How to use ‘There is’ and ‘It is’

How to use ‘There is’ and ‘It is’

‘There is’ and ‘it is’ are really common and useful phrases. In some languages, you can translate both these phrases with just one phrase, so they can be confusing. We show you how to use them in this video lesson and you’ll also learn how to use it and there as dummy subjects in lots of common English expressions.

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Click here to learn when to use an apostrophe with it’s and its.

It is and There is

Argh! Waiter, waiter. There’s a fly in my soup.
Shh. Don’t tell everyone. They’ll want one too.

Today we’re looking at how we use two really common and useful phrases – ‘there is’ and ‘it is’. In some languages, you can translate both these phrases with just one phrase, so they can be confusing. Also, we can use ‘there’ and ‘it’ as dummy subjects in English, so we’ll look at that too.
Let’s start with there is.

Oh no! There’s a hole in my sock!
Waiter. There’s a fly in my soup.

We use ‘there is’ to say something exists and if more than one thing exists, we say ‘there are’.

You know, there are three types of people in the world.
Oh yes?
There are people who can count…
Mmhmm.
And there are people who can’t.
Mmhmm. And?
And what?

So ‘there is’ is singular, and ‘there are’ is plural.

Waiter.
Yes madam.
There’s no soup on the menu today.
That’s right madam. I cleaned all the menus this morning.

When we want to say things don’t exist, we use a negative form. Now of course the word ‘there’ can have another meaning.

Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup. What’s it doing there?
Ooo. It looks like the backstroke.

The backstroke is a style of swimming where you lie on your back, but notice this other ‘there’. It has a different meaning. It tells us the location of the fly. When ‘there’ means a location, it usually comes at the end of a sentence.

So where do you want to eat?
Well, there’s a MacDonald’s over there, or a pub over there.
Let’s make it the pub.
OK.

So ‘there’ can tell us where something is, but that’s not the meaning we’re looking at today. We’re looking at this one, where ‘there’ tell us something exists.
Most English sentences, start with a subject – the person or thing that does the action. For example, I complained to the waiter. ‘I’ am the subject and I do the action. The verb is complain and then we say who or what received the action. That’s a normal way of making an English sentence.
But it’s not the pattern we follow to say something exists. We don’t say ‘A hole is in my sock’ or ‘A fly is in my soup’. We could but it’s not natural. To say something exists, we say ‘there’. So there is a kind of dummy subject here. Dummy means it’s not real. It’s just a copy of a subject.
OK, that’s enough grammar. Let’s look at ‘it is’ now. We use ‘it is’ to refer to something that we already know about.

There’s someone at the door. It… It’s Jay!

This is a typical pattern. We use ‘there is’ the first time we mention something to introduce it, and after that we say ‘it is’. Another example.

OK,great, thank you. Bye. There’s a meeting tomorrow. It starts at two.
Good.

So there and it refer to the same thing – the meeting. There refers forward and it refers back. The same thing happens with plurals, except we say ‘there’ and ‘they’.

Waiter. Waiter. There are two flies in my wine.
Don’t worry madam. They’re very small so I don’t think they drank much.

‘There’ refers forward. ‘They’ refers back. So here’s the thing to remember. ‘There’ introduces a topic. And then ‘it’ or ‘they’ refer back. Easy huh?
OK, now let’s move up a level. Do you remember how ‘there’ works as a kind of dummy subject? It’s the same with ‘it’. ‘It’ is the subject in lots of common expressions. Let’s watch some examples and see if you spot it?

It’s a terrible day, but it’ll be nice by the weekend.
It’s really hot and sunny today. I think it’s 90 degrees

We use ‘it’ as a dummy subject to talk about the weather. So, it’s hot. It’s sunny. It’s raining. And temperatures – so it’s 90 degrees. OK, now some other situations.

Ah.
What’s the matter?
It’s Monday again. I hate Mondays.
Let’s see. It’s the 14th today so let’s meet on the 17th.
What’s the time?
It’s 5 ‘clock. Oh, I can go home!

We use ‘it’ to talk about days, dates and times of the clock.
OK, here are your last examples. See if you can see a pattern here.

Jason, it’s lovely to see you again.
It’s great to be here.
They’re digging up our street. It’s hard to concentrate with all the noise.
It’s very cold in here. Can we put the heating up?
Why? It’s very comfortable.
It’s awful eating here. The waiter’s terrible!
It’s a pity you have to go.
I’ll be back soon.
Bye Jason.
Bye-bye.

So it’s lovely, it’s great, it’s hard, it’s cold, it’s comfortable, it’s awful, it’s a pity. We can use it’s to give our opinion and comment on a situation or place. So you can use ‘it’ as a dummy subject to say what you think about a situation that you’re in.
And that’s it. Oh, that’s another expression with ‘it’. When I say ‘that’s it’, I mean we’ve finished. If you’ve enjoyed this video, please share it with a friend. And make sure you subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss our future videos. It’s great to have your support! Bye.

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The R sound in British and American English

The R sound in British and American English

Learn how to pronounce the R sound in British and American English. Jay has a rhotic accent and Vicki has a non-rhotic accent. You’ll hear how that affects our pronunciation of R before consonants and at the end of words. We’ll help you recognize the pronunciation differences and also share some tips for making perfect R sounds in both British and American English.

Click here for some more pronunciation lessons.
Click here for more videos about British and American English.

The R sound in British and American English

Hey Jay. Have you seen my keys anywhere?
Yes. Where were they…? Ah. Yes. Here they are.
Thank you. You know Jay, you make rhotic R sounds.
Really? Erotic R sounds?
No. Rhotic R sounds. It means you pronounce your Rs strongly.
Oh.

We received a request from someone called S.
They said ‘Can you do a pronunciation video on the British and American pronunciations of ‘ear’. Also, maybe include ‘air’ in that video too.
What a good idea! Thank you S.
Yes. Vicki’s British and I’m American, so we can do this.
That’s right. It’s one of the big differences in our accents. We say our R sounds differently.
Yeah.
So listen to how Jay and I say the words.

Ear.
Ear.
Air.
Air.

Did you hear the difference at the end of the words? Jay pronounced the r sound more strongly.

Ear.
Ear.
Air.
Air.

Linguists sometimes divide accents and dialects into 2 types: rhotic and non-rhotic accents. Rhotic is when people pronounce the R sounds strongly, like Jay.

Ear, air.

And in non-rhotic accents like mine, we sometimes drop the R sound or say it very weakly.

Ear, air.

There’s a lot of regional variation though.
Yes. There are parts of the UK where people have rhotic accents like Jay. For example, Scotland and Ireland and in the south west of England too
And there are parts of the US where they say the R sound like Vicki, like New England and parts of the south.
But generally speaking, accents in the UK are non-rhotic and accents in the US are rhotic.
So my accent is rhotic, and Vicki’s is non-rhotic.
Now, this doesn’t mean I never pronounce r sounds. I do. I say them clearly when they come in front of a vowel, much like Jay.

Red.
Red.
Kilogram.
Kilogram.
Carry.
Carry.

So we sound pretty similar there. But if the R sound is followed by a consonant, or if it’s at the end of a word, I’ll say it VERY gently. Let’s have some examples.

Heard
Heard
Work.
Work.
Turn.
Turn.
World.
World.
Hard.
Hard.
Large.
Large.
Nearly.
Nearly.
North.
North.
Hurt.
Hurt.
Park.
Park.

Did you hear the difference? Jay’s R sounds were stronger. Let’s see what happens when the R is at the end of the word now.

Farmer.
Farmer.
Here.
Here.
Brother.
Brother.
Were.
Were.
Where.
Where.
Door.
Door.
Measure.
Measure.
Weather.
Weather.
Clever.
Clever.

So in British English, it sounds like you don’t pronounce the r sound in the middle and at the end of words?
Hmmm. Yes, but my feeling is, we do pronounce it. It’s just very weak and gentle.
The R sound is one of the big differences in our accents.
We live in the US and when I speak, people normally understand me just fine, but sometimes I have to change my R sounds to try to sound American. Like, we live on a street called Arch Street. How do you say that Jay?
Arch Street.
Arch Street.
Arch Street.
You see his R sound is stronger. So if I get in a taxi, I try to copy him and I say Arrrch Street.
Oh that’s good!
Yes, well I want to be sure the taxi driver knows where to take me.
Oh. Tell everyone your refrigerator story.
OK. We needed to buy a fridge so called a department store and it had an automated voice recognition system, so I was talking to a machine not a human being. And it said ‘What department do you want?’ so I said ‘fridges’ and it said, ‘We don’t recognize that request’. So I concentrated very hard and I said Rrrefrridgeratorrrs, and it put me straight through.
Ha! So if you want to sound American, make sure you pronounce your R sounds.
Yes. We should talk about that because the R sound is one of the most difficult English sounds for my students to make.
The first thing to understand is your tongue is a very flexible instrument. You can push it out and make it pointy, or you can pull it in. For an R you need to pull it in and back so it gets fatter and thicker. The sides of your tongue might touch the inside of your teeth at the back. Rrrrr. The most common mistake my students make is they let the tip of their tongue touch the top of their mouth. Don’t do that. Your tongue can curl up and get close, but it must not touch. Rrrrr.

Rrrr.

You can hold out this sound. Try it. Rrrrr. You don’t want to drop your jaw.

Rrrun – run.
Rrrun – run.
Rrran – ran.
Rrran – ran.

In American English the lips round a little when R is at the start of a word. There’s less rounding of the lips in British English.

Red.
Red.
Wrote.
Wrote.

When R is at the end of words, there’s not much rounding in British or American.

Great. So is that it?
Yes. And I need to go now. Where did you park the car, Jay?
You mean where did I park the car? In the garage.
The garage. Bye-bye everyone.
Bye-bye.

Click here for some more pronunciation lessons.
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How to use much, many, a lot and lots of

How to use much, many, a lot and lots of

Much and Many – do you know how to use these words in English? And what about lots of and a lot of? We can help you understand them fully and avoid mistakes.

Join us for a tour of our deck and learn how to use these words and phrases with countable and uncountable nouns. You’ll see how we use them in action and you’ll also see where we’ll be for the fireworks on this year’s July 4th holiday.

Click here to see our video on some and any.

Much, Many, A lot of and Lots

This lesson’s about some very common and really useful words.
Much and many.
And ‘a lot of’ and ‘lots of’.
We’ll show you how we use them with countable and uncountable nouns.
And we’ll also give you a tour of our deck.
Our deck?
Yeah. You’ll love it.

We live in Philadelphia in a small house with lots of stairs.
There are four floors and then on top, we have a deck, so there are 5 floors really.
You have to climb up 56 stairs to get to the deck.
56?
Yes I counted them.
Well it’s worth it. We have a lot of fun up there. Let’s take a camera up and we’ll shoot some video.
Upstairs?
Yes! And you can bring a light too.
Pww.
This is our deck. We often have dinner up here in the summer.
There are a lot of stairs in this house.
Yes. This is our view. We’re in the middle of the city so there are lots of skyscrapers.
And there’s lots of noise out here.
Well yes. There’s lots of traffic.
Behind those buildings is the Philadelphia Museum of Art and on July 4th there’s a big fireworks display there.
We can see the fireworks because they go up above the buildings so we’re going to have a little party and invite some friends over to watch.
Now, we haven’t invited many people because, well, there isn’t much space here.
But we can cook up here. This is Jay’s grill and it’s ridiculously large.
No, it’s not. It’s perfect.
How many hamburgers can you cook on this grill?
28.
And how many people can we seat at the table?
Six.
Exactly. It takes up too much room. It’s dirty too, Jay. You need to clean it.
But it’s so much work.
How much gas is in the tank?
Let me check. Ah. There isn’t much, but I have another tank downstairs.
Well if you go and get it, I’ll show everyone the kitchen. Come with me. There used to be a cupboard here but we took it out and built a little kitchen with a sink and a little fridge. There isn’t much room, but we can keep cold drinks in here. Hmm. We don’t have much beer, but I’ll get some more before the party.
There are too many stairs in this house.
Well done. Come and sit down and have a beer.
Oh, thank you. Happy July 4th everyone.
Happy 4th.

OK. You heard lots of examples of these words and phrases. Let’s start with ‘a lot of’. We use it to talk about a large number or quantity, and we use it with plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns.
Another phrase we use is ‘lots of’.

We’re in the middle of the city so there are lots of skyscrapers.
And there’s lots of noise out here.
Well yes. There’s lots of traffic.

‘A lot of’ and ‘lots of’ mean the same thing. Lots of is a little more informal, but it’s the same.
We can make our positive sentences into negatives. That works.
Or we can make them into questions. That works too.
Now, I have a question. Can you say: ‘There are many skyscrapers’ or ‘There is much traffic’?
Technically yes, because many and much mean ‘a lot of’. BUT we don’t. These sentences sound strange and unnatural and formal. You don’t want to sound like that. To sound natural say ‘a lot of’ or ‘lots of’ in positive sentences like these.
Written English is a little different. Let’s look at an example.
So this is written English, and it’s fairly formal. Here’s what we’d probably say, if we were speaking.

A lot of people like to visit their family for the July 4th holiday. So lots of Americans spend a lot of time traveling.

So positive sentences – say ‘a lot of’ or ‘lots of’.
Only say much and many in negative sentences and questions.

There isn’t much room, but we can keep cold drinks in here. Hmm. We don’t have much beer.

These are negative sentences and I said much.
Notice the word room. It’s not a room like a bedroom or living room in a house. It’s a different meaning. Room means space here and it’s an uncountable noun. With uncountables like room and beer, say much. With countables, say many.

Now, we haven’t invited many people because, well, there isn’t much space here.

People is an irregular plural. One person, two people. So it’s many with countables, like people and much with uncountables, like space.
Let’s look at some questions now.

How many hamburgers can you cook on this grill?
28
And how many people can we seat at the table?
Six.
How much gas is in the tank?
Let me check. Ah. There isn’t much.

If you’re asking about countables like hamburgers, ask how many.
And if it’s uncountable, like gas, ask how much.
Now I have another question. We normally only use much and many in negative sentences and questions. BUT, are there any exceptions? Are there any positive sentences where we say much and many? Yes, there are, and you heard some.

It takes up too much room. It’s dirty too, Jay. You need to clean it.
But it’s so much work.
There are too many stairs in this house.

We can use the phrases ‘too much’ and ‘too many’ and ‘so much’ and ‘so many’ in positive sentences. That’s the exception.
And that’s it.
Wow Vicki. That was ‘a lot’ of grammar.
Yeah, I hope it wasn’t ‘too much’. If you liked this video please share it with ‘lots of’ friends.
And I have a question for everyone.
What’s that?
Do you have a deck? Tell us in the comments below. What’s it like?
Or do you have a garden?
She means a yard.
We don’t have a garden but we love our deck.
Yes and I can’t wait for the fourth of July. Bye-bye everyone.
Bye.
Click here to see our video on some and any.

Some and Any – Three rules you need to know

Some and Any – Three rules you need to know

Some and Any – do you know how to use these words with countable and uncountable nouns? In this video you’ll learn three important grammar rules that will help you get them right.
You’ll also learn how we make lentil soup!

Click here to see our video on much , many, a lot of and lots of.
Click here to learn how we use the uncountable noun ‘travel’.
Click here to see more grammar videos.

Some and Any – countable and uncountable nouns

In this lesson we’re looking at how we use some and any in English.
And you’re also going to see how we make lentil soup.
We’ve had a lot of requests for this one.
What? Lentil soup?
No! Some and any.
Before we start, here’s a quick reminder about countable and uncountable nouns. In English some nouns are countable.

One, two. Two onions
Three carrots.

And some English nouns are uncountable. We can’t count them.

Salt.
Soup.

Countable nouns can be singular or plural. We use a singular verb form with singular nouns and a plural verb form with plural nouns. Uncountable nouns always take a singular verb form.
Great! So now we’re ready for some work with some and any.
We use both these words with countable AND uncountable nouns. So let’s get cooking and see them in action.

We’re making lentil soup today. It’s great for vegetarians and vegans.
Jay went vegan about six months ago. So he doesn’t eat any meat or any fish.
And no dairy products. So no cow’s milk or cheese.
Or eggs.
That’s right. I don’t eat any food that had a face or a mother.
OK. Here are some of our ingredients. We have some lentils, some celery and an onion.
An old onion. And a hot pepper.
Can you get some carrots out of the fridge?
How many?
About three or four.
OK.
And do we have any tomatoes?
No.
It doesn’t matter. And is there any stock?
Erm. There’s some.
Oh good. I’ve got some here.
How old is it?
It smells OK.
Stock is a liquid we use in soup.
It’s made by cooking meat or bones in water.
But this wasn’t made with meat?
No, this was made with vegetables.
Great. I’ll cut up the onion and you can cut up the celery.
OK.
So I was surprised when Jay went vegan because you used to love meat and fish. Why did you go vegan?
It was for health reasons. It’s good for my heart and I’ve lost weight. About seventeen pounds so far.
Excellent. So if you want to lose some weight, go vegan.
It’s good for the environment and for animals, of course.
Finished?
Yes.
OK. This soup is very simple. We just put the vegetables in the pot. Add some stock and cook it.
Shall I add all the lentils?
Um, just some.
OK.
Let’s try it.
OK. We need a spoon.
Oh, there aren’t any in the drawer.
Look in the dishwasher.
Sure. This one?
Yes. Any spoon will do. You try it.
Sure. Hmm. It’s a bit tasteless.
Mmm. Can you get me some salt?
Sure. Do you want some pepper too?
Yes.
Oh. And we forgot the hot pepper.
Oh. Let’s put some in.
Vicki said ‘some’. But I think I’ll put it all in.
We’re going to try it again. [Panting noises.]

So what do these words mean and when do we use them? We’ll start with ‘some’. We use some to talk about a limited number or quantity.

Shall I add all the lentils?
Um, just some.
OK.
Vicki said ‘some’. But I think I’ll put it all in.

So some means a limited amount. Not all. And we use it with PLURAL countable nouns and uncountable nouns. But not singular countable nouns. With singular countables, we say ‘a’ or ‘one’.

How can everyone tell if a noun is countable or uncountable?
Good question. You just have to learn them one by one, but we’ll make another video about that later.
It’s interesting because salt and rice are uncountable, but lentils are countable.
Yes. Lentils are countable.
One lentil, two lentils, three lentils, four lentils, five lentils, six lentils, seven lentils.…
Pwww!

We use some when we don’t know or we don’t want to say an exact number or quantity.

906, 907, 908, 909…
Jay, let’s just say there are some lentils.
There are some lentils.

So ‘some’ is vague. It means a number bigger than one, but it’s indefinite.

Can you get some carrots out of the fridge?
How many?
About three or four.
OK.
And is there any stock?
Erm. There’s some.
Oh good.

Now, what about ‘any’? Any is similar. Again it’s an indefinite number or quantity and again, we use it with plural countable and uncountable nouns. But any also has a negative meaning. Any can mean none.

Jay went vegan about six months ago. So he doesn’t eat any meat or any fish.
And no dairy products. So no cow’s milk or cheese.
Or eggs.
That’s right. I don’t eat any food that had a face or a mother.

So Jay doesn’t eat any meat, any fish, any eggs. It means he eats none of them.
So now you know the meanings of some and any and it’s time to lean some grammar rules.
Here’s a useful basic rule. Use some in positive sentences. Use any in negative sentences and questions. This rule doesn’t work all the time but it’s a great starting point. If I have elementary students, I teach them this rule.

We have some lentils, some celery and an onion.
We need a spoon.
Oh, there aren’t any in the drawer.
Do we have any tomatoes?
Ermm, no.

So this is the basic rule you want to follow in positive sentences, negatives and questions. Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course! An important one is requests and offers. They’re special.

Can you get me some salt?
Sure. Do you want some pepper too?

So here’s rule two. In questions where we’re asking for things, or offering things, we say some. So in normal questions you’d say any, but if the questions are requests or offers, say some. Got it?
Good, because now we’re going to shift up a level for rule three. Are you ready?
We use ‘any’ in positive sentences when we mean ‘it doesn’t matter which one’.

Look in the dishwasher.
Sure. This one?
Yes. Any spoon will do.

There are lots of spoons in the dishwasher. It doesn’t matter which one you choose because they’re all OK. Another example.

I’m hungry.
Well there’s soup in the fridge.
Oh really? What’s this?
Tomato soup. And there’s pea soup and also lentil soup.
Which one can I have?
Any one you like. They’re all vegan.

So any can mean it’s all the same. It doesn’t matter which one. As your English goes up in level, you’re going to find this useful. So make sure you’ve subscribed to our channel, so we can tell you more about it.
And in the meantime these are the key rules you need to know about some and any.
If you’ve enjoyed this video, please share it with a friend.
Yes. See you all next week, everyone.
Bye.
Bye-bye.
Click here to see our video on much , many, a lot of and lots of.
Click here to learn how we use the uncountable noun ‘travel’.
Click here to see more grammar videos.

i before e except after c – a useful English spelling rule

i before e except after c – a useful English spelling rule

English spelling is tricky because sometimes words look nothing like they sound. But here’s a rule that can help: i before e except after c.
Join Vicki and Jay at a spelling bee, or spelling competition as we call them in the UK. You’ll learn when it’s useful to apply the rule and when it isn’t. You’ll also meet our friend Claire from English at Home and learn about some British and American English differences.

Click here to watch more ‘how to’ videos.
Click here to learn about some more British and American differences.

i before e except after c – an English spelling bee

Let’s face it. English spelling is crazy. The way we write words is often nothing like they sound. But maybe there are some rules we follow.
We’ve collaborated on this video with our good friend Clare from English at Home.
Clare is British like me, and she has a YouTube channel too.
Make sure you subscribe to her channel so you can see all her great lessons.
Yeah. In this lesson we’re going to take you to a spelling competition.
Or a spelling bee as we call them in American English.
While you watch, try to work out what spelling rule we’re following.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Tiddly on Thames spelling competition. Let’s meet our two finalists: Jay and Vicki.
OK. The first word is for Vicki. Chief. For example, global warming is one of the chief problems we face today. Chief.
CHIEF.
Correct. Now Jay, your word is believe. For example: I don’t believe in ghosts.
Don’t you? I do.
Please spell the word, Jay.
BELIEVE.
Correct. Vicki, your next word is brief. For example, there was a brief pause in the conversation.
BRIEF.
Excellent. OK, Jay your next word is receive. For example: They posted the letter but we didn’t receive it.
So they mailed it but we didn’t get it?
Just spell the word ‘receive’, please Jay.
RECEIVE.
Correct.

Do you know the spelling rule? It’s i before e except after c. So if you’ve got an i and an e together, the i comes first.
Chief, believe and brief follow this pattern and so do lots more words:
achieve, niece, diesel, hygiene, piece, thief.
But if you have an i and an e after c, the e comes first. So receive follows this pattern and there are others.
Deceive, deceit, receipt, ceiling, conceive.
So this is the rule, but do we always follow it? Let’s go back to the competition and see.

OK, Jay, your next word is leisure. For example, when people work shorter hours, they have more leisure time.
Oh, you mean leisure.
I mean leisure. Please spell the word.
LEISURE.
Correct. Vicki, your next word is foreign: For example: Jay is American. He isn’t British. He’s foreign.
Oh yeah, foreign. FOREIGN.
Correct. The score is three points to Vicki and three points to Jay. This is the final round. Jay, your word is scientist. For example, the British scientist Charles Babbage invented the computer.
I thought it was invented by American scientists.
Just spell the word please.
SCIENTIST.
Correct. Vicki, please spell the word efficient. For example, the British National Health Service is very efficient.
Is it?
Yes, it’s excellent. EFFICIENT.
Correct.

OK, so there we saw some examples where the rule doesn’t work. The i didn’t come before the e. And there are more words where the rule doesn’t work.
Some are common words, like their, and the number eight. And there are some measurement words – weigh, weight and height. And then there’s weird.
Weird means strange or peculiar. Perhaps you can remember how to spell it because the spelling of weird is weird.
And we don’t always follow the other part rule – the except after c. So after c it should be e then i, but look at the words science and efficient. It’s i then e. We also have words like ancient, glacier and conscience.
So is it worth learning this rule if we break it? Before you answer we want to show you something.
Here are more some words that follow the rule. Notice their pronunciation. They all have an eee sound. Beleeeve, cheeeef, acheeeve, eee.
And here are some words with a c. They all follow the rule too! Again there’s an eee sound. Receeeive. Ceeeiling, deceeeive,
So if we change the rule a little, it works. We just have to add a bit that says, ‘if the word has an eee sound’.
Lets go back to the competition and see who wins.

Our competitors are tied, so we will now go to a sudden death round. You will both spell the same word. But if one person makes a mistake, the other person will win. Vicki, please put your headphones on so you can’t hear Jay’s answer.
Jay, the word is neighbour. For example, our neighbour complained about the noise from the party. Neighbour.
NEIGHBOR.
Thank you Jay. Vicki, please take off your head phones and spell the word neighbour.
NEIGHBOUR
That is the correct answer. Congratulations Vicki! Jay, I’m afraid you spelt it wrongly.
But… but my answer was right. That’s how we spell it in American English.
American spelling is weird.
Hard luck Jay and well done Vicki.

And that’s it for this week.
Make sure you subscribe to our channel to see more of our videos.
And be sure to subscribe to Clare’s channel, English at Home, too. See you next Friday everyone! Bye-bye.
Click here to watch more ‘how to’ videos.
Click here to learn about some more British and American differences.

Top tip for international communication

Top tip for international communication

Do you want to communicate with people from other cultures? Then this video is for you.
Back in the 1980s computer scientists were creating the world wide web and looking for ways to connect computers that spoke different languages. The Dutch scientist, Jon Postel, came up with a computer protocol that’s helpful and relevant for international and intercultural communication today.

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Top tip for communicating across cultures

I want to share my number one, top tip for English learners. It might surprise you, but I think it’s really useful for anyone who wants to communicate with people from other countries and cultures.
OK, Vicki, what’s your top tip for communicating in English?
Well, before I tell you, we need to travel back in time. Are you ready?
So where are we?
In the 1980s.
Hey, this was a great decade. Oh, I like your outfit.
Thank you. Big hair. Big earrings.
And big shoulders.
Oh yes, I’m wearing shoulder pads. And you look pretty cute as well.
Thank you. I think we called this the preppie look.
Very nice.
So what’s going on around here? Who is in power?
Well… in the United Kingdom, it’s Margaret Thatcher. She’s the Prime Minister and the leader of the Conservative Party.
So in America it’s Ronald Reagan. He’s the Republican President, and he’s a conservative too.
When we’re talking about politics, conservative describes politicians who don’t like sudden social change.
They like traditional ways of doing things.
And liberal politicians like new ideas and they support people having a lot of political or economic freedom. But I think you use this word a little differently in America.
Yes. Liberal can mean the same thing, but in American English liberal also means left wing. So in America liberals look to the government to solve social problems.
That’s different in British English. We’d say politicians like that are left wing, but they’re not necessarily liberal.
OK, that’s enough politics. Are you going to tell us your top tip now?
Ooo yes. My top tip for communicating in English comes from a nineteen eighties invention.
Which one? There were lots of new inventions in the 1980s.
Oh yes.
There were computer games like Donkey Kong. I loved that game!
And the game boy! That was a lot of fun.
Compact disks were invented in the nineteen eighties
And disposable contact lenses. Disposable means you can throw them away.
Disposable cameras were invented in the 1980s too.
There was the first Apple Macintosh computer. I had one like this.
And Microsoft Windows. That was a huge thing and of course we still use it today.
But what was the biggest invention?
Let me think.
It changed our lives. It changed everyone’s lives
I’ve got it!
DNA. Genetic fingerprinting.
Good guess. But no. I’m talking about the internet – or more specifically, the world wide web.
Duh! Of course!
Back in the 1980s computer scientists were building a worldwide network of computers. It wasn’t easy because the computers spoke different languages. Getting them to communicate was a problem – a big challenge they had to overcome.
Somehow they had to make the computers connect and talk to one another – and be understood clearly. So they came up with protocols– protocols are rules and behaviours that computers have to follow.
One of the fathers of the internet was a Dutch computer scientist called Jon Postel and he wrote a protocol that went: be conservative in what you do and be liberal in what you accept from others. It became famous.
So be conservative and be liberal. But Jon Postel wasn’t talking about politics.
No. He was using conservative and liberal with a different meaning. It’s a similar meaning but it’s different.
Remember these computers were speaking different languages. As I understand it, when Jon Postel said conservative he meant the computers should try to send clear messages – written in traditional ways that other computers expected –so nothing surprising. But when the computers received messages they had to be liberal – they had to be open to new or different ways of saying things.
It helped them to communicate and understand one other.
So is this your top tip for communicating?
Yes! Well, it’s not MY top tip because it’s Jon Postel’s, but I think it’s very valuable.
People and computers face challenges when they’re communicating internationally. There are language differences and there are also different ways of thinking – cultural stuff – so you have to be extra clear when you’re speaking or writing. But when you’re reading or listening, you want to be very flexible and open to new ideas so you can accept different ways of thinking and saying things.
So be conservative when you’re speaking and liberal when you’re listening. Actually that sounds like a good code for life in general.
I think you’re right. I think when Jon Postel wrote this, he was acknowledging that there would be communication mistakes with the computers.
It’s the same when we’re speaking or writing in another language. We’re going to make mistakes.
Exactly. But that shouldn’t stop us trying. We just have to be as clear as we can.
And keep trying.
Exactly.
I wonder what our viewers think about this. Do you think that this is a useful tip? Write and tell us in the comments.
And let us know what your top tip is for communicating in English.
We love hearing from you.
So keep watching and subscribe.
Oh, Vicki. One last question.
What’s that?
How are we going to get back to the twenty first century?
I think I’ve found something that might help there.
Hey, is that a DeLorean?
Yep.
With a flux capacitator?
Yep.
Then it’s back to the future, baby!
Yay!

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8 words that are hard to pronounce in English

8 words that are hard to pronounce in English

We’re back with another eight words that are hard to pronounce in British and American English. Watch some English learners pronounce them and learn how Vicki and Jay say them.

You’ll learn how to say: fifth, basically, chaos, refrigerator, fridge, Tuesday, photograph, photography, height, weight and eight. You’ll also get some pronunciation tips for how to pronounce long words and shifting words stress.

Click here and click here to see more words that are hard to pronounce

Click here learn more about British and American English differences

8 words that are hard to pronounce in English

Hi everyone. I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American.
And we’re back with eight more words that are to pronounce in English.
We asked some English learners to pronounce some tricky words for us.
We’re going to see how they say them and then we’ll show you how Vicki and I say them.
So in British and American English. Ready? First word…

Fif.
Feeth.
Fifth, fife, feeth.
Fit. Fit? I don’t know.

Ha! That was a hard one to start with.
Yes, it’s tricky because you have to move from f to th. With f your top teeth are touching your bottom lip. f. f .
f. f.
But with th you have to bring your tongue forward. It touches your teeth. th. th.
th. Fifth. Fifth. You have to move your tongue forward very quickly.
Yeah.
Fifth.
Fifth.
Try saying it with our learners.

Fifth. Fifth. Fifth. Fifth.

OK. What’s next?
Let’s see.

Basically. Basically. Ba…Basically.

Nearly! But how many syllables does this word have?
I say bay-sic-ally – three syllables.
Me too.

Basically. Basically. Basically. Basically. Basically.

That’s it!
Yes! They did well. Say it with us.
Basically.
Basically.
Great, what’s next?
The next word comes from Greek.

Caow. Shoaos. Cawoh. Sh… Showos. Sh… Showos.

Oooo. No, no, no. It starts with a k sound and we pronounce the s at the end. Chaos.
Chaos.
Chaos.
Chaos means in a mess. When there’s chaos, nothing is organized.
Yes, everything is confused and nothing is in order.
It’s like when you’ve been cooking. The kitchen is in chaos.
What do you mean?
It takes me ages to clean up. Say it with us.
The kitchen’s in chaos.
The kitchen’s in chaos when Vicki’s been cooking.
OK, what’s next?
Let’s try a long one.

Oh. Re… Refri… No, I don’t… Refri… No.

Ha! OK, here’s a trick. When it’s a long word, sometimes it’s easier to start at the back and work forward. It’s called backchaining. Try it with me.
-tor
-rator
-erator
-FRIGerator
reFRIGerator
Could you say it?
Try it with our learners.

Refrigerator. Refrigerator. Refrigerator.

You know we say this word a little differently.
Yeah. Your r sounds are stronger than mine. It’s a British and American difference.
Refrigerator.
Refrigerator.
But I have a different way to say this word that’s much easier.
What’s that?
In British English we usually just say fridge.
Fridge.
Fridge?
Yeah, we say fridge. It means the same thing.
Don’t listen to her. It’s a refrigerator.
OK, here’s a useful word.

Tuesday. Tuesday. Tuesday. Tuesday.

They’re pretty good.
Yes. Now, I can say this word in two ways. Tuesday and ‘Tuesdii’.
Ah, me too.
Tuesday and ‘Tuesdii’.
Tuesday and ‘Tuesdii’.
But there’s a slight difference in how we say the first syllable. See if you can hear it.
Tuesday.
Tuesday.
You say too and I say tyoo. Did you hear the difference? In British English there’s a little j sound. ‘Tjuesday’.
That’s weird.
Tuesday.
Tuesday.
So you can ‘chjoose’ how you say it.
Try it with our learners.

Tuesday. Erm, Tuesday. Tuesday. Tuesday.

OK, next one.
Yes. This one’s really hard.

Owry. Ayree. Ahree.

Oh no! They were all wrong!
The pronunciation is awry. What does awry mean Vicki?
If something goes awry, then it doesn’t go in the way that was planned.
So if we plan to have a party on our deck but then it rains, our plans go awry.
That’s right.
Awry.
Awry.
We had to help our learners with that one.

Oree…
Awry.
Awry? OK.
Oree? Oree?
Awry.
Awry. All right.

OK, what’s next?
Let’s see.

Photo-graphy. Photo-graphy. Photo-graphy.

Ah, not quite!
It’s tricky because there’s a PHOTograph – that’s the picture, and then there’s the activity of taking photographs and that’s phoTOgraphy.
Yes, the word stress shifts.
Photograph. Photography.
Photograph. Photography.
So in photography you’ve got to stress TOG. Photography.
Say it with our learners.

Photography. Photography.

OK, let’s have the last one.
This word’s very common.

Hate. Hate? Height. Hate. Height.

So is it hate or is it height?
It’s height. So how tall or high off the ground something is.
Hate is a different word. Like I hate going to the dentist.
Me too. But here’s how we say height.
Height.
Height.
It’s confusing because of the spelling. Because with the number eight we say eight.
Yes, and there’s also weight, so how heavy something is. Weight.
But the vowel sound is different in height.
Eight, weight, height.
Eight, weight, height.
English spelling is really confusing.
Yes. Say height with our learners.

Height. Height. Height. Height. Yeah!

If you want to see some more words that are hard to pronounce, we’ve made some other videos.
Yeah, I’ll put a link here.
And let us know in the comments what words you find hard to pronounce in English and perhaps we can make another video about them too.
See you all next week everyone!
Bye.
Bye-bye.
We’d like to say a big thank you to all the English learners who helped us make this video.
They were terrific and such good fun.
Click here and click here to see more words that are hard to pronounce
Click here learn more about British and American English differences

Make or do – The rules we follow

Make or do – The rules we follow

Make or do? Do you ever wonder which verb to use? We have some good news and some bad news. The good news is there are some rules we follow and you can learn them in this video. You’ll see how we use do for non-specific activities and work and how we use make with creative tasks. The bad news is there’s still more work to do because we use these verbs in lots of common expressions that you’ll need to learn one by one. But not to worry. We have another video with some of the common ones here.

Click here to see another video about make and do.
Click here to see some more vocabulary videos.

Make or Do? The rules we follow

Can you do this for me?
No problem.
Thank you! That was Jason. He does a lot of work for me. That was Jay. He makes a lot of work for me.

Make and do. Do you ever wonder which verb to use in English? I have some good news and some bad news. Let’s start with the good news. There are some rules we follow and you can learn them in this video. These rules will help you get them right. Let’s start with do.

Do you want to come shopping with me?
Oh yes. Oh, but I need to do my hair first.
Oh. How long will that take?

Doing your hair is a non-specific activity. It might mean washing it, or straightening it, or maybe just brushing it. Do is a general purpose verb we use for unspecified activities.

Oh, we’d love to see you. OK. Half an hour. Bye.
They’re coming in half an hour?
Yeah.
You do the kitchen and I’ll do the living room. OK.

These are non-specific actions. Doing might mean cleaning, putting things away, or hoovering or vacuuming as they say in American English.
So here’s the rule. With non-specific activities, use ‘do’. We use it when we don’t say exactly what action we’re talking about. It’s just something.

Do you need a hand?
Ah, no thanks. I think I’ve done everything.
Ah, great.
Jay, why didn’t you wake me?
It’s Sunday.
Oh! We’re not doing anything today.
Ah!
What’s the matter?
I’m bored. I have nothing to do.
Argh! Argh! Argh! Help! Do something!

So if you’re talking about everything, anything, nothing, or something, say ‘do’. Do is non-specific.
OK, next one. We also use ‘do’ when we’re talking about work. So we do homework. We do housework and chores, those small jobs around the house that we all have to do.
Ah!

What’s the matter? I’m bored.
I have nothing to do.
Well, you could do the laundry.

We do jobs like the shopping, and our taxes.

You need to do your taxes.
Ooo, don’t remind me. I don’t want to think about it.

So here’s another rule. We often use do when we’re talking about jobs and work.
Now let’s look at ‘make’. We use ‘make’ to talk about creative activities, when we bring something new into existence.

Are you making something?
Yes, it’s a light for my hat, so I can see where I’m walking in the dark.
It might need a little more work.

Cooking is a creative activity and we often use make to talk about food we prepare. So we can make salads and pasta and cakes and lots of other meals and snacks.

So make yourself at home, Jason.
Thanks.
Yeah, make yourself a snack.
Great.
You could make a sandwich, and we’ve got beer.
If you’re making a sandwich, make one for me too.

Great. So let’s review. Do is the most common verb and we use it for non-specific activities, when we don’t say exactly what action we’re talking about. And we also use do when we’re talking about work and jobs we have to do.
Then make. We generally use make when we’re talking about creating or producing something.
And that’s it. Those are the key rules we follow.
Now, do you remember said there was some bad news. The bad news is there’s still more work to do.
We use these verbs in lots of common expressions which you need to learn one by one. But it’s not all bad news because we can help you. Subscribe to our channel and we’ll show you lots of examples. We publish new videos every Friday with conversations and stories, so you can see English in action. In fact, let’s have one more example now, before we stop.

What are you making.
Oh. A paper aeroplane.
Oh cool! Do you want to make one too?
Yes.
Here.
Oh thank you.
Well, that’s true. But you know it took…. Who did that?

Click here to see another video about make and do.
Click here to see some more vocabulary videos.

Travel Phrasal Verbs and Common English Expressions

Travel Phrasal Verbs and Common English Expressions

Enjoy a funny English story and learn lots of phrasal verbs and expressions for traveling while you watch.
Here are some of the phrasal verbs and expressions you’ll see in action: stop by, stop off, pick someone up, drop someone off, give someone a ride/lift, touch down, check in, set off, hurry up and take off.

Click here to learn more phrasal verbs for: computers and technology, food and eating, organizing things.
Click here to learn phrases for checking in at an airport.
Click here to learn how to use the words: travel, trip and journey.

Phrasal Verbs and Common Expressions for Talking about Traveling

The best way to learn English phrasal verbs is to see them in action. So today, we’re going to show you lots of phrasal verbs in a story, a funny story. You’ll love it.
We’re looking at phrasal verbs to do with travelling, so verbs to do with travel, trips, and journeys. Do you know how to use these words? If you’re not sure, don’t worry. We’ve made another video about them that you can see here. We make a new lessons every week at Simple English Videos, so make sure you subscribe to our channel and click the notification bell. That way you’ll know when there’s a new video waiting for you.
But this lesson’s about phrasal verbs we use to talk about travelling. Your task is to watch a story, enjoy it, and see how many phrasal verbs you can spot. When it’s finished we’ll check your answers and explain what all the verbs mean. Ready?

I’ve got an important job for you Jay.
Yeah?
Mrs. Clarkson’s stopping by today.
Mrs. Clarkson of Clarkson Industries?
Yes.
She’s coming here?
Yes. She’s flying to Chicago and she’s stopping off to see us on the way.
Wow!
I need you pick her up at the airport and bring her to the office.
Great!
Her plane gets in at three. She only has a couple of hours between flights.
Don’t worry. When her plane touches down, I’ll be there waiting.
Good.
Oh no!
What?
I don’t have my car with me today. Vicki gave me a ride to work.
Argh! You can use my car.
Your new Volvo?
Yes, but be very careful.
I will. Thank you, Kathy.
Whose car key is this?
Oh, it’s Kathy’s
The key to her new Volvo?
Yes, I’m going to pick up an important customer at the airport.
It’s got wi-fi and all kinds of gadgets.
I know.
How fast can it go?
Oh, I have no idea.
I’ll find out.
But I have to be at the airport at three.
I’ll be back in ten minutes. I’ll bring you some doughnuts.
Kathy will kill me if I’m late. Oh, hurry up Vicki. Where have you been?
Out and about.
Give me the key.
Jay. Why weren’t you at the airport?
I’m setting off now, Kathy.
You’re too late. Mrs. Clarkson just checked in for her next flight.
I can be there ten minutes.
She’s getting on the plane now.
But it’s not my fault. Vicki took your car key and then she took off.
Jay wanted me to get him some doughnuts. Would you like one?
Jay! In my office. Now!

Let’s look at some of the phrasal verbs you heard. The first two were stop by and stop off.

Mrs Clarkson’s stopping by today.
Mrs Clarkson of Clarkson Industries?
Yes.
She’s coming here?
Yes. She’s flying to Chicago and she’s stopping off to see us on the way
Wow!

Stop by and stop off have very similar meanings. If you stop by a place you make a short visit there. Stop off is very similar, but it’s a short visit during a journey, so when you’re going to a place you might stop off somewhere else on the way.
OK, the next verb you heard was pick up.

I need you pick her up at the airport and bring her to the office.
Great!

Pick someone up means going to a place to collect them. So we might go to an airport in our car to collect someone who will be waiting for us. We can pick up things too – collect them when they’re ready.
The opposite of picking up is dropping off. That’s when you take someone to a place by car, and then you leave them there. So maybe you’re on your way somewhere and your route takes you past a place that the other person needs to be. You drop them off.
OK, the next two verbs we heard were get in and touch down.

Her plane gets in at three. She only has a couple of hours between flights.
Don’t worry. When her plane touches down, I’ll be there waiting.
Good.

Get in is a really useful verb. It means to arrive at a place. When you want to know what time someone’s plane, train or bus is arriving you can say, when does it get in?
Touch down is specific to planes and it’s the action of landing. When a plane makes contact with the ground it touches down. Great. Next one.

Oh no!
What?
I don’t have my car with me today. Vicki gave me a ride to work.
Argh! You can use my car.
Your new Volvo?
Yes, but be very careful.
I will.

To give someone a ride is American English expression and it means to take someone somewhere in your car. In British English we’d say give someone a lift. It means the same thing. It’s a free ride to a place they want to get to.
OK, the next phrasal verb you heard wasn’t specifically about travel, but it’s very useful. See if you can spot it.

How fast can it go?
Oh, I have no idea.
I’ll find out.
But I have to be at the airport at three.

It was find out. To find out means to discover – to get information about something.
The next phrasal verb was easy.

Kathy will kill me if I’m late. Oh hurry up Vicki.

Say ‘hurry up’ when you want someone to do something faster. It means do something quickly because there isn’t much time.
OK. The next two….

Jay. Why weren’t you at the airport?
I’m setting off now, Kathy.
You’re too late. Mrs. Clarkson just checked in for her next flight.

To set off – this means to begin a journey, so to start to go somewhere.
And to ‘check in’ means to register. When you go to an airport or a hotel, you go to a desk to tell them that you’ve arrived.
We’ve made another video with useful phrases for checking in at an airport. Click here to see it.

OK, just two more verbs.
I can be there ten minutes.
She’s getting on the plane now.
But it’s not my fault. Vicki took your car key and then she took off.

When we get on a plane, we board the plane. We get inside it. And then the plane takes off. It rises into the air. Planes and rockets take off. Now that’s one meaning of take off but there’s another one. Take off can also mean to leave somewhere in a hurry. If someone disappears quickly, we can say they took off – it means they left suddenly.
And that’s all the phrasal verbs you heard. Phew! There were a lot. Let’s watch the story again, and this time you can see the words.

I’ve got an important job for you Jay.
Yeah?
Mrs. Clarkson’s stopping by today.
Mrs. Clarkson of Clarkson Industries?
Yes.
She’s coming here.
Yes. She’s flying to Chicago and she’s stopping off to see us on the way
Wow!
I need you pick her up at the airport and bring her to the office.
Great!
Her plane gets in at three. She only has a couple of hours between flights.
Don’t worry. When her plane touches down, I’ll be there waiting.
Good.
Oh no!
What?
I don’t have my car with me today. Vicki gave me a ride to work.
Argh! You can use my car.
Your new Volvo?
Yes, but be very careful.
I will. Thank you, Kathy.
Whose car key is this?
Oh, it’s Kathy’s.
The key to her new Volvo?
Yes, I’m going to pick up an important customer up at the airport.
It’s got wifi and all kinds of gadgets.
I know.
How fast can it go?
Oh, I have no idea.
I’ll find out.
But I have to be at the airport at three.
I’ll be back in ten minutes. I’ll bring you some doughnuts.
Kathy will kill me if I’m late. Oh hurry up Vicki. Where have you been?
Out and about.
Give me the key.
Jay. Why weren’t you at the airport?
I’m setting off now, Kathy.
You’re too late. Mrs Clarkson just checked in for her next flight.
I can be there ten minutes.
She’s getting on the plane now.
But it’s not my fault. Vicki took your car key and then she took off.
Jay wanted me to get him some doughnuts. Would you like one?
Jay, in my office. Now!

If you enjoyed this story and you like this way of learning, please share this video with a friend who’s also learning English. See you next Friday. Bye!
Click here to learn more phrasal verbs for: computers and technology, food and eating, organizing things.
Click here to learn phrases for checking in at an airport.
Click here to learn how to use the words: travel, trip and journey.

Meghan, Harry and the Royal Wedding. What do Americans think?

Meghan, Harry and the Royal Wedding. What do Americans think?

Are American’s excited about the royal wedding? After all, it’s a British event.
Watch this video to find out what American’s think of Meghan and Prince Harry and to learn lots of great English expressions. This is a listening practice lesson with fast, natural English.

Click here to see videos about British and American English differences.
Click here to learn the difference between interesting and interested.

Meghan, Prince Harry and the royal wedding

Hi. I’m Vicki and I’m British but I live in the United States.
And I’m Jay, Vicki’s husband, and I’m American.
There’s been a lot of news on the television here about the British royal wedding.
And you’re surprised?
Yes, because it’s a British event.
We’ve got some great listening practice for you today.
You’re going to hear lots of fast natural English.
And learn some great English expressions too. Are you ready?

What do you think of the royal wedding?
Have to watch it.
I think it’s going to be a very exciting event. Looking forward to it.
I think it’s great.
Do you think they show it too much on American television?
No, not at all.
Actually I’m very excited about the new royal baby. Super cute.
I’m super excited. I remember the last Royal wedding. I was in like seventh grade and we were watching it on TV so I am excited for this one. I am in love with Meghan Markle so…
Have you heard of the queen?
Yes.
What do you know about the queen?
Erm… Her name is Elizabeth. I think she wears a dress and a crown.
And a crown, of course. Excellent!
Do you think you’re going to watch the wedding?
If it’s at a time that makes sense for me, then I would like to. I don’t know if I’ll be able to, but I want to.
Will you be watching it?
Probably not live, because isn’t it going to be like four o’clock in the morning my time?
Maybe. It’s possible, or I might just catch it on YouTube.
My sister and cousin and I got up at something ungodly like 4.30 AM in California for Princess Di’s wedding and we’re all going to try to meet and recreate the whole thing…
Fantastic!
Whatever hour it’s on.
We’d like your prediction. Is this marriage going to be successful and happy?
Yes, because he’s not listening to the naysayers. He’s following his heart and Meghan’s awesome, so I think yes.
I feel like she’s going to spice it up. Like she’s going to spice up the royal family, like kind of bring some flair to, you know, everything.
I think they could probably do with that.
Yeah, I think they could use her. Yeah.
Who’s your favourite royal?
Ahhh. You know I have to give it to the queen, because she’s the queen.
I, of course, years ago, wanted to marry Prince Andrew. We all did.
Tell me, who is your favourite royal?
Oooo. Elizabeth. Elizabeth. She’s so argh! She’s so sassy. I love her.
I’ve gotta say the queen. Love her outfits. Love the hats.
Do you think America should have a queen?
I mean, we do. Beyonce. Duh!

They were great.
And they used lots of interesting expressions. Have a look at these, Jay. What’s missing?
Hmmm. I.. and I’m… If we were writing it, we’d write I and I’m.

What do you think of the Royal wedding?
Have to watch it.
I think it’s going to be a very exciting event. Looking forward to it.

When we’re speaking fast or informally, sometimes we don’t say the subject.
We understand the meaning without it.
Another interesting thing. What’s the difference between excited and exciting?
I know this one. Excited describes how you feel and exciting describes the thing that caused the feeling.
Yeah. This is worth learning because the same thing happens with lots of other adjectives.
Like interesting and interested, surprising and surprised, …
Amazing and amazed… They follow the same pattern.

I think it’s going to be a very exciting event.
I’m super excited.

We could say this in British English but usually we say very excited or really excited.
We say that too, but if we’re very, very excited, we’re super excited. They were super excited for the wedding.
Ah that’s something else. You can be excited for something in American English.
Yes, can’t you?
No we get excited ABOUT something in British English.
We can say that too.

I remember the last Royal wedding, I was in like seventh grade and we were watching it on TV so I am excited for this one.
Actually I’m very excited about the new royal baby. Super cute.
So super cute is very, very cute.

Yes. We met someone who was super cute.
Yes!

Erm… Her name is Elizabeth. I think she wears a dress and a crown.

This is a crown.
Very nice. Now there’s a time difference between the UK and the US, so the wedding might be early in the morning here.
Will you be watching it?
Probably not live, because isn’t it going to be like four in the morning my time?
Maybe. It’s possible, or I might just catch it on YouTube.

If we watch something live, we watch it in real time – the time it’s happening.
And if we catch something, like a TV program or show, we see or hear it.
Yes, like ‘Do you want to catch a movie later?’
It’s informal and it’s more common in American than British English.

My sister and cousin and I got up at something ungodly like 4.30 AM in California for Princess Di’s wedding and we’re all going to try to meet and recreate the whole thing… whatever hour it’s on.

She was a real fan.
Yes and notice the word ‘ungodly’.
An ungodly hour and means super-early.
Or very very late. It’s an unreasonable time.
An annoying time.
Yeah. OK, next one. What do you think naysayers means?

We’d like your prediction. Is this marriage going to be successful and happy?
Yes, because he’s not listening to the naysayers. He’s following his heart and Meghan’s awesome, so I think yes.

Nay is an old-fashioned word for no.
And a naysayer is a very negative person.
They always give you reasons for why things won’t work.
We don’t like naysayers.
We like people who are positive and optimistic. And people who spice things up.

I feel like she’s going to spice it up. Like she’s gonna spice up the royal family, like kind of bring some flair to, you know, everything.

Spices are powders and seeds that we use in cooking.
If we spice up food we give it a strong taste and smell.
But we can spice up other things too. It means make them more interesting and exciting
What about flair?
If you have flair then you do things in an interesting way.
With imagination.
Yeah. OK, next one.

Tell me, who is your favourite royal?
Oooo. Elizabeth. Elizabeth. She’s so… argh! She’s so sassy. I love her.
I’ve gotta say the queen. Love her outfits. Love the hats.

Sassy is a lovely word. It means she doesn’t care what people think.
It means she’s fashionable and confident.
Sassy is an American word. I think we’d understand it but we don’t say it much in British English.
Really? What would you say then?
Maybe feisty?
Sassy can also have a negative meaning. If a child is rude and doesn’t show respect, they can be sassy.
So if you tell a child to do something and they answer back?
Then they’re sassy. What would you say in British English?
Cheeky. It means rude and disrespectful, but often in a funny way.
You know, I think it’s going to be hard for Meghan being married to a Brit.
Why?
Because you sound funny.
You cheeky devil!
OK, the last one.

Do you think America should have a queen?
I mean, we do. Beyonce. Duh!

Duh! This is another American word that I love.
We say it when someone says something stupid.
And often in a joking way. Like here.
Yeah. Obviously Beyonce is America’s queen. Duh!
And that’s it everyone.
We want to say a big thank you to everyone who appeared in this video.
Yes, you were great.
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See you next Friday everyone. Bye.
Bye-bye.
Click here to see videos about British and American English differences.
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