Episodes

  • Hi, I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you to speak English fluently.

    Today, I am going to talk about time prepositions in English.

    And with a point of view story, you will learn grammar in context without memorizing any boring rules.

    Before we get started, go to my website SpeakEnglishPodcast.com to get the transcript. It's free!

    Ok. Let's start!

    Prepositions are short words (on, in, to, of) that usually stand in front of nouns, pronouns, or a group of nouns.

    They show direction, time, place, location, or introduce an object.

    We commonly use prepositions to show a relationship in space or time or a logical relationship between two or more people, places, or things.

    But today, we will focus on time prepositions.

    I don't recommend memorizing the examples since that method doesn't work. It's always best to learn in context by listening repeatedly.

    Ok. Let’s start learning some time prepositions in English.

    We use ON before the days of the week:

    Examples:

    "I went to the doctor on Monday."

    "Don’t call me on Sundays because I’m resting."

    "I’d like to buy you lunch on Friday."

    We use IN before months, sessions, time of the day, year, seasons, or after a certain time period.

    Examples:

    "I was born in September."

    "Many people go on vacation in August."

    "I like running in the morning."

    "My mom came back from the trip in the evening."

    "Her family goes to Hawaii in winter."

    "I love going to the beach in summer."

    "We visited Mexico in 2010."

    "My sister was born in 1998."

    "I’ll see you in an hour."

    "I’ll be back in 20 minutes."

    We use AT for night, for the weekend, and at a certain time.

    Examples:

    "We sometimes finish work at night."

    "Kids go to bed at 9 pm."

    "I visit my family at Christmas."

    We use SINCE with days or dates.

    Examples:

    "I haven't seen Tom since yesterday."

    "She hasn’t eaten since breakfast.

    "Since the party, he has not spoken to me at all."

    We use the preposition FOR to indicate the length of time.


    Examples:

    "I haven't seen him for two years."

    "She had been taking care of her mother for a year."

    "I’ve waited for the bus for two hours."

    We use "AGO" to determine a specific time in the past.

    Examples:

    "She renewed her membership about two months ago."

    "Winter seems a very long time ago."

    "He should have gone a long while ago."

    "BEFORE and AFTER"

    We use "before" and "after" to say that something happens before or after a specific time. You can use "before" and "after" with specific times, days, years, or months.

    Examples:

    "They never visit us before the summer arrives."

    "They will visit us after the summer arrives."

    "I’m hoping we can finish work before 5 pm."

    "I’m hoping we can finish work after 4 pm."

    Ok, that’s it for now, but before we continue…

    I have something important to tell you. I want you to learn English 3 times faster, and that's why I created a video course. Go to SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and get my video course for FREE!

  • – I first eat a donut and then listen to some English to motivate myself.

    – I see. That’s why you’re so fat. So, how’s your English?

    – Good, good. A donut?

    Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today, I’m going to talk about managing your English learning time.

    Next, you will practice your speaking with a mini-story.

    But before we start, please visit my website, SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast to get the transcript of this episode. It’s completely free.

    Very good. Have you ever wondered how to find more time to do something? I ask myself that all the time. In fact, I think time runs away from me, and I don’t have time to chase it.

    The truth is time flies. And it flies for everyone. We always have something to do in today’s society, and there is never time for anything. But don’t despair. Even in these circumstances, you can find a good strategy to learn English.

    As you know, my system is based on listening. Therefore, it is a significant advantage since you can take the lessons wherever you want on your mobile, tablet, or laptop. There is no need to sit in front of the computer and start studying.

    In fact, I think very few people can do that consistently.

    So, today, I’m going to give you some ideas about managing your English learning time.

    #1 Free time during the day

    We waste many minutes that we could be putting to good use throughout the day. The list is endless: driving the car; waiting in line at the bank; cleaning the house; walking the dog; ironing, etc.

    If you add up all those minutes, you might be surprised how much time is wasted.

    So, it’s a good idea to try to make the most of all this free time.

    One objection I sometimes get is the following:

    You can’t be 100% focused if you’re doing something else, like driving a car.

    Yes, it’s true that you may not be fully focused, but let me tell you a secret. Your brain is always learning, even if you don’t always pay close attention. For example, if you listen to a song without paying attention, you may later hum the melody without realizing it.

    Let’s say you listen for 1,000 hours during a year. 200 hours at full concentration. 500 hours at medium concentration and another 300 hours at low concentration.

    You will have listened for 700 hours at high or medium concentration, which is not bad at all. And even if you’re not paying much attention during those 300 hours, they’re still useful.

    Think of it this way: When you learned your native language, you weren’t 100% focused every time you heard something—many times, you weren’t paying attention.

    When I learned Spanish, I spent a lot of time listening. And I wasn’t always focused, but I accumulated hours and hours of listening, and I got much better over time.

    #2 Small daily actions have a massive impact over time.

    One day, I heard this idea. A person was complaining that he didn’t have time to read. He hadn’t opened a book in years. So, someone made this reasoning to him:

    “Let’s say you only spend 10 minutes a day reading. Maybe 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening. I think that’s a very modest goal. Let’s do the math. If you take 1 minute to read one page, that’s 10 pages a day. A month has 30 days, so you would read 300 pages. This is roughly equivalent to an average-sized book.

    Reading one book per month equals 12 books per year. Over five years, that would be 60 books. So, imagine now that you go to a library and pick out 60 books. This would be what you would have learned, just by reading 10 minutes a day in 5 years.”

    I find the idea fascinating, as it shows in a very simple way how much time you can accumulate by devoting it to one thing consistently. I usually recommend at least an hour a day of listening, but if you can’t, you can listen less. Over time, you will realize how much you are learning.

    #3 It’s a matter of priority

    A friend of mine once told me: “You always find time for things that are a priority for you, and you never find time for things that are not.”

    Interesting reflection. If it is a priority, you will always find the time. Saying that we don’t have time is something very recurrent. And it allows us to feel better when we are not doing something we are supposed to be doing.

    So, one way to find the time is to reevaluate your priorities.

    Ok. Now it’s time for you to practice your speech with a mini-story.

    By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my 5-day video course, so you can learn how to speak English fluently. And it’s completely free.

    Get the transcript on my website: https://SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • Hi, I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. Speaking English is way easier than you think. You just need to use the right materials and techniques.

    Today I am going to talk about the benefits of learning English as an adult. And the truth is that there are many, and some of them are surprising.

    And with a mini-story, you will practice your spoken English. I'll ask you lots of questions that you'll have to answer right away. It's like having a conversation with another person in English.

    Before we get started, go to my website SpeakEnglishPodcast.com

    to get the transcript. It's free!

    Ok. Let's start!

    #1 It is an excellent exercise for our brain.

    Many times we go to the gym to tone our muscles. We also try to lose weight to be ready for the beach in summer. We don't always succeed, but that's another story. :)

    In the same way, learning a new language is like sending our brain to the gym. We stimulate it with all sorts of new sounds, words we didn't know, grammar, expressions, and other elements.

    This mental exercise is very healthy, as we help our brain to stay active. Many experts recommend learning a language when we are older to maintain our cognitive ability.

    It helps us to improve our memory and concentration.

    Imagine the number of words you end up learning—all of them new. And then, you have to learn how to use them according to context, sentence order, etc. All this new information accumulates in an orderly fashion in our brain and is ready to be used. This process improves our ability to remember all kinds of things.

    Moreover, we learn to concentrate better. For example, when you listen to this episode, your concentration level is higher than when you listen to an episode in your mother tongue. So, it's a great thing!

    #2 You learn a new culture and a new way of thinking.

    Every language is necessarily linked to culture. This implies customs, ways of understanding life, traditions, habits, values, and history.

    I find discovering a new culture fascinating. It serves to learn something new and contrast and reevaluate the culture in your own country.

    In addition, you learn to look at things from a new perspective. This can help you to be more original and creative in your daily life.

    #3 Improve your self-esteem.

    Yes, learning a new language as an adult and conversing with native speakers is an excellent boost to your self-esteem. You feel better because you have achieved something that many people think is impossible.

    I remember my first conversations in Spanish. I made mistakes, and my vocabulary was limited, but what a joy to talk to people from other countries! That's always a good feeling.

    Get the transcript here: https://speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/

  • Hi, everyone! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today I'll talk about something more festive.

    I'll talk about Easter and how Americans celebrate this holiday.

    And with a fun mini-story, you'll improve your English fluency by answering many questions in English.

    Before we get started, I just wanted to say hi if you are new here.

    And if you are a long-time listener, I want to thank you for supporting this show by sharing it with your friends and family.

    Ok, let’s start!

    Whenever Easter comes, everywhere I go, I see chocolate eggs and Easter bunny cakes.

    But what do we celebrate on Easter?

    Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The New Testament describes the resurrection occurring on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans on Calvary around 30 AD.

    Americans spend this holiday with friends and family, and some attend special services held in churches on Easter.

    And while not all Americans observe the holiday from a spiritual point of view, Easter is certainly one of the most celebrated holidays in the States.

    And if there's one thing people love doing during the holidays, it's eating. Let's take a look at the 3 most popular dishes at Easter.

    Hot Cross Buns

    These are a typical Easter food. It is a sweet bread seasoned with nutmeg, flavored with currants and apricots, and covered with a lemon glaze.

    Stuffed Leg of Lamb

    Americans also enjoy a stuffed leg of lamb. A delicious recipe, yet very easy to make. With parsley, garlic, bacon, and red wine.

    Honey Butter Ham

    Another very representative dish for this holiday is the honey butter ham. This recipe is simple and is prepared in the oven or a slow cooker.

    And how about the colored eggs and the Easter Bunny tradition?

    Typically, people start dying hard-boiled eggs in a variety of colors the night before Easter Sunday. These eggs are left for the Easter Bunny on Saturday night. The Bunny comes and hides them all over the house. So when the children wake up on Easter Sunday, they get excited looking for the eggs and the Easter baskets filled with goodies.

    The idea of the Easter Bunny giving candy and eggs is said to have originated in Germany during the Middle Ages. Pennsylvania Dutch settlers brought the rabbit to the United States in the 18th century.

    Another fun fact about the Easter holiday is that Easter and Halloween often compete for the highest candy sales every year. Some years, Americans buy more candy the week before Easter than the week before Halloween.

    How interesting. Right?

    If you want to tell us how you celebrated Easter this year, you can leave a comment on my website, SpeakEnglishPodcast.com.

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today I am talking about punctuation. :)

    In the second part, you will improve your English fluency with a fun mini-story. It's like having a conversation with another person in English!

    Before we start, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast to get the transcript of this episode.

    Ok! Today I am talking about punctuation. By this word, I mean the different spelling marks used when writing. These are the main ones.

    Period or full stop . - is a punctuation mark that we use to show the end of a sentence.

    Commas , are the ideal punctuation mark to divide sentences or indicate when to pause.

    Apostrophes - we use them to identify something that belongs to someone, or to show a letter or multiple letters are missing from a word.

    Colons : are used to precede a list of items, a quotation, or an expansion or explanation.

    Semicolons ; indicate a pause, usually between two main sentences, longer than that indicated by a comma.

    Ellipsis We use them to show that one or more words have been removed from a quote and create suspense by adding a pause before the end of the sentence. And we can also use it to show the end of a thought.

    Quotation marks " " Inform the reader that you have used written material from other sources or direct speech.

    Question marks ? Indicate that the speaker is asking a question. They're used at the end of the question (or interrogative) sentences.

    Exclamation marks ! Can change a sentence's meaning and tone. They still end a sentence, but they can add emotion, whether excitement, anger, or nervousness!

    Round brackets ( ) are used similarly to commas when we want to add an explanation, an afterthought, or a comment related to our primary line of thought but different from it.

    Square brackets or brackets [ ] We use them for special purposes, such as technical manuals.

    Hyphen - we use it to join words and separate syllables of a single word.

    Punctuations can be very confusing, especially if you don't know where to place them, and can change the entire meaning of what you want to say.

    Let's look at some examples of situations when we do not use punctuation marks properly:

    #1 Woman Without Man

    A teacher wrote the following sentence on the board and asked his class to punctuate it:

    Woman without her man is nothing.

    Half of the class punctuated the sentence in the following way:

    Woman: without her, man is nothing.

    The other half of the class responded with the following:

    Woman, without her man, is nothing.

    Fascinating how punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence entirely.

    Another example:

    #2 Your granny's life depends upon it!

    Here, commas matter.

    Let's eat granny!

    Or

    Let's eat, granny!

    See the difference?

    #3 Eat your dinner.

    You say to a child: Eat your dinner!

    You say to a cow: Eat! You're dinner!

    Here, apostrophes matter.

    #4 I'm sorry I love you.

    When you are in a terrible fight, you might say a horrible thing like this one:

    I'm sorry I love you.

    And when you want to make up again, you can say:

    I'm sorry; I love you.

    Semicolons matter! :)

    #5 I find inspiration in cooking my family and my dog.

    That sounds crazy! Right?

    We need some commas here!

    Let’s hear it again:

    I find inspiration in cooking, my family, and my dog.

    That’s much better!

    By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my 5-day video course, so you can learn how to speak English fluently. And it’s completely free.

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today, we will talk about a topic that I’m sure you will find very useful.

    I will talk about the best online English dictionaries.

    And with a mini-story, you will practice your English fluency.

    Okay. Let’s get started.

    We have all used an English dictionary at one time or another. And I think it was easier before the Internet. Everyone had a single dictionary at home and consulted it in paper format.

    And then, for a short time, people used dictionaries on their computers.

    But then came the Internet. And everything became faster, more convenient, but also more confusing. Because right now, we have more dictionaries at our disposal than ever. However, especially when we want to look up how to pronounce a word in English.

    So let’s see what are the most used English dictionaries on the Internet:

    Of course, many people use the Google dictionary, which is actually a translator. And although it is not a bad one, I do not recommend it, especially if you want to look up the pronunciation of an English word. Although the Google dictionary also has some good things. It is compatible with several languages, it has the credibility and reliability of Google as a brand, and it also provides the meaning of almost all the words in English. However, the translations of the words are not always correct.

    On the other hand, The Free Dictionary is one of the most famous dictionaries for pronunciation. It offers all the basics you need as a pronunciation resource. You can search by words, characters, or text with this dictionary to find definitions and voice pronunciations. In addition, you can compare the pronunciation differences between American and British English. And in case you want to use your mobile or tablet, they also have an app for iPhone and Android.

    There is also the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, one of the most respected dictionaries of the English language. It offers phonetic translations, Spanish to English translations, and a medical dictionary. It also provides information on the history and etymology of words.

    Cambridge Dictionary online.

    Many people use the Cambridge Dictionary online. It has three outstanding features: dictionary, grammar, and translator. If you want to look up the pronunciation of a British English word, especially, or if you are looking for a very detailed historical resource, this is for you. I find that American English pronunciation is not always correct, so I recommend this dictionary for those who like British pronunciation better.

    Collins Dictionary is one of the best platforms for students, translators, and teachers. It has over 4.5 billion words and comes with unique options that can help you improve your grammar and fluency. Its search engine has an auto-suggest feature that allows you to select the word you are looking for by just typing a few letters.

    The Oxford Dictionary is one of the oldest and most trusted online dictionaries. This online dictionary is a robust tool that helps you define words in both British and American English.

    It is the ideal dictionary to use when writing a thesis or research paper.

    However, I should also note that this dictionary has complex word definitions and unclear explanations.

    Even though it is the last on the list, Dictionary.com is the dictionary I use regularly. This dictionary has earned the trust of millions of users worldwide for the last two decades. One of my favorite features is the audio pronunciation. It is the dictionary I recommend if you want to consult and practice the pronunciation of American English words.

    In a faraway country, there were many thousands of different kinds of dictionaries.

    Where were there thousands of different kinds of dictionaries?

    In a faraway country. In a faraway country, there were thousands of different kinds of dictionaries.

    How many kinds of dictionaries were there?

    Thousands. There were thousands of dictionaries.

    What kind of book was there?

    Dictionaries. There were thousands of different kinds of dictionaries.

    So, it wasn’t obvious to find a suitable dictionary for each situation.

    Was it a little or very confusing to find a suitable dictionary?

    Very confusing. It wasn’t obvious to try to find a suitable dictionary.

    What was confusing?

    Finding the right dictionary for each situation.

    Was it confusing to find any dictionary or the right dictionary?

    The right dictionary. It was confusing to find the suitable dictionary.

    Consequently, Lisa had the fantastic idea of writing a dictionary portfolio.

    Did Lisa have a horrible idea?

    No. No. Lisa did not have a horrible idea. She had a fantastic idea.

    Did she have the idea of writing a romance novel with her boyfriend in mind?

    No. No. She had the idea of writing a dictionary portfolio.

    What kind of portfolio?

    A dictionary portfolio.

    The portfolio consisted of thousands of listings with the names of the available dictionaries.

    Did the portfolio consist of a list of dishes?

    No. No. It didn’t consist of a list of dishes.

    What did the portfolio consist of?

    It consisted of thousands of listings with the names of the available dictionaries.

    Lisa’s portfolio was such a success that others started writing thousands of dictionary portfolios just like her.

    Did other people start writing self-help books?

    No. No. Not self-help books. They started writing portfolios just like Lisa.

    Who was the first person to write dictionary portfolios?

    Lisa. Lisa was the first.

    How many portfolios did they start writing? Hundreds? Thousands?

    Thousands. They started writing thousands and thousands of dictionary portfolios.

    Well, I hope you liked finding out more about the online English dictionaries.

    By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my five golden rules to speak English fluently. And it’s completely free.

    Get the transcript here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • - You know, I couldn't buy gasoline because it's too expensive,

    I sold my car, and now I have enough money to buy it without any problem.

    Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    In this episode:

    - I'm going to talk about a current topic: the widespread price increase we are suffering because of the economic situation.

    - In the second part, you will practice grammar with a point of view lesson. Don't miss it!

    Remember, you can get the text and much more at SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

    If there's one thing we can say lately when we go shopping for groceries, it is that prices are going up a lot.

    And this wouldn't be a big problem for people if wages were rising in the same way.

    Obviously, people are not happy. They see that, with the same salary, they can buy fewer and fewer products.

    This is partly due to the increase in the price of three goods in the energy sector: fuel, electricity, and gas.

    When I say fuel, I mean gasoline and diesel. Usually, trucks use diesel. Fuel prices are about to double. This affects the economy a lot because, as you know, goods have to be transported from one place to another. The transport sector takes care of this.

    A large truck can easily have a tank of 1000 liters. That's a little more than 250 gallons. Imagine the cost of all that diesel.

    This affects the entire distribution chain and makes products more expensive.

    The second key element that is affecting prices is the cost of electricity. I have seen some bills that double and even triple previous years' totals at the consumer level.

    All businesses in all sectors use electricity. If you increase the cost, all economic sectors are affected, from industry to food. For example, imagine you go shopping at the supermarket. You want to buy meat, yogurt, fish;... All these products are refrigerated. To refrigerate, you need electricity, so prices increase.

    Finally, the price of gas has gone up a lot. At the domestic level, gas is used for cooking and air conditioning. In winter, it is very important because you need to heat the house. But it is also used in industry, and it affects costs in a very significant way.

    I have read that some companies, in order to avoid raising prices, they offer less quantity of product for the same price. So, for example, for the same price of 500 grams of meat, now they only give you 400 grams. It is a psychological trick.

    Okay, to finish this section, let's look at some expressions you may hear regarding this topic:

    - Inflation is the generalized rise within a certain period of products and services. Please do not confuse it with inflammation. If you have inflammation, better go to the nearest hospital. :)

    - CPI: This is the consumer price index. Many people confuse it with inflation, but it is not the same. It is a representative selection of products and services and calculates the average increase to measure inflation. The inflation figure can be altered if you change this selection of products.

    - Purchasing power: This is the ability to buy things. If prices go up (inflation) with the same amount of money, you have less purchasing power.

    - Tightening the belt: It is a phrase that means that you have to make an effort to reduce expenses.

    - Not making ends meet. With the money you earn, you don't have enough for your expenses. So, what you have to do is tighten your belt.

    Well, I hope you liked this current topic and the associated vocabulary.

    By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my five golden rules to speak English fluently. And it's completely free.

    Get the transcript here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    In this episode:

    - We continue with the flaws in English. We're going to learn four more words.

    - In part two, you'll practice grammar with a point of view lesson.

    Remember, you can get the transcript and much more at SpeakEnglishPodcast.com

    Last week I talked about flaws. Unlike virtues, flaws are undesirable characteristics of someone's personality.

    I talked about this:

    Stinginess: when you don't ever want to spend money.

    Indifference: When you have no interest or empathy for something or someone.

    Intransigence: When you are rigid in your positions and never make concessions.

    Gossip: When you are indiscreet in talking about others.

    Today we are going to look at four more flaws.

    Let's start!

    #1 Greed

    In a previous episode, I talked about stinginess. If you remember, it means trying not to spend money. Well, we have another word that may have some relation. I'm talking about the word greed. A greedy person desires to possess and acquire wealth to keep it. For sure, a stingy person can also be greedy, although not necessarily.

    The idea is to accumulate wealth. Let's look at an example:

    "Although their offer isn't very appealing, I have to be careful not to be greedy and spoil everything."

    #2 Envy

    Ah, envy. It is the feeling of longing or resentment caused by another person's possessions, qualities, or good fortune. That is, an envious person feels bad when someone else has or gets something beneficial or desirable.

    Example:

    - Look at Tom and his new car. How did he afford it? I wish I had a car like that.

    - Maybe you're a little envious.

    - Me? Envious? No. It’s just that I am a better driver than he is.

    Sometimes envy can stimulate greed.

    Let's continue!

    #3 Unpunctuality

    Who hasn't been unpunctual at some time? Being unpunctual -or being late- regularly can be quite annoying to others, as it is a waste of their time.

    I love being punctual and appreciate it when others are more or less punctual. However, I have a friend who is always twenty minutes late. I guess she has no understanding of time management.

    Okay, let's look at the following example:

    “Alice, this is the fourth day in a row that you have been unpunctual for work.”

    #4 Narcissism

    I once read that the most common type of photo is a selfie. And no wonder. It seems that many have an inflated sense of self. And this leads them to have a deep need for excessive attention and admiration.

    Especially young people tend to get depressed if they don't get enough "likes" on their videos or photos.

    Example:

    A narcissist meets a girl in a bar, and after talking for two hours about himself, he says to her, "Well, but let's not talk about me anymore, let's talk about you. What do you think of me?"

    Okay. Today you've learned some more vocabulary regarding flaws. The list is huge, but we don't want to overdo it.

    By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my five golden rules to speak English fluently. And it's completely free.

    Read the transcript here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    In this episode:

    You're going to learn vocabulary about flaws. That is the negative characteristic of people. In the second part, we will practice speaking with a fun mini-story of questions and answers.

    Remember to get the transcript of this episode at SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

    Let's start!

    In a couple of previous episodes, you learned vocabulary related to virtues. You know, those good characteristics of people. As you know, you and I are full of virtues, but today we're going to talk about negative characteristics that others have, not us, of course.

    Although there are many flaws, I will focus on just a few. I have made a selection to discuss them below.

    Let's go for the first one:

    1. Stinginess

    A person who never wants to spend money is stingy, especially if they can afford it. I think it is convenient to distinguish between a saver and a stingy person. A saver person tries to manage his money well. On the other hand, a stingy person always tries to save every last cent. An example. Imagine a dialogue between a stingy person and a cab driver:

    - How much is a ride to the airport?

    - Thirty dollars.

    - How much do you charge for the suitcase?

    - There is no charge for the suitcase.

    - Well, then take my suitcase to the airport. I’m walking.

    2. Indifference

    It is very common in the world we live in. An indifferent person has the attitude of not showing empathy or interest in something or someone. Sometimes it is a defense mechanism to avoid being emotionally involved in some circumstances.

    One can be indifferent about many things: politics, social problems, friendships, family, etc.

    Example:

    - Hey, what's the difference between ignorance and indifference?

    - I don't know, and I don't care.

    Wow, that's really showing indifference... And ignorance.

    Let's look at the next one:

    3. Intransigence

    We can say that someone who is intransigent is rigid in their positions and who is not willing to make concessions or give in to compromises under any circumstances.

    An example:

    - Paul is a good teacher, but he is very intransigent. A student asked for more time to turn in his work because he had a health problem. However, Paul told the student that he would not make any exceptions.

    4. Gossip

    It means to speak indiscreetly or maliciously about someone.

    Example:

    -Did you know that Alice just got divorced and already has a boyfriend?

    - Lucy, stop gossiping and get back to work.

    Ok. Now it’s time for you to practice your speech with a mini-story.

    Get the transcript at: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    In this episode:

    We're going to continue to learn virtues in English. Maybe we'll discover that we possess those virtues by the end of the episode, with a bit of luck.

    In the second part of the show, you'll practice your English with a new mini-story with questions and answers related to virtues.


    Remember that at SpeakEnglishPodcast.com, you can find the transcript of this episode.

    Ok. In a previous episode, I talked about these four virtues:

    - Loyalty

    - Sensitivity

    - Serenity

    - Resilience

    Today, we will look at four more virtues that I will further discuss and give examples. We will all end up very virtuous :)

    Let’s start!

    1. Gratitude

    Okay, this is a virtue that is lacking in our society. It involves giving thanks, either in word or with an action. That is, you can reciprocate with gratitude to someone by helping them with something, or by showing kindness, etc. From the word gratitude, we get the word grateful.

    Example:

    "Pam has no gratitude towards her parents.

    Her parents saved all their lives so she could go to college.

    But she dropped out of college to travel the world with a backpack. "

    And while Pam surely has a great time, she has been very ungrateful towards her parents.

    Let's look at the next one:

    2. Perseverance

    Well, this word I think is easy to remember. It means to be persistent in some projects, which typically may take quite some time. It is an essential virtue since it takes a lot of perseverance to achieve most things in life. We can take the example of athletes, who need to train every day at a very high level. This is very hard, and it requires perseverance.

    An example. Imagine yourself in a job interview:

    - What is your greatest virtue?

    - I am perseveran…presea…pers…perseverant person!

    :) Now that's a persevering person :)

    Let's see the next one:

    3. Courage

    We can also use the word bravery instead of courage. A person with courage confronts danger without being afraid and even transforms it into determination. Many times courage is exhibited with passion. It can be found in soldiers, police officers, firefighters, ... But we can also find courage in any person and situation.

    An example:

    - Tom had the courage to ask for a raise.

    - And did he get it?

    - No. Now he is looking for a job.

    And last but not least:

    4. Prudence

    Although courage and prudence seem like opposites, they are not. A prudent person is not a fearful or frightened person. They simply do not act impulsively. They avoid unnecessary risks. They act with caution. It is quite similar to wisdom. The difference I think, is subtle. A prudent person tends to have good judgment. That is, to make good decisions. A prudent person simply tries to avoid potentially dangerous situations by not acting impulsively.

    For example:

    A ship was sailing at sea when a fire broke out. The captain asks everyone to leave the ship immediately. A passenger is about to jump into the sea, but his very prudent wife tells him: "Tony, wait 1 hour, we just ate, and we haven't even digested yet."

    Well, this example has a certain humor. Sometimes an excess of prudence is not very wise :)

    What do you think? Do you have all the virtues, only some of them, or are you lacking in virtuosity?

    Ok. Today we have talked about these four virtues:

    Gratitude

    Perseverance

    Courage

    Prudence

    Get the transcript on my website: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    In this episode, you will learn vocabulary related to virtues with examples. In the second part, you will practice grammar with a point of view lesson without memorizing any boring rules.

    Before getting started, visit my website SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and get the transcript for free.

    Okay. First of all, what is a virtue? Thanks for asking. A virtue is a positive characteristic of a person. Usually, someone's virtues have a positive impact on others. Yes, I know that sometimes it's hard to find virtues in some people, but if you look carefully, you will find them.

    Sometimes the word "quality" is also used to say the same thing. The opposite of virtue would defect, which logically is negative. It's the undesirable aspect of a person.

    Sometimes people confuse virtue with ability. They are not precisely the same. A virtue is part of someone's personality, and that helps differentiate them from other people. For example, one person may be wise, and another may not.

    On the other hand, someone may have the ability to play an instrument, be organized, etc.

    Okay, let's look at some of these virtues. There are so many, and I had to make a selection. I think it's quite useful vocabulary. Let's look at the first one:

    #1 Loyalty

    Loyalty implies being faithful to something or someone. You can be loyal to a cause, an idea, etc. You can also be loyal to a friend, for example. It conveys the idea of support.

    Let's look at an example:

    "Philip is a very loyal person. Even though the company was going through hard times, he did not leave and stayed until the end."

    Loyalty is easy when things are going well but more difficult when there are problems. For example, many people are disloyal when they can no longer benefit from a situation.

    #2 Wisdom

    Wisdom is known as being prudent and having good judgment. The latter, good judgment, means that after analysis and reflection, good decisions are made. In other words, a wise person does not make strange or crazy decisions. It has a lot to do with maturity.

    Example:

    "My friend is not wise (unwise) because he never fastens his seat belt when he drives."

    #3 Serenity

    What a lovely word, right? A serene person is someone who remains calm when facing problems. It is a calm attitude towards life. Please do not confuse it with an unaware person, someone who ignores problems. A serene person usually faces problems, but their attitude is relatively relaxed. I like to talk to people who have this virtue because they give you quite a lot of peace.

    Here's an example:

    "Daniel is a serene person. He hardly gets upset about anything."

    Let's look at the next one:

    #4 Resilience

    This word became very fashionable in the environment of psychology and even business. In essence, resilience is the ability to face adversity and recover quickly. It involves adaptation, flexibility, and certain confidence to move forward.

    Example:

    "I admire Monica because of her resilience. It turns out that she lost her job two weeks ago, but she is already training to adapt to the needs of today's job market."

    That’s all for today. :)


    By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my five golden rules to speak English fluently. And it's completely free.

    Ok! Now it's time for you to learn grammar in context with a point of view story.

    Get the transcript at: https://speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/

  • Listen to a new episode of Speak English Now Podcast, your favorite material for practicing your spoken and heard English. You will also learn about lifestyle and culture, language, vocabulary, and how to improve your English more effectively.

    Transcript:

    Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today, we will look at some English words that are very difficult to pronounce.

    And with a point of view lesson, you will improve your English grammar without memorizing any boring rules.

    Before getting started, visit my website SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and get the transcript for free.

    Also, let me say that I’m really happy because this is episode number 200!!

    It’s been five years since I launched the first episode of the Speak English Now Podcast!!

    Thank you so much for your support and sharing the podcast with your friends and families.

    Ok, let’s start.

    1. Cavalry and calvary

    People often confuse cavalry (armed forces on horseback) with calvary, an experience of extreme suffering, especially mental suffering.

    We call a metathesis the change of one or more sounds within a word. And yes. Metathesis is also a hard word to pronounce.

    Anyway, let’s practice the two words a little bit.

    Listen and repeat after me:


    [ kav-uhl-ree ]

    Cavalry. Cavalry. Cavalry.

    [ kal-vuh-ree ]

    Calvary. Calvary. Calvary.

    2. Comfortable and Vegetable

    These two words are the most difficult for my students to pronounce. Most Spanish speakers pronounce comfortable, and vegetable as “comfortaibal” or “vegetaibal” and I guess it’s because both words end in “table.”

    So, let’s practice the two words a little bit.

    Listen and repeat:

    [ kuhm-fer-tuh-buhl, ]

    Comfortable. Comfortable. Comfortable.

    [ kuhmf-ter-buhl ]

    Comfortable. Comfortable. Comfortable.

    [ vej-tuh-buhl ]
    Vegetable. Vegetable. Vegetable.

    [ vej-i-tuh-buhl ]

    Vegetable. Vegetable. Vegetable.

    3. Deteriorate

    Another word that my students find difficult to pronounce is deteriorate.

    Let’s practice it for a bit.

    Listen and repeat after me:

    [ dih-teer-ee-uh-reyt ]

    Deteriorate. Deteriorate. Deteriorate.

    4. Explicit

    Don’t worry. Almost everyone sounds a little funny when they pronounce the word “explicit.”

    Let’s practice it!

    [ ik-splis-it ]

    Explicit. Explicit. Explicit.

    5. Exponentially

    Yes, I understand you perfectly. Sometimes exponentially gets exponentially harder to say the more you try to say it. 🙂

    Let’s practice this word.

    Listen and repeat after me:

    [ ek-spoh-nen-shuh-lee ]

    Exponentially. Exponentially. Exponentially.

    [ ek-spuh-nen-shuh-lee ]

    Exponentially. Exponentially. Exponentially.

    That’s all for today; I hope you had a good time practicing these complex words. Next week we will practice more of these difficult words in English.

    By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my five golden rules to speak English fluently. And it’s completely free.

    Ok! Now it’s time for you to learn grammar in context with a point of view story.

    Get the transcript on my website for free: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Do you play a musical instrument? Well, today we will learn some benefits of playing a musical instrument and whether it will also help you with learning English.

    And with a mini-story, you will improve your fluency. I will tell you a story while asking many questions that you will need to answer as quickly as possible. It's like having a conversation with another person in English.

    Before we get started, visit my website SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and get the transcript for free.

    Ok, let's start.

    #1 You'll be smarter

    One of the great reasons to learn to play music is to increase your cognitive ability. In other words, to be smarter. Playing music is a way to activate your brain in a way that helps you with memory retention, and you can learn new things quickly.

    #2 Improves your memory

    Like I just said, playing an instrument improves your memory. So learning to play an instrument can be very beneficial for those not so young, those with memory problems.

    If you never know where you leave your keys, it may be a good idea to stimulate your brain by learning to play a musical instrument.

    Because learning to play music involves learning a lot of new things, your brain will become more accustomed to learning, which will make a big difference to your memory in the future.

    #3 You'll have better concentration

    Improving your musical skills forces you to use all the parts of your brain involved in concentration, making you more capable of focusing on other life situations.

    #4 It builds your confidence

    Do you want to feel more confident? If you can play an instrument well, it will make you feel more self-confident. Feeling comfortable playing music in front of others is essential and will extend to other aspects of your life. For example, if you get nervous about public speaking, playing an instrument in front of a crowd can be a big help.

    #5 You'll feel proud

    And not only will you feel more confident, but you will also feel proud of yourself. Because mastering a musical instrument can make you feel an enormous sense of accomplishment, this will have a substantial positive impact on your life, and you will feel happier.

    #6 Improves our mood

    Playing an instrument can help with stress, and depression because it acts as an outlet for difficult emotions.

    It can be a way to calm down in difficult situations and a healthy distraction on a stressful day.

    In short, playing an instrument has all kinds of positive benefits on our mood.

    #7 It makes you creative

    And one of the most obvious benefits of learning a musical instrument is creativity. Being creative is essential for many aspects of life, and you can extend this idea to other areas, such as art, writing, or cooking.

    And finally, learning to play a musical instrument can also help you…

    #8 Learn a foreign language.

    When we learn to play an instrument, we also develop our listening skills. And it has been proven that students with musical training pronounce the sounds of a second language better and pick up the relevant contrasts between the sounds of that new language.

    On the other hand, although I'm fluent in several languages, I must confess that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to play any musical instrument. However, I intend to learn to play the piano because it's my favorite musical instrument.

    How about you? Do you know how to play an instrument? Leave me a comment on my website or social media. I would like to know if it has helped you in your English learning.

    By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my 5 golden rules to speak English fluently. And it’s completely free.

    Get the transcript here:

    SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • vocabulary, and how to improve your English more effectively.

    Transcript:

    Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today we will talk about humor in English. There are many different ways that a person can be funny, and I will give you some examples of different types of humor in English.

    And with a mini-story, you will improve your fluency. I will tell you a story while asking many questions that you will need to answer as quickly as possible. It’s like having a conversation with another person in English.

    Before we get started, visit my website SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and get the transcript for free.

    Ok, let’s start.

    First, let’s talk about what we call a funny person, or at least someone who tries to be funny.

    1) A goofy person

    For example, we have the typical goofy person or goofball who does silly things, including funny dances and dressing up in ridiculous costumes. Sometimes they make funny mistakes, although those are usually on purpose. Clowns are usually considered goofy.

    2) A prankster

    A prankster is someone who plays practical jokes on people. Practical jokes are tricks that confuse or frighten others for a short period. I, personally, don’t enjoy pulling pranks, let alone being pranked. However, many people have a great time watching videos on the internet containing these practical jokes.

    3) A self-deprecating person

    If you watch stand-up comedy, you will often find this type of self-deprecating person who makes jokes that make them look bad. They joke about their shortcomings and problems, although sometimes I find that they can even go too far with their storytelling, and I find their performance humiliating.

    4) A witty person

    A witty person says funny and brilliant things. Witty people are also quick with their jokes. An example of witty humor would be: “Too many people run out of ideas long before they run out of words.”

    Now let’s look at the different types of humor in English.

    Quirky sense of humor

    Someone with a quirky sense of humor tells strange, unpredictable jokes, and they frequently use improvisation.

    Dry or Deadpan sense of humor

    Someone with a dry or deadpan sense of humor usually says funny things with a serious, calm expression. They don’t smile, laugh, or make silly faces.

    This type of humor is my favorite, and the people who tell these types of jokes are usually very intelligent.

    Warped sense of humor

    Having a warped or twisted sense of humor means making fun of things that many people find scary or offensive. We’re talking about jokes about illness and tragic events.

    And, of course, this kind of humor can go wrong in so many ways.

    The truth is that there are types of humor that rarely make you laugh, such as, for example, corny humor.

    Corny or cheesy jokes

    Cheesy or corny jokes are supposed to be funny, but they’re not. They’re too silly or too predictable. For example, jokes involving two words that sound alike are too corny.

    Another type of jokes that don’t make me laugh are lame jokes.

    Lame jokes

    Lazy jokes just aren’t funny. A “lame” joke is actually worse than a “corny” joke. For instance, you might laugh at a corny joke even if you think it’s awful, but trust me, a lame joke just isn’t funny.

    Get the transcript at SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • Hi, everyone! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently with no grammar and no textbooks.

    Today, let's learn some popular idioms in English.

    And with a point of view lesson, you will learn grammar in context without memorizing any boring rules. I'll tell you the same story from different grammar points. I can change the tense or the person. And like that, you will learn grammar in context.

    Please visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast to get the transcript. It’s free.

    Ok. Let’s get started!

    1. NO-BRAINER: this is basically an easy decision. It's something that requires little or no mental effort.

    Example:

    "Do you think I should propose to my girlfriend?

    That's a no-brainer. She is such a fantastic woman!"

    2. SIT ON THE FENCE: staying neutral and not taking sides.

    For example, if you have two friends and they have a fight, you will try not to take sides. You'll sit on the fence.

    Example:

    "Don't you think I'm right? He hasn't been nice to me lately, has he?

    I'm sitting on the fence with this one; you're both my good friends."

    3. FREAK OUT: to become very angry, scared, or excited.

    Example:

    "Mum, don't freak out! But I have to tell you something that I did last weekend. Tom and I got married!

    "Last week, my sister won the lottery, and she freaked out about it."

    4. BE A CATCH: Telling someone that others would be lucky to have them around, or even marry them.

    Example:

    "Dad, I'm taking Jessica out tonight. She is such a catch!"

    5. COSTS AN ARM AND A LEG: when something is very expensive.
    Examples:

    "My son wants a new computer for his birthday, but it'll cost an arm and a leg!"

    "This new smartphone cost me an arm and a leg."

    6. YOU ROCK: it means that you are great.

    Example:

    "I can't believe you got the tickets for today's game. You rock!"

    That's all for now; let's practice these expressions in the next section.

    By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my 5 golden rules to speak English fluently. And it’s completely free!

    Get the transcript here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • Today we will talk about finding the perfect home and what you should consider before you rent or buy a house.

    In the second part of this show, you will improve your fluency with a mini-story. I will ask you many questions that you need to answer as quickly as possible. It's like having a conversation with another person in English.

    Ok, let's start!

    Looking for a new home is an important decision, and many people are unprepared for the occasion. But today, I will help you find your perfect home in English.

    When you want to buy or rent a house, make sure you try everything. Open and shut the cupboards, flush the toilets, and use a measuring tape.

    Here are a few key things to look for on each home tour:

    First of all, you will need to consider the location, and the number of floors of the property—also, the size of bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, and storage space.

    If the house is furnished and includes all electrical appliances, make sure you check out the age and condition of the appliances.

    Pay attention to the light switches and the number of sockets in each room, and check the plumbing and water pressure in the kitchen and bathrooms.

    Another thing that many people don't take into account is the house's orientation. This will determine the amount of natural light your house gets. For example, facing East, a house is heated in the morning and cooled during the rest of the day. So, make sure you pay attention to this important factor.

    Although there are so many things you need to take into account, don't overlook any other vital aspects like the noise levels inside or outside the home. Living in a noisy neighborhood can drastically deteriorate your lifestyle.

    Another suggestion would be that you walk around the entire home and property and pay attention to the age and condition of the roof and siding. Siding is the protective material placed on the exterior side of a house or other building wall.

    Take a few minutes after the home visit to look around the neighborhood.

    Pay attention to details. Are there any stores, or restaurants nearby?

    If the property has a garage or parking capacity, make sure you scrutinize it as well.

    And during the home tour, make sure to take notes and photos.

    Why do I say this? It is mainly because we can get overexcited during the home visit, and it's hard to think clearly. That’s why it is essential to review the notes and photos taken.

    Ok, so you have already visited the place and collected a great deal of housing information. Now it's time to give the agent a call.

    Here are some basic questions you can ask the real estate agent:

    Is the price right?

    How old is the home?

    Why is it for sale?

    Are any repairs needed?

    When were the floors last refinished?

    What types of heating and cooling systems are available?

    How old is the electrical and plumbing?

    After you have collected as much information as possible, take some time to relax before making the decision, especially if you're buying.

    The bottom line is that buying a home requires a great deal of commitment and patience.

    My advice is to avoid falling in love with a house at first sight and do your research.

    Ok, so you have learned plenty of new vocabulary today.

    By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my 5 golden rules to speak English fluently.

    Read the transcript here: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Today I would like to share with you five fun facts about Santa Claus. And with a fun mini-story, I will help you improve your English fluency. You just have to answer some simple questions, as if we had an informal English conversation.

    There are so many things I love about Christmas. I love baking Christmas cookies, watching Christmas movies, buying presents, and decorating the tree. And let's not forget about Father Christmas, Santa Claus.

    I hope you're having a great Christmas this year.

    1. Is Santa Claus real?

    Yes, of course. Santa Claus is real. The real name of Santa Claus was Saint Nicholas, but he was also known as Kris Kringle. Saint Nicholas was born in modern-day Turkey. After donating all his inherited wealth, he became famous for helping the poor and sick. Over the years, he became popular for his deeds and became known as the protector of children. In many countries, on December 6, people still celebrate Saint Nicholas Day. And this day was considered a lucky day to make large purchases or for marriage purposes.

    2. Why is Father Christmas known as Santa Claus?

    St. Nicholas became known as Santa Claus after his Dutch nickname, Sintar Klaas. In the 18th century, a New York Historical Society member distributed woodcuts of St. Nicholas at the society's annual meeting. On the other hand, Washington Irving, the author of the book The History of New York, further popularized the tales of Sintar Klaas by referring to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book.

    3. How old is Santa?

    Santa Claus' origins go back to a monk named St. Nicholas, born between 260 and 280 AD in a village called Patara, part of modern-day Turkey. So in 2021, Santa Claus is about 1750 years old. That’s amazing! :)

    4. Who created the image of Santa Claus?

    One of the first artists to define the modern image of Santa Claus was Thomas Nast. This 19th century American cartoonist immortalized Santa Claus with an illustration for the January 3, 1863 issue of Harper's Weekly. Santa was dressed in an American flag and riding in a sleigh pulled by reindeer in this drawing.

    5. Is it true that Santa traditionally wears red because of Coca‑Cola?

    Many believe that Santa Claus wears red because of Coca-Cola. Although there is no doubt that the soft drink company has influenced the representation of Santa Claus, the fact is that Saint Nicholas appeared in many illustrations and written descriptions wearing a scarlet coat.

    Well, I hope you enjoyed learning these 5 fun facts about Santa Claus. Now let’s continue with a mini-story.

    GET the TRANSCRIPT here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

  • Today, I will talk about Coca-Cola. And with a mini-story, you will improve your English fluency while learning some fun facts about Coca-Cola.

    Do you like Coca-Cola? I used to drink plenty of Coke when I was younger, but I try to drink more water nowadays. However, I admit that Coca-Cola is the perfect drink to complement my popcorn at the cinema. And the good news is that if you want a healthier version, you can choose the sugar-free and even caffeine-free Coke.

    But when and how was Coca-Cola invented?

    In 1886, John Pemberton, a pharmacist from Georgia, invented a new kind of syrup. The drink was first sold as a nerve tonic that "relieves exhaustion," but it wasn't very successful.

    Therefore, he sold his secret formula to another pharmacist, Asa Griggs Candler.

    Candler was actually the one who invented Coca-Cola, as he mixed Pemberton's syrup with soda.

    He started selling Coca-Cola in several drugstores and advertised his new drink, and soon people were going to the drugstores just to get a drink of Coca-Cola.

    Before long, the drink became very popular, and a couple of entrepreneurs wanted to sell it in bottles. So, Candler sold them a license to bottle the drink, and soon the men were millionaires.

    Did you know that the Coca-Cola bottle is the most recognizable object in the world? The famous Coca-Cola bottle is more than 100 years old.

    Although the drink doesn't contain any cocoa, the famous bottle was originally shaped like a cocoa bean. Its unusual shape initially helped Coca-Cola stand out from its competitors. Nowadays, hundreds of millions of people can recognize a Coca-Cola bottle by its shape.

    Also, the well-known Coca-Cola logo is the most famous in the world, perhaps because it has not changed in more than 100 years. The company still uses the script logo that Frank Robinson crafted in 1891.

    Coca-Cola became popular in Europe during the First World War. American soldiers in Europe started asking for Coca-Cola, so the company started exporting it, and soon the drink was also being bottled in Europe.

    Today, Coca-Cola is produced in countries worldwide and is undoubtedly the most popular drink in the world.

    When it comes to the famous formula, it is probably the most valuable secret in the world. The exact ingredients used to make Coca-Cola are known to only a handful of people.

    And since Christmas is coming up, I wanted to answer a very common question about Santa and Coca-Cola.

    Did you know that many people think that the Coca-Cola Company invented Santa Claus?

    Actually, I will talk in more detail about Father Christmas in a future episode, but I can assure you that Coca-Cola did not invent Father Christmas.

    The company began using Santa Claus in its advertising in the 1920s; however, Santa's story dates back to the third century.

    That's all about Coca-Cola and Santa for today. Let's continue with a mini-story.

    Read the transcript here: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    - Do you know how to express probability in English?

    Probably, but just in case, let's practice with some basic expressions.

    In the second part, we will practice fluency with a short mini-story of questions and answers.

    You can get the transcript of this episode and more at Speakenglishpodcast.com.

    Very good. When we talk, we usually say things that are true, or at least we believe them to be true. For example, "it's cold today," but we can also say things that we don't know one hundred percent if they are true.

    In today's episode, we will learn some phrases and words used to express probability. I'm sure you already know some of these expressions, and seeing them with some examples will help you consolidate them. The key is to hear them in context and over time, repeating them several times. Don't try to learn them all in one day.

    Since these expressions are used a lot, it will be easy to remember and use them.

    Imagine the following situation: Someone doesn't know where the keys are.

    Example:

    - Where are the keys? I have to go out, and I can't find them.

    They might be in the room. They may be in the room. They could be in the room.

    See? "They might/may/could be in the room" indicates an assumption, a certain probability. You think they are, with some probability, in the room when you say, "they might/may/could be in the room."

    Get the transcript at: SpeakEnglishpodcast.com/podcast

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today, in this episode:

    We’re going to continue to see some bad strategies that I don’t recommend in conversations.

    Next, you will practice some grammar in an intuitive way with a point of view lesson.

    Okay, let’s start!

    If you remember, last week, we saw some unwise ways to interact in a conversation.

    Today we are going to continue with more things that we should not say or do when you have a conversation in English.

    This is what we saw in the previous episode:

    – Talking about the weather.

    – Not listening to the other person.

    – Talking too fast, too softly, not articulating well, or not pausing.

    Talking about negative things. Talking about boring things. And my favorite: messing up. Remember, I told you how easy it is to mess up? That’s why we always have to be careful.

    If you didn’t listen to the previous episode, I suggest you do it along with this one.

    Cool! Let’s look at some more bad strategies. This way, you can avoid having uncomfortable conversations in the future.

    Interrupt others.

    Interrupting someone always has its risks, especially in more formal settings or with people we don’t know.

    I don’t like being interrupted at all, especially since I can lose track of what I was saying. This means that sometimes I don’t remember exactly what I was going to say.

    Of course, the worst thing is when they interrupt you to change the subject. Sometimes you just want to finish what you want to say, but they won’t let you. Imagine you’re telling a joke, and someone interrupts you. That completely ruins the moment.

    Okay, let’s move on to the next one:

    Always wanting to be right.

    It’s a classic. We always want to be right, even with strangers. We always know best. However, it’s better to be diplomatic and not try to impose on others.

    Sometimes someone says something we know is not true. We have to evaluate whether it is worth correcting that person or simply expressing our disagreement. It all depends on the type of relationship we have with that person and whether different opinions are accepted.

    Of course, if it is a brainstorming session, different points of view must be expressed. After all, this is the goal of the exercise.

    Okay, let’s see the next one:

    Stay away from sensitive or controversial topics.

    If you don’t know the other person, it’s better not to have a conversation about potentially polemical topics such as politics, diverse ideologies or even sports (in some countries soccer is almost a religion). So be careful with that topic. Today we live in an era where any minimal controversy can trigger major conflict. So, it is better to stay away from anything that is potentially controversial.

    Something you should never do is…

    Showing off

    Showing off your car, your country, your economic status, how much weight you can lift at the gym, etc. is not usually a good subject to discuss with someone you hardly know. You are, in a way, making a comparison. I guess it’s better to be humble and avoid taking too many risks.

    Read the transcript here:

    https://speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/