It is hard to believe but we have almost reached the end of another year, and that can only mean one thing: it is time to reflect and set some goals for the year to come. Indeed, it is a tradition in the UK to make a list of New Year’s resolutions, which are about being better people and doing better in life.
Do you have doubts about using punctuation marks? Do you sometimes put them in the wrong position, or avoid using them altogether? If so, you’re not alone; many people find punctuation difficult to navigate, especially when the same symbols might vary in usage across different languages. However, it is important to get it right: correct punctuation will help make your writing clear and effective and will make it easier for the reader to understand what you want to express.
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Are you planning to look for a job in the UK? Recruiters may have just a few seconds to scan your CV so it is vital that yours stands out from the rest. Here are some tips on how to produce a professional-sounding CV in English:
Do put your name, address and contact details (with a professional-sounding email address) at the top of your CV. You don’t need to write ‘CV’ as your name should act as a title.
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We’ve picked out some classic British movies that we think should be part of everyone’s lives, especially when they are learning English as a foreign language!
Here are our favourite movies, check out the list and see if you've missed any from 'Billy Elliot' to 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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When you take an advanced English exam, you need to show the examiner that you are able to use complex grammar tenses.
Additionally, being able to correctly use words that are not so frequently used, above the standard of a strong intermediate learner, proves to the examiner (and to yourself) that you are definitely an advanced speaker of English that deserves to pass the exam.
Increase your vocabulary knowledge with the test below.
How many of the following advanced English words do you know?