SEVY Speak English Challenge Awards Ceremony

SEVY Speak English Challenge Awards Ceremony

Do you need to understand people speaking English with different accents? Then you’re going to love this video.
A couple of weeks ago we set our viewers a challenge: to send us video telling us who they are, where they’re from and what they do in English.
And they did! We were blown away by the videos we received. We can’t give everyone an Oscar but we can award them a SEVY – a Simple English Videos Award. Welcome to the SEVY awards video!
Congratulations and thank you so much to everyone who took part. You were brilliant!

SEVY Awards Ceremony

Hello everyone. A few weeks ago we gave our viewers a challenge – a speaking challenge.
We asked all of our learners to send us a video telling us who you are, where you’re from and what you do.
And we got some replies.
We’re they any good?
Yes, they were brilliant. They all deserve an Oscar.
Ah, well we’ve invented a different kind of an award called a SEVY, or Simple English Videos Award.
And so welcome to the SEVY presentation ceremony.
Shall we look at the first video?
Yeah, come on. Let’s go.

Hello Vicki and Jay. This is Jack. I come from China. I’m a student.

His pronunciation was really good.
Yes. English is his favourite subject. Jack, you get the first SEVY for pronunciation.
Thank you Jack from China. Let’s go onto the next one.

Hello Vicki. Hello Jay. I’m Emad from Egypt. I’m an electrical engineer, happy to enjoy this experience. Thanks a lot.

Thank you Emad from Egypt and we’re so glad you enjoyed the experience.
And you get the SEVY for coming from a place we’d both like to visit.
We’ve never been to Egypt and we would really like to be there.
But you know there’s someone else from Egypt.
Oh right. Let’s check that out.

Good morning, Vicki. Good morning, Jay. My name is Ahmed. I’m from Egypt and I live in Cairo. I’m an English language teacher and I teach English to adults. That’s all for now. I hope you like my video. Goodbye.

Ahmed gets the SEVY for multi-tasking. Walking while shooting.
He’s very athletic.
And his pronunciation is really excellent.
Yes, apparently he’s never been to the UK, but he watches the BBC world Service all the time. So it really works!
Obviously. Next one.

Hi! My name is Ashish, and I am from Varanasi, India. Now I’m working in Samsung Electronics as a promoter.

Thank you Ashish from India.
Yes, can you guess what SEVY we’re going to give to Ashish?
Hmm, oh I know. Best costume.
That’s right. Did you notice? He was wearing and English football team jersey. He’s a fan! OK, next one is our youngest viewer.
Oh let’s see that.

I’m Elizabeth. I’m in Malaga. I’m in Malaga, Spain and I’m a student.

That’s Elizabeth from Malaga and she’s a student. How old is Elizabeth?
Four.
Oh, I’m impressed.
Apparently she likes to sit on her mother’s lap and watch our videos, and her favourite video is the one we made at Halloween.
Oh, mine too. Hello Elizabeth.
Hello Elizabeth. Shall we see her Mum?
Absolutely.

My name is Amanda. I’m from Guadalajara, Mexico but now I’m living in Malaga, Spain. I have multiple jobs. That means that I am mother of two little children. Bye.

So she’s originally from Mexico, now she’s in Malaga, Spain and she has multiple jobs.
Yes. Amanda, you win the SEVY for the best joke! Two children – multiple jobs.
Oh got it! Who’s next.

Hello. I’m Suzanne. I’m French. I live in a little town to the south of Lyon. I’m now retired but I was a German teacher. Thank you very much for your videos. I find them very useful. Good-bye.

Auf wiedersehen, Suzanne.
So she speaks French, German, English.
Right! She gets the linguist SEVY.
Yes, and she also gets the SEVY for being the first responder, because she sent us the video first.
Thank you Suzanne. Let’s see who’s next.

Hello Vicki and Jay. I’m Aki from Japan. I live in Australia at the moment. I work as a Japanese language assistant. I’m a big fan of your channel so please keep up the good work. Thank you. Bye.
Aki wins the SEVY for best vocabulary. She said ‘Keep up the good work’.

Yes. She’s lived in England, you know.
I didn’t know.
And I think she’s been to America once. Aki, if you come back, you must look us up.
Right, let’s see who’s next.

Hello Vicki, hello Jay! My name is Jerome. I come from Nice. This is a beautiful city in the southeast of France. This is close to Monaco, but due to my job now I live in Monaco. It’s still in France, but it’s closer to the mountains of Switzerland. I work for an important airport operator. I am the quality, safety, security, environment and complaints manager. And working in an international context at an airport pushes me everyday to improve my English a lot, and this is why I have decided to follow your YouTube channel. Thank you for everything. Cheers!

Jerome gets the SEVY for confidence.
Yes. He’s a very confident speaker. Apparently in his last job he used to use English a lot, but he uses it less in the current job, so he comes to our channel to practise.
That’s a very good idea because if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Good point! OK, next one.

Hi everyone. I’m Lucas from Brazil and I live here in Sao Paulo. I’m a student. I study petroleum engineering, also known as oil engineering, and this is my last year of college.

Lucas wins the SEVY for fluency and clarity.
Lucas we love Brazil. Vicki and I have been there a number of times and we can’t wait to go back.
Lucas has got a competitive exam in the next few weeks that’s very hard.
Good luck Lucas.
Good luck Lucas. OK, next one.

Hello! I’m Mario from north Italy. I live in the province of Provencia. I’m a farmer. I would like to become a professional singer as soon as possible. See you soon, bye!

Mario gets the SEVY for the most unusual job.
What does Mario sing?
Italian pop songs, but he also sings in English. Like Frank Sinatra.
Oh Mario, I wish we could hear you sing.
That would be so cool.
Let’s see who’s next.

Hi. I’m Ying Tao. I come from China. Now I live in Philadelphia in the United States. I’m a software engineer and I’m developing some apps for mobile phones.

So Ying Tao is right here in Philadelphia.
Yes, we live in Philadelhia too. And Yong Tao you get the SEVY for being closest to us. And one afternoon we’ll go out and have a coffee together.
We wish we could have a coffee with all of you.
Or a party.
Right.
It’s been FANTASTIC to receive your videos, and to get to know you a little bit better because we make the videos and we have no idea who’s watching them so this has been marvelous for us.
It’s really been nice to meet you. Thank you so much for sending the videos. Have a great week everyone and we’ll see you next Friday.
Bye!

Speaking English Challenge. Who are you?

Speaking English Challenge. Who are you?

Please join us for our first ever speaking challenge. Make a video of yourself speaking in English and tell us:

  • who you are
  • where you’re from
  • what you do

Upload your video to YouTube and send us the link and we will compile all your videos into one big video that we’ll post on our channel.
Make sure your video is published as ‘public’ or ‘unlisted’ (not private) and send the link to us.
The deadline is Monday March 12th, 2018.
We can’t wait to see your videos and get to know you better.


Click here to see some pronunciation videos.
Click here to see some videos with everyday conversations.

Speaking English Challenge

Hello everyone. In today’s video we want to set you a challenge!
Are you ready to practice speaking English with us?
At the start of this year we made some videos about setting goals and making plans to learn English – tips for learning faster.
A lot of people responded in the comments and we loved reading what you wrote and learning more about you.
Motivation is REALLY important when you’re learning English, but your comments kept us motivated too, to make more videos.
And they helped us to get to know you better as well.
I feel like I’m starting to know some of you from the comments you write every week, but I wish I could know you better.
A lot of people mentioned that one of the biggest challenges they face is finding ways to practice speaking in English.
It’s not easy.
So this week we want to try something different and we have a challenge for you.
We want you to make a video where you’re speaking in English, that we’re going to share with the world.
We’ll put your videos together in one video that we’ll share on our channel.
It means you’ll get speaking practice and we’ll all get to know one another better.
So are you up to a challenge? Here’s what we want you to do. Make a short video – just two or three sentences – telling us who you are, where you’re from and what you do.
I’m really excited to know what you all do for a living. Are you students? What are you studying? Are you working? What’s your job?
So that’s your challenge. Tell us who you are in a two or three sentences.
And video it! We need some examples, Jay.
Yes. Here are some examples to help you.

Hi, I’m Vicki and I come from Cambridge in the UK. But now I live in Philadelphia in the United States. I’m an English teacher and I make videos.

I’m Jay and I’m American. I’m Vicki’s husband and I’m an instructional designer so I make computer-based training programs.

So your video should be like that – short and simple.
Just a few sentences introducing yourself.
Something to note. Before jobs and professions we say ‘a’ and ‘an’. For example, a student, a teacher, an English teacher.
Oh and feel free to share photos if you want, but if anyone else appears in your pictures, make sure it’s OK with them first.
Yes, because we’re going to be putting your videos on YouTube. And no music, please. We need to make sure we’ve paid for any music we use.
Make sure the camera is horizontal when you shoot it.
Yes, it should be landscape not portrait.
So the task is to tell us who you are, where you’re from and what you do. Are you ready for your deadline? It’s Monday March 12th.
That’s not long. It’s just ten days.
So get your cameras out and get busy!
OK, the last thing. We need to tell everyone how to send their videos to us.
Right. The best way to do it is to upload it to YouTube and send us the link.
You need to publish it as public or unlisted. This is important. Don’t publish it as private, or we can’t see it.
Yes, and send the link to this address.
That’s me! I can’t wait to see what you send me. This is very exciting.
We’ve never done anything like this before and we’re really looking forward to meeting more of you and getting to know more about you.
If you have any problems sending us links to your videos or if you don’t have a YouTube channel, email me.
See all of you next week everyone!
Bye!
Bye-bye.
Click here to see some pronunciation videos
Click here to see some videos with everyday conversations.

2017 Review – Clips from our Best Videos

2017 Review – Clips from our Best Videos

2017! What a year! We’ve published more than 50 videos (including 13 live shows) and we’ve had a blast. Thank you everyone for all your support this year. We really appreciate all the comments and suggestions you’ve left for us.
In this 2017 review we look back and show clips from some of our favourite videos. So grab a cup of coffee and come join us. (And stay tuned for lots more in 2018.)

Click here to see last year’s review with our best clips from 2016

2017 review with our favourite clips

Hello and welcome everyone!
Before we start, you might want to go and get yourself a cup of tea.
Or a cup of coffee.
Yeah. Because this is our2017 review video where we look back at some of the videos we’ve made this year.
So this video is going to be long – much longer than our normal videos.
But it’ll be fun.
So make yourself comfortable and come and join us!
Can you remember the first video we made in 2017?
Oh. Was it an English Show?
Oh good guess, but no it wasn’t. I’ll give you a clue.

Shhh! I don’t want to wake Vicki.
Who’s that?
It’s only me.
It was a loose floorboard.

I remember now! It was a video about the words loose, lose and loosen.
That’s right. They sound and look very similar.
It’s easy to confuse them.
And then after that we started the English Show videos.
We should tell everyone what that was about.
OK. At the start of this year we experimented with live shows. We used a switcher and we connected with different English teachers all over the world. We had some great guests and we got them to give us tips about how to learn English, and we played games with them.
Then there was live chat, so we could talk to our viewers in real time.
Yes, that was great.
Our friend Fluency MC joined us every week from Paris and he performed a rap.

Once again it’s Fluency MC, Fluency MC, Once again it’s Fluency MC, grammar through lyrics. Kick it.

And every week Jay used to transport me from Philadelphia over to Fluency in Paris in a different way.
What was your favourite way to get there.
I think it was the hat.

Jay, we’ve had a request.
Really?
Yes, Super Agent Awesome wants me to travel to Paris in your hat. But that’s impossible.
I think I can do it.
I’ll never fit in that.
Well I can shrink you!
I’m here! Well, that was exciting!

You had a hard landing there. How many English shows did we make?
Thirteen. We stopped because the tech was a challenge.
The internet wasn’t reliable and the sound went out of sync.
Or the stream didn’t start on time. So we went back to making normal videos.
I think we did some grammar videos.
Yes, modal verbs – can, could, be able to…

Oh Kathy!
How are you?
Fine.
Do you have a moment?
Can we speak with you about the Boston project?
What about it?
Well, it’s the deadline. We’re a little behind.
Could we have another week?
No way! You need to finish by Friday.
Well then, can we hire an assistant?
Not on your life!
You don’t like the idea then?
In a word, no!

That was our friend Kathy. She plays our mean boss sometimes.
Kathy’s actually a lot of fun and not mean at all.
I just write her parts as the mean boss.
And often you’re mean to me in our videos. Like with the elevator. Do you remember that?

The elevator’s broken down. I had to climb up ten flights of stairs.
Oh dear. Oh! Hallo?
Vicki, I’ve got a package for you, but the elevator’s broken down.
Yeah, I’ve just heard. Don’t worry. I’ll have Jay carry it up.
No problem. I’ll get him to come and collect it now.

Yeah, I do like being mean to you in our videos.
I’ve noticed.
And I like how you trust me, even when you probably shouldn’t trust me.

What’s that for?
I’m going to hypnotize you.
Really?
Yes, just look at the pendant.
OK.
And let your body relax.
You’re not going to make me do anything stupid are you?
Oh no!

Yeah, I definitely shouldn’t trust you. Now what lesson did that come from?
It was about causative verbs– we looked at make, let and have. Grammar again.
Something new we did this year was lots of pronunciation videos.
We went out and met lots of English learners and we asked them to pronounce difficult words.

Comfortables. Ah, no s. Comfortable. Comfortable. Comfortable.
Kweel? I don’t know. Oh, kway, Kway, kway?
Er sixth? Sixth? Sixth? Sixth?

They were terrific, weren’t they?
We met some really nice people.
We also got them to say tongue twisters, so phrases that English speakers find hard to say as well.
Well, they’re good pronunciation practice.
A proper copper coffee, coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot.
A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot.
That’s my favourite tongue twister.
We made a song about it.

All I want is a proper cup of coffee. Made in a proper copper coffee pot. You can believe it or not. But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot. Tin coffee pots or iron coffee pots, they’re no good to me. If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot, I’ll just have tea.
All I want is a proper cup of coffee. Made in a proper copper coffee pot. You can believe it or not. But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot.

Another pronunciation video we made was about how we say the words ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ in British and American English.
She means ‘can’ and ‘can’t’.
Can and can’t
Can and can’t.

I don’t want you to see.
I can’t see.
Oh well let me try again.
Why? I can’t see.
Do you mean you can or you can’t see?
I can’t see.

That conversation is very realistic.
We really do have to check sometimes to see if we’ve understood one another.
British and American English differences.
We also made a video about the different words we have for clothes.
Oh yeah, and I learnt what suspenders mean in British English.

Closet.
Wardrobe.
Pants.
Trousers.
Pants.
Underwear.
Knickers.
Panties.
Vest.
Undershirt.
Vest.
Waistcoat.
Suspenders.
Braces.
Suspenders.

Another new thing we did this year was phrases from Shakespeare. Expressions we still use today, like ‘foul play’.
Foul play is when you do something dishonest and unfair. Footballers are sometimes sent off because of foul play. But foul play has another common meaning today. If someone dies and it wasn’t an accident or natural death, it’s foul play. So it’s some kind of violent criminal action that results in a death.

What do you think?
He’s dead.
Yes, but what happened?
Hmm. Maybe it was suicide.
Really? I think there was foul play.
You think?
I think there was foul play.
You think?

What videos were most popular with our viewers this year?
Probably the videos about how to learn. There were three. How to think in English, how to remember new words, and ways you can practice English for free.
All our videos are free, so make sure you subscribe to our channel.
And that reminds me. I want to thank some of the viewers who have helped us this year.
With captions?
Yeah.
We write captions for all our videos in English, so if you don’t understand a word, click the cc button and you can read it.
And some of our viewers have been translating the captions into their own language.
This is really helpful for people whose English isn’t very good, and it helps us grow the channel too because the translations appear in the search.
So we want to say a HUGE big thank you to everyone who has been helping with this.
And if you want to help, please start translating too.
I’ll put a link in the details below where you can see a list of our videos, choose one you like, and then translate each line.
It doesn’t have to be a perfect translation, so don’t worry about mistakes. Other people can always improve them later.
Yes, and please remember to translate the titles as well. In fact you can just translate the titles if you don’t have time to translate the whole video.
So what else did we do this year?
Well, we had the interview video.
Did we? What was that?
I interviewed someone very famous.
Hmm. Who was that?

Today we’re looking at English words for money and taxes, and we have an expert to help us: President Trump!
Mr. President. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Well, it’s a pleasure to have you here.
We’ll have to see what happens.

What did happen in that interview?
It was strange, but he taught us lots of vocabulary. And we made another vocabulary video about the verbs notice, find out and realize.

Oh, I fixed your computer. I deleted a lot of files. It’s running much faster now.
I don’t understand, There’s nothing wrong with this computer. It’s that one that has the problem.
Oh, I didn’t realize.
What files did you delete?

That was funny. There was another funny video we made about computers this year – with lots of phrasal verbs.
Yes. And I discovered you had a hidden talent.

I need you to log me onto the network.
You want to get into the system.
Yes. I can’t get in.
Then I need your user ID.
It’s 46821. Please hurry up because I’ve got a conference call starting in five minutes.
OK. I just sent you a link.
Really?
Click on the link and then scroll down.
Ah. A message just popped up.
What does it say?
‘Are you a robot?’ It wants me to type two words in a little box.
Oh. Are you a robot?
No, of course not!
Sometimes robots try to hack into our system.
I’m a human being!
Then just put in the words. Key them in.
It’s impossible. I can’t read them.
Sorry then. I can’t help you.
Why not?
You’re a robot.
I’m not a robot. It’s impossible to read these words.
Sorry, I can’t help robots. Bye.
Ah well. Mission failed. Mission failed. Mission fail. Mission fail. Mission fail. Mission…

All these years together and I didn’t know you could walk like a robot.
I have a lot of hidden talents. But you wrote some crazy parts for me this year. There was one video where I had to wear a wig and make up.

So we always wear something. We can wear things like glasses, hats, name tags, jewelry, wigs and make up.

I think you looked very cute. But what video did you have the most fun making this year?
Definitely going to the Halloween store.

Is it cold in here?
Yes. You don’t think there are any ghosts here, do you? Like spirits of dead people?
No, of course not. Ghosts don’t exist.
Oh good because that would be creepy. If something’s creepy it makes you a little nervous and frightened.
I’ll tell you what’s creepy. I feel like we’re being watched.
Yes, like there’s an evil eye or something.

I really enjoyed that one too. Do you remember the bats?

And another Halloween creature is bats. Bats! They’re creepy.

Creepy but funny too.
It was my favourite video too. But what video was your favourite everyone? Write and tell us in the comments?
So what videos are we going to make next year?
Well we’ve had a lot of requests, so we’ve got a big list. We’d better get working on it.
Yes, have a happy new year everyone and great success in 2018.
We’ll be making more videos to help you.
Bye.
Bye now.

Almost, nearly, amiable, amicable – it’s Q & A time!

Almost, nearly, amiable, amicable – it’s Q & A time!

Thank you for your great questions! In this lesson we answer your questions about the adverbs almost and nearly, the English Show, the adjectives, amiable and amicable and the curious case of American scissors. Plus more!


Look we’re back in our room with interesting things.
You know what that means.
It must be a Q and A?
Yes, it’s question and answer time.
Thank you all so much for sending us questions.
We love reading the comments and questions you leave for us. It’s very motivating.
Please keep them coming.
OK, what’s the first one?
It comes from John Benson and he asks can you tell us about two time adverbs ‘almost’ and ‘nearly’?
Oh great question. Thank you John Benson!
Yeah, almost – nearly. Do they mean the same thing?
Well, they often mean the same thing. For example, if we’re counting things. Like, what’s the time?
The time? It’s nearly three o’clock. Or it’s almost three o’clock. They mean the same thing.
Yeah, same meaning. And we use them both if we’re measuring progress too. So we’re almost finished. We’re nearly finished – same thing.

Come on, Jay. You’re nearly there.
Keep going! You’re almost there.

I think that in American English we say ‘almost’ more than we say ‘nearly’.
Yes. There’s a difference between British and American English here. Almost is more common in American English, but both words are possible in American, right?
Yes, I could say both, but normally I say almost. But here’s the question. Are there situations where almost and nearly are different?
Yes. We don’t use ‘nearly’ before negative words like no, nobody, nothing, none, never… With negative words we say almost.
So, almost none… almost nobody… almost never….
Yeah.
So we almost never say ‘nearly’ with those words!
Yeah, with negative words, say ‘almost’.
Great. OK! Next question?
Yeah, what’s next?
Erm… We had a couple of questions about the English Show.
Oh
People wanted to know when the next show is.
Oh.
For those that don’t know, we had live shows this year with our friend in Paris, Jason R Levine – Fluency MC. But we haven’t had one for a while. What’s happening Vicki?
Well – the background. We had problems because sometimes the live stream didn’t work.
The technology was unreliable, so we tried making some edited shows, and they worked really well.
Yeah, but the main problem is time because they take me a long time to edit.
So, have you given up on the idea?
No, I don’t think so and we have lots of things we plan to do with Jason. So, can you ask me again in a couple of months? Ask me a different question now.
OK. This one’s from Shreelata Rao and she said:
Hi Vicky and Jay. I love all your videos. You mix learning with fun and that makes it all the more interesting. I have a question… What is the difference between amiable and amicable?
Amiable and Amicable. They’re both adjectives and they have very similar meanings.
Yes, you could say a person is amiable. Like, I’m an amiable person. I’m friendly and easy to like.
Yeah right. Shreelata, the difference here is about what the two adjectives describe. We use amiable to describe people who are pleasant, and we use amicable to describe relationships and agreements.
So for example, Vicki and I have an amicable relationship.
Yeah. So you could say someone is amiable, but you could say two people have an have an amicable divorce. They reached an amicable agreement or settlement. So they felt friendly and didn’t want to quarrel.
Like us. We never quarrel.
Let’s have another question.
OK. Here’s one from Marcio Oliveira and he had a question about a scene in our video on the word ‘Actually’. Let’s roll a clip.

Do you have some scissors I can borrow?
No, sorry.
Oh. OK.
Oh, wait a minute. Actually I have one here.
Oh, thank you very much.
You’re very welcome.

Now Marcio said, ‘I would like to ask, Jay says “I have one” for some scissors. Is that OK to a native to a pair of scissors like that, I mean, as a singular thing? Thanks, and congrats for the nice job!’.
Oh wow! Well spotted Marcio. In my opinion, (I’m British) no, what Jay said was totally wrong and grammatically incorrect!
And in my English, because I’m American, it was perfectly correct.

Actually I have one here.
Oh, thank you very much.
You’re very welcome.

It’s a British – American difference. They are scissors – in British English it’s a plural noun.
But scissors are one thing in American – a cutting instrument – one thing!
Wel, one, two blades. So you say scissors with and s at the end, but it’s not a plural noun.
No, I have one scissors.
I have some scissors.
No, I have one scissors.
Plural nouns can be tricky in English. There are lots of plural nouns that are plurals for both of us but singular things in other languages. Like glasses and binoculars.
Yes, we say glasses and binoculars in American too.
And then there are trousers and knickers.
You mean pants and underwear.
But scissors are special in American because you see them as a singular and you’ll say one scissors.
Yes.
I’ve lived in America for nearly twenty years but I didn’t realise you said that until we shot that scene.
Yep.
So well done Marcio for spotting that and thank you for that question. What’s next?
Lots of people told us about English words that they found hard to pronounce like thaw and though and island and lots more. So thank you for that.
Yeah, we made two videos about words that are hard to pronounce and I’ll put a link here because I think it’s going to turn into a series when we add all your words.
Thank you for all your suggestions. They were really great.
We’re working on more videos now, so subscribe to this channel and hit the notification bell so you don’t miss them. And if have other requests for other videos you’d like, please tell us. Another question?
OK, I’ve saved this one for last because it’s a little different. It comes from Sebastian Alegria and he says ‘What things do you like more from your work as a teacher?’
So he means what do I like most about being a teacher. That’s a completely different kind of question.
Yes it is, but what do you think?
Well, I know that for lots of people, learning English is a like chore. It’s a job you have to do. It’s not because you want to do it but you must do it. And I want to help and make it as easy, and enjoyable and efficient as I can. So you don’t waste time and you can learn fast as possible. So what I like most is helping. What about you?
Oh I feel the same. And I see technology and the internet as a way of bringing the world together so we can all communicate.
Yeah, we both love that – helping people to communicate and I think we both love having the opportunity to be creative together too.
Yep. Thank you for that question Sebastian. It was one that really got us thinking.
Yeah.
We should stop now perhaps and get this edited.
Yes, thank you everyone for all your questions. They were great.
Now, please keep them coming and see you all next week! Bye.
Bye.
Click here to download Fix it – our free checklist that will help you avoid common mistakes.

‘Before long’, ‘Long before’ & Big, Huge, Massive  – a Q&A

‘Before long’, ‘Long before’ & Big, Huge, Massive – a Q&A

Our latest video is a Q&A – question and answer session. We answer some viewers’ questions and give an update on the English Show. Please keep sending us questions everyone! We really appreciate them.

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Hey, we’re in our room with interesting things again.
Yes, it’s time for a Q + A video –
Q &A – questions and answers
And we need to update everyone on the English Show too.
That’s right.
But before we start we should tell everyone to subscribe to this channel.
Good point. It costs nothing and it means you stay up to date with all our videos. We publish every Friday.
And thank you to everyone who has been sending us questions. We’ve got several today.
Great, then let’s start with them.
OK. The first one is from Nimky Nimky and he asks, “what’s the difference between ‘before long’ and ‘long before’. I never could before what’s its meaning?
So he could never work out how their meanings are different.
Yes, It’s interesting isn’t it.
Yes, ‘before long’ means soon – in a short amount of time.
So if you watch our videos every day, before long your English will get better.
Yes, before long you’ll notice an improvement. So ‘before long’ means soon.
But ‘long before’ is different, isn’t it.
Yes, if something happened long before something, it happened a long time ago – so much earlier than something else.
I have an example.
This is a dinosaur. It existed long before human beings.
So ‘long before’ means a long time ago, before something else happened.
Yeah, thanks for that question Nimky Nimky – it was a good one.
OK, next one.
I can’t quite pronounce the name of the person who asked this because it’s written in Thai, but the question is “how different between .big….huge….massive…..thanks”
So what’s the dfference between “big, huge and massive?” Great question!
They all mean the same thing, don’t they?
Well, they can, but we use them a little differently. If something is large we can say it’s big and if it’s very, very large we can say it’s huge or massive. So we can say there was a big crowd at Trump’s inauguration. And there was a huge crowd at Obama’s inauguration.
Yes, Obama’s crowd was huge or massive. It was extremely large.
That’s right. Now another thing. We can say ‘very large’, but we don’t use the word ‘very’ with huge or massive.
So Obama’s crowd was really huge, but we can’t say it was very huge.
Exactly. And massive is interesting too. We often use it to describe things that are very solid or heavy. So a massive castle, or a massive rock.
We could also say a massive explosion.
That’s because we often use massive to describe things that are damaging. So a massive heart attack is a very big heart attack that causes a lot of harm.
Yeah, we could talk about a massive storm and a massive earthquake.
Yeah, they’re bad things.
You know, we had a massive phone bill last month.
Ah, good example. It was a very big phone bill that was very bad. Still, that was a great question.
OK, here’s another one. It’s from Imran Kalandar. He’s asking about our YouTube channel and he says hello there. I hope anyone could help me.
So I hope someone could help me.
He’s asking about our YouTube channel and he says ‘Is this American English or British English?’
Well, that’s easy. It’s both, Imran!
Yes, I’m American.
And I’m British. I live in Philadelphia in the United States now, but I speak British English.
So she sounds funny to me, but I understand her.
Sometimes… sometimes you understand me.
When there are differences in British and American, we tell you about them.
And sometimes we make videos about the differences.
Maybe we should make some more of them.
Good idea! Would you like that everyone?
And we have a similar question from Steven Sanchez. He says where is Fluency MC from?
Ah, Fluency MC, Flu… Flu.. Fluency MC. Fluency MC is our friend Jason R Levine and he’s American.
He used to live in New Jersey, near us in Philadelphia, but he lives in Paris in France now. We make the English Show videos together.
How many English shows have we made so far?
Fifteen I think. We used to broadcast them live every week, but we had some problems.
Yeah, sometimes the stream would start and sometimes it wouldn’t.
And we had difficulty with the audio in the skype calls too.
Yes, it depended on internet speeds, but sometimes it went out of synch. The timing was wrong.
We couldn’t fix that in a live show. So we decided to try recording it.
Yeah we’re not giving up. We’re experimenting with recordings now so I can edit them.
Last week we did a show with Shanthi from English with a Twist and the recording worked much better.
We’ve had lots of great guests and we’ve got lots more great guests lined up. So stay tuned.
Yeah, and Fluency MC is going to be with us, of course!
It takes a while for me to edit the English Show videos because they’re very long so we can’t do them every week.
But we have some great shows planned.
What’s your favourite bit of the English show, Jay?
I like Fluency MC’s raps.
Me too, they’re great practice. And I like the games as well.
Yeah, they’re pretty funny. But we should ask all our viewers. What’s your favorite part of the English show? Tell us in the comments.
Yes, and tell us if there’s a topic or subject you’d like us to make an English Show about. We read all your comments and really appreciate them.
And please keep sending us your questions. You can write them below.
And join the English Show group on Facebook and you can write them there too.
OK, we should stop now and go write another English Show.
Yeah, until next week, Goodbye everyone.
Goodbye.

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Happy Holidays Review 2016

Happy Holidays Review 2016

A review of highlights from Simple English Videos in 2016. Jay and Vicki look back on some of the events and their favourite comedy skits and sketches.

Click here for more hang out and Q & A videos
Hello everyone. Welcome to the end of 2016 show. We’re going to look back at some of our favourite clips.
And stay tuned for an important announcement about our new lesson schedule and about out live show schedule.
But let’s start with the very first video that we made in 2016. Can you remember what that was? No, I can’t remember. It was on wait, hope, expect and look forward to.
Oh right.
So it was looking at the future.
I remember now.
And it started with a magic trick.
A magic trick, What did I do?

I’ve got a new trick to show you.
Oh good.
Now you sit over here and I’ll sit over here.
Uhuh.
And then I’ll wave my magic wand.
Nothing’s happened. Oh hang on. We’ve changed places.
Yes.
Well, I didn’t expect that.

I’m a good magician. I love magic tricks.
In fact we made a lot of videos about the future at that time. And it all started because our friend Rachel, back in 2015, was pregnant. And I said to her, ‘Oh there’s lots of language points that I always want to teach about the future where I want a pregnant woman’ and she said, ‘Well, we’ll wait till I’m really big and then I’ll come round and I’ll make some with you. And she did. Mhmm. Didn’t she?
It was excellent.

Hi Rachel.
Hi Rachel.
You’re pregnant.
Yes, I’m going to have a baby.
Oh congratulations. That’s wonderful.
Babies are a lot of work.
When’s the baby due.
Next month. We’re very excited.
Get ready for some sleepless nights.

It’s good that I write the scripts, ’cause it means that I get to make fun of Jay.
There’s another video we mde Jay where we’re collaborating with Craig, our friend in Spain, and I got to be mean to you in that as well. As always.

Now the final item on the agenda: the sales training course. We’ve had some excellent feedback on this event. It was very well organized. Our thanks are due to Vicki in Philadelphia for organizing it.
Thank you very much Craig.
Good work Vicki. It looks like you’re due for a promotion. OK everyone. That’s it for this week. See you all next
Tuesday.
Good, eh?
But I organized the sales training course. You told him you did it?

You know, I can’t trust you at all. You’re very untrustworthy. Jay, that was another video. Right.
If someone is trustworthy, they’re reliable. And you can depend on them because they do what they say.
I need to learn to trust you more Vicki.
When companies look for employees, they want people who are trustworthy.

I need to learn to trust you more, Vicki.
How can I do that?
Oh, we could play the trust game.
The what?
The trust game. Turn around.
OK.
That’s right. And then you fall back.
And you’ll catch me.
Yeah! OK.
You didn’t catch me.
I’m just not very trustworthy.

You’re mean to me a lot.
I know. Do you mind?
Well, no. Not really. I know it’s only in fun.
I know. I think it’s in fun.
I like the clips where I get to be mean to Jay best. She’s mean to me a lot. It’s true.
One of my favourites where I’m mean to you is in that video we made about Friday the thirteenth. Do you remember? Yes, I do remember.

How’s it going Jay?
Terrific! I think I have a big new customer
Really? A big one?
Yes, they’re going to order a thousand units. Wow!
They’re gonna call me any minute and tell me. Fantastic!
This could be my lucky day.
Oh that’s so funny. Why?
Well, today is Friday the thirteenth.
Really?
Yes. Some people are superstitious about Friday the thirteenth. They think it’s unlucky. But you’re not superstitious, are you?
No… Well maybe… Well, cross your fingers then.
Oh no!
Oh dear, you’ve spilt the salt.
Oh no!
Throw some over your shoulders… but keep your fingers crossed. Oh. Is that your phone? Keep your fingers crossed.

We did a lot of collaborations in 2016. We had a lot of great
collaborators.
Do you remember World Storytelling Day?
Oh yes. We had Mister-Duncan, we had Jennifer, we were in it and…
Erm, Gabby and we had Rachel and Jason. We all told a different part of a story. It was fun, wasn’t it. It was, indeed.
I can’t show you the video because it’s in a playlist, but I’ll put a link just here. We’ve been so lucky to collaborate with so many good teachers.
What do you think was the most exciting thing that happened to Simple English Videos in 2016? We won the YouTube NextUp 2016 2016 competition. Oh that’s right.

We really won?
Yeah, I’m so chuffed.
Chuffed?
Yeah, I’m tickled pink.
Well me too. I’m thrilled. So what’s our prize?
I’m going to spend a week at the YouTube studios in New York at Creator Camp.
So we can make Simple English videos there?
Yeah, and I get to collaborate with the other winners.
How cool is that!
I’m over the moon.
Me too. I’ll go and pack my bags.
No stop. It’s just for me.
I can’t come to New York?
No. You can stay here and look after the office.
Oh, I never win anything.
Well, we’ve also won some vouchers to spend on production equipment.
Really? Two thousand five hundred dollars. You’re kidding! Microphones, lights, a new camera.
How are you feeling now?
I couldn’t be happier.

NextUp was really exciting. I learnt such a lot. It was brilliant and I made lots of friends and we did collaborations there too.

Bootz and Katz, bootz and katz, bootz and katz.
What are you saying?
Boots and cats. I’m beatboxing for today’s lesson. Remember?
Oh. Can we video it now?
Oh, um. No, I’m busy now. Sorry, gotta go.
Well later then, right?
OK guys. Today’s lesson is on the rhythm of English and luckily we have some help. We have here Inertia. We have Premsy. We have Omni.
Fantastic! English is a stress timed language.
One. Two. Three. Four. One. Two. Three. Four. One and two and three and four. One and then two and then three and then four. One and then a two and then a three and then a four.

So I’ll tell you another thing we did that we’d never done before was we took the camera with us on a road trip. Oh that was so much fun actually. We went from Philadelphia to Cape May, New Jersey.

We’re going on a road trip and you’re coming with us.

I’ll tell you something else that was new that we did this year, was we
started a new playlist on prefixes and suffixes for people to expand their vocabulary. Prefixes and suffixes.
Yeah. An excellent idea.
And it meant that we had to learn new ways to teach words very quickly. I liked teaching washable best.

The label says washable so I can wash it. Washable?
Washable.
Washable?
Not washable!

And we did our first ever song and dance on camera. That’s true. We are not good dancers. When I went to edit this video and looked at how we were dancing, we were terrible. I couldn’t edit anything in time to the music. But remember. Black socks never get dirty.

Jay, you need to put these socks in the wash.
But they’re black.
So?
Black socks never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get. Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet, not yet, not yet. Not yet, not yet, not yet, not yet.
Black socks never get dirty. The longer you wear them the blacker they get.
Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet.
Black socks never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get.
Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet.

I think we need to practise our dance moves a bit more before 2017.
The other exciting thing that’s happened to our channel this year is it’s grown. It’s nearly twice as big as it was last January. And we’ve had a lot of friends helping us. That’s so true. All the people who have helped us by making captions. Thank you. You’ve helped enormously.
They’ve created captions in a lot of different languages, right? Yeah. There are over twenty different languages now.
That’s extraordinary. Thank you so much. Thank you so much everyone.
There was another video that we filmed with Rachel. Right. Do you remember the airport video?

Good afternoon
Hi.
Hi, we need to check in.
The machine didn’t recognize my passport.
I can help. Where are you flying to today?
Rio
Recife. We’re flying to Rio and then we have a connecting flight to Recife.
What are you looking for?
My reading glasses.
They’re on your head.
Oh. I had a bottle of water.
I threw that away.
Why?
You can’t take liquids on the plane.
Are you checking any bags?
Yes, just one
Can you put it on the scale?
Sure. Did you pack my gloves?
Gloves? Well it could be cold.
No, it’s summer in Recife.
Oh, of course. Can you check our bag through to Recife?
No, I can’t. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through customs.
And then we have to check it in again for Recife?
That’s right
How much time do we have? How long is our layover?
About two and a half hours.
That’s plenty of time.
I need to ask you some security questions. Who packed your bags?
Me.
Me. We both did
When did you pack it?
Last night.
And has it been with you since you packed it?
Yes.
Yes.
And are you carrying anything for anybody else?
No.
No.
Great. Here are your boarding passes.
Thank you.
Your flight leaves from gate 19 and boarding begins at 11:20.
11.20?
Yes. Your seat numbers are 16E and 16F.
Do we have an aisle seat? Yes, you have an aisle seat and a middle seat.
And how do we get to the gate?
You follow the signs to Departures.
OK. Thank you very much.
Have a great trip.
We will.
I’ve got another security question.
What?
Did we lock the front door?

She was fantastic in that video. She was. And what’s more, she can always remember her lines. Unlike you and me. I know, she’s very patient with us, isn’t she? Right. But she’s brilliant.
And one of our other favourite collaborators is Kathy. Oh Kathy. Our mean boss.

Hi Kathy. How are you?
Fine.
You know we’re both flying to Frankfurt next month?
Yes.
Can we fly business class?
Absolutely not. The tickets would cost five thousand dollars.
It would be worth it for such a long flight.
Business class is really comfortable.
Forget it!
Ah well. It was worth a try.

Kathy is actually one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, but I keep writing scripts where she’s the mean boss.
What’s your favourite? Oh, my favorite is the one where I’m hiding from you.

Oh Jay! It’s like he’s avoiding me.
Did you manage to get a new car, Jay?
Yes, it’s fantastic. It’s a Lamborghini.
Really?
Yeah. It can go over 200 miles an hour.
I’m surprised. I thought Vicki wanted a small family car.
Yes, but this car’s amazing. It’s a convertible.
How much did it cost?
Uh oh. Gotta go.
Hi Kathy
Hey Vicki.
Was that Jay?
He said he had to go.
I’ve been trying to talk to him all morning. There’s this sports car parked in our drive way and I don’t know whose it is.
Ah…. I think he’s trying to avoid you.

There was one collaborator who I found very difficult to work with. Oh but he’s my favorite collaborator. You know who I mean. I know who you mean – Carter. I do. Carter is the best puppy. He really is. He’s absolutely terrible on set.

This lesson’s about adverbs of frequency, but really it’s about me, Carter. I’ll teach you how to look cool.
People often ask me about my life as a fashion model.
Well, I’m always busy. I generally have two or three photo shoots a day and I’m frequently on the cover of top magazines.
I have a lot of fans in social media – millions of followers. I post to Facebook once or twice a day and I tweet and snap chat. And I travel a lot. I was in Paris last week and London last month.
A fun fact – I know I look very fit but I don’t usually work out. I normally take a walk three times a day but that’s all.
How often do I go out to parties? Well every night, but I am rarely home later than 3 am. I hardly ever stay up till 4. I’ve got to look my best, you see.
Yes, it’s not easy being a star like me. It’s a dog’s life, but I never complain. It’s just the price I have to pay for being famous.

But the biggest project we started this year was live shows, where we’ll stream live over (via) YouTube. Live television is the most exciting thing in the world to me. He used to be a television producer. And now we have electronic equipment that lets us switch three or four cameras, four computers, take calls in from overseas, put them all together. It’s really exciting. Live shows are great.
We had lots and lots of rehearsals this year but we only actually did one live show. That was last week.
Hey! Come on everybody. It’s gonna star… who did that?
It’s good to be back working with Jason again, isn’t it. He is
excellent. He’s a great teacher and he’s a great rapper. He’s a rapper.
Not only are we working with Jason, but you get to fly to Paris.
It was great. We learnt a lot. But it was chaos at the beginning. Before the show started, we’d had lots of checks. And then four minutes before it began, what went wrong?
Jason’s audio, Jason was collaborating with us from Paris, his audio went out of synch with his video.
My mike stopped working and then someone came to the door and Carter started barking.
So we thought all of this was going out on the stream. Well, it turns out I hadn’t actually pressed the button to start the show. So we recovered from that. It looks pretty good.
so we’re planning to have live shows on Sundays in 2017. Put the dates in your calendar now.
Something you should know about the live shows: in order to get notified about when they are, you need to sign up for our mailing list,
I’ll put details below, and also, click the little bell button. And then when you’re on YouTube, it will say when we’re streaming.
And there’s also going to be a change in the schedule. Yes. We’re going to start publishing our lessons on Thursdays next year, and also we’ll have the live shows on Sundays.
The other thing I want to do before 2016 is over is say a BIG thank you to you, our subscribers. Thank you so much. We’ve had such a wonderful response from all the people out there. It’s really gratifying.
It’s really nice to see people clicking that like button, sending us comments, suggesting new videos to us. Please keep it coming. We love hearing from you.
So now we just need to say Happy Christmas to everybody.
Happy Holidays to everybody. He says ‘Happy Holidays’ ’cause he’s American. We’re going to be having a British and an American Christmas in our house this year. Let me show you how we’re going to be celebrating.

What are you doing?
I’m getting ready for Santa.
Father Christmas!
Yes, and I’ve got him milk and cookies.
Milk and biscuits.
Yeah.
We give him something stronger in the UK.
Brandy? Yes, he’s an adult. And mince pies.
Mince pies with chopped meat?
No, with currants and sultanas.
Mmmm,
Beats milk and cookies, doesn’t it? Merry Christmas everyone.
Happy holidays.

Q&A 5 Language change, word frequencies, effectual, autumn, fall and our live show

Q&A 5 Language change, word frequencies, effectual, autumn, fall and our live show

A question and answer session where Vicki and Jay answer viewers’ questions about the English language. They look at the words efficient, effective and effectual, language change, hyphens and also fall and autumn.

Click here if you’d like to know more about the words efficient and effective.

Transcript:
Oh look, here we are again Jay.
Yes, this lesson is a Q & A – question and answer.
We haven’t done one of these for a while.
Yes, it’s good to be back
And we have an important announcement for you all.
It’s about the Live show, so stick around so we can tell you about it.
Yeah.
Stick around. That means stay with us. Don’t go away.
So let’s get to it.
Well our first question is from Trin Nguyen. Trin had a question about our video on the words effective and efficient. Trin says ‘Thank you so much for the clear explanation, but could you make another video talking about effectual. Is it the synonym of effective?’
So does effectual mean the same as effective? Should we show everyone what effective means first?
Yeah, let’s roll the clip.

Our windows are dirty so I’ve bought a new tool to clean them. Let’s try it out. Great results. It’s very effective.

So effective means getting the result you want, producing a successful result.
But what about effectual? Trin wants to know if it means the same thing.
Yes it does, Trin, they’re synonyms. But effective is a much more common word than effectual.
It’s a more useful word to know.
Exactly. I looked it up at Google Fight and you can see which word is more frequent. Effective is used a lot more than effectual.
What is Google Fight?
It’s a great website for comparing word frequencies quickly. You type in two words or phrases and it calculates a Google visibility score. It looks at the number of times people have searched for the words on Google and the number of results Google came up with.
Is it an official Google website?
No, it was set up by some guys in France I think, but it uses Google data.
There is a similar Google site called Ngrams, isn’t there?.
Yes, Ngrams is great for historical data and I went there too. It’s an official Google site. So at Ngrams I typed in effective and effectual and you can see – we get similar results.
Effective is the red line and effectual is the blue line.
That’s right. This shows you how often the words were used in books over two centuries.
Just books.
Yeah.
So effectual used to be more frequent than effective, but now it’s not. You can see how words rise and fall over time, because of course languages change. So Trin, don’t use effectual. It’s an old fashioned word.
That was a great question from Trin.
Yeah, let’s have another one.
OK, several people have been commenting about the pizza in our latest video. Paw El says How much is a regular pizza in the UK. I’m just curious, he says, because the price in the video seems horrendous for a pizza.
Horrendous – that’s a really great word. It means extremely shocking.
Unacceptable.
That’s right. Let’s see how much you paid for that pizza

I paid twenty five dollars.
I ordered extra toppings.
You know, I paid the pizza guy last week too.
Do you want us to contribute?
Oh there’s no need. He’s already paid for it.

I think you’re right Paw. $25 was a horrendous price. By the way, we paid for it in the US, not the UK.
How much do we normally pay for a pizza?
In Philadelphia it’s generally about $12 or $13 plus a tip. So maybe about $16. Unless you get extra toppings.
Then I must have ordered a lot of extra toppings. I was very hungry, Paw!
Shall we tell everyone about the live show now?
No, let’s have another question first.
OK. This one’s from Julian Perez. Julian had a question about the video we made on the prefix anti-.
Umhmm.
He said ‘Hello there. Thanks for sharing this video. I noticed that some of the words had the prefix anti- with a hyphen and others don’t. Is there any rule to use this prefix with or without a hyphen.
That’s a really great question. Well spotted Julian.
So what are the rules for hyphens? And are there any rules?
There are some rules, but they’re not straightforward. Sometimes it depends on meaning. Like we’re working on another video where a prefix has two meanings.
Oh yeah. With one meaning it has a hyphen but with the other it doesn’t.
And the other big factor is language change. Again, language change. Over time people just start changing how they write words.
So how do dictionaries decide how to spell them?
Well these days dictionaries have big databanks of language and they look at them to see what people are saying and writing.
So they can see if people generally hyphenate a word or not.
That’s right.
Do we use hyphens more or less these days?
I don’t know about prefixes, but with compound nouns it’s less.
So we’ve been using fewer hyphens?
Yes, you’ll find lots of words that had hyphens in old editions of dictionaries that don’t have hyphens any more.
Can we give everyone more help with the rules?
Yes. I’ll put a link in the details below to an Oxford University Press dictionaries page.
Great. Let’s tell everyone about the live show now.
Yeah. Last summer we told you we planned to start live shows in the autumn. But we didn’t.
Too many things happened and we needed to rehearse a lot.
But now we’re ready.
We actually had a question from Anatoliy Borys about that. Anatoliy wrote for the first time in my life I’ve seen the expression starting in the fall. They he wrote what means starting in the autumn?
Ah, autumn and fall. So he means what do autumn and fall mean?
And then he asks can you make explaining video about this.
So can we explain this? Aha, yes we can Anatoliy.
So can we make a video explaining this. Anatoliy, fall is the American word for autumn. And I’m British so I usually say autumn.
And I’m American and I say fall.
But it’s December now so our live show is a bit late because it’s not the fall or the autumn.
Well, you know technically, it’s still fall. Winter doesn’t start until around December 20th.
But here’s the important thing. The show’s going to be great. Get your diary out everyone.
She means calendar.
And mark the date. Next Sunday – that’s the eleventh of December.
December eleventh.
At 4 pm London time…
11 am New York time
… we’re holding our first live show. We’ll both be there and we’re featuring our old friend Fluency MC.

Once again it’s Fluency MC. Fluency MC. Once again it’s Fluency MC. Grammar through lyrics. Kick it!

Jason will be live in Paris and Vicki will be live right here in Philadelphia.
Jay is our Technical Director and he’s going to transport me to Paris.
Well, I’m going to try. But we’ve got lots of things planned – language practice, conversation, games, puzzles.
And a rap.
And there’ll be live chat so you’ll be able to ask questions and communicate with us.
You don’t want to miss this. It’s a historic event.
Yeah, you want to be able to tell your children ‘I was there at the very first Simple English Videos Live Show.’
So get this date in your diary.
Your calendar.
And if you want a reminder, sign up for our newsletter and we can send you an email 10 minutes before it starts. We’ll put a link in the details below. Tell all your friends about it. Jay’s going to transport me to Paris.
Well, I’ll try. We’d better stop now and go and rehearse that bit.
It’s going to be great. See you there everyone.
Bye.

Can and Could Questions and Answers with Ronald Grump

Can and Could Questions and Answers with Ronald Grump

We had a question about can and could from a viewer. Come hang out with us and learn how we use the verbs these verbs in English. We answer questions and share a news update about our live English lessons. Oh and we also meet Ronald Grump – a puppet President

Check these links for our video lessons on can and could.
How to say Can and Can’t in British and American English
How to use Can, Could and May to ask for permission
Get what you want in English

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s lesson. I’m Vicki.
And I’m Jay. And here’s a big shout out to all our new subscribers. It’s great to have you with us.
We’re going to have a Q&A this week – questions and answers.
Thank you to everyone who has been sending us questions.
What’s the first one?
OK this comes from Mai Nguyen and she asks about the difference between ‘can’ and ‘could’. Can you call me back later? Could you call me back later? How to use can or could?
So how do we use can and could? Well in Mai’s example they mean the same thing. Can you call me back? Could you call me back? Same meaning but ‘could’ is just a little bit more formal and polite.
These structures are very, very common. We often use them when we’re making requests.
Yes, in lots of other languages you might say ‘Do it’ where in English we’ll say ‘Can you do it?’ or ‘Could you do it?’ It’s like we want to pretend the other person has a choice, even if they don’t.
Let’s look at another example.
Yeah, this is what happened when I took Jay to the dentist.

Can I help you?
Yes, can I make an appointment with the dentist?
I’m afraid he’s out at the moment.
Oh good! Can you tell me when he’ll be out again?

We heard three examples there. Kathy asked ‘Can I help you?’
And I asked ‘Can I make an appointment?’ And then ‘Can you tell me when he’ll be out again.’
He hates going to the dentist!
But I could also say ‘Could I make an appointment?’ and ‘Could you tell me…?’ and that would mean the same thing.
Yes, because they were both requests. ‘Could you’ would be a little more polite but there’s hardly any difference. There is a situation where ‘can’ and ‘could’ are different though.
What’s that?
When we’re talking about abilities – skills we have or had. For example, when I lived in Japan, I could speak a little Japanese. Not a lot, but enough to get by.
But you can’t speak Japanese any more.
No, that’s right. I could speak it in the past, but I can’t now. I was a long time ago and I’ve forgotten it.
So ‘could’ is the past form of ‘can’ there.
That’s right. What about you? Can you think of something you could do in the past that you can’t do now? Write and tell us in the comments below.
I can think of something.
What’s that?
Well, in the past I could do 30 push-ups. Now I can only do 10.
Great example. And I’ve got another one. Why don’t you tell them about your hand?
Oh yes. I had a problem with one of my fingers. I couldn’t move it, so I went to the doctor and they said they’d operate on it.
Let’s show everyone what you said.

Any questions?
Yes, doctor. Will I be able to play the piano after the operation?
Why, of course.
That’s great because I never could before.

OK, let’s have another question.
Well a lot of people are asking about our live lessons on YouTube. They want to know when they’re going to start.
And the answer is… We don’t know!
We’re still practicing and we’re getting closer.
Yes, we had a rehearsal today. Here are a few clips.
Hey Vicki. What I forgot to do was mute your, your speaker. Your monitor which is in front of you. There is a controller on the little table in front of you if you want to pick that up, that’ll be helpful. The little black table right in front of you.
Yes well actually this is a test for the live class. I’m… This is only a test! Hey, come on everybody. It’s going to start. So if you’re here could you tell us in the chat where you’re from. Well, that’s true. But you know it took… Who did that?
What did you learn from today’s rehearsal Jay?
We still have some technical things to work out. What about you?
I learnt an exciting thing about live classes is the chat. People watching the class can all chat to one another while the class is going on. That’s very cool.
We hope to start the classes next month.
Yes, subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t already and we’ll email you the schedule. I’ll put a link in the details below. Another question?
Ah yeah. This one is a comment from John. He says, ‘The book ‘Fix It’ is good and useful for me. Thank you.’
Oh that’s great to hear. I wrote Fix it and it’s a checklist that helps you correct common English mistakes. It’s available free on our website at Simple English Videos dot com.
If you want a copy, sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you a link to download it for free.
I’ll put a link to that below as well.
Now here’s another request.
Yeah?
It’s from John in Thailand. Now I don’t know if this is the same John or not but he says can you do more video that has Ronald Grump and Carter the dog.
So can we do more videos with Carter and Ronald Grump.
We should explain that Carter is our dog and we sometimes make videos about him.
I can put a link to some here.
Yeah, and Ronald Grump is a puppet. He’s running for president.
Most people know my name. My name is Ronald Grump and err… I’m here because I’m going to be the first puppet American to be President of the United States.
Well, it’s election season in America so I think we should have another Ronald Grump video.
It’s a great idea. John, thank you for that. Let’s say goodbye Jay and Ronald Grump can play us out.
Bye everyone.
Bye!

Ladies and gentlemen. Please welcome the next President of the United States, Ronald Grump.
If I’m elected President of the United States, I, Ronald Grump, will make you a preposition.
I’ve loved English. All the words. You’ve got the nouns, you’ve got the adverbs, you’ve got the adjectives, you’ve got clauses. Let me tell you something. My English will be the best English.
Some people, let’s be honest, they’re losers. Their adjectives are losers. When they send us their adjectives, they’re not sending us their best. If I am elected, we will have no more bad adjectives. If you pick Ronald Grump to represent your grammar, we will make America’s adjectives great again.
Listen, listen. I’m from here. I’m a New Yorker through and through. But let me just tell you something. Here’s the thing. The situation with these foreign languages now, it’s unbelievable. It’s out of control. I was here when foreign languages came in and they celebrated when we lost infinitives. They split our infinitives, our infinitives right here, in our own country, and they were completely split. And what did the foreign grammars do? They were dancing in the streets. I saw it with my own eyes. It was awful. Unbelievable. There will be no more foreign grammars until we figure out what the heck is going on.
Conjunctions, let me tell you. You have a dependent clause over here. You have a subordinate clause over there. It’s crazy. It’s out of control. There’s no unity. America’s not great any more. We’re gonna make America great. This is how we’re gonna do it. Are you ready? I am gonna build a conjunction. A conjunction between the clauses. It’s gonna be the biggest, the best. It’s gonna be a beautiful conjunction. It’s gonna be one of the most beautiful conjunctions you’ve ever seen. And what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna make the clauses pay for it.
Simple English Videos. I love them. I’ve always loved them. They’re great people. You’re gonna love them. They’re unbelievable. Simple English Videos dot com. You should subscribe. Subscribe. Everybody should subscribe. Has anybody here not subscribed yet? That’s right. Get ‘em out! Get ‘em out! Get ‘em out! Everybody out! Simple English Videos.

To get the schedule for our live lessons, subscribe to our newsletter. Follow this link for details. https://www.simpleenglishvideos.com/live-classes/

Follow this link to learn more about the Fix It checklist, and download your free copy: https://www.simpleenglishvideos.com/free-fix-it-checklist/

Have you got a friend whose learning English? Help them by sharing this video with them.

You might also want to watch:
How to say Can and Can’t in British and American English
How to use Can, Could and May to ask for permission
Get what you want in English

Happy words! Ways to Say You’re Happy in English

Happy words! Ways to Say You’re Happy in English

Looking for happy words? Here are some different ways to say you’re happy in English. Why are we happy in this video? Well, we were winners in the YouTube NextUP 2016 competition. Watch the video and we’ll tell you about it.

To see two of the videos we made while we were at the YouTube studios in New York, Click these links:
English Rhythm and beatboxing
How to learn an accent – tips from an impressionist

Happy words video transcript

Look at this. We’ve won a YouTube competition
Really?
Yeah. I’m joining the NextUp Class of 2016.
That’s amazing!

Happiness is a wonderful thing, and in this lesson you’ll learn expressions you can use to say you’re happy. Watch us react to some good news and see how many you can spot.

We really won?
Yeah, I’m so chuffed.
Chuffed?
Yeah, I’m tickled pink.
Well me too. I’m thrilled. So what’s our prize?
I’m going to spend a week at the YouTube studios in New York at Creator Camp.
So we can make Simple English videos there?
Yeah, and I get to collaborate with the other winners.
How cool is that!
I’m over the moon.
Me too. I’ll go and pack my bags.
No stop. It’s just for me.
I can’t come to New York?
No. You can stay here and look after the office.
Oh, I never win anything.
Well, we’ve also won some vouchers to spend on production equipment.
Really?
Two thousand five hundred dollars.
You’re kidding! Microphones, lights, a new camera.
How are you feeling now?
I couldn’t be happier.

So how many expressions did you spot?

I’m so chuffed.
Chuffed?
Yeah, I’m tickled pink.
Well me too. I’m thrilled.

Chuffed is a British English expression and it means very pleased and delighted. Here are some phrases you’ll hear in British and American English. Notice ‘I’m tickled pink’. The idea here is you’re so happy you glow with pleasure. We might also also say we’re over the moon. Now another expression.

How are you feeling now?
I couldn’t be happier.

This one means you are so happy that it it’s impossible to be any more happy.
And now we both have some news. This is real news. We really have won the competition.
Every year YouTube holds a NextUp competition for promising channels.
There are 36 winners in the US this year, and Simple English Videos is one of them!
All kinds of channels entered, so Vicki will be collaborating with some really interesting YouTubers.
I can’t wait to meet them. We’re so chuffed!
So why did we win? Was it my acting?
Ha! Maybe. What do you think? But one reason was channel growth – the number of people who watch our videos.
Oh. Then we need to say thank you to all our viewers.
Exactly! When you watched a video or clicked the like button, or shared it, or subscribed, you helped us win.
Then thank you everyone!
We’re over the moon!

Click here to see this video with a clickable transcript.

And click here for more hangout videos. Come join us!

Hangout and Q&A 3 (The word ‘afraid’)

Hangout and Q&A 3 (The word ‘afraid’)

Click here for more hang out and Q & A videos
This week’s lesson is a Q&A – we’re going to answer some of the questions you’ve sent us.
Hey, we’re back in our room with interesting things.
Yes, they come from all over the world, like your questions. So what’s this lesson about?
We’re going to look at a way to say ‘go away’ – and also how we use the word ‘afraid’. And we want to tell you about our live classes.
But first I want to say a huge thank you to our viewers for the captions they’ve been writing.
Oh yes. That’s been amazing.
A few weeks ago we asked for help. We asked our viewers to write captions for our videos in other languages.
The response was amazing.
Yeah, since then we’ve had more than 70 caption files submitted.
It’s incredible.
I feel really touched that so many people have been helping us with this.
Touched is when you feel emotional about something.
And that’s exactly how I feel. People have been so kind and I feel so happy and grateful to them.
These captions are helping us grow our channel and they’re helping learners who need a little more support in English.
And they help people who are deaf or hard or hearing too. I’ll put some of the languages we’ve received captions in here.
There are so many.
I want to say thank you to Anatoliy, David, Dreamy2206, Danny, Marina, Nives, Wilson, Donnie D, Heiricar, Mearv, Mayela, and a big merci beaucoup to you Cecille, you’re a star. You’re all stars!
And we also have a caption file in Vietnamese but I don’t know who gave it to us.
You don’t?
Yeah, sometimes the system doesn’t tell us so I hope I didn’t miss anyone. If I did, please forgive me.
We’re really very grateful. And if anyone else wants to help, please do. I’ll put a link to the video here so you can find out more.
OK, now what about a question…
Nimky had a question about a video we showed where someone says ‘Beat it’.
Beat it.
Yes, let’s run the video. (run video)
Nimky says ‘What beat it means?’
So he means, what does ‘Beat it’ mean?
Yeah
Nimky it means ‘get out of here’, ‘leave me alone. ‘ ‘Go away’. It’s very direct – an order. But I think it’s quite an old fashioned expression. What do you think, Jay?
Yeah. I think these day’s I’d say, ‘Get out of here.’
That works in British English too. And in British English we could also say, ‘clear off’. That’s very direct too. I would say it to someone I was close to but probably not my boss. Would you say ‘clear off’ in American English, Jay? Absolutely not. I would just say ‘Get out of here’.
OK, that was a great question Nimky. Thank you.
OK, next question….
Amit Chakroborty writes I saw most of the people use the sentence ‘I’m afraid that…’ Ah, I think he means I saw many people use the sentence, yeah. I’m afraid that. But I don’t know, what does it exactly mean. So what does it mean exactly? Could you tell me how I can use this sentence, I’m afraid that…
Another great question! The word afraid has a couple of different meanings in English. The first one is to feel fear – to be frightened because you think you might be hurt or something bad could happen. What kinds of things are people afraid of Jay?
Heights, for example. When you’re high up and look down and feel dizzy.
Yep, afraid of heights.
And I’m afraid of spiders. Argh!
And going to the dentists. I’m afraid of that.
Try not to feel that way. You’ve got to speak to get better.
I know something else that you’re afraid of.
What’s that?
Mice.
Help, help!
What?
I saw a mouse.
Where?
It ran into your office. I’m afraid to go in there.
So we use afraid to say we’re frightened of or nervous about something.
But there’s another meaning of afraid, and I think that’s what Amit is asking about.
Yeah, it’s a different use of afraid and it’s very common. If we want to say we’re sorry about something we can say ‘I’m afraid…’. We use it when we’re being polite.
So, let’s look at sales. I’m afraid we don’t have this month’s figures yet.
Never mind. We can use last month’s. Oh good. Last month’s were better.
So ‘afraid’ is like an apology there. Yes, an advance apology because we think we’re going to disappoint someone or upset them or annoy them.
It ran into your office. I’m afraid to go in there.
What happened?
It’s gone. Well where did it go?
I’m afraid it went to your office.
Well, I’m afraid we don’t have time for any more questions. Ah. But come back again and we’ll answer some more. Now we need to tell everyone about our live classes.
Oh yes, that’s very exciting.
Starting in the fall we’re going to hold regular live classes on YouTube every Sunday.
We’ll be broadcasting live from Philadelphia and we’ll have people joining us from all over the world.
Our friend Fluency MC says he’ll come.
Yeah, and lots of other people have said they’ll come. It’s gonna be great.
And because the lessons are live you’ll be able to communicate with us in the chat window.
If you want to come to a live class, sign up for our newsletter so we can tell you the schedule. We’ll put a link in the description below.
Yes, and thank you everyone who has been leaving comments and questions and suggestions for new videos.
We love getting feedback. Bye now.
Click here for more hang out and Q & A videos