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Who would you like to speak like?

If you could sound like one particular English speaker, who would you want to sound like?

For me, I think it would be cool to have this guy's voice:

I've already explained in a past blog entry why you should try to do an impression of someone. So is there anyone special that you would like to sound like?

Give your answer in the comments. Extra credit for posting a video or audio clip!

The 5 levels of incorrect English

What does it mean to say that something is "wrong" in English? Sometimes PhraseMix readers ask me things like "Is this sentence correct?" and I have trouble answering directly. That's because there are actually several different meanings of the words "correct" or "incorrect", "right" or "wrong".

Here are some of the different categories of "incorrect" English that I've found:

Level 1: Unintelligible English

Something that people just can't understand is "unintelligible".

Here's an example of unintelligible English:

"If me and if we don't you have know me find."


You might speak unintelligible English if you're drunk, or if you're trying to talk about something that you don't have enough ability to explain.

If your English is "unintelligible", you'll probably find out quickly...

Good English learning habit: carry around a piece of paper

I find that I forget a lot of what I learn. Do you have that problem?

For example, if I watch a movie in a foreign language, I usually hear a few interesting new phrases. If I'm paying attention, I might even think, "Hey, I should remember this for later!". But a few minutes later, it's gone. If you ask me the next day, I probably won't remember what even happened in the movie, much less any new words or phrases :)

Ah, if only there was a way to record what I've learned and save it for later...

Wait! There's is a way to do that! In fact, it's an extremely simple technique. Just make sure that you have something to write on. Then develop the habit of writing things down.

I like to carry around a really small, thin notebook that fits in my back pocket.

Even better might be a folded-up...

5 steps to achieving your New Year's resolutions

2015 Calendar

I'm a big fan of New Year's resolutions. "New Year's resolutions" are yearly goals that you set for yourself at the beginning of a new year. They usually have to do with fitness, saving money, education, etc.

People often make New Year's resoltions at the beginning of the year but don't end up keeping them. That used to happen to me too. Then one year I got serious about my resolutions and started using some of the techniques that I'm going to describe below. I ended up achieving all of my New Year's resolutions that year, and it felt great!

So here are some techniques to help you become a super resolution achiever:

1. Only pick three goals

You should have one really important goal that you're going to achieve no matter what. You can set two other goals to work toward as well. Just...

What would you do if you could speak English perfectly?

Imagine that you were able to speak English perfectly. What would you do with that skill?

Would you give speeches? Negotiate deals? Read great literature? Pick up women? 

Would you make friends? What kind of people would you be friends with? What would you want to talk with them about?

Would you move to another country? Get a new job? 

I bet that, no matter what your answer, you can probably start doing those things now. You don't need to wait until you're perfect. So what are you waiting for? 

Please share your English aspirations in the comments!

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