English Harmony Highlights of September 2011
Another month has literally flown by so it’s time to look back at what I’ve been blogging about – just in case you didn’t have enough time to read the English improving related articles and videos I’ve been publishing during the last few weeks! So this is yet another monthly synopsis, and the first thing I’d like to recommend to you for reading is an article about smart English phrases. If you’ve been reading my blog previously, you’ll know that I’m not inclined towards using very rich and sophisticated language; I’m rather a proponent of using simpler language that most foreign English speakers would be more comfortable with. Having a few smart English phrases in store, however, won’t do you any harm because there are many occasions when they’ll come in handy. For instance, is there a better phrase than “it puts things in perspective” to describe a situation when something makes you realize the real nature of a particular issue? So if you want to find out how to use such and similar English phrases read this blog post and start using at least a couple of them in your daily English conversations! Another very important article I want you to read is called “How To Hesitate Like A Native English Speaker” and it touches on the subject of filling moments of silence and hesitation when you speak with someone. It might not sound of a particular importance at first, but if you think about it for a while you’ll realize it’s crucial in order to maintain fluent English speech. (more…)
3 Things ANY Foreigner Can Implement To Boost Their English Communication Skills!
Useful Tips on Improving Your English Using Google
2 Dictionary Websites You’ll Ever Need To Improve Your English
I’ve been using the Internet to improve my English for a good number of years, especially when it comes to finding out meaning of new words and figuring out how to use them in context, what other words they collocate with, and what idioms there are containing those words. Sure, you can use Google and other search engines successfully to find relevant information; however, there are two websites that just can’t be beaten in terms of the sheer amount of information they provide when it comes to English vocabulary. Also, they are brilliant when explaining how that vocabulary is used in context, and you have to bear in mind that it is crucial for all foreign English speakers. Learning new English vocabulary out of context – just memorizing separate words – is going to do you little good simply because you won’t know that particular word is used by native English speakers. There’s so much more to speaking fluent English than just sticking separate words together, and these two websites will provide you with countless examples on how new words and expressions are used in the English language. Last but not least, those websites will explain you meaning of new English words through English language using dozens upon dozens of synonyms, and this is also of the utmost importance for us, dear fellow foreign English speakers! Why? It’s quite simple – you should build your English vocabulary ONLY through the English language to prevent you from translating from your native language in your mind which can have a terrible effect on your ability to produce fluent and coherent speech! Well, I guess I’ve piqued your interest with describing how good those websites are, so now let’s look at them so that you can start using them in your English improving routine! (more…)
How To Hesitate Like A Native English Speaker
You may like it or not, but every English speaker – be it native or foreign – is bound to hesitate at some stage during a conversation. While excessive hesitation is a sure sign of an English fluency issue whereby you constantly keep mixing up things in your head while speaking, in moderate amounts it doesn’t indicate any serious fluency problems. It’s just normal that you would pause a little bit when you’re not sure on how to put it in the right words – and I’m not talking about you being unable to choose the right English words here. I’m talking about situations when you’re asked some question that you can’t give a straightforward answer to; or situations when you’re a bit tired or just can’t seem to be able to gather thoughts for some reason. It can also happen when you speak in your native language, so you don’t have to feel as if you’re unable to communicate in English properly just because your brain doesn’t fire on all cylinders on this particular day. Some will probably judge your spoken English skills by those occasions when you hesitate a little bit, but you shouldn’t really mind them or else you risk putting your sanity on the line :!: Anyway, there is something that any foreign English speaker should know about hesitation if they want to sound natural, so read on if you want to find out how to hesitate like a native English speaker! ;-) (more…)
Can You Speak Fluent English Without Learning Idioms?
Get the FREE eBook “How To Stop Struggling With English Writing”!
As you can imagine, I spend quite some time writing blog posts for my website and over the years I’ve become pretty good at it. Well, it’s not that I’m bragging about my writing skills, but the facts are speaking for themselves – I can write a 1600 word article in about two hours. Sure, I would have spent some time planning what to write about and editing and publishing it on my blog would also take some time. Still the writing speed is the most notable improvement I’ve achieved when it comes to my English writing skills – compared to how I was writing 4 – 5 years ago – and I believe I could refer to it as “fluent English writing”. What does it mean in real terms? Well, I think I wouldn’t be exaggerating by claiming I can write as fluently as I can speak; I can just start typing and keep at it until everything I’ve wanted to express has been typed into the word processing software. And this is where we can start looking at the reason why so many foreign English speakers find it difficult to compose a coherent piece of writing. While writing an e-mail to an English speaking friend or a customer at work mightn’t be the biggest problem, bigger tasks such as writing formal letters, essays and short stories may present massive difficulties. You may find yourself sitting in front of a monitor for half an hour having written just one or two sentences, and for some strange reason you just can’t overcome the so called ‘writer’s block’. Is this you? Did you recognize your frustrating behavioral patterns in terms of struggling with English writing after reading the above paragraphs? If so – I’ve something really valuable in store for you! (more…)
How to Give Weight to Your Opinion? Use Smart English Phrases!
Embedded Questions – When Reversing Word Order Isn’t Necessary
Today we’re going to look at a very simple yet often ignored English grammar feature which affects the word order in interrogative sentences, otherwise known as questions - and it's called embedded questions. As we all know, in a question the word order changes, and regardless of what word the sentence begins with – whether it’s an auxiliary verb such as ‘to do’ or one of those ‘wh’ words like ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘when’, or ‘who’ followed by an auxiliary verb – the word order in a question is the following – auxiliary verb followed by the subject and then followed by the main verb in infinitive and then followed by other words. So a statement “You broke the law by trying to help me” becomes “Did you break the law by trying to help me?” when words are re-arranged in a question form. Of course, it’s all common sense, and you’ve probably started wandering why I’m talking about something so simple in this practical English grammar lesson. Well, don’t be so rash, my friends, for here comes the tricky part! (more…)