William Shakespeare phrases

Shakespeare phrases that we still use today 1

William Shakespeare is the greatest English poet and writer who’s ever lived. Although he died 400 years ago, there are hundreds of words and phrases Shakespeare invented that we still use today. Native speakers use them all the time, without realizing where they come from. Let’s learn some!

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Phrases Shakespeare Invented Video 1

We have something different this week. We’re looking at phrases invented by William Shakespeare. Yeah, really. You’re going to learn from Shakespeare.
William Shakespeare is the greatest English writer and poet who’s ever lived. He died 400 years ago, but here’s the thing. We’re still using phrases and expressions that he invented today.
So let’s look at some. First one.
We often use this phrase when we’re telling a story. It means quickly and unexpectedly. Shakespeare used it to talk about how fast we can fall in love because that can happen quickly and suddenly.
Falling in love is a nice surprise, but we can use this phrase with bad surprises too – things that shock us. For example, all of a sudden, an alarm went off.

The lights went out and all of a sudden, I someone grabbed my neck.
The lights went out and all of a sudden, I someone grabbed my neck.

Next one?
Shakespeare wrote a play about a man called Macbeth. Macbeth was a murderer. He killed four people and his wife, Lady Macbeth, encouraged him to do it. She said, ‘Go on kill them. It’ll be good for us’. So he did, but after the murders, Macbeth felt badly about it and his wife wanted to comfort him, so she said ‘What’s done is done’.
Can you guess what she meant? We say this when we want to point out that you can’t change something that’s already happened. So if you spill some milk, there’s nothing you can do about it, and I might say ‘Forget it. Move on. What’s done is done’.

That’s great, Sally. Bye. Sally’s coming to our party.
You invited Sally?
Oh no.
What’s the matter?
Well Peter’s coming. He hates Sally. She dumped him.
Well it’s too late now. What’s done is done.
What’s done is done.

OK, here’s another expression from the play Macbeth. One of the characters gets tragic news – terrible sad news. All his family have been killed at once – all of them at the same time, in one go.
And that’s the meaning of ‘in one fell swoop’. We say it when a lot of bad things happen at the same time, as the result of a single action.

I’ve got terrible news.
What’s happened?
You know I told you there’s new management at the company.
Well, they let everyone go.
Yes. They laid off 300 people in one fell swoop.
Oh my.
They laid off 300 people in one fell swoop.
Oh my.

Let’s have a happier phrase now. We use this expression to say something happened by chance. These days we normally say ‘as luck would have it’, so we drop the word ‘good’. It means by lucky chance. Let’s see it in action.

We’ve had a difficult month.
Yes. First the car broke down.
That cost a thousand dollars to fix.
And then we had medical bills.
Another thousand dollars.
We didn’t know how we were going to pay the electric bill.
But as luck would have it, I won a prize in the lottery.
Two thousand dollars!
But as luck would have it, I won a prize in the lottery.

OK, I’ve got two more for you. Here’s one Shakespeare used in several plays. Now here the word ‘fair’ means treating people equally, in the right way. If a game is fair, then everyone has an equal chance of winning. And playing fair – that means following the rules of a game and not cheating. So if someone cheats, it’s not fair play.

Oh hurry up Jay.
Just a second.
Hey, what are you doing?
I’m looking in the dictionary.
But that’s cheating. He has no sense of fair play.
He has no sense of fair play.

Our last phrase is the opposite of fair play and Shakespeare invented this expression too. 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 is 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?

Now there’s an interesting thing about all these phrases and expressions. Native English speakers just say them, and we don’t normally know that they come from William Shakespeare. And there are hundreds more phrases that he invented, so we’re planning to make another video on this topic. Let us know in the comments if that’s a good idea. And if you enjoyed this video please share it with a friend who’s also learning English. And make sure you subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss our future videos. See you next week everyone.

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economy economic economics

Economic, Economy, Economize – an English word family

This lesson’s about economy words, so an English word family: economy, economize, economic, economical, economist, economics. They’re words you’ll often see in the news and they’re going to be useful if you’re using English at work or taking an exam.
Let’s compare their different meanings, uses and pronunciations.

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Economic, Economy, Economize etc. Video script

Come on over here everyone. Come on up front. Get your words here. Six words for the price of one. It’s a bargain!

Here’s a family words that you’ll often hear in the news. They’re useful if you need English for work or business, or if you’re taking an exam. They all come from the same root and they all mean something to do with money.
Let’s start with economy. This is about a system where money and goods are produced by a country. All countries want to grow their economies.
Hi everybody. Our top priority as a nation must be growing the economy. Creating good jobs and rebuilding opportunity for the middle class.
Now in a lot of languages people talk about the economy of company too, but English is different. When we’re talking about how much money a company has and how its managed, we usually say finances instead.

We need to talk about the company’s finances.
How are we doing?
Not good. Sales are down.
Well the economy’s been bad for everyone.

So we generally talk about the economy of a country and the finances of a company. Remember that. OK, next up we have a verb.

We’re spending too much money. We need to economize.
Do you really need to fly first class all the time?
Absolutely! I love the champagne they serve.
Well, we’ve got to cut down somehow.

So economizing means cutting down and trying to use less money than normal. So that’s a new meaning. It’s about trying to save money.
Great. Let’s look at two adjectives now. Economic and economical. They mean different things. We can say economic or economic and we can say economical or economical, but they mean different things.

And now financial news. Despite difficult economic conditions in Europe, the global economy continues to grow.

Economic means relating to the economy – production, trade, managing money. Economical is different.

You know we should buy bigger bags of pistachios.
Mmm. It would be more economical.

Economical is about using money carefully, so there’s no waste. So we’ve got these two different meanings again – money and saving money.
OK, just two more words. First one. What’s an economist?

And now for $100, can you name the economist who wrote the wealth of nations?
Ooo. I can. I can. It was Adam Smith.
You’re right for 100 dollars. Congratulations.

An economist is a person who studies economies. And the subject they study is… economics. The study of how money and goods are produced.
Economist. Economics. Notice the pronunciation. The stress moved. Let’s check all the words for that. Say them with me.
Now there are other words and meanings you can add to this family but you’ve got the basics here. Just remember there are two different ideas going on – money and saving money.
So that’s it for this week everyone. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel, if you haven’t already and see you next Friday! Bye!

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Trump tax audit

English words for money, tax and taxes – learn with Donald Trump

Learn English vocabulary for money, tax and taxes from a conversation with Donald Trump. We look at the meanings of words like tax, accountant, income, expenses, tax return and audit, along with other words and expressions.
We have also created a free worksheet to practice words and phrases in the video that you can find here:

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Talking Tax and Taxes with Trump Script

Hello and welcome to Simple English Videos where 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.
OK, the first word is tax? It’s an interesting noun because it can be countable or uncountable. And it means the money we must pay to the government, right?
I think I can agree with that.
I think the rules are unbelievably archaic and slow moving and in many cases unfair.
So you think the tax system is old fashioned and we should change it?
It’s just a very, very bureaucratic system.
Bureaucratic – another useful word. It means it involves a lot of complicated rules and processes. That’s why many people employ an accountant to help. Could you explain what your accountant does?
Well, it’s a … it’s a tough job.
Yes, keeping financial records, calculating taxes…
I have a very big tax return. You’ve seen the pictures. My tax return is probably higher than that from the floor.
Tax return – another useful expression. That’s the form we all complete for the government that contains our financial information. Your accountant completed your tax return.
He was able to do it, so obviously he’s a pretty smart cookie.
A smart cookie. So you think he’s bright and intelligent.
I have… I really have, you know, no comment on him. People are saying ‘Is he sane?’ I have no idea.
When you look at other people’s tax return, even other wealthy people, their tax return is this thick. My tax return is this high.
Yeah, yeah, because you have a lot of income. Income – the money we make from our work or investments. If we receive more income – we pay more tax.
I think it’s very unfair.
But, before we pay our tax we can deduct our expenses – deduct – take away and expenses – the costs. The money we have to spend in order to earn money. We can deduct expenses.
Much, much more than people understand.
So you think we can deduct more money?
Well, I have a problem
What’s that?
I’m under audit.
I think it’s a very unfair thing because I have been under audit almost like, since I became famous. OK?
Well, let’s explain. An audit is when officials examine your financial records to see if they’re true and correct. Nobody wants to be audited.
I would much prefer them not to do that, that’s right.
Because of your deals with Russia?
The concept of Russia with respect to us is a total phony story.
So it’s not true. And you mean a totally phony.
Of course it’s a total phony story.
Totally phony. Totally phony. Well, thank you so much for talking to us, Mr. President. We’re really grateful to President Trump for talking to us this week. See you next Friday everyone. Bye.

Hi everyone. If you’d like more practice with words and expressions you heard in this video, we’ve made a free worksheet for you. I’ll put a link in the description below. If you liked this video, please, give it a thumbs up, and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel. Bye now and happy studying.

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Actual and Current – learn how to use these false friends

The English words ‘actual’ and ‘actually’ are false friends in many languages, so English learners often think they mean one thing when in fact they mean another. Let us help you get them right. And learn how we use the word actually in spoken English. Watch this video.

Follow the links to see more videos on common false friends: sympathetic and nice, story and history, miss and lose, sensible and sensitive.
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Actual and Current Video Script

These are very useful words in English. Use them correctly and they’ll help you to sound more natural and polite. But be careful. If you use them wrongly and you could confuse everyone.
Lots of languages have words that look and sound like these words, but mean something different, They’re false friends. You think you know what they mean, but actually they mean something different so they cause misunderstandings. In English actual and actually mean real and really.

The tap in our bathroom stopped working.
So we bought a new one. It cost $100.
And then we had to pay for shipping, so the actual cost was higher.
Yes, we actually spent $120.

So we use actual and actually to say things are really true. They mean something like ‘in fact’. We don’t use them to say things are happening now or existing now. Some languages have similar words with that meaning, but in English they don’t mean currently or at present.

We currently have five sales offices in Asia and we don’t expect that to change. We have no present plans to expand.

So could you change these words and say actually and actual here? If you did, you would change the meaning. If you want to say something is happening at the current time, you need to use expressions like these.
So that’s very important. Actually means in fact or really, not currently. Another example.

Jay. What are our sales like?
Fantastic! We’re doing really well.
Can I see the actual figures?
Sure. I have them right here… Actually, they’re not as good as I thought.

So when I say ‘the actual figures’ do I mean the current figures, the up-to-date ones? No! I mean the real figures. I want to know the exact sales numbers. Now notice how Jay says actually here. He’s telling me he’s surprised by the figures.

It must be really cold outside.
Actually it’s quite warm.
Oh, I’m surprised.

If we think information is going to be a surprise, we often introduce it with actually.

It looks expensive, but actually it’s quite cheap.
Really? How much is it?
I think it’s about 50 bucks.

So you can use actually to contrast what’s really true with what someone thinks is true. Let’s look at another example and this time, try to work out why I say actually.

Would you like some more coffee?
Oh, actually I’m going to leave in a minute, so no thanks.
Oh, OK.

So why do I say actually here? It’s because I think Jay is expecting a different answer and my answer will be a surprise. Another example. What’s happening here?

Have you got time to talk?
Actually, I’m pretty busy at the moment.
OK. I’ll come back later.

So why does Jay say actually? Same reason as before. He thinks his answer will be a surprise. But something else is happening here too. Jay thinks I might not like his answer. When you’re saying no to a request or giving an answer the other person doesn’t want, you can say actually to soften it. It’s a polite way of giving unpleasant information.

Actually, I’m pretty busy at the moment.
OK. I’ll come back later.

Now there’s one other very common way we use this word. When we say something wrong and we want to correct ourselves, we can say actually.

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

So actually shows I’ve changed my mind. You can use it to take back what you said before.

And how long have you been doing karate?
For two and a… For two years.
Actually one and a half.

So we use actually to correct ourselves if we say something wrong, and it’s also useful for correcting other people.

We have new rules for cell phones in our office.
Yes, well actually we have one new rule. We have to turn them off in meetings.
Our boss goes crazy when they ring.
Well actually it is annoying for everyone.
Well, actually it rang eight times. I think she was very nice about it, considering.

So actually is a gentle way to correct someone. OK, are you ready for a quiz?
I’ve got three questions for you. First one. Have a look at this sentence. What the missing word here? Is it currently or actually? Let see.

May I speak to Kathy, please?
I’m afraid she’s currently assisting another customer. Can I help?
No, that’s all right. I’ll call back later.

The missing word is currently. When we’re talking about things that are happening now we say currently or at present. Next one. What’s the missing word here? Let’s see.

It was a thriller about love and revenge.
It was based an actual event where a wife killed her husband.
It was very scary.

So the answer is actual. It means the event happened in real life. OK, last question. What’s the missing word here? Well, it could be either, but the meanings would be different. If we’re talking about an up-to-date, present amount, it could be currently. But if we’re talking about a mistake and this is a correction, then the missing word is actually. Let’s see.

You’ve written thirteen dollars, but actually it’s thirty.
Oh, is it?
Actually, that’s my coffee. That’s yours.

It was actually. We can use actually to correct what someone says in a gentle way when we want to be polite.
Great – so now you know what these words mean and how we use them in English. Are they false friends in your language? And do you have other false friends? Write and tell us in the comments. Hey, maybe we can make a video about them.
Please make sure you subscribe to this channel so you catch our future videos and see you next Friday! Bye now.

Follow the links to see more videos on common false friends: sympathetic and nice, story and history, miss and lose, sensible and sensitive.
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British and American words for clothes – they’re different!

I had to learn some new words when I went shopping for clothes in the US. I’m British and I had some puzzled looks from shop assistants when I used my English words. Here’s a short video that goes through some of the different words we have for clothing in British and American English.

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Turn ups.
Wellies. It’s short for wellington boots.
Fanny pack.
Bum bag.
Bath robe.
Dressing gown.
Bathing suit.
Bathing suit.
Swimming costume.
Bowler hat.

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Realize, Notice and the phrasal verb Find out

Realize, Notice and the phrasal verb Find out

These verbs have very similar meanings so English learners often don’t realize their meanings are different. Realizing is about cognitive events that happen in our brain, while noticing is more physical. Find out is a very common phrasal verb that means get information.
You’ll find these verbs often come up in Cambridge exams like First Certificate and IELTS and American exams like TOEFL and TOEIC and they’re useful for everyday conversation too. This video will help you understand the differences and find out how to use them correctly.

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Realize Notice Video Script

Oh, I didn’t notice you were there. Do you know the meanings of these verbs? Maybe you don’t ‘realize’ they mean different things? You’re going to need these verbs. Don’t worry. In this video you’re going to ‘find out’ how we use them.
Realize means to understand or become aware of a particular fact or situation. If you realize something, you know about it.

So sales have fallen by ten percent. Are you listening?
You do realize this is a serious problem.
I don’t think you realise how serious this is.

So if we don’t realize something, we’re not aware of it. We don’t know about it. Realizing means to know and understand something in your mind. It’s a cognitive event – something that happens in your brain.

Oh. I’ve fixed your computer. I deleted a lot 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?

When we realize something it usually happens fast. So we don’t usually use ‘realize’ with progressive tenses. We don’t use continuous forms of the verb because happens fast.
OK, so realizing happens in your mind, in your brain. But what about noticing? Well that’s more like a physical event. It means you see, hear or feel something. It’s more physical.

Where’s Kathy?
Oh, I don’t know.
Has she left?
I didn’t notice her leaving. Oh look she in the other office.

So noticing is about seeing, hearing or feeling and becoming aware in a physical way. You might notice a smell.
Or notice that something looks different. We often notice changes.

Hey, you got your hair done, Vicki
It looks great, doesn’t it Jay?
Oh, yeah.
He never notices.
You know I noticed my hair is turning gray this morning.
Well yes. It’s been turning grey for a long time.
Really. I hadn’t noticed before.

Notice is a verb an it’s also a noun – a thing. A notice can be a sign that you see like ‘Don’t walk on the grass’, or ‘No parking’.

I just got a ticket for parking out front.
But there’s a big sign that says no parking.
I didn’t notice it.
They put it up yesterday.
They why didn’t you tell me?
I knew you’d find out.

So what about ‘find out’? What does it mean? Find out is a phrasal verb and it means to get information.

What time does the meeting start?
I don’t know.
Well can you find out?
Yes, I’ll send them an email.

We often find out information after we’ve tried to discover it. So if you want to know the meaning of a word, you can ‘find out’ by looking in a dictionary.
If you want to know more about the videos we make, you can ‘find out’ by subscribing to our channel.
In fact that’s a great idea. Why don’t you subscribe now and then we can meet again next week. Until then, happy studying!

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Wear, Put on, Get dressed & Carry – How to use these verbs

These verbs can be false friends in some languages. Check you know how to use them with this video.

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Wear Put on Get Dressed Carry Video Script

You get up in the morning and get dressed – put on your clothes and after that you’re wearing them. Easy huh? No. These words are tricky and it’s easy to make mistakes. In this video you’re going to learn how to use them correctly.
‘Put on’ means place on our body. First we put clothes on, and then after that, we’re wearing them – we have them on our body. So Jay is putting on his hat, placing it on his head, and now that action is completed and he’s wearing it.

Vicki, what’s Jay wearing?
It’s a tin foil helmet. He says he doesn’t want aliens to read his mind.

When we wear something we have it on our body. I’m wearing a black jacket today
Wear is an irregular verb. Wear, wore, worn.
And ‘wear’ is a transitive verb so we always wear something.
We can wear things like glasses, hats, name tags, jewelry, wigs and makeup.

Are you wearing my hairspray again?
It was windy today.

Now be careful because in some languages it’s easy to confuse the verb ‘wear’ with the verb ‘carry’. There’s just one word that covers both these actions but in English there are two.
We use ‘carry’ when we’re talking about holding something.

Oh do you need some help?
I’ll carry this one.
Thanks a lot.

So carry is about supporting the weight of something while we take it from one place to another place. Wear is different.

I’m carrying an umbrella and wearing a hat.
I’m carrying an umbrella and wearing a hat.

Great! Now let’s look at the word ‘dress’. ‘Dress’ can be a noun – a thing. A dress is a piece of clothing that women wear. For example, a wedding dress.
You’ll often hear the adjective: ‘dressed.’ If someone is dressed it means they’re wearing clothes. And if they’re not dressed, they’re not wearing them.

Aren’t you dressed yet?
Do I appear to be dressed?
Do dress, do hurry. It’s the most wonderful day.
Aren’t you dressed yet?
Do I appear to be dressed?
Do dress, do hurry.
It’s the most wonderful day.

Now here’s a question. Dress is the noun, and dressed is the adjective. Is the word ‘dress’ also a verb – an action? Yes. We don’t use much, but we can. It means putting clothes on our bodies and wearing them.

I like to dress smartly for the office.
And I like to dress in black.

We can dress ourselves, we can dress children, and we can dress our pets.
We can also dress up for special occasions – dress up means wear formal clothes that are nicer than our normal clothes.
We also dress up for a Halloween and wear fancy dress or costumes.
In British English we say fancy dress parties and in American, costume parties.
But when we’re talking about putting on clothes, we don’t usually use the verb dress. We use the adjective and get. So we say get dressed.

You’re not dressed yet?
We’re leaving in five minutes.
OK, I’ll get dressed now.

Notice Jay said ‘get dressed’. This is the common expression so you want to learn it.
Get dressed means put clothes on your body, but what about taking them off? What’s the opposite of get dressed?

OK I need you to get undressed. You can put your clothes in this bag.
OK, doctor.

The opposite of get dressed is get undressed – it means take off your clothes.
Great! So we’ve looked at dress, put on, wear and carry. Are you ready for a quiz? Let’s see what you can remember.
Look at these 4 phrases. Two have the same meaning and the others are different. Which two are the same?
These two. When you get dressed you put on your clothes.
Look at the picture? Which sentence is correct and which one is wrong?
This one’s correct. He has the hat on his head. Good.
Another one. Which sentence goes with this picture? This one. He’s holding it – taking it with him.
Look at what B says here. Is it right or wrong? Wrong! They need to say ‘I’ll wear it’. We always wear something.
We could also say I’ll put it on. Click here to see another video we’ve made about how we use the verb ‘put on’.
OK, one more. Which sentence is most natural?
This one.
Dress is also correct grammatically, but get dressed is what we normally say.
Well done! So what’s next? We have lots more videos that explain useful words and expressions, so check them out and share them with your friends. And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss our future videos.
Happy studying!

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Lose – Loose – Loosen – fix a common English mistake

Learn the differences in meanings and use of the words lose, loose and loosen with some jokes along the way.

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Lose Lose Loosen Video Script

So what’s the problem?
Oh, Doctor, I’ve lost my memory!
Really? When did this happen?
When did what happen?

These words are easy to muddle up so in this lesson we’re going to sort them out. Let’s start with lose. Lose is a verb. When we lose something, we no longer have it or we can’t find it.

This is the only key we have so don’t lose it.

Now loose. Loose is an adjective. If something is loose it’s not firmly fixed. It can easily become separated.

I’ve got a loose tooth.

Notice the pronunciation. Lose. Loose. They sound very similar, don’t they, but the final sound is different. Lose ends with a /z/ sound. It’s voiced. /lu:z/ /z/. There’s vibration here. /z/ Loose ends with a /s/ sound. /lu:s/ /s/. It’s unvoiced. /s/. No vibration.
Lose is an irregular verb. Lose lost lost.

What’s the matter?
I’ve lost my passport.
Oh. It’s in your hand.
Oh, thank you.

We can lose physical objects like passports, keys and glasses. And we can lose more abstract things too. See how many lost things you can spot in this conversation.

So tell me. How did your problems start?
Well doctor, I lost my job a couple of years ago.
So I applied for new jobs and when I went for interviews, they were very stressful. I started to lose my nerve when nobody offered me a job. So then I started to lose heart. I felt terrible. I lost confidence in myself and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I lost touch with a lot of my friends. I think I’m losing my mind doctor. Doctor? Are you listening?
Oh sorry, I’ve lost my pen.

How many expressions did you spot? First there was losing a job.

Well doctor, I lost my job a couple of years ago.

So when you get let go, fired or made redundant, you lose your job. Another one.

I started to lose my nerve when nobody offered me a job.

If we lose our nerve we become frightened or afraid of doing something. Great. Two more.

So then I started to lose heart. I felt terrible. I lost confidence in myself and I didn’t want to talk to anyone.

If we lose heart we become discouraged and if we lose confidence, we stop believing we can do things well or be successful.

I lost touch with a lot of my friends. I think I’m losing my mind doctor. Doctor, are you listening?

When we lose contact with people we stop communicating with them. And when we lose our mind, we become crazy and insane. Those are just a few things we lose. Can you think of any more? Tell us in the comments.
Now, another word you might confuse with lose is miss. In some languages people say lose in expressions where we’d say miss in English. We’ve made another video about that so if you’re not sure, check it out.
OK, let’s lose lose and look at loose now.

The copier’s not working.
Hmmm. Oh, I think the power chord is loose.
Oh, thank you!
You’re welcome.

Loose means not firmly attached, or not attached at all. If clothes are loose, they don’t fit your body tightly. Loose means free to move around.

Can I help?
Yeah, I’d like a five-pound bag of potatoes.
I’m afraid we don’t sell them in bags. We only sell them loose.
That’s OK.

Loose is an adjective, but we also have a verb: to loosen. It means to make something lose and it’s a regular verb. Loosen, loosened, loosened.

That was a wonderful meal.
I’m so full, I have to loosen my belt.

So loosen means to make loose or to untie. And can also say ‘to set things loose’ – untie them and set them free.
When I take Carter out for a walk I have him on a leash. But when we come home, I set him loose. Free!
So let’s review. There’s loose – an adjective – it means not attached, free to move around.
And then there are two verbs. There’s the irregular verb lose – that means we no longer have something or we can’t find it.
And there’s the regular verb loosen and that means make something loose. Got it?
Have a look at this sentence. Which word should you use here? Let’s see.

What are you looking for?
Oh, I lost the remote.

We need lost here – the past form of lose. Great, now another one. What word should you put here? Let’s see.

How was the meeting?
I’m glad it’s over so I can loosen my tie.
It was tough then, eh?

You need the verb loosen here – to make something free to move around and not tight. And one more. What word is missing here? Let’s see.

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

Did you get it? You need the adjective loose here. Great! So now you know how to use these words in English.
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Listen and Hear. What’s the difference in meaning?

The verbs listen and hear can be confusing for English learners. In this video we learn how English speakers use them and fix some common mistakes.
These verbs can be confusing. They have similar meanings but we use them in different ways so in this lesson you’ll learn how to use them correctly.
Let’s start with hear. When our ears pick up sounds, we hear.

If the number dialed is busy, you will hear the familiar busy signal.

Hearing is an unconscious act. We don’t think about it or want to do it. It just happens when there are sounds. Listening is different because it’s intentional – we decide to pay attention and listen.

Remember, before dialing, listen for dial tone.

So listening is intentional, but hearing happens naturally whether we’re paying attention or not. If we don’t hear something it’s because the sound isn’t reaching our ears.

Can you speak up? I can’t hear you very well

And when we ask someone to listen, we’re asking them to pay attention.

Now listen.
Let me tell you my plans, and listen with both ears. I have an idea….

We’re looking at listen and hear, but there are similar differences between look and see. Look is intentional and see is not. I’ve made another video about that. Follow this link to watch it.
So here’s a question. Is it possible to listen, but not hear? Well, yes. It happens if we’re paying attention but the sounds aren’t reaching our ears.

I beg your pardon. I’m sorry but I didn’t quite hear.
I said I’m not really having a spell.

And another question. Is it possible to hear but not listen? Yes. You can still hear sounds when you’re not paying attention.

This proposal looks interesting.
Yeah, we should arrange to meet these people.
What do you think Jay? Jay?
Oh, sure.
Do you want me to organize it then?
Yes please. What day works best for you?
OK. Thursday. And Thursday for you too Jay? Jay? Are you listening?
Oh sure, I heard you. I’m thirsty too.

So when we listen we pay attention. If we hear the radio, it’s on and it’s background noise. But if we listen to the radio, we’re paying attention to it. We also use hear when we’re talking about things we’ve learnt or been told about.

Have you heard from Jason?
Yeah, he just texted me. He’s going to be late.

So we’ll often use hear when we’re talking about news.

Hey, have you heard? We might get bonuses this year.
Yeah, the head office is talking about it.
Oh, great!

Listen is a regular verb. Hear is irregular, but it’s only the spelling that’s irregular because it ends in -D, not -ED. The pronunciation is hear, heard, heard.
We can listen. Or we can listen to something. So we listen to people, we listen to the radio and we listen to music. But notice we can’t listen something so these sentences are wrong. We can’t listen music. We ‘listen to’ music.

Didn’t you hear me knocking?
No, I was listening to some music.

So don’t forget to use ‘to’ here. Listen to music. Remember that.
Now ‘hear’. Hear is special kind of verb because it’s a sense verb. I’ve made another video about sense verbs and I’ll put a link here for you to check out. The important thing to note is we don’t usually use hear in the progressive or continuous form. Instead we often use it with ‘can’ so we say can or can’t hear.

I saw Thompkins this afternoon.
If you want to talk to me, come into the kitchen.
I can’t hear you when you’re in there and I can’t leave the food.
All right. All right.

Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?

Hey! You’re acting mighty suspicious.
Yes, you.
Don’t give me that. You can hear.
Yes, I’ll have another beer.

Have a look at these sentences. Which one is wrong? We can listen, or we can listen to someone or something, but we can’t listen something. This is wrong. Listen is often followed by ‘to’.
OK, now what about these ones? This one is correct. To talk about activities in progress, we use ‘listen to’. But notice this. To talk about the result of the listening, we could use ‘hear’. Now that means there are just a few situations where ‘hear’ has a very similar meaning to ‘listen to’.

I heard a really interesting story on the news this morning about computer games.
Oh, I listened to that too. Some of them have viruses that can bring the network down.

In this situation we could switch the verbs around and it would still be correct. So why is this? It’s because the focus is on WHAT we heard – the result of the listening and the hearing.
Now if that was hard – don’t worry. It’s a very unusual example because normally the meanings are quite different. Listening is intentional and hearing is not. Follow that rule and you can’t go wrong. Let’s finish with one more example.

What are you doing?
Shhh. Kathy’s on the phone with the head office.
Yeah, she’s talking about our bonuses.
Ooo. What’s she saying? I
really can’t hear very well.
Give me that.
But I want it.
No, let me listen.
[Kathy clears throat] What are you doing?
Oh, this is Jay’s.

Bath & Bathe. Let’s fix some common mistakes

Bath & Bathe. Let’s fix some common mistakes

How do we use the English verbs bath and bathe? And how do we use the word bath if it’s a noun? Find out in this video and watch my jokes drive Jay crazy.

I’m going to take a bath.
Really? Where are you going to take it?

This is our bath. Jay and I pronounce the word ‘bath’ a little differently.

Bath. Bath. Bath. Bath.

It’s also called a bathtub or tub, especially in American English. Bath is a noun, a thing. It’s not a verb, so we don’t bath ourselves. In the past the word ‘bath’ was a verb too, but not so much now. If we want to talk about the action of washing ourselves, we say ‘have a bath’ or ‘take a bath’. Have a bath is British English and take a bath is American.

Are you going to take a bath?
No, I’m going to leave it where it is.
That’s a terrible joke.

If we’re going to wash someone else in a bath, we might say we’ll bath or bathe them, but it sounds old fashioned. We generally say ‘give’. We give babies a bath. This is how we give our dog Carter a bath. We don’t use the tub. We give him a bath on the deck.
And there’s one more verb you might hear – to run a bath. It means to fill it with water.

I’m running a bath.

Now here’s where it gets tricky. There’s another word – bathe – and it’s a verb. It means swim somewhere, like in the sea or in a river. And sunbathe. When people sunbathe they lie in the sun. Notice the different pronunciation. Bath. Bathe. Bathe is pronounced with a long ‘a’ sound and it’s an old fashioned word again. It sounds very formal and we don’t use it much these days. We normally say swim, have a swim or go swimming. We go sunbathing too.
So here’s the key thing to remember. A bath is a thing. When we talk about the action of washing ourselves, we use other verbs like have a bath or take a bath.

I’ve got a joke for you.
What is it, Vicki?
What dog likes to take bubble baths.
Hmm, a bubble dog?
Ooo, good guess. No it’s a shampoodle.
A shampoodle. Ha! Ha! Good one Vicki.
He likes my jokes.
I know, right

Can you guess what this idiom means? Here’s an example.

Is that the new poster design?
Yeah, what do you think?
I like it. It needs a little work.
I hate it.
What? Stop! Keep it! There are some good ideas here.
I’ll start again.
No, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

We use this expression when something is not perfect and someone wants throw everything out and start again. But there could be good and useful things that they should keep. We don’t want old dirty bath water but we do want to keep the baby.

I’ll start again.
No don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. You can build on this.

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