GrammaTube - reveal all the potential of Phrasal Verbs

GrammaTube - reveal all the potential of Phrasal Verbs

At Learn English Online we have discussed several times the topic of “Phrasal Verbs” but we don’t get tired, guess why? The reason is because they are extremely important to acquire more fluency and confidence on your level of English.

This post shows a selection of YouTube videos that explain phrasal verbs, their structure, pronunciation and many examples of use.

Grammar can be one of the most difficult skills to develop in English but it is without doubt the key to progress throughout your learning. A good grammar base will help you to write properly and speak in English, hence improving communication with other people.

Phrasal verbs are usually recommended for students with an intermediate level of English. In any case, we recommend you watching these videos as they’ll help you to learn or remember.

JenniferESL gives an introduction about phrasal verbs

Link to the video on YouTube

Structure of the phrasal verbs explained by JenniferESL

Link to the video on YouTube

JenniferESL explains the pronunciation patterns of phrasal verbs

Link to the video on YouTube

Good subtitled video with many phrasal verbs that use “get”

Link to the video on YouTube

Excellent video that shows phrasal verbs containing “take”

Link to the video on YouTube

Video that explains what phrasal verbs are, and give some examples of phrasal verbs with the word "up"

Link to the video on YouTube

There are a lot of funny phrasal verbs in English that use the word "pull"

Link to the video on YouTube

Some examples of useful phrasal verbs

Link to the video on YouTube

More examples of commonly used phrasal verbs

Link to the video on YouTube
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Mastering English Slang and Idioms

Mastering English Slang and Idioms

Good students of English can know all the English words there are to know, yet still feel like a fish out of water if they don't take the time to master English slang and idioms. Now pause from reading this for just a few seconds. Did you notice the idiom in the first sentence of this paragraph? The expression "like a fish out of water" is an English idiom for feeling like you're out of your natural environment. In this case, a student might feel a little out of place if he's sitting around a table with English speakers who use a great deal of English slang and idioms if he doesn't understand it.

To really fit in to American English culture, it helps to know certain idioms and slang. First, however, we will explain the difference between an idiom and slang words. An idiom is an expression not to be taken literally in which certain combinations of words mean something all together different than what they appear to mean. A prime example of an idiom is the phrase "it's a piece of cake", which in English means "something that's really easy or simple." So if you are taking a really easy English test, you would say that the test was "a piece of cake". You will also hear easy classes in college being referred to as "cake" classes. To foreign ears, this might sound silly, but it makes complete sense to English ears because the idiom has deep roots in the culture.

Slang is a little more tricky, because these informal words and phrases often have an element of humor or irony to them that doesn't always translate well. It also changes from generation to generation, based often on youth culture in the U.S. For instance, something that was great in the 1960s was "groovy" or "far out", but those slang terms have fallen out of circulation today. Today, someone might say something great is "sweet" or "the bomb". Of course, the word "cool" has meant great for several generations now.

There are some helpful free video resources online on YouTube that can help you learn common English idioms and slang terminology that you can use in informal conversations with English speakers. A few of them are:
  • English lessons with Jennifer: The instructor in this video teaches 10 consecutive classes on American English slang.
  • This English instructor describes some commonly used expressions in English here.
  • An instructor walks English students through common slang terms and idioms used in the English language in this series of videos. Once you click on the first video, the others will run consecutively.
In addition to these video resources there are some great lists of common English slang and idioms available on academic websites, including:
This is a guest post from Alisa. Alisa Gilbert, regularly writes on the topics of bachelors degree. She welcomes your comments at her email Id:
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BETT - Fantastic Exhibition about Education and Technology

BETT - Fantastic Exhibition about Education and Technology

BETT is the biggest exhibition about education and technology in the UK and one of the top exhibitions worldwide. Fortunately, last week I had the pleasure to attend. This exhibition took place from the 12th to the 15th of January at Olympia exhibition centre in London.

It was a very good opportunity to get a flavour of the latest technologies used in education. BETT had more than 600 exhibitors among which there were famous name such as: Dell, Casio, Microsoft, Adobe, Pearson and Cambridge Education. There were also companies not as well known but that offered equally truly attractive products.

There was a product at the exhibition that was clearly dominant: interactive screens, either handled by a controller connected to a computer or touch screens that you could control with your fingers. There were also 3D TVs especially designed for educational purposes.

But at BETT, there was also a place for other products like pieces of furniture especially designed for the classroom, touch screens designed for people with special needs, teleconference services and many other things that you should see for yourself if you get the chance to visit this wonderful exhibition next year.

What especially got my attention was an “intelligent” robot that was just at the entrance and with which you could keep a real conversation going in English:

Speaking Robot

I also liked the Lego Education stand. I was lucky enough to see a couple of demonstrations of some Lego structures that you could build and later provide with some movement using very simple and intuitive software:

Lego Structure

Ah! It was also a great opportunity to network and connect with several companies that offer products as interesting as a virtual world for learning English or a very complete English learning system for children. More details will be revealed during this year.

You can see more pictures about BETT exhibition on our Facebook page.
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VocaTube - Vocabulary related to the Airport


Can you guess what the international language in an airport is? Exactly, it’s English. That’s why it’s very important to know the most commonly used vocabulary and expressions at the airport.

In this new episode of the VocaTube series, we’re bringing you a list of videos with which you’ll learn the most relevant English vocabulary to use at the airport. Moreover, videos are sorted according to the levels of difficulty (from the elementary to the advanced level) so you’ll be able to jump and watch only the ones you’re interested in.

Remember that vocabulary can only be improved with practice and listening through repetition. It’s difficult for everyone to understand from the beginning but you’ll notice that the more hours you listen, the better your understanding.

Essential vocabulary at the airport – elementary English

Link to the video on YouTube

Very good subtitled video that includes pronunciation of the words – intermediate English

Link to the video on YouTube

English phrases and questions that you’ll hear at the airport – intermediate English

Link to the video on YouTube

On the way to the airport – intermediate English

Link to the video on YouTube

Learn how to talk about your travel plans – advanced English

Link to the video on YouTube

Interesting explanation about the new Terminal 4 at Madrid Barajas – advanced English

Link to the video on YouTube

A day in the life of a flight attendant – advanced English

Link to the video on YouTube
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Learn Everything about Articles & Acronyms in English

Articles are mostly thought of as grammar, but there is a second part to using articles properly. The grammar of articles tells you why to use articles, while pronunciation tells you how to use the articles, ‘a’ and ‘an’.

As I’m sure you know, ‘a’ and ‘an’ are used before nouns, ‘an’ for those which start with a vowel (not actually the vowel, but a vowel sound) and ‘a’ for those which start with a consonant (the rest of the alphabet sounds). We all take this for granted, but why have 2 indefinite articles? It’s all about the smoothness of pronunciation.

Let’s look at what I’m talking about:

Say ‘a apple’, notice how it’s two distinct sounds with a small break between them, not very smooth. Now say, ‘an apple’, smooth as glass. The ‘an’ flows right into apple as one whole sound.

Now say, ‘an computer’, sounds a bit weird and feels a little strange on the tongue. By saying ‘an’, your tongue is left touching the roof of your mouth and has to totally change position to say the ‘c’ sound in computer.

Say, ‘a computer’, that’s better. When saying ‘a’ your mouth is basically in the default mode for speaking, mouth open in a natural position and your tongue at rest. It’s now easy to go into the ‘c’ sound in computer.

Say, ‘an umbrella’, all is well, it’s nice and smooth. Now say, ‘an university’, it feels and sounds quite a lot like saying ‘an computer’. The ‘uh’ sound in ‘umbrella’ is the actual vowel sound for the letter ‘u’, while the ‘u’ sound in ‘university’ is ‘yu’, a consonant sound.

So now we know why we use an ‘a’ before consonant sounds and ‘an’ before vowel sounds. But why is the difference between vowels themselves and vowel sounds important? Because in two cases, vowels don’t use a vowel sound and in one case, a consonant does.

When ‘o’ words begin with a ‘w’ sound like in the word ‘wow’:

a one-dollar bill
a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

And more commonly, ‘u’ words that begin with the ‘yu’ sound:

a United Nations delegation
a unicorn

For consonants, in words that begin with the letter ‘h’ where the ‘h’ is silent, the word uses ‘an’:

an hour
an honour
but not an helicopter

So, that brings us to the video lesson. Nowhere do these pronunciation rules matter more than when pronouncing acronyms (if you’re not sure what an acronym is, that is also explained in the video lesson). The lesson also looks at another article rule regarding acronyms and the use of ‘the’.

Link to the video on YouTube

After watching the lesson, you can come back and test your new-found knowledge with the quiz below.


How would you say the following organizations?
  1. FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations)
  2. YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association)
  3. CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere)
  4. PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers)
  5. ECHO (European Community Humanitarian Office)
  6. BMW (Bavarian Motor Works)
  7. NAPE (National Association for Protection of Environment)
  8. SAP (Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte)
  9. RDF (Rural Development Foundation)
  10. KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
  11. SELDA (Social Education Language & Development Association)
  12. USAID (United States Agency for International Development)
Which article (‘a’ or ‘an’) would you use with the following acronyms.
  1. LED (Light Emitting Diode)
  2. CIA agent (Central Intelligence Agency agent)
  3. ICMB (Inter- continental Ballistic Missile)
  4. USDA inspection (United States Department of Agriculture inspection)
  5. HP computer (Hewlett-Packard computer)
  6. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
  7. PC (Personal Computer)
  8. SLR camera (Single-lens Reflex camera)
  9. RAF pilot (Royal Air Force pilot)
  10. UPS truck (United Parcel Service truck)
  11. XBox (Video game console – the X stands for DirectX)
  12. NASCAR race (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing race)
  13. NCAA game (National Collegiate Athletic Association game)
  14. MD (Medical Doctor)

Part 1:
  1. FBI : The F-B-I (an organization which cannot be pronounced)
  2. YMCA : The Y-M-C-A (an organization which cannot be pronounced)
  3. CARE : care (an organization which can be pronounced)
  4. PWC : P-W-C (a company, so no ‘the’)
  5. ECHO : echo (an organization which can be pronounced)
  6. BMW : B-M-W (a company, so no ‘the’)
  7. NAPE : nape (an organization which can be pronounced)
  8. SAP : S-A-P (a company that can be pronounced ‘sap’ but is known by its initials)
  9. RDF : the R-D-F (an organization which cannot be pronounced)
  10. KFC : K-F-C (a company, so no ‘the’)
  11. SELDA : selda (an organization which can be pronounced)
  12. USAID : U-S aid (a hybrid, an organization where the first part is said letter by letter and the rest as a word)
Part 2:
  1. LED : an LED
  2. CIA agent : a CIA agent
  3. ICMB : an ICBM
  4. USDA inspection : a USDA inspection
  5. HP computer : an HP computer
  6. FAQ : an FAQ or faq (pronounced ‘fak’)
  7. PC : a PC
  8. SLR camera : an SLR camera
  9. RAF pilot : an RAF pilot
  10. UPS truck : a UPS truck
  11. XBox : an XBox
  12. NASCAR race : a nascar race (NASCAR can be pronounced)
  13. NCAA game : an NCAA game
  14. MD : an MD
Guest post from Rob who is co-founder and co-director of Story & Birch English Language Vacations Ltd. based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Story & Birch is a family-run company which specializes in short-term homestay English training holidays. Rob is an experienced teacher having taught in Slovakia and Germany for seven years before returning to Canada. You can also find Story & Birch on Facebook.
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English Essay Writing Tips

If you were writing for a while you know that English may be one of the most difficult languages to write When you consider that you have words that sound the same but have completely different meanings without count the fact that you have several different styles of English to fight, from American, British, Canadian and everything else, you know it can be quite a challenge to communicate effectively. essay in English is no exception.

However, there are a few tips you should consider when you start writing your next essay or creative writing piece. The first council to consider is that although there are different styles of writing in English from what I saw, the dominant style is American spelling. Of course, you must remember that this will vary depending on your situation. After all, if you are in Canada, you must make sure that you use the Canadian spelling of words such as "center" and not the Americanized version of "center". This is something that can go up to even the best writers in particular when one considers that word processors come with the American model of spelling by default. So a tip of the key is to always consider your locale that you write.
Another thing to consider is the language itself is complex, there is no shame in using a reference grammar and punctuation, either online or, better yet your local bookstore. Of course, you want to make sure it is and the date of reference you can refer to regularly. It's something I can not live without because of the amount of writing I do on a daily basis. And it is almost impossible to remember all the rules of grammar or punctuation that you need to create a piece of effective writing. Good English writing, writing about, you need good reference material as well.

A final point to remember regarding the essay in English is that eventually all spell check automated assistance can listen to your time of replay, you'll still need to ensure the manually read and reread your paper before Although you have returned to spell check is quite advanced, there is not replace the human brain when it comes to this task, the best idea is to use both.
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English Writing Skills

To develop good writing skills in English, you should know that a personal essay, which is remarkable, whatever its length, could be the deciding factor for a prospective writer. However, only the written words are not enough to show the level of competence. The personal essays today must turn around the feeling of a personal observation and style to decipher each sentence, and the writer's responsibility to ensure that these elements are not over looked.

The writer must always concerned about the reduction before beginning his essay to have good writing skills in English should not continue to write his own story. Precautions must be taken so that the subject is kept smaller. The point of the article should be put into writing it in a sentence and the sentence must be supported by a single paragraph. We must try not to be very high with its concept and must find the points and stick to it.

Always be careful to refine the opening of his article the first few paragraphs are very important because they are the first chance to attract the attention of readers, to write an introduction negligent on the topic of discussion is not desirable of English writing practice, it must be very lively in its writing and be clear as well as providing original questions and poignant stories to get readers hooked. The introduction of the article should be made so fascinating and mysterious it evokes curiosity. It should make the reader want to read more. Since the first paragraph is the most important, much time and thought must be devoted to articulate.
The writer must know how to reveal his personality through his writings.Do not be too formal and complex grammar which removes the personal touch of the article. It is advised to forget the big words and sometimes loft.

Writing skills in English are not only show your vocabulary although it might seem that the instant ticket to success. Personality and readability is ruined if you use the thesaurus for each word or a phrase in the article. Using words that you use in conversation, is wise in an article. Big words can be used but they are meaningless in the context could be avoided.
To have good writing skills in English, you should know that it is unnecessary to conclude your article with a paragraph summary. A beautiful impression in the end must be created in the concluding paragraph. Is there a wider problem within which your topic for? What were the experiences written by you, taught you? Is it possible to integrate a poignant quote that relate to your topic? It is not necessary to conclude in the style of television, but you must end with a note that appears as a very strong. If the first paragraph of your article is the first opportunity to draw attention to the last paragraph, of course, is the last chance.
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Proven English Learning Tips Part 3

Do not be self-conscious
  • There are some methods to the former, which may seem odd, but may work:
  • Improve your pronunciation: Use a mirror to practice makes it difficult English sounds; record speaks English and even listen to the rest, paying attention to phonemes accent, intonation and the problem.
  • Think in English: Have an imaginary conversation in English. Think about what you say.
  • Talk to your friends in English: encourage you to practice speaking with each other. This should not be limited to the classroom. Try talking to your classmates or friends in English. Do not worry about picking up bad habits of pronunciation for language more regularly will give you a much higher level of confidence and you will certainly improve faster.
For Parents

Kid's whose parents are actively involved in their child's education is probably much more likely to become successful language learners. Let them know you care by communicating regularly with them on what they learn:
• Check homework and help them as much as you can.

• If they join an English course, make sure they are actually using these bands you've paid at the beginning of the course. Too many children not remove the cellophane on their tapes. Your child can learn much from the physical examination of each unit on the tapes.

• If you can speak a little English, do not be afraid to use it with your child. Do not be afraid that your child will learn bad pronunciation - is one reason why you want your child to learn English! But the more exposure they have the language, the better they will be in English.

• Encourage your child to read as much as possible in English. It is important to select appropriate materials for your child. However, there is a wide variety of materials available in local bookstores, which will be suitable for your child.

• Let them watch cartoons and movies in English. Children love cartoons and see them in English will increase their desire to learn.

One of the best ways to help educate your child to take part yourself. Why not sign up for an English course yourself. Come to an English school with your child and learn English together.
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A Present for our Blog Readers - Free e-book about Phrasal Verbs

On these days when we fill up lists with good intentions for the New Year and give presents to the people we love, we’d like to give you something that will help you achieve one of your goals for 2011: learn English.

For this, Robby ( and David (Learn English Online) have written an e-book whose title is “Power of English Phrasal Verbs”.

“Power of English Phrasal Verbs” is an electronic book (e-book) that aims to demystify English Phrasal Verbs. To make its reading easier, this e-book is divided into 3 main parts: the first part explains what a phrasal verb is and reasons why they are so important; the second part has 6 powerful tips to learn phrasal verbs and the last part has a list of the top 40 most commonly used phrasal verbs.

This e-book is absolutely free and you can download it from any of the following links:

“Power of English Phrasal Verbs”:

Download this e-book from
Download this e-book from
Download this e-book from
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