English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s only when you… that…”
Here’s another daily English expression video, and this time around I’m looking at the following sentence: “It’s only when you… that…” Please note that this is not your typical English idiomatic expression, and I strongly doubt you’ll find it in any English phrase lists. Nonetheless, it’s important to learn such and similar sentences because they will help you greatly to make your point :!: Once you've memorized this sentence structure – “It’s only when you… that…”, you can apply it on countless different conversations! Whenever you have to emphasize something and further describe the fact you’re talking about – this sentence is perfect for that purpose. And of course – if you want to hear some examples of this phrase in use, please watch the video above! See you soon again, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Send the Wrong Message”
Today's idiomatic expression is "Send the wrong message", and if you want to find out more about its usage - make sure to watch the video above! I'll keep making these daily English idiom videos for as long as I can, and it's all done with one thing in mind - to show you guys, that natural English fluency is all about phrases and expressions! You can take this phrase - "send the wrong message", combine it with a dozen of other expressions and - presto! - all of a sudden you can say things you mightn't be able to say after months long traditional grammar studies. And if you think I'mÂ exaggeratingÂ - believe me, I'm not! It's proven time and time again that if you try to apply grammar rules as you stick words together, the resulting speech is unnatural, broken and hesitant. If you learn phrases just like the one I published in today's video, you get all the benefits of learning grammar naturally and none of the drawbacks - simply because there's NONE! :-) Chat soon, Robby ;-)
Improve Your English Fluency Naturally & Speak Like a Native Speaker!
From: Robby Kukurs, Author of the English Harmony System My Fellow Foreign English Speaker! Millions of us - foreign English speakers - can read, write and understand English very well, yet when it comes to spoken English fluency, things are not looking that good. Traditional English education focuses on teaching English though our native language thus facilitating translation process as we speak; however, have you ever been told that natural English fluency is impossible unless you eliminate translation? The English language has loads of unique collocations, idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs and if you want to sound like a native English speaker you simply need to learn to speak using these means of expression! Same goes with studying English grammar. Many of us, foreigners, are led to believe that we’ll achieve English fluency if we study English grammar hard. It’s nonsense! Wake up from the English grammar Matrix! If you learn English grammar rules separately out of context, you’ll never achieve natural English fluency because you’ll be overwhelmed with analyzing your own speech and making sure that it corresponds with the respective grammar rules. Fluent English speech is supposed to be spontaneous, you have to speak automatically and it can be best achieved by spending an awful lot of time among other English speakers and mimicking what they say. Sure, you have to speak correctly, I’m not saying you have to disregard English grammar. What I’m saying is – you have to understand that English grammar is present in every correct phrase and sentence, and you don’t need to dissect the English language like a scientist to be able to speak fluently. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Nothing could be further from the truth”
English idiomatic expression: “Pretty much the same”
Hi guys, in the video above you can find out how to use the following English idiomatic expression: “Pretty much the same”. Why such and similar expressions are very important for us, foreigners? First of all – they enable us to speak instinctively and spontaneously. Once you’ve memorized a phrase, you can produce it at an instant when the right situation presents itself! Secondly – they drastically reduce the amount of mistakes you might potentially make when speaking because you learn a correct phrase AS IT IS and you’ll only ever use it without changing it! So watch the video above, make sure to repeat the phrase a few times in order to memorize it, and also make sure to come up with a few sample sentences on your own to imprint the idiomatic expression “Pretty much the same” into your mind. Chat soon, Robby ;-)
Robby’s 5 Favorite Blog Posts of All Time on EnglishHarmony.com
Is It Possible to Become TOTALLY Fluent In English After 24 Years?
I received an e-mail (or a comment – can’t really remember what it was because it got deleted by mistake!) the other day by one of my blog readers where he asked if it’s possible to master total fluency of the English language while living in an English speaking country for 24 years. As an example he provided the following video of two foreign English speakers involved in a debate in a TV studio – please check out the video below: I have to admit that the two professional journalists in the studio are completely fluent indeed, and it’s also a fact that 99% of other foreigners would look up to them because of their ability to speak fluently. (more…)
Developing Your Ability to Use All Those Phrases & Idioms in Real Conversations
Check Out My NEW Blog AccentAdventure.com!
Delivering a DVD set of English Harmony System 2.0 & Discussing my Job, Unemployment and Happiness!
Here’s another broadcast from my car, and this time I’m driving to the local Post Office to deliver a DVD set of my English improving software – English Harmony System 2.0! I’m planning to discontinue the DVD sets at some stage in the near future anyway, so this is the last drive of this kind. You see – at the moment I’m working on the System’s update, and with a lot of new lessons added onto the software the DVD version becomes rather too expensive to manufacture and deliver. Also, considering we’re living in a digital era, it would make an awful lot of sense indeed to encourage my potential customers to contribute to the environment and go for a digital product instead. As we all know, all physical goods have a related carbon footprint, so the less goods we buy and get delivered, the less damage we do to our planet! Of course, I’m not going to turn the whole world’s environmental problems on their head, but then again – every little counts! (more…)
Car Video #3: Spontaneous Speech vs Slow Speech
Here’s another video broadcast from my car on the way to work, my friends! If some of you are wondering why I’m recording myself while driving to work, here are the main reasons: I practice spoken English with myself on a daily basis I practice what I preach – speaking in English ALL THE TIME :!: I know you love watching my videos – so why not use my free time and record them whenever I get a chance? ;-) This time I’m discussing merits of speaking spontaneously as opposed to speaking slowly. Yes, you’ll make more mistakes when speaking faster, but on the flip side it’s a great way of developing your gut feeling for correct English! Does it sound like a contradiction? I mean – making more mistakes to develop correct English? Well, my friends – here’s how it happens: (more…)
Two Kinds of Mistakes Made by Foreigners When Speaking English
Is It a Problem if Your English is Too Simple, Plain and Lacking Smart Words and Expressions?
I’m receiving quite a high volume of e-mails on a daily basis and they’re all related to English improvement and fluency in some way, shape or form. Today I received an e-mail from a gentleman whose name I’ll keep anonymous – of course! – and he explains the following situation. He’s been told by his friend that his English is quite fluent (which is a reason to celebrate on its own!) but he lacks sophisticated vocabulary and different means of expression – such as phrases, idiomatic expressions and so on. Basically my fellow foreign English speaker asking the question feels that as far as his speech is understandable and he’s making his point, he’s fine. So he wants to know what my take on this issue is, and that’s exactly what I’m doing in the video above! I’m giving a thorough analysis of the issue in question, and I hope all of you will find this video useful! Of course, don’t hesitate to leave your questions in the comments below! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
Practicing Spoken English in Car: Part 2
Spoken English Practice While Driving to Work
Are you curious about how I do my daily spoken English practice? Then here you can have a peek at my typical morning in a car while commuting to work. It takes me around 30 minutes to make the full journey, but don’t worry – I recorded only 15 minutes of it so that you don’t have to spend that much time glued to the monitor! Basically this gives you a pretty good idea of what your own spoken English practice might look like if you’ve been considering doing it but never really got round to it. It’s easy, you’re just voicing your thoughts and killing your time while at the same time improving your fluency. Sounds like a win-win situation for me, what do you think? ;-) Robby
11 Things English Fluency Has Given Me
Do You Speak English Enough? You’ve Gotta Speak ALL THE TIME!
Why It’s a Bad Idea to Categorize English Idioms when Learning Them!
English idioms are very useful for foreign English speakers like you or me because they allow expressing our thoughts and voice our opinion quickly and using the same phrase in dozens and hundreds of similar situations. Let’s take the following idiom – “Chip on your shoulder”. You can use it in pretty much every situation when someone feels they’re treated unfairly and they’re acting defensively but it’s obvious that there’s no good reason for them to behave that way and they’re acting so because of their own insecurities. So instead of describing the whole situation you can just use this short phrase instead – “He’s always had a chip on his shoulder, that’s why he’s acting that way!” It saves you time and effort, and such and similar idioms are used worldwide – “chickens have come home to roost”, “on the ball” or “elephant in the room”. But here’s what I’ve noticed – many idiom directories like grouping idioms by the actual words contained in those idioms. For example, the two idioms about chickens and the elephant would fall under the same category – animal related idioms. It might sound like a good idea to give all those hundreds and thousands of idioms some structure and make them easy to find. When learning idioms, however, it may do more harm than good, so read the rest of this article to find out why I’m making such claims :!: (more…)
Is It Possible to Be Fluent without Knowing Grammar?
Aspiration to become a fluent English speaker is what brought you to my blog, isn't that right? Then let me take a wild guess - at least at some point in your pursuit after English fluency you've been engaged in a lot of English grammar studies, am I now right? Well, in reality you don't need to be a grammar genius to speak English fluently. First of all, only a few grammar Tenses are actually used in real life conversations. Secondly - phrases and expressions constitute large amount of spoken English. And thirdly... Well - watch this video to hear everything for yourself! Stay fluent, Robby ;-)
You’re Not Struggling With Your Fluency – You’re Struggling With Perfection!
Use English Comparative and Superlative Adjectives Sparingly – Better Describe than Compare!
Here’s a couple of English adjective related problems even an advanced foreigner might run into when having a conversation with others. PROBLEM #1: Analyzing your speech from the grammar standpoint Let’s say for example, you want to describe something during a conversation, but your mind keeps going back to the tables in your English grammar textbook where irregular adjectives were listed. It may happen completely involuntarily, but it’s this traditional way of structuring adjectives according to their forms that makes you analyze the structure of a sentence instead of being fully engaged into the conversation. That in turn may result in all sorts of English fluency issues! PROBLEM #2: Limiting your means of expression You may be brilliant at describing and comparing objects, living creatures and people, but if you only stick with the traditional system – adjective – comparative adjective – superlative adjective – you’ll limit your spoken English development. For example, in a sentence “She’s really resourceful in the way she solves practical problems compared to her sister”… the word ‘resourceful’ isn’t a comparative form of some other adjective. If your mind is tuned to the standard way of using adjectives, however, you may find that you just can’t see past the standard way of using the same adjective you already described her sister with. Let’s say for example, you described her sister as not being practical, so if you go down the traditional adjective comparison road, you automatically may say – “she’s more practical than her sister”. Well, it’s not a bad thing in itself, but it’s just that on certain occasions it may limit your ability to speak freely and improvise. So how do you develop your ability to speak automatically and without analyzing too much if you’ve got to use this or that particular adjective form? WATCH THIS VIDEO WHICH EXPLAINS MY MISTAKE USING 'ADVERBS' INSTEAD OF 'ADJECTIVES' THROUGHOUT THE VIDEO ABOVE... SORRY! ;-) (more…)
My 5 Year Long Journey to English Fluency
Your English Has to Be Just Good Enough for You to Be Successful!
Check out the following videos (at the very least listen to 20 - 30 secs of how these foreign English speakers speak): What do you think all these people have in common except for being foreign English speakers? First of all, their English ISN’T PERFECT :!: If you’re one of those perfectionists out there who’s constantly watching out for mistakes made by other foreign English speakers, you’ll notice small flaws and imperfections in Dr. Coldwell’s and Wagner’s spoken English. Secondly, they’re 100% CONFIDENT :!: Lastly, they’re really PASSIONATE about what they’re doing :!: and they’re totally focused on the matter at hand when speaking about it. What does this all mean for you as a foreign English speaker? If you’re really dedicated to something, you can become very successful without focusing on perfecting your spoken English! You may spend your whole life trying to achieve a near-native level of English – but then it’s going to be too late to realize your dreams in terms of your professional and social life. Or you can SET YOUR GOALS NOW, start taking action and improve your English as you go along according to the specific needs and requirements of the particular industry or a different aspect of your life. Remember – your English has to be just good enough for you to be successful ;-) (more…)
20 Random Thoughts on English Fluency, Foreign English Speakers and Life in General
Don’t Try to Speak in English as if You Were Writing!
Don’t Make Conscious Effort When Improving Your English
Today’s article is dedicated to the importance of not forcing yourself when it comes to learning the English language and also when it comes to spoken English performance. Have you ever noticed that the harder you try to memorize new English vocabulary, the more difficult it actually becomes? Have you been trying to make certain English words part of your active vocabulary to no avail? And you certainly have had situations when you just can’t remember a word even though it’s right on the tip of your tongue! The funny thing is – the moment you stop forcing yourself to remember the word, it just pops up in your mind when you’ve stopped thinking about it… :grin: Similar things may have happened in terms of new English vocabulary acquisition – you remember odd words or phrases you’ve only heard a few times before and they’re stuck with you all the while you’re trying to drill some other words in your memory but they just keep evading you! (more…)
3 Situations When It Might Be Easier For You To Speak in English With Your Fellow Foreigners
Some time ago I published an article called “5 Reasons Why It’s Easier To Speak With Native English Speakers Than Other Foreigners”. In today’s article I’m going to look at reasons why on certain occasions it might be actually easier to speak in English with another foreigner :!: As I already pointed out in the first article – on most occasions it’s all a matter of perspective. All other things being equal – such as your level of English fluency, language comprehension etc. – you may feel more comfortable speaking with another foreigner simply because you’re not ashamed of saying something wrong (which inevitably happens during any conversation). Or it also could be that you spend most of your time working in an international team, and speaking with native English speakers is an exception rather than a rule. "It is mostly our OWN mental inhibitions that make us favor conversations with natives or foreigners!" And of course – it varies from person to person a great deal! While you mightn't have any problems chatting with your native English speaking work colleague, your supervisor might be giving you the creeps and you always stutter and find it difficult to explain yourself in his or her presence. Anyway, here are the 3 situations when you may find it easier to speak with your fellow foreign English speaker instead of a native speaker. Enjoy! ;-) (more…)
Put Yourself in a Position of Power: Don’t Be Sorry for Your Mistakes!
Simple vs Sophisticated Vocabulary? It’s All Just Semantics (Interpretation)!
Have you ever caught yourself thinking that your English vocabulary needs to be spruced up because it’s too simplistic? Have you recently sat an English exam and you’re dreading a bad spoken test result because you feel you didn’t use enough of fancy vocabulary when answering questions? Do you honestly believe people will judge your English speech based on your choice of words so you’re trying to go for less-known vocabulary when speaking in English with others? Then you may want to give it a second thought because in reality there’s no such thing as simple and advanced vocabulary :!: Everything is a matter of perspective, and while everyone would agree that, for example, a word ‘doglike’ is a much simpler version of ‘canine’, there’s no real reason for that sentiment other than the fact that ‘canine’ isn’t used that often in everyday conversations. So is that all there is to it? Are English words ‘made-up’, ‘exciting’ and a sentence ‘It makes me feel so free’ ranking much lower on the alleged vocabulary importance scale than their counterparts ‘fictitious’, ‘exhilarating’ and ‘It’s a liberating experience’ just because you’d find them in the first year’s English textbook? Or are there more dimensions to this whole simple vs sophisticated English vocabulary discussion? Read the rest of this article to find it out, and also join the discussion in the comments below! ;-) Alternatively, you may want to check out this list of sophisticated practical English phrases you can use in your daily life! (more…)
English Harmony Highlights of June 2012
Check Out My First EVER Interviews – All About Me, English Fluency & How To Stop Struggling When Speaking in English!
Â Recently I got interviewed by two English teachers for their websites – Ben who lives in Spain and Nate who’s settled down in Japan. These are my first interviews I’ve ever done, and as you can imagine, I had to use some of my own English fluency management strategies to keep a cool head, gather my thoughts and speak fluently because stress levels were high – especially in the beginning of those interviews! :grin: Listen to my interview with Ben HERE! And here you can watch 2 YouTube videos containing fragments from my interview with Ben: Click HERE to listen to me talking with Nate! What you can expect to hear in those interviews is pretty much everything about my background as a foreign English speaker – starting from my years long struggling to speak English fluently and ending with useful tips for my fellow foreigners on how to maintain fluent English speech. You'll also find out in those interviews: what is a "writing mode" of your mind and why it prevents you from speaking English fluently (interview with Ben) why speaking with yourself is the best way to improve your English when there's no-one to talk to (interview with Nate) and a whole lot more! So if you've got nothing to do on this Friday night (or any other day of the week), sit down at your laptop or PC and listen to me spilling the beans about what real English fluency is all about: Listen to my interview with Ben HERE! Click HERE to listen to me talking with Nate! Let me know what you think in the comments below! ;-)
Relax Your Abs to Get Your English Fluency Rock-Hard!
When you speak in English with someone, there’s more than just your mind and mouth involved. You’ve probably rarely given it a thought, but when we speak, our WHOLE BODY participates in the verbal and non-verbal communication. Your body responds to stimuli emitted by your brain. That’s why you tense up in stressful situations – your embarrassment, anxiety and stress translates in real body reactions. So far nothing new, right? Let’s keep going! The feedback between your body and mind actually goes both ways. Not only your emotions influence your body reactions – the opposite is also true! Basically I’m talking about how you can influence your mind and mental performance in terms of English communication by controlling your body. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s another useful strategy to be added onto a number of English fluency management techniques I’ve spoken about in the very detail on this blog. (more…)