Learn some common British English idioms in this video English lesson from Britlish. The idioms are: Tail between your legs, On its last legs, Get a leg up, Pulling your leg, Shake a leg, Break a leg, Not have a leg to stand on, Stretch your legs, Legwork, and Sea legs. This lesson is part of the Body Idioms series of idioms lessons.
A British English Idioms Lesson
Once I realised that idioms were incredibly problematic for my students, I set about gathering as many idioms as I could and making videos about them for my YouTube channels. I am determined to make idioms as accessible for all students as any other part of the English language. Reading and memorising lists of vocabulary is not the most productive, interesting, or useful exercise in English language learning. I wanted to create a series of lessons in the form of Activation Packs that would encourage the reader to not only learn and remember the idioms, but also to have fun with them, as having fun is a great aid to learning and remembering. It is important that you know as many idioms as possible as native English speakers use them with alarming regularity. I hope that as you work your way through the Idiom Activation Packs you will make some of the idioms your own and use them regularly like a native.
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Here are five more random British English lessons taken from the 230 British English lessons currently in the Britlish Library. I regularly add new lessons to the Britlish Library so make sure you bookmark this page.
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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.
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.
Buying a Train Ticket
A look at how we ask for a train ticket in Britain. This lesson looks at some common vocabulary of train travel including arrivals and departures, first or second class, platforms, single and return tickets, through trains and changes, and tickets. The lesson has a role playing component that will give you the chance to practice a typical, simple conversation about buying a train ticket.
Faults or Mistakes
If you have ever made a mistake or feel that you have faults, then this lesson is for you. You will learn how to use the words, blunder, error, failing, fault, faux pas, flaw, guilty, mistake, to blame, and weakness, without making any mistakes when you do so.
Blood Idioms and Expressions
Blood is the vital fluid found in humans and other animals. There are many expressions in English that use the word blood. The expressions in this lesson include get blood out of a stone, blood is thicker than water, bloodshed, cold-blooded, in cold blood, hot-blooded, blood up, blood boils, blueblood, fresh blood, new blood, half-blood, run in the blood, own flesh and blood, young blood, blood clot, blood bank, blood brother, bloodlust, bloodthirsty, blood sport, blood wagon, bloodhound, bloodletting, bloodshot, bloody, blood diamond, and bloodstained.
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