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Jul 9, 2018

Common English Errors: A compilation of Tammy's online English tutorials 2

Common English Errors: A compilation of Tammy's online English tutorials 2

Hello friends, this is the episode two of Tammy's online English tutorials. If you missed the first episode, kindly read it up HERE.
Common English Errors: A compilation of Tammy's online English tutorials 2

Remember, no one is immune to making errors when learning, writing or speaking the English language, but you should always ensure that you don't repeat the following errors after learning their correct forms:

1. Please, note that you don't "WRECK HAVOC". You WREAK HAVOC.

2. DON'T SAY: Heavy Downpour.
JUST SAY: Downpour.

"Downpour" already means “a heavy rain”. Therefore, it is unnecessary to describe it with "heavy".

3. Okay. The word is not "CAPSIDE" but "CAPSIZE". Are you still wondering? I mean a boat does not "CAPSIDE" but CAPSIZES.

4. When you are getting fatter, you are GAINING WEIGHT and not ADDING WEIGHT. "Adding weight" does not mean getting fatter.

5. I don't like her, TALK LESS OF making friends with her.
I don't like her, LET ALONE/MUCH LESS making friends with her.  
Avoid the use of "Talk less of".

6. How have you been saying this?
As at when (due).
As and when (due).

7. DON'T SAY: Should in case...
EITHER SAY: "Should" or "In case"
EXAMPLE: Should it rain.../In case it rains...

NOT: Should in case it rains...

8. Who is fooling WHO?
Who is fooling WHOM? 

Use "who" if it can be replaced with "he/she/they". And use "whom" if it can be replaced with "him/her/them". "Who is fooling whom" is correct because the sentence can be rewritten as "Who is fooling him/her/them."

9. Which is your school of thought?
Pump and plain 
Prompt and plain 
10. DON'T SAY: I "intentionally pretended" I didn't see him.
SAY: I pretended I didn't see him.

This is because "pretence" is something that is done intentionally.

11. Have you ever wondered why your meals are always not tasty? You've been making use of "GROUNDED PEPPER" instead of GROUND PEPPER. Always say, "Ground pepper".

12. The police IS your friend.
 The police ARE your friends. ✅ 
 The policeman is my friend.  

13. Next time, SAY: It slipped/escaped my mind.
 DON'T SAY: It skipped my mind.

14. A European.
 An European.

15. Dear choristers, is it "The most excellency is Jesus..." or "The most excellent king is Jesus..."? Please, the latter is very correct.

16. I hear most people sing, "I searched all over; I COULDN'T find NOBODY..." This means you found someone. Always avoid the use of double negatives in English.

17. If you're educated but still pronounce or spell FORK as "FERK", you are not ignorant. You are absolutely corrupt. The word, "fork", is pronounced as spelt. So, clear your negative thoughts. Lol!

18. Don't Say: I have rang the bell.
 Say: I have rung the bell.

Always use the past participle of the main verb after the auxiliary verb, "HAVE".

19. Don't Say: I was OPPORTUNED to meet him in person.
Say: I had an opportunity to meet in person.

"Opportune" is not a verb. It is an adjective. 

20. Don't Say: The President CASTED his vote yesterday.
Say: The President CAST his vote yesterday.

"Cast" is an irregular verb.

Jul 8, 2018

The reason why you can't say "second to the last" in English

The reason why you can't say "second to the last" in English

Just when I thought I have known a lot about the English language, I discovered another phrase which I have been ignorantly basking in. Indeed, English is a language we can't stop learning irrespective of our degrees in either the language or other fields of study. The continuous learning of this language keeps you abreast of its hidden realities. So, let's learn.

The reason why you can't say "second to the last" in English

"Second to the last" is a very common phrase among second learners of English. Of course we use it appropriately. We use it refer to something or someone that is immediately preceding the end of a sequence or list. For example, we do say, "The second to the last person" or "The second to the last name." Unfortunately, most of us do not know that this is not the right way of stating the phrase probably because the difference between the actual phrase and the way we state it is quite subtle. Yes, the difference is quite subtle because the right way of stating the phrase is, "second to last". The article (the) is not required before "last"; however, it will normally be needed before "second" because a noun usually accompanies the phrase. For example, “The second to last seat." 

Again, Merriam Webster Dictionary describes it as an idiom, and idioms are fix expressions, that is, their structures and meanings always remain the same regardless of the situation. Changing their structures means altering their meanings and depriving them of their idiomatic status. Therefore, you don't write or say "second to the last" instead of "second to last".

Other ways you can state the phrase, the second to last, in English are: "the next to last", "the one before last"; or "the penultimate". For those who may still find it difficult to state the phrase correctly, I advise you always use the third option, that is, "the penultimate". This will save you from any form of confusion and the wracking of brain as regards where to place the definite article in the phrase. It will also interest you to note that in British English, "the penultimate" is a more acceptable form as an everyday or layman's term unlike in other varieties of English, where although perfectly correct, can be seen as slightly pretentious in normal spoken context.

In sum, don't say, "The second to the last" but say, "The second to last" if you must use this phrase. The definite article, the, shouldn't come before "last". But you can place it at the beginning of the phrase.

Jul 5, 2018

2018 May/June WAEC result is out! See how to check it

2018 May/June WAEC result is out! See how to check it

This is to inform the general public, especially those who sat for the 2018 May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has successfully uploaded the result of the examination on its website. For candidates to be able to check their results, they need to purchase the WAEC result checker (scratch card) which costs N500 from any authorized dealer or WAEC office nearest to them.
2018 May/June WAEC result is out! See how to check it
How to check 2018 May/June WAEC SSCE result online
1. Go to WAEC result checking portal

2. Enter your 10-digit WAEC Examination Number which comprises your 7-digit centre number and your 3-digit serial number, e.g., 4123456001.

3. Enter the 4 digits of your Examination Year, e.g., 2018).

4. Select the Type of Examination. For this particular examination, choose SCHOOL CANDIDATE RESULTS.

5. Enter the card serial number found on the reverse side of your scratch card.

6. Enter the Personal Identification Number (PIN) on your Scratch card.

7. Click Submit and wait for the results window to come up.

How to check 2018 May/June WAEC SSCE result via SMS
In case you want to check your 2018 WAEC SSCE result via SMS, use the short code format below:
1. In the "create message" box of your mobile phone, type WAEC*Exam No*PIN*Exam Year (e.g., WAEC*4250101001*123456789012*2018), and send message to this code – 32327. This is available to MTN, Airtel and Glo subscribers.

2. Don't fail to adhere strictly to the format above. There should be no space in the message.

3. Wait for your result to be delivered to your phone via SMS. Note that SMS costs N30 Only.
Watch the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, as he introduces himself in Nigerian Pidgin

Watch the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, as he introduces himself in Nigerian Pidgin

Watch the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, as he introduces himself in Nigerian Pidgin

Isn't it obvious that French President, Emmanuel Macron, speaks the Nigerian Pidgin better than many Nigerians? Hehehehe! Do not think that he was taught this simplified form of the English language for the purpose of making this video. Emmanuel Macron had stayed in Nigeria sometime ago, precisely in 2002 when he did an internship at the French embassy. And this is one of the things he learnt while in Nigeria. LOL! Watch the video below. 

Jul 4, 2018

The difference between arriving at a place "on time" and "in time"

The difference between arriving at a place "on time" and "in time"

Is there any difference between arriving at a place "on time" and "in time"? Yes, there is. But most English users, especially second learners of the language, often use the former (on time) regardless of the time they arrive. Therefore, this article is written to ensure an appropriate use of these phrases by English users, particularly the loyal users of "on time" or those who use these phrases interchangeably.
The difference between arriving at a place "on time" and "in time"

As regards arrival, on time means at the appointed or expected time, on schedule, neither early nor late etc. If someone arrived at a place on time, it means they got there at the specified or stated time. For example, if we had a meeting at 10:00 am and Tammy arrived at 10:00 am, it means Tammy arrived on time.

On the other hand, in time means sufficiently or a little early, before the specified time etc. If someone arrived at a place in time, it means they got there before the exact time; thus, having enough or a little time to spare. For example, if an interview was scheduled for 8:00 am but Tammy arrived at 7:45 am, it means Tammy arrived in time.

Some sentence examples
i. Despite the traffic jam, I arrived at the meeting on time.

ii. Tammy always arrives on time.

iii. In order to be among the first five persons to see the doctor, the girl decided to arrive at the hospital in time.

iv. The woman who always arrives on time surprises everyone by arriving in time.

From the foregoing, the semantic distinction between these phrases is quite obvious; therefore, English users should always use them appropriately in order not to alter the actual meaning(s) of their statements.

Jul 1, 2018

6 silly reasons some Nigerian learners of English give for their lack of proficiency in the language

6 silly reasons some Nigerian learners of English give for their lack of proficiency in the language

Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) has really been beneficial, amazing and fun. It has exposed me to different types of people: the intelligent, the brilliant, the good; and the silly. LOL! I have learnt a lot from these persons. In fact, this article wouldn't have been published but the silly persons I met online while teaching the English language. These are some of the questions they asked or statements they made to cover up their lack of proficiency in the language:
6 silly reasons some Nigerian learners of English give for their lack of proficiency in the language
1. Who English help?
This is the silliest of all the reasons. It is a Pidgin expression, and its English translation is, "Who has the English language helped?" People who ask this question don't know that they are blind. They fail to see that the words used in this Pidgin expression are English words. As a result, they also fail to realise that the English language has at least helped them in expressing themselves in Pidgin by lending them some of its lexicons. If you think the English language has not helped you in any way, kindly answer these questions using the comment box:

i. In what language is the user manual of your phone written?

ii. What language did you use when configuring/setting your new phone?

iii. What language do you use when chatting with friends outside Nigeria?

iv. What language do you use in banking, commerce, education, politics and advertisement?

v. What is the linguistic prerequisite for gaining admission into any of the Nigerian universities?

The right answers to these questions will definitely change the structure of this dumb question.

Also, I'm propelled to you inform you that English is the linguistic glue that holds our multilingual nation together because of its neutrality in the country. If you doubt this, try to make any of the "major" Nigerian languages the official language of the country. I bet you, you won't like the outcome.

2. Na grammar we go chop?
This question is asked in Pidgin, and its English translation is, "Will grammar bring food to our tables?" Well, neither good grammar nor bad grammar brings food to our tables. But the knowledge and use of good grammar shows evidence of learning. Bad grammar does not only show evidence of poor learning but also portrays one as an embodiment of illiteracy. It is nothing to be proud of.

3. English is not our mother tongue or language.
You are very correct. English is not our mother tongue/language, and that is why your ability to master its rules shows the effectiveness and agility of your brain. In other words, the mastery of the grammatical rules of a language that isn't yours shows evidence of your cognitive agility. It would be proper and literate to find out how many Nigerians can write and speak their languages proficiently instead of adorning our lips with such a silly statement. Isn't it obvious that Nigeria is raising a generation whose first and only language is English? Before you mutter Pidgin, don't forget that even the Pidgin that is spoken in Nigeria is English-based.

English is not our mother tongue, but that doesn't make it less or least important in the country. In fact, it plays more significant roles than our native languages. It is our lingua franca and second language; therefore, learning it shouldn't be an option but a necessity except you don't know the meaning of English as a Second Language (ESL).

4. English is just a language and not a test for one's intelligence
I get this response from my friends and followers on a daily basis, especially when I correct their bad grammar. Perhaps they haven't realised yet that correcting their bad grammar doesn't imply that they are not intelligent. The truth is that no one is immune to making errors when learning or using the English language. Therefore, you shouldn't feel that you are unintelligent when someone corrects your bad grammar. We learn every day.

You may argue that English is not a test for one's intelligence, but also note that several studies have shown a correlation between mastery of grammar and intelligence. In his study titled "Practice versus grammar in the learning of correct English usage", P.M. Symonds (1931) found that people with a high Intelligent Quotient (IQ) grasped grammatical concepts faster than those with a low Intelligent Quotient (IQ).  

However, there are people who are highly intelligent but have no mastery of English. It is not because they can't but because they invest their intellectual energies elsewhere. In other words, people who are highly intelligent but have no mastery of English have not dedicated time to study the grammatical rules of the language.

5. English is the language of the "slave masters or colonisers"
It is quite unfortunate and pitiable that some Nigerian learners of English who cover up their incompetence in the language with this dumb statement gladly opt in for a white wedding at the expense of their traditional weddings, embrace the religion of the colonisers with open arms and strive to learn the letters through western education. If you can do all these without a second thought, why do you adorn yourself with the veneer of this hypocritical statement? Learning the culture of a people means learning their language too.

Even the name of our country, Nigeria, is derived from English and was handed to us by those we call "slave masters or colonisers". We are still stuck with it for over 50 years after independence. And you feel very proud not to learn the English because it is the language of the colonisers? I don't want to call you a joker, but it is high time you stopped basking in ignorance and embraced the absolute reality that English is the world's lingua franca, and proficiency in it opens a world of endless opportunities.

6. If you got the message, why are you bothered about the grammar?
Maybe I shouldn't be bothered about the bad grammar if the message is clear, but that can be considered only where poor grammar does not change the meaning of the expression. You can't say "Wreck havoc" instead of "Wreak havoc" and expect to be applauded. You "wreak havoc". You don't "wreck" it. Otherwise, the meaning is altered, and correction becomes very necessary.

Apparently, English is now, for all practical purposes, the world’s lingua franca. Proficiency in it opens a world of opportunities. Therefore, the earlier you become abreast of its grammatical rules, the better for you.

Jun 28, 2018

5 reasons why your internet subscription (MB/GB) does not last long, and how to improve the situation

5 reasons why your internet subscription (MB/GB) does not last long, and how to improve the situation

The complaint of most smartphone users in this part of the world where the price of gaining access to the International Network (INTERNET) is relatively high is that the volume of data given for a particular data package doesn't take too long to "evaporate". The authenticity of this complaint was further validated when a popular social media comedian, Correctbro, opined that "It is ONLY in Nigeria you'll do monthly subscription four times in a month." As if that wasn't enough, another social media user, DADDY THE FATHER, claimed that "Buying of data is what's stopping" him "from becoming a millionaire." All these claims or assertions bring to limelight the fact that internet subscription is not just expensive in Nigeria but does not also last for the specified period of time as the internet access of subscribers are cut off by their service providers (MTN, glo, Airtel and etisalat) once their data volume is exhausted.
5 reasons why your internet subscription (MB/GB) does not last long, and how to improve the situation
Not being oblivious of this and to ensure that their data volume does not vanish within a twinkle of an eye, most smartphone users have heeded the advice of some tech bloggers by freezing or "force stopping" apps that they don't use frequently. Others have resorted to switching off their data/internet connection when they feel they have very few things or nothing to do online and switching it on when the reverse is the case. The truth is that either of these "data-preventive measures" has its shortcoming(s). The former might cause some apps to malfunction while the latter may prevent you from getting important information on time. I'm sure you know what that means. It has even cost some persons their jobs.

To avoid further complaints as regards the untimely disappearance of your data volume, this article discusses five (5) reasons why your monthly subscription does not complete its life cycle or last for at least two weeks and ways through which you can improve the situation. From personal experience, if the preventive measures that are mentioned in this article are strictly adhered to, the complaint about the untimely disappearance of your data volume will be a thing of the past. Having said that, let's take a look at these reasons:

1. WhatsApp stories.
Most WhatsApp users are yet to realise that viewing of their friends' WhatsApp stories swallows their data faster and far better than the snake in JAMB's office. How did I know this? I had to carry out other tests when I discovered that my data volume was excessively depreciating despite freezing some of my apps and switching off/on my internet connection when necessary. After the test carried out on "WhatsApp story view and data reduction", I discovered that I lost about 60 megabytes of my data volume after viewing the stories of five of my WhatsApp friends. This can be summed up in a simple phrase, "The higher of the number of stories viewed, the higher the number of data volume deducted." This also applies to Instagram and Facebook stories. You can try it if you want.

I won't advise you to stop viewing WhatsApp, Instagram or Facebook stories because stories make these platforms more interesting, but make sure you view stories which add value to your life. You mustn't view the stories of all your friends except you don't care about your data volume. I barely view the stories of friends who have nothing to display but their pictures. This decision has kept my data volume in good condition.

Again, don't be carried away by the WhatsApp stories of your friends; be conscious of your data volume while you view their stories.

2. Spending too much time on Instagram
I'm sure you must have heard people say, "Instagram is for men and not for boys." This statement has a lot to do with the way Instagram squanders your data volume. Undoubtedly, it is an interesting platform to be on for some obvious reasons, but you must be man enough to enjoy all the activities therein. Apart from viewing Instagram stories, the automatic replay of videos on Instagram is one major thing that slashes your data volume. It is no news that Instagram videos play repeatedly without you playing them while on the platform. And when this happens, your data pays squarely for it. 

To avoid this, it is advisable you don't spend too much time on Instagram except you are equal to the task. Again, should you see any Instagram video you like, you can download it using InstaSave instead of watching it repeatedly on Instagram.

3. Hotspot and Tethering
Providing a wireless connection for other devices (either through mobile hotspot, Bluetooth tethering or USB tethering) is one of the major factors that prevent your data from reaching its expiry date.  Before you turn on your mobile hotspot for another device, always ensure that all auto download features/settings (through wireless connection) on the other device is turned off. And don't fail to provide a security code for your mobile hotspot in order to prevent others from stealthily using your data.

4. You fail to turn off the auto download or play feature of some of your apps.
Most apps such as Facebook, Play Store, WhatsApp etc. have an auto download or play feature, and if this feature is not turned off, many things that will drastically reduce your data volume are bound to happen. For example, if you fail to turn off the auto download feature of your Play Store, outdated apps will automatically update themselves at the detriment of data volume. However, if this feature is turned off,  you are always notified to update your apps whenever they are outdated. Therefore, you should always ensure that the auto download or play feature of any app on your phone is turned off.

5. You watch videos online
I'm very much aware that watching of videos online is quite interesting and has become part and parcel of most smartphone users. In fact, there are some videos you wouldn't want to download because of their very short durations. You may not notice the data reduction if you are disciplined enough not to watch more than two short videos online every day, but you will surely do if the reverse is the case. I advise you download any video you like and watch it offline except you have the cash to always top up your data volume.

I will conclude by reiterating that if these reasons are taken seriously and the solutions are strictly adhered to, the incessant complaint about the untimely disappearance of your data volume will be a thing of the past in spite of the fact that service providers still have a way of making our data volume epileptic. I am extremely sure because the solutions provided in this article have been tested by me. They will definitely put your data volume in good condition.

Jun 25, 2018

Rivers State Ministry of Education: 2018 Junior WAEC (BECE) timetable

Rivers State Ministry of Education: 2018 Junior WAEC (BECE) timetable

Below is the 2018 Junior WAEC (also known as the Basic Education Certificate Examination) timetable for secondary schools in Rivers State, Nigeria.
Rivers State Ministry of Education: 2018 Junior WAEC (BECE) timetable

THURSDAY (28/6/2018)
i. Basic Science
Time: 9AM - 11AM

ii. Civic Education
Time: 12noon - 2PM

FRIDAY (29/6/2018)
Business Studies
Time: 9AM - 11AM

MONDAY (2/7/2018)
i. Mathematics
Time: 9AM - 11AM

ii. Computer
Time: 12noon - 2PM

TUESDAY (3/7/2018)
i. Agricultural Science
Time: 9AM - 11AM

ii. Home Economics
Time: 12noon - 2PM

WEDNESDAY (4/7/2018)
i. English Language
Time: 9AM - 11AM

ii. Physical and Health Education (PHE)
Time: 12noon - 2PM

FRIDAY (6/7/2018)
i. C.R.K
Time: 9AM - 11AM

ii. French
Time: 12noon - 2PM

MONDAY (9/7/2018)
i. Social Studies
Time: 9AM - 11AM

ii. Basic Technology
Time: 12noon - 2PM

Jun 17, 2018

FIFA WORLD CUP: How to pronounce the country's name, "Croatia"

FIFA WORLD CUP: How to pronounce the country's name, "Croatia"

Since the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off, the country's name, Croatia, has been wrongly pronounced by a good number of persons in this part of the world. Such mispronunciation became very common among Nigerians due to the Super Eagles' 0 – 2 loss to Croatia in their opening match of Russia 2018. While some (in course of explaining the outcome of the match to their friends) pronounced the country's name as "Cru-shia", others confidently (or perhaps ignorantly) pronounced it as "Co-ro-shia". That really amused and amazed me, so I decided to write this article.
FIFA WORLD CUP: How to pronounce the country's name, "Croatia"

Croatia is a country in Europe, with the official name, Republic of Croatia. As a word, it consists of three syllables and is transcribed /krəʊˈeɪʃə/. From its transcription, Croatia is pronounced "kro-a-sia". It is just like pronouncing "kro" and "asia" together. Please, note that the "o" in "kro" is pronounced "o" (just like the "o" sound in "go"). It is not pronounced "or".

Having read this, you should be confident to pronounce Croatia as "kro-a-sia" when they meet with Argentina to sort out of things.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the football lovers and responsible daddies.
Ignatius Ajuru University releases senate's approved list of students for 2018 'B' NYSC programme

Ignatius Ajuru University releases senate's approved list of students for 2018 'B' NYSC programme

The following Graduates of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education have been successfully uploaded to the integrated database of the National Youth Service Corps for 2018 Batch ‘B’ NYSC programme. At the confirmation of your name, you are to wait until the approved date for commencement of Online Registration. Candidates who have graduated for 2016/2017 graduation session and has not seen their name should ensure that they have made the approved payment, submit application to the Student Affairs Unit.
Ignatius Ajuru University releases senate approved list of students for 2018 'B' NYSC programme
If you have applied for NYSC and have submitted your form to the Information Management System (MIS) Office of the Students Affairs and did not see your name in Batch ‘A’ and Batch B respectively, visit the student’s affairs Unit and confirm the status of your application.

Those concerned are also advised to direct all questions regarding ‘date of birth’ ‘name correction’ to the Students Affairs Unit of the University. Timely technical attention will be given appropriately from the University’s ICT support unit for NYSC mobilization. Be aware of fraudsters who will ask you for money to fix date of birth issues for you.