Would you know what I meant if I said “oops!”? What about “uh-oh!”? Sometimes, Americans use words that aren’t really words to communicate basic thoughts. Today’s video teaches you seven non-verbal expressions that you will hear from your neighbors and co-workers on a regular basis.
What is acceptable to talk about in your culture? Did you know there are different rules about conversation topics, depending on where you live and which culture you live in? Here we give tips for U.S. newcomers so they won't irritate their American friends and co-workers.
In their daily interactions, Americans speak very quickly. For example, fast food workers say things like, "Freertago?" If you're not prepared, you may not understand what they're asking you. Alan gives several examples of fast speech in English.
What happens if you make a mistake? Can you fix it? Can you take it back? Sometimes you can...with verbs of un-doing. Here is how.
Note: When we add the optional preposition “up” to the verb, it gives a sense of completeness, a sense of doing something “up” to 100% fullness.
English learners often say things wrong like:
"I am interesting in American football." or: "The meeting was very bored this afternoon."
Find out why they're wrong and how to fix them with this simple grammar explanation.
When people die, what should you do? One of the first things to do is to read for basic information about the deceased in an obituary. Here we give details about the information that is contained in an American obituary and what they mean.
Knowing your neighbors is a good idea in the United States. There are practical, social reasons for this. There are also language reasons.
The U.S. state of Michigan stands out. Here are the reasons why.
English has a huge vocabulary for two reasons: 1) The Norman Invasion of 1066, 2) Borrowing. Of the hundreds and hundreds of words appropriated from other languages, many come from Arabic. Did you know these words?
This lesson on word stress gives you practice in reducing the first syllable of many common English words. The trick is to employ /ə/ (schwa) as a weak, shortened half-syllable that contrasts with fully stressed syllables.
Americans love their sports. Beyond watching them and playing them, they incorporate numerous sports expressions into everyday conversation, both at home and at work. Do you know these slang expressions that come from American football?
Expressions from the Video
armchair quarterback – someone who comfortably makes judgments from the side, without having any responsibility
end-run around – avoiding conflict or responsibility by going around the normal channels in the organization blitz – an all-out attack, a campaign that is sudden and forceful drop the ball – not fulfilling one's responsibility on a task, harming the project (and annoying other shareholders) Hail Mary – a frantic, last-minute effort to salvage a project (with low-percentage chance of succeeding)
The above expressions are explained in terms of workplace conversations. To find out how they function in American football, ask one of your coworkers to explain.
In this lesson, Alan talks about the opposite side of stress in American English: reduction. The key to making reduced syllables? The little sound called "schwa"!
Instead of asking a direct question, English speakers often start with a statement and then add a little question at the end. Alan goes over the three basic rules for making tag questions. This grammar lesson will be fun, won't it?
Every four years, the United States elects (or re-elects) a President, as is the case with the fall of 2016. Many people, immigrants and natives alike, are confused how the system works, however. What is the Electoral College? (Hint: it's not some kind of university.) And why are people obsessed with the number 270?
We think we want everyone to be treated equally, but really, we don't. Here are some basic reasons why not.
Alan teaches the pronunciation of Vowel #15 in American English: /oi/. He includes spelling patterns, exceptions, and sample sentences for practice.
Alan teaches the pronunciation of Vowel #14 in American English: /au/. He includes spelling patterns, exceptions, and sample sentences for practice.
Alan teaches the pronunciation of Vowel #13 in American English: /ai/. He includes spelling patterns, exceptions, and sample sentences for practice.
Alan teaches the pronunciation of Vowel #12 in American English: /ɚ/. He includes spelling patterns, exceptions, and sample sentences for practice.