Thursday, 29 December 2011

PRONUNCIATION TIPS: Should we really stress the "r" sound in English words?

Look at these words and try to pronounce them.

are, your, more, care, there, for, four, other, or, here, over, hour, before, higher, comfort, hear, never, etc.

Should we sound the 'r' when pronouncing these words?

Actually, there's no need for us to stress the 'r' sound let alone to sound it. It will sound awkward.
However, we sound the 'r' if one of those words is followed by a vowel (a,e,i,o,u).

Here are some tips/examples:
-"Before my eyes" - silent 'r'
 "Before I go...." - with 'r' sound
- "Hear you say" - silent 'r'
  "Here I come" - with 'r' sound
- "Four or five?" - with 'r' sound
  "Four people" - silent 'r'

Now, I've found the reason why people say that Siti Nurhaliza sounds awkward when she sings her English songs.
Anyway, I'm not perfect too as I'm still learning. Peace! :)

*Another thing, be careful when pronouncing "can't" & "can" because they contrast each other.
** "WORD" and "FIRST" - the 'r' is totally silenced.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Can we use apostrophe s ('s) to show Possession of Non-living Things? (Possessive Nouns)

We should use apostrophe s ('s) when writing posssive nouns (for singular nouns not ending in s).
E.g.: The boy's ball. (which means; the ball of the boy)

but is it right to use 'the book's size' or 'the car's front'?

As books and cars are non-living things. It's more appropriate to write;
- The cover of the book.
- The front of the car.

However, we use apostrophes to show possession of periods of time such as "today's date" and "in two weeks' time".
We also use apostrophes to show possession of organizations, the earth, ships and countries, for example, "the university's rules", "the ship's bells", "the city's parks" and "Malaysia's land")

Remember, always use 'of (the)' to show possession of non-living things (especially in formal writing) and use apostrophes for living things.

*How about plants? Should we say "the plant's roots" or "the roots of the plant"?

My answer: We can indicate it as "the roots of the plant" or simply "the plant root". 
*Please take note that when the possessor and the thing possessed are both concrete objects, the possesion can also be indicated without any apostrophe for example, "the car radio", "the hotel room" and "the room door". 

Saturday, 3 December 2011


Supposed can be the past tense for the verb 'suppose'.

However, as an adjective, 'supposed' carries a totally different meaning from the verb 'suppose(d)'
As an adjective:
It is wrong to say, "You suppose to do this." 
Instead, it should be "You are supposed to do this."

As a verb:
"I'm supposed we could do that."  (WRONG)
"I suppose we could do that." (RIGHT)

Friday, 2 December 2011


Is there any difference between 'several' and 'a few'?
Both are used for countable nouns that are more than one, but not a lot.
In Malay, the meaning is similar to 'beberapa/sebilangan'.

Try to fill in these blanks with either 'several' or 'a few'
1)  Penny bought ___________ pairs of shoes.
2)  It took ____________ days for the flood in Kelantan to recede.

(*answer: (1) a few  (2) several)

So, what's the difference?
Even though they carry the same meaning, but from my understanding and knowledge, 'a few' is  'not a lot'. 'Several' is also 'not a lot' but 'quite a lot'.

Hope you understand what I mean. :)


It is wrong to say; "I have an evident"
because 'evident' is an adjective.
So, 'evidence' (noun) should be used here.

However, it is wrong to say; "I have an evidence" too
because 'evidence' is an uncountable noun.

So, you should say;
"I have the evidence." or "I have a piece of evidence."

*Don't ever use "I have evidences" because you cannot add 's' to an uncountable noun!