Tuesday, June 30, 2009
As an experienced teacher, I know how to prevent this from happening. I will mark a double cross for blanks without answers. Later if students come to me for marks I will call them liars and they will not insist on demanding marks from me anymore because they are cheating and I know it.
Monday, June 29, 2009
1 a) I will go to your house tonight.
b) I am going to your house tonight.
2 a) It will rain soon.
b) It is going to rain soon.
3 a) We shall start a youth camp soon.
b) We are going to start a youth camp soon.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
To prevent the above mishap, I have changed my tactic of saving important data. I use different media to do the job. The same data are put in hard disk, USB drive and CDR's as well as DVD's. In this way, should any of the medium fail me, I still can count on the other media.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
When a baby is born, he has to undergo another three stages of life, namely growing old, being sick and death. According to the teachings of Buddha, nothing is permanent, including the life of a human being. Our lifespan is destined and there is no way we can do about it if we don't practise the dharma. However, if one saves lives or does something so that deaths to beings can be prevented one can lengthen one's life to a certain extent. A man who can live very long now can be due to the good deed of saving lives in his past life or lives.
Taking vegetarian diet is considered a way of saving lives because we do not eat meat which comes from beings such as cows, chickens, goats and pigs. Hence we can live longer if we go vegetarian in food and save as many lives as possible. Of course we still have to do good most of the time to realise this wish of ours.
Friday, June 26, 2009
We glued our eyes to the idiot box in the house of Uncle Tee, the father of my student Tee Guat Hoon who was studying in Form 2 then. I was teaching her Integrated Science. During weekends and sometimes weekdays my housemates, Tan Ching Hong, Boo Cheng Kee and I would be at the Tees to watch television shows. The Jackson Five show was one of our favourites. The other shows included Sixth Sense and Rockard Files (whose main character, the private eye used to call his father by the name, much to my surprise as Chinese like me won't call our father by his name).
Later, my impression of Michael Jackson was that he looked like a girl with very fair skin. At one time, I knew that 'Beat It' became a hit. I enjoyed watching him dance while singing. He was so fast and agile. Frankly speaking, I am not a fan of Michael Jackson but on and off I chanced to listen to his songs and dances on TV screens at home.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The first verb is 'recommend'. Look at the following sentences to see how infinitives are used after the verbs be they in the present or past tense.
1 I recommend that you see a doctor to diagnose your illness.
2 I recommend that he take up a driving course for his convenience.
3 She recommended that I go for a computer course.
4 She recommended that he seek a specialist for treatment.
If you look at the verb in Sentence 1 and 2, you will find that the verb is in the present tense. The infinitive in the first sentence is see while the infinitive in the second sentence is take. It is wrong to write 'I recommend that he takes up a driving course for his convenience.'
As for the third and fourth sentence, the verb is in the past tense, yet the infinitives are go and seek respectively. It is incorrect to say 'She recommended that he sought a specialist for treatment' or 'She recommended that he seeks a specialist for treatment.'
I shall now give another four examples of sentences using the verb suggest. The explanation is unnecessary as it is the same as the one for 'recommend'.
1 I suggest that you exercise regularly.
2 I suggest that he read more books.
3 She suggested that I join the same club as hers.
4 She suggested that he save some money every month for emergency use.
So much for infinitives used after certain verbs.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
On the other hand, in English the sentence "His comic act put us in stitches" should not be translated as "Kelakuan lucunya menjadikan kami dalam jahitan." in Malay but as "Gelagat lucunya menyebabkan kami tak kering gusi." By the way, 'tak kering gusi" in Malay means 'to laugh incessantly'.
From the two examples given above, it is obvious that a translator has to master the ins and outs of both languages so that he will not convey the wrong message through his translation.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Next comes practice. You need to practise speaking the language. Find someone who does not speak your language but English and try to converse with him in English. You must be brave enough to express yourself in English, ignoring any grammatical errors you may have made because as beginners we tend to make mistakes. Some kind souls will correct your spoken English in a way without offending you. For example, you may say, "I did not came here yesterday." and your friend will repeat, "Oh, you did not come here yesterday."
You need to practise writing the language too. Try by imitation. Scan through the newspapers and find a section whose words you understand. Copy out a paragraph and rewrite many times. Through constant practice, you may have a hang of the language in this way.
Listening to English is a must. You can always tune in to radio broadcasts and listen to news presented in English. Make it a daily habit to listen to the news and soon you will be able to understand most of words spoken. This will help you in your pronunciation, too.
To put it in a nutshell have a strong interest in English and start speaking, writing and listening to the language without fail every day and you are on your way to mastering the language.
Happy learning English.
Monday, June 22, 2009
1 'pinjam' means borrow. You can make a sentence such as 'Buku cerita ini saya pinjam daripada Ali.' (This book was the one I borrowed Ali.)
2 'meminjami' means to lend someone something. Let us construct a sentence with this word to see how it is used. The sentence is 'Saya meminjami Ali sebuah buku cerita.' (I lent Ali a story book)
3 'meminjamkan' which means lend something to someone has the usage as in the following sentence:
Saya meminjamkan basikalku kepada anak jiran. (I lent my bicycle to my neighbour's son.)
4 'meminjam' means to borrow from. You can use it in a sentence as the one below:
Saya meminjam payung ini daripada Susan. (I borrowed this umbrella from Susan.)
5 'pinjami' is usually used in the passive voice. You see it in a sentence like the one shown below:
Hassan akan saya pinjami buku cerita ini. (Hassan is the one to whom I will lend this story book.)
6 'pinjamkan' is also found in the passive voice. This is one example of a sentence showing its usage.
Buku ini akan saya pinjamkan kepada Hashim. (This book is the one I will lend to Hashim.)
7 'dipinjam' means 'is borrowed from' and one can make a sentence such as the one below to show how it is used.
Buku ini dipinjam oleh Ali dari perpustakaan sekolah. (This book was borrowed from the school library by Ali.)
8 'dipinjamkan' which carries the meaning of 'was lent to' can be used in a sentence like this:
Buku ini dipinjamkan oleh Ali kepada Lina. (This borrowed was lent to Lina by Ali.)
9 'dipinjami' is tricky here. It must be preceded by the person who will receive the thing lent to him by another person. Let us see how it is used in a sentence.
Johari dipinjami Ali sebuah buku. (Johari was the one Ali loaned a book.)
So much for 'pinjam' today. If readers would like to read more posts on Malay usage of words, do indicate to me and I will oblige in future posts.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Today is Father's Day and I would like to wish fathers all over the world a Happy Father's Day.
On this day, let us ponder whether we have done our part to be a good father. I could not forget the days I spent with my wife taking care of Yee Khai, my eldest son in Sungai Petani 30 years ago. We had to wake up during the wee hours to tend to our bundle of joy when he kept crying. Once, we had a fright of our lives when he choked after my wife had finished feeding him with milk. We were desperate and did not know what to do. Luckily, we rented a house whose owner had a daughter who was a nurse. She quickly came to our help. Guat Lee (the nurse's name) simply grabbed our baby by the legs and put him upside down. Then she tapped him on the shoulder and he began to cry again. We thanked her profusely. Later when the same thing happened again, we knew what to do.
As a father, we have to listen to our sons or daughters to see what problems they face and try to help them as best as we can. As I was a teacher, guiding them with their studies posed no problems to me. I bought English story books for all three of them and they had no problems with English.
My elder son sat with me when I was in front of the computer. He learnt fast and before long, he could use the computer like an adult.
My hope now is for each of them to get a good job and live happily.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I usually go to the restaurant where the dinner will be held earlier. However, I will have to wait for quite some time and it can be an hour. The Chinese are not punctual on such occasions. No one is complaining except our tummies. Sometimes we have finished eating up the peanuts and yet the first course of dinner is not ready yet.
When the bride and bridegroom appear, then only will the first course be served. While we help ourselves to the food, a band will be playing songs or someone will be singing to entertain us. Then someone from the guest is invited to sing. More guests will go on stage to sing. If the one who sings can render the song well, it is all right. However, it is really a torture to us if someone is singing in disharmony up there.
Some savouring some dishes, the master of ceremony will invite relatives of the bride and bridegroom to go on stage to toast to the guests.
A eight-course dinner can last for two hours with all the songs and speeches thrown in. Such is the scenario of a Chinese Wedding Dinner.
Friday, June 19, 2009
1 add up - make sense
2 back out - do not keep one's promise
3 break down - a) analyse in detail b) become mentally ill c) stop functioning properly
4 blow up - a) explode b) suddenly become very angry
5 bear up - endure (suffering)
6 bear with - be patient with
7 break in - a) interrupt (while someone is talking with another person) b) wear or use until it becomes comfortable for our use c) enter a place illegally
8 break up - a) disperse a crowd b) end a relationship
9 bring about - cause to happen
10 break out - happen suddenly
See if you can enter the above phrasal verbs into the blanks below, making necessary changes in tenses:
1 The bomb __________________ killing more than 10 people around the area.
2 The new manager _______________ new changes in the running of the company.
3 We will ___________ you _____________ in your effort to bring betterment to this club.
4 My old car _________________ on my way to the office this morning.
5 He promised to help me but ______________ at the last moment when I needed help urgently.
6 My father _______________ when he saw my exam results because I did badly in all the subjects.
7 The Federal Reserve Unit finally _________________ the rioters outside the foreign embassy.
8 The refusal of the rich man to donate anything doesn’t ___________________ because he has all the means to do so.
9 Some trainees could not ____________________ during the camp because many rough activities were carried out.
10 The speaker asked the audience to ___________________ him because he was talking for too long.
11 The student __________________ and committed suicide but was saved in time by his parents.
12 Let us __________________ the survey into rural and urban sections.
13 I will have to ________________ the shoes by wearing them every day.
14 It is rude to _________________ while others are in the midst of a conversation.
15 The police found that the thief must have ________________ when the tenant of the house was out.
16 Influenza A (H1N1) __________________ initially in
17 The couple _________________ again last week although they just made up a fortnight ago.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
No matter what you do, there is always a cause and it will produce an effect. This cause and effect phenomenon is karma. In our daily lives, if we are good towards a person, he will be good towards you in return. This is an example of good karma begetting good karma. On the other hand, if you hit someone for no reason, that someone will retaliate and hit you back. This is a good example of bad karma begetting bad karma.
If we believe in karma, we will surely be doing good deeds so as to get good karma. It will turn the world into a very wonderful place to live in if everyone of us does things to make others happy rather than bring suffering to them.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
When I was in secondary school, I started to take correspondence course in Christianity and nearly became a Christian if not for my parents' insistence that I left the religion because my pastor told me that I had to gave up praying to my ancestors. That ended my connection with Christianity.
It was in Sungai Petani that I shared a house with Tan Dek, an officer of the Ministry of Agriculture. He is a staunch Buddhist and through him, I began to get acquainted with Buddhism. I read a lot of pamphlets and booklets which he gave me about various aspects of Buddhism. After that I began to take a correspondence course in Buddhism in English as most of the terms in Chinese were incomprehensible to me.
My preoccupation now is listening to dharma talks by monks through DVD's and VCD's. I can understand Buddhism better through the mouths of these monks who relate Buddhism with life. Looking at their serene faces give me a sense of inner peace.
I try my best to walk the Buddha's path by practising the teachings of the Buddha which can be summarised as 'Do all the good and avoid all the evil deeds'.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
A smile begets a smile. This is always true. When you smile to someone he or she will reciprocate. There is no need for any exchange of words. Both will be comfortable and pass by each other happily.
If a shopkeeper smiles to customers, they will be too willing to buy from him or her. No one will buy anything from a fierce-looking man or girl or a sour-looking human being at the counter.
Let us smile often.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Suddenly it dawned on me that if the laser part is spoilt, I can still use the set to play my movies in mpg or DivX format.
My advice to readers of this post is that the next time you buy a DVD player, look for one that has a USB port so that in case the laser part gets damaged earlier, you can still play your movies in these two formats. Of course you need to do conversion with your computer and the right software such as a video converter.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I am not alone. There will be children on the floor reading books while waiting for their parents who may have gone shopping.
At least I know where to go when my life partner decides to go shopping again.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Confucius has said, "Human beings are not saints. Who has not done wrong? Knowing one's wrong and trying to correct it is a good thing." Hence, the youngsters should thank those who point out their flaws and try to better themselves. After all, all of us are not infallible.
Let us do away with the 'So What' culture and be brave enough to admit our wrong and try to rectify it for our own good.
Friday, June 12, 2009
When we want to use 'say' in a sentence, we are actually referring to utterance of a person or what comes out of his mouth. You can make sentences such as the following:
a) What did he say to you just now? [What words came out of his mouth that you heard?]
b) I could not hear what he was saying because he did not pronounce the words correctly. [I did not know the contents of what came out of his mouth because the words were not articulated properly]
The word 'speak' refers to vocalising words in a language. You can make the following sentences to bear out this meaning:
a) The small boy can speak five different languages fluently.
b) Speaking is very important if we want to practise pronouncing words in a language that we are learning.
As for the word 'talk', it means converse with someone. These are the two sentences you can make to show this meaning:
a) I have been talking to him for half an hour now.
b) He refused to talk to me yesterday although I met him several times.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I asked the first boy in the front row to come to the board to write a word which I asked him to write. He kept saying that he did not know how to spell the word I dictated. So I pointed the finger to the second boy but he gave me the same reason. After a few attempts to get any boy to write the word on the board, I gave up.
Later, I learnt from my colleagues that I was dealing with boys with gang connection outside. It gave me a fright as I did not see any sign that anyone of them belonged to any secret society. However, my next lesson with them put me in a nervous situation. Luckily they were passive boys who were more interested in football than anything else.
When I was teaching Kata Nama (Nouns), I had to think of very simple words that they could relate in their daily lives. For filling in the blanks, I had to construct very simple sentences so that they could supply the right answers. Sometimes, I had to spoon feed them to get the blanks filled correctly. Their writing was horrible and full of spelling mistakes.
I could not believe my eyes when eleven of them passed the Malay subject in the PMR and only two of them failed.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The importance of the English Language in this cyber age cannot be denied. With a command of this international language, one is able to read tons and tons of knowledge from the Internet. Besides proficiency in English enables one to have no problems when it comes to job-seeking and travelling overseas.
To master a language, one has to practise four areas, that is listening, reading, speaking and writing.
For the listening part, the radio is the best aid. Tune in to English broadcast, especially news and interviews. As for reading, get hold of the English daily, books and magazines and make it a habit to read something English every day. Speaking is a must. Open your mouth and find people to talk with. They can be your neighbour, friends, or someone you meet at the bus stand. Smile and he will strike up a conversation with you. It doesn't matter if he speaks other language to you but you speak English in the hope that he will use the same language to speak to you. Writing journals daily is a good way of practising the language.
Let us improve our English as days pass by.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
From primary school, children should be trained to write correct sentences. As they grow up, they will have no problem writing essays. Of course, the contents will depend on their maturity of thought. They will start with simple ideas and advance to more mature ideas as they grow older.
Interest in a certain language is still important. Only interest will bring one to dig deeper into the ins and outs of the language one is keen to learn and master.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Hence, the preposition 'on' convey detaiedl treatment of a subject after it and the preposition 'about' in front of a subject will tell us that no detailed treatment of it will be done.
Can you tell the difference between these two sentences?
a) I will give a talk on Confucianism.
b) I will give a talk about Confucianism.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Not many people like to be criticized, scolded or ridiculed. Yet most of us are too willing to criticize others, scold them when there is any opportunity to do so and we also find it fun to ridicule others. If only we switch roles to be the other sides who are subjected to our criticism, telling-off and ridiculing.
From now on, let us see the good side of other people. Praise them generously, not amounting to flattering. Practise forgiving others for their mistakes and sympathize with the unfortunate plight of our fellow beings. Only with mindset such as these will we be able to rid ourselves of the three bad things we often bestow upon others.
If we praise others, they will like us and will be too willing to help us when we are in difficulties. It is a case of good begetting good. Likewise, forgiving others is a good thing to do as no one is perfect in this world. Why put others to shame when we can jolly well have compassion for the unfortunate ones?
In short, make others happy instead of bringing shame to them.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
The scores given by the judges after the second round showed that Friendz was in the lead with Yatou tailing behind while the other group, the Star Group occupied the third position.
Although the average score after the third round still had Yatou in second position and the Star Group occupying the third position, the final results surprised all due to mass support. What I mean is the Star Group was in second position with Yatou having to accept the third position.
Hence Friendz walked away with the RM100,000 prize.
The above show proved that mass support really determines the outcome of an event.
Friday, June 5, 2009
It is a good idea to reduce the use of plastic bags most of which are not biodegradable. We have enough rubbish to be disposed off and we should not let plastic bags lie idle in the rubbish dump.
In one hypermarket, the management encourages shoppers to bring along their baskets so that no plastic bags are needed.
When I do my morning shopping at the market, I do try reducing the use of plastic bags by putting whatever is possible into the bag I got from the first seller and turning down the offer of plastic bags from other sellers.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I keep their test marks to monitor their progress. Yesterday, I did not bring my test records and wrote the name of the pupil whose answer script I had marked wrongly. I made the necessarily alteration to the marks and started to record it on a piece of paper using red-ink pen.
"Don't write my name in red ink. I am still alive, you know," said my pupil.
I replied, "I don't see any connection between your name written in red and your life."
"My father always asks us not to write our names in red. According to him, only dead people's names are in red," said the pupil again.
Suddenly it dawned on me that the name of a dead person is carved and painted in red on the tombstone as is the practice of the Chinese. That may be the reason for the Chinese to have taboo writing their names in red ink.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I believe it will work because I can still remember how I put unripe bananas in a gunny sack when I was small and they ripened in a few days' time. It must have been the gas given off by the bananas themselves that helped them to ripen.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
She played her soap opera series which she had downloaded from the Internet on her laptop. At the same time, she switched on the television and watched her favourite show. When commercials were on, she resumed watching the soap opera on her notebook. However, when the commercials had ended, she paused the opera series on her laptop and resumed watching the one on TV. She did this alternatively. What a good idea!
Students nowadays are very good at multitasking. They may be studying with their favourite music on or they may be accessing their emails or chatting with friends on the Internet when they are fed up of studying but they will come back to do it later on. I do not object to this as long as they do study for a certain period of time per day.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Well, I used a program called Wordport to do it. It is really useful as it helped to convert all my Ami Pro files to Word faithfully.
Thanks to the programmer of this program.