Category Archives: English

#GrammarTrivia: “make” vs “do”

DYK? “Make” and “do” can be confused in English because their meanings are so similar.

Since the difference between “make” and “do” is tested on the TOEFL, it is good to learn how to distinguish them.

  • “Make” has the idea of creating or constructing.
  • “Do” often has the idea of completing or performing.

Sederhananya, penggunaan “make” biasanya mengacu pada adanya perubahan dalam suatu proses, sedangkan “do” digunakan jika tidak ada perubahan.

Example for “make” usage:

  1. She likes to make her own clothes.
  2. Would you like to make a cake for dessert?

Example for “do” usage:

  1. The students are doing the assignments.
  2. This morning she did all the dishes.

Compiled by @ChatrineYK at  on September 06, 2011

#GrammarTrivia: zero plural

DYK? “zero plural” is another name of a plural form when a noun has the same exact form between its singular and plural form.

Some examples of nouns having a “zero plural”: a sheep – several sheep; a series – some series; one Chinese – many Chinese.

Compiled and written by at on September 9, 2011

#USSlang: American slang (4)

  1. All wet. Meaning: completely wrong.
    • Example:
      • “Your ideas about politics are all wet.”
  2. Blown away. Meaning: greatly impressed.
    • Example:
      • “I was blown away by your attitude.”
  3. Booze. Meaning: alcohol.
    • Example:
      • “I need some booze tonight.”
  4. Break it up. Meaning: stop it.
    • Example:
      • “Break it up or I will call your parents.”
  5. Con. Meaning: deceive (menipu).
    • Example:
      • “Don’t try to con me!”
  6. Cut. Meaning: dilute (melarutkan).
    • Example:
      • “Could you cut my juice with a little water? It’s too sweet.””
  7. Dork. Meaning: strange person.
    • Example:
      • “Oh… He’s such a dork…”
  8. Flaky. Meaning: unreliable (tidak dapat diandalkan).
    • Example:
      • “He’s too flaky to do those things.”
  9. Goofy. Meaning: foolish, silly.
    • Example:
      • “She’s so goofy! We couldn’t stop laughing!”
  10. Have a buzz on. Meaning: slightly intoxicated.
    • Example:
      • “I had a buzz on after the third glasses of beer.”
  11. Heaved. Meaning: vomited.
    • Example:
      • “I heaved on the floor last night.”
  12. Pain in the neck. Meaning: annoying.
    • Example:
      • “My friend is a pain in the neck.”

Compiled and written by @Patipatigulipat at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, September 3, 2011

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#IOTW: Idioms of The Week (3)

  1. Come clean. Meaning: berterus-terang, mengaku.
    • Example:
      • “She said a couple of lies and refused to come clean.”
  2. Safe and sound. Meaning: selamat.
    • Example:
      • “We arrived in Jakarta safe and sound.”
  3. Break a leg. Meaning: good luck.
    • Example:
      • Break a leg in the competition next week, friend!”
  4. A walk in the park. Meaning: pekerjaan yang sangat mudah.
    • Example:
      • “I aced the math exam, it was like a walk in the park.”
  5. Let’s call in a day. Meaning: upaya menghentikan suatu pekerjaan.
    • Example:
      • “That’s enough. Let’s call it a day and go home!”
  6. Smell something fishy. Meaning: sesuatu yang mencurigakan.
    • Example:
      • “I smell something fishy in the accident.”
  7. Don’t rain on my parade. Meaning: jangan merusak rencana saya.
    • Example:
      • “Oh, please! Don’t rain on my parade!”
  8. Take a rain check. Meaning: mengatur janji bertemu di lain waktu.
    • Example:
      • “I’d love to go with you tomorrow, but I’m busy. Could we take a rain check?”
  9. Miss the boat. Meaning: kehilangan kesempatan.
    • Example:
      • “Pay attention to this lesson or you’ll miss the boat.”
  10. Bug. Meaning: mengganggu.
    • Example:
      • “Don’t bug me on this.”

Compiled and written by @Patipatigulipat at @EnglishTips4U on Friday, September 2, 2011



#EngTips: greeting people we haven’t seen for a long time

There are many ways of greeting people that we haven’t seen for a long time, both formal and informal. Here are some of the examples.

  • Formal:
  1. “What have you been up to all these years?”
  2. “I’m so happy to see you again.”
  3. “It has been a long time.”
  • Informal:
  1. “Long time no see.”
  2. “How come I never see you?”
  3. “Where have you been hiding?”
  4. “It’s been ages since we last met.” 

Compiled by @ChatrineYK at  on August 30, 2011

#EngProverb: English proverbs (3)

  1. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” – When you are away from someone you love, you love them even more.
  2. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” – A person’s character is more important than their appearance.
  3. “Losers weepers, finders keepers” – If you lose something you weep, if you find something you keep it.
  4. “Marry in haste, repent at leisure” – If you get married too quickly, you may spend all your life regretting it.
  5. “The truth is in the wine” – People speak more freely under the influence of alcohol.
  6. “To err is human, to forgive divine” – It is human nature to make mistakes, therefore one should forgive.
  7. “Stolen fruit is the sweetest” – What is forbidden is the most tempting.
  8. “Put all your eggs in one basket” – Risk everything by relying on one plan.
  9. “Loose lips sink ships” – Disclosing important information could result in large.
  10. “If life deals you lemons, make lemonade” – You should make the best of a bad situation.

Compiled by @Patipatigulipat at @EnglishTips4U on August 27, 2011

#EngClass: interjections

Interjection merupakan seruan atau kata seru dalam Bahasa Inggris. Banyak sekali contoh interjection misalnya: “Oh!”, “Um…”, “Ah!” Kurang lebih mirip seperti Bahasa Indonesia yang banyak kata-kata seruannya juga.

Interjection sebenarnya berfungsi agar suatu kalimat jadi tidak kaku. Bayangkan kalau kita berbicara dengan teman tanpa kata seruan. Rasanya datar bukan?

  1. “Ah”. Makna: mengungkapkan kepuasan. Example: Ah, that feels good.
  2. “Ah”. Makna: terkejut. Example: Ah! I’ve won!
  3. “Alas”. Makna: berkabung atau sedih. Example: Alas, she’s dead now.
  4. “Dear”. Makna: kasihan. Example: Oh dear! Does it hurt?
  5. “Dear”. Makna: terkejut. Example: Dear me! That’s a surprise!
  6. “Eh”. Makna: meminta pengulangan. Example: It’s hot today. “Eh?” I said it’s hot today.
  7. “Eh”. Makna: menekankan pertanyaan. Example: What do you think of that, eh?
  8. “Eh”. Makna: meminta persetujuan. Example: Let’s go, eh?
  9. “Er”. Makna: keraguan. Example: Monalisa is made by… er… Leonardo da Vinci.
  10. “Hello”. Makna: terkejut. Example: Hello! My car is gone!
  11. “Hello”. Makna: mengucap salam. Example: Hello mom. How are you today?
  12. “Hey”. Makna: meminta perhatian. Example: Hey! Look at that!
  13. “Hey”. Makna: menungkapkan rasa senang. Example: Hey! What a good idea!
  14. “Hmm”. Makna: keraguan. Example: Hmm… I’m not sure about that…
  15. “Oh”. Makna: kaget. Example: Oh! You’re here!
  16. “Oh”. Makna: seperti memohon. Example: Oh, please say ‘yes’!
  17. “Ouch”. Makna: seperti kesakitan. Example: Ouch! That hurts!
  18. “Uh”. Makna: keraguan. Example: Uh… I don’t know if it’s true…
  19. “Uh-huh”. Makna: menyetujui. Example: Shall we go? “Uh-huh”.
  20. “Um or umm”. Makna: keraguan. Example: She likes… um… to dance.
  21. “Well”. Makna: awal sebuah ucapan. Example: Well, what did he say?
  22. “Meh”. Makna: ungkapan ketidaktertarikan akan suatu hal. Example: How was your weekened? “Meh!” (Thanks to @kaoshitam for adding this word)
  23. “Naah” or “Nah”. Makna: ungkapan penolakan tentang sesuatu hal. Example: Naah! That’s not what I’m trying to explain. (Thanks to @kaoshitam for adding this word)

Dengan adanya interjection, sebuah percakapan di layar komputer atau handphone akan terasa lebih akrab.

Compiled by @Patipatigulipat at @EnglishTips4U on August 26, 2011

#EngTips: abbreviations used in speaking or texting

  1. gonna = is/am going to (do something). Example: I’m gonna call him now.
  2. wanna = want to. Example: I wanna speak to you.
  3. gotta = has/have got to (or have got). Example: I gotta go!
  4. ain’t = isn’t/haven’t/hasn’t. Example: He ain’t finished yet.; I ain’t seen him today.
  5. ya = you. Example: Do ya now what I mean?
  6. lemme = let me. Example: Lemme see… tomorrow’s a good time.
  7. gimme = give me. Example: Gimme your pencil
  8. kinda = kind of. Example: The baby’s kinda cute.
  9. whadd’ya = what do you… . Example: Whadd’ya mean, you don’t want to watch the game?
  10. whatcha (1) = what are you… . Example: Whatcha gonna do?
  11. whatcha (2) = what have you… . Example: Whatcha got there?
  12. shoulda = should have. Example: You shoulda done it!

Compiled by @ChatrineYK at  on August 25, 2011

#EngClass: Linking verb

Linking verb adalah kata kerja penghubung yang menghubungkan subjek dengan pelengkap yang menerangkannya. Linking verb juga dikenal dengan istilah ‘copulas’ atau ‘copular verb.’ Linking verb menyatakan suatu keadaan, bukan suatu aksi. Oleh karena itu, linking verb biasanya diikuti oleh adjective, bukan adverb.

Linking verb terbagi dalam 2 kelompok, yaitu:

  1. Verbs that are always linking verbs.
  2. Verbs that can be both action and linking verbs.

Berikut ini adalah linking verb yang selalu berfungsi sebagai linking verb:

  1. segala bentuk be (am, is, are, was, etc.)
  2. become
  3. seem

Sementara itu, linking verb yang dapat berfungsi sebagai action verb dan linking verb:

  • appear,
  • feel,
  • grow,
  • look,
  • prove,
  • remain,
  • smell,
  • sound,
  • taste,
  • turn.


subject + linking verb + information about the subject.


  1. “I am happy.”
  2. “She looks nice.”
  3. “The soup smells good.”

Lalu, bagaimana kita bisa mengetahui kapan suatu verb pada kalimat tertentu berfungsi sebagai linking verb atau action verb? Jika kita bisa mengganti verb tersebut dengan “is, am, are” dan artinya masih terdengar masuk akal, maka ia adalah linking verb. Jika setelah diganti, arti dari kalimat tersebut tidak terdengar masuk akal, maka ia berfungsi sebagai action verb. Contoh:

  1. “My dog Oreo felt the wet grass beneath her paws.”
    • Is Oreo the wet grass? No. “Felt” di sini berfungsi sebagai action verb.
  2. “The chicken mushroom pizza smells heavenly.”
    • The pizza is heavenly? Yes, definitely! “Smell” berfungsi sebagai linking verb.

Compiled by @ChatrineYK at @EnglishTips4Uon Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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#EngTrivia: weird English words

We know that English is a wonderful language. However, there are some weird English words that come from many other languages.

Have you ever heard of ‘erinaceous’? It means like a hedgehog.

Another word is ‘floccinaucinihilipilification’. It means estimation that something is valueless.

How about ‘selcouth’? It means unfamiliar, rare, strange, wonderful. Example: The List Universe is such a selcouth website!

We all know that the day before yesterday is ‘kemarin lusa’ in Indonesian. There is also one word for this sentence in English. It is ‘nudiustertian’.

There’s also ‘mungo’. Mungo is a dumpster diver – one who extracts valuable things from trash.

And last but not least, you can call a weak or foolish person ‘pronk’.

Compiled by at on August 20, 2011

#EngTips: the determiners = the, a, an

What are determiners actually? Those are words placed in front of a noun to make it clear what the noun refers to. There are several classes of determiners.

For today’s lesson, we will discuss definite and indefinite articles: ‘the’, ‘a’, and ‘an’.

Let’s start with the definite article: ‘the’. ‘The’ can be used in many ways.

  1. To refer to something which has already been mentioned. Example: I just bought an umbrella. — Then you forgot and ask your friend: Where is the umbrella?
  2. When both the speaker and listener know what is being talked about. Example: Where is the bathroom? | It’s on the first floor.
  3. In sentences or clauses where we define or identify a particular person or object. Example: My house is the one with a red door.
  4. To refer to objects we regard as unique. Example: the sun, the moon, the world.
  5. Before superlatives and ordinal numbers. Example: the first page, the last chapter.
  6. With adjectives, to refer to a whole group of people. Example: the Indonesian.
  7. With names of geographical areas and oceans. Example: the Caribbean, the Sahara.
  8. With decades or groups of years. Example: She grew up in the eighties.

How about the indefinite articles: ‘a/ an’?

You can use ‘a’ with nouns starting with a consonant and use ‘an’ with nouns starting with a vowel. Example: a boy, an apple, a surgery, an officer.

However, there are some exceptions.

  • You use ‘an’ before an ‘h’ mute: an hour, an honour.
  • And you use ‘a’ before ‘u’ and ‘eu’ when they sound like ‘you’: a European, a university, a unit.

You can use the indefinite article in many ways too.

  1. To refer to something for the first time. Example: I’ve finally got a great job.
  2. To refer to a particular member of a group or class. Example: Mary is a doctor. She’s such a beautiful girl.

Don’t forget that there are some exceptions in using the definite article. There is no article for following situation.

  1. Names of countries (if singular). Example: He’s just returned from Indonesia.
  2. Names of languages. Example: Chinese is a pretty difficult language.
  3. Names of meals. Example: Dinner is in the evening.
  4. People’s names (if singular). Example: Andrew is my uncle. We’re having lunch with’ the’ Morgans tomorrow.
  5. Titles and names. Example: President Obama is going to Jakarta. ‘The’ Pope.
  6. After the ‘s possessive case. Example: His sister’s bag.
  7. Professions. Example: He’ll probably go into medicine.
  8. Names of shops. Example: I’ll get the card at Century.
  9. Years. Example: Do you remember 1998?
  10. Uncountable nouns. Example: War is destructive.
  11. Names of individual mountains, lakes, and islands. Example: Have you visited Lake Toba?
  12. Most names of towns, streets, stations, and airports. Example: She lives in Florence.
  13. Some fixed expressions. Example: by car, by train, on holiday, at work, in bed, etc.

Compiled by at on August 19, 2011

#EngTrivia: English fun facts (1)

  1. ‘Rhythm’ is the longest English word without a vowel.
  2. The word ‘queue’ is the only word in English language that is still pronounced the same way when the last 4 letters are removed. 
  3. There are only 4 English words in common use ending in ‘-dous.’ They are hazardous, horrendous, stupendous, and tremendous. 
  4. ‘Underground’ is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters ‘und.’
  5. Only two English words in current use end in ‘-gry.’ They are ‘angry’ and ‘hungry.’
  6. Of all the words in the English language, the word ‘set’ has the most definitions. 
  7. There are more than 125 English dialects worldwide: Each dialect uses English in its own way, from pronunciation to construction.


Compiled and written by @ChatrineYK at  on Tuesday, August 16, 2011


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#EngClass: Non-progressive vs. progressive verbs

What is a “nonprogressive verb”? Sebelumnya mari kita bedakan verb (kata kerja) ke dalam 2 kelompok: nonprogressive dan progressive

  1. nonprogressive verb adalah verb yang tidak bisa digunakan dalam bentuk progressive (bentuk -ing).
  2. progressive verb adalah verb yang bisa digunakan dalam progressive (bentuk -ing).

Mengapa demikian? Karena nonprogressive menyatakan existing state (keadaan yang ada) sementara progressive  menyatakan activity (kegiatan).


  1. nonprogressive:
    •  “I love you.” (love = a state)
  2. progressive:
    •  “She is watching a movie.” (watching = an activity)

Ingat, yang dimaksud dengan “state” adalah kondisi yang ada dan tidak menjelaskan aktivitas yang sedang berlangsung.

Berikut ini adalah 5 kategori nonprogressive verbs yang umum digunakan:

  1. mental state (keadaan mental):
    • “know,” “realize,” “understand,” “believe,” “think,” “feel,” “suppose,” “imagine,” “doubt,” “recognize,” “remember,” “forget,” “want,” “need,” “prefer,” “mean,” etc.
  2. emotional state (keadaan emosional):
    • “love,” “like,” “appreciate,” “hate,” “dislike,” “fear,” “envy,” “mind,” “care,” etc.
  3. possession (kepemilikan):
    • “possess,” “have,” “own,” “belong.”
  4. sense perceptions (persepsi indera):
    • “taste,” “smell,” “hear,” “feel,” see.
  5. other existing states (jenis keadaan yang lain):
    • “seem,” “look,” “appear,” “cost,” “owe,” “weigh,” “be,” “exist,” “consist of,” “contain,” “include.”

Selain nonprogressive verbs yang sudah pasti tadi, ada beberapa verb yang bisa digunakan sebagai nonprogressive maupun progressive, tetapi dengan arti yang berbeda. Contoh dari beberapa verb itu adalah:

  • “think,” “have,” “taste,” “smell,” “feel,” “see,” “look,” “appear,” “weigh,” “be.”

Mari kita lihat perbedaannya dalam contoh:

  • I think grammar is easy.” (think = a state = nonprogressive)
  • I’m thinking about this lesson.” (thinking = an activity = progressive)

Compiled and written by at on Sunday, August 14, 2011



#EngGame: solve these riddles (2)

  1. It’s the beginning of eternity; the end of time and space; the beginning of every end; and the end of every place. What is it?
  2. Which letter is not me?
  3. The person who makes it, sells it. The person who buys it never uses it. The person who uses it doesn’t know they are. What is it?
  4. The more you have of it, the less you see. What is it?
  5. What kind of pet always stays on the floor?
  6. It is greater than God and more evil than the devil. The poor have it, the rich need it and if you eat it you’ll die. What is it?
  7. What letter of the alphabet has got lots of water?
  8. Forward I’m heavy, but backwards I’m not. What am I?
  9. What four letters frighten a thief?
  10. What is the word that everybody always says wrong?



  1. E
  2. U (you)
  3. coffin
  4. darkness
  5. carpet
  6. nothing
  7. C (sea)
  8. ton
  9. O I C U (Oh I see you!)
  10. wrong

Compiled by @EnglishTips4U on August 13, 2011

#EngQuote: English quotes (2)

  1. “You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” ~ Saul Bellow
  2. “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” ~ Stephen King
  3. “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” ~ John Steinbeck
  4. “Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.” ~ Jules Renard
  5. “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” ~ Truman Capote

Compiled by at on August 13, 2011

#EngTrivia: Same word, different meanings in UK and US

The differences between British and American English are somehow interesting. A word can have different meanings. Here are some of the words that we found pretty funny.

  1. Bogey. Meaning:
    • In UK: dried nasal mucus.
    • In US: an unidentified aircraft, often assumed to be that of an enemy.
  2. Entrée. Meaning:
    • In UK: starter of a meal.
    • In US: main course of a meal.
  3. Fall. Meaning:
    • In UK: to become pregnant.
    • In US: autumn.
  4. First floor (of a building). Meaning:
    • In UK: the floor above ground level.
    • In US: the floor at ground level (sometimes).
  5. Intern. Meaning:
    • In UK: replacement.
    • In US: one temporarily employed for practical training.
  6. Redcap. Meaning:
    • In UK: a military police officer.
    • In US: a baggage porter (as at a train station).
  7. Through (time). Meaning:
    • In UK: for a period of time, during.
    • In US: up to, until.
  8. Mate. Meaning:
    • In UK: friend.
    • In US: spouse or partner.


Compiled and written by at on Friday, August 12, 2011

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#EngProverb: English proverbs (2)

  1. “A loaded wagon makes no noise.” – Really wealthy people don’t talk about money.
  2. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” – Working too hard and not taking the time to have fun is bad for you.
  3. “Hunger is a good sauce.” – All food tastes good when you are hungry.
  4. “However long the night, the dawn will break.” – Bad things don’t last forever.
  5. “An idle brain is the devil’s workshop.” – One who has nothing to do will be tempted to do many mischievous acts.
  6. “Faint heart never won fair lady.” – To succeed in life one must have the courage to pursue what he wants.
  7. “Strike while the iron is hot.” – Seize a good opportunity as quickly as possible.
  8. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” – One usually desires another more when he/she is far away.
  9. “Laugh and the world laughs with you.” – When someone is in a happy and cheerful mood, people like being with him.
  10. “He who hesitates is lost.” – If you delay your decision too long, you may miss a good opportunity.
  11. “A chicken and egg question.” – A mysterious question which can’t be answered.
  12. “Diligence is the mother of good fortune.” – Working hard will bring you riches and success.
  13. “Every man has his faults.” – No one is perfect.
  14. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” – A small preventive treatment wards off serious problems.
  15. “An onion a day keeps everyone away.” – A humoristic version of “an apple a day…”. LOL :D
  16. “Haste makes waste.” – Things that are done in a hurry are usually done sloppily and may contain careless mistakes.
  17. “Old habits die hard.” – It is difficult to change a long-time habit.
  18. “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” – Laughter is the best way to break the ice between strangers/enemies.
  19. “What goes around, comes around.” – How you treat people is how you will eventually be treated.

Compiled and written by @ChatrineYKat on August 10, 2011

#EngClass: Sentence

A sentence is the major unit of grammar for language, especially in written form. A sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period or full-stop [.] or sometimes with a question mark [?] or a exclamation mark [!].

Still remember what a clause is, right? Simple sentence consists of one clause; and more than one clause in a complex sentence. There are four sentence types, they are:

  1. a statement
    • Example:
      • “I like you.”
      • “She didn’t know you’re here.”
      • “We are happy it’s Ramadan again.”
  2. a question
    • Example:
      • “Are you OK?”
      • “Can you hear me?”
      • “Did you call me when I was doing my homework?”
  3. an imperative
    • Example:
      • “Open the door.”
      • “Stop writing.”
      • “Don’t cheat during the test.”
      • “Eat a lot of vegetables.”
  4. an exclamation
    • Example:
      • “What a great idea!”
      • “Wow, that was awesome!”
      • “Congratulations!”
      • “How lucky you are!”

Compiled and written by  for  Saturday, August 6, 2011