Category: Improving English Fluency

Comparing Yourself to Others – Unjust Comparisons

Comparing Yourself to Others – Unjust Comparisons

Judging your life based on others… sometimes I can’t help it, but it’s helpful to stop and reflect. Sure, you probably need to re-evaluate your own life and practice some gratitude, but you also need to reconsider how fairly you’re perceiving that other person’s life.

Luckily for me, I have a great old conversation archived covering this very topic.

Much thanks to Blake and his words of wisdom:

References:

Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy

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How to Use “ING” and “ED” Adjectives

How to Use “ING” and “ED” Adjectives

This is one of the most common English mistakes I hear. So, if you want to sound like a native speaker, you need to be sure to get your “ing” and “ed” adjectives in order.

Very simple summation:

  • If it’s about ME– something I’m FEELING– you want the “ed” adjective.
  • If it’s a THING — look, that word ends in ING — you want the “ing” adjective.

People

Copy of People

Of course, there’s a little more to it than that. Plus, there’s always some exceptions, but I think you’ll have a way better understanding after watching.

Zoom Out | Make a Bigger Picture

Zoom Out | Make a Bigger Picture

Sometimes the mistakes you make seem bigger than they actually are. That’s because you’re too zoomed in!

Part of the process of improving any skill is to be honest in your own assessment. You don’t want to gloss over problems that you’re making. There’s no point in sugar-coating and saying it was “perfect” when it clearly wasn’t.

That said, it’s a maddening and unproductive path to nitpick apart every single slip up. If you get too caught up in those actions, you might be too entrenched in self-criticism you forget the point.

Are your reflections actually helping to pave the way to something better?

Don’t be too zoomed in.

Zoom out, and make sure the efforts you make to correct aren’t wasted on the trivial things.

It’s not just about seeing the bigger picture, but taking steps to ensure that you’re moving towards a bigger picture.

English Lesson: To Wrap My Head Around

English Lesson: To Wrap My Head Around

To understand feels good. Not being able to understand feels bad. And, being able to express you don’t understand is super important.

Having a variety of expressions is also helpful. Too often, non-native speakers will jump straight to “I don’t understand”. Depending on the context, straight and to the point can be best. Unfortunately, if you’re always too direct and basic, it makes your language comprehension skills seem lower than they are.

If you’re in the intermediate-advanced range, you should know different ways to dance around your unfamiliarity:

  • I tried, but I still don’t get it.
  • I’m not sure I follow.
  • I think I might, but I’m not positive on what you mean.

Those kinds of phrases, while natural, are a bit harder to utilize.

It might be easier to use a substitute like “to wrap my head around” (to comprehend, to visualize, to understand fully/well).

Most of the time, you’ll use this phrase in the negative form:

  • I hear you, but that’s so hard for me to wrap my head around.
  • I can’t quite wrap my head around it.