Learn English Vocabulary: The Dark Side of Politics

A warm welcome back to engVid. Today I’m presenting a series of vocab and phrases to help you understand what is happening in the news. It’s important to know what’s going on in the world, and if you can read a newspaper in English then you will develop an enormous sense of satisfaction because that will show that your level of English is right up there. Okay, let’s start with “unethical”. So, we can see a shorter word within the longer word: “ethic”. Now, a person’s ethics are the ideas that they live by. So we say: “A code of ethics”. For example, to say please and thank you. If you want to know more about this, then perhaps watch my lesson on social etiquette. Okay? It’s to do with the kind of ideas and beliefs a person has. If something is unethical, then basically it means it’s wrong, it’s bad.

Evil’s quite a strong word, but it’s along those lines. “Illicit” is something banned, something not allowed. So if a politician took some illicit substances, then that would show that they had been taking some drugs that are not legal in the country they are in. Okay? “Illegal”, “illicit”, a synonym would be: “illegal”, “banned”. “Allegation”, so we have a noun here. An allegation-I’ll just write in that that’s the noun-is something that someone said about something else. For example, an allegation that Boris Johnson has had an affair. Someone is saying that Boris Johnson has had an affair. It doesn’t mean that they have had an affair, it just means that someone is saying they have had an affair. “An affair” is when you cheat on someone. Okay? “Alleged”, okay? To allege, you are saying the rumour, you are saying what you think happened. “Alleged”, so that is the past tense version of the verb. “To allege” is the present tense. But it’s most often seen in the past tense. “Journalists alleged that”… “Allegedly”, okay? So here’s the adverb.

“Allegedly Boris Johnson has done this.” It’s not saying definitely. It’s saying it might have happened. Okay, “a disclosure”. This is making a secret public. Okay? So, Boris Johnson tells a friend that he has been putting lots of money in a bank account in Switzerland or in an offshore bank account. The friend then is quite nasty to Boris, because he makes the secret public. He discloses some information. Okay? “Disclosure”, the noun; the verb, “to disclose”. And if we look a little bit more carefully there, your prefix “dis” and the main part of the word “close”, so something is close and now it is open.

So we had a secret and now we don’t have a secret. “Libel”. “Libel” is a published fake statement that damages someone’s reputation. Okay? So, who says “fake” a lot? Donald Trump. “Fake news! That’s fake news. Don’t listen to him, that’s fake news.” Okay? So, “fake” means made up. So, libel, you can accuse someone of libel if they write something about you that is not true. “To be embroiled in a scandal”. So, “a scandal” is something regarded, something thought of as wrong which causes a public outrage. “Outrage” is when we are angry. So the politician… Let’s just explain this word, sorry. “Embroiled” means caught up in. I’ll write that there. “To be embroiled in a scandal”, you’re surrounded by something that is making the public very angry. And I’ve got quite a few examples of those just to come in a moment. A “P.R. disaster”. So, the P stands for “public”, the R stands for “relations”. If you work in P… If you work in PR, then you are promoting people all the time and you are saying: “This person is fantastic dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah”. But a P.R. disaster is when it goes into the newspapers some bad press.

“Bad press” is something written that makes that politician look bad. Not necessarily politician, can apply to someone else. Okay, “an abuse of power”, “abuses of power”. So, our politicians have… We have voted for them to make decisions to help run the country. If they abuse, that means if they do something bad with that power, then they are using power for the wrong reason. Let’s think of an example. They… It would have been an abuse of power if they were using their position to make money on the side. So, if they were taking deals from businesses against the public good, that would be an abuse of power. This is about relationships: “to two-time”.

Okay? So, generally in our society it’s a monogamous one, that means you’re meant to kind of be with one person. “Mono” meaning one. But if you’re two-timing, then the politician or whoever it is, is seeing two at the same time and maybe one is very upset about that. So if a politician two-timed, that would be a P.R. disaster. Not in France where the press seem to sort of celebrate that kind of naughtiness. In Britain it wouldn’t go down very well. “Clandestine affair”. So, a “clandestine affair”, “clandestine” means secret. “An affair” is cheating.

Okay? What are other things that would result in a P.R. disaster, that would be bad press for the politician? Expenses fraud. So, “expenses”, your expense… Prefix “ex” meaning out. You can… “Pence” is kind of money, so what you’re spending out. Now, politicians are allowed to claim on expenses. What that means is if they spend money doing their job they can get some of that money back. But if they… What fraud is, deception for financial gain. Deception for financial gain, so what they’re doing is they are being… They are cheating. They’re saying: “I spent this to do my job”, but actually they didn’t need to spend that and they are fiddling the books. We talk about “the books” is like a record of money, if they are fiddling, they are making a mess of, they are…

They’re playing a game to get more money. “An offshore hedge fund”. So, “offshore” means, you know, we’ve got the edge of Britain. Any one of you who watched my video on food of Britain knows that I’m not great at drawing maps of the UK. So, “offshore”, here’s the shore, it means the coast. If it’s off the shore then it’s somewhere else. A hedge fund, now, I’m no economist, but “a hedge fund” is like some people working for you to make more money. An offshore hedge fund is not strictly legal because it avoids tax being paid in this country. So, that’s not going to go down very well with our people, so that’s P.R. disaster. “Cash for honours”, now, at the end of David Cameron’s reign as Prime Minster of the United Kingdom there was quite a lot of controversy… Running out of space on my board. “Controversy”, when someone thinks it’s bad. So David Cameron’s at the end of his… His time as Prime Minister and he starts giving knighthoods: “Hello, you are now Sir So-and-so, you are now Lord So-and-so, you are now…” Okay? And he gives these titles because those people have given his party money.

So that was called the “cash for honours scandal”. Okay? It’s not very fair that he’s just giving these titles because they have gave the Conservative Party money. Now, from across the pond, over in America we had the “Watergate scandal” which was to do with President Nixon and there was an attempted theft of his party headquarters that then unwrapped this whole saga, which you can read about in your own time. But it was called the “Watergate”. Now, if anything goes slightly badly wrong, if anything’s controversial… Controversial, then we can add this suffix to the end, we call it “something-gate”.

Something else that happened to David Cameron was “pig-gate”. Now, someone wrote a biography about David Cameron, alleging that he had performed something strange with a pig, therefore we call that pig-gate, because it was bad press for David Cameron. Okay. “Corruption”, this is quite similar to the idea of an abuse of power. If you are corrupt then maybe you’re taking money to do something for someone else. So, “corruption” is your noun, “corrupt” is your adjective. “Tyranny”. Now, a “tyrant” is someone who has lots and lots of power, and they don’t really listen to anyone else, so we’re thinking sort of Robert Mugabe, Idi Amin, they’re people who rule and kill and do anything they want to maintain power. Okay? So that’s your… A reign of tyranny, and a tyrant is the person.

So, tyranny is kind of like the action, that’s the person. “Nepotism”. Now, this is where you keep it in the family. So there’s plenty of examples of this all across the world, from the film business, to politics, to business. This is just where you have a family here, like: “Right, now I pass it on to my son, now my son can do this, now the daughter can do this, now the grandson can do this.” Up to you where you see those examples. Now, if something goes really badly wrong in politics then that politician will have to stop working and go out of the limelight. I’ll write that down. Why is it called “limelight”? I’ve no idea, but lots of attention is on them, and then suddenly they have to go and live out in the countryside and put slippers on and smoke a pipe.

Now, in America, the President could be “impeached”, there could be an “impeachment” where the president stops being the president, but hopefully it’s… The politician works out that they should stop and they decide before the people decide. So, if they decide then they can “resign”, there can be a “resignation”. So let’s just break up this word. Okay? So you can see the word, so “signature”, they’re taking back their signature. They did say: “Yes, hello, I was President”, and now that has been taken away. Do hope you have learnt some new words from today’s lesson. I think this would be an excellent lesson for you to have a go on the quiz to try and ground these words into your everyday usage. And why not start picking up an English newspaper, reading them? And some fantastic ones out there, not just UK newspapers; America, The Times of India, plenty of them around. And you can read them online as well. Thank you for watching today’s video, and there are other videos like this on this YouTube channel, so do check them out.

Thank you. See you next time..

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The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained

Welcome to the United Kingdom (and a Whole Lot More) explained by me, C. G. P. Grey. United Kingdom? England? Great Britain? Are these three the same place? Are they different places? Do British people secretly laugh those who use the terms incorrectly? Who knows the answers to these questions? I do, and I’m going to tell you right now. For the lost — this is the world, this is the European continent, and this is the place we have to untangle. The area shown in purple is the United Kingdom. Part of the confusion is that the United Kingdom is not a single country, but is instead is a country of countries.

It contains, inside of it — four, co-equal, and sovereign nations. The first of these is England, shown here in red. England is often confused with the United Kingdom, as a whole, because it’s the largest and most populous of the nations, and contains the de facto capital city, London. To the north is Scotland, shown in blue, and to the west is Wales, shown in white, and — often forgotten even by those who live in the United Kingdom — is Northern Ireland, shown in orange. Each country has a local term for the population. While you can call them all ‘British,’ it’s not recommended; as the four countries generally don’t like each other. The Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh regard the English as slave-driving, colonial masters (no matter that all three have their own, devolved, Parliaments; and are allowed to vote on English laws despite the reverse not being true), and the English generally regard the rest as rural, yokels who spend too much time with their sheep. However, as the four constituent countries don’t have their own passports, they’re all British citizens, like it or not.

They are British citizens of the United Kingdom, whose full name, by the way, is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So where’s Great Britain hiding? Right here, the area covered in black is Great Britain. Unlike England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Great Britain is a geographical — rather than a political — term. Great Britain is the largest island among the British Isles. Within the United Kingdom, the term ‘Great Britain’ is often used to refer to — England, Scotland, and Wales alone — with the intentional exclusion of Northern Ireland. This is mostly, but not completely, true, as all three constituent countries have islands that are not part of Great Britain: such as the Isle of Wight (part of England), the Welsh Isle of Anglesey, the Scottish Hebrides, the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands, and the Islands of the Clyde.

The second biggest island in the British Isles is Ireland. It’s worth noting, at this point, that Ireland is not a country; like Great Britain, it’s a geographical — not political — term. The Island of Ireland contains, on it, two countries: Northern Ireland, which we have already discussed, and the Republic of Ireland. When people say they are ‘Irish,’ they’re referring to the Republic of Ireland (which is a separate country from the United Kingdom). However, both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are members of the European Union — even though England, in particular, likes to pretend that it’s an island in the mid-Atlantic, rather than 50 kilometers off the coast of France — but that’s a story for another time. To review: the two largest islands in the British Isles are Ireland and Great Britain. Ireland has, on it, two countries — the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland; while Great Britain, mostly, contains three: England, Scotland and Wales.

These last three, when combined with Northern Ireland, form the United Kingdom. There are still many unanswered questions: such as, why, when you travel to Canada, is there British royalty on the money? To answer this, we need to talk about empire. You can’t have gone to school, in the English-speaking world, without having learned that the British Empire once spanned 1/4th the world’s land and governed nearly 1/4th the world’s people. While it’s easy to remember the parts of the British Empire that broke away violently, we often forget how many nations gained independence through diplomacy, not bloodshed.

These want-to-be nations struck a deal with the Empire: where they continued to recognize the Monarchy as the Head of State, in exchange for a local, autonomous parliament. To understand how they are connected, we need to talk about the Crown. Not the physical crown — that sits behind glass in the Tower of London, and earns millions of tourist pounds for the UK — but the Crown as a complicated, legal entity, best thought of as a one-man corporation. Who created this corporation? God did. According to British tradition, all power is vested in God and the Monarch is crowned in a Christian ceremony. God, however, not wanting to be bothered with micromanagement, conveniently delegates his power his power to an entity called the Crown. While this used to be the physical crown in the Tower of London, it evolved, over time, into a legal corporation; sole able to be controlled only by the ruling monarch. It’s a useful reminder that the United Kingdom is still, technically, a theocracy: with the reigning monarch acting as both the Head of State and the Supreme Governor of the official state religion: Anglicanism. Such are the oddities that arise when dealing with a thousand year-old Monarchy.

Back to Canada and the rest. The former colonies that gained their independence through diplomacy, and continue to recognize the authority of the Crown, are known as the Commonwealth Realm. They are, in decreasing order of population: Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Jamaica, the Solomon Islands, Belize, the Bahamas, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Tuvalu. All are independent nations, but still recognize the Monarchy as the Head of State (even though it has little real power within their borders). There are three further entities that belong to the Crown, and these are the Crown Dependencies: the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey. Unlike the Commonwealth Realm, they are not considered independent nations, but are granted local autonomy by the Crown, and a British Citizenship by the United Kingdom (though, the UK does reserve the right to over-rule the laws of their local assemblies).

Are we all done ???? Almost, but not quite; there are still a couple of loose threads, such as this place: the tiny city of Gibraltar on the southern coast of Spain. Famous for its rock, its monkeys, and for causing diplomatic tension between the United Kingdom and Spain. But what about the Falkland Islands: which caused so much tension between the United Kingdom and Argentina, that they went to war over them. These places belong in the last group of Crown properties known as: British Overseas Territories, but their former name, ‘Crown Colonies,’ gives away their origin. They are the last vestiges of the British Empire. Unlike the Commonwealth Realm, they have not become independent nations and continue to rely on the United Kingdom for military and, sometimes, economic assistance. Like the Crown Dependencies, everyone born within their borders is a British citizen. The Crown Colonies are, in decreasing order of population: Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Anguilla, Saint Helena, the Ascension Islands, Tristan da Cunha, Montserrat, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, the Falkland Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, and the Pitcairn Islands.

For our final Venn diagram: the United Kingdom is a country situated on the British Isles and is part of the Crown, which is controlled by the Monarchy. Also part of the Crown and the British Isles are the Crown Dependencies. The independent nations of the former Empire that still recognize the Crown are the Commonwealth Realm, and the non-independent remnants of the former Empire and are the British Overseas Territories. Thank you very much for watching!

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Are English Managers Any Good? | By The Numbers

 

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Learn English: “How come?”

Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video I am going to teach you a very important expression for conversation. That expression is: “How come?” It’s a very popular expression you may see in movies, on TV, or in conversation with English speakers. But it’s a very good one to know because we do use it a lot. So, what does “How come?” mean? Okay, well, first I have a question for you. I have here two sentences. “Why did you miss your plane?” and “How come you missed your plane?” What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences? Maybe you already know. Okay? So take a guess. The difference in meaning is actually they mean the same thing. “How come?” is another way to say “Why?”. It’s just a little bit more informal. Okay? So if you’re writing, you’re going to use “Why?”, but if you’re speaking you can use both.

Okay? “How come?” is informal, it’s an informal way to say “Why?” And so, by informal, I mean you use it with your friends, with, you know, people you’re talking to on the street, but you wouldn’t use it in an essay. Okay? Or for school. Okay, so: “How come?” means: “Why?” So, when we’re asking: “How come?” what we’re asking about is… we want to know why something happened or the reasons why something happened. Okay? So, for example: “How come you missed your plane?” You know, a reason might be: “Oh, I was late getting to the airport” or “I slept in.” Okay? So these would be the answers to a question like: “How come?” So, a lot of the time, teachers will ask this question. “You were late for class today. How come?” That means the teacher wants to know why you were late for class. So now let’s look at the grammar of “How come?” and how we can use it in a sentence. Okay, so again, “How come?” is an informal way to say: “Why?” So, we often use it in conversation.

Now let’s look at the grammar of “How come?” and how we make a sentence with “How come?” So, I have here: “How come”, which is at the beginning, and then we have plus the subject. A subject is… It can be: “I”, “you”, “he”, “she”, “they”, “we”, or it can also be a thing, a place, or a person, but it’s the doer of a sentence. Then we have the verb. So, for example: “play”, “take”, “listen”, “sing”, “eat”, these are all verbs. And then finally we have an object, which comes after the verb in regular English sentences and usually those can be people, they can be places, they can be things, so these are the objects.

If this is confusing, let’s look at some examples, maybe that will help. So, for example: “How come you”-is the subject-“take”-is the verb, and the object is-“the bus”? “How come you take the bus?” This means the same thing as: “Why do you take the bus?” So, here I actually have this written: “Why do you take the bus?” And you’ll actually notice “How come” is easier in terms of grammar than “Why”. If you look here: “Why do you take the bus?” you have this word, here: “do”. Okay? In other sentences we say: “Why does he” or “Why didn’t he”, but there’s always something like: “do”, “does”, “did”, “didn’t” here with “Why”.

And a lot of students forget to put this here. A lot of students will say: “Why you take the bus?” But this is not correct English. For “Why” we always need something here. Now, the nice thing about “How come” is you don’t need this. Okay? If you look at “How come”, if you can make an English sentence: “you take the bus”, you can change this into “Why” just by adding “How come”. So, the structure of this is just like a regular English sentence. We have the subject, the verb, and the object, and then we just add “How come” at the front of it. So let’s look at another example: “How come Toronto isn’t the capital of Canada?” So, again, we have: “How come”, we have “Toronto” which is the subject, we have “isn’t” which is the verb, and we have “the capital”, which is the object.

So, if you want to make a regular sentence, I would just say: “Toronto isn’t the capital”, we can just add “How come” to this, and then it becomes a question, meaning: “Why isn’t Toronto the capital?” “How come John didn’t come?” Okay? So here we have “How come” at the beginning, “John” which is the subject, and “didn’t come”, because it’s negative form we have “didn’t” here, so this is the past, past tense. “Didn’t come” is the verb. Okay? This sentence doesn’t have an object. Not all sentences in English need objects. The main thing is that you have a subject and a verb. Okay, so that might be a little confusing for you.

Point here is: “How come” is easier than “Why” because all you need to do is make a basic sentence, and you add “How come” to the front of it. Okay? One last thing I wanted to say about “How come”, you can also use “How come?” just on its own. Okay? Here I showed you how to make “How come”, you know, combined with a sentence. You can also just use it, like, you know: “How come” and a question mark. So, for example, imagine we’re having a conversation and I say to you: “Oh, John didn’t come today.” You might be wondering: “Oh, why didn’t John come?” So you can just say to me: “How come?” which means: “Why didn’t John come?” Okay? Or, you know: -“English is a great language.” -“How come?” Again, this just means: “Why?” So it’s a very easy thing to use, and I really, really recommend you start using this in your English because it will make you sound more like a native speaker, and it will improve your conversation or your conversational English. So, I invite you to come subscribe to my YouTube channel. There, you can find a lot of different videos on all sorts of different things English, including pronunciation, grammar, IELTS, vocabulary.

There’re so many different resources we have. I also invite you to check out our website at www.engvid.com. There, you can actually do some practice on this video and everything you learned today. We have a quiz there, and I highly, highly recommend you take our quiz. It’s very good to practice what you learn so you can remember it. Okay? You can also practice this maybe with a friend, or if you’re taking English classes why not try using this inside one of your classes with your teacher? So, until next time, thank you for watching and take care..

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Learn English with Ed Sheeran ‘Perfect’ | Lyrics

 

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English Phone Conversation: How to Start and End

You asked for it. So in this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to do a Ben Franklin Exercise where we take real American English conversation and analyze the American accent to improve listening comprehension and pronunciation skills. First, let’s listen to the whole conversation. I’m going to call my mom. No idea if she’s home. Let’s see, it’s her time. We’ll see if she picks up. She’s not answering. Hey mom! What’s up? – Not much. How are you? – Pretty good. – What are you doing? – Roberta and Ernie are here.

Oh, that’s right! Now, for the analysis. What would you say about the stress of those first two words? Hey mom! Hey mom! To me, those sound like they’re both stressed. Hey– mom! Hey mom! Hey mom! They both have huh— huh— a little bit of that up down stress in the voice. Hey mom! It’s hard to hear my mom’s response because it’s through the phone. What’s up? What’s up? What’s up? With the intonation going up. What’s up? Very smooth and connected. The TS connected to the UH vowel. What’s up? Not much. How are you? Not much. How are you? I made a Stop T at the end of ‘not’. We do this when the next word begins with a consonant. Not much. How are you? How did I pronounce the word ‘are’? Not much.

How are you? I reduced it to the schwa R sound. Howwer– howwer– and connected it to the word before. Howwer– howwer– Not much.How are you? How are you? How are you? With the pitch going down. Not much. How are you? Pretty good! Pretty good! How are those Ts pronounced? Pretty good! Pretty good! Like a Flap T or D. Pretty. Pretty. Pretty good! These phrases are typical of starting a phone conversation. You ask a person how they are. How are you? And they ask you how you are. What’s up? Generally, you give little generic responses. Not much, pretty good. This is small talk. Hey mom! What’s up! Not much. How are you? Pretty good! What are you doing? Roberta and Ernie are here. Oh, that’s right. Again, the word ‘are’. What are you doing? I reduced it to the schwa R sound whatterr– whatter— So the T became a Flap T between vowels. What are you doing? Whatter– it sounds like one word, water.

Water. What are you doing? I dropped the G to make just an N sound instead of an NG sound. What are you doing? What are you doing? Roberta and Ernie are here. The word ‘and’ was reduced to nn– Roberta and Ernie are here. Nn– Roberta and Ernie Roberta and Ernie are here. Again, R reduced to the schwa R sound Ernie -err– Ernie -err– Roberta and Ernie are here. Oh, that’s right. How is the T pronounced in ‘right’? Oh, that’s right! –that’s right! It was a Stop T. So we make a Stop T, unreleased, when the next sound is a consonant or at the end of a sentence or thought. Oh, that’s right. That’s right. Alright, well have a good dinner tonight.

Okay, we’ll have fun. And now, phrases we use in getting off the phone as you wrap up a conversation. Alright, well, have a good dinner tonight. Okay, we’ll have fun. It’s common for people to ‘have fun’ or ‘have a good time’ with what they’re doing next. Here, I’m commenting on their plans for dinner tonight. Alright, well, have a good dinner tonight. In order to make this first word very quickly, I dropped the L and make a Stop T.

Alright, well, have a good dinner tonight. Arright– arright– arright– I also don’t put these commas in, do I? Alright, well, have a good dinner tonight. I go straight to them without a pause. The first syllable of ‘dinner’ is stressed. Have a good dinner tonight. Have a good dinner tonight. Have a good dinner tonight. And it’s the clearest syllable in that phrase. Notice ‘tonight’ is pronounced with the schwa. We want to do this all the time. Tonight, tomorrow, in both of those words, the letter O makes the schwa sound. Tonight. How is the T pronounced? Have a good dinner tonight. Tonight– Another Stop T at the end of a sentence. Here again we’re entering small talk to get off the phone. I tell my mom to have a good time. She responds ‘okay, we’ll have fun.’ Alright, well, have a good dinner tonight.

Okay. We’ll have fun. The intonation of ‘okay’ goes up. It shows that she’s not done talking yet. She’s gonna saw one more thing. Okay. We’ll have fun. The word ‘fun’ then goes down in pitch. So I know it’s the end of her thought. Okay. We’ll have fun. Alright, well, talk to you guys soon. Enjoy New York. I will, thank you! My next phrase again starts with ‘alright, well’ Alright, well, talk to you guys soon. And again, to make that first word very fast, I drop the L and make a Stop T. Alright well– alright well– Alright, well, talk to you guys soon! Talk to you guys soon. Talk and soon, both stressed, both have the up-down shape. Talk to you guys soon.Talk to you guys soon. Talk to you guys soon. The less important words like ‘too’ are very fast. I reduced the vowel into the schwa. Te– te– talkte– talkte– talk to you guys soon. More small talk. Now, my mom is wishing me well and telling me to enjoy what I’m doing.

Alright, well, talk to you guys soon. Enjoy New York. Enjoy, have fun, these are the kinds of phrases we say when ending a phone conversation. Enjoy New York. I will, thank you! Bye. Alright, bye! And I just respond generically with a confirmation ‘I will.’ I will, thank you. I will, thank you. I will, thank you. Bye. My mom actually says b-bye, doesn’t she? She makes the B sound twice. B-bye! This is short for ‘bye’. Bye. Just another way to say ‘bye’. -Bye! -Alright, bye! I must really like the word ‘alright’ at the end of the conversation because I say it one more time. Again, dropping the L and making a Stop T. Bye. Alright, bye. Bye. With the up-down shape of the voice. I will, thank you. Bye. Alright, bye. So in starting a phone conversation, we use small talk asking someone how they’re doing and responding. Hey mom! What’s up? Not much, how are you? Pretty good.

And in getting off the phone, we use small talk often telling someone to have fun with what they’re about to do and saying bye. I will, thank you. – Bye. – Alright, bye. Let’s listen again following along with our marked up text. You’ll hear two different speeds. Regular pace and slowed down. Hey mom. What’s up? Not much. How are you? Pretty good. What are you doing? Roberta and Ernie are here. Oh, that’s right. Alright, well, have a good dinner tonight. Okay. We’ll have fun. Alright, well, talk to you guys soon. Enjoy New York. I will. Thank you. Bye. Alright, bye. Hey mom. What’s up? Not much. How are you? Pretty good. What are you doing? Roberta and Ernie are here.

Oh, that’s right. Alright, well, have a good dinner tonight. Okay. We’ll have fun. Alright, well, talk to you guys soon. Enjoy New York. I will. Thank you. -Bye. -Alright, bye. We’ll listen one last time. This time, you’ll repeat. You’ll hear each sentence or sentence fragment three times. Repeat exactly as you hear it. Paying attention to intonation, sounds, and stress. Hey mom! What’s up? Not much. How are you? Pretty good. What are you doing? Roberta and Ernie are here. Oh, that’s right. Alright, well, have a good dinner tonight. Okay. We’ll have fun. Alright, well, talk to you guys soon. Enjoy New York. I will. Thank you. Bye. Alright, bye. Now, the conversation one more time. Hey mom! What’s up? Not much. How are you? Pretty good. What are you doing? Roberta and Ernie are here. Oh, that’s right. Alright, well, have a good dinner tonight. Okay. We’ll have fun Alright, well, talk to you guys soon. Enjoy New York. I will. Thank you. – Bye. – Alright, bye. Great job. If you liked this video, be sure to sign up for my mailing list for a free weekly newsletter with pronunciation videos sent straight to your inbox.

Also I am happy to tell you my book, American English Pronunciation, is available for purchase. If you want an organized step-by-step resource to build your American accent, click here to get the book or see the description below. I think you’re going to love it. That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English..

As found on Youtube

Classroom English: Vocabulary & Expressions for Students

Hi. Welcome again to www.engvid.com. I’m Adam. Today’s lesson comes as a request, because I know that there are actually quite a few of you who are teachers of English, and you wanted to know some classroom English. So, today, we’re going to look at classroom English. This is more for beginners, especially people who have just joined an English class, an ESL class, EFL class, etc. and you’re starting to get used to the classroom environment, and you’re not exactly sure what the teacher is saying, what you should say, etc. We’re going to start with the teachers. What do teachers say that you need to understand? Okay? [Clears throat] Excuse me. First, the teacher will take attendance, or the teacher will take roll call. Sorry, these are two separate words, “roll call”. Basically, they want to know who is here and who is not here. Okay? So, if a student is in the class, he or she is present. So, if the teacher says: -“Bill?” -“Present.” -“Mary?” -“Present.” -“Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” Bueller is absent. He or she is not in the class.

So, “absent”, not here. “Present”, here. If the teacher has finished with attendance and starts to teach the class, and a student comes in then, that student is late. And they get a little check. Too many lates, you get into trouble. Now, you could be absent, but you can have an excused absent, means that you have a note from your parents, from your doctor, from your boss, or the teacher just knows that you’re not coming today and it’s okay; it’s excused.

Now, the teacher will give you commands. He or she will tell you to do things. Okay? So, it’s very important that you understand what to do. If a teacher says: “Put up your hand”, or: “Raise your hand to ask a question, to make a comment, to ask to go to the bathroom”, put up your hand. Raise your hand. Don’t speak out. Because if everybody speaks out, it’s just noise. Put up your hand, ask your question, get your answer. Okay? Then, the teacher will ask you: “Take out your notebooks. Take out your pens.

Take out your earphones.” Basically, get them ready, we are going to use them. Okay. “Take your seats.” Basically means sit down, sit. Okay? So, he’s trying to get organized, or she is trying to get organized. Next, they’ll say: “Take out your book. Turn to page 37.” Means open your book, page 37, let’s start reading, working, etc. Now, if the teacher wants you to do things, but not alone… For example, if you’re doing math, yeah, you do it alone no problem. If you’re doing ESL, the teacher will want you to work in pairs. It means two people together, so you can speak. “Work in groups”, means get into a few people together; three, four, five. If he wants a specific number, he will say: “Get into groups of”, or: “Work in groups of three.” So, you find your two friends, three sit together, do the exercise. Now, if the teacher… As everybody’s talking, the teacher wants everybody be quiet and listen to one student, he will say or she will say: “Please pay attention to Jack. Jack is going to speak. Everybody, please pay attention to Jack.” Or if you’re doing exercise, if the teacher wants you to be careful about one word or one grammar structure: “Pay attention to the independent clause.” Means be very focused, be aware.

Okay? So, these are the basic things you need to know what… That your teacher will say. Now, you’re the student, you have questions or you don’t understand something, what are you going to say or what are you going to ask? Let’s see. Okay, so now, you’re the student and, you know, sometimes you don’t understand everything the teacher says. So, there are things you can say or ask from the teacher, of course, to help you.

If you didn’t hear something, what will you say? You could say: “I didn’t catch the last part.” Now, if you say: “I didn’t hear”, and I’m the teacher, I have been speaking for 10 minutes, and you say: “I didn’t hear.” I’ll say: “What? Everything? 10 minutes?” I can’t say again. So, “I didn’t hear”, or: “I didn’t catch the last part.” So, I will go back and say again the last part, or: “I didn’t hear the part about what to ask.” Or: “I didn’t hear the part about independent clauses”, or whatever the lesson is about. So, be specific. Tell the teacher which part you didn’t hear. He or she will say it again. Or you can just say: “Could you repeat that please?” Repeat, say again.

If you didn’t hear: “Could you repeat that please? Could you say that again?” But again, say which part. Be specific. Or: “I didn’t hear/catch what you said after here.” So, tell the teacher you heard everything until here, and from here, you didn’t hear, you didn’t catch. “Catch” means hear or understand. Okay? And if you’re having a lot of trouble, ask a teacher: “Can you please speak more slowly?” And the teacher will slow down, and it will be much easier for you to understand. Okay, now, if you are learning something… And again, we’re learning English and you’re not familiar with what the teacher says…

It’s something new or you don’t really know what it is, first of all, make sure you know how to spell the word. If it’s a new word, ask the teacher: “How do you spell that?” And the teacher will say: “S-p-e-l-l.” Spell. Okay? “How do you spell that?” Now, if you don’t know the meaning of the word and the teacher just continues speaking, put up your hand, say: “I’m sorry. What does this word mean?” And the teacher will explain to you. Now, if you’re learning in another country, you’re learning EFL, English as a foreign language, you can say: “How do you say this word?” in your language? If you’re learning in Japan: “How do you say ‘spell’ in Japanese?”, “How do you say ‘spell’ in Spanish?”, “How do you say ‘spell'” in any language? And: “What is this word in Japanese?”, “What is ‘spell’ in Japanese?” So, these two basically mean the same thing. By the way, these marks means same as what was above, just so you know. What is the word in your language? If you’re learning outside. If you’re learning in Canada, for example, and you say: “How do you say this word in Spanish?” I don’t know.

I don’t actually speak Spanish. I wish I spoke Spanish. I will learn one day, but for now, I don’t. So, you have to be careful. Okay. Finally, if you need a bit more information, you want the teacher to explain a little bit more, maybe you understand or you heard, but you’re not really sure. So, you can always ask for more specifics. “Can you use this word in a sentence?” So, for example, you heard the word, you understand the word, but you’re not sure how it would fit in a sentence, how to use it. Ask. “Can you use…?” Like, for the teacher: “Can you please use this word in a sentence so I can see how it works?” Or: “Can you give me”, or: “Can you give us”, the class, “an example of this?” Okay? So, for example, the teacher taught you about some new technology. You understand, but you want to see in real life what this means. So, you want examples of things that use this technology, so you ask.

Now, this is everything you need to know, teachers, students entering the classroom, but the most important thing you need to remember: if you don’t understand something, ask. There’s no such thing as a bad question or a stupid question, or you’re not sure about. If you’re not sure, ask. The teacher will be happy to tell you the answer. He or she will be happy to repeat a few times until you understand. I’m sure that other… Your classmates, other people in the class, they also have questions, but they are too shy to ask.

You ask. You get the answer, you move on. Okay? Go to www.engvid.com. If you have any questions for me, write them in the comments box. I will answer them. Do the quiz, make sure you understand everything. And come back again to www.engvid.com. Bye..

As found on Youtube

The History of the English Language

The English Language came a long way before becoming what is now a mixture of profanity and Tumblr-inspired nonsense. And like all great tales, this one starts at sea. During the 5th century, barbaric tribes from Germany and current-day Denmark sailed across the North Sea and took over Britain. These were the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, which are the ancestors of the now British People. The Celtic speaking locals were quickly pushed aside to the drunken isles of Scotland and Ireland while the Barbarian invaders imposed their “Englisc” language. The Old English spoken until the 1100s was quite similar to a five-year old bashing his head against a German keyboard. It’s impossible to read or recognize, even for native modern-English speakers. In 1066 though, the rise of the English language came to a brief stop. William the Conqueror (AKA William the Bastard) and his Normans invaded Britain and imposed their own French language. For 200 years, Britain was shamed with a French-speaking royal court and an English-speaking lower class.

Fortunately for the Brits though, the 14th century saw the empowerment of the lower class merchants and a separation from France, and so a French-influenced “Middle English” rose to popularity in all of England. Progressively, the language developed into Early Modern English from the 1500s to the 1800s thanks to the Renaissance, the Printing Press, and the likes of Shakespeare. This revolution is conveniently called the Great Vowel Shift (not to be confused with Bowel Shift) because the vowels were getting shorter.

Later on, modern-day English, influenced by other cultures and numerous British colonies, finally flourished into a rich language, before being ruined by lazy teenagers on the Internet. As a side note, the difference between the American and the British English comes from the fact that they each developed separately. The American English was influenced by Spanish, by French through Louisiana, and by West African because of the slave trade. English is one of the most resilient and adaptive languages of our time, and that’s why it’s so popular. It is expressive, easy to learn, and so widespread that it has become an International medium of communication, surpassing geographical and cultural boundaries.

As found on Youtube

English Conversation Study: Introducing Tom and HaQuyen – American English

You asked for it. So in this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to do a Ben Franklin exercise where we take real American English conversation and analyze the American accent to improve listening comprehension and pronunciation skills. First, let’s listen to the whole conversation. R: HaQuyen, this is Tom. HQ: Hi. T: Hi. HQ: Nice to meet you. T: How are you? T: Nice to meet you, too. R: Have you guys met before? HQ: Um… T: I don’t think so. HQ: No, not, not in person.

But you’ve told me about him. R: Okay. It seems like you have because I’ve known both of you for so long, but … T: Yeah. R: Never overlapped. T: Yeah, well, it’s about time! Now for the analysis. R: HaQuyen, this is Tom. Did you notice how the second syllable of ‘HaQuyen’ and the syllable ‘Tom’ were the most stressed? They had that up-down shape.

Especially ‘Tom’, which came down in pitch at the end of the sentence. R: HaQuyen, this is Tom. We want this shape in our stressed syllables. The two words ‘this is’ were flatter and quicker. R: HaQuyen, this is Tom. [2x] HQ: Hi. T: Hi: Both words, ‘hi’, ‘hi’, ‘hi’, had that up-down shape. Hi. Hi. HQ: Hi. T: Hi. [3x] HQ: Nice to meet you. These two phrases happened at the same time. HaQuyen said, “Nice to meet you.” What’s the most stressed word there? HQ: Nice to meet you. [2x] ‘Meet’. ‘Nice’ also had some stress, a little longer.

Nice to meet you. The word ‘to’ was reduced. Rather than the OO vowel, we have the schwa. Nice to, to, to. HQ: Nice to meet you. [2x] Nice to meet you. What did you notice about the pronunciation of this T? HQ: Nice to meet you. [2x] It was a Stop T. Meet you. There was no release of the T sound. HQ: Nice to meet you. [2x] Tom’s phrase, “How are you?” How are you? T: How are you? [2x] He stressed the word ‘are’. How are you? T: How are you? [2x] You’ll also hear this with the word ‘you’ stressed. How are you? T: How are you? Nice to meet you, too. Tom really stressed the word ‘too’. T: Nice to meet you, too. [2x] It was the loudest and clearest of the sentence. T: Nice to meet you, too. [2x] He, like HaQuyen, also reduced the word ‘to’ to the schwa. To, nice to, nice to meet you. T: Nice to meet you, too.

[2x] Also, again like HaQuyen, he made a Stop T here. He did not release the T sound. Meet you. T: Nice to meet you, too. [2x] R: Have you guys met before? I put a little break here, between ‘guys’ and ‘met’, while I thought about what I was going to say. R: Have you guys met before? Did you notice my pronunciation of T? A Stop T. R: Met before? We tend to make T’s Stop T’s when the next word begins with a consonant. Or, when the word is at the end of a thought or sentence.

R: Met before? [2x] R: Have you guys met before? What do you notice about the intonation of the sentence? How does it end? R: Have you guys met before? Before? It goes up in pitch. R: Have you guys met before? That’s because this is a yes/no question. A question that can be answered with yes or no goes up in pitch at the end. Other questions, and statements, go down in pitch. T: I don’t think so. I don’t think so, I don’t think so. Again, there was a clear stop in sound here. I don’t think so. T: I don’t thinks so. [2x] I don’t think so. The words were not connected. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t think. I don’t think so. ‘Think’ was the most stressed word there.

I don’t think so. Feel your energy to towards it and then away from it in the sentence. I don’t think so. T: I don’t think so. HQ: No, not, not in person. The first ‘not’ was a Stop T, as HaQuyen did not continue. Not, not. Not in person. The second T, though, was a Flap T because it links two vowels together. The AH vowel, and the IH as in SIT vowel. Most Americans will make the T between vowels a Flap T, which sounds like a D between vowels. Not in [3x]. Not in person. HQ: Not in person. [2x] ‘Person’ is a two-syllable word. Which syllable is stressed? HQ: Not in person [2x]. The first syllable. PER-son. The second syllable doesn’t really have a vowel in it. It’s the schwa sound. But when the schwa is followed by N, you don’t need to try to make a separate vowel, -son, -son, person, person. HQ: Not in person [2x], but you’ve told me about him. How is the T pronounced in ‘but’? HQ: But you’ve told me about him.

[2x] It’s a Stop T, but you’ve, but you’ve. What’s the most stressed, the most clear word in this phrase? HQ: But you’ve told me about him. [2x] It’s the verb ‘told’. But you’ve told me about him. The sentence peaks with that word. HQ: But you’ve told me about him. [2x] HaQuyen dropped the H in ‘him’. We do this often with the words ‘him’, ‘he’, ‘his’, ‘her’, for example. Also, ‘have’ and ‘had’. HQ: But you’ve told me about him.

[2x] Now the T comes between two vowels. What’s that going to be? A Flap T. About him, about him. Just flap the tongue on the roof of the mouth. HQ: But you’ve told me about him. [2x] R: Okay. I didn’t really pronounce the OH diphthong here, it was more like a schwa, okay, okay. ‘-Kay’ had the shape of a stressed syllable. Okay. R: Okay. [2x] It seems like you have… In the first part of this sentence, what is the most clear, the most stressed syllable? R: It seems like you have [2x] It’s the word ‘seems’. It seems like you have [2x]. R: It seems like you have [2x] because I’ve known both of you for so long, but. What about in the second half of the sentence. What’s the most stressed syllable? R: because I’ve known both of you for so long, but.

[2x] Known. Because I’ve known both of you for so long. ‘Long’ is also stressed, it’s also a longer word. R: because I’ve known both of you for so long, but. [2x] Even though this sentence is very fast, it still has longer stressed words, ‘seems’, ‘known’, ‘long’. It’s important to keep your stressed words longer, even when you’re speaking quickly. This is what’s clear to Americans. R: because I’ve known both of you for so long, but. [2x] The less important words, the function words, will be less clear and very fast. And sometimes, we’ll change the sounds. For example, in the word ‘for’. That was pronounced with the schwa, for, for, for.

It’s very fast. R: For so long [2x], but. How did I pronounce the T in ‘but’? R: For so long, but. [2x] It was the end of my thought, it was a Stop T. But, but. I stopped the air. R: For so long, but. [2x] T: Yeah. Tom’s interjection, ‘yeah’: stressed. Up-down shape. Yeah, yeah, yeah. T: Yeah. [2x] R: Never overlapped. Can you tell which is the stressed syllable in ‘never’? Which is longer? R: Never overlapped.

[2x] It’s the first syllable. Ne-ver. What about in the next word? R: Never overlapped. [2x] Again, it’s the first syllable. O-verlapped. Never overlapped. Uh-uh. Never overlapped. R: Never overlapped. [2x] Notice the –ed ending here is pronounced as a T, an unvoiced sound. That’s because the sound before, P, was also unvoiced. Overlapped, overlapped. R: Never overlapped. [2x] T: Yeah, well, it’s about time. Did you notice that Tom didn’t really make a vowel here. Tsabout, tsabout. He connected the TS sound into the next sound. T: Well, it’s about time. [2x] How is this T pronounced? T: Well, it’s about time. [2x] A Stop T, because the next sound is a consonant. T: Well, it’s about time. Let’s listen again, following along with our marked up text. You’ll hear two different speeds, regular pace, and slowed down. R: HaQuyen, this is Tom. HQ: Hi. T: Hi. HQ: Nice to meet you. T: How are you? T: Nice to meet you, too. R: Have you guys met before? HQ: Um… T: I don’t think so. HQ: No, not, not in person. But you’ve told me about him.

R: Okay. It seems like you have because I’ve known both of you for so long, but … T: Yeah. R: Never overlapped. T: Yeah, well, it’s about time! R: HaQuyen, this is Tom. HQ: Hi. T: Hi. HQ: Nice to meet you. T: How are you? T: Nice to meet you, too. R: Have you guys met before? HQ: Um… T: I don’t think so. HQ: No, not, not in person. But you’ve told me about him. R: Okay. It seems like you have because I’ve known both of you for so long, but … T: Yeah. R: Never overlapped. T: Yeah, well, it’s about time! We’ll listen one last time. This time, you’ll repeat.

You’ll hear each sentence or sentence fragment three times. Repeat exactly as you hear it, paying attention to intonation, sounds, and stress. R: HaQuyen, this is Tom. [3x] HQ: Hi. T: Hi. [3x] HQ: Nice to meet you. T: How are you? [3x] T: Nice to meet you, too. [3x] R: Have you guys met before? [3x] HQ: Um… T: I don’t think so. [3x] HQ: No, not, not in person.

[3x] But you’ve told me about him. [3x] R: Okay. [3x] It seems like you have [3x] because I’ve known both of you [3x] for so long, but … [3x] T: Yeah. [3x] R: Never overlapped. [3x] T: Yeah, well, it’s about time! [3x] Now the conversation, one more time. R: HaQuyen, this is Tom. HQ: Hi. T: Hi.

HQ: Nice to meet you. T: How are you? T: Nice to meet you, too. R: Have you guys met before? HQ: Um… T: I don’t think so. HQ: No, not, not in person. But you’ve told me about him. R: Okay. It seems like you have because I’ve known both of you for so long, but … T: Yeah. R: Never overlapped. T: Yeah, well, it’s about time! Great job. If you liked this video, be sure to sign up for my mailing list for a free weekly newsletter with pronunciation videos sent straight to your inbox.

Also, I’m happy to tell you my book American English Pronunciation is available for purchase. If you want an organized, step-by-step resource to build your American accent, click here to get the book, or see the description below. I think you’re going to love it. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English..

As found on Youtube