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Sunday, March 23, 2008


These two varieties of English (American and British) are very similar. However, there are a few differences of grammar and spelling, and rather more differences of vocabulary and idiom. Anyhow, modern British English is heavily influenced by American English. So, some of the contrasts are disappearing. The following is the example of differences;
American English vs British English

aluminum aluminium; analyze analyse; catalog catalogue; center centre; check cheque; color colour; defense defence; honor honour; jewelry jewellery; labor labour;pajamas pyjamas; paralyze paralyse; practice practise; program programme;
realize realise; theater theatre; tire tyre; traveler traveler; whiskey whisky;
welcome wellcome

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American English vs British English

airplane - aeroplane; anyplace - anywhere; apartment - flat; area code - dialing code; attorney, lawyer - barrister, solicitor; busy - engaged (phone); cab - taxi;
call collect -reverse the charge; can - tin; candy - sweet; check - bill;
coin-purse - purse; cookie, cracker - biscuit; corn - sweet corn, maize; crib - cot;
crazy - mad; cuffs - turn-ups; diaper - nappy; doctor’s office - doctor’s surgery;
dumb - stupid; elevator - lift; eraser - rubber; fall - autumn; faucet - tap;
first floor - ground floor; second floor - first floor; flashlight - torch;
flat tire - puncture; french fries - chips; garbage, trash - rubbish;
garbage can - dustbin; gasoline - petrol; gear shift - gear level;
highway, freeway - main road, motorway; hood - bonnet (on a car);
intersection - crossroads; mad angry; mail - post; mean - nasty; movie - film;
one-way ticket - single ticket;
pants - trousers; pavement - road surface; pitcher - jug; potato chips - crisps;
railroad - railway; raise - rise (in salary); rest room - public toilet;
round trip - return journey (ticket); schedule - time table; sidewalk - pavement;
sneakers - trainers; stand in line - queue; stingy - mean(op of generous);
store - shop; subway - underground; truck - van, lorry; trunk - boot (of a car);
two weeks - fortnight; vacation - holiday; windshield - windscreen; zee - zed (letter “z”); zipper - zip.

Friday, March 21, 2008


To beginners, writing – specifically writing a paragraph – is something confusing. Writing demands us to be imaginative. We have to be able to express our thoughts or ideas in it. Not to mention that our writing should be grammatically eligible.

In a classroom activity, a teacher usually gives students a task of writing a paragraph in certain number of words (75, or 100 words). This indirectly affects students in the way they develop the paragraph since there are at least two streams working in the brain: thinking of how to adopt correct grammar rules and how to develop the paragraph adequately.

The following tips hopefully can help you have strategy of how to write a paragraph effectively. A paragraph, theoretically, has two elements in it: a topic sentence and supporting sentences. The topic sentence functions as the anchor about what all supporting sentences describe. The supporting sentences, on the other hand, are to support the topic sentence by describing, explaining or arguing it.

Let’s say, we want to write about “Our City”. Next after we’ve got the topic, we have to choose what type of paragraph we want to write it in: narrative, argumentative, expository, or descriptive.
1.Narrative is a paragraph which is written in a story-telling way in supporting the topic sentence.
2.Argumentative is a paragraph developed by giving our arguments or reasons to the chosen topic sentence.
3.Expository is a paragraph developed by exposing factual data (number of population, the founding year, etc.) that support the topic sentence.
4.Descriptive is a paragraph developed by describing the topic sentence with detail explanation, examples or definition.
(click here TO LEARN MORE).


It might have become a common problem that we very often encounter. We are confused with how to develop a paragraph coherently with adequate supporting sentences.

A paragraph is considered good if it is unified and coherent. Unity means a paragraph has a topic sentence and supporting sentences. Coherence means the relationship among sentences in the paragraph runs smoothly.

Here are the tips to do so:
1.Start a paragraph with a good topic sentence, e.g.: ”We must take care of our city from being environmentally deteriorated”.

2.From the topic sentence we find that the point we must develop is “take care of our city from being environmentally deteriorated”. Next, we just ask ourselves by using 5 W and 1 H; “how” to do it (descriptive), “why” we do it (argumentative), “when” to do it (expository) etc.

3.Next, we develop it sentence by sentence.
You know what, once you're finished with a sentence, don't think too hard to write the next sentence. Just see the just finished one and find the key word (s). Develop the key word (s) to be the next sentence, and so on and so forth.
Here is the complete process: “We must take care of our city from being environmentally deteriorated. We can do it by reducing gas emission and dumping the garbage into the right place”. In that second sentence we find two points that we can develop to be the next sentences, they are: “by reducing gas emission” and “by dumping the garbage into the right place”.
Just see the two points and start explaining them. When the new sentence is already created, see it again and find the point and explain it in the next sentence. When the next new sentence is successfully created, see it again and find the point and explain it to be the next sentence. Do it just the same way until we think that the supporting sentences are already adequate in supporting the topic sentence.
The complete paragraph is almost done;
“We must take care of our city from being environmentally deteriorated. We can do it by reducing gas emission and dumping the garbage into the right place. Restricting the use of private cars is one of the ways to reduce gas emission. The restriction will be effective if government provides regulation of how to do it. Government can include in the regulation the assembling year of a car which is allowed to run. It is important to do so because the older the car, the more pollution it produces. By enforcing such a restriction, the gas emission can hopefully be reduced. Besides reducing gas emission, dumping the garbage into the right place is another important act to do. As we know that garbage is a complicated problem for a city. While the production of garbage takes place excessively due to the development of the city, the way out to dump it does not get enough care from all citizens. Some citizens still carelessly dump it in any place, in the street, into the river or in other water streams."

4.If we think that we have written adequate supporting sentences, we can close the paragraph with concluding sentence:“In short, since those two problems, gas emission and garbage, are the main factors that bring about the environmental deterioration of a city, we have to control them wisely for the sake of our city".
5.Read again your paragraph. Give final touch to it by editing and or inserting necessary transitional markers to make it more coherent.
(click here TO LEARN MORE).

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Sunday, March 16, 2008


Globalization has pushed everybody in this world to accept it whatever it is. Nobody can flea from any situation globalization brings about. No choice, but take it. All takes place by force and insists on our uncompromised readiness.

To be ready with it, however, we need to equip ourselves with stocks of self-survival supplies – one of them is English.

Globalization and English are just a two-faced coin; we can not take only one side of it. They are completely cohesive and inseparable. It is English which has accelerated the globalization. So, being absent of English savvy will just refuge us to unmanned area. We just can go nowhere, do nothing, target no goal, grab no yield, or worse live no life. Is it that serious?

Just leave your beloved sanctuary – bedroom. Step out to the street right in front of your house and decide where to roam. The signs before your eyes are all in English. You are mall goers want to have lunch, all the menus are in English. You want to apply for a job, make a work report, submit a lecturing summary; English is the language you need no matter in what country you live: English speaking or non-English speaking.

Thus, it is very clear that we only can encounter the inevitable globalization by having a good command of English. So, here I come to share the tips and strategies about how to learn English easily. Do not ever hesitate to come by and read my postings and share comments or ideas!