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164 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 164 Vocabulary British English Lessons

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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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A Few - Few | A Little - Little

The two confusable quantifiers, few and little, are not as difficult to master as you might think. This microlearning lesson gives you plenty of examples of the use of few, a few, little, and a little, and plenty of practice to help you get them right. You can also watch a video explaining how whether a noun is countable or uncountable determines which of the words we use.


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This Week - Next Week - Last Week

Do you ever have problems specifying dates in English? This lesson will help put an end to any such issues. I’ll talk you through the way we specify future and past dates in English. I’ll give you some practice with choosing the best way to specify what date you want to talk about. I’ll show you how we reduce complex consonant clusters which form between words in speech segments.


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Attracted to or Attracted by

Prepositions are difficult for students of English and when they are used with two very similar expressions they can be especially difficult. This lesson will show you how we use the two expressions attracted to and attracted by and will give you practice using both. I have selected real examples of the expressions from the British National Corpus, and have included several activators to help you with the use of the two expressions and the pronunciation of sentences which use them.


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Library - Syncope

The word library is one of the words that students try very hard to pronounce properly, yet still get wrong. Other words like family, vegetable, chocolate, natural, favourite, medicine, general, and many more are also syncopated when we speak at a normal, fast-spoken rate. Many students initially refuse to believe that a word they have been pronouncing with three syllables all their life can be, and indeed, normally is, pronounced with just two syllables. Perhaps you are one of these students? If you are, prepare to be shocked and amazed by this lesson.


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Words Ending in -cuit

There are only two English words which end with the -cuit letter combination and both cause pronunciation problems for students. This lesson will look at both words, circuit and biscuit, and show you how to correctly pronounce them. It will also look at some sentences and expressions which use these words and will look at the speech features in those sentences. Features like the linking R, syllabic consonants, and elision are highlighted and explained.


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Words Ending in the Syllabic Consonant -*n

A syllabic consonant is a consonant that is pronounced as a syllable. The two main syllabic consonants in English are /l/ or /n/ sounds. The /n/ in the final syllable of words occurs in words like listen, while the /l/ syllabic consonant occurs at the end of word such as bottle. Syllabic consonants occur mainly in the final syllable of words but can also occur at the beginning or within words, too. In this lesson, we will look at the 10 sounds that precede final-syllable /n/ syllabic consonants. I’ve taken 11 English words that have a final-syllable /n/ syllabic consonant sound. These are representative of the most common sound and letter combinations that give us a syllabic consonant /n/ at the end of words. I have chosen one word for each of the following sounds which commonly precede the /n/ syllable consonant: /t/, /d/, /p/, /s/, /z/, /f/, /v/, /θ/, /ʃ/, and /ʒ/. The words include: button, garden, happen, listen, cousin, soften, seven, strengthen, fashion, musician, and occasion.


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Words Ending in -try

A vocabulary and pronunciation activator which will help you with the following words: try, entry, gantry, pantry, poetry, pastry, paltry, sultry, wintry, country, poultry, ancestry, industry, forestry, toiletry, dentistry, chemistry, carpentry, circuitry, and psychiatry. Not only will you learn how to use each of the words, but you will also learn how to pronounce sentences using them. I have analysed the speech features of each of the sentences to show you how English pronunciation works and to help you improve your own pronunciation, too. You can read each sentence in IPA symbols, too, giving you the chance to see how linking features like the linking R, the linking J, the linking W, and linking consonants work.


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Flowers of the Grass

A short lesson using a video I made of a beautiful haiku poem some years ago. The lesson will help you to learn, remember, and use some vocabulary and expressions in English. I hope you enjoy both the poem and the lesson, as well as the video, as much as I enjoyed making them for you.


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The Ant and the Grasshopper

This is my retelling of Aesop’s fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper. It tells the tale of the hardworking ant and the apparently lazy grasshopper and presents the moral message that we ought to enjoy our lives while we can. The lesson is also packed with vocabulary which you can test yourself on in the two activators in the lesson. There are lots of useful vocabulary items to learn, as well as phrasal verbs and common expressions.  


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10 of our 164 Vocabulary British English Lessons


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