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A Murder of Crows… and Other Unusual Collective Noun

As I’m sure you already know, when you’re talking about just one of something in English, you always use the definite article (the) or indefinite article (a or an). The definite article is used when you are talking about a particular thing – for example, if you say, “shall we go to the pub?” you’re …

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How Translation Helps You Get to Grips With Another Language

In recent years, translation has gone out of fashion as a way to learn a new language. A lot of people say that it’s a bad way to learn because it keeps you thinking in your mother tongue, rather than in the target language. They often say that it’s better to learn the way that …

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How Did English Become The “Global” Language?

Once upon a time, Latin was the most important language in the world, with people across Europe, Africa and Asia desperate to learn it to improve their situation in life. Then, for nearly a thousand years, French was the international language of politics and trade. Even English kings and queens like Henry VIII spoke and …

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Useful Phrases for Dealing with Your English-Speaking Landlord

When you’re renting a flat or house anywhere in the world, there will be times when things go wrong and you need to call your landlord. If you’re renting somewhere to live in an English-speaking country, that means, of course, that you need to have the conversation in English! At this point, you might realise …

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12 Back-to-School Idioms

If you’re studying English (or studying at an English-language college or university), the first term of the new school year will now have begun! At this time of year, you may also notice how many school-related idioms English speakers use in everyday conversation. Here are 12 of the most popular idioms to do with school …

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7 Excellent Podcasts for English Learners

Podcasts are a great resource for improving your listening skills, and they’re really easy to fit into your life. You can download some to listen to, for example, while you’re commuting or travelling, when you’re in the gym or while you make dinner. That means you don’t even have to make extra time to listen …

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Everything You Need to Know About Freshers’ Week in the UK

It’s September – and that means the end of the summer holidays and the start of term for schools, colleges and universities all over the UK. If you’re about to start your degree course in Britain, you’re probably feeling exciting or nervous (or both!) about studying in a new country and experiencing a new culture. …

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The English Learner’s Guide to UK Festivals

The UK might not have the most reliable weather or the warmest summers, but that doesn’t stop the British from going crazy for a summer festival! The main music festivals include Glastonbury, Bestival, Isle of Wight Festival, Wireless and Reading & Leeds Festival. These tend to have very famous headliners (the main band or singer, …

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8 Useful English Words and Phrases for the Airport

English is much of the world’s second language – and that’s certainly true when it comes to airports and planes. While they are in the air, pilots have to give announcements in English by law. No matter what international airport you visit in the world, you will see signs in English and you will be …

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How To Ask For Help In English

It’s August – and that means it’s summer holiday time for many people in the Northern Hemisphere! If you’re a smart traveller, you will have thought about many of the things you need to keep you safe or to make sure you don’t have problems when you go abroad. For example, spare cash or credit …

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