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Fazed by the English Language's Quirks

Posted by admin-ngenglishyuk Selasa, 24 Juli 2012

Fazed by the English Language's Quirks
by Geoff Tan for Mypaper, 23 July 2012

I have always been intrigued by the English language and its idiosyncrasies.

It is certainly not as simple and straightforward as it appears to be. I have often stumbled over its inconsistencies and, till today, cannot figure out why certain things are the way they are.

My former boss recently sent me an e-mail message about the more interesting quirks of English.

For example, have you ever wondered why the plural of ox is not oxes, but the plural of box is boxes? Or why the plural of mouse is mice, but that of house is not hice?

I am sure you will agree that your left foot and your right foot constitute your feet. But why are one's left boot and right boot not referred to as one's beet?

And if one of those small, whitish structures in your mouth is a tooth, and many are known as teeth, then why is the the plural of booth not beeth? Beats me!

Now, let's talk about gender. We have all learnt that the masculine pronouns are he, his and him. Can someone tell me why the respective feminine equivalents are she, but not shis and shim?

English is indeed a weird language, with sometimes-funny twists and turns.

Have you ever wondered why an eggplant is so named, when there is no egg in it? And a hamburger contains absolutely no ham.

Why is a boxing ring called a ring when it is, in fact, a square? And why is a guinea pig so named when it is neither from Guinea nor a pig? And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, while grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

If you get my drift, you might then ask, if a vegetarian eats vegetables, then what does a humanitarian eat? Or, why do noses run and feet smell?

On the issue of similarities and differences, why do a slim chance and a fat chance mean the same thing, while a wise man and a wise guy are nowhere close in terms of meaning?

Writing all this has made me even more confused about the creative licence that the English language has been granted.

How can it be that, when the stars are out, they are visible but, when the lights are out, they are invisible?

It's time for a stiff drink!

The writer is a senior vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings' marketing division.

Various Idioms Using "All"

Posted by admin-ngenglishyuk Rabu, 11 Juli 2012

Just opened old archives in my inbox and found old mail taught me about idioms with using wording "all".

All heart (adjective) :
It means that someone who's very kind and generous.
Ex: "Dena is good person. she is all heart and always helping out the poor and unfortunate"

All your eggs in one basket :
It means don't put something in one place, because it has a risk, and you can loose all of this at once.
Ex: "Don't put all your eggs in one basket, let's put something in the right and save place"

All ears (adjective) :
Ex: "I'm all ears everything the teacher said"

All in your head (adjective):
It means when you imagined something around your head, it's not really real.
"Don't be afraid with this exam, the invigilator is good. it's just all in your head, that think she is crabby"

All eyes on me (adjective) :
Everything is looking you
"I stand in front of the class, i start to present my speech. and then all eyes on me in my speech."

Acceptable to use 'can' in requests

Posted by admin-ngenglishyuk Selasa, 10 April 2012

Below is the response for "Common English mistakes made here"  post.  Mr Daniel Marden, Senior English-Language Teacher Inlingua School Of Languages In Singapore, show his opinion regarding the usage of "Can". This article was posted in mypaper newspaper dated 9 April 2012.

Acceptable to use 'can' in requests

I REFER to Ms Pamela Chong Kwang Ngo's letter, "Common English mistakes made here" (my paper, April 3).
She states that requests should be in the form of "Would you" or "May I", rather than "Can you" or "Can I". While this may have been the case several years ago, it has become perfectly acceptable to use "can" in requests.

In fact, it is such a versatile word that it can be used for many functions, six of which I have listed:

1. To refer to ability
For instance: "I can speak English."

2. To ask for permission, or state what is permitted
For example: "Can I sit here?" or "You can't smoke on the MRT."

3. To make a request
For example: "Can you open the window, please?"

4. To speculate
For example: "He's not wearing a wedding ring. He can't be married."

5. To mean 'is often'
For example: "It can be be cold in January."

6. To mean 'is free to', in the future
For example: "The doctor can see you tomorrow."

On another note, we would not "send someone off at the airport".
We would instead "see them off", which means "to accompany someone who is leaving to a point of departure".

Common English Mistakes Made in Singapore

Posted by admin-ngenglishyuk Selasa, 03 April 2012

Below is the article written by Ms Pamela Chong Kwang Ngo which published in "Mypaper" newsletter dated 3rd April 2012. It's an interesting subject and hopefully help your english better.

Common English Mistakes Made Here (Singapore)

I would like to bring to the attention of all English-speaking Singaporeans the most glaring and widely made mistakes in our society.

1. The difference between 'send', 'take', 'bring' and 'fetch'

"Take" is used when you go from one place to another, and the thing (or person) goes with you.
"Bring" is used when you come towards a place from another place, and the thing (or person) comes with you.
"Fetch" is used when you leave some place to get something (or someone), and then return, bringing the thing (or person) with you.
"Send" is used when something (or someone) goes away from you, but you don't go along.

Singaporeans are way too fond of saying "I'll send you home". They should say "I'll take you home" instead.
You send someone off at the airport, that is, you see them go, but you don't go with them.
You send a letter to someone - you drop it off at the mailbox, but you don't go with the letter.

2. Requests should be in the form of 'Would you' or 'May I', not 'Can you' or 'Can I'

"Can" refers to the ability to do something.

3. When one resides in a place permanently, one 'lives' there, not 'stays'

This is a mistake often seen in the newspapers, much to my dismay.
You go on vacation and stay at a hotel, but you live in a Housing Board apartment in Toa Payoh.
The next time you want to know where someone resides, ask "where do you live", not "where do you stay".

4. 'Last time' is often erroneously used in place of 'long ago', 'once', 'before' or 'previously', depending on context

"Last time" refers to a single occurrence directly prior to the present time, not something that happened long ago, nor something that happened continually in the past.

That means you shouldn't say: "Last time I broke my tooth before."
You should say: "When I was young, I broke my tooth."

You shouldn't say: "Last time our grandmothers cooked over a charcoal stove".
Instead, you should say: "Long ago, our grandmothers cooked over a charcoal stove."

But you can say: "The last time my brother tried to fry an egg, he almost burned the kitchen down."

5. It is more appropriate to say 'good food' than 'nice food'

Food is good, people are nice - that is what I always say.

There are specific circumstances when "nice" can be applied to food, such as when describing its appearance: "That's a very nice omelette."

But most of the time, when we refer to the taste of food, it is better to use "good", as in "Mmm... This is good!"

6. It is more appropriate to say 'damaged' or 'broken' than 'spoiled/spoilt' when referring to things

Toys break; equipment gets damaged; but food spoils and children are spoilt.

"Spoil" can be applied to extensive damage or serious devaluing of something, such as "littering spoils the landscape of our beaches".

Otherwise, for more minor things, use "damaged" or "broken". For example, "this phone is damaged; I can't call out", and "You mustn't give away broken toys to the children's home".

Say it Better in English: Useful Phrases for Work and Everyday Life

Posted by admin-ngenglishyuk Selasa, 06 Desember 2011

Say it Better in English: Useful Phrases for Work and Everyday Life

Learn the most useful American English expressions for work and everyday life. For example, expressions like: I'll double-check, within the hour, split the check, Can I put you on hold? -- plus hundreds more.

Cartoons show you how each expression is used in real-life situations. Two additional examples are offered for each expression. Over 50 fun crossword puzzles let you quiz yourself. Great for both individual self-study and as a supplemental text for ESL classroom use. Say it Better in English is currently being used by ESL and EFL students around the world -- in the USA, Canada, Asia, Europe, and Latin America!

Apa artinya 'vice versa'?

Posted by admin-ngenglishyuk Sabtu, 29 Oktober 2011

Apa artinya 'vice versa'?

Vice versa (dibaca vais versa) adalah sebuah bahasa serapan dari bahasa latin. Arti originalnya sendiri berarti "diposisikan sebaliknya", "sebaliknya", ato "terbalik" (dari yang seharusnya). Namun begitu, vice versa sebagai kata keterangan (adverb) yang menjelaskan bahwa kebalikan dari fakta pertama yang dikatakan juga kenyataan. Contohnya:
She hates him and vice versa. (Dia membencinya dan begitu pula sebaliknya).
Fish can't live where we are most comfortable, and vice versa. (Ikan tidak bisa hidup di tempat dimana kita sangat nyaman, dan begitu pula sebaliknya).
I can go to Bali - Jakarta vice versa within 1 day to make this happened. (Saya bisa pergi Bali - Jakarta bolak-balik dalam satu hari untuk membuat ini berhasil.

5 Cara Meningkatkan Kualitas Menulis Dalam Bahasa Inggris

Posted by admin-ngenglishyuk Kamis, 27 Oktober 2011

Beberapa orang yang saya tanyai menganggap menulis itu SUSAH. Menulis dalam bahasa Inggris? LEBIH SUSAH lagi.Walaupun begitu orang2 tersebut juga menganggap keterampilan menulis dalam bahasa inggris itu penting. Apalagi jika anda ingin sekolah/bekerja di luar negeri, atau bekerja di multinational company, atau bersosialisasi dalam masyarakat international.

5 Cara Meningkatkan Kualitas Menulis dalam bahasa Inggris

1. Tingkatkan perbendaharaan kata anda (Improve your vocabulary)
Kalimat adalah untaian kata. Jika anda menguasai banyak kata, mengetahui definisinya dan bisa menggunakan dengan tepat, betapa bagusnya tulisan anda. Anda dianggap mengerti bagaimana mengungkapkan ide, mempengaruhi orang dan membuat pembaca mengerti dan memahami maksud anda. Tip: Jika anda menemukan kata baru, cari definisinya dan temukan padanan kata (sinonim) dan lawan kata (antonym) dari kata tersebut.

2. Kembangkan kemampuan ejaan
Mengetahui banyak kata harus juga diiringi dengan ejaannya. Anda harus tau bagaimana cara mengeja kata tersebut dengan baik. Ejaan yang tidak benar bisa membuat pembaca salah mengerti. Banyak confused word yang bisa membuat anda bingung (juga pembacanya). Ada homophone seperti “bear” dan “bare”. Cara pengucapannya sama, tapi “bear” = beruang dan “bare” berarti telanjang. Kembali ke poin #1, kesalahan dalam mengeja bisa membuat pembaca salah mengerti tulisan anda.
Tip: Selalu cek kembali dengan kamus jika ragu.

3. Banyak Membaca
Banyak membaca tulisan dalam bahasa Inggris juga membantu anda meningkatkan kemampuan anda. Itu membuat anda mendapat ide/contoh bagaimana menyusun kalimat yang baik serta menggunakan kata dengan tepat. Juga bagaimana mengungkapkan opini dengan baik.
Tip: Pilih buku, artikel yang menarik buat anda. Sehingga anda tidak gampang bosan dan mendapat pengetahuan baru.

4. Perhatikan Tata Bahasa (Watch our grammar)
Tata bahasa adalah serangkaian tata aturan bahasa. Ini juga penting karena tanpa tata bahasa, tulisan anda jadi tidak bermakna, acak kadut dan mengesankan tidak terpelajar.
Tip: Pelajari, pahami dan terapkan tata bahasa dengan benar diantaranya aturan tenses. Juga, gunakan tanda baca dengan tepat sehingga tulisan anda nyaman dibaca dan mudah dipahami.

5. Menulis
Menulis mungkin menjemukan bagi sebagian orang. Sedangkan buat sebagian yang lain, itu adalah pekerjaan yang menyenangkan karena bisa berbagi pada sesama, seperti blogger. Sebagian yang lain mengatakan menulis adalah kewajiban, seperti full time writer, ato jurnalis.
Tip: jika anda ingin meningkatkan kualitas tulisan anda, tidak ada jalan lain kecuali mulai menulis tentang apa saja baik dengan cara menulis dengan pena di atas kertas. Ato menulis dengan keyboard di depan komputer.

Remember, "Practice makes perfect".

PhD way to cheat ticket train.

Posted by admin-ngenglishyuk Senin, 24 Oktober 2011

PhD way to cheat ticket train
Three PhDs and three MDs are going to a conference and must travel by train to get there. At the station, the three MDs buy their three tickets and watch as the three PhDs buy only a single ticket.
"How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" says one MD.
"Just watch and you'll see," answers a PhD.
They all board the train and the MDs take their seats and watch as all three PhDs cram into a restroom and close the door behind them. The train departs and shortly afterward, the conductor comes around collecting tickets.
He knocks on the restroom door and says "Ticket, please." The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The MDs see all this and agreed it is quite a clever idea. So after the conference, the MDs decide to copy the PhDs on the return trip and save some money (managed care and all that). When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. But to their astonishment, the PhDs don't buy a ticket at all.

"How are you going to travel without a single ticket?" says one MD.
"Just watch and you'll see," answers a PhD.
They board the train. The three MDs cram into a restroom compartment and the three PhDs cram into an another one nearby. The train departs.
Shortly afterward, one of the PhDs leaves his restroom, walks over to the MDs stall, knocks on the door and says, "Ticket, please". =p
New Vocabularies:
PhD is latin abbreviation of Philosophiae Doctor (Doctor of Philosophy). A doctorate usually based on at least 3 years graduate study and a dissertation; the highest degree awarded graduate study.
MD is latin abbreviation of Medicinae Doctor (Doctor of Medicine).
Depart ~ v.intr. To go away; leave.
Afterward ~ adv. At a later time; subsequently
Astonishment ~ n. Great surprise or amazement.
Cram ~ To force, press, or squeeze into an insufficient space; stuff. ; To fill too tightly.

Two Sides of Brain

Posted by admin-ngenglishyuk Jumat, 21 Oktober 2011

Hahahaha... Simple sentence but SHOCKING !
People have presumed kind of several high rank parliamentary members brain, there are 2 sides of the brain:
On the LEFT side, there is nothing RIGHT.
On the RIGHT side, there is nothing LEFT.

In case you don't understand this joke, below is the translation:

Masyarakat menganggap otak para anggota parlemen itu mempunyai 2 sisi.
Di sisi KIRI, ga ada yang BENAR (right = kanan ato benar)
Di sisi KANAN, ga ada sama sekali (ga ada yang tertinggal) (left = kiri ato sisa)

Green, Pink & Yellow

Posted by admin-ngenglishyuk Selasa, 18 Oktober 2011

Green, Pink & Yellow
Is it about Listening or spelling? 
A young man comes before a customs agent.
A: "State your citizenship."
B: "American" (pronounced with a Spanish accent).
A: "Hold on there, buddy. Say that again."
B: "I sed American."
A: "I'm going to give you a test."
B: "No, no senor, no need for test, I tell you I"m American."
A: "Yeah, sure buddy. OK, let's see, ... I've got it. Make a sentence with the following colors: green, pink and yellow."
B: "Oh senor, I tell you I'm American. But OK, let's see... I was at my bruder-in-laws house and the phone went 'green, green, I pinked it up and sed yellow!"
ESL : Submitted by Carlos Manuel Hernandez

New Vocabularies:
Customs Agent (n) ~ Petugas Bea Cukai
Citizenship (n) ~ Kewarganegaraan
Accent (n) ~ Aksen; Logat
Senor (n) ~ Tuan;
Hold on (phrasal verb) ~ [ID] , Tunggu Sebentar 

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