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Five Spanish loanwords

Five Spanish loanwords

Many words in English originate from other languages but we no longer think of them as foreign words. Examples include “restaurant” (French origin), “algebra” (Arabic origin) and “bungalow” (Hindi origin). Some words though still look and feel like they are borrowed....

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Accent focus: Newcastle accent with Sarah Millican

Accent focus: Newcastle accent with Sarah Millican

The United Kingdom is famous for the range of regional accents we have relative to our size. It’s possible for travel even a few miles and find the accent has completely changed. The Geordie accent is spoken by people in the Newcastle area. Watch this clip with...

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Vowel length in sheep /i/ and ship /ɪ/ vowels:

Vowel length in sheep /i/ and ship /ɪ/ vowels:

Lots of learners, whatever their first language, find vowel length difficult especially in words like Ship / sheep Live / leave Rhythm / reason There are two differences between these vowel sounds. The most obvious is length – you can clearly hear that the vowel in...

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Do you want to “speak like a native”?

Do you want to “speak like a native”?

How do you feel when you read phrases like: “speak like a native” “improve your accent” “perfect pronunciation” Do they inspire you or do they make you feel second best? If they make you feel like your English isn’t good enough, I completely understand. These phrases...

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How to make yourself sound more intelligent

How to make yourself sound more intelligent

Do you ever find yourself reaching for the thesaurus in a bid to make yourself sound more intelligent? If you do, you're not alone. According to Stanford academic Daniel Oppenheimer, over 85% of undergraduates surveyed admitted to doing exactly this. They believed...

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The difference between a colon and a dash.

The difference between a colon and a dash.

Once we've mastered the basics of punctuation, we are able to play around and create different effects. This video explains the difference between a  colon and a dash and gives some examples of the different effects they have on the reader. Please do let me know what...

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Common errors: i.e. or e.g.?

Common errors: i.e. or e.g.?

What’s the difference between i.e. and e.g?  Both are Latin abbreviations used to signal clarification of a statement. The first, i.e, stands for ‘id est’ which means ‘that is’, or ‘in other words’ and is used before giving a more detailed explanation of something...

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Types of British Tea

Types of British Tea

Those of you who know even a small amount about us Brits will know that tea is a national pastime. We eat it, we drink it and it holds us together when times get tough. Unfortunately though, we can’t quite agree on what it actually means. The meaning of this word...

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