Category Archives: writing

#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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#BusEng: How to write a good resume (curriculum vitae)

after-helping-his-friend-design-this-resume-rick-mundon-now-sells-resume-formats-online
(Source: businessinsider.tumblr.com)

In this post, we are going to discuss some important tips in composing CV or Resume. Although this session mainly focuses on business/professional work, you could also apply these strategies in your CV for your study or scholarship application.

Here are some strategies to compose a good CV or resume that we have successfully compiled for you:

  1. Don’t lie. Never lie. Simple, tell the truth. Lying makes your CV seems dubious.
  2. Always include an overview paragraph in the head of your CV. This gives a glimpse of your qualifications to the reviewers.
  3. Be succinct. A good CV should not be more than 2 pages long (A4).
  4. Tailor your CV. Read the desired qualifications carefully and selectively pick up relevant professional experiences to include in your CV.
  5. Use effective diction. Some companies use word-search engine so make sure you employ relevant terms/keywords in your CV.
  6. Use ‘doing’ words, such as ‘developing,’ ‘organizing,’ ‘facilitating,’ ‘assisting,’ etc.
  7. Elucidate your experiences efficiently. Avoid jargons. Mention your achievements and challenges you overcame.
  8. Use percentage in your achievements. It gives a clear depiction on how capable you are in doing your job.
  9. A survey by Hilden reveals the top 5 aspects being looked for in a CV:
    1. Previous related work experience
    2. Qualifications and skills
    3. Readability
    4. Accomplishments
    5. Spelling and grammar
  10. Meanwhile, there are 5 common mistakes that applicants frequently commit in their CV’s:
    1. Spelling and grammar
    2. Not tailored to the job
    3. Poor work history
    4. Poor format
    5. No accomplishments
  11. Correct punctuation matters; some companies might consider the absence of a comma and a period as a sign of careless.
  12. Use professional word style. Choose Arial, Lucida Sans, or Times New Roman.
  13. Check, check, check. Make sure your CV is free from misspellings and grammar mistakes.

That’s all for today. Thank you so much for your attention. Good luck with your CV preparation.

 

Compiled and written by @wisznu at @EnglishTips4u on Wednesday, January 7, 2016

 

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#EngTrivia: British vs American English Spellings

Do you know that some British English (BrE) words have different spellings from American English (AmE) words?

In general, there are 10 types of spelling differences between BrE and AmE. Here they are:

  1. BrE (-our) vs AmE (-or). E.g.:
    • armour (BrE) vs armor (AmE)
    • favourite (BrE) vs favorite (AmE)
    • honour (BrE) vs honor (AmE)
  2. BrE (-re) vs AmE (-er). E.g.:
    • centre (BrE) vs center (AmE)
    • Litre (BrE) vs liter (AmE)
    • Theatre (BrE) vs theater (AmE)
  3. BrE (-ae-) vs AmE (-e-). E.g. :
    • archaeology (BrE) vs archeology (AmE).
    • Leukaemia (BrE) vs leukemia (AmE)
  4. BrE (-se) vs AmE (-ze). e.g. :
    • analyse (BrE) vs analyze (AmE)
    • apologise (BrE) vs apologize (AmE)
    • emphasise (BrE) vs emphasize (AmE)
  5. BrE (-l) vs AmE (-ll).e.g.:
    • fulfil (BrE) vs fulfill (AmE)
    • skilful (BrE) vs skillful (AmE)
  6. BrE (-ogue) vs AmE (-og). e.g. :
    • analogue (BrE) vs analog (AmE)
    • dialogue (BrE) vs dialog (AmE)
  7. BrE (-ence) vs AmE (-ense). e.g. :
    • defence (BrE) vs defense (AmE)
    • licence (BrE) vs license (AmE)
  8. BrE (-dge) vs AmE (-dg). e.g. :
    • judgement (BrE) vs judgment (AmE)
    • arguement (BrE) vs argument (AmE)
  9. BrE (-que) vs AmE ( -ck). e.g.:
    • cheque (BrE) vs check (AmE)
  10. BrE (-gramme) vs AmE (-gram). e.g. :
    • programme (BrE) vs program (AmE)
    • kilogramme (BrE) vs kilogram (AmE)

So, which one do you prefer? BrE or AmE?

 

Compiled and written by @iisumarni at @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, September 19, 2012

 


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#EngTips: Polite vs. not polite

In this opportunity, I want to share to you about “polite and not polite”. I think this is important, so pay attention, please. :)

What does being polite mean?

  1. Being polite means showing consideration for the feelings or wishes of others.
  2. Sometimes we have to be more polite than at other times.
  3. In general, the people we wish to be more polite to are ‘important’ people or strangers.
  4. The usual rule is: ‘The more words you use, the more polite you are!’

isn’t that definition refer to “being considerate” –

Yes, being polite also means being considerate & respectful. – @EnglishTips4U

Let’s see these examples:

  • Not polite: ‘Min, reply my DM!’
  • Polite: ‘Hi, min. Could you please reply my DM? Thanks a bunch.’

Which of the two sentences is more likely to get a response from our admin? Can you see the difference, fellas?

The more words you use, the more polite the sentence gets. Take a look at the picture for examples.

It’s not necessary to be so very polite to friends, equals, or members of our family, unless they are old. To make a sentence a little more polite, you can add ‘please.’ Also, you can offer an explanation for your request.

Let’s see this example:

“My campus is going to hold an event and we need your help. Could you please check your DM? Thank you.”

Usually you will be more polite to people such as your boss, teacher, and also to people you don’t know well, old people, etc.

If you want to be very polite, like talking to a stranger, you can say:

  1. ‘Would you mind + V-ing ?’
  2. ‘Could you possibly + V1 ?’

In requests, it is generally polite to use a question form, and a tentative form like ‘would.’

Another way to be polite is to give a hint, so that the other person can guess what you want.

Let’s see this example:

  • A: ‘Hi, B. We can’t seem to find your email.’
  • B: ‘Oh, do you want me to resend my email?’
  • A: ‘Yes, please.’

In English, it is polite to:

  1. Greet people when you see them.
  2. Talk about them first.
  3. Use ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’
  4. Say ‘sorry’ if you do anything wrong, however small.
  5. Say ‘excuse me’ if you ask someone in the street.

Well, that’s all this lesson on ‘polite & not polite’. Hope it’s useful. Don’t forget to practice what you have learned. :)

Source: An A – Z of English Grammar & Usage by Geoffrey Leech et al.

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, June 19, 2014

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#GrammarTrivia: Comparative forms – ‘healthier’ or ‘more healthy’?

Hello, fellas. I’d like to start the article with a little story.

So, the admin happens to be working as a copywriter in an advertising agency. Writing and editing texts are part of my daily task.

Recently, I had to face an assignment which triggered an interesting debate even among my co-workers. That problem is: Should we use  ‘healthier’ or ‘more healthy’? Which one is the correct answer?

I personally noticed that both forms are common. Some texts use ‘healthier,’ while some other use ‘more healthy.’ My boss – an Australian who is a native English speaker – thinks that ‘healthier’ should be the way to go. But another co-worker thinks that ‘more healthy’ has a more comfortable feel to it. It gets even crazier as my client thinks there should always be a ‘more’ to every comparative forms! Torn between different opinion, I decided to do a small research. Turns out that there is a controversy on how to use it.

If we are referring to dictionaries like Oxford or Collins, ‘healthier’ is the way to do it. We are also familiar with the rule that stated that words with single syllable uses ‘-er.’

Does this mean that ‘more healthy’ is simply a common mistake that everyone had accustomed to? I remember an opinion stating “English is a language of exception” – because there are always exceptions in every rule. GMAT exercise books such as one published by Manhattan stated that ‘more healthy’ is the correct form. (Yes, this is the part where my head feels like exploding).

In the end, I found an interesting conclusion stating that both are actually correct. We use ‘more healthy’ when we try to add emphasis to the context. Example:

  • “Milk is healthy, skim milk is healthier, and soya milk is even more healthy.”

‘Healthier’ also tends to show up in conversational instead of written English.

Now what to do? To play it safe, I decided to go with ‘healthier.’ But we must keep in mind that language develops. Especially in oral language where the rule tends to be more fluid.

Extra

“In that case, which one is correct: funner, or more fun?” – @catwomanizer

6XpHc

The word ‘fun’ itself has an informal tone in it. For formal use, ‘pleasure’ is more common.

Phew, language learning can often get a little complicated. When in doubt, refer to dictionary. But remember that sometimes there is an exception to a rule. Just like how the British had started to embrace ‘realize.’

Sources: Oxford Learners Dictionary

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, September 21, 2014

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#EngClass: Thesis Statement

Fellas, what do you think is the most difficult part in working on a TOEFL/IELTS test?

“I think ‘listening’ test is most difficult for me.” – @asepnovrian

“Listening section.” – @lianawdsr

“Reading section.” – @ranavirgie

Hm. Plenty of you answered ‘listening.’ All right, we can figure that out next time. Today we are discussing Reading and Writing!

Reading and Writing play crucial role in Academic English. In fact, universities in US often have a Writing Center to assist the students. (So, fear not. Even many native speakers are struggling!) Our topic today is Thesis Statement. How to use it, and how to identify it in a text.

So, what is exactly a thesis statement? Why is it important to understand?

Thesis statement is a sentence (or two) in an essay that contains the focus of the essay itself. Thesis statement helps tell reader what an essay is all about. A well-written essay makes it easier for readers to understand. Many writers think of thesis statement as an ‘umbrella’: everything you carry along should be able to fit this umbrella.

Thesis statement is usually the first sentence in a paragraph – though it is not always the case! In TOEFL/IELTS test, we are often being asked to identify the main focus/idea of a certain paragraph. It can be a bit difficult.

Understanding how thesis statement works can help you identify main ideas in a text better. This is an example of a text with a thesis statement in the first sentence: ow.ly/i/6SEQP

As you can see, the sentences following the first are all explaining in more detail the idea in first sentence. The thesis statement becomes the basic idea, the main topic discussed. The other part of the paragraph are helping to explain it. Meanwhile, this is an example of a thesis statement located in the end of a paragraph (in blue): http://ow.ly/i/6SEVO

The first sentence was only a rhetoric. A question to trigger the interest of the readers. The main idea was in the last sentence. Because it was the one that serves as the ‘umbrella’.

How the umbrella works. I like to use this method when writing or reading an essay: ow.ly/i/6SF0e

So when you are reading a text, imagine the umbrella. Which part is above, which one is under it? :D

Hope that answers your concern in reading. Keep your questions coming!

Source: The Guide to Grammar

Compiled and written by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 14 Sept 2014.


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#EngTips: Writing formal letters and emails

In this post, well focus on how to write formal letters and emails. If you missed our last discussion on basic etiquette in writing emails & letters, check out #EngTips: Basic etiquette in writing letters and emails

Letter writing is an important life skill. It is even more important for your study, career or business. The kind of formal letters you might write could range from cover letters for job applications, inquiry to college or scholarship institutions, complaint to your bank or insurance company, to cover letter for proposals to be sent to clients.

A lot of people tend to feel intimidated and overwhelmed whenever there’s a need to write formal letters. Worry not. It really is not that hard. Just follow these #EngTips on how to write formal letters:

1. Write in the correct format.

The basic format includes:

  • subject,
  • salutation,
  • clear and concise body, and
  • complementary close.

Read more about the basic etiquette here ~> #EngTips: Basic Etiquette in Writing Letters & Emails

2. Keep the letter short and to the point.

Get straight to the point, stick to it and don’t include any unnecessary information.

There’s a good chance that the person you’re writing to has tons of letters to read, and yours is merely one of them. Your letter should take seconds to read rather than minutes, otherwise it is more likely to end up in the bin.

In the case of cover letters for job application, don’t use any flowery language or long words just to show off, and don’t repeat too much information which may already be included in a CV.

3. Start by alerting recipient’s attention to the subject and purpose of the letter.

State the purpose of your formal letter in the first paragraph and don’t veer from the subject. Try to avoid flowery language or long words. Keep the letter short and to the point.

4. Introduce your main point as early as possible in a clear, concise way.

Once you have done this, you may want to give more details, perhaps adding further background or relevant facts.

  • If you’re replying an inquiry, you can start by saying: “In reply to your question concerning…”
  • Or if you’re writing to follow up a previous email, you can start by saying: “I recently wrote to you about…”

5. Provide a brief summary of your expectations.

Before the end of a business letter, it’s usual to provide a brief summary of your expectations.

For example:

  • “I look forward to hearing from you” or
  • “I hope we can discuss the issue…”, etc.

6. Vigorous writing is concise.

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences. Writer need not make all sentences short, avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but make sure that every word tells.

7. Check your letter and make sure it’s free of any grammatical or spelling mistake.

Mistakes will create a bad impression, lessen the effect of what you’re saying and if you’re applying for a job, they could be the cause it’s sent to the bin. Use the spell-checker if you’re using a computer or a smart phone. Check your grammar & punctuation.

8. Be polite, even if you’re complaining.

One way of doing this in English, which is common in formal letter writing, is to use ‘modal verbs’ such as would, could and should.

9. Be formal, but not overly so.

‘Formal’ doesn’t mean pompous or obscure.

10. Use words with which you are familiar and which you can reasonably expect the letter’s recipient to understand.

  • Avoid technical phrases or jargon, particularly abbreviations, unless you are certain that the person you are writing to will understand them.
  • Avoid everyday, colloquial language; slang or jargon.
  • Avoid contractions (I’m, it’s, etc).

Compiled and written by @Miss_Qiak at @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, September 11, 2014

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#GrammarTrivia: Single and double quotation marks

Alright, let’s begin today’s session with the difference between single (‘) and double quotation (“) mark! How do you use these two different marks in English? Well, first let’s study the American way.

In American English, there are 3 ways to use the double quotation mark:

1. To indicate that someone is saying something.

Example:

  • ‘“This is where we can buy organic and halal meat, said Mother.’

2. To indicate that a word is being said in a “special” way, e.g., as a sarcasm.

Example:

  • ‘Don’t you just “love” it when someone steal your favorite seat in the bus?’

3. To indicate that a word is being used as an example.

Example:

  • ‘You need to learn to differentiate between “your” and “you’re” in order to score higher in TOEFL.’

Well, how about British and Australian English? How do they use single or double quotation mark?

British and Australian English tend to use the single quotation mark more than double quotation mark. It is common to find a dialogue that is written as ‘Good morning, Mother’ in British and Australian texts. American, British, and Australian English all recognize the use of both marks. They can appear in the same text together.

Important note: For a quote within quote, always use the two different kinds of quotation marks, but first decide if you want to write in American or British style.

Example:

  • ‘“Why did you just call your brother a ‘pig’? That is very rude,” she said.’

Keep your questions coming!

Resource: scribenditheyuniversity

Compiled and written by animenur for EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 24 August 2014


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#EngTips: Basic etiquette in writing letters and emails

Imagine the following situation and tell us what you think.

There’s a new email in my inbox from some unknown address, with a blank subject? Do you think it’s worth reading?

Okay. So, curiosity got the better of me and I read it anyway. Nothing was written in it, save for 1 file in the attachment. What would you do?

@DaLonGxxi: it looks suspicious .. it might be a link some hacker has created to hack the account ..

@AwesomeChaser: A big no. I will just delete it even without opening the email.

People used to hand-write their letters and send them by post. However, to save cost and to cut on the use of papers, more prefer to correspond by emails nowadays. Letters and emails alike are tools of communication. Think of them as written communication.

Letter writing is an important life skill, especially in the digital era. It has the potential to affect your reputation and credibility. So, check out these basic e-mail etiquette.

 

1. State the purpose or main issue of your email in the Subject box.

Subject is the first thing people see, they would either read your email or ignore it altogether. It gives a brief idea of what your email is about.

 

2. Always start with a salutation.

In verbal communication, “salutation” is the part where we greet someone. This simple point can help build a good first impression. The most common salutation used is “Dear…,”.

  • If you only know the gender of the recipient, not the name, you can start with “Dear Madam/Sir/Miss,” Do pick one of the three.
  • If you know the name of the recipient, you can write his/her name with a title. Example: “Dear Mr. Jones,”
  • If you aren’t writing to a specific contact person, or if you have no idea whom you’re writing to,  you can start with “To whom it may concern,”
  • If you’re writing a semi-formal letter you may use “Hello,” or “Hi,” or even “Hey,” for informal greetings.

 

3. Depending on whom you’re writing to, you might start by asking after his/her well-being.

Or if you’re writing a more formal email, you might want to skip the small talk and get straight to the point.

 

4. Organize your thoughts and put them into writing.

If you can help it, divide the content into paragraphs, grouped by topics/ideas. That would definitely help keep the reader’s attention.

 

5. Thank the recipient.

For the time and effort to read your email, it wouldn’t hurt to add a “thank you” on the last paragraph of your email.

 

6. Be polite and use a complimentary close.

To end your letter on a good note, use a complimentary close. Of course, followed by your name.

  • For formal letters, stick to “Sincerely yours,” “Kindest regards,” or “Best wishes,”
  • For semi-formal letters, you can end them with “Sincerely,” or “Regards,”.
  • It’s not unheard of to end letters with “Love,” “Affectionately,” or “Fondly,” especially in ones for loved ones or close friends.

 

All these points might either sound a lot or even trivial for some people, but believe me, these basic etiquette not only shows how well-mannered and civilized you are, but also how much you respect, care about and appreciate the recipient. Yes… Even if you’re only writing to friends or relatives.

 

Do you have any other pet peeves when it comes to emails? Or do you have other tips on how to write a ‘good’ email? Feel free to mention us on Twitter or leave a comment in the box below.

 

Compiled and written by @Miss_Qiak at @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, August 14, 2014

 


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#GrammarTrivia: Grammar mistakes people need to stop making

Hi, fellas! We have told you many times that grammar is very important. Good grammar ensures that what you write is correctly comprehended and enjoyable to read. Who wants to read a page full of grammar errors, anyway? It doesn’t look so professional, right?

Today I’m going to tell you six other grammar mistakes that you need to stop making. Let’s see!

  1. “All of the sudden”. The correct phrase is “all of a sudden” and it is an expression. Why don’t we use “the” instead of “a”? Because there is not particular sudden, so it has to be “a” sudden.
  2. “Try and (do something)”. When you say “try and run”, you are implying two different actions – trying and running. If you want to combine the two into one action, it’s “try to run”.
  3. Misused quotation marks. Quotation marks are not meant to be used for emphasis. If you tell people that your melons are ‘fresh’, chances are that they wouldn’t buy it.
  4. Cut back on the unnecessary capitalization. Capitalization (for the most part) should be reserved for proper nouns. Capitalizing a word in the middle of a sentence doesn’t make the word more important.
  5. Mistakes in apostrophe usage. Apostrophes are used to show possession. You do not use an apostrophe after a possessive pronoun such as my, mine, our, ours, his, hers, its, their, or theirs.
  6. Using “toward” and “towards” interchangeably. Both words are correct, but the latter is British and the former is American. Which you choose depends on your audience, and please be consistent.

Grammar can be complicated and overwhelming, but if you use it correctly you will make good impression on other people.  Keep learning, fellas!

Sources:

Compiled and written by @Patipatigulipat at @EnglishTips4U on Friday, September 13, 2013


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#EngGame: Fix the capitalization!

Do you know the complete rules of capitalization? We once discussed it here #EngClass: capitalization. You can also read Capitalization on Wikipedia

For each number I’m gonna write a sentence without capital letters. What you do: fix the capitalization and rewrite it. Easy! :D


QUESTIONS

  1. in my last holiday my friends and i went to lake toba in north sumatra
  2. will you check my body temperature, doctor?
  3. many people in western countries spend their summer holidays in the tropics.
  4. do you know chairil anwar? he’s a famous poet from indonesia.
  5. don’t forget to take grammar 101 with ms ida this semester.
  6. do you think president sby will be reelected in next year’s presidential election?
  7. dear mr ridwan,

    we are sorry for the inconvenience. the ac in mawar ballroom will be fixed right away.

  8. here are some of my favorite foods: fried rice, satay, and opor ayam.
  9. the ministry of education and culture of the republic of indonesia launched a new curriculum, kurikulum 2013, this year.
  10. you should read this book by pramoedya ananta toer, bumi manusia. it will make you love history even more.

ANSWERS

  1. “In my last holiday my friends and I went to Lake Toba in North Sumatra.” – @erieshiskaTD
  2. “Will you check my body temperature, Doctor?” – ‏@cherryelf_
  3. “Many people in Western countries spend their summer holidays in the tropics.” – @13njet
  4. Do you know Chairil Anwar? He’s a famous poet from Indonesia.
  5. “Don’t forget to take Grammar 101 with Ms Ida this semester.” – @redsunset14
  6. Do you think President SBY will be reelected in next year’s presidential election?
  7. “Dear Mr Ridwan, We are sorry for the inconvenience. The AC in Mawar Ballroom will be fixed right away.” – @sabiylanayu
  8. “Here are some of my favorite foods: fried rice, satay, and opor ayam.” – ‏@vivi_borbut
  9. “The Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia launched a new curriculum, Kurikulum 2013, this year.” – @nununkfica
  10. “You should read this book by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Bumi Manusia. It will make you love history even more.” – @Nurharda

Are you still confused about the capitalization rules? Read here Capitalization Rules.

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U Monday, September 2, 2013.


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#EngTips + #EngGame: Writing (3) – Creating Images using “like” and “as”

So, this evening some #EngTips on writing will be given, anyone ready for it?

Of course in creating a good writing, creating images through writing is quite an important element. Am I right? Images are a way of giving the reader a picture of what something is like just by using words.

Ada dua kata bahasa Inggris yang biasanya digunakan dalam membuat suatu penggambaran atau “images,” yaitu

1. Saying one thing is like something else (mengatakan suatu hal sperti suatu hal lainnya).

Example:

  • “The lights of the city shone like stars in the night sky.”
    • (“Lampu kota ini bersinar seperti bintang di malam hari.”)

Here “like stars in the night sky” gave the image of what the lights look like. Images tell you what the thing is like, not what it actually is.

Another example:

  • “The frog jumps like a ballerina.”
    • (“Katak itu lompat seperti penari ballet.”)

2. You can also use “as” in “Images sentences.”

Selain “like,” “as” juga bisa digunakan dalam hal penggambaran atau “images”.

Example:

  • “Tina walked as slow as a snail.”
    • (“Tina berjalan selambat bekicot.”)

Another example:

  • “They ate as if they had not eaten for years.”
    • (“Mereka makan seperti tidak makan bertahun-tahun.”)

The part “as if they had not eaten for years” was not actually true, but it helps readers to imagine how hungry they were. Even though images really help you in creating a beautiful writing, too much of it won’t be good either. Make sure you know when and where to put it. If you are not sure, why not show it to someone and see how they react to it.

“Semacam “shine bright like a diamond.” – @agnezrt :D

Yap that could be one example too :)

“Min @EnglishTips4U how many forms to use “as” in image sentence? What I got from examples are “as+adj+as” and “as+if”. any different?” – @sierrapritta

Based on the book that I am using for this session it does seem that “as+if” and “as+adj+as+noun” are the “as” forms in creating images in sentences.

So, what do you all think about it? Shall we practice it by a short #EngGame? Practice makes perfect. All you got to do is be as creative as possible in continuing the next sentences. Make sure it makes sense :)

Ready? Let’s start! Interesting and right answer gets an RT!


QUESTIONS

  1. “In this dark cave, the fire torch beamed like ___________ .”

  2. “Carl hugged Tina as if _________________.”

  3. “The stained glasses sparkled as ____________ as _______________.”

There you go! Will post your answers soon. :)


ANSWERS

A1.

“”In this dark cave, the fire torch beamed like your love :”)” – @RindraRiza

“”In this dark cave, the fire torch beamed like the moon in the sky.” – @madhonn

A2.

“”Carl hugged Tina as if tomorrow never comes.” – @sierrapritta

“”Carl hugged Tina as if they’ve never met for years” – @hijabTIPS

A3.

“The stained glasses sparkled as colourful as rainbow.” – @vectoreza

“The stained glasses sparkled as bright as my idol all along.” – @ireneivankaw

Thank you for the #EngGame and #EngTips participation fellas :) Sorry could not RT you all, keep up the great work. I hope this session has been useful and give you more thoughts in writing :)

Source: Tips from CGP Book GCSE English Grammar, Game by @EnglishTips4U

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4U on Monday, July 9, 2013


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#EngVocab: Movie vocabulary

  1. Bomb. Meaning: a movie that is not popular and makes little money.
    • Example:
      • “Don’t waste your time seeing that movie. It’s a bomb.”
  2. Blockbuster. Meaning: in contrast with “bomb”, this is a popular movie & makes a lot of money.
    • Example:
      • “This movie is one of the most successful blockbusters that have ever been made.”
  3. Write-up. Meaning: a review of product, movie, restaurant, or other things related to entertainment.
    • Example:
      • “The write-up said that movie was terrible.”
  4. Flick. Meaning: a movie.
    • Example:
      • “Have you seen any good flicks lately?”
  5. Mind-blowing. Meaning: impressive.
    • Example:
      • “Seeing this movie is a mind-blowing experience. I love it!”
  6. Kick-off. Meaning: start something.
    • Example:
      • “The movie festival will be kicking off at the end of November. Can hardly wait!”
  7. Live up to someone’s expectation. Meaning: to be as good as someone thought something would be.
    • Example:
      • “I knew that the movie was awesome. It totally lives up to my expectation.”
  8. Upcoming. Meaning: soon to happen.
    • Example:
      • “The upcoming James Bond movie will be exciting!”
  9. Hype. Meaning: a lot of positive publicity.
    • Example:
      • “I don’t usually want to watch a movie that has too much hype. Is it worth the watch?”
  10. Gags. Meaning: funny moments.
    • Example:
      • “This movie has plenty of gags. I’m sure you’ll like it.”

Compiled and written by @Patipatigulipat at @EnglishTips4U on Friday, November 2, 2012

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#EngClass: A glimpse of African American Vernacular English (AAVE)

Hi, fellas! Are you familiar with the term ‘ebonics’?

‘Ebonics’ refers to the term ‘African American English (AAE)’ or ‘African American Vernacular English (AAVE).’ And yes, African American means that this ‘ebonics’ or ‘AAE’ or ‘AAVE’ is used by African American people (atau orang negro).

Some people also call this language as ‘Black English‘ or ‘Black Vernacular English (BEV).’ But let’s call it ‘AAVE’ from now on.

The exact history of the origin of AAVE remains unknown. However, there are two hypotheses about the origin of AAVE. One is the ‘dialect hypothesis’ and the other is the ‘creole hypothesis.’

Dialect hypothesis

The dialect hypothesis is the belief that African slaves, upon arriving in the US, learned English incorrectly and these mistakes have been passed down through generations.

In other words, dialect hypothesis says that AAVE is just ‘bad English.’

Creole hypothesis

Creole hypothesis is the belief that modern AAVE is the result of a creole derived from English and various West African Languages. For those of you who are confused about creole. Here’s one example: bahasa Betawi is a creole derived from Melayu.

Hence, creole hypothesis beliefs that African American people adjusted the English language into their native tongue called AAVE.

That’s a glimpse of AAVE theory. Let’s jump into the examples now. Enjoy!

  1. AAVE: Sup | English: How are you?
  2. AAVE: Dope/dizzle | English: Good
  3. AAVE: Off da hook/hizzle/hizza | English: Very good
  4. AAVE: Whack/whizzle | English : bad
  5. AAVE: Peeps | English: People
  6. AAVE: Pimp’d up/pimp’d out | English:Well dressed
  7. AAVE: Phat/Fly | English: Good
  8. AAVE: Shortiez | English: Children
  9. AAVE: Chicken head/pigeon | English: Ugly woman
  10. AAVE: Check yo’ self | English: Watch what you say or watch what you are doing
  11. AAVE: Eat cake | English: Get lost
  12. AAVE: Bling-bling | English: Flash jewelry
  13. AAVE: Nasty | English: Not good
  14. AAVE: Get over | English: Take advantage
  15. AAVE: Krunk | English: Exciting

Compiled and written by @Patipatigulipat at @EnglishTips4U on Friday, August 24, 2012

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