Category Archives: tips

#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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#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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#EngTips: How to RSVP

RSVP is the acronym for répondez s’il vous plaît, French for ‘please respond‘. It shows that the hosts are asking us to let them know whether we’re coming to their event.

When invited to an event, it is proper etiquette to respond promptly and politely. By responding to RSVP, you help the hosts arrange seating, catering, etc.

RSVP is usually sent out for events such as wedding reception, dinner party, dance party, birthday party and other official or diplomatic events.

Common format:

RSVP by [date] to [email address or phone number].

Example:

  • RSVP by August 31st, 2016 to etifoyu@gmail.com or (021)654321

 

Or if you’re asking to RSVP on website:

Please RSVP on our website at [web address] by [date].

Example:

  • Please RSVP on our website at englishtips4u.com by August 31st, 2016.

 

You can reply an RSVP immediately or within 24 hours. A quick response shows your enthusiasm and gratefulness to be invited. Or, you can also wait until the deadline to respond. Though this might signal that the event doesn’t thrill you on first thought.

Do we have to respond to every invitation? Yes! Wouldn’t you be devastated if you’re hosting and ignored?

 

Accepting RSVP

Simple way to accept an RSVP:

Subject: Accepting your invitation for [event name]

Thank you for inviting me to [event name] on [date]. I will be attending, and if you are preparing name tags, please put [your preferred name] on mine.

Kind regards [or your usual closing phrase].

[Signature]

 

Casual way to accept an RSVP:

[Name] accepts with pleasure the kind invitation to [event name] on [date].

 

Note how event name & date are repeated in the response. It is to confirm that you get the details right.

 

Declining RSVP

Simple way to decline an RSVP:

Subject: Declining your invitation for [event name]

Thank you for inviting me to [event name] on [date], but I am unable to attend.

Kind regards [or your usual closing phrase].

[Signature]

 

Casual way to decline an RSVP:

[Name] regrets that he/she/they are unable to accept the kind invitation to [event name] on [date].

 

Respond to RSVP even if you won’t be attending. It’s considered rude not to respond.

Worried hosts going to beg if you decline? The best way to avoid such awkwardness is to respond via email.

If you decline for whatever reason, you do not have to offer an explanation officially.
However, if you decline an invitation from a close friend, you may wish to offer an explanation in private. Just keep it as brief as possible.

 

When in doubt

If you’re not sure, please say:

“I’m not sure if I can make it, but I’ll let you know as soon as possible.”

And… make sure to let them know as soon as possible to aid her planning of the party.

Regardless of how you respond, always thank the host for the invitation. It’s a privilege to celebrate key events with them.

 

Canceling RSVP

What if something unexpected happened, but you have accepted an RSVP?
In the event of illness, death in the family, or unavoidable business conflict, canceling an RSVP is completely acceptable.

Call your host immediately. The telephone is the quickest way to reach someone and will save your host unwanted surprises. Canceling or going no show on the last minute without news is considered extremely inconsiderate towards your host’s efforts.

Now is the right time to check your inbox. Have you forgotten to respond to any invitation lately?

 

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, August 7, 2016

 

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#EngTips: Nosy questions and how to answer them

Meeting relatives is fun, but also has its downsides. For example, frequently asked nosy questions. Yes, “Where’s your girlfriend/boyfriend?”, “Have you graduated yet?”, and so on. Sometimes it gets really annoying, doesn’t it?

How do you usually respond to these questions? Below are a few tips that might prove useful.

1. Answer with another question.

This one is a rather aggressive approach in answering the questions. It may be impolite to some people, so be careful.

If you’re asked by a cousin or relative of the same age, you can use this method. Don’t forget to add laughter or a smile to make it less threatening.

2. Comment on the question rather than answering.

“That’s a good question.” sounds like you’re answering a question regarding your presentation. But it works most of the time, because the people who ask you these questions mostly just making small talk.

Or you could simply say “Let’s just hope for the best.” and add a meaningful smile at the end of your statement.

3. Pass the answer to said question to another person. (my personal favorite)

Almost every time someone drops an annoying question, I directed the question to anyone around me.

  • Q: When are you going to get married?

  • A: Just ask Mom. She’s my decision maker.

Another form of this method is to direct the question to someone that isn’t even there. For example, direct it to your boyfriend or girlfriend or anyone that isn’t related to you but might influence your decision.

4. Pretend you don’t understand the question.

Act puzzled. Act dumb. Or at least ask the questioner to repeat the question. As I said before, most people aren’t that curious with your life. They are just making small talk. But if they insist, they will be baffled by your inability to respond to their question. They will get tired eventually.

5. Answer honestly, if you want to.

This is probably the best approach if you want to convert the small talk into something more serious. If you have the honest answer and are not tired of answering the question, just answer the question.

6. Just smile (and wave).

Smile. Smile. Smile. And then probably divert the question into another subject. It’s just like The Penguins of Madagascar: Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.

Drop a comment if you have more tips to add.

 

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

 


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#EngTips: How to Apologize in English

I have been listening to this song a lot lately. Well, in this post,  we are not gonna talk about the song. Instead, we will give you tips on how to apologize in English.

There are some expressions you can use to apologize. We are going to give you some of them.

  1. Sorry. It is a very common, simple apology and there are several situations we can use it in.
    • Example:
      • when we bump into someone on the street (“Sorry”).
      • Or when we are sympathising with someone (“I’m sorry to hear that”).
  2. I’m so/very/extremely/terribly sorry. This is similar to ‘sorry’ but adding an extra word makes the meaning stronger.
    • Example:
      • “I am terribly sorry for forgetting you birthday yesterday.”
  3. I apologize for/ I’d like to apologize for. This is a more formal way of saying sorry.
    • Example:
      • “I apologise for not replying your email sooner.”
  4. Please accept my (sincere) apologies. This is a very formal way of apologizing, especially when the word ‘sincere’ is included.
    • Example:
      • “Please accept my sincere apologies for the misunderstanding. We will correct the mistakes.”
  5. How careless of me! This phrase is used when we criticize ourselves for making a mistake.
    • Example:
      • “I just scratched your car, how careless of me! I’ll take it to a garage.”

 

Compiled and written by @FaridArdian for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 13 January, 2016

 

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^MD

#EngTips: Table manners

Hi guys, how are you doing this Thursday? Are you feeling good?

Great! Anybody of you has once been invited for a formal dining? What occasion was that? In formal dining, it is important for you to employ manners. Lacking of this knowledge might result insults to the host and other guests.

dining.jpg

Tonight, we’\ will have a discussion on table manners. I have collected some tips for you from various trusted resources. Hope they help.

  • Tip 1: Upon sitting down, take the napkin, unfold it, and place it on your lap.
  • Tip 2: If you find some utensils around the plate, always take the utensils from the outside.
  • Tip 3: Don’t leave the table without a word and an “Excuse me,…” Simply say, “Excuse me, I’ll be right back.”
  • Tip 4: Don’t use your mobile phone for any reasons. You need to turn off or put your phone into silent mode. In case it rings, turn it off immediately.
  • Tip 5: When you need to talk, you need to swallow your food and place your fork on the plate first.
  • Tip 6: When reaching a food, don’t lean past the person sitting next to you.
  • Tip 7: Eat quietly. Loud chewing, smacking, and slurping food are major mistakes and considered very impolite.
  • Tip 8: Don’t put your elbows on the table while eating. “No elbows on the table.”
  • Tip 9: Keep your hands away from your hair. When hands are not used, place them on your lap. Don’t rest them on the table.
  • Tip 10: Don’t hunch your shoulders over your plate. Likewise, slouching back in the chair is also considered impolite.
  • Tip 11: Don’t put any of your belongings on the table, including your purse. Place it on your lap.
  • Tip 12: When something goes wrong, stay calm and don’t generate attention.
  • Tip 13: When you see a speck of food on a guest’s face. Warn him subtly using your index finger.
  • Tip 14: Don’t leave your spoon on the bowl when you are finished with the food. Place the spoon on the plate or on the saucer.
  • Tip 15: Yawns, burps, sneezes, coughs, etc. should be covered with your napkin. When it gets frequent, excuse yourself to leave the table.

Those are the tips on table manners that we have successfully gathered for you. Hope they help you prepare for your upcoming formal dining. Our website http://englishtips4u.com has abundant English tips for you.

You might want to check it out in your spare time. Thank you so much for your attention today. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Compiled and written by @Wisznu for @EnglishTips4U  on Thursday, March 24, 2016.


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#EngTips: How to be a great public speaker

Hi, fellas! Here are some tips for better public speaking skill. Check them out!

1. Define the purpose of your speaking, whether you want to inform, inspire, or persuade your audience. Knowing your ultimate purpose will help you stay focused through the preparation process.

2. Start to prepare your material by doing a deep research from A-Z of things you wanna talk about. Then pick a few powerful ideas that your audience will remember. Make it as simple as possible.

3. Memorize your concept instead of all the content. Do this by creating bullet points of the content, stories, and data.

4. If you use slides, make sure that eyes are on you, not the slides.

5. Here are some tips for your slide presentation.

6. Meet and chat up with your audience in advance to warm you up and make more engagement.

7.Try to connect with your audience by being self-effacing, humorous and real.

8. Tell your own stories to make your messages more memorable.

9. Keep the audience involved by asking question. Ask them to give some examples or tell their stories.

10. Last but not least, master your speaking by practicing regularly. Because we all know that practice make perfect.

Good luck with your public speaking, fellas! :)

Source:

 

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, April 30, 2016

 

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^MQ

#EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters (2)

In #EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters, we’ve talked about a couple of things you shouldn’t do in writing business letters. This time, we’ll continue the topic with a couple more tips.

Let’s get started!

 

4. Needless inversion

In good writing, inversion is used in order to give freshness and force. However, when overdone, it not only becomes very wearisome, but also positively nauseating to anyone who loves the beauty of English language. In business letters, try to avoid using this kind of sentence:

“Greater value than this, never have we offered.”

You should just write:

“We have never offered greater value than this.”

 

5. Words misused

People with limited vocabularies are forced to use the relatively few words they know without any regard for their precise meaning. This is an example of misused word in business letter:

“This most unique Delivery Service…”

“Most unique” is absurd. Either a thing is unique or it is not. The word “unique” means the only one of its kind, and is capable of no qualification.

 

6. Colloquial expressions

Vigorous and vivid language is to be preferred to pompous phraseology, but colloquial expressions should not degenerate into slang. You should simply state what you mean. Try not to use this kind of expression:

“You keep asking us for suggestions and every time we submit an idea, you give it the bird.”

The idiom “give (something) the bird” is an informal way of stating that you disapprove something. In business letters, you should just say “you keep turning it down.”

 

Compiled by @iismail21 for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 3 April, 2016

 

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