Art and ‘the arts’

Investing in arts may help governments to overcome social problems.

There are generally only two options: art and the arts.

the arts
Art is usually painting and sculpture, but can include other things that you’re likely to see in an art gallery, such as photography, installations and happenings. (Indonesian flag ‘seni rupa’)

  • However art depicting supernatural subjects was very popular.
  • Iranian art has gone through numerous phases.
  • Very often art galleries are themselves works of art.

The arts are a wide variety of creative work that includes painting and sculpture, as well as music, dance, opera, theatre, ballet, and even literature. (Indonesian flag ‘kesenian’)

  • The arts is a broad subdivision of culture, composed of many expressive disciplines.
  • Appreciation of the arts is part of any education curriculum.

Governments usually support a wide range of creative activities – known as the arts – and there may even be a government department that is responsible for this. For example Arts Council England (formerly part of The Arts Council of Great Britain) funds an extremely wide range of arts activity that is certainly not limited to painting and sculpture.

Returning to our opening example, our writer surely means investment in all of the arts, not just the art that is displayed in an art gallery:

  • Investing in the arts may help governments to overcome social problems.

Notice that ‘arts’ (plural) always has ‘the’ as long as it is the main noun in a phrase. On the other hand if ‘arts’ is modifying another noun, you may or may not need ‘the’:

  • I’m a huge fan of the arts. (main noun: the arts)
  • I’m a serious arts fan. (main noun: fan)

Try this practice activity: Continue reading

Now listen to me!

Listening modern music, such as Jazz, for instance, might be useful to warm up the emotion part of the brain which can induce relaxation and reduce anxiety.

There is some sophisticated language here – except for the first word! Unfortunately there’s a difference in meaning between listen (without to) and listen to. Take a look at this short dialogue:

Mother (angry..) Johnny, are you listening?
Johnny What?
Mother Now listen to me. That’s very naughty. Don’t do it again!

Quite simply, if there’s an object – listen to me (‘me’, object) – then you need ‘to’:

  • Listening to modern music, such as Jazz, for instance, might be useful to warm up the emotion part of the brain which can induce relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Fund, funds and funding

The use of government fund to give free higher education impacts negatively on economic development.

Here we have to ask ourselves: Is the money meant for a single, specific purpose or is it for general use?

The money that people carry around in their wallets or have in their bank accounts is used to buy all kinds of things and pay for all kinds of services. If this money is not intended for any single, specific purpose, then we can refer to it as funds (plural).

Sometimes, however, a sum of money is set aside for a particular purpose, and this ‘specific-purpose money’ is referred to as a fund (singular), and it is usually possible to imagine a name for the fund: “The Social Welfare Fund.” Often it is money organised by a particularly wealthy person, a group of people who have money, or an institution.

Let’s take a look at some examples. Continue reading

The economics economy

1. Study the following text.

Edi studied economics at university because he was concerned about the economy in his country. He knew that the Indonesian economy was not a healthy economy. At the same time, he understood the economic value of education, and he knew there were good economics faculties in Australia, so he went to study there and was soon able to compare the Indonesian economy with healthier economies in other countries.

2. Now use the terms following the instructions (below) to complete the rules below.

Continue reading

With or without ‘with’

It could be argued that a patient who doubts with modern medicines will take longer to heal.

Indonesian flag Bahasa Indonesia often features with after certain verbs where it would not be used in English. In English the opening example would simply read:

  • It could be argued that a patient who doubts modern medicines will take longer to heal.

Other examples of the redundant with include:

  • In addition, patients do not fully believe with the capability of the doctor.
  • I like with dangdut music.
  • Please promise with your mother that you will meet her after work.

So that’s four verbs – doubt, believe, like, promise – that are not followed by with in English, but are followed by with in at least one other language. I’ll add more examples when I think of them. Meanwhile, if you can think of any other examples, please add comments below.

I will tag this post with the Indonesian word dengan – please come back another time and see if the list has grown!

The relativity of ‘if’

Old people believe if traditional medicines are more effective for long-standing health complaints than contemporary ones.

Indonesian flag Here an Indonesian student has used if as a relative pronoun. This is allowed in Bahasa Indonesia, at least after the verb ‘believe’, but it is not allowed in English.

Instead you need:

  • Old people believe that traditional medicines are more effective for long-standing health complaints than contemporary ones.

Cultural notes

  • The word ‘relative’ made me think of Einstein, and that’s why he appears on this post’s featured image.
  • Since there is a cultural note for ‘relative’ then I suppose we ought to include one for ‘if’. How about this inspirational poem by Rudyard Kipling?

Collocation recovery

Most patients think hard about the best way to recover their health and to accelerate the healing process.

This verb noun collocation – recover health – is very weak. Let’s take a look at the two words separately.

Recover + noun

The strongest collocation for recover + noun seems to be associated with money:

  • Apple invested heavily in the iPhone but soon recovered their research and development costs.
  • Fraud victims find it difficult to recover their money.
  • The state’s Consumer Protection Assistance Fund (CPAF) can help victims, who have filed complaints with our office, recover their losses.

Verb + health

Meanwhile, verb + health gives us:

  • Most people make an effort to improve their health.
  • regular exercise and a balanced diet can help to maintain good health.
  • I’m quite concerned about my uncle’s health.

Recover (no object)

In the context of health, recover is usually intransitive:

  • I hope your uncle recovers quickly.
  • If you take this medicine you will recover in a few days.
  • You had a bad fall. You need some time to recover.


Returning to our opening example, either of the following are possible:

  • Most patients think hard about the best way to recover and to accelerate the healing process.
  • Most patients think hard about the best way to improve their health and to accelerate the healing process.

Conservation Conversation

Zoos are good places for animals conservation.

This is an example of a noun pre-modifying another noun.

Say what?!

Well, sometimes we have to consider how nouns function within a larger noun phrase.

Come again?!

Well, animal is a noun, and conservation is a noun, but together they form a noun phrase: animal conservation.

So what’s the problem then, Pak Guru?

Well, in this example, the ‘main’ noun is conservation.

What do you mean main noun?

Well, in this example, are you saying that zoos are good for animals or good for conservation?

For.. conservation!

Right, so conservation is the main noun.

I see, so what’s wrong with animals?

OK, well in the example animals is pre-modifying conservation. ‘Pre’ means ‘before’ – the word ‘animals’ comes before the word ‘conservation’, right?

Wait. Did you say ‘modifying’? What’s that?!

Well, the word animals changes (modifies) the word conservation – it tells us exactly what kind of conservation.

OK. But I still don’t see what is wrong with the original sentence.

The problem is.. If you use a countable noun to pre-modify another noun, then that modifying noun (in this case animal) must be singular.

I see. Like ‘Computer scientist?’


The featured image for this post is a photograph of the man who has done more than any other to conserve wildlife, the incredible David Attenborough – here conversing with orang utan.