We all know that Singlish is definitely not allowed in the O level English paper, especially in Papers 1 and 4! Here are more common Singlish expressions and how to convert them into proper English. This is part 2. Read part 1 here.

Is good

I’m using the new iPhone. Is good. (Singlish)
I’m using the new iPhone. Its good. (Singlish)
I’m using the new iPhone. It is good. OR It’s good. (proper English)

Explanation: ‘It is’ should be shortened to ‘It’s’. Punctuation matters! When you leave out the apostrophe, ‘Its’ means ‘belonging to it’, not ‘it is’.

I scare I will be late

I scare I will be late. (Singlish)
I’m scared I will be late. (proper English)

Explanation:

Lots of students use ‘I scare’ to convey feelings of fear in the present tense. However, if you want to describe feeling afraid, ‘scared’ (adjective) should be used no matter what the tense is. Remember to put the verb to be (is/are/am/was/were) in front of ‘scared’.

I have to stay back after school

I have to stay back after school/work. (Singlish)
I have to stay behind after school/work. (proper English)

Explanation:

Both sentences above are trying to say that someone doesn’t leave a place when others leave. However, if we look at the Cambridge dictionary, the correct phrasal verb is ‘stay behind’. We do not use the expression ‘stay back’ in this case.

Their coming soon

Their coming soon. (Singlish)
They’re coming soon. (proper English)

Explanation:

When we mean ‘They are’, use ‘they’re’.
‘Their’ means ‘belonging to them’. (E.g. Their parents are both overseas.)

All my luggages

I need help carrying all my luggages. (Singlish)
I need help carrying all my luggage. (proper English)

Explanation:

‘Luggage’ is an uncountable noun. We do not add an ‘s’ behind it. Here are some examples of commonly confused uncountable nouns.

Incorrect Furnitures Advices Gossips Sceneries
Correct Furniture Advice Gossip Scenery

Refer again to the example above. What happens if you want to show that you have more than one? Adding ‘x pieces of’ in front will solve your problem. This tip also works for ‘furniture’, ‘advice’ and ‘gossip’.

Like what you read? Schedule a trial English Tuition lesson with Michelle Tan at The Annexe Project Educational Centre and work your way to an A1 for English! Call or text 90683979 for more details. We also specialise in JC A Level H2 Mathematics Tuition conducted by Mr. Alvin Yeo, contact us if you also need help in that area.

Written by Michelle Tan for The Annexe Project