Category Archives: grammar

#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.

    @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.


#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.

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.

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.

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.

BBC Learning English,
English Practice, Be + infinitive,
Grammaring, 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:

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

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.

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.

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

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on

In recent years, more people using adverbs without -ly.
“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.


#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.’

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.
“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.


#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


Base verbs are verbs that can be used in their original forms.
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)
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.
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.








#EngKnowledge: Common Misconceptions in English Learning

Hi, hello, fellas! How are you?

With the increasing use of English in every field, English proficiency is a must-have skill. We in Indonesia, however, could find a lot of challenges when trying to learn English, some of them came from the misconceptions that we still believe to be true until now.

By changing our mindset about these misconceptions, we will be better prepared to embrace English learning or learning any other foreign languages as a part of our daily life.

What are those misconceptions?


abstract blackboard bulb chalk
Photo by Pixabay on

English (or any foreign languages) is hard. I will never be good at it.
Trust me, fellas, I also had the same mindset when I first started learning English. It turned out that it was just in my mind. And so, I tried a variety of learning methods. One that helped me a lot was doing a lot of exercise and practice, whether it was reading, listening, or structure/grammar. Take your time while learning something new and be patient with yourself.

We can learn English better and faster with a native speaker.
Not always true. Most native speakers learn English through language acquisition when they were young, which means they might not experience the difficulty of learning a new language at a later age. Native speakers can often follow English grammar patterns without knowing what that grammar pattern is, so they can use English well but might not be able to teach it.

I can never master the correct British/American/Australian accent.
Again, this is not always true, fellas. With practice, you can acquire the accent, but the more important thing is the correct pronunciation as well as your confidence in yourself to use English on a daily basis.

Grammar is the most important part of English learning.
The correct statement is all elements of English learning are equally important. Grammar at times can be the most intimidating part, but as you grow to love what you are learning and notice the pattern on which a grammar is used, you will find no difficulties using grammar.

Someone who speaks English is more intelligent than others.
Proficiency in English does not equate intelligence, fellas. It’s true that by being proficient in English, the opportunity to learn new things will open widely. However, it will depend on the person whether he/she/they can use the opportunity and the resources well, including understanding the subject.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 13 January 2020.


#GrammarTrivia: Irregularities in Subject-Verb Agreement (2)

Hello, fellas. Tonight we have the second session of several irregularities in subject-verb agreement.


People, police, and cattle are plural nouns and followed by plural verbs, even though they do not end in –s.

Many people learn English to study overseas.

Some nouns of nationality ending in –sh, -ese, and –ch can refer to language or people, e.g., English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, French. They can be followed by singular or plural verbs.

Chinese is an international language.
The Chinese are hard workers.

Several adjectives can be preceded by the and used as a plural noun (with no final –s) to refer to people having the quality, e.g., the poor, the rich, the young, the elderly, the living, the dead, the blind, the deaf, the disabled.

The young want a change.


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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, January 6, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Irregularities in Subject-Verb Agreement

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn some irregularities in subject-verb agreement.

Sometimes a proper noun (the name of a particular person, place, or object spelled with a capital letter) that ends in –s is followed by a singular verb because it is singular. The singular pronoun it is used if the noun is changed to a pronoun.

The United Nations has 193 member states.

News is a singular noun.

Bad news is good news.

Fields of study ending in –ics are followed by singular verbs.

Economics is interesting.

Several illnesses which end in –s require singular verbs, such as diabetes, measles, mumps, rabies, rickets, shingles.

Measles is an infectious disease producing small, red spots all over the body.

Expressions of time, money, and distance are usually followed by a singular verb.

Five dollars is enough to pay.

Arithmetic expressions require singular verbs.

One and three equals four.

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary: 4th Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, December 24, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Stative Verbs

Hello, fellas. Our session today is about stative verbs.

(More: and

Stative verbs are verbs which have stative meanings. They are used to describe states: existing conditions or situations. They are usually not used in progressive tenses.

Verbs having stative meanings:

  1. Mental state: know, realize, undertand, recognize, believe, feel, suppose, thinks*, imagine*, doubt*, remember*, forget, want*, need, desire, mean*
  2. Emotional state: love, like, appreciate, please, prefer, hate, dislike, fear, envy, mind, care
  3. Possession: possess, have*, own, belong
  4. Sense perceptions: taste*, smell*, hear, feel*, see*
  5. Other existing states: seem, look*, appear*, sound, resemble, look like, cost*, owe, weigh*, equal, be*, exist, matter, consist of, contain, include

Note: Verbs with an asterisk (*) have stative and progressive meanings and uses.


1) The food tastes delicious.
In the sentence above, tastes describes a state that exists.

2) The chef is tasting the sauce in his kitchen.
This example describes the action of the chef putting something in his mouth and actively tasting its flavor.

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

Compiled and written @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, December 8, 2019

#EnGrammar: Rather Than

Hi fellas, Have you studied English today?

Today we will discuss how to use “rather than” in the sentence. Let’s get started!

Basically, the role of “rather than” depends on the type of sentence in which it’s being used.

Rather than in sentences, it functions as an adverb, conjunctions and prepositions.

1. As an adverb, to indicate a preference, degree, or accuracy.


I would rather not go.

” She is a doctor, or rather, a surgeon.”

2. As a conjunction, parallel grammatical constructions appear on each side of rather than.


“For exercise, I walk rather than run.”

” Rather than repair the car, I prefer to buy a new one.”

3. As a preposition, rather than is synonymous with instead of and begins subordinate clauses.


Rather than driving, he rode his bike to work.

“Rather than using dried herbs, he picked fresh ones from the garden.”

#GrammarTrivia: The Subjunctive in Noun Clauses

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to use the subjunctive in noun clauses.

Sentences using the subjunctive usually carry the meaning of importance or urgency. A subjunctive verb only uses the simple form of a verb. There is no present, past, or future form in the subjunctive. Its verb is neither singular nor plural. A subjunctive verb is used in noun clauses with that following certain verbs and expressions.

Verbs and expressions followed by the subjunctive in noun clauses:

it is essential
it is imperative
it is important
it is critical
it is necessary
it is vital

1) She demands that I be on time.
2) The teacher insisted that we do the homework.
3) He recommended that they (should) not go to the stadium.
(Should is also possible after recommend and suggest)
4) It is necessary that she be forgiven.
(Passive: simple form of be + past participle)
5) I suggested that they (should) make a decision immediately.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on  Wednesday, November 20, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Using “How About” and “What About” (Revisit)

Hello, fellas. How are you today? In this session we will learn the use of how about and what about.


The meaning and usage of how about and what about are the same. Both carry the meaning of suggestions or offers. How about and what about precede a noun (or pronoun) or the –ing form of a verb.


1) A: We need an additional player.
B: How about (What about) Danny? Let’s ask him if he wants to join.

2) A: What should we do tomorrow?
B: How about (What about) going to the beach?

How about and what about are commonly used in informal spoken English, but are frequently not used in writing.

How about you? and What about you? refer to the information or question immediately preceding them.


1) A: I’m hungry. How about you?
B: Yes. I’m hungry too.

2) A: Are you tired?
B: No. What about you?
A: I’m a little tired.


Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, November 7, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Using ‘Which’ to Modify a Whole Sentence

Hello, fellas. Today we will learn how to use which to modify a whole sentence. Which is usually used in a clause modifying a noun or a relative clause (an adjective clause)

(More on relative clauses: and

A sentence is modified by which in informal and spoken English. It is not generally deemed appropriate in formal writing. If it is written, a comma comes before it to reflect a pause in speech.


1) Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League. That did not surprise me.
Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League, which did not surprise me.

2) We are facing a long dry season. This is too horrible.
We are facing a long dry season, which is too horrible.

The pronouns that and this refer to the ideas of the previous sentences “Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League” and “We are facing a long dry season”. Then, they are replaced by which.

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

Compiled and written  by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Parallelism Structure

Hello fellas, how are you doing? Today we will discuss #GrammarTrivia Do you know what is “Parallelism” in English?

Parallelism or Parallel structure is important, especially in Academic circles or in the Business Corp. So whether you speaking or whether your writing this principle of Parallelism will help you to communicate more effectively.

Parallelism is speaking or writing technique in which you can communicate more powerfully by balancing different part of your sentence.

Let’s check some examples of Parallelism sentences:

1. Verb + Verb

E.g :Janet sings and dances.”

We see verb (sings) and verb (dances), so that sentence is Parallelism.

2. Gerund + Gerund

E.g: “We enjoy reading and cooking.”

We see gerund (reading) and (cooking), so that sentence is Parallelism.

3. Infinitive noun + Infinitive noun

E.g: “I like to watch movies and to travel abroad.”

We see that infinitive and noon (to watch movie) and infinitives and noun (to travel abroad).

4. Adverb + Adverb

E.g: “The Police acted quickly and carefully.”

We see that (quickly) and adverb (carefully), so that sentence is Parallelism.

5. Noun + Noun ( for long sentences)

E.g: “The Job demands professional qualifications, the ability to manage others and experience working around the globe.”

The parallelism structure of that sentence is become:

“The Job demands professional qualifications, managerial ability and global experience.”

Sometimes, it is very normal to write sentences there are not Parallel in the beginning, but after you correct them to become parallel structure, your writing or speaking are becoming more powerfully.

Fellas, you can learn more completely about parallelism structure from this video:

That’s all for today and See you tomorrow!

Compiled and written by @2013happyy for @englishtipsforyou on Wednesday, October 23, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: The Use of ‘The’ or No Article with Names

Hello, fellas. This session is still related to when we should use articles or not.

(More: and

1) The does not precede titled names.
I saw Mr. Jones.
Doctor Charles graduated in 2004.
President Obama spent his childhood in Indonesia.

2) The does not come before the names of continents.
There are many great football players in Europe.
Africa is often hit by starvation.

3) The names of most countries are not preceded by the.
Germany produces several prominent scientists.
Massive floods took place in China.

4) The comes before the names of only a few countries, such as the United States, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, the Dominican Republic.
Donald Trump is the President of the United States.
Euro 1988 was won by the Netherlands.

5) The is not used with the names of cities.
Kuala Lumpur was the capital city of Malaysia.
There are many football clubs in London.

6) The is used with the names of rivers, oceans, and seas.
The Nile River is in Africa.
The Indian Ocean is known for its wave.

7) The does not precede the names of lakes.
Samosir lies in the middle of Lake Toba.

8) The comes before the names of mountain ranges.
Many tourists visited the Alps.

9) The is not used with the names of individual mountains.
They climbed Mount Merapi.

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, October 13, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: The Use of ‘The’

Hello, fellas. This session is still related to the previous session about the use of an article.


Beside a/an, the other article is the. The precedes

1) singular count nouns
e.g. the cat

2) plural count nouns
e.g. the cats

3) noncount nouns
e.g. the fruit

The is used when the speaker and his/her listener are thinking about the same specific person(s) or thing(s).
e.g. Have you fed the cat?

In the example above, the speaker and the listener are thinking about the same specific cat. The listener knows which cat the speaker is talking about. There is only one cat about which the speaker could be talking.

The is also used when the speaker mentions a noun the second time.
e.g. I had a book. I gave the book to Sally.

I had a book constitutes the first mention. In the second mention, the listener knows which book the speaker is talking about: the book the speaker had.

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Using “A” or No Article for Generalization

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to use a or no article. A or no article is used when a speaker is making a generalization.

A comes before a singular noun when a generalization is expressed.

1) A leaf is green.
2) A cat makes a good pet.

In the above-mentioned examples, the speaker is talking about any leaf and any cat, all leaves and all cats, leaves and cats in general.

No article is used when a speaker is making a generalization with a plural count noun.

3) Leaves are green.
4) Cats make good pets.

The meaning of these examples is similar to that of example 1 and 2. Sometimes an expression of quantity (e.g., almost all, most, some) is used in a generalization.

5) She saw some cats in her room.
6) Most students read books.

If a generalization is about an uncountable noun, no article is used.

7) Milk is good for your health.
8) Fruit contains vitamins.

Some can be used in the generalization of an uncountable noun.

9) Can you get me some food?
10) He drank some milk.

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, September 14, 2019