Author Archives: ycancerina

About ycancerina

I am a woman of 72 -- a happy mum and granny of 5 children (one passed away in 1968) and 4 grandsons, who wanna keep brain in an active way to avoid absent-minded disease or illness. Had been working for 23 years with Unicef, an International Organization in Jakarta. Had been abroad for several months on specific assignment from Unicef to assist with some tasks in administration and secretarial functions in Unicef Hanoi, Vietnam in 1983. On the way to Hanoi stayed a few weeks in Bangkok and Manila, the Philippines. Went to colledge for several years (without diploma) in Faculty of Law, University of Krisnadwipayana; some years attended an English Academy in Jakarta. (no diploma). Like learning something new about anything. I like to improve my English capability and skill. So I did on purpose to register on Wordpress and manage a blog entitled: Be With Me To Learn English. This blog is aimed at either beginners ( who has learned English at school) or people who wants to keep their brains always in a fresh memory about English. I used to give lessons to students from grades 5 up to 10 on a voluntarily basis; gave conversation short course to people who is going to be abroad. Last but not least: I am not a permanent English teacher. I like English and will alwlays go forward to improving it as long as I can manage to do it.

Conversation in Context (3 of 5)

Note: I did it on purpose –  giving you some conversations in context. Please read them several times and treat them as DRILLINGS. I hope all of you can imagine why the conversation entitled: A TALKATIVE OLD LADY. Check it out from the conversation below.


(The information office in a railway station. We can hear the sounds of trains coming and going and announcements over the loudspeakers).

OLD LADY: Good afternoon. I’d like some information about the trains, please.

CLERK: Yes, madam. Which train? Where are you going?

OLD LADY: To Bournemouth. You see, I have a sister there and…….

CLERK: So your question is “When’s the next train to Bournemouth?”. Is that right?

OLD LADY: Yes, that’s right. When’s the next train to Bournemouth, please?

CLERK: At half past four. That’s in about a minute.

OLD LADY: Thank you very much. Oh! Can I get something to eat on the train? I always have something to eat when I travel. I find that a cup of tea and a sandwich always help my nerves.

CLERK: Yes, madam. There’s a buffet car on the train.

OLE LADY: Oh, good! Er……how much does a cup of tea cost?

CLERK I’m not sure, madam. Eightpence, I think.

OLD LADY: Eightpence! Oh dear! Things are getting so expensive!

CLERK: Yes, madam. Your train’s going to leave in half a minute now..

OLD LADY: Thank you. Oh! Which platform does it leave from?

CLERK: Platform 13.

OLD LADY: Platform 13!! Oh, dear! I never travel on trains that leave from platform 13! 13′s an unlucky number. When’s the next train after the 4.30?



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Conversation in context (2 of 5)

I am sure that all of you are familiar with the using of  daily conversations for many occasions. For those who are not, the following examples might be useful for you:


  • You: Hello, is that 35819?
  • Voice: Yes.
  • You: May I speak to Mrs. Ibrahim, please?
  • Voice: Yes. Who’s speaking, please?
  • You: My name is ……………(say your name is Ali Rahman).
  • Voice: One moment please, Mr. Rahman

Dialling the wrong number:

  • You:lHello, is Mr. Woods there, please?
  • Voice: What number do you want:
  • You: 8759.
  • Voice: This is 8758.
  • You: I’m sorry. I dialled the wrong number.
Calling back:
  • Voice: Is that Modern Office Equipment?
  • You: Yes.
  • Voice: Could I speak to Mrss Jones, please
  • You: I’m sorry. She’s out. Could you call back at three thirty?
  • Voice: All right. Thank you.

Asking for someone:

  • A: Could/May I speak to Miss Cramer? OR: Is Miss Cramer there, please?
  • B: Yes, Just a moment, please/May I know who’s speaking, please?/Who shall I say is calling?
  • A: It’s Tony Hayes speaking/This is Tony Hayes.
  • B: A moment, please.
  • A: Thank you.


Please practise those daily conversation context and  ways to say it in your own examples.

———————-Bear in mind that PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT———————-

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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in English Lessons & Exercises


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Hereunder are ways to say it when you introducing people to a friend, others or finding out people’s names:


  • A: Tony, this Anne.
  • B: Hi, how are you?
  • C: Fine, thanks


  • A: This is a colleague of mine/one of my colleagues, Frank Hill.
  • B: How do you do?
  • C: Nice to meet you.

Or you can do it in another way like the following:

  • A: I’d like you to meet/This is, Mr. Jones.
  • B: How do you do, Mr. Jones? My name’s Jim Wilson.
  • C: Nice to meet you.

OR: this way:

  • A: Do you know/Have you met, Terry?
  • B: No, I don’t/No, I haven’t
  • A: Terry, this is Wendy.
  • C: Hi/Hello.


  • A: Excuse me. Are you Dick Hammond?
  • B: That’s right/No, I’m not/No, I’m Ted Thorp. And what did you say your name was?
  • A: I’m Graham Kennedy.


——————————————h a v e    f u n—————————————–

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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in English Lessons & Exercises


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Conversation in context (1 of 5)

I am going to shere with you something deal with daily conversation. Most of you must have known all about it, but some of you musn’t. That’s why hereunder I quote something that you might need for your imporving skill of English. Please practise using them with your friend(s).



A: Hi, Tony.

B: Hi.

A: How’s everything with you?

B Fine, thanks.


A: Hi, Elizabeth.

B: Oh hello, Peter. How are you:

A: Fin, thanks. And you?

B: Good, thanks.

(3)  Terry speaks to one of his friends at the office:

Terry: Oh hi, Caroline.

Caroline: Hello, Terry. How;s everything?

Terry: Fine, thanks.

Caroline: How was your weekend, Terry?

Terry: It was super, thanks. I went to the beach.

Caroline: Lucky you!.

(4) At the office:

Terry: Good morning, Mrs. Williams.

Mrs. Williams: Good morning, Mr. Griffin. (Terry’s name is: Terry Griffin).

Terry: How are you this morning?

Mrs. Williams: Very well, thank you.

Terry: Did you have a nice weekend?

Mrs. Williams: Yes, thank you.

(5) At a restaurant:

Waiter: Good evening, sir.

Terry: Good evening. A table for two, please.

Waiter: Certainly, sir. Please come with me.

Terry: Thank you.

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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in English Lessons & Exercises


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Reading — Who is Sally Ride?

Sally Ride, America’s first spacewoman, doesn’t look very different from a lot of other American professional women. She is attractive, with curly brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a bright smile. She likes to dress simply: she wears comfortable but colourful clothes, like many people from California.

But in 1983 Sally Ride became America’s first woman astronaut. She was one of five astronauts on the space shuttle Challenger, which completed a successful six-day voyage in space in June 1983. What makes a woman want to go into space?

Sally Ride grew up in Los Angeles, California. Her father is a professor at Santa Monica College, and her mother is a housewife. At Westlake High School for Girls, she was both an excellent student and tennis player. Today she still looks like a sportswoman. She is 1.6 metres tall, weighs 52 kilos and is very fit. When she was still a student, she became a very successful tennis player. She thought about becoming a professional sportswoman. But she decided to continue with her studies at college, and later at university.

People who know her say she is intelligent and confident. She also thinks deeply about things. But she is not always serious. She is fun and enjoys humour, but she is in a hurry to get on to more important things.

At high school she became interested in science. At university she studies English and Physics. After completing her studies at Standord University, she worked as a reseacher. In 1977 she was one of 1,000 women and 7,000 men who applied for the astronaut training programme. She was 25. She was one of 35 women who were accepted to start the programme in 1978. As part of her training she learned to be a jet pilot and a flight engineer. She married during her training. Her husband, Hawley, is also an astronaut. They do not plan to have any children yet.

When NASA decided to put a woman into space, none of Sally’s friends were surprised that they chose Sally. She has always been a person who wanted to go further. So when the space shuttle Challenger carried her on her first mission into space, Sally did what she had often done before : she left the world behind.

The main thing we learn about Sally Ride from the passage is:

  1. People who enter space training programmes must be very intelligent.
  2. You can succeed with whatever you want as long as you work hard and know where you want to go.
  3. Only people who are different and very unusual can be astronauts.

Note: Sally Ride was born in May, 26, 1951.sally ride1

Source: BREAKTHROUGH (J.C.Richards M.N.Long, New Edition (1).

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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in English Lessons & Exercises


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COMPARISONS — Exercises (2).

Comparisons — Exercises (2).

Supply THAN, AS or FROM in each of the following sentences:

  1. The Empire State Building is taller …………………..the Statue of Liberty.
  2. California is farther from New York …………..Pennsylvania.
  3. His assignment is different ……………..mine.
  4. Louiie reads more quickly ……………… his sisters.
  5. No animal is so big ……………. King Kong.
  6. That report is less impressive ……………. the government’s.
  7. Sam wears the same shirt ……………. his teammates.
  8. Dave paints much more realistically …………… his professor.
  9. The twins have less money at the end of the month ………………. they have at the beginning.
  10. Her sports car is different ………………… Nancy’s.

(Please do your exercises before having a look at the answers listed below!!)


  1. than
  2. than
  3. from
  4. than
  5. as
  6. than
  7. as
  8. than
  9. than
  10. from
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


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COMPARISONS – Exercises (1)

Please do your exercise withoug having a look at the answers listed below:

Supply the correct form of the adjectives and adverbs in parentheses. Let AS  and THAN be your clues.  Add any other words that may be necessary.

  1. John and his friends left …………….(soon) as the professor had finished his lecture.
  2. His job is ………….(important) than his friend’s.
  3. He plays the guitar …………… (well) as  Andres Segovia.
  4. A new house is much ……. (expensive) than an older one.
  5. Last week was …………. (hot) as this week.
  6. Martha is …………… (talented) than her cousin.
  7. Bill’s descriptions are ………… (colorful) than his wife’s.
  8. Nobody is ………… (happy) than Maria Elena.
  9. The boys felt …………… (bad) than the girls about losing the game.
  10. A greyhound runs …………….. (fast) than a Chihuahu


  1. as soon.
  2. more important.
  3. as well
  4. more expensive
  5. as hot
  6. more talented
  7. more colorful
  8. happier
  9. worse
  10. faster

——————————–have  fun——————————-

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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in English Lessons & Exercises


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I am going to share with you something about GREETINGS. This time I am not, repeat, I am not going to give you my free translation because the below mentioned explanations are using the simple words that you must have been familiar with.

  • “How are you?”
  • “Hello.”
  • “Good morning.”
  • “Have you eaten yet?”
  • “Where are you going?”

Those are greetings which people use in different languages when they meet each other.  But what is a greeting?

A greeting is a way of being friendly to someone.  It is a way of being polite. It is also a way of starting a conversation.  In many languages a question is used as a greeting:

  • “Where are you going?”;
  • “How’s everything with you?”

But questions like these are not real questions. They do not require a full answer or even a true one.  In English, for example, the commonest greeting is a question about a person’s health:

  • “How are you?”

But we do not expect the person to tell us about their health when they reply.  We do not expect them to talk about their headache or their backache, it they have one. People reply to these questions with a fixed expression such as

  • “I’m fine, thanks”, or
  • “I’m very well, thanks.”

In the same way in countries where people greet each other with “Where are you going?”, a simple reply such as “Just walking around”, is sufficient.  It is not necessary to describe where you are actually going.

In most languages, a greeting is usually followed by “small talk”. Small talk means the little things we talk about at the start of a conversation. In English-speaking countries people often make small talk about the weather:

  • “Nice day, isn’t it?”
  • “Terrible weather, isn’t?”

But there is something special about small talk. It must be about something which both people have the same opinion about. The purpose of small talk is to let both people agree on something. This makes meeting people easier and more comfortable. People usually agree about the weather, so it is a safe topic for small talk.

Greetings and small talk are an important part of conversation in any language. The way people greet each other and the things they talk about, however, may be different from one language to another. This shows that there is much more to learn when we learn a language than just the vocabulary and the grammar of the language. We also have to learn the social behaviour of the people who speak it.

Source:”Breakthrough” – J.C.Richards M.N.Long — Oxford.


Posted by on March 6, 2012 in English Lessons & Exercises


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Comparisons (Continuation – final).

Nouns can also be used in comparisons.  Be sure to use the determiners correctly depending on whether the adjectives are countable or non-coountable ( My free translations for you: Kata-kata benda juga bisa digunakan sebagai perbanding, tetapi harus hati-hati menggunakan kata menunjuk yang tepat, apakah adjective itu
“dapat” dihitung atau “tidak dapat” dihitung.
Look at the following formula:

subject + verb + as + {many/much/little/few} + noun + as + {noun/pronoun}


subject + verb + {more/fewer/less} + noun + than + {noun/pronoun}

Examples of sentences:

  • I have more books than she.
  • February has fewer days than March.
  • He earns as much money as his brother.
  • They have as few classes as we.
  • Before payday, I have as little money as my borther.


An illogical comparisons is one in which unlike entities have been compared. Be sure that the items being compared are the same. These forms can be divided into three categories: possessives, that of  and those of. (Disebut perbandingan illogical karena membandingkan dua hal yang sama sekali berbeda. 

Compare the following sentences:

Incorrect: His drawings are as perfect as his instructor. (This sentence compares drawings with instructor.)

Correct: His drawings are as perfect as his instructor’s (instructor’s = instructor’s drawings.) (This sentence compares “his drawings” and “instructor’s drawings”. (Inilah kalimat yang benar karena yang dibandingkan adalah “lukisan-lukisannya” dan “lukisan-lukisan Istructor).


  1. The salary of a professor is higher than a secretary. (This sentence compares salary with secretary).
  2. The duties of a policeman are more dangeerous than a teacher. (This sentence compare duties with teacher.)

The correct sentences:

  1. The salary of a professor is higher than that of a secretary. (that of = the salary of).
  2. The duties of a policeman are more dangerous than those of a teacher (those of = the duties of).

Examples of logical comparisons:

  • John’s car runs better than Mary’s. (Mary’s = Mary’s car).
  • The climate in Florida is as mild as that of California. (that of = the climate of).
  • Classes in the university are more difficult than those in the college. (those in = the classes in).
  • The baskel ball games at the university are better than those of  the high school.
  • Your accent is not as strong as my mother’s (my mother’s = my mother’s accent).
  • My sewing machine is better than Jane’s (Jane’s = Jane’s sewing machine).

Posted by on March 5, 2012 in English Lessons & Exercises


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Hereunder comes the second comparisons:

Unequal comparisons:

This type of comparative implies that the entities are comparable in a greater or lesser degree. The following rules generally apply to this type of comparative: (Free translations for you: Bentuk perbandingan ini menunjukkan bahwa perbandingan tersebut bisa pada tingkat “lebih besar” atau “lebih kecil”. Formula yang diberlakukan untuk bentuk tingkat perbadingan ini adalah sbb.):

  1. Add – er — to the adjective base of most one-syllable and two-syllable adjectives. (i.e.: thick – thicker, soon – sooner, quiet – quiter).(Tambahkan – er – untuk kata sifat yang terdiri dari satu suku-kata dan dua suku-kata: thick – thicker, soon – sooner, quiet – quieter).
  2. Use the form more + adjective for most three-syllabe adjectives. (more beautiful, more important, more believable).(Pakailah more + adjective untuk kata sifat yang terdiri dari tiga suku-kata. (more beautiful, more important, more believable).
  3. Use the form more + adjective for adjectives ending in the following suffixed: -ed, -ful, -ing, and -ous (more useful, more boring, more cautious).(Pakailah more + adjective untuk kata yang berakhiran -ed, -ful, -ing, dan -ous (more useful, more boring, more cautious).
  4. Double the final consonant of one-syllable adjectives which end in a single consonant and are preceded by a single vowel. (big-bigger, red-redder, hot-hotter).(untuk kata sifat yang terdiri dari 1 suku-kata dan berakhir dengan huruf mati, maka huruf mati tersebut harus digandakan. (big – bigger, red-reder, hot-hotter).
  5. When an adjective ends in a consonant “y”, change the y to i and add -er (happy – happier, dry – drier). (Kalau kata sifat tersebut berakhir dengan “y” ubahlah y dengan I kemudian tambahkan “er” (happy – happier, dry – drier).

Note: The -er suffix means exactly the same as more. Therefore, they can NEVER be used together. It is NOT CORRECT to day:

  • More prettier, more faster, more better.

One can add -er to only a few adverbs: faster, quicker, sooner and later.


  • John’s grades are higher than his sister’s     (adjective).
  • Today is hotter than yesterday  (adjective)
  • This chair is more comfortable than the other.
  • He speaks Spanish more fluently than I (adverb).
  • He visits his family less frequently than she does. (adverb).
  • This year’s exhibit is less impressive than last year’s (adjective)

Unequal comparisons can be further intensified by adding much or far before the comparative form. (Unequal comparisons bisa juga ditambah dengan kata much or far sebelum bentuk tingkat perbandingan.)

Look at the following formula:

subject + verb + {far/much} + adjective + er + than + {noun/pronoun}

  • Harry’s watch is far more expensive than mine.
  • She dances much more artistically than her predecessor.
  • He speaks English much more rapidly than he does Spanish.
  • His car is far better than yours.


To be continued








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