Jun 25

Eid Mubarak 2017 / Learn British English on Instagram

Happy Eid Mubarak!

Eid is the celebration at the end of the month of Ramadan.

Please follow Learn British English on Instagram.

Jun 18

English Homophones Part 4 (free video lesson)

Via the BBC (click).

Please watch the video below with captions and read the text below it.

English Homophones Part 1

English Homophones Part 2

English Homophones Part 3

Affect / effect

 

The verb ‘to affect’ means ‘to have an influence on’; ‘to effect’ means ‘to cause, accomplish’.

 

In most cases affect will be the verb, effect the noun.

 

Bail / bale

 

Use bail for the temporary release of someone awaiting trial.

 

To bail out is to help a company or person with financial problems (noun: bailout).

 

Use bale out for removing water from a boat, or jumping out of a plane.

 

Complement / compliment

 

To complement means to make complete or supply what is lacking.

 

Whether as a noun or verb, compliment means (to) praise.

 

Defuse / diffuse

 

defuse is to make safe an explosive;

 

diffuse is something that’s widespread.

 

Discreet / discrete

 

discreet means ‘careful’ or ‘tactful’;

 

discrete means ‘distinct and separate’.

 

Fazed / phased

 

someone who is disorientated or disconcerted can be described as fazed,

 

whereas phased means ‘introduced in stages’.

 

Formerly / formally

 

formerly means previously;

 

formally according to convention.

 

Gate / gait

 

gate is an entry; gait is a manner of walking.

 

Hangar / hanger

 

a hangar is where aircraft are kept.

 

A hanger is for putting clothes on.

 

Hyperthermia / Hypothermia

 

Hyperthermia is where the body temperature is greatly above normal.

 

Hypothermia is where the body temperature is markedly below normal.

 

Illicit / elicit

 

illicit means illegal;

 

elicit is to extract something, usually information.

 

Licence / license

 

The noun is licence with a ‘c’ (eg: driving licence);

 

the verb has an ‘s’ (eg: licensed to kill).

 

Practice / practise

 

the noun has a ‘c’; the verb has an ‘s’.

 

He’s a practising lawyer running his own practice.

 

Principal / principle

 

principal means ‘first in order of importance’ or a school head;

 

principle means ‘a rule or belief governing one’s personal behaviour’.

 

Rein / reign

 

reins are used on horses; reign is what monarchs do.

 

So you would rein in spending or take over the reins.

Jun 17

English Homophones Part 3 (free video lesson)

This free lesson is about English homophones. Homophones are words that are pronounced the same way. Please see the list below and use English captions to read the vocabulary.

List of Homophones

Cell / sell

Complement / compliment

Fair / fare

Fir / fur

Flower / flour

Hour / our

Know / no

Pair / pear

Principal / principle

Profit / prophet

Right / write

Root / route

Sail / sale

Sew / so

Scent / cent

Serial / cereal

Stationary / stationery

Suite / sweet

Wait / weight

Wear / where

Jun 01

British Politics (video lesson): UK General Election 2017

Please watch the video and use the vocabulary notes underneath it:

Vocabulary

Party (noun): (e.g. Conservatives; Labour; Liberal Democrats)

Constituency (noun): an official area of land which chooses one MP.

Constituent (noun): person who lives in constituency.

Policy (noun): a party’s idea or plan about a subject.

Manifesto (noun): a document that includes the various policies of a political party.

Conservative party (Tory party / the Tories); leader Theresa May, Prime Minister.

Labour party; leader Jeremy Corbyn; opposition.

Liberal Democrats; leader Tim Farron.

Scottish National Party (SNP); leader Nicola Sturgeon; Scotland only.

 

Each party has a colour associated with them:

Conservatives: blue.

Labour: red.

Liberal Democrats: gold.

 

The UK general election: Thursday 8 June 2017.

 

Labour manifesto:

http://www.labour.org.uk/page/-/Images/manifesto-2017/Labour%20Manifesto%202017.pdf

Liberal Democrats manifesto:

http://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto

Conservative manifesto:

https://www.conservatives.com/manifesto

May 23

Learn English Grammar: Remember or Remind

Remember or remind?

Tom remembers something (by himself)

Jane reminds Tom to do something and Tom then remembers

Remember Remind JPEG

May 21

Emmanuel Macron Speech in a British Accent (video lesson)

Emmanuel Macron is the new President of France. He speaks English very well, but he makes some pronunciation errors.

Chris has recorded the speech in a British accent and pronunciation. Please watch Macron’s video using the link below and use the PDF document as well to see where the main errors are:

Macron’s speech (video)

Macron’s speech written PDF

May 20

The Magical “F-word” English Video Lesson in a British Accent (rude / offensive)

The Magical “F-Word”

This special lesson explores the many uses of the magical “f-word” in English, which is of course very rude and offensive. If you want to learn about this, please watch the video and access the document by clicking here. The text is also below the video.

Video of Osho: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2lNFikMFdY

American video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-30725cJe5Q

 

 

The Magical “F-Word”

One of the most interesting words in the English language today

is the word “fuck”.

Out of all the English words that begin with the letter “f”,

“fuck” is the only word that is referred to as the “f-word”.

 

It is a magical word.

 

Just by its sound it can describe pain, pleasure

hate and love.

 

In English, “fuck” falls into many grammatical categories.

 

It can be used as a verb,

 

both transitive:

“Mary fucked John.”

 

and intransitive:

“Mary fucks.”

 

 

However, it’s meaning isn’t always sexual.

It can be used as a noun:

“I really don’t give a fuck.”

 

It can be used as part of an adjective:

“John is a fucking spanner.”

 

It can be used as an adverb:

“Mary talks too fucking much.”

 

As an adverb enhancing an adjective:

“Mary is fucking beautiful.”

 

As part of another word:

“Abso-fucking-lutely.”

 

And as almost every word in a sentence:

Fuck the fucking fuckers.”

 

As you can see, there aren’t many words with the versatility of “fuck”.

 

For example, there are also the following uses;

 

Ignorance:

Fucked if I know.”

 

Dismay:

Fuck it.”

 

Trouble:

“I guess I’m fucked now.”

 

Fraud:

“I got fucked at the second-hand car dealership.”

 

Curiosity:

“Who the fuck are you?”

 

Bafflement:

“What the fuck?”

 

Aggression:

 

Fuck you.”

 

Displeasure:

“What the fuck is going on here?”

 

Difficulty:

“I can’t understand this fucking exam.”

 

Incompetence:

“He’s fucking useless.”

 

Instruction:

“Get fucked.”

 

Dismissal:

“You can fuck right off.”

 

Suspicion:

“What the fuck are you doing?”

 

Enjoyment:

“I had a fucking good time.”

 

Request:

“Get the fuck out of here!”

 

Hostility:

“I’m going to knock your fucking head off.”

 

Greeting:

“How the fuck are you?”

 

Apathy:

“Who gives a fuck?”

 

Clarification:

“What the fuck are you on about?”

 

Innovation:

“Get a bigger fucking hammer.”

 

And, finally, surprise:

Fuck! You scared the shit out of me.”

May 17

Learn British English Free: “See you later” (pronunciation video)

Strong pronunciation: /si: ju: ‘leɪtə/

Weak pronunciation: /s(ɪ)j(ə)’leɪtə/

Example: “I’ll be at the party tomorrow; see you later.”

May 09

Maps of UK Dialects

British Dialects: “Scone” /skɒn/ or /skəʊn/

(via University of Cambridge)

Please have a look at the below map that shows how likely it is for people in parts of the UK to pronounce “scone” (type of cake) as if it rhymes with “gone” /skɒn/:

Read this article for more details.

scone_rhyme_with_gone_cam_ac_uk

May 07

Learn British English Free: Special Pronunciation Lesson (video)

Money /ˈmʌn.i/

“I don’t have any money.”

“Show me the money.”

 

Busy /ˈbɪz.i/

“Sorry I can’t talk; I’m very busy at the moment.”

“The busy bee has no time for sorrow.”

 

Colleague /ˈkɒl.iːɡ/

“Mike is my colleague.”

“I don’t socialise too often with my colleagues.”

 

Mistake /mɪˈsteɪk/

“He made a big mistake.”

“Everyone makes mistakes.”

 

Idea /aɪˈdɪə/

“That’s a good idea.”

“I’m all out of ideas.”

 

At all /ˌət ˈɔːl/

“I don’t have any money at all.”

“I don’t socialise with my colleagues much at all.”

 

Develop /dɪˈvel.əp/

“You need money and good ideas to develop a business.”

“Nepal is a developing country and I recommend visiting it.”

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