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Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It’s me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Now, in today’s video I’m going to give you two new English idiomatic expressions which is somewhat unusual because normally I’d be giving just one.

The reason being, if you learn a number of expressions all at once, especially if they describe a very similar concept, oftentimes you would get confused when we learn them all at once and then we try to speak all those expressions would mix together kind of.

So that’s why I normally suggest only focusing on one particular expression at a given time.

But in this particular case the topic that I want to touch upon today is discussing past events, all right? The reason being, a lot of my blog visitors have contacted me in the past asking me “Robby, can you tell me ways of simplifying my speech when I talk about past events because I oftentimes get confused about using the different tenses or whatever?”

And on top of that, a lot of my Fluency Star coaching clients have also expressed the same wish that we incorporate some storytelling basically into our programs. And by saying storytelling don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about some old style storytelling whereby the storyteller gets in front of the crowd and entertains everyone by telling entertaining stories. It’s not about that. It’s just about talk about past events, right?

So basically provided all this I have a pretty clear picture basically. A lot of you guys are struggling with talking about past events and that’s exactly the reason why I’m going to be touching upon that subject today.

And the two phrases will come in very handy because the first one “there was this time when…” is a great way of initiating the story, right? And then the phrase “next thing I know…” is a very handy way of making the transition from the past tenses into the simple present.

The reason being, you can use simple present when talking about past events. Surprise, surprise, a lot of you guys probably didn’t know that, right? And chances are that you didn’t because nobody really tells you that. You wouldn’t find that information in an English grammar book. Nobody would write in it that simple present can be used to talk about past events, right? But in reality it happens a lot. Native English speakers use this strategy a lot but nobody – I suppose nobody really thinks a great deal of it. You know what I mean, people just speak that way, okay?

But if you want to learn exactly how to use these two phrases “there was this time when…” and “next thing I know…” and how to make the transition from past tenses back to simple present to simplify your speech and get your story going, please bear with me and you’ll find it all out, my friends in a couple of moments!

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Essay writing tools for non-native English speakers

If you are an international student, attending college or university in the English-speaking country, you might know that this language can be quite tricky. The necessity to write your papers and communicate with peers in the Shakespeare’s language is something you have to face over and over again. However, even if you make mistakes on your way – it’s natural to feel uneasy and lose your self-confidence. But remember, dear non-English speakers, there is no result without mistakes!

Below we have gathered some tips and tools to help you improve your English academic writing skills. Hopefully, this links will come in handy!

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Is it normal to forget English phraseology

Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself!

Improve Spoken English

Has it ever crossed your mind that there’s certain English phrases you’ve stopped using?

Here’s what made me realize it – when I check back my older blog articles and videos, I come across certain means of expression I don’t really use these days!

For instance, when I watch my videos recorded back in 2011, I notice that back then I was using the phrasal verb COME ALONG quite often, and come to think of it, these days I don’t really use it anymore!

Here’s another example – when I was updating my Fluency Star website, I read a sentence I’d written a couple of years ago: “… students OUGHT TO be punished…” and it immediately made me remember the TV show Mythbusters where Jamie was using this English auxiliary verb quite often, and I’d picked up that habit from him.

Nowadays I don’t really watch Mythbusters anymore, and as a consequence I’ve actually stopped using OUGHT TO in my own English writing and conversations!

Now, quite naturally it might beg the question – is this a worrying trend?

Should I be concerned that I don’t use certain English means of expression anymore?

Is that indicative of worsening English skills?

Or maybe it means I have some sort of a memory problem and I should get checked out for an early-onset Alzheimer’s? 😉

Well, it’s not all that bad, my friends! I’m not developing dementia any time soon, and neither are you – forgetting certain English means of expression is totally normal, so please read this article to find out why it happens!

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Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Improve Spoken English

Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog!

I’m obviously Robby, your English fluency facilitator. Yes, that’s the term that I came up with myself, facilitator means obviously someone who facilitates your fluency. I’m not a teacher, because I really hate the term teacher. It kind of implies a traditional setting whereby the teacher is looking down on their students, right? But I’m not looking down on you guys, I’m just merely facilitating your fluency and improvement!

I’m accompanying you on your journey to English fluency, that’s all I’m doing, I’m giving you the right advice, the right tools and then it’s up to you guys to decide whether you take my advice on board and take some action or you don’t in which case obviously your fluency won’t improve. It’s as simple as that!

As a matter of fact, I’m getting plenty of questions almost on a daily basis asking me to help people with their fluency. And the question is posed in a way that makes me kind of wonder whether that person actually realizes that it’s actually down to them to make all the effort, do the hard work and actually work on their fluency because they almost expect me to kind of magically transfer all my skills unto them but it just doesn’t happen like that in real life.

And it’s another one of those things that I blame the traditional English teaching industry for – basically they’ve created this notion out there that if you just attend an English class, you will improve just because you have attended the class. The teacher has all the qualifications and it’s enough to have that kind of setting and you will automatically improve. So it kind of takes away all the hard work and effort that you have to do. And it makes it look as if it’s very easy but in real life it’s quite hard, right? It’s hard work.

But a lot of people don’t realize that and they think that Robby will somehow make them fluent which is not the case. I’m merely facilitating your own journey to fluency. I’m giving you the right advice, the right tips and tricks, so that’s how it happens, right?

But anyway, today’s video is all about how I find all these English idiomatic expressions and collocations and phrases, you name it. How I come up with them. Because I’ve been cranking out all of these idiomatic expression videos – well, lately I haven’t published too many of them because of my high workload, I’m currently engaged with a couple of students that I took on. My Fluency Star students and I still had a few left from the previous round.

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Can we use base form verb as adjective in English

Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself!

Improve Spoken English

It was almost 5 years ago when I published an article about using past participles as adjectives – a typical example of that would be the following statement “the job is done”.

Prior to that I was constantly struggling to wrap my head around that concept, the reason being – I couldn’t figure out why there’s two ways of saying the same thing – “the job is done” and “the job has been done”.

Initially I just presumed “the job is done” is just a conversational version of “the job has been done”, but soon enough I realized that when you say “the job is done”, you simply use the word “done” as an adjective! It’s pretty much the same way you can say “good job”, but you just use the linking verb “is” to express the idea – “the job is good.”

Today’s topic is somewhat similar in that the role of an adjective isn’t only limited to a past participle form of a verb, it can be the very base form of the verb itself!

Just like you read in the title of this article, the word “roast” (it’s the base form of the verb “to roast”) can be used instead of the past participle “roasted” to describe the roasted nature of the chicken, thus “roast chicken” is a totally valid English collocation.

Hell, collocations such as “roast chicken” and “roast potatoes” are even MORE popular among native English speakers than “roasted chicken” or “roasted potatoes” which may be very confusing to a lot of foreign English speakers!

I mean – once you’ve gotten used to the traditional way of describing nouns by using the past participle:

  • Cancelled concert
  • Forgotten purse
  • Lost child

… you may think that this rule applies in all situations, so when you come across a collocation such as “open book”, you may get totally confused…

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Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Improve Spoken English

Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog. Now, in today’s video I’m going to tell you about the fact that sometimes what we say to the other person or in my case what I write on my blog or I talk about in my videos sometimes it can be perceived differently, right?

Basically I mean it in one way but the other person or a group of people perceive the message the wrong way. Maybe it’s because of the way I communicate the message or sometimes it just happens, you know.

Miscommunication just happens despite your best efforts to make sure that the message is sent out very straightforward and clear and despite the fact that you’re trying to get rid of all the ambiguity it just happens sometimes, right?

And what exactly I’m talking about here in this video is the fact that sometimes I talk about grammar and how it’s not really necessary, right? But at the same time I’ve always emphasize the fact that you have to self-correct that any intelligent person would not just try and get away with speaking grammatically incorrectly, they would try and to self-correct and over time as you keep correcting yourself – and you may want to click on this link to read more about the self-correction.

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Native speakers don't use English Future Perfect!

Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself!

Improve Spoken English

If you’re a really diligent English student and you’re into the advanced English grammar stuff, chances are that you’ve learned about the Future Perfect Tenses at some stage and most likely you’ve been using them in your speech.

Just to remind everyone what these Future Perfect Tenses are all about:

  • I WILL HAVE finishED writing this article by the noon.
  • I WILL HAVE BEEN livING in Ireland for 14 years this August.

The first sample sentence represents the Future Perfect Tense which is formed by using WILL HAVE and the verb adopts the Past Participle form -ED, and the second one is the Future Perfect Progressive Tense where you have to use WILL HAVE BEEN and the verb changes to the Present Participle form -ING.

So far, so good, right?

Well, not really.

In theory, this is how these grammar tenses are formed, and the English grammar book will tell you to use them in situations when you refer to a particular event or an ongoing action that’s going to be finished at some stage in the future.

Except that these tenses aren’t actually used in real life!

If you take a closer look at the previous paragraph where I’m describing the purpose of the Future Perfect Tenses, you’ll notice that I’m not actually using Future Perfect. I’m not saying – “… action that WILL HAVE BEEN finished..”

Instead, I’m opting for something much simpler, something that most native English speakers would go for – “… action that’s GONNA BE finished…”!

Now, am I saying that these Future Perfect Tenses are NEVER used? Am I saying that you shouldn’t bother with them AT ALL?

Well…

YES! That’s exactly what I’m getting at, my friend foreign English speaker!

You should avoid using these Future Perfect Tenses at all costs because it will:

  • Make your English speech sound unnatural,
  • Confuse you when you’re speaking,
  • Prevent you from fitting in with native English speakers!

So, would you like to learn how to avoid using Future Perfect and what to use instead?

Well, just keep reading this article, my friends, and I’m going to reveal my best-kept secrets to you!

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Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Improve Spoken English

Video Transcript Below:

Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog!

Today is Saturday and I’m having my Saturday afternoon decaffeinated coffee here. You know, this is actually the second cup of real coffee. Well, in this case it’s actually not a cup, it’s a proper mug, right? A huge mug for that matter. Guinness, right? But I’m not drinking beer, I’m having my second cup of coffee. I just said cup again, right? Second mug of coffee, right? But the fact of the matter is that you wouldn’t be normally saying second mug of coffee, second cup of coffee, that’s an expression. So I would say that I’m not really wrong in saying that this is my second cup of coffee. That’s what people would normally say. That’s how people would understand you best, right?

Anyway, cheers!

And let’s start focusing on the actual matter I want to discuss in today’s video. But just before we get down to business let me just tell you that today I met up with a friend of mine and he’s an Irish fella, right? I’m a Latvian living in Ireland, been living here for 14 years and I have an Irish friend named Will.

And as a matter of fact he is my good luck charm in terms of spoken English fluency. What it actually means is that whenever I meet with him I can give my fluency free reign and I speak just like a native English speaker, right? He is the one person that brings out the best in my fluency, right?

As I go about my daily business, dealing with people in the college and my students and so on, obviously I speak a lot in English with others but this particular person, my former co-worker Will for some reason or another is the one that I can speak with best, right? I’m so familiar with him that I just lose any awareness of the language boundary so to speak.

So you may want to click on this link. And the article in question is called who is your  English good luck charm and it’s all about what a good luck charm person is in terms of spoken  English fluency and that if you find, if you manage to find one then you may want to hold on to them, right?

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Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Hi guys, today I’m bringing you yet another English idiomatic expression, and this time around it’s a super handy sentence starter:

I HEARD SOMEWHERE THAT…

Why am I saying it’s a super handy sentence starter?

Well, the reason behind that is simple enough – it’s a perfect way of starting a conversation with someone about something that you’ve heard somewhere, which is what a lot of conversations are all about!

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you want to tell your work colleague that there’s way more bacteria on the average mobile phone than on a toilet seat.

In theory, nothing could be easier than that, right?

Just open your mouth and tell him about it!

In reality, what a lot of foreign English speakers will struggle with is – HOW TO START THE DAMN SENTENCE!

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Improve Spoken English

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Video Transcript Below:

Hi guys, it’s Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog!

In today’s video we’re going to discuss the correctness of the English language.

And the fact of the matter is that there’s so many things that we say in our English conversations that would be considered as incorrect if we went by the textbook English grammar rules. And if you paid particular attention to the last sentence – I said something incorrectly!

I said “there’s so many things” whereas in reality I should have said “there are so many things” because the noun “things” obviously is in plural in this case so the verb “to be” should have been conjugated to reflect that, I should have said “there are so many things”.

And this is just one of those examples where something that’s incorrect, it has been accepted in the general public and everyone speaks like that and there’s nothing wrong with it.

So it begs the question and as a matter of fact this particular phrase “it begs the question – to beg a question” has also been criticized as being incorrect English, right? In reality we should say “it raises a question”. But this phrase “it begs a question” is also used by everyone. And I would say that it actually makes it correct.

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