Tag Archives: informal

#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

 

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#GrammarTrivia: ‘Good’ vs. ‘well’

Good vs. Well.JPG

When we meet somebody, we frequently ask or are asked how we are doing. To those questions, we often response with, “I’m good” or “I’m well.”

You might have wondered which one of those phrases is correct.

In this #GrammarTrivia article, we are going to discuss when to use ‘good’ and ‘well.’

 

Describing ‘good’ and ‘well’

‘Good’ is an adjective. We use it to describe noun as ‘pleasing’ or ‘of acceptable quality.’

Example:

  • “This sandwich is really good.”

‘Well’ is an adverb, used to describe an action that is done in a pleasing way.

Example:

  • “Jonah plays the violin really well.”

Thus, when telling about an event or action, we use ‘well.’

More examples:

  • “My day had been going so well prior to her call.”
  • “I get along well with my colleagues.”
  • “You sing very well.”

 

‘Good’ as adverb

What could be a little confusing now, fellas, is that ‘good’ can also work as adverb in informal speech or writing.

For example:

  • “The prescription works good with my diet. The new trainee is doing really good. “(informal)

However, please be reminded that the above sentence is informal. For formal use, ‘well’ will fit better.

For example:

  • “The prescription works good with my diet. The new trainee is doing really well. “(formal)

 

‘Well’ as adjective

At the same time, using ‘well’ as an adjective can also be acceptable. For example, somebody is asking us about how we feel after we recover from an illness.

Q: How are you? I heard you were admitted to the hospital.
A: I’m well now, thank you very much. Just a bad case of dehydration.

In this context, using “I’m well” is more suitable since it is more specific than ‘good,’ indicating that the speaker is in good health condition.

 

Is there any other examples in which ‘good’ and ‘well’ confuse you, fellas? Feel free to drop a comment!

 

Compiled and written by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 29 August, 2016

 

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#EngKnowledge: Dress codes

We meet again here to discuss ‘dress code.’ The term usually surfaces when you are about to attend an event, visit places of worship, have a job interview, etc.

While the terminology can vary from Brazilian Carnival, where everyone wears vibrant colours and looks like they’re about to join a parade, to The Great Gatsby, where we time-travel to USA in early 20s. Here are some dress codes that are commonly used.

1. Casual is the most comfortable clothing.

Example:

  • T-shirt
  • Jeans
  • Sneakers
  • Crop-top, etc.

2. Business casual is something many people wear to work every day. Replace jeans with dress pants or skirt, sneakers with loafers or heels, and T-shirt with collared shirt or polo shirt, and there you have it.

3. Smart casual is a combination of casual, business, and stylish outfit. Think of something that makes you look smart, sharp, and trendy. For examples for smart casual outfits, you can see the picture below.

image.jpg
(Source:businessinsider.com.au)

4. Business/informal. Contrary to its name, this dress code calls for something more sophisticated than smart casual: suit, tie, business-style dress, and ‘business’ colors (black, navy blue, gray, or brown).

5. Semi-formal is something fancier than business/informal and just below formal or black tie. Dark suit and long tie and oxford for gentlemen or little black dress or any other classy short dresses for ladies. The recommended length for the dresses is no shorter than one inch (2.54 cm) above the knee.

6. Formal/black tie. Black tie optional means floor-length gowns, fancy jewelries, tuxedos, vest, bow-ties, and also elegant hairdo. Notice that this dress code does not necessarily limit you to black tie or the color black. Silver suit with matching bow-tie is an elegant choice, too.

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(Source: shesaidyes.co.nz)

 

Compiled and written by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 18 January, 2016

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Extra

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

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

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

Sources: Oxford Learners Dictionary

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

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