Insisting on skirts!

Forward-thinking schools don’t insist their students to wear uniforms.

Ok I admit that there are some similar words that behave like this:

  • Forward-thinking schools don’t force their students to wear uniforms.
  • Forward-thinking schools don’t oblige their students to wear uniforms.
  • Forward-thinking schools don’t require their students to wear uniforms.
  • Meaning: schools want uniforms, students don’t.
    Structure: verb + someone + to + V1

Insist is unusual:

  • Forward-thinking schools don’t insist on uniforms for their students.
  • Meaning: schools want uniforms, students don’t.
    Structure: verb + on + something
  • Forward-thinking schools don’t insist that their students wear uniforms.
  • Meaning: schools want uniforms, students don’t.
    Structure: verb + that + independent clause

In the featured image for this post, boys who are not allowed to wear shorts at school are insisting that they should be allowed to wear skirts instead!

Take a look at these examples.

Interested in ‘interest’

Admittedly some people may not interests in the arts.

OK so ‘interest’ is potentially a problematic word.

Let’s say I’m one of those people who like the arts, I like attending arts events, and I like going to galleries, etc. In this case I can say any of the following:

  • I’m interested in the arts.
  • S.o. + (not) to be + interested in + s.th./s.o.
  • The arts interest me.
  • S.th./S.o. + (doesn’t) interest(s) + s.o.
  • I find the arts interesting.
  • S.o. + (doesn’t) find(s) + s.th./s.o. + interesting
  • The arts are interesting to me.
  • S.th./S.o. + (not) to be + interesting + to + s.o.

Returning to our original example, we need:

  • Admittedly some people may not be interested in the arts.
  • Admittedly some people may not find the arts interesting.
  • Admittedly the arts may not interest some people.
  • Admittedly the arts may not be interesting to some people.

Try this practice activity: Continue reading

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?