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What is independent language learning?

  Independent language learning    I love teaching English. Except for one big problem that affects many English teachers and learners… the price of good-quality English lessons. I want to help as many people as I can to learn English, and at the same time support my family and pay my bills. But many of […]

7 ways to make time for learning English

  Do you find it difficult to find the time for learning English?   With a job, family, hobbies, and social life it’s very easy to feel we just don’t have any spare time for anything else. I know I feel like this sometimes. And I’m not going to pretend that I always use my […]

Jargon words and phrases

jargon (noun) British/UK English pronunciation: /ˈdʒɑː(r)ɡən/ American English pronunciation: /ˈdʒɑrɡən/ from Old French jargoun     The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology  (my favourite etymology guide) has these definitions for jargon: meaningless talk speech specific to a trade or profession … [Read More...]

Improve your English: transition words

transition (noun) passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) From Latin transire 'go across' or 'pass over'.   What are transition words?   Whatever your goal or purpose for your writing - whether it's to explain, inform, entertain or persuade - you need to express … [Read More...]

Improve your English: the possessive apostrophe

  What is the possessive apostrophe?   The possessive apostrophe is a punctuation mark (') used to show possession: to show that something belongs to someone or something. Apostrophes were first used to mark possession in the late 16th century, but without clear guidelines they were used inconsistently for … [Read More...]

Business English: phrasal verbs frequently used in business contexts

Phrasal verbs occur frequently in English so it's important you can understand what they mean. And being able to use them yourself makes your spoken and written English more natural, and more accomplished. There isn't really a specific part of English that can be called 'business phrasal verbs'. But there are many phrasal … [Read More...]

More posts to improve your English

English Idioms

Idiom: as cool as a cucumber

    To be as cool as a cucumber is to be very calm and serene in … [Read More...]

Idiom: blow the cobwebs away

To blow the cobwebs away (or clear away the cobwebs) means toget some fresh air and … [Read More...]

9 cat idioms

  Do you have cat idioms in your native language? I have two young cats at home … [Read More...]

Idiom: parrot-fashion

To do something parrot-fashion is to memorize or repeat something without thinking about … [Read More...]

Idiom: crow’s feet

Crow's feet are the lines or wrinkles which appear around the outer corner of a person's … [Read More...]

More English idioms

English Grammar

Phrasal verb: soup up

To soup up something (or soup something up) is to change something, especially an … [Read More...]

What is a phrasal verb?

An introduction to English phrasal verbs   Here's a slideshow I made to … [Read More...]

Phrasal verb: bend over backwards

To bend over backwards is to make a special effort for someone or … [Read More...]

Phrasal verb: witter on

To witter on is to talk in a long-winded* way about things that are not very … [Read More...]

A little guide to English prefixes

  A prefix is an affix - a group of letters - added to the beginning of a … [Read More...]

More English Grammar