Sunday, June 28, 2009

How To Improve Your English Language

Time and again... I've been asked this kind of question...
So... here are few steps to be taken to improve your English Language.

How To Improve Your English

Learning English (or any language for that matter) is a process. You are continually improving your English and the following "How to" describes a strategy to make sure that you continue to improve effectively.

Remember that learning a language is a gradual process - it does not happen overnight.

Define your learning objectives early: What do you want to learn and why?
Make learning a habit. Try to learn something every day. It is much better to study (or read, or listen to English news, etc.) 10 minutes each day than to study for 2 hours once a week.

Remember to make learning a habit! If you study each day for 10 minutes English will be constantly in your head. If you study once a week, English will not be as present in your mind.

Choose your materials well. You will need reading, grammar, writing, speaking and listening materials

Vary your learning routine. It is best to do different things each day to help keep the various relationships between each area active. In other words, don't just study grammar.

Find friends to study and speak with. Learning English together can be very encouraging.

Choose listening and reading materials that relate to what you are interested in. Being interested in the subject will make learning more enjoyable - thus more effective.

Relate grammar to practical usage. Grammar by itself does not help you USE the language. You should practice what you are learning by employing it actively.
Move your mouth! Understanding something doesn't mean the muscles of your mouth can produce the sounds. Practice speaking what you are learning aloud. It may seem strange, but it is very effective.

Be patient with yourself. Remember learning is a process - speaking a language well takes time. It is not a computer that is either on or off!
Communicate! There is nothing like communicating in English and being successful. Grammar exercises are good - having your friend on the other side of the world understand your email is fantastic!

Use the Internet. The Internet is the most exciting, unlimited English resource that anyone could imagine and it is right at your finger tips.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

Just heard about this shocking news over the radio....

Michael Jackson dies in LA hospital

LOS ANGELES: Michael Jackson, the sensationally gifted "King of Pop" who emerged from childhood superstardom to become the entertainment world's most influential singer and dancer before his life and career deteriorated in a freakish series of scandals, died Thursday, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. He was 50.

The person said Jackson died in a Los Angeles hospital.

The person was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

The circumstances of his death were not immediately clear.

Jackson was not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at his Los Angeles home about 12:30 p.m. local time (3:30 EDT, 19:30 GMT), Capt. Steve Ruda told the Los Angeles Times.

The paramedics tried to resuscitate him and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda told the newspaper.

Jackson's death brought a tragic end to a long, bizarre, sometimes farcical decline from his peak in the 1980s, when he was popular music's premier all-around performer, a uniter of black and white music who shattered the race barrier on MTV, dominated the charts and dazzled even more on stage.

His 1982 album "Thriller" - which included the blockbuster hits "Beat It," "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" - remains the biggest-selling album of all time, with more than 26 million copies.

He was perhaps the most exciting performer of his generation, known for his feverish, crotch-grabbing dance moves, his high-pitched voice punctuated with squeals and titters.

His single sequined glove and tight, military-style jacket were trademarks second only to his ever-changing, surgically altered appearance.

As years went by, he became an increasingly freakish figure.

His skin became lighter and his nose narrower.

He surrounded himself with children at his Neverland ranch, often wore a germ mask while traveling and kept a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles as one of his closest companions.

In 2005, he was cleared of charges he molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003.

He had been accused of plying the boy with alcohol and groping him.

The case took a fearsome toll on his career and image, and he fell into serious financial trouble.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the hospital as word of his death spread.

The emergency entrance at the UCLA Medical Center, which is near Jackson's rented home, was roped off with police tape.

In New York's Times Square, a low groan went up in the crowd when a screen flashed that Jackson had died, and people began relaying the news to friends by cell phone.

"No joke. King of Pop is no more. Wow," Michael Harris, 36, of New York City, read from a text message a friend sent to his telephone.

"It's like when Kennedy was assassinated. I will always remember being in Times Square when Michael Jackson died." - AP

source: thestar online

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Revenge Of The Fallen

It's out today.... yeayy!!


Looking for a website that can help you improve your English Language?

I would like to suggest you to pay a visit to this site:

p/s: I'll do the review on the magazine next time... ok...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

12 PM / 12 AM ?

It is never 12 am or 12 pm. It is either noon or midnight.

It's either 3 am or it's 3 o'clock in the morning. It is never 3 am in the morning.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Your / You're


After a few text messages with a friend, I received one that read "Your funny". I wondered what she meant - Your funny face? Your funny smile? Your funny feet? Of course, what she meant to say was "You are funny". To use the contraction correctly, it should be "You're" (or in a text message, say "u r".

Remember, your is possessive. It describes the word or words immediately following it.

For example:

Your experience, your confidence, your hair, your nose.

You're is a contraction that means 'you are'.

For example:

You're the right person for this job. Please give me a call when you're next in Singapore.


Is There / Are There

By Stefan Chiarantano

'There is/There are' are used to state the existence or presence of something or someone.

Here are some examples:

There's a clock on the wall.
There are six desks in the classroom.
There are four students in the class.
There are two whiteboards in the classroom.

Sentence Patterns

Is there a ___________ in the classroom?

Yes, there is.
No, there isn't.

Are there ___________(s) in the classroom?

Yes, there are.
No, there aren't.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's a Father's Day Today!

Have you wished your dad Happy Father's Day today? Have you thanked him for everything he did for you.. well you should.. ok.. go call/sms/email him now... :)

As for me, I sms-ed him just now, he was in a meeting so I cannot call him (it's a working day for him today).

Later today... he will receive 'something' that I have it deliver to his office.. hehe... well, it's not really a surprise coz I've done that before... hmm.. hope he will like it, just a little gestures for a very special father...

Happy Father's Day My Daddy Dearest... love you always...

flowers for Dad? Well... why not?
My daddy dearest loves them so much...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

OPKIM 2009

Today I attended the opening ceremony for OPKIM 2009.

OPKIM stands for Operasi Khidmat Masyarakat, simply said, Program Anak Angkat.

Mr. Azmi - TRA of KPTM and students from KPTM KL

waiting for the VVIP

for more stories pls visit:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Idioms: Go-Getter

a (real) go-getter: a (very) ambitious, hard-working person.

"I'm not surprised that Jean finished before anyone else. She's a real go-getter."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Hotel Made Out Of Sand

photo from

‘Made of’ and ‘made out of


COULD you explain the difference between “made of” and “made out of”?

For example, should it be “The tiara is made of gold” or “The tiara is made out of gold”? What is the difference?

My second question is about the word “circa”. How should this word be used in a sentence or caption?

– Jessie, Kuala Lumpur

1. Both expressions – “made of” and “made out of” – mean the same thing, but “made of” is more commonly used. “Made out of” is sometimes used when something is made out of an unusual substance. Here are some examples:

“A hotel made out of sand in England”


“Fully recyclable, the bike made out of cardboard”


2. “Circa” is a Latin word meaning “about” or “approximately” and often used before a date. It is more often used in captions than in sentences, where one can use the English word for it.

An example of its use in a caption is given in the Oxford English Dictionary:

“A curious photograph of a rustic family at work, circa 1390” (1861 National Rev. Oct. 307)

Sometimes “circa” is just abbreviated to “c” or “ca”.


Monday, June 15, 2009


Yessssszzz... an entry about cupcakes againnnn... well.. I just love them... I just cannot help it.. hehe...

Actually, I would like to introduce to all of my blog readers to "Sugarbites". Homemade cupcakes; available in KL and KB. The owner or rather the baker of these yummy cuppies is Aniza, my long lost friend since primary school.

Mighty cute!!

Do visit her blog:

Was or Were?

None was or were?


WHICH is the correct answer for each of the sentences below? Can you explain why?

a) Don’t drink the water unless it (is boiled/was boiled).

b) None of the men (was/were) there.

c) When the firemen arrived at the scene, the shophouses (were/had been) burned to the ground.

d) The train to Kuala Lumpur (arrives/is arriving) in half an hour.

e) Nothing but rain and clouds (is/are) in the sky.

f) He washes his hands prior to (serve/serving) his customers.

– Seng Kong

a) The correct sentence is “Don’t drink the water unless it is boiled.”

Here, “boiled”, the past participle form of “boil”, is actually an adjective and indicates the state of the water. So it is used with the simple present tense verb “is”, and the sentence has a similar form to “Don’t drink the water unless it is clean.”, for example.

You can also use “boiled” before the noun, as in “boiled water”.

If you want to use “boiled” as part of a verb in your sentence, you could use the present perfect passive tense, as in “Don’t drink the water unless it has been boiled.”, which doesn’t indicate when it was boiled.

You can also use the past tense passive “was boiled”, but you’ll have to indicate a time, e.g. “Don’t drink the water unless it was boiled less than 24 hours ago.”

b) In British English, you use a singular verb in “None of the men was there.” in a formal style, and a plural verb “None of the men were there.” in an informal style.

If “none of” is followed by an uncountable noun, a singular verb is used, e.g. in “None of the fear was left in her.”

c) The correct sentence is “When the firemen arrived at the scene, the shophouses had been burned to the ground.”

The past perfect tense “had been burned” (here it is in the passive form) is used to indicate a time before another past time, i.e “ When the firemen arrived ...” The simple past tense “were burned” (also in the passive form here) is not used.

“Burned”, by the way, is the American English spelling for the British English “burnt”.

d) Both are correct. You can use the simple present tense or the present continuous tense to talk about a future event that is part of a timetable.

e) The correct sentence is: “Nothing but rain and clouds are in the sky.”

If the subject is a phrase consisting of “nothing but” followed by a noun, the verb agrees with the noun. If “nothing but” is followed by two nouns, whether of the same kind or not, a plural verb is used. In other words, “nothing but” noun phrases follow the usual rules of subject-verb agreement.

In your sentence, there are two nouns after “nothing but” — “rain”, an uncountable noun, and “clouds”, a plural noun. The verb is therefore plural. But let me give examples of some of the possible variations in subject-verb agreement:

i. Nothing but rain is in the sky. (“rain” is an uncountable noun)

ii. Nothing but an aeroplane is seen flying under the clear blue sky. (“aeroplane” is a singular noun)

iii. Nothing but rain and lightning are seen during the storm. (“rain” and “lightning” are both uncountable nouns)

iv. Nothing but an aeroplane and a large bird are seen flying under the clear blue sky. (“aeroplane” and “bird” are both singular countable nouns)

v. Nothing but clouds are seen in the sky. (“clouds” is a plural noun)

f) “He washes his hands prior to serving his customers.” is the correct sentence.

What comes after “prior to” (which means “before”) is a noun or a gerund (an –ing verb acting like a noun) and “serving” here is a gerund.

You can replace the gerund with a noun, in a sentence like “He washes his hands prior to a meal.”


Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob

What is Menteri Besar in English? I warn you not to answer.... Big Minister!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Compulsory English would mean 130,000 without SPM

Compulsory English would mean 130,000 without SPM

By : Koh Lay Chin - NST

The country may be looking at over 130,000 students failing to get their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) certificate every year if English is made a “must pass” subject in the examination.
With the current rate of one in four students failing the English SPM paper every year, educationists are estimating that making the language a compulsory subject to pass will mean around 30 per cent of SPM candidates walking away without a certificate.

While the Education Ministry is getting feedback from the public on whether it should make English a compulsory pass subject, many are cautioning against the move.

They want the issue to be addressed holistically and supported by additional measures to strengthen English proficiency.

Sources said the ministry was already facing a problem with students unable to pass the Bahasa Malaysia paper leading to many failing to get
SPM certificates.

In 2006 for example, of the 21 per cent who failed to get a certificate, 90 per cent failed Bahasa Malaysia, currently the only subject that
a student must pass.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said that even if it was true that around 30 per cent of all SPM candidates (numbering around 440,000 every year) were to fail English and could not obtain a certificate, this figure would not necessarily hold true in future.

"It will only remain so if we do nothing. People should not simply assume that we will not take measures and action to complement the move and enhance students' proficiency in the English Language," he told the New Sunday Times yesterday.

Educationists have also pointed out that if around 30 per cent of candidates failed to obtain their certificate, the country would be looking at thousands of students who may find it difficult to find jobs.

Many menial and clerical jobs, such as despatch clerks, require the SPM certificate as a minimum. As such, there is concern that those who are not high-achievers could be walking away after 11 years of schooling, with nothing to show for it.

Ahmad Ikmail Ismail, former Umno Youth education bureau chairman, said he was in support of the move to make the subject compulsory, but that a support system for rural students and those without the certificate was paramount.

"By making the subject compulsory, students would know that they must improve. They would know that they have to have basic English to pass, and if we push them, they will be able to perform.

"However, there should be a safety net or second chance for those who fail English, such as a provisional certificate or allowing them to re-sit the paper."

Parents and teachers have also pointed out that compulsory or not, English Language proficiency would remain low because standards were currently low.

A fail means obtaining 44 marks and below (G9 grade), but a student scoring A1 in English may only actually be scoring a B for their O-Levels 1119 paper.

A former education official said the concerns over making English a must-pass subject were basically the same as those related to the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI).

Worrying about the performance of rural students, or those coming from vernacular schools, was essentially a common theme for the two issues, except that the emotions and anger associated with mother-tongue languages like Bahasa Malaysia or Mandarin were not included.

"But the main issues are the same, and that is the ministry still has to deal with problems like the lack of good English teachers and the efficiency of teacher training.

"Until those important issues are resolved, working around PPSMI or compulsory passing will not yield the results we want."

MIC education bureau head Datuk T. Marimuthu said that while he was personally for the move to make the subject compulsory, he acknowledged that the language would be difficult for students coming from Tamil schools.

"We see around 36 per cent of pupils failing English for Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah at primary level. So, it does mean that there will be a third of them who lack proficiency in the language."

However, he said the trend for SPM results over the years was that English was not so much of a worry for secondary students, and that a compulsory pass would be greater motivation for them to learn the language.

For students coming from Chinese vernacular schools, there was a 20 per cent failure rate for English language when they went on to secondary education, said Dong Jiao Xong member Ng Chai Heng.

Heng, who is also Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Yoke Nam parent-teacher association chairman, said although it was generally known that students who failed the paper scored very low marks, there was no actual survey as to how SPM students from the vernacular background were faring in English.

"Since the Education Department did not segregate the data as such, it is very difficult to say. I am not sure as to my feelings about making English a compulsory pass, but I definitely agree that the teaching of English as a whole needs to be improved."

Wee said it was important for all parties to understand that the ministry would be considering all concerns and possible consequences before making a decision, and that even if the subject was made compulsory, there would be a grace period before implementation.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Decent, Righteous, Noble, Forthright.....

A few good men

HERE are some words to describe people of distinction.

1. Decent

A decent man honours his word and holds on to his principles.

2. Respectable

We have elected a respectable man to be the chairperson of our committee.

3. Righteous

A righteous person does something because he knows it is morally right.

4. Noble

John is a noble man who always sacrifices his time to help the sick and needy.

5. Just

He is a just man who respects the wishes of others.

6. Considerate

Amy is a considerate neighbour who always parks properly on the driveway.

7. Humble

The humble manager attributed his success to his dedicated team.

8. Straightforward

Sometimes she offends people because she is straightforward, and speaks her mind.

9. Forthright

He is a forthright leader whose opinions are highly respected.

10. Forbearing

Because of his forbearing nature, Adam smiled and remained calm even though he was unjustly accused.

11. Steadfast

We must remain strong and steadfast when we go through a crisis.

12. Tolerant

A mixed marriage can survive if both parties are tolerant of different cultural beliefs and practices.

13. Resilient

She is a tough and resilient woman because she has endured much suffering.

14. Persevering

A persevering person does not give up easily.

15. Stoical

The stoical writer who survived as a prisoner of war was reduced to half her size.

16. Calm

In any emergency it is important to remain calm and level-headed.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Carrom or carroms is a family of tabletop games sharing a similarity in that their mechanics lie somewhere between billiards and table shuffleboard. The game has various other names around the world, including carrum, couronne, carum, karam, karom, karum, and Indian (or Nepalese) finger billiards. It is also called fatta in Punjabi.

huh? why out of the blue...there's an entry about carrom? ehehe... it's because of the Sukan MARA...

Monday, June 08, 2009


It's 8:15pm now... here in Bandar Penawar , Johor.

Owhh...actually.. I'm at Kolej Professional MARA Bandar Penawar... to be exact! huhu.. will be here for the next 4 days... another huhu...


Earlier today, we boarded a bus at KKTM Kuantan

Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi MARA Kuantan

A very nice place...

which one to choose? Brand new Mara Liner or.. a quite run-down looking MRSM bus... huhu

Miss Syala with her trademark peace sign...

and last night, the entire (well.. almost all) Pahang contingent attended the briefing...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Recipe for Chocolate Brownies


* 3/4 cup cocoa, unsweetened
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 2/3 cup melted butter, divided
* 1/2 cup boiling water
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
* 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions for chocolate brownies
In a large bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda; blend in 1/3 cup melted butter. Add boiling water; stir until well blended. Stir in sugar, beaten eggs and remaining 1/3 cup butter. Stir in flour and salt. Stir nuts and the chocolate chips into chocolate brownies batter. Pour chocolate brownie batter into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until chocolate brownies are firm and begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool before cutting into squares.

Sinfully Delicious

Chocolate Walnut Brownies

My companion while blogging...

uhhhhhh.... I'm out of words.... I've got to go... enjoying the brownies... huhu

Friday, June 05, 2009

Emergency Leave

No, I'm not on 'Emergency Leave'.

I just want to share this with all of you...

NORMALLY we only summit the emergency letter to the management is on the second day. Please comment on my emergency letter.

Date: 13 March 2009

To Manager,

RE: Apply Emergency Leave

I had apply an emergency leave on 12 March 2009 due to my grandmother sick and need my assistant.

I am sorry for the inconvenient caused.

Thank you.

I would appreciate it if you could comment on my letter. Thank you.

– Yean

First of all, you have to write “To the Manager” when addressing your manager and on the subject line, write “Application for” instead of “Apply” with no “RE”. before it.

I take it that you are applying for emergency leave the day after you were absent from work.

The first paragraph of your letter should read: “I could not come to work yesterday, 12 March 2009, because I had to attend to a family emergency. My grandmother was ill and needed my attention.”

Then the second paragraph should follow with: “I would therefore like to apply for emergency leave for that date.”

In the third paragraph, you should write “inconvenience” (noun) instead of “inconvenient” (adjective).

Your letter should look something like this, from the date onwards:

Date: 13 March 2009

To the Manager,

Application for Emergency Leave

I could not come to work yesterday, 12 March 2009, because I had to attend to a family emergency. My grandmother was ill and needed my attention.

I would therefore like to apply for emergency leave for that date.

I am sorry for the inconvenience caused.

Thank you.

I would also like to point out the following errors and correct them in your letter to the editor.

In the first sentence, you wrote “summit” when you should have written “submit”. “Summit” is a very different word from “submit.” Also, you don’t need “is” in that sentence.

In your last sentence, after your letter to your manager, you wrote: “I would appreciated if you could comment this letter.”

This should be corrected to: “I would appreciate it if you could comment on this letter.”



Happy Friday People!!

First person to give me correct answer (full name), will get.......

to the 'model', please be a sport ok.. huhu...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cuppies Anyone?

For no apparent reason... I made these last nite....

the batter - mixture of flour, eggs and butter

beat the mixture with the highest speed


about 30mins in the oven... then...


RM3.50 each can ahh??

burning the midnight oil... just for this very therapeutic activity

To Mdm. Hasni; the recipe?? it's a SECRET maaa... huhu...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

LHDN: Media Appreciation Luncheon

It has finally paid off... huhu

I received an invitation from Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (LHDN) for their Majlis Penghargaan Media. My entry on e-filling caught their attention, hence the invitation... huhu

whopsss... Mr. Afdlin Shauki... also present to receive the certificate

Dato', I'm from your parliament... huhu...

I'm at the far left...

I got the feeling that this guy was not feeling well... what's wrong bro?

with Mr. Rostam Z. Said from Sinar FM ; so do you write about the entertainment industry?

miszsensei: owhh.. not really, well not in miszsensei anyway... hehe..
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