English Idiomatic Expression: “There’s no doubt about that”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9TNHKbkedg If you want to speak in English without much thinking and planning your speech in your head before actually speaking out loud, you should definitely look into learning various idiomatic expressions. I’m not saying that purposeful acquisition of these expressions is going to make ALL the difference between your ability to speak fluently and not being able to speak at all. Sure enough, you can speak the very same way I would have been speaking a few years ago: by sticking individual words together; thinking in my native language & translating in my mind; constantly trying to think of the right words to say. If you learn idiomatic expressions, on the other hand, your brain gets wired with naturally occurring speech patterns, and it enables you to speak without much thinking, it happens automatically and instinctively. So, starting from today – if you haven’t already been doing it – make sure to learn at least one or two idiomatic expressions a day, and you’ll improve your spoken English much faster than you ever thought possible, there’s no doubt about that! (more…)
Incredibly Powerful and Super-Simple Way Of Using Google to Find the Right English Words to Say
English Idiomatic Expression: “Along the Lines of…”
Speaking English is Just Like Playing With Lego Bricks!
A few days ago I received the following comment on the English Harmony Facebook page: Your method, learning English through idioms, phrases, proverbs, etc. is so much fun! It’s like playing with Lego bricks! Really! You see, you took most of the grammar (which for most is a party-breaker) out and made it so much less intimidating. You completely changed my view on English. Now I don't see sentences as complex structures (teeming with grammar lawfulness) but rather as different ready-to-go pieces (that is idioms, phrasal verbs, etc.) put together. Just like Lego bricks! That's why I find it like playing with it. You take on brick/part which is at your disposal and then choose which one will go along (with the same method: see what you have and try to make the best combination to convey your message). Thank you for that! I really, really liked this comment – not just because its author agrees with me on the effectiveness of contextual English learning, but also because it puts a completely different spin on the whole thing and makes you realize that English learning and improvement has to be perceived as a fun game rather than a boring chore! (more…)
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…)
English Grammar Construct “Couldn’t Have Been”
My Phone-call to Airline Support & All the Embarrassing Experiences
A couple of days ago I had to make a phone call to my local airline company’s Ryanair support line to sort out a few queries over my family’s summer flight to our home country. I got through to the call center within a matter of seconds for the simple reason that it was one of those premium rate phone numbers. I doubt that would be the case had it been a normal phone line or a toll-free phone number; most likely I would have to spend at least five minutes on the line! Anyway, my customer support agent was a Russian girl so the first thought that crossed my mind was – “Cool! It’s going to be quite easy to speak with her because she’s also a foreign English speaker – just like me!” You see, the thing is that on some occasions it’s easier to speak with another fellow foreign English speaker than a native English speaker, so I thought this chat was going to be a walk in the park. A short time later, I realized it wasn’t the case with this particular conversation. I was having a hard time understanding if the person on the other end of the phone line actually understood me, so I constantly had to second-guess her replies which made the conversation not-so easy, to say the least! (more…)
My Opinion on Who the English Language Belongs to…
How to Improve Spoken English While Entering Sales Orders on a PC
Sometimes I find it hard to believe myself that I run this blog part-time. Yes, in case you didn’t know it yet, I have a full-time job and all the writing and video production I have to do for this website is done in evenings, at night, or early mornings. Anyway, I don’t regret any of it because I’m surrounded by English speakers while at work and it provides me with full English immersion. What better conditions can a foreign English speaker wish for in order to constantly improve and maintain English fluency? When I came to Ireland first, for instance, I had a warehouse job working with other foreigners and most of the time I was speaking with myself, so I really don’t think I should be complaining now! Even my current job, however, entails duties and responsibilities which see me spend a lot of time on my own – such as organizing and counting stock and entering data on a PC. Quite naturally, I’m not involved in any lengthy conversations with my colleagues when performing those duties and a few times a year there are periods of a few weeks straight when I’m sitting at the PC and entering new sales orders. Do I miss out on my full English immersion sessions when it happens? Not at all! I keep speaking English with myself even when entering new product specifications on the computer and it helps me greatly to constantly stay in the English speaking mindset. (more…)
Don’t Translate Directly When Speaking English!
English Idiomatic Expression: “To The Best of My Knowledge”
Why I Keep Talking About The Same Issues Over and Over Again
I’m Addicted to Spoken English Practice… HELP ME!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLVfbtUnAbs I’m desperate. :mad: I don’t know what to do. I’m a serious addict and I just can’t seem to be able to stop the terrible habit no matter how hard I try… :sad: Want to know what it is? It’s SPEAKING IN ENGLISH WITH MYSELF. There – I said it. I know, I know, it’s crazy, it’s pathetic, and you’ll probably think I’ve totally lost my mind by coming out with this announcement in public, but I have no choice but to share it with you, my friends - simply because I can’t take it any longer!!! I’ve tried different things in order to break this habit of constant spoken English self-practice. I’ve been reading a lot of English fiction just to prevent myself from speaking, but it didn’t work! Every time I’ve done some reading, I found myself discussing its contents with myself a short time later, and I seemingly don’t have any control over it… I’ve tried watching a lot of TV in English - different TV dramas, educational programs – you name it! And guess what? I always end up doing the same thing – speaking about what I’ve seen, and I’ve also started mimicking actors and narrators in order to learn to speak in English with American and British pronunciation – how crazy is that?! I mean – why can’t I just enjoy a lot of passive English content just like most foreign English speakers do, and be OK with that? (more…)
English Idiomatic Expression: “For the simple reason that…”
You Won’t Fool a Native English Speaker During a Job Interview So Better Stop Trying!
On certain occasions when you think native English speakers will spot every single one of your mistakes, it’s not really the case for the simple reason that people don’t always pay the utmost amount of attention to what you’re saying. Yes, you may be having a conversation with a native English speaker so you think they’re listening to every single word you’re saying while in reality they may be dwelling upon their own problems and they’re not 100% focused on what you’re saying. If that’s the case, there’s simply no reason for you to be too worked up about your mistakes and other English speech imperfections and you may as well just allow yourself to experiment and improvise during a live speech because there’s nothing really at stake. When you have a very important conversation with a native English speaker, on the other hand, there’s also no point in trying to outperform yourself and sound a whole lot more fluent than you are. When a native English speaker is 100% focused on what you’re saying which would be the case during a job interview, for example, you won’t fool them into believing your English is much, much better just because you’re trying really hard to sound as if you’re speaking just like a native English speaker. Yes, there are certain techniques and methods you can employ in order to sound better during a very stressful conversation such as: Speak in short sentences Focus on what you can say instead of what you can’t Plan your answer instead of jumping right into answering the question The point I’ll be making during this article, however, is the following: As hard as you may try, you won’t fool a native English speaking job interviewer into believing you’re a native English speaker! You’re much better off FOCUSING on talking about your professional background and previous job experience! (more…)
Improve Spoken English – Stop Translating While Speaking!
English Grammar is Like the HTML Code
Check Out the Most Popular Articles on This Blog!
It’s OK Not to Be Able to Understand Specific English Accents
English Vocabulary Building – Part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_cNv9xv64Y Vocabulary Building Part 1 | Vocabulary Building Part 2 How are you getting on, foreign English speaker? Have you heeded to my advice from the previous videos? I hope you have because if you’re still experiencing difficulties with speaking English fluently, you have to take action. Just by standing by and hoping the things will improve achieves nothing, so today I’ll be telling you about the third aspect of building your English vocabulary. And it’s about not learning many meanings of the same word at once – believe me, if you do it, the chances of memorizing and using that particular word are slim indeed! ;-) I can tell you from my own experience that if you write down a new English word in your dictionary that has a number of different meanings; it’s a very bad idea to try memorizing them all at once. And taking into account that most of English words do have a number of meanings, you might be very tempted to learn a few of them at once assuming that this way you’ll increase your learning curve. But it just doesn’t work that way, and here’s why. (more…)
Having a Bad English Day? So Does Everyone From Time to Time!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xirWOwOndls In this video episode I want to focus on the very essence of the English fluency issue – namely – its wavelike occurrence. If you have this annoying English fluency problem when you can speak quite fluent English on some occasions, but on others you suddenly perform very badly, then you have definitely noticed that this phenomenon fluctuates. Basically it means that moments of very bad English fluency are followed by very good performance and then it goes back down again. These fluctuations tend to be quite random, and that is probably the most annoying thing about the English fluency issue. You could be speaking very well the night before some important event, but the next day your performance is so bad that you feel like your English is utter rubbish :mad: So, while the upper end of the English fluency issue scale is definitely too severe to live with, there’s much we can understand by looking at the different levels of English speech you have at different times and it’s worth analyzing a bit. The end-goal of today’s video episode is to help you realize that ups and downs in speaking English are quite normal as far as your English speaking performance isn’t severely limited by those low moments. If it is - you definitely have to work on this English fluency issue and there’s no better help with this than my English Harmony System. But if the symptoms are limited to slightly impeded speech, hesitation and occasional inability to find just the right words when you want to say something in English, you have to remember than it’s absolutely natural to experience performance drops in all aspects of life! (more…)
How to Use English Verb TO MAKE In a Lot of Different Ways
Creating English Sentences Using New Words? Waste of Time!
Does the following scenario ring a bell with you? -> You’re looking at a list of new English words given to you by your English teacher Your task is to use each of those words in a new sentence You’re going mad trying to think of example sentences… Eventually you create sentences in your native language containing those new words and then you translate them into English! Needless to say, this entire exercise is a total waste of your precious time and chances are, you’re not going to be able to use those new English words even when you’ve managed to insert them into sentences! Why? Well, keep reading this article and you’ll learn a thing or two about such practice of creating new English sentences using new vocabulary words – and you’ll also find out why learning READY-TO-GO sentences instead of creating new ones is the BEST way of acquiring those new English words! (more…)
English Fluency Monitoring & Management
Ask Robby: Why Do I Start Forgetting English After Moving Back to My Country?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04h0DOgO1ec In this video I’m responding to Arzhin’s comment which you can read here and here’s what he asks: Robby I have been in an English country for 4 years. So I could speak English very well. Then I backed to my homeland. So since one year ago I am living on my homeland. But because here is no one to talk with, and no one speaks English here. So I feel that I am forgetting things. Please tell me what to do! Also, he goes on to ask the following: Once I read that you know 3 languages fluently how don't you mix them? Or forget them? I need that technique! Well, here's my video response, and I hope that all of you are going to find it useful! ;-) Merry Christmas Everyone :!: Cheers, Robby
Improve Your Spoken English by Using Spaced Repetition
English Idiomatic Expression: “Take Something For Granted”
12 Reasons Why Spoken English is Just Like Playing a Guitar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqWl-3dVCLY 1. You may be good at recognizing chords & songs, but you need to be able to play them yourself in order to… play them! If I told you that watching Keith Richards perform and deliver his best guitar pieces for three months straight will make you into a decent guitar player, would you believe me? I guess not! Then why would you ever listen to someone who wants you to buy into the learn-English-by-listening hype? Ability to use your mouth in order to speak in English AND using your guitar to play a song aren’t so dissimilar because it all boils down to your ability to DO something rather than just RECOGNIZE something. It’s all about PASSIVE vs ACTIVE English, music or whatever practical skill we’re looking at! When I picked up the guitar for the first time and tried my first chord, I sucked at it big time. And it’s no wonder I was so bad at it – I simply had never tried doing it before. I had been checking out some related information previously though, and I had a general idea of how certain chords would have to be placed. Doing it myself turned out to be a totally different story altogether, and the very same goes with using your mouth in order to speak in English. You may be able to understand other people fairly well, yet when you open your mouth it’s the same as trying your first chord on a guitar. Remember: spoken English – just like guitar play – is a very PRACTICAL SKILL! (more…)
If Someone Keeps Asking “Do You Understand Me?” – You May Indeed Run Into Fluency Issues!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng3ebQ96lkE In today’s video I’m discussing a particular experience I had with my plumber recently. So, here’s the setup. I’m a foreign English speaker having some issues with my heating system at home. I’m ringing the company who delivered my stove to come over and inspect the heating system. A native English speaking plumber arrives the next day and we’re having a conversation about the issues I’m having. As you know, I’m a fluent English speaker (no bragging – I’m merely stating a fact!), so you’d think there would be no problems with getting the message across and being understood by a native English speaker, right? Well, that’s right – everything I was saying, the plumber understood perfectly! The main problem of the communication, however, was him saying at the end of each sentence: DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME? :mad: (more…)
Fluency Gym Coach Goal #1 Complete: 50 American Phrases Acquired!
Is It Possible to Preserve National Identity When You’ve Lost Your Native Language?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTcZQtL5SvY This is a follow-up on the previous blog post where I touched upon a related concept - Dominance of English and its Lack of Appreciation for Smaller Languages. The reason why I recorded this video is simple enough. I published the previous video where I voiced my opinion on the dominance of the English language and concluded that we can’t really blame English for decline of smaller languages in the world – after all, it’s the PEOPLE who make countless choices as individuals driven by their social and economic needs that determine if speakers of a particular language are going to decline in a long run. Then I got a sudden realization – “Hold on, does losing a native language NECESSARILY mean losing one’s national identity? The moment anyone mentions languages dying out it’s perceived as a terrible and tragic event, but do those people really lose their native characteristics and heritage just because they’ve started speaking in English?” And so I recorded this video where I’m revealing what I actually think about the whole thing, and here’s the exact script of it: (more…)
FGC Goal #1: Using American Phrases 13 – 24 in a Self-Practice Session
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.Â 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…)
30-day Vocabulary Acquisition Course- Day 26- Informal Chat
English Schwa Sound [ə] – What It Is & How To Get It Right!
Learn English Irregular Verbs Through Collocations, Idioms and Phrasal Verbs
When I used to cram plenty of new English vocabulary words using the wrong techniques (memorizing meaning of the word in my native language, memorizing many meanings of the same word at once), I also memorized loads of irregular English verbs. I had a list of them written down in my notepad and every now and then I’d go back to them to review the irregular verbs and make sure I knew every single one of them. Many years have passed, but I haven’t had a real need to look at the English irregular verb forms since. Do you think it’s because I’m so good at it that I remember all of them? I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it’s not the reason (to be honest with you – I remember all of them as part of my passive vocabulary; active vocabulary is a different story altogether so keep reading to find out why you don’t necessarily need to know ALL irregular verb forms...) The real reasons are of a more practical nature – when I swapped English studies for speaking English in real life, I realized that a big part of those irregular verb forms aren’t used in day-to-day conversations at all! It’s a typical 80/20 rule in action, and to put things in perspective, just think back to when you used, say, Past Participle “sewn” of the verb “to sew” when speaking with someone. Personally I’ve heard it used just ONCE over the two and a half years spent in a knitwear manufacturing company where there’s thousands of garments parts being sewn together every day! And you know what the funniest thing is? The person who said it (by the way – it was a native English speaker), didn’t use the irregular Past Participle form “sewn”. He used “sewed” instead and I remember thinking to myself “Why on Earth did I ever clog up my brain with unnecessary irregular English verb forms like “sewn” if I don’t use them at all?” Also, I realized that there’s so much more to the irregular verb forms, especially Past Participle, than I originally thought. Years ago I learnt them to use when speaking in my translated-from-my-native-language English. I would therefore focus exclusively on the literal meaning of the Past Participle; so for instance, “broken” for me would only be a word that describes a finished action of the word “to break” as in a sentence “I have broken my promise.” But what about word combinations like “broken down”, “broken dreams”, “to sound like a broken record”? All these English collocations have the word “broken” in them yet they don’t represent Perfect Tenses that English students traditionally associate the Past Participle form with :!: If you learn such collocations by heart, you’ll instinctively know when to use the word “broken”, and that’s what fluent English is all about! Of course, you have to know how to use the irregular Past Participle when forming Perfect Tenses and also Passive Voice – “my car wasn't broken by me”, for example – there’s no question about it! All I’m saying is that if you learn to use irregular verb forms as part of useful phrases rather than purely as a string of words – shrink, shrank, shrunk - your chances of using them as part of fluent English are much, much bigger. (more…)