6 English Language HACKS that you DIDN'T LEARN at school


OK so you're learning English and I imagine you have probably got a good level already.

But let me ask you a question. When was the last time you learnt something and you thought to yourself

"what I never knew that! I never knew that! I've been saying it wrongly all these years"?

Well today we've got six of those moments for you. six ways of speaking that native speakers

use that you probably didn't learn at school. If you did then congratulations you went to

a good school. And why are you watching this video? If not then I promise you that this

video is really going to boost your level in English in just a few minutes so stay tuned.

Hello and welcome to LetThemTalk the channel that goes deeper into everything about the

English language. I'm an English teacher and I've been an English teacher for more than

15 years and although I teach in Paris now I've had students from all over the world.

But whatever the level of my students I usually know in advance that there are some very common

ways of expression and grammar that native English speakers use that the students don't.

For some reason I can only conclude that these just aren't in the English books they use

at school. Anyway, I've got six tips for you today plus a bonus tip at the end so stay

tuned for that. You're going to learn a lot today so let's get straight into it.

So you enter a restaurant with your friend and the waiter says "how many are you?" And

you say "we are two". Is that correct "we are two"? No it isn't. In English we usually

talk impersonally when talking about people even if it inculudes us. So we would say "there

are two of us". another example. I'm not sure exactly but about 5 of us will

be at the concert". So tip number one is use "there are" and not

"we are" when talking about yourself and other people.

So next question is this sentence grammatically correct?

"these days it's not easy to know the difference between a French wine and a New Zealand wine".

When you're drinking it I mean. No it isn't....

The correct sentence would be it's not easy to tell the difference between.

That's right the rule is if we are using our senses. The sense of smell, touch, taste,

feeling or hearing to recognise information then we use the verb TO TELL not MAKE or KNOW.

Remember here we are not using the verb TELL to mean to saying something to somebody this

is a different meaning of TELL. So I often hear a student say something like

"I can know the difference between a clementine and a tangerine. " This is not correct Firstly

you don't use CAN and KNOW together in the affirmative. We are using our senses - the

sense of taste, maybe. one is sweeter than the other perhaps so you must use TELL

"I can tell the difference". By the way what is the difference between

a clementine and a tangerine I just realized I don't know myself. If you know the answer

then put it in the comments. We use KNOW to talk about situations when

we have prior information. For example "you say you didn't steal the cookies

but I know you're lying because I saw the video of you stealing the cookies." I have

prior information I saw the vide so I use the verb KNOW

"I can tell you are you lying because of your body language and the way you answer the questions."

"Ah no I didn't steal the cookies it was, some other guy" so in that case we are using

our senses to recognize information so we use TELL "I can tell you are lying"

So my next tip is use THOUGH at the end of a sentence to show a contrast. We know that

you can use ALTHOUGH at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence but most English

speakers, certainly when they are speaking informally, will often put it at the end of

the sentence so for example.

"It's very cold outside, nice day though" So all you need is

A statement. Something that contradicts that statement and then THOUGH at the end which

you say with a rising tone. "He's a really nice guy, bit stupid though."

"I'm free most of the time. Not tomorrow though" So there you are

You make a statement - you contradict that statement then you put THOUGH at the end.

Simple. One more example. "The exam was really difficult, I think I passed it though."

Another challenge for you is this sentence correct?

"We visited many countries on our European trip like Portugal and Germany" is that correct?

Not really a much better and much clearer way of expressing that sentence would be to

use SUCH AS rather than LIKE. LIKE we use for comparison

If you say "like Portugal and Germany "you would mean somewhere which is similar to Portugal

and Germany....and I don't know where that is.

So like means "the same or something similar to" for example.

"we need someone like Messi or Ronaldo in our team"

SUCH AS is used for giving and example from a longer list.

So for example "I watch a lot of British TV shows such as Sherlock and Black Mirror".

So there you are I'm giving an example from a longer list.

And my next tip is to use -ISH as a suffix to mean about, approxiametely, around, to some extent.

For example, "We'll arrive 8ish" Which means we'll arrive

about 8pm "Are you busy?"

"Busy-ish...but never too busy to see you. "

"Was the film good?" "Good-ish but certainly no masterpiece.

Native English speakers use -ISH a lot so do learn it. And we've made a video on this

very subject and I'll put a link in the description.

So my next challenge is is this sentence correct?

Somebody asks you "Have you got the time?" and you respond

"Sorry, I don't" Is that correct? Not really a much better

way to respond would be: "I'm afraid I don't"

"I'm afraid I don't have the time" In English we use I'M SORRY when you've done

something wrong and you need to apologize "I'm sorry I'm late."

"I'm sorry I ate all your sausages. " "I'm sorry I drank all your whisky"

but when you are giving people information that they don't want to hear use I'M AFRAID

"I'm afraid, you haven't got the job" "I'm afraid we have run out of bananas."

"I'm afraid the show has been cancelled. " So we are giving people information but you

are not responsible for the bad news so we use I'M AFRAID and not SORRY

And we do have a video just in this subject with more information and once again I'll

put a link in the description..

Let me ask you a question is this sentence correct?

"Venezuela has a lot of economical problems"

No it isn't correct. The correct word is ECONOMIC

not ECONOMICAL and this is the bonus tip and I'm just giving

you this tip because the difference between ECONOMIC and ECOMICAL is a very common mistake

that I hear so I thought this was a good moment to give

it to you. So just to clarify this Economics - is the study of the science of

the economy. For example

"We are trying to improve the economic situation." Whereas ECONOMICAL means. "saving money" or

"not wasting money"... so for example "I don't have much money this

month so I have be economical with my budget. "

"Electric cars are more economical to run than petrol cars." so they save money - they

are cheaper. So there you, are how many of those did you

know? You can put your answer in the comments. Once again thank you for watching stay mellow

and I'll see you next time.