What On Earth Is a Paraprosdokian?

The English language is full of strange features that make it more and more interesting, the more you learn. For example, one thing that makes English a great language for comedy is its flexible grammar. This allows you to change the order of words in a sentence more than in many other languages, and it …

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6 Ways To Stay Motivated When Learning a Language

Getting started on a new language is so exciting. You imagine travelling to a country where it’s spoken, chatting fluently with people you meet along the way, ordering meals in restaurants with no trouble, joking with strangers, reading local newspapers, watching films in the cinema without subtitles, maybe even studying or working in that country. …

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4 Truly TERRIBLE Tips for Language Learners

Image representing students learning what Thanksgiving is all about

When you are starting a new project or setting a new goal, getting advice from other people who have succeeded in the same area is really useful. Unfortunately, plenty of people with no idea what they are talking about will also try to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do! Here are seven things …

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Struggling to Be Understood? Don’t Take It Personally

A long time ago, I arrived at a tiny guesthouse in a village in the countryside in Peru. The next afternoon, I asked, in Spanish, if the couple who owned the guesthouse knew where I could rent a horse to take on a trek nearby. I had only been learning Spanish for a few months, …

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The One Big Secret to Getting Your Pronunciation Right in a New Language

What’s the most difficult challenge when you’re figuring out how to pronounce words in a new language? I would say: false friends. These are words, letters or syllables that, written down, look the same or very similar to those in your own language. You see them and think: great! This one’s easy! I know how …

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English Idioms About the Word “Ball”

Image representing students The Most Common Spelling Mistakes for English Language Learners

The Six Nations Rugby Championship isn’t over yet, but Ireland has played so well that they already know they have won the competition. I guess that’s because they managed to keep their eye on the ball all the way through! No, I don’t mean that literally (although rugby players do need to watch where the …

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How to Make Sure You Sound Polite When Speaking a New Language

When you’re learning the basics of a new language – or even when you reach an intermediate level – you are naturally going to sound very direct. This is because you will often be using simpler grammar than native speakers do in conversation, as well as a smaller range of vocabulary, which makes it difficult …

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The Best Pubs in London

Not only are they UK’s largest export hits, they are also a popular place of refuge at any time of the year, day or night: pubs in London. Anyone who has ever set foot in one of these traditional establishments knows that the cosy atmosphere of dark panelled wooden walls, creaking floors, lively voices and …

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What is Mother’s Day and Where Does it Come From?

Image representing a student studying a lesson on tense and aspect

Mother’s Day is a yearly event that is celebrated over much of the English-speaking world (and by some non-English speaking nations), although different countries celebrate it on different days of the year. In the US, this is celebrated in May. In the UK, it is celebrated three weeks before Easter Sunday – which, this year, …

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6 Top Tips for Getting Started with a New Language

The hardest part of learning any new language is getting started! Here are some ideas to help you speak up those first steps and keep motivated as you start on your language learning journey. Start With the 100 Most Used Words Learning a new language is a big commitment and it can be very difficult …

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