English Idiomatic Expression: “I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that…”

Hello boys and girls! I’m back with another English idiomatic expression, and I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you’ve been waiting on me to post another one of these videos, isn’t that right? So, today’s English phrase is “I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that”, and I’m sure it’s quite self-explanatory and there are no further explanations needed as to what exactly it means and when you can use it. Just watch the video above to hear what sample sentences I’ve come up with containing this phrase, and make sure you try to replicate what I’m doing in a spoken English practice session of your own! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

English Collocation: “Not so dissimilar from”

Today’s English collocation is quite unique. It’s a double negative ‘NOT so DISsimilar from’, and if you think about it, you’ll realize that ‘it’s quite similar to’ would convey pretty much the same meaning! Having said all this, however, I have to point out that double negations don’t necessary mean the very same thing as their positive statement counterparts. Let’s take, for example, the following two statements: “I’m not stupid” and “I’m smart”. Now, tell me please, do these two mean the very same thing? Well, even though it might seem so at first, in reality the first statement “I’m not stupid” is used in difference circumstances than the second one. You’re most likely to exclaim “I’m not stupid!” if someone treats you like a child and you want to point out that you’re very well capable of handling this or that particular job. “I’m smart” would be used in totally different situations – when you want to brag about something, for example. Same goes with the double negative “not so dissimilar from”. It’s most commonly used when you want to express your surprise at a particular person or thing turning out to be quite different from what you expected it to be in the beginning. (more…)

Funny English Phrases: Driving Related Idioms

Hello all YearOfEnglish.com members and just about anyone else reading this article right now! Today I’m bringing you a bunch of English idiomatic expressions originating from and also directly related to cars, driving and commuting in general. Correct me if I’m wrong, but driving is something we’re all directly connected to in some way, shape or form. If you don’t drive yourself, there’s a very good chance you’re being driven to and from work by some colleague of yours. Even if you commute by public transport, you’re definitely seeing cars on the road performing all different sorts of maneuver, and I’m pretty sure you’ve sometimes wondered how this or that particular driving related activity is called. Now, you have a great opportunity to spice up your English by adding on a few driving related English idioms to your active vocabulary! ;-) Just watch the video above (also repeat everything I say to ingrain those speech patterns into your brain!), read its transcript below, repeat and memorize the highlighted expressions, and don’t forget to do some spoken practice on your own! Remember – in order to learn to USE these phrases in your own conversations, you have to SPEAK them out loud many times over until it becomes your second nature! TRANSCRIPT OF THE ABOVE VIDEO: (more…)

English Idiomatic Expressions: “Correct Me if I’m Wrong” & “If I’m not Mistaken”

You’ve Got to Do All the Heavy Lifting YOURSELF!

A couple of weeks ago I published an article called Make Some Effort to Improve Your English, Will Ya? where I was looking at the phenomenon of so many foreign English speakers NOT taking action in order to improve their English but instead relying on OTHERS to steer them into the right direction and provide some magic formula for an easy and effortless English improvement. Five days ago I published a video called Are You Spending Sufficient Amount of Time on Speaking? where I looked at another aspect of the same phenomenon. Namely – foreigners expecting their fluency to improve while at the same time NOT investing anywhere near enough time in SPEAKING. Not to mention countless other articles and videos I’ve published over the years trying to convey pretty much the same message: (more…)

English Collocation: “Sufficient Information”

Self-correction – an Integral Part of Your Spoken English Improvement Routine

If you’re a foreign English speaker frantically looking for a conversation partner online, my typical suggestion to you would be the following: Engage in a lot of self-practice on a daily basis. If you’re lucky enough to find someone you can speak with every now and then – go for it! Don’t stop speaking with yourself however, because that way you’ll keep developing your ability to VERBALIZE YOUR THOUGHTS which is crucial for effective communication. Now, based on the feedback I’ve been getting on my blog posts and videos, the two main reasons why you might find such self-practice difficult to maintain in long term are the following: You can’t think of what to talk about; There’s no-one to point out your mistakes. I don’t buy neither of the two reasons. If you think speaking with yourself is boring, how come I’ve been doing it for years on end and I still have loads to talk about when I voice my thoughts out loud? It would be the same as claiming you don’t have anything to think about! :grin: The second reason – lack of feedback and correction – is also just an excuse not to improve one’s ability to speak. Tell me honestly – do you ALWAYS get corrected when speaking with others in real life? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have a strong notion that more often than not you rely on a thing called SELF-CORRECTION than on others’ feedback :!: And even if you don’t do it, you’d better start making conscious adjustments to your English speech if you want to experience any significant improvement to your ability to speak fluently and correctly! (more…)

It’s OK Not to Understand Something out of Context or Something Unexpected!

Have you ever found it hard to understand what you’re told because it’s something you don’t normally get to hear? Have you ever had situations when you understand every single word, but you just can’t wrap your head around the question for the simple reason that it’s something totally out of context, something unexpected? And now comes the most relevant part for you as a foreign English speaker: Would your typically react to such and similar situations by blaming your bad English comprehension skills and feeling ashamed and embarrassed? (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Come in Handy”

Hello everybody! This is the first blog post in this blog called EasyIdioms.com, and it’s going to be run by me - Robby Kukurs from EnglishHarmony.com! :grin: I made the decision to start a new blog dedicated to the English Idiomatic Expressions exclusively since my English Harmony blog started getting a bit cluttered up with all sorts of blog posts and videos. I had to choose between ditching the idiomatic expression videos altogether or finding a new platform to feature them, and it goes without saying I went for the latter. After all, judging by my visitors’ comments, all these videos come in handy for those foreign English speakers out there who are working on their fluency, and I also have to admit that I’m kind of used to creating these videos on a regular basis. (more…)

Make Some Effort to Improve Your English, Will Ya?

Planning Your Answer Goes a Long Way: How to Answer Unexpected Questions

Here’s one of the biggest problems I’ve been facing myself over the years when dealing with other English speakers: Sometimes they ask you a question you don’t really expect or you don’t have an opinion on, and as a result you struggle to deliver an immediate response! What’s even worse – more often than not your inability to deliver an immediate answer to that question will be mistaken for inability to find the right words to say (basically they’ll assume your English vocabulary isn’t sufficient), but it’s obviously not the case if you simply haven’t thought about that subject before! Let’s assume for argument’s sake you’re walking down the street and you’re suddenly approached by some charity worker trying to talk people into signing up for a monthly direct debit in aid for a particular charity organization – it has happened to me on numerous occasions and I’m sure you’ve fallen victim to those agents as well! Well, not that I have something against charity as such, it’s just that I don’t like the idea of signing up for yet another monthly payment from my bank account! I always tell those people I wouldn’t mind donating a fiver for a good cause, but the answer is always the same – “We can’t accept any cash, it’s not how our organization works and so on.” Anyhow, let’s say you’re suddenly stopped by one of those fellas or girls and you’re being bombarded by a substantial amount of information at once: “Hello mister, do you have a few moments to listen me out? I’m representing organization X – have you ever heard of us? - and we’re helping Y – I’m sure you’ve heard about problems surrounding Y lately - and we depend on people just like you to keep providing these essential services, and…” At this moment in time there’s a number of different lines of thoughts starting in your mind: “Do I have time to talk to this person or I don’t? Do I actually feel comfortable speaking with him?” “Organization X? Yeah, I kind of recognize the name, but I’m not sure…” “Helping Y? That’s a really good cause, but should I ask him if all my money would go towards Y or organization X are keeping some of it for themselves?” … and so on and so forth. All these thoughts happening at once might make your response almost impossible, let alone allowing you to deliver a well thought-through answer! You might start saying something nonsensical, you might make some really stupid mistakes and the agent might think that your English is so bad that you can’t come up with anything reasonable to say! Well, not that you should care too much about others’ opinion anyway, it’s just that I guess you’d wish you could manage such situations better and form logical answers, wouldn’t you? Then read the rest of this article and you’ll find out how EXACTLY you have to PLAN your answers on occasions when you’re bombarded with all different types of questions or you’re asked something unexpected very suddenly! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “To be honest with you”

English Idiomatic Expression: “It goes to show”

Today’s English phrase “It goes to show” provides a very handy way of drawing a conclusion during a conversation; basically it links the two parts of your statement together – the first part where you’re explaining the nature of the problem, and the second part where you’re revealing the subsequent conclusion. This phrase can take many forms – depending on context: “It goes to show” “It just goes to show” “It simply goes to show” “Which goes to show” (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s no doubt about that”

If you want to speak in English without much thinking and planning your speech in your head before actually speaking out loud, you should definitely look into learning various idiomatic expressions. I’m not saying that purposeful acquisition of these expressions is going to make ALL the difference between your ability to speak fluently and not being able to speak at all. Sure enough, you can speak the very same way I would have been speaking a few years ago: by sticking individual words together; thinking in my native language & translating in my mind; constantly trying to think of the right words to say. If you learn idiomatic expressions, on the other hand, your brain gets wired with naturally occurring speech patterns, and it enables you to speak without much thinking, it happens automatically and instinctively. So, starting from today – if you haven’t already been doing it – make sure to learn at least one or two idiomatic expressions a day, and you’ll improve your spoken English much faster than you ever thought possible, there’s no doubt about that! (more…)

12 Reasons Why Spoken English is Just Like Playing a Guitar

1. You may be good at recognizing chords & songs, but you need to be able to play them yourself in order to… play them! If I told you that watching Keith Richards perform and deliver his best guitar pieces for three months straight will make you into a decent guitar player, would you believe me? I guess not! Then why would you ever listen to someone who wants you to buy into the learn-English-by-listening hype? Ability to use your mouth in order to speak in English AND using your guitar to play a song aren’t so dissimilar because it all boils down to your ability to DO something rather than just RECOGNIZE something. It’s all about PASSIVE vs ACTIVE English, music or whatever practical skill we’re looking at! When I picked up the guitar for the first time and tried my first chord, I sucked at it big time. And it’s no wonder I was so bad at it – I simply had never tried doing it before. I had been checking out some related information previously though, and I had a general idea of how certain chords would have to be placed. Doing it myself turned out to be a totally different story altogether, and the very same goes with using your mouth in order to speak in English. You may be able to understand other people fairly well, yet when you open your mouth it’s the same as trying your first chord on a guitar. Remember: spoken English – just like guitar play – is a very PRACTICAL SKILL! (more…)

Repetition in Terms of English Learning & Weightlifting is the same!

English Idiomatic Expression: “If you’re anything serious about”

Good morning my friends :!: It’s yet another Monday morning, and just like any other Monday, we all go about our daily business. Some of us go to school or college; some of us go to work. But if you’re anything serious about your spoken English improvement, you have to work on your oral fluency pretty much the whole time regardless of your daily routine! My perfect recipe for constant and rapid spoken English improvement consists of plenty of self-practice with a particular focus on idiomatic expression acquisition, and today’s phrase is ‘if you’re anything serious about’. I already used this expression in the paragraph above and it vividly depicts how I’d personally use this phrase – “if you’re anything serious about your spoken English improvement” is my favorite line and I use it in almost all my videos. If you want to hear a little bit more about today’s phrase, however, you’re more than welcome to watch the video above where I’m also telling you why I have to stay at home this week and be a housewife. Thanks for dropping by, Chat soon, Robby ;-)

Why Desire to Translate is Irresistible & How to Deal With It

English Idiomatic Expression & Phrasal Verb: “Come up With”

Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! When learning English idiomatic expressions with me, you should bear in mind that I’m mixing them all together – idioms, phrases, collocations and also phrasal verbs. Today’s idiomatic expression happens to be a phrasal verb – ‘to come up with’ – and it’s a very popular one and it’s being used by both native and foreign English speakers worldwide. You can use it when describing how you invented a new, faster way of doing monthly sales reports using your company’s stock management software. (I came up with another way of doing sales reports which is much faster!) (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression (Conditional Sentence Type 3) – Had I (p. participle), I would have (p. participle)

Probably your mind started racing upon seeing today’s English idiomatic expression headline. Conditional Sentence Type 3. Advanced grammar. “What is wrong with you Robby, why are you giving me this confusing advanced English grammar stuff, aren’t you the one who keeps telling me all the time – forget about grammar, focus on speaking instead?!” Don’t worry my dear fellow foreign English speaker! ;-) I’m not going to start stuffing all these fancy grammar terms like Past Participle and Conditional Type II into your head. You must have been exposed to all that theoretical knowledge plenty of times throughout the years spent on studying English grammar, and the simple fact is that if you keep focusing on the grammar aspect of it, you will actually find it hard to use such and similar grammar constructs in real life. The way I see it is much simpler. (more…)

Focus on Your Achievements & Ignore Perfectionists if They Make You Feel Worse!

If you focus on grammar aspects of your language when you speak, you may experience the following problems: * feeling overwhelmed; * constantly analyzing you own speech; * lacking self-esteem :mad: All this in turn may result in terrible English fluency issues whereby you feel like all your achievements in terms of your ability to speak in English are for nothing! You may feel like you’re back to square one, you may feel as if you’re never going to be a decent English speaker – and it definitely doesn’t help if someone is constantly trying to point out your mistakes in the process! The reason why I recorded this video is because I was contacted by one of my blog readers and he asks me if it’s OK to do spoken English self-practice instead of speaking with people online who are focused way too much on the grammar aspect of the English language. Basically he says he reads a lot, and then he summarizes each chapter by speaking out loud and developing his fluency that way. He feels much better and more confident while engaged into that exercise than speaking with smart-arses who are hell-bent on getting his grammar right without being aware of what they’re doing to his confidence and fluency. (more…)

English Harmony System Update: de Luxe Edition!

Happy New Year Everyone!

All my customers! All my blog readers & commentators! All my YouTube subscribers! I’m wishing you a Very Happy & Successful New Year 2013, and may all your dreams (except for one!) come true! (Why I said except for one? Watch the video above to find out why!) I’ve had an amazing year publishing more videos than ever, and receiving your feedback, e-mails, queries, questions and comments in ever increasing volumes. If not for you, my friends, I wouldn’t have found the determination and motivation to keep this show on the road for this long, because it’s your constant encouragement and feedback that kept me going :!: I hope you’ll stay with me in the year 2013 as well, and I’ll keep seeing to your English fluency & confidence improvement needs! Wishing you the very best in the New Year, Best Regards, Robby ;-)

My Best Xmas Gifts Ever – Plenty of Dystopian Fiction!

New Year’s Resolution in 2013 – Take Real Action & Become Fluent!

Do you know what’s the biggest curse preventing people from all walks of life achieving any kind of a goal they aspire to achieve? Procrastination. Not taking action. Now, ask yourself the following question – how many times have I committed to becoming fluent in English? And now, ask yourself this question – how many times I’ve failed to follow through with that commitment because my focus weakened over time and I simply stopped getting involved in English fluency improvement related activities? 2013 is going to be different. I recently joined a movement which is going to bring about massive change in foreign English speakers’ lives by helping them stay focused on their English improvement goals. It’s called YearOfEnglish.com! Many English language teaching enthusiasts and professionals are participating in it, and the idea behind the project is simple enough: Any foreigner who aspires to become Fluent in English, signs up for a DAILY e-mail notification; EVERY DAY throughout the year 2013 you are going to receive an e-mail containing action steps, things to-do and specific assignments; By the end of 2013 you’ll see a massive improvement to your English fluency, and provided you’ll have taken action, you WILL BE FLUENT IN ENGLISH :!: Isn't that a great idea, my friend? I think it’s one of the best things to do when starting a New Year – make a resolution, and then follow through with it instead of abandoning it a month into the New Year. YearOfEnglish.com is simply leaving you with no choice; you won’t have any excuses not to take action because once you’ve signed up for it, you’ll be given the EXACT advice and assignments to do, and the chances of you becoming a fluent English speaker are thus greatly increased! So, do yourself and also your friends a favor, let everyone know about YearOfEnglish.com and make sure to sign up for the FREE mailing list that’s going to blast 365 e-mails to you throughout the whole year and keep you motivated! Thanks for reading, Robby ;-)

What I’m Currently Doing & Why I’ve Stopped Publishing Daily Videos

There was a time when I published a video a day, and sometimes I would even upload two videos in a single day onto my YouTube account. The times have changed, and now you may be wondering why Robby isn't making as many daily English idiomatic expression videos as he used to! The answer is quite simple, my friends – I’m currently very busy preparing for my next big project called FluencyGym.com. I spend a few hours every day brainstorming and creating content for the upcoming English confidence program Fluency Gym Coach, and it’s going to consist of a lot of videos where I’m going to draw parallels between working out and speaking in English! Don’t worry though, I’ll keep the English idiomatic expression videos coming albeit not at such a frequent rate. As you can imagine, I have a lot on my plate now, and I simply have to change my blogging frequency so that I can work on my new project. To find out more about FluencyGym.com, please watch the video above! Chat soon, Robby ;-)