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162 Vocabulary British English Lessons

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be.

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10 of our 162 Vocabulary British English Lessons

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Choir - Hard to Say

The word choir is a difficult word to spell and to pronounce. In this lesson I’ll tell you what choir 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 which begins with CHO but do not necessarily have the same pronunciation such as chocolate, choir, choke, cholesterol, chondrite, choose, choosy, chop, choral, chord, chore, choreographer, chorister, chorizo, chortle, chorus, chosen, chough, chow, and chowder. You can also practice your knowledge of the IPA symbols and pronunciation with some IPA transcriptions of these CHO words.


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Colour Idioms

Idioms are expressions that are natural to native English speakers. They are very confusing for non-native English speakers. They're confusing because idioms don't mean what the words say. You cannot literally translate English idioms into another language. For example: A black mark has a literal meaning of a black mark on clothing or any other material. It also has a non-literal meaning of a record of something bad you have done. This lesson uses a video English lesson about colour idioms which I made in 2010, and which has been very popular on YouTube. The video has also been licenced for use by a Taiwanese publisher for inclusion in one of their textbooks. I decided to make this Vocabulary Activation Pack from the video English lesson because so many people like the video and because the vocabulary in it is important for students to learn and master. There are a lot of idioms in this lesson as well as a set of questions which I have designed to help you learn, remember, and use the vocabulary and make it part of your active vocabulary.    


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Comfy, Comfier, Comfiest

Comfortable is not an easy word to say, is it? While comfortable only has 3 syllables, many students try to use 4. Comfortable is so uncomfortable a word to pronounce that in 1829 someone decided that it might be better to use only the first syllable and a -y suffix. The informal word comfy was born and what an improvement, I’m sure you’ll agree. Comfy is a comfy word to pronounce, isn’t it? Let’s see how we use comfy in conversation, shall we?


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Countable and Uncountable Nouns

I made a lot of video English lessons in 2010 as part of my Daily Dose of English series. Unfortunately, they never became quite as popular as I hoped they would. Nevertheless, they were interesting and relevant then and they remain so today. I have taken a video English lesson about countable and uncountable nouns and have turned it into this Britlish Library lesson. The technology I now use for my lessons allows me to explore the subject of countable and uncountable nouns in much greater detail than a simple video English lesson allows. Try this more active way of learning and see how countable and uncountable nouns really work. You will also learn about definite and indefinite articles.


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Cupboard Love

Listen to a short story to improve your listening skills and develop your vocabulary. Listening Activator - Cupboard Love. A romantic fiction story. An attempt to stop the lecherous attention of a colleague results in unexpected consequences for two young girls working on a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in a nursing home in England. This story originally appeared in 1988 in the women's romantic fiction magazine Loving. It was the first story that they published with from a male writer and they started a new section in the magazine called Something Different. Richard spent a couple of years in the 1980s writing romantic fiction.    


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Death - Vocabulary Activator

For the entire duration of the universe you did not exist. Then, one day, you came into existence at the moment of your birth. Now, you are growing older and one day you will die. It’s the one thing in this world that we can be 100% certain about. Is it morbid to think about death? I don’t think so. In fact, I often contemplate my own demise. There is no point in hiding from the fact that we will die. If you accept that death is a natural consequence of life, it will not come as a surprise to you when it inevitably arrives. This lesson will teach you about the language of death and dying.  


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Decline of the English Murder

This lesson uses Orwell's Decline of the English Murder essay to introduce you to the following vocabulary items: Acquit, Armchair, Blissful, Cause célèbre, Cherish, Cleft chin, Culprit, Cunning, Forfeit, Fretful, Hypocrisy, Legacy, Pipe, Re-hash, Scandal, Sofa, Sordid, Spectacles, V1 and V2, and Wanton.


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Decomposing - English Joke

The British English vocabulary included in the exercises in the Britlish library includes deactivate, debrief, debug, decommission, decompile, decompose, decompress, deforestation, demoralize, demystify, denature, and desaturate. 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 goes: Good heavens! When you stand here next to Beethoven’s grave, you can almost hear his music, only it seems to be playing backwards. What on earth could be causing that? Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? What is? He’s decomposing. This humour may leave many students scratching their heads. First, watch the video and see if you understand where the humour comes from in this British English joke. Then, do the exercises in the Britlish Library and learn why this joke is funny. The exercises will also help you with the vocabulary of words which begin with the Latin prefix de- meaning undoing or reversing the action of a verb.       


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Digestive System Idioms

The 18 idioms are, cast-iron stomach, go belly up, to be yellow-bellied, hate someone's guts, gutted, gut-wrenching, not able to or cannot stomach something, a fire in your belly, sick to the stomach, a gut reaction or feeling, butterflies in your stomach, misery guts, turn the stomach, in the pit of your stomach, I have no stomach for something, have guts, to have a strong stomach, and have a bellyful of something. This British English idioms lesson will help to you learn, remember, and use 18 common British English idiomatic expressions to do with the digestive system. 


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Do or Make

Do or Make are two verbs which cause frequent confusion for students. I have created this English Activation Pack as the ultimate resource to help you learn, practice, and remember how to use these two verbs. This was one of the very first English Activation Packs that I added to the Britlish Library and it is very long and involved. However, it will teach you all you need to know about the two verbs, do and make. If you would like to revise your knowledge of the verbs do and make, do the revision lesson here.


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10 of our 162 Vocabulary British English Lessons


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