Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Self improvement, Writing

Figures of speech

What is the figure of speech

A figure of speech is a word or phrase that is used in a non-literal way to create an effect. This effect used in the deliberate arrangement of words to achieve something poetic, or imagery as in the use of language to suggest a visual picture or make an idea more vivid.

Types of figures of speech

  • Simile

A simile is a type of figurative language which is used to compare one thing against another. Similes compare the likeness of two things and often feature the words “like” or “as”. For example, as strong as a lion.

  • Metaphor

A metaphor is a phrase describing something, as something is not in reality. It is used to compare two things symbolically, or to describe something as something it is not. For example, love is a battlefield.

  • Personification

Personification is a type of figurative language. It is used to give an item or an object a sense of being alive. The speaker will talk to the object as if it understands. For example, why are you so heavy, suitcase?.

  • Symbolism

Symbolism is another form of figurative language which is used to express an abstract idea using an item or words. For example, we had to put out a red alert.

  • Idiom

An idiom is a phrase which bears no literal meaning to the situation, it is describing but it implies the fact or story behind it. For example, there is a silver lining in every cloud.

  • Irony

It is used when a statement made is directly contradictory to the reality. It is also used to convey a style of sarcasm. For example, I posted on Facebook about how bad Facebook is.

  • Paradox

Paradox is a word which contradicts itself. For example, deep down Adam is really shallow.

  • Pun

Pun is a figure of speech, it uses a word to give a different sense to the sentence and add a double meaning. For example, An egg for breakfast is not east to beat.

Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary, Writing

Types of sentences

A sentence is the largest unit of any language. In English, it begins with a capital letter and ends with a full-stop, or a question mark, or an exclamation mark.

The sentence is generally defined as a word or a group of words that expresses a thorough idea by giving a statement/order, or asking a question, or exclaiming.

  • Types of sentence
  • A simple sentence

It expresses a single idea in a single clause.

  • Examples :
  1. Joe drank coffee
  2. Joe drank coffee with Tom
  3. Joe drank coffee in the afternoon with Tom
  4. Joe and Tom drank coffee

  • A compound sentence

It contains two ideas connected with a co-ordinator (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)

  • Examples :
  1. Joe drank coffee, and Tom played the guitar
  2. Adam drank water, but he was still thirsty

  • A complex sentence

It contains two ideas connected by a subordinator (because, since, after, Although, or a relative pronoun such as that, which or who)

  • Examples :
  1. Joe drank the tea that he bought in Chinatown.
  2. Although Adam drank water, he was still thirsty

  • A compound – complex sentence

It hhas the elements of the complex and the compound sentence.

  • Examples :
  • Joe drank the tea that he bought in Chinatown, but Tom played the guitar
Posted in Languages, Learning, Listening, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary, Writing

TOEFL vs IELTS

What is the IELTS?

IELTS is an abbreviation for International English Language Testing System. The test is available in two formats: ‘IELTS Academic’, for those planning to study at a higher education level abroad; and ‘IELTS General Training’, which focuses on social skills and workplace contexts.

What is the TOEFL?

TOEFL is an acronym for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is an English proficiency test, developed by an American company, ETS, to measure an individual’s reading, speaking, writing, and listening proficiency in American English. TOEFL scores are a requirement for over 900 universities and other institutions in more than 130 countries. There are two methods of taking this test; it can be taken as a Paper-Based Test (TOEFL PBT) or an Internet-Based Test (TOEFL IBT) which is more popular.

These tests are standardized and this simply means that the scores are consistent all over the world . Both of them will test you on four main language skills and that is listening, speaking, reading and writing .

What is the difference between Toefl and ielts?

The major difference between these two tests is in speaking. While in TOEFL you have to talk to a computer, the IELTS requires you to talk to a real person. Many people find talking to a computer very strange and that is why they prefer the IELTS test.

Which test requires more preparation?

While both IELTS and TOEFL require basic preparation at least , many takers felt that to prepare for TOEFL was harder. But that varies with each individual. The difference in the test patterns may give rise to tasks that need more preparation.

Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary, Writing

Most common adjectives in English

  • What is an adjective?

It’s a word that modifying the meaning of a noun or the pronoun .

  • Types of adjectives :
  • Descriptive adjectives : New, old, big, little, fast, slow…

  • Possessive : my, his, our, your, their, her,his,hers, mine, its, theirs, ours…

  • Quantitative : first, second, third, few, all…

  • Interrogative: which, what, whose…

  • Demostrative : This, That, these, those…

  • Distributive : each, every, either, neither…

  • Some rules for the use of adjectives :
  • When adjectives appear after the noun or pronoun, they will be preceded by a verb, often (but not always) an auxiliary verb such as ‘are’ or ‘is’.

  • Adjectives can be used in multiple forms (The tough, long and ultimately boring paper was one I needed to pass), they can appear before or after the noun or pronoun they are describing.

  • Examples of adjectives :
  • Adjective Before the Noun :
  1. Old woman.
  2. Red coat.
  3. Cheerful man.
  • Adjective After the Noun :
  1. Sofei was old.
  2. It looks red.
  3. He seems cheerful.
  • Adjective Immediately After the Noun :
  1. someone interesting.
  2. those present.
  3. something evil.

  • Nouns Used as Adjectives

Many words that are usually nouns can function as adjectives.

  • For example:
  1. autumn colours
  2. boat race
  3. computer shop
  4. Devon cream

  • Participles Used as Adjectives : Formed from a verb , a participle is a word that can be used as an adjective.
  • For example :
  1. While the spoken word can travel faster, you can’t take it home in your hand.
  2. Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual. 

  • Infinitives Used as Adjectives : An infinitive verb (e.g., “to run,” “to jump”) can also function as an adjective.
  • For example :
  1. Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity.
  2. No human creature can give orders to love.

  • The order of adjectives :
  1. Quantity or number
  2. Quality or opinion
  3. Size
  4. Age
  5. Shape
  6. Color
  7. Proper adjective (often nationality, other place of origin, or material)
  8. Purpose or qualifier
  • Examples :
  1. My sister adopted a beautiful big white dog.
  2. The house is green and red.
  3. An amazing new American movie. 

Posted in Languages, Learning, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary, Writing

12 most misunderstood words

  • Historical

You think it means : historiac.

It means : pertaining to the past, but not necessarily important to it or a part of it.

  • Novel

You think it means : any book.

It means : a book that is a work of fiction.

  • Less

You think it means : fewer.

It means : a smaller amount of uncountable nouns.

  • Continual

You think it means : with no interruptions. But it means duration over a long period of time, not necessarily without interruptions.

  • Infamous

You think it means : famous

But it means : having extremely bad reputation ; never used in a positive manner.

  • Systematic

You think it means : systemic, pertaining to or affecting the body as a whole.

It means : involving a system, method or plan ; orderly.

  • Proscribe

You think it means : prescribe ; to order the use of something. Such as midication ; to direct or to dictate.

It means : to denounce, panish outlaw, or exile.

  • Penultimate

You think it means : above, beyond, or better than ultimate.

It means : next to last.

  • Precocious

You think it means : cautious or misbehaving .

It means: unusually advanced in development, especially mentally.

  • Alternate

You think it means : alternative.

It means : to interchange regularly.

  • Moot

You think it means : no longer open for debate; factually wrong.

It means : open for debate, an argument or discussion.

  • Nauseous

You think it means : nauseated.

But it means : to induce nausea.

Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Self improvement, Vocabulary, Writing

Conjunctions

What is a conjunction?

It is a connective word that links words, phrases and clauses.

  • Types of conjunctions :
  1. Coordinating conjunctions : (for, but, and, nor, or, yet, so)
  2. Subordinating conjunctions : (While, Where, When, Until, Unless, Though, Since, Because, Although , After, If, Even if)
  3. Correlative conjunctions : (either… Or, both… and, whether… or, neither… nor, not only… but also)

-Here is a list of the most important conjunctions with meanings and examples :

  • Although

It is used for introducing a statement that makes the main statement seem.

Examples:

  1. Although it rained all day, we enjoyed the party very much.
  2. He failed in the exam, although he studied very hard.

  • Because

It is used to give reason. It is followed by a complete sentence with its own subject and verb.

Examples :

  1. He is delighted because I am here.
  2. The child ran because he was afraid.

  • However

We ccan express a contrast by using the adverb However with two sentences.

Examples :

  1. She is the best student in school. However, she does not do homeworks on time.
  2. Some people disagree with this idea. However, it is never been proven right.

  • Whereas

It is used for linking two ideas that contrast with each other.

Examples :

  1. Whereas we did all the job, they enjoyed themselves.
  2. Chicken meat is white, whereas that of an ix is red.

  • Therefore

It is used to show the result of an action.

Examples:

  1. There were not enough participants. Therefore, the trip was cancelled.
  2. I’m sleepy. Therefore, I’m going to bed.

  • Also

It is used to add an positive, agreeing thought.

Examples :

  1. Apart from French, she also teaches math.
  2. He also had a sense of responsibility about it.

  • Even If

It is used to emphasize that something will still be true if another thing happens.

Examples :

  1. Even if Alex earned a big salary, he would not buy a big car.
  2. You will go to the party, even if they don’t allow you.

  • Unless

Means ; except on the condition that.

Examples :

  1. She will be sick unless she stops eating.
  2. Unless
  3. Unless my son finish his homework, he can’t go out.

  • Whom

It is used to ask which person receives an action.

Examples :

  1. The man whom I saw at the theater last night is a pilot.
  2. This my neighbor whom I like a lot.

  • Both… and

It is used to refer to two things or people.

Examples:

  1. Both Alice and Susan have to comply with the rules.
  2. I used to like playing both football and basketball.

Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Writing

What is syntax?

  • The definition of syntax :

The word “syntax” comes from the Ancient Greek for “ordering together.”

syntax refers to the set of rules that determines the arrangement of words in a sentence. It is also the set of rules that helps readers and writers make sense of sentences.

So Syntax is one of the major components of grammar . It’s the concept that enables people to know how to start a question with a question word, or that adjectives generally come before the nouns they describe , subjects often come before verbs in non-question sentences , prepositional phrases start with prepositions , helping verbs come before main verbs , and so on.

  • English Syntactic rules :
  1. a subject and a verb express a complete thought, which is called independent clause.
  2. a subject and a verb, but it does not express a complete thought, which is called a dependant clause.
  3. English word order follows the subject-verb-object sequence.
  4. A sentence containing multiple independent clauses that are improperly joined.

  • Examples :

The following sentences give examples of how syntax can change meaning of a sentence or change the emphasis in a sentence:

  • Sentence One: Your bedroom is never clean.
  • Sentence Two: Clean your bedroom never is.

The syntax in Sentence Two puts stress on the cleanliness of the room.

  • Sentence One: I had my laundry cleaned.
  • Sentence Two: I had cleaned my laundry.

The syntax changes the meaning of this sentence.

In Sentence One, there is an implication that someone else did the landry.

In Sentence Two, the speaker did the laundry.

Posted in Languages, Learning, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary

How to speak English fluently

When you learn any language you need to practice speaking it beside studying it’s strucures and vocabulary, so you need daily plan to improve your fluency, so here are some important tips to speak English fluently :

1-Stop learning English as just a “textbook subject”

Try to view English more as a way of life and less as a school subject. Any contact with the language will help you to speak English more fluently over time so why limit yourself to just traditional classrooms and textbooks? Taking a broader perspective is likely to make the learning process far more interesting.

2-Make learning English funny and interesting for you

English is never boring if you study with material that is relevant and interesting to you. Take a piece of paper and write down a list of all the hobbies and interests that motivate and stimulate you in your daily life. Now think of ways to connect each of these with English. For example, if you love tennis and read about this sport in your native language each week, stop doing this and start reading in English. Also you need to avoid using textbooks and materials that you find boring. Many learners fail to develop a love of English at school because they find the lessons and textbooks boring. Don’t make this mistake again! Try using a wide variety of different material and see what works best for you.

3-Build your other English skills to help with your spoken fluency

Fluent spoken English comes from having abroad vocabulary, good listening comprehension skills and a solid understanding of grammar. Therefore, it is a mistake to focus 100% on just speaking. so always keep working to improve your vocabulary Having a large vocabulary gives you greater flexibility and power of expression in English. Remember that listening is half of the conversation If you want to know how to speak English fluently, then first learn how to be a good listener. Fluency is often gained by listening to and then copying the language used by others.

4-Use modern English produced by native speakers

In order to speak fluent English, you need a correct model to follow and this should be representative of the modern language as it is spoken today. Even if you live outside a majority English speaking country, the internet still provides fantastic access to learning opportunities: news websites, forums, social networks, Skype tutors, study websites, etc. There is no excuse for using outdated textbooks or focusing on material that does not reflect how natives speak the language today.

5-Use technology and apps to learn

Technology is changing the way we access and acquire knowledge. Learners across the world are using the internet to improve their fluency in English through study websites, social networks, webinars, Skype lessons and more. Mobile phone usage is on the increase and many choose to install apps for learning English on the move. This can be a great idea because it allows you to fit more English practice into your daily routine, without the need to carry bags of books around!

6-Take English lessons with a native speaker

Although many skills in English can be improved through self-study, spoken fluency is seldom achieved in isolation due to the need for regular interaction and error correction. Having a native English tutor can help provide a focal point for your day-to-day studies. This should be a qualified teacher with appropriate experience who can provide guidance and practical training a couple of times a week.

Posted in Languages, learning, Listening, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary

Apps for language exchange

What is the language exchange??

If you want to have an English speaker partner, and you want to teach some one your native language, so you may need to check language exchange websites like Conversation Exchange , so this way enables you to chatting, texting, or correcting mistakes with your partner.

Best language exchange apps :

Hinative

Hinative is simple and easy platform specializes in getting your questions answered by the most competent speakers of your target language. and the button you’re going to use the most is the “Ask” button. Also this app provides tamplates and categories like “How do you say this?”, or “Ask something else?”, This is usually where cultural queries and opinion questions find room. So this is a language exchange, you can and should help out others by taking the time to answer some of their questions.

Hellotalk

This app has Translation, Transliteration, Voice-to-Text and Text-to-Voice features. interactions are a bit slower, which is really a good thing since nobody expected to be suddenly fluent in the target language. HelloTalk is a standalone app that can do so much more than just connect you with someone who speaks your target language.

Tandem

This app has social-networking functions, and you can “Follow” people and check out those who follow you. So you can text, talk or video chat with someone on the other side of the world, the app has a “Tutor” tab, where you can find tutors of the language you want. Or, if you want to earn on the side, you can fill out a profile to become a language tutor.

Bilingua

Bilingua is a language exchange app that is easy and educational interaction for its users. And this is reflected in the features that the app carries

This app has a “smart chat” feature, which gives you suggestions on what to talk about, so you never run out of topics during the exchange. It even recommends specific phrases you could use. Also you can find somebody who shares your hobbies, interests and personality, when you first start using the app, you’re taken through a series of personal questions. Your answers help its algorithm pair you up with somebody similar.

https://www.facebook.com/HowToImprove/

Posted in Languages, Learning, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary

Colour idioms

  • A white lie : A ‘little’ or ‘harmless’ lie told in order to be polite and avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

For example : I just wanted to get out of work so I told my boss a little white lie.

  • White elephant : something that is of no use.

For example : My dad bought a new CD player for me, but it’s a white elephant

  • White as a ghost : someone who is very pale because of pain, fear, shock or illness.

For example : I didn’t think the movie was that scary, but my friend was as white as a ghost!

  • In the black : Meaning successful or profitable.

For example : Their company has been in the black ever since the new CEO took over.

  • Blackball someone : to reject someone socially.

For example : Their hospital has been blackballed ever since that scandal was all over the newspapers.

  • Black sheep : to describe a person who is the ‘odd one out’ of a group.

For example : she has always been the black sheep in her family, she has a completely different personality to all of them.

  • Blue blood : Used to describe someone from a noble, aristocratic or wealthy family.

For example : Many of the blue bloods in our town were invited to the royal wedding.

  • Feel blue : When someone looks or feels depressed or discontented.

For example : You seem really blue. Is there something you’d like to talk about?

  • Once in a blue moon : To occur extremely rarely, or only once in a lifetime.

For example : My brother is working in Africa, he hardly ever has the time to call us. My parents only hear from him once in a blue moon.

  • Blood red : Used to describe the deep red colour of something.

For example : She was wearing a beautiful dress with blood red lipstick to match.

  • To see red : To react with uncontrollable rage against someone or something.

For example : Adam saw red when he heard someone shouting at his mother.

  • Get the green light : When someone receives, or is given, permission to go ahead with something.

For example : We have been given the green light by the Marketing Executive to go ahead with the new advertising campaign.

  • Green belt : An area of fields and trees around a town.

For example : Our city has a policy of increasing the green belt around it.

  • Pink Slip : A termination notice received from a job.

For example : They gave me my pink slip last week, so I’ve got to find a new job now.

  • In the pink of something : Meaning in very good health.

For example : My grandmother looked ever so well when I saw her, she was in the pink of condition.

  • A golden opportunity : An opportunity that may never present itself again.

For example : Think carefully about what you’re going to do, this is a golden opportunity, and you don’t want to mess it up!

  • Golden boy : a young man idolised for a great skill, usually in sport.

For example : By many of his fans, Wayne Rooney is seen as the golden boy of his football team.