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Welcome to the Britlish Library.

I hope you will enjoy the 230 British English lessons in the Britlish Library. I have designed the lessons to help you improve all areas of your English skills from writing and speaking, to listening and reading.

The British English lessons in the Britlish Library are full of multimedia content in the form of videos, audio files, animations, and engaging image files. This multimedia content makes learning British English much more fun and engaging than simply reading text in a book.


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Latest British English Lessons

Here are the 5 newest British English lessons from the Britlish Library. I add new lessons to the Britlish Library every week so make sure you bookmark this page.

The Suffix -ish

The Suffix -ish

You have probably noticed the suffix -ish at the end of many English words. The suffix -ish is actually in the words English and British, and consequently Britlish, too. A suffix is a tag that we add to the end of words to change their meaning slightly. In the case of -ish we add it to the ends of nouns and adjectives to form adjectives which mean approximately, somewhat, or like. It’s a very old suffix which Old English inherited from the Germanic. Common uses of the suffix -ish are colour words, talking about the size of things, when talking about the temperature of things, when describing qualities, and it is often added to numbers and time to indicate approximation.


Why are Human Beings so Stupid, Ignorant, and Pathetic?

Why are Human Beings so Stupid, Ignorant, and Pathetic?

This lesson looks at why individually humans are stupid, ignorant, and pathetic, but collectively, as a species, we are capable of incredible achievements. How long would you survive if the fabric of our society dissolved away and we were left to fend for ourselves? What do you think will come after humans have outlived their usefulness? Do this lesson to find out some of my thoughts on this matter.


Make Off

Make Off

Bernie Madoff died in prison on 14th April 2021 having served just 12 years of a 150-year prison sentence for running the biggest ever Ponzi scheme which defrauded people out of an estimated $65 billion. This English lesson takes a look at the ironic pronunciation of the phrasal verb make off, which means to steal money, and Bernie Madoff's last name which is a homophone with made off. The animation of the Madoff character in the video was done using iClone and Character Creator from Reallusion. I think it is the most realistic animation I have made to date.


Alaska

Alaska

This “Alaska” joke gets its humour from the pronunciation features of British English. If you understand the rhythm of English and how weak and strong syllables behave when we speak, you will be able to understand the humour of this joke. The Britlish Library lesson explains how and why the joke is funny and gives you plenty of exercises to help you learn, remember, and use these pronunciation features.


Wind Idioms

Wind Idioms

There are quite a few wind idioms in British English. I have created an Activation Quiz to teach you 15 of them and give you some practice using them. These 15 idioms include put the wind up, take the wind out of someone’s sails, and an ill wind, to name just a few. You can learn these idioms by doing the multimedia-rich, interactive activator in this lesson.

 
 
 

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Random British English Lessons

Here are three random British English lessons taken from the 230 British English lessons currently in the Britlish Library. I add new lessons every week, so be sure to bookmark this page. Sign up for a free membership and you will get an email each time I add a new lesson to the library.

Frozen Food

Frozen Food

Vocabulary that we use when talking about frozen food. This lesson was inspired by a student of mine, Monica from Italy, who asked why, if we freeze things, don't we unfreeze them? I decided to make a microlearning lesson that would provide the answer and give students the necessary vocabulary for talking about defrosting, thawing, freezing, and melting food items. This lesson uses short videos to make the message clear and gives you the chance to test your understanding of the vocabulary with a self-test feature.


Eschew - Hard to Say

Eschew - Hard to Say

The word eschew is a hard word to spell and to pronounce. In this lesson I’ll tell you what eschew means, show you how to pronounce it with a standard British English accent, and give you some examples of its use. I’ll also look at other vocabulary of refusal or acceptance such as abandon, abjure, avoid, disdain, embrace, eschew, forego, forswear, give up, grab, grasp, hold, keep clear of, refrain from, renounce, repudiate, seize, shun, spurn, take hold of, and welcome. You can also practice your knowledge of the IPA symbols and pronunciation with some IPA transcriptions of these verbs of refusal or acceptance.


Chicken Idioms

Chicken Idioms

Chickens have always been an important part of British life since the first were introduced to the island during the pre-Roman Iron Age. Romans made them more popular as a food source, particularly for egg production, after Claudius invaded Britain in the first century AD. Today, chickens are the most widespread livestock animal not only in the world but also in Britain. Because of their importance, there are several common idioms associated with chickens in English and we will look at them in detail in this lesson. The idioms include: flock together, come home to roost, pecking order, fly the coop, henpecked, and rule the roost.


Greetings - Conversation Activator

Greetings - Conversation Activator

Practice how to greet someone with this conversation activator which will also teach you some useful vocabulary and expressions. This English Conversation Activation Pack gives you practicing in greeting people you meet for the first time. Expressions such as, Hi, Nice to meet you, Good morning, Pleased to meet you, Are you here on…, as well as showing you how not to greet people and how to avoid sounding rude or worse. You will also learn some new expressions and vocabulary such as: abrupt, architect, break the ice, Christopher Wren, come across as, decent, do you fancy, go out for, going nowhere, gorgeous, hold something against someone, Holland, in banking, intrusive, look good on, Lothario, lovely, married, miss the chance, motive, museum, on business, perhaps, pervert, plan on, pub, reception, something in common, St Paul’s Cathedral, suspicious, take someone out, weirdo, and “What brings you here?”

 
 
 

Honeycomb Joke

Honeycomb Joke

English humour can be difficult for non-native English speakers. This is why simple English jokes are a very good way of teaching vocabulary, and why I’ve chosen a very simple joke for this lesson. The joke asks, Why do bees have sticky hair? The answer, because they use honeycombs, will leave many students scratching their own heads. First, watch the video and see if you understand where the humour comes from in this British English joke. Then, do the exercises and learn why this joke is funny. The exercises will also help you with pronunciation issues, particularly with the silent B in words such as comb and many others. The British English vocabulary included in the exercises in the British library includes bomb, bumble, cake, cell, climb, comb, crumb, debt, doubt, dumb, hive, know, lamb, limb, money, numb, parallel, plate, plumb, son, starchy, steamy, sticky, stodgy, streaky, subtle, teeth, thumb, tomb, and wax.

 
 
 
 

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Britlish Library English Lesson Categories

I have categorised the lessons in the Britlish library into the following categories: English in Use lessons, Exams and Tests lessons, Grammar lessons, Humour lessons, Idioms lessons, Information lessons, Literature lessons, Phrasal Verbs lessons, Sounds British Pronunciation lessons, Spelling lessons, Vocabulary lessons, Writing lessons, Sounds Rude lessons, and more.

You can select all of the lessons in each of the random categories by clicking on any of the images below.

Sounds Rude

Sounds Rude

There is an important subset of English which is hardly ever touched on by teachers, and never by the textbooks. This subset of English is the English which sounds rude. The swearwords and curses, which make up a surprisingly large part of daily speech, are neglected by most teachers because, well, they sound rude. This course aims not to titillate but to teach the vocabulary that other teachers shy away from. If you are not offended by strong language, and would like to learn, remember, and use this "taboo" language, then you should take a look at these lessons. Please do not complain if you are shocked by the contents. You have been warned.

Information

Information

Some lessons about how to do things in the Britlish Library, from using the Britlish Library Memoriser or the most common words system, to frequently asked questions, requesting lessons, and booking online English classes. If you are interested in using the Britlish library to its full potential, you will need to learn how to use the systems that I have created for you. These lessons will take you through each of the systems in some detail to let you see how to use them and how they can help you in your studies at Britlish. The systems are mainly concerned with helping you to memorise new vocabulary or to keep track of your progress in the many lessons that you will find in the Britlish Library. I hope that you will find these instructional lessons useful and that they will encourage you to make full use of the Britlish Library.

 

Sounds British Pronunciation

Sounds British Pronunciation

No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then you are at a grave disadvantage in regards to your English. These lessons have been designed to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.

Spelling

Spelling

One of the most difficult parts of English is spelling. This is because many of the sounds in English are not always represented by the same letter combinations. This for this reason, even native English speakers find it difficult to spell some words. These lessons have been created to help you to learn how to spell some of the more difficult English words.

Humour

Humour

These English Lessons are built around English jokes. The jokes may be old or new; they may be very funny or just amusing. The language of the joke is explored and you will begin to understand a very important aspect of the English language - humour. Many students of English, be they students of English as a second language or of English as a foreign language, find it very difficult to "get" English jokes. British humour has a strong satirical element aimed at showing the absurdity of everyday life. A lot of English humour depends on cultural knowledge and the themes commonly include the British class system, wit, innuendo, to boost subjects and puns, self-deprecation, sarcasm, and insults. As well as this, English humour is often delivered in a deadpan way or is considered by many to be insensitive. A particular aspect of British English humour is the humour of the macabre, were topics that are usually treated seriously are treated in a very humorous or satirical way.

 

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