Learn British English online official website: http://www.learnbritishenglish.co.uk/
Please listen below to these amazing podcasts giving examples of many of the accents from around the UK:
John Donne is probably not known as well as William Shakespeare, William Blake and a lot of other English poets, and yet he has written many of the most famous lines and poems in the English language.
Born in 1572, Donne’s father died when he was very young, and most of his sisters died before he even got to university. Brought up as a Roman Catholic, he was in constant danger from the Protestant regime enforced by Queen Elizabeth.
He married for love, to a woman of a different social standing, and suffered because of it.
Despite all this, overriding themes of his work were love, religion and his contemplations of mankind as a whole, epitomised by one of his most famous verses:
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”
Reasons to try reading John Donne:
Here is one of the best illustrations of the qualities above:
Valediction: A Forbidding Morning
“As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
“The breath goes now,” and some say, “No,”
So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
‘Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.
Moving of the earth brings harms and fears,
Men reckon what it did and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull sublunary lovers’ love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.
But we, by a love so much refined
That our selves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion.
Like gold to airy thinness beat.
If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two:
Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the other do;
And though it in the centre sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.
Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like the other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.”
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Please join the group, then write a post about yourself, explaining what type of lessons you are looking for, and there are many teachers who can contact you if they can help.
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This was written on 30 March 2013.
I thought I’d share with you the strange experience I had when I went out today.
The UK has had cold weather and snow for many months and it is still persisting, which is unusual at this time of year. So, it was no surprise that having been cold but still this morning, it started snowing very lightly before lunch.
I went out to walk through the city, but shortly after I left and was in the city, the snow turned into some kind of mild blizzard and I had to turn back.
When I was nearly home, it had stopped snowing completely, the sun was shining and I felt warmer than I had done for many weeks.
After I had been back home for a few minutes, I looked out of the window and saw that it was snowing a lot again.
A little later, it was sunny.
This is why British people often discuss the weather. Do you have a similar story to share from your country?
This weekend is a “long” weekend in the UK as the traditional Easter Bank Holidays (state holidays) on Friday and Monday mean we have four days instead of two.
The Easter celebrations are again based on Christian beliefs (that Jesus rose from the grave) but, as with Christmas, people celebrate it whether they are religious or not.
The Friday is called Good Friday, Sunday is Easter Sunday (the main day), and the Monday is called Bank Holiday Monday.
People will celebrate by eating lots of chocolate, particularly chocolate eggs, which symbolise the empty tomb of Jesus, in Christianity.
If you are celebrating it too, I wish you a Happy Easter!
Please read this great post by Shanthi Cumaraswamy Streat to learn eight idioms and phrases relating to Easter:
There are many differences between British English and American English. Learnbritishenglish.co.uk offers this visual Mini Dictionary so that you can learn some important vocabulary. Not essential, but certainly useful:
March 28, 2013
In this lesson I offer advice on British English pronunciation when linking words. Please see notes and resources below. This topic was suggested by Marc Kevin Bautista.
I think this comes up when the second of two words starts with a vowel. If the last letter of the first word is a vowel as well, an “r” sound often links the words (see below):
The idea (r)of it
India (r)and China
A media (r)event
Pasta (r)and sauce
Saw (r)and conquered
Law (r)and Order
The linking (intrusive) letter sound seems to depend on the vowel sound at the end of the first word:
Me (y)and you
You (w)and me
When the second word starts with a vowel but the first word does not end with one, it is common to pronounce the last letter of the first word at the beginning of the second word instead.
The hea (t)of the day
The passio (n)of the man
They (y)entered the restaurant
Don (ch)ou know? (Don’t you know?)