Consider ‘consider’

First of all it is necessary to consider about unemployment. Unemployment is considered as a serious problem.

Indonesian flag This one is a quickie for Indonesians who feel a strong urge to insert ‘tentang’ after consider and ‘sebagai’ after the passive considered.

  • First of all it is necessary to consider unemployment.
  • Unemployment is considered (to be) a serious problem.

Next time you use consider/considered, consider not using ‘tentang’/’sebagai’!


Spend time _ing

At the weekend I like to spend my time to cook.

There are two problems here. First of all you are unlikely to spend anybody else’s time other than your own, so ‘my’ is redundant. Secondly, ‘spend time’ is much more commonly followed by _ing (gerund):

  • At the weekend I like to spend time cooking.

You can also use a preposition phrase to show where you spend time:

  • At the weekend I like to spend time in the kitchen.

And you can even combine these two examples:

  • At the weekend I like to spend time in the kitchen cooking.

Now spend some time practicing ‘spend time’!


Why is..?

Excuse me, why the answer to number 10 is ‘A’?

Excuse me, why is this grammatically incorrect? Here are some correct sentences:

Positive
The answer to number 10 is ‘A’.
Negative
The answer to number 10 is not ‘A’.
Yes/No
Is the answer to number 10 ‘A’?
Why
Why is the answer to number 10 ‘A’?
Why (neg)
Why isn’t the answer to number 10 ‘B’?

How about I show you study the correct sentences and then explain the rule in your own words in the comments below?


DishwasherS, vacuum cleanerS, etc.

Domestic work is made easier with the use of dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, and washing machine.

It doesn’t matter which dishwasher, which vacuum cleaner, or which washing machine, they all make domestic work easier, or at least so this claim seems to suggest.

  • Domestic work is made easier with the use of dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, and washing machines.

If your claim applies to all of them everywhere, add an ‘s’ to your noun!


Wrong because of ‘because of’

These problems have become more serious because of the government have failed to end corruption.

Ok, so there’s a problem here because of ‘because of’!

It should read:

  • These problems have become more serious because the government have failed to end corruption.

Just follow this rule:

  • because + cause sentence
  • because of + cause noun

If you really want to use because of then you might write:

  • These problems have become more serious because of the government’s failure to end corruption.

Million or millions?

According to a recent census, there are 265 millions people living in Indonesia.

Yes, I know it seems right. But it isn’t. Only put an ‘s’ on million when million is the main noun in a noun phrase. Very often million is the main noun in a noun phrase when it is at the beginning of a sentence..

  • Millions of people live in Indonesia, a huge archipelago in south-east Asia.

..but not always. It might appear somewhere inside a sentence:

  • Indonesia spends millions of dollars every year subsidising fuel.

..and sometimes the main noun might be ‘implied’:

  • There are now 256 million people, but the figure expected to increase to 500 million during the next 50 years.

In the last example, ‘500 million’ means ‘500 million people’!

In the noun phrase millions of peoplemillions is the main noun, modified by of people. We know exactly which millions you’re talking about – not millions of bananas, for example! The same goes for millions of dollars (not millions of rupiah!).

When million is not the main noun, for example when it is modifying another noun, don’t add an ‘s’:

According to a recent census, there are 265 million people living in Indonesia.

In the noun phrase 265 million people living in Indonesia, the main noun is ‘people’. All of the other words in the phrase give us information about ‘people’ – how many, and where they live.

The same rule applies to hundred(s)thousand(s), etc.

Practice

Select words from the drop-down menus to complete the text. When you have finished, click 'Check your answers!' for feedback.

OK I understand


Last year of people around the world spent 2 dollars or more buying consumer goods. Of these goods, smartphones have become a dollar industry with of manufacturers in more than 3 countries. In the future this is likely to grow to at least a , and even to many .

A lack of ‘lack’


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