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Learn Advanced English: Express yourself freely!!
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Why should I
"Learn Advanced English"?
Do you already speak some English?
Perhaps you've visited an English-speaking country
...or would like to?
So many shades...
When you have a more advanced understanding of a language, you will be able to communicate with nuance and figurative language.
It's a bit like being able to paint with many different 'tints', 'tones' and 'shades' of a particular colour (or 'hue').
For example, the human eye can discern numerous variations of green from light to dark.*
'Green' is a very general description. Grass, clothing, plant-life, precious stones, food items, birds and animals all carry different instances of green.
It is an important skill to be specific in our descriptions and communications. It is also a skill to be able to produce different emotions and effects. For example, by increasing or reducing the intensity of words and phrases, or by using metaphors.
(You'll learn about this later.)
*As a point of interest, green is the most visible colour to the human eye because it is in the middle of the visible light spectrum. You learn all sorts of things at Learn Advanced English!
Some examples of nuance
To illustrate nuance of language, we will break the subject down into five parts: "Intensity", "Context", "Expression: Emotion and Effect", "Sounds like / Looks like..." and "Appropriate use of language".
Intensity - Some words and phrases have a strong emotional and intellectual impact, others are much softer.
You can decrease or increase the strength and meaning of communication with the correct use of words. Some words and phrases are soft and almost neutral in their impact, whereas other words and phrases at the extreme end of the scales are most impactful.
For example, 'nice' is a softer word. When stronger words are required, we can increase the intensity of the word all the way to either extreme.
This simple list of words demonstrates.
Most magnificently angelic
A real gem of a person
Not so nice
The absolute pits of the world
The oozing spawn of Satan
Context - A thesaurus is a very, very important tool and gives precious information. However, you still have to understand the correct use of words.
Consider the following phrase:
"He gave her a right dirty look and she hung her head in shame".
If we want to restructure this phrase with different words and give a similar meaning, we need to understand what words to use, what words have already been used, and the context of the text.
To 'give something to somebody' could also be to 'present them something'.
You can use the word 'right' in a legal way, e.g. "right of way".
One other word for 'dirty' is 'greasy', which is a type of dirt.
Another way of describing 'looking at something' is to 'review it'.
One synonym (similar word) for 'head' is 'crown'.
We 'hang' pictures on pegs or nails.
'Guilt' is similar to 'shame'.
These synonyms are all correct in the right context.
However, if we use them in the original sentence we could end up with:
"He presented her with a greasy legal review. She put her crown on a peg and felt guilty."
This sentence means something completely different!
Context is very important.
Here is one possible rewriting of the original sentence, that stays close to the original context:
"He stung her conscience with a calculated look of contempt, which caused her to recoil within herself with remorse and humiliation."
*"Conscience, calculated, and contempt" all start with the same letter, as do "recoil and remorse". This literary technique emphasises the phrase being used and makes it more dramatic.
You will learn other literary techniques at Learn Advanced English.com
A 'dirty look' means a stern or angry look, or a look of disgust or contempt
A 'right dirty look' is more familiar language and means a 'really dirty look'
'She hung her head' is figurative speech for bowing your head down because of guilt, shame or embarrassment. It conveys the feeling she had in that moment.
Expression: Emotion and Effect - Some speeches and texts can be very stirring and make you want to act, whilst others can make you feel very sad. The way we write or speak, and the words we use, will create a variety of emotional effects.
Consider the following phrase:
"I live in a valley, surrounded by lovely green hills. It’s nice here. I like it."
We can slightly alter the words and the way they are written to give different effects.
"I live in a valley, encircled by beautiful hills teeming with lavender, thistles and wild thyme. I find the landscape revitalising and energising."
This describes the same situation but adds specific information about it. It concentrates on nature, thereby showing what is important to the author.
"My home is snuggled in a verdant and lush valley of rolling hills. A sumptuous setting that delights my soul every day I arise."
Again, describes the same setting, but that it is a delight to live there and it feels like a warm hug.
"My residence is situated in a dale. Multiple curves of land. A very pleasing experience."
This also describes the same situation but is not very emotional. It is quite steady and matter of fact.
"I live in a valley where I find myself besieged by hills. A truly imposing landscape that dwarves my humble home and life."
Describes the same setting, but invoking different feelings. That I feel small and enclosed where I am living.
*You will learn figurative speech and creative expression at Learn Advanced English.com
Sounds like / Looks like... - It's likely that every language has its own quirks and idiosyncrasies. English is no different.
There are a number of words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings too.
"He had a wobbly gate."
"He had a wobbly gait."
'Gate' and 'gait' are both pronounced in the same way. However, the first phrase refers to a 'faulty opening to a garden', the other refers to 'the manner in which the man walks'.
There are also words that are spelled the same but mean different things.
Consider the following:
"He had a toy ship in his kitchen sink. It began to sink."
"The game plan wasn't working. The captain tried to pitch a new idea to the players right there on the football pitch."
In the above examples, the nouns 'sink' and 'pitch' have different meanings to the verbs 'to sink' and 'to pitch'.
Appropriate use of language - Language is flexible. We change the way we speak depending on who we are speaking to and the environment we are in.
You can speak in any degree of the following ways:
- Formal and informal - to your boss, colleagues, family, children, strangers...
- Polite/refined and impolite/coarse
- Language according to social class or 'tribe'
- Regional - including different accents
- Scientific/erudite and commonly understood - some people have a larger vocabulary than others, or work in a specific technical field
- Language in social media, letters, posters, telephone, face-to-face...
- Language to inform, persuade, entertain, inspire, cause reflection, cause remorse...
You will learn nuance of language at Learn Advanced English.com
You will learn to express yourself in English:
- with varying degrees of intensity;
- with greater understanding of the context of words and phrases;
- with more creativity and expression, and to speak and write for different emotional effects;
- without struggling so much with 'tricky' words;
- with language that is more appropriate for your audience.
You will improve.
You will get better at educating, persuading, inspiring and entertaining in English.
You will speak and write with beauty, power, creativity, clarity and conviction.
You will express yourself more like an English native!
How do you figure...?
To truly "speak like a Native", you will need a greater understanding of 'figurative language'.
Figurative language is used to create an image, association, or other effect that takes the mind of the listener or reader in a different direction to the literal meaning.
When you speak or read, images come into the mind of the listener/reader. Figurative language uses a number of different 'literary tools' to 'paint pictures with words'. It allows you to be playful, as well as more effective.
Literal versus Figurative
"He is putting all his eggs in one basket!"
If this is literally true, the image that would come to mind is a basket full of eggs.
If it is figuratively true, it would bring to mind a different image and that would depend on the context.
"Putting all your eggs in one basket" is generally about risking all of your success (and failure) on one thing. In other words, focussing all your efforts on that one outcome and not any others.
For example, a man that only wants to go to one university and no others.
"He's putting all his eggs in one basket" would likely mean that he is putting all his effort into joining that one university and almost no effort in joining any other. He is therefore taking quite a risk.
Metaphor, personification, idioms, hyperbole...
There are many 'literary tools'. Natives learn to use a lot of them quite naturally, without even knowing what they are called!
"Strong as an ox"
"The sun smiled on us"
"Keep your fingers crossed!"
"Brain the size of a pea"
Make an impact...!
When you know how to use figurative speech, you greatly increase your ability to write and speak English that is beautiful, powerful, inspiring and creative.
Learn to speak with real depth and clarity
with Learn advanced English.com
English is the language of...
and other industries
Speaking English well gives you a great advantage in these industries,
as well as multi-national companies,
and much more!!
Help other people solve difficult problems
Learn Advanced English
If you're going to an English-speaking university, your success will be greater if your English is better.
You will also need to speak a high quality of English if you wish to attend one of the world’s best universities: Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and MIT to name only a few.
Many international conferences and events are held in English too
According to Babbel.com, more people speak English than any other language
Speaking English well is very helpful for making connections and building important relationships
Learn Advanced English
More than 55% of Internet content is in English.
The second highest is Russia with 6%.
20% of people on the planet speak English.
That's over 1.5 billion people!
Almost 360 million are native English speakers.
Many beloved and highly admired movies and songs
are made in English.
Truly enjoy it all as it was meant to be.
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