English Idiomatic Expression: “Run the Risk of…”

If you’ve been ignoring the power of English idiomatic expressions, you’re running the risk of not being able to express yourself in a native-like way! Today’s expression is “to run the risk of”, and I’m sure you noticed that I used this phrase in the previous sentence, didn’t you? ;-) When you learn this idiomatic expression, don’t try to analyze it too much, don’t try to make mental notes of this phrase being yet another one of those featuring the verb ‘to run’ (similar to “to run off” or “to run out of something”) and definitely don’t try to put all those idiomatic expressions containing the verb ‘to run’ under the same category! If you’re anything serious about your English fluency, you must look at every new phrase and expression individually, so this one – “to run the risk of” – is ONLY EVER to associate with words that it would go with in a natural conversation: (more…)

Others Don’t Judge Your English as Much as You Do!

In this video episode I’m looking at how differently you perceive your own bad English fluency days from others – your conversation partners and just about anybody coming in contact with you! You see – the thing is that we’re experiencing constant feedback between our mouth and our brain and that’s why we’re so acutely aware of our speech imperfections. A passive observer, on the other hand, might skip most or even all of your grammar mistakes or any other shortcomings of your spoken English performance. You can rest assured that people have their own problems to worry about, so most of your mistakes might actually pass unnoticed. So if you’re often freaking out over your spoken English performance, please watch the video above and you may just realize that you can find great comfort in the fact that most of your confidence related issues are obvious only to yourself! ;-) Chat soon, Robby

English Idiomatic Expression: “Here’s the thing”

Today’s English idiomatic expression is “Here’s the thing”, and it’s a great way of starting a conversation or approaching someone! It’s especially handy in situations when you’re unsure of how to ask for a favor or say something that the other person mightn’t like to hear. Also, you can use this sentence starter when you’re opposing the other person’s opinion, and to hear how exactly it’s done – please watch the video above where I’m providing sample sentences starting with the phrase “Here’s the thing”! This idiomatic expression is another one of those you won’t probably find in many idiom lists; however, it doesn’t make it less useful. In fact, I think it’s as useful and practical as any typical idiom – such as “At the end of the day”, for example – and just because you can easily guess its meaning doesn't make it less efficient. There are actually plenty of simple expressions containing the word ‘thing’, and you can read this article where I have them listed to see for yourself how much can be said using such simple words! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Such and similar”

English Idiomatic Expression & Phrasal Verb: “To Get Across”

Did you know that English phrasal verbs are also idiomatic expressions? It’s not commonly accepted knowledge, yet in reality any phrasal verb – ‘to bring about’, ‘to carry over’, ‘to calm down’ and thousands of others – possess the main characteristic of idiomatic expressions: You can’t replace a word within the phrasal verb without losing its meaning! Let’s take today’s phrasal verb – ‘to get across’. It means ‘to communicate successfully’ and it’s a very short and handy way to describe a successfully communicated message (or lack of thereof): “Sometimes even native speakers struggle to get the message across if they speak with different accents.” Remember I told you that you can’t replace a word within the phrasal verb without losing its meaning? Now, imagine that you’ve forgotten what words this particular phrasal verb consists of, and you only have a vague recollection of it. You remember the ‘across’ part, but you’re not sure of the first word. You’re trying to get it right, however, so you’re saying – “I don’t think Sarah made the message across during the meeting, everyone was looking just as confused as I was!” Don’t get me wrong (‘to get wrong’ is also a phrasal verb, by the way!), I’m not saying you shouldn’t be trying to say things you’re not 100% sure of. (more…)

Do You Get Intimidated by Eloquent English Speakers? You Shouldn’t!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Down the line”

We never know what’s going to happen down the line – isn’t that right my friends? But let’s not get too pessimistic – after all, it’s time to learn another English idiomatic expression, and I actually just used today’s phrase – “down the line”! ;-) This English idiom is quite simple, and it’s just another way of saying “in the future”. Are you wondering then what’s the difference between the two phrases? Are you asking the question – “Why use ‘down the line’ if I can simply say ‘in the future’?” I warmly suggest you stop asking questions like the ones I just mentioned! They’re not going to avail you of anything apart from only getting you more confused. So please read this blog post I wrote a short while ago about the bad effects of too much question asking and analysing. So, just repeat and memorize today’s phrase “down the line” and watch the video above to see how it’s used in real life so that you can start using it in your daily English conversations! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

English Idiomatic Expression: “I would have thought…”

Are you often analyzing spoken English phrases and expressions and asking questions such as: “Why do they say it like that?” If you are, then you’ll definitely ask the very same question upon finding out what today’s English idiomatic expression is! So, here you go – “I would have thought”. Now, are you wondering why it’s “I would have thought” instead of “I would think” or simply “I thought”? STOP DOING IT! Just the very fact that native English speakers use such a phrase is sufficient enough to justify its very existence. As far as we’re concerned, that’s how they say it, and that’s all there is to it! So, if you want to sound like a native English speaker, use the idiomatic expression “I would have thought” whenever you find out that something is quite the opposite to what you believed. As for more sample sentences involving this phrase – please watch the video above and let me know what you think about it! ;-) Chat soon, Robby

English Idiomatic Expression: It’s not that… it’s just that…

Today’s idiomatic expression rather falls under the category of typical English speech patterns because it consists of two parts - “It’s not that… it’s just that…” – and provides a blueprint for the whole sentence! It’s funny, but I haven’t heard this concept of typical English speech patterns anywhere else so I’d like to claim full copyright for coining this term and also using it. It’s a joke, of course, but on a serious note - ...it’s very important to learn such and similar speech patterns because that’s how you become capable of speaking without much thinking about HOW you’re going to wrap up your thoughts :!: When you do some research on English sentence structures, all info is centered around syntax - simple sentences, compound sentences and so on. Does that type of information help us to speak more fluently? Nope! All it does is facilities our analytic facility which is in fact detrimental to our oral fluency! Don’t believe it? Please read this blog post where I’m clearly illustrating what happens in a foreigner’s mind when they’re overwhelmed by analyzing everything they want to say which is a direct result of extensive grammar studies! The phrase “It’s not that… it’s just that…”, on the other hand, provides a very practical blueprint for a sentence, and all you need to do is fill in blanks with the respective concepts and words (collocations and expressions, of course, also come in handy to help you with that!). You don’t need to categorize it, you don’t need to analyze it. Just take it for what it is – a natural English speech pattern that can be memorized and used in your daily English conversations! ;-) Chat soon, Robby

English Idiomatic Expression: “You may want to…”