English Idiomatic Expression: “Within a matter of…”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAt_rvNnjR8 Today’s English idiomatic expression is “Within a matter of…”, and it is most commonly used to refer to a certain time frame – be it seconds, minutes, hours or days. Watch the video above to see how exactly I’m using this particular expression so that you can start using it in your own daily English conversations! See you soon, Robby
English Idiomatic Expression: “I would have thought…”
English Idiomatic Expression: It’s not that… it’s just that…
English Idiomatic Expression: “You may want to…”
Have you heard this popular English phrase – “You may want to (do something)”? It’s used by English speakers worldwide, and it’s very handy to have it in your active phraseology because of the following reasons: You can use it instead of “you should…” but you don’t want to sound as if you’re giving orders; You want to give someone unsolicited advice but you don’t want to fall out with them in case the other person doesn’t take well to being told what to do! Basically the phrase “You may want to…” can be used if you want to come across as a friendly person and you want to avoid any miscommunication that might potentially cause a negative reaction to what you’re saying. To find out more – and also to hear some examples in this phrase in use – please watch the video above! I hope you’ll find this video useful, and also don’t forget to repeat and memorize the phrase – that’s the only way you can add it onto your active vocabulary. And did I say “you may also want to come up with some sample sentences on your own using the phrase “you may want to” and use them in your spoken English self-practice session?” ;-) Chat soon, Robby
English Idiomatic Expression: “When it comes to…”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J55UL0JgECQ When it comes to speaking fluent English, there’s no better way of getting your speech going that learning idiomatic expressions and using them in your real life conversations! Today is no exception, and what I want to draw your attention to is the very first sentence of this article. “When it comes to…” is a very handy English expression, and I decided to make a video about it to tell you guys how to use it best. This expression – “When it comes to…” – has many equivalent English phrases and expressions. “As for…” “In relation to…” “Speaking of…” … and many more phrases can be used the same way you’d use the one I’m looking at in today’s video. Still, I believe that “When it comes to…” is the most informal and friendliest of them all, and that’s why it’s my personal favorite. But what about you? Have you heard other English speakers use it a lot? Or maybe this is the first time you actually hear this particular expression? Let me know about it in the comments below! Talk to you soon, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “This or that particular thing”
English Idiomatic Expression: “You know what I mean?”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i7zojzhcbc If you think that the phrase “You know what I mean?” doesn’t warrant a second glance and is one of those overused phrases that one should rather eliminate from one’s vocabulary – you’d better think twice! This expression allows us deal with situations when we’re stuck for words and we just can’t finish off a sentence, for example. If you think it’s better to say nothing and just stare at your conversation partner than say “You know what I mean?” – good for you! Personally I will go for “You know what I mean?” over an awkward moment of silence any day, and while this phrase can indeed be overused if you get into the habit of saying it after every sentence, it’s still a great way of implying that both you and your conversation partner know what you’re talking about anyway, and any further explanations can be omitted. Chat soon, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s only when you… that…”
English Idiomatic Expression: “To say the least”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXVwlh_trY4 Another day – another English idiomatic expression for you to learn! Today’s phrase is “to say the least”, and it’ll come in very handy whenever you need to make a sarcastic comment or you want to drop a polite hint without sounding openly confrontational. Want to listen to some sample sentences? Please watch the video above where I’m providing you with enough information so that you can use this idiomatic expression – “to say the least” – in your daily English conversations! And also make sure to repeat, memorize and use this phrase in your daily spoken English practice. It’s the only way you’ll add such and similar phrases to your active vocabulary. Why active vocabulary is so important for us, foreign English speakers? Read this article to find out more! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “In the first place”
English Idiomatic Expression: “Send the Wrong Message”
English Idiomatic Expression: “Nothing could be further from the truth”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl1a8x0CjFM Hello, and welcome back to my daily English idiomatic expression video series! In today's video, you'll find out how to use the phrase "Nothing could be further from the truth". I'm sure you've heard it before, but you're probably not 100% confident as to its exact wording - "...from the truth", or "...from truth". If so - listen to the video above, repeat the phrase to yourself AT LEAST 10 times to make sure it imprints into your mind, and also don't forget to do some spoken English self-practice to cement this new expression into your mind! Remember - it's the REPETITION that makes a foreigner fluent, so its importance really can't be overstated, my friends. Chat soon, Robby ;-)
Is It Possible to Become TOTALLY Fluent In English After 24 Years?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLWqdebqOzI 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6tfkPwIpL0 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!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNH2K3fw-qU I started EnglishHarmony.com back in 2007 – so it’s almost 5 years in operation! This year, however, marks the birth of another blog of mine – namely, AccentAdventure.com! It’s a new blog I started earlier this summer, and it’s dedicated to learning different English accents. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know my stance on pronunciation and accent related issues. The advice I always give to my fellow foreigners is – “Speak the way you’re comfortable, don’t try to bend over backwards just to get your English pronunciation perfect because you’re running the risk of ruining your English fluency!” Having said this, however, I’ve NEVER ENCOURAGED my fellow foreign English speakers to NEGLECT the pronunciation aspect of their spoken English; I’ve never said – “Who cares about pronunciation, speak however you want!” A lot of people have misinterpreted my advice and I’ve received quite a few comments blaming me for sending out the wrong message. And I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to receive a couple comments on this video blog post saying that I’m being a hypocrite by first telling everyone not to care about proper pronunciation and then learning to speak like an American which obviously contradicts my previous claims! Now, let me get this one straight. The purpose of the AccentAdventure.comÂ blog is to show that it is POSSIBLE to learn to speak like an American, Brit, Australian or any other native English speaker if you invest enough time and effort into the process! Also, I want to use this new blog as a platform to reveal popular misconceptions surrounding accent acquisition – same way I’m using this blog to show how ineffective traditional studies are when it comes to oral English fluency. For instance, I don’t believe it’s necessary to focus on accent reduction; this term is wrong! I also think it’s totally wrong to learn pronunciation by learning what way certain English vowels can be pronounced etc. It’s 100 times more efficient to learn how to pronounce certain words and sentences; if you learn to analyze separate sounds and how they can be pronounced you’ll end up in a ‘paralysis by analysis’ situation! So, basically if you’re interested in certain tips and tricks on improving your English pronunciation and accent – definitely make sure to check out my new blog at AccentAdventure.com! Robby ;-)
Delivering a DVD set of English Harmony System 2.0 & Discussing my Job, Unemployment and Happiness!
Car Video #3: Spontaneous Speech vs Slow Speech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUCvR754R7U 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?
Practicing Spoken English in Car: Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuOASHRMG00 Here’s another video where you can watch me speaking in English with myself while commuting to work, and this time around I’m trying a different approach to kick-start my English fluency: speaking as fast as possible. It’s one of the different English fluency management strategies, and I know I have to resort to this one because my fluency started dwindling yesterday afternoon. The day before was perfect, my fluency peaked at a two week high, but as it sometimes happens – a peak is followed by a drop :mad: , so I have to figure out a way of reverting back to my normal state of fluency. This is how I manage my fluency, and there are a lot of different strategies: slowing your speech down speaking with an accent (or rather allowing your native accent to come to fore) speaking using short sentences spitting out the first thing that crosses your mind instead of composing sentences in your head All these strategies have been tried and tested over the years, and it’s all a result of my own pursuit after English fluency. (more…)
Spoken English Practice While Driving to Work
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj8x_bp-9fA 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
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!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x61xJ0pLL_k 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?
Use English Comparative and Superlative Adjectives Sparingly – Better Describe than Compare!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9JwdPhNlUc 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! ;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuDsWq-LEN4 (more…)
You Can’t Listen Your Way to Fluency!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j615Jd-UUJs Should foreign English speakers focus mostly on listening to all sorts of English audio lessons, songs and films in order to improve their English fluency? This is somewhat a controversial topic because so many English teachers will tell you to engage in listening to specially prepared audios or just generally listening to English as much as you can in order to improve your fluency. I’ll tell you right upfront – it’s a flawed approach, and here’s why. When you listen, you develop your comprehension skills. Yes, those skills are important when it comes to communicating with English speaking people because it’s necessary for you to understand what you’re being told or asked... obviously! :-) Your overall fluency improvement, however, involves plenty of spoken English practice which basically means speaking :!: (more…)
English Harmony Highlights of May 2012
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKoQmTw8XPs The first article I want you to check out is called Popular Misconceptions About Foreign English Speakers.Â In this blog post I’m looking at a few stereotypical assumptions in relation to foreign English speakers that are so popular that they’ve turned into criteria foreigners are very often judged by. If you’re curious about it, or if you often feel wrongly judged as a bad English speaker just because you have a strong accent for example, definitely check out this article and it might just put your mind at ease! Remember – you’ll do yourself a favor if you just ignore any negative emotions being directed your way. Speaking of which, I recommend you to read this blog post I published a short while ago called What You Can Learn from My Countryman’s Adventures in Britain’s Got Talent.Â It’s a very inspiring story about a Latvian guy Gatis living in Britain and pursuing his dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. There’s a big lesson to be learnt from this story which is – “Enjoy your life through the English language and do what you love to do, andÂ all of a sudden everything is going to be possible!” ;-) (more…)
English Harmony Highlights of April 2012
How I Started Speaking Fluent English by Pretending to be a Gangster
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9aaQaXeXaw Probably one of the weirdest strategies among my English fluency improving methods is speaking with a hard foreign accent - and that’s what the original English Harmony eBook was based upon. It’s actually quite straightforward if you think about it: You make an awful lot of effort in order to sound native in terms of pronunciation; You become conscious of your own speech and you start doubting yourself every time you open your mouth to say something; Your speech becomes very hesitant, your mind is racing and you find it difficult to verbalize your thoughts in English. So if you forget about the pronunciation aspect while you’re speaking by allowing your mouth to speak the way it wants, you may just be able to speak more clearly and stop hesitating and preparing speech in your head before speaking out loud. Do you want to know what lead to this discovery? It was my fascination with one of the greatest mafia films ever – “GoodFellas”! (more…)
My Opinion on Who the English Language Belongs to…
Funny English Phrases #3 – Money & Finance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tanOR87RZms Are you prepared to learn some money and finance related English idiomatic expressions? Then watch the 3rd Funny English Phrase video and you’ll learn the following expressions: To go to the wall The check bounced To buy a lemon Never bite the hand that feeds you Money talks To make sure you add those expressions to your active English vocabulary, please read them out loud a few times, memorize them, and eventually make a conversation with yourself. You don’t necessarily have to make it funny like I did in the video; all you have to do is use those phrases in your own sentences so that you become comfortable using them in real life English conversations. Enjoy! Robby ;-)
English Harmony Highlights of March 2012
Should Japanese and Vietnamese English Speakers Bend Over Backwards to Get Their Pronunciation Right?
English Harmony Highlights of February 2012
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Vs_7FyyycA Blog post I want you to check out first of all is the announcement of the digital download version of the English Harmony System 2.0 going live, and it’s really good news for those who’ve always wanted an immediate access to the product after the purchase is made. The only difference between the download version and the physical product is that you need an Internet connection to use the download version of the English Harmony System, so if you want to play safe and use the System on your laptop when you’re not connected to the Internet, you might as well pay those extra few bucks and get the DVD package delivered to your doorstep worldwide for free. And – you’ll still get the download, so it’s a win-win no matter how you look at it! Now let’s look at one particular strategy of English fluency maintenance that definitely warrants your attention. It's an article is about using reverse psychology in order to deal with English fluency issues. It’s definitely worth your time and if you only have a few minutes, it’s the only February blog post I want you to read! It’s controversial, it’s crazy, and your first impression might be that by implementing the reverse psychology strategy you might only make your matters worse! Well, you are totally right IF you don’t experience those terrible fluency issues when you get tongue-tied and unable to say anything reasonable. Those who’ve tried all my fluency management strategies and still encounter situations when it’s very difficult to maintain fluency at a normal level, this reverse psychology approach might just do the trick! (more…)