Thursday, 23 June 2011

GROUP (PLURAL VS. SINGULAR)

BOTH ARE CORRECT!

When the group is being considered as a whole, it can be treated as a single entity: “the group was ready to go on stage.”
But when the individuality of its members is being emphasized, “group” is plural: “the group were in disagreement about where to go for dinner.”

CONTRACTABLE vs. UNCONTRACTABLE negative questions.

Contracted and uncontracted negative questions have different word order. Uncontracted negative questions are usually used in a formal style.
  • Aren’t you coming? (Contracted – auxiliary verb + n’t + subject)
  • Doesn’t he understand? (Auxiliary verb + n’t + subject)
  • Are you not coming? (Uncontracted – auxiliary verb + subject + not)
  • Does he not understand? (Auxiliary verb + subject + not)
EVEN THOUGH UNCONTRACTED NEGATIVE QUESTIONS MIGHT SOUND AWKWARD TO YOU (BECAUSE U SELDOM USE IT), IT IS NOT WRONG!

Friday, 17 June 2011

'For example' OR 'For examples'?

‘For example’ is considered as an idiom similar to ‘for instance’.
It can also be written in an abbreviation; e.g. (exempli gratia)

PLEASE TAKE NOTE!
Even though you have more than one example to be stated in your sentence, using ‘for examples’ instead of ‘for example’ is WRONG.
‘FOR EXAMPLE’ should always be expressed or stated WITHOUT ‘S’.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

“The farmer as well as the labourers IS hard at work.” OR “The farmer as well as the labourers ARE hard at work.”?

In the sentence “The farmer as well as the labourers is hard at work.”, the phrase “as well as” joins two noun phrases, i.e. “the farmer” and “the labourers”. But the two are not of equal importance in the sentence. “The farmer” is more important and is the subject of the sentence. The noun phrase that comes after “as well as” is considered an addition and not one of the subjects. This is also true of noun phrases that come after along with, in addition to, together with, and some other phrases.
Since “the farmer” in the sentence is singular, the singular verb “is” is used.
If the subject is plural, a plural verb is used: “The farmers as well as the labourer are hard at work.”

Thursday, 9 June 2011

“Next week I’m going outstation” - That's totally Manglish.

Try saying “next week I’m going outstation” to a Londoner and they might start wondering what you would be doing outside the station for a week!
The word “outstation” itself is a colonial relic left by the British and cannot be found in any of the major contemporary dictionaries such as Oxford, MacMillan, Cambridge or Longman.

So how can we rephrase “outstation” to make it more international?
You could use “out of town”, “out of the office”, or simply “I’ll be away next week”. Or, you could just say where you are going!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

'BLACK SHEEP' vs 'SCAPEGOAT' & 'CHILDLIKE' vs 'CHILDISH'

Many people translate “black sheep” literally as “kambing hitam” to mean fall guy. The black sheep (of the family) is actually the least favoured child, while a fall guy is a person who always takes the blame for a crime, normally for a fee, even though he is actually not the person who committed the crime. Then there is “scapegoat” which is the same as fall guy.

Someone on the radio recently used the word “childlike” to mean “behaving like a bad child”. The actual meaning is the exact opposite and when one describes a person as childlike, he is referring to the good attributes of a child such as honesty, na├»vety (in the positive sense) and purity. For a negative description, the correct term is “childish” which means foolish; immature or trivial; or weak or silly.


(extracted from The Star)