Category Archives: writing

#EngTips: Complex Sentences in IELTS Writing Task 1

Hello, fellas. How is life today? In this session we are going to learn the use of complex sentences in IELTS Writing Task 1.

In terms of IELTS Writing and Speaking, a band score is equally awarded for each of areas, one of which is grammatical range and accuracy. We need to use complex sentences if we aim to score Band 5 or above for grammar. A complex sentence can be made by joining two simple sentences using an –ing form. A comma is put before the –ing clause.

This kind of complex sentences can also be used to add more information about a trend or describe trends that hit a low, reach a peak or stabilise.

Examples:

  1. The number of households rose in Canada. It reached 11.8 million in 2004. (The number of households rose in Canada, reaching 11.8 million in 2004.)
  2. Standards in hospitals increased in the 1960s. They showed a 20% improvement over the previous decade. (Standards in hospitals increased in the 1960s, showing a 20% improvement over the previous decade.)

Sources:
IELTS Writing Task 1 Simon
Anneli Williams, Collins English for Exams: Writing for IELTS

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, December 10, 2018

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#GrammarTrivia: Noun + of Which

Hello, fellas. After learning about how to use expressions of quantity in relative clauses last week, today we are still going to have a session on another form of relative clauses. It is the use of noun + of which.

(More on expressions of quantity in relative clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/08/30/grammartrivia-expressions-of-quantity-in-relative-clauses/)

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, the pattern has the same meaning of whose. In other words, both of them show possession. Noun + of which is used in a relative clause modifying a thing and more common in formal written English. It is preceded by a comma.

(More on whose: https://englishtips4u.com/2014/06/01/engclass-how-to-use-who-whom-and-whose/)

Example:

1) Leo Tolstoy wrote a novel. The title of the novel is Anna Karenina.

    Leo Tolstoy wrote a novel, the title of which is Anna Karenina.

2) The student bought a book. The price of the book was affordable.

     The student bought a book, the price of which was affordable.

3) They like Indonesian food. The taste of the food is spicy.

     They like Indonesian food, the taste of which is spicy.

Source:

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, September 5, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Expressions of Quantity in Relative Clauses

Hello, fellas. Today we are going to learn about expressions of quantity in relative clauses. An expression of quantity is used to express the number or amount of something. It may precede a noun whose number or amount it describes. Several examples of expressions of quantity are one, two, each, every, both, some, several, a few, a little, many, much, most, etc.

(More on expressions of quantity: https://englishtips4u.com/2017/03/05/engclass-expressions-of-quantity/)

In relative clauses, expressions of quantity with of come before the pronouns. However, the pronouns are only whom, which and whose. This pattern is preceded by a comma and more common in writing than speaking.

Examples:

1) There are 23 players in the German national team. Most of them are from Bayern Munich. (There are 23 players in the German national team, most of whom are from Bayern Munich.)

2) Pramoedya Ananta Toer wrote several books. Two of them are “Bumi Manusia” and “Anak Semua Bangsa”. (Pramoedya Ananta Toer wrote several books, two of which are “Bumi Manusia” and “Anak Semua Bangsa”.)

3) Students are reading the biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One of his works is “The Marriage of Figaro”. (Students are reading the biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of whose works is “The Marriage of Figaro”.)

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Sunday, August 26, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Abridged Noun Clauses

Hello, fellas. In this session we are going to learn about the abridgement of noun clauses. A noun clause is a clause used as the subject, object or complement of a sentence. It can begin with a question word (who, whom, what, which, where, when, whose, why or how), that, if or whether.

(More on noun clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/02/06/engclass-noun-clause/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2013/02/04/grammartrivia-noun-clause/)

Noun clauses beginning with one of the question words or whether can be abridged. However, the abridgement is only possible if these requirements are fulfilled:

1) The main clause and the noun clause have the same subject or the subject of the noun clause is the same as the object of the main clause; and

2) The noun clause contains a modal verb either can/could or should.

There are 3 steps in the abridgement of noun clauses:

1) Omit the subject;

2) Omit the modal verb; and

3) Change the verb into an infinitive.

Examples:

1) I know what I should do. (I know what to do.)

2) She told me when I should go. (She told me when to go.)

3) Students learn how they could write journals. (Students learn how to write journals.)

Source:

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Sunday, August 19, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Adjective Clauses as the Object of a Preposition

Hello, fellas. In everyday usage, the subject and verb of an adjective clause (relative clause) precede a preposition. On the other hand, to make it more formal, the clause is used as the object of the preposition.

(More on relative clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/08/engclass-relative-clause/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/09/engclass-relative-clause-2/)

According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a preposition is a word used before its object (a noun, a noun phrase, or a pronoun), connecting it to another word. It usually shows a temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of a sentence. Examples of prepositions are about, at, by, for, from in, on, through, to, with, and without.

(More on prepositions: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/09/17/engclass-prepositions/)

If the preposition is followed by the adjective clause, pronouns to use are only whom or which. It is never followed by that or who.

Examples:

  • He is the man whom we talk about.

         He is the man about whom we talk.

  • The lecturer whom you should listen to is explaining course materials.

         The lecturer to whom you should listen is explaining course materials.

  • The view which we look at is breath-taking.

         The view at which we look is breath-taking.

  • Surabaya is the city which I live in.

         Surabaya is the city in which I live.

(in which has the same meaning as where)

Source:

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

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

Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

GrammarBook.com, https://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/probPrep.asp

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Sunday, August 12, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Reduced Adverb Clauses of Reason

After discussing reduced relative clauses and reduced adverb clauses of time, today we are going to learn the reduction of adverb clauses of reason.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/07/26/grammartrivia-reduced-relative-clauses/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2018/08/02/grammartrivia-reduced-adverb-clauses-of-time/)

Adverb clauses of reason are also called adverb clauses of cause and effect. They are introduced by conjunctions, such as because, now that, since, due to the fact that, and owing to the fact that. Like the other kinds of adverb clauses, they function as the dependent clause in a sentence.

(More on adverb clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/10/13/engclass-adverbial-clause/)

The reduction of an adverb clause of reason to an adverbial phrase is only possible when its subject is the same as the subject of the main clause. Omit the conjunction, so that it is not included in the adverbial phrase, and change the verb to its –ing form.

Example:

Because she lives far from her family, Nancy does everything herself.
Living far from her family, Nancy does everything herself.

Having + past participle means because.

Example:

Because I have read the novel, I want to give it to you.
Having read the novel, I want to give it to you.

It is also possible to change be in an adverb clause of reason to being.

Example:

Because she was sick, she did not attend the class.
Being sick, she did not attend the class.

Source:

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Friday, August 10, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Reduced Adverb Clauses of Time

Hello, fellas. Last week we learned how to reduce relative clauses.

(More on reduced relative clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/07/26/grammartrivia-reduced-relative-clauses/)

In this session, we are still going to discuss the reduction of clauses. It is the reduction of adverb clauses of time.

(More on adverb clauses of time: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/10/13/engclass-adverbial-clause/)

In a sentence, an adverb clause functions as the dependent clause. It must be attached to the main clause or the independent clause (More on clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/01/26/engclass-clause/). An adverb clause of time begins with a conjunction, such as after, before, since, when, and while.

The reduction of an adverb clause of time to an adverbial phrase is only possible when its subject is the same as the subject of the main clause. There are two ways of reducing the adverb clause of time:

1) Omit the subject and be
Example:
While I was studying, I fell asleep.
While studying, I fell asleep.

2) If there is no be, omit the subject and change the verb to its –ing form
Example:
Jane has lived abroad since she pursued her education.
Jane has lived abroad since pursuing her education.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, August 2, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Reduced Relative Clauses

Hello, fellas. How is it going? Today we are going to learn how to reduce relative clauses. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a relative clause is a dependent clause modifying a noun. Further information about a noun is described, identified, or given by the clause. It is also called an adjective clause.

(More on relative clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/08/engclass-relative-clause/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2011/11/09/engclass-relative-clause-2/)

Relative clauses with relative pronouns as subjects (who, which, or that) can be reduced to adjective phrases.

There are two ways in which a relative clause is changed to an adjective phrase:

1) If the relative clause contains be, omit the pronoun and be.
Relative clause: The research which was conducted by the students is published.
Adjective phrase: The research conducted by the students is published.

2) If there is no be in the relative clause, omit the pronoun and change the verb to its –ing form.
Relative clause: Students who conduct research should write in journals.
Adjective phrase: Students conducting research should write in journals.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, July 26, 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.

Past Tenses

  1. Past Simple Tense. This tense is used to report events or trends occurring in the past.
    • Example:
      • “In 2008, British parents spent an average of around £20 per month on their children’s sporting activities.”
  2. 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.
    • Example:
      • “By 2000, 12.4% of the US population had reached the age of 65 or more.”

Present Simple Tense

Present simple tense is used to describe a process.

Example:

  • 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.

Future Tense

  1. Simple Future Tense. Simple future tense is used to describe events or trends which will occur in a particular time in the future.
    • Example:
      • “The proportion of foreign students will reach a peak at 60% in 2020.”
  2. Future Perfect Tense. Future perfect tense is used to describe events or trends which will occur before a particular time in the future.
    • Example:
      • 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.”

Example:

  • “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:

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


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#EngTips: Paraphrasing

Hi, Fellas. How is it going? Today’s discussion is about one important element of writing, which 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, 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.

Example:

  • “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.

Example:

  • “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”.

Example:

  • “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.

Example:

  • “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

In order to paraphrase by using this approach, it is better if you add information, which is general.

Example:

  • “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.

Example:

  • “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.


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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, they are 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:

  1. add extra information to a sentence.
    • Example:
      • “Lake Toba (Indonesia: Danau Toba) is the largest volcanic lake in Sumatera as well as the world.”
  2. indicate plural or singular nouns.
    •  Example:
      • “My new shelf need book(s).”
  3. add a personal comment.
    • Example:
      • “Kuta Beach is the most beautiful beach in Bali (I prefer Sanur Beach  to Kuta Beach).
  4.  define abbreviations.
    • Example:
      • “The link above will take you to a PDF (Portable Document Format) version.”

Square brackets are used to

  1. 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.
    • Example:
      • The witness said: “He [the policeman] hit me.”
  2. add information.
    • Example:
      • “The two teams in the finals of the first FIFA Football World Cup were both from South America [Uruguay and Argentina].”
  3. add missing words.
    • Example:
      • “It is [a] good question.”
  4. modify a direct quotation.
    • Example:
      • 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.


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#EngTips: Capitalization

Hello, fellas! How’s your weekend? Today’s session will discuss some rules that are related to capitalization. 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.

  1. Capitalize the first word of every sentence.
    • Example:
      • I’m happy you gave me a huge bouquet of roses. Jim, you really pull out all the stops.”
  2. Capitalize the first-person singular pronoun, I.
    • Example:
      • I want to eat apple.”
      • “Where did I put the book?”
  3. Capitalize people’s name.
    • Example:
      • “Christopher Nolan is an excellent director, screenwriter, and producer.”
  4. Capitalize the proper nouns (names of the cities, countries, geological location).
    • Example:
      • “She’s from Maluku, Indonesia.”
      • “We’ve been in Northern California for a holiday.”
  5. Capitalize the proper nouns (historical event, political parties, religion and religious term, races, nationality, languages).
    • Example:
      • “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).
    • Example:
      • “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).
    • Example:
      • “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.
    • Example:
      • “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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#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.

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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#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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