Idiom of the Week – ‘A diamond in the rough’

‘A diamond in the rough’ Meaning: A person of good character or potential, but lacking polish and refinement Explanation: This phrase, also expressed as ‘rough diamond’, refers to the uncut and unpolished state of diamonds when they are mined. It first appears in 1624 in John Fletcher’s AWife for a Month: “She is very honest,…

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Top tips for understanding homophones

How to improve your homophone language skills English homophones can be tricky to understand – after all, when two or more words sound the same but have different meanings it can be very easy to get confused. Even native English speakers make mistakes from time-to-time, so here’s how to brush up your homophone language skills….

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Things to Do in London This March

London Events March 2018 Every month, London welcomes in a wealth of new events to see and new activities to do. It’s a city that never stops – and neither do the people who live here! If you’re heading over (or maybe you’re already here with UKCE), we’ve put together some of our top picks…

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Top tips for learning hard to spell English words

Spelling tips for difficult English words If you want your language skills to progress, it’s really important to learn difficult words in English. Not only will this expand your vocabulary but it will also improve your overall communication skills, making it easier to hold an intelligent conversation and gain a higher IELTS speaking score –…

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Idiom of the Week – ‘No man is an island’

‘No man is an island’ Meaning: People need others around them to thrive Explanation: Originating in John Donne’s 1624 work, Devotions upon emergent occasions and seuerall steps in my sickness, this phrase has become a common idiom in the English language. Example: It’s OK to reach out to your friends when you feel down. No…

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Idiom of the Week – Wax lyrical

Wax lyrical Meaning: Speak enthusiastically and poetically about something Explanation: This expression derives from the verb ‘to wax’, meaning ‘to grow’. In modern English, it is only used to describe the increase of the moon’s size in the night sky, but in days gone by it commonly referred to growth. The phrase itself first appeared…

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Top tips: English listening practicing techniques

Improving your English listening skills When it comes to learning English, many students feel comfortable reading and analysing a text as they can spend time researching and looking up various words – but you simply don’t have this luxury with speaking and listening. It can be really difficult to follow and join in a conversation…

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