English Small Talk Phrases (Updated December 2017!)
MY NAME IS ROBBY, and I'm the author of the English Harmony System - Read About My 5 Year Long Journey to English Fluency HERE! Hi my foreign English speaking friends! Here I’ve created a list of the most important English small talk phrases so that you never have situations when you get stuck when bumping into someone on the street or greeting your colleagues in the morning! Here you’ll also find a good number of English phrases you can use to respond to typical greetings. And even more – some of the phrases below will help you add more substance to what you’re saying to your chat partner and also help you take time and think over the question. At the end of the list you’ll find typical good-bye phrases and you’ll definitely find them handy when finishing off a conversation or even if you want to get rid of the person you’re chatting with! :-) There's also industry small talk phrases - and they're definitely going to come in handy in work-related situations. Whenever you want to ask your work colleague to cover you for a couple of hours and tell them you're going to keep a low profile because you went out the night before - all this is covered in the industry small talk section! So, click on the links below and they'll take you to the respective section of English small talk phrases! ;-) (more…)
7 Reasons Why Having Been Born a Foreigner Is One of the Best Things That Ever Happened to You!
Speaking With Yourself Isn’t As Different From Speaking With Others As You Might Have Thought!
Anger Management as Part of Your Overall English Fluency Improvement Plan
When I get too excited dealing with some issue at work, I may start stuttering or make mistakes despite the fact that normally I’m a fluent English speaker. Strange? Not really! Emotions have the ability to get the better of us in so many other life situations that it’s actually hardly surprising it happens when a foreigner speaks in English! Typically when I’m agitated, I’m trying to explain myself by speaking very fast, and if I’m very annoyed about something – like unfair treatment or an obvious flaw others are oblivious to and I’m the only one trying to hammer it home to every one else – I may just find it difficult to follow my racing mind with my mouth. You may or you may not have experienced similar feelings when speaking with someone in English, but I believe you should read today’s article anyway. Especially taking into account that such situations could be very well just around the corner for you, so you’d be much better off having been prepared for them! (more…)
Get the FREE eBook “How To Stop Struggling With English Writing”!
As you can imagine, I spend quite some time writing blog posts for my website and over the years I’ve become pretty good at it. Well, it’s not that I’m bragging about my writing skills, but the facts are speaking for themselves – I can write a 1600 word article in about two hours. Sure, I would have spent some time planning what to write about and editing and publishing it on my blog would also take some time. Still the writing speed is the most notable improvement I’ve achieved when it comes to my English writing skills – compared to how I was writing 4 – 5 years ago – and I believe I could refer to it as “fluent English writing”. What does it mean in real terms? Well, I think I wouldn’t be exaggerating by claiming I can write as fluently as I can speak; I can just start typing and keep at it until everything I’ve wanted to express has been typed into the word processing software. And this is where we can start looking at the reason why so many foreign English speakers find it difficult to compose a coherent piece of writing. While writing an e-mail to an English speaking friend or a customer at work mightn’t be the biggest problem, bigger tasks such as writing formal letters, essays and short stories may present massive difficulties. You may find yourself sitting in front of a monitor for half an hour having written just one or two sentences, and for some strange reason you just can’t overcome the so called ‘writer’s block’. Is this you? Did you recognize your frustrating behavioral patterns in terms of struggling with English writing after reading the above paragraphs? If so – I’ve something really valuable in store for you! (more…)
Why Can’t I Use All Those English Phrases and Collocations?
Contextual English Vocab Building: Using TheFreedictionary.com the SMART Way!
A good while ago I published a video in which I touched upon contextual English learning and I also provided the opportunity for everyone in that video to do a simple test so that they can see for themselves how effective contextual vocabulary building is as opposed to the traditional way. Check out that video HERE! A few days ago I got a comment on that video asking for a good website to learn English vocabulary in context to which I responded by saying that TheFreeDictionary.com is one of the best dictionary websites out there containing a large array of English phrases and collocations which is exactly what you want when learning English contextually. Yesterday I got another comment by the same person asking how exactly TheFreeDictionary.com website is to be used for the purpose of contextual learning, and so I decided to record this video providing the EXACT instructions on how to look up phrases and expressions containing specific words on that website. (more…)
English Idiom: “To Your Heart’s Content”
Reverse Psychology – Make Yourself Stutter, Hesitate and Get Tongue-tied in order… NOT TO!
Human is a creature of conditioning – the more often you find yourself in situations when your English fluency is compromised, the deeper your mind gets wired to make sure it happens when such conditions are met next time. For example, if you’ve found it a bit harder to speak in English with a particular person on a couple of occasions, it’s highly likely that this person will cause the same English speech difficulties for you every time they’re around. If you let it happen for long enough time, you get conditioned to stutter, mispronounce words and find it difficult to verbalize your thoughts whenever you speak to that person or even when speaking with someone else in that person’s presence. Sometimes the English fluency issue manifests itself in so seemingly random situations that it may look like a totally out-of-hand problem. You may find yourself making plenty of mistakes when speaking in English having had very fluent conversations with other English speakers the day before, for instance, and there’s nothing you can think of that should trigger such behavior. In order to overcome such issues I recommend different fluency management strategies - starting from speaking slower and pronouncing words clearly, and ending with such non-standard approaches as speaking with a harder accent. There will be moments, however, when you find it quite difficult to get back to your normal English speech regardless of what strategy you apply. You may have tried to speak in English in a number of different ways – slowly and fast, with a hard accent and without, but your mind just can’t seem to work properly! If that is the case, there’s one more trick up my sleeve – reverse psychology! (more…)
Is It OK to Point Out Mistakes Made by Others?
English Idiomatic Expression: “For Some Reason Or Another”
Back in College: English Fluency Hitting an All-Time High!
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: Hi guys! Hello boys and girls and hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It's Robby here from EnglishHarmony.com and welcome back to my video blog! Now, I just wanted to let you know guys that today was my first day in college after a 2 month break. And I've just got to tell you guys that my fluency was out of this world. It was amazing! So basically what's important here is the fact that for two months straight I wasn't actually having many conversations with native English speakers. I was mostly doing self-practice, right? That's the kind of thing that I keep going on about in my video blog in pretty much every video, right? So at this stage you will definitely know that I'm constantly advocating for you and for everyone who aspires to become a fluent English speaker to engage in daily English practice sessions, basically spoken English practice sessions whereby you speak with yourself just like I do when I'm recording these videos. (more…)
Funny English Phrases: Death & Dying Related English Idioms
This is the last funny English phrase video for YearOfEnglish.com subscribers… The reason being – the year is drawing to an end, and so is my commitment to keep publishing new videos for you guys every couple of weeks! :-( That’s why I decided to publish death and dying related English phrases video today – to mark the end of the year and your journey to English fluency. Every end, however, is just a beginning to something new, so don’t get sad while watching this video – instead make sure you listen to the dialogues carefully and REPEAT the phrases you hear. Needless to say, many of those death related idioms can be used in various situations in life – not just when someone is close to passing away, so watch the video above, use the transcript below for better understanding and start using those death related English idioms in your daily conversations! (more…)
Is It Possible to Preserve National Identity When You’ve Lost Your Native Language?
English Idiomatic Expression: “When it comes to…”
When it comes to speaking fluent English, there’s no better way of getting your speech going that learning idiomatic expressions and using them in your real life conversations! Today is no exception, and what I want to draw your attention to is the very first sentence of this article. “When it comes to…” is a very handy English expression, and I decided to make a video about it to tell you guys how to use it best. This expression – “When it comes to…” – has many equivalent English phrases and expressions. “As for…” “In relation to…” “Speaking of…” … and many more phrases can be used the same way you’d use the one I’m looking at in today’s video. Still, I believe that “When it comes to…” is the most informal and friendliest of them all, and that’s why it’s my personal favorite. But what about you? Have you heard other English speakers use it a lot? Or maybe this is the first time you actually hear this particular expression? Let me know about it in the comments below! Talk to you soon, Robby ;-)
How To Speak Fluent English with Limited Vocabulary!
Don’t Try to Figure Out What Something Means in English Grammar Terms – It Serves NO Purpose!
One of the main principles of the English Harmony philosophy is not to fall into the habit of analyzing your speech from the grammar standpoint. The very same goes with reading. You may find yourself trying to figure out what this or that particular sentence in a book or newspaper represents in English grammar terms, and the funny thing is that sometimes you just end up confusing yourself instead of gaining something from it! You’re reading a sentence and the analytical part of your brain automatically starts analyzing the syntax: “Hold on, is it a Passive or Active Voice construct? I’d better Google it up and see if I can figure it out!” So off you go browsing forums and spending your time just to satisfy your curiosity! And you’re not alone. There’s millions of English learners asking questions on forums trying to figure out WHAT ROLE certain words and word groups play in a sentence, what grammar tense is represented by the sentence in question and so on. Sometimes I come across those forum threads when validating my English collocations (read more about how I do it HERE) and it just doesn’t cease to amaze me that there are folks who are quite literally wasting away their lives asking questions such as: Is this clause a predicative expression or is it not? or What exactly does “would have” mean in the following sentence “I would have thought that the unemployment rate is on the rise, but it’s actually the other way around”? It looks like a conditional sentence, so does it mean that the person who speaks doesn’t actually think that the unemployment is on the rise but would think so if certain conditions are met? The moment I see those questions, it instantly brings me back to when I used to analyze everything I was reading or hearing, and needless to say, that’s exactly the reason why I couldn’t speak fluently in the first place! My mind was gone into a permanent analytics mode and I was under the false impression that if I were to become proficient in terms of English grammar, I would also become fluent. Little did I know at that time that it was completely false logical reasoning. Just think about it – how being able to DEFINE what a particular group of words represents is going to help you REPRODUCE that phrase or sentence when writing or speaking? It won’t – that’s the thing! ;-) You see, it’s all because most English learners can’t distinguish (and it’s all because of the traditional way of teaching English at school!) between the following: Theoretical KNOWLEDGE about English grammar and syntax, and Practical SKILLS and ABILITY to use English when speaking or writing! Many of us believe that KNOWLEDGE directly translates into ABILITY – but nothing could be further from the truth! Ability to SPEAK, for example, is all about you being able to REPLICATE correct speech patterns and the best way to go about it is by simply REPEATING and MEMORIZING a specific sentence. When you speak with real people in real life, does anyone care about the sentence being a conditional or not? NO! All that matters is your ability to SAY IT OUT LOUD! (more…)
YearOfEnglish.com: Only YOU Can Decide When You’ve Become Fluent!
Watch This If You Have Total English Grammar Confusion!
You’re Not Struggling With Your Fluency – You’re Struggling With Perfection!
Oftentimes we foreigners feel we struggle to say the right thing during a conversation with other English speakers. Or – we struggle TO SAY THINGS RIGHT which isn’t the same exact problem as the aforementioned one. In the first situation you don’t how WHAT to say, but in the second one you’re struggling to say in RIGHT. Nonetheless, the problem of struggling to have a fluent, free conversation in English with someone is often just a matter of perspective. While inside your head you’re all confused and frustrated by your inability to speak just as fluently as you’d write, your conversation partner mightn't actually see your seemingly flawed speech in the same light! So why not just cut yourself some slack, and speak without worrying about mistakes you might be making or things you might be saying in a way natives don’t normally speak? I believe you’re much better off feeling free and make mistakes rather than struggle every time you have to speak in English… and still make mistakes! (more…)
Conquer Your Fear of Making Mistakes when Speaking English!
If you’re a foreign English speaker – there’s a 90% chance you are because you’re reading my blog! – you’re most likely familiar with anxiety of making mistakes when speaking English. You know – it’s the feeling when you’d gladly say something when chatting in English with someone, but you hold it inside because you’re not sure you’ll get it right. In the most extreme cases you might even be avoiding communication only not to experience embarrassment and humiliation! That’s when it gets really serious because no matter how badly you fear making mistakes, you’re not going to improve your spoken English simply because you’re not speaking enough :!: So how to deal with this anxiety and how to overcome your fear of making mistakes? Watch the video above and you’ll find out how to change your mindset when it comes to making mistakes; alternatively you can read this video’s script below! (more…)
Customer Support & Service Industry English Phrases
Beware! I’m a False Fluency Expert & I’ll Con You Out of Money!
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Hi guys, hello everyone and welcome back to English Harmony video blog! I'm Robby and I'm a fluency expert, an English fluency expert. And obviously some people - and to be more specific, it's a commentator called Dry Dead, right? Some people reckon that I'm not an expert. And there's been a little commotion going on on this particular video I published last night which is an interview with one of my students, Sergi from Catalonia. And then Dry Dead pointed out that I made a mistake during that video where I said “so much more fluent.” In fact I should have said “so much more fluently,” right? It's a mistake. Yeah, so he was laughing at the fact that an English fluency expert made such a terrible mistake, right? SIDE-NOTE: Eventually I had to ban this person from my channel because he resorted to insulting everyone and he just couldn't be reasoned with. Here's the thing, Dry Dead. I responded to many of your comments before. I was trying to get through to you. I was trying to convey the message that in my reckoning an expert is not necessarily someone who is perfect at it. For me an expert is someone who helps other people and does a good job at it. And he is capable of bringing out the best in other people as learners, right? For example, this computer course I'm attending right now, okay? I'm not a very technical guy and personally I go to the teacher and I go to smarter guys in the class for advice. But despite all that I'm quite capable of helping other guys with certain things. Other guys who might not be as knowledgeable as me at that stuff. So in those terms I would call myself an expert because I'm capable of helping those guys. (more…)
10 Reasons Why English Is The World’s Language
YearOfEnglish.com: 3 Reasons Why Enjoying Your Hobbies Through English is The BEST Thing You Can Do To Your FLUENCY!
I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you’ve had moments when you’ve lost motivation to keep improving your English and working on your fluency. Vocabulary and phraseology acquisition. Spoken English practice sessions. Reading and listening comprehension. All is nice and well up until the moment when you just get bored for the simple reason that you don’t see relevance of all those activities in your personal life! Let’s say for argument’s sake, you’re a fitness fanatic and you live and breathe all things fitness. You go to the local gym every day, and you’re very conscious when it comes to your nutrition and lifestyle. Now, if that’s the case, then you spend pretty much your entire free time being engaged in fitness related activities, and while you may have a dream of achieving English fluency for professional reasons, you kind of find it hard to dedicate enough time to English improvement related activities. But guess what? The biggest problem is the following: You’ve separated your fitness life and English fluency improvement and you perceive them as two different aspects of your life! No wonder you find it hard to motivate yourself to engage in a lot of English practice if you’d rather hit the gym one more time instead of learning another couple of English phrases and doing some spoken English practice… Solution? Combine the two: YOUR HOBBY and YOUR ENGLISH IMPROVEMENT ROUTINE! And here are the three main reasons why combining your hobbies and interests with learning and improving the English language is SUPER-BENEFICIAL to your fluency! (more…)
English Collocation: “Sparked Heated Debates”
Ring Utility Company Phone Lines to Practice Your Spoken English!
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…)
Unleash Your English Fluency with the English Harmony System 2.0!
Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
Am I Forcing Myself To Speak With a Native-like English Accent?
How to Develop Your Ability to GUESS New English Word Meanings
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! May I ask you a question – what do you do when seeing an unfamiliar English word? Here’s what people normally do: Look up the new word in a dictionary Ask someone what it means Forget about it and only look it up if seeing it for the second or third time But have you ever tried to GUESS the meaning of the unfamiliar word? Well, not that many people try to do that, but it’s worth to give it a shot! Don’t be immediately looking up the meaning of the new word, try and think a little bit if you can find any connection between the new word and some other English word that you’re already familiar with! Let’s imagine for second that you’re not familiar with the following word – “enclosure”. If you just tell yourself – “I haven’t got a clue what “enclosure” is!” – it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and you’re not going to figure out what it means simply because you’re not even trying to do it. If, on the other hand, you’re thinking along the following lines: “Hold on, “enclosure” – it might have something to do with the word “close”, right? So there’s a good chance it defines something that is closed…” – you’re opening your mind and tapping into your brain resources. This type of thinking will develop a more thorough understanding of the English language and its vocabulary and will provide a small boost in all areas of your English development – comprehension, reading, and speaking. And on top of that, I truly hope that this article will serve as an eye-opener and make you realize that a lot of English words are related! ;-) (more…)
Why It’s a Bad Idea to Categorize English Idioms when Learning Them!
SHOCKING: Drinking Impedes Your Ability to Speak Fluent English!
Actually I don’t think that the effects of alcohol on your ability to speak in English fluently is any more shocking than the fact that drinking affects pretty much any area of your physical performance. Driving. Walking in a straight line. Picking something off the floor (and missing the item by an inch because you have an impaired ability to judge the distance between your hands and other objects…) Basically when you have a couple of drinks in you, your ability to perform physical tasks starts declining, I guess everyone will agree on that with me! “But surely my ability to socialize with other English speaking people should improve when I’ve had a couple of drinks!” – you may say. “In most social situations I’m on the shy side, so especially considering that I have problems with confidence when speaking in English, wouldn’t it actually make sense to be slightly intoxicated so that I’d get rid of any emotional hindrances preventing me from communicating with others in English freely?!” – probably this is what you’re thinking right now. Well… I don’t know about you, but here are my experiences with consuming alcohol and trying to speak in English: (more…)
Share Your Humiliating English Conversation Experiences & Get Advice!
Do You Get Intimidated by Eloquent English Speakers? You Shouldn’t!
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #16: I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH…
Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Good morning boys and girls! When was the last time you’ve HAD A RUN-IN WITH someone? Do you like HAVING RUN-INS WITH people? Personally I prefer to resolve all differences in a peaceful and diplomatic manner, but it’s simply our human nature to HAVE RUN-INS WITH other people from time to time. Now, I’m pretty sure that you got the meaning of today’s American English expression, but in case you still have some doubts – please watch the video above where I’m discussing my sixteenth American phrase I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH and how it’s used in real-life English conversations! Chat soon, Robby ;-)