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The Chaos - The Absurdity of English Spelling and Pronunciation

Any student of English will have quickly become aware that the spelling of English appears to have been devised by a lunatic. The few spelling “rules” that exist are of little use, as most have multiple exceptions. The absurdity of English spelling has inspired many teachers and writers to demonstrate just how ridiculously complicated it is. Chief among these was Gerard Nolst Trenité, who wrote the oft-quoted poem, The Chaos, which is the subject of this English lesson. To lessen the possibility of error, I decided to first transcribe the entire poem into IPA symbols. I double checked the accuracy of the IPA transcript with all the extant sources of the poem that I could muster. I then fed the IPA transcript through an artificial neural net speech synthesis program to produce the most accurate rendition of the poem possible. I hope you are as pleased with the result as I am.

 

A British English Vocabulary Lesson

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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Random Vocabulary British English Lessons

Here are some random Vocabulary British English lessons taken from the 230 British English lessons currently in the Britlish Library.

What are Vocabulary British English lessons about?

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. Sign up for a free membership and you will get an email each time I add a new lesson to the library.

Words Ending in -try

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.


Fun or Funny

Fun or Funny

A common mistake that students of English make is the use of the words fun and funny. Both can be used as adjectives, but they are not interchangeable and have some important differences of meaning. Only fun is used as a noun. This lesson will help you to understand the difference between fun and funny and give you some practice to help you better understand the difference. I hope that you find the lesson as much fun to do as I did to make.


My Biggest Fear

My Biggest Fear

We all seem to be worried these days. We're worried about the coronavirus. We are worried about the effects of the virus on the economy. We are worried about our futures. Worries are a natural human response to circumstances which arise because, unlike most other animals, we are capable not only of agonising over the past, but also of looking into the future and thinking about how things might be. This human "curse" has a rich vocabulary enabling us to talk about our fears, worries, and concerns with others for, after all, a worry shared is a worry two people have got, and troubles are easier to bear if you know you are not alone in facing them. This lesson aims to help you with some of the vocabulary concerning worries and fears.


Its or It's

Its or It's

It's a source of great confusion to both natives and non natives alike when writing its and it's. This lesson will explain how to know which one to use and why it's needed. It's got questions to help you practice, too. Learn when to use it's as the contracted form of it is or it has, and when to use its as the possessive adjective.


Attracted to or Attracted by

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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