Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Good luck 13th Nov! LOL

ok it's been a while since i updated and i'm sure everyone is itching to know more tips.

I've developed some basic rules. If you can follow it, i'm sure your writing will improve by leaps and bounds.

Firstly, you must learn (memorise) all the words in the table of tenses. There are 4 columns, all starting with 'P'.

P1 - Present tense (+s or -s) [for now, facts or habits]
P2 - Process (+ing) [takes time to complete]
P3 - Past (+ed or spelling change) [for stories that are over]
P4 - Participle (=ed, spelling change or +n) [for perfect tense and passive sentences]

Here are the common words in English according to the table of tenses.
P1 - P2 - P3 - P4
has/have - having - had - had
goes/go - going - went - gone
gives/give - giving - gave - given
chooses/choose - choosing - chose - chosen
buys/buy - buying - bought - bought
flies/fly - flying - flew - flown
sings/sing - singing - sang - sung
cuts/cut - cutting - cut - cut
puts/put - putting - put - put
becomes/become - becoming - became - become
*smiles/smile - smiling - smiled - smiled
*explains/explain - explaining - explained - explained

* if you notice P3 and P4 looks the same in smiled and explained but they are completely different meanings.
the 4 columns in Malay actually means:
p1 - sekarang
p2 - sedang (imbuhan me-)
p3 - telah
p4 - imbuhan di-
so for 'kick'
kicks/kick - kicking - kicked - kicked
is actually in Malay
tendang - menendang - telah tendang - ditendang.
Get it?

Now for the rules:

1. P1: present
1 +s, >1 -s (except for sentences that start with 'You' or 'I')

1 +s
He likes to eat. (Correct)
He like to eat. (Wrong)
>1 -s
They like to eat. (Correct)
They likes to eat. (Wrong)

1 +s
She is a prefect now. (Correct)
She was a prefect last year too. (Correct)
She are a prefect now. (Wrong)
She were a prefect last year too. (Wrong)

>1 -s
They are prefects now. (Correct)
They were prefects last year too. (Correct)
They is prefects now. (Wrong)
They was prefects last year. (Wrong)

Sometimes the verb is quite far away but the rules still apply.

1 +s
The student reading the biology book is the top student.

>1 -s
The students reading the biology book are the top students.

2. P2: Process (+ing) (imbuhan me-)
If you want to use 'ing' it cannot stand alone
It needs one of the Be5 (am/is/are/was/were)
The 5 versions of Be5 are very important words that are always lost when translating directly from Malay or Chinese as it doesn't exist in these languages.

The baby is sleeping soundly. (Correct)
The baby sleeping soundly. (Wrong)
The babies are sleeping soundly. (Correct)
The babies sleeping soundly. (Wrong)

*notice you need a combination of 2 words to make the process sentences correct!

3. P3: Past (+ed/spelling change)
There is no rule. You have to just memorise all the words in this column.

4. P4: Participle (+ed/spelling change/+n)
This is the trickiest part of English grammar.

There are 2 uses: perfect tenses and passives.

a) Perfect tenses: 3H + P4
if you see the words Has/Have/Had, it MUST be followed by P4.

3H + P4
He has eaten the cake. (Correct)
They have eaten the cake. (Correct)
The boys had eaten the cake yesterday. (Correct)
He has eat the cake. (Wrong)
They have eating the cake. (Wrong)
The boys had ate the cake yesterday. (Wrong)

b) Passive sentences: Be5 + P4 (Imbuhan di-) [kek dimakan, bukannya dia dimakan]
The cake was eaten by him. (Correct)
The cakes were eaten by them. (Correct)
The cake eaten by him. (Wrong)
The cakes eating by them. (Wrong)

Be5 + P4 (don't confuse kicked with P3)
The ball is kicked by him. (Correct)
The balls were kicked by him. (Correct)
The ball kicked by him. (Wrong)
The balls kicking by him. (Wrong)

* Passive sentences are a combination of 2 WORDS: Be5 +P4, not P3. But sometimes if the spelling it +ed, it looks like P3, but the function is actually P4.

5. Other rules:

a) to + ori
to give (correct)
to gives, to giving, to gave, to given (wrong)

b) to + be + P4
to be taken (correct)
to be take, to be takes, to be taking, to be took (wrong)

c) modals: can/cannot/may/must/mustn't/should/shouldn't/will/would etc
modals + ori
can swim (correct)
can swims, can swimming, can swam, can swum (wrong)

d) modals + be + P4
must be discussed (correct)
must be discuss, must be discusses, must be discussing (wrong)

e) by + ing
by taking the bus (correct)
by takes, by take, by took, by taken (wrong)

f) for + ing
for demonstrating (correct)
for demonstrate, for demonstrates, for demonstrated (wrong)

3H + been + P2
has been taking (correct)
has been take, has been takes, has been took (wrong)
3H + been + P4
has been taken (correct)

* P2 is used if the process takes a long time,
P4 is used if it is a passive sentence.




  1. which one is correct?

    1) That is why the word jealous had been created.


    2) That is why the word jealous has been created.

  2. i would say both are wrong. the act of creation is already over. use the simple past tense. 'That is why the word jealous was created.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. hi,dear audrey.
    why present perfect tense(PPT) cannot be used in this sentence.according to some grammar books,they indicated that PPT can used in vague time or used with since and for.

  5. the sentence doesn't have since or for. and the act of creation is already over. perfect tenses are used to two things that happened, and it may relate to the present time. for example:
    1. Since coming to Malaysia, Hiroku has experienced many exciting cultural events.
    (there is a time frame here... at some point in the past till now)
    2. I can't find the key that he has given me.
    (two occurences (find n give), the one that happened earlier (give) relates to now).

    if you can master perfect tense, you can become an english language specialist. hahaha.. i'll tell u now that most english teachers in malaysia still hvnt mastered it! LOL

  6. hello Audrey,
    just found this blog..
    really nice tips you have here..

    i guess i just mess up the test yesterday :(
    for writing test Q1, i forgot to put in into paragraph :( is it will cost huge mark on that? :(

  7. LOL... .thank for your explanation, dear audrey.

  8. peace.. you might still be on track. not that many marks deducted for lack of paragraphing. keep the faith. :)