Jul 192019
common english mistakes

It’s always interesting to see what videos are popular on our YouTube channel and one that turned out to be a hit this year was a quiz. We ask questions about some tricky English and viewers have to choose a correct answer before the clock stops ticking.

We then explain what’s wrong and show  examples of the correct English in action. We’ll also direct viewers to other videos if want more help.

We’ve just published the third video in what’s now become a series. In this one we look at:
– what means it vs. what does it mean?
– used to vs. in former times
– used to do vs. be used to doing and get used to doing
– good at vs good in
– actually vs. currently
– stop to do vs. stop doing


 Posted by at 8:58 pm
Jul 052019
performance review

Performance reviews are a great context for looking at the present perfect. In our latest video English lesson we look at how to form it and when use it.

We go through the three uses of the present perfect:
1. Unfinished actions that started in the past and are still continuing
2. Life experiences that happened at an indefinite time
3. Past actions that are important now because they are news or because their results matter in the present.

But best of all we show it in action in a comedy sketch. This story is great for business English students.

 Posted by at 7:10 pm
Apr 122019
Disagreeing in English

Have you ever given your students a list of phrases to use to disagree and then winced when you heard them practising them? 

Have you ever heard your students say ‘I disagree’ or ‘I don’t agree’ and thought, hmm, that sounds a bit too formal? 

In this video we look at how we disagree in everyday conversation and look at some steps students can follow to sound more like a native English speaker. 

Click here to see our video on 12 ways to agree in English


Apr 022019
english love vocabulary

Is it possible to fall in love in just one conversation? Maybe if you ask and answer the right questions.
In this video English lesson we ask and answer 11 English questions that can lead to love and explore some words of love and romance along the way.

You’ll learn English vocabulary for talking about love and relationships including:
– words for describing relationships:
compatible, close, treasured
– things lovers might do as they get closer such as:
to impress, to be compatible, to get along, to be trying to hard, to share, to reveal
– euphemisms for death and distress:
to lose someone, disturbing
– adjectives for describing physical appearance:
good-looking, beautiful, pretty, handsome, hot, fit
– adjectives for describing personal qualities:
loyal, sensitive

This lesson was inspired by some real psychological research into 36 questions that can make strangers connect, get close fast and even fall in love.

Here’s a link to the Arthur Aron et al study and a great article about it from the New York Times.

If you want to try out the 36 questions with a partner, here’s a website that makes it easy to go through the questions.

 Posted by at 6:27 pm
Mar 282019
who whose and who's

In this video your students will learn how to use who, whose and who’s correctly and fix a common mistake.

We compare the pronoun who and its possessive form, whose, and show examples in action.
We look at:
how to use who and whose in questions
how to use who and whose in relative clauses
the difference between whose and who’s.

To make most nouns possessive in English, we add apostrophe ‘s’. However the pronoun who is different because its possessive form is whose.

To check they know whether to write whose or who’s, we finish with a whose who’s quiz.
Click here to see our video lesson on who and whom.

 Posted by at 1:45 am
Mar 252019
numbers 13 30

How do we say numbers like twenty, thirty, forty, fifty etc. in English?
Well, it depends. There are some curious differences between how I say them in British English and how Jay says them in American English.

For example, twenny vs. twenty. Jay often drops the middle t in twenty and says twenny.

Then there’s thirty. There he says the t but it sounds like very fast d sound – commonly known as a flap t. You’ll hear lots of examples of the flap t in numbers in this video

Do you ever say free instead of three? We’ll tell you about three vs. free pronunciation in England.

We’ll also show you the difference in how we say numbers like thirteen and thirty, fourteen and forty, etc.
When we’re counting in English a number like fourteen sounds different to when we say it on its own. We’ll show you how native speakers change the word stress to distinguish between numbers like fourteen and forty.

And best of all you’ll meet Super Agent Awesome for a numbers quiz.

 Posted by at 11:06 am
Mar 252019

In some languages you can translate ‘it is’ and ‘there is’ with just one phrase. Wow! That’s bound to be confusing.

So what’s the difference? Well, it may seem simple, but actually, it’s quite complex because we can use both expressions as dummy subjects in English.

In this video we explore how we use them, provide lots of examples and share lots of classic old waiter, waiter jokes that should make the language more memorable and lots of fun too. It’s great to be able to see the language on context.

 Posted by at 6:09 am
Mar 222019
British slang quiz

Play along with our British English slang quiz.

You’ll learn 10 slang words and colloquial expressions including:
– bloke, meaning dude
– quid, not quids
– bog and bog roll
– a tad meaning a little
– knackered and clapped out
– skint meaning broke
– hard cheese meaning hard luck – often ironic
– peckish meaning a little hungry
– cheeky meaning disrespectful or funny
We also look at two old-fashioned slang words that you can use as a joke:
– spiffing meaning splendid
– tickety-boo meaning fine and dandy

 Posted by at 8:35 pm