Words like very and really seem to make your meaning stronger. But do they?
Consider the following sentence:It was a very cold winter and many of the old people inthe village died of hypothermia. Is it any less strong without the word very?It was a cold winter and many of the old people in thevillage died of hypothermia.
Consider the following sentence:I love you. Will you marry me? Does it sound stronger if we write it this way?:I really love you. Will you marry me?
A shopkeeper woke up in the morning and found that his shop had been robbed in the night.He called the police. They arrested two local boys and called them in for questioning...
The police asked the first boy: Did you rob the shop last night?The first boy answered: No, I swear to you. I didn’t do it. I would never, never, ever do a thing like that. I’m telling the truth, you’ve got to believe me. Please mister, Im not lying.
Then the police asked the second boy: Did you rob the shop last night?The second boy answered: No, I didn’t.Do the extra words in the first boy’s answer help make it sound more truthful?
Which is stronger?This?I really, really, very much hate to eat spinach. Or this?I hate spinach.
Short sentences are clearer and stronger than long ones.
It is said that this slogan isone reason why Leningarnered the support ofRussian workers in 1917.This slogan is powerfulbecause it’s simple.
Qualifiers are words that intentionally weaken the meaning of a sentence. Although they may give the author a feeling that he is being more honest.It’s better to simply say what you believe and let the reader decide if it’s true.
Instead of:She was quite an ugly woman.Write:She was an ugly woman.
Instead of:It was pretty kind of her to bake a cake for a man whohad only two weeks earlier caused her to loose her job.Write:It was kind of her to bake a cake for a man who hadonly two weeks earlier caused her to loose her job.
Words and phrases like kind of, a little, pretty much, a bit, and quite make yoursentences longer and more complex but they don’t make the meaning clearer. Delete them .
nd of hinking apacity When you get to the end of a list, stop. Before you reach the end, keep writing.Instead of:There are many seasons such as winter, spring...Write:The four seasons are winter, spring, summer, and fall.
nd of hinking apacity If you have to write an incomplete list, give more than two examples and write a complete sentence.Instead of:I like to eat traditional Indian foods such as masoordhal, etc.Write:I like to eat traditional Indian foods including masoordhal, channa masala, chapati, and roti.
Make items in a list follow the same grammatical structure.Instead of:I like watching films, to cook, read good books, and Ihave long hair.Write:I like watching films, cooking meals, and reading goodbooks. I also have long hair.
In the following sentence, write each item in the list as a noun.Instead of:The advantages of our software are efficiency, easy tomanage, and speed.Write:The advantages of our software are efficiency,simplicity-of-management, and speed.
Instead of:The most expensive parts of a computer are the screen,the microprocessor, the hard drive.Write:The most expensive parts of a computer are the screen,the microprocessor, and the hard drive.
Instead of:It wasn’t a long poem. If fact he remembered itcompletely after seeing it only one time scratched abovethe doorway of the old parsonage: “Catch for us thefoxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, ourvineyards that are in bloom.” He felt that he had heardit somewhere else before but he couldn’t rememberwhere.
“Besides” is informal english.Instead of:Besides, dual-core processors aren’t even faster forsingle-threaded processes.Write:Furthermore, dual-core processors aren’t even faster forsingle-threaded processes.
“Besides” is informal english.Instead of:Besides his deaf aunt, there was no one in the house tohear the awful sound of his violin.Write:Aside from his deaf aunt, there was no one in the houseto hear the awful sound of his violin.
Rewrite the following sentence without using the word “you”: The guilt is the feeling you get when you know that you have done something wrong.
Passive Voice:The report was written by Nguyễn Phan Nam.Active Voice:Nguyễn Phan Nam wrote the report.
Passive Voice:My finger was bitten by a dog.Active Voice:A dog bit my finger.
Passive Voice:My first visit to Boston will always be rememberedby me.Active Voice:I will always remember my first trip to Boston.
Passive Voice:The reason that he left college was because hishealth was failing.Active Voice:Failing health forced him to leave college.
(Microsoft Word style and grammar check will always warn you if you have any sentence in passive voice.)
Use passive voice when it makes your writing simpler:Nikola Tesla was regarded as a mad genius. Fewpeople really understood his ideas. Here the writer intends to be unclear about who regards Tesla as a mad genius. Therefore it’s difficult to write the sentence in active voice.
Read The Elements of Style, Chapter III, section 11 for many more examples of active and passive voice.
sInstead of:Đại Học Bách Khoa’s students have the habit of singing karaoke late at night.Write:The students of Đại Học Bách Khoa have the habit of singing karaoke late at night.
sInstead of:Your foot’s bottom is soft and vulnerable to infections, cuts, and bruises.Write:The bottom of your foot is soft and vulnerable to infections, cuts, and bruises.
When you want to put two sentences together into one: ,Karl, one of of my closest friends., at the bar on Karl is one my closest friends, was Karl nightat the bar on the night of the shooting. the was of the shooting.
Instead of:My wedding if it ever comes will be a source of great relief to everyone in my family.Write:My wedding, if it ever comes, will be a source of great relief to everyone in my family.
Instead of:He was an interesting talker. A man who hadtraveled all over the world, and lived in half adozen countries.Write:He was an interesting talker, a man who hadtraveled all over the world, and lived in half adozen countries.
“Tức là...” can be translated as “I mean...” but not as “It means...”.
After three years together you still aren’t happy. Itmeans, if you don’t love him then why don’t youfind someone else?After three years together you still aren’t happy. Imean, if you don’t love him then why don’t you findsomeone else?
Instead of “I mean...” you can write “In other words...”
Process scheduling is an essential function of thekernel of every modern operating system. I mean,without it, there would be no multitasking.Process scheduling is an essential function of thekernel of every modern operating system. In otherwords, without it, there would be no multitasking.
This phrase can not be used at the beginning of a sentence.
He could never wake up early in the morning. Sothat he was always late for his first class.
He could never wake up early in the morning.That’s why he was always late for his first class.He could never wake up early in the morning.Therefore he was always late for his first class.
He wanted to cut her picture up into tiny pieces sothat he could forget her more quickly.The drain beneath the road was small and easilyclogged, so that every time a heavy rain came itbecame flooded.
All nouns fit into one of the following cases:• Proper Nouns: names of people, places, companies, operating systems• Nouns with an article: a, the, my, your, our• Plural nouns• Uncountable nouns
Every time you hear a noun in English you must know the answer to these questions:• Is it unique? The Article or Plural = countable,• Is it coutable? noun alone = uncountable.• Is there one thing or more than one? Article or Plural
Vietnamese: (sự thù hằn = hate, an uncountable noun)Sự thù hằn gây ra đau khổ.English:Hate causes suffering.
Vietnamese:car – countable, plural, not uniqueair pollution: uncountable, not uniqueXe ô-tô làm ô nhiêm không khí.English:Cars cause air pollution.
Vietnamese:car – countable, plural, not uniqueair in Ha Noi: uncountable, uniqueXe ô-tô làm cho không khí Hà Nội ô nhiêm hơn.English:Cars make the air in Ha Noi more polluted.
Uncountable nouns like love, life, ambition, and science can be written with the or without it. The life / life The love / love The science / science But adding the word “the” changes the meaning.
lovethe love love the love
“Love”: the idea of love in general. All kinds of love.“The Love...”: a special kind of love. Not all love. Not love in general.
Love...• ... isn’t just a feeling• ... has to be felt to be understood.• ... is just a waste of time.• ... always forgives.
The love...• ... of a mother for her child is the greatest love of all.• ... that I have for you is only skin-deep.• ... she felt for her sister was not enough to bring her back home.
Each of the sentences below is written twice. Choose the most correct version: 1) Life is hard The life is hard. 2) Life of a college The life of a college student is busy. student is busy. 3) He has the ambition He has ambition that is that is necessary for necessary for the the leader of a large leader of a large company. company. 4) A love like ours The love like ours could could never die. never die.
The sentences below have some unnecessary articles. Identify the words that do not belong. 1) The love is the most important thing in the life. 2) The guilt is the feeling you get when you know that you have done something wrong.
English:You are living the life.Vietnamese:Bạn đang sống một đời sống thật là tuyệt vời!
English:You are living life.Vietnamese:Bạn đang sống.
English:Should we pick up the girl before we go to the movie?Vietnamese: Chúng ta có nên rủ cô ấy đi cùng trước khi chúng ta đi xem phim? (tôi không nhớ tên cô ấy)
English:Should we pick up a girl before we go to the movie?Vietnamese: Chúng ta có nên đi tán gái trước khi chúng ta đi xem phim?
English:I’m looking for students.Vietnamese:Tôi đang tuyển sinh.
English:I’m looking for the students.Vietnamese: Tôi đang tìm lớp của tôi.
Can you feel the love tonight?
English:Can you feel the love tonight?Vietnamese:Bạn có cảm nhận không khí yêu thương trong tối nay không?
English: Do you feel love tonight?Vietnamese:Bạn có cảm nhận được tình yêu trong tôi nay không?