I have such a problem in French with masculine and feminine nouns. I never know if something is le or la so I just choose one (50% chance of getting it correct, right?) Now my children are older, they always correct me when I get it wrong, usually while I'm trying to talk to someone in my best French.
Were you always taught to use indeed and moreover at school? I think all of my students were. And they use these words - a lot!
Today's post is about a typical French mistake:
Ever wondered why English-speakers sound like they're eating their words? Because they are! I've talked about sentence stress before, but what happens to all the words in between the stressed words? In natural spoken English, these unstressed words are shortened and fixed together. We are literally eating the words.
Here's a very useful table showing what happens to some very common words when you speak. Next time you hear someone speaking English, listen carefully and see if you can recognise any of them. And don't forget to try it out yourself!
Some people love standing in front of a crowd of people and making a presentation. Most people don't love it...and it's even worse when you have to do it in English!
Preparation is the key to a successful presentation. You can join one of my courses on better presenting, but if you can't participate in that, just remember these 3 important points:
1. You are the presentation, not your slides. Keep your slides simple with as little writing as possible.
2. How you speak is important. Practise emphasising the important words, taking pauses and not speaking too fast. Videoing yourself is a great way to practise.
3. Fake it til you make it! Inside you might be a mess, but stand up straight and act like you are very confident. Even if you're not, the audience will think you are. And don't forget to smile!
Here's a great article on how make awesome presentations. Good luck!
In this day and age, not only do you have to speak English for work, but you also need to be able to present in English. I've been running some better presentations training recently, and I found this wonderful TED talk aimed at scientists and IT professionals. As many of my own students work in the perfume industry or are IT students, this is a very encouraging talk with lots of practical tips. Please watch and enjoy! And if you want to see the transcript, or watch with subtitles (English of course!) you can find all of that on the TED site.
(Do you know what "nerdy" means? A nerd is another word for a geek.)
When someone is talking to you in English and tells you “Hey I just got a new job,” what do you say?
b) A new job? That's great. When do you start?
Chunks are everywhere. And they are very useful for you when you're learning English. What are they?
By the way is a phrase we use a lot. A lot. And you'll often see it written as btw.
What does it mean? It's for changing to another subject (usually a less important, or smaller topic.) For example:
I can't believe the elections are so soon, it's so important to vote. By the way, I'm going to the shop if you want anything.
Or for adding more information:
I saw John the other day. And by the way, he has lost loads of weight.
You know when you are talking to a friend and you keep remembering different things you want to say or talk about? You can use by the way to introduce every new topic you think of.
By the way, if you want to use by the way, first listen out for it next time you're speaking English to someone. Then you just have to try and you put it into your English conversation. Eventually you'll be using by the way just like English-speakers.
How do you introduce* other people in English? It's very easy and here's a nice video to help you. Sorry, the picture quality is not great, but the sound is good and whoever made it also added subtitles to help you. (And there is Joey, who is always funny.)
So watch and write down 3 expressions to introduce someone, and 2 questions you can ask someone you've just met.
*in English we use the verb to introduce when we meet someone. You can introduce yourself or introduce someone. Do not use the verb to present. This is a false friend in French and English. In English it means to introduce a topic, or make a presentation.
Practise your English every day!
You'll find lots of exercises to help you improve your English - listening activities, reading, advice and lots more.