Robby Kukurs

I’m Robby, and I’m a non-native English speaker. Throughout my entire life I’ve always wanted to speak in English fluently, but because of the way English is taught in schools, I always struggled with my spoken English.

I couldn't learn to speak fluent English for 5 years - read about what I was doing to learn to speak fluently HERE - are YOU in the same situation?

Then, one fine day, after years of constant pursuit of English fluency, I realized the key aspect of spoken English improvement – learning English phrases and word combinations instead of studying grammar rules and trying to construct sentences in your head from scratch!

If you’re interested in improving your English fluency too, please check out the English Harmony System which is a product I created to help all my fellow foreigners to better their spoken English and achieve so much more in professional, social and personal life.

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For those foreign English speakers whose English understanding, writing and grammar is already good but they're struggling with spoken English!

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Common English phrases used in speaking

20 Common English Mistakes Made by Indian People

Depending on whether you are a native speaker or not, the English language can either be hard or simple to learn. Most non-native speakers consider it hard to learn especially in situation where they get introduced to the same at a very late stage in life. In as much as the native English speakers are assumed to have an easier time with the English language, not everyone can claim to have mastery on the same. As a matter of fact, most of them speak the language without a proper consideration on the grammar and words work. Depending on what are your preferences, you can choose to either learn the British or the American English versions which are the most popular. Other versions include: the Canadian version, the Australian and the New Zealand version to name but a few. All these versions are slightly different from one another in terms of their grammar rules and in some case the spelling of words. To a typical non-native, all these can be overwhelming and confusing at the same time. This makes it hard for anyone who is willing to learn the language. In fact, some people attribute their countless mistakes to having such disparities in the versions. In this piece, we'll pay much of our attention to the Indian people as we try to explore some of the common mistakes they make in relation to the English language. (more…)

You Don’t Have to Know a SINGLE Grammar Rule to Speak Fluent English!

In this article, you’re going to find out: Why English grammar ISN’T necessary to speak fluent English; Why the most complicated grammar constructs are actually quite SIMPLE; How to use your brain’s natural ability to absorb grammatically correct speech patterns without analyzing them; How to use all the above to improve your spoken English! I know for a fact that many of you, my non-native English speaking friends, are struggling with English grammar. You’ve been studying grammar for YEARS only to discover that it doesn’t really help you speak fluently. YET you’re sticking with it. You’re hoping that there will be a point in time where you start speaking fluently once a significant amount of English grammar has been acquired. But guess what? Such a time will never come :!: Read about my 5 year long journey to English fluency HERE to see that the moment I STOPPED caring about grammar was the moment I started speaking fluent English. And keep reading this article to see WHY you don’t have to know formal English grammar rules in order to speak fluently ;-) (more…)

Don’t Analyze the English Language Too Much – It’s Not Good for Your Fluency!

Common English Phrases to Use at Home & With Kids

I got the inspiration to write this English phrase compilation from a guy called Guillermo, and here’s the comment he left on my blog a while back: So basically he wants to learn useful English phrases to be used around the house describing common everyday concepts such as eating, playing, tidying up, going to bed and others. And come to think of it, pretty much all English phrases I’ve published on this blog focus either on your social life such as the small talk phrases or your professional life such as these industry specific phrases. That’s why I decided to compile a bunch of useful English phrases you can use at home when speaking with your own kinds in order to improve your English – just like Guillermo does – or when there are other English speaking kids around. Speaking of which, I can tell you based on my own experience that your English may be quite advanced, but you may still find yourself struggling to speak with little children using simple language :!: I clearly remember how I came to Ireland all those years ago and my daughters started attending the local school. I was in the same situation when I had to help them with their homework or speak with other kids at birthday parties, for example, and I realized that my English was lacking simple phraseology that native speakers use in daily situations at home! So, without further ado, let’s start listing commonly used simple English expressions you’ll be able to use at home! ;-) (more…)

English phrases for daily use – Small Talk Phrases

Useful Sophisticated English Words & Phrases

When I arrived in Ireland 15 years ago, I went onto a mission of learning English vocabulary because I thought it was going to help me overcome my fluency issues. As a result, I acquired hundreds upon hundreds long English vocabulary lists also containing plenty of words that even native English speakers don’t use and they simply didn’t have a clue what they meant when I tried using them in real life! I like to call such English vocabulary “sophisticated”, and I’ve also written extensively on this topic on my blog, here’s a couple of articles: Don’t Learn Some Obscure English Words that Even Native Speakers DON’T KNOW! Simple vs Sophisticated Vocabulary? It’s All Just Semantics (Interpretation)! Now I know better than to learn English words that nobody uses in day-to-day communication; I’d rather use to learn the vocabulary I already know in DIFFERENT WAYS thus enabling me to speak about virtually any topic. Sometimes, however, knowing how to use certain sophisticated English words comes in handy and as it was pointed out by one of my YouTube commentators, some English tests and exams may include such vocabulary. So, without further ado, let’s learn some useful English expressions containing words that you may not have heard before – or maybe you’ve heard them a few times and wondered what they actually mean. Needless to say, it’s strongly advised you acquire this sophisticated vocabulary by learning the entire word combination thus ensuring you’ll be able to USE the word in question! (Read this article to understand what exactly I’m talking about here) (more…)

7 Best Radio Stations for English Learners

Today's Guest post is by Kenneth Waldman. He is a Professional Writer and also an Editorial Assistant at EssayMama.com. The areas of his interest include the latest education trends and technologies, digital marketing, social media. Listening to radio stations is a terrific way to improve your ability to understand spoken English. Listening to the radio provides opportunities to listen to many different people speaking English at a normal rate of speed and in many different dialects and accents. Talk radio is especially helpful because it forces one to concentrate and focus on the spoken word. You will begin to listen and to understand English without translating from your mother tongue. You will improve your own accent and learn many commonly used phrases.  Read about these 7 stations that can help you improve your spoken English, comprehension and vocabulary. (more…)

11 Reasons Why the English Language Is Super-Easy to Learn and Speak

Here’s how to improve your spoken English when reading this article: read it out loud, then read out loud the collocations highlighted in red 10 times each to memorize them, then look away from the monitor and try and say 3 sample sentences for each of those collocations! For best results record your speech so that you can go back, spot any mistakes you might have made, and then do some more spoken English practice by correcting yourself! I’ve been an English speaker for the better part of my life, and I’ve always found this language quite easy to learn and speak. Now, when I’m saying “easy to learn and speak”, I don’t mean to say that nobody has any problems when learning and speaking in English. I’m only too well aware that millions of foreign English speakers just like me are struggling with English. But guess what? We’re struggling for all the wrong reasons! We find it hard to learn and speak in English because we tend to use the wrong learning methods, we tend to over-analyze every single aspect of English from the grammar standpoint, and we focus too much on the irregularities of the language. I mean – show me a language that doesn’t have any irregularities except for artificial ones such as Esperanto? Any language on the planet has something unique about it, and the fact of the matter is that we can find all the reasons in the world why it’s very difficult to for us to learn English. There’s irregular verbs, irregular nouns, thousands upon thousands of phrasal verbs, hundreds of grammar rules and exceptions to those rules, spelling irregularities – the list goes on and on, and if we choose to go with this perceived difficulty of the language, then I can’t see any reason why I couldn’t write an article called “Why English is the most difficult language on the planet to learn and speak”! Except that I choose to look past those perceived difficulties which can all be easily overcome once you embrace contextual learning of the English language. Instead, I choose to see how easy English is, so keep reading to find out why English is super-easy to learn and speak! Also, please bear in mind that I’m not claiming that English is THE EASIEST language to learn. I’m not making any comparisons here, I’m merely going to list facts about English that illustrate how easy it is to learn and speak it. (more…)

Words to start a sentence – 35 Perfect Ways of Starting Sentences in English!

82 Industry-Specific English Expressions & Phrases for Non-native English Speakers

If you’re a non-native English speaking professional employed in a specific industry such as medical and pharmacy, military, education, accountancy, human resources or legal industry, your daily duties involve using a lot of specific terminology and phraseology. Sure enough, you got your job by virtue of very decent English skills paired with relevant qualification and educational background, so it kind of goes without saying that your English is quite good and you’re not looking for basic English improving related information aimed mainly at beginner English learners. Having said this, we have to admit that English learning and improvement is a lifetime long process and you just have to keep on top of your specific industry-related language in order to remain a top-notch specialist, stay competitive in the jobs market, and also retain that edge that identifies you as a savvy industry specialist embracing change and always ready to adopt! So, here I’ve compiled 82 various technical English idiomatic expressions and phraseology that will definitely come in handy for you in your day-to-day job as well as recruitment process if you’re currently seeking for a new job or aiming to get a promotion in your current organization. Just scroll down to read the entire list of phrases or click on one of the links below to go to a specific phrase category: (more…)

How to Write Formal e-Mails in English

38 Typical English Sentence Endings

A while back, I published an article containing 25 English sentence starters - they’re great to get your speech going and some of them can be used in pretty much any life situation. Then, a short time later, I received a request from a blog reader of mine to provide him with typical English phrases used at the end of a sentence, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do in this article! This is going to be a compilation of 38 typical English sentence endings, and I’m going to group them into several categories so that it’s easier for you to learn them. And remember – you HAVE TO incorporate these sentence endings in your spoken English practice sessions to be able to use them in real life. If you’re not going to USE them, you’ll lose them – simple as that! And now, without further ado, let’s start looking at these English sentence endings. (more…)

What Books Would You Suggest to Improve My Spoken English?

This is a question I get asked quite often when people contact me – “Robby, I want to improve my spoken English. What books would you suggest?” The moment I read the question, I just can’t help but to think: “Why on Earth are you looking for a BOOK if it’s your SPOKEN English you want to improve?” To me it’s quite obvious that no amount of books will help you on your journey to become a fluent English speaker. If you want, we can do an experiment. Just give me your address and I’ll send a trailer-load of books to you and I bet you’re not going to gain an ounce of spoken English fluency after reading them all :!: You don’t believe me? Well, I’m a living proof of that – there was a time when I was literally devouring English fiction books and as a result I achieved a complete reading fluency. And guess what? I was still struggling with basic communication for the simple reason that reading books didn’t train my MOUTH :!: Basically the issue is the following: You may have the BEST English learning books and textbooks in the world, but they’re not going to make any difference to your ability to speak unless you PRACTICE YOUR SPOKEN ENGLISH… …which brings us to the REAL question: (more…)

You ARE What You DO!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEpd-wiXsVw VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys and welcome back to English Harmony video blog! I'm Robby, obviously, and in today's video we're going to talk about a very simple matter indeed. Namely – YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO. I know - this may sound very simplistic – “You are what you do.” Well, what's the big deal? It's common sense! What you do determines what you are, who you are, right? But, just think about this guys. I still keep receiving plenty of emails on a daily basis asking for one basic thing: “Robby, tell me how I can start speaking fluent English? How do I improve my spoken English fluency? Basically, how do I speak in English?” So the basic need, the desire that is the common denominator among all those people, maybe including even you, is your desire to speak fluently. Basically, that's WHO you want to be. You want to become a FLUENT ENGLISH SPEAKER. So, if we go by the equation - you are what you do - going by that logic, it's not difficult to draw a simple conclusion: (more…)

How to Reduce Clauses to Phrases in English Sentences

Easy Guide on Omitting English Relative Pronouns “Which, Who, and That”

Do you ever think English grammar is just trying to confuse you? If you’re trying to learn English, all the grammatical rules and exceptions can be overwhelming. Heck, even as a native English speaker, I often feel like English was designed specifically to be as complicated as possible! For example, why is it that both of the following sentences are great...         The dog that Mary is petting is very fluffy.         The dog Mary is petting is very fluffy. ...but only the first of the following two sentences is acceptable?         The dog that has brown fur is very fluffy. (This is fine!)         The dog has brown fur is very fluffy. (This is bad!) In this article, I’ll be talking to you about sentences in which you can (and can’t) omit relative clauses, such as who, that, or which. These are called contact clauses, because they consist of two clauses that are right next to each other, and therefore they come into contact with each other. By the end of this article, the sentences above will be confusing no more - and you’ll be forming contact clauses of your own :!: (more…)

1,000,000 English Grammar Questions Answered by Robby

Many Native English Speakers Don’t Realize How HARD It Actually Is to Learn a Language!

Have you ever heard a native English speaker make a comment about some foreigner which clearly shows their irritation with the fact that the said foreigner doesn’t speak in English fluently enough or can’t understand what the native English speaker is saying? I’ve been the target of such judgmental, opinionated thinking myself as well as witnessed other foreigners becoming targets of unfair treatment just because they didn’t understand what they were told or weren’t able to say something in English, and here’s a typical scenario of how such treatment manifests itself: A native English speaker says something to a foreigner very fast, or even worse – with a strong local accent. The foreigner has NO IDEA what he was just told, and oftentimes he’s too embarrassed to say anything in response – he’s just smiling or nodding his head in agreement just so that the native English speaker would go away and leave him alone. The native English speaker then makes a comment about the whole situation by saying something along the lines of: “It’s about time they started learning some English…” or “He’s been working here for so long and still he has no English at all!” All I can say about that is the following – those native English speakers have NO IDEA of how difficult it actually is to learn a language :!: They have no idea that it’s impossible for foreigners to learn English by listening to very fast speech spoken by locals so they don’t even bother slowing their speech down thus making it impossible for the non-native speaker to understand them. They think that English is somehow “picked up” by foreigners simply being around English speakers, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. One has to make a lot of CONSCIOUS effort in order to learn English and be able to understand others as well as speak the language, and it requires many hours of spoken English practice to get to a level where the foreign English speaker can finally start speaking with other people in English comfortably. Some native English speakers may have been lead to believe that picking up English is fairly simple by the analogy of small foreign children of pre-school age – they start speaking in English pretty fast once they start going to a kindergarten or school so surely adult foreigners should be capable of the same, right? Not really :!: You can’t really compare small children with adults because children have no fear of making mistakes and they can speak ALL THE TIME thus improving their English very fast whereas for many adult foreigners at work opportunities to speak are quite limited – not to mention the embarrassment and judgmental treatment which are LIMITING their potential. All in all, learning English is quite a tricky process for the average foreigner, so let’s look at the various aspects of it a little bit deeper. (more…)

12 English Phrases Meaning Something Completely DIFFERENT to What You Might Think They Mean!

I often touch upon the subject of English idiomatic expressions on this blog for the simple reason that more often than not our every-day speech consists of such and similar word combinations and it’s making our speech so much more easier! Just look at the above paragraph – it’s stuffed with various idiomatic expressions and collocations, and the one common trait they all share is that you have to learn the EXACT way they’re used so that you can learn them off by heart and then use them in your own conversations. Then there are proper English idioms you can’t even understand unless you actually know what they mean – such as “It’s no skin off my nose” or “Until the cows come home”. There are, however, certain English phrases that may at first sound as if they don’t have any double-meanings AT ALL, yet they mean something completely different! If you’re an advanced English speaker and you’ve been communicating with real people in real life for years, this list will probably reveal nothing new to you. If you’re someone who’s just starting off in an English speaking country, for example, the following phrases might turn out to be an eye-opener for you! ;-) (more…)

Why So Many Foreigners CAN’T Speak Fluent English?

Are you a foreign English speaker? Is your overall English knowledge very good but you struggle to speak English fluently and sometimes you even get stuck for words in the middle of a conversation? Then you may be suffering from the so-called ‘writing mode’ syndrome which is widespread among those foreigners who’ve spent long years learning and studying English mainly by reading and writing! What happens when you spend most of your time learning grammar and filling in gaps in textbooks is the following: your brain gets used to constructing sentences by carefully picking the right English words and arranging them according to grammar rules. It works perfectly when sitting English exams and doing written tests, but when speaking with real people in real life, your mind works in the same ‘writing mode’ and it can’t keep up with the speed of a natural conversation! Lots of English reading won’t help to fix this problem either simply because it builds your passive vocabulary, but when you speak, you utilize your active vocabulary which consists of words, phrases and sentences you can speak without much effort – they have to come out of your mouth by themselves! Are you eager to find out how to make the transition from this terrible ‘writing mode’ into a ‘speaking mode’ and stop preparing speech in your head all the time? (more…)

10 Reasons Why English Is The World’s Language

“What Are the Most Commonly Used English Words?” is the Wrong Question!

Many of my fellow foreigners arrive to my blog while searching for the most commonly used English words, and there’s a good chance that you may be one of them! ‘The top 100 most commonly used English words’, ‘top 500 English words’, ‘English word frequency lists’ – such and similar keywords are used by thousands of foreign English speakers eager to improve their English fluency. But are these English word lists any good? Do they offer good value in terms of improving one’s ability to speak fluently? Frankly speaking, such frequency lists don’t provide a lot of practical value – if any! Why? Fair enough – give me a few moments and I’ll show you exactly why! ;-) (more…)

Is It Possible to Be Fluent without Knowing Grammar?

My 5 Year Long Journey to English Fluency

I got out of the plane in the Dublin airport. The weather was great despite rumors that it rains 360 days a year in Ireland. I was full of expectations, and I was also slightly worried because all I knew for sure was that I’d signed up for a job in a warehouse. Everything else was left to my imagination and such insignificant details as where I’m going to live and how much I’ll have to pay for accommodation hadn’t been really communicated neither to me nor to other Latvian guys I met at the airport having signed up with the same international job recruitment agency. I didn’t care too much about it anyway. I’d nothing to lose because all I had was 50 euro in my pocket and a promise of a better life. In a couple of weeks’ time it turned out I’d singed up with the right agency. I was working for a large multinational logistics company, pay was good, and I was able to start stashing away significant amount of money on a weekly basis which was impossible in my previous life in Latvia where I’d been barely able to make my ends meet. Little that I knew back then, however, that my stay in Ireland wasn’t going to be just about making a better life for myself and my family. I couldn’t have imagined that living in an English speaking country would challenge me as an English speaker in ways I didn’t even know existed. It turned out that my English was quite poor for practical daily life and soon after my arrival in Ireland I started trying to improve my English so that I could function properly in an English speaking society. It took me long years to figure out that textbook based grammar studies and learning large English vocabulary lists didn’t really improve my ability to communicate with other English speakers. Now, 10 years on, long after I finally achieved English fluency I can say with honesty that it’s been one hell of a journey! Want to find out more about it? Then read the rest of this article! ;-) (more…)

Why Reading an English Newspaper is 100 Times Better than Studying a Grammar Workbook

Let’s imagine you have to pick only one English learning and improving material to take with you to a remote island. What would it be? An English grammar book? A fiction book in English? An English workbook? Never mind them all! What you need is a bunch of newspapers and your English will come along nicely! ;-) The reason why I value newspapers so highly – especially tabloids - is because their purpose is to provide normal, everyday people with easy-to-digest news and English used in them is very close to the spoken language heard on the street, at work, on TV and radio. You can read tabloids very easily and in the process you’ll acquire the same means of expression used in interpersonal communication. While some academics might hold to a view that spoken English has low standards because of abundance of phrasal verbs and informal expressions, my experience tells me tabloid language will make your communication with other English speakers so much easier. After all, what kind of conversations are you involved on a regular basis – normal, everyday chatting or highly intellectual, academically inspired discussions? I think that without a shadow of a doubt the former kind of communication is by far more necessary for the average foreign English speaker, so let’s look at the benefits of reading English newspapers and tabloids in a bigger detail. Also, you’ll find out how just by scanning tabloid headlines you can stay up-to-date with current affairs and offer your opinion on different topics when having a chat with your friends at a launch table! (more…)