Category Archives: writing

#EngGrammar: Active vs Passive (IELTS Writing Task 1 Process)

Hi, fellas. Last week we learned how to structure our writing about a process in IELTS Task 1 (More: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/07/07/engtips-process-ielts-writing-task-1/). Today we will focus on when to use active voice or passive voice in such kind of writing.

1) Active Voice

Active voice is used to describe natural processes or events occurring autonomously in nature, where humans are not involved, such as rain and formation of clouds.

e.g.

task 1 rain

(http://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2011/04/ielts-writing-task-1-water-cycle-essay.html)

Beginning at the evaporation stage, 80% of water vapour in the air comes from the oceans. Heat from the sun causes water to evaporate, and water vapour condenses to form clouds. At the second stage, precipitation, water falls as rain or snow.

2) Passive Voice

Passive voice is used to report processes of manufacturing a product in a factory or workshop. In passive voice, the action is more important than the person performing it.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2012/06/26/engclass-the-passive/)

e.g.

task 1 bricks

(https://www.ielts-mentor.com/writing-sample/academic-writing-task-1/988-process-by-which-bricks-are-manufactured-for-the-building-industry)

At the fourth stage in the process, the clay bricks are placed in a drying oven for one to two days. Next, the bricks are heated in a kiln at a moderate temperature (200 – 900 degrees Celsius) and then at a high temperature (up to 1300 degrees), before spending two to three days in a cooling chamber. Finally, the finished bricks are packaged and delivered.

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
IELTS Writing Task 1 Simon
Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: GRAPH REVIEW (Academic Task 1)

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

 

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#EngTips: Process (IELTS Writing Task 1)

Hello, fellas. To prepare for IELTS Writing Task 1, you do not only need to practice writing based on data, but also diagrams describing how a process occurs. Here is the outline of the task.

bee process

(Taken from https://essayforum.com/writing/honey-bees-life-cycle-57460/)

1) Introduction

Like the other types of IELTS Writing Task 1, the first paragraph constitutes an introduction. It comprises of the paraphrase of the questions and an overview.

a. Paraphrase of the questions

The first sentence tells what the diagram is all about. It can be made by paraphrasing the questions. For example, the question above can be changed into:

“The diagram illustrates the various stages in the life of a honey bee” (More on paraphrasing: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/05/24/engtips-paraphrasing/).

b. Overview

The overview states at least the number of stages. You can also add information on the duration of the process and how it starts and ends.

e.g. There are five stages in the development of the honey bee, from an egg to a mature adult insect. The life cycle takes between 34 and 36 days to complete.

2) Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs are where the steps are described. Break the description into two paragraphs to make it more organised. Do not forget to include the initial and final steps mentioned in the overview, but describe them in more detail or in a different way.

e.g.

The life cycle of the honey bee starts when the female adult lays an egg. It 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.

During the third stage, the nymph grows in size and shed its skin three times. This moulting first takes place 5 days after the egg hatches, then 7 days later, and again other 9 days later. After a total of 30 to 31 days from the start of the cycle, the young adult honey bee emerges from its final moulting stage, and in the space of only 4 days, it reaches full maturity.

Sequence Words and Phrases

To show the order of a process, sequence words and phrases can be used.

• The First Stage

First,

In the first stage,

At/In the beginning

,The first stage is when…

The process begins/starts/commences when…

The process begins with + <noun/noun phrase>

• Middle Stages

Next,

Then,

Before

After

After this/that,

Afterwards, 

In the following stage, 

In the stage after/following this,

In the stage that follows,

• The Last Stage

Finally,

Ultimately,

Eventually,

The last/final stage is when…

The process ends when…

The process ends with + <noun/noun phrase>

Sources:

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

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

Lin Lougheed, Barron’s Writing for the IELTS

Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: GRAPH REVIEW (Academic Task 1)

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Tuesday, July 3, 2018

 

#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

#EngTips: Numbers and Percentages in IELTS Writing Task 1

Hi, fellas. How is it going? Today we will talk about IELTS Writing Task 1. As we know, we must usually write an article based on data given in the test. Due to the fact that the data are expressed in numbers or percentages, it is essential that we know other ways of expressing them.

1) Fractions

Sometimes, data in IELTS Writing Task 1 are expressed in percentages. To avoid repetition, percentages can be replaced by fractions.

75%= three quarters

67%= two thirds

50%= a half

33%= a third

25%= a quarter

20%= a fifth

e.g.

75% of global expenditure was spent on food in 1990, while only 20% was allocated on education.

75% of global expenditure was spent on food in 1990, while only a fifth was allocated on education.

If the percentage is, for example 51% or 23%, we can use approximations (approximately, around, almost, about, nearly, just above/over, just below/under, a little/slightly more than or a little/slightly less than)

e.g.

The proportion of foreign students experienced an increase from 25% to 31% in 2004.

The proportion of foreign students experienced an increase from 25% to just below a third in 2004.

2) Comparisons using half, twice, three times etc. with as many/much…as

e.g.

In the 2004 Olympic Games, China won 32 gold medals, while Japan won 16 gold medals

In the 2004 Olympic Games, China won twice as many gold medals as Japan. 

3) double, treble, quadruple etc.

e.g.

The number of businesswomen was 20 in 1994 and it rose to 60 in 1998.

The number of businesswomen was 20 in 1994 and it trebled four years later.

4) twofold, threefold etc.

e.g.

In 1998, the proportion of unemployed people was 15%. 2 years later, it increased to 45%

In 1998, the proportion of unemployed people was 15%. 2 years later, it saw a threefold increase

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

Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: Graph Review (Academic Task 1)

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

#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

#EngVocab: Adjectives That Describe Personalities (3)

Hi, fellas! How are you?

We meet again in another series of adjectives that could describe someone’s personality. For the first and second installment of this topic, please visit: https://englishtips4u.com/2012/07/13/engvocab-adjectives-that-describes-personality/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2018/03/12/engvocab-adjectives-that-describe-personalities-2/

Daft = silly, foolish (informal use).
“There is nothing daft about my fondness for Daft Punk. Their music suits my taste.”

Daft Punk.jpg
Daft Punk (pic from grammy.com)

Deranged = mad, insane.
“Police managed to stop that deranged gunman before he could shoot anyone.”

Debonair = from old French ‘de bon aire,’ meaning stylish, charming, and confident. Usually used to describe a man.
“Many who have met Nicholas Saputra described the actor as debonair.”

Dapper = Neat, well-dressed. Also used to describe a man.
“The Academy Awards were crowded by charming ladies and dapper gentlemen.”

Eloquent = fluent and persuasive in speaking or writing.
“She is quite an eloquent young lady. She would make a good public speaker.”

Enchanting = delightfully charming or attractive.
“Unlike her casual daily appearance, she became an enchanting lady on her wedding day.”

Expressive = effectively conveying thoughts or feelings.
“Emilia is such an expressive person. We could know how she feels by looking at her face.”

Emilia clarke
Emilia Clarke (pic from pinterest).

Fair = in accordance with rules or standards.
“If you should become a leader, be a fair one.”

Faithful = loyal, devoted.
“Her late husband was a faithful person. He always spent his free time with the family.”

Fearless = bold, brave.
“Naomi Campbell is a fierce, fearless woman. No wonder she has the longest running career as a supermodel.”

Flirtatious = behaving in such a way to suggest a playful attraction.
“Who was the flirtatious guy you were talking to? He seemed to make you uncomfortable.”

Frank = open, honest, and direct in speech or writing, especially when dealing with unpalatable matters.
“Is she always so frank, even though not so many people agree with her?”

Funky = modern and stylish in an unconventional or striking way.
“Lady Gaga is funky and quirky, in an extraordinary way.”

Lady Gaga.jpg
Lady Gaga (pic from pinterest).

 

There they go, fellas! As ever, the best way to practice and memorise new vocabularies is by using them a lot. Start incorporating these new words in your daily conversation. Check your dictionaries often to understand the context better.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 9 April, 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.

#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.

#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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#EngClass: Participial adjective (3)

One of our followers asked the question above on Twitter. Do you have a similar question? Do you get confused as to when you should use present or past participle adjective? Kalau kamu masih tulis/bilang: “I’m interesting” saat mau menyatakan “Saya tertarik,” yuk baca lagi artikel ini sampai selesai.

Participle adjectives are verbs, often ends in -ing and -ed, which are used as adjectives.  There are two types of participles: present participles (v-ing) and past participles (v2). Example:

Present participle

Past participle

Boring

Bored

Relaxing

Relaxed

Tiring

Tired

Confusing

Confused

Exciting

Excited

We use present particular adjectives (v-ing) to talk about person, thing, or situation which caused the feeling. Example:

  • “I am boring.”
    • “Aku membosankan, aku menimbulkan rasa bosan.”
  • “They are confusing.”
    • “Mereka membingungkan, mereka menimbulkan kebingungan.”
  • “The book is exciting.”
    • “Bukunya menarik. Bukunya membuat orang tertarik.”

We use past participle adjectives (v2) to talk about how someone feels. Example:

  • “I am bored.”
    • “Aku merasa bosan. Yang kurasakan adalah bosan.”
  • “They are confused.”
    • “Mereka kebingungan. Yang mereka rasakan adalah bingung.”
  • “She is very excited.”
    • “Dia sangat bersemangat. Yang dia rasakan adalah semangat.”

If we were to compare the two side by side:

Present participle

Past participle

Penyebab perasaan

Perasaan yang dirasa

[Me- -kan]

[ter-], [ke- -an]

Entertaining

Entertained

Menghibur

Merasa terhibur

More examples:

Present participle

Past participle

Boring

(Membosankan)

Bored

(Merasa bosan)

Relaxing

(Membuat santai)

Relaxed

(Merasa santai)

Tiring

(Melelahkan)

Tired

(Merasa lelah)

Confusing

(Membingungkan)

Confused

(Merasa bingung)

Exciting

(Menarik)

Excited

(Merasa tertarik)

So, what do you think? I hope the explanation was clear enough. If you still have any question, feel free to leave a comment down below, or you can also mention us on twitter.

How about having a short quiz to see how well you understand the explanation given above? Look at these sentences and choose the correct answer.

  1. I was really (boring/bored) during the lecture. It was really (boring/bored).
  2. I bought a really (interesting/interested) book last night. If you’re (interesting/interested), I can lend it to you.
  3. I heard an (alarming/alarmed) noise last night, and it kept me (alarming/alarmed) all night.

Answer:

  1. bored; boring.
  2. interesting; interested.
  3. alarming; alarmed.

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, March 22, 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.

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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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#EngClass: Expressing purpose

Heyya, fellas! How did you day go? It’s only the third day of the week but I’ve heard more than enough sad news. So, wherever you are and whatever you do, fellas. Please… stay safe and healthy. And to you who’re having hard times, stay strong.

Enough of the sullen mood. Let’s start today’s session, shall we? Last week, we received a question from @Chifara_. She asked about the differences between ‘so that’, ‘in order to’, and ‘to’. Instead of keeping it to ourselves, why not share it with you too?

There are various ways of expressing purpose in English. We can use: ‘to’,so as to‘, ‘so that‘, or ‘in order (to/that)‘.

These conjunctions are used when we want to show the purpose of an action, to say WHY we did it.

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‘So that’, ‘in order’, ‘so as’, and ‘to’ are used to answer the question of: WHY?

They are known as ‘subordinating conjunctions’. They connect a main (independent) clause and a subordinate (dependent) clause. ‘Subordinating conjunction’ acts as a bridge to connect one clause to another dependent clause.

In today’s session, we’ll talk a little bit more about how to use these subordinating conjunctions.

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A. We use ‘to’ + ‘infinitive’ to show the purpose of an action. 

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‘to’ + ‘infinitive’ is generally used only in affirmative statements.

Examples:

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B. We use ‘so as to’ & ‘in order to’ to express purpose.

‘So as to’ and ‘in order to’ is often used interchangeably. In sentence, they are followed by the infinitive verbs.

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Example of ‘so as to’:

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Example of ‘in order to’:

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To form a negative statement, NOT is added right before the word TO. Again, it is then followed by the infinitive verb.

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The negative statement expresses that one action will help avoid having to do something else or prevent another thing happening.

Example of ‘so as not to’:

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Example of ‘in order not to’:

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C. We use ‘so that’ & ‘in order that’ to say that one action makes another action possible.

‘So that’ and ‘in order that’ is generally followed by a modal.

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Example of ‘so that’:

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Example of ‘in order that’:

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To form a negative statement, NOT is added right after modal. Again, it is then followed by the infinitive verb.

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Example of ‘so that’ + modal + ‘not:

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Example of ‘in order that’ + MODAL + ‘not’ :

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We’ve now come to the end of today’s session. I hope the explanation was clear enough. If you have any question regarding today’s session, feel free to mention us and ask away.

That’s a wrap, fellas! Thanks for tuning in to today’s session. See you again tomorrow. XOXO

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, October 12, 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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#EngClass: Common abbreviations in emails

There are numerous abbreviations which you might find in letters, especially those formal ones. Today, we’ll start with some of the most common ones. Let’s start with this blank email.

 

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As you would usually do, you type recipient’s mail address at the ‘To’ colom. Let’s say the email is for Eeny.

  1. Cc – carbon copy. This is to say that a copy of the email is also sent to the person(s) mentioned.
  2. Bcc – blind carbon copy. It indicates people who will receive a copy of the message in secret. Other recipients wouldn’t know.

 

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  • Example 1 & 2 – Now, have a look at the pic above. It shows that:
    • Meeny also has a copy of the email. And…
    • every other people (Eeny & Meeny) wouldn’t realize that Miny & Mo are in the know too.

 

In emails, ‘cc’ & ‘bcc’ can normally be found at the top part of your emails.On the other hand, in written letters, cc might be positioned at the bottom.

Moving down to the body of the letter/email…

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  1. Ref – reference, with reference to. It shows which document or piece of information you are talking about.
  • Example 3 – That is a fake reference code… just to point Eeny to the WhatsApp chat they had the night before.

 

  1. ASAP – as soon as possible. If you see this, sender wants something done at the earliest possible time, if not immediately.
  • Example 4 – Here, Etifoyu is urging Eeny to reply promptly, at the earliest time.

 

  1. RSVP – Répondez s’I’ll vous plaît. It basically a request for a respond, in French.
  • Example 5 – Etifoyu expects Eeny to respond soon or latest by Monday, August 1st, 2016.

 

  1. PS – postscriptum, postscript. Its a note added to a letter/email after the writer has signed it.
  • Example 6 – A short note for the recipient.

 

  1. PPS – post postscript, additional postscript. This is for extra notes and positioned after PS. If there’s any, PS & PPS would be found after the writer’s signature.
  • Example 7 – More short note for the recipient.

 

  1. Encl. – enclosed. This shows that something else is being sent with the letter/email. It’s normally placed at the bottom of the letter.
  • Example 8 – This part list out items sent along with the letter/email.

 

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So, here’s what your email should look like now, fellas! And there goes 8 most  common abbreviations in emails.

I hope you find the explanations & graphics clear enough. If you have any question regarding today’s session, feel free to ask away!

 

 

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 31 July, 2016

 

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#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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#EngTips: Faults to avoid in writing business letters

In this post, we’ll talk about some faults to avoid in writing business letters.

The fault to avoid at all costs in letter-writing is ambiguity. What you write should carry one interpretation only, and that it should be the interpretation you intended it to have.

Let’s get started!

 

1. Faulty Syntax

Faulty syntax is dangerous because it can distort the writer’s meaning. Have a look at the following sentence:

“We are sending you an antique clock by our Mr. Stark, with ornamental hands and engraved face.”

The placement of the comma in that sentence is very important. The phrase “with ornamental hands and engraved face” in that sentence refers to Mr. Stark because it’s placed after the name, separated by comma. That sentence is wrong because the phrase actually refers to the antique clock. This is the correct sentence:

“We are sending you, by our Mr. Stark, an antique clock, with ornamental hands and engraved face.”

That sentence is correct because the phrase is placed after “an antique clock”, separated by comma.

 

2. The double negative

The rule is of course that a double negative makes a positive, but in some instances a double negative is used where no positive is intended. For example, instead of writing:

“Neither of the three samples you send is the correct shade, and are of no interest to us.”

You should write:

“No one of the three samples you send is of the correct shade, or is of any interest to us.”

Nevertheless, avoid using a double negative.

 

3. Overdone superlatives

Giving compliments is good but don’t overdo it. Use only ONE of these: super, breath-taking, supreme, gigantic, exquisite, masterpiece, miraculous, stupendous, etc.

 

Compiled by @iismail21 for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 20 March, 2016

 

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