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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English Idiomatic Expression: “Over the years”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2omMV0o5CT4 Hello, my foreign English speaking friends! ;-) I’ve been away for a short while, but it’s only because I’m working on a lot of things currently – one of which is my upcoming English confidence coaching program - and by no means I’m thinking of stopping publishing my daily idiomatic expression videos! I enjoy the process immensely, and if I had to list things I’ve really loved doing here on EnglishHarmony over the years, these daily idiomatic expression videos would definitely come at the top! The expression we’re going to look at today is “over the years”, and if you’re attentive enough you did notice that I actually used it in the previous sentence. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Easier said than done”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CDDY5rAB8U If you’ve been following my blog and watching my videos for a while, you’ll know that there’s one sentence I repeat in almost every video – “Make sure you repeat and memorize this phrase so that you can make it part of your daily English conversations!” The thing is – such and similar gems of wisdom are always quite simple yet at the same time it requires a lot of hard work to follow them in real life. Just think about all these cliche phrases thrown at us so often most of us have probable started ignoring them and they don’t really register with us anymore: “Enjoy alcohol responsibly!” “Please tick this checkbox to indicate you’ve read all the terms and conditions before signing up!” “Just do it!” All these things are easier said than done, and that’s actually our today’s phrase! ;-) (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “In This Day and Age”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfrYCefkn1Q Today we’re going to look at the following English idiomatic expression: “In this day and age”. It’s very relevant when discussing various issues in connection with modern times such as technology or any other aspect of our lives that has seen rapid improvement. To see what exactly I mean by that however, you should definitely watch the video above because I’ve included a lot of examples in it on how to use this English phrase. In this day and age recording videos is easier than ever, and also publishing them on YouTube is very straightforward. It can be literally done with a push of a button, and it would be foolish of me not to take advantage of it! But if you’ve been reading this article, you surely noticed I already provided an example of the phrase “in this day and age” – the previous paragraph actually begins with this idiomatic expression. (more…)

Just a Handful of English Phrases Will Enable You to Speak so Much More Fluently!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Run the Risk of…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6URoB2eVnY If you’ve been ignoring the power of English idiomatic expressions, you’re running the risk of not being able to express yourself in a native-like way! Today’s expression is “to run the risk of”, and I’m sure you noticed that I used this phrase in the previous sentence, didn’t you? ;-) When you learn this idiomatic expression, don’t try to analyze it too much, don’t try to make mental notes of this phrase being yet another one of those featuring the verb ‘to run’ (similar to “to run off” or “to run out of something”) and definitely don’t try to put all those idiomatic expressions containing the verb ‘to run’ under the same category! If you’re anything serious about your English fluency, you must look at every new phrase and expression individually, so this one – “to run the risk of” – is ONLY EVER to associate with words that it would go with in a natural conversation: (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Having Said This”

English Idiomatic Expression: “To Cross One’s Mind”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEyblFfdt5U I got up today and it crossed my mind that I hadn’t made any English idiomatic expression videos lately! So, I edited this one and as you can see it’s about the expression I used in the previous sentence – “To cross one’s mind”. This idiomatic expression is just another way of saying that you’ve just got an idea, that you’ve just thought of something. “What’s the difference then?” – you may ask. “Don’t ask unnecessary questions; just accept English as it is!” – is my answer (read more about it HERE). I strongly believe that there’s no need to try to figure out what EXACTLY is the difference between this or that particular English expression. I would say that “It just crossed my mind” and “I just thought of something” is almost the same, and I don’t need to delve deeper into the intricacies of the English language for everyday conversation purposes. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Such and similar”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vPcOGDi1_0 You’ve probably noticed by now that in my English idiomatic expression videos I don’t focus on the typical English idioms such as “Heard it through the grapevine” or “It’s raining cats and dogs”. Why? First of all, I believe it’s more important to focus on idiomatic expressions that are used more often – such as “I would have thought” or “Down the line”. These expressions can be used in various situations whereas the more specific idioms are limited to certain occasions. Secondly, the typical English idioms aren’t going to help you speak more fluently. Idiomatic expressions such as the following speech pattern – “It’s not that… it’s just that…“ – on the other hand, are instrumental in helping you structure your speech around those key-phrases and as a result your fluency is improving :!: Lastly… Well, read this blog post yourself and you’ll find out everything in relation as to why I favor English idiomatic expressions over traditional idioms! ;-) Today’s expression, by the way, is “such and similar”. It’s quite a simple speech pattern, yet it will come in handy whenever you want to… To find out when EXACTLY it’s useful – watch the video above! :grin: Chat soon, Robby ;-)

English Idiomatic Expression & Phrasal Verb: “To Get Across”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf8eOS9jYPw Did you know that English phrasal verbs are also idiomatic expressions? It’s not commonly accepted knowledge, yet in reality any phrasal verb – ‘to bring about’, ‘to carry over’, ‘to calm down’ and thousands of others – possess the main characteristic of idiomatic expressions: You can’t replace a word within the phrasal verb without losing its meaning! Let’s take today’s phrasal verb – ‘to get across’. It means ‘to communicate successfully’ and it’s a very short and handy way to describe a successfully communicated message (or lack of thereof): “Sometimes even native speakers struggle to get the message across if they speak with different accents.” Remember I told you that you can’t replace a word within the phrasal verb without losing its meaning? Now, imagine that you’ve forgotten what words this particular phrasal verb consists of, and you only have a vague recollection of it. You remember the ‘across’ part, but you’re not sure of the first word. You’re trying to get it right, however, so you’re saying – “I don’t think Sarah made the message across during the meeting, everyone was looking just as confused as I was!” Don’t get me wrong (‘to get wrong’ is also a phrasal verb, by the way!), I’m not saying you shouldn’t be trying to say things you’re not 100% sure of. (more…)

Do You Get Intimidated by Eloquent English Speakers? You Shouldn’t!

English Idiomatic Expression: “Down the line”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNviqdKGkok We never know what’s going to happen down the line – isn’t that right my friends? But let’s not get too pessimistic – after all, it’s time to learn another English idiomatic expression, and I actually just used today’s phrase – “down the line”! ;-) This English idiom is quite simple, and it’s just another way of saying “in the future”. Are you wondering then what’s the difference between the two phrases? Are you asking the question – “Why use ‘down the line’ if I can simply say ‘in the future’?” I warmly suggest you stop asking questions like the ones I just mentioned! They’re not going to avail you of anything apart from only getting you more confused. So please read this blog post I wrote a short while ago about the bad effects of too much question asking and analysing. So, just repeat and memorize today’s phrase “down the line” and watch the video above to see how it’s used in real life so that you can start using it in your daily English conversations! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

English Teacher Destroys Student Confidence by Scolding Them? It’s Unacceptable!

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: “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

“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…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “When it comes to…”

English Idiomatic Expression: “This or that particular thing”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnIbrUkSRzE I’m back with another English expression, and this time it’s a very simple one – “This or that particular thing”. You know why I’m giving you mostly such simple expressions? The reason behind it is quite simple – it’s such and similar English phrases that form the core content of your speech and allow you to sound fluent and get the message across to your chat partner! Yes, I don’t deny that there’s also a place for proper idioms and specific phrases – the heck, I’ve also published them on my blog! – READ this article stuffed full with smart English phrases! By and large, however, it’s the simple phrases that make up the backbone of your speech, so I warmly suggest you to incorporate learning these simple phrases and start using them in your daily English conversations RIGHT NOW! See more simple English phrases here: “It’s only when you… that…” “In the first place” “Pretty much the same” Talk to you soon! Robby ;-)

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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: “In the first place”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5mvTxNF8e4 Today's English idiomatic expression is "In the first place", and please watch the video above to hear my examples of how to use this phrase. They mightn't always be the best samples sentences, but you can rest assured that I would never tell you something that is totally wrong - EVER! I might be a foreigner and my spoken English mightn't be exactly native-like; however, I have a pretty decent level of fluency and over the years I've developed a good 'gut feeling' for correct English. Thanks for visiting my blog, and chat to you soon again my friends! Robby ;-)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Send the Wrong Message”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MySxtx-A5c 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'm exaggerating - 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 ;-)

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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 ;-)

English idiomatic expression: “Pretty much the same”

Robby’s 5 Favorite Blog Posts of All Time on EnglishHarmony.com

Over the years I've published well over 200 articles on this blog, and there are a few that have become hugely popular with my blog readers. Articles like English Small Talk Phrases and How to Speak Fluent English with Limited Vocabulary are constantly topping the most viewed pages list, and I can see why they're getting such good publicity. A large number of my fellow foreigners are seeking information on the most commonly used English words and sentences, and those two articles are related to that subject hence their popularity! Some of my creations, however, have limited exposure, and the purpose of this article is to showcase some of my blog posts I’m very proud of YET they’re not getting a lot of views because they don’t rank well enough in Google. So, without further ado, allow me present you the top 5 blog posts I really, really like and I believe you’ll like them too because they touch upon subjects that are very relevant to us, foreign English speakers! (more…)

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.com 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 ;-)