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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.

Question Tags

Question Tags

Question tags are short questions placed at the end of statements in informal writing and normal speech, and they are used to indicate that we want some information or that we want confirmation of something we believe to be the case. Usually we use positive question tags with negative statements and negative question tags with positive statement. We can, however, use positive with positive in some circumstances to express our feelings. This lesson will tell you everything you need to know about question tags, won't it?

 

Shoulder Idioms

Shoulder Idioms

Learn some common English idioms with this vocabulary activation pack. The idioms are: Give someone the cold shoulder, To have broad shoulders, Rub elbows or shoulders with, Shoulder to cry on, Shoulder to the wheel, Have a good head on your shoulders, Carry the world on your shoulders, Look over your shoulder, Stand on the shoulders of giants, Shoulder to shoulder, A chip on your shoulder, Fall squarely on someone’s shoulders, Head and shoulders above, and A weight off your shoulders.

Function and Content Words

Function and Content Words

An explanation of function and content words in English. The difference between function and content words is one of the key factors in English sentence stress and the rhythm of English. This lesson help you to better understand them. I’ve used the terms function and content words several times in this course up to now. I thought it was a good time to tell you what they are. Function words are also known as structure words, grammatical words, grammatical functors, grammatical morphemes, function morphemes, form words, and empty words. That list will give you a good idea of what they are.


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.


Empty Pronoun

Empty Pronoun

The pronoun, it, can be used for what is sometimes called the empty pronoun, or the dummy subject, because it does not to stand for anything in particular. Ellipsis or near ellipsis is a feature of English pronunciation that we see with many pronouns at the beginning of sentences, and particularly when we use the empty pronoun. Ellipsis is when the empty pronoun disappears completely, while near-ellipsis is when we are left with a little of the empty pronoun. Of course, we don’t have to leave out any of the sounds and can say the sentence in its entirety. We will still be understood, but it may not sound quite as natural as a native speaker. By learning about ellipsis and near ellipsis, you will also be priming your ear to better hear what native English speakers are saying. We will do some exercises to see if you can hear and identify this speech feature when listening to normal, fast-spoken English speech.

 

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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.

Exams and Tests

Exams and Tests

If you are preparing for one of the internationally recognised exams such as IELTS, or the exams from Cambridge Assessment English, or Trinity, then the lessons in this category will be very useful to your studies. If you simply want to test your English abilities in and see how you are progressing in your studies of English as a second or foreign language, then the tests in this category will help you. You can test your abilities in English by seeing if you make the same mistakes that advanced users of English or even proficient users of English make. There's also an English level test with a hundred questions to test your general level of English. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, as it's through mistakes that we improve in anything we do, including learning English.


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.

Idioms

Idioms

Once I realised that idioms were incredibly problematic for my students, I set about gathering as many idioms as I could and making videos about them for my YouTube channels. I am determined to make idioms as accessible for all students as any other part of the English language. Reading and memorising lists of vocabulary is not the most productive, interesting, or useful exercise in English language learning. I wanted to create a series of lessons in the form of Activation Packs that would encourage the reader to not only learn and remember the idioms, but also to have fun with them, as having fun is a great aid to learning and remembering. It is important that you know as many idioms as possible as native English speakers use them with alarming regularity. I hope that as you work your way through the Idiom Activation Packs you will make some of the idioms your own and use them regularly like a native.

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.

 

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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