All posts by Nurul Hasanah Moslem

#EngClass: Reciprocal Pronouns

Reciprocal (adj.): given or done in return; [grammar] expressing mutual action.

What is reciprocal pronoun in English grammar? A reciprocal pronoun is a pronoun which is used to indicate that two or more people are carrying out or have carried out an action of some type, with both receiving the benefits or consequences of that action simultaneously. Any time something is done or given in return, reciprocal pronouns are used.

We use reciprocal pronouns when each of two or more subjects is acting in the same way towards the other.
For example:
A is talking to B, and B is talking to A. So we say:
A and B are talking to each other.

The action is “reciprocated”.
*John talks to Mary and Mary talks to John.
* I give you a present and you give me a present.
*The dog bites the cat and the cat bites the dog.

There are only two reciprocal pronouns, and they are both two words:
* Each other
* One another

We use these reciprocal pronouns for the following contents:
There must be two or more people, things or groups involved (so we cannot use reciprocal pronouns with I, you [singular], he/she/it). They must be doing the same thing.

Examples are specified as follows:
*John and Mary love each other.
* Peter and David hate each other.
* Both teams played hard against each other.
* We gave each other gifts.
* Why don’t you believe each other?
* They can’t see each other.
* The gangsters were fighting one another.
* The boats were bumping against each other in the storm.

Simaibang, Baginda. 2018. English Grammar for Foreign Learners. Palembang : Citra Books Indonesia.


#ENGCLASS: The Use of the One and Ones

When we are talking about countable things, we can use one or ones if it is clear what we are talking about. We use one and ones as a substitute of a noun mentiones before. Here the word one and ones mean (artinya) “yang.” To avoid repeating yourself, you can use one or ones. But it has to be clear from the situation what you are talking about.

We use one is used to replace a singular countable noun.

– Which is your girl friend? The one with glasses?
– I like the hand phone. So, I take the silver one.
– I asked for a cup, but they did not have one.

The word ones is used to replace a plural countable noun.

– I broke my glasses so I will have to buy some new ones.
– These shoes on shelf are too expensive.

– You can buy the ones on the floor.
Which shirts do you like? The ones over there.

You have to specify about which ones you mean. Check these examples:
– I broke my glasses so I will have to buy some NEW ones.
– I like those shoes, but let’s buy THESE ones.
Words like NEW or THESE specify which ones you mean.

If you do not specify which ones (i.e. you do not describe which ones with an adjective etc.), you should use SOME:
– I broke my glasses so I will have to buy SOME.
– I like those shoes. I think I will buy SOME.

We can use one with adjectives, but in that case we need to use a:
– I’d like to buy a house. If I can afford it, I’ll get a big one.

– A very important point about using “one” is that it is referring to an indefinite thing.
You cannot use “one” to replace a definite thing, like “the car” or “my bike”, or a proper noun, like something’s name (e.g. “Sony”).

– In the definite case, you need a pronoun, like “it”.  Compare: “I need a pen. Do you have one?” and “The car broke down. I need to take it to the mechanic.”

Matthew. 2015. One and Ones to Replace Countable Nouns. Retrieved from:
Riyanto, Slamet, et al. A Handbook of English Grammar, An Effective Way to Master English. Pustaka Pelajar.

#Engtips: Test Items and How to Teach Them

Types of Test Item

Test items and questions can be either direct or indirect. A direct test item asks the candidate to perform the skill that is being tested (for example, make an oral presentation). An indirect test item, on the other hand, examines the candidate’s knowledge of individual items of language.

Direct Test Items
Direct test items come in many forms as the following examples show:

  • In test of speaking, students can be asked to do such things as give an oral presentation.
  • In test of writing, students can be asked to do such things as write a letter or report.
  • In test of reading, students can be asked to transfer information from a written text to some kind of visual organizer (a pie chart, a graph, etc.) or match texts with pictures and headlines.
  • In test of listening, students can be asked to transfer the information they hear, or they can put pictures (or events) in the right sequence, or choose between different written summaries of what they hear.

Indirect Test Items
There are many different kinds of indirect test items.

  • For Gap Fills, students have to write a word or words in blanks. For example:

Complete the following sentences with one word for each blank.
She had a quick shower, but she didn’t _ any time to put on her makeup.

  • In cloze texts, every sixth (or seventh, etc.) word is a blank. The students have to understand the whole text in order to fill in the blanks. For example:

At school none of her (1) _ seemed to have remembered that (2) was her birthday either and (3) _ made her miserable.

  • In multiple-choice items, the students have to choose the correct (or perhaps the best) from three or four alternatives. For example:

Choose the correct answer:
There were _ people outside.
any b. a lot of c. much d. noneIn

  • In true/false items, the students have to say whether a statement about a reading text is true of false. For example:

Circle the correct answer:
Brittany went to bed at nine o’clock in the evening. true / false

  • For jumbled sentences tasks, the students have to put sentences in the correct order to make a coherent text, they have to put words in order to make correct sentences. For example:

Put the words in order to make correct sentences.
call / finished / for / left / no / she / sleeping / the / there / time / was / when

  • Sentence transformation exercises ask students to rewrite sentences in a slightly different form. For example:

Rewrite the sentence using the word given.
When she got home, Brittany was still tired so she lay down to have a bit of rest. (because)

  • Proofreading exercises ask students to identify the mistakes in certain sentences.
    For example:
    Underline the mistake in the following sentences.
    Luckily, she doesn’t wearing much makeup.

Candidates can also be asked to do matching tasks and we can give them dictations which test a range of competencies, such as listening, spelling, grammar, collocations, etc.

How to Prepare Students for Tests
Students are often highly motivated in exam classes because they have a clear goal to aim for. We can use their enthusiasm to help them prepare for achievement and proficiency tests.

  • We will give the students experience with the indirect test items that they are likely to meet. We will also give them strategies for dealing with multiple-choice questions. For example, they should find the most obvious distractors (the choices that are wrong), eliminate them and then focus on the possibilities that remain and try to work out what is being tested.
  • Students can do direct tasks which are similar to ones they will meet in the test, but we can also get them involved in any other activities and materials that will help them improve their English.
  • We can get the students to roleplay, oral interviews (one student plays the examiner)
  • Students can try to write their own exam items and give them to their classmates. This will give them a good idea of what is involved.
  • Students can give each other sections of tests to do or they can work in pairs and groups to discuss how to do them.

Harmer, Jeremy. 2012. Teacher Knowledge Core Concept in English Language Teaching. England: Pearson Education Limited.


A. Young Learners
Many people think that children are better language learners than other age groups. As a result, English is taught to young and very young children in many countries around the world.

a. Children need a lot of good exposure if they are to acquire a language. One or two hours a week is usually not enough for successful acquisition, though it may a) give students a taste of the new language, b) make them feel very positive about languages other than their own and c) be a lot of fun.

b. Children take in information from everything around them, not just what is being taught. They learn from things they see, hear, touch and interact with.

c. Children are usually curious about the world and like learning.

d. Many children are happy to talk about themselves, and like learning experiences which involve and relate to their own lives.

e. Children are pleased to have the teacher’s approval.
Children often find it difficult to concentrate on the same thing for a long time.

Tips for Teaching Young Learners
– Change activities frequently.
– Combine learning and play.
– Use appropriate activities (including songs, puzzles, games, art, physical movement, etc.) for different kinds of student.
– Make the classroom an attractive, light and convenient learning environment.
– Pay special attention to your own English pronunciation – children are good imitators.

B. Adult and Older Learners
How are adult learners different from children?

a. Adults can think in abstract way and so there is, perhaps, less need for them to engage in activities such as games and songs in order to understand things.
b. We can introduce a wide range of topics into adult classrooms and expect that the students will have some knowledge of what we are talking about.
c. Many adult learners have strong opinions about how learning should take place, often based on their own schooldays.
d. Although some adults have good memories of learning success, others have experience of learning failure and are worried that they will fail again.
e. Adults usually (but not always) behave well in class – at least better than some other age groups.

Tips for Teaching Adults
– Find out what interests different student individuals in order to plan the most appropriate lessons.
– Be prepared to explain things (such as grammar rules). But remember that many adults learn by doing things, too.
– Discuss the best ways of learning with your students so that everyone is happy with your lessons.
– Provide clear short-term goals so that the students can achieve success at each stage.

C. Adolescents
For many teachers, adolescents students are the most exciting – but also the most challenging – people to have in classrooms.

a. Depending on their stage of development, teenagers can start to think in abstract terms. In other words, they can talk about ideas and concepts in a way that younger children probably cannot.
b. Many adolescent students become passionate about the things that interest them.
c. Many adolescents are extremely conscious of their age and find it irritating when adults continue to teach them as children – even though, in many ways, they are still children.
d. Many adolescents want and need peer approval (the good opinion of their classmates) far more than they want and need the approval of the teacher.

Tips for Teaching Teenagers

-Encourage teenagers to have opinions and to think critically and questioningly about what they are learning.

-Use the students’ own knowledge and experience as much as possible.

-Treat the students like adults but remember they are still children. Encourage the students to take responsibility for their own learning.

-Be super-organised! Teenagers like to know what they are doing and why.

-Be consistent when there are discipline problems. Criticise the behaviour, not the student.

Harmer, Jeremy. 2012. Teacher Knowledge Core Concept in English Language Teaching. England: Pearson Education Limited.

#EngClass The Use of Still, Yet, Already, Any More, Any Longer And No Longer

A. Still (Masih)
It is used to show a continuous action, and is used in affirmative sentence. The word “Still” usually goes in the mid-position of the sentence.
– She still looks young.
– It’s 8 o’clock and Jimmy is still in bed.
– Do you still want to marry to her?

And is usually used with Present Continuous (Progressive).

– I am still doing my homework.
– He is still washing his car.

B. Yet (Belum)
Yet is used to talk about something that is expected to happen, but did not happen till this moment. We use yet mainly in negative sentences and in questions.

The word “Yet” is used at the end of a sentence.

In negative sentences
– He hasn’t come yet.
– I don’t want to go home yet.

In questions
– Has he come yet?
– Have you read his book yet?

In the Perfect Tense sentence
– He hasn’t replied my SMS yet.

C. Already (Telah)
Already is used to show that something has happened earlier. It is used in the mid-position of the sentence and is usually used with Present Perfect.

– I have already told her.
– She has already seen the film.

In American English, it is also possible to use already with the Simple Past.
– I already did my homework.
– He already washed the car.

D. Any More / Any Longer (Sudah tidak lagi)
Any More is an adverb, It happened ‘in the past but not now’
We use Not…. Any more or Not… Any Longer. Any More/Any Longer go at the end of a sentence.

– We don’t go to Cornwall on holiday any more (or any longer)
(We used to go in the past but not now.)
– Sara doesn’t work here any more (or any longer). She left last month.
( not ‘Sara doesn’t still work here’ )
– Ann doesn’t teach in this university any more/ any longer.

E. No Longer (Sudah tidak lagi/bukan lagi)
No Longer is used when something used to happen or be true in the past but does not happen or is not true now. It can use to say that situation has changed. No Longer go in the middle of sentences.

– Ann no longer works here.
– We are no longer workers.
– It’s no longer a secret.

Koltai, Anastasia. 2018. When to Use Still, Already, Yet, Just? Retrieved from

Riyanto, Slamet, et al. A Handbook of English Grammar, An Effective Way to Master English. Pustaka Pelajar.