Sep 11

British English vs American English Song

British English vs American English Song.

Music and lyrics by Chris Workman; August 2017.

Lyrics below and click here.

I don’t have a buck but I’ve got a fair few quid

Did you say you’ve got some sort of form for me to fill in?

I love travelling when it’s spelt with two l’s;

I didn’t dream a dream but I’ve dreamt a whole lot else

We’re perfect, not simple – relax, don’t get so tense;

I didn’t do my homework; I’ve done my homework in a sense;

that is the gist of this song from across the pond.


I’ve never dreamt a dream without a ‘t’ at the end;

don’t our tiny differences drive you round the bend?

Here we’ve got our booze on tap – what is a ‘faucet’?

(oh dear) Any words like that – keep them in the closet.

I’ve got new trousers; they’re soft to wear and touch;

urgh! Keep your pants to yourself; thank you very much!

Are you sure that we’re both really speaking English?


I’m standing on the pavement but can’t find the sidewalk;

is it cause you can’t understand a single word when I talk?

I’m joking (no not ‘kidding’)…never mind; I’ll see you later

Yeah, I’m breaking up, I’m in the lift; not the elevator.

Something wicked ain’t always a bummer

and don’t forget that autumn comes after summer


There seems to be a ladybird on my aubergine.

There’s a ladybug on your eggplant…what do you mean?

My favourite sport is football; please don’t call it soccer

those sorts of words should really stay in ‘yer locker

You have your own football, but why not just play rugby?

You always say ‘Your damn Britishisms bug me.’

We want to be understood with absolute precision;

we watch seasons through the year but not on the television.

Why did we ever think English was a piece of cake?

Sep 02

English Idioms and Collocations with ‘hit’

English idioms and collocations with ‘hit’:

hit a nerve

hit on someone

hit rock bottom

hit someone for six

hit the books

hit the ceiling

hit the ground running

hit the hay

hit the headlines

hit the nail on the head

smash hit (song)

Hit Collocations JPEG

Aug 20

Learn British English Free (geography video): counties and pronunciation

Chris presents this free pronunciation lesson about the names of counties (regions) in England. Please use captions / subtitles.

Aug 11

British Humour and Drinking Alcohol Vocabulary

British Humour and Alcohol Vocab. (please watch video below)
Fairly merry = slightly drunk
Inebriated = drunk
Absolutely plastered = very drunk
Completely newscasted = very, very, very drunk!

Also ‘footless’ = very drunk (NEW June 2017)



Aug 10

Learn British English Free (video): favourite idioms by Studio Cambridge

Favourite idioms by Studio Cambridge. Video produced by Mark Godunov.
Studio Cambridge website.

Understanding English Idioms
By Studio Cambridge on 19th July 2017
Idioms, we English speakers love them! They have the ability to perfectly sum up our thoughts or feelings on any giving topic. They can be described as a group of words which have a meaning which isn’t obvious from looking at the individual words. They also often rely on analogies and metaphors which may not be obvious if English is not your first language. So we thought we would highlight a few as you may encounter a few when you hit English speaking soil.

Sit tight – stay where you are and wait until you something happens.
Example: The receptionist asked Laila to sit tight and wait for her manager as she was talking to someone.
Costs an arm and a leg – If it costs an arm and a leg, it’s very expensive. Like, really expensive.
Example: Jim loves that house but it would cost him an arm and a leg to buy.
Face the music- It simply means to “face reality” or to deal with a real situation.
Example: Jamie will have to face the music for skipping class. (He will be punished.)
Break a leg – Break a leg actually means good luck! So next time you hear your teacher say ‘break a leg on the exam’ they don’t actually want you to get hurt. On the contrary, they want you to do well!
Example: My dad told me to break a leg at my football match.
Hit the books –Hit the books means to study.
Example: The teacher told us to hit the books as the final is going to be a hard one.
When pigs fly – No, we don’t think that pigs can actually fly. This idiom refers to an event or action that will never happen!
Example: You’ll pass an exam without studying when pigs fly.
Sit on the fence – When you cannot or don’t want to make a decision.
Example: We’re not sure why he is sitting on the fence on this issue; it’s frustrating for everyone involved.

Aug 06

Learn British English Free: more place names (new video lesson)

Chris presents a new FREE pronunciation lesson to help you say the names of British places correctly.

Video produced by Mark Godunov:

Aberystwyth, Bicester, Cirencester, Derby, Durham, Dumfries, Ely, Frome, Gloucester, Hartlepool, Llanelli, Leicester, Leominster, Loughborough, Marlborough, Marylebone, Pontypridd, Reading, Slough, Tottenham, Woking, Worcester.

Jul 30

Learn British English on Kahoot! (new quizzes)

I’ve recently made two British English quizzes on Kahoot which can be used with students in the classroom.

The first one is a class quiz based on a number of random subjects to do with vocabulary, grammar and British culture. Please click here.

The second one is a specially designed quiz to test students’ knowledge of British English. There are 13 questions where they must choose the correct British term of an item in a picture for a number of options including American terms. Please click here.


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
Highlighter pen
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.

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