There are currently 239 British English lessons in the Britlish Library and I add new lessons regularly. The grid below shows you the 239 lessons available arranged chronologically from newest to oldest. Use the navigation buttons to look through them. If you want to concentrate on a particular area of English, choose the category view instead.
Whether you are English, Chinese, Polynesian, Russian, or any other nationality, you share the same anatomy as me. This anatomy, in terms of our vocal tract, limits the sounds that we can easily say in a sentence. Of the two types of sounds in English, consonants and vowels, we cannot easily say two vowel sounds one after the other. Linking sounds bridge the gap between such difficult-to-say combinations of sounds. There are three linking sounds in English: the linking W, the linking J, and the linking R. This lesson will help you to see and hear how linking sounds work and how they can help you to improve not only your accent but also your listening skills.
Ellipsis is the missing out of words or sounds. When writing, it is shown by the ellipsis sign of three dots … When speaking, we just don’t hear certain words in a sentence. It’s not that the words are not present, just that they are obvious and need not be spoken. Ellipsis can cause considerable problems for students of English who are used to saying every word in a sentence. Knowing how ellipsis works is one of the ways you can improve your listening skills. Don’t worry! Ellipsis and near ellipsis are not essential things to learn how to do. You will still be understood by all listeners if you don’t use ellipsis. However, you need to know how and why it happens if you want to fully understand native English speakers. We’re a lazy bunch, us English speakers, and anything we can do to get the message across with the minimal amount of effort we will do.
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.
Fixed pairs, or fixed binomials, are pairs of words separated by a conjunction, which are always used in the same order. They sound unnatural if they are used in the wrong order. If you learn how to use these fixed pairs, your English will be more natural and fluent and, as with phrasal verbs or idioms, you will have learnt an important aspect of English. So, if you are sick and tired of not understanding these binomials, or you have hunted high and low for a lesson about them, do this lesson today.
I’d like to thank Monica, in Italy, for requesting this lesson. The verbs, bring, fetch, get, and take, cause confusion for many students of English. Part of the confusion arises from the fact that these verbs all seem to be fairly similar in meaning. The verbs all describe the action of moving an object from one place to another. What you need to do when using these verbs is to consider where the object being moved is in relation to yourself and others.
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