See how the Britlish Library works and the sort of material you will have full access to with a British Membership.
The links on this page will let you see the content of the library, but you will not have access to the lessons, the Study Record system, or the many other features of the Britlish Library. I hope that this first look encourages you to take out a free 14-day membership. To get an idea of how the lessons work, try some of the FREE lessons today.
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.
Idioms are expressions that are natural to native English speakers. They are very confusing for non-native English speakers. They're confusing because idioms don't mean what the words say. You cannot literally translate English idioms into another language. For example: A black mark has a literal meaning of a black mark on clothing or any other material. It also has a non-literal meaning of a record of something bad you have done.
This lesson uses a video English lesson about colour idioms which I made in 2010, and which has been very popular on YouTube. The video has also been licenced for use by a Taiwanese publisher for inclusion in one of their textbooks. I decided to make this Vocabulary Activation Pack from the video English lesson because so many people like the video and because the vocabulary in it is important for students to learn and master. There are a lot of idioms in this lesson as well as a set of questions which I have designed to help you learn, remember, and use the vocabulary and make it part of your active vocabulary.
The poem is written with 8 syllables per line, and a rhyming word at the end of a pair of lines.
oOoOoOoO is the stress pattern and this is a good poem with which to practice the rhythm of English.
You can listen to the poem, then read and listen, then listen while you read the IPA transcription.
There is also an English Activator at the end of the pack to give you some practice with some of the new vocabulary and expressions.
The three words, both, either, and neither, are very important in English, but they are confusing for both native speakers and students alike. In this Vocabulary Activation Pack, I will show you how to use these three word correctly. They are not very difficult to use once you get the hang of them. The difficulty lies in the fact that either and neither sound very much alike, but are opposite in meaning. Work your way through this Activation Pack and complete the 15 exercises in the Vocabulary Activator and you will no longer have trouble with this vocabulary.
This Vocabulary Activation Pack will help you to learn, remember, and use the following vocabulary items: a wealth of information, around, at your fingertips, bite off more than you can chew, blow your own trumpet, brush up on, chuffed to bits, coding, get a buzz out of, get your head around, get your teeth into, lean, make headway, mind you, no spring chicken, put off, reach the end of life, rebuild, rewrite, rusty, self-taught, sixty is the new forty, something of an understatement, spot on, streets ahead of, strive to, take the bull by the horns, teach an old dog new tricks, to say the least, and worn out. PHP 7 - A Conversation with the Britlish A.I.
An essay by George Orwell which will help you improve your reading while developing your vocabulary. This essay is from one of my favourite English authors, George Orwell. Eric Arthur Blair, as Orwell was christened, was born in British India in 1903, and sadly died terribly young in 1950 in London. He died of tuberculosis, back then, an untreatable infection of the lungs. Orwell gave us such works as Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) My favourite Orwell novel is Down and Out in Paris and London (1933). Orwell wrote many essays on different subjects and each is an insightful look into a bygone age. I recommend the following strategy for doing this English lesson: Listen to the essay on the next page. After listening to the essay, listen to it again while following the text, which is also available in the resources at the top left. After you have listened to the essay at least twice, and have read through the text, move on to the exercises. In the exercises, only listen to the audio if you really have to. If you have questions about the vocabulary in the text, refer to the glossary on the next page. Bookshop Memories by George Orwell.
Matthew Gregory Lewis (9 July 1775 – 14 or 16 May 1818) was an English novelist and dramatist, who wrote Gothic horror stories. He was often called Monk Lewis, due to the success of The Monk, a Romance, his 1796 Gothic novel. The book, The Monk, a Romance, was first published in 1796 and has become required reading in many literature courses. I have edited the text to modernise some of the spellings to British English, as well as removing most of the strangely capitalised words that are scattered through the original text. The capitalisation was typical for the time, but can be confusing for the modern reader. Included in this Vocabulary Activation Pack is the full manuscript of the book, a dictionary of the 2,196 vocabulary items, and audio for all of the vocabulary definitions, the plot summary, and the character profiles. I have also produced audio files for each of the three volumes and chapters of the book. The audio is available in the Vocabulary Activation Pack in the Britlish Library. The Vocabulary Activation Pack in the Britlish Library also contains a plot summary of the book in both text and audio form. I have also extracted 2,196 words from the text which will be useful to you if you are working on building your vocabulary. The Monk, a Romance
Like most native English speakers, I have always used idioms without a second thought for the complexity they pose to non-native speakers. Until I became an English teacher, I had no idea that non-native speakers would have trouble using these common figures of speech. Having been an English teacher since 2003, I know just how much students need to use these all-important idiomatic expressions. I have brought together all of the common British English food idioms that I could find and have presented them to students in an enjoyable, and fun way. I have also added notes to most of the idiom entries. These notes, and cross-references, add more interest for the student. Having collected over 500 idioms for the first book, Body Idioms, I was not surprised to find over 320 idioms for this English lesson. As far as I know, this is the most comprehensive collection of food idioms available anywhere. When the series is complete, students will have the most comprehensive collection of idioms of all description available. Food Idioms looks at how we use over 320 British English Idioms related to food, cooking, eating, and drinking.
In 1843, a man by the name of Samuel Griswold Goodrich wrote and published a book called Famous Men of Ancient Times. In the book, Goodrich looked at the lives of Mohammed, Belisarius, Attila, Nero, Seneca, Virgil, Cicero, Julius Cæsar, Hannibal, Alexander, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Apelles, Diogenes, Plato, Socrates, Alcibiades, Democritus, Pericles, Aristides, Æsop, Solon, Lycurgus, Homer, and Confucius. I chose to make his chapter on Socrates the subject of the video English lesson and Vocabulary Activation Pack here. Socrates - Famous Men of Ancient Times
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was written by Mary Shelley (1797–1851), an English author, and tells the story of Victor Frankenstein. Victor is a young scientist who creates a creature in a scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. Her name first appeared on the second edition, published in 1823. The Vocabulary Activation Pack is designed to help students learn, remember, and use 1,257 items of vocabulary taken from the novel.
Sit back and listen to the entire book read by the Britlish AI in Britlish English.
The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. The play was first performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James’s Theatre in London. The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedy farce This play marked the moment that Wilde’s homosexuality became publicly known when it was revealed in a court case. Wilde was sentenced to imprisonment and his notoriety forced the play to close after only 86 performances. Wilde later published the play from exile in Paris, but he stopped writing comic and dramatic work. You can listen to the entire script of the play being read in a British English accent by watching the video English lesson above. I have extracted the following 2,114 vocabulary items from the play and have put them in a Vocabulary Activation Pack available from the Britlish Library. The Importance of Being Earnest
Learn, understand, and use 500+ British English Idioms. The Problem with Idioms: As a native English speaker, I had always used idioms, as most native speakers do, with little thought as to their complexity. It never occurred to me that non-native speakers would have any trouble in using these common figures of speech. It had never occurred to me that the meaning of many idioms is obscure, and cannot easily be gleaned from the words alone. Having been an English teacher for some 15 years now, I have come to see that students need a lot of help with idioms. As well as the 500+ body idioms, I wanted students to improve their vocabulary, too. In the Idioms Activation Pack, there are exercises to help you learn both the idioms and the vocabulary. The words are taken from the idioms definitions and examples and will help you expand your vocabulary in a fun and memorable way. Body Idioms - 500+ British English Idioms.
Activate the three confusing words, See, Look, and Watch. See, Look, Watch - Vocabulary Activation Pack
If you learn these 3,500 Britlish English words, you will be able to understand 90% of normal, everyday conversations in British English, as well as most written media such as newspapers, magazines, and Internet articles. After years of extensive research using the latest technology to access lists of millions of examples of spoken and written English, I have assembled a definitive list of a little over 3,500 of the most commonly used British English words. If you learn these 3,500 words, you will have an active vocabulary which will let you participate in an English-speaking environment with confidence. The 3,500 Most Common English Words
In the Britlish Library, you will find a system of flashcards and notes that will help you to organise a total of 4,015 of the most common English words. You can start building your vocabulary by clicking here.
English spelling is difficult because the way we pronounce words does not always match the way they are written. Words can also contain letter combinations that sound differently in different words. I have designed this Spelling Activation Pack to help you to spell 189 of the most troublesome words in British English. 189-Word Spelling Activator.
Why is this funny? It’s funny because a dog without a nose would not be able to smell smells, but it could still be a very smelly dog. Smell is both a verb and a noun, while smelly is an adjective. In this Vocabulary Activation Pack, I will be looking at the various words we have to describe different types of smells, be they good, bad, or somewhere in between. Words we will examine include aroma, bouquet, fetor, fragrance, odour, perfume, pong, reek, scent, smell, stench, stink, and whiff. Vocabulary Activation Pack - Smells
English spelling is notoriously difficult, even for native English speakers. Very often, the letters used to spell the word and the pronunciation of the word differ greatly. It can be embarrassing to make spelling errors in emails or other correspondence. Such spelling mistakes can damage your career prospects. I designed this English Activation Pack to activate your English spelling skills. For students who are taking English exams, a lot of spelling mistakes can have a detrimental effect on your overall score. In the writing part of the exam, you will lose valuable marks for spelling mistakes. In the listening part of the exam, you will lose valuable marks if you can’t understand how words are spelt. I have created this English Activation Pack to help you avoid spelling mistakes for over 180 words in English and in your exams. The words included in this English Activation Pack are: Access, Accessible, Accidentally, Accommodate, Accommodation, Acceptable, Achievable, Acknowledge, Acquire, Acquit, Across, Address, Affect, Amateur, Apparent, Arctic, Argue, Argument, Ascend, Assess, Atheist, Attendance, Autumn, Begin, Beginning, Believe, Beneficial, Benefit, Calendar, Capable, Caribbean, Category, Cemetery, Changeable, Circumstance, Circumstantial, Colonel, Column, Commit, Committed, Conscience, Conscientious, Conscious, Consensus, Convalesce, Copyright, Copywriter, Decline, Deductible, Definite, Definitely, Descend, Describe, Desperate, Despite, Disappoint, Discipline, Discreet, Display, Dispute, Ecstasy, Effect, Eighth, Embarrass, Entrepreneur, Environment, Exaggerate, Exceed, Excellent, Exception, Excess, Excite, Excited, Exhilarate, Existence, Fascinate, Fiery, Foreign, Forth, Forty, Fourth, Gauge, General, Government, Gracious, Grateful, Great, Guarantee, Handkerchief, Harass, Height, Hierarchy, High, Humorous, Hundredth, Ignorance, Independence, Indict, Indispensable, Influence, Influential, Inoculate, Intelligence, Jewellery, Judgement, Kernel, Knowledge, Leisure, Liaison, Library, Licence, Literature, Loose, Lose, Maintain, Maintenance, Manoeuvre, Mediaeval, Millennium, Miniature, Miscellaneous, Mischievous, Necessary, Neighbour, Noticeable, Oblige, Occasion, Occasionally, Occur, Occurred, Occurrence, Opportunity, Parallel, Performance, Perseverance, Persuade, Pharaoh, Possess, Possession, Possible, Precede, Principal, Principle, Privilege, Proceed, Proceeds, Process, Professor, Pronounce, Pronunciation, Publicity, Publicly, Pursue, Questionnaire, Queue, Receipt, Recommend, Refer, Reference, Referred, Relevant, Rhyme, Rhythm, Science, Sentence, Separate, Sergeant, Sight, Site, Succeed, Success, Supersede, Surprise, Temperature, Till, Tomorrow, Twelfth, Tyranny, Understandable, Until, Vacuum, Visible, and Weird. Learn not only how to spell these 183 words, but how to pronounce them correctly, too. Spelling Skills Development
Have you ever wondered how to talk about the wind? If you have, then this English Activation Pack is for you. Activating your English Skills. Wind is a very important feature of the weather. Wind is so important that it has its own measurement system, the Beaufort Scale. The Beaufort scale runs from 0 to 12. This English Activation Pack gives you all the language you need to talk about windy weather. The English Activation Pack also contains a host of weather idioms to help you develop your vocabulary. Weather English - Wind
Bring and Take are two verbs which cause problems for many students. I believe this is because there are so many idiomatic expressions which use bring and take. At the request of my student, Monica, I have made this English Activation Pack to settle your doubts once and for all. Work your way through the theory part and then activate your English with the Activation Quizzes. The Activation Quizzes contain hundreds of sentence transformation, or key word transformations exercises. The English Activation Pack also has embedded audio throughout to help with your pronunciation. Bring or Take.
How to say all of the 118 elements of the periodic table while learning about comparatives and superlatives. I’m not a chemist, I’m an English teacher. That much, I hope, is apparent to you by now. I did, however, study Chemistry at school and found it fascinating. I thought it would be fun to make this English Activation Pack if only to refresh my own memory of the names of the elements. For those students out there who have an interest in the periodic table and the chemical elements, this English Activation Pack will ensure that you can correctly pronounce them all with a British accent. Some of the elements are pronounced differently in American English. This English Activation Pack also looks at superlatives and comparatives in English. Most of the information about the elements contains comparative or superlative forms to give you plenty of examples of how to use them. There are also exercises at the back of the eBook to give you some practice using comparative and superlatives in English. The Periodic Table of the Elements
All of the most common irregular English verbs are here pronounced and spelt to help you master them. The verbs are: eat, awake, beat, become, begin, bend, beset, bet, bid, bite, bleed, blow, bear, buy, bind, breed, break, bring, build, burn, burst, bust, come, cast, catch, choose, clothe, cling, cost, creep, crossbreed, cut, deal, do, disprove, dive, drink, dream, draw, drive, dig, dwell, feed, fall, feel, fit, flee, fly, fling, forsake, fight, find, freeze, give, get, grow, grind, have, hear, hold, hew, hide, hit, hang, hurt, inbreed, inlay, keep, kneel, know, knit, lay, lie, lean, learn, lead, leave, lend, leap, let, light, lose, make, mean, meet, mow, pay, plead, prove, put, quit, run, ring, read, rid, ride, rise, say, sing, sink, sit, see, saw, send, set, sew, shave, shear, shed, shoe, shine, shake, shoot, show, shrink, shut, sleep, slay, slide, slit, sling, slink, smell, smite, sneak, sell, seek, sow, speed, spell, spend, spill, spit, split, spoil, speak, spring, spread, spin, stink, steal, stand, strew, stride, strive, strike, string, stick, sting, sublet, swim, sweat, swell, sweep, swear, swing, teach, think, throw, thrive, thrust, tell, take, tear, tread, be, wed, go, weep, wake, win, wear, wind, weave, write, and wring. Irregular English Verbs Activator
Do or Make are two verbs which cause frequent confusion for students. I have created this English Activation Pack as the ultimate resource to help you learn, practice, and remember how to use these two verbs. To see what’s in this English Activation Pack just watch the demonstration video. I can tell you that this English Activation Pack contains 3 embedded videos, a do or make quiz to test your understanding, a conversation simulation, a glossary of new words, and a timeline. All the material in the pack also has a voice narration so you can listen as well as read. Visually stunning and packed with information, this English Activation Pack will stop you making mistakes with do or make.
Some English words begin with the letter H but don’t start with the / h / sound. This is because these words were borrowed into English from the original French. At first, they kept their French pronunciation, but gradually, over time, most of them became Anglicised and lost their French connection. Some of them, however, refused to lose their “posh” French pronunciation. These words, like honour, never had the / h / sound inserted at the beginning. I made this video and the English Activation Pack to help students like you learn which words should be pronounced with an initial / h / sound and which should not. There are 150 common English words in this English Activation Pack, and all have a recording of me giving the correct English pronunciation for you to copy. I have also included two interactive quizzes that will help you to master the vocabulary and the pronunciation. The quiz questions each have an audio file for you to listen to the pronunciation of the word in question. This is an extensive English Activation Pack that took a lot of effort to make. It was made at the request of my wonderful student, Monica, from Italy. Italian, Spanish, and French students will find this English Activation Pack particularly useful, though it will be helpful to any student of English looking to improve their vocabulary and pronunciation. Silent H at the Beginning of Words
This English Activation Pack will help you to get the most out of the YouTube video, Archie Grump Teaches the English of Debt. It contains the complete script of the video. It contains an MP3 of the original video as spoken by Archie. It also contains an MP3 of me reading the script in my own, natural voice, which you may find easier to follow. As well as helping to support my work, you will also get a glossary explaining the meaning of much of the vocabulary in the video. The glossary shows the vocabulary in context from the script, and provides a definition. Finally, there is an interactive quiz to let you see just how much you have learnt from the video English lesson. Archie Grump Teaches the English of Debt.