So are there no other differences?

They have different generic structure of text. As in descriptive text, the generic structure is described as follows:
Identification: introducing what will be described – what it is and where it is
Description: describing the thing – its parts, qualities, and/or characteristics


While report text, the generic structure can be seen below:
1.General classification: stating classification of general aspect of thing, animal, etc which will be described in general
2.Description: describing the thing in details


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitra for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, February 10, 2017

#EngVocab: Weather vocabulary (2)

It is always nice to talk about weather. In this post, we’ll take a look at some words that are used in relation to weather. There are plenty of words to describe weather. Here, we divide weather words into four categories.

Here are some words related to rain; puddle, shower,downpour, flood, cloud-burst.

Puddle (n): a small pool of liquid on the ground, especially from rain
E.g. Be careful of the puddle! The street is splotched with puddles.
Shower (n): a short period of rain or snow
E.g. You’re soaked! Did you get caught in the shower?
Downpour: a lot of rain in a short time
E.g. We got caught in a downpour without an umbrella.
Flood (n): a large amount of water covering an area that is usually dry
E.g. After heavy rain, floods hit parts of Jakarta.
Cloud-burst (n): a sudden heavy fall of rain
E.g. It started raining, then a cloud-burst.

Next is cloud. Some words related to cloud are foggy, overcast, clear, gloomy, misty.

Foggy (adj): with fog
E.g. I hate driving when it’s foggy.
Overcast (adj): cloudy and therefore not bright and sunny
E.g. The sky was overcast yesterday.
Clear (adj): not cloudy, foggy or with any marks
E.g. You can see thousands of stars in the clear sky.
Gloomy (adj): not sunny
E.g. I have my own reasons why gloomy weather is the best.
Misty (adj): full of mist
I spent a day in misty Wonosobo.

Blizzard, hailstone, flurry, frost, and chilly describe cold weather.

Blizzard (n): a severe snow storm with strong winds
E.g. My flight is canceled due to blizzard.
Hailstone (n): a small hard ball of ice which falls from the sky like rain
E.g. Huge hailstones cause chaos in Brisbane.
Flurry (n): a sudden light fall of snow, blown in different directions by the wind
E.g. There may be odd flurry of snow over the hills.
Frost (n): powdery layer of ice which forms in these conditions, especially outside at night
E.g. My house is covered with frost from last night.
Chilly (adj): cold (of weather, conditions in a room, or parts of the body)
E.g. I put on a jacket because it’s chilly outside.

Finally, the words related to wind are windy, blustery, breeze, gust, rainstorm, and sleet.

Windy (adj): with a lot of wind
E.g. In the spring, the weather gets quite windy.
Blustery (adj): very windy
E.g. It was a blustery day when I visited London.
Breeze (n): a light and pleasant wind
E.g. The warm summer breeze is enjoyable.
Gust (n): a sudden strong wind
A gust of wind blew, whipping my hair into tangled strands.
Rainstorm (n): a weather condition with strong wind and heavy rain
E.g. Many people panicked when the rainstorm broke.
Sleet (n): wet, partly melted falling snow
E.g. The Met Office warns of more snow and sleet.

Those are the words we can use to describe the weather. I hope you find this session useful. If you find it useful, please let us know by leaving some comments below. We might provide more.


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, February 3, 2017

#IOTW: Idioms in Taylor Swift’s songs (2)

Idioms are important and very useful to give variation in conversation. They help you sound like native speakers and are useful to enrich your vocabulary.

So, what is an idiom? Idiom or idiomatic expression is a group of words in a fixed order that have a particular meaning that is different from their literal meanings. So, it won’t make sense if you change the words because they are fixed expressions. For example if you say ‘the math test was a piece of macaroon’ instead of ‘the math test was a piece of cake,’ you’ll just confuse the hearer.

In this instance, we are going to talk about idioms found in Taylor Swift’s songs. We have previously shared some here: #IOTW: Idioms in Taylor Swift’s songs.

Here are some more idioms from Taylor Swift’s songs:

1. In your wildest dream. If you say something will happen ‘in your wildest dreams’, it means: it isn’t likely to happen or you think it is impossible to happen.

“Staring at the sunset, babe. Red lips and rosy cheeks. Say you’ll see me again. Even if it’s just in your wildest dream.”

– Wildest Dreams


  • I want Taylor Swift to come to my graduation day and sing for me, but I think it probably won’t happen, even in my wildest dreams.

2. Last straw. Meaning: the final thing; the thing or action that is too much and goes too far

“You don’t have to call anymore, I won’t pick up the phone, This is the last straw, Don’t wanna hurt anymore.”

– You’re Not Sorry


  • My boyfriend told me he would be late for dinner, but the last straw was seeing with a girl. I told him our relationship was over.

3. Sweep (someone) off (someone’s) feet. This expression describes a feeling when you fall in love instantly with someone.

“I’m not a princess, This ain’t a fairy tale, I’m not the one you’ll sweep off her feet, Lead her up the stairwell”

– White Horse


  • She hopes a gorgeous man will sweep her off her feet on Valentine’s Day.

4. To know something like the back of your hand. This expression is used when talking about things/places/persons you know really well.

“And we know it’s never simple. Never easy. Never a clean break. No one here to save me. You’re the only thing I know like the back of my hand”

– Breathe


  • Don knows Sherlock Holmes TV series like the back of his hand. He has watched them many times.

5.Touch and go. It means precarious or uncertain; with a risk of not succeeding.

“I’m walking past through the traffic lights. Busy streets and busy lives. And all we know. Is touch and go.”

– State Of Grace


  • It’s touch and go if I will ever go out.It’s still raining cats and dogs.

6. To take someone/ something for granted. It means to expect someone or something will be always available to serve you without thanks or recognition.

“You’re the kind of man who makes me sad, While she waits up,You chase down the newest thing, And take for granted what you have”

– Girl At Home


  • He left you because you took him for granted all this time.

7. To wear your heart on your sleeve. It means that you show your feelings obviously.

“Got the radio on, my old blue jeans. And I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve. Feeling lucky today, got the sunshine. Could you tell me what more do I need.”

– A Place In This World


  • I wear my heart on my sleeve. I can’t hide my feelings when I’m feeling down.

8. An open book. If someone is an open book, s/he is fairly predictable. You know what s/he is thinking or feeling.

“But here I am an open book. Turn the page it’s all the rage. Get a look on the inside. Oh what you get is what you see.”

– The Diary Of Me


  • Harry is an open book. You’ll know right away if he’s sad.

9. Safe and sound. If you are safe and sound, it means you are unharmed and healthy.

“You’ll be alright. No one can hurt you now. Come morning light. You and I’ll be safe and sound.”

– Safe And Sound


  • It was a rough trip, but we arrived safe and sound.

There are more idioms in Taylor Swift’s songs. Leave us a comment below if you find more idioms in her songs.


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, January 27, 2017

Related post(s):



#EngKnowledge: Fanfiction

Were you disappointed by the ending of books, famous tv series, or films? And have you ever read a fiction and been amazed by the different ending created by fans? Fanfiction is a work of fiction written by fans for other fans.

“Fanfiction are texts written by fans about pop culture and media. Authors of fanfiction use their imagination to extend the original story or plot. They creatively create new characters, setting, and themes, and develop new relationship between characters that already exist in the original story. (Black, 2006)

The authors take up the characters and plot then  rework them. The fiction works can be inspired by anything; famous books, singers, tv shows, or even boyband members. Fanfiction is usually free and published serially. Why do many fans of famous works write fanfiction? Writing fanfiction allows fans to see characters/plot with different outcome. Writing fanfiction also improves skills as a writer. Some popular authors started writing fanfic before they published their original works.

el-james       meg-abot    s-e-hinton     cassandra-clare

If you are new to fanfiction, you might find some strange terms, acronyms, and slang used in the fanfiction world. The following list provides you an easy explanation what those terms really mean. The terms are divided into genre, rating, and length.


  1. AU (an abbreviation for Alternative Universe): the setting is very different from the original work, e.g. Naruto lives in Indonesia trying to learn Silat, Indonesian traditional martial art.
  2. Canon: The story is the same with the original work.
  3. Angst: The stories around angst are unbearable anguish, sad, and tragic.
  4. Smut: the stories contain sexual content that might be restricted to NC-17.
  5. Fluff: This fiction is typically happy and has no angst and smut content. Sometimes it involves flirting between characters.
  6. Crossover: The type of fanfiction where characters of different tv shows, books, films, or anime interact, e.g. Sherlock Holmes solves a case assisted by Detective Conan.


  1. R: all readers are allowed to read or see, regardless of age.
  2. PG: it means Parental Guidance Suggested.
  3. NC-17: no child under 17. it means that the readers must be 17 or older to read the story.
  4. M (Mature): it means the fiction is not for children since it may contain sexual content, violence or coarse language.
  5. R (Restricted): This is for those who are 18 or older.


  1. One-shot: the fiction only has one chapter, more or less like short story.
  2. Two-shot: two-shot is two chapters long.
  3. Ficlet: it is named for a short fiction, but not as short as a one-shot.
  4. Drabble: a type of fiction which is very short, 100 words in length.
  5. Chaptered/ series fic: this types of fiction is similar to novel which has many chapters.

Other common terms

  1. Ships: It is an abbreviation for “relationship”, if you ship someone or a couple, it means you want two characters to be involved in a romantic relationship. Example: I ship Naruto and Sakura.
  2. Bias: It is more often found in Kpop. If you are a die-hard fans of a Kpop idol, you might say “S/he is my bias”.
  3. OTP: It stands for One True Pairing. It means the reader’s most favourite fictional couple.
  4. Disclaimer: a declaration that the story shared is not yours and stated that you are not trying to perform copyright infringement.
  5. Hiatus: this means that the author is on break and will continue writing fanfictions in unspecified time.
  6. Beta reader. The one who edits and proofreads a work of fanfiction that has been submitted to him/her.
  7. A/N (Author’s Notes): It refers to what the author wants to tell to the readers regarding the story, writing experience, or any personal notes.
  8. POV (Point of View): It refers to stories written from a certain character’s perspective.

Here are some fanfiction websites that I have successfully compiled.

  1. FanFiction
  2. Asianfanfics
  3. Archive of Ouw Own
  4. Wattpad
  5. DeviantArt
  6. LiveJournal

Which one is your favourite? Mine was But this site has shut down, maybe for good.

And how about the copyright? Copyright has been a subject of debate because borrowing characters/plot to create fanfiction arguably infringes author’s copyright .However, some authors use fanfiction as media for promotion, some argue that fanfiction is act of stealing. If I were the author of the original work, I would be flattered because they use my work of creativity to unleash their creativity, BUT if they use fanfiction to earn money, I will condemn it as some sort of copyright infringement.

So, what do you say about fanfiction and copyright?




Reference: Black, R.W. (2006). Language, culture, and identity in online fanfiction. E-learning. 3 (2), 170-184.

Picture credit:



Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, January 20, 2017

#EngTrivia: Spelling -ing and -ed forms

Hi, fellas! How was your day? Today I’m going to post an easy guide on how to change a bare infinitive to –ing and –ed forms.

Sometimes, we need to change a base verb or bare infinitive into -ing form to make it -ing verb or gerund. We also need to know how to change verb to –ed form to make it past tense. Often there’s no need to make changes into the end of the verbs, simply add –ing or –ed to the end of the verbs. However, there are some cases that require us to do so.
The following is a guide to help you get it right:

1.If the verb ends with the vowel –e, omit the –e, then add -ing to make –ing form. To make it –ed form, just add –d. Easy, right?

Here are the examples:
1) date-dating-dated
2) stare-staring-stared
3) snore-snoring-snored

2.If the verb ends in two consonants, just add –ing or –ed.

Look at these:
1) bomb-bombing-bombed
2) knock-knocking-knocked
3) push-pushing-pushed

3.If the verb ends in two vowels + one consonant, just add –ing or –ed.

Here are some examples:
1) wail-wailing-wailed
2) complain-complaining-complained
3) cook-cooking-cooked

4.If the verb has one syllable and ends in one vowel + one consonant, then double the consonant to make the –ing or –ed form.

1) beg-begging-begged
2) hop-hopping-hopped
3) stop-stopping-stopped

Note: But we do not double w or x: snow, snowing, snowed, fix, fixing, fixed.

5.If the first syllable of a two-syllable verb is stressed, do not double the consonant.


1) visit-visiting-visited
2) offer-offering-offered

6.If the second syllable of a two-syllable verb is stressed, double the consonant.


1) prefer-preferring-preferred
2) admit-admitting-admitted

7.If the verb ends in a vowel + –y, keep the –y. Do not change it to –i.

1) play-playing-played
2) pray-praying-prayed
3) stay-staying-stayed

8.If the verb ends in a consonant + –y, keep the –y for the –ing form, but change the –y to –i to make the –ed form.

Look at the following examples:
1) worry-worrying-worried
2) study-studying-studied
3) carry-carrying-carried

9.If the verb ends in vowels –ie, change –ie to –y to make ing form and just add –d to make –ed form.


1) lie-lying-lied
2) die-dying-died

Here is the table of spelling -ing and -ed forms. Hope it might help you.


I hope the explanation is easy to understand. Thank you so much for reading!


Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, January 13, 2017