Here’s another English idiomatic expression for you to learn and use in your daily English conversations and also spoken English practice sessions:
YOU DON’T WANT TO
This particular English phrase simply means “YOU SHOULDN’T…” and it’s used by native English speakers in situations when telling someone that they shouldn’t do something would sound a bit too harsh and patronizing.
Imagine yourself in a situation when you’re introduced to a new work colleague and you’re given the task of showing him the ropes (explaining how the job is done.)
You’d be telling your new colleague a lot of things that they shouldn’t do over the course of the day, so every time you’re saying YOU SHOULDN’T DO IT and DON’T DO IT, it may start sounding as if you’re annoyed with them.
Not that it’s a big deal – and if your voice and body language clearly shows your good intentions, you shouldn’t have any problems with telling someone that they shouldn’t do something.
It’s just that it may sound a bit friendlier if you use the phrase YOU DON’T WANT TO DO IT!
And here’s the exact phrases where you’d be using this idiomatic expression:
This time around we’re going to look at another very simple English verb “TO MAKE” and I’m going to show you that you can use it to express so many different things – actions, concepts and ideas – that you’ll be literally blown away by it all!
Basically the idea is to realize that you don’t necessarily have to try and find specific English verbs for every conceivable action. On a lot of occasions you can use a combination of a simple verb such as TO MAKE with another word to describe the concept.
Here’s a typical example – MAKE SURE: “You have to MAKE SURE the alarm is switched on before leaving the premises.”
If you think about it, MAKE SURE is such a simple way of describing the concept of making sure that it just doesn’t get simpler than that!
The adjective SURE describes the concept of certainty, and you just have to add the verb TO MAKE to describe the concept of someone taking action which would result in a certain outcome.
If you have the kind of a mindset whereby you can’t resist your desire to translate from your native language while speaking in English, describing even such a simple concept as “making sure” may present difficulties to you – especially considering the equivalent verb in your language most likely doesn’t consist of two simple words.
In my native language – Latvian – the concept of “making sure” is described using a longer, more complex verb (“párliecináties”), so if I were to translate from Latvian when speaking in English, I would probably struggle for a while before finding the right way of describing it in English. My mind would be trying to find a matching entry in English, but as a result it would draw a blank simply because there isn’t one!
What you have to do for your mind to stop wandering aimlessly is the following:
Hi guys and welcome back to English Harmony video blog!
I’m Robby, obviously, and in today’s video we’re going to talk about a very simple matter indeed. Namely – YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO.
I know – this may sound very simplistic – “You are what you do.”
Well, what’s the big deal? It’s common sense! What you do determines what you are, who you are, right? But, just think about this guys.
I still keep receiving plenty of emails on a daily basis asking for one basic thing:
“Robby, tell me how I can start speaking fluent English? How do I improve my spoken English fluency? Basically, how do I speak in English?”
So the basic need, the desire that is the common denominator among all those people, maybe including even you, is your desire to speak fluently.
Basically, that’s WHO you want to be. You want to become a FLUENT ENGLISH SPEAKER. So, if we go by the equation – you are what you do – going by that logic, it’s not difficult to draw a simple conclusion:
Just to give you a quick update on what I’m doing now and why I haven’t published any videos lately – I’m busy as hell preparing new content for the website, and I want to make sure there’s plenty of articles lined up for publishing.
Soon enough you’ll start hearing more often from me, and I promise you this – all the videos and articles I’m preparing are going to be really useful and actionable!
And then I quit my new job having worked there for just over two months
You see, I realized I can’t really cope with such a massive workload and the only logical solution was to quit my new job so that I can do both – teach my students via Skype and maintain this blog.
If you’ve been following English Harmony for a while you’ll notice that I haven’t been posting a lot of blog posts lately. To be more specific – it’s been 2 weeks now without posting a single blog entry!
To put it in perspective – there was a time when I was publishing 3 articles every week. If you visited my blog on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you would always find a new article or a video, but during the last few months it’s been fairly irregular.
I’ve published something whenever I could find enough time for it, but if I put myself in your shoes, I can definitely see that it’s not good enough.
I don’t have to be a genius to figure out that you’d rather come to my blog with the sure knowledge of finding new content every couple of days, so it’s the first thing I’ve planned for the English Harmony website this year:
Hello, foreign English speakers, native English speakers and everyone who happens to be following my blog!
Welcome back to my video blog, and this is obviously a whole new year – 2015!
And to be honest with you guys, for one split second yesterday – last night was Christmas Eve and at one stage during the celebrations, I thought that it was going to be 2016 for some reason!
But anyway, I wanted to take this wonderful opportunity and provided how far my message goes – I’ve got thousands of followers on Facebook, and YouTube, and my blog daily traffic goes beyond 1,000 visitors a day. So, I hope that this message gets heard by tens of thousands of people, right?
So, I wanted to take this opportunity and wish you all a very Happy New Year
Despite all the bad things we keep hearing on the media constantly on a daily basis, I still wish you a very Happy New Year because that’s the thing to do, right? Everybody wishes one another a very Happy New Year!
And all the resolutions that you have set for yourselves, I really hope you’ll follow through with at least one of them. So, basically, whatever it is, maybe you’re giving up something, maybe you want to quit smoking or quit drinking, for example.
Or maybe you want to take up some habit that would result in something good in your life, maybe you want to join a gym, and that’s typical, right, and start working out and lose a little bit of weight and get fitter.
Or maybe it’s to improve your English in which case you’re welcome to stay with me throughout the year 2015 and keep reading my articles and watching my videos where I’m going to provide a whole lot of new information in relation to your fluency development!
So basically may all of your resolutions come true! And, obviously, we have to be realistic. We can’t expect that everything is going to be smooth and all the resolutions are going to be fulfilled. But at least one thing – if you are just successful with one thing, you can call it a major success because believe it or not most people fail miserably with most of their resolutions!
Gyms are empty – come March, and people have started smoking again, and drinking on a weekly basis or even a few times a week, which is even worse, right? And all the plans basically have gone down the drain. So, I wish you at least to fulfill one of your dreams in this New Year!
My last article for English Harmony was about when you can and can’t omit relative pronouns such as “who” and “that” from sentences. What we concluded is that you can omit the pronoun when it acts as an object, as in the sentence below:
The dog (that) Mary is petting has brown fur. (The relative pronoun “that” is optional here.)
But you cannot omit the pronoun when it acts as a subject, as in this sentence:
The dog that is eating a biscuit has brown fur.
However, astute reader Juhapekka pointed out that in examples like the above sentence, you can’t omit only the pronoun, but you can omit the pronoun plus the form of “to be” (in this case, “is”):
The dog eating a biscuit has brown fur. (This is a well-formed sentence!)
This introduces an entirely new topic in English grammar called clause-to-phrase reduction. This article will explore clause-to-phrase reduction, explain how and why it happens, and hopefully make the mysterious world of English grammar a little bit less confusing.
Hello guys and welcome back to the English Harmony video blog!
Obviously, I’m Robby and I don’t even know why I’m saying this every time I start a new video. It’s just one of those things I say, “Welcome back to my video blog and I am Robby.” Obviously, all of you who have been following my blog will know that I am Robby.
Who else could I be?
But, it’s just that on the off chance that there’s someone new to my blog and to the whole English Harmony thing who might be watching this video and they don’t know what my name is, I’m greeting you guys by letting you know my name – Robby Kukurs. Write it down.
Bookmark my website – EnglishHarmony.com – because it’s one of the best resources out there for those foreign English speakers who want to improve spoken English fluency, right?
So, anyway, today’s video is about whether – what was the question? It was a question asked by one of my blog visitors I’m pretty sure because that’s where I gain most of the inspiration for creating new videos and articles. And these days, people asking me questions – whether it was an email or a comment, I’m not really sure, but it’s irrelevant anyway. I remember now.
The question was:
“How successful can I expect my fluency improving attempts to be provided that I’m 34 years old or something like that, something along those lines, 34 or 35, basically mid-30’s”.
All my blog readers and followers, all who’ve been following my video blog and also enjoying my articles I publish here on English Harmony as well as my haters – basically everyone who knows me as the English fluency mentor Robby – I’m wishing you a really Happy Christmas!
Let’s find some time to reflect on our lives during this quiet Christmas time and most importantly – let’s find something GOOD to hold onto because it’s all too easy to be brought down by all the bad news that we’re being bombarded with every day of the week.
So, let’s enjoy the festivities and have a really nice time!
I, for example, enjoyed plenty of nice food on the Christmas Eve surrounded by my family and then watched 4 movies late into the night and I tried not to think about all the duties and responsibilities awaiting for me the following day.
And what was your Christmas Eve like?
Please share your experiences with me by leaving a comment below!
Here’s the deal – if YOU suggest a GREAT topic for me to cover on my blog in 2015, you’ll automatically enter a draw for a chance to win one of 3 FREE copies of the English Harmony System – and I’ll do the draw LIVE in front of a camera.
In order to do it, you have to post your suggestion in the COMMENTS SECTION BELOW this article – as soon as you do it, I’ll write your name on a piece of paper and enter into the draw box!
But in case you already own the English Harmony System, here’s the kicker – I’ll give you a 30 minutes FREE FluencyStar chat session so either way you’re going to be a winner
So, how does that sound?
Now, the topic you would suggest me to write about next year has to be related to English FLUENCY developmentand please bear in mind it’s NOT about me answering SIMPLE English grammar related questions.
As you may already know, the English Harmony project is centered around English fluency issues and grammar comes second, so here’s a great example of a very valid question which I could make into a full-blown article or a video:
Robby, I’ve bought plenty of English grammar books and I’ve become quite good at filling gaps into the exercises. When I’m trying to speak however, I’m not so good at it, so could you please write about how to use various English textbooks such as the Cambridge series in order to develop the ability to speak fluently?
So, as you can see, the person asking this question is facing a specific issue – they have plenty of English textbooks and they want to know how to use them best in order to develop ability to speak more fluently.
So for as long as your question is about anything English fluency related – speech anxiety happening for no apparent reason, inability to speak at a particular event, difficulties speaking at work, struggling to memorize new English vocabulary, finding it difficult to respond to people’s questions – you get the drift! – your question is going to be considered a contender for the draw.
Now, you can also ask SPECIFIC English grammar questions for as long as the fluency aspect is concerned – such as:
I’m finding it difficult to use the Past Perfect Tense in my speech, so maybe it’s best not to use it and just stick with the Simple Past? If I try to use the Past Perfect Tense, I just can’t speak fluently because I’m thinking too much!
But please don’t ask simple grammar questions such as “How to use the word “to be” in English?” because – just like I already said – my blog’s main focus is on the fluency aspect and that’s the way I’d like to keep it!
So, what are you waiting for?
Publish your suggestion for an article or a video for me to cover in 2015 in the comments section below, and you’ll automatically enter the draw!
I’m Robby from Ireland and I’m a foreign English speaker. Just a few years ago I couldn't speak English fluently despite being able to write, read and understand very well. Yes, sometimes I would speak quite well, but it always followed by terrible drops in fluency which were driving me mad! Would you like to find out how I dealt with this English fluency issue and how you can deal with it, too? Then read my life story here!