Funny English Phrases: Sports Related Idioms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrYKYEgJOgI Hello my dear fellow foreign English speaker from YearOfEnglish.com! I’m back again with yet another funny English phrase video, and in this particular installment I’ve done a role play around sports-related conversations people would normally have when discussing last night’s game or while watching a live baseball or football match. You might and you might not be a sporty person, but whichever is the case, some of these sports-related English idioms will definitely come in handy for you at some stage in life. Especially considering the fact that many of those idioms can be used in figurative speech to describe completely different concepts – it doesn’t necessarily have to be sports :!: Want to see it for yourself? Then watch the video above, and you can also refer to its transcript below: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Idiom #21: FOR MY MONEY
4 Pieces of Evidence That Past Experience, Context and Mental Associations is Everything When it Comes to Spoken English
No.1 Secret to speak English fluently and confidently
I receive messages and emails on a daily basis of people asking me if they should make a notebook where they can write down the list of useful idioms, sophisticated words and phraseology so they can learn and revise later. My plain and simple answer to your question which in itself is a question- Are you writing ‘The Joe's Dictionary’? (more…)
Surround Yourself With English ALL the Time!
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it! Hi guys, hello my dear fellow English speakers and welcome back to Robby's English Harmony video blog! In today's video we are going to look at the following topic: full English immersion and its importance in your spoken English fluency development. And sometimes you may think “what's the big deal? Why would I have to necessarily surround myself with English 24/7? Surely, if I want to improve my English I can just do certain things and that will improve my spoken English, right?” Well, you're right to a certain degree. Yes, you will definitely improve it because doing something is better than doing nothing, right? But here's the deal: if you immerse yourself in English 24/7, it's going to provide even additional benefits for your overall spoken English fluency development. (more…)
English Idiom: “It’s Not to Be Sniffed At!”
I’ve Been Speaking in English for Years! I Still Require Regular Spoken Practice Though…
I’ve been an English speaker for what seems like a lifetime, so you’d think that by now I’ve become so comfortable with the English language that I could stop doing all the following: Speaking with myself during the day to keep my spoken English skills sharp; Preparing for important English conversations by doing some spoken self-practice; Speaking with myself in the car while driving to work etc. Guess what? I JUST CAN’T STOP DOING IT :!: And I warmly suggest you don’t ever give up such habits either – no matter how good your English becomes! Why am I saying this? It’s simple enough, my friend non-native English speaker: The moment you stop actively working on your fluency, it will start stalling! (more…)
Speaking English is Just Like Playing With Lego Bricks!
Future In The Past – Often Ignored But Very Useful!
Have you ever heard of Future in the Past Tense? The chances are – you haven’t! It’s quite weird, but it’s true – many English Grammar books and English learning websites simply ignore Future in the Past! So here’s how it works – whenever you’re re-telling past events, the word WILL becomes WOULD – when referring to future during your story. Example: After the first week in gym I decided I WOULD never quit! Before I had learned this simple grammar rule about using Future in the Past, I would say the above sentence using the word WILL: After the first week in gym I decided I WILL never quit it! How wrong was I… And how wrong are thousands of other foreign English speakers! Yes, I’ve met quite fluent English speakers in my life who still kept on making the same mistake – using WILL when describing future events from past’s perspective. (more…)
We Create English Fluency Issues for Ourselves!
You’ve Gotta Be Ignorant to Be a Fluent English Speaker!
English Idiom: “Steer Clear”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiBNlMg6pdc Hello my friends non-native English speakers! Today we’re going to look at the following English idiom: STEER CLEAR and how to use it in your daily English conversations. So, first of all let’s do some Google search to validate this English expression and make sure that it actually exists. To accomplish that, we just need to enter the phrase STEER CLEAR into the Google search bar in quotation marks (it’s very important!) and hit “Enter”: As you can see, there are more than 6 million search results returned containing the phrase STEER CLEAR which means it’s a very valid English expression. Next, have a look at the top search results: (more…)
Asking for And Giving Directions in English – So Trivial Yet Essential!
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! Asking for directions in English when you’re not sure where a particular object is located while travelling or helping out some stranger who stops you in a passing-by car and asks for directions to some spot – these could be called textbook English scenarios. Meaning – directions is one of the basics that you’d have to learn as a beginner English student, right? That being said, I have to admit that not every advanced English speaker’s phraseology is up to scratch when it comes to these relatively simple English phrases. The heck, recently even I used to get a bit stuck sometimes when asking for directions or when I had to give someone directions in English, and it’s only when I started coaching other foreign English speakers on Fluency Star that I compiled a list of relevant phrases and also cleared up the whole thing once and for all for myself. So, would you like to tap into Robby’s personal knowledgebase? Then what are you waiting for! Just keep reading and you’ll find the most relevant direction asking and giving English phraseology – just make sure you actually memorize those phrases by way of speaking out loud multiple times and then repeating them over the course of a few days to make sure these speech patterns get imprinted into your brain and most importantly – your mouth muscles! And by the way - don’t forget that you would also sometimes have to describe directions when talking about past events and telling stories, so these sorts of situations aren’t just limited to giving and asking for directions specifically! (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “It Came to Light That…”
English Idiomatic Expression: “For Some Reason Or Another”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPwJVHMo5V8 Hello my friends foreign English speakers! (in case you’re wondering why I’m not referring to us – foreigners – by the name “non-native speakers”, please read this article HERE!) For some reason or another I just haven’t been feeling like creating a lot of content lately, so I’ve been taking it easy for a couple days. I’ve gone to bed early. I’ve done a bit more English reading in the bed before falling asleep. Basically I’ve been replenishing my energy stores so that I can start writing articles and producing videos for my English Harmony blog with a renewed vigor! Now, did you notice how I used the idiomatic expression “for some reason or another”? Even though I knew the reason behind my actions – lack of energy – I still used this English phrase for the simple reason that it simply sounds cool and I like using such and similar English phrases A LOT! Normally, however, you’d use the phrase “for some reason or another” in situations when you’re not sure of the true reasons behind the activity you’re discussing OR if you simply don’t want to elaborate on that. (more…)
How to Speak MORE Fluently Than a Native English Speaker (Yes, It’s POSSIBLE!)
Translation from English is Bad For Your Fluency + Example From My Early Days as a Teacher
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbIQHzOpcAU VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW Hi guys and welcome back to EnglishHarmony.com video blog! I’m Robby from EnglishHarmony.com, obviously, and in this video episode, we’re going to touch upon a subject that we’ve spoken about many times before, namely - the fact that you don’t have to translate from English into your native language and vice versa while getting involved in English improving related activities. Obviously, we’ve spoken about it at length previously so I’m not going to get into the reasons why you shouldn’t be doing that. By now, they should be quite obvious to you but for those who haven’t watched my videos in the past and haven’t visited my website probably, let me tell you just one thing. If you translate, you can’t speak fluently because your mind is too preoccupied with dealing with all the grammar related issues and basically creating sentences from scratch in your mind, instead of speaking spontaneously and that’s what fluent speech is all about. In relation to the whole ‘don’t translate’ subject, I’m going to bring up an example of what happens when people try to translate, and it happened years ago. (more…)
Don’t Even TRY Watching Common English Mistakes Videos on YouTube!
Conquer Your Fear of Making Mistakes when Speaking English!
FGC Goal #1: Learning American Phrases 39 – 50 using the English Harmony Method
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74JtLVYOhqg Current Goal: Learn 50 American Phrases in 25 Days! Hello my friends! I’m nearing the end of my 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission, and it’s been one hell of a ride :!: I’ve been recording videos day in, day out. I’ve been getting up at 5:40 AM so that I can record my morning video and publish it on Easy Idioms blog before I have to leave home for work. It’s been hard work, but at the same time I’ve also been improving my fluency and pronunciation (the evening videos got published on Accent Adventure blog where I’m working on my American pronunciation) and I don’t regret a single second of this mission! Today’s video, however, is different in that it’s created around the same concepts used in the English Harmony System, namely – spaced repetition and contextual speech pattern acquisition. Basically you can watch the video above and see me being engaged in English speech exercising in order to acquire the last 12 American English phrases/collocations/expressions: (more…)
Check Out My First EVER Interviews – All About Me, English Fluency & How To Stop Struggling When Speaking in English!
Â Recently I got interviewed by two English teachers for their websites – Ben who lives in Spain and Nate who’s settled down in Japan. These are my first interviews I’ve ever done, and as you can imagine, I had to use some of my own English fluency management strategies to keep a cool head, gather my thoughts and speak fluently because stress levels were high – especially in the beginning of those interviews! :grin: Listen to my interview with Ben HERE! And here you can watch 2 YouTube videos containing fragments from my interview with Ben: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5ZWgF1pCy8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTQ39kQxee8 Click HERE to listen to me talking with Nate! What you can expect to hear in those interviews is pretty much everything about my background as a foreign English speaker – starting from my years long struggling to speak English fluently and ending with useful tips for my fellow foreigners on how to maintain fluent English speech. You'll also find out in those interviews: what is a "writing mode" of your mind and why it prevents you from speaking English fluently (interview with Ben) why speaking with yourself is the best way to improve your English when there's no-one to talk to (interview with Nate) and a whole lot more! So if you've got nothing to do on this Friday night (or any other day of the week), sit down at your laptop or PC and listen to me spilling the beans about what real English fluency is all about: Listen to my interview with Ben HERE! Click HERE to listen to me talking with Nate! Let me know what you think in the comments below! ;-)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 24- Debating
David Gemmell’s Heroic Fantasy Fiction: How It Helped Me Define My Moral Code
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I-d8_4b8zQ Hi guys on this beautiful Sunday morning! ;-) Currently I’m still reading GONE series by Michael Grant, but this morning I decided to tell you a little bit about English fiction that has had a deep and profound impact on my personal development and my moral values. David Gemmell. He’s the man. He’s the author of over thirty fantasy fiction books, and most notably – Druss the Legend novels. Druss is the character who struck a chord with me, and ever since I got to know him through David Gemmell’s heroic fantasy fiction, my life has never been the same. It might sound like a far-fetched claim, but it’s true nonetheless. Whenever I face a tough situation in life, I imagine what Druss would have done had he been in my shoes. (more…)
FGC Goal #1: American Phrase #16: I’VE HAD A RUN-IN WITH…
Moving to an English Speaking Country is Like Recovering Eyesight
Recently I watched a TV program about blind people recovering eyesight. What struck me most in the program was the fact that even if you restore a damaged optic nerve to its full capacity, the blind person isn’t necessarily going to function properly in terms of seeing the world around. IMPORTANT! -> Why I’m highlighting parts of text in RED? It appears that in order to see not only we need our eyes; our brain plays a crucial role in the process, too. And what was most shocking – if a person has been blind since birth or very early childhood, he or she may never learn how to “see” the word properly even if technically it would be possible. Human brain is simply unable to process graphical images from the outside world (read - any audiovisual information) and convert them into an adequate reflection into one’s mind IF it hasn’t been trained to do so :!: The man from the TV program had undergone surgery to recover eyesight, but getting around the town was still a tricky task. He learnt to recognize certain shapes and forms, but can you imagine what it feels like when you look down at a shadow on the sidewalk but you haven’t got a clue whether it’s a shadow cast by some object or a foot deep drop where the sidewalk ends? Your brain has been trained to recognize things from an early age and has seen millions of different shades throughout your lifetime. The man with recovered eyesight has to learn everything from scratch which makes it very, very difficult. What’s it got to do with spoken English, you’ll ask? Simple enough – if you’ve spent the biggest part of your live studying English the traditional way and then you move to an English speaking country, you’re in pretty much the same position as the man with the recovered eyesight walking around his residential estate. (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “Common Denominator”
How to Prepare for a Job Interview In English (Tried & Tested!)
5 Reasons Why It’s Easier To Speak With Native English Speakers Than Other Foreigners
A big part of my blog is dedicated to dealing with difficulties arising when a foreign English speaker speaks with a native English speaker. Fear of making mistakes. Trying to sound too perfect. Comparing your speech with the native speaker and running into certain speech problems as a result. They’re just a few of the number of problems that we, foreigners, may face while in pursuit of English fluency! No wonder that sometimes we feel more comfortable speaking with our fellow foreigners because we feel like we’re on a level playing field. We’re less likely to be judged, so we don’t become self-conscious when speaking in English, right? We can also use simple language without worrying that our speech will sound too simplistic and that we’ll get a patronizing treatment - am I also not right in saying this? Well, it’s not always the case! Sometimes a conversation with another foreign English speaker may turn out to be just as difficult – if not even more cumbersome. All of a sudden, all those problems you were running into when speaking with natives seem like nothing compared to how awkward it is to speak with another foreigner… In reality, on most occasions it’s all a matter of perspective and most of those problems are only happening in your head. Still, I want to give you 5 reasons why speaking with a native speaker may be easier. So, let’s begin with the reason number one which is… (more…)
3 Killer Tips on How to Write in English Like a Native Speaker!
This blog’s main focus is the spoken English improvement, yet in reality I spend a lot of time creating written content for my blog visitors to enjoy. Here are a few facts about me and writing in English: I’ve been regularly creating written content in English for the last 6 years – I’ve worked in IT customer support (constant e-mailing), I’ve been involved in a few online projects (content creation – articles, video scripts) and I’ve been regularly writing articles for this blog. If I really set my mind to it, I can write a 1000 word article in about an hour. Of course, speed isn’t an indication of one’s ability to write fluently and in a native-like fashion; however, the point is – I write as if I were speaking, and that’s part of the success formula to become a good writer. A few years ago I was involved in an Internet-based project catering for a native English speaking audience and over the course of a couple of years NO-ONE EVER hinted that the content creator might be a foreigner – even though my English wasn’t as developed as it is now. So, the point I’m trying to make here is that writing like a native English speaker is easier than you may think! ;-) (more…)
Don’t Learn Some Obscure English Words that Even Native Speakers DON’T KNOW!
Is It Easy to Switch Between Your Native Language and English?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75VIcrMjcFM Hello my blog readers! Personally I sometimes find it a bit difficult to go back to using my language when I’ve been speaking in English all day long, and while it may sound a bit weird considering Latvian is my native language, I guess it’s not that uncommon among foreign English speakers living and working in an English speaking environment. As far as my ability to switch TO English goes, I also experience slight difficulties from time to time. If I’m surrounded by other Latvians and I have to start speaking in English for some reason or another – a phone call, for example – I can’t just jump back into my most fluent state. Most of the time it takes a few minutes for my mind to adjust to the English speech, and then I can speak 100% confidently and fluently. How to explain this phenomenon? Well, over the years while working on my own English and trying to maintain a high level of oral fluency I’ve figured out a few factors contributing into this phenomenon: (more…)
Unnatural Collocations and Wrong Mental Associations
Isn’t It Weird That I Can Write In English Better Than Speak?
Short answer – “No, it’s not weird at all! It’s actually completely normal for any English speaker – be it native or foreign – to be able to write in English better than speak!” However, having said this, the reverse isn’t always true and I’m not claiming that all English speakers are better writers than speakers. It’s just that it’s NOT WEIRD if you happen to be a better writer than a speaker. Now, would you like to get a bit more elaborate answer to this question? Well, it’s going to take me more than just a paragraph or two to say all I have to say in this regard, so I’d better settle down in front of my laptop with a mug of coffee because writing this article is going to take me a little while. There are many aspects to the curious problem of differences between writing and speaking in English and who else would be more qualified to answer the above question than me? After all, I live in an English speaking country and I spend the biggest part of my day at work communicating with native English speakers; most of my evenings are spent writing articles for my blog and answering e-mails. Years spent on analyzing English fluency related issues have left me with a very good understanding of how one’s writing skills influence one’s ability to speak and vice versa, so let my long answer begin! So, is it weird that you can write in English better than speak? NO, and the reason number one is… (more…)
How I Started Speaking Fluent English by Pretending to be a Gangster
Learn English Irregular Verbs Through Collocations, Idioms and Phrasal Verbs
English Idiomatic Expression & Phrasal Verb: “To Get Across”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf8eOS9jYPw Did you know that English phrasal verbs are also idiomatic expressions? It’s not commonly accepted knowledge, yet in reality any phrasal verb – ‘to bring about’, ‘to carry over’, ‘to calm down’ and thousands of others – possess the main characteristic of idiomatic expressions: You can’t replace a word within the phrasal verb without losing its meaning! Let’s take today’s phrasal verb – ‘to get across’. It means ‘to communicate successfully’ and it’s a very short and handy way to describe a successfully communicated message (or lack of thereof): “Sometimes even native speakers struggle to get the message across if they speak with different accents.” Remember I told you that you can’t replace a word within the phrasal verb without losing its meaning? Now, imagine that you’ve forgotten what words this particular phrasal verb consists of, and you only have a vague recollection of it. You remember the ‘across’ part, but you’re not sure of the first word. You’re trying to get it right, however, so you’re saying – “I don’t think Sarah made the message across during the meeting, everyone was looking just as confused as I was!” Don’t get me wrong (‘to get wrong’ is also a phrasal verb, by the way!), I’m not saying you shouldn’t be trying to say things you’re not 100% sure of. (more…)