It’s OK Not to Understand Something out of Context or Something Unexpected!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kgSSdYw42Y Have you ever found it hard to understand what you’re told because it’s something you don’t normally get to hear? Have you ever had situations when you understand every single word, but you just can’t wrap your head around the question for the simple reason that it’s something totally out of context, something unexpected? And now comes the most relevant part for you as a foreign English speaker: Would your typically react to such and similar situations by blaming your bad English comprehension skills and feeling ashamed and embarrassed? (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”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9lYms9kyAw To be honest with you guys, I didn’t have a clue as to what exactly I was going to say when I sat down to record today’s video… I just winged it (it’s one of those American slang expressions I learned while watching Desperate Housewives, and it means ‘to improvise’) , and I’m quite hopeful you’re not going to be too critical of me! Today’s phrase actually happens to be ‘to be honest with you’ – which is how I actually started off this article – and it’s a perfect way of establishing trust and connecting to your conversation partner or the audience you’re facing. You’re basically appealing to the other person’s conscience by showing that you’re ready to be completely honest and upfront with them, and even if there’s nothing for you to hide from your conversation partner, the phrase ‘to be honest with you’ still works at a subconscious level. At least I’d like to think so! :grin: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “It goes to show”
English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s been dealt with”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCA4gJjTuvM Today I’m going to provide you with a new English idiomatic expression which will come in handy in situations when you have to report completion of an assignment. “IT’S BEEN DEALT WITH” is the phrase in question, and you’re more than welcome to watch the video above where I’m discussing the merits of this particular phrase. To be honest with you, there are simpler expressions which can be used in pretty much the same situations: “It’s done”, “It’s sorted” or “I’ve done it”. “It’s been dealt with”, however, implies that your assignment has demanded quite a lot of effort, so you may want to use this expression when you’ve been dealing with a complicated matter and you’re telling someone that it’s been dealt with. Chat soon, Robby ;-)
Counting in English Helps Your Fluency!
English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s no doubt about that”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9TNHKbkedg If you want to speak in English without much thinking and planning your speech in your head before actually speaking out loud, you should definitely look into learning various idiomatic expressions. I’m not saying that purposeful acquisition of these expressions is going to make ALL the difference between your ability to speak fluently and not being able to speak at all. Sure enough, you can speak the very same way I would have been speaking a few years ago: by sticking individual words together; thinking in my native language & translating in my mind; constantly trying to think of the right words to say. If you learn idiomatic expressions, on the other hand, your brain gets wired with naturally occurring speech patterns, and it enables you to speak without much thinking, it happens automatically and instinctively. So, starting from today – if you haven’t already been doing it – make sure to learn at least one or two idiomatic expressions a day, and you’ll improve your spoken English much faster than you ever thought possible, there’s no doubt about that! (more…)
12 Reasons Why Spoken English is Just Like Playing a Guitar
Repetition in Terms of English Learning & Weightlifting is the same!
English Idiomatic Expression: “If you’re anything serious about”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0aL81ytzRA Good morning my friends :!: It’s yet another Monday morning, and just like any other Monday, we all go about our daily business. Some of us go to school or college; some of us go to work. But if you’re anything serious about your spoken English improvement, you have to work on your oral fluency pretty much the whole time regardless of your daily routine! My perfect recipe for constant and rapid spoken English improvement consists of plenty of self-practice with a particular focus on idiomatic expression acquisition, and today’s phrase is ‘if you’re anything serious about’. I already used this expression in the paragraph above and it vividly depicts how I’d personally use this phrase – “if you’re anything serious about your spoken English improvement” is my favorite line and I use it in almost all my videos. If you want to hear a little bit more about today’s phrase, however, you’re more than welcome to watch the video above where I’m also telling you why I have to stay at home this week and be a housewife. Thanks for dropping by, Chat soon, Robby ;-)
Why Desire to Translate is Irresistible & How to Deal With It
If you’ve been following my blog for a longer period of time, you’ll know that one of the English Harmony cornerstones is elimination of translation. You need to create a separate department for English in your brain. Whenever you have to speak in English with someone, you simply switch over to the English department in your brain. The funny thing is – you might already been doing it without being consciously aware of THINKING and SPEAKING in your target language if you’re a bilingual speaker, for example. Yet, when it comes to English, you might have an irresistible urge to translate from your native language while you’re speaking in English! Basically you’re speaking in English, but you keep thinking in your native language; you’re constantly finding yourself trying to figure out how this or that particular concept can be described in English terms. Guess what? You’re not alone! Hundreds of thousands of your fellow foreign English speakers are having the same issues, and if you’re anything serious about your SPOKEN English development, you’d better make sure to read the rest of this article where you’ll find out: WHY you have this weird process going on in your head; WHY you shouldn’t be thinking in your native language and speaking in English at the same time; HOW to avoid translation and speak and think in English ONLY! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression & Phrasal Verb: “Come up With”
English Idiomatic Expression: “Bear in mind”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANLgimJ8j6k Another day – another English idiomatic expression from Robby! Today’s phrase is used in just about any situation whenever someone tells you something important and they want you to pay particular attention to a specific detail. “Please, bear in mind that…” is the typical way you’ll be told that you shouldn't forget what follows this phrase, and if you want to find out more specific examples of this phrase in action – please watch the video above! Sample sentences I’m coming up with are sometimes funny because I’m always improvising in these videos, and I think it’s worth watching the above video even for that reason alone. Not that I consider myself being some sort of a comedian or anything, it’s just that I sometimes laugh at myself while editing my own videos and I would imagine I’m not the only one feeling that way! Chat soon, Robby ;-)
Idiomatic Expressions are your Proteins; Spoken English Practice – your Workout Routine!
English Idiomatic Expression (Conditional Sentence Type 3) – Had I (p. participle), I would have (p. participle)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KajCntRAkcE Probably your mind started racing upon seeing today’s English idiomatic expression headline. Conditional Sentence Type 3. Advanced grammar. “What is wrong with you Robby, why are you giving me this confusing advanced English grammar stuff, aren’t you the one who keeps telling me all the time – forget about grammar, focus on speaking instead?!” Don’t worry my dear fellow foreign English speaker! ;-) I’m not going to start stuffing all these fancy grammar terms like Past Participle and Conditional Type II into your head. You must have been exposed to all that theoretical knowledge plenty of times throughout the years spent on studying English grammar, and the simple fact is that if you keep focusing on the grammar aspect of it, you will actually find it hard to use such and similar grammar constructs in real life. The way I see it is much simpler. (more…)
Focus on Your Achievements & Ignore Perfectionists if They Make You Feel Worse!
English Harmony System Update: de Luxe Edition!
Happy New Year Everyone!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXyqDWM8Tmc All my customers! All my blog readers & commentators! All my YouTube subscribers! I’m wishing you a Very Happy & Successful New Year 2013, and may all your dreams (except for one!) come true! (Why I said except for one? Watch the video above to find out why!) I’ve had an amazing year publishing more videos than ever, and receiving your feedback, e-mails, queries, questions and comments in ever increasing volumes. If not for you, my friends, I wouldn’t have found the determination and motivation to keep this show on the road for this long, because it’s your constant encouragement and feedback that kept me going :!: I hope you’ll stay with me in the year 2013 as well, and I’ll keep seeing to your English fluency & confidence improvement needs! Wishing you the very best in the New Year, Best Regards, Robby ;-)
New Year’s Resolution in 2013 – Take Real Action & Become Fluent!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a_G6LDMRv8 Do you know what’s the biggest curse preventing people from all walks of life achieving any kind of a goal they aspire to achieve? Procrastination. Not taking action. Now, ask yourself the following question – how many times have I committed to becoming fluent in English? And now, ask yourself this question – how many times I’ve failed to follow through with that commitment because my focus weakened over time and I simply stopped getting involved in English fluency improvement related activities? 2013 is going to be different. I recently joined a movement which is going to bring about massive change in foreign English speakers’ lives by helping them stay focused on their English improvement goals. It’s called YearOfEnglish.com! Many English language teaching enthusiasts and professionals are participating in it, and the idea behind the project is simple enough: Any foreigner who aspires to become Fluent in English, signs up for a DAILY e-mail notification; EVERY DAY throughout the year 2013 you are going to receive an e-mail containing action steps, things to-do and specific assignments; By the end of 2013 you’ll see a massive improvement to your English fluency, and provided you’ll have taken action, you WILL BE FLUENT IN ENGLISH :!: Isn't that a great idea, my friend? I think it’s one of the best things to do when starting a New Year – make a resolution, and then follow through with it instead of abandoning it a month into the New Year. YearOfEnglish.com is simply leaving you with no choice; you won’t have any excuses not to take action because once you’ve signed up for it, you’ll be given the EXACT advice and assignments to do, and the chances of you becoming a fluent English speaker are thus greatly increased! So, do yourself and also your friends a favor, let everyone know about YearOfEnglish.com and make sure to sign up for the FREE mailing list that’s going to blast 365 e-mails to you throughout the whole year and keep you motivated! Thanks for reading, Robby ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “In question”
English Idiomatic Expression: “It slipped my mind”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xRidfH-VfY Hello guys and gals, I’m back with another English idiomatic expression video, and this time around it is… Hold on, I knew what it was going to be, but it just suddenly slipped my mind! He-he, I’m just messing with you guys! “It slipped my mind” IS the idiomatic expression I’m looking at in today’s video – but there’s more to this video than just that! ;-) If you’ve been watching my previous videos you’ll know that I’m always talking about some completely random stuff; it’s just that I’m always getting carried away with recording these videos and I just can’t stop my train of thought! (more…)
What I’m Currently Doing & Why I’ve Stopped Publishing Daily Videos
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…)
Why It’s VERY Important to Speak Out LOUD When Learning New English Vocabulary Words!
English idiomatic expression: “Come to think of it”
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…)