Category Archives: tips

#EngGrammar: Tenses for IELTS Writing Task 1

Hi, fellas. Today we are still going to discuss IELTS Writing Task 1. However, this discussion will focus on the use of tenses.

1) Past Tenses

a. Past Simple Tense

This tense is used to report events or trends occurring in the past.

e.g. In 2008, British parents spent an average of around £20 per month on their children’s sporting activities.

b. Past Perfect Tense

Past perfect tense is used when we report what happened before a particular time in the past. It can also be used to mention an event or trend taking place earlier.

e.g. By 2000, 12.4% of the US population had reached the age of 65 or more.

2) Present Simple Tense

Present simple tense is used to describe a process.

e.g. The cycle of the honey bee begins when the female adult lays an egg; the female typically lays one or two eggs every 3 days. Between 9 and 10 days later, each egg hatches and the immature insect, or nymph, appears. 

3) Future Tense

a. Simple Future Tense

Simple future tense is used to describe events or trends which will occur in a particular time in the future.

e.g. The proportion of foreign students will reach a peak at 60% in 2020.

b. Future Perfect Tense

Future perfect tense is used to describe events or trends which will occur before a particular time in the future.

e.g. The number of cars will have increased significantly by 2024.

In formal writing, expressions other than will are used to predict the future, e.g. be likely to, be predicted to, be projected to, and be going to.

e.g.

The population is predicted to rise to 22 million in 2025.

By 2021, the population of Australia is projected to have reached 23.3 million.

Sources:

Ebrahim Tahasoni, Master IELTS Visuals (Academic Writing Task One): Course Materials & Supplements for Academic Candidates

Diana Hopkins and Pauline Cullen, Cambridge Grammar for IELTS with answers: Self-study grammar reference and practice

http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2016/09/ielts-writing-task-1-separate-line-graphs-answer.html

http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2013/01/ielts-writing-task-1-life-cycle-essay.html

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, June 14, 2018

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#EngTips: Paraphrasing

Hi, Fellas. How is it going? Today’s discussion is about one important element of writing. It is paraphrasing. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “paraphrase” means “to say (something that someone else has said or written) using different words”. It is essential that we understand paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism and prepare for IELTS test.

There are several methods of paraphrasing. Here they are:

Using Synonyms

This is probably the most commonly used method. Words can be replaced by their synonyms with no change in meaning. Remember, you do not need to change all words in a sentence.

e.g.:

  • Parents should teach their children to cooperate.
  • Parents should educate their kids to collaborate.

Changing Active Voice into Passive Voice, or Vice Versa

This method cannot be used for all kinds of sentences because only transitive sentences (sentences containing objects) can be changed into passive voice.

e.g.:

  • Deforestation causes global warming. (active voice)
  • Global warming is caused by deforestation. (passive voice)

Nominalization

According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, nominalization is “the process of making a noun from a verb or adjective”.

e.g.:

  • The price of oil rises. [rise (verb)]
  • There is a rise in the price of oil. [rise (noun)]

Incorporating Data

This is a method of paraphrasing related to numbers.

e.g.:

  • From 1990 to 2000, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.
  • In ten years, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.
  • In a decade, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.

Adding Information

To paraphrase using this approach, it is better for you to add information which has already become general knowledge.

e.g.:

  • Many Indonesian scholars study in London, Paris, and Berlin.
  • Many Indonesian scholars study in European cities.

Joining Sentences Using Conjunction

Conjunction is a part of speech connecting words, phrases, clauses, or sentences, for instance: and, but, because, although, etc.

e.g.:

  • Students learn English. They want to pursue their education abroad.
  • Students learn English because they want to pursue their education abroad.

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, May 24, 2018

#BusEng #EngKnowledge: Old-School Career Rules for Millennials

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Picture from Pexels/Wordpress

People who were born from 1981 to 1997 are often being referred to as millennial generation or simply ‘millennials.’ This age group is also the one who prides itself as 90s kids, as the people who belong to it spent their childhood and teenage era in the 90s.

Now, most millennials have grown up to the productive age when they start working as professionals. Fast-thinking, self-assured, and a high adaptability to technology are often considered as millennial workers’ strengths.

Sadly, millennials often get labelled as disloyal, quickly jumping from one job to the next, having high expectation, and having a great deal of entitlement. Millennials also tend to get bored easily. If they feel they are stuck, they will find a way to be unstuck, which makes them seem difficult to deal with. These traits make millennials easily misunderstood by their coworkers and employers who are from older generation.

So, how can millennials solve this? I’d like to share several old-school career rules that millennials can apply to their professional life.

  1. Communication matters.
    Even when we’re working in the same workplace, people come from varied backgrounds. This means that we need to explain ourselves from time to time. So, there shouldn’t be ‘I thought you already knew’ or ‘Nobody told me that.’
  2. Be on time.
    By being on time (or early, if possible) we show people that we respect their schedule and we take them seriously. Besides, a delay often leads to other delays. If we don’t finish a task in a timely manner, it is very likely that the other tasks are delayed. In a fast-paced working environment, things can easily get out of hand.
  3. Eyes on the details.
    Be it on the way we dress, the way we write our emails with proper and acceptable manners in business relationship, or the way we refrain ourselves from checking our phones during important meetings, pay attention to small details. Again, we want to show our partners that working with them is important to us.
  4. Never underestimate any tasks.
    “I didn’t spend 5 years in the university only to work on Excel spreadsheets,” was my thought on the first day of my first job. Do you also have a similar experience, fellas? Well, no matter how much we dislike trivial assignments, they are actually necessary to learn the workflow at the workplace. If we can handle trivia, we can always ask for more responsibilities to our supervisor.
  5. Give time for a change to happen.
    Oftentimes, we as millennials want to see some changes to immediately happen once we utter the ideas. A new coworker to share our workloads with, a promotion, a more challenging position, or anything similar. What we should realize is that our supervisor or employer makes a decision that concerns many other people. Therefore, they might take some time before making up their mind.

 

That’s all I can share, fellas. Let us as millennials be a good example for our generation, while also being an agent of change to the workforce.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 7 May, 2018.


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#GrammarTrivia: Brackets

Hello, fellas! How’s your day?

Today we will talk about “brackets.” Here we go! 

Brackets are symbols mainly used as separator for additional information to a sentence or a main content. If we remove the brackets, the sentence would still make good sense. There are two main types of brackets: round () and square []. British English (BrE) and American English (AmE) define them differently.
BrE: (  ) = round brackets or brackets

AmE: (  ) = parentheses

BrE: [  ] = square brackets

AmE: [  ] = brackets

Round brackets or parentheses are used to add extra information to a sentence.

E.g.: “Lake Toba (Indonesia: Danau Toba) is the largest volcanic lake in the world and is in Sumatra, Indonesia.” 
Round brackets or parentheses are used to indicate plural or singular nouns.

E.g.: “My new shelf need book(s).”
Round brackets or parentheses are used to add a personal comment.

E.g.: “Kuta Beach is the most beautiful beach in Bali. (I prefer Sanur Beach  to Kuta Beach.)”
Round brackets or parentheses are used to define abbreviations.

E.g.: “The link above will take you to a PDF (Portable Document Format) version.”

Square brackets are used to modify another person’s words, especially when we want to make it clear that the modification has been made by us, not by the original writer. 

E.g.: 

The witness said: “He [the policeman] hit me.”
Square brackets are used to add information.

E.g.: “The two teams in the finals of the first FIFA Football World Cup were both from South America [Uruguay and Argentina].”
Square brackets are used to add missing words.

E.g.: “It is [a] good question.” 
Square brackets are used to modify a direct quotation.

E.g.:

He “love[s] driving.” (The original words were “I love driving.”)
That’s all for today, fellas! I hope it’ll be useful for you. Good night!
Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U. Saturday, March 10, 2018.

#EngTalk: How to Start a Conversation

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Image by WordPress

 

Sometimes, we could feel nervous when we are about to start a conversation in English. The feeling of awkwardness of saying something in a foreign language, coupled with the concern about saying something wrong or grammatically incorrect, could be overwhelming.

However, the more you familiarise yourself with speaking in English, the more confident you could be. Therefore, always practice when you have a chance. You can start with everyday conversation with a friend or a colleague.

When passing a friend on a hallway at school or meeting somewhere else, we can say:
– How are you?
– Hey, what’s up?
– Hi, how is it going?

If it’s a colleague at work, a more formal interaction is expected. We can start with:
– How are you today?
– What have you been up to lately?
– How was your weekend? (if weekend has just passed) OR Have you got plans for the weekend? (if weekend is about to come).
– Have you heard of that news?

But what if we are in a situation when there is no one we are familiar with?
When you are in a party or a gathering, and there is no one there whom you know, you can always start a conversation and turn a stranger into an acquaintance.

Here are some sentences you could use to start a conversation with a stranger:
–  I don’t believe we have met. I’m Katie.
– What is it that you do for a living?
– Do you go to school near here?
– Do you live around here?
– This is such a great event. What do you think?

You can also start with complimenting a person’s appearance or performance. For example:
– I like your outfit. Where did you buy it?
– I couldn’t help but staring at your necklace. It’s beautiful.
– You gave an interesting speech. I’d like to know your thoughts about…

Making comments about someone’s physical appearance is fine if we are already good friends with him/her, but never point out what a stranger’s lacking as it is considered impolite. For example:
– You look uncomfortable in that clothes ×
– It seems like you have gained some weight ×

 

If you feel that you might require some helps getting into a conversation with strangers, bring a friend. After a while, you should be confident to do it on your own.

 

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


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#EngTips: IELTS academic writing task 1 (chart data)

Hello, Fellas. How are you? Time flies so fast, doesn’t it? It’s already February.

Today, I’m going to give some tips about performing IELTS academic writing test. For you who have some additional tips, either based on your own experience or the tips and trick guidance you’ve read, are free to share it..

I had actually shared the tips of paraphrasing, which acts as the introduction of your essay, some times ago. If you missed the session, you can read it through this link https://englishtips4u.com/2017/03/21/engtips-ielts-academic-writing-task-1-paraphrasing/

In this session, we will discuss planning the structure of the essay based on data chart. This might seem difficult, but I personally think that writing an essay from data chart is simpler than the others, such as maps and processes.

I read Barron’s Writing for The IELTS as a guidance. It suggests us to make some a list to determine and at the same time classify the data from the chart.

Firstly, we need to make a list that includes general information of the data, such as the object, the recorded time and place(s), and others.

Here is the illustration:

engtips

(Source: Barron’s Writing for The IELTS)
  • Title: Average daily sales, by number of servings
  • What (object): Average daily sales
  • When: winter and summer
  • Where: Vista cafe

Next step, you can make a comparison as well as the details from the object you have figured out.

For example:

Object comparison:

  1. Median daily sales (serving) of foods and beverages in winter

Details:

  • The highest serving: hot coffee (above 70)
  • The second highest serving: soup (50)
  • Medium number of serving: salad and ice cream (25 for each item)
  • The lowest serving: ice coffee (below 5)
  1. Median daily sales (serving) of foods and beverages in summer.

Details:

  • The highest serving: ice coffee (40)
  • The second highest serving: ice cream (35)
  • Medium number of serving: hot coffee (30)
  • Lowest number of serving: salad and soup (25)

From the details given, you can start writing your essay by comparing the data and also describing the details’ information (discussion). According to the example, you can compare the highest and the lowest food/drink serving in each season.

Lastly, make your conclusion. This part can be put either before the or after the discussion. Besides, you can write your conclusion by using the comparison information in general. For illustration, “Overall, hot coffee and soup are the most purchased items in winter while Ice coffee and ice cream reached the highest servings in summer.”

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Thursday, February 1, 2018

#EngTips: Capitalization (2)

Hey, fellas! We meet again. How was your day?
On last week session, we discussed capitalization. Find the recap here: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/01/13/engtips-capitalization/
Today, we will continue to discuss the rules of capitalization. Here we go! #EngTips
1. Do not capitalize compass directions (south, etc.) that aren’t being used as a name.

E.g.: “We’re leaving West Java and heading north this month.” #EngTips
2. Do not capitalize earth’s landscape (e.g.: river, hill, sea) that aren’t being used as a name, especially when the term is used descriptively. #EngTips

E.g.: 

Semeru mountain

Toba lake
2. … However, if the earth’s landscape is being used as a name and being an actual part of a proper noun, it needs to be capitalized. #EngTips

E.g.: 

Mount Krakatau

Sahara Desert

Jimbaran Beach
3. Do not capitalize occupation before full names. However, titles replacing one’s first name are capitalized. #EngTips

E.g.:

“The soccer team was trained by coach James.”

“Here comes Doctor Smith.”
4. Do not capitalize the first item in a list followed by a colon. #EngTips

E.g.: “You need to buy: apples, grapes, and mangos.”
5. Do not capitalize coordinating conjunction (and, but, yet, or, nor, for, so) unless it is first or last word in a title. #EngTips

E.g.: “So Quiet on the Canine Front is a 1930 comedy short film.”

“There are ten movies in Abbot and Costello series.”
6. Do not capitalize an article (a, an, the) unless it is first or last word in a title. #EngTips

E.g.: “The Atlantis Interceptors was influenced by Mad Max.”
That’s all I can share for today, fellas. I hope it could be useful for you.
Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U. Saturday, 27 January, 2018.

#EngTips: Capitalization

Hello, fellas! How’s your weekend?
Today’s session discusses the capitalization rules. Capitalization is the action of writing a word with uppercase for the first letter and lowercase for the remaining letters.

Let’s check some rules of capitalization below. #EngTips
1. Capitalize the first word of every sentence. #EngTips

E.g.: “I’m happy that you gave me a huge bouquet of roses. Jim, you really pull out all the stops.”
2. Capitalize the first-person singular pronoun, I. #EngTips

E.g.:

“I want to eat an apple.”

“Where did I put the book?”
3. Capitalize people’s name. #EngTips

E.g.: “Christopher Nolan is an excellent director, screenwriter, and producer.”
4. Capitalize the proper nouns (names of the cities, countries, geological location). #EngTips

E.g.:

“She’s from Maluku, Indonesia.”

“We’ve been to Northern California for a holiday.”
5. Capitalize the proper nouns (historical event, political parties, religion and religious term, races, nationality, languages). #EngTips

E.g.:

“Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941.”

“There are many Asians living in America.”

“Thank, God!”
6. Capitalize days of the week, month, holiday. However, do not capitalize the names of seasons (spring, summer, fall, autumn, winter). #EngTips

E.g.:

“Today is Saturday, December 13, 2018.”

“Out of all season, I love spring the most!”
7. Capitalize the proper nouns (names of newspaper, journal, company, and brand name). #EngTips

E.g.:

“Most newspaper have an online edition, including the New York Times.”

“The current trend of South Korean idols is to wear Balenciaga shoes.”
8. Capitalize a formal title when it is used as a form of address. #EngTips

E.g.:

“Thank you for your help, Doctor!”

“Let’s visit Grandfather today.”
That wraps up our session, fellas! See you on another interesting session.
Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, Januari 13, 2018.

#EngVocab: Phrasal Verbs with ‘Get’

Hey, fellas! How do you do?

It’s time for us to get along  more and discuss phrasal verbs together!
The previous tweet contains a phrasal verb. Phrasal verb is a phrase that consists of a verb with a preposition or adverb or both. The meaning of phrasal verb is different from the original verb.
Below is the list of the phrasal verb with ‘get’ to enrich your vocabulary.

  1. Get along (with something/someone): be friendly.

E.g.: “My classmates and I get along very well. We eat together in lunch time.”


  1. Get out: to leave; used for telling someone to leave. 

E.g.: “I’m studying here! Please get out of my room!” 

  1. Get over (something): to deal with or gain control of something.

E.g.: “She can’t get over her happy feeling.”

  1. Get through to (something): to go forward to the next step of a process.

E.g.: “He got through to the final round of audition.”

  1. Get by: to survive by using the money, knowledge, etc. that you have.

E.g.: “How are you getting by these days?”

  1. Get away: to leave from a person or place.

E.g.: “We’ve decided to visit countryside to get away from this city.”

  1. Get up: to get out of bed after sleeping. 

E.g.: “My sister gets up at 4:30 every morning.”

  1. Get rid of (something): to remove or throw away something. 

E.g.: “Mr. Jo got rid of their old sofa and bought a new one.”

  1. Get off: to escape a punishment; to stop an action from someone or something.

E.g.: “The suspect will get off with a caution.”

“Would you please get your feet off the table?”
10. Get in: to arrive at home or at work.

E.g.: “She never gets in before 6:50 in the morning.”

That’s all for today, fellas! It’s time for #EngVocab session to get away and let another session take over tomorrow.
Written and compiled by @anhtiss on @EnglishTips4U. Saturday, December 16, 2017

#EngTips: Ways to Apologize without Saying “I’m Sorry”

Happy Idul Fitri for moslem fellas! For many Indonesian moslems, Idul Fitri is the appropriate time for asking and giving forgiveness to each other. There is a popular phrase saying “Selamat Idul Fitri. Mohon maaf lahir dan batin,” which means “Happy Idul Fitri. Forgive me for my physical and emotional wrongdoings.”

There are several ways to apologize without saying “I’m Sorry.” Here are the phrases that can be used to ask for an apology in a formal situation.

  1. I apologize for … / I’d like to apologize for …

E.g.: “I’d like to apologize for how I reacted before.”

 

  1. Will you please forgive my …

E.g: “I skipped my class yesterday. Will you please forgive my behaviour, Dad?”

 

  1. I am completely at fault here, and I apologize …

E.g.: “Mr. Jo, I am completely at fault here, and I apologize for smashed your window with soccer ball.”

 

  1. I was wrong on that.

 E.g.: “I forgot to inform you that our meeting has been cancelled. I was wrong on that.”

 

  1. Please accept my sincere apologies.

E.g.: “Please accept my sincere apologies for the misunderstanding. We will correct the mistake.”

 

  1. I take full responsibility …

E.g.: “I take full responsibility for any problems I may have caused.”

 

That’s all for today, fellas! Have a good night!

 

Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, July 1, 2017.

 

#EngTips: Ending conversations (revisit)

There are some reasons that make people end a conversation. They might have another work to do or they have reached a conclusion of a discussion. In a certain condition, they don’t know how to continue a conversation with someone.

Excuse yourself in a discussion would seem like a trivial matter, but apparently there are rules to demonstrate it appropriately.

No matter how you dislike the topic or even the person you talk to, you need to give them a positive impression. It is necessary, especially when you are in a business or other formal conversation. You can give her/him a smile and tell your gratitude for her/his companion. You may start it by saying:

  • “It was really nice meeting/talking to you..”
  • “I’m so glad meeting/talking to you..”
  • “I would love to continue this chat, but..”

If you really have something to do, you may give them a reason on why you need to leave. However, if you are not willing to state it for the sake of privacy, you may say:

  • “…. I need/have to do something,” or “… I have works to be done.”
  • “… I need to go somewhere.”

On the other hand, you can use the previous phrases to finish a conversation, that makes you uncomfortable politely.

Finally, say goodbye to your company. If you want to continue your discussion in another time, you can also tell her/him your wish to meet again

 

Source:

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

#EngTrivia: ‘On one’s mind’ vs. ‘in one’s mind’

What do you have in mind, fellas? You’ve been on my mind lately and I hope you all are doing well. There are two different phrases in the previous sentence. Can you spot the difference? Yup! It’s ‘on one’s mind’ and ‘in one’s mind.’

On one’s mind

This phrase indicates worry or preoccupation. It may imply: thinking a lot.

Example:

  • “You’ve been on my mind lately.”
    • Meaning: I’ve been thinking about you.
  • “You look worried. What’s on your mind?
    • Meaning: What is bothering you?

In one’s mind

This phrase is used to mean: in your imagination.

  • Example:
    • A: Dad! I just saw an UFO passing by on the sky.
    • B: Oh, boy. It’s just in your mind.

The meaning of ‘in your imagination’ doesn’t apply in all cases. ‘In one’s mind’ can be used to convey our thoughts.

  • Example:
    • In my mind, Civil War is better than Age of Ultron.”

In mind

There is another phrase: ‘in mind.’

We can use ‘in mind’ when asking for someone’s opinion or what they’re thinking of doing.

  • Example:
    • A: Want to go out and watching movie?
    • B: Sure. Do you have anything in mind?
    • A: Let’s watch Split.

Now, let’s take a look at this following sentence:

  • Example:
    • “Bear in mind that I don’t eat meat because I’m a vegetarian.”

In the previous sentence, ‘in mind’ or precisely ‘bear in mind’ means: to remember an information.

Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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#EngTalk: Polite Small Talks

Some of us might prefer a deep, meaningful conversation over a small talk. However, upon meeting a new person, we are rarely in a situation where we could jump into a serious discussion. That is when need small talk.

If it is done correctly, small talk can be comfortable. The key is keeping the small talk casual, not bringing any discomfort, but is still good enough to connect two people. For example, we should go with topics that both persons like rather than dislike.

There are also several things to avoid when trying to connect to our interlocutor. We should avoid making fun of or commenting on our interlocutor’s physical appearance, as we cannot be sure if the interlocutor is comfortable to discuss about that.

Here is what we recommend to make our small talk more enjoyable but still courteous.

  1. Start with a friendly greeting and a smile.
    Smile is a universal language and it almost always earns us a positive feedback from our interlocutor.
  2. Use an approachable body language.
    We should keep our phone away for a while and look at the interlocutor. By doing so, we are giving signal to our interlocutor that we are paying attention.
  3. Avoid pointing out somebody’s lacking in something.
    Physical appearance, except for the good things, is rarely a pleasant topic. Try not to mention about somebody’s weight or age or mismatched clothes. Instead, compliment the person on something. Tell him that his hair looks great or his face is radiant.
  4. Find a common ground.
    Find a topic that both we and our interlocutor can relate to and that can possibly be extended to a longer conversation. For example, favourite sports, favourite TV shows, favourite teachers, etc. Who knows by the end of the conversation, we already recommend new TV shows to watch to each other?
  5. Tell something about ourselves, but not too much.
    We can start with something we like but we should also ask our interlocutor’s opinion. Remember, if the interlocutor feels like we never give him a chance to speak, he can easily get bored.
  6. Listen well.
    Not only will our interlocutor feel appreciated, listening well and paying attention can also help us find more common grounds, which means more topics to talk about.
  7. Mention about hanging out again.
    If you really enjoy talking to each other, express your interest to meet again. We can try saying, “We should talk more about this over coffee,” or something similar.
  8. Say goodbye nicely.
    Although small talk is often a pastime during a certain event, we should make our interlocutor feel important. Therefore, when we bid adieu, we should also express that we hope to hear from our interlocutor.

We can say:
“I’ll see you around.”
“I hope we can meet again soon.”
“It’s been a pleasure talking to you.”

All in all, our eloquence can always be improved by practicing more. As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.”

So never get tired of practicing, fellas. Try making small talks with your friends and teacher every day in English.

 

Compiled and written by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 3 April 2017.

 

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#EngTips: Giving examples (revisit)

We actually have talked about this topic, but it was years ago. If you missed the session, you can read it through this link (https://englishtips4u.com/2011/06/29/engtips-giving-examples/).

It was a short session though. So, today I would like to discuss more about ‘giving example.’

Example is something that is used to support an idea, argument, or opinion. We can mention anything, as long as it is related to the topic, such as events, names, research findings, places, etc.

In other words, an examples act as an evidence to prove an idea. We can also explain something by giving examples. There are some well-known phrases everyone may use in order to give examples. They are ‘for example,’ ‘for instance,’ ‘such as’ and ‘e.g.’

For example.’

This phrase is generally demonstrated, whether in spoken or written expression. We can say as well as write ‘for example’ while giving a further supports of our opinion.

However, in the case of written communication, this phrase might give the audience ‘less formal’ sense. So, if you are working on formal documents, such as business letters or academic essays, you can put ‘for instance’ instead of ‘for example.’

For instance.’

In the same way, we can also apply it in both written and spoken communication. However, as I mentioned in the previous tweet, people tend to used it in a formal condition. For alternatives, you could use ‘to illustrate’ or ‘as (an) illustration.’

Such as.’

I, personally, think this is the most flexible phrase. We can say or write it in both formal and casual communication. Cambridge Dictionary said ‘such as’ is more formal than ‘like.’ So, if you want to simply give some examples in your speech or essay, you can choose ‘such as.’

e.g.’

It is abbreviation of Latin, exempli gratia, which has the same meaning of ‘for example.’

‘e.g.’ is used in written expression only. Though I read an article about Latin as an academic language, I suspect it is used in academic purpose only. Moreover, I often saw ‘e.g.’ in news articles, study-related writings or academic papers.


Source: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/is-there-a-difference-between-for-example-and-for-instance

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/so-and-such/such-as

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.


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#EngTips: IELTS Academic Writing task 1 (paraphrasing)

Hi, Fellas. Are you currently studying for your IELTS test? If you are, then you and I are on the same boat. I started to prepare it since the end of February and I used to think that the hardest part of IELTS test is speaking. However, apparently each session are complicated. Speaking session might be scary, but it is not as difficult as writing session.

We have actually discussed IELTS academic writing task before. If you missed it, you can read it on this link (https://englishtips4u.com/2013/02/03/engtips-academic-ielts-writing-tips/).

In the previous article you might find the general tips to accomplish IELTS academic writing test and in this occasion I would specially share some tips to perform the task 1 of the test.

In this part, there are some types of visual task you probably get, they are:

  • Pie chart
  • Bar chart
  • Flow chart
  • Diagram
  • Line chart, and
  • Map

According to my experience of attending online course hosted by University of Queensland, your writing must contain an introduction, the overview, and the information of the data to complete this task with satisfying score.

To make an introduction you can rephrase the given instruction in your own words. You can replace some of the keywords with their synonyms. This work is called paraphrasing. Here is an example to demonstrate it.

IELTS-Rainwater-Diagram-2(Source: ieltsliz.com)

There are some steps you can follow to write the introduction:

1. Find the keywords.

From the instruction, there are some keywords we can underline such as ‘The diagram shows’, ‘how rainwater is collected’, ‘drinking water’, and ‘Australia’. They are the clues to develop your explanation on the displayed diagram.

2. Find the synonyms or the related words.

After you determine the keywords, next step is try to find the synonyms of them. Special for ‘diagram’, ‘chart’, or ‘graph’ I suggest you to make no change in introduction paragraph.

The next keyword is ‘show’. Instead of writing ‘show’ you can replace it with

  • Illustrates, or
  • Gives information about.

Now we are facing the complicated keywords, ‘how rainwater is collected’ and ‘the use of drinking water’.

To paraphrase them we have to take a look at the diagram. What do you see? I might say a process. The process of what exactly? Rainwater treatment or rainwater conversion.

If you get a bar chart or another chart which contains numbers, you can use one of the following phrases to paraphrase:

  • The amount of
  • The percentage
  • The change of (you can use this if you get line chart)

3. Write your paragraph

After you finish analyzing the visual and finding the synonyms, you can start to write the paragraph. According to the illustration, we can write:

“The diagram illustrates the process of rainwater treatment into drinking water in Australia.”

Or

“The diagrams gives information about the rainwater conversion process into drinking water in Australia.”

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.


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#BusEng: Basic etiquette in writing business letters or emails (revisit)

As a person or a professional, we are often required to represent ourselves well. When it comes to building communication, be it an oral or a written one, what we say and the manner of saying it play an important role in whether our intention is well received by the interlocutor.

Talking about written communication, sometimes we have only one chance to make the impression that we are a competent and reliable person/professional to work with. Therefore, every time we write a business letter or an email, proper written language, grammar use, and etiquette must always be kept in mind.

1. Start with respective letterhead and filling ‘to’, ‘cc’, and ‘bcc’

An official letter from a body or an institution usually already has a default letterhead. If we are an applicant, the format is simpler but not less important.

To Cc Bcc

To: the person who will take immediate action or give immediate response to your email.

CC: the person who should be kept in the loop because his role is also related to the email’s content.

BCC: the person who should be aware of the email being sent, but not having direct responsibility to the email. The person put on BCC does not see his name anywhere in the recipient box, nor will he see the other recipients who are also put on BCC.

2. The importance of subject

Professionals receive dozens up to hundreds of emails daily, and it is possible that they scroll down their email account overlooking our email. That is why we need to make our subject relevant and related to the email’s content, so the recipient can see what we want to say just by reading the subject. Keeping the subject line properly and effectively written is also necessary. Try to maintain its length to around 5 to 10 words and use proper capital letters.

English Tips 4 U.png

 

3. Body text must not be empty

Sole email attachments without an elaborated body text are often considered rude. Body text is the main content of a business letters or an email, so it should never be left empty.

Body text

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Always start with greetings
If we know the name of the recipient, it is preferable to address with ‘Dear Mr’ or ‘Dear Mrs.’ If we don’t, we can start with ‘Dear esteemed customer’, ‘Dear valued partner’, etc.

If this is the first correspondence, introduction is important
If this is the first time we are sending the letter to that particular recipient, we need to mention our name and a brief introduction of who we are.

End the emails with ‘thank you’
No matter how bad we feel at the time of writing the email, we still need to thank the reader for his attention and his immediate action to take care of the issue. The ‘thank you’ part will also make the recipient feels more respected and appreciated. What is also necessary is adding a sentence to indicate whether we require the recipient’s immediate response. The following examples can be added:
“I am looking forward to hearing back from you.”
“Your immediate response is very much appreciated.”
“I hope to hear back from you.”

 

4. Attachments

Attachment is not a replacement to the body text, even though it often comes in a more elaborated version. To make sure the recipient is aware of the attachment, we can mention in the body text by saying:
“Attached is the copy of my purchase order for your reference.”
“Please have a look into the attachment for more details.”
“I also attached with this email my CV and recommendation letter from previous company.”

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Most email hosting services limit their attachment size to maximum 5 or 10 megabytes. If the attachment of our email exceeds that size, we can use a file-sharing platform and then copy-paste the download link in to our email.

 

5. What else to avoid

The business letter or email that we write should represent our level of professionalism. Therefore, the following needs to be avoided.
– The use of internet abbreviation, such as LOL, ASAP, OFC, TTYL, etc.
– Non-professional font, such as the one that looks like it is coming from comic book or horror movie.
– Emoticons. Yes, emoticons are meant to make written communication seems more friendly, but we can save it for messengers.
– One or two liners, such as ‘Yes, fine’ or ‘OK’. Even though we may have discussed the topic previously via phone call or face to face discussion, the email should always come with a recapitulation of that discussion.

Source: http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/06/email-etiquette.html

Compiled and written by @alicesaraswati for  on Monday, March 13, 2017


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#EngTips: IELTS vs. TOEFL (2)

If we are not an English native speaker but we are planning to study or work abroad, in some stage of the application, we will need to also attach our IELTS or TOEFL score to our application. Both tests aim to assess our English proficiency and make sure that we are able to communicate well in English.

What are IELTS and TOEFL?

International English Language Test System (IELTS) is an English language test that is used for educational, immigration and occupational purposes, and is accepted by over 9,000 institutions across 130 countries worldwide. Jointly administered by the British Council, University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and IDP Education Australia, IELTS uses British English, and is more likely to be favoured by UK and institutions in Commonwealth nations such as New Zealand and Australia. Depending on the entry requirements of the program, we might need to take either the Academic or General Training IELTS exam.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) tests our ability to communicate in English in specifically academic, university and classroom-based settings. It is accepted by over 8,500 institutions across 130 countries, including the UK, USA and Australia, as well as all of the world’s top 100 universities. TOEFL is administered by US-based organization, the Education Testing Service, and so is conducted in American English. This test is more likely to be favoured by American institutions.

Similarities between IELTS and TOEFL

Both test our four main language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. IELTSn Indonesia is similar to other countries, and so is TOEFL, that is why the scoring system is consistent all over the world.

Both tests also cost within the same price range, USD 150 – USD 250 per test per person.

Differences between IELTS and TOEFL

1. Scoring system

IELTS band score ranges from 1 to 9. The score report is valid for two years. We will generally aim to 6.5 to 7 to be considered as a ‘competent’ to ‘good’ user of English language.

TOEFL scores come in two versions. TOEFL Internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT) is more progressive, but test administration in some countries still uses the Paper Based Test (PBT). iBT score ranges from 0 to 120, while PBT ranges from 310 to 677.

The following spreadsheet shows the link between IELTS and TOEFL iBT score.

IELTS & TOEFL scoring system

2. Reading module

The IELTS test has a wide range of question types, while TOEFL test is multiple choices only. IELTS reading test lasts 60 minutes. Reading in TOEFL takes approximately 60 to 80 minutes.

3. Listening module

The IELTS listening test is 30 minutes, while TOEFL is 60 minutes. IELTS has a range of different questions including sentence completion, matching headings, and True, False or Not Given. The TOEFL test is multiple choices only.

We will also hear a range of different accents from English speaking countries such as Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the USA, Canada and Australia on the IELTS test whereas the TOEFL test will always be standard American English.

4. Speaking module

IELTS speaking test consists of 3 sections and its total duration is 15 minutes. In the test, we will have a face-to-face conversation with native English speaker.

In TOEFL speaking test, based on more recently used iBT, we will be talking to the computer. For those who don’t really have time to conduct IELTS, because it’s usually conducted during office hours, taking TOEFL iBT might be more suitable. The test will last for 20 minutes.

5. Writing module

IELTS has two different types of writing test: writing for Academic Training and General Training. Academic is suitable for those hoping to attend university, while General Training is mostly used for immigration purposes.

Both types have total duration 1 hour. In the Academic paper, we will be required to write a short essay based on a given graph, chart, map or cycle diagram. In the General Training paper, we will be asked to write a letter and a short essay on a particular topic.

TOEFL writing test consists of two tasks. The total duration is 50 minutes. In the first task, we need to read a text and then listen to a 2-minute lecture on the same topic. We must then write a short response to a specific question on that topic. The second task is a longer discursive essay on a particular issue, similar to a university style academic essay.

Which test to take?

Normally, the institutions we are applying to would specify which test to take. If they can accept either, the following table can be your consideration.

IELTS TOEFL
I like talking to people one-on-one. I prefer talking to a computer.
I like to write by hand. I am better at typing than handwriting.
I can understand a variety of English-speaking accents. I find American accents easy to listen to.
I find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time. I can concentrate for long periods of time.
I prefer shorter tests. I can easily follow a lecture and take notes.
I prefer different types of questions. I like multiple choice questions.

Source:
Wikipedia
www.hotcoursesabroad.com
www.ieltsadvantage.com
 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, March 6, 2017

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