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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16 ways to walk in English

Hey there everyone, How are you all doing today? "Do you know the man you saw yesterday in the park was ambling instead of just walking?" "The rogues rambled around in the vicinity of our society this afternoon." In both sentences above, ‘the man’ and ‘the rogues’ were just walking, but the way they walked is best defined by the words ‘ramble’ and ‘amble’. People walk differently with different mood and intentions, hence situations give birth to new words describing it even more clearly rather than just using the word ‘walk’. Hence, in this article today, we see 16 ways to walk and what it means. So without further ado, let’s get down to the topic and learn some new vocabulary describing ways to walk- 16 words describing ways to walk 1: Amble- to walk leisurely. Example: The newly wedded couple ambled beside the beach and shared the words of love. 2: Flounder- to walk with difficulty due to some problem. Example: The old man floundered around in the water. 3: Limp- walk impeded due to some injury. Example- The player limped off the ground after being hit by the ball on his toe. 4: Strut- to walk in a proud way trying to look important. Example: Robin strutted around the hall to get every girl's attention. 5: Stroll- walk in a leisurely way. Example: I love to stroll along the beach after the sunset. 6: Stride- to walk in long steps. Example: He strode in the balcony thinking about his bitter past. 7: Stalk- to walk in an angry or proud way. Example: She stalked out of the room after we questioned her why she failed the test. 8: Stagger- Walk or move unsteadily, as if about to fall. Example: He entered staggering into the room. 9: Waddle- walk unsteadily Example: The poor man waddled due to swollen legs. 10: Stumble- to miss a step and fall. Example: He stumbled over his son’s toy. 11: Trudge- to walk slowly with a lot of effort, especially over a different surface or while carrying something heavy. Example: The mountaineer trudged back up the hill. 12- Skulk- move stealthily. Example: We called the police when we saw an unknown man skulking in the bushes. 13: Saunter-to walk in a slow, relaxed way, often in no particular direction. Example: I saw John sauntering in the park yesterday. 14: lurch- a sudden movement forward or to one side. Example: Joe lurched to his feet at dance practice today. 15: Parade- to march in a procession Example: The military officers paraded during Independence Day celebration. 16: Wade- to walk with effort through water or other liquid or viscous substance. Example- They waded out till the water reached their waist. So I hope you will know the difference from next time, whether you should use ‘saunter’, ‘wade’ or ‘ramble’. Each word has a different meaning that describes the particular situation to the listener, moreover, you are definitely earning a plus point if you use these words in your written English (Today’s tip!!!!!) Make sure you read this article thoroughly and practice it with your own examples so as they become your second nature. See you soon with some new topic and vocabulary. Till then keep learning and improving. Take care and? Bye-bye.

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…)

7 Ways to Kill Your English before You Even Start Speaking

Over the years I keep seeing the same mistakes being made over and over again by those who want to improve their English. But it’s really shocking to see that not only is reading and writing based English learning encouraged but speaking English is discouraged! Moreover, I found this genius approach of improving English by cutting out speaking on an authority website - I'd better not give its name here... Well, it would be folly to hold the website responsible for all their contributors posts – after all, even Wikipedia.org is full of wrong and misleading facts. Still the first point on the article I read voices the standard notion in the industry – and here it is: 1. Talk less and listen more. Brilliant, isn’t it? Shut your mouth, foreign English speaker, don’t practice your speech but instead focus on passive language input! This is the gem among all recommendations I’ve read online targeted to foreigners who want to improve their English, and I can’t stress enough how WRONG it is. (more…)

Others Don’t Judge Your English as Much as You Do!

Does Reading Help You Improve English?

This time we'll be talking about reading and if you can improve your spoken English by reading plenty of English literature – starting with newspapers and ending with books. I’ve actually wanted to discuss this topic for a good while now, so believe me – I’ve got a lot to say in this regard! ;-) OK, here’s the controversy about reading and its effectiveness when it comes to improving your English. Reading is being mentioned all across the board as one of the most effective tools of improving one’s English. And I can partially agree with this only as far reading understanding is concerned. My conviction is however, that being able to communicate effectively is paramount if you live in an English speaking country. While being literate when it comes to reading and writing English is undeniably an essential part of general English knowledge, I think that the ability to speak fluently comes above all else. And this is why it’s so controversial – while the whole English improving industry is build mostly on reading and writing, hundreds of thousands of foreigners are struggling with speaking the English language! (more…)

Accept Your English Fluency Limitations!

Forget About WILL Future Tense – Use Present Progressive Instead!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjB9AvqISbI Hello my friends, and Happy Christmas to everyone! :-) I’m back with another practical English grammar lesson, and today let’s look at how to talk about future in conversational English. Just to remind you what I'm teaching in Practical English Grammar – it’s conversational English and it’s not always 100% correct. Real life English is different from school books and text books, so I’m using my extensive experience as a foreign English speaker living in an English speaking country to help you speak more fluently. All right, so let’s look at how we speak about future events in English. The standard grammatical Future Tense in English is formed by using “WILL” followed by the verb's infinitive form. However, this is far from the full picture of how you can describe future in English. To be more precise, this is just one quarter of possibilities that the English language offers, and here are the other three ways how you can describe a future action: I’m going to come home, I’m coming home, I come home. Are you slightly confused? Are you thinking now – “Why is Robby giving examples of Present Progressive and Simple Present Tenses? They’re clearly used to describe actions taking place right now, in this very moment!” Well, you’re right, they are used for that purpose, but Present Progressive, for instance, can also be used to describe Future actions which have already been arranged and the very fact of the arrangement is kind of going on right now, does that make sense? If you say “I’m coming home tomorrow” you mean indeed that you are going to arrive back home tomorrow, but you have apparently decided at some stage that you’ll come home. So as far as English grammar is concerned, the progressive action is already taking place – since the moment you decided that you would come the action is kind of happening - only taking place tomorrow instead of now. (more…)

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

Don’t Use Subtitles in Your Native Language!

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

It’d Be Great to Have English as the Only Language in the World…

The Best English Class for Improving Your English Fluency

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d_Z-q2e63c

How to Develop Good Ear for English Listening

English Idiomatic Expression: “Couldn’t Put My Finger On It”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD5vuw0kXKU Hello my fellow foreign English speaker! Today’s English idiomatic expression is a real idiom which means you actually have to know what it means or else you won’t know how to use it and you’ll have a hard time understanding what another English speaker means when they say things like “Yes, there’s something weird about the place but I can’t really put my finger on it…” Well… It’s not that it would be impossible to infer the meaning of this expression out of the context alone – in fact, I’ve always been encouraging you guys to acquire new vocabulary and phraseology contextually. It’s just that this particular expression is figurative speech and you have to imagine performing the actual activity – putting your finger onto something – in order to fully understand why this phrase is used. (more…)

Relationship Between Written and Spoken English is Really Weird!

Over the years I’ve been working in a number of jobs where I’ve been dealing with both non-native and native English speakers. My work colleagues. My superiors – managers, team leaders, supervisors – you name it! Our customers as well. Quite naturally, I’ve been constantly communicating with them. I’ve been engaging in all the necessary work-related verbal communication. I’ve been chatting with them during my break times. I’ve been participating in meetings. I’ve been sending dozens of e-mails a day to a lot of different people. Also, I’ve been running this blog since 2007 – you can do the math! – and I’m constantly dealing with my blog visitors e-mails and inquiries, not to mention my Fluency Star clients I coach via Skype. So, as you can imagine, I’ve made a lot of interesting observations in terms of people’s ability to speak and write. Did you know, for example, that judging by some native English speakers’ writing style, you’d think they’re just beginner English learners? Yes, it’s totally true and I’ve come across such people time and time again! And to be totally honest with you, sometimes their writing has been so bad that it’s made it next to impossible to figure out what they’ve actually meant in their e-mails :!: So, would you like to read more about my interesting observations in relation to English speaking, writing, non-native and native English speakers? Then find a comfortable seat, make yourself a cup of coffee, and keep reading this article! ;-) (more…)

Have You Ever Thought About Your MOUTH As a MUSCLE?

How many years have you been working on your English? Two? Five? Ten? Guess what – I’ve been receiving e-mails from folks having been trying to achieve English fluency for TWENTY YEARS to no avail :!: And I can see exactly why it’s happening – the heck, years ago I was among those struggling English speakers myself! – it’s because most foreign English speakers don’t perceive their mouth as a muscle. Are you confused? What I mean by saying – perceive their mouth as a muscle? Well, it’s EXACTLY what I mean – your mouth for you as a foreign English speaker is just like muscles for a bodybuilder or just about any other athlete or indeed for any person on this planet who’s using their body to move their arms and legs to lift things and move around. You’re using your mouth to produce English words, phrases and sentences in order to communicate with other English speakers, and there’s actual body movement involved in every step of the way – your lips, tongue, jaws and a whole array of facial muscles are actively involved to help you with the task! (more…)

I Got Stuck for Words in My Native Language – So Why Is It a Big Deal in English?

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 ;-)

Reverse Psychology – Make Yourself Stutter, Hesitate and Get Tongue-tied in order… NOT TO!

How to Speak in English Well During Bad Fluency Days

Fluent English can ONLY be acquired by learning IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS - and that's why I'm going to highlight them for you in RED! 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! Video Transcript Below: Hey guys, hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! This is me, Robby from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Today I wanted to tell you something interesting in relation to English fluency obviously because this whole project is about English fluency so what else could I be possibly telling you about, right? Other than English fluency related matters. Anyhow, the particular thing that I wanted to bring up today was the phenomenon of you being able to perform quite well when it comes to spoken English performance on days when your English is kind of suffering a little bit but still you have those particular situations during those days when you're capable of performing very well. And here's a typical example just to make it a 100% clear to you what exactly I mean by saying all this, right? Let's say for argument's sake I go to work in the morning and for some reason my English is not a 100%. My brain is not firing on all cylinders for whatever reason, you know, and my English is kind of sluggish. So it's basically one of those bad fluency days. (more…)

English Idiomatic Expression: “Come As a Surprise”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aAp_P0pjAE

Don’t Look for Specific Audio Material for Improving Your English Listening Skills!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5asrbwN-7xc

FGC Goal #1: Learning American Phrases 39 – 50 using the English Harmony Method

Take Advantage of People Who Make You Really Fluent in English!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCOCe3cqCbo

English Idiomatic Expression: “It Goes Without Saying”

What I’m Currently Doing & Why I’ve Stopped Publishing Daily Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29TU4UTROc There was a time when I published a video a day, and sometimes I would even upload two videos in a single day onto my YouTube account. The times have changed, and now you may be wondering why Robby isn't making as many daily English idiomatic expression videos as he used to! The answer is quite simple, my friends – I’m currently very busy preparing for my next big project called FluencyGym.com. I spend a few hours every day brainstorming and creating content for the upcoming English confidence program Fluency Gym Coach, and it’s going to consist of a lot of videos where I’m going to draw parallels between working out and speaking in English! Don’t worry though, I’ll keep the English idiomatic expression videos coming albeit not at such a frequent rate. As you can imagine, I have a lot on my plate now, and I simply have to change my blogging frequency so that I can work on my new project. To find out more about FluencyGym.com, please watch the video above! Chat soon, Robby ;-)

20 most common ‘Words often confused’ in English

I really liked the ‘desert’ at the party. What? How can someone like a desert at a party? Oops! I made a mistake up there. It should have been ‘dessert’ in the above sentence which is the sweet course eaten at the end of the meal. English pronunciation can be quite weird sometimes, isn’t it? It is for this reason that not only non-natives, but also a native English speaker gets confused with its usage sometimes, and hence they are often referred as  ‘Words Often Confused’ or 'Homophones'. Hey to everyone out there, Welcome back again to English Harmony and I hope you are all doing good. So today we will learn about ‘Homophones’, which are also known as ‘Words often confused’. What are Homophones? Homophones are the words that have exactly the same pronunciation but different meaning. The root of the word ‘Homo’ means ‘same’, while ‘phone’ means sound. Be it a non-native or native, people get confused with these homophones because of the same pronunciation; so you see, you are not alone. There is no doubt ‘practice makes a man perfect’, and the same goes with learning homophones. They are not that easy, but with a regular practice and proper learning, it will be a piece of cake for you. So without further ado, let’s get down to the business and see some of the most common homophones in English: Accept/ Except Accept (verb): consent to receive or undertake. Example: I accepted his proposal for the meeting this weekend. Except (Preposition): not including, other than. Example: Everyone came to my birthday party, except Ben. Advice/ Advise Advice (noun): guidance or recommendation about what someone should do. Example: You should always follow his advice if you want to improve your game. Advise (verb): recommend that someone should do something. Example: He advised his brother not to be in the bad company of rogues. Ate/ Eight Ate (verb): The past form of ‘eat’. Example: I ate my lunch after I came from school. Eight (noun): The number between seven and nine. Example: There are eight rooms in our house. Bear/ bare Bare (adjective):  not clothed or covered. Example: He bared his chest to show his scar. Bear (noun): a large, heavy mammal with thick fur and very soft tail. Example: I saw a black bear in the zoo yesterday. Desert/ dessert Desert (noun): a waterless area of land with little or no vegetation typically covered with sand. Example: Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world. Dessert (noun): the sweet course eaten at the end of the meal. Example: I don’t think a meal is complete without a dessert. Deer/ dear Deer (noun): a hoofed animal, the male of which usually has antlers. Example: I saw a deer on a roadside while dropping Joe to school. Dear (Adjective): regarded with deep affection Example: “God bless you my dear son”, said the church father. Die/ dye Die (verb): to stop living. Example: His uncle died in a car accident. Dye (noun): natural or synthetic substance used to color something. Example: He bought a dye for just 40 cents. Band/ banned Band (noun): a flat, thin strip or loop of material used as a fastener or as decoration. Example: John gave Emma a friendship band on her birthday. Banned (verb): past form of the ban. Example: Alcohol has been banned for some days in some of the cities due to the increasing number of accidents. Haul/ hall Haul (verb): To pull or drag something with effort. Example: He hauled his bike out of the shed. Hall (noun): the room or space just inside the front entrance of a house. Example: The students were ordered to assemble in the hall so admit cards could be distributed. Higher/ hire Higher (adjective): the comparative degree of high. Example: The prices of these products go higher every day. Hire (verb): pay to be allowed to use something for an agreed period. Example: I can't say for sure if they will hire you or not. How many of them did you know? A few? Or all? I hope you would have found this article useful and easy to learn. Make sure you learn their meanings off by heart so you never get confused down the line. Lemme know in the comment section below about your views and suggestions and keep learning and improving. In case you wanna give my personal blog ‘Your English Vocabulary’ a knock, you are always welcome. Till then, take care and? Bye-bye.