Join Steve on Facebook!

Learn English Live

LEARN ENGLISH LIVE 16 WITH STEVE FORD – GREETINGS AND SPEAKING FAST

Hello! Hello! Hello everybody! I have a video “hot off the press” and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it! I’ve got two questions from Brazil and a mystery country and they were all good questions. Let’s go over the three topics I’ll be talking about in my lesson.
 

WHO VS. WHOM

In the first part of the lesson we learn how “whom” is used in English. Many English learners have questions as to whether it’s common to hear native speakers using “whom” on a day-to-day basis. I explain all of this in my lesson. The trick, in case you need it, for learning how to use “whom” is by remembering that “who” represents the subject while “whom” represents the object. So let’s go over an example: 
Who is an interrogative pronoun and is used in place of the subject of a question.

“Who is going?”, “Who are you?”, “Is this who told you?”

WHO CAN ALSO BE USED IN STATEMENTS, IN PLACE OF THE SUBJECT OF A CLAUSE.

This is who warned me. “Jack is the one who wants to go.” “Anyone who knows the truth should tell us.”

WHOM IS ALSO AN INTERROGATIVE PRONOUN, BUT IT IS USED IN PLACE OF THE OBJECT OF A QUESTION:

“Whom is this story about?” “With whom are you going? Whom did they tell?”

AND WHOM CAN BE USED IN STATEMENTS, IN PLACE OF THE OBJECT OF A CLAUSE:

“This is the man whom I told you about.” “John is the man whom you met at dinner last week.”

WHOM IS ALWAYS THE CORRECT CHOICE AFTER A PREPOSITION:

“The students, one of whom is graduating this year, failed the test”. “Lisa is the girl with whom I’m driving to Maine.”

SHOULD I WATCH MOVIES WITH OR WITHOUT SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH?

There are two things which can make subtitles hard to follow: the pronunciation of the actual words and new vocabulary. In the lesson I show an example of how text can differ from what is being spoken in a movie and this means you are probably missing a good part of the movie since all of the words are spoken quickly with linkages and contractions.

GREETINGS

In the third and final portion of my lesson, I explain many different greetings from extremely formal to street talk. One thing you’ll see is how native speakers use the same greeting at different speeds. This changes the pronunciation and with my tips, you should be able to use all of them by the end of the lesson. One part that I took out of the lesson was regional greetings from Texas and London. It’s possible to hear in rural regions of Texas the greeting: Howdy!”. You need to know that such a greeting would not be appropriate all over North America. The same can be said in regard to the British greeting, “Are you OK?, “Are you alright?” “Alright?” “Alright mate?”. If you were to use these greetings with North Americans, they would understand that you are worried there is something wrong with them. “Are you OK?” is used to ask if people are sick or hurt, so be careful with where you use such regionalisms.

Well everyone, this lesson was a lot of fun to make and I hope you have as much fun watching and learning as I had making it!

Bye for now!

Steve

LEARN ENGLISH LIVE 15 – HOW TO IMPROVE ENGLISH CONVERSATION SKILLS

Hello everybody! Here is a new video I filmed and produced in response to two student questions from India and Vietnam. Both questions are related to English conversation skills and the topics that will be covered are as follows:
 

SELF-OBSERVATION

Too often the simplest of methods can be very helpful in regard to improving your spoken English. During my teaching career, it’s always been a bit of a surprise when I’ve played back recordings to my students of their own speaking. Common reactions range from, “oh, I can’t believe I made such a stupid mistake” to “that’s not me, it’s my twin brother!”. One thing is for certain: my students have all made considerable progress by detecting mistakes they were previously unaware of. It’s not easy to “face the music” sometimes, but it’s a surefire way to erase bad habits and boost self-confidence.

TYPICAL MISTAKES ACCORDING TO NATIONALITY

Each of you reading this are from different parts of the world and have specific areas of the English language that you need to work on. For many mistakes range from: articles, verb tenses, redundancies, word choice, word order, pronunciation and many more. One of the hardest mistakes that ESL and EFL students make is trying to use “loan words” from English the same way they use them in their mother tongue

INCORRECT USAGE OF LOAN WORDS

Let’s go to the “shopping”. This should be: let’s go to the “shopping center” or “mall”. I give other examples in this video, but I will give you a few more based on my teaching experience. The following are just a few: the pronunciation of “hamburger”, wearing a “smoking” instead of the correct “smoking jacket”, going to a “cocktail” instead of going to a “cocktail party”.

SPEAKING QUICKLY LINKING WORDS TOGETHER

Everyone should embrace using contractions when they’re speaking such as: ‘ve, ‘s, ‘ll. One of the challenges English learners have is trying to understand when native English speakers are talking in movies and in a TV series. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that almost every word is linked to another word producing new sounds and omitting others. I teach many in my video, but here is an example: “what are you doing?”. I can assure you nobody would pronounce every single letter of each word and in fact they will change it to: waddar you/ya doing or waddar you/ya doin’?. The key is to learn and write these linkages down the way you hear them so that you can listen, understand and eventually use them in your own advanced speaking in English. 

LEARN ENGLISH LIVE 14 WITH STEVE FORD PREPOSITIONS OTHER VS. OTHERS

Hello! Hello! Hello everybody! As promised here is my newest English lesson. In this video I talk about a funny story about when I was a kid and I was forced to go to a boring party held by my grandmother’s friend every year on December 26th, which in case you don’t know is called Boxing day here in North America.

 

ask someone/ask for someone/ask someone for something

Have you ever been confused about how to use the verb ask in English? Which preposition should you use? to? for? what is the correct word order? Well if you have problems, you’re not alone. This is a tricky thing to master since many of you have similar verbs in your language, however, the way they are used with or without prepositions can be totally different from English. I know! I hear it every day from my one-to-one students. Even if you are an advanced English speaker, the tips and and examples I give in my video are a great way to refresh your memory!

 

Grandma’s Guilt trip! Used to/for

 

 

Many of you out there have learned the basics of using “used to” and “to be used to”. When you add in “used to/for” to that, you have a recipe for an English speaking disaster. So in my lesson I will explain to you how “used to/for” can be used effectively in English. Remember not to confuse them with “used to” as in “I used to be a swimmer” or “to be used to”: I am used to working from home. Hopefully you will understand the difference clearly after my lesson and I strongly suggest you try the video quiz at the end to see if you really got it!

 

Linda and Ricardo: other vs. another/other vs. others

 

 

In my lesson you will also hear about a young couple: Linda and Ricardo who like different kinds of music. You could say opposites attract and you will find out how to use the grammar I mention in the video associated with this topic.

 

ask someone to/ ask someone out

The young couple start dating each other and you will see in my examples how “ask” can be used in different ways depending on the preposition you are using