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Archive for July, 2016

Video lessons – regular vs irregular verbs

  You probably already know that verbs can be in regular or irregular forms – but do you really know what these terms actually mean? Simply put – it’s a way of describing the way different groups of verbs can be used and how they are changed. How do verbs change when you use them …

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4 Songs to Teach You Some Great New English Vocabulary

Image representing learning great new English vocabulary through songs

Singing along at the top of your voice to your favourite American, British or other English-speaking band is one of the most enjoyable ways to practise your English skills and learn some new words along the way. The only problem is this: musicians aren’t usually bothered about perfect grammar or high-level vocabulary – they just …

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When to Use ‘In’ ‘Under’ and ‘On’

Image representing students learning when to use 'In' 'Under' and 'On'

Prepositions can be very confusing. Why do English-speaking people say that they are “in the car” but “on the train”? Why do we distinguish between being “in time” (I.e. We’ll arrive before it’s too late) on “on time” (I.e. We’ll arrive exactly when we’re supposed to)? Why do we say that we are “in control” …

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The Number One Secret to Sounding Like a Native Speaker

Image representing students learning about the science behind learning a language faster

What separates someone who is learning a language from someone who is fluent? It’s simple: understanding how to use idioms. Every language has its own unique “flavour” – the words, jokes and turns of phrase that no one else uses and that can’t really be translated into any other language. These quirks also play a …

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English Learners: Watch Out for False Friends!

Image representing English learners watching out for false friends

One of the great things about learning any European language is that there are so many similarities with other European languages. This means that, if you’re learning English and you already speak a language like French, Spanish, German or Dutch, you already share thousands of words that come from the same origin – and that …

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How and When to Use Formal and Informal English

Image representing students learning how and when to use formal and informal English

Working out when to use formal language and when to be informal is a big part of mastering a language. In English, formal language is used in situations that are more serious, for example when you’re in a job interview or emailing your university professor. It can also be used when you’re speaking to someone …

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A Quick Guide to Slang in the UK and America

Image representing spending summer in Britain

What’s the difference between UK English and US English? Well, some words that are spelt differently but pronounced the same (e.g. colour/color, aesthetic/esthetic), some that are spelt the same but are pronounced differently (e.g. vitamin, oregano, yoghurt), and a few that mean different things entirely (e.g. pants). But apart from these examples, “proper” English spoken …

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The 5 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your IELTS Exam

Image representing students learning about the real reason British people are so hard to understand

We all make mistakes, especially when we get nervous, but it’s easier to stop yourself from falling into a trap if you know what problems to look out for. Here are 5 of the most common things that people do wrong during their IELTS tests – and how to make sure you avoid the same …

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4 Great Novels that Will Help You Learn English

Image representing a student learning English by studying great novels

Learning a language is much easier when you’re enjoying yourself. When you find a book that has an exciting or moving storyline and interesting characters, your reading skills will improve faster – and you’ll have more fun, too. Even better, if you’re reading books on your Kindle, you can click on any words you don’t …

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