Tag Archives: speaking

#EngTrivia: Telling time (2)

How was your day? Did you use your time wisely? In this particular article, we’ll talk about time… or rather, the different ways to tell the time.

Slide1

So, how do you usually tell the time? What time is this clock showing? There is more than one way to tell the time. Let’s look into it in more detail. Ready?

1. ‘a.m.’ & ‘p.m.’

‘a.m.’ and ‘p.m.’ are used in the 12 hours clock system. They are more often used in writing.

  • ‘a.m.’ stands for ante meridiem, before noon. It indicates the time period from midnight to midday.
    slide3
  • ‘p.m.’ stands for post meridiem, after noon. It indicates the time period from midday to midnight. Slide4

2. ‘to’ and ‘past’

The most common way to tell the time is to use ‘to’ and ‘past.’ This method is acceptable in verbal and written communication.

  • ‘to’ is used to show the number of minutes towards a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If it is going to be 8 o’clock in 15 minutes, we say “It’s fifteen to eight.” Slide6
  • ‘past’ is used to show the number of minutes after a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If the time is 15 minutes after 8 o’clock, we say “It’s fifteen past eight.” Slide7

3. Hour and minute

Another way to tell the time would be by simply saying the hour and minutes. Example:

  • If the clock shows 8:05 p.m. You can simply say, “It’s eight zero five” or “It’s eight oh five.”Slide9

With this method, you don’t need to worry whether it’s morning, afternoon, evening or night. However, do keep in mind to only use this in casual conversation. You are highly discouraged to use this method in writing, especially in formal writing.

4. ’till’ and ‘after’

Especially in American English, some people use ’till’ (until) instead of ‘to,’ and ‘after’ instead of ‘past.’

  • ’till’ is used to show the number of minutes towards a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If it is going to be 9 o’clock in 25 minutes, we say “It’s twenty-five till nine.”Slide11
  • ‘after’ is used to show the number of minutes after a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If the time is 15 minutes after 9 o’clock, we say “It’s fifteen after nine.”Slide12

As mentioned above, ’till’ and ‘after’ are only used in American English. And even so, they’re only used in speech; not in writing.

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

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, April 13, 2017

 

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#USSlang: Internet slang (2)

In this article, we’ll share some slang words we would most likely find on the internet. Do remember that we should avoid using slang words in formal situation.

Slang words are ideally only used in casual conversation and text. They are popular only for a certain period of time. Let’s start , shall we?

 

  1. Sus. Meaning: someone sketchy, shady.
    • Example:
      • I told you that guy over there was sus.
    • ‘Sus’ comes from the word suspect. As a slang, ‘sus’ suggests that someone is sketchy or shady.
    • Other than that, ‘sus’ can also mean ‘see you soon.’ Example:
      • I’m getting off work now. Sus.
  2. Boots. Meaning: emphasis, very much.
    • Example:
      • I had a very long day. I’m tired boots.
    • Tired boots = very tired
    • Add ‘boots’ to the end of an adjective or verb to emphasize on whatever you’re saying.
  3. Hunty. Meaning: a term of endearment for friends, usually used in the drag community.
    • Example:
      • Hey hunty, I’m home!
    • ‘Hunty’ is a combination of two words, ‘honey’ and ‘c*nt.’ It can sometimes be used in a demeaning way.
  4. Stan. Meaning: an obsessed fan (n.), admire (v.)
    • Example:
      • There’s a bunch of Stans waiting right outside the concert hall.
    • ‘Stan’ originated from Eminem song about an obsessed fan. ‘Stan’ was the main character in the song.
  5. OTP (One True Pairing) Meaning: your favorite relationship in a fandom, a couple that other people think matches the best.
    • Example:
      • My OTP is Glenn Alinskie Chelsea Olivia. They’re such a cute couple.
  6. Tea. Meaning: gossip, news or personal information belonging to someone else.
    • Example:
      • Spill the tea about what happened at the party.
  7. DR (double rainbow). Meaning: a term used to convey extreme happiness.
    • Example:
      • I got a promotion at work and have been seeing DRs all day.
  8. ICYMI (in case you missed it). Meaning: often used by people who missed things (often important) in social media or chat rooms.
    • Example:
      • ICYMI, my cat is sick and it ruined half of my wardrobe.
    • ICYMI can also be used in humorous way to point something which is already obvious.
  9. IMMD (it made my day). Meaning: a term used to show happiness, something awesome.
    • Example:
      • OMG! My boss just gave me a huge raise. #IMMD
  10. AMA (ask me anything). Meaning: a term to invite people to ask questions.
    • Example:
      • I have been studying for that exam all day. AMA.

There goes 10 internet slang words for now, fellas! Now that you have 10 more slang words in your repertoire, it’s time to put them to practice.

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, March 15, 2017


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#EngVocab: Filler Words

 

A filler word, also known as a pause filler or hesitation form, is a word or phrase we use to fill silence when we speak. So, the function of a filler word is to give you a break while you think, without an awkward, silent pause. Using the right amount of filler words will even make you sound like native English speaker.

1) Well…
I guess we’re all pretty familiar with this word. It’s probably the most common word anyone would say to hesitate.

A: How much are those shoes?
B: It’s $129, Ma’am.
A: WELL..,(thinking why are they so expensive) What about those one?

2) You know…
It’s usually added onto the end of a sentence to make sure that the listener just understands what you mean.

Example 1:
A: Where do we stay tonight?
B: We stay at that hotel, YOU KNOW, the one down the street from Times Square.

Example 2:
A : Shopping has always been Lily’s way of dealing with problems, you know?
B : Uh huh.

3) I guess / I suppose …
They’re usually used to hesitate when you’re not really sure about what you’re saying.

A: I suppose (or guess) it’s going to rain today.
B: Oh, I don’t know. Maybe so, maybe not.

4) At the end of the day…
It is a phrase that means “in the end” or “in conclusion.”

You don’t have to study hard, but at the end of the day, it will be you who will have bear the consequences.
5) I mean…
It is used to clarify or emphasize how you feel about something.
A: What do you think about him? He’s great, isn’t he?
B: I mean, he’s a great guy, I’m just not sure if he’s good for me.
6) You see…
It’s usually used when you explained something that you assume the listener doesn’t know.
A: My computer keeps lagging all day long.
B: So you see, rebooting the computer fixed the entire problem

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, December 3, 2016

 

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#EngClass: Word Stress

Hi, fellas! Was today a good day? Or perhaps you just went through a stressful day? I hope not, but if you happen to have had a stressful day, how about putting those stressful events behind and learn to put a stress in a word instead? Yes, today we’re going to learn about word stress.

In English, we don’t pronounce every syllable (suku kata) in a word with the same strength. When saying a word, we put a stress (emphasis) in one syllable, and pronounce the other syllable(s) more quietly. Stressing a syllable means we say it a little longer or louder or with a higher pitch than the other syllables.

Every English word has one stressed syllable, and it’s important to stress the right syllable when we speak. Word stress helps the listeners tell one word apart from another. For instance, if you hear two stressed syllables, you hear two words. It helps us understand a speaker who speaks very fast.

Stressing the wrong syllable in a word can make the word difficult to hear, and therefore the listener can’t understand us. Stressing different syllable can even change the meaning of some words. For example, if you stress the first syllable in the word present, it’s a noun that means gift. But if you stress the second syllable (present), it becomes a verb that means to offer.

So how do we know which syllable to stress? Here are some general rules that you can follow:

  1. Stress the first syllable of most two-syllable nouns and adjectives, e.g., table, happy
  2. Stress the last syllable of most two-syllable verbs, e.g., decide, begin
  3. Stress the second-to-last syllable of words that end in –ic, –sion, and –tion, e.g., geographic, expansion, attention
  4. Stress the third-from-last syllable of words that end in –cy, –ty, –phy, –gy, and –al, e.g., democracy, uncertainty, geography, biology, critical

But there are some exceptions and many types of words that are not covered by those rules, so you should check the dictionary to be sure. Different dictionaries have different ways to mark the stressed syllable. Now, take a look at the pronunciation guide below the defined word in your dictionary.

  • Oxford Dictionary and Collins Dictionary: an apostrophe (‘) shows that the following syllable is stressed. Example: prəˈnaʊns means we stress the nounce in pronounce.
  • Dictionary.com: the stressed syllable is marked bold. Example: pruh-nouns

If you think, “I can’t possibly memorize the stressed syllable for every word in the dictionary!” You’re right. Perhaps the best way is to learn by practice. If you practice listening until you’re familiar enough with spoken English, I’m sure you’ve also learned the word stress. You just don’t realize it. Fluent English speakers use word stress all the time without thinking about it. It’s kind of the same way we use intonation in our sentences in Bahasa Indonesia.

So, now that we know that word stress is the key to understanding spoken English, we know why it’s important to learn English by listening. Listening can help you learn to speak English properly so that people understand you better. We actually have some #EngTips for you on that very topic: How to improve your English listening skill.

I hope this post has been useful for you, fellas. Have a good day!

(Source: teachingenglish.org.uk, englishclub.com, dictionary.com, oxforddictionaries.com)

Compiled and written by @fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on September 8, 2016

#EngTips: How to be a great public speaker

Hi, fellas! Here are some tips for better public speaking skill. Check them out!

1. Define the purpose of your speaking, whether you want to inform, inspire, or persuade your audience. Knowing your ultimate purpose will help you stay focused through the preparation process.

2. Start to prepare your material by doing a deep research from A-Z of things you wanna talk about. Then pick a few powerful ideas that your audience will remember. Make it as simple as possible.

3. Memorize your concept instead of all the content. Do this by creating bullet points of the content, stories, and data.

4. If you use slides, make sure that eyes are on you, not the slides.

5. Here are some tips for your slide presentation.

6. Meet and chat up with your audience in advance to warm you up and make more engagement.

7.Try to connect with your audience by being self-effacing, humorous and real.

8. Tell your own stories to make your messages more memorable.

9. Keep the audience involved by asking question. Ask them to give some examples or tell their stories.

10. Last but not least, master your speaking by practicing regularly. Because we all know that practice make perfect.

Good luck with your public speaking, fellas! :)

Source:

 

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, April 30, 2016

 

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#EngTrivia: Important phrases in an airport

Bali-Airport-Lounge-50.jpg
(Source: onemileatatime.boardingarea.com)

This time, we are going to discuss some important phrases you might find in an airport.

You might find these phrases/questions important when you are planning to go abroad. Thus, mark them somewhere in case you need it someday so that you may prepare what to answer when asked.

Phrases when you check-in

  1. ‘Your passport and ticket, please.”
    Meaning: Toling perlihatkan tiket dan paspormu.
  2. “Are you checking-in any bags?”
    Meaning: Ada tas yang mau disimpan di bagasi pesawat?
  3. “Would you like a window or an aisle seat?”
    Meaning: Mau duduk di samping jendela atau di samping lorong?
  4. “There’s an excess baggage charge of $XX.”
    Meaning: Ada biaya kelebihan bagasi sebesar $XX.
  5. “Did you pack your bags yourself?”
    Meaning: Anda mengepak tas Anda sendiri?
  6. “Has anyone had access to your bags in the meantime?”
    Meaning: Ada yang membuka tas kamu beberapa saat lalu?
  7. “Do you have any liquids or sharp objects in your hand baggage?”
    Meaning: Ada cairan atau benda tajam di tas jinjing/backpackmu?

Phrases in security check area.

  1. “Could you put any metallic objects into the tray, please?”
    Meaning: Tolong letakkan semua barang berbahan metal di nampan/baki.
  2. “Please empty your pockets and put the contents in the tray.”
    Meaning: Kosongkan kantong Anda dan letakkan isinya di baki.
  3. Please take your laptop out of its case.”
    Meaning: Keluarkan laptop Anda dari tempat/tas/sarungnya.

That’s all. Hope they help you prepare your travel better. Bon voyage!

Source: https://www.speaklanguages.com/english/phrases/travelling-by-air

 

Compiled and written by @wisznu at @EnglishTips4u on Thursday, February 18, 2016

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#UKSlang: UK slang (9)

Good evening, fellas! How has your day been? I hope it’s been fun. I spent mine in campus, it was fun yet leave my cream crackered right now.  :D

In tonight session, I’d like to share some #UKSlang. Are you guys interested? Check them out, fellas!

  1. Absobloodylootely. Meaning: to agree with someone highly in a rather enthusiastic fashion.
    • Example:
      • Q: Are you going to do?
      • A: Absobloodylootely!
  1. Bob’s your uncle. Meaning: “there you have it!” or “everything is alright.”
    • Example:
      • “You just have to take the first left, and Bob’s your uncle –There’s the restaurant!”
  1. Cream crackered. Meaning: to be really tired and exhausted.
    • Example:
      • “Sorry, I can’t come to your party. I’m cream crackered.”
  1. Chock-a-block. Meaning: closely packed together; extremely full; crowded.
    • Example:
      • “Books piled chock-a-block on the narrow shelf.”
  1. Tickety-boo. Meaning: as it should be; going smoothly; fine.
    • Example:
      • “You don’t have to worry, everything is Tickety-boo.”
  1. Twee. Meaning: overly dainty, delicate, cute, or quaint.
    • Example:
      • “Her bunny-themed tea set is so utterly twee.”
  1. Queer street. Meaning: a difficult situation, such as debt or bankruptcy
    • Example:
      • “Stop buying unnecessary things, that’ll land you in Queer Street!”

It’s a wrap for now. Thank you for joining me. I hope it has been useful for you and…. Have a great day, fellas!


Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, November 7 , 2015

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#EngKnowledge: The birth of British and American Accents

All this time, we have been learning about the difference between British and American accent. You know it when you hear it. But have you ever wondered how these two accents came to be? Online magazine Mental Floss tried to answer the big question in the article “When did Americans lose their British accent?” As you may have known, the history of these two countries are strongly related.

The first English colony in the land that would be America arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1667. They certainly carried the language and accent that they used in their homeland, England. So how did their accent change? Now here comes the most interesting part … It wasn’t the American accent that went through changes, it was the British accent! The current American accent is actually much closer to the ‘original’ British accent.

We must first remember that British and American accents are very diverse. There are various accents used in the UK, such as Geordie, cockney, or Yorkshire. American accents also varied. There are Southern accent, and even black people have their own accent.

What we call “British accent” is actually a standardised Received Pronounciation (RP). Also known as Public School English or BBC English. What we call “American accent” is actually ‘general American accent’ or ‘newscaster accent’ or ‘Network English.’

Back to the story about the English colony in America. Remember, we first had the technology to record human voice in 1860. 300 years after the colony arrived, the difference between the British and American accents was already apparent. Since recording technology wasn’t available in those 300 years, we can’t say for sure when the change happened. But changes in British society might provide us the clue to the answer.
To explain that, first we need to know the major difference between British and American accent: Rhotacism.

Rhotacism is the excessive use of the letter ‘R’ in pronunciation. American accent is rhotic and speakers pronounce the ‘R’ in words such as ‘hard’. Meanwhile, British accent is non-rhotic, making the way they pronounce ‘hard’ sounds more like ‘hahd’.

In the 19th century, there was a hot trend among the upper and upper middle class in southern England to become non-rhotic. The trend was to not pronounce the ‘R’. It became the signifier of class and status. This posh accent was later standardised as Received Pronunciation, and being taught widely by tutors to social climbers.

Slowly but sure, the accent spread across England and is being used by people across levels and professions. Across the pond, there were also societal changes that further strengthen the use of American accent. Big cities like New York, Chicago, and Detroit became the new centers of economic power in the region. The cities are populated by Scots-Irish and North English migrants. Southern English elites have no significance in there. The Received Pronunciation then lost its influence among people in the cities.

Source: Mental Floss

#EngVocab Extra

  1. Came to be. Arti: asal mulanya.
  2. Strongly related. Arti: berhubungan erat.
  3. Apparent. Arti: nyata, terlihat, tampak.
  4. Signifier. Arti: penanda.
  5. Posh. Arti: mewah.
  6. Social climber. Arti: orang yg ingin meningkatkan status sosial (dengan memakai barang mewah, mengubah cara bicara).
  7. Across the pond. Arti: di seberang Lautan Atlantik, cara orang Inggris menyebut Amerika.
  8. Societal change. Arti: perubahan masyarakat.
  9. Further strengthen. Arti: semakin memperkuat.

 

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, May 17, 2015

 

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#EngTalk: Spelling noises? (1)

We are back with David Crystal’s ‘Spell It Out’ today and this time is about…

Spelling noises… is there such a thing? What do you think?

So according to Crystal: “We also need to spell the emotional noises that form a part of conversation. A phonetic spelling turns out not to be so easy to achieve.”

Hmmm…. (That’s one)

So, “spoken language is more than words and sentences”, it “contains quite a few isolated noises” to express emotions called interjections

For example – When we want to “convey throat-clearing” we would use

Ahem

Eham”, “Mhumh”, won’t work

Yet its earlier version, in the 18th century, it would be only

Hem!”

Interjections can be either:

  1. we use sounds at the back of our mouth such as expressing disgust e.g. yuk, ugh, blech
  2. using both lips such as to to express relief e.g. phew, whew
  3. produce a click noise with our tongue such as to express disapproval or irritation e.g. tut – from the 16th century or tck – as Rudyard Kipling would write it, or tsk – popular in the 1940s

Some of these noises spelling are actually “breaking the rules” as they become words with no vowels

Other example would be brr (expressing feeling cold), grr (expressing irritation), shh (be quiet!), pst (calling someone silently) and hmmmm (expressing the person is thinking)

just like what I did in the beginning :)

Hope this #EngTalk has been useful for you! Still curious of this whole noises spelling?

Stay tuned for more next time :)

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on December 27, 2015

Source: David Crystal’s “Spell it Out”

 

 

#USSlang: American slang (18)

  1. At sea. Meaning: bingung.
    • Example:
      • “Mary is at sea now. She couldn’t answer the test. We should leave her alone.”
  2. Badical. Meaning: sangat bagus.
    • Example:
      • “Ryan’s performance was badical last night. He got so many compliments.”
  3. Hit the books. Meaning: belajar.
    • Example:
      • “Luke, you’ve to stop playing. It’s time to hit the books or you won’t pass the final exams.”
  4. King size. Meaning: sangat besar.
    • Example:
      • “The burger is king size. I can’t eat it alone, let’s eat it together.”
  5. Make tracks. Meaning: pergi.
    • Example:
      • “What are you doing? It’s time for us to make tracks. Hurry!”
  6. Nook. Meaning: masalah.
    • Example:
      • “Who’s gonna solve the nook? You’re the one who made it, Jim.”
  7. Zeen. Meaning: mengerti.
    • Example:
      • “I’m so tired, please leave me alone, zeen?”
  8. Vege out. Meaning: tidak melakukan apa-apa.
    • Example:
      • “I want to vege out in my room this weekend. So don’t call me, kay.”
  9. Scrilla. meaning: uang.
    • Example:
      • “Don’t even ask him to buy you dinner. He doesn’t have scrilla. He just lost his job last week.”

 

Compiled and written by @iisumarni at @EnglishTips4U  on Thursday, April 4, 2013

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#UKSlang: “Bloody hell!”

Before we begin this #UKSlang session, I’d like you to check out the above video.

It’s a TV commercial by Tourism Australia (Badan Pariwisata Australia), meant to attract international travellers to visit. Released in 2007, the commercial created a huge controversy.

The commercial shows a group of Australian preparing themselves to greet tourists. It ended with the slogan. This is where the controversy is!

2015/01/img_5934.jpg

In this article, we will be discussing “Bloody hell” – its history, how it’s used, and the controversy!

“Bloody hell” is a curse word commonly used in United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries.

There are 2 ways to use it:

  1. As an exclamation (seruan).
    • Example:
      • Bloody Hell! Did you just posted a pic of me sleeping on Instagram?”
    • We use it like we use “Damn it!” in American slang.
  2. Another way is to include them in a sentence the way we use “Fuck” in American slang.
    • Example:
      • “Why the bloody hell didn’t you send the letters?”
    • “Bloody hell” is considered rude, but different country has different view on how rude it is.

In the UK, the media are not even allowed to print the words. It has to be censored into “b___y“. But in Australia, they are more relaxed about it. That’s why the words appeared in the TV commercial!

When it was first released in the UK, the Tourism Australia caused a stir and ended up being banned because of the words. For the British, the TV commercial was too rude, whilst Australians have no problem with it at all. It’s interesting how even for these English-speaking countries, cultural clash can still happen. Even the Australian Minister of Tourism Fran Bailey had to visit UK to lobby for the commercial to be shown.

But why does “bloody hell” considered rude? There different stories on its origin.

Many sources claim that it is rude because it is ‘blasphemous’ (menghina agama). Some say the words sounds violent because it reminds people of wars.

Others say the words were borrowed from German word “blode” which means “silly, stupid.”

Imagine how it was like when Ron Weasley said “bloody hell” many times in Harry Potter movies, which aimed for kids :D

Either way, “bloody hell” had become a curse word that feels distinctively British.

Here’s a funny video of all the “bloody hell” Ron Weasley said in Harry Potter movies:

“but, i don’t think ‘bloody hell’ is as rude as ‘fuck’, imo :/” – @purwamel

Yup! But apparently the British government thought it was too rude for a TV commercial.

“Is it same with another curse such as “shit” ?” – @ChristinaJeje

Yes. It is quite similar.

“huh? But once I watched Tp Ger on BB*, where one of the presenters said the words, uncensored.” – @afrizalfp

I think there might be a different regulation for commercials, print media, and movies/series.

“If it can make it into such movies (and maybe books, but I don’t quite remember), why so much fuss about it in commercials?” – @RAKemal

Hmmm… we’re not quite sure. Anyone knows why? Please leave a comment down below.

“That’s what I thought. Just that, I’m not sure. Either way, “bloody hell” sounds cooler than “fuck”, though not always.” – @afrizalfp

Image source: adweek.com

Compiled and written by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, January 18, 2015

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#USSlang: American slang (17)

  1. Babbage. Meaning: fake.
    • Example:
      • “I know for sure that Alicia’s LV bag is babbage.”
  2. Close call. Meaning: a very dangerous situation.
    • Example:
      • “Drew had a close call with her teacher when she opened her notes during the test yesterday.”
  3. Dead presidents. Meaning: money.
    • Example:
      • “Ray, lend me some dead presidents. My Mom won’t give me.”
  4. Fuzz. Meaning: police.
    • Example:
      • “Damien was picked by the fuzz last year after he stole some CDs.”
  5. Gasser. Meaning: something hillarious.
    • Example:
      • “You shouldn’t miss Jackie Chan’s new film. It’s a real gasser!”
  6. Hecka. Meaning: very.
    • Example:
      • “I really like your dress. It’s a hecka adorable.”
  7. Mutt. Meaning: dog.
    • Example:
      • “Heath, what’s your mutt’s name? It’s so cute.”
  8. Nada. Meaning: nothing.
    • Example:
      • “I asked my father to give me some money and he gave me nada.”
  9. Radioactive. Meaning: very popular.
    • Example:
      • “It’s not possible for you to be her friend. She’s radioactive. You’re a geek.”

Compiled and written by @iisumarni at @EnglishTips4U  on Thursday, March 7, 2013

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#EngTips: Polite vs. not polite

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

What does being polite mean?

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

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

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

Let’s see these examples:

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

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

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

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

Let’s see this example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s see this example:

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

In English, it is polite to:

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

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

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

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

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#EngTalk: The Size of English Spelling Problem

So fellas, we talked about English Spelling and its complication last week based on David Crystal’s book “Spell it Out”…

Today, we are going to find out just how much is “the size” of this English spelling problem or complication

According to Crystal,

“The origins of spelling difficulties in English lie in the fact that there are far more sounds in the language than there are letters.”

So how many distinctive sounds are there?

E.g. From pip, then change first sound to: tip, sip, hip, lip That gives a: p, t, s, h, l

Then we could change to second sound

E.g. Pip, pop, pup, peep That gives us i, o, u, ee

These are called “phonemes”. So, how many “phonemes” are there in English?

The answer is

“depends on the regional accent we have, but for many people the total is forty-four (44)”

Crystal shared that there are around twenty four (24) consonant phonemes, as seen here

phonemes1_2

This is only based on the consonant phonemes of British Received Pronunciation and General American

And between these accents, it varied around twenty (20) vowel phonemes

Here are the vowel phonemes stated

phonemes2_2

phonemes3

If you see a colon (:) after a symbol then it means that the sound is long with a single phonetic quality

If there is a combination of two symbols then the sound is long because it has two distinct phonetic qualities (“diphthongs”)

“Diphthongs” play a particular role in English spelling history

As has been shared above, these phonemes are only from British Received Pronunciation and General American

Other accents such as Canadian, Australian, Irish, Indian, even Cockney from England, might have more 

For example, in Cockney accent, fin – thin, vat – that, sounds the same or said either way

According to Crystal, the total of the phonemes in different English accents, including its consonants & vowels, are all up to forty

So “to write them all down in a completely regular way, we would need an alphabet of the same size. And that is what we haven’t got”

Crystal continued, “We have an alphabet of twenty-six letters. How are we going to spell forty + phonemes with twenty-six letters?”

To conclude, Crystal stated interestingly,

“That, in a nutshell, is the problem of English spelling”

So here we are today, with the English language that has gone Global – so has the “English spelling problem” got bigger? 

With Crystal’s explanation, I think it is understandable why English would be a complicated language

Yet, in the same time, can be a very interesting language to learn, plus explore 

So if you are learning English right now, keep learning it, understand its characteristics, and you will eventually master it :D

Thank you for your kind attention, fellas :) I hope this #EngTalk session is useful for you :D

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on November 22, 2014

Source: This session was taken from “Spell It Out” by David Crystal, please do search or Google about him if you want to know more :)

#AUSSlang: Food and drink

Being outdoor reminds me of summer’s all-time favourite activities – Barbeque parties! Barbeque happens to be a favourite past time for our neighbouring country Australia. So this post will be all about food & drink!

  1. Amber fluid. Meaning: Beer.
  2. Avo. Meaning: Short for avocado. Not to be confused with ‘arvo’ which means ‘afternoon.’
  3. Banana bender. Meaning: a person from Queensland (I wonder why! LOL).
  4. Barbie. Meaning: Short for barbeque. Not the doll.
  5. Billy. Meaning: A container to boil water. A teapot.
  6. Bog in. Meaning: To eat with enthusiasm. As the Javanese would say, “Nggragas.”
  7. Bikkie. Meaning: Biscuit.
  8. Brekkie. Meaning: Breakfast.
  9. Not my bowl of rice. Meaning: I don’t like it. Wonder why they are using rice. In England they’ve ‘not my cup of tea’, with the same meaning.
  10. Boozer. Meaning: A pub, from the British slang for alcohol ‘booze.’
  11. BYO (Bring Your Own) Meaning: A kind of unlicensed restaurant where customers bring their own drinks.
  12. Bush telly. Meaning: Campfire. LOL. ‘Telly’ is British slang for television.
  13. Chewie. Meaning: Chewing gum, not Chewbacca from Star Wars.
  14. Dog’s eye. Meaning: Meat pie. So next time you’re going to Aussie and someone offers you to eat dog’s eye, fear not.
  15. Chokkie. Meaning: Chocolate. By now you must have noticed a pattern in
  16. Crow eater. Meaning: A person from South Australia (I wonder why! LOL)
  17. Dingo’s breakfast. Meaning: No breakfast. Dingo is a native Australian wild dog.
  18. Drink with the flies. Meaning: To drink alone. Somehow this one makes me LOL.
  19. Off one’s face. Meaning: To get really drunk.
  20. Fairy floss. Meaning: Candy floss. In England, ‘fairy cake’ is how they call ‘cupcake.’
  21. Flake. Meaning: Shark meat, usually sold in fish-and-chips shop.
  22. Maccas. Meaning: McDonald’s. Instead of ‘McD.’
  23. Milk bar. Meaning: Corner shop selling take-away food.
  24. Muddy. Meaning: Mud crab, a popular delicacy.
  25. Bring a plate. Meaning: Instruction to bring food to a barbeque party. “Potluck party”
  26. Sanger. Meaning: Sandwich.

Source: koalanet.co.au

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, November 30, 2014

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#EngTrivia: Singlish

Some of us might have heard the word Singlish, Singaporean English. Throughout our Twitter sessions, fellas would ask about it occasionally. So in this post, we will some trivia about it based on an interview with colleagues currently living and previously lived in Singapore plus other sources.

Singapore was under the British colonial for 146 years (1819-1965). In the 1950s, those who worked as civil servants or for the government had to speak English. Schools which are available were Chinese schools and English schools.

With English language around them, it was then picked up by non-English speakers, creating another kind of ‘language’. This then becomes Singlish, a “creole language” (constructed from a simplified language). Therefore the present Singlish comes from the general population itself, the Singaporeans.

But, isn’t Singlish a slang?

The answer is.. well, some might say, but it’s actually not.

It is a constructed language based on English itself, different Chinese dialects and Malay (Bahasa Melayu). Singlish is a creole language from those different languages. Apparently Singlish is similar to Malaysian English.

Complicated? Not really. Singlish seems simple and unique. Yet apparently the government is complaining saying it lacks identity, it is an on-going argument.

Note: The information below was gathered through online interview with colleagues currently living and previously lived in Singapore.

Question: As those who uses/used Singlish, what do you think of it as a user?

Della, from Indonesia, stated that she can express herself very well in Singlish. To her, Singlish allows her to express more and has become one of her fluent ‘language.’

Zhen Min, from Singapore, stated she can express herself faster in Singlish. She would speak it to friends and colleagues or use it for casual writing. She would use it as affectation of language.

“I would change (to Singlish) if I am stressing on something” – Zhen Min, Singapore

Mithun, from India, stated he initially could not understand Singlish but then realises how amazing it is as a language itself. Singlish uses very little words to express more or the same.

“For example the word ‘can’. I don’t have to say the full sentence,I can just use it for almost anything and it makes sense” – Mithun, India

 

Question: So, what is Singlish like?

kinda hard to understand what they are talking about… :/ – @mu_afi

My friend supposed me S’porean ’cause my Singlish – @dyanaamalia

To those who are not familiar with Singlish, the language might sounds new and pretty hard to understand. However, to those who are familiar with Singlish and use it in daily conversation, especially to Singaporeans, the language comes naturally to them… just like how we use bahasa Indonesia in here Indonesia.

 

Sources:

 

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, July 26, 2014

 

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^MQ

 

#EngTalk: Tongue twisters

Have you ever heard of something called ‘tongue twister’? Tongue Twister is a popular English word game that helps you improve your pronunciation and listening skills. A tongue twister consists of series of words with similar pronunciation.

When I was young, my grandmother often gave me tongue twisters to practice English. It was really fun. Here are some fun tongue twisters to help you practice.

Here’s the rule:

  • First try to say it slowly, then try to say it faster! The faster you do it, the greater the challenge, the more interesting it sounds!
  • You may notice that they’d sound really funny – it also helps you recognise the similarities between these words!

So, let’s try from the easier ones first! Try to say them loud, hear how theh sound!

  1. “Crazy Clara catches crawling crab”
  2. “Sunshine Susie shone her shoes with soap and shoe-shine”
  3. “Our great-grand-gran is a greater great-grand-gran than your great-grand-gran”

How was that? Still too easy? Try these ones:

  1. “She sewed shirt seriously”
  2. “Five fashionable females flying to France for fresh French fashion”

Enough for the warm-ups. Let’s have the hard ones!

  1. “Can you can a can as a canner can a can?”
  2. “How many cookies could a good cook cook If a good cook could cook cookies?”
  3. “How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?”
  4. “Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks”

I think I just swallowed my tongue with that one. This one is my personal favourite:

  • “Sally’s selfish selling shellfish, so Sally’s shellfish seldom sell”

Keep on practicing! Try to say it ot your friends and see if they understand!

Source:

  • The Silly Little Book of Jokes about Girls

Compiled by @animenur from @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, June 22, 2014

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#EngTrivia: Anastrophe

Anyone here who is a fan of Star Wars? How excited are you for the seventh episode?

Do you fellas notice that there is a character in Star Wars that always speaks in a unique order?

@yodha_ma: I summon @GreenMasterYoda @NobleMasterYoda . Is he whom you want to hear?

That is right, the character is Yoda! Today we are going to discuss anastrophe, the unique way Yoda is talking!

@bagusnaya: it sounds even more poetic lol :)

Anastrophe is a figure of speech (“gaya bahasa”) in which the correct order of a sentence is reversed

Example: Normally we would say “I enjoy eating Indomie when the weather is cold.”

But with anastrophe, we are going to say “Eating Indomie when the weather is cold, I enjoy.”

@tiaswida: is it similar with Fronting?

@EnglishTips4U: Yes, it is similar to Fronting 

Another example: “On a sunny Sunday she went to the cinema to see Star Wars.”

Why do people use anastrophe? The main reason is to put emphasis.

Anyone knows what an emphasis is?

Yes, emphasis is ‘menekankan’. We want to stress on a certain part of the sentence.

When can you use anastrophe? We usually use it on daily conversation.

You can also use it when writing a story to make it more colourful!

However, you must remember NOT to use for academic purpose.

For essays in classes, stick to normal order, you must! 

Sources: Grammar Monster, Literary Device

Compiled by @animenur at @EnglishTips4U on June 15, 2014