Category Archives: class

#EngVocab: Prefixes ‘un-‘ and ‘in-‘

Prefixes un- and in- are two similar prefixes which, if attached to a word, will create an opposite meaning.

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Examples of words with prefix un-:
Undo, meaning the opposite of do
Unsaid, meaning not said
Unnecessary, meaning not necessary
Unwanted, meaning not wanted
And many more.

Examples of words with prefix in-:
Inactive, meaning not active
Incompetent, meaning not competent
Indirect, meaning not direct
Indefinite, meaning not definite
And so forth.

You can find many more examples in the dictionary. So, our main question will be when we use either prefix. Why do we say ‘unfinished’ instead of ‘infinished?’ Why do we use ‘incomplete’ instead of ‘uncomplete?’ Besides, those two words have similar meaning, too.

Many scholars argue that words that have English/Germanic root will go with prefix un- and words that have Latin root will go with prefix in-. To ensure which prefix we should use between the two, I think we will have to read often to increase our vocabulary.

Other prefixes that are the variations of prefix in- are prefixes im- (e.g., ‘impartial,’ meaning not partial), ir- (e.g., ‘irresistible’), and il- (e.g., ‘illegal’).

Now, can you give me more examples of words with prefixes un- and in-?

@Marco_20July: Uncertain, meaning not certain
Unsure, meaning not sure

Source: https://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-unv1.htm

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, 24 September 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Inflection
#EngClass: Prefix
#EngClass: Suffix
#EngClass: Suffix -ing
#EngTalk: Adverbs without -ly

#EngVocab: Thou, Thee, Thy, Thine

“Ask and thou shalt receive.”

This sentence has been my mantra for most of my adulthood. It always reminds me that to achieve something, I must be ready to fight for it.

This article is discussing the archaic (old, no longer used) form of ‘you,’ that is ‘thou,’ along with its variations, ‘thee,’ ‘thy,’ and ‘thine.’

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As you might have guessed, the word ‘thou’ is a second person singular pronoun. It’s an old-fashioned, poetic, or religious version of ‘you.’ ‘Thou’ is the nominative/subjective case, meaning it’s a subject pronoun.

Example:
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

Meaning:
“You should not lie or spread rumours about your neighbours and the people around you.”

What do we do if we need to address more than one person?
We use ‘ye.’

Example:
“I forgot to introjuice him to ye.” – William Makepeace Thackeray in Vanity Fair (1837).

Our Indonesian followers might be familiar of the Dutch version of this word, ‘jij,’ as it has similar pronunciation.

So, what is ‘thee?’
‘Thee’ is the accusative and dative form of ‘thou,’ which means that it is the object pronoun, the receiving end of an action.

Example:
“I salute Thee, oh, Mother of the Universe.”

Meaning:
“I pay my respects to You, oh, Mother of the Universe.”

Possessive pronouns ‘thy’ and ‘thine’
If we want to refer to something that is owned by the second person, we use ‘thy,’ the possessive adjective pronoun of ‘thou.’ If the possession starts with a vowel, we use ‘thine.’

Example:
“Honour thy parents.”
“Thine eyes shall behold strange things in this land.”

Meaning:
“Honour your parents.”
“Your eyes will see strange things in this land.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 13 June 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Reciprocal Pronoun
#EngClass: Reflexive Pronouns
#EngClass: “They’re,” “Their,” “There”
#EngTrivia: “One”/”Ones” As Pronoun
#GrammarTrivia: ‘You,’ ‘One,’ and ‘They’ As Impersonal Pronouns

#EngClass: Inflection

One of the branches of linguistic is morphology, that is the study of words, how they are formed, and their relation to other words in the same language. In morphology, inflection (also spelled ‘inflexion’) is a process of word formation.

In order to express grammatical categories, such as tenses, numbers, persons, animacy, definiteness, or others, a word is often modified. This modification is called ‘inflection.’

Inflection as described by Britannica.com (https://www.britannica.com/topic/inflection)

The inflection of verbs is called ‘conjugation.’
Example:
‘I have been WAIT all morning’ inflected to be ‘I have been WAITING all morning.’
Adding the suffix -ing to the verb ‘wait’ to form present perfect continuous tense is a type of conjugation.

The inflection of other parts of speech, such as nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, determiners, participles, prepositions and postpositions, numerals, or articles is called ‘declension.’
Example:
‘I have so many book’ inflected to be ‘I have so many books.’
Adding -s to the noun ‘book’ for it to become its plural form is a type of declension.

‘My house is a lot SMALL than my parents’ house’ inflected to be ‘my house is a lot SMALLER than my parents’ house.’
Adding -er to form a comparative degree is also a declension.

Regular and irregular inflection
Does inflection only come with affixes (imbuhan)?

Not always. We have regular and irregular inflection.
Example:
1. The verb is ‘swim.’
The past form is ‘swam.’
The participle form is ‘swum.’
This is also an inflection, but an irregular one.

2. One CHILD —> many CHILDREN
One WOMAN —> many WOMEN
The changing of the nouns to their plural forms in the example is also an inflection.

Words that follow the regular pattern of inflection, such as adding affixes, are considered regular inflection. Other words that don’t necessarily follow the regular pattern are considered irregular inflection.

Conclusion: inflection is any type of word modifications.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 23 May 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Irregular Plural Nouns (REVISIT)
#EngClass: Parts of Speech
#EngClass: Present Perfect Tense vs. Simple Past Tense
#EngClass: Suffix
#EngClass: Understanding the Basics of English Grammar

#EngClass: Fewer vs. Less

When using degree of comparison, we refer to something having larger quantity or greater quality as ‘more.’ This applies to countable and uncountable nouns, which are represented by ‘many’ and ‘much,’ respectively.

In other words, we can use ‘more’ for both countable and uncountable nouns. This is not always the case with comparing two things with one having inferior quantity than the other.

By linguistic prescription/prescriptive grammar, or traditional grammar rules, so to say, ‘fewer’ is used with countable nouns and ‘less’ is used with uncountable nouns.

Example:
“There are fewer people living in this area now.” (‘people’ is a countable noun)
“I try to minimise deep-fried food, that’s why I use less cooking oil now than I used to.” (‘cooking oil’ is an uncountable noun)

When the uncountable nouns are presented with measurement units, we can go with both ‘fewer’ and ‘less,’ although in some cases, using ‘less’ sounds more natural.

Example:
“I drank less than 6 cups of water today. No wonder I felt tired.” (‘6 cups of water’ is a measurement unit)

‘Water’ is an uncountable noun, but in the example, it came with a measurement unit, which is ‘6 cups.’ Using ‘fewer’ is still correct, but it sounds less natural.

‘Less’ is also more generally acceptable to use with nouns that are intangible or inexplicit.

Example:
Forrest Gump said, “One less thing.”
Ariana Grande also sang, “One less problem.”

This is because ‘thing’ and ‘problem’ are still intangible; we don’t have enough information about how many ‘things’ or ‘problems’ the speakers are talking about. What we know is only the quantity of ‘thing’ and ‘problem’ has decreased.

All right, that’s quite a deep dive into the usage of ‘fewer’ and ‘less.’ Hope it helps.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, 18 May 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Countable vs. Uncountable Noun
#EngClass: Determiner in Countable and Uncountable Noun
#EngClass: Expressions of Quantity
#EngTrivia: Common Grammar Mistakes
#GrammarTrivia: Uncountable Noun

#EngClass: Analogy

This article will discuss something that is still related to writing: analogy.

What’s an analogy?
An analogy is a comparison between two similar things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

In English, there are other purposes of making a comparison, but an analogy emphasises on giving an explanation.

Forming an analogy
To form an analogy, we need to make a comparison between two things, using ‘to be like’ or ‘as (adjective/adverb) as.’

Examples
Now, on to some examples. Here is my favourite analogy in case I need to explain a mental health condition to someone who’s not yet aware of it.

“Telling someone with mental health conditions to be grateful because ‘other people have it worse’ is like giving a candy to someone who just fell and hurt themselves. The candy is tasty, sure, but it doesn’t solve the main problem.”

By saying that sentence, I don’t necessarily mean to give a candy to someone who just fell. Instead, I’m explaining to my interlocutor that to treat mental health issues, we might need to go deeper than giving advices.

“Many people told me to go have fun or travel or treat myself with something nice whenever I’m depressed. I’m thankful for the advice, but it’s like telling me to have fun whilst my leg is broken.”

Another popular, albeit debatable, example of an analogy is this line by Forrest Gump:

“My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.'”

Forrest Gump (1994). Image credit: on the picture

On one hand, the line was meant to say that when opening a box of chocolates, we never know what flavour we will get. This is just like life, when many things are unpredictable.

On the other hand, a box of chocolates contains chocolates, that surely taste similar, so a box of chocolates is not really comparable to the unpredictable life. Which is why some might say that the line could be an example of analogy, but it’s a weak one.

Does an analogy have to be long and detailed?
Not always. Sometimes, it can go just as simple as the following examples:
“My puppy’s coat is as white as snow, so I call it Snowy.”
“The ballerina looks like she’s as light as a feather.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 17 April 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Oxymoron
#EngClass: Paradox
#EngClass: Simile
#EngClass: Simile and Metaphor
#EngTrivia: Anastrophe

#EngClass: ‘Very’ vs. ‘So’ (REVISIT)

This article is a revisit and rewritten version of #EngClass: “very” vs “so” (2012).

“The weather is very hot.”
“The weather is so hot.”
“The weather is so very hot.”

Is there any difference in using ‘very’ and ‘so’ in a sentence?

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1. Adverb of degree
As adverbs of degree/degree adverbs, also known as intensifier (adverbs that tell us the intensity of a state), both ‘very’ and ‘so’ can be used interchangeably. They are followed by adjectives or adverbs.

Example:
Followed by adjective
“The painting is very beautiful.”
“The painting is so beautiful.”

Followed by adverb
“The painting is very nicely done.”
“The painting is so nicely done.”

NOTE:
Some would argue that ‘so’ signifies more intensity than ‘very,’ whilst I personally think that ‘very’ is more intense. Regardless, both uses are correct. However, whilst ‘very’ can be followed by adjective + noun, rarely do we find such use for ‘so.’

Example:
“That is a very beautiful painting.” (common)
“That is a so beautiful painting.” (uncommon)

We can fix the second sentence by moving the article (a/an), but even so, replacing ‘so’ with ‘such’ is more common.

Example:
“That is so beautiful a painting.” (correct, but less common, unless followed by another clause. See point 2: cause and effect)
“That is such a beautiful painting.” (correct and common)

What about ‘so very?’ This form is used to further intensify the situation.
“I’m so very worried about you.”

2. Cause and effect
Even though ‘so… that’ is more commonly used to introduce cause and effect, we can also use ‘very,’ ‘such,’ and ‘too,’ to some extent.

Example:
“The painting was so beautiful that we couldn’t look away.”
“The painting was very beautiful that we couldn’t look away.”

I hope you feel confident now using ‘very’ and ‘so’. Remember that their roles as adverbs of degree or intensifier can be replaced with a more suitable adjective.

Example:
Very/so pretty = beautiful.
Very/so bad = terrible
Very/so cute = adorable, etc.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 10 April 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: “very” vs “so”
#EngClass: Intensifiers
#EngVocab: Substitutes of ‘Very’
#EngVocab: What to Say Instead of Using ‘Very’ (2)
#GrammarTrivia: Expressing Cause and Effect with “Such… That” and “So… That”

#EngClass: Redundancy in English

Indonesian classes at school teach/taught us different types of figure of speech. One of them is pleonasm, the usage of more words than necessary. ‘Maju ke depan’ is a popular example of pleonasm in Indonesian. This article will be talking about something similar, redundancy.

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Some say redundancy can take a pleonasm form; others say pleonasm is a more general classification of redundancy.

How are they different?
Pleonasm generally refers to the using of too many words, while redundancy is using two or more words with the same meaning.

“I listened to their confession with my own ears.” <— this is a pleonasm because in order to listen to something, we use our ears.

“The description is sufficient enough.” <— this is a redundancy because sufficient and enough mean the same. We use only one of them.

Other examples of redundancy:
Global pandemic
A pandemic refers to a widespread of a disease on a global level. Use ‘pandemic.’

Reread again
The prefix re- means ‘back’ or ‘again.’ Saying ‘reread again’ is saying ‘read again again.’ Use ‘reread’ or ‘read again.’

Extra bonus
A bonus is something ‘extra,’ something additional. Use ‘bonus.’

Close proximity
‘Proximity’ means ‘close to one’s location.’ Use ‘proximity.’

Gather together
‘To gather’ means ‘to come together.’ Use ‘to gather’ or ‘to come together.’

End result/final outcome
The words ‘result’ and ‘outcome’ indicate that something has come to an end. Something is final. Adding ‘end’ and ‘final’ to modify ‘result’ and ‘outcome’ is redundant.

Still remains
We find this phrase a lot in love songs: “My love still remains…”
‘To remain’ means to be still in one place.

Repetition and redundancy
In writing, we also come across ‘repetition,’ that is repeating one word to put emphasis, to make a point, or to add a dramatic, exaggerated effect.

Example:
“I could not forgive him. He hurt me over and over and over again.”

However, redundancy is more often shunned than repetition, because not only will it make the sentences unnecessary long, leading to boredom, redundant words or phrases don’t add anything new. They don’t give new information.

This is where proofreading comes in handy, especially if what we’re writing is related to academic or professional aspects of our life. It’s important to find the right balance to avoid being tedious and keep our readers engaged.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 4 March 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#BusEng: Basic Etiquette in Writing Business Letters or Emails (REVISIT)
#BusEng: Dos and Don’ts on Writing CV
#EngClass: Good Storytelling
#EngTips: How to Avoid Monotony in Writing
#EngTips: Tips on Writing Essay

#ENGCLASS: CODE-SWITCHING AND CODE-MIXING (REVISIT)

This article is a revisit and rewritten version of #EngClass: Code-switching vs. Code-mixing (2015).

“Hujan-hujan begini, I feel so lucky that I got to work from home. Semoga orang-orang yang literally have to be out there to make a living bisa survive.”

Have you ever said or typed something in this manner, fellas?

Indonesian younger generations (millennials and younger), especially those who live in capital cities and are heavily exposed to foreign languages, often do code-switching and code-mixing.

This could happen with many different languages at once, as Indonesia is immensely rich in culture. I often find myself code-switching and code-mixing with my Indonesian friends, using Javanese, Indonesian, Balinese, and English, all in one conversation.

What are code-switching and code-mixing and why do we do them? Are they bad or incorrect or wrong?

Some argue that code-switching and code-mixing can be used interchangeably. We tend to go with a more specific definition for each.

Code-switching is changing from one language to another during a speech, especially on a clause or a sentence level.
Example:
“Hujan terus. It’s very cold outside.”

Code-mixing is adding one or two words of another language into the speech, not enough to make a clause or a sentence.
Example:
“Mana my umbrella? Hujannya deras sekali.”

Here are the possible reasons why someone or a group of people code-switch or code-mix:

1. Talking about a secret
In a group dominated by English-speaking people who don’t speak Indonesian, we might speak in Indonesian if we want nobody to find out what we’re saying.

2. Failing to find the compatible words or terms/words or terms from the other language come first to our mind when we are required to make quick decisions or quick responses
On some occasions, we might struggle to find the suitable words or terms from the same language and we end up inserting one or two words from another language.

Example:
“Bisa tolong print ini, nggak?”
We know the Indonesian equivalent of the verb ‘to print’ is ‘cetak’, but in a rush, we might forget about it and blurt out ‘print’, even though the rest of the sentence is in Indonesian.

3. To soften or strengthen a request or a command
Some requests seem more earnest and some commands sound less bossy if we add the English word ‘please’ to the sentence.
Example:
“Tolong bantuin aku, ya, please…”
Please, jangan ribut, teman-teman!”

4. To emphasise what has previously been said in another language
Example:
“Ingat, besok jangan telat. Don’t be late.

5. To sound smart
Some people do think that using foreign languages during an argument will make them look smarter and will get the point across. We see this a lot during a Twitter-war amongst Indonesians. Some of us might switch to English in order to be taken seriously.

Are code-switching and code-mixing bad or wrong or incorrect, linguistically speaking?

We even have a joke about it now, ‘byelingual.’

Well, we Indonesians speak at least 3 different languages: our mother tongue (for each province or regency might use a different one), Indonesian, and English. Add other languages we learned over the course of our lives, we can collectively cry in multilingual.

Linguists might say that code-switching or code-mixing is a sign that we cannot be consistent with one language, but I would argue that at some point we will inevitably code-switch or code-mix, especially if we interact with people from many different backgrounds on a daily basis.

Besides, there are quite a few English words being adopted by Indonesians that using the Indonesian counterparts might confuse our audience. For example, we will be easily understood if we say ‘keyboard’ instead of ‘papan ketik.’

Considering the above points, I wouldn’t say either code-switching or code-mixing is wrong. I would still propose that for the sake of being on a mutual understanding, we stick with the language that will be understood better.

Using English in a Twitter debate with a fellow Indonesian might make us feel better as we can say what we want to say clearly, but if it ends up confusing our interlocutor even more, we won’t reach a middle ground anytime soon.

Share your thoughts on code-switching and code-mixing by mentioning us or write on the comment section below!

@unclee_eman: Keminggris. Sama 1 lgi minlish, kalo debat kudu di mix pake english biar dikira pinter dan berbobot bacotanya hehehe

Colloquially, yes. In Indonesian, English-Indonesian code-switching and code-mixing is known as Jaksel dialect, or bahasa daerah Jaksel, as people from southern Jakarta are considered by many to be the ones who popularised them @kaonashily: I thought it was bahasa Jaksel

@slvywn: code-mixing waktu kuliahnya biasanya dibarengin sama code-switching, pembahasan bagus ni

I know, right? I personally think it’s cool for us Indonesian to be able to use 3 different languages in one go. P.S.: The word ‘pisan’ that means ‘sangat’ or ‘sekali’ is also found in Balinese. @Inisinene: pada suatu hari “any idea? buntu pisan parah” me as sundanese proud but make it baker street lol

Exactly. @AM_Ihere: Lebih paham download daripada unduh.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, 23 February 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Code-switching vs. Code-mixing
#EngKnowledge: English Words of Indonesian Origin
#EngTalk: English Words as Bahasa Indonesia Slang (2)
#EngTalk: Learning English vs. Indonesian Nationalism
Further #EngTalk: Penggunaan Bahasa Inggris di Indonesia

#ENGCLASS: SUFFIX -ING

Hi, hello, everyone, how was this year’s first Monday?

As I did not go anywhere and did not do anything, to me it felt like a regular working day.

On this article, we are going to discuss one question that came in through our DM. Remember that you can ask us anything by mentioning us or sending us DM, and we will try our best to answer it. However, if the answer is easily found on Google (e.g., the meaning of certain words), we would suggest you to look it up first.

The question that we received is:
“Is there any other use of suffix -ing aside of progressive tenses?”

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The answer is yes. Suffix -ing has several uses apart from modifying a verb in a progressive tense.

  1. Gerund
    Suffix -ing is used to form a gerund, which is a verb that functions as a noun.
    Example:
    “I like drinking a glass of milk before bedtime.”
    ‘Drinking’ here is a gerund, whilst the verb is ‘like.’
  2. Noun
    Oftentimes, suffix -ing is used to modify a verb to form a verbal noun.
    Example:
    “She lives in a nice apartment building.”
    ‘Building’ is a verbal noun.

What is the difference between gerund and noun, then, when they are both made of verbs that have suffix -ing?

Here is a tip to differentiate them. A gerund retains its verb-like properties, i.e., there is still work being done by the gerund. It could have an object, too.

Let’s take a look again at the gerund section that I tweeted above.
“I like drinking a glass of milk…”

Even though ‘drinking’ has become a noun, there is still an action attached to it. Its object is ‘a glass of milk.’

Meanwhile, on the second example, there is the noun ‘a nice apartment building.’ There is no action involved with the word ‘building’ in the sentence, which makes it a verbal noun.

  1. Adjective
    Suffix -ing can also be used to form an adjective.
    Example:
    “The exam is exhausting.”
    The original verb is ‘to exhaust’. With suffix -ing, it became the adjective ‘exhausting.’

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 4 January 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Infinitive and Gerund
#EngClass: Suffix
#EngTrivia: Suffix
#GrammarTrivia: Verbs + Gerunds/Infinitives
#GrammarTrivia: Possessives with Gerunds

#ENGCLASS: DIFFERENT TYPES OF PUNS

We talked about puns before. A pun is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. Check our previous article on puns HERE.

Today, we are going to discuss several different types of puns. Let’s get into it!

  1. Homophonic pun
    A homophonic pun is a pun that uses words that sound alike, but they have different spellings and meanings.
    Example:
    “I should have known that I could not finish my dinner. That was a huge mis-steak.”
    Explanation:
    The speaker did not realise the steak would come in a huge portion; so the speaker thought that they made a mistake in ordering it. Mis-steak sounds similar to mistake.
  2. Homographic pun (also called heteronymic pun)
    A homographic pun uses words that are spelled the same but have different meanings.
    Example:
    “Time flies like an arrow, while fruit flies like a banana.”
    Explanation:
    The first part of the sentence refers to how fast time passes, by saying that it ‘flies.’ The second part of the sentence also uses ‘flies,’ but here the word refers to the insect fruit flies, that like a banana.
  3. Homonymic pun
    A homonymic pun uses words that are both homophones (have the same sound) and homographs (have the same spelling). The words could also have the same meaning.
    Example:
    “An elephant’s opinion carries a lot of weight.”
    Explanation:
    An elephant has a lot of weight, so it is assumed that its opinion also does.
  4. Compound pun
    A compound pun has more than one pun in a sentence.
    Example:
    “Never scam in a jungle as the cheetahs are always spotted.”
    Explanation:
    There are two words that are punny: scam and spotted. ‘Scam’ means swindling someone out of their money, but it could also mean ‘hustling or moving in a hurry.’
    ‘The cheetahs are always spotted’ means the cheetahs are always seen in the jungle and they have spots on their coats. So, this compound pun means we must be careful in the jungle, otherwise we will get chased by the cheetahs.
  5. Recursive pun
    A recursive pun is a pun that we can only understand by knowing the origin of it.
    Example:
    “May the Fourth be with you.”
    Explanation:
    This sentence is a modification of Star Wars’ famous line ‘May the Force be with you.’
  6. Visual pun
    A visual pun uses visual cues, whether it is a drawing or a symbol.
    Example:
    “I think you’re fantastic (Fanta-stick).”
    Picture credit: on the picture

Source:
http://www.literarydevices.com/pun/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pun
https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-funny-puns-and-punny-funs.html
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-a-pun-learn-about-the-different-types-of-puns-in-literature-and-tips-on-how-to-write-a-great-pun#5-different-types-of-puns

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 5 December 2020.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngGame: So Punny
#EngQuiz: Animal Related Puns
#EngTalk: Coffee Related Puns
#EngTrivia: About Pun
#EngTrivia: Puns

#ENGCLASS: PARADOX

Two days ago, we talked about oxymoron, which is a figure of speech that is made of two or more words with contradictory meaning. If you want to read the article on oxymoron, CLICK HERE.

Today, we are going to talk about its sibling, paradox. Both have similar features and are often mixed up.

Penrose triangle (picture by Wikipedia)

What is a paradox? The word paradox came from Latin word ‘paradoxum’, which came from Greek word ‘paradoxon’, which means ‘contrary to expectation.’

Just as an oxymoron, a paradox is also a figure of speech. Furthermore, it is a rhetorical device that seems to contradict itself, but actually has some truth to it.

Does this confuse you, fellas? To put it simply, a paradox is a statement that is logical but contrary to our expectation.

Example:

  1. “The only constant thing is change (Indonesian: satu-satunya hal yang tidak pernah berubah adalah perubahan).”
    Explanation: nothing in life is constant, except change. Change happens all the time, to everything, and to everyone, which makes it constant.
  2. “Failure leads to success (Indonesian: kegagalan adalah sukses yang tertunda).”
    Explanation: by failing over and over again, it means we keep trying and it might mean that someday we will be successful.
  3. “Social media brought us apart and brought us together (Indonesian: media sosial mendekatkan yang jauh dan menjauhkan yang dekat).”
    Explanation: focusing on social media often makes us ignore the people who are physically present around us.
  4. “The more you learn, the less you know (Indonesian: seperti padi, semakin berisi, semakin merunduk).”
    Explanation: the more knowledgeable we are, the more we will realise that there are so many things of which we have little knowledge.
  5. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend (Indonesian: musuh dari musuh saya adalah sekutu saya).”
    Explanation: meeting another enemy could easily make someone our enemy, too, but sometimes they can become our friend out of a mutual dislike towards someone else.

How do paradox and oxymoron differ?
How do we differentiate a paradox and an oxymoron when we see them in a sentence? The key is to remember that an oxymoron is made of words that have opposite meanings, while a paradox is a collection of words that contradicts itself. Check our sources below for complete reading.

Source:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paradox
https://www.dictionary.com/e/paradox-oxymoron/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox
https://tom-stevenson.medium.com/13-paradoxes-you-can-use-to-improve-your-life-today-b32d7dca4e0f

Do you have a favourite paradox, fellas? Share it with us.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 21 November 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: OXYMORON

Are you familiar with the word ‘oxymoron’, fellas? No, it has very little to do with the m-word except that they both came from the same Greek word mōros, which means ‘foolish’.

Oxymoron came from the Greek word oksús, which means ‘sharp’, ‘keen’, or ‘pointed’, and mōros which means ‘foolish’. So, it directly translates to ‘sharply (or smartly) foolish’.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an oxymoron (plural form ‘oxymorons’ or the less used ‘oxymora’) is a combination of contradictory words. Based on the literal meanings from the two Greek words, an oxymoron is autological or homological, which means the meaning of the word applies to itself, i.e.: an oxymoron is also an oxymoron.

Simply put, an oxymoron is a figure of speech (or ‘majas’ in Indonesian) made of two or more words that have opposite meanings.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Example:

  1. Bittersweet (‘bitter’ and ‘sweet’ have opposite meanings).
    “Such a bittersweet feeling overwhelms me whenever I think about the good old days.”
  2. Living dead (‘living’ and ‘dead’ have opposite meanings).
    “I’m so tired of movies with zombies or the living dead.”
  3. Deafening silence (‘deafening’ means making someone deaf because of how loud the sound is, whilst ‘silence’ means a situation where there is no sound).
    “The silence that followed the brief speech was deafening.”
  4. Pretty awful (‘pretty’ and ‘awful’ are contradictory in meanings, but ‘pretty’ is used here as an intensifier, to strengthen the word ‘awful’).
    “The singer sounds pretty awful; I think he should never give up his day job.”
  5. Love-hate (‘love’ and ‘hate’ are contradictory).
    “I have a love-hate relationship with social media; can’t live with it, can’t live without it.”

It’s pretty easy, isn’t it? The purpose of using figures of speech like oxymorons is to make your language output (writing, speaking) more colourful. Can you mention other examples of oxymorons, fellas?

@Keystone_Eng: I like:
Act naturally!
A small crowd
It’s your only choice

@NituYumnam:
~ pretty ugly
~ social distancing
~ cleverly stupid

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 19 November 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: GOOD STORYTELLING

A few days ago, one of our followers requested tips on storytelling, especially how to narrate a story in a way that the readers/audience will understand.

Bear in mind that storytelling is not only useful on writings; even audio and visual messages need a good storytelling. Whether you are telling a story verbally or via visual cues, a good storytelling skill is necessary.

Take TV or YouTube ads, for example. Even if they are told via audio-visual, most of them have good storyline. This is especially important to send a message to the audience that the products the ads are trying to sell are worthy.

If you are wondering where to start, think of a storytelling as another way of reporting something but add some emotions to it to make it more relatable to the audience. Therefore, you first need to figure out what you are trying to tell. What is it that you want other people to know? Define this first as the main idea of your story.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

From the main idea, develop the story with 4 Ps:
People: characters of the story
Place: the time and location of the story
Plot: how the story starts and ends
Purpose: what is the reason behind the storytelling

Let’s take for example the Harry Potter franchise. We have Harry as the protagonist and Voldemort as the antagonist and the others as supporting characters. They are the ‘people’ of the Harry Potter story.

The time and the location of the story are England and Scotland in the 90s, which means the story should present how England and Scotland looked like at that time. Of course, there are Hogwarts and the wizarding world as a fictional element to this story, which were created based on the author’s imagination.

And then there is plot, which begins with the murder of Harry’s parents. The story then tells Harry’s journey to defeat Voldemort and ends with Voldemort’s destruction. Along the way, there are major and minor subplots to keep the readers interested.

The last one is purpose. What is the purpose of the telling of Harry Potter story? Is it good against evil? Is it portraying the reality at the time? Is it for entertainment? Is it trying to send a message?

Once you have the general idea of the story, begin creating the structure by deciding the parts of the story that are important. How we meet the main character, how the other characters are introduced, and what happens to them.

You can use linear plot, which is a plot where events happen in chronological order. However, if you feel confident, you can try using non-linear plot. It will keep the readers/audience curious to figure out the exact timeline of the story.

Now, how do we make a storytelling effective?

1. Keep it simple
It’s good to give enough details to the story, but sometimes the less is the better, especially if there is a constraint on time and resources.

2. Keep it focused
An elaborated story is good as long as it does not stray from the purpose of the storytelling. Back to the Harry Potter example, we are all invested in how Harry will finally win the war against Voldemort, so Uncle Vernon’s family tree won’t really be necessary. Not only it does not add much to the storyline, it could also be distracting.

3. Be relatable
A great story appeals to our emotions: we care about what happens to the characters because we see parts of ourselves in them. We struggle with Harry when he is living with the Dursleys, we can understand how Ron is sometimes jealous of Harry, we are annoyed by Draco Malfoy, and some of us agree with Hermione in her bossiest, nosiest moments.

4. Use concise language
Concise means delivering a message clearly and briefly, only in a few words. Some of the ways to achieve this are reading a lot, expanding your vocabulary, and doing a lot of practice.

I hope you find this article helpful. Feel free to add your most favourite way of telling a story.

P.S.: mine is using a non-linear plot, jumping from one event to another, and preparing a plot twist or even a vague ending.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 9 November 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: EMPATHY, SYMPATHY, AND HOW TO EXPRESS THEM

The year 2020 has been tough for everybody. Many people fell ill, lost their loved ones, lost their jobs and livelihood. During this difficult time, we can always use or offer empathy and sympathy.

Are you still unclear of what the difference is between empathy and sympathy, fellas? We will discuss it on this article, as well as how to express them.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Empathy is the ability to understand what the other person is feeling. Sympathy is feeling pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune, sometimes including the ability to offer helps or condolences.

Let’s say a friend has just broken up. By listening and understanding what the friend is going through, we are showing empathy. By offering our help to make the friend feel better, we are showing sympathy.

So, in a way, we will show more efforts in staying by our friend’s side and listening to our friend’s problem with empathy. With sympathy, we proactively offer condolences and even our assistance. Similar, but not exactly the same.

Both empathy and sympathy are emotional skills that, just like other skills, need some practicing. By meeting more people from different backgrounds, seeing their struggles, and showing kindness to those in need can be some of the ways to practice these skills.

Now, how do we express empathy and sympathy?

Just like I mentioned before, empathy requires a lot of listening and understanding. When someone going through difficult times, it’s easy for us to go to them and say, “I’ve had worse. You should do this or that.”

Sometimes, that is not what the other person needs. When someone comes to us with their problems, they don’t necessarily require solutions. Perhaps the solutions are what they’ve known all along; they only need someone to talk to.

Which is why some of the best ways to show empathy are:
– listening to the problem and acknowledging it
– saying that it’s reasonable to feel bad or upset
– thanking the person for opening up to us
– letting the person know that we are there for them

Meanwhile, to show sympathy, we can do the following:
– saying, “I’m sorry for what happened. My thoughts are with you.”
– offering help by saying, “Tell me if you need anything.”
– giving support and words of encouragement
– assisting the person

For situations that require us to show empathy and sympathy, there is one thing that we should always keep in mind: this is not about us. The person suffering the most should get the most attention, even if they are suffering silently.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 26 October 2020.

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#ENGQAS: ‘THROUGH’ AND ‘THROUGHOUT,’ ‘ACROSS’ AND ‘ALONG,’ FORMAL AND INFORMAL WORDS

If you have any questions regarding English learning, you can always send us by Twitter mention or DM with the hashtag #EngQAs. This article is to answer questions sent by one of our Twitter followers:

So, there are three questions which we will discuss one by one:
– the difference between ‘through’ and ‘throughout’
– the difference between ‘across’ and ‘along’
– the difference between formal and informal words.

‘Through’ and ‘throughout’

As a preposition, ‘through’ is mostly used to describe a movement into one side and out of the other side of something, e.g.: a tunnel, a door. It is also used to describe continuing towards a completion of something.

Example:
– “The photographers moved through the barriers to capture pictures of the march.”
– “I was halfway through Crash Landing on You when I started watching Sky Castle.”

‘Throughout’, which can also be used as a preposition, means in every part of something. Example:

There are other uses of ‘through’ and ‘throughout’ as adverbs (both ‘through’ and ‘throughout) and as an adjective (‘through’). You can find more on the dictionary.

‘Across’ and ‘along’

‘Across’ and ‘along’ are also prepositions.
‘Across’ means from one side to the other, e.g.: across the street.
‘Along’ means moving in a constant direction of a somewhat horizontal surface, e.g.: along the road.
Both words can also be used as adverbs.

Formal and informal words

Formal and informal words are such a wide topic to summarise in only one article. We have the following examples:
– ‘through’ (formal) and ‘thru’ (informal)
– ‘until’ (formal) and ’till’ (informal)
– ‘not to be’ (formal) and ‘ain’t’ (informal) etc.

The discussion can also widen to other words.
Examples:
– ‘rich’ (less formal) and ‘wealthy’ (more formal)
– ‘to ask’ (less formal) and ‘to enquire’ (more formal)
– ‘to say sorry’ (less formal) and ‘to apologise’ (more formal)
– ‘funny’ (less formal) and ‘humorous’ (more formal)

So, I would suggest enriching your vocabulary by reading more. Remember that even if the words are informal or less formal, that does not mean they are wrong. We can always use them in everyday conversation.

We have to be cautious, however, when writing an important essay or a work-related email, in which formal and professional language and diction are always required.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 24 October 2020.

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#ENGTRIVIA: PUNS

“A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it is two-tired.”
Can you guess what is happening in this sentence, fellas?

If you’re thinking of a pun, you guessed correctly. A pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect.

We have a bicycle on the example, which is said not being able to stand on its own because it’s ‘two-tired.’ ‘Two-tired’ here is a reference to the bicycle having two tires as well as being ‘too tired.’

In some parts of the world, puns are almost similar to dad jokes. They often make us cringe for how unfunny they are, but we laugh regardless. Here are some examples of puns that I hope will brighten your Monday evening.

1. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering. (yourdictionary.com).
Explanation: A bunch of puppies are called a litter. At the same time, ‘littering’ also means throwing away trash carelessly. This is why the mama dog was cited for littering, or giving birth to a litter.

2. What do you call a camel with three humps? Pregnant. (Zootopia).
Explanation: A camel normally has one or two humps. The third hump is the pregnant belly.

3. Why do cows have hooves instead of feet? They lactose. (Twitter user @getthebagcoach).
Explanation: Cows produce milk that contains lactose. They also ‘lack of toes.’

4. I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. And then it hit me. (Wikihow).
Explanation: The baseball was getting bigger because it was getting closer to the speaker. The sentence ‘and then it hit me’ explains that the ball hit the speaker and at the same time, the speaker realised what was happening.

5. (Source: Unknown).
Explanation: Taken from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics, “Is this a real life or is this just fantasy?”
But fantasy is written as Fanta-sea which is showed in the picture as a sea of orange Fanta.

6. (Source: mentioned on the picture).
Explanation: The ‘home’ says to the ‘honey’ that it is home, similar to how someone says to the significant other, “Honey, I’m home.”

7. She’s a skillful pilot whose career has really taken off. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Explanation: An airplane takes off and lands or touches down. Meanwhile, ‘to take off’ also means to be successful. Therefore, the sentence has double meanings. The first meaning is that the pilot takes off with her plane and the second is that her career is successful.

8. What’s the difference between a hippo and a zippo? One is really heavy and the other is a little lighter. (boredpanda.com).
Explanation: A hippopotamus is heavier than a zippo, which is a lighter.

Stay excellent, everyone!

Artwork by: Lisa Slavid/peadoodles

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 28 September 2020.

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#EngTrivia: ‘to dedicate to’ or ‘to dedicate for?’

Hi, fellas! How are you today? Did you get to see the Grammy award ceremony? Did your favourites win?

During an award acceptance speech/winning speech, often the winner says something that goes, “I dedicate this award ____ everyone who has supported me.”

What is the correct preposition to fill the blank, fellas? We have 2 options, ‘to’ and ‘for.’

Grammy_Award_2002
The Grammy (picture by Wikipedia).

Yes, the answer is ‘to.’

‘to dedicate something to something/someone’ is a phrase that means to reserve something for a particular purpose regarding something else or someone.
E.g.:
“Mom, I dedicated this song to you.”
“She dedicated her life to being a nurse.”

I understand that this can be confusing to us Indonesian, because the direct translation for both ‘to’ and ‘for’ is ‘untuk.’ Sometimes, we might use ‘for’ instead of the correct word, ‘to.’

However, as it is a phrase, we should always try to remember the correct form, ‘to dedicate ____ to.’

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 28 January 2020.


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#EngGrammar: Infinitive Verbs

Hi, fellas, how are you today?

There are several parts of speech in English: noun, pronoun, adjective, determiner, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.

One of them, verb, specifically infinitive verbs, are our topic for this article. Can you define infinitive verbs? What is the difference between infinitive verbs and base/finite verbs?

text on shelf
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Base verbs are verbs that can be used in their original forms.
E.g.:
run every day.
check my social media accounts 8 to 10 times a day.

Infinitive verbs are non-finite verbs or verbs that cannot stand independently as the main verbs on a sentence. Infinitive verbs are usually preceded by the word ‘to.’ Infinitive verbs are also usually used after the following words:
Modal verbs (can/could, may/might, must, shall/should, will/would)
E.g.:
She must go to the airport by 3 hours prior to the flight.
John should consider a career in acting; he’s so talented.

Several other verbs
Several other verbs that are followed by infinitive verbs are afford, agree, aim, appear, arrange, attempt, determined, beg, care, choose, claim, dare, decide, demand, deserve, expect, fail, happen, help, hesitate, hope, learn, long, manage, mean, need, neglect, offer, plan, prepare, pretend, proceed, promise, refuse, resolve, seem, stop, swear, tend, threaten, use, volunteer, vow, want, wish, would hate, would like, would love, and would prefer.
E.g.:
The child appears to be ill.
I beg to differ.
It helps to have a friend who is a tech-savvy.
He refused to sign the agreement.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 23 January 2020.


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