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Learn English

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Australia Plus Learn English is a free service for anyone learning English and is produced by the ABC, Australia's national public broadcaster.

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Australia Plus Learn English is a free service for anyone learning English and is produced by the ABC, Australia's national public broadcaster.

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5 Ratings
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iTunes Ratings

5 Ratings
Average Ratings

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Learn English

Learn English

Latest release on Jun 02, 2016

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 1 day ago

Rank #1: 'S' Sounds

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The final ‘s’ sounds in words can be confusing as there are three different ways that we can pronounce ‘s’ endings. Listen to the following three words and listen for the difference:

Cooks Earns Damages

There are slight differences here:
Cooks makes the /s/ sound. Cooks / cooks. Other examples are:


Earns makes the /z/ sound. Earns / earns. Other examples are:


Messages makes the /iz/ sound. Messages / Messages. Other examples are:


Listen to the following examples of words ending with ‘s’ and Identify the correct sound. We will tell you if you are right or wrong:


Flickr CC: William Chew

May 10 2016



Rank #2: Get

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We the verb 'to get' in many different ways. Here are some of the more common usages.

'Get' meaning to acquire or come into possession of something:
'Get your cold drinks here.'

'Get' meaning to become or change state:
'She got very angry after she learnt that he had recorded over her favourite program.'

'Get' meaning to receive something:
'I got letters and notes from all the staff before the end of my last day.'

'Get' meaning to arrive or reach your destination:
'He gets in at around 7pm.'

'Get' meaning to fetch or bring:
'Go and get those books over there and bring them back please.'

'Get' meaning to experience or undergo something:
'I get seasick whenever I travel by boat.'

'Get' meaning in sports to score or make:
'He got 105 runs in the first innings.'

'Get' meaning to make someone do something in a certain way or manner.
'My kids got me to buy them some shirts in the market.'

There are many ways that we use get. These are some of the more common usages.

Can you think of anymore? Write them in the comments box below and we will give you a tick if you get the right answer.

Mar 24 2016



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Rank #3: Certainty and Uncertainty

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Certainty and uncertainty

‘Certainty’ is the firm belief that something is true.

‘Do you think it will rain today?’
‘I am certain it is going to rain.’

You can express certainty by saying:

‘I am confident it will rain.’
‘I am positive it will rain.’
‘I am sure it will rain.’
‘It will definitely rain today.’

Uncertainty is the state of being unsure. You don’t know if something is true, or you haven’t decided.

‘Do you plan to go to university when you finish school?’
‘I’m still uncertain about that.’

You can express uncertainty by saying:

‘I am not sure.’
‘I may go.’
‘I haven’t made up my mind.’
‘I might go.’
‘I haven’t decided yet.’

Flickr CC: Viewminder

Mar 23 2016


Rank #4: Asking For Advice

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Asking for advice.

There are many ways to ask for advice, here are some of the more common ones:

What do you think I should do about _____?
‘What do you think I should do about the broken window?’

What should I do about _____?
‘What should I do about John? He never does his homework.’

What would you do about____?
‘What would you do about finding a new job? I don’t know where to start.

What do you think I should do?
‘I can’t decide which car to buy. What do you think I should do?’

What do you think I should do about_?
‘What do you think I should do about a new hair style?’

Can you give me some advice about_?
‘Can you give me some advice about how to apply for a new course?’

Flickr CC: Rita M.

Mar 24 2016


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Rank #5: Loud Aloud Allowed

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Loud / aloud / allowed

‘Loud’ is an adjective and means to make a lot of noise.
Turn the music down, it is so loud.
And it can also refer to bright clothes.
Wow, look at his shirt, it sure is loud.

‘Aloud’ is an adverb and means to speak out, so you can be heard.
The teacher told the students to read aloud.

And ‘allowed’ is a verb meaning to have permission.
We are not allowed to ride our bikes in there, look at the sign on the gate.

Flickr CC: Sam Leighton

Apr 27 2016


Rank #6: Keeping A Conversation Going

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Keeping a conversation going

To keep a conversation going it is important to show you are listening and want the conversation to continue.

Here are some things you can say to keep a conversation going:

A: I went to the beach yesterday.
B: Really?
A: Yes, we drove there in the morning and had a lovely day.

‘I see’
A:I usually walk along the path by the river.
B: I see.
A: It’s lovely there in the morning.

‘That’s interesting’
A: My son is a great swimmer, he would swim all day if I let him.
B: That’s interesting.
A: Yes, he’s going to start competing for his school.

You could ask a short question to keep the conversation going:

A: I’m really looking forward to the party on Saturday.
B: Are you?
A: Yes, I think everyone will be there.

We can also repeat part of what the other person has said to link to a follow up response.

B: I live in Paddington.
A: Paddington, that’s very close to the city isn’t it?

Flickr CC: Kevin Dooley

Mar 24 2016



Rank #7: Debate And Discussion

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Debate and discussion

A discussion is a detailed conversation.

‘We had a long discussion about which school I should go to next year.’
‘The discussion was very helpful. I think I’m ready to make a decision.’

A ‘debate’ is a discussion in which people argue or consider opposing points.

‘We debated whether to have pizza or sushi for dinner.’
‘The meeting went on for hours as we debated the benefits of both sides.’

The word ‘debate’ can also describe a formal speaking contest in which two teams argue a given question. Formal ‘debates’ are most likely to take place at school or university.

‘Our team won the debating contest.’

Debates also take place in politics.

‘Parliament sat late into the night as members debated the bill.’

Flickr CC: Simon Blackley

Mar 24 2016



Rank #8: Concern And Sympathy

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Concern and Sympathy

There are many ways we can express concern and sympathy.

We could say:

‘That’s terrible.’
I had a car accident on the weekend.
That’s terrible, are you OK?

‘I am sorry to hear that.’
I can’t come to the party on Saturday night.
I’m sorry to hear that.

‘I know how you feel.’
I’m so upset this morning. I lost my wallet on the way to work.
I know how you feel, that happened to me a few years ago.

‘I hope you feel better soon.’
I’m going to leave early. I’ve got a bad headache.
I hope you feel better soon.

Mar 24 2016


Rank #9: More Tongue twisters

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More tongue twisters

Tongue twisters are an excellent way to practise your pronunciation. Listen to the following tongue twisters and follow the script below. Then, practise saying the tongue twister yourself.

Practise a few times slowly so you can pronounce the sounds of each word. You will hear yourself improve each time. You might also like to record your voice then compare your pronunciation to ours.

Tongue twister number 1
A big black bug bit a big black dog on his big black nose.

Listen again.
A big black bug bit a big black dog on his big black nose.

Tongue twister number 2
Santa's short suit shrunk.

Listen again.
Santa's short suit shrunk.

Tongue twister number 3
Whether the weather is warm, whether the weather is hot, we have to put up with the weather, whether we like it or not.

Listen again.
Whether the weather is warm, whether the weather is hot, we have to put up with the weather, whether we like it or not.

Flickr CC: Thorsten Ludewig

May 10 2016



Rank #10: Lend And Borrow

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Lend and borrow

Borrow something [from someone]
Lend something [to someone]
Lend someone [something]

We use borrow to say that we take something temporarily with the intention of giving it back.

Do you mind if I borrow a few dollars for the bus?
That book looks great, may I borrow it once you have finished?

We use lend to say that we give something temporarily with the understanding that it will be returned.

Can you lend me your car?
Her father lent her some money to buy a house.

Flickr CC: Simon Cunningham

May 04 2016