Category Archives: tips

#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.

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#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.

 

#EngTrivia: ‘hence’ & ‘thus’

Hey, fellas! It’s good to see you again. How are you today?

Today’s session discusses the use of ‘hence’ and ‘thus.’ Both ‘hence’ and ‘thus’ are conjunctive adverbs. In bahasa Indonesia, ‘hence’ means ‘oleh sebab itu,’ while ‘thus’ means ‘dengan demikian.

 

‘Hence’ and ‘thus’ have the same basic meaning. However, there is a slight difference among them. Let’s take a look at each definition and how it used in the sentence.

 

Hence (adv) means:

  • as a consequence, for this reason.
  • in the future (used after period of time).
  • from here.

 

‘Hence’ usually refers to the future.

  • E.g.: “The situation is getting complicated. Hence, we will have to proceed with caution.”

 

Thus (adv) means:

  • in this or that manner.
  • to this degree or extent.
  • because of this or that.
  • as an example.

 

‘Thus’ refers to the past and is often used to indicate a conclusion.

 

‘Thus’ is often used after a period (.).

  • E.g.: “She didn’t listen to the news. Thus, she was unaware of the storm.” #EngTrivia

 

‘Thus’ is often used after a semicolon (;).

  • E.g.: “He was starving; thus, he was desperate enough to scavenge for crumbs.” #EngTrivia

 

 

Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, June 3, 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.

 

Related posts:

#EngTips: Nosy Questions and How to Answer Them

#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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#EngTalk: Your learning method

Today I want to open a small talk session about learning English. I used to hate English. Why? Because it’s complicated. It has too many grammars, difficult pronounce, and it stressed me out. But then I saw my friends who were expert in English. They looked really cool because they can communicate with foreigners. I want to be like them who are able to be friends with people from another country.

Since that day, I realized that I should not be enslaved by my negative thoughts towards English. If I want to be excellent like them, I should change the way I think about English. I should start to love it in order to enjoy learning English. And in my case, I also modified the way I studied.

You might have read our article in Kumparan about improving English vocabulary and reading skill (https://kumparan.com/english-tips-for-you/tips-menambah-vocabulary-dan-kemampuan-membaca-dalam-bahasa-inggris). I have a similar method to improve my English skill. Do you have your own method? How do you learn English?

I love reading and I started to read English books more often. It was hard for me at first because there were a lot of words which I have never seen before. It was troublesome because whenever I caught unfamiliar words, I would open my dictionary.

“I started reading news articles…” – @patibenitez7

“I use game on my phone to improve my English skill.” – @Ursula_Meta

“Exactly, I learn english by reading fanfiction, watching movies, dramas, interviews, variety shows, ryan higa’s vids.” – @iyegati

People always say that the beginning is always the hardest. The more I read, the more vocabularies I picked up and I started to open the dictionary less frequently. I also started to write my daily journal in English. It successfully ‘forced’ me to memorize the meaning of vocabularies and how to use them in sentences.

Lastly, I also varied my reading genre. I started to read news articles to get to know more scientific vocabularies. You can also read any genre according to you interest. Language is a habit. You also can’t understand it while you are under pressure . To improve, you have to study and implement what you picked up in your daily life activities.

 

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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#EngTips: Ways to say ‘goodbye’

Sometimes, it is really hard to say goodbye, whether to a routine, a friend, a lover, or a group of people you didn’t know would miss. As the title suggests, we will talk about ways to say “goodbye”. We know how hard it is to say goodbye and we will try to help you out!

We are not going to tell you how to say “goodbye” to someone you will meet again tomorrow or sometime next week; you already know how to. Instead we are going to give you some tips on how to deal with a much harder “goodbye”.

The hardest goodbye is when we do not know if or when we will ever meet again, especially if the memories are unforgettable. How do you usually deal with such goodbye?

Here is our first tip: be present.

It is okay to savor the very last moments, but do not think of the memories you shared or what will happen after the goodbye. Be here and now, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Do what you usually do until the time to say goodbye comes.

Second, end it on a positive note.

Instead of crying your feelings out, try smiling that bursts to a tear. It helps the last memories you shared become beautiful.

Third and last, do not try to prevent the inevitable.

Do not prolong the goodbye. Do not try to make them stay. It is going to make it harder for you to accept reality.

Bonus tips:

After the goodbye, do not try to forget the memories. Cherish them instead. Believe that the memories help you to become better.

Well, I guess it is time for me to say goodbye to you, Fellas! Thank you for such a beautiful year! But do not forget that we are still going to be here next year.

Compiled and written by @bintilvice for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, December 30, 2016


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#EngTips: Effective Internet searching

We use the internet to search for something quite frequently. I bet some of you found this website from search engines too. It’s important to know the effective way to perform a search so that you don’t waste too much time sorting the results to find what you’re really looking for. So, I hope these tips would be useful for you.

  1. When possible use unique, specific terms. Carefully choose three or more keywords to retrieve more specific result. For example, English dictionary windows 8 can return more specific result than dictionary software as the search query.
  2. Use quotation marks for exact phrases. For example, searching for lunar eclipse using quotation marks (“lunar eclipse”) will return only the phrase in the exact order, thus excluding pages that contain only “lunar” or “eclipse” that aren’t exactly about lunar eclipse.
  3. Exclude articles (a, the), pronouns (it, they), conjunctions (and, or) or prepositions (to, from) when they aren’t important.
  4. Avoid redundant terms.Examples of artificial intelligence we are using in daily life” can be reduced to “example artificial intelligence daily life.” Another example: “wish vs hope” can return more relevant results than “the difference between wish and hope.”
  5. Use more than one search engines when necessary, like when you need to find as many resources as possible. For instance, I used library directories, Google scholar as well as Google search to find research papers for my thesis topic.
  6. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the first 20 result, go no further. Reformulate your search using different keyword, or…
  7. Use advanced search to refine your search results. Advanced search tools are really useful and usually not that hard to get used to.
  8. Check the help page of the search engine. They usually have unique tips on how to perform effective search using their search tools.

 

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, October 6, 2016

 

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#EngTips: Mathematics word problems

In mathematics, the term “word problem” is often used to refer to any mathematical exercise which significant background information on the problem is presented as text rather than in mathematical notation.

Steps to solve word problems:

  1. Read the problem carefully, understand it.
  2. Underline the key words or the operation words and think about them.
  3. Do your working. Draw a picture if needed and write a number sentence for the problem, solve it.
  4. Carry the answer. Check your answer and communicate the solution, explain it.

Key words and catch phrases for word problems:

  1. Addition words: ‘add’, ‘altogether’, ‘both’, ‘in all’, ‘sum’, ‘total’, ‘combined’.
  2. Subtraction words: ‘difference’, ‘fewer’, ‘how many more’, ‘how much more’, ‘left’, ‘less’, ‘minus’, ‘need to’, ‘remains’, ‘subtract’, ‘-er’.
  3. Multiplication words: ‘times’, ‘every’, ‘at this rate’.
  4. Division words: ‘each’, ‘average’, ‘evenly’, ‘equal parts’, ‘distribute’, ‘separate’, ‘split’.

Why don’t you try some exercises.


PRACTICE:

  1. Elin has six more balls than Mei. Mei has nine balls. How many balls does Elin have?
  2. Jane has nine oranges and Sani has seven oranges. How many oranges do Jane and Sani have together?
  3. Ken’s apple weighs 100 grams, and Dan’s apple weighs 80 grams. How heavier is Ken’s apple?
  4. Kim buys 2 apples everyday. How many apples does she buy in a week?
  5. Ed reads 25 words per minute. At this rate, how many words does he read in one hour?
  6. Nick has 75 pencils and 15 boxes. How many pencils should he pack in each box so each box gets the same number of pencils?

ANSWERS:

  1. Fifteen.
  2. Sixteen.
  3. 20 grams.
  4. Fourteen.
  5. 1500.
  6. Five.

Compiled and written by @sherlydarmali for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, September 4, 2016


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#EngTips: How To Be Productive

Here are some tips on to be more productive I’ve collected for you to try. Grab your notes, fellas!

1. Write it down.
Grab your pen and paper! Every task should be written down to free your mind from trying to remember them.

2. Distance yourself from any distraction.
Turn off your phone, disconnect the internet, and give yourself time to focus on work.

3. Do the hardest task first!
Finish the most overwhelming task first so you can enjoy the rest of the day finishing other tasks.

4. Give the Pomodoro Technique a try!
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in 1990s. It is named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student. Here’s the step-by-step of the method:

  1. Pick a task and break it down to some smaller ones if possible.
  2. Set your timer for 25 minutes.
  3. Work on the task until your timer rings, then put a check on your list.
  4. Take a five-minute break. Get up and move your body to keep you fresh.
  5. Repeat the the step! You can take a longer break after finishing 4 Pomodoros.

Here’s an infographic about it:

tumblr_nnjxvcPVbz1senxz2o1_500.png

May these tips be helpful to y’all procrastinator out there!

 

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, August 13, 2016

 

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#EngTips: How to improve your English listening skills

This article is dedicated to one of our fellas, @randwiu, and to every one of you who wants to improve your listening skills. As every tip should be, you will need basic knowledge and comprehension in English. So pay attention to your teachers/lecturers in class.

  1. Listen to not only one English audio source.
    • If you like songs, you should also try listening to news, English speaking YouTube channels, or movies.
    • Note: Be careful when learning from pop cultures. They usually use slangs and are grammatically incorrect.
    • To avoid this kind of mistake, always refer to English textbooks or dictionaries when in doubt.
    • ”or google by typing “what does blablabla mean” on the engine” – @anissafebr <~ This one is extremely helpful in emergency situation.
  2.  Try not to use subtitles or closed caption when you’re watching videos.
    • My personal trick is trying to understand TV shows without subtitles, and then re-watch it with subtitles.
    • It takes a little more time, but that way you could see whether your comprehension is correct or incorrect.
  3. Speak it out!
    • Understanding how it sounds is not enough; you must practice to pronounce it yourself.
    • You could use a partner or do it in groups or at least do it by yourself in front of the mirror.
  4. Listen to accents.
    • Every accent is unique. Listening to different kinds of accent can help you understand English better.
  5. Practice with native speakers and non-native speakers.
    • This tip has the same principal with the one before. Listening to various English pronunciations helps a lot.
    • I once went to the airport just so I can talk to foreigners. It was a thrilling experience, really.
  6. Listen, listen, and listen.
    • Repeated and continuous practices are always the best way to do it. Don’t give up too easily.
    • It could be tiring, or it could be very fun. It depends on your motivation.
  7. Set high targets but don’t push yourself too hard.
    • You could start easy (listen to songs and then read the lyrics), and then move to movies or news or something more formal.

Alright, fellas! That’s all I can share for now. Do you have more tips to share? If you do, feel free to leave it in the comment box below.

 

Compiled and written by @bintilvice for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, April 8, 2016

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