The English language is indeed a very complex language. There are so many grammar rules that we abide by that, at times, it could be confusing for writers to keep in compliance with. It is very important that a writer knows the foundational grammar rules. Without this knowledge, ideas cannot be communicated effectively to your audience of readers.
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In Don’t Analyze the English Language Too Much – It’s Not Good for Your Fluency! I questioned the usefulness of asking a lot of questions during your quest for English fluency.
Q: “Can I use the preposition ‘in’ instead of ‘at’ if I say things like “I’m at school at the moment”?
A: “Well, not really, normally ‘at’ is used when you say that you’re at school. Just stick with ‘at school’!”
Q: “But I’ve heard people say ‘in school’ on certain occasions, does that mean it’s wrong?”
A: “It’s not wrong. If you want to explain that you’re in school as opposed to being employed, for example, you have to use the preposition ‘in’”.
Q: “OK… Is that the only exception? Are you sure you don’t say ‘in school’ in any other situation?”
A: “Well… I can’t really think of any right now, but there might be some other occasions, it really depends…”
Q: “But how am I supposed to speak correctly then? What if I’m saying ‘at school’ and it’s wrong? I want to be aware of all differences between the two prepositions and when each of them is used! I’d better do some online research on the subject!”
You just witnessed a typical foreign English speaker who wants to leave no stone unturned when in doubt over the usage of a certain English word.
If you read my previous blog post – you can read it HERE – you’ll know that such questioning carries the risk of ruining your fluency because of the constant over-analyzing.
The more you’re trying to categorize and structure your English, the bigger the chance that it’s going to turn into a permanent habit, and that’s when your fluency might go out the window because…
…you can’t possibly perform the two tasks simultaneously – SPEAK ABOUT THE SUBJECT and think about WHAT AND HOW TO SAY IT!
Having said this, however, I admit that a healthy interest about certain aspects of English word usage is only normal. After all – that’s how we learn new things, and if you ask a few questions to other people about how and when to use this or that particular word or phrase, you’re going to improve your English fluency much faster.
But when I start getting questions like this one – “Why the two words ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘discomfort’ begin with different prefixes? I keep mixing them up, so why can’t they begin with the same prefix to keep things simple? Why? Why? WHY?!” – I can’t keep my cool anymore.
Such questions are serving no purpose at all, and you’d be so much better off stopping asking such questions. Just memorize and learn the respective words and expressions instead of trying to make sense of all the English language irregularities!
Did you know that humanity spent 3 billion hours playing video games on a weekly basis? Whoa! That’s certainly a surprising fact. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? There’s no question about it: some games make us numb, or even dumb. However, games also keep our minds busy and focused. This means we can use them to learn new things. We know how it works for kids. We just forget that people never lose the need to make the learning process fun.
What’s the most important goal you’re aiming for when learning English? You want to speak fluently, right? You imagine going to London and speaking the language without any trouble. However, when you’re in a situation when you need to speak English, you get confused. Maybe you focus on grammar too much. Maybe you’re trying too hard to think of the right words. What’s the problem? How can you make it go away?
I got the inspiration to write this English phrase compilation from a guy called Guillermo, and here’s the comment he left on my blog a while back:
So basically he wants to learn useful English phrases to be used around the house describing common everyday concepts such as eating, playing, tidying up, going to bed and others.
And come to think of it, pretty much all English phrases I’ve published on this blog focus either on your social life such as the small talk phrases or your professional life such as these industry specific phrases.
That’s why I decided to compile a bunch of useful English phrases you can use at home when speaking with your own kinds in order to improve your English – just like Guillermo does – or when there’s other English speaking kids around.
Speaking of which, I can tell you based on my own experience that your English may be quite advanced, but you may still find yourself struggling to speak with little children using simple language ❗
I clearly remember how I came to Ireland all those years ago and my daughters started attending the local school.
I was in the same situation when I had to help them with their homework or speak with other kids at birthday parties, for example, and I realized that my English was lacking simple phraseology that native speakers use in daily situations at home!
So, without further ado, let’s start listing commonly used simple English expressions you’ll be able to use at home! 😉
Some language learners often say that English is one of the most difficult languages to master because of the spelling. Indeed, it is tricky to remember all those words that spell differently than they sound because the language is full of exceptions and contradictions.
For example, the word “knight” sounds as it should begin with a “n,” and the world “psychology” does not sound like it should have a “p” in the beginning. Well, the rules are the rules, can’t break them. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of other words where it is simply difficult to apply logic when unsure how to spell them.
However, by using the following learning tips, you can make a fast progress!
Hello English language learners! As you probably discovered during your studies, native speakers are the best way to build fluency, learn pronunciation, gestures, and receive more benefits compared to studying with other learners.
Whether you’ve started learning a couple of months ago or you already can show off your language skills to native speakers, choosing this option is the best way to advance quickly.
But what if you’re struggling to find native speakers in your city? How can one find them and ask for practice?
Don’t worry, there are plenty of great opportunities you can take advantage of to get in touch with English native speakers.
They are presented below (all of them are free!).
When I arrived in Ireland 15 years ago, I went onto a mission of learning English vocabulary because I thought it was going to help me overcome my fluency issues.
As a result, I acquired hundreds upon hundreds long English vocabulary lists also containing plenty of words that even native English speakers don’t use and they simply didn’t have a clue what they meant when I tried using them in real life!
I like to call such English vocabulary “sophisticated”, and I’ve also written extensively on this topic on my blog, here’s a couple of articles:
- Don’t Learn Some Obscure English Words that Even Native Speakers DON’T KNOW!
- Simple vs Sophisticated Vocabulary? It’s All Just Semantics (Interpretation)!
Now I know better than to learn English words that no-body uses in day-to-day communication; I’d rather use to learn the vocabulary I already know in DIFFERENT WAYS thus enabling me to speak about virtually any topic.
Sometimes, however, knowing how to use certain sophisticated English words comes in handy and as it was pointed out by one of my YouTube commentators, some English tests and exams may include such vocabulary.
So, without further ado, let’s learn some useful English expressions containing words that you may not have heard before – or maybe you’ve heard them a few times and wondered what they actually mean.
Needless to say, it’s strongly advised you acquire this sophisticated vocabulary by learning the entire word combination thus ensuring you’ll be able to USE the word in question! (Read this article to understand what exactly I’m talking about here)
Video Transcript Below:
Hi guys! Hi boys and girls and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog.
I welcome you to this video on this nice Sunday afternoon.
However, let me draw your attention to the fact that it might not be a Sunday that this video is published on YouTube, simply because I tend to record a bunch of videos and then I publish them as I see fit, basically, right? And, if you notice that I used this phrase that we’re going to be talking about today, “let me draw your attention to the fact”… I used it, previously, a couple of seconds ago there. And that was pretty much the first example scenario, how would you use it, right?
It’s simply to draw somebody’s attention to a specific fact, right? And also, let me draw your attention to the fact that this phrase is somewhat more professional, formal, if you know what I mean. You wouldn’t be, probably, using this phrase when chatting with your friends in a very, very informal setting, you know? You might use it, it won’t hurt, you know? But, it’s just that it’s probably, typically used in a professional environment.
Imagine giving a presentation, or giving a speech, and that’s when you would use this phrase. But if you want to hear more example scenarios when this phrase is used, please bear with me for a few more moments and you will hear more from me, right?