Alternatives to “Like”, “You Know”, and “Umm..”

In my  last post, we talked a bit about the importance of using filler words and sounds that fit the language that you’re learning: “umm…” in English, “euh…” in French, “ähh…” in German.

But maybe you don’t want to umm and ahh. Those sounds can work really well in casual situations, but they aren’t always the best choice in a more professional setting, especially a very conservative one.

So what can you do to buy yourself a moment to think about what to say next? And how can you do it without saying “like”, “you know”, and “umm…”? Continue reading

“I work in London” versus “I am working in London”: Are You Making These Mistakes in the Present Simple and Present Continuous?

Over the past few weeks I’ve found that most of my students – whether advanced or beginner – have needed a bit of a review of the present simple and the present continuous (also called the present progressive).

So whether you started learning English a few months or a few years ago, here’s a bit of a refresher. We’ll start with a quick review of the forms (Section 1), go over when to use which tense (Section 2), and then talk about 6 mistakes I often hear people make (Section 3). Continue reading