How English Idiomatic Expressions Helped Me Deal With a REALLY Stressful Conversation
I’d been mentally preparing myself for the upcoming conversation for DAYS. I’d gone through all the things I was going to say to my boss all over and over again. I’d wanted to talk to him on multiple occasions yet I just couldn’t pluck up the courage to do it and I just kept talking myself out of it (now it’s not the right time… now I’m too busy…) When I finally got around to talking to him, it all happened kind of suddenly and I had actually forgotten every little detail I wanted to talk about. Sure enough, I knew what I wanted to ask, but I hadn’t gone through the more detailed plan of the upcoming conversation which I’d worked out previously. So, when I stood right in front of him asking if he’s five minutes to spare, the stress levels in my body were hitting all-time heights! My heart was palpitating. Adrenaline was being pumped through my veins at an accelerated rate. Needless to say, I found it quite hard to start the conversation because the stress levels were most definitely affecting my ability to say what I wanted to say in English! Luckily my chat with the boss didn’t turn out to be a total failure because I’ve been learning hundreds upon hundreds of English idiomatic expressions over the years, and the accumulative effect of such practice is such that it enables you to speak in English automatically and without much thinking (the English Harmony System works based on the same principles, by the way!). Here’s how English idiomatic expressions helped me conduct the conversation in a fairly normal way: (more…)
Why When We Stress Out Our Fluency Deteriorates?
Here’s a typical question I get asked by my blog readers and customers all the time: “When I speak with other English speakers, I always get embarrassed, and then I start stressing out, and then I just can’t speak anymore. Why is it happening?” Why? Well, the answer is in the very question you’re asking! You’re STRESSED OUT, and that’s why you can’t speak fluently anymore! That’s it, my friend – stress is the single biggest reason affecting your fluency (and that of hundreds of thousands of other foreign English speakers worldwide!). It’s the STRESS that makes you do all the following: Hesitate, Make stupid mistakes, Get stuck for words, Lose the thread of your thoughts… ... while at the same time you’re being fully aware of the fact that if you’re not in stressful situations, your spoken English level is fairly good. Why is it that stress affects our English fluency big time? Well, read this article and you’ll found out just that – and much more! :grin: (more…)
New English DIY Terms I Learned This Summer While Redecorating My New House
To tell you the truth, my friends, this has been the busiest summer I’ve ever had in my life so far! I’ve been spending days in my 9 to 5 job, and my evenings and weekends were spent on redecorating my new house. And I’ve got to tell you – it was one hell of a job! Even though professionals got hired to do most of the heavy lifting, there was still a lot for me to do. And don’t get me wrong; the job isn’t anywhere near finished. Right now I’m sitting in my office staring out the window with no curtains and running my laptop on a battery because the socket hasn’t been connected to the mains yet! Anyhow, throughout all the stress and hardship I had to go through while dealing with the plumber, electrician, window repair men and a bunch of other folks, I’ve learned a thing or two about DIY and related stuff. Here’s a list of new English DIY related phrases and terms I’ve learned this summer while redecorating my house, and who knows – maybe you’ll find some of them handy when engaged in similar activities! (more…)
10 Reasons Why English Is The World’s Language
Have You Ever Thought About Your MOUTH As a MUSCLE?
How many years have you been working on your English? Two? Five? Ten? Guess what – I’ve been receiving e-mails from folks having been trying to achieve English fluency for TWENTY YEARS to no avail :!: And I can see exactly why it’s happening – the heck, years ago I was among those struggling English speakers myself! – it’s because most foreign English speakers don’t perceive their mouth as a muscle. Are you confused? What I mean by saying – perceive their mouth as a muscle? Well, it’s EXACTLY what I mean – your mouth for you as a foreign English speaker is just like muscles for a bodybuilder or just about any other athlete or indeed for any person on this planet who’s using their body to move their arms and legs to lift things and move around. You’re using your mouth to produce English words, phrases and sentences in order to communicate with other English speakers, and there’s actual body movement involved in every step of the way – your lips, tongue, jaws and a whole array of facial muscles are actively involved to help you with the task! (more…)
YearOfEnglish.com: Create a Habit of Thinking of How Certain Things Might be Called in English!
Why Learning Long English Phrases Is MORE Beneficial to Your Fluency!
I get this question asked quite often: Sometimes a single English word might have up to 20 different meanings; how do I know which one to learn? My answer is always the same: Never learn meanings of individual words; ALWAYS learn them in context! Let’s say for instance, you’ve come across a new word VIGOR. Here’s what TheFreeDictionary.com returns when you do a lookup on the word VIGOR: Physical or mental strength, energy, or force. The capacity for natural growth and survival, as of plants or animals. Strong feeling; enthusiasm or intensity. Legal effectiveness or validity. Now, try and learn this entire list, I and guarantee you won’t be able to use the word VIGOR in your English conversations! Why? It’s simple enough – if you learn these abstract descriptions, you won’t create any associations in your brain between the new word VIGOR and other English words you know. Human brain works based on associated content, and all you have to do in order to be able to use the new word VIGOR is learn a word combination RENEWED VIGOR, for example. RENEWED VIGOR = renewed energy – that’s all you have to learn in order to start using the new English word without ANY advance planning as to what and how you’re going to say this or that particular thing! Here’s another question that might quite naturally arise: How do I know what other words the new word goes together with? Well, I have an answer prepared for this one as well – simply use Google (read this article on how it’s done for the best results). But here’s the million dollar question: How do I know how LONG the phrase has to be? Is two words enough? Or maybe I have to learn a whole sentence? I just found this one on Google - COME BACK WITH RENEWED VIGOR – should I learn the entire sentence? Now, it’s worth looking into the subject a bit deeper so read the rest of this article to find out the ideal length of English phrases you’re learning! (more…)
Story About Not Being Able to Speak in English in the Morning and Speaking 100% FLUENTLY in the Afternoon!
My Phone-call to Airline Support & All the Embarrassing Experiences
Tip for YearOfEnglish.com Subscribers: Learn English Song Lyrics!
Let’s face it my friends: Songs performed in English are topping the charts all over the globe, and even if you’re a fan of music performed in your native language, you surely listen to popular songs or some classic hits every now and then, don’t you? If you’re anything like the average foreigner out there, I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you normally don’t pay attention to English song lyrics; you just allow the music wash over your ears and touch you emotionally rather than with the actual meaning of words. To tell you the truth, my friends, I don’t even pay conscious attention to words when I listen to songs performed by my fellow country-men (or women for that matter!), and sometimes it’s next to impossible to decipher those lyrics regardless of the language! :grin: If you do learn lyrics of your most beloved English songs, however, you will most definitely avail of all the following: (more…)
4 Reasons Why You Can’t Compare the Average Foreign English Speaker With a Small Child in a Native Speaking Family
The English language teaching industry is awash with children vs adult comparisons. Statements such as: “Learn the English language just like babies do – simply listen, and let all the language sink in…” or “Small children are best at learning the English language, their brain is like a sponge! We adults don’t stand a chance…” are so commonplace that we tend to take them for face value and we don’t question them at all. Here at English Harmony I question all mainstream standards and practices, and more often than not I’ve found them to be totally wrong. I figured out a long time ago that you don’t need anywhere near as much focus on grammar as they’ll make you believe in any academic English teaching institution. I learned it the hard way that learning new English words via my native language – which is a typical industry standard – is actually bad for my English fluency because it creates a lot of unnatural vocabulary associations in my brain. And it took me a long, long time to define my personal problem – inability to SPEAK in English FLUENTLY – for the simple reason that no-one had ever said it to me during my English language studies at primary, secondary and college level which were 99% focused on developing my ability to read and write! Today I’m taking on another myth: “In order to learn the English language, we need to look at small kids in native English speaking families and copy what they do.” I say: “DON’T copy what little children do because you’re not comparing like with like!” (more…)
How Using Hand Gestures & Facial Expressions Helps You Speak Better English!
Funny English Phrases: Sports Related Idioms
Hello my dear fellow foreign English speaker from YearOfEnglish.com! I’m back again with yet another funny English phrase video, and in this particular installment I’ve done a role play around sports-related conversations people would normally have when discussing last night’s game or while watching a live baseball or football match. You might and you might not be a sporty person, but whichever is the case, some of these sports-related English idioms will definitely come in handy for you at some stage in life. Especially considering the fact that many of those idioms can be used in figurative speech to describe completely different concepts – it doesn’t necessarily have to be sports :!: Want to see it for yourself? Then watch the video above, and you can also refer to its transcript below: (more…)
Fluency Gym Coach Goal #1 Complete: 50 American Phrases Acquired!
FGC Goal #1: Learning American Phrases 39 – 50 using the English Harmony Method
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! I’m nearing the end of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission, and it’s been one hell of a ride :!: I’ve been recording videos day in, day out. I’ve been getting up at 5:40 AM so that I can record my morning video and publish it on Easy Idioms blog before I have to leave home for work. It’s been hard work, but at the same time I’ve also been improving my fluency and pronunciation (the evening videos got published on Accent Adventure blog where I’m working on my American pronunciation) and I don’t regret a single second of this mission! Today’s video, however, is different in that it’s created around the same concepts used in the English Harmony System, namely – spaced repetition and contextual speech pattern acquisition. Basically you can watch the video above and see me being engaged in English speech exercising in order to acquire the last 12 American English phrases/collocations/expressions: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 25 – 38 in a Self-Practice Session
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #37: YOU GUYS HEAR ABOUT?
FGC Goal #1: American Grammar Construct #35: COME + VERB
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Five days ago I learned an American English grammar construct whereby you use the verb GO followed directly by another verb. Today I’m learning how to use another English verb in a similar fashion; it’s the verb to COME, to be more specific, Here’s an example: COME SEE ME at 2:00 PM sharp, I’ll be waiting for you at the shopping mall car park exit! What’s so special about the phrase COME SEE ME? Well, before I came across this particular grammar construct in one of the GONE series books, I would have said “Come AND see me at…” It’s not that it would make a massive difference in the message that’s being communicated to the other person; it’s just that native English speakers omit any words in between COME and the verb that follows it in conversational English, and you’ll sound just that little bit more native-like if you adopt the same speech pattern! Other sample sentences where this grammar construct is used: (more…)
YearOfEnglish.com: 3 Reasons Why Enjoying Your Hobbies Through English is The BEST Thing You Can Do To Your FLUENCY!
I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you’ve had moments when you’ve lost motivation to keep improving your English and working on your fluency. Vocabulary and phraseology acquisition. Spoken English practice sessions. Reading and listening comprehension. All is nice and well up until the moment when you just get bored for the simple reason that you don’t see relevance of all those activities in your personal life! Let’s say for argument’s sake, you’re a fitness fanatic and you live and breathe all things fitness. You go to the local gym every day, and you’re very conscious when it comes to your nutrition and lifestyle. Now, if that’s the case, then you spend pretty much your entire free time being engaged in fitness related activities, and while you may have a dream of achieving English fluency for professional reasons, you kind of find it hard to dedicate enough time to English improvement related activities. But guess what? The biggest problem is the following: You’ve separated your fitness life and English fluency improvement and you perceive them as two different aspects of your life! No wonder you find it hard to motivate yourself to engage in a lot of English practice if you’d rather hit the gym one more time instead of learning another couple of English phrases and doing some spoken English practice… Solution? Combine the two: YOUR HOBBY and YOUR ENGLISH IMPROVEMENT ROUTINE! And here are the three main reasons why combining your hobbies and interests with learning and improving the English language is SUPER-BENEFICIAL to your fluency! (more…)
GONE Series Finished: What I’ve Gained From Reading It
FGC Goal #1: American Idiom #33: AT LOOSE ENDS
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Have you ever been AT LOOSE ENDS? Not sure what it means? Well, no wonder you find it impossible to guess the meaning of this phrase; it’s a typical English idiom and you simply have to know what it means in order to understand the meaning of it! Still, it’s quite easy to infer the meaning of any idiomatic expression from context alone, and now I want you to give it a shot. Have you ever been unable to find your place after a break-up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend? That’s when most people find themselves AT LOOSE ENDS, and that’s when it’s of the utmost importance to engage in some other activities to take your mind off the problem at hand! Now, have you got a general idea of what the idiom AT LOOSE ENDS might mean? Are you still not sure? Then here’s another example. (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Slang #31: YOU THINK YOU’RE SUCH A BIG DEAL?
FGC Goal #1: American Slang #28 GO SEE/WATCH/DO SOMETHING…
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning my friends! ;-) Did you know, by the way, that it’s totally fine to omit the word AND when saying things like: I’ll go AND check on my sister to make sure everything’s OK. I had to go AND watch a movie with an old friend of mine even though I didn’t like it! Let’s go AND see what food we can round up! Yes, in conversational English it’s 100% fine to omit the word AND so the above sentences become: I’ll GO CHECK on my sister… I had to GO WATCH a movie… Let’s GO SEE what food… (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 13 – 24 in a Self-Practice Session
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends foreign English speakers on this wonderful Sunday evening! How’s your week been? I’ve been pretty busy learning new American English phrases, idiomatic expressions and slang words which is all part of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission, and here’s the list of phrases I’ve acquired during the last six days: RUNNING JOKE IT STANDS TO REASON I PLAIN HATE/LOVE/LIKE IT I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH… TO SHIRK WORK See What We Can ROUND UP TELLTALE SIGN TO HAVE A SHORT SHELF LIFE FOR MY MONEY FOR ALL I KNOW, IT MIGHT WELL BE… BUSTING ON SOMEONE TO BE HOGGING SOMETHING (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #23: BUSTING ON SOMEONE
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning everyone! :grin: Today I’m participating in a 10K run which takes place on the Curragh, in Ireland (and it’s only within five minutes driving distance from my home so it’s quite handy to get there!), but it doesn’t deter me from learning new American English phrases and recording videos while I’m preparing for the run mentally! It only stands to reason that if one wants something badly, one will do everything within one’s power to achieve that goal, and in my particular case I just HAVE TO record two videos a day no matter what happens! I also have to ignore negative attitude shown by others while I’m going about my daily business if I want to stay focused on my goals, and even if someone starts BUSTING ON ME, I simply have to let it go. It’s not always easy – especially if they’re being really mean (BUSTING ON SOMEONE might carry different connotations depending on context – there’s friendly busting and there’s also quite aggressive busting), but it’s a concept I have to embrace if I’m really serious about my English fluency development. I’ve no time for other people’s petty grievances; I’d rather stay focused on my goals and as far as today is concerned, there are quite a few things on my schedule: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Idiom #21: FOR MY MONEY
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #19: TELLTALE SIGN
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hi guys! This morning I’m bringing you a new American English phrase – TELLTALE SIGN. Have you not heard this one before? Well, I hadn’t come across it either until one fine day I encountered it while reading one of the GONE series books and decided to add it onto the fifty American phrases I’m learning as part of this Fluency Gym Coach Program goal! So, what is a TELLTALE SIGN? Well, this time around I’m not going to reveal a single bit of information to you in writing; you’ll have to watch the video above to find out what a TELLTALE SIGN is! Am I being mean? :-( Well, maybe, but then again, why couldn’t this blog post be different in that you simply HAVE to watch the video to find out the meaning of the phrase? Robby :grin:
FGC Goal #1: American Phrasal Verb #18: See What We Can ROUND UP
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #16: I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH…
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning boys and girls! When was the last time you’ve HAD A RUN-IN WITH someone? Do you like HAVING RUN-INS WITH people? Personally I prefer to resolve all differences in a peaceful and diplomatic manner, but it’s simply our human nature to HAVE RUN-INS WITH other people from time to time. Now, I’m pretty sure that you got the meaning of today’s American English expression, but in case you still have some doubts – please watch the video above where I’m discussing my sixteenth American phrase I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH and how it’s used in real-life English conversations! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
FGC Goal #1: American Idiomatic Expression #14: IT STANDS TO REASON
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 1 – 12 in a Self-Practice Session
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #11: GOT A THING FOR
Good morning my fellow foreign English speakers! :-) Today I got up a bit later – despite the fact that I’ve really GOT A THING FOR early mornings! Could it have anything to do with the fact that I attended a party last night and went to bed at around 2:00 AM? :grin: On pretty much any other day of the week, however, I’d be up and going by 6:00 AM for the simple reason that I love getting a lot of things done in the early morning hours while everyone else is still fast asleep! So, I’ve GOT A THING FOR early mornings. And, speaking of the opposite sex, I have to admit that I’ve GOT A THING FOR high cheekbones (in case you don’t know what it is – just do a Google search!) But what have you GOT A THING FOR? There’s no way, my friend, that you don’t have a thing for anything! It’s just human nature to be drawn to specific things or to be attracted to certain characteristics and features of members of the opposite sex, or indeed – to be attracted to a particular girl or a boy in which case you’d say the following: (more…)