Category Archives: grammar

#EngClass: Inflection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion: inflection is any type of word modifications.

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

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

#EngClass: Fewer vs. Less

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#EngClass: Analogy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#EngClass: ‘Very’ vs. ‘So’ (REVISIT)

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

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

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

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#EngClass: Redundancy in English

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

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exactly. @AM_Ihere: Lebih paham download daripada unduh.

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

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

#GRAMMARTRIVIA: LOWERCASE AESTHETIC

Fellas, have you ever heard of ‘lowercase aesthetic?’ It’s the act and art of turning our auto-capitalisation off and type all letters in lowercase. Examples, as taken from Billie Eilish’s YouTube channel:

How, when, and why did this trend start?

In English, and many other languages from every part of the world, we begin a sentence with an uppercase or a capital letter. The title of something also carries the capitalisation rule with it. The word ‘I’ is always typed as an uppercase.

But when it comes to internet language or online conversation, particularly a social media post or text messages, we often disregard grammatical rules including capitalisation as long as it doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence.

Lauren Fonteyn, a linguistics lecturer at the University of Manchester who studies language on the internet, concluded this phenomenon, as quoted by Mashable on this article: the surprising reasons we turn off autocaps and embrace the lowercase.

The lowercase movement can be traced back to 2015 or even earlier, when social media started seeing its ever-increasing popularity. It’s become an unwritten norm on the internet, what’s more with notable public figures or celebrities popularising it.

Those who favour lowercase believe that lowercase is more than just a utility; it subtly conveys that the person using all lowercase is hip, casual, and chill, doesn’t get riled up by little things. In short, all lowercase helps with one’s online persona. Uppercase is reserved for specific context, like conveying excitement or putting emphasis on certain word(s).

Some of the lowercase users also believe that using all lowercase in non-professional setting is somewhat liberating. It means that after hours and hours being constrained by grammatical rules while at work, one finally gets to be themselves by using all lowercase. By this, we can assume that lowercase users feel that using all lowercase is a way to express themselves.

Another interesting point to note is that many lowercase users are found on online communities, namely fandoms, where using all lowercase gives them a sense of being a part of something, a sense of belonging.

What do you think about this phenomenon, fellas? Share your thoughts.

@slvywn: i’ve been dong this for years because it looks better on my eyes

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 18 February 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#GrammarTrivia: Be + To Infinitive
#GrammarTrivia: Be Supposed to
#GrammarTrivia: Irregularities in Subject-Verb Agreement (2)
#GrammarTrivia: Objects of Prepositions
#GrammarTrivia: Using ‘of’ in Expressions of Quantity

#ENGCLASS: SUFFIX -ING

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

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

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

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

Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#ENGTRIVIA: ‘TO WAIT’ AND ‘TO AWAIT’

“I have been …-ing for two hours.”
Which word is the correct one to fill the blank, fellas? ‘Wait’ or ‘await’?

“I’m …-ing your response.”
‘Wait’ or ‘await’?

On this article, we are going to discuss the difference between ‘to wait’ and ‘to await’.

Essentially, ‘to await’ goes in line with ‘to wait for’. It requires an object. However, the object is often an inanimate object (Indonesian: benda mati).
For example, we can say:
“I’m awaiting a letter from my family.”
But we cannot say:
“I’m awaiting you.”

Meanwhile, it’s correct to say:
“I’m waiting for a letter from my family.”
Or:
“I’m waiting for you.”

Photo by Ju00c9SHOOTS on Pexels.com

You might be thinking, “But, isn’t the first example use ‘waiting for’?”

Keep in mind that the phrasal verb ‘to wait for’ can also be used to indicate the duration. So, ‘waiting for two hours’ doesn’t necessarily signify we are expecting those two hours to come.

Another difference is that ‘to await’ is considered more formal than ‘to wait for.’ For example, at the end of our work-related email, we could write, “I’m awaiting your response.” It has the same formality as, “I’m looking forward to hearing from you.”

The last but not least, we often find ‘to wait’ paired with other verbs in the same sentence.
Example:
“I’m waiting in line to board the plane now.”
There is the verb ‘to board’ aside of ‘to wait.’

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 21 December 2020.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngGrammar: Will and Would
#EngQuiz: See, Look, Watch
#EngQuote: Patience
#EngTrivia: Commonly Confused Words (2)
#GrammarTrivia: Awhile vs. A While

#ENGCLASS: PARADOX

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

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

Penrose triangle (picture by Wikipedia)

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

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

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

Example:

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

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

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

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

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

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Oxymoron
#EngClass: Simile
#EngClass: Simile and Metaphor
#EngClass: Simile with “As”
#EngTrivia: Anastrophe

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

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

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

‘Through’ and ‘throughout’

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

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

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

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

‘Across’ and ‘along’

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

Formal and informal words

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

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

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

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

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

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngQAs 6 July 2020: ‘in the bed’ or ‘on the bed,’ How to Improve English for Children, and Is Grammar Important?

#EngQAs: Grammar

#EngQAs: Grammar (2)

#EngQAs: Grammar (3)

#EngQAs: Some Questions from Fellas on Twitter

Expressing purpose using ‘so that’

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to express using so that.
Like in order to, so that expresses purpose. The word that is often omitted in speaking.

Example:
I turned off the radio so (that) my friend could sleep.

When the idea of ability is being expressed, so that is often used instead of in order to. Can is used in the adverb clause for a present/future meaning. Furthermore, could is used after so that in past sentences.

Examples:
1) I am going to earn money so that I can buy the book.
2) I earned money so that I could buy the book.

Sometimes, the simple present is used after so that in place of will. It carries a future meaning. Would is used in past sentences.

Examples:
1) I will have a breakfast so that I will not be hungry.
2) I will have a breakfast so that I am not hungry.
3) Yesterday I had a breakfast so that I would not be hungry.

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

#EngKnowledge: Twitter Handles to Expand Your Vocabularies

Many of us are on self-quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only to keep ourselves safe and healthy, we are doing this to prevent further transmission of the virus to other people with whom we interact. We might not be showing symptoms (asymptomatic), but it does not always mean we are not carrying the virus with us. For me, it is better to be safe than sorry.

However, being on self-quarantine does come with challenging times. Eventually, I noticed my sleep pattern changes as I sleep or take frequent naps during the day and stay awake almost the whole night. Do you also experience the same?

I figured that I needed to find new interests to keep me busy and I decided to read and learn more especially about topics that I had never really touched before the pandemic.
Recently, I completed the 30-day word challenge by Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Merriam Webster
Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s Twitter handle

On this article, I’m going to share some accounts that will help you expand your vocabularies and learn grammar effectively.
1. Merriam-Webster dictionary
@MerriamWebster provides you with Word of the Day, the background story behind words and phrases, and trending words.

  1. Dictionary.com
    @Dictionarycom also provides word of the day and trending words, with quite a sassy and hilarious manner.
  2. The Oxford English Dictionary
    My most favourite feature of @OED is its Word of the Year, which doesn’t only cover the most searched word of the year as it might also introduce a new word that is widely used but not registered on any dictionaries yet.
  3. The Yuniversity
    @The_YUNiversity posts daily vocabulary and grammar lessons in just a few tweets and helpful infographics. Its explanation is also really easy to comprehend. Bonus: KPop fans will relate so much to this handle.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 11 June 2020.


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#GrammarTrivia: Be + To Infinitive

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to use be + to infinitive.

Be + to infinitive is used to express formal or official arrangements or to give formal instructions or orders.

Examples:
1) The Prime Minister is to visit Indonesia next month. (formal or official arrangements)
2) All students are to attend the class. (formal instructions or orders)

The structure is often used in newspaper, radio and television reports to talk about future events and expresses near certainty.

Examples:
1) The government is to increase tobacco duty.
2) A man is to appear in court this morning charged with the murder of the footballer.

Be + to infinitive is commonly used in conditional sentences to express a precondition.

Examples:
1) They will have to study hard if they are to pass the exam.
2) If I am to catch the train, I shall have to go now.

Sources:
BBC Learning English, https://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv103.shtml
English Practice, Be + infinitive, https://www.englishpractice.com/improve/infinitive/
Grammaring, BE + TO-infinitive, https://www.grammaring.com/be-to-infinitive

Compiled and written @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

#GrammarTrivia: Objects of Prepositions

Hello, fellas. This session is about objects of prepositions. They are objects following prepositions in prepositional phrases.

Common prepositions are:
about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, besides, between, beyond, by, despite, down, during, for, from, in, into, like, near, of, off, on, out, over, since, through, throughout, till, to, toward(s), under, until, up, upon, with, within, without

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

The object of a preposition is a noun, pronoun, gerund, or noun clause. Objects of prepositions are not the subject of a sentence.

Examples:
1) The student comes to the library.
2) They studied together without you.
3) She is interested in learning English.
4) The teacher is thinking about what he can do to motivate her students.

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 Tuesday, Februari 18, 2020

#EngTalk: Adverbs without -ly

Hi, fellas! Most of us know that an adverb is a part of speech which is usually (not always) formed by adding the suffix -ly to an adjective.

Example:
Usual –> usually
Regular –> regularly
Beautiful –> beautifully
Angry –> angrily
Actual –> actually
Bad –> badly
Kind –> kindly

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In recent years, more people using adverbs without -ly.
Example:
“He spoke loud and clear.”

The sentence still makes sense, too, because we understand that ‘he’ who spoke did so in a loud and clear way.

Naturally, it became a hot topic; should we omit -ly from an adverb? What do you think, fellas?

@pepe_2604: Hello there. I’m an English teacher in Mexico. I’ve found lots of changes in the language, not only a foreign but mine as well, due to media content, among other factors. So, I think it’s not a big issue to avoid -ly in an adverb since we face different problems for spoken production, and if we manage to make our students confident about producing a spoken language, I see no big deal with it. It is not that I don’t care but I can deal with it in further lessons.

 

I personally am used to putting -ly on an adverb. However, languages were developed to help humans understand each other. As long as we could understand what the sentence means, especially on spoken interaction, I think it’s fine.

The case could be different on written materials, where using proper grammar will help us understand the context better. But that’s just my personal opinion. What do you think, fellas?

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 6 February 2020.


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

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

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

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

Grammy_Award_2002
The Grammy (picture by Wikipedia).

Yes, the answer is ‘to.’

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

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

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

 

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


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#EngGrammar: Infinitive Verbs

Hi, fellas, how are you today?

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

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

text on shelf
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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

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

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

 

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


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