In a Jiffy

Vocabulary | Conversations | Speaking | English in Use


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. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.


Conversation or dialogue simulations use the latest technology to bring you as close an experience as you can get to an actual English conversation. By imitating real world conversations, you can practice your communication skills on any device and receive instant feedback on your mistakes and your accuracy. The conversation simulators also give you the chance to look at specific areas of English where you might be having problems.


It's not easy to teaching speaking skills remotely through a website, however good the site is. To really practice your speaking skills, you need someone to speak to who can correct your mistakes as you go. The Activities here will go some way to helping you to improve your speaking skills by helping you to mirror the speech you hear in the lesson. In this way, you can notice how your speech differs from that in the Activities and, by recording your own speech, you can adjust your pronunciation to more accurately match that in the Activities.

English in Use

The Activities categorised as English in Use look at the way we use English in everyday life. The Activities cover the actual use of English and examine grammar, punctuation, and functionality of the language. For any student studying English as a second language or English as a foreign language, English in Use Activities are particularly useful for improving speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. These Activities will help you to develop your confidence in using different types of text such as fiction, newspapers and magazines, as well as learning to speak and write about things such as the weather and travel, as well as preparing you for typical situations such as ordering in a restaurant or buying a train ticket.

Donate Newest All Categories Top Random Courses IPA Challenges Word Games Popup Lesson


Learn the phrase in a Jiffy in just a few minutes. This conversation simulation will help you to see just how we use the common English phrase, in a jiffy. A conversation simulation is the closest you can get to a real live conversation with a native English speaker. You will hear how a native English speaker might respond to a series of questions or statements and can practice your own speaking when working your way through this conversation. Conversations simulations are created using the latest e-learning technology and can give you a learning experience unlike anything you can find in a book, and quite unlike most of the material you find on other English learning websites.


Hi, I'm Britlicious. Welcome to this English in a Jiffy lesson. | What does "in a jiffy" mean? | Great. Let's get started. | I already know what "in a jiffy" means. | What do you think it means? | I think it means in a short time. | I think it means slowly. | I don't have any idea. | Yes, that's exactly what it means. | So, this English lesson can be done in just a few minutes. It's great if you don't have much time to spare. | What things can be done in a jiffy? | making a cup of tea | baking a loaf of bread | doing the weekly shop | If I said that we can get started in a jiffy, what would I mean? | We are going to start very soon. | We are not going to start for a while yet. | Something is going to be done quickly. | It means to do something quickly or soon. | Which of the following sentences is correct? | We'll get this lesson done in a jiffy. | We'll be done in a jiffy. | We can start this lesson in a jiffy. | That's right! | Do you think that in a jiffy is a formal or an informal expression? | I think it's formal. | It think it's informal. | I think you could use it both in formal and in informal situations. | Yes, it's an informal British expression. | Which of the following situations could you use in a jiffy in? | When writing a letter to your bank manager or boss. | When speaking to friends. | When writing to a member of your family. | No, you don't want to use "in a jiffy" in formal communication, only for informal communication. | Which expression should you use for formal communication instead? | soon | immediately | right away | That's right. Soon, immediately, or right away, would be more formal ways of saying "in a jiffy". | Are there any other expressions to use in a formal setting? | No, "in a jiffy" means in a short period of time or very soon. | Which of these things could be done in a jiffy? | brush your teeth | make an apple pie | fry an egg | Yes, you can use "in a jiffy" in any informal situation, but not in a formal situation. | Which of these expressions could you use in a formal situation? | at once | directly | forthwith | I'm afraid that would take a while and could not be done in a jiffy. | Which of these things could be done in a jiffy? | scramble an egg for breakfast | swim  lengths of a swimming pool | paint the whole house | I'm afraid that would take ages and could not be done in a jiffy. | Which of these things could be done in a jiffy? | write a short shopping list | comb your hair | prepare a meal for six people | At once, directly, or forthwith, are more formal ways of saying "in a jiffy". | Can we try using "in a jiffy" in a conversation? | I don't have any more time for this lesson, sorry! | Yes, that could be done in a jiffy. | Do you think that in a jiffy is a formal or an informal expression? | I think it's formal. | I think it's informal. | I think you could use it both in formal and in informal situations. | Thanks for doing this lesson. I hope you found it useful. There will be more new material added to the Britlish Library every week, so I hope to see you soon. | Of course we can. | Would you like a cup of tea? I can make one in a jiffy. | I'm going to the shops for some eggs. I'll be back in a jiffy. | Jane went to Japan for a month's holiday yesterday. She'll be back in a jiffy. | Yes, I'd love a cuppa. | It'll be done in a jiffy. | Oh, no! I've run out of milk. Don't worry, though, as I can ask my neighbour for some. I'll be back in a jiffy. | No, that's not the correct use of "in a jiffy" because the thing you are talking about is too long. | So, in a jiffy only talks about a very short space of time. A few minutes, in fact. | Okay. I'll see you in a few minutes. | I think I understand how to use "in a jiffy" now. | I think I should go back and try this again. | Yes, that's right. | Can we try this conversation again? | That's a good use of "in a jiffy". Would you like to go through it with me again? | Yes, please. | No, thank you. I think I've got it. | Not quite. If I say we can get started in a jiffy, it means that we are going to start very soon. Something which will be done in a jiffy will be done very quickly. | Oh, I see. So if we are going to get started in a jiffy we are just about to begin. | Can you explain what it really means, then? 

If you are on a mobile device, or want to open the lesson in a new window, click the button below. The lesson will open in a popup window.

Popup Lesson Donate

Popup Lesson

Use your study record to set lessons as completed, rate them with a 1-5 star rating, record vocabulary from the lesson for future reference, and take notes about the lesson for future reference.

Not Complete!

You have not completed this lesson yet. To complete it, click the Complete Lesson button.

Donate Complete Lesson Completed Lessons

Lesson Rating

You have not rated this lesson.

Donate Rate This All Ratings

Lesson Vocabulary

You have not created any vocabulary items for this lesson yet.

Donate Add New Vocabulary All Vocabulary

Lesson Notes

You have not created any notes for this lesson yet.

Donate Create Notes All Notes

Learn English with the most innovative and engaging English lessons available anywhere on the Internet and all completely free of charge! To personalise your experience in the Britlish Library and to keep track of the lessons you have studied and the vocabulary you have recorded, or the notes you have made about each class, sign up for a free account today.