History of the English Language

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English Sayings You'll Only Hear in the UK

English Sayings You'll Only Hear in the UK

We often hear someone say: ​"I’m gutted."
Do you know what it means?

As someone learning English as a second language, you will usually only be taught to speak the language 'correctly'. But what exactly is the correct use of a language? Surely, as someone who is intent on learning a new language and culture to integrate into British society, you actually want to know how to communicate with the people in your community on a casual level too?

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Writing Your Christmas Cards in English for the First Time

Writing Your Christmas Cards in English for the First Time

When learning English, it is a great idea to practise your writing skills in different ways. From writing letters and postcards to typing emails and text messages, there are many different ways to practise these new skills.

One useful and festive way is to write your own Christmas cards to friends and family who speak English. Read on for some tips on writing a Christmas card for the first time.

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Fun English Songs to sing to your kids

Fun English Songs to sing to your kids

Learning a new language when you are an adult can be a challenge. If English is not your first language, you could need lessons in order to be able to speak it fluently. Thankfully, there are many resources out there for you to use.

When you have children, the challenge can be two-fold. Teaching yourself and your children at the same time may sound difficult, but really, it’s as easy as ABC!

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Learning English from The Greatest Film and Television You’ve Ever Seen

Learning English from The Greatest Film and Television You’ve Ever Seen

We love encouraging our students to find alternative ways to bolster their English language skills outside the classroom. One way in which people like to learn foreign languages is by watching films in their chosen language. These resources are stimulating, motivating, flexible, fun, and effective. Furthermore, the visuality of film enabling learners to enjoy and understand more by interpreting the language in a full visual context. But how can you find great movies and TV to watch and how can you learn from them once you have?

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20 Day English - Day 20: Passive sentences grammar quiz

20 Day English - Day 20: Passive sentences grammar quiz

Passive sentences are all about changing the focus of what you are talking about.

For example: Somebody stole my bike (this is a normal ACTIVE sentence)

Subject, verb, object

Subject = Somebody (the person doing the verb)

Verb = stole (the past simple of 'to steal')

Object = my bike

But I am not interested in that horrible 'somebody'. I am MORE interested in my poor little bike.

So, by changing to a sentence with passive grammar, the whole focus of what I am saying changes.

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20 Day English - Day 19: Third Conditional English grammar quiz

20 Day English - Day 19: Third Conditional English grammar quiz

Third conditionals (sometimes called Type 3 conditionals) are sentences where the speaker is thinking about the past and how it could have been different.

So, normally a 3rd conditional sentence expresses some kind of regret.

This grammar construction is sometimes known as a 'true hypothetical' and that is a good description because we are always talking about somehow changing the past, but as no-one has invented a time machine, it is impossible to go back and change the past, so all 3rd conditional sentences are therefore 100% hypothetical

 

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20 Day English - Day 18: More English slang quiz

20 Day English - Day 18: More English slang quiz

Slang is the informal language that native speakers use when speaking in an informal setting.

The words and phrases are deeply related to parts of British culture that someone learning English who has not lived in the UK, will know nothing about. 

For example, a phrase that lots of people use may even come from a successful comedy series that adults remember from their youth and has just become a fixed part of speech.

So, slang is an important thing to learn to be able to say that you are truly fluent in English.

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20 Day English - Day 17: British Slang Quiz

20 Day English - Day 17: British Slang Quiz

You can learn all the grammar tenses, thousands of words and phrases including phrasal verbs and idioms, but to be an advanced English speaker, you also need to know about British Slang.

Slang is, of course, 'street language', more often spoken than written, as slang is very very informal language.

It can often be funny or derogatory language, but there is no doubt that slang is super common and ever-present in normal conversation.

How many of the 8 questions from today's UK Slang quiz can you get correct?

 

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20 Day English - Day 16: English newspaper sentences quiz

20 Day English - Day 16: English newspaper sentences quiz

In all of our learning English articles, we always show our students real English that is used every day in England: vocabulary, phrases, and grammar that you can use immediately on your trip to London, so that you sound like you live here.

Today's 8 questions are all authentic sentences that were printed in yesterday's broadsheet newspaper, The Daily Telegraph.

This is 'quality journalism' with a high standard of English, rather than the intermediate level of English that you might find in the tabloids (sometimes called 'the gutter press' or the 'red tops').

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20 Day English - Day 15: Newspaper English language quiz

20 Day English - Day 15: Newspaper English language quiz

Newspapers are filled with thousands of words when they are reporting the latest events.

Reading the newspapers is an excellent way to pick up lots of new intermediate to advanced vocabulary for free.

However, even when you are reading quality journalism, reporting only on the news, you will find that the articles are peppered with (meaning: 'containing lots of') lots of idiomatic phrases that you may not know.

Today's quiz takes actual sentences from today's Daily Telegraph newspaper and asks you to work out what the target phrase really means.

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