#GrammarTrivia: Expressions Followed by “-ing”

Hello, fellas. In this session we will discuss several expressions which are followed by –ing.

1) have fun/a good time
Example: I had fun watching movies.

have trouble/difficulty
Example: We had trouble looking for the key.

have a hard time/difficult time
Example: They had a hard time climbing the ladder.

2) spend/waste + expression of time or money
Example: Steve spent a lot of time reading novels.

3) sit/stand/lie + expression of place
Example: Angela sat on the floor typing a letter.

4) find/catch + pro(noun)
Both find and catch carry the meaning of discover.
Example: On my way home, I found a man crying for help.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, March 16, 2019

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#EngTips: 3 Parts of a Paragraph

Hello, fellas. Are you are going to do academic writing? It is necessary that you learn the way of organizing your ideas because it is probably different from what you are accustomed to. At first, you can begin by learning a paragraph.

A paragraph is comprised of related sentences about a subject. It has three parts: a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence.

1) The Topic Sentence

The topic sentence is used to tell the topic of a paragraph. It is usually placed at the beginning. It is neither too general nor too specific.

Example: The mix of cultures in Hawaii make weddings there very special occasions.

2) The Supporting Sentences

The supporting sentences give details about what topic the paragraph is going to discuss.

Examples:
Certainly, Hawaiian clothing, music, and other Hawaiian customs play a big role. For example, the bride often wears a long white holoku (wedding dress), and the groom wears a long-sleeved white shirt and pants with a red sash around his waist. Both of them wear leis (necklaces made of flowers). The bride’s lei is traditionally made of white flowers such as pikake (jasmine), and the groom’s is made of green maile leaves. Another Hawaiian custom is the blowing of conch shell three times to begin the ceremony. Hawaiian music is played both during the ceremony and during the luau (Hawaiian barbecue feast) afterward. Other customs included in the festivities depend on the ethnic backgrounds of the couple. For instance, there may be noisy firecrackers, a Chinese way of keeping bad spirits away. There may be a display of Japanese origami, or there may be a pandango, a Filipino custom. During a pandango, the wedding guests tape money together and wrap it around the couple during their first dance together as husband and wife.

3) The Concluding Sentence

The concluding sentence is the summary or paraphrase of the main points. However, not all paragraphs need it. A paragraph standing alone needs a concluding sentence. On the other hand, a paragraph of a longer piece of writing does not always need one. You should begin the sentence with a conclusion signal such as:

All in all,
In brief,
In conclusion,
Indeed,
In short,
In summary,
To conclude,
To summarize,
To sum up,
It is clear that…
These examples show that…
You can see that…

Example: All in all, a Hawaiian wedding is truly a magical, multicultural event.

Source:
Alice Oshima and Ann Hogue, Introduction to Academic Writing: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, March 3, 2019

#EngTips: Opinion in IELTS Writing Task 2

Hello, fellas. Are you going to take the IELTS test? In this session we will learn how to answer one kind of questions in IELTS Writing Task 2. The question is about our opinion. Here is a sample question:

Space exploration is much too expensive and the money should be spent on more important things. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

An answer in IELTS Writing Task 2 is generally structured into 4-5 paragraphs. They are introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs and a conclusion.

1) Introduction

a. Paraphrasing the question
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “paraphrase” means “to say (something that someone else has said or written) using different words”.

Example:
Several people believe that space research is a waste of money and the fund should be allocated on more urgent issues.

(More on paraphrasing: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/05/24/engtips-paraphrasing/)

b. Thesis statement
This statement is used to state whether you agree or disagree with an opinion.

Example: I disagree with the statement for two reasons.

(More on thesis statement: https://englishtips4u.com/2014/09/14/engclass-thesis-statement/)

2) Body Paragraphs
Each body paragraph is written to support your thesis statement. It is comprised of a topic sentence and some supporting sentences.

Example:
First of all, many of the technologies we take for granted today were originated thanks to space research. Take satellite technology, for example, which we depend on for broadcasting and weather forecasting. Without satellites, we would not be able to follow global events as they happen, nor give populations any warning of approaching storms. Space research has also led to the development of new lightweight materials that offer us heat protection and enable food preservation. Therefore, the challenge of sending human beings into space has often driven the development of new technologies that benefit our everyday lives.
Second, we cannot foresee the distant future, so we ought to develop the capability to escape from the earth. Gradually, we are learning how humans can survive for long periods in space and even travel to other planets in the future. If space exploration is halted, this valuable knowledge will never be acquired. It is true that environmental destruction is also a serious issue, but it is also true that we remain dependent on our environment if we never accept the challenge of exploring other worlds.

3) Conclusion
The concluding paragraph restates the thesis statement and summarizes the body paragraphs.

Example:
In conclusion, while we undoubtedly face serious problems on our own planet, it is imperative that we continue to explore space. This will promote further technological advances as well as provide a possible means of escape should earth become uninhabitable in future. Ideally, all nations should cooperate in the advancement of space research.

(More on writing an essay: https://englishtips4u.com/2017/02/05/engtips-tips-on-writing-essay/)

Sources:
IELTS Academic, IELTS Writing Task 2: Opinion Essay with Sample Answer, https://ielts-academic.com/2012/06/24/ielts-writing-task-2-opinion-essay-with-sample-answer/
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Alice Oshima and Ann Hogue, Introduction to Academic Writing: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, February 17, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Other Forms of Conditional Sentences

Hello, fellas. On this Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day, we will discuss other forms of conditional sentences. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a conditional sentence usually comprises of an adverb clause of condition or if-clause, which contains a condition, and a result clause, which shows a result.

(More on conditional sentences: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/06/04/engclass-conditional-sentences-revisit/)

There are other words introducing adverb clauses of condition.

1) Whether or Not and Even If
Whether or not and even if mean that the result will be the same despite the condition.
Examples:
I am going to go the beach tomorrow whether or not it rains. (Or whether it rains or not)
I am going to go the beach tomorrow even if it rains.
(If it rains, I am going to the beach. If it does not rain, I am going to the beach. I do not care about the weather. It does not matter.)

2) In Case and In the Event That
In case and in the event that show that something will probably not occur, but it might. In the event that is more common in formal usage than in case.
Examples:
I will be online in case you need to contact me.
I will be online in the event that you need to contact me.

3) Unless
Unless has the same meaning as if…not.
Examples:
I will go to the beach tomorrow unless it rains.
I will go to the beach tomorrow if it does not rains.

4) Only If
Only if expresses the idea that only one condition will lead to a particular result. The subject and verb of the result clause are inverted when only if begins a sentence.
Examples:
The picnic will be cancelled only if it rains.
Only if it rains will the picnic be cancelled.

(More on inversion with negative words: https://englishtips4u.com/2012/11/06/engclass-inversion-sentences-begin-with-negative-adverbs/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2018/11/21/grammartrivia-inverted-subjects-and-verbs-with-negative-expressions-or-comparisons/)

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Common Expressions with “Other”

Hello, fellas. In this session we will discuss several common expressions using other. Forms of other can be used as adjectives or pronouns. Furthermore, there are also common expressions with other carrying different meanings.

1) each other and one another

each other and one another show a reciprocal relationship. They are interchangeable because there is no difference between them.

E.g. We respect each other.
We respect one another.

In both examples above, I respect him or her, and he or she respects me.

2) every other

every other means “alternate”.

E.g. I read every other line. (I read the first line. I do not read the second line. I read             the third line. I do not read the fourth line)

3) the other

the other can be found in time expressions like the other day, the other week, etc., to indicate the recent past.

E.g. We saw her the other day.

the other day in the example carries the meaning of “a few days ago, not long ago”.

4) one after the other and one after another

The two expressions show that separate actions take place very close in time.

E.g. They arrived one after the other.
They arrived one after another.

5) other than

It is frequently used in negative sentences and has the same meaning as “except”.

E.g. No one understands the lesson other than James.
       No one understands the lesson except (for) James.

6) in other words

in other words is used to explain the meaning of the previous sentence(s).

E.g. IELTS assesses our ability to listen, read, write and speak. In other words, IELTS is a         comprehensive test.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, January 21, 2019

#EngClass: Irregular Plural Nouns (Revisit)

Hello, fellas. How is it going? In this session we will discuss irregular plurals. Most plural forms are made by adding an –s at the end of their singulars. Nevertheless, some plural nouns do not follow this rule.

1) Vowel change
man / men
woman / women
foot / feet
tooth / teeth
goose / geese
mouse / mice

2) Add –en
child / children
ox / oxen

3) Same as singular
deer / deer
fish / fish
people / people
salmon / salmon
sheep / sheep
trout / trout

4) -is / -es
analysis / analyses
axis / axes
crisis / crises
diagnosis / diagnoses
hypothesis / hypotheses
parenthesis / parentheses
synthesis / syntheses
thesis / theses

5) End in –a
bacterium / bacteria
curriculum / curricula
datum / data
phenomenon / phenomena
criterion / criteria

6) –us / -i
alumnus / alumni
bacillus / bacilli
cactus / cacti
fungus / fungi
nucleus / nuclei
radius / radii
stimulus / stimuli
syllabus / syllabi

Sources:
Grammarly, Plural Nouns: Rules and Examples, https://www.grammarly.com/blog/plural-nouns/
Deborah Phillips, Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, January 7, 2019

#EngKnowledge: The History of Scientific English

In this era, world science is probably still dominated by the use of English. It can be seen from a large number of research papers written in English to reach a global audience. However, English had not been the lingua franca for European intellectuals prior to the 1600s. They, including Isaac Newton, published their works in Latin.

There were several reasons to write science in Latin. The first one was about its audience. Latin was deemed more suitable for international scholars. On the other hand, English was only able to reach a more local audience.

Scholars also continued writing in Latin due to a concern for secrecy. To put preliminary ideas into the public domain could jeopardize them. This concern about intellectual property rights showed the humanist idea of the individual, rational scientist inventing and discovering through private intellectual work, as well as the nexus of science and commercial exploitation.

The third factor which hindered the use of English in science was its linguistic inadequacy. English did not have sufficient necessary technical vocabulary. Likewise, its grammar was unable to represent the world in an objective and impersonal way, and to discuss the relations.

Ultimately, several members of the Royal Society were interested in language and involved in various linguistic projects. They encouraged science to be published in English and a suitable writing style to be developed. Many of the society’s members also wrote their monographs in English, one of whom was Robert Hooke after conducting his experiments with microscopes in Micrographia (January 1665). Two months after the publication of Micrographia, Philosophical Transactions, world’s longest-running scientific journal, was introduced.

The development of scientific English thus saw a formative period in the seventeenth century. Nevertheless, German was the most prominent European language of science in the 1700s. By the end of the 18th century 401 German scientific journals had been inaugurated as opposed to 96 in France and 50 in England. The substantial lexical growth of scientific English occurred in the 1800s as the industrial revolution required new technical vocabulary. Furthermore, new, specialized, professional societies were formed to encourage and publish in the new areas of study.

Sources:
Cambridge IELTS 5
The Secret History of the Scientific Journal, https://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/philosophicaltransactions/

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, December 24, 2018

#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

#GrammarTrivia: Inverted Subjects and Verbs with Negative Expressions or Comparisons

In the session titled #GrammarTrivia: Omitting If, we have learned the inversions of subjects and verbs in conditional sentences. When a conditional sentence contains should, were, or had, the subject and verb of the if-clause are inverted. Inversion is also possible in sentences with negative expressions or comparisons.

(More on Omitting If: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/11/10/grammartrivia-omitting-if/)

1) Inversion with Negative Expressions

A negative expression, when it precedes a subject and verb, causes them to be inverted. It is to emphasize the negative element of the sentence.
List of negative expressions:
– no
– rarely
– not
– hardly
– never
– only
– neither
– rarely
– nor
– scarcely
– seldom

Examples:
1. Never were they so enthusiastic.
2. Hardly does she attend the class.

2) Inversion with Comparisons

Inverting the subject and verb of a sentence which contains a comparison is optional and rather formal.

Examples:
1. China is larger than Japan.
2. China is larger than Japan is.
3. China is larger than is Japan.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Deborah Phillips, Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, November 19, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Noun Clauses with ‘If’ or ‘Whether’

Hello, fellas. How is life today? In this session we are going to learn noun clauses beginning with if or whether. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a noun clause is a clause used as a subject or an object of a sentence.

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

When a noun clause begins with if or whether, it means that the clause is changed from a yes/no question. There is no difference in meaning between noun clauses using if and whether. However, whether is more formal and if is more common in speaking.

Examples:

1. Yes/No Question: Will he go?
Noun Clause:
a) They know whether he will go.
b) They know if he will go.

2. Yes/No Question: Does she understand the lesson?
Noun Clause:
a) We wonder whether she understands the lesson.
b) We wonder if she understands the lesson.

The expression or not may be added in noun clauses.

Examples:

1. We wonder whether or not she understands the lesson.
2. We wonder whether she understands the lesson or not.
3. We wonder if she understands the lesson or not.
4. Whether she understands the lesson or not is unimportant to us.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Omitting If

Hello, fellas. In this session we are going to discuss another form of conditional sentences. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a conditional sentence typically comprises of a conditional clause (an if-clause) as well as a result clause. However, the sentence can also be made without using if.

(More on conditional sentences: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/06/04/engclass-conditional-sentences-revisit/)

To omit if in a conditional sentence, make sure that the if-clause contains should, were, or had (past perfect). After if is omitted, the subject and verb of the if-clause are inverted.

Examples:

  1. If you should need my help, please tell me.
    Should you need my help, please tell me.
  2. If I were you, I would buy the book.
    Were I you, I would buy the book.
  3. If they had prepared themselves better, they would have passed the test.
    Had they prepared themselves better, they would have passed the test.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Deborah Phillips, Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Verbs + Gerunds/Infinitives

Hello, fellas. How is your first day in November? Let’s start this session with a question. Which one is correct: Lionel Messi began playing football since his childhood or Lionel Messi began to play football since his childhood?

Today we are going to discuss verbs and their objects, especially gerunds and infinitives. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, some verbs can come before gerunds or infinitives. However, the meaning can be similar or different.

1) No difference in meaning
begin, like, hate, start, love, can’t stand, continue, prefer, and can’t bear

Examples:
She began writing a book.
She began to write a book.

The two sentences carry no difference in their meaning. A gerund is usually used if the main verb is progressive, e.g.: She was beginning to write a book.

Note:
prefer + gerund: I prefer watching a movie to reading a book.
prefer + infinitives: I prefer to watch a movie than (to) read a book.

2) A difference in meaning
remember, forget, regret, and try

remember + gerund: remember or recall something that took place in the past
e.g.: He remembers going to the beach.

remember + infinitive: remember to perform responsibility, duty, or task
e.g.: He remembers to open the window.

forget + gerund: forget something that took place in the past
e.g.: They forget playing football together.

forget + infinitive: forget to perform responsibility, duty, or task
e.g.: They forget to pay the bills.

regret + gerund: regret something that took place in the past
e.g.: We regret watching the movie.

regret + infinitive: regret to say, to tell or inform someone of some bad news
e.g.: We regret to tell him about his failure.

try + gerund: experiment with a new or different approach to see if it works
e.g.: I try accessing the computer file.

try + infinitive: make an effort
e.g.: I try to understand trigonometry.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Reduced Adverb Clauses of Time (2)

Hello, fellas. On August 2, 2018, we learned how to reduce adverb clauses of time. There are two ways of reducing the adverb clause of time: (1) omit the subject and be (if any); or (2) if there is no be, omit the subject and change the verb to its –ing form. However, there are still other ways of the reduction.

(More on reduced adverb clauses of time: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/08/02/grammartrivia-reduced-adverb-clauses-of-time/)

If a sentence begins with an –ing form, it may be due to the reduction of an adverb clause of time using while, expressing the idea of “during the same time”.

Examples:

While I was walking to school, I witnessed a car accident.

Walking to school, I witnessed a car accident.

An adverb clause of time beginning with when can also be shortened to upon/on + -ing.

Examples:

When I finish my study, I will come back to Indonesia.

Upon finishing my study, I will come back to Indonesia.

On finishing my study, I will come back to Indonesia.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, October 26, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Expressing Necessity using ‘Have Got To’

Hello, fellas. In English, necessity can be expressed using must, have to, and have got to. For the use of must and have to has ever been discussed, this session is going to focus on that of have got to.

(More on the use of must and have to: https://englishtips4u.com/2014/06/09/grammartrivia-the-use-of-must-and-have-to/)

Even though have got to also carries the meaning of necessity, it is more typical to use have got to in spoken and informal English.

Examples:

1) I have got to take the IELTS test.

2) She has got to study hard.

In speech, have got to is usually pronounced gotta and have is omitted.

Example:

We gotta go to the bank.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Expressing Cause and Effect with “Such…That” and “So…That”

Hello, fellas. Our session today is about other ways of expressing cause and effect relationship. Usually it is introduced by prepositions, like because of and due to, or conjunctions, such as because.

(More on cause and effect: https://englishtips4u.com/2012/01/10/engclass-because-for-since-as-because-of-due-to/)

However, we can use the following constructions to show cause and effect.

1) Such…that
Such…that is used with a modified noun. The pattern is:
such + adjective + noun + that
Examples:
1. It was such a sunny day that we went to the beach.
2. She wrote such interesting books that everyone wanted to read them.

2) So…that
An adjective or adverb is enclosed by so…that. The pattern is:
so + adjective/adverb + that
Examples:
1. The day was so sunny that we went to beach.
2. Luka Modric performed so well that he was named as the best player.

So…that can also be used with expressions of quantity: many, few, much, and little.
Examples:
1. They had so little water that we could not take a bath.
2. She wrote so many books that she was awarded a prize.

Sources:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition
Michael A. Pyle and Mary Ellen Muñoz Page, Cliffs TOEFL Preparation Guide

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, October 11, 2018

#EngVocab: ‘The Same’, ‘Similar’, ‘Like’, and ‘Alike’

Hello, Fellas. Our session today is about some vocabularies with similar meaning – “the same,” “similar,” “like,” and “alike” – and how to use them in a sentence.

The same and similar are adjectives. However, same is always preceded by the.

  • Examples:
    • “Jane and Mary have the same personalities.”
    • “Jane and Mary have similar personalities.”
    • “Their personalities are the same.”
    • “Their personalities are similar.”

The other difference between “the same and “similar” lies in the prepositions following them. “As” comes after “the same,” while “to” follows “similar.”

  • Examples:
    • “Your smartphone is the same as mine.”
    • “Your smartphone is similar to mine.”

There may be a noun between “the same” and “as.”

  • Example:
    • “Jane is the same age as Mary.”

There is a slight difference between “like” and “alike.” “Like” precedes a noun, but “alike” never comes before a noun.

  • Examples:
    • The house looks like a palace.
    • The two sisters are alike.

Sources:

  • Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition
  • Deborah Phillips, Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, September 28, 2018


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#GrammarTrivia: ‘You’, ‘One’, and ‘They’ as Impersonal Pronouns

Hello, fellas. How is it going in the end of September? Our session today is about impersonal pronouns.

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a pronoun refers to a noun. The noun it replaces is called the antecedent. Based on their antecedents, pronouns are divided into two categories: singular pronouns and plural pronouns. A singular pronoun refers to a singular noun. On the other hand, the antecedent of a plural pronoun is a plural noun.

Sometimes, pronouns are used to refer to no antecedent. They are called impersonal pronouns. There are three impersonal pronouns: you, one, and they. You and one carry the same meaning as they refer to “any person, people in general”. However, you is less formal than one and more common in everyday English.

Examples:

1) You should pay to attention to the announcement. (informal)

2) One should pay to attention to the announcement. (formal)

As an impersonal pronoun, they means “some people or somebody” in spoken English. However, the antecedent is implied or not stated.

Example:

Why did Ann lose her job?

They fired her.

On the sentence above, they refers to the people for whom Ann worked.

Sources:

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, September 29, 2018

#GrammarTrivia: Am/Is/Are Being + Adjective

Hello, fellas. Can you guess the differences between these two sentences: Tom is funny and Tom is being funny? One difference lies in the tense used in them. The first sentence uses simple present tense, while the second is written in present progressive tense. Due to the different tenses, the meaning they carry is not similar either.

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, the use of simple present tense shows that an event or a situation exists in the past, present, and future. On the other hand, present progressive tense means that an event or a situation started in the past, is in progress when it is being said, and will probably end in the future.

(More on simple present tense and present progressive tense: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/10/09/engclass-simple-present-tense-positive/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2011/10/16/engclass-present-progressive-tense-positive/)

Present progressive tense may also be used with an adjective. The pattern is am/is/are being + adjective. It expresses someone’s temporary and uncharacteristic behaviour. However, only some adjectives can be used with such pattern: bad (ill-behaved), careful, cruel, fair, foolish, funny, generous, good (well-behaved), illogical, impolite, irresponsible, kind, lazy, logical, loud, nice, noisy, patient, pleasant, polite, quiet, responsible, rude, serious, silly, unfair, unkind, and unpleasant.

Based on the explanation above, in the first sentence Tom is known to be a funny person on a daily basis. On the contrary, as described by the second sentence, funny is not his characteristic.

Other examples:

1) Bill is generous.
This sentence means that generosity is Bill’s characteristic behaviour.

2) Bill is being generous.
In this example, Bill is said not to be generous in his daily life.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, September 20, 2018