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Proper English

If you're learning English and you want to know the correct word to use in a particular situation, if you get stuck thinking of the right preposition, if you are puzzled by definite and indefinite articles, then Proper English is the podcast for you!

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Proper English Episode 15: Forms of address

In this episode, we talk about how we address each other - sir, madam, doctor, professor, that sort of thing. This week’s idiom is ‘Out of the blue’ - and keep listening after the closing music for a masterclass in how not to pronounce ‘Two thousand and eleven’. Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4) or Tumblr (properenglish). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (@properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer!

10mins

13 Aug 2019

Rank #1

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Proper English Episode 32: Cooking ...with phrasal verbs!

In this episode, we’re back on the subject of phrasal verbs - this time, we're looking at phrasal verbs associated with cooking. The Idiom of the Week is ‘That takes the biscuit!’ Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer - or, if you're an email kind of person, and you have any feedback or suggestions for future podcasts, you can always contact us at properenglish@sapo.pt.

8mins

10 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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Proper English Summer Special: Nouns and verbs and all that stuff

It's summer, and we're out on a day trip! We're close to the beautiful old city of Tomar, and we're chatting with our first guest - Emma of Portuguese Language Lessons - about the building blocks of the English language: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adjectives and prepositions! Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4), to keep up to date with what we have lined up. Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (@properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer!

13mins

12 Jul 2019

Rank #3

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Proper English Episode 19: Bits and bobs and odds and ends

In this episode, we’re tidying up - talking about a few of the little challenges learners frequently puzzle over in English grammar and pronunciation - the ‘Idiom of the week’ is ‘The best thing since sliced bread.’ Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4) or Tumblr (properenglish). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (@properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer!

11mins

10 Sep 2019

Rank #4

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Proper English Episode 29: Capital letters

Alison’s back! Hurrah! This week we’re talking about capitals (letters, not cities) and how and when to use them when you’re writing English. The Idiom of the Week is ‘The boot is on the other foot’. Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer!

8mins

19 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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Proper English Episode 27: The weather (1) - talking about the rain

In this episode, we’re starting a journey into a topic that always gets a conversation going - the weather! We’re concentrating on words associated with the rain this week, and, appropriately, the Idiom of the Week is ‘a storm in a teacup’. This podcast uses these sounds from Freesound: Long Birds Forest Ambience.wav by Motion_S | License: Attribution Thunderstorm 3.WAV by Sandermotions | License: Creative Commons 0 Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer!

9mins

5 Nov 2019

Rank #6

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Proper English Episode 4: silent consonants

In this episode, we consider silent consonants, and talk about the origins and meaning of the idiom ‘Raining cats and dogs’. Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4) and Instagram (@properenglish2019) to keep up to date with us!

8mins

28 May 2019

Rank #7

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Proper English Episode 8: The definite article

In this episode, we talk about the definite article, and discuss the meaning and various origins of the idiom ‘Painting the town red’. Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4) and Instagram (@properenglish2019) to keep up to date with us!

7mins

25 Jun 2019

Rank #8

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Proper English Episode 12: Phrasal verbs in the home

We're looking at phrasal verbs again in this episode - this time, we're concentrating on the ones we regularly use around the house. 'Let the dog see the rabbit' is 'Idiom of the Week' - we'll be talking about what it means and where it originally comes from. Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4), to keep up to date with what we have lined up. Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (@properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer!

8mins

23 Jul 2019

Rank #9

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Proper English Episode 23: Greetings!

Greetings! In this episode, we’re talking about the different ways we English say hello to each other every day - and this week’s idiom is perhaps not to be taken too seriously - in fact, you can ‘take it with a pinch of salt’! Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4) or Tumblr (properenglish). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (@properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer!

8mins

8 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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Proper English Episode 5: Look, see, and watch

In this episode, we talk about the differences between the verbs ‘look’, ’see’ and ‘watch’, and discuss the meaning and origins of the idiom ‘Caught red-handed’. Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4) and Instagram (@properenglish2019) to keep up to date with us!

8mins

4 Jun 2019

Rank #11

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Proper English Episode 26: Pronouncing contractions (I'm, she'll, etc)

This week, we’re talking about the pronunciation of some contractions in English - specifically those associated with the verb ‘to be’ and the modal verb ‘will’. The Idiom of the Week is ‘Bob’s your uncle’. Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer!

10mins

29 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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Proper English Episode 36: Words and phrases related to relaxation

In this, the first episode of the new decade, we're taking it easy, indulging ourselves, being all laidback and talking in hushed tones about the art of relaxation. We're also taking some time (and space) to discuss the difference between infinity and eternity - and the Idiom of the Week is 'let sleeping dogs lie.' You can find us on italki at https://www.italki.com/alisondaviskurley or https://www.italki.com/davekurley. Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019) and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer - or, if you're an email kind of person, and you have any feedback or suggestions for future podcasts, you can always contact us at properenglish@sapo.pt. Music from https://filmmusic.io "Kalimba Relaxation Music" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) "Fanfare for Space" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) This podcast uses this sound from Freesound: ttps://freesound.org/s/498394/ by 16FV16FVolejnikovaA

9mins

7 Jan 2020

Rank #13

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Proper English Episode 38: Even native English speakers get confused about these things...

In this episode, we’re discussing some of the words and aspects of English grammar that even native English speakers find challenging. The Idiom of the Week is 'bite your tongue‘, and we're also considering the difference between 'make' and 'do'. You can find us on italki at https://www.italki.com/alisondaviskurley or https://www.italki.com/davekurley. Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4) or YouTube. Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer - or, if you're an email kind of person, and you have any feedback or suggestions for future podcasts, you can always contact us at properenglish@sapo.pt.

9mins

21 Jan 2020

Rank #14

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Proper English Episode 28: Proper English Question Time

Dave’s flying solo this week - talking about the questions we answer on our Instagram page - Proper English Question Time! The Idiom of the Week is ‘Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted’. Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer! Music from https://filmmusic.io "White" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

10mins

12 Nov 2019

Rank #15

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Proper English Episode 35: Happy New Year!

It's the last episode of the year, so we're taking this opportunity to look back on what we've achieved and all the new friends we've made since we started Proper English back in May. Also, we're remembering past New Year celebrations and talking about New Year traditions in the UK. Oh, and a massive THANK YOU to all our listeners across the world - we're really looking forward to the second year of Proper English! You can find us on italki at https://www.italki.com/alisondaviskurley or https://www.italki.com/davekurley. Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019) and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer - or, if you're an email kind of person, and you have any feedback or suggestions for future podcasts, you can always contact us at properenglish@sapo.pt. This podcast uses the following sound from freesound: https://freesound.org/s/453750/ by kyles

11mins

31 Dec 2019

Rank #16

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Proper English Episode 25: Phrasal verbs in the workplace

This week, we’re back with more phrasal verbs - this time we’re looking at the ones you might use in your place of work. The Idiom of the Week is ‘Burning the midnight oil.’ Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer!

9mins

20 Oct 2019

Rank #17

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Proper English Episode 34: It's Chriiiiistmaaaaas!

In this bumper episode, we're beside ourselves with excitement, as we share stories of childhood Christmases, talk about traditional Christmas food - and generally get a bit giddy and giggly with Yuletide cheer! The Idiom of the Week is 'The proof of the pudding'. You can find us on italki at https://www.italki.com/alisondaviskurley or https://www.italki.com/davekurley. Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019) and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer - or, if you're an email kind of person, and you have any feedback or suggestions for future podcasts, you can always contact us at properenglish@sapo.pt. This podcast uses the following sound from freesound: https://freesound.org/s/146976/ by zabuhailo

14mins

24 Dec 2019

Rank #18

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Proper English Episode 14: The Full English Breakfast

In this episode, we talk about the most important meal of the day - the Full English Breakfast! The idiom of the week is ‘to open a can of worms’. Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/properenglish2019), and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4), to keep up to date with what we have lined up. Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (@properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer!

9mins

6 Aug 2019

Rank #19

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Proper English Episode 33: Intensifiers

In this episode, we're incredibly pleased to announce that we're talking about intensifiers - The Idiom of the Week is ‘Many Happy Returns’, and we'll also be discussing the difference between 'got' and gotten'. Like us on Facebook (properenglish2019) and follow us on Twitter (@properenglish4). Oh, and if you have a burning English grammar-related question, why not ask us on Instagram (properenglish2019), and we'll do our best to answer - or, if you're an email kind of person, and you have any feedback or suggestions for future podcasts, you can always contact us at properenglish@sapo.pt. You can find us on italki at https://www.italki.com/alisondaviskurley or https://www.italki.com/davekurley.This podcast uses these sounds from freesound:https://freesound.org/s/146976/ by zabuhailo https://freesound.org/s/110158/ by justkiddink

8mins

17 Dec 2019

Rank #20