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.

English Harmony System

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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!

Imprints natural English speech patterns in your mind - revolutionary speech exercising technology!

Builds your English confidence - no more situations when you stop and hesitate when speaking English!

Story About Not Being Able to Speak in English in the Morning and Speaking 100% FLUENTLY in the Afternoon!

I woke up on a Thursday morning. I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep for some reason or another, and I wasn’t feeling as energetic and ready to roll as usually. I poured my morning coffee and started dealing with Fluency Gym Coach Program customers’ queries in my inbox, but I was too exhausted to do any spoken English practice which is how I’d normally start my day. To cut a long story short, when I’d driven to work, entered the premises and got engaged in my work related activities, I hadn’t uttered a single word in English for the simple reason that I was really tired and I just didn’t want to do any spoken self-practice at all… Normally I would speak with myself in the car while driving to work in order to get my English speech going, but this particular morning was an exception. And I think it would be fair to say that I hadn’t actually spoken at all – even in my native Latvian - because all I’d said was a couple words to my daughters while dropping them off to school that morning. Anyway, shortly after starting work my boss walked up to me and asked where my work colleague was (he wasn’t aware he’d taken half a day off). I opened my mouth to provide the answer (which was not only the first verbal human contact for me that day but also the first English word SPOKEN that day!) and I realized to my dismay that I could barely put my thoughts into the right words… (more…)

You Can Choose Your Own Selection of English Phrases!

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Transcript Below: Hi guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com bringing you another video message which is going to be uploaded onto my YouTube channel and then it's going to be embedded into a blog post on my blog EnglishHarmony.com and then I'm going to promote it for my Facebook followers, my Twitter followers, my LinkedIn partners so basically this message is being sent out for everyone who is interested in spoken English improvement basically, right? That's what the whole thing is about. And today's video is about the fact that not everyone, right, listen to this carefully guys, not every English speaker out there uses the very same means of expression, right? And the reason I'm saying this is because I'm cranking out all these idiomatic expressions. If you head over to my blog site map page you may want to click on this link, right? Englishharmony.com/sitemap-page if I'm not mistaken. Anyway, I'm going to look at up later on and then I'm going to embed that link right here. So it might not be not the same exact link that I just said but you're going to be able to click right here just like I said, right? And you'll be able to see all those hundreds upon hundreds of videos and blog posts and a good chunk of those is idiomatic expressions, right? Collocations, idioms and so on and so forth, right? (more…)

Is it Possible to Achieve English Fluency While Living in a Non-English Speaking Society?

Personally I’ve been living in an English speaking country for ten years now, and during this time I’ve gone from a struggling to a fluent English speaker. Has living in an English speaking country helped me to achieve spoken English fluency? Well, there’s no doubt about that! Has being part of an English speaking society been the crucial element in the process of my fluency acquisition? Would I never have achieved my current level of English fluency if not speaking with native English speakers for hours day in, day out? Well… I’m not so sure of that. You see, I haven’t always worked among English speakers, and I’ve also spent quite some time out of work. But did I stop improving my English skills during those times? No way! There’s plenty of ways you can improve your spoken English skills without living in an English speaking country, so let’s analyze the importance of being part of an English speaking society and its impact on your fluency. (more…)

3 Easy Steps of Dealing With Fear of Public Speaking for Non-native English Speakers

How to Use English Verb TO MAKE In a Lot of Different Ways

This is the third article in the series about using simple English verbs to express the most diverse variety of ideas and concepts. Here’s the first one where I looked at how to use the simplest English verb “TO PUT”. And here’s the second one where I discussed using another simple English verb “TO GET”. This time around we’re going to look at another very simple English verb “TO MAKE” and I’m going to show you that you can use it to express so many different things – actions, concepts and ideas – that you’ll be literally blown away by it all! Basically the idea is to realize that you don’t necessarily have to try and find specific English verbs for every conceivable action. On a lot of occasions you can use a combination of a simple verb such as TO MAKE with another word to describe the concept. Here’s a typical example – MAKE SURE: “You have to MAKE SURE the alarm is switched on before leaving the premises.” If you think about it, MAKE SURE is such a simple way of describing the concept of making sure that it just doesn’t get simpler than that! The adjective SURE describes the concept of certainty, and you just have to add the verb TO MAKE to describe the concept of someone taking action which would result in a certain outcome. If you have the kind of a mindset whereby you can’t resist your desire to translate from your native language while speaking in English, describing even such a simple concept as “making sure” may present difficulties to you – especially considering the equivalent verb in your language most likely doesn’t consist of two simple words. In my native language – Latvian – the concept of “making sure” is described using a longer, more complex verb (“párliecináties”), so if I were to translate from Latvian when speaking in English, I would probably struggle for a while before finding the right way of describing it in English. My mind would be trying to find a matching entry in English, but as a result it would draw a blank simply because there isn’t one! What you have to do for your mind to stop wandering aimlessly is the following: Stop translating from your native language and… Stop trying to find ways of describing the particular activity PRECISELY! The English language allows us to combine the verb TO MAKE with pretty much ANY ABSTRACT NOUN thus enabling us to describe actions even when we don’t know the corresponding verbs. (more…)

You Have to SUCK at Spoken English Fluency in Order to SUCCEED!

How To Increase Your English Fluency By 100% in Less Than 12h!

If you think I chose the headline just to catch your attention and lure you into reading this blog post – well, this is not the case. Your rational mind is screaming against it but I know from my own experience that it is indeed possible to speak TWICE as fluently within a 12 hour period after experiencing a typical English fluency problem! So at the moment you could be barely capable of putting a few English words together and you’d feel like a total loser when it comes to speaking English. But if you follow the method described in this article you can perform unbelievably well when you have to communicate English the next day. It’s extremely important when you face job interviews, verbal exams, presentations and meetings. In others words – any occasion when you’re expected to speak and convey your message in English but you’re not sure about the level of your performance due to bad experiences in the past in similar situations. So if you experience the following symptoms: constant mind-chatter whenever you attempt to speak English; a feeling as if you have dozens of voices whispering English words and phrases in your head making it extremely difficult to concentrate; difficulties with pronouncing English words – you’re making silly mistakes in nearly every sentence for no obvious reason; ‘on the tip of my tongue’ feeling – you know what you want to say but it doesn’t come out of your mouth… … then read on and discover how to overcome this English speech anxiety and increase your English fluency by 100% in less than12 hours! (more…)

Don’t Use Subtitles in Your Native Language!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGcuEHKYMsE

What Any Foreign English Speaker Can Learn from Benicio Del Toro

One of the biggest traps that foreign English speakers fall for is trying to speak TOO FAST. You know what? Even I still fall for it every once in a while, and every time it happens I literally have to persuade myself by saying – “Robby, calm down, don’t rush, you know it for a fact that it doesn’t matter if it takes you 10 seconds longer to get the message across! Take your time, slow down and you’re going to be much easier to understand!” Yet so many foreigners are under the wrong impression that to speak fluent English you must speak fast. Well, most native English speakers would indeed speak English quite fast – just like any other native language speaker would speak their language. It’s not always the case though. There are situations when EVEN NATIVE SPEAKERS would find it hard to maintain a continuous, fast speech. Stressful environment, high expectations from others, not being familiar with the topic that’s being discussed – all these and a number of other factors may seriously impede any native English speaker’s natural ability to produce fast, continuous and uninterrupted speech. So if even native English speakers can run into such problems, why would foreigners like me and you be any different? I think that our ability to speak English shouldn’t be judged on our nationality grounds. We, just like any native English speaker, are entitled to have moments of confusion, take time to make the point, and it shouldn’t be perceived as an inability to speak fluent English. It should be taken for what it is – slower speech - and it shouldn’t be attributed to our foreign national background! On many occasions a slow and controlled manner of speech doesn’t even indicate any issues the speaker might be having. It’s just the way the particular person speaks, and whether others like it or not, they have to accept it, full stop :!: One of my favorite actors Benicio Del Toro, for example, quite often speaks slowly and takes his time choosing the right words when giving interviews. He doesn’t give a damn about what others might think about it! And mind this – he’s a Hollywood celebrity and speaks fluent English. Well, originally he’s from Puerto Rico and speaks Spanish, but he’s spent most of his life in the States and his English is absolutely fluent. So here’s what you can learn from Benicio: It’s OK to pause in a mid-sentence; It’s OK to repeat a word a number of times to buy time; It’s OK to speak very slowly! (more…)

English idiomatic expression: “Come to think of it”

How to improve vocabulary in 30 days?

Back in 2012 when I was an English learner (which I still am because learning should never stop), I was scouring the web for some tips to improve my spoken English and vocabulary. I have heard since day one that idiomatic expressions and phrases are the core of spoken English and if learned properly, can make you a fluent English speaker like a native. All pumped up, I typed in “List of common Idiomatic Expressions and Phrases” and trust me my excitement met some positive responses from the search engine when I saw hundreds of result pages floating everywhere on my laptop screen. I clicked the one, then the next, and next, and next, next and so on. I was already with my pen and my notebook to note down some important notes and phrases so I can learn them later, but as my eyes scrolled down the screen the list of expressions went on and on. Had I started writing them down, I can say for sure I would still be learning till today. With the advancement of technology and internet, the scope has really diversified for many people out there; as a result, there is a number of bloggers on the internet today and everybody has their own list of most important phrases and idioms that would be useful for you. And tell you what? I think nobody is at fault in this. If you give me, Robby or any other English blogger to write down the most important list of idioms, phrases or vocabulary, we may list down some for you but it won’t match at all. English vocabulary is not a code or some mathematical formula which remains the same for a problem; it is rather a diverse topic which needs to be paid more concern to, avoiding the common mistakes non-natives usually make. Now if I wanted I could have just started something like this: "So here is the most important idioms and phrases you should learn: 1: Go an extra mile 2: Go through a rough patch. 3: know inside out . . . 100001: pass out: means to faint.” Well if I did so, the last phrase would have made into reality when one reads these many phrases in a single article, but don’t you worry, we never throw you these many long lists which get washed off the next day you learn. Now if you think learning these many phrases is impossible cause you are gonna forget it anyways, you are mistaken, my dear friends. I wrote a long article about this before where I explained how learning anything with context helps to learn better and faster, and remember longer. Robby knew it far before then I came to know so he built ‘The English Harmony System’ with the same concept of teaching English vocabulary with a context that follows spaced repetition technique to make your mind subconsciously acquire every phrase or vocabulary. Considering these problems faced by English learners, I created a "Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course” where I will cover a single subject in an article and teach you vocabulary related to it. So basically, the articles are gonna be short and to the point, covering a few idioms or phrasal verbs with context, meaning and example. I will try to cover various areas of daily life so you can rest assured that the phrases you gonna learn down the line will come in handy. You just have to read all my articles thoroughly and practice the phrases with your own examples and trust me everything else will come naturally to you. I am sure you are gonna love it. So get ready for tomorrow because it’s gonna be fun. Sign up here to get it straight into your inbox (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/28/1528169428.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-gh9mm2tmz")); Till then, take care and? Bye-bye.

What Books Would You Suggest to Improve My Spoken English?

I’m Addicted to Spoken English Practice… HELP ME!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLVfbtUnAbs I’m desperate. :mad: I don’t know what to do. I’m a serious addict and I just can’t seem to be able to stop the terrible habit no matter how hard I try… :sad: Want to know what it is? It’s SPEAKING IN ENGLISH WITH MYSELF. There – I said it. I know, I know, it’s crazy, it’s pathetic, and you’ll probably think I’ve totally lost my mind by coming out with this announcement in public, but I have no choice but to share it with you, my friends - simply because I can’t take it any longer!!! I’ve tried different things in order to break this habit of constant spoken English self-practice. I’ve been reading a lot of English fiction just to prevent myself from speaking, but it didn’t work! Every time I’ve done some reading, I found myself discussing its contents with myself a short time later, and I seemingly don’t have any control over it… I’ve tried watching a lot of TV in English - different TV dramas, educational programs – you name it! And guess what? I always end up doing the same thing – speaking about what I’ve seen, and I’ve also started mimicking actors and narrators in order to learn to speak in English with American and British pronunciation – how crazy is that?! I mean – why can’t I just enjoy a lot of passive English content just like most foreign English speakers do, and be OK with that? (more…)

You Should ACT Rather Than REACT During English Conversations!

I’m pretty sure that you can remember having a conversation with another English speaker during which you felt quite insecure and didn’t quite know what to say when responding to the other person’s questions – or maybe the other person didn’t even ask you anything and did all the talking themselves! Here’s what would typically happen during such conversations. “Hello Sergio, how’s it going?” (this is the other person initiating the conversation) “Ah, well, I’m doing OK, thanks for asking, and how are you?” “I’m all right, I’ve got the Monday blues all right, but what can you do when you have to bring another paycheck home at the end of the week, isn’t that right? Anyway, I went to see the football game on Saturday – the Falcons where taking on the Giants and you’d never guess who won the game! The Falcons had to beat the Giants to end their losing streak so they were giving it all they had, but then suddenly…” – and your conversation partner just goes on and on and on… … and you’re just left wondering when YOU are going to get a chance to say something! Personally I wouldn’t even call this type of one-way communication a conversation – it’s just one person’s MONOLOGUE and you’re a passive listener, nothing more. I warmly suggest you take matters into your own hands and make the conversation sound something like this: “Hello Sergio, how’s it going?” “Hi John, not too bad actually!” “That’s good, yeah… Listen, I went to see this football game on Saturday…” “Hey John, sorry, but I’m not really into football! Ice-hockey is what I prefer, and my team is having a really good run this season! The Rangers, on the other hand, are performing really badly unfortunately – my son roots for them and while I’m happy Boston Bruins are at the top of the league, I don’t like being too enthusiastic about it because it makes him unhappy!” Now, did you see what happened here? YOU became the one who delivers the speech, and John had to listen to what YOU are saying instead of making you listen to what he wants to say! Obviously I’m not trying to say that you should interrupt everyone who starts telling you something, I hope you realize this was an exaggerated example to make you understand one thing: If you only REACT during English conversations and allow other people to adopt the leading role, you’ll never get a chance to speak and develop your fluency! Be more daring :!: Don’t be afraid to say what you want to say – even if the other person mightn’t be really interested in it! (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “You better make sure to”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-18QQiPQtI There are many ways to let the other person know that you want them to follow a certain course of action: You have to… You should… You must… Today’s English idiomatic expression “You better make sure to” carries pretty much the same meaning and is also used when you want the other person to do something and you also want to stress the fact that if they don’t do as suggested, there will be consequences. This expression actually contains a hidden warning message in it – “You better make sure to (or else…), so you’d most likely use this phrase when speaking with someone who won’t mind to be spoken to in a slightly condescending tone – your child or your subordinate at work, for example. (more…)

Is it OK to Pretend to Understand What an English Speaker Says When You Don’t?

5 Reasons Why It’s Easier To Speak With Native English Speakers Than Other Foreigners

A big part of my blog is dedicated to dealing with difficulties arising when a foreign English speaker speaks with a native English speaker. Fear of making mistakes. Trying to sound too perfect. Comparing your speech with the native speaker and running into certain speech problems as a result. They’re just a few of the number of problems that we, foreigners, may face while in pursuit of English fluency! No wonder that sometimes we feel more comfortable speaking with our fellow foreigners because we feel like we’re on a level playing field. We’re less likely to be judged, so we don’t become self-conscious when speaking in English, right? We can also use simple language without worrying that our speech will sound too simplistic and that we’ll get a patronizing treatment - am I also not right in saying this? Well, it’s not always the case! Sometimes a conversation with another foreign English speaker may turn out to be just as difficult – if not even more cumbersome. All of a sudden, all those problems you were running into when speaking with natives seem like nothing compared to how awkward it is to speak with another foreigner… In reality, on most occasions it’s all a matter of perspective and most of those problems are only happening in your head. Still, I want to give you 5 reasons why speaking with a native speaker may be easier. So, let’s begin with the reason number one which is… (more…)

English Fluency Q & A – 17 September 2016 – Ask Robby!

Counting in English Helps Your Fluency!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR14ygdJkWg Believe it or not, aside from running the English Harmony blog, I have a full time job! I work in a knitwear manufacturing company, and my job involves packing customers’ orders so there’s a lot of counting going on. Sometimes I spend entire days looking at order printouts and calling out product codes and quantities to myself while I’m packing the respective garments. Can you guess where this is all leading to? Yes, I do all counting and number crunching in English :!: “Is it a big deal?” you may ask. “Why should I bother myself with counting in English while working in similar conditions? I use English when I need to talk to someone, but other than that I’m happy to use my native language when being on my own and doing mundane tasks at work!” With all due respect, my dear blog reader, but I have to disagree! Partially it's because I always tend to disagree with popular beliefs and assumptions, but for the most part it's because it's very IMPORTANT to develop one's ability to THINK in English. So read on to find out WHY counting merchandise at work or calling our product codes to yourself in English is beneficial to your English fluency :!: (more…)

English Sentence Starter: “I Heard Somewhere That…”

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, today I’m bringing you yet another English idiomatic expression, and this time around it’s a super handy sentence starter: I HEARD SOMEWHERE THAT… Why am I saying it’s a super handy sentence starter? Well, the reason behind that is simple enough – it’s a perfect way of starting a conversation with someone about something that you’ve heard somewhere, which is what a lot of conversations are all about! Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you want to tell your work colleague that there’s way more bacteria on the average mobile phone than on a toilet seat. In theory, nothing could be easier than that, right? Just open your mouth and tell him about it! In reality, what a lot of foreign English speakers will struggle with is – HOW TO START THE DAMN SENTENCE! (more…)

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 phrases for daily use – Small Talk Phrases

30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 20- Fair-weather Friend

This article is part of the 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course. Sign up here to get every lesson in your inbox for free: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/28/1528169428.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-gh9mm2tmz")); Hey everybody out there, How are you all doing? Welcome back yet again to another chapter of our “Free 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course” where you'll learn something new every day about a subject with context and examples, and so will you today. Friends are important in life, isn’t it? Fortunately, I have friends who always stand by me whenever I need them the most. Although we were not that close all the time, being together in tough times and supporting each other has strengthened our bond exponentially day in and out. I remember my high school times when I got so ill that I could not even walk properly. The board exams were coming in just 10 days and there was so much information to study. My friends knew that I was not able to study properly due to my health condition that was deteriorating, hence everybody decided to stay at my home and study together with me. Sooner we completed our syllabus anyhow and gave our best during the examination. I was lucky to have good friends, but it's not always the case. There are friends who will be with you during the good times, but when you have to face the music, no one is beside you anymore. Am I right? I have seen many scenarios in my real life where people left during tough times and the person had to fight alone. Well, in case you didn’t meet or saw any such people in your real life, I must say you are quite lucky then. I just pray that no one gets such a fair-weather friend because it completely breaks the person and he is never able to trust anyone down the line. Did you ever have any fair-weather friend in the past? Vocabulary to Acquire Today Fair-weather friend Meaning- A person who is only your friend when things are going well for you. Example- Josh is just a fair-weather friend. I though he will always help me, but when I get into trouble, he is not there for me. Face the music Meaning- To accept the consequences of what you have done in the past. Example- You failed the exams because you were partying the whole year, now you will have to face the music. I hope today’s lesson added some new vocabulary to your arsenal of active vocabulary which will be definitely useful in your daily life. Make sure you read this article thoroughly and practice it with your own examples so as they become your second nature. See you tomorrow with some new topic and vocabulary, but make sure you never make a fair-weather friend. Till then keep learning and improving. Take care and? Bye-bye. This article is part of the 30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course. Sign up here to get every lesson in your inbox for free: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/28/1528169428.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-gh9mm2tmz"));

Don’t Look for a Silver Bullet when Improving Your English!

I Have to Learn to Write Grammatically Correctly First and Then I’ll Be Able to Speak Well!

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! Recently I got an e-mail from one of my blog readers and it went along the lines of: “… so in order to improve my English I will learn to write grammatically correctly, and when I’ve done that, I’ll be able to speak correctly as well!” So basically what this person was saying is that they believe that if they get their English writing up to scratch, their speech will quite naturally follow. Now, there’s a good chance that some of you, guys, are thinking the same way, so I consider it my sacred duty to steer you in the right direction and make you realize that it would be the wrong road to go down. NEVER ever put your English writing before your speech, or else you’re running a serious risk of developing terrible English fluency issues that you won’t be able to deal with for years to come! Don’t believe me? Well, just read the rest of this article and you’ll learn: Why speech always comes before writing, Why you’ll get stuck into a permanent state of “writing mind” if you don’t observe this rule, Why your ability to write in English correctly won’t translate into oral fluency! So, without further ado, let’s get down to business! (more…)

5 Trendy Words that are Dominating the English Language

Hi Guys! ;-) Today's article is brought to you by Dusty Fox from a website called Listen & Learn, and in this blog post she will look at some of the most popular English words having emerged or re-emerged in the mainstream society. You'll also find out about the background of those words - such as "hipster" or "locavore", so without a further ado, it's over to you - Dusty! * * * The English language is an evolving one with new words popping up year after year. It seems like pop culture, social media, and our need to be constantly plugged into an electronic and hyper-connected world is in overdrive. This means new words appear and spread like wild fire, reaching countries in every corner of the world in no time at all. Some words are instant classics, embraced by all and seamlessly blended into our everyday dialogue. Usually, we don't even realize the moment we adopt these words and phrases into our vocabulary, but nonetheless, they somehow work their way into conversations, posts, and tweets before we know it. There are plenty of words that are handy to know before striking up a conversation with an English speaker. Test your English level before trying out the new entries in the English vocabulary - here's a look at some of the trendiest English words that have made headlines over the last several years: (more…)