#GrammarTrivia: The Use of ‘The’ or No Article with Names

Hello, fellas. This session is still related to when we should use articles or not.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2019/09/18/grammartrivia-using-a-or-no-article-for-generalization/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2019/10/05/grammartrivia-the-use-of-the/)

1) The does not precede titled names.
Examples:
I saw Mr. Jones.
Doctor Charles graduated in 2004.
President Obama spent his childhood in Indonesia.

2) The does not come before the names of continents.
Examples:
There are many great football players in Europe.
Africa is often hit by starvation.

3) The names of most countries are not preceded by the.
Examples:
Germany produces several prominent scientists.
Massive floods took place in China.

4) The comes before the names of only a few countries, such as the United States, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, the Dominican Republic.
Examples:
Donald Trump is the President of the United States.
Euro 1988 was won by the Netherlands.

5) The is not used with the names of cities.
Examples:
Kuala Lumpur was the capital city of Malaysia.
There are many football clubs in London.

6) The is used with the names of rivers, oceans, and seas.
Examples:
The Nile River is in Africa.
The Indian Ocean is known for its wave.

7) The does not precede the names of lakes.
Example:
Samosir lies in the middle of Lake Toba.

8) The comes before the names of mountain ranges.
Example:
Many tourists visited the Alps.

9) The is not used with the names of individual mountains.
Example:
They climbed Mount Merapi.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, October 13, 2019

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#GrammarTrivia: The Use of ‘The’

Hello, fellas. This session is still related to the previous session about the use of an article.

(More: https://englishtips4u.com/2019/09/18/grammartrivia-using-a-or-no-article-for-generalization/)

Beside a/an, the other article is the. The precedes

1) singular count nouns
e.g. the cat

2) plural count nouns
e.g. the cats

3) noncount nouns
e.g. the fruit

The is used when the speaker and his/her listener are thinking about the same specific person(s) or thing(s).
e.g. Have you fed the cat?

In the example above, the speaker and the listener are thinking about the same specific cat. The listener knows which cat the speaker is talking about. There is only one cat about which the speaker could be talking.

The is also used when the speaker mentions a noun the second time.
e.g. I had a book. I gave the book to Sally.

I had a book constitutes the first mention. In the second mention, the listener knows which book the speaker is talking about: the book the speaker had.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Using “A” or No Article for Generalization

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to use a or no article. A or no article is used when a speaker is making a generalization.

A comes before a singular noun when a generalization is expressed.

Examples:
1) A leaf is green.
2) A cat makes a good pet.

In the above-mentioned examples, the speaker is talking about any leaf and any cat, all leaves and all cats, leaves and cats in general.

No article is used when a speaker is making a generalization with a plural count noun.

Examples:
3) Leaves are green.
4) Cats make good pets.

The meaning of these examples is similar to that of example 1 and 2. Sometimes an expression of quantity (e.g., almost all, most, some) is used in a generalization.

Examples:
5) She saw some cats in her room.
6) Most students read books.

If a generalization is about an uncountable noun, no article is used.

Examples:
7) Milk is good for your health.
8) Fruit contains vitamins.

Some can be used in the generalization of an uncountable noun.

Examples:
9) Can you get me some food?
10) He drank some milk.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, September 14, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Length of Time (How Long & It + Take)

Hello, fellas. How long have you been learning English? In this session we will learn how to ask about and express length of time.

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, a question about length of time is started by how long.

Examples:
1) How long did you sleep last night?
2) How long will they stay in New York?

How long can be replaced by how many + minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years.

Example:
How many weeks will they stay in New York?

On the other hand, length of time can be expressed by this formula:

It + Take + (Someone) + Length of Time + Infinitive

(Infinitive = to + the simple form of a verb)

Examples:
1) It takes 90 minutes to play football.
2) It took Mary two months to write her book.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, August 27, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Conditional Sentences Using ‘As If’, ‘As Though’ and ‘Like’

Hello, fellas. How’s life today? On this occasion we will learn several 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. Besides, an adverb clause can be introduced by whether or not, even if, in case, in the event that, unless and only if.

(More on conditional sentences: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/06/04/engclass-conditional-sentences-revisit/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2019/02/05/grammartrivia-other-forms-of-conditional-sentences/)

Conditional sentences can also be formed by using as if, as though and like. The use of as if or as though usually carries the same meaning as an untrue conditional sentence.

Examples:
1) She kept playing as if she were a child.
Fact: She is not a child.
2) He explained the lesson to his classmates as though he had learned all the materials.
Fact: He did not learn all the materials.

In conditional sentences, like precedes a clause. However, it is not generally considered appropriate in formal English and more common in informal English.

Example:
It looks like it is going to be sunny.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: The Past Perfect Progressive

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn the past perfect progressive.

To begin with, we need to understand the past perfect first. The past perfect conveys an idea that an activity was completed before another activity or time in the past.

(More on the past perfect: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/12/26/engclass-past-perfect-tense/)

Example:
Felix had finished his study when Mary started her tertiary education.
First: Felix finished his study.
Second: Mary started her tertiary education.

In the past perfect progressive, the emphasis is put on the duration of an activity that was in progress before another activity or time in the past.

Example:
She had been reading a book for two hours before I came.

The past perfect progressive may also express a meaning that an activity was in progress close in time to another activity or time in the past.

Example:
He was tired because he had been running.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, August 4, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Relative Clauses to Modify Pronouns

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn the use of relative clauses to modify pronouns.

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 can also be used to modify indefinite pronouns (everyone, everybody, everything, someone, somebody, something, anyone, anybody, anything, no one, nobody, nothing)

Example:
1) There is somebody whom she wants to see.
2) Anything which they said was irrelevant.

Pronouns such as the one(s) and those can be modified by relative clauses, too.

Example:
1) Catherine was the only one whom I talked to in the class.
2) The governments provide scholarships for those who are unable to pay their tuition fees.

Relative clauses are extremely rarely used to modify personal pronouns (I, you, she, he, it, we, they). Even though it is possible, it is very formal and uncommon.

Example:
It is I who help the students.

Source:

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, July 19, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: “Always” in the Progressive

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn the use of always in the progressive.

Always is usually used in the simple present to describe habits or everyday activities.
Example: I always go to school at 6:30.

It may be used in the present progressive to complain, express annoyance or anger.
Example: She is always coming late!

Beside always, the words forever and constantly can also be used in the present progressive to convey annoyance.
Example: She is always/forever/constantly coming late!

Always, forever, and constantly may be used in the past progressive to express annoyance or anger.
Example: She was always/forever/constantly coming late.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, July 6, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: The Present Progressive and the Simple Present to Express the Future

Hello, fellas. In the previous session of #GrammarTrivia on June 11, 2019, we learned how the future is expressed in time clauses.

(More on the future in time clauses: https://englishtips4u.com/2019/06/15/grammartrivia-expressing-the-future-in-time-clauses/)

Our session today is about using the present progressive and the simple present to express the future.

The future is expressed by the present progressive when a sentence concerns a planned event or definite intention. Its future meaning is conveyed by future time words or the context.

Example:
My sister is seeing a doctor next Wednesday.

The simple present may also be used to express the future in a sentence if it concerns a definite schedule or timetable. It usually contains future time words. Only several verbs are used in this way, e.g., open, close, begin, end, start, finish, arrive, leave, come, return.

Example:
The competition starts tomorrow.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Expressing the Future in Time Clauses

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn how to express the future in time clauses.

A time clause is an adverb clause beginning with such words as when, before, after, as soon as, until, and while. However, will or be going to is not used in a time clause. The clause carries future meaning despite its simple present tense.

Example:
Dave will arrive soon. When he arrives, we will see him.

Sometimes a time clause uses the present progressive to express an activity that will be in progress in the future.

Example:
While I am studying overseas next year, I am going to visit several tourism destinations.

To emphasize the completion of the act before the other act takes place in the future, the present perfect is used in a time clause.

Example:
She will take a rest after she has finished her project.

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

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, June 7, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Using Already, Yet, Still, and Anymore

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn the use of several adverbs. They are already, yet, still, and anymore.

1) Already
• Meaning: Something occurred before now.
• Position: Midsentence.
• Example: The computer is already there.

2) Yet
• Meaning: Something did not take place before now (until this time), but it may happen in the future.
• Position: End of sentence.
• Example: The mail has not come yet.

3) Still
• Meaning: A situation continues its existence from past to present with no change.
• Position: Midsentence.
• Example: We can still play the guitar.

4) Anymore
• Meaning: A past situation has changed or does not continue at present. It has the same meaning as any longer.
• Position: End of sentence.
• Example: She does not teach English anymore.

Source:
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Fundamentals of English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, May 20, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Predicate Adjectives

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn predicate adjectives.

According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, adjectives are words describing nouns. They are usually placed right before nouns. An adjective can also follow a linking verb such as be, feel, look, smell, sound, taste, appear, seem, and become.

(More on linking verbs: https://englishtips4u.com/2011/08/23/engclass-linking-verb/ and https://englishtips4u.com/2012/03/12/engclass-linking-verbs/)

However, several adjectives only occur after linking verbs and they cannot come directly before nouns they describe. A predicate adjective should be changed into its corresponding form to use in front of a noun.

Here are predicate adjectives and their corresponding forms:

alike= like similar

alive= live living

alone= lone

afraid= frightened

asleep= sleeping

Examples:

1) The two brothers look alike.

2) We completed our projects in a similar manner.

3) The girl is afraid of heights.

4) The frightened child cried for his mother.

Sources:
Deborah Phillips, Longman Complete Course for The TOEFL Test
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 Wednesday, May 8, 2019

#GrammarTrivia: Verbs of Perception

Hello, fellas. In this session we will learn the use of verbs of perception. Verbs of perception express the experience of one of the physical senses. They are also called perception verbs or perceptual verbs.

Several of them are followed by the simple form of a verb (the infinitive form without to) or the -ing form (the present participle).

They are:
see
notice
watch
look at
observe
hear
listen to
feel
smell

The two forms often carry little difference in meaning, except that the –ing form frequently gives the notion of while.

Examples:
1) He saw his friend ride a bicycle.
2) He saw his friend riding a bicycle. (He saw his friend while he was riding a bicycle)

Sometimes, the use of –ing form means that an activity is already in progress when it is perceived.

Examples:
1) When she walked into her boarding house, she heard her roommate crying. (The crying was in progress when she first heard it)
2) When she walked into her boarding house, she heard her roommate cry. (She heard the crying from beginning to end)

Sources:
ThoughtCo., Verb of Perception, https://www.thoughtco.com/verb-of-perception-1692486
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, April 28, 2019

#EngTips: Overview (IELTS Writing Task 1)

Hello, fellas. In this session we will discuss the overview in IELTS Writing Task 1.

An overview is not a conclusion. A conclusion is a final judgement or opinion. On the other hand, an overview simply describes the main points. It summarizes the information depicted in the graph.

An overview can be put either right after the introduction or in the last paragraph. It does not matter where you place it as long as it is written in your report. However, it is recommended that the overview be put at the beginning because if you run out of time and do not write an overview at all, you will be unable to get a band 6 or higher for your task achievement.

To write an overview, you need to look at the most noticeable feature – what changes occurred from the beginning to the end. You do not need to state numbers because they are included in the specific details. Features like ‘overall change’, ‘highest’ and ‘lowest’, are mentioned without specific figures.

Example:

CO2

Overview:

Overall, it is clear that the UK produced the most emissions per capita of the 4 nations over the period although the levels fell slightly. The amount of CO2 emitted per person dropped more markedly in Sweden while levels rose in Italy and Portugal.

Sources:

Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: GRAPH REVIEW (Academic Task 1)
Global Manpower, GUIDELINE IELTS WRITING TASK 1
IELTS buddy, IELTS Made Easy: Step-by-step guide to writing a Task 1
IELTS Writing Task 1 Simon
Bayside, IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: band 9 sample, https://www.baysidecollege.com.au/task-1-sample/

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, April 12, 2019

#EngTips: 3 Sentence Structures to Describe Trends (IELTS Writing Task 1)

Hello, fellas. In this session we will discuss one of key elements in IELTS Writing Task 1. It is a variety of sentence structures to describe trends.

To achieve a high score, you should learn to write sentences using different patterns. However, students tend to use only one of those. Consequently, their answer sounds ‘mechanical’. By varying how your sentences are structured, you can show your wide range of grammar.

It is essential that you get word forms right. Verbs can change into nouns and adverbs change into adjectives depending on the structure you choose.

The patterns are:

1) Noun + verb + adverb
Example: The consumption of oil rose steadily in 2008.

2) There + be + adjective + noun + in + noun
Example: There was a steady rise in the consumption of oil in 2008.

3) Time + saw/experienced/witnessed + adjective + noun + in + noun
Example: 2008 saw a steady rise in the consumption of oil.

Source:
IELTS buddy, IELTS Made Easy: Step-by-step guide to writing a Task 1

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, March 31, 2019

#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

#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