Category Archives: class

#EngClass: Compound Sentences

Hi, everyone! How was your day? Did your favourite football team secure a slot in the quarter-final of #WorldCup2018? Mine was hectic, but I was able to do a lot today.

Notice the last sentence of the previous paragraph. It’s what we call a compound sentence.

tomato pizza
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A compound sentence is a sentence with more than an independent clause. An independent clause is a clause that can already stand as a sentence. It consists of a subject and a predicate. In Indonesian, a compound sentence is known as ‘kalimat majemuk.’

Example of an independent clause:
“I would like a cup of tea.”
“I would like a slice of cake.”

Even though these clauses are simple and short, they can already function as sentences with actual meaning.

Question:
Could you combine those two examples and create a compound sentence?
Answer:
“I would like a cup of tea and a slice of cake.”

 

From the answer, we can identify two characteristics of a compound sentence.

  1. It has a coordinating conjunction.
    There are seven coordinating conjunctions that we can use to form a compound sentence: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. We can also use a semicolon (;) to do so.

  2. The ideas for both clauses are related.
    The speaker implied that he would like to enjoy a tea-time with some delicacies, namely ‘a slice of cake.’

 

Exercise:
Create a compound sentence by filling the blanks with the correct conjunction.

  1. What would you like for dinner, pizza _____ salad?
  2. Salad is healthier, _____ pizza means a lot of fun.
  3. When you have decided, order through the delivery service, will you? Don’t forget some side dishes _____ I’d suggest bruschetta, chicken wings, _____ some sausages.
  4. I don’t want more carbs, _____ do I want sausages.
  5. Well, take out the bruschetta, then, _____ it contains a lot of carbs. You’re so skinny, _____ you don’t like carbs.
  6. I think I’ll place the order now, _____ it will be here by the time the game is on.

 

Answer:

1.OR.
The sentence compares two alternatives.

2.BUT.
The sentence introduces a second choice that is contrasting with what has been mentioned.

3.First blanks: (;)
There are two clauses being put together, ‘don’t forget some side dishes’ and ‘I’d suggest bruschetta.’
Second blanks: AND.

4.NOR.
The speaker already mentioned a negative statement, ‘I don’t want more carbs,’ and ‘nor’ introduces another negative statement, ‘nor do I want sausages.

5.First blanks: FOR.
‘For’ explains why the ‘bruschetta will be taken out,’ and it is because ‘it contains a lot of carbs.’
Second blanks: YET.
It explains that despite being skinny, the other person still limits his carbohydrate intake.

6.SO.
It explains that the order will be placed soon, with the aim that it will arrive by the time the game starts.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 2 July, 2018.


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#GrammarTrivia: Due to vs. Because of (REVISIT)

This topic might be one of the most frequently asked questions that we have ever received. What is the difference between ‘due to’ and ‘because of?’

@ridhoansyori: KINDLY. SOMEONE. EXPLAIN. PLS

Take a look at these two sentences
– Her headache was due to the noise coming from upstairs.
– She had a headache because of the noise coming from upstairs.

person people woman hand
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

On sentence 1, there is the noun ‘her headache’ and the linking verb ‘was.’ To make sentence 1 a complete sentence, we need a complement. The phrase ‘due to the noise coming from upstairs’ is this complement.

“Her headache                  was                                        due to the noise coming from upstairs.”
Subject                               linking verb                         complement

 

On sentence 2, the subject is ‘she.’ The predicate is ‘had a headache.’

If we write it only as ‘she had a headache,’ the sentence will still be complete. We want to introduce the reason WHY she had a headache. So, we add ‘because of the noise coming from upstairs.’

Although sentence 1 & 2 are similar, sentence 1 was actually meant to say that there was a noise from upstairs and her headache came as a RESULT to this noise.

Meanwhile, sentence 2 explained that THE REASON she had a headache was that noise coming from upstairs.

 

Are you still unsure, fellas? Let’s take the following exercise.

a. My brother’s success is ______ his hard work.
b. My brother is a successful person ______ his hard work.
c. She failed ______ not studying.
d. Her failure was ______ not studying.

@dindaaark: a. Due to. b. Because of. c. Because of. d. Due to.
@notevennurul: A. Due to. B. Because of. C. Because of. D. Due to.
@cynthiatika: a, d : due to. b, c : because of.

 

Answers:
a & d: due to
‘My brother’s success’ came as a result of ‘his hard work.’
‘Her failure’ came as a result of ‘not studying.’

b & c: because of
‘His hard work’ is the reason why ‘my brother is a successful person.’
‘Not studying’ is the reason why ‘she failed.’

 

A couple of tips to decide when to use ‘due to’ and ‘because of’:

‘Due to’ is an adjectival phrase. It gives more detail to the noun. It identifies the result of an event. It always comes after linking verb ‘be’ (is, am, are, was, were, will be, etc.).

‘Because of’ is an adverbial phrase. It gives more detail to the verb. It identifies the reason why something happens. It always comes after subject + verb.

 

Q: @magnifician: Di kamus cambridge online, “due to” bisa menggantikan “because of”, min (contoh kedua)

due to

A: Benar. Namun, contoh kedua lebih tepat jika menggunakan ‘because of.’ Ini versi admin:
A lot of her unhappiness is due to boredom. She is unhappy because of boredom.
The bus’ delay was due to heavy snow. The bus was delayed because of heavy snow.

Q: @magnifician: Ini contoh lainnya…

due to 2

A: Seperti penjelasan admin sebelumnya, ‘due to’ memberi keterangan pada subjek, sehingga jika sudah menggunakan ‘due to,’ frasa yang mengandung verba bisa tidak dicantumkan.
The game’s cancellation was due to adverse weather conditions.
Her five days of work was due to illness.
The captain’s withdrawal from the match was due to injury.
Kalimat 2 & 3 sudah tepat menggunakan ‘due to.’

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 13 June, 2018.


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#EngClass: Conditional Sentences (REVISIT)

man riding bicycle on city street
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Conditional sentences are sentences that express factual implications OR hypothetical situations and the consequences. Conditional sentences consist of ‘if clause’ and ‘result clause.’

Example:
“If I have more money, I’ll buy a car.”

“If I have more money” = if clause.
“I’ll buy a car” = result clause.

There are 4 types of conditional sentences, each with its own function.

Zero Conditional Sentences
Zero conditional sentences are used to describe general truth. It goes by the form:

If clause (simple present), result clause (simple present)

E.g.:
“If we heat ice, it melts.”
(It’s a common knowledge that when ice is heated, it melts).

 

First Conditional Sentences
First conditional sentences are used to describe something that actually happens in present time or will actually happen in future time. It goes by the form:

If clause (simple present), result clause (will/can + V1).

E.g.:
“If I have more money, I’ll buy a car.”
(In a certain time in the future, the speaker will buy a car given he has more money).

 

Second Conditional Sentences
Second conditional sentence are used to describe something in the present time that is impossible to happen. It goes by the form:

If clause (simple past), result clause (would/could + V1).

E.g.:
“If I had more money, I’d buy a car.”
(The speaker does not have money in the present time, so it is not possible for him to buy a car).

 

Third Conditional Sentences
Third conditional sentences are used to describe something that didn’t happen in the past as well as imagining what the result will be if the event actually happened. It goes by the form:

If clause (past perfect), result clause (would/could have + V3).

E.g.:
“If I had woken up early, I wouldn’t have been late.”
(The speaker was late and so he wishes he woke up early).

 

Q: sorry interupting, but why do the clause is not ‘heats’ instead? Thankyou. i’m still not get it :p (@kaonashily).
A: Because the subject of the first clause is ‘we’ (@arah_hadi).

Q: Is it okay to add ‘only’ in third conditional sentences? E.g. If only I had woken up early, I wouldn’t have been late (@delinaPRF).
A: Good point. We could add ‘only,’ but the meaning of the sentence will be slightly different. ‘If only’ is usually used to express a wish for things to happen in a certain way or a regret that things did not happen as expected.

Q: Apakah bisa “if” nya dihilangkan min? misal : Had I woken up early (@roislavista).
A: Bisa. Bentuk  kalimat di mana verb mendahului subject disebut ‘inversion.’ Umumnya, bentuk ‘had I’ dianggap lebih formal dibandingkan dengan ‘If I had.’

Q: if only you practice, you can form good habits (@timliu2491300).
A: Small correction: always use past form with ‘if only.’
“If only you practiced, you could form good habits.”

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 4 June, 2018.


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#GrammarTrivia: Possessives with Gerunds

adolescent blur child close up
“I love you singing” or “I love your singing?” Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

We all have that one friend who sings beautifully, albeit never considering singing as a professional career. What should we say to compliment him/her? Do we say, “I love you singing,” or do we say, “I love your singing?” Which one is correct, fellas?

@ghaniginanjar: The second one. I love your singing.

@KushalRJoshi: Second one?

@endang_yl: I love your singing.

@XxKit_kat: The 2nd one ‘I love your singing’ = ‘I love the sound of your voice when you sing’.

 

On one fine afternoon, you and a friend are out for a walk. You pass a bus stop where a woman seems to be crying. Do you say to your friend, “Did you see that woman crying?” or do you say, “Did you see that woman’s crying?”

@Goyoomin: Did you see that woman crying?

 

So, what is the difference between these two situations? Why do we use the possessive form ‘your singing’ in the first example, but then we use ‘see that woman crying’ in the second example?

Let’s go back to what gerund is. Gerund is a verb that has transformed into and functions as a noun. Therefore, the way we use gerund should always be in line with the way we use a noun, including combining it with a possessive form.

If we see a sentence like the one in the first example, “I love your singing,” it’s very likely that the thing we love is ‘the singing that belong to you.’ ‘Singing‘ here is something owned by ‘you,’ or in other words, ‘your singing.’

What about the second example? Does it make sense if I modify the sentence into, “Did you see that crying woman?” Does the sentence still have the same meaning?

Crying‘ in the second example is not a gerund. It is in fact an adjective, modifying ‘that woman.’ Therefore, we do not need to use a possessive form like we did with the first example.

Two tips to determine whether a verb -ing should come with a possessive form or not:

  1. Check the object of our action. In the first example, is it the ‘you’ that you love or is it the ‘singing that belongs to you?’
  2. Try switching the sentence’s structure. Modifying the first sentence into ‘I love singing you’ does not quite make the same sense as modifying the second sentence into ‘Did you see that crying woman?’

 

Exercise:

  1. Do you mind (me/my) asking questions?
  2. No, not at all. I appreciate (you/your) coming to me.
  3. I heard about the (project/project’s) being cancelled.
  4. In fact, we anticipate the possibility of (it/its) succeeding.

 

Answer:

  1. “Do you mind my asking questions?”
    Checklist:
    – What will the other person mind about?
    The action ‘asking questions’ that belongs to the speaker. ‘Asking questions’ here is a gerund.
    – How could we modify the sentence into?
    The sentence could be modified into, “Do you mind asking me questions?” or “Do you mind asking my questions?” which does not have the same meaning as the primary sentence.
  2. “No, not at all. I appreciate your coming to me.”
    Checklist:
    – What does the speaker appreciate?
    The action ‘coming to me’ that belongs to the interlocutor. ‘Coming to me’ here is a gerund.
    – How could we modify the sentence into?
    The sentence could be modified into, “I appreciate coming you to me,” which does not have any clear meaning.
  3. “I heard about the project being almost cancelled.”
    Checklist:
    – What did the speaker hear about?
    The project is being almost cancelled. ‘Being almost cancelled’ here is an adjective.
    – How could we modify the sentence into?
    The sentence could be modified into, “I heard about the almost-cancelled project,” which has the exact same meaning as the primary sentence.
  4. “In fact, we anticipate the possibility of its succeeding.”
    Checklist:
    – What does the speaker anticipate?
    The success of the project. ‘Succeeding’ here is a gerund.
    – How could we modify the sentence into?
    The sentence could be modified into, “In fact, we anticipate the possibility of succeeding it,” which creates double meanings. It can mean that the project is being successful or it can mean that the project is being followed by another project. The phrase ‘its succeeding’ will remove the ambiguity.

 

Special shout-out to one of our fellas who sent us a question about how to use possessives with gerunds during our LINE chat session. If you would like a one-one-one consultation as well, add us on LINE .

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 16 May, 2018.


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#EngQuote: Quote from Indonesian National Heroes

Happy National Education Day, fellas! Let us all take a moment to be thankful for the quality of education that has brought us to where we are today.

Many Indonesian in the past did not quite have the privilege and access for good education like what we enjoy today, but that did not stop them to become intellectuals. Some even contributed to bring the end to the occupation in Indonesia. Therefore, I’d like to make today’s session a tribute to our national heroes by sharing their famous quotes that are related to education.

P.S.: I translated some of them from the original ones which are in Bahasa Indonesia, so feel free to correct the translation if it’s wrong.

“Learning without thinking is useless, but thinking without learning is very dangerous!” – Soekarno, first President of Indonesia.

Soekarno
Dr. Ir. H. Soekarno

 

“I’d volunteer to go to prison, as long as there are books, because with books I am free.” – Mohammad Hatta, first Vice-President of Indonesia.

Hatta
Drs. H. Mohammad Hatta

 

“Only with education will we build our nation.” – Dewi Sartika, founder of the first school for women.

Dewi Sartika
Raden Dewi Sartika

 

“The purposes of education are to sharpen our wits, strengthen our will, and soften our senses.” – Tan Malaka, politician and activist.

Tan Malaka.jpg
Tan Malaka

 

“Advancing in civilization requires advancing in both intelligence and character growth.” – Kartini, women’s rights activist.

Kartini.jpg
Raden Adjeng Kartini

 

“Make a teacher out of everyone and a school out of every place.” – Ki Hajar Dewantara, first Minister of National Education of Indonesia and the national hero whose birthday we celebrate as National Education Day.

Ki Hajar Dewantara.jpg
Ki Hajar Dewantara

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 2 May, 2018.


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#EngClass: Portmanteau

Cronut.jpg
A cronut (croissant + donut). Pic from Wikipedia.

Have you ever heard or used the word ‘portmanteau?’

A portmanteau (/pɔːrtˈmæntoʊ/) or portmanteau word is a blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their sounds are combined into a new word. A portmanteau is also called blending word. For initial information of blending words, check out https://englishtips4u.com/2012/06/27/engclass-blending-words/

There are many portmanteau words that have been widely used, such as ‘smog’ (from ‘smoke’ + ‘fog’), ‘netizen’ (from ‘internet’ + ‘citizen’), or ‘workaholic’ (from ‘work’ + ‘alcoholic’).

If we categorize them, we will find that there are portmanteau words for:

  1. Animals.
    A new breed is usually named with a portmanteau word.
    E.g.:
    A ‘liger’ is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger.
  2. Popular culture.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Brangelina’ is a portmanteau of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s name.
    – ‘Bromance’ is a portmanteau of ‘brother’ and ‘romance,’ usually used to describe a tight friendship between two men.
  3. Vehicle.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Motorcycle,’ from ‘motorized’ + ‘bicycle.’
    – ‘Taxicab,’ from ‘taxi’ + ‘cabriolet’ (a type of horse carriage). Now, taxicab is more commonly known as simply ‘taxi’ or ‘cab.’
  4. Cuisine.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Brunch,’ from ‘breakfast’ + ‘lunch.’
    – ‘Cronut,’ from ‘croissant’ + ‘doughnut.
  5. General use.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Brexit,’ from ‘Britain’ + ‘exit.’
    – ‘Hangry,’ from ‘hungry’ + ‘angry.’
  6. Internet and computing.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Email,’ from ‘electronic’ + ‘mail.’
    – ‘Internet,’ from ‘international’ + ‘network.’
    – ‘Skype,’ from ‘sky’ + ‘peer-to-peer.’
  7. Organizations/companies.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Pinterest,’ from ‘pin’ + ‘interest.’
    – ‘Microsoft,’ from ‘microcomputer’ + ‘software.’

 

@Rnfadillaa: I just knewwww netizen means internet citizen. Thanksss @EnglishTips4U.
@laptamy: How about Frienemy? Is it a portmanteau too?
Yes, ‘frenemy’ comes from ‘friend’ + ‘enemy,’ used to describe someone with whom we have a love-hate relationship.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 18 April, 2018.


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#EngQuiz: The Determiners (the, a, an)

Gary Oldman Oscar.jpg
Gary Oldman won an Oscar in the 2018’s ceremony (Pic from mirror.co.uk)

 

Using a determiner the, a, and an can sometimes be tricky. So, let’s have another practice to brush it up. The rules are easy: fill the blanks with the correct determiner.

TIPS: Before you start answering, read this article on determiners: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/08/21/engtips-the-determiners-the-a-an/

  1. Here is _____ useful article about gardening that I found ______ few days ago.
  2. Have you heard? It snowed in _____ Sahara.
  3. He bought me _____ ‘Orange Is the New Black’ DVD box set as _____ birthday gift.
  4. When do you plan to return _____ book to me?
  5. I think I’m going to wear _____ white shirt for _____ interview tomorrow.
  6. After performing for almost 40 years, Gary Oldman finally received _____ Oscar in 2018.
  7. Which one do you think I should take, _____ TOEFL or _____ IELTS?
  8. It’s such _____ honor to perform for _____ Queen.

 

Answers:
1.a, a
Explanation: ‘Useful’ makes a yoo sound, which sounds like there is a consonant ‘y,’ therefore it is ‘a useful article.’ ‘a few days’ is clear enough.

2.the
Explanation: The Sahara is a specific area, only one in the world.

3.an, a
Explanation: ‘Orange Is the New Black’ begins with a vowel, therefore the determiner is ‘an.’ ‘a birthday gift’ is clear enough.

4.the
Explanation: People in the conversation have already known which book the speaker is referring to, so ‘the’ is the correct article.

5.a, the
Explanation: ‘a white shirt’ is the correct form as the shirt was not specified enough. ‘the interview’ is the correct form because it is already specified that it will happen ‘tomorrow.’

6.an
Explanation: ‘Oscar’ begins with a vowel.

7.a, an
Explanation: Both noun refer to general TOEFL/IELTS, but it is also acceptable not to put any articles, since TOEFL & IELTS are already established names.

8.an, the
Explanation: Although ‘honor’ starts with a consonant, the ‘h’ is mute or unread. Therefore, we put ‘an’ as the determiner. For the second part, a nation normally has only one queen, so ‘the Queen’ is the correct form.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 26 March, 2018.


 

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#EngVocab: Suffix -Let

Suffix -let is one of many suffixes in English. It originated from Old French -elet, from Latin -āle, a neuter of adjective suffix -ālis, or from Latin -ellus, a diminutive suffix.

Adding suffix -let to a noun will create a diminutive form to the original word. For example, if we attach -let to book, we will have booklet, which means a little or a thinner book.

With an exception to bracelet, which is also a diminutive form of brace, different meanings apply to some jewelries or articles of clothing attached to our body. In such cases, attaching -let will refer to the part of our body on which the jewelries are usually worn. For example, an anklet is an ornament worn on the ankle.

There are three basic rules of using suffix -let. First, when used with an object, it generally indicates diminution in size. E.g.: Booklet, pamphlet, droplet, bracelet, etc.

When used with animals, it generally means young animals. E.g.: Piglet, froglet, deerlet, etc.

When used to refer to a human adult, it is generally depreciative. It denotes pettiness and conveys contempt. For example, princelet is used to refer to a prince who is lesser in rank or displays pettiness (narrow-mindedness).

There are over 200 words with suffix -let. Check your dictionaries often to familiarise yourself with them.

 

Source:
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/-let
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-let
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:English_words_suffixed_with_-let
Compiled and written by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 10 April 2017.

 

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#EngClass: Participial adjective – Comparative and superlative

Hello hey ho, fellas! Still following our previous discussion on ‘participial adjective’, we will talk about stating degrees of comparison.

Degrees of comparison are used when we compare one thing/person with another. There are three degrees of comparison:

  • positive,
  • comparative, and
  • superlative.

Comparative degree of comparison

Let’s start with the comparative degree. The comparative degree is used to compare
two persons or things having the same quality.

To form the comparative degree of adjectives, we usually add -er to adjective with two or less syllables. Example:

  • Taller
  • Lighter
  • Nicer

However, when forming the comparative degree of participial adjectives, we use the
word ‘more.’ Example:

Participial adjective

Comparative

Boring

More boring

Bored

More bored

Tiring

More tiring

Tired

More tired

Alarming

More alarming

Alarmed

More alarmed

 

More example:

Participial adjective

WRONG

Comparative

Relaxing

relaxinger

more relaxing

Relaxed

relaxeder

more relaxed

Interesting

interestinger

more interesting

Interested

interesteder

more interested

Confusing

confusinger

more confusing

Confused

confuseder

more confused

Superlative degree of comparison

Moving on to the superlative degree of adjective. Superlative degree denotes the existence of the highest degree of the quality. The superlative degree of adjective is used to single out one person or thing from all the rest.

To form the superlative degree of adjectives, we usually add ‘-est’ to adjective with
two or less syllables. Example:

  • Tallest
  • Lightest
  • Nicest

However, when forming the superlative degree of participial adjectives, we use the
word ‘most.
Example:

Participial adjective

Superlative

Boring

Most boring

Bored

Most bored

Tiring

Most tiring

Tired

Most tired

Alarming

Most alarming

Alarmed

Most alarmed

More example:

Participial adjective

WRONG

Comparative

Relaxing

relaxingest

Most relaxing

Relaxed

relaxedest

Most relaxed

Interesting

interestingest

Most interesting

Interested

interestedest

Most interested

Confusing

confusingest

Most confusing

Confused

confusedest

Most confused

 

That’s a wrap, fellas! I hope the explanation was clear enough. However, if you have any question on the topic, feel free to leave a message in the comment box.

 

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, April 8, 2017

 

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^MQ

#EngClass: Participial adjective (3)

One of our followers asked the question above on Twitter. Do you have a similar question? Do you get confused as to when you should use present or past participle adjective? Kalau kamu masih tulis/bilang: “I’m interesting” saat mau menyatakan “Saya tertarik,” yuk baca lagi artikel ini sampai selesai.

Participle adjectives are verbs, often ends in -ing and -ed, which are used as adjectives.  There are two types of participles: present participles (v-ing) and past participles (v2). Example:

Present participle

Past participle

Boring

Bored

Relaxing

Relaxed

Tiring

Tired

Confusing

Confused

Exciting

Excited

We use present particular adjectives (v-ing) to talk about person, thing, or situation which caused the feeling. Example:

  • “I am boring.”
    • “Aku membosankan, aku menimbulkan rasa bosan.”
  • “They are confusing.”
    • “Mereka membingungkan, mereka menimbulkan kebingungan.”
  • “The book is exciting.”
    • “Bukunya menarik. Bukunya membuat orang tertarik.”

We use past participle adjectives (v2) to talk about how someone feels. Example:

  • “I am bored.”
    • “Aku merasa bosan. Yang kurasakan adalah bosan.”
  • “They are confused.”
    • “Mereka kebingungan. Yang mereka rasakan adalah bingung.”
  • “She is very excited.”
    • “Dia sangat bersemangat. Yang dia rasakan adalah semangat.”

If we were to compare the two side by side:

Present participle

Past participle

Penyebab perasaan

Perasaan yang dirasa

[Me- -kan]

[ter-], [ke- -an]

Entertaining

Entertained

Menghibur

Merasa terhibur

More examples:

Present participle

Past participle

Boring

(Membosankan)

Bored

(Merasa bosan)

Relaxing

(Membuat santai)

Relaxed

(Merasa santai)

Tiring

(Melelahkan)

Tired

(Merasa lelah)

Confusing

(Membingungkan)

Confused

(Merasa bingung)

Exciting

(Menarik)

Excited

(Merasa tertarik)

So, what do you think? I hope the explanation was clear enough. If you still have any question, feel free to leave a comment down below, or you can also mention us on twitter.

How about having a short quiz to see how well you understand the explanation given above? Look at these sentences and choose the correct answer.

  1. I was really (boring/bored) during the lecture. It was really (boring/bored).
  2. I bought a really (interesting/interested) book last night. If you’re (interesting/interested), I can lend it to you.
  3. I heard an (alarming/alarmed) noise last night, and it kept me (alarming/alarmed) all night.

Answer:

  1. bored; boring.
  2. interesting; interested.
  3. alarming; alarmed.

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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^MQ

#EngClass: Modal verb – Can

We’ve talked about “may” and “must” in previous posts. If you happen to miss them, check these out:

“Can” is commonly used to express:

  • Ability
  • Possibility
  • Permission

“Can” is only used in the present tense. In the past tense, we use “could”. We will talk about “could” in another instance.

 

When to use “can”?

We use the modal “can” to make statements about:

slide9

  1. In statements about ability.
    • Example:
      • I can sing.
  2. In statements about possibility.
    • Example:
      • It can get very crowded on holidays.
  3. In statements about offer.
    • Example:
      • Can I help you?
  4. In statements about permission.
    • Example:
      • Can I ask you a question?
  5. In statements about instruction and request.
    • Example:
      • Can you listen to me please?
  6. In statements about prohibition.
    • Example:
      • You can’t smoke in the building.
  7. In statements about impossibility.
    • Example:
      • It can’t be true. I just met her yesterday.

 

How to use “can”?

slide11

Next, we’ll talk about how to use “can” in a sentence.

  • Like every other modal verb, “can” is followed by a bare infinitive verb.
  • To form a negative sentence, “not” is slipped in between “can” and the bare infinitive verb. The negative sentence expresses prohibition and impossibility.

 

  1. “Can” in statements about ability.
    • Example:
      • (+) I can sing.
      • (-) I can’t sing.
      • (?) Can you sing?
  2. “Can” in statements about possibility.
    • Example:
      • (+) It can get very crowded on holidays.
      • (-) It can’t get crowded even on holidays.
      • (?) Can it get crowded on holidays?
  3. “Can” in statements about offer.
    • Example:
      • (+) I can help you.
      • (-) I can’t help you.
      • (?) Can I help you?
  4. “Can” in statements about permission.
    • Example:
      • (+) You can ask me anything.
      • (-) You can’t ask me.
      • (?) Can I ask you a question?
  5. “Can” in statements about instruction and request.
    • Example:
      • (+) Can you stay still!
      • (?) Can you listen to me please?
  6. “Can” in statements about prohibition.
    • Example:
      • (-) You can’t smoke in the building.
      • (-) We can’t park at the entrance.
  7. “Can” in statements about impossibility.
    • Example:
      • (-) It can’t be true. I just met her yesterday.

 

Prohibition

Prohibition is a negative permission. It is stated with a negative statement. To state a prohibition, we use “can’t” or “cannot”.

Subject + can + not + verb

Example:

  • You cannot meet her.
    • Meaning: You are not allowed to meet her.

Stating impossibility

To state the impossible, we use a negative statement.  When stating the impossible, we add “not” after “can”.

Subject + can + not + verb

Example:

  • You can’t be serious. I don’t believe you.
    • Meaning: What you’re saying is impossible.

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, February 1, 2017


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#EngClass: Modal verb – May

In this particular session/post, we’ll talk about “may”. It is one of many modal verbs which modify main verbs. Modal verbs are often used to express an opinion or attitude about a possible fact or to control a possible action.

Modal verbs either show:

  • a decision on how certain something is (a speculation or prediction about a fact, talk about degrees of certainty, possibility, likelihood)
  • the desire to control an action (give or refuse permission, talk about obligation and necessity)

When to use “may”?

“May” is most commonly used to express possibility. Other than that, “may” is also used for the following purposes:

slide9

  1. To express future possibility.
    • Example:
      • She is very smart. I think she may get the scholarship.
  2. To give permission.
    • Example:
      • You may go out now that your homework is done.(Present)
      • You may go out after your homework is done. (Future)
  3. To ask for permission.
    • Example:
      • May I stay overnight?
  4. To talk about typical occurrences.
    • Example:
      • You may find it difficult if you drink coffee in the evening.
  5. To speculate about past actions. 
    • Example:
      • She is late. I think she may have overslept.
  6. To express wishes.
    • Example:
      • May all your wishes come true.

How to use “may”?

slide10

  • In an interrogative sentence, “may” is placed up front and followed by subject and verb.
  • To form a negative sentence, “not” is placed after the word “may”.
  • In a sentence, “may” is placed after subject and before verb.
  1. To express future possibility.
    • Example:
      •  (+) She is very smart. I think she may get the scholarship.
      • (-) I think she may not get the scholarship.
  2. To give permission.
    • Example:
      • (+) You may go out now that your homework is done.(Present)
      • (-) You may not go out. Your homework is not done.
    • Example:
      • (+) You may go out after your homework is done. (Future)
      • (-) You may not go out even after your homework is done.
  3. To ask for permission.
    • Example:
      • (?) May I stay overnight?
  4. To talk about typical occurrences.
    • Example:
      • (+) You may find it difficult to sleep if you drink coffee in the evening.
      • (-) You may not find it difficult to sleep if you drink milk.
  5. To speculate about past actions.
    • Example:
      • (+) She is late. I think she may have overslept.
      • (-) She arrived looking tired. I think she may not have overslept.

Speculating past action

slide17

“May” can also be used to form a past tense sentence to express past possibility.

  • To express past possibility, “may” is followed by “have” and past participle (verb3).
    • Example:
      • She may have been waiting in the rain. She was feverish.
  • To form a negative sentence when talking about past possibility, “not” is placed right after “may”.
    • Example:
      • She may not have been waiting in the rain. Her clothes were dry.

Giving permission in the past

slide20

To express giving permission in the past, we do not use “may”. Instead, we use “be allowed to“. Both are synonymous, except “be allowed to” can be used to give permission in the present, past and future.

  • When we talk about giving permission in the past, “be allowed to” is positioned after subject and followed by an infinitive verb. And since we’re talking a past event, we use “was” or “were”.
    • Example:
      • He was allowed to go on a holiday.
  • To form a negative sentence when talking about giving permission in the past, “not” is slipped in right after “was/were”.
    • Example:
      • He was not allowed to go on a holiday.
  • To form an interrogative sentence when talking about giving permission in the past, “was/were” is placed up front followed by the subject, “allowed to” and the infinitive verb.
    • Example:
      • Was he allowed to go on a holiday?

Feel free to ask if you have any question in relation to “may”. Simply drop a comment down below or contact us on Twitter.

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, January 18, 2017


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#EngClass: Direct and indirect object

In this post, we are going to learn about what direct object and indirect object are, and how to identify and use them in a sentence.

Direct object

A direct object is a noun, a phrase, or a pronoun that follows a transitive verbA simple sentence containing a transitive verb and a direct object usually follows this formula:

  subject + transitive verb + direct object
  • Example:
    Sally buys a watch.

Sally

buys

a watch

subject

transitive verb

direct object

A direct object answers the question “what?” or “who?” in a sentence. The direct object in the example sentence above answers the question, “What does Sally buy?”

Indirect object

Pay attention to this sentence:

Evan gives his mother a gift.

“Evan” is the subject, “gives” is the transitive verb, but which is the direct object “his mother” or “a gift”? Let’s identify the direct object by asking the question “What does Evan give?” The answer is, “Evan gives a gift,” not “Evan gives his mother.”

So what is the role of “his mother” in that sentence? Yup, you guessed it, fellas, “his mother” acts as the indirect object of that sentence.

The indirect object of a sentence is the recipient of the direct object. It always comes between a transitive verb and a direct object. If a sentence contains an indirect object, it usually follows this formula:

  subject + transitive verb + indirect object + direct object 

An indirect object answers the question “to what/whom” or “for what/whom” an action is done. Let’s ask, “To whom Evan gives the gift?” The answer would be, “to his mother”. You can also see in the example sentence that “his mother” comes between the verb and the direct object. So, that is how you identify that “his mother” is the indirect object of that sentence.

An indirect object is basically a prepositional phrase in which the preposition “to” or “for” is not stated. If a sentence contains an indirect object, you can reform it following this formula:

  subject + transitive verb + direct object + to/for indirect object

So, you can also modify the example sentence into this form:

Evan gives a gift to his mother.

This modification is useful when the direct object is a pronoun instead of a noun. For example, you might say, “My sister doesn’t use her blue purse anymore, so she handed me it,” because you want to follow the first formula.

she

handed me it
subject transitive verb indirect object

direct object

You follow a valid formula, but that sentence sounds a little weird, doesn’t it, fellas? That’s when the second formula can be useful to smooth out your sentence so that it sounds more natural.

You can modify that sentence like this, “My sister don’t use her blue purse anymore, so she handed it to me.” Now the sentence sounds more natural and can be easily understood.

she

handed it to me
subject transitive verb direct object

prepositional phrase

So now you know what direct object and indirect object are, how to identify them, and how to form a sentence using both types of object. Understanding these grammar terms also helps you deal with grammar more easily in the future.

 

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, January 12, 2016

 

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#EngClass: Non-count nouns

In this article, we will learn about non-count nouns. Most non-count nouns refer to a ‘whole’ that is made up of different parts.

Many nouns can be used as either non-count or count nouns, but the meaning is different. Examples:

  • Non-count: Anna has brown hair.
  • Count: Tim has a hair on his jacket.

To express a particular quantity, some non-count nouns may be preceded by unit expressions. For example:

  • a spoonful of sugar,
  • a glass of water,
  • a cup of coffee,
  • a quart of milk,
  • a loaf of bread,
  • a grain of rice,
  • a bowl of soup,
  • a bag of flour,
  • a pound of meat,
  • a piece of furniture,
  • a piece of paper,
  • a piece of jewelry.

The following are typical of nouns which are commonly used as non-count nouns:

  1. Whole groups made up of similar items:
    • baggage, clothing, equipment, food, fruit, furniture, garbage, hardware, jewelry, junk, luggage, machinery, mail, makeup, money/cash/change, postage, scenery, traffic, etc.
  2. Fluids:
    • water, coffee, tea, milk, oil, soup, gasoline, blood, etc.
  3. Solids:
    • ice, bread, butter, cheese, meat, gold, iron, silver, glass, paper, wood, cotton, wool, etc.
  4. Gases:
    • steam, air, oxygen, nitrogen, smog, smoke, pollution, etc.
  5. Particles:
    • rice, chalk, corn, dirt, dust, flour, grass, hair, pepper, salt, sand, sugar, wheat, etc.
  6. Abstractions:
    • beauty, confidence, courage, education, enjoyment, fun, happiness, health, advice, information, news, time, space, energy, homework, work, grammar, vocabulary, etc.
  7. Languages:
    • Arabic, Chinese, English, Spanish, etc.
  8. Fields of study:
    • chemistry, engineering, history, literature, mathematics, psychology, dentistry, etc.
  9. General activities:
    • driving, studying, swimming, traveling, walking, etc.
  10. Recreation:
    • baseball, soccer, tennis, chess, poker, etc.
  11. Natural phenomena:
    • weather, dew, fog, hail, heat, humidity, lightning, rain, sleet, snow, thunder, wind, darkness, light, sunshine, electricity, fire, gravity, etc.

 

Should you have any comment or question regarding this topic, feel free to leave a message in the comment box down below.

Compiled and written by @sherlydarmali for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, December 4,  2016

 

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#EngClass: Transitive and intransitive verbs

In this post, we will talk about transitive and intransitive verb and how those two differ. Let’s cut to the chase!

Transitive Verb

A transitive verb requires an object.

Example:

“I carry a stick.”

In the sentence above, carry is the transitive verb and a stick is the noun that acts as the object in that sentence. The object following the transitive verb can be a noun, phrase, or pronoun that is affected by the action of the verb. It always answers the question “What?” – What do I carry? I carry a stick.  Using a transitive verb without an object will make an incomplete sentence – simply saying “I carry” without an object would not make sense.

Quickanddirtytips.com has a tip for remembering the name of the verb: think of a transitive verb as transferring their action to the object.

Intransitive Verb

An intransitive verb don’t have a direct object receiving the action. It can be followed by an adverb or a prepositional phrase, but it can never be followed by a noun.

Example:

“He sits.”

The sentence is complete without an object. Therefore, sit is an intransitive verb.

“He sits” can be followed by a prepositional phrase such as “on a wooden chair”. But using a noun immediately after the verb, e.g., “He sits a wooden chair” would make an incorrect sentence because the verb can’t take an object.

However, many verbs can be both transitive or intransitive, depending on what follows them in the sentence. In one sentence, a verb may require an object, while in others it does not require an object. A few examples of verb that can be transitive and intransitive: run, play, return.

“She runs across the street.”

In the sentence above, run acts as an intransitive verb because across the street is a prepositional phrase.

“Dad runs a stationery shop.”

Run is a transitive verb in this sentence because a stationery shop is a noun that acts as the object.

If we confuse transitive and intransitive verb, our sentence may be incomplete or incorrect. Therefore, it helps to know the difference between those two kinds of verb and how to use them in a sentence.

References:

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, November 10, 2016

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#EngClass: Subject complement

Complement is the word added to complete an incomplete sentence.

Subject complement is the word that follow a linking verb and identify or describe the subject.

Linking verb: is, am, are, was, were, appear, become, feel, look, remain, sound, taste, grow, etc.

There are two kinds of subject complements:

  1. If the subject complement is a noun or pronoun, it is a predicate nominative. Predicate nominatives (nouns and pronouns) explain the subject or give another name for the subject.
  2. If the subject complement is an adjective, it is a predicate adjective. Predicate adjective describe the subject.

 

Examples:

  1. Joe is a gourmet.
    • noun subject complement (a gourmet) after verb be (is).
  2. Joe became a gourmet.
    • noun subject complement (a gourmet) after linking verb (became).
  3. The meatballs are delicious.
    • adjective subject complement (delicious) after verb of being (are).
  4. The meatballs taste delicious.
    • adjective subject complement (delicious) after linking verb (taste).

 

Practice:

Task: Find the subject complement.

Hint: look for the linking verb to help you find the subject complement.

1. Ross seems worried.
Ross
‘Ross’ is the subject
seems
‘seems’ is the linking verb
worried
Correct!
2. Some caterpillars become butterflies.
Some caterpillars
‘Some caterpillar’ is the subject
become
‘become’ is the linking verb
butterflies
Correct!
3. You look happy.
You
‘You’ is the subject
look
‘look’ is the linking verb
happy
Correct!
4. The man became furious at the delay.
The man
‘The man’ is the subject
became
‘became’ is the linking verb
furious
Correct!
at the delay
‘at the delay’ is the adverb
4. The man became furious at the delay.
The man
‘The man’ is the subject
became
‘became’ is the linking verb
furious
Correct!
at the delay
‘at the delay’ is the adverb
5. The chlorine in the pool smelled harsh.
The chlorine
‘The chlorine’ is the subject
in the pool
‘in the pool’ is an adverb phrase. In combination with ‘the chlorine’, they form a noun phrase
smelled
‘smelled’ is the linking verb
harsh
Correct!
6. This bread tastes moldy to me.
This bread
‘This bread’ is the subject
tastes
‘tastes’ is the linking verb
moldy
Correct!
to me
‘to me’ is an adverb phrase.

 
Compiled and written by @sherlydarmali for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, November 6, 2016

 

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#EngClass: Everybody – Singular or Plural?

Is ‘everybody’ singular or plural? Do you refer to ‘everyone’ with ‘him/her’ or ‘them’?
slide2

Alright alright… Let’s resolve this confusion together, shall we?

First of all; ‘everybody’ is an indefinite pronoun. Indefinite pronouns refer to nonspecific persons or things. And these are indefinite pronouns:

Somebody

Someone

Something

Everybody

Everyone

Everything

Anybody

Anyone

Anything

Nobody

None

Nothing

We use them to refer to a total number of people, things and places. We write them as one word.

Some indefinite pronouns, despite the illogic, are always singular. One of them is ‘everybody’. In this particular post, we’ll specifically talk about one of the: ‘everybody’.

 

‘Everybody’ in formal English

While ‘everybody’ seems like a plural noun, since it refers to a crowd of people, it is actually a singular subject. It refers to ONE group of people.

slide6

We use ‘everybody’ with singular verbs.

Example:

  • Everybody knows the truth.
    • ‘knows’ is a singular verb

When we want to refer back to ‘everybody’ and we don’t know if it’s a group of males or females, we use ‘him or her’ and ‘his or her’.

Example:

  • Everybody has his or her own desk.
    • ‘his or her’ is a singular pronoun.

Okay. We hereby determine that ‘everybody’ is singular.

slide9

 

‘Everybody’ in informal English

Now, how many of you have HEARD of people referring back to ‘everybody’ by using ‘them‘?

As mentioned above, despite being illogical, it is grammatically correct to treat ‘everybody’ as singular, especially in formal English.

However, when people talk, logic wins, so you will hear plural pronouns such as ‘them’. We use ‘them’ in informal conversations.

Example:

  • Everybody was putting a smile on their face.
    • ‘their’ is a plural pronoun.

slide10

Anyone confused yet? So is ‘everybody’ singular or plural? Let’s clarify things up, shall we?
slide11

I hope that last image helped solve the confusion, fellas. Feel free to mention us or leave a comment if you have any question. We’ll solve it together.

 

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, October 19, 2016

 

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#EngClass: Time related adverb clause

Adverb clauses are subordinate clauses that show relationships between ideas related to time, cause and effect, contrast and condition.

 

Some common used time related adverb clauses:

  1.  After means after that moment. ‘After’ takes the present for future events and the past or past perfect for past events.
    • Example:
      • After she graduates, she will get a job.
  2. Before means before that moment. ‘Before’ takes after the simple past or the present.
    • Example:
      • l left before he came.
  3. When means at the moment, at that time. ‘When’ takes either the simple past or the present. The dependent clause changes tense in relation to the when clause.
    • Example:
      • When I got there, he had already left.

 

There are others time related adverb clauses like while as, by the time, since, until, etc. Okay, why don’t you try some exercises.

Practice:

1. We will finish after he ……….
comes
correct!
came
2. He was talking on the phone when I ……….
arrive
arrived
correct!
3. I will leave before he ……….
comes
correct!
came
4. When I was in Chicago, I ……….. the museums.
visit
visited
correct!
5. When it began to rain, I ………. under the tree.
stand
stood
correct!
6. I washed the dishes when my daughter ………. asleep.
fall
fell
correct!
7. When I ………. him tomorrow, I will ask him.
see
correct!
saw

 

Composed and written by @sherlydarmali for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, October 16, 2016

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