Feb 11

Happy Valentine’s Day: to love and to be in love (free English video)

In this lesson, I explain similarities and differences between expressions such as “to love” and “to be in love”:


Learning English: (to) love someone or (to) be in love with someone
Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 14th of February in the UK.
(To) love someone (or something)
Can mean true love or affection / like
“I love cats, they’re so cute.”
“I love you.”

(To) be in love with someone
Means clearly someone loves someone romantically
“I love you but I’m not in love with you” (I’ve been told this many times)
“I’m in love with you.”

Context is important.

(To) fall in love with someone (be in love with someone)
I’m falling in love with you (present continuous)
I’ve fallen in love with you (perfect)
“I fell in love with you the first time we met”
“He’s so wonderful, I could fall in love with him.”

(To) fall for someone
I’m falling for you
I’ve fallen for you
I fell for you when…
“Unless things change, I’m going to fall for her.”

“Fancy” (slang verb)
To be attracted to someone
“He really fancies her.”

Feb 06

Learn British slang: “Scarper” verb (free video with English captions)

Meaning: to leave very quickly, usually implying guilt to some degree


“I heard police sirens so I scarpered.”

“I scarpered when my manager came looking for me.”


Feb 04

Learn British Slang: television remote control

More great work from Jo about British slang, this time vocabulary to substitute for your tv remote. My mum used to call it the “idiot stick” :p

British Slang Remote

Feb 03

20 Most Common English Words (BBC Radio 4’s “Word of Mouth”)

Please have a listen to this short BBC Radio 4 discussion of the 20 most common words in the English language.

Top ten: the, be, to, of, and, a, in, that, have, I


Jan 24

British English Pronunciation Practice IV (free video)

In this British English pronunciation lesson, Chris practises the British pronunciation of the following:




Efficacy /ˈef.ɪ.kə.si/




Estimate (noun)



Population /ˌpɒp.jʊˈleɪ.ʃən/

Recurrent /rəˈkʌr.ənt/


Jan 23

Learn British English Free: “snowed under” idiom (visual)

“Snowed under” idiom means you’re too busy with work:

Snowed under JPEG

Jan 21

“Reflection” (poem) by Christina Rossetti (video with captions / subtitles in English)


Gazing thro’ her chamber window

Sits my soul’s dear soul;

Looking northward, looking southward,

Looking to the goal,

Looking back without control.


I have strewn thy path, beloved,

With plumed meadowsweet,

Iris and pale perfumed lilies,

Roses most complete:

Wherefore pause on listless feet?


But she sits and never answers;

Gazing gazing still

On swift fountain, shadowed valley,

Cedared sunlit hill:

Who can guess or read her will?


Who can guess or read the spirit

Shrined within her eyes,

Part a longing, part a languor,

Part a mere surprise,

While slow mists do rise and rise?


Is it love she looks and longs for;

Is it rest or peace;

Is it slumber self-forgetful

In its utter ease;

Is it one or all of these?


So she sits and doth not answer

With her dreaming eyes,

With her languid look delicious

Almost Paradise,

Less than happy, over wise.


Answer me, O self-forgetful

Or of what beside?

Is it day dream of a maiden,

Vision of a bride,

Is it knowledge, love, or pride?


Cold she sits thro’ all my kindling,

Deaf to all I pray:

I have wasted might and wisdom,

Wasted night and day:

Deaf she dreams to all I say.


Now if I could guess her secret

Were it worth the guess?

Time is lessening, hope is lessening,

Love grows less and less:

What care I for no or yes?


I will give her stately burial,

Tho’, when she lies dead:

For dear memory of the past time,

Of her royal head,

Of the much I strove and said.


I will give her stately burial,

Willow branches bent;

Have her carved in alabaster,

As she dreamed and leant

Whilst I wondered what she meant.

Jan 18

British English Accent Training Lesson 49 (video): Ten Hardest English Words to Pronounce (with captions / subtitles)

In this lesson, we practise the ten hardest English words to pronounce (apparently):

Rural /ˈrʊə.rəl/

Otorhinolaryngologist /ɒtəʊ’raɪnəʊ’lærɪŋ’gɒləʤɪst/

Colonel /ˈkɜː.nəl/

Penguin /ˈpeŋ.ɡwɪn/

Sixth /sɪksθ/

Isthmus /ˈɪsθ.məs/

Anemone /əˈnem.ə.ni/

Squirrel /ˈskwɪr.əl/

Choir /kwaɪər/

Worcestershire /ˌwʊs.tə ˈsɔːs/


Original article.


Jan 16

Other ways to say “don’t worry” in English (visual)

No problem

No worries

(It) doesn’t matter

Chill out

Take it easy

Never mind

That’s ok

It’s all right

Stay calm

Don't worry JPEG

Jan 14

Learning English (video): falling asleep and waking up



Fall asleep (present / future); fell asleep (past simple)

I fell asleep during the lecture.

Are you asleep? I was asleep. I will be asleep.

I find falling asleep easy. I find falling asleep difficult.

She’s fallen asleep. (perfect)

I was sleeping. I am sleeping.

I slept (past).

I slept for six hours. I slept like a log last night.



If you’re not sleeping, you are awake.

Are you awake?

When do you normally wake up? I woke up at 0630 today.

It’s all right, I’ve already woken up. (perfect)

Getting up is when you get out of bed, separate from waking up.

I woke up early but was so exhausted that I couldn’t get up!

I woke up towards the end of the lecture.

Get up (present / future); got up (past simple)

I got up late today.

I usually get up at 0700.

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