Are you making these collocation mistakes?
Hey there everyone, How is your fluency going? What? Good. It's awesome then, but it breaks my heart when I see my dear readers, making mistakes while speaking or writing. And please don’t get me wrong, making a mistake is a part of the learning process, but correcting them is way more important than expanding your vocabulary or scaling up your fluency. Thus, without further fuss, let get down to the job: Pay close attention to the paragraph given below and find the mistakes from the context. Let’s see how many of them you are able to observe. (more…)
Shortcut to Complete English Fluency – Learn How to Produce Instant English Speech
Whether you’re a Chinese exchange student heading off to do some studying in Massachusetts, a Russian construction worker getting on a plane having secured a contract in Australia or just another Latvian like myself coming to Ireland to try out luck in finding a job to save up some money – we all have one thing in common. Namely – we haven’t had much experience with speaking English in everyday situations. We may have been academically tutored at quite high standards yet our capability to start and maintain a simple conversation may be limited simply because it’s not normally taught in schools. By far the biggest problem is that you don’t have much time to consider what you’re going to say. When you’re having a conversation, you’re quite naturally expected to answer questions or make your point within a short period of time – and it will prove difficult for many foreign English speakers. Many of us will be more comfortable writing than speaking and it’s quite understandable – when you write you have all the time in the world to plan exactly what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. You can construct grammatically perfect sentences, edit them if need be, and take your time finding the best fitting words to convey the message. It’s a different story altogether when you speak – you have to say what’s on your mind and for some it may present a serious challenge because their mind just goes blank. It’s the so-called information overload when your mind is attempting to process way too much information because all you keep thinking is what grammar tense to use, what are the best fitting words for the given situation, how to say it correctly so that you don’t make a mistake… The key aspects of fluent English speech is the ability to think in English and speak using plenty of collocations and idiomatic expressions; it enables you to speak automatically because nearly every word you say will trigger the next one. It’s the best place to be because you don’t even have to think about what you say – you can just speak as if you’re speaking in your native language. Anyway – this article is about how to use a certain shortcut in situations when your fluency is hindered and you’re desperate to get the message across successfully. So here we go! (more…)
Being Repetitive Can Actually Help You Speak More Fluent English
Let’s get down to business right away; here’s the sample sentence I want you to look at: I don’t like when people are selfish, self-absorbed and only think about themselves the whole time! I guess you don’t have to be a genius to immediately spot one thing: the word “selfish” has been described in three different ways in this sentence: selfish; self-absorbed; only think about themselves! Now, let me ask you the following question: “Why on Earth should anyone waste that many words to simply say that they don’t like when people are selfish, full stop?!” Do all those descriptions not fit into the same definition of “selfish”? Yes, they do. Did the person using the much longer sentence add anything significant to it? No, not really. Then surely speaking like that signifies poor taste when it comes to constructing good-sounding English sentences?! With all due respect to anyone agreeing with this notion, I will strongly argue against it :!: (more…)
English Vocabulary Building – Part 3
Do I Speak at the Same Speed in Real Life as in My Videos & How to Maintain Optimal Speed of Speech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf90ztbBukI Hi Guys! Recently I published a video on my blog where I compared speaking in English with fighting, and the main premise of the article was the following – you can’t be afraid of getting a bloody nose during a fight if you want to win, and the same applies on conversations (you don’t have to be afraid of making mistakes). Soon after that I received a comment on my YouTube channel from a follower of mine: Now, the comment was so interesting that I decided to record a response video, so here it is! The main points discussed in the video: (more…)
How Words Hook Up With Each Other in Spoken English
Do I make myself clear now?
Are you having difficulty understanding what a character said in a TV series or a movie? You think your vocabulary is strong enough to communicate fluently, but when it comes to understanding native TV series or movies, you get baffled. If that's you, there is nothing to worry about, because today we will decode the cause, and why it happens? (more…)
Improve Your Spoken English by Using Spaced Repetition
English Idiom: “Wrap Your Head Around Something”
FGC Goal #1: American Slang Phrase #3 – ZONED OUT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj2BeNh1uV0 Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning my friends! :grin: So far so good – I’m on the third American phrase today and there’s only 47 more phrases to go! Today’s American slang phrase is to be ZONED OUT and it’s an informal way of describing when someone is daydreaming or in a state of absolute relaxation. You know the feeling when someone talks to you but you don’t even hear them? That’s a typical example of you being ZONED OUT, so next time it happens you can say to that person: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “It’s Not to Be Taken Lightly”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP4yAPs3vkA Hello my dear followers! I hope you’ve been putting my advice to good use and you’ve been incorporating various English idiomatic expressions into your daily English conversations! So, how’s it been? Have you been taking action? Well, try being totally honest with yourself and admit if you’ve been a bit lazy – recognition is the first step on the road to recovery - that’s what they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, if I’m not mistaken … Of course, addiction such as alcoholism is not to be taken lightly, and I’m not trying to make a fun of it. All I’m trying to do here is draw parallels between being addicted to a substance and being addicted to procrastination which is sometimes JUST AS harmful to our development as substance abuse :!: (more…)
It’s OK Not to Be Able to Understand Specific English Accents
Antonio Banderas’s Spanish Accent – So, Is His English NOT Fluent?
Are you one of those folks who thinks that in order to speak English fluently one needs to develop a near-native English pronunciation? Then watch this interview with Antonio Banderas – even a small piece will do - and think about the initial question once more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LgTKmRkLuM So, what do you think? Would you describe his English as not being fluent? Has his distinct Spanish accent prevented him from becoming one of the most successful Hollywood actors? Obviously not :!: So, why is ACCENT such a bid deal for so many people? Why so many other foreigners and native English speakers alike still hold the view that foreigners definitely need to reduce their accent if they want to come across as fluent English speakers? Well… The answer lies within a stereotype of a struggling foreign English speaker who speaks in broken English AND has a distinct accent. The reverse statement – anyone who has a distinct accent speaks broken English – isn’t always true, but it doesn’t prevent people from believing it. Why, we human beings are notorious to holding to wrong beliefs, and this is definitely not the only one out there! How about the following: Antonio Banderas gets away with his accent because of his good looks; Spanish accent is cool and that’s why it’s OK for him to speak with thick Spanish pronunciation but NOT OK for you or me… While there might be some truth in the above statements, it doesn’t explain HOW Antonio Banderas manages to be fluent YET retain his Spanish accent if fluency is always accompanied by perfect pronunciation... Surely if at some stage an English learner inevitably starts to develop a more native-like (in this case it should be American) pronunciation, then how come that Antonio has never fully mastered it yet he’s totally fluent? (more…)
Simple vs Sophisticated Vocabulary? It’s All Just Semantics (Interpretation)!
20 Random Thoughts on English Fluency, Foreign English Speakers and Life in General
1. The English language is for everyone to speak. It transcends national boundaries, it’s become our modern day ‘lingua franca’, and no-one can really use the argument of ‘proper English’ because it is spoken differently in different places on the planet! 2. There are no quick-fixes or shortcuts when improving your spoken English. Contrary to what some English teachers will tell you, you can’t just listen your way to fluency; you have to SPEAK, SPEAK and SPEAK a lot! 3. It’s quite hard for the average foreigner to achieve a high degree of English fluency in the English language without living in an English speaking country. 4. It’s very difficult to improve your English effectively if you don’t enjoy life through the English language. 5. You may be saying it every once in a while that you’d like to improve your English but you can’t really do it because you haven’t got enough time, money, whatever. The truth is - it’s almost impossible to learn how to speak English fluently if you’re not REALLY MOTIVATED :!: (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression & Phrasal Verb: “Come up With”
English Idiomatic Expression: “Common Denominator”
Video for YearOfEnglish.com subscribers: Learn English Vocabulary That’s Relevant for YOUR Life!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q6CzZVCN54 Hello guys from YearOfEnglish.com and also anybody else having dropped by my blog :!: In today’s video I’m touching upon the subject of vocabulary building, and needless to say it’s all within the context of spoken English self-practice. Why? Simple enough – if you’re serious about your ability to SPEAK, you have to speak, and speaking with yourself is by far the best tool available to ANY foreign English speaker ANYWHERE on this planet! Speaking of vocabulary building, here’s a synopsis of the video above: Engage in spoken English self-practice and write down things (using English ONLY!) you can’t say; Go online and find those new English words you were struggling for; Memorize those words WITHIN CONTEXT – put them in sample sentences and use Google to see how this or that particular word is used; Do more spoken English self-practice sessions and make sure to use your newly acquired vocab! The video above, however, contains more info that just that, so please make sure to watch it if you’ve got 10 spare minutes – you’ll thank yourself for it later on! ;-) Thanks for tuning in, Robby P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
How I Made a Nonsensical English Mistake 3 Times in a Row!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPgouuqziNI Today I got talking with one of our secretaries about reading for the simple reason that I had Michael Grant’s book “LIES” sitting on the table. After a short chat about reading in general she asked me if I own a Kindle reader to which I simply wanted to reply with “Well, my daughter owns a Kindle reader!” Guess what? I made a completely stupid mistake in that simple sentence, and not only that! I tried to say the sentence once more, and the very same thing happened again! Then I started pronouncing those words for the last time, and to my dismay I made the same stupid mistake for the THIRD TIME! :mad: Now, the only explanation to this is a glitch in my brain. I can’t see any other reason as to why it should have happened especially considering the fact that the mistake was 100% illogical! (more…)
Don’t Look for a Silver Bullet when Improving Your English!
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 ;-)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Come As a Surprise”
English idiomatic expression: “Come to think of it”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsSK9cW_e54 It’s been a few days now since I published my latest English idiomatic expression video, so I’d better not wait any longer because I know how eager you guys are to watch my videos and see what new English phrase I’ve prepared for you! ;-) This time around it’s the following: “Come to think of it” – and you can use it whenever you’re reminded of something during a conversation, and then you want to share that memory with your conversation partner. Also, you don’t necessarily need to use this phrase DURING a conversation. (more…)
7 Ways to Kill Your English before You Even Start Speaking
Mimicking – The Best Way to Learn English Collocations!
How Repetition Happens in Real English Conversations and Why It’s Important to YOU!
A while back I received a comment to one of my blog posts about how useful the Mythbusters show is for your spoken English improvement saying that writing down phrases in a notebook for later repetition while watching TV removes the fun factor from the experience. Here’s the original comment: I haven't convinced yet to carry pocket dictionary, notebook or even use any type of system that allows me to save new words and phrases for later repetitions, I always think that these methods remove the fun factor from the process of learning, and take you away from the true immersion so you always seem as foreigner to that language. I -and may you also- never carry a notebook while watching TV in our native language, watching TV mostly is a fun activity, you just rest and watch, isn't that right? While I can see where the author of that comment is coming from, I can’t fully agree with his sentiment that by taking notes for later repetition all the fun factor is removed. First of all, you don’t have to do it all the time! Let’s say, you’re watching an episode of a TV drama, and throughout its 40 or 60 minute duration three or four phrases draw your attention. Is it really going to kill your TV watching experience if you pause your TV four times during the episode? Secondly, the benefits of jotting those phrases down and repeating them afterwards by far outweigh all possible hassle that such practices may cause to you. I mean, what is more important to you – your spoken English improvement, or being able to watch a TV drama or sitcom in English without ANY interruptions at all? Thirdly – of course you can watch TV in English purely for your enjoyment every now and then without holding a notebook in your hands. I’ve never said that in order to improve your English fluency, you must sacrifice all your free time and be 100% dedicated to it. After all, even passive English immersion will make the English language seep into your brain without you even noticing it, albeit at a slower rate than being actively engaged in spoken practice and repeating and memorizing new vocabulary and phraseology. But if you’re a bit skeptical about using spaced repetition as an effective spoken English improving tool, I want you to read the rest of this blog post before jumping the gun and dumping the idea completely. Do you think repeating and memorizing English phrases is an unnatural way of improving the language? Then think twice, because I’m about to present hard proof that repetition already exists in real life English conversations, it’s just that you mightn’t have noticed it before! (more…)
Why learning with a purpose is important?
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #11: GOT A THING FOR
English Becomes Worse When Speaking With Another Foreigner? Is It REALLY Possible?!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOicavsUr5Q A couple of days ago I got a comment from one of my YouTube followers asking for advice on how to deal with a situation when English fluency deteriorates in the presence of another foreign English speaker whose English isn’t as fluent as yours. I provided a helpful comment and I also touched upon the phenomenon of deteriorating English fluency when another non-native English speaker joins a conversation between a foreigner and a native English speaker. After that I got a response to my comment reiterating the fact that it’s very odd such situations occur at all – considering that speaking with the native English speaker doesn’t present any difficulties whatsoever; it’s only when you have to address the other foreigner whose English isn’t as developed as yours that you start experiencing problems with speaking in English clearly. Long story short, I recorded this video where I’m looking at this phenomenon in the very depth, so if you’ve been experiencing similar issues during your English conversations, you definitely may want to watch this video to understand the very nature of this problem and also find out how to deal with this inability to speak with somebody whose English is worse than yours :!: (more…)
Is It Possible to Preserve National Identity When You’ve Lost Your Native Language?
Funny English Phrases: Animal Related Idioms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRezZtTzAXs Hello my friends! :grin: This Funny English Phrase video is my contribution to the YearOfEnglish.com project, and in case you haven’t noticed it yet, I’m publishing a video dedicated to YearOfEnglish.com audience once every three weeks. This time around, let’s learn some animal related English idiomatic expressions and conversational phrases. You’re more than welcome to watch the video above where I’m doing a little role play portraying two people at the same time. And, in case you need it, here’s the video script in written format: (more…)
Don’t Analyze Your English – Part 2: Why Questions Beginning With WHY Are the Worst!
Wake Up from the English Grammar Matrix!
Common English Phrases to Use at Home & With Kids
I got the inspiration to write this English phrase compilation from a guy called Guillermo, and here’s the comment he left on my blog a while back: So basically he wants to learn useful English phrases to be used around the house describing common everyday concepts such as eating, playing, tidying up, going to bed and others. And come to think of it, pretty much all English phrases I’ve published on this blog focus either on your social life such as the small talk phrases or your professional life such as these industry specific phrases. That’s why I decided to compile a bunch of useful English phrases you can use at home when speaking with your own kinds in order to improve your English – just like Guillermo does – or when there are other English speaking kids around. Speaking of which, I can tell you based on my own experience that your English may be quite advanced, but you may still find yourself struggling to speak with little children using simple language :!: I clearly remember how I came to Ireland all those years ago and my daughters started attending the local school. I was in the same situation when I had to help them with their homework or speak with other kids at birthday parties, for example, and I realized that my English was lacking simple phraseology that native speakers use in daily situations at home! So, without further ado, let’s start listing commonly used simple English expressions you’ll be able to use at home! ;-) (more…)