English Idiomatic Expression: “To be more specific”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oARZkO4JHPI I started this new blog EasyIdioms.com about two months ago; in fact, I published the very first Idiomatic Expression Video here on February 6, 2013, to be more specific! Today’s expression is “to be more specific”, and you just witnessed a typical way of using this English phrase. Basically you can add this useful hesitation filler phrase at the end of any sentence where you mention specific dates, numbers or figures. Here’s another typical example. I’ve posted slightly more than ten blog posts on this blog; the actual number is eleven, to be more specific! (more…)
When You Improve Your Spoken English, You Improve Your Entire Life Along With It!
English Idiomatic Expression: “You better make sure to”
Who’s Your English Good Luck Charm?
Are there certain English speaking people who you seem to be unable to speak with fluently? Does it feel like those people are actually triggering the ‘writing mode’ of your mind whereby you start stuttering and preparing your speech in your head prior to speaking out loud thus making it totally unnatural? Well, it’s nothing unusual! It’s happened to me on countless occasions, and even though now I’m over the very severe ‘writing mode’ symptoms, I would experience moments when I can’t speak at 100% of my ability with a particular person. Sometimes, however, quite the opposite happens, and my English fluency literally opens up when speaking with a particular person. It’s as if THAT PERSON IS MY GOOD LUCK CHARM and my English fluency issues simply can’t do me any harm because I’m protected by that person! I know it sounds far-fetched, and I fully understand that in real terms there’s nothing to prevent me from speaking fluently with any English speaking person in the world. When I speak, it’s ME who speaks after all, so why would another person’s presence have such a massive positive or negative effect on my fluency, isn’t that right? In real life, however, people you communicate with DO play quite a significant role in the way you can perform in terms of using the right means of expression and also your overall fluency. Some have a negative, but some have a very positive effect on your spoken English – just like my mortgage advisor, for example! (more…)
English Phrasal Verb: “To Carry Out”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjSXmNJlrZU Hello my friends foreign English speakers! ;-) I’ve been away for some time due to my other commitments – Fluency Gym Coach Program – to be more specific. Now I’m back with another English idiomatic expression, and this time around it’s a phrasal verb ‘to carry out’. It’s quite a simple English phrasal verb meaning ‘to make it happen’, ‘to accomplish a task’, but I’d still advise you to watch the video above to see how this particular phrasal verb is used in real life conversations. (more…)
Robby is Back!
English Fluency Improvement Requires a Proper ROUTINE – Just Like Your Workouts in a Gym!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGfqQWWkOsw Hello my friends! ;-) I’m back with another video dedicated to the YearOfEnglish.com audience, and this time around I’m going to focus on the importance of ROUTINE when it comes to your spoken English improvement. And to be honest with you, my friends, routine determines success in any aspect of your life. Are you really good in your job and your work colleagues value your expertise and they know they can always rely upon you? Well, it’s only because you’ve been doing certain things ROUTINELY and as a result you’ve become very good at them! Are you very knowledgeable in terms of computer hardware and all your friends are always seeking your help whenever they have their PCs or laptops playing up? Well, guess what – it’s your computer related ROUTINE over the years that has made you so good at it! And if you’re mad into fitness related activities and you can proudly claim to have a 10% body fat level and you’re staying fit all year round – isn’t it your workout and nutrition related ROUTINE that had enabled you to achieve such amazing results? Of course it is :!: (more…)
We’re All Capable of Correcting Our English Speech Ourselves!
English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s one thing I can say for sure”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRdQGseq6Fc Using the expression “There’s one thing I can say for sure” is a very handy and convenient way of letting your conversation partner know that you’re about to say something they don’t have a reason to disbelieve. There’s a couple of similar expressions you can use to convey pretty much the same message: There’s no doubt about… I know for a fact that… If you learn this particular expression, however – “There’s one thing I can say for sure” – you’ll have another English phrase added onto your active English vocabulary and you’ll have more phrases to choose from! (more…)
33 Word Shortenings Any Foreign English Speaker Should Know!
English Idiomatic Expression: “For a good while”
English Idiomatic Expression: “Due to the risks involved”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Xhog6__z44 There are plenty of activities that can result in a serious bodily harm if proper care and precaution isn’t observed – starting from extreme sports and ending with jobs where you are required to operate machinery with sharp and moving parts. Now, can you tell me what all those activities have in common? You have to seriously consider getting involved in them DUE TO THE RISKS INVOLVED! You have to weigh all the pros and cons (positives and negatives) of the activity in question so that you can make a well informed decision on whether to go in for base-jumping, car racing, rock-climbing or free running or stay safe and enjoy a more relaxed and safer lifestyle. (more…)
New English Vocabulary Word Phenomenon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmrcsrNIaHE Hi guys, In today’s video I’m discussing the following phenomenon which occurs when you learn new English vocabulary: some obscure English word or phrase you’d NEVER heard before, suddenly starts appearing everywhere – in news articles, in radio and TV shows, and even English speakers around you start using this word… Despite you having had never noticed it before! Is it weird or what? Here’s a typical example: I had recently learnt a new English phrase from a guy who lives in Canada ‘in my book’ which means ‘in my opinion’. At the time I thought it might be a more regional expression so I didn’t even think of trying to use it in my own daily English conversations with other people at work. And guess what? The very next day at work my Irish colleague used that expression when speaking with me! (more…)
Have You Ever Thought of Having a CPU Implanted into Your Brain? Read S. J. Kincaid’s INSIGNIA!
English Idiomatic Expression: “I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that…”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeMsv1x-hck Hello boys and girls! I’m back with another English idiomatic expression, and I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you’ve been waiting on me to post another one of these videos, isn’t that right? So, today’s English phrase is “I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that”, and I’m sure it’s quite self-explanatory and there are no further explanations needed as to what exactly it means and when you can use it. Just watch the video above to hear what sample sentences I’ve come up with containing this phrase, and make sure you try to replicate what I’m doing in a spoken English practice session of your own! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s Not to Be Taken Lightly”
Improve Your Spoken English Upon Success!
Any improvement process can be accelerated ten-fold if one focuses on the positive instead of the negative. Speaking in terms of spoken English improvement, I can paraphrase the above statement as follows: You can accelerate your spoken English improvement big time if you focus on your success (things you can say correctly) instead of focusing on your mistakes and imperfections. If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know that I’ve been writing about similar matters in the past. The following article, for example - Focus on What You CAN Say in English Instead of What You CAN’T! - highlights the fact that many foreigners feel overwhelmed by the feeling of NOT KNOWING certain things in terms of English vocabulary and grammar. I’ve also been pointing out that we, foreigners, should ignore our mistakes in the sense that we don’t have to freak out every time it happens; we merely need to take action upon it, simple as that! Well, this advice doesn’t always go down well with my audience because people often think I’m encouraging my fellow foreigners to ignore their mistakes and not improve their English (I’ve tried to explain it in this video and that’s the last time I’ve touched upon that subject), but nothing could be further from the truth! In today’s article, however, I’m going to put a different twist on the whole concept of making mistakes, spoken English improvement and success. I’m going to look at the EMOTIONAL connection between spoken English improvement and success, and how it affects your chances of succeeding as an English student. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expressions: “Correct Me if I’m Wrong” & “If I’m not Mistaken”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrPZxW9MLms Correct me if I’m wrong, my dear fellow foreign English speaker, but I have a strong feeling that you’ve been eagerly anticipating a new English Idiomatic Expression video, am I not right? Well, today I’m going to deliver double joy for you! :grin: If I’m not mistaken, I’ve never published TWO very similar phrases in a single video, so you may want to take this opportunity and watch the above video on how to use the two expressions: Correct me if I’m wrong and If I’m not mistaken together in a single sentence! I would have to think long and hard before I’d come up with another pair of English phrases that would check the following boxes: They would mean pretty much the same thing They could be used together OR you could choose to use either of them! So, as you can see today’s English idiomatic expressions are quite unique in the sense that you can use your discretion as to how you use them, so you’d better get onto it immediately and add these phrases to your active English vocabulary: (more…)
You’ve Got to Do All the Heavy Lifting YOURSELF!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ylgz_ZptFE A couple of weeks ago I published an article called Make Some Effort to Improve Your English, Will Ya? where I was looking at the phenomenon of so many foreign English speakers NOT taking action in order to improve their English but instead relying on OTHERS to steer them into the right direction and provide some magic formula for an easy and effortless English improvement. Five days ago I published a video called Are You Spending Sufficient Amount of Time on Speaking? where I looked at another aspect of the same phenomenon. Namely – foreigners expecting their fluency to improve while at the same time NOT investing anywhere near enough time in SPEAKING. Not to mention countless other articles and videos I’ve published over the years trying to convey pretty much the same message: (more…)
English Collocation: “Sufficient Information”
Self-correction – an Integral Part of Your Spoken English Improvement Routine
If you’re a foreign English speaker frantically looking for a conversation partner online, my typical suggestion to you would be the following: Engage in a lot of self-practice on a daily basis. If you’re lucky enough to find someone you can speak with every now and then – go for it! Don’t stop speaking with yourself however, because that way you’ll keep developing your ability to VERBALIZE YOUR THOUGHTS which is crucial for effective communication. Now, based on the feedback I’ve been getting on my blog posts and videos, the two main reasons why you might find such self-practice difficult to maintain in long term are the following: You can’t think of what to talk about; There’s no-one to point out your mistakes. I don’t buy neither of the two reasons. If you think speaking with yourself is boring, how come I’ve been doing it for years on end and I still have loads to talk about when I voice my thoughts out loud? It would be the same as claiming you don’t have anything to think about! :grin: The second reason – lack of feedback and correction – is also just an excuse not to improve one’s ability to speak. Tell me honestly – do you ALWAYS get corrected when speaking with others in real life? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have a strong notion that more often than not you rely on a thing called SELF-CORRECTION than on others’ feedback :!: And even if you don’t do it, you’d better start making conscious adjustments to your English speech if you want to experience any significant improvement to your ability to speak fluently and correctly! (more…)
Are You Spending Sufficient Amount of Time on Speaking?
English Idiomatic Expression: “It Goes Without Saying”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYrY39G9Gag Today’s idiomatic expression is ‘it goes without saying’, and here’s a typical way of using this phrase: It goes without saying that you can function so much more effectively in an English speaking society if you use various idiomatic expressions in your daily conversations! Basically you can use this phrase whenever you want to EMPHASIZE the fact that you’re going to mention something you consider a known fact, something that cannot be disputed. If you’ve been following my online activities for a while, you’ll know that I feel strongly about English idiomatic expressions, collocations, other informal means of expression and their importance when it comes to developing a foreigner’s ability to speak fluently. That’s why ‘it goes without saying’ is the ideal phrase to use whenever I’m touching upon the subject of English fluency development. Application of this phrase isn’t limited to a person’s personal beliefs and convictions however; you can also use it pretty much in all situations when you mention something that is a proven fact. (more…)
It’s OK Not to Understand Something out of Context or Something Unexpected!
English Idiomatic Expression: “Come in Handy”
Make Some Effort to Improve Your English, Will Ya?
I’m sick of repeating that the English Harmony blog is all about improving your SPOKEN English and your ability to SPEAK, so by now at least those of you following my blog on a regular basis would have realized you’re not going to find any grammar exercises or downloadable worksheets on my website. As a result, the number of e-mails about grammar related questions is dwindling which is an overall positive development, and I’m only happy to see it! Yet a surprising number of people ask me all sorts of questions which clearly show their unwillingness take ANY action in order to improve their spoken English and overall fluency! Here’s the impression I’m getting: The school’s over - English grammar is not in the spot-light anymore. The teacher’s gone - you’re not doing grammar textbooks. The kids are free to do whatever they want - you’ve just realized that the English language isn’t only about doing tests sitting in a classroom. Just like kids you choose to do NOTHING - browsing the Web and asking questions on how to speak better or why you can’t speak better instead of actually doing SOMETHING :!: The simple fact is that I can’t really help you unless you help yourself, ain’t that right, my friend? (more…)
Planning Your Answer Goes a Long Way: How to Answer Unexpected Questions
Here’s one of the biggest problems I’ve been facing myself over the years when dealing with other English speakers: Sometimes they ask you a question you don’t really expect or you don’t have an opinion on, and as a result you struggle to deliver an immediate response! What’s even worse – more often than not your inability to deliver an immediate answer to that question will be mistaken for inability to find the right words to say (basically they’ll assume your English vocabulary isn’t sufficient), but it’s obviously not the case if you simply haven’t thought about that subject before! Let’s assume for argument’s sake you’re walking down the street and you’re suddenly approached by some charity worker trying to talk people into signing up for a monthly direct debit in aid for a particular charity organization – it has happened to me on numerous occasions and I’m sure you’ve fallen victim to those agents as well! Well, not that I have something against charity as such, it’s just that I don’t like the idea of signing up for yet another monthly payment from my bank account! I always tell those people I wouldn’t mind donating a fiver for a good cause, but the answer is always the same – “We can’t accept any cash, it’s not how our organization works and so on.” Anyhow, let’s say you’re suddenly stopped by one of those fellas or girls and you’re being bombarded by a substantial amount of information at once: “Hello mister, do you have a few moments to listen me out? I’m representing organization X – have you ever heard of us? - and we’re helping Y – I’m sure you’ve heard about problems surrounding Y lately - and we depend on people just like you to keep providing these essential services, and…” At this moment in time there’s a number of different lines of thoughts starting in your mind: “Do I have time to talk to this person or I don’t? Do I actually feel comfortable speaking with him?” “Organization X? Yeah, I kind of recognize the name, but I’m not sure…” “Helping Y? That’s a really good cause, but should I ask him if all my money would go towards Y or organization X are keeping some of it for themselves?” … and so on and so forth. All these thoughts happening at once might make your response almost impossible, let alone allowing you to deliver a well thought-through answer! You might start saying something nonsensical, you might make some really stupid mistakes and the agent might think that your English is so bad that you can’t come up with anything reasonable to say! Well, not that you should care too much about others’ opinion anyway, it’s just that I guess you’d wish you could manage such situations better and form logical answers, wouldn’t you? Then read the rest of this article and you’ll find out how EXACTLY you have to PLAN your answers on occasions when you’re bombarded with all different types of questions or you’re asked something unexpected very suddenly! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “To be honest with you”
English Idiomatic Expression: “It goes to show”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EHDvmpY7Vg Today’s English phrase “It goes to show” provides a very handy way of drawing a conclusion during a conversation; basically it links the two parts of your statement together – the first part where you’re explaining the nature of the problem, and the second part where you’re revealing the subsequent conclusion. This phrase can take many forms – depending on context: “It goes to show” “It just goes to show” “It simply goes to show” “Which goes to show” (more…)