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41 unique ways to practice listening to English

Listening

Our PhraseMix Premium service gives you a super-easy way to improve your English by listening to key example sentences. But there are lots of other ways to practice listening to English, if you're willing to put in the time and effort. We've pulled together a big list of 41 interesting ways that...




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What does it mean for something to be "crazy"?

Crazy person

 

This is going to be a crazy article.

The word "crazy" has come to have a lot of different meanings and be used in a lot of different ways.

Crazy people

Let's start with the most basic meaning. "Crazy" means "insane". Someone who doesn't see reality the same way as the rest of us is...




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What's the difference between "beautiful", "pretty", "gorgeous", and "handsome"?

A beautiful model

The words "beautiful", "pretty", "gorgeous", and "handsome" all describe something which looks good. When several words have the same meaning, how can you choose which one to use?

The best way to learn similar words is to learn them in phrases. Learn the words that go along with them.

Who do we...




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Phrases for reconnecting with an old friend

Friends hugging

Do you know what to say to an old friend who you haven't seen in many years? Here are some phrases that you can use when you reunite with someone:

Greet them

People who haven't met in a long time often act surprised, even when their meeting was planned:

Oh my gosh, look who it is!

Well if it...




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Another interview: ALsensei from the English 2.0 podcast

ALsensei from alsensei.com interviewed me recently for his English 2.0 podcast. We talked about the most common questions English learners ask, my ideas for how to learn English faster, and tips for being productive. Check out the interview here:

English 2.0 Teacher Interview 5 - Aaron from...




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Words and phrases for talking about coffee in English

Coffee cups

Photo Credit: marfis75 via Compfight cc

Are you a coffee drinker?

How do you take your coffee? Do you take it black, or do you like to add milk or sugar to it? Do you prefer skim milk (milk with no fat), whole milkcream, or half-and-half (half milk, half...




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Phrases for talking about gardening in English

 Gardening

Do you like to garden? Here are some words and phrases for talking about gardening in English:

There are a few different types of gardens:

  • vegetable gardens, in which you grow vegetables and fruits to eat
  • flower gardens, which have pretty flowers
  • ornamental gardens, which contain a...




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Does punctuation go inside or outside of quotation marks?

We use quotation marks in English in several situations:

  • when quoting exactly what someone said or wrote

    He said, "Don't bother cooking dinner for me."

  • when naming the title of an article, song, TV episode, etc.

    I sang a song I wrote called "Only Once".

  • when writing about a word or...




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English phrases for talking about skilled trades

Wrench

A "tradesperson" is someone who is skilled in an area that requires both manual labor (working with your hands) and specialized expertise (detailed knowledge about how to do something).

Here are some skilled trades. You can click to read an encyclopedia entry if you're...




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The most common English online slang

You may sometimes notice strange non-words that pop up in informal writing online: things like "OMG", "bf", etc. These slang expressions have entered the English language in the last 10-15 years because they're faster to type than the fully-spelled-out words and phrases. 

Below is a list of...






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