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Spoken English Topics and Technical Aspects of Spoken English Exercising
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TULSesfUYJs Find It Hard to Do Spoken English Practice? Write It Down First! This video is a follow-up to the last video episode which was about the importance of practising spoken English with yourself in case you’ve got no-one to talk to! After the last episode I received quite a few e-mails asking what topics you can discuss with yourselves. I’ve come to realize that it’s not that easy for everyone to think of something to talk about so I decided to dedicate today’s video episode to various topics you can use as source of inspiration to kick-start your English practicing routine. But before you even attempt practicing English with yourself, you should remember the following. Don’t try to talk about something that is detached from reality. Don’t try to convince yourself that you should speak about something that you don’t actually take any interest in :!: A typical example of this would be taking some English learning material and reading a certain topic and then trying to create a monologue around that topic. Well, you may succeed and have a nice chat with yourself about, say, concepts of time and distance, and similar. On most occasions however, if you try to create a monologue around something that isn’t relevant for you personally, the chances are that you’ll find the very idea of such speech practicing very boring and you’ll give up after a while! :-( So the most important piece of advice to anyone who decides to engage in regular English monologues is the following – talk about something that reflects your interests, your personal and professional affairs, generally speaking – your life! And now let’s look at particular spoken English topics you can always count on not be become boring! (more…)
Is Past Perfect Tense Any Good For The Average English Speaker?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/G7Y5xa5Qhgs Today I’m going to look at a particular aspect of English Perfect Tenses that is quite often ignored by foreign English speakers. For the most part it’s probably because it’s not used that often in everyday English. Nonetheless, it’s useful to know how and when to use the Past Perfect Tense in English! So without a further ado, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of this topic. So, as you already know, Perfect Tenses in English are used to tell about events that have already taken place but it’s not really known when exactly they happened, and it’s not really necessary to know that. An example: I’ve finished my assignment on time. As you can see, I don’t mention the exact time when I did finish my assignment, because in this context it’s irrelevant. Just the very fact that I’ve finished it is what I want to tell you about, and that’s what the Perfect Tenses in English are all about. Now, Past Perfect is a Tense when you replace the have part in the sentence with its past form – had. So what you get is – I had finished my assignment, or its short form – I’d finished my assignment. The annoying thing about learning English Grammar and the numerous Grammar Tenses is that if you look at them on a page in your grammar book, they might not make much sense. Also, there can be so many examples given with a particular tense that you just can’t make out when exactly you need to use it! (more…)
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Native English Speakers Won’t Use Perfect Future Tenses – And You Should Avoid Them Too!
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! If you’re a really diligent English student and you’re into the advanced English grammar stuff, chances are that you’ve learned about the Future Perfect Tenses at some stage and most likely you’ve been using them in your speech. Just to remind everyone what these Future Perfect Tenses are all about: I WILL HAVE finishED writing this article by the noon. I WILL HAVE BEEN livING in Ireland for 14 years this August. The first sample sentence represents the Future Perfect Tense which is formed by using WILL HAVE and the verb adopts the Past Participle form -ED, and the second one is the Future Perfect Progressive Tense where you have to use WILL HAVE BEEN and the verb changes to the Present Participle form -ING. So far, so good, right? Well, not really. In theory, this is how these grammar tenses are formed, and the English grammar book will tell you to use them in situations when you refer to a particular event or an ongoing action that’s going to be finished at some stage in the future. Except that these tenses aren’t actually used in real life! If you take a closer look at the previous paragraph where I’m describing the purpose of the Future Perfect Tenses, you’ll notice that I’m not actually using Future Perfect. I’m not saying – “… action that WILL HAVE BEEN finished..” Instead, I’m opting for something much simpler, something that most native English speakers would go for – “… action that’s GONNA BE finished…”! Now, am I saying that these Future Perfect Tenses are NEVER used? Am I saying that you shouldn’t bother with them AT ALL? Well… YES! That’s exactly what I’m getting at, my friend foreign English speaker! You should avoid using these Future Perfect Tenses at all costs because it will: Make your English speech sound unnatural, Confuse you when you’re speaking, Prevent you from fitting in with native English speakers! So, would you like to learn how to avoid using Future Perfect and what to use instead? Well, just keep reading this article, my friends, and I’m going to reveal my best-kept secrets to you! (more…)
Want to Improve Your English? Stop Watching TV in Your Language!
How To Learn A New Language In Super-short Time!
A few months ago I came across a website of an Irish guy called Benny – and I must say I was really impressed with what I found out about him! Benny speaks 8 languages at the moment... I’m saying – at the moment – because God only knows how many he will speak at the time when you read this article! Basically this is what he does – he takes on 3 month long missions to learn a new language. Yes, you got me right – 3 months! :!: While for most people it would take 3 months to get around basics of a new language, Benny masters his target language to fluency. Amazing, isn’t it? Well, if you think he’s a genius capable of acquiring tens of thousands of words in the target language and master it to a complete fluency in 3 months – it’s not really the case. For Benny as well as for me achieving fluency in a language doesn’t mean acquiring all academic grammar knowledge about the language along with huge vocabulary. (more…)
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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…)
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Topics For Practising Spoken English
You don't have anyone to talk to in English? Don't despair! You can actually practice spoken English with yourself! Does it sound weird to you? Well, it's not as bad as you initially thought! Image this - when you're taking shower in the morning, or walking your dog - you're on your own and as far as no-one is close by - you're perfectly fine talking with yourself! And by the way - it's a great way of organizing your thoughts and improving spoken English at the same time! So here are a few topics you can use if you don't know what you can chat with yourself about! Talk about what you have done by now since the moment you woke up in the morning. Remember all the events that have happened to you – how you were driving or went by bus to work, what happened on the way – if you saw some interesting person, if there were new road works on the way. Talk about the weather this morning – if it’s nice or rainy and how you feel about it. Plan your day – this is actually a good moment to remember everything you have to do during the forthcoming day! Make an appointment to the doctor, call to the bank about rejected direct debit from you electricity company, write an e-mail to your boss asking about your holidays, book airplane tickets – there’s always more or less to do everyday! While going through the list you can talk about those things in detail and predict how the events are likely going to evolve and how you’ll act. Recall pleasant events from your past – your childhood, your teenage years and go through them. You’ll be amazed how many long forgotten things you can bring up in your memory! And the excitement is going to heal the English speaking issue as well – your speech will become more fluent as a result. Remember your school friends you haven’t seen a long time and all the mischievous things you’ve done together – crazy college years… If you’re going for a meeting with someone - speak with yourself about the main points of the conversation. By doing so you’ll be better prepared for the real talk. Is it an interview, a meeting, or just a talk to your boss – it is always good to be prepared and now the main points. Analyze your feelings at this moment – are you happy? Are you sad? Are you excited? What made you feel so? A number of things are going to appear in the process to talk about and maybe you’ll settle some issue eventually! Act like a psychologist for yourself! Try to tell yourself that after all there’s no point of being annoyed about something you cannot change and make your mind brighter. Talk about the latest movie you’ve seen or the book you’ve read. Go through the events and describe them in detail – this is another powerful tool if it seems to you that there’s nothing to talk about. After some entertaining night out or weekend trip to somewhere you’ll have plenty of things to remember – whether you met new people, something interesting happened, or you got into a funny situation. If you have a relationship you can talk about your partner – remember all the good and the bad things you’ve been through together, think about how important he or she is to you and if you had a row the night before – think about who was right and who was wrong and what’s going to happen when you return home in the evening. Robby P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
2 Dictionary Websites You’ll Ever Need To Improve Your English
I’ve been using the Internet to improve my English for a good number of years, especially when it comes to finding out meaning of new words and figuring out how to use them in context, what other words they collocate with, and what idioms there are containing those words. Sure, you can use Google and other search engines successfully to find relevant information; however, there are two websites that just can’t be beaten in terms of the sheer amount of information they provide when it comes to English vocabulary. Also, they are brilliant when explaining how that vocabulary is used in context, and you have to bear in mind that it is crucial for all foreign English speakers. Learning new English vocabulary out of context – just memorizing separate words – is going to do you little good simply because you won’t know that particular word is used by native English speakers. There’s so much more to speaking fluent English than just sticking separate words together, and these two websites will provide you with countless examples on how new words and expressions are used in the English language. Last but not least, those websites will explain you meaning of new English words through English language using dozens upon dozens of synonyms, and this is also of the utmost importance for us, dear fellow foreign English speakers! Why? It’s quite simple – you should build your English vocabulary ONLY through the English language to prevent you from translating from your native language in your mind which can have a terrible effect on your ability to produce fluent and coherent speech! Well, I guess I’ve piqued your interest with describing how good those websites are, so now let’s look at them so that you can start using them in your English improving routine! (more…)
Why Are We Always Trying to Speak Too Fast in English?
English Words I Used to Mispronounce
At this stage I’ve lived in an English speaking country for more than 12 years, and I can call myself an English speaker for more than that because I was speaking the language long before I came to Ireland all those years ago. Anyway, having been an English speaker for so long doesn’t mean my language is free from errors. Every now and then I realize I’ve been making some sort of a mistake. It might be a specific English word that I’ve been using wrong. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I found out that the English word “deal-breaker” has a negative connotation rather than a positive one! I thought that if something is a “deal-breaker”, it’s the most appealing feature among all others, but it turns out it’s quite the opposite – a “deal-breaker” is the biggest risk factor! It could also be an English idiomatic expression I’ve been using the wrong way. Only this week I found out that the idiom “rule of thumb” doesn’t actually mean a very strict rule – which is what I’d thought – it actually means a general rule that can be widely applied. On some occasions though, it turns out I’ve been MISPRONOUNCING a specific word for years without realizing it, and that’s what today’s article is all about! Before we begin, just let me tell you one thing – making these kinds of mistakes is completely normal! Nobody is perfect, and I know for a fact I’ll keep correcting my English till the day I die – but I’m not feeling like my English sucks because of it. I just do it as a normal part of my English improving process, and I warmly suggest you approach your own errors the same way! And now, without further ado, let’s look at the English words I’d been mispronouncing without realizing it! (more…)
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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 Idiomatic Expression: “It’s Not to Be Taken Lightly”
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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…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Which Brings Us To The Next Point”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWEfrHaWSVc Hello my friends and followers! :grin: In today’s English Idiomatic Expression video you’re going to find out how to use the following phrase: “which brings us to the next point”. While there’s a good chance you’ve already been using this phrase in your conversations, there’s also a possibility you’ve only heard it used by others – in which case you should definitely make sure to learn this phrase off by heart! Why? Well, it’s simple enough – if you can use this particular English phrase automatically (which means speaking it out loud without much thinking), you can make smooth transitions from one point to another while having a conversation in English with someone! Not really sure what I’m talking about here? Here’s an example for you: let’s say, for argument’s sake, you’re telling a work colleague of yours about an incident that happened the day before, and that it’s directly related to the lack of health and safety procedures in your company. (more…)
English Has Brought the World Together!
Don’t Judge Foreign English Speakers by Their Mistakes!
I have to make a confession to you, my fellow foreigners… Despite having struggled with English fluency myself, and despite making mistakes while speaking myself, I do sometimes make assumptions about other foreigners and their level of English … You see, the strange thing about it is that I’m fully aware of the fact that making mistakes and struggling for words is normal. I know only too well that there’s a multitude of different factors affecting one’s spoken English performance – starting with stress and anxiety and ending with such complicated English fluency issues as preparing speech in one’s head before speaking and a total information overload. After all, I have a first-hand experience of what it feels like when you know EXACTLY what you want to say, but your mouth suddenly disobeys you and says the wrong thing… So quite naturally I’d expect myself to be the last person to draw hasty conclusions about somebody’s level of English, yet it does occasionally happen! Of course, the moment I catch myself thinking something like – “All right, I have to choose slightly simpler words when talking to him because he just used a completely wrong English Grammar Tense, so most likely he won’t understand me if I speak the way I speak with native English speakers…” – I immediately say to myself: “Robby, common, don’t be such a meanie, are you always perfect yourself?!” Imagine, if it takes me so much effort to stop patronizing others, how must native English speakers feel when they hear me make some stupid mistake when speaking to them? Can I blame them for assuming that my English is poor just because I mispronounced a very simple word? I, for instance, stressed the wrong syllable in the word ‘monopoly’ the other day. I said [‘monopoli] instead of [mo’nopoli], and had my workmate Will not known me for years, he probably would have judged my English skills by that one stupid mistake! On another occasion, I made a mistake by misplacing a word in a phrase. I said “Fair done!” which is a mix of two phrases – “Well done” and “Fair play to you!” Once again, for someone who doesn’t know me this would be a reason good enough to extrapolate that mistake to everything I might say. It’s the so called reverse halo effect, and now let’s look at this phenomenon in depth! (more…)
Always Look Ahead to New English Conversations and Don’t Fret Over Past Mistakes!
You Can’t Listen Your Way to Fluency!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j615Jd-UUJs Should foreign English speakers focus mostly on listening to all sorts of English audio lessons, songs and films in order to improve their English fluency? This is somewhat a controversial topic because so many English teachers will tell you to engage in listening to specially prepared audios or just generally listening to English as much as you can in order to improve your fluency. I’ll tell you right upfront – it’s a flawed approach, and here’s why. When you listen, you develop your comprehension skills. Yes, those skills are important when it comes to communicating with English speaking people because it’s necessary for you to understand what you’re being told or asked... obviously! :-) Your overall fluency improvement, however, involves plenty of spoken English practice which basically means speaking :!: (more…)
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English Idiomatic Expression: “To be more specific”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oARZkO4JHPI I started this new blog EasyIdioms.com about two months ago; in fact, I published the very first Idiomatic Expression Video here on February 6, 2013, to be more specific! Today’s expression is “to be more specific”, and you just witnessed a typical way of using this English phrase. Basically you can add this useful hesitation filler phrase at the end of any sentence where you mention specific dates, numbers or figures. Here’s another typical example. I’ve posted slightly more than ten blog posts on this blog; the actual number is eleven, to be more specific! (more…)