Category Archives: grammar

#GrammarTrivia: Inverted Subjects and Verbs with Negative Expressions or Comparisons

In the session titled #GrammarTrivia: Omitting If, we have learned the inversions of subjects and verbs in conditional sentences. When a conditional sentence contains should, were, or had, the subject and verb of the if-clause are inverted. Inversion is also possible in sentences with negative expressions or comparisons.

(More on Omitting If: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/11/10/grammartrivia-omitting-if/)

1) Inversion with Negative Expressions

A negative expression, when it precedes a subject and verb, causes them to be inverted. It is to emphasize the negative element of the sentence.
List of negative expressions:
– no
– rarely
– not
– hardly
– never
– only
– neither
– rarely
– nor
– scarcely
– seldom

Examples:
1. Never were they so enthusiastic.
2. Hardly does she attend the class.

2) Inversion with Comparisons

Inverting the subject and verb of a sentence which contains a comparison is optional and rather formal.

Examples:
1. China is larger than Japan.
2. China is larger than Japan is.
3. China is larger than is Japan.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Deborah Phillips, Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, November 19, 2018

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#GrammarTrivia: Noun Clauses with ‘If’ or ‘Whether’

Hello, fellas. How is life today? In this session we are going to learn noun clauses beginning with if or whether. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a noun clause is a clause used as a subject or an object of a sentence.

(More on noun clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/02/06/engclass-noun-clause/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2013/02/04/grammartrivia-noun-clause/)

When a noun clause begins with if or whether, it means that the clause is changed from a yes/no question. There is no difference in meaning between noun clauses using if and whether. However, whether is more formal and if is more common in speaking.

Examples:

1. Yes/No Question: Will he go?
Noun Clause:
a) They know whether he will go.
b) They know if he will go.

2. Yes/No Question: Does she understand the lesson?
Noun Clause:
a) We wonder whether she understands the lesson.
b) We wonder if she understands the lesson.

The expression or not may be added in noun clauses.

Examples:

1. We wonder whether or not she understands the lesson.
2. We wonder whether she understands the lesson or not.
3. We wonder if she understands the lesson or not.
4. Whether she understands the lesson or not is unimportant to us.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Omitting If

Hello, fellas. In this session we are going to discuss another form of conditional sentences. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a conditional sentence typically comprises of a conditional clause (an if-clause) as well as a result clause. However, the sentence can also be made without using if.

(More on conditional sentences: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/06/04/engclass-conditional-sentences-revisit/)

To omit if in a conditional sentence, make sure that the if-clause contains should, were, or had (past perfect). After if is omitted, the subject and verb of the if-clause are inverted.

Examples:

  1. If you should need my help, please tell me.
    Should you need my help, please tell me.
  2. If I were you, I would buy the book.
    Were I you, I would buy the book.
  3. If they had prepared themselves better, they would have passed the test.
    Had they prepared themselves better, they would have passed the test.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Deborah Phillips, Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Verbs + Gerunds/Infinitives

Hello, fellas. How is your first day in November? Let’s start this session with a question. Which one is correct: Lionel Messi began playing football since his childhood or Lionel Messi began to play football since his childhood?

Today we are going to discuss verbs and their objects, especially gerunds and infinitives. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, some verbs can come before gerunds or infinitives. However, the meaning can be similar or different.

1) No difference in meaning
begin, like, hate, start, love, can’t stand, continue, prefer, and can’t bear

Examples:
She began writing a book.
She began to write a book.

The two sentences carry no difference in their meaning. A gerund is usually used if the main verb is progressive, e.g.: She was beginning to write a book.

Note:
prefer + gerund: I prefer watching a movie to reading a book.
prefer + infinitives: I prefer to watch a movie than (to) read a book.

2) A difference in meaning
remember, forget, regret, and try

remember + gerund: remember or recall something that took place in the past
e.g.: He remembers going to the beach.

remember + infinitive: remember to perform responsibility, duty, or task
e.g.: He remembers to open the window.

forget + gerund: forget something that took place in the past
e.g.: They forget playing football together.

forget + infinitive: forget to perform responsibility, duty, or task
e.g.: They forget to pay the bills.

regret + gerund: regret something that took place in the past
e.g.: We regret watching the movie.

regret + infinitive: regret to say, to tell or inform someone of some bad news
e.g.: We regret to tell him about his failure.

try + gerund: experiment with a new or different approach to see if it works
e.g.: I try accessing the computer file.

try + infinitive: make an effort
e.g.: I try to understand trigonometry.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Reduced Adverb Clauses of Time (2)

Hello, fellas. On August 2, 2018, we learned how to reduce adverb clauses of time. There are two ways of reducing the adverb clause of time: (1) omit the subject and be (if any); or (2) if there is no be, omit the subject and change the verb to its –ing form. However, there are still other ways of the reduction.

(More on reduced adverb clauses of time: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/08/02/grammartrivia-reduced-adverb-clauses-of-time/)

If a sentence begins with an –ing form, it may be due to the reduction of an adverb clause of time using while, expressing the idea of “during the same time”.

Examples:

While I was walking to school, I witnessed a car accident.

Walking to school, I witnessed a car accident.

An adverb clause of time beginning with when can also be shortened to upon/on + -ing.

Examples:

When I finish my study, I will come back to Indonesia.

Upon finishing my study, I will come back to Indonesia.

On finishing my study, I will come back to Indonesia.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, October 26, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Expressing Necessity using ‘Have Got To’

Hello, fellas. In English, necessity can be expressed using must, have to, and have got to. For the use of must and have to has ever been discussed, this session is going to focus on that of have got to.

(More on the use of must and have to: https://englishtips4u.com/2014/06/09/grammartrivia-the-use-of-must-and-have-to/)

Even though have got to also carries the meaning of necessity, it is more typical to use have got to in spoken and informal English.

Examples:

1) I have got to take the IELTS test.

2) She has got to study hard.

In speech, have got to is usually pronounced gotta and have is omitted.

Example:

We gotta go to the bank.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Expressing Cause and Effect with “Such…That” and “So…That”

Hello, fellas. Our session today is about other ways of expressing cause and effect relationship. Usually it is introduced by prepositions, like because of and due to, or conjunctions, such as because.

(More on cause and effect: https://englishtips4u.com/2012/01/10/engclass-because-for-since-as-because-of-due-to/)

However, we can use the following constructions to show cause and effect.

1) Such…that
Such…that is used with a modified noun. The pattern is:
such + adjective + noun + that
Examples:
1. It was such a sunny day that we went to the beach.
2. She wrote such interesting books that everyone wanted to read them.

2) So…that
An adjective or adverb is enclosed by so…that. The pattern is:
so + adjective/adverb + that
Examples:
1. The day was so sunny that we went to beach.
2. Luka Modric performed so well that he was named as the best player.

So…that can also be used with expressions of quantity: many, few, much, and little.
Examples:
1. They had so little water that we could not take a bath.
2. She wrote so many books that she was awarded a prize.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Michael A. Pyle and Mary Ellen Muñoz Page, Cliffs TOEFL Preparation Guide

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, October 11, 2018

#EngVocab: ‘The Same’, ‘Similar’, ‘Like’, and ‘Alike’

Hello, fellas. Our session today is about some vocabularies with similar meaning – the same, similar, like, and alike – and how to use them in a sentence.

The same and similar are adjectives. However, same is always preceded by the.

Examples:

1) Jane and Mary have the same personalities.

2) Jane and Mary have similar personalities.

3) Their personalities are the same.

4) Their personalities are similar.

The other difference between the same and similar lies in the prepositions following them. As comes after the same, while to follows similar.

Examples:

1) Your smartphone is the same as mine.

2) Your smartphone is similar to mine.

There may be a noun between the same and as.

Example:

Jane is the same age as Mary.

There is a slight difference between like and alike. Like precedes a noun, but alike never comes before a noun.

Examples:

1) The house looks like a palace.

2) The two sisters are alike.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition
Deborah Phillips, Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, September 28, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: ‘You’, ‘One’, and ‘They’ as Impersonal Pronouns

Hello, fellas. How is it going in the end of September? Our session today is about impersonal pronouns.

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a pronoun refers to a noun. The noun it replaces is called the antecedent. Based on their antecedents, pronouns are divided into two categories: singular pronouns and plural pronouns. A singular pronoun refers to a singular noun. On the other hand, the antecedent of a plural pronoun is a plural noun.

Sometimes, pronouns are used to refer to no antecedent. They are called impersonal pronouns. There are three impersonal pronouns: you, one, and they. You and one carry the same meaning as they refer to “any person, people in general”. However, you is less formal than one and more common in everyday English.

Examples:

1) You should pay to attention to the announcement. (informal)

2) One should pay to attention to the announcement. (formal)

As an impersonal pronoun, they means “some people or somebody” in spoken English. However, the antecedent is implied or not stated.

Example:

Why did Ann lose her job?

They fired her.

On the sentence above, they refers to the people for whom Ann worked.

Sources:

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, September 29, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Am/Is/Are Being + Adjective

Hello, fellas. Can you guess the differences between these two sentences: Tom is funny and Tom is being funny? One difference lies in the tense used in them. The first sentence uses simple present tense, while the second is written in present progressive tense. Due to the different tenses, the meaning they carry is not similar either.

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, the use of simple present tense shows that an event or a situation exists in the past, present, and future. On the other hand, present progressive tense means that an event or a situation started in the past, is in progress when it is being said, and will probably end in the future.

(More on simple present tense and present progressive tense: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/10/09/engclass-simple-present-tense-positive/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2011/10/16/engclass-present-progressive-tense-positive/)

Present progressive tense may also be used with an adjective. The pattern is am/is/are being + adjective. It expresses someone’s temporary and uncharacteristic behaviour. However, only some adjectives can be used with such pattern: bad (ill-behaved), careful, cruel, fair, foolish, funny, generous, good (well-behaved), illogical, impolite, irresponsible, kind, lazy, logical, loud, nice, noisy, patient, pleasant, polite, quiet, responsible, rude, serious, silly, unfair, unkind, and unpleasant.

Based on the explanation above, in the first sentence Tom is known to be a funny person on a daily basis. On the contrary, as described by the second sentence, funny is not his characteristic.

Other examples:

1) Bill is generous.
This sentence means that generosity is Bill’s characteristic behaviour.

2) Bill is being generous.
In this example, Bill is said not to be generous in his daily life.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, September 20, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Using ‘Since’ and ‘For’ in Present Perfect Tense

Hello, fellas. How is life today? In this session we are going to learn about time signals frequently used in present perfect tense. They are since and for.

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, present perfect tense mainly consists of have/has + past participle. It shows that an event occurred or never occurred before now. The time when the event took place is not important.

(More on present perfect tense: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/13/engclass-present-perfect-tense-vs-simple-past-tense/)

However, present perfect tense carries different meaning when since or for is used. Present perfect tense with since or for means that something happened in the past and continues to the present.

There is a difference between since and for. Since is followed by a particular time, while for precedes a duration of time.

Examples:

1) Indonesia has existed since 1945.

2) The students have played football for an hour.

Sources:

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Noun + of Which

Hello, fellas. After learning about how to use expressions of quantity in relative clauses last week, today we are still going to have a session on another form of relative clauses. It is the use of noun + of which.

(More on expressions of quantity in relative clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/08/30/grammartrivia-expressions-of-quantity-in-relative-clauses/)

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, the pattern has the same meaning of whose. In other words, both of them show possession. Noun + of which is used in a relative clause modifying a thing and more common in formal written English. It is preceded by a comma.

(More on whose: https://englishtips4u.com/2014/06/01/engclass-how-to-use-who-whom-and-whose/)

Example:

1) Leo Tolstoy wrote a novel. The title of the novel is Anna Karenina.

    Leo Tolstoy wrote a novel, the title of which is Anna Karenina.

2) The student bought a book. The price of the book was affordable.

     The student bought a book, the price of which was affordable.

3) They like Indonesian food. The taste of the food is spicy.

     They like Indonesian food, the taste of which is spicy.

Source:

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, September 5, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Expressions of Quantity in Relative Clauses

Hello, fellas. Today we are going to learn about expressions of quantity in relative clauses. An expression of quantity is used to express the number or amount of something. It may precede a noun whose number or amount it describes. Several examples of expressions of quantity are one, two, each, every, both, some, several, a few, a little, many, much, most, etc.

(More on expressions of quantity: https://englishtips4u.com/2017/03/05/engclass-expressions-of-quantity/)

In relative clauses, expressions of quantity with of come before the pronouns. However, the pronouns are only whom, which and whose. This pattern is preceded by a comma and more common in writing than speaking.

Examples:

1) There are 23 players in the German national team. Most of them are from Bayern Munich. (There are 23 players in the German national team, most of whom are from Bayern Munich.)

2) Pramoedya Ananta Toer wrote several books. Two of them are “Bumi Manusia” and “Anak Semua Bangsa”. (Pramoedya Ananta Toer wrote several books, two of which are “Bumi Manusia” and “Anak Semua Bangsa”.)

3) Students are reading the biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One of his works is “The Marriage of Figaro”. (Students are reading the biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of whose works is “The Marriage of Figaro”.)

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Sunday, August 26, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Abridged Noun Clauses

Hello, fellas. In this session we are going to learn about the abridgement of noun clauses. A noun clause is a clause used as the subject, object or complement of a sentence. It can begin with a question word (who, whom, what, which, where, when, whose, why or how), that, if or whether.

(More on noun clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/02/06/engclass-noun-clause/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2013/02/04/grammartrivia-noun-clause/)

Noun clauses beginning with one of the question words or whether can be abridged. However, the abridgement is only possible if these requirements are fulfilled:

1) The main clause and the noun clause have the same subject or the subject of the noun clause is the same as the object of the main clause; and

2) The noun clause contains a modal verb either can/could or should.

There are 3 steps in the abridgement of noun clauses:

1) Omit the subject;

2) Omit the modal verb; and

3) Change the verb into an infinitive.

Examples:

1) I know what I should do. (I know what to do.)

2) She told me when I should go. (She told me when to go.)

3) Students learn how they could write journals. (Students learn how to write journals.)

Source:

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Sunday, August 19, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Adjective Clauses as the Object of a Preposition

Hello, fellas. In everyday usage, the subject and verb of an adjective clause (relative clause) precede a preposition. On the other hand, to make it more formal, the clause is used as the object of the preposition.

(More on relative clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/08/engclass-relative-clause/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/09/engclass-relative-clause-2/)

According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a preposition is a word used before its object (a noun, a noun phrase, or a pronoun), connecting it to another word. It usually shows a temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of a sentence. Examples of prepositions are about, at, by, for, from in, on, through, to, with, and without.

(More on prepositions: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/09/17/engclass-prepositions/)

If the preposition is followed by the adjective clause, pronouns to use are only whom or which. It is never followed by that or who.

Examples:

  • He is the man whom we talk about.

         He is the man about whom we talk.

  • The lecturer whom you should listen to is explaining course materials.

         The lecturer to whom you should listen is explaining course materials.

  • The view which we look at is breath-taking.

         The view at which we look is breath-taking.

  • Surabaya is the city which I live in.

         Surabaya is the city in which I live.

(in which has the same meaning as where)

Source:

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

GrammarBook.com, https://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/probPrep.asp

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Sunday, August 12, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Reduced Adverb Clauses of Reason

After discussing reduced relative clauses and reduced adverb clauses of time, today we are going to learn the reduction of adverb clauses of reason.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/07/26/grammartrivia-reduced-relative-clauses/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2018/08/02/grammartrivia-reduced-adverb-clauses-of-time/)

Adverb clauses of reason are also called adverb clauses of cause and effect. They are introduced by conjunctions, such as because, now that, since, due to the fact that, and owing to the fact that. Like the other kinds of adverb clauses, they function as the dependent clause in a sentence.

(More on adverb clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/10/13/engclass-adverbial-clause/)

The reduction of an adverb clause of reason to an adverbial phrase is only possible when its subject is the same as the subject of the main clause. Omit the conjunction, so that it is not included in the adverbial phrase, and change the verb to its –ing form.

Example:

Because she lives far from her family, Nancy does everything herself.
Living far from her family, Nancy does everything herself.

Having + past participle means because.

Example:

Because I have read the novel, I want to give it to you.
Having read the novel, I want to give it to you.

It is also possible to change be in an adverb clause of reason to being.

Example:

Because she was sick, she did not attend the class.
Being sick, she did not attend the class.

Source:

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Friday, August 10, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Reduced Adverb Clauses of Time

Hello, fellas. Last week we learned how to reduce relative clauses.

(More on reduced relative clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/07/26/grammartrivia-reduced-relative-clauses/)

In this session, we are still going to discuss the reduction of clauses. It is the reduction of adverb clauses of time.

(More on adverb clauses of time: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/10/13/engclass-adverbial-clause/)

In a sentence, an adverb clause functions as the dependent clause. It must be attached to the main clause or the independent clause (More on clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/01/26/engclass-clause/). An adverb clause of time begins with a conjunction, such as after, before, since, when, and while.

The reduction of an adverb clause of time to an adverbial phrase is only possible when its subject is the same as the subject of the main clause. There are two ways of reducing the adverb clause of time:

1) Omit the subject and be
Example:
While I was studying, I fell asleep.
While studying, I fell asleep.

2) If there is no be, omit the subject and change the verb to its –ing form
Example:
Jane has lived abroad since she pursued her education.
Jane has lived abroad since pursuing her education.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, August 2, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Reduced Relative Clauses

Hello, fellas. How is it going? Today we are going to learn how to reduce relative clauses. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a relative clause is a dependent clause modifying a noun. Further information about a noun is described, identified, or given by the clause. It is also called an adjective clause.

(More on relative clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/08/engclass-relative-clause/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/09/engclass-relative-clause-2/)

Relative clauses with relative pronouns as subjects (who, which, or that) can be reduced to adjective phrases.

There are two ways in which a relative clause is changed to an adjective phrase:

1) If the relative clause contains be, omit the pronoun and be.
Relative clause: The research which was conducted by the students is published.
Adjective phrase: The research conducted by the students is published.

2) If there is no be in the relative clause, omit the pronoun and change the verb to its –ing form.
Relative clause: Students who conduct research should write in journals.
Adjective phrase: Students conducting research should write in journals.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, July 26, 2018