Use these 11 Advanced English conversation expressions to sound natural when you speak!
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In this lesson, I'll teach you some cool idioms and phrasal verbs that will help you to sound more natural during English conversations… Do you know them all?
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Hello I'm Emma from mmmEnglish. Welcome to the first mmmEnglish lesson of 2020.
Today I want to inject some new expressions into your vocabulary, expanding your knowledge with some new idioms and some phrasal verbs. You're about to learn some advanced expressions that will help you sound smart and interesting in English conversations but watching this video is not enough. You need to put them into practice so get ready to type. I'll be inviting you all the way through this video to write sentences in the comments below.
Before we get started, a quick shout out to our friends at Lingoda who've made it possible for us to bring you today's lesson. If you've already decided that 2020 is the year to take your speaking skills to the next level, then why not jump right in and get it done faster by joining the next Lingoda Language sprint? I can't think of a better way for you to start the year, especially if you register for the Super Sprint, which is a massive thirty classes a month for three months. And if you complete every class,Lingoda will reward you with a 100% refund of your payment.
Now if you don't have enough time for the Super Sprint, you also have the option to do the regular Sprint, which is fifteen classes a month, also for three months, very achievable! And if you complete every class, you'll get a 50% refund.
Guys, this is an awesome race that I would love to see you win, you'll accelerate your speaking skills your confidence and your fluency in a short space of time and set yourself up for a really fantastic year ahead. I've taken this challenge before and you've probably heard me say that it was one of the best things that I ever did for my confidence to speak Spanish.
It's not just that the classes are available 24/7 or that they have native teachers and recognised certifications. For me, it was really about being held accountable. It was urging me to show up every single day and keep improving my Spanish speaking skills. And you can do the same in English, business English German and French too.
Registrations for the Sprint are closing on the 27th of January so as always, I'm gonna put the link in the description below. If you use this code right here you'll get a cool ten euro discount at the checkout. Alright, let's get started with these advanced English expressions that you can use in everyday conversations starting with…
1. On the whole
Now this is a really useful expression when you're generalising about something and you're coming to a conclusion. So once you've considered everything, the good and the bad, you know we generalise and we say that this is generally how we feel about the situation.
Sometimes, my brother and I have disagreements but on the whole, we get on really well.
So considering the good and the bad we mostly get on well.
On the whole, it was a great speech.
Yeah there were a couple of things that could be improved but on the whole, the speech was quite good. So with this expression, it's not necessary to go into detail about the negative things, you don't have to because the expression already tells us that something wasn't or isn't perfect. And let's face it, not many things in life are perfect right?
So this expression is a really useful one to know.
2. On second thoughts
Now we use this one when we change our mind about something and it's usually only used in spoken English. It's not very common to see it in written English because it's a tool to help you change your mind in the middle of a conversation, to change whatever it is you just said usually to the opposite.
I'll meet you at the office after lunch. On second thoughts, let's just go there now.
So can you see how we use this as a tool to change what we said in the middle of a conversation, to change your mind.
Imagine if someone offered you a beer and you said “No thanks, but I'd love a coffee.” But then you quickly changed your mind.
Actually, on second thoughts I'd love a beer!
3. At the end of the day
This is such a good expression to know and to use. We use it to summarise what's most important in the end.
At the end of the day, what matters most is that we're all together.
So it doesn't really matter whatever else has happened before. Perhaps there was chaos and there was arguments within the family but when everyone sits down to share a meal, at the end of the day, what's most important is that we're here together. We usually use it when we're talking about what happens or what's important after a whole series of events or considerations.
Even though it was the children who caused the damage, at the end of the day, the teacher is responsible for what happens in the classroom.
4. Off the top of my head
This is a really useful expression to use when you respond to something immediately without thinking too much about your answer.
So if someone asked “What percentage of the population lives in the city?”
Off the top of my head, I'd say about 70%.
How many hectares of forest and bushland were burned in the bushfires?
Off the top of my head, I think more than six million hectares have been burned so far.
Now you can also use this expression in the negative when you're trying to think of something but you can't remember.
There's a really great Italian restaurant. I can't think of the name off the top of my head.
5. (to be) in/out of the loop
This is a really interesting expression. The loop is about being informed and knowing what's happening so if you're in the loop then you know what's going on, you're good. But if you're out of the loop, you don't know what's going on.
I wasn't in the office last week so I feel like I'm out of the loop. What's been happening?
And we commonly use it when we're instructing someone to tell us information and we often use it with the verb ‘keep' so we say:
“Can you please keep me in the loop?” Or “Paul needs to be kept in the loop. Make sure you tell him what's going on.”
6. (to) be out of touch
Have you heard this one before? It's used to describe someone who doesn't really have current or up-to-date knowledge about something, anything, so this is quite a negative expression. It's really common to hear it used in a political context or even when children are talking about their parents because it's when they think that someone doesn't really understand the present issues because they're stuck in an older way of thinking.
Many young people feel that politicians are out of touch.
I'm getting quite touchy here.
7. (to) touch base
A Belgian friend of mine once told me that he was really weirded out by this expression, like it sounds creepy which I never really thought of before but I guess it kind of does sound a little creepy but the meaning is not creepy. If you touch base with someone, you simply connect with them or you reconnect with someone that you already know.
So usually you're reconnecting about a particular topic or about a particular issue. So for that reason, it's really commonly used in the workplace. So when you're working on a project with someone and you're gonna do some research separately before you come back together to write your report, this would be really useful.
Why don't we get started on our research, and then touch base again later in the week?
Do you have to touch base with anyone when you're at work? Like where you do things separately but then you come back together to share what you've been doing.
What types of things do you have to touch base about? See if you can share some of them in the comments below.
8. (to be) struck by
This is a really great way of explaining that something has impressed you.
I was struck by how beautiful the forest looked at dawn.
So I'm suggesting that the beauty of the forest stopped me. I was mesmerised for a moment.
When you visit a city and you notice something interesting or unusual, then this expression will help you to sound really intelligent when you share it.
I was struck by just how few trees and parks there were in the city.
In the wake of the bushfires, we were struck by how resilient the community was.
Now this phrasal verb has another common use because it can mean to be hit by something.
The cyclist was struck by a passing car.
And commonly this is how it's used in the news, so if you read the English news quite a bit, then I'm sure you'll see this phrasal verb in use.
9. (to be) sure of (one's self)
If you're sure of something, then you're quite certain about it right? You're confident that it's true but did you know that you can also use this expression to talk about how a person feels about themselves? It means that you're quite confident in your own ability. You're very sure of yourself but usually, it's an observation that you make about someone else. If they seem confident like they know what they're doing, then they're very sure of themselves. So the way to use this expression is with the be verb.
She is quite sure of herself.
But probably even more often, we use the verb ‘seen' or ‘appear'.
He seems quite sure of himself.
Or they appear to be quite sure of themselves.
10. (to) hang in there
Now we use this expression when we're trying to tell someone that they need to remain persistent and determined in really difficult circumstances.
So this expression is a really good one to use when you're offering sympathy or encouragement to someone who is having difficulties. So when you use it, you're telling them keep going, you can do it!You know, persist. I know that it's difficult right now but you'll make it through so it's a really reassuring expression.
If your friend is having some difficulties at work, maybe their boss is frustrating them or they've started talking about quitting for some reason you could say “Hang in there, mate. You'll be right!”
That was a really Australian expression.
“Hang in there mate. You'll be right!”
‘You'll be right' means you'll be okay.
11. (to) get your head around (something)
When you get your head around something, you understand it.
It's taken me a while to get my head around it but now I've got it.
It's been difficult for all of us to get our head around the scale of the Australian bushfires.
Have you got your head around these different expressions yet? It might take you a little while. They're quite advanced English expressions and it's definitely challenging to use them fluently in conversations. There's lots of idioms, lots of phrasal verbs so they're going to take a bit of practice. But you'll get there, hang in there.
Alright so here's your challenge. If you can use five of these expressions together in a paragraph, I want to read it in the comments below. I want you to practise writing a little story that focuses on bringing a few of these expressions together in one place.
Like I said at the start of the lesson, watching is not enough. To remember these expressions you need to put them into practice and actually use them.
I hope that you enjoyed this lesson and that you subscribe to my channel just down here. I've got new lessons every week. 2020 is here and I'm excited to help you improve your speaking skills throughout the year ahead. So to keep practising with me right now, you know where to find me.
mmmEnglish Video Lessons are a series of video lessons created to build confidence in English learners and focus on English in daily life. Download them and watch them anywhere! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be the first to get my new videos, and come and say hi on my Facebook page!!
Hello, Emma and your team! You are my pleasure. I'm Valentyna, 67 years old. But in 2000 I was born from God and my life on the whole is really changed.
Now I know at the end of the day (at the end of my earthly life) will be incredibly wonderful ,because I will meet my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ face to face, and my life will continue forever with Him, in His love, in His presence.
In the whole Universe there is nothing where He would be out of touch and He always off the top of His head has the best solution on any issue; He is always in the loop of all of circumstances and He is ready to help me in any problem.
With love Valentyna.
With my friend Marian we have started to write our storytelling separately becouse she left the country for tow months But yesterday she came back so I'll call her to my home to touch bace and correct our mistakes. I hope within three days we'll finally finish it.
Hello emma, my name is Adam and i'm trying to work on my English as much as i can, i'm still figuring somethings out, but on the whole i think i'll be alright. I was struck how much you care about helping others perfect English and im sure that if we continue to follow your instructions we'll be able to improve in no time we just need to hang in there and try to not loose motivation because at the end of the day it's all about your ability to stay focused, one slight problem im having is that i can't seem to get my head around pronunciation as it's pretty hard for a not native speaker, all in all i just want to thank you for everything and encourage you to keep doing what you are doing 🙂
I forgot to add “by” next to struck. Sorry!!
At the first place, I dislike English language but, on the second thoughts, I realised the important of this language in my era. On the whole, people must learn English for their own interest. At the end of the day, English is the most language used in the world. Off the top of my head, I would say, it is 80%. I was in of the loop since last year.
“I love athletics so much and I will be glad if you could join me in my next training session” said to me by Jane. She has been trying to invite me for sport few months back but felt I was totally out of touch. However, I was struck by the benefits I will gain if I make athletics my hobby too. At the end of the day I was convinced that I can do it if I am willing. I told Jane to keep Patrick in the loop because I am sure of myself he will also be interested.
Great work Ezekiel! However, the expression ‘to be sure of ones' self' is used to when you are very confident of one's own abilities or views (not when you are confident about someone else)
With my friend Marian we have started to write our storytelling separately becouse she left the country for tow months But yesterday she came back so I'llm call her to my home to touch bace and correct our mistakes. I hope within three days we'll finally finish it.
Hello, Emma, I learn English everyday by myself. There are different ways like reading books, learn grammatical rules and also watching your videos in order to use English. Thanks for your effort. I need more and more new words and how to use its but on the whole I am satisfied. In this sense at the and of the day, I think I already improve.
You help me to be in of the loop of English. So I think I am not out of touch.
with best wishes for you!
Hi Emma, I did a speech in the Toastmaster meeting last week. On the whole, my speech was satisfactory, and I would like to do it again. But this was my first time in this kind of meeting, so I was out of the loop the first 30 minutes. It took me a while to get my head around it, but I got it. I could see that the rest of the people there were sure of themselves, which was a good publicity for this kind of meeting. I glad that I did it.
Brilliant work! Just a few corrections:
I did a speech at the Toastmaster meeting last week. On the whole, my speech was satisfactory, and I would like to do it again. But this was my first time at this kind of meeting, so I was out of the loop for the first 30 minutes. It took me a while to get my head around it, but I got it. I could see that the rest of the people there were sure of themselves, which was good publicity for this kind of meeting. I glad that I did it.
Hello Emma! Thank you for the lessons. I don't manage to watch them all but on the whole, they always courage me. On the second thoughts, it's really hard to learn a language only from video, you are right. Quite often what I learned is goes off the top of my head the next morning. My subscription helps me out to touch base from time to time. Moving so lazy I hope to get my head around sooner or later. I am pretty sure of it as I don't have the road back.
Hi Emma what's up.
Thanks so much for this new video the first of 2020.these expressions are really useful
Susan wasn’t at school last month because of a hospital stay so she felt like she was out of the loop. “I will lend you my exercise books and we can touch base later in a few days”, Lucy proposed. “It will take me forever to get my head around everything”, Susan answered. “Hang in there, Susan. You got this!” After five days Lucy was struck by Susan’s knowledge.
Brilliant work, Jolanta! Looks like you have a good understanding of these expressions!
Last week, I couldn't read my e-mails. I feel like I am really out of the loop.
When I read them, I have realized that I touch base them again.
And, I was struck by these fantastic expressions.
I got my head around them.
So now, I am quite sure of myself that I can write at least five sentences using them.
Thank you teacher for all.
Great work! Just one correction:
When I read them, I realized that I have to touch base with them again.
Hello Emma, I learn English everyday by myself. There are different ways like reading books, learn grammatical rules and also watching your videos in order to use English. Thanks for your effort. I need more and more new words and how to use its but on the whole I am satisfied. In this sense at the and of the day, I think I already improve.
You help me to be in of the loop of English. So I think I am not out of touch. Learning new words feels like discovering secrets and I am always struck by it.
I'm a fan of English learning and I watch a lot of videos and I can tell you that on the whole, yours are one of the best.
… on the whole, yours IS one of the best.
(thank you for the compliment Ricardo!)
Lauri Matinlompolo (gmail.com)
I am sorry. I have to stop English Lessons. My wife is ill. Alzheimer's disease. Was found in March 2018.
I am his “home nurse” – I've learned a lot of practical English language.You are the best teacher (in the world).
Thank you for all your guidance!
Last friday, I attended a wedding in a urban fringe, where we meet with the uncles family after 10 years. I wasn't want to visit his house, but on second thoughts, i agreed to go there. I was struck by the natural beauty of that place. On the whole, I feel really good. My uncle was tensed about his married life. He feels that his parents are out of touch about this issue. He seems to be sure of himself to get separation from his family. My father console him and said that hang in there, it will be alright within time. At the end of the day, it was a wonderful journey with my family.
Last Friday, I attended a wedding in a urban fringe, where we meet with the uncles family after 10 years. I wasn't want to visit his house, but on second thoughts, i agreed to go there. I was struck by the natural beauty of that place. On the whole, I feel really good. My uncle was tensed about his married life. He feels that his parents are out of touch about this issue. He seems to be sure of himself to get separation from his family. My father console him and said that hang in there, it will be alright within time. At the end of the day, it was a wonderful journey with my family.
I live in Brazil with my husband. And, you know, living with someone else is sometimes quite challenging but on the whole, things go well for most of the time. For example, during last week we had disagreements about where to go on the weekend. I was worried about the weather and how to manage the situation. In fact, I was out of the loop. I need much more information about where to go, how to pay etc. On last Friday I talked to my family and exposed all my arguments. At the end of the day, everything was ok. They kept me in the loop. In the end, we went to Maresias. It’s a beach. It is so beautiful that I was stuck by it. The warm water, the amazing landscape, and food…Ah! Delicious.
This morning i realized that I were out of loop about Mmmenglish lesson that i subscribed. I were struck by the bustle of my new office. I plan to finish my task on this morning, but on the second thoughts i choose to watch this lesson. It's been difficult for me to get my head around it, but i am glad it make my mind set up to touch base again with english language.
Thank you very much my teacher.