Nov 102017
 
learn English with William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is the greatest English poet and writer who’s ever lived. And here’s a remarkable thing. There are things English native speakers say all the time, without realizing they come from Shakespeare. Although he died 400 years ago, there are hundreds of words and phrases that Shakespeare coined or invented that we still use today.

So our latest video is about expressions and phrases from William Shakespeare. We explore the meanings of the phrases:

  • all of a sudden
    what’s done is done
    in one fell swoop
    as luck would have it
    fair play
    foul play

There are hundreds more phrases so we’re planning to make another video on this topic. Let us know if you think it’s a good idea.

 Posted by at 9:01 pm
Oct 272017
 

Our latest video has a bit of American culture and lots of vocabulary.

We go shopping at a Halloween store and look at 21 words that students can use to talk about this American celebration. There are words about costumes, decorations, scary creatures and more.

We also include three English words we use to talk about our fears. Scary, which means frightening. Spooky, which means strange and frightening. (Spooky things can make us think of ghosts.) And creepy. If something is creepy it makes us a little nervous and frightened. It’s not a pleasant feeling.

A good way to learn their meanings is to see the words in use in the video. Enjoy!

Check out our other videos at www.simpleenglishvideos.com

 Posted by at 8:02 pm
Oct 062017
 

There’s often no match between English spelling and pronunciation and the letters ough are an infamous example. In this video lesson we set about teaching how to pronounce the letters OUGH in English and demonstrate eight different sounds this letter combination can make – in British AND American English.

Click here to download a free chart with the eight sounds.

 Posted by at 9:40 pm
Sep 172017
 

Tongue twisters can be great pronunciation practice for English learners. They’re not only fun, but they also train your mouth muscles to move in new ways – something we all have to learn when we’re trying to speak a new language.

With the aid of some great English learners, we set too to teach a few. And come back soon because we have more planned.

 Posted by at 12:19 am
Sep 082017
 

There are a couple of things that seem to cause learners problems with causative verbs.

First is the meanings. The most common ones like ‘make’, ‘have, and ‘get’ have lots of other meanings too. And then there’s ‘let’ which is also very common, but why is it causative? Causative suggests it’s about one thing causing another, doesn’t it? How is ‘let’ like that?

And then there are the confusing patterns they follow. Why do we ‘make someone do something’ but ‘force someone TO do something. Sometimes English is just plain weird!

So we’ve made a video lesson about them. There was a lot to cover so we broke it into two parts. Here’s part one which is about meanings:

And here’s part two which is about the patterns they follow:

Hope you like it. Please share it with a friend if you do!

 Posted by at 11:46 pm
Aug 112017
 

There are a couple of reasons why English learners make mistakes with these words. Firstly, they’re false friends in many languages. They look like words that mean ‘currently’ or ‘at present’ when really they mean ‘in fact’. That can get confusing. If someone asks me for our actual sales figures I’ll think they mean real ones when in fact they may be wanting the current ones.

And the other reason these words are hard is it’s not always obvious when we use them. Do they indicate that what we’re about to say could be surprising? Do they indicate that we think our listeners won’t like our answers? Do we use them to correct something we’ve just said or maybe to correct someone else? Well, actually we use them in all these situations! In our latest video lesson we have examples of them all.

 Posted by at 8:09 pm
Aug 042017
 

I had to learn some new words when I went shopping for clothes in the US. Asking for a jumper, I’d be directed to pinafores and requesting a UK turtle neck would deliver polo necks. I couldn’t cover all the differences in this short video (it’s only 90 seconds) but it contains a list of some of the different words we have for clothing in British and American English.

 Posted by at 9:36 pm