Jul 23

English Grammar (visual lesson): ‘Teach’ or ‘Learn’?

A teacher teaches students.

A student learns from their teacher.

INCORRECT: the teacher learns the student.

Teach Learn JPEG

Jul 16

Learn British English Free (video lesson): more useful objects at home

Chris presents another free lesson about vocabulary for useful objects at home:
Coat hanger
Clothes peg or peg
Toilet roll and toilet paper
Ruler
Calculator
Highlighter pen
Stationery
Kettle
Alarm clock
(Computer) mouse
Mobile (phone) [British English; not cell phone]
Smart phone

Jul 02

Learn British English Free (video lesson): stand up / sit down

Learn British English Free: stand up; sit down

Stand / stand up

I stand up.

I am standing (up).

She stands up.

They all stood up when the judge entered the room.

Sit / sit down

I sit down on my chair to work.

I am sitting down.

*Stands up* I was sitting down.

Can I sit down? I’ve been standing up for ages.

I sat down to wait for the doctor.

Common mistakes:

INCORRECT: I am sat down. CORRECT: I am sitting down.

INCORRECT: we were stood quietly. CORRECT: we were standing quietly.

Oxford Dictionaries Blog.

Jul 01

British English Listening Practice: Brexit

Listen to this short news report on BBC Radio 5 Live about Brexit (Britain leaving the European Union).

  1. What is the name of the UK Prime Minister?
  2. What is the name of the Brexit Secretary?
  3. What is the name of the Brexit Secretary’s ex-Chief of Staff?
  4. What particular element of the EU do they disagree on?

When you have finished, please check your answers here.

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

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