Tag Archives: class

#EngClass: Portmanteau

Cronut.jpg
A cronut (croissant + donut). Pic from Wikipedia.

Have you ever heard or used the word ‘portmanteau?’

A portmanteau (/pɔːrtˈmæntoʊ/) or portmanteau word is a blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their sounds are combined into a new word. A portmanteau is also called blending word. For initial information of blending words, check out https://englishtips4u.com/2012/06/27/engclass-blending-words/

There are many portmanteau words that have been widely used, such as ‘smog’ (from ‘smoke’ + ‘fog’), ‘netizen’ (from ‘internet’ + ‘citizen’), or ‘workaholic’ (from ‘work’ + ‘alcoholic’).

If we categorize them, we will find that there are portmanteau words for:

  1. Animals.
    A new breed is usually named with a portmanteau word.
    E.g.:
    A ‘liger’ is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger.
  2. Popular culture.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Brangelina’ is a portmanteau of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s name.
    – ‘Bromance’ is a portmanteau of ‘brother’ and ‘romance,’ usually used to describe a tight friendship between two men.
  3. Vehicle.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Motorcycle,’ from ‘motorized’ + ‘bicycle.’
    – ‘Taxicab,’ from ‘taxi’ + ‘cabriolet’ (a type of horse carriage). Now, taxicab is more commonly known as simply ‘taxi’ or ‘cab.’
  4. Cuisine.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Brunch,’ from ‘breakfast’ + ‘lunch.’
    – ‘Cronut,’ from ‘croissant’ + ‘doughnut.
  5. General use.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Brexit,’ from ‘Britain’ + ‘exit.’
    – ‘Hangry,’ from ‘hungry’ + ‘angry.’
  6. Internet and computing.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Email,’ from ‘electronic’ + ‘mail.’
    – ‘Internet,’ from ‘international’ + ‘network.’
    – ‘Skype,’ from ‘sky’ + ‘peer-to-peer.’
  7. Organizations/companies.
    E.g.:
    – ‘Pinterest,’ from ‘pin’ + ‘interest.’
    – ‘Microsoft,’ from ‘microcomputer’ + ‘software.’

 

@Rnfadillaa: I just knewwww netizen means internet citizen. Thanksss @EnglishTips4U.
@laptamy: How about Frienemy? Is it a portmanteau too?
Yes, ‘frenemy’ comes from ‘friend’ + ‘enemy,’ used to describe someone with whom we have a love-hate relationship.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 18 April, 2018.


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#EngClass: Participial adjective – Comparative and superlative

Hello hey ho, fellas! Still following our previous discussion on ‘participial adjective’, we will talk about stating degrees of comparison.

Degrees of comparison are used when we compare one thing/person with another. There are three degrees of comparison:

  • positive,
  • comparative, and
  • superlative.

Comparative degree of comparison

Let’s start with the comparative degree. The comparative degree is used to compare
two persons or things having the same quality.

To form the comparative degree of adjectives, we usually add -er to adjective with two or less syllables. Example:

  • Taller
  • Lighter
  • Nicer

However, when forming the comparative degree of participial adjectives, we use the
word ‘more.’ Example:

Participial adjective

Comparative

Boring

More boring

Bored

More bored

Tiring

More tiring

Tired

More tired

Alarming

More alarming

Alarmed

More alarmed

 

More example:

Participial adjective

WRONG

Comparative

Relaxing

relaxinger

more relaxing

Relaxed

relaxeder

more relaxed

Interesting

interestinger

more interesting

Interested

interesteder

more interested

Confusing

confusinger

more confusing

Confused

confuseder

more confused

Superlative degree of comparison

Moving on to the superlative degree of adjective. Superlative degree denotes the existence of the highest degree of the quality. The superlative degree of adjective is used to single out one person or thing from all the rest.

To form the superlative degree of adjectives, we usually add ‘-est’ to adjective with
two or less syllables. Example:

  • Tallest
  • Lightest
  • Nicest

However, when forming the superlative degree of participial adjectives, we use the
word ‘most.
Example:

Participial adjective

Superlative

Boring

Most boring

Bored

Most bored

Tiring

Most tiring

Tired

Most tired

Alarming

Most alarming

Alarmed

Most alarmed

More example:

Participial adjective

WRONG

Comparative

Relaxing

relaxingest

Most relaxing

Relaxed

relaxedest

Most relaxed

Interesting

interestingest

Most interesting

Interested

interestedest

Most interested

Confusing

confusingest

Most confusing

Confused

confusedest

Most confused

 

That’s a wrap, fellas! I hope the explanation was clear enough. However, if you have any question on the topic, feel free to leave a message in the comment box.

 

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, April 8, 2017

 

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#EngClass: Participial adjective (3)

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

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

Present participle

Past participle

Boring

Bored

Relaxing

Relaxed

Tiring

Tired

Confusing

Confused

Exciting

Excited

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

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

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

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

If we were to compare the two side by side:

Present participle

Past participle

Penyebab perasaan

Perasaan yang dirasa

[Me- -kan]

[ter-], [ke- -an]

Entertaining

Entertained

Menghibur

Merasa terhibur

More examples:

Present participle

Past participle

Boring

(Membosankan)

Bored

(Merasa bosan)

Relaxing

(Membuat santai)

Relaxed

(Merasa santai)

Tiring

(Melelahkan)

Tired

(Merasa lelah)

Confusing

(Membingungkan)

Confused

(Merasa bingung)

Exciting

(Menarik)

Excited

(Merasa tertarik)

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

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

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

Answer:

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

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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#EngClass: Modal verb – Can

We’ve talked about “may” and “must” in previous posts. If you happen to miss them, check these out:

“Can” is commonly used to express:

  • Ability
  • Possibility
  • Permission

“Can” is only used in the present tense. In the past tense, we use “could”. We will talk about “could” in another instance.

 

When to use “can”?

We use the modal “can” to make statements about:

slide9

  1. In statements about ability.
    • Example:
      • I can sing.
  2. In statements about possibility.
    • Example:
      • It can get very crowded on holidays.
  3. In statements about offer.
    • Example:
      • Can I help you?
  4. In statements about permission.
    • Example:
      • Can I ask you a question?
  5. In statements about instruction and request.
    • Example:
      • Can you listen to me please?
  6. In statements about prohibition.
    • Example:
      • You can’t smoke in the building.
  7. In statements about impossibility.
    • Example:
      • It can’t be true. I just met her yesterday.

 

How to use “can”?

slide11

Next, we’ll talk about how to use “can” in a sentence.

  • Like every other modal verb, “can” is followed by a bare infinitive verb.
  • To form a negative sentence, “not” is slipped in between “can” and the bare infinitive verb. The negative sentence expresses prohibition and impossibility.

 

  1. “Can” in statements about ability.
    • Example:
      • (+) I can sing.
      • (-) I can’t sing.
      • (?) Can you sing?
  2. “Can” in statements about possibility.
    • Example:
      • (+) It can get very crowded on holidays.
      • (-) It can’t get crowded even on holidays.
      • (?) Can it get crowded on holidays?
  3. “Can” in statements about offer.
    • Example:
      • (+) I can help you.
      • (-) I can’t help you.
      • (?) Can I help you?
  4. “Can” in statements about permission.
    • Example:
      • (+) You can ask me anything.
      • (-) You can’t ask me.
      • (?) Can I ask you a question?
  5. “Can” in statements about instruction and request.
    • Example:
      • (+) Can you stay still!
      • (?) Can you listen to me please?
  6. “Can” in statements about prohibition.
    • Example:
      • (-) You can’t smoke in the building.
      • (-) We can’t park at the entrance.
  7. “Can” in statements about impossibility.
    • Example:
      • (-) It can’t be true. I just met her yesterday.

 

Prohibition

Prohibition is a negative permission. It is stated with a negative statement. To state a prohibition, we use “can’t” or “cannot”.

Subject + can + not + verb

Example:

  • You cannot meet her.
    • Meaning: You are not allowed to meet her.

Stating impossibility

To state the impossible, we use a negative statement.  When stating the impossible, we add “not” after “can”.

Subject + can + not + verb

Example:

  • You can’t be serious. I don’t believe you.
    • Meaning: What you’re saying is impossible.

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, February 1, 2017


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#EngClass: Modal verb – May

In this particular session/post, we’ll talk about “may”. It is one of many modal verbs which modify main verbs. Modal verbs are often used to express an opinion or attitude about a possible fact or to control a possible action.

Modal verbs either show:

  • a decision on how certain something is (a speculation or prediction about a fact, talk about degrees of certainty, possibility, likelihood)
  • the desire to control an action (give or refuse permission, talk about obligation and necessity)

When to use “may”?

“May” is most commonly used to express possibility. Other than that, “may” is also used for the following purposes:

slide9

  1. To express future possibility.
    • Example:
      • She is very smart. I think she may get the scholarship.
  2. To give permission.
    • Example:
      • You may go out now that your homework is done.(Present)
      • You may go out after your homework is done. (Future)
  3. To ask for permission.
    • Example:
      • May I stay overnight?
  4. To talk about typical occurrences.
    • Example:
      • You may find it difficult if you drink coffee in the evening.
  5. To speculate about past actions. 
    • Example:
      • She is late. I think she may have overslept.
  6. To express wishes.
    • Example:
      • May all your wishes come true.

How to use “may”?

slide10

  • In an interrogative sentence, “may” is placed up front and followed by subject and verb.
  • To form a negative sentence, “not” is placed after the word “may”.
  • In a sentence, “may” is placed after subject and before verb.
  1. To express future possibility.
    • Example:
      •  (+) She is very smart. I think she may get the scholarship.
      • (-) I think she may not get the scholarship.
  2. To give permission.
    • Example:
      • (+) You may go out now that your homework is done.(Present)
      • (-) You may not go out. Your homework is not done.
    • Example:
      • (+) You may go out after your homework is done. (Future)
      • (-) You may not go out even after your homework is done.
  3. To ask for permission.
    • Example:
      • (?) May I stay overnight?
  4. To talk about typical occurrences.
    • Example:
      • (+) You may find it difficult to sleep if you drink coffee in the evening.
      • (-) You may not find it difficult to sleep if you drink milk.
  5. To speculate about past actions.
    • Example:
      • (+) She is late. I think she may have overslept.
      • (-) She arrived looking tired. I think she may not have overslept.

Speculating past action

slide17

“May” can also be used to form a past tense sentence to express past possibility.

  • To express past possibility, “may” is followed by “have” and past participle (verb3).
    • Example:
      • She may have been waiting in the rain. She was feverish.
  • To form a negative sentence when talking about past possibility, “not” is placed right after “may”.
    • Example:
      • She may not have been waiting in the rain. Her clothes were dry.

Giving permission in the past

slide20

To express giving permission in the past, we do not use “may”. Instead, we use “be allowed to“. Both are synonymous, except “be allowed to” can be used to give permission in the present, past and future.

  • When we talk about giving permission in the past, “be allowed to” is positioned after subject and followed by an infinitive verb. And since we’re talking a past event, we use “was” or “were”.
    • Example:
      • He was allowed to go on a holiday.
  • To form a negative sentence when talking about giving permission in the past, “not” is slipped in right after “was/were”.
    • Example:
      • He was not allowed to go on a holiday.
  • To form an interrogative sentence when talking about giving permission in the past, “was/were” is placed up front followed by the subject, “allowed to” and the infinitive verb.
    • Example:
      • Was he allowed to go on a holiday?

Feel free to ask if you have any question in relation to “may”. Simply drop a comment down below or contact us on Twitter.

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, January 18, 2017


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#EngTrivia: Restrictive and Non-restrictive clause

In this article, we will talk about restrictive and non-restrictive clause; also known as defining and non-defining clause. What exactly are they?

They are types of relative clause which define a noun. They usually contain relative pronouns such as who, which, that, where, and when. For examples:

  1. “The cake which I bought from Breadtalk was delicious.”
  2. “This is the dress which I wore last week.”
  3. “I will go to the beach with Rina, who was my school mate, this weekend.”

From the examples, I would say sentences number 1 and 2 contain restrictive clauses while sentence number 3 contains a non-restrictive clause . Why?

Let’s start from number 1. What if ‘which I bought from Breadtalk’ is removed from the sentence? It will be ‘The cake was delicious.’ Then try to remove ‘which I wore last week,’ the sentence will turn to ‘This is the dress.’ The meaning of the sentence changed, didn’t it?

which I bought from Breadtalk’ and ‘which I wore last week’ are restrictive clauses because they add an important information. They explain and define the cake and the clothes we talk about. That is why it is also called defining clause.

How about sentence number 3? Read the sentence and avoid ‘who was my school mate.’ It will be ‘I will go to the beach with Rina this weekend.’

The sentence still have the same meaning because the clause we removed is just an additional explanation of the object, Rina. And that is why ‘who was my school mate’ is called non-restrictive clause.

Practice

Now I will give you some samples and you should determine it whether the sentences below contain restrictive or non-restrictive clause.

  1. My eldest son, who is 27, is studying in Australia.
  2. Her aunt who lives in Sulawesi visited her last week.
  3. I found your book on the bench which is in the park you visited yesterday.
  4. He wrote the review of Up, the movie which I have just watched, and posted it in his blog.

Answer

  1. It contains non-restrictive clause: who is 27
  2. It contains restrictive clause: who lives in Sulawesi
  3. It contains restrictive clause: where in the park you visited yesterday
  4. It contains non-restrictive clause: the movie which I have just watched

In a simpler way, non-restrictive clauses are always separated by commas while restrictive clauses are not.

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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#EngClass: Direct and indirect object

In this post, we are going to learn about what direct object and indirect object are, and how to identify and use them in a sentence.

Direct object

A direct object is a noun, a phrase, or a pronoun that follows a transitive verbA simple sentence containing a transitive verb and a direct object usually follows this formula:

  subject + transitive verb + direct object
  • Example:
    Sally buys a watch.

Sally

buys

a watch

subject

transitive verb

direct object

A direct object answers the question “what?” or “who?” in a sentence. The direct object in the example sentence above answers the question, “What does Sally buy?”

Indirect object

Pay attention to this sentence:

Evan gives his mother a gift.

“Evan” is the subject, “gives” is the transitive verb, but which is the direct object “his mother” or “a gift”? Let’s identify the direct object by asking the question “What does Evan give?” The answer is, “Evan gives a gift,” not “Evan gives his mother.”

So what is the role of “his mother” in that sentence? Yup, you guessed it, fellas, “his mother” acts as the indirect object of that sentence.

The indirect object of a sentence is the recipient of the direct object. It always comes between a transitive verb and a direct object. If a sentence contains an indirect object, it usually follows this formula:

  subject + transitive verb + indirect object + direct object 

An indirect object answers the question “to what/whom” or “for what/whom” an action is done. Let’s ask, “To whom Evan gives the gift?” The answer would be, “to his mother”. You can also see in the example sentence that “his mother” comes between the verb and the direct object. So, that is how you identify that “his mother” is the indirect object of that sentence.

An indirect object is basically a prepositional phrase in which the preposition “to” or “for” is not stated. If a sentence contains an indirect object, you can reform it following this formula:

  subject + transitive verb + direct object + to/for indirect object

So, you can also modify the example sentence into this form:

Evan gives a gift to his mother.

This modification is useful when the direct object is a pronoun instead of a noun. For example, you might say, “My sister doesn’t use her blue purse anymore, so she handed me it,” because you want to follow the first formula.

she

handed me it
subject transitive verb indirect object

direct object

You follow a valid formula, but that sentence sounds a little weird, doesn’t it, fellas? That’s when the second formula can be useful to smooth out your sentence so that it sounds more natural.

You can modify that sentence like this, “My sister don’t use her blue purse anymore, so she handed it to me.” Now the sentence sounds more natural and can be easily understood.

she

handed it to me
subject transitive verb direct object

prepositional phrase

So now you know what direct object and indirect object are, how to identify them, and how to form a sentence using both types of object. Understanding these grammar terms also helps you deal with grammar more easily in the future.

 

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, January 12, 2016

 

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#EngClass: Non-count nouns

In this article, we will learn about non-count nouns. Most non-count nouns refer to a ‘whole’ that is made up of different parts.

Many nouns can be used as either non-count or count nouns, but the meaning is different. Examples:

  • Non-count: Anna has brown hair.
  • Count: Tim has a hair on his jacket.

To express a particular quantity, some non-count nouns may be preceded by unit expressions. For example:

  • a spoonful of sugar,
  • a glass of water,
  • a cup of coffee,
  • a quart of milk,
  • a loaf of bread,
  • a grain of rice,
  • a bowl of soup,
  • a bag of flour,
  • a pound of meat,
  • a piece of furniture,
  • a piece of paper,
  • a piece of jewelry.

The following are typical of nouns which are commonly used as non-count nouns:

  1. Whole groups made up of similar items:
    • baggage, clothing, equipment, food, fruit, furniture, garbage, hardware, jewelry, junk, luggage, machinery, mail, makeup, money/cash/change, postage, scenery, traffic, etc.
  2. Fluids:
    • water, coffee, tea, milk, oil, soup, gasoline, blood, etc.
  3. Solids:
    • ice, bread, butter, cheese, meat, gold, iron, silver, glass, paper, wood, cotton, wool, etc.
  4. Gases:
    • steam, air, oxygen, nitrogen, smog, smoke, pollution, etc.
  5. Particles:
    • rice, chalk, corn, dirt, dust, flour, grass, hair, pepper, salt, sand, sugar, wheat, etc.
  6. Abstractions:
    • beauty, confidence, courage, education, enjoyment, fun, happiness, health, advice, information, news, time, space, energy, homework, work, grammar, vocabulary, etc.
  7. Languages:
    • Arabic, Chinese, English, Spanish, etc.
  8. Fields of study:
    • chemistry, engineering, history, literature, mathematics, psychology, dentistry, etc.
  9. General activities:
    • driving, studying, swimming, traveling, walking, etc.
  10. Recreation:
    • baseball, soccer, tennis, chess, poker, etc.
  11. Natural phenomena:
    • weather, dew, fog, hail, heat, humidity, lightning, rain, sleet, snow, thunder, wind, darkness, light, sunshine, electricity, fire, gravity, etc.

 

Should you have any comment or question regarding this topic, feel free to leave a message in the comment box down below.

Compiled and written by @sherlydarmali for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, December 4,  2016

 

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#EngClass: Transitive and intransitive verbs

In this post, we will talk about transitive and intransitive verb and how those two differ. Let’s cut to the chase!

Transitive Verb

A transitive verb requires an object.

Example:

“I carry a stick.”

In the sentence above, carry is the transitive verb and a stick is the noun that acts as the object in that sentence. The object following the transitive verb can be a noun, phrase, or pronoun that is affected by the action of the verb. It always answers the question “What?” – What do I carry? I carry a stick.  Using a transitive verb without an object will make an incomplete sentence – simply saying “I carry” without an object would not make sense.

Quickanddirtytips.com has a tip for remembering the name of the verb: think of a transitive verb as transferring their action to the object.

Intransitive Verb

An intransitive verb don’t have a direct object receiving the action. It can be followed by an adverb or a prepositional phrase, but it can never be followed by a noun.

Example:

“He sits.”

The sentence is complete without an object. Therefore, sit is an intransitive verb.

“He sits” can be followed by a prepositional phrase such as “on a wooden chair”. But using a noun immediately after the verb, e.g., “He sits a wooden chair” would make an incorrect sentence because the verb can’t take an object.

However, many verbs can be both transitive or intransitive, depending on what follows them in the sentence. In one sentence, a verb may require an object, while in others it does not require an object. A few examples of verb that can be transitive and intransitive: run, play, return.

“She runs across the street.”

In the sentence above, run acts as an intransitive verb because across the street is a prepositional phrase.

“Dad runs a stationery shop.”

Run is a transitive verb in this sentence because a stationery shop is a noun that acts as the object.

If we confuse transitive and intransitive verb, our sentence may be incomplete or incorrect. Therefore, it helps to know the difference between those two kinds of verb and how to use them in a sentence.

References:

Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, November 10, 2016

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#EngClass: Subject complement

Complement is the word added to complete an incomplete sentence.

Subject complement is the word that follow a linking verb and identify or describe the subject.

Linking verb: is, am, are, was, were, appear, become, feel, look, remain, sound, taste, grow, etc.

There are two kinds of subject complements:

  1. If the subject complement is a noun or pronoun, it is a predicate nominative. Predicate nominatives (nouns and pronouns) explain the subject or give another name for the subject.
  2. If the subject complement is an adjective, it is a predicate adjective. Predicate adjective describe the subject.

 

Examples:

  1. Joe is a gourmet.
    • noun subject complement (a gourmet) after verb be (is).
  2. Joe became a gourmet.
    • noun subject complement (a gourmet) after linking verb (became).
  3. The meatballs are delicious.
    • adjective subject complement (delicious) after verb of being (are).
  4. The meatballs taste delicious.
    • adjective subject complement (delicious) after linking verb (taste).

 

Practice:

Task: Find the subject complement.

Hint: look for the linking verb to help you find the subject complement.

1. Ross seems worried.
Ross
‘Ross’ is the subject
seems
‘seems’ is the linking verb
worried
Correct!
2. Some caterpillars become butterflies.
Some caterpillars
‘Some caterpillar’ is the subject
become
‘become’ is the linking verb
butterflies
Correct!
3. You look happy.
You
‘You’ is the subject
look
‘look’ is the linking verb
happy
Correct!
4. The man became furious at the delay.
The man
‘The man’ is the subject
became
‘became’ is the linking verb
furious
Correct!
at the delay
‘at the delay’ is the adverb
4. The man became furious at the delay.
The man
‘The man’ is the subject
became
‘became’ is the linking verb
furious
Correct!
at the delay
‘at the delay’ is the adverb
5. The chlorine in the pool smelled harsh.
The chlorine
‘The chlorine’ is the subject
in the pool
‘in the pool’ is an adverb phrase. In combination with ‘the chlorine’, they form a noun phrase
smelled
‘smelled’ is the linking verb
harsh
Correct!
6. This bread tastes moldy to me.
This bread
‘This bread’ is the subject
tastes
‘tastes’ is the linking verb
moldy
Correct!
to me
‘to me’ is an adverb phrase.

 
Compiled and written by @sherlydarmali for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, November 6, 2016

 

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#EngClass: Everybody – Singular or Plural?

Is ‘everybody’ singular or plural? Do you refer to ‘everyone’ with ‘him/her’ or ‘them’?
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Alright alright… Let’s resolve this confusion together, shall we?

First of all; ‘everybody’ is an indefinite pronoun. Indefinite pronouns refer to nonspecific persons or things. And these are indefinite pronouns:

Somebody

Someone

Something

Everybody

Everyone

Everything

Anybody

Anyone

Anything

Nobody

None

Nothing

We use them to refer to a total number of people, things and places. We write them as one word.

Some indefinite pronouns, despite the illogic, are always singular. One of them is ‘everybody’. In this particular post, we’ll specifically talk about one of the: ‘everybody’.

 

‘Everybody’ in formal English

While ‘everybody’ seems like a plural noun, since it refers to a crowd of people, it is actually a singular subject. It refers to ONE group of people.

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We use ‘everybody’ with singular verbs.

Example:

  • Everybody knows the truth.
    • ‘knows’ is a singular verb

When we want to refer back to ‘everybody’ and we don’t know if it’s a group of males or females, we use ‘him or her’ and ‘his or her’.

Example:

  • Everybody has his or her own desk.
    • ‘his or her’ is a singular pronoun.

Okay. We hereby determine that ‘everybody’ is singular.

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‘Everybody’ in informal English

Now, how many of you have HEARD of people referring back to ‘everybody’ by using ‘them‘?

As mentioned above, despite being illogical, it is grammatically correct to treat ‘everybody’ as singular, especially in formal English.

However, when people talk, logic wins, so you will hear plural pronouns such as ‘them’. We use ‘them’ in informal conversations.

Example:

  • Everybody was putting a smile on their face.
    • ‘their’ is a plural pronoun.

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Anyone confused yet? So is ‘everybody’ singular or plural? Let’s clarify things up, shall we?
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I hope that last image helped solve the confusion, fellas. Feel free to mention us or leave a comment if you have any question. We’ll solve it together.

 

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, October 19, 2016

 

Related post(s):

 

^MQ

#EngClass: Time related adverb clause

Adverb clauses are subordinate clauses that show relationships between ideas related to time, cause and effect, contrast and condition.

 

Some common used time related adverb clauses:

  1.  After means after that moment. ‘After’ takes the present for future events and the past or past perfect for past events.
    • Example:
      • After she graduates, she will get a job.
  2. Before means before that moment. ‘Before’ takes after the simple past or the present.
    • Example:
      • l left before he came.
  3. When means at the moment, at that time. ‘When’ takes either the simple past or the present. The dependent clause changes tense in relation to the when clause.
    • Example:
      • When I got there, he had already left.

 

There are others time related adverb clauses like while as, by the time, since, until, etc. Okay, why don’t you try some exercises.

Practice:

1. We will finish after he ……….
comes
correct!
came
2. He was talking on the phone when I ……….
arrive
arrived
correct!
3. I will leave before he ……….
comes
correct!
came
4. When I was in Chicago, I ……….. the museums.
visit
visited
correct!
5. When it began to rain, I ………. under the tree.
stand
stood
correct!
6. I washed the dishes when my daughter ………. asleep.
fall
fell
correct!
7. When I ………. him tomorrow, I will ask him.
see
correct!
saw

 

Composed and written by @sherlydarmali for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, October 16, 2016

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^MQ

#EngClass: Conjunction

‘Conjunction’ is a word used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause.

Types of conjunction

There are three types of conjuction:

  • Coordinating conjunctions: ‘for,’ ‘and,’ ‘nor,’ ‘but,’ ‘or,’ ‘yet,’ ‘so.’
  • Correlative conjunctions: ‘either… or…,’ ‘neither… nor…,’ ‘not only… but also…,’ ‘both… and…’
  • Common subordinating conjunctions: ‘after,’ ‘before,’ ‘although,’ ‘though,’ ‘even though,’ ‘as much as,’ ‘as long as,’ ‘as soon as,’ ‘because,’ ‘since,’ ‘so that,’ ‘in order that,’ ‘if,’ ‘even if,’ ‘that,’ ‘unless,’ ‘until,’ ‘whether,’ ‘while.’

Conjunctions and their meanings

  1. ‘Although’/’even though.’ Meaning: it doesn’t matter or make a difference.
    • Example:
      • “Although/Even though I have the money, I won’t buy the shoes.”
  2. ‘And.’ Meaning: non-contrasting item(s) or idea(s); in addition; extra; plus.
    • Example:
      • “I enjoy tea and cookies when I eat a snack.”
  3. ‘Because.’ Meaning: the reason is…
    • Example:
      • “I got wet because I forgot my umbrella.”
  4. ‘But.’ Meaning: a contrast or exception.
    • Example:
      • “They gamble but they don’t smoke.”
  5. ‘Or.’ Meaning: an alternative item or idea.
    • Example:
      • ‘I can’t decide if I want an apple or a banana with my yogurt.”
  6. ‘For.’ Meaning: is almost like because or since; it introduces, in a formal tone, a reason.
    • Example:
      • “He is gambling with his health, for he has been smoking since high school.”
  7. ‘Nor.’ Meaning: an alternative negative idea or though.
    • Express:
      • “Brian did not like singing, nor did he like dancing.”
  8. ‘Yet.’ Meaning: a contrary but logical idea will follow
    • Example:
      • “Shelly is a quite yet very outgoing girl.”
  9. ‘So.’ Meaning: suggest that a consequence will follow
    • Example:
      • “He hate to drink milk, so he try to drink soy for breakfast.”

Compiled and written by @sherlydarmali for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, October 2, 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.

 

wp-1469853521232.jpg

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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^MQ

#EngClass: Correlative Conjunction

Today’s #EngClass will be about an important detail that you need to pay attention to when creating a sentence: Correlative Conjunction (CC).

CC connects 2 equal grammatical items.

Meaning? If within a sentence you used a noun before ‘either’ then you should also use a noun after ‘or’.

Here are some examples of CC as compiled by The Yuniversity:

  
The equal nature of the parts is called “parallelism.”

Let’s take a look at examples:

1. My boyfriend is both handsome and loyal. <— ‘Handsome’ and ‘loyal’ are both adjectives

2. Today, we will either read a book or watch a movie. <— ‘Read’ and ‘watch’ are both verbs.

3. She likes neither to exercise nor to go out. <— ‘To exercise’ and ‘to go out’ are both Infinite Verb.

So we cannot say “My boyfriend is both loyal and he is also very handsome.”

Or “Today we will either read a book or watching a movie.”

Or even “She likes neither to exercise nor go out” because ‘go out’ is a Bare Infinitive Verb without the ‘to’. 

So whenever you are writing a sentence with CC, always make sure that they are parallel with each other.

Source: The Yuniversity

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 9 August 2015.

#EngClass: Reciprocal Pronoun

Let’s start today’s session by looking at this picture:

  
Do you think the kittens are attacking each other, or attacking one another?

@ririnceu: each other

@Hearmason: attacking one another

To answer this question correctly, first we need to understand the concept of Reciprocal Pronoun (RP).

RP is when two or more subjects are doing the same thing, at the same time. 

For example, A is doing something to B, whilst B is also doing something to A.

In the English language, there are two known RPs: Each Other and One Another.

In the Indonesian language, they can be translated as “saling …”

What’s the difference between Each Other and One Another? The answer is very simple.

We use Each Other when there are two subjects involved (terlibat).

  
We use One Another when there are more than two subjects involved.

  
So the answer to the question will be like this: The kittens are attacking each other.

However, many linguists have dissenting opinion (pendapat bertentangan) about the difference between the two.

Some believes that you can use Each Other and One Another for more than 2 subjects.

But generally they agreed that we use Each Other when there are only 2 subjects.

So, Each Other can be used for both, whilst One Another can only be used for more than 2 subjects.

Source: Quick and Dirty Tips, British Council English learning page

Image: Warren Photographic, dreamstime.com

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 2 August 2015.

#EngVocab: Phrasal Verb “Pass”

Hiyya, fellas! It seems we haven’t discussed phrasal verbs in a long time. Let’s talk about phrasal verbs with the word “Pass”.

To refresh your memory, “phrasal verb” is a combination of verb & preposition which gives a new meaning. Read more here:  #EngTrivia: Sentence, clause, phrase, phrasal verb, idiom, proverb, quote & slang

Sebagai kata kerja (verb), “pass” bisa berarti:
(a) lulus,
contoh: I passed the test.
Aku lulus ujian.
(b) melewati,
contoh: She passes my house on her way to school every morning.
Dia lewat depan rumahku saat ke sekolah setiap pagi.
(c) mengoper, memindahkan,
contoh: Can you pass the salt, please?
Bisa tolong oper (botol) garam itu?

Ayo kita lihat perubahan artinya saat k.kerja “pass” diikuti dengan beberapa “kata keterangan (preposition)” berikut ini: …

1. Pass + away : to pass out of existence, to die, meninggal.
Contoh: Gran passed away a few years ago of old age.
*…meninggal beberapa tahun lalu…*

2. Pass + for : to be accepted as, to believed to be, dikira, dipercaya.
Contoh: You could easily pass for a teenager without makeup.
*…dikira seorang ABG…*

3. Pass + off :
(a) to offer/sell an imitation as genuin, menjual benda palsu sebagai benda asli.
Contoh: He was caught for passing off glass as a gemstone.
*…jual kaca seolah itu batu permata…*
(b) to present someone as other than what he/she is, berpura-pura.
Contoh: He tried to pass himself off as a banker.
* …pura-pura menjadi seorang bankir. *

4. Pass + out : to lose consciousness, pingsan.
Contoh: She passed out on the first day of fasting.
*…pingsan di hari pertama puasa.* 

5. Pass + over: to leave out; disregard, mengabaikan.
Contoh: Let’s pass over what he said and go home.
*…abaikan kata-katanya dan pulang saja.*

6. Pass + up: to let go by; reject, membiarkan lepas, menolak.
Contoh: My boss just offered an opportunity too good to pass up.
*…kesempatan yg terlalu bagus untuk dilepaskan.*

And that’s a wrap for today, fellas! For more phrasal verbs, head to: Collection of Phrasal Verb

Compiled and written by @Miss_Qiak at @EnglishTips4U on July 17, 2014

#EngClass: subject-verb agreement using the expressions of quantity

Before we start I have 2 questions. Fill in the gap with is/ are:

1. Some of the kids ___ hungry.

2. One of the books ___ stolen.

Correct! Do you know why? “: 1. Some of the kids ARE hungry.  2. One of the books IS stolen. OK, great! :) “: karena some itu “beberapa”, yang berarti jamak. Dan one itu satu yang berarti tunggal?”

Hmm.. It seems the questions were too easy for you. 2 more then:

3. Some of the student ___ nice.

4. All the equipment ___ new.

Correct! Do you know why? :) “: 3. is 4. is” Well done! :) “: both of them have singular subjects so the verbs must be singular too.”

Today’s topic is actually about subject-verb agreement using the expressions of quantity.

1. In most expressions of quantity, the verb is determined by the noun or pronoun that follows of. For example:

  1. Some of the book is good. (the noun is “book” = singular)
  2. Some of the books are good. (the noun is “books” = plural)
  3. A lot of the equipment is new. (equipment = uncountable noun = singular)
  4. A lot of my friends are nice. (friends = plural)
  5. Two-thirds of the money is mine. (money = uncountable n. = singular)
  6. Two-thirds of the pennies are mine. (pennies = plural).

2. “One of”, “each of”, and “every one of” are exceptions. They all take singular verbs. Example: One of the books is stolen.

3. Subjects with “none of” are considered singular in very formal English, but plural verbs are used in informal speech/writing. For example:

  1. None of the kids is here. (formal)
  2. None of the kids are here. (informal)

4. “The number” is followed by plural noun and takes singular verb. Example: The number of students is twenty.

5. While “a number” is followed by plural noun and takes plural verb. Example: A number of students are in the class.

Source: Understanding and Using English Grammar Second Edition by Betty Schrampfer Azar

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on March 31, 2014