We’re All Capable of Correcting Our English Speech Ourselves!
One of the biggest misconceptions I’ve ever come across over the years is the following: You can’t engage in spoken English self-practice because there’s no-one to correct your mistakes! I’ve received feedback of such nature from quite a few of my fellow foreign English speakers, and it clearly goes to show that the average foreigner is so afraid of making mistakes and letting them go unnoticed, that they’d rather remain unable to speak fluently! In today’s video I’ve debunked this myth, and here’s exactly what you’ll find out if you watch the video above: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s one thing I can say for sure”
33 Word Shortenings Any Foreign English Speaker Should Know!
English Idiomatic Expression: “For a good while”
Today’s idiomatic expression is very simple – FOR A GOOD WHILE. It’s just another way of saying: For quite some time OR For a long time Basically it’s to be used whenever you want to emphasize the fact that the time-frame in question is relatively long, and typically you’d use it in following sentences: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Due to the risks involved”
There are plenty of activities that can result in a serious bodily harm if proper care and precaution isn’t observed – starting from extreme sports and ending with jobs where you are required to operate machinery with sharp and moving parts. Now, can you tell me what all those activities have in common? You have to seriously consider getting involved in them DUE TO THE RISKS INVOLVED! You have to weigh all the pros and cons (positives and negatives) of the activity in question so that you can make a well informed decision on whether to go in for base-jumping, car racing, rock-climbing or free running or stay safe and enjoy a more relaxed and safer lifestyle. (more…)
New English Vocabulary Word Phenomenon
Have You Ever Thought of Having a CPU Implanted into Your Brain? Read S. J. Kincaid’s INSIGNIA!
Hello my fellow foreign English speaker! This is the first English fiction review article on this blog, and so it happens that it’s a sci-fi adventure book with a brand new concept I’d never EVER heard of before! This is the Right Book 4 U if… … you’re a foreign English speaker wanting to start reading English fiction. This would make a perfect first English fiction book for you, and even though you might have to look up certain words on a dictionary website or thesaurus, by and large it’s written using plain language. … you’re a sci-fi fan. Concepts described in this novel are quite unique, and you’ll find yourself intrigued – especially in the first part of the novel. … you’re a gamer. The main character in this book is a teenage boy named Tom and he’s brilliant at playing games. If you share his passion for gaming, this might be the only book you’ll actually ever want to read! … you like conspiracy theories. Do you believe in Illuminati and the New World Order (NOW)? Then you’ll find this particular novel to your liking because it depicts a world governed by gigantic corporations forcing people to buy their products and services while the political scene is dominated by a war waged in the outer space between the two main blocks of countries – Indo-American and Russo-Chinese. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that…”
English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s Not to Be Taken Lightly”
Hello my dear followers! I hope you’ve been putting my advice to good use and you’ve been incorporating various English idiomatic expressions into your daily English conversations! So, how’s it been? Have you been taking action? Well, try being totally honest with yourself and admit if you’ve been a bit lazy – recognition is the first step on the road to recovery - that’s what they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, if I’m not mistaken … Of course, addiction such as alcoholism is not to be taken lightly, and I’m not trying to make a fun of it. All I’m trying to do here is draw parallels between being addicted to a substance and being addicted to procrastination which is sometimes JUST AS harmful to our development as substance abuse :!: (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”
Correct me if I’m wrong, my dear fellow foreign English speaker, but I have a strong feeling that you’ve been eagerly anticipating a new English Idiomatic Expression video, am I not right? Well, today I’m going to deliver double joy for you! :grin: If I’m not mistaken, I’ve never published TWO very similar phrases in a single video, so you may want to take this opportunity and watch the above video on how to use the two expressions: Correct me if I’m wrong and If I’m not mistaken together in a single sentence! I would have to think long and hard before I’d come up with another pair of English phrases that would check the following boxes: They would mean pretty much the same thing They could be used together OR you could choose to use either of them! So, as you can see today’s English idiomatic expressions are quite unique in the sense that you can use your discretion as to how you use them, so you’d better get onto it immediately and add these phrases to your active English vocabulary: (more…)
You’ve Got to Do All the Heavy Lifting YOURSELF!
English Collocation: “Sufficient Information”
Hello my friends! :grin: Today I’m bringing you another English idiomatic expression, although technically it’s rather a collocation than a typical expression. What’s the difference? Well, a collocation is a two or more English word combination observed in a native English speech (and also writing), and the funny thing is that there’s practically no way of telling WHY this or that particular thing is said in a certain way. You simply have to learn it and use it, that’s all! Let’s take, for example, today’s collocation ‘sufficient information’. It’s a TYPICAL way English speakers refer to the minimum amount of information necessary to get something done; the simplest way of putting it would be ‘enough information’, I guess. ‘Sufficient information’, however, is the EXACT way native English speakers would describe a situation when one hasn’t been able to fulfill their work related duties because of lack of information, for example: (more…)
Self-correction – an Integral Part of Your Spoken English Improvement Routine
Are You Spending Sufficient Amount of Time on Speaking?
Are you facing a situation where even after a longer period of time you’re not seeing any significant English fluency improvement? Are you doing everything imaginable in order to develop your English fluency but it just doesn’t seem to be happening? Are you: Watching TV series and documentaries Reading English newspapers and fiction Learning a lot of English idiomatic expressions Speaking in English with others for at least 1 hour a day… …only to discover you still run into all sorts of fluency related issues? RE-EVALUATE. Look at your fluency improvement routine and ask yourself a single question: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “It Goes Without Saying”
It’s OK Not to Understand Something out of Context or Something Unexpected!
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?
I’m sick of repeating that the English Harmony blog is all about improving your SPOKEN English and your ability to SPEAK, so by now at least those of you following my blog on a regular basis would have realized you’re not going to find any grammar exercises or downloadable worksheets on my website. As a result, the number of e-mails about grammar related questions is dwindling which is an overall positive development, and I’m only happy to see it! Yet a surprising number of people ask me all sorts of questions which clearly show their unwillingness take ANY action in order to improve their spoken English and overall fluency! Here’s the impression I’m getting: The school’s over - English grammar is not in the spot-light anymore. The teacher’s gone - you’re not doing grammar textbooks. The kids are free to do whatever they want - you’ve just realized that the English language isn’t only about doing tests sitting in a classroom. Just like kids you choose to do NOTHING - browsing the Web and asking questions on how to speak better or why you can’t speak better instead of actually doing SOMETHING :!: The simple fact is that I can’t really help you unless you help yourself, ain’t that right, my friend? (more…)
Planning Your Answer Goes a Long Way: How to Answer Unexpected Questions
English Idiomatic Expression: “To be honest with you”
To be honest with you guys, I didn’t have a clue as to what exactly I was going to say when I sat down to record today’s video… I just winged it (it’s one of those American slang expressions I learned while watching Desperate Housewives, and it means ‘to improvise’) , and I’m quite hopeful you’re not going to be too critical of me! Today’s phrase actually happens to be ‘to be honest with you’ – which is how I actually started off this article – and it’s a perfect way of establishing trust and connecting to your conversation partner or the audience you’re facing. You’re basically appealing to the other person’s conscience by showing that you’re ready to be completely honest and upfront with them, and even if there’s nothing for you to hide from your conversation partner, the phrase ‘to be honest with you’ still works at a subconscious level. At least I’d like to think so! :grin: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “It goes to show”
English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s been dealt with”
Today I’m going to provide you with a new English idiomatic expression which will come in handy in situations when you have to report completion of an assignment. “IT’S BEEN DEALT WITH” is the phrase in question, and you’re more than welcome to watch the video above where I’m discussing the merits of this particular phrase. To be honest with you, there are simpler expressions which can be used in pretty much the same situations: “It’s done”, “It’s sorted” or “I’ve done it”. “It’s been dealt with”, however, implies that your assignment has demanded quite a lot of effort, so you may want to use this expression when you’ve been dealing with a complicated matter and you’re telling someone that it’s been dealt with. Chat soon, Robby ;-)
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!
When you go to gym and engage is resistance training, you perceive sets of repetitions as an integral part of your fitness routine. When you learn and improve your English, however, you may find that you have some subliminal aversion (you perceive it as something bad despite not really knowing why) to the very term ‘repetition’! You might perceive it as something robotic, something mechanical. But it doesn't necessary have to be like that :!: Yes, traditionally repetition and memorization is performed in a boring and mechanical fashion whereby you repeat individual English vocabulary words followed by the translation in your native language (and it’s very wrong, please read this article to find out why!) I wholeheartedly agree that this kind of repetition is boring indeed and it’s also detached from your real needs as a foreign English speaker. What you need instead is – contextual repetition & memorization. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “If you’re anything serious about”
Why Desire to Translate is Irresistible & How to Deal With It
If you’ve been following my blog for a longer period of time, you’ll know that one of the English Harmony cornerstones is elimination of translation. You need to create a separate department for English in your brain. Whenever you have to speak in English with someone, you simply switch over to the English department in your brain. The funny thing is – you might already been doing it without being consciously aware of THINKING and SPEAKING in your target language if you’re a bilingual speaker, for example. Yet, when it comes to English, you might have an irresistible urge to translate from your native language while you’re speaking in English! Basically you’re speaking in English, but you keep thinking in your native language; you’re constantly finding yourself trying to figure out how this or that particular concept can be described in English terms. Guess what? You’re not alone! Hundreds of thousands of your fellow foreign English speakers are having the same issues, and if you’re anything serious about your SPOKEN English development, you’d better make sure to read the rest of this article where you’ll find out: WHY you have this weird process going on in your head; WHY you shouldn’t be thinking in your native language and speaking in English at the same time; HOW to avoid translation and speak and think in English ONLY! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression & Phrasal Verb: “Come up With”
English Idiomatic Expression: “Bear in mind”
Another day – another English idiomatic expression from Robby! Today’s phrase is used in just about any situation whenever someone tells you something important and they want you to pay particular attention to a specific detail. “Please, bear in mind that…” is the typical way you’ll be told that you shouldn't forget what follows this phrase, and if you want to find out more specific examples of this phrase in action – please watch the video above! Sample sentences I’m coming up with are sometimes funny because I’m always improvising in these videos, and I think it’s worth watching the above video even for that reason alone. Not that I consider myself being some sort of a comedian or anything, it’s just that I sometimes laugh at myself while editing my own videos and I would imagine I’m not the only one feeling that way! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
Idiomatic Expressions are your Proteins; Spoken English Practice – your Workout Routine!
English Idiomatic Expression (Conditional Sentence Type 3) – Had I (p. participle), I would have (p. participle)
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…)