English Grammar Construct “Couldn’t Have Been”
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Video Transcript Below: Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog. Today I'm bringing you another English idiomatic expression video but unlike other English idiomatic expression videos where I'm focusing on typical English idioms and phrasal words and collocations today I'm bringing you what I like to call a grammar construct. And the grammar construct in question is “couldn't have been”. At first if you just look at “couldn't have been,” it might confuse you. You might try and figure out what it means in grammar terms. What the English grammar tense represents and all that sort of thing but you don't have to do it. And you may actually want to read this article where I'm talking about it that you don't have to try and figure out what exactly something means in grammar terms, okay? All you've got to do is just repeat that particular grammar construct, memorize it and then you'll be able to use it in relevant situations without knowing what it represents, right? And the funny thing is that prior to recording this video I was kind of thinking to myself “Hold on, I have to look it up and see what it actually means, what kind of tense it is.” But I'm not going to get bogged down on these grammar terms just like I told you because it serves no purpose whatsoever, okay? So all you've got to do is just repeat it, memorize it and then you'll be able to use it. (more…)
What I’ve Realized Having Lived in an English Speaking Country for 14 Years
Reading Aloud – Perfect Way of Practicing Your Spoken English!
Happy New Year 2017 From English Harmony!
Happy New Year 2017 my friends foreign English speakers and all my followers! I’m wishing you a very happy, prosperous and successful New Year! Personally for me this last year has been very challenging and full of surprises, but I can proudly say that I accomplished what I set out to do and I secured a job in the IT sector as a foreign English speaker. Have you got similar dreams and ambitions? Do you feel like you’re kind of stuck and you would really like to change things? Do you plan to move to an English speaking country to study? Do you finally want to find a better job where you can realize your full potential and also use the English language? Or maybe you want to start your own YouTube channel about a specific topic and publish videos as a foreign English speaker? Everything is possible. EVERYTHING! Just set your goal for the year 2017, come up with a simple action plan and follow through with it. It really is THAT simple my friends! Have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2017! Your English fluency coach, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Take Something For Granted”
Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! Video Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear foreign English speakers. That's me, obviously Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and you are very welcome back to my video blog! Now, today I decided to record a video dedicated to a particular English idiomatic expression, namely “to take something for granted”. And the reason why I decided to record this particular video is because I got a comment on my blog recently. To be more specific it's only 6 minutes old, right? And here is what it says. As a matter of fact, it was published on another English idiomatic expression page, The Big Picture and the commentator says this is an incredible video, really got the meaning very quickly and here's the request: Robby, can you make a video for this idiomatic expression “to take something for granted”? Thank you. And guess what? You're lucky, my friend, tonight I'm in a good mood so I decided hey, why not? You know what I mean. And as a matter of fact, I wanted to record a video anyway so I was like okay, I'll do a video about this particular idiomatic expression. So if you are interested in finding out how to use this particular one and what kind of situations it can be used in, please bear with me for a few more moments. Did you hear how I kind of started stumbling upon words? Bear with me for a few mo - mo - mo more moments or something like that? It's all part of the English Harmony philosophy, my friends. Even if you make a little mistake, even if you stumble upon words a little bit it doesn't matter. Just keep pushing on, you know what I mean? Keep pushing the envelope and keep speaking with yourself because that is the surefire way to English fluency. (more…)
Can’t Say a Word in English Because Of Embarrassment… Is That Normal?
Always Look Ahead to New English Conversations and Don’t Fret Over Past Mistakes!
Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi Guys, Have you ever thought about the fact that one of the reasons you’re finding it so hard to speak in English with someone is the fact that the past mistakes are literally weighing on your shoulders? You might not be ever aware of the fact that it’s what’s preventing you from being a more fluent English speaker, but deep down inside it’s happening. Your past mistakes are trying to tell you: “You never gonna get rid of us… You’ll always keep making the same mistakes again and again…” And so the vicious circle goes and goes - you keep getting into embarrassing situations when you’re trying to say something in English, and you just can’t help it because your past mistakes keep reminding you that you suck at spoken English… The only way you can deal with this issue is by telling yourself: “Listen, I’m fed up with this. No more dwelling over my past spoken English mistakes! From here on out I’m only going to look ahead!” Wanna hear me talk on this topic and give advice on how to force yourself to forget about the spoken English mistakes you’ve been making in the past? Then watch the video above and don’t forget to leave your comment below! Cheers, Robby ;-)
Practical English Grammar Present Perfect vs. Simple Past
5 Ways International English Students Can Start Writing Like Natives
Learning to speak as a native English speaker is a difficult challenge in itself, yet when it comes to writing, you’re entering a whole new world of the English language. Not only will you need to fully understand grammar and sentence structure, your writing must make sense! That’s why I’ve found 5 useful tips international students can use so they too, can start writing like native English speakers. Read Different Material for Different Purposes Reading a wide range of different materials will help you understand when and where to use certain sentence structuring and grammar. For example, you will more than likely see a casual written style on say, a blog or personal website. In the case of brochures or professional sites or print works, you will see a more formal written style. Being exposed to a wide variety of different written works will help you better understand the English language as a whole since you will see formal, casual, and sometimes even slang, English words being written. Make sure you read as many different materials as you can that can include: brochures, blogs, magazines, newspapers, reports, or even books. Taking advantage of all sorts of printed material will help you to recognize how to use the different structures, grammar, and writing styles that are part of the English language. (more…)
How to Speak in English Well During Bad Fluency Days
Be Specific – Don’t Try to Make a General Statement When Explaining Something in English!
5 Tools to Help You Write Grammatically Correct
No matter what type of text you are writing, grammatical accuracy is a primary requirement. You might have great ideas to share, but they will lose their value if readers stumble upon spelling or grammar mistakes. Luckily, nowadays it’s easier than ever to learn how to write and speak correctly. There are many online resources at hand. Let’s check out five top tools that will help you write properly! Grammarly Proofreader Grammarly is one of the most popular grammar checking apps. It is user-friendly and accessible. How does it work? You simply copy-paste the content in the proofreading window and follow the instructions that will pop up on the right. You will immediately see any grammar and spelling issues and suggestions on how to correct them. Grammarly comes in a free version that is available to anyone. For more benefits, you can also upgrade to the premium version that provides you additional features like Microsoft Word or Outlook Add-on. If you’re busy and always on the move, you can easily correct your discourse accessing this tool on your smartphone. In fact, there are many ways in which your mobile phone can help you improve your language. (more…)
Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time!
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, hello my dear fellow English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video we are going to look at the following topic: full English immersion and its importance in your spoken English fluency development. And sometimes you may think “what's the big deal? Why would I have to necessarily surround myself with English 24/7? Surely, if I want to improve my English I can just do certain things and that will improve my spoken English, right?” Well, you're right to a certain degree. Yes, you will definitely improve it because doing something is better than doing nothing, right? But here's the deal: if you immerse yourself in English 24/7, it's going to provide even additional benefits for your overall spoken English fluency development. (more…)
How English Learners Can Use Mobile Phones to Improve English
English Idiomatic Expression: “The Big Picture…”
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, hi boys and girls and welcome back to the English Harmony video blog! In today's video we're going to look at the following English idiom: The BIG Picture. Or alternatively, you can say: The Bigger Picture. It doesn't really matter which one you go for, whether you say "The big picture" or "The bigger picture", these two word combinations are pretty much interchangeable, they mean the same thing. Now. In reality when you'll be using the phrase "The big picture" you would be putting it in different contexts, such as: "When looking at the bigger picture" or "If you look at the big picture" or your ability to see the bigger picture, right? You'd be using it in different contexts but the very two-word combination "The big picture" always remains the same and it's very idiomatic by its nature and if you are curious as to what it means, when to use it, how to use it, place bear with me for a few more minutes and everything's gonna become crystal clear to you, I promise! (more…)
What do the International English Language Examinations Give You?
English Harmony Q & A: Foreign Accent & Learning English for Free
Another English Fluency Question and Answer session – this time around it’s all about me speaking with a foreign accent and free vs paid English learning resources!
English Fluency Q & A – 17 September 2016 – Ask Robby!
Correct Yourself When Speaking in English Without Others Noticing!
English Fluency Questions Answered: Q & A Session With Robby
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hello my fellow foreign English speakers! In this video I'm responding to one of my blog reader's comment where I'm being asked to respond to a number of questions in relation to improving English fluency: Help me in learning and speaking English. I need your help too much. I can't understand English songs I have to see lyrics than only I can sing the song slowly. But when my teachers teach us in English I can understand it properly. I can't watch the movie without using seeing the subtitle. Whenever I go to watch the movie cinema hall and when there is joke in movie I can't understand the joke. Please help me. Do I have to practice written English also? Tell me something Robby. I need your help very much. Whenever I have to speak English in front of people or student or with my friends words become less to me I can't understand what to speak in front of them. I can't ask any doubt from my teachers in English. Help me in English and suggest me something. And help me in improving my thought process also. I don't have enough words to speak with others. What to do tell me! And guess what? I decided to record a video response to this comment for the simple reason that that's the way I roll - instead of writing a response just for the person who asked me the question, I think it's best to record a video thus helping out all of you guys who might be having the same concerns in relation to your English fluency improvement! Robby P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
Watch This If You Have Total English Grammar Confusion!
Recently I got contacted by one of my blog readers and she told me that the more she thinks about the various English grammar tenses, the more confusing the whole thing gets… On a lot of occasions it seems that you can use a number of different Tenses, for instance – “I’m going to the movies tonight”, “I’ll go to the movies”, “I’ll be going to the movies” – so how do you know which one is right? And the more you analyze all this kind of stuff, the more confusing it gets and eventually you start feeling that you know nothing about English grammar! Now, watch this video above where I’m giving precious advice on how to approach such a state of mind, and if you’ve got any questions – don’t hesitate to publish them in the comments section below! Robby P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Along the Lines of…”
Update From Robby: New Job, Fluency Star Finished, Spoken English Self-practice Still Going Strong!
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi Guys! Today I'm bringing you a quick update on what I've been up to this summer, and you wouldn't believe how busy I've been doing all the following: Finishing my IT certification; Organizing my work experience; Preparing for a job interview; Starting in a new job; ...and all the while keeping teaching my Fluency Star students at night! (more…)
This Exercise Will Help You Finally Master Those Annoying English Auxiliary Verbs!
English Idiomatic Expression: “To The Best of My Knowledge”
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! Today I decided to bring another English idiomatic expression video to you and this time around the video in question is – no, not the video in question, the phrase, the expression in question! Sorry guys for making this mistake but I'm just going to leave it here on record so that you can see that Robby is not really afraid of making mistakes, he practices what he preaches and that's the path that you should be going down as well if you're anything serious about your English fluency improvement that is, right? So basically don't be afraid, don't be embarrassed of making mistakes, saying something wrong, going back, correcting yourself, it's all part of the game. Anyway, going back to the original subject, the expression in question for today is “to the best of my knowledge”, right? So if you're interested in learning how to use this particular English idiomatic expression, just bear with me for a few more moments and everything is going to become crystal clear to you my friends! (more…)
What Not To Expect While Learning a Foreign Language
What Happens When You Don’t Learn English Contextually?
Past Events in English: “There Was This Time When… Next Thing I Know…”
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Now, in today's video I'm going to give you two new English idiomatic expressions which is somewhat unusual because normally I'd be giving just one. The reason being, if you learn a number of expressions all at once, especially if they describe a very similar concept, oftentimes you would get confused when we learn them all at once and then we try to speak all those expressions would mix together kind of. So that's why I normally suggest only focusing on one particular expression at a given time. But in this particular case the topic that I want to touch upon today is discussing past events, all right? The reason being, a lot of my blog visitors have contacted me in the past asking me “Robby, can you tell me ways of simplifying my speech when I talk about past events because I oftentimes get confused about using the different tenses or whatever?” And on top of that, a lot of my Fluency Star coaching clients have also expressed the same wish that we incorporate some storytelling basically into our programs. And by saying storytelling don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about some old style storytelling whereby the storyteller gets in front of the crowd and entertains everyone by telling entertaining stories. It's not about that. It's just about talk about past events, right? So basically provided all this I have a pretty clear picture basically. A lot of you guys are struggling with talking about past events and that's exactly the reason why I'm going to be touching upon that subject today. And the two phrases will come in very handy because the first one “there was this time when…” is a great way of initiating the story, right? And then the phrase “next thing I know...” is a very handy way of making the transition from the past tenses into the simple present. The reason being, you can use simple present when talking about past events. Surprise, surprise, a lot of you guys probably didn't know that, right? And chances are that you didn't because nobody really tells you that. You wouldn't find that information in an English grammar book. Nobody would write in it that simple present can be used to talk about past events, right? But in reality it happens a lot. Native English speakers use this strategy a lot but nobody – I suppose nobody really thinks a great deal of it. You know what I mean, people just speak that way, okay? But if you want to learn exactly how to use these two phrases “there was this time when…” and “next thing I know...” and how to make the transition from past tenses back to simple present to simplify your speech and get your story going, please bear with me and you'll find it all out, my friends in a couple of moments! (more…)
How to Master the Art of Essay Writing: Tips and Tools for Non-Native Speakers
If you are an international student, attending college or university in the English-speaking country, you might know that this language can be quite tricky. The necessity to write your papers and communicate with peers in the Shakespeare’s language is something you have to face over and over again. However, even if you make mistakes on your way – it’s natural to feel uneasy and lose your self-confidence. But remember, dear non-English speakers, there is no result without mistakes! Below we have gathered some tips and tools to help you improve your English academic writing skills. Hopefully, this links will come in handy! (more…)
It’s Normal to Forget English Phrases, Expressions and Collocations!
Where I Source All These English Idiomatic Expressions?
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog! I’m obviously Robby, your English fluency facilitator. Yes, that’s the term that I came up with myself, facilitator means obviously someone who facilitates your fluency. I’m not a teacher, because I really hate the term teacher. It kind of implies a traditional setting whereby the teacher is looking down on their students, right? But I’m not looking down on you guys, I’m just merely facilitating your fluency and improvement! I’m accompanying you on your journey to English fluency, that’s all I’m doing, I’m giving you the right advice, the right tools and then it’s up to you guys to decide whether you take my advice on board and take some action or you don’t in which case obviously your fluency won’t improve. It’s as simple as that! As a matter of fact, I’m getting plenty of questions almost on a daily basis asking me to help people with their fluency. And the question is posed in a way that makes me kind of wonder whether that person actually realizes that it’s actually down to them to make all the effort, do the hard work and actually work on their fluency because they almost expect me to kind of magically transfer all my skills unto them but it just doesn’t happen like that in real life. And it’s another one of those things that I blame the traditional English teaching industry for - basically they’ve created this notion out there that if you just attend an English class, you will improve just because you have attended the class. The teacher has all the qualifications and it’s enough to have that kind of setting and you will automatically improve. So it kind of takes away all the hard work and effort that you have to do. And it makes it look as if it’s very easy but in real life it’s quite hard, right? It’s hard work. But a lot of people don’t realize that and they think that Robby will somehow make them fluent which is not the case. I’m merely facilitating your own journey to fluency. I’m giving you the right advice, the right tips and tricks, so that’s how it happens, right? But anyway, today’s video is all about how I find all these English idiomatic expressions and collocations and phrases, you name it. How I come up with them. Because I’ve been cranking out all of these idiomatic expression videos – well, lately I haven’t published too many of them because of my high workload, I’m currently engaged with a couple of students that I took on. My Fluency Star students and I still had a few left from the previous round. (more…)
Confusing English Grammar: “Roast” vs “Roasted” Chicken – Can We Use Verb Base Form as an Adjective?
Ignoring Grammar Doesn’t Mean You Have to Speak Incorrectly!
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog. Now, in today's video I'm going to tell you about the fact that sometimes what we say to the other person or in my case what I write on my blog or I talk about in my videos sometimes it can be perceived differently, right? Basically I mean it in one way but the other person or a group of people perceive the message the wrong way. Maybe it's because of the way I communicate the message or sometimes it just happens, you know. Miscommunication just happens despite your best efforts to make sure that the message is sent out very straightforward and clear and despite the fact that you're trying to get rid of all the ambiguity it just happens sometimes, right? And what exactly I'm talking about here in this video is the fact that sometimes I talk about grammar and how it's not really necessary, right? But at the same time I've always emphasize the fact that you have to self-correct that any intelligent person would not just try and get away with speaking grammatically incorrectly, they would try and to self-correct and over time as you keep correcting yourself – and you may want to click on this link to read more about the self-correction. (more…)
Native English Speakers Won’t Use Perfect Future Tenses – And You Should Avoid Them Too!
Emigration to an English Speaking Country: My Honest Opinion
English Sentence Starter: “I Heard Somewhere That…”
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, today I’m bringing you yet another English idiomatic expression, and this time around it’s a super handy sentence starter: I HEARD SOMEWHERE THAT… Why am I saying it’s a super handy sentence starter? Well, the reason behind that is simple enough – it’s a perfect way of starting a conversation with someone about something that you’ve heard somewhere, which is what a lot of conversations are all about! Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you want to tell your work colleague that there’s way more bacteria on the average mobile phone than on a toilet seat. In theory, nothing could be easier than that, right? Just open your mouth and tell him about it! In reality, what a lot of foreign English speakers will struggle with is – HOW TO START THE DAMN SENTENCE! (more…)