Join Our Free English Language Course Now!

Enter your name and email address below and learn the Interactive Stories Method, a FREE English training course by email. Improve your English now!

Welcome to English Conversations!

Hello everybody. You can use this website to learn English and other languages. Click the links below to explore our language learning resources.

World English Course

Learn English with our free World English Course. Listen, speak, read, write and understand English through our free weekly online activities and linkups. Join the English Classroom!

English Courses

Take a look at some of the English Courses we offer:
  • Be Aware: Use this free English course to brush up your grammar, vocabulary, and more...
  • Interactive Stories: learn a new technique for learning languages using stories with this free English training course.
  • The Business Trip: develop your business English with this unique free business English course.
  • The Water Car: A full-length Interactive Story English course for intermediate level learners.
  • The Children of Kenji Takeuchi: A full-length Interactive Story English course for upper-intermediate level learners.
  • World English: a free course designed to foster topic-based discussions.

English Dialogues

Follow a story in English through free English Dialogues. There are three levels:

Real Conversations

Recordings of real conversations and interviews, with transcripts of the conversations so you can read and listen at the same time. It is a good way to learn real English.

English Lessons

Dozens of useful English lessons and ideas for teachers and students of any language. Explore the variety of free English lessons and learn!

Interactive Stories

We use stories to learn. The stories contain questions. Learn a new technique for learning languages. It is fun and educational at the same time!

Easy English

Recordings of Easy English Lessons for Beginners.

Bilingual Recordings

Learn ANY language through our bilingual English/Other Language (EOL) files and LLL Service (Live Language Link-up Service).

Almanac

Learn the language of news and weather and world events while following news and weather and world events, and learn to understand and write about them in the English Conversations Almanac.

Vocabulary – Carnage

In his first speech as President of the United States, Donald Trump said:

“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

Carnage is Destruction

The word “carnage” has a Latin root and it comes from the word “carne”, which means “meat” or “flesh”. We see the word “carne” in words like “carnivorous” which means “meat-eating” and carnivore” which means “meat-eater”. Are you a vegetarian?

Carnage means “bloody destruction”.

American Carnage

In Trump’s view, America has been destroyed by crime, gangs, poverty, lack of education and economic collapse. He uses the word “carnage” as a a metaphor for “destruction”, “decay”, “death” because he sees a nation in crisis.

The United States of America is a complex multi-cultural nation and it is the largest economy in the world and the most powerful military force.

Questions

How do people view the USA in your society? Is it a benevolent force or a malevolent force or is the answer more complex than that? Write your opinion in the comments section below.

Bourke Street Carnage

As the United States of America listened to the first speech of the 45th President, a criminal in Melbourne, Australia drove his car through a pedestrian shopping mall and killed and injured many people.

Here is the headline from an Australian newspaper:

Baby becomes fifth person to die from Bourke Street carnage

Read about it here: Melbourne Carnage

Is this type of crime common in your society? Tell us in the comments section below.

Vocabulary – Meat or Flesh?

English has two words for meat (carne). The word “meat” is usually used at the butcher, in the kitchen or at the dining room table. The word “flesh” is sometimes used to describe meat on the table:

When I eat chicken, I prefer the white flesh but some people prefer the bones.

but generally “flesh” is a higher level word than “meat”. It is more commonly used as a metaphor or figure of speech for example in the proverb:

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,

which means “I want to do something but I do not have the courage to physically act.”

Carne is Meat

We use the words “carne seca” to describe “dried meat” in the Brazilian dish: Feijoada. Listen to this conversation and learn to make feijoada: How to make feijoada

Reincarnation is Rebirth

Many people believe in reincarnation, which is the idea that the soul lives on after the death of the body and it enters another body. You can read a story where this happens: The Lives of a Man

Do you believe in reincarnation? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Summary – Word Family

carne seca (a type of food)
carnage (a figurative noun)
reincarnation (noun)
reincarnate (verb)
carnivore noun)
carnivorous (adjective)

Share your thoughts...

I am more than a bird

Superman

In this song the singer says: “I am more than a bird.”

He also talks about “kryptonite” and references the phrases from Superman:

Look up in the sky!
It is not a bird. It is not a plane.
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound.
Superman!

Superheroes

What do you know about superman?

Superman is a fictional American hero. Is he popular in your culture?

What do people think about Superman?
What do people think about America?

Links

Superman
American Superheroes

Share your thoughts...

Listening to Phrases in a Complex Talk

Listening

Listening is a difficult skill. Here are some ideas to help with listening practice:

Do not expect to understand everything at the first listening. Listen for words and phrases that you can understand. Do not worry about the parts you do not get. Focus on what you DO get.

Complex Text

The above audio text is complex text. You will not understand everything at first. It does not matter. It is not important. Just listen.

Which words did you hear?
Which phrases did you identify?

Partial Transcript

The audio is about a book by Herman Hesse

Did you get these:

Hello everyone.

My name is Rachel

a very complicated book

it was published
it was first translated into into English

briefly summarise the plot

a futuristic world

play and nurture

makes it clear

not what Hesse actually intended the book to be about

more than just a coming of age story

hard to explain

the fictional biographer’s perspective

somewhere in my brain i understand

to me ..

especially because

monasteries have served as preservers and keepers of knowledge

The Book Page

Have you seen the book page?

Link to the Book page
The Book Page is part of the World English Course

Share your thoughts...

Listening – Are you underpaid?

This video is a real news story about a large corporation exploiting workers. These is no transcript so you have to listen. Maybe you will not understand one hundred per cent. No problem. Improving listening comprehension skills takes time. Be patient. Listen again and again. If you have problems or questions write them in the comments section below.

Are you underpaid?
Does your employer threaten you?

Tel us about it in the comments section below.

Have you seen the work page?

Share your thoughts...

Sugar Sugar

This song is about sugar and honey and love.

Basically it is a metaphor for the sweetness of love. Candy, sugar and honey are all sweet things and love is sweet too.

Questions

Is love always sweet?
Is love sometimes bitter-sweet?
Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

At the beginning of our study of English we learn that some verbs do not appear in present continuous tense, for example, like, want and love.

Languages Change

The MacDonalds’ advertisement slogan “I am loving in” has actually changed the way we use the word “love”. We used to use it in present simple but now it is used in present continuous as well.

In the song “Sugar Sugar” we also hear:

“You are my candy girl and you got me wanting you.”

Note how the singer transfers his desire (wanting) to the object of his desire (candy girl) when he says:

“You got me wanting you.”

Have you seen the Love page in World English Course?

Share your thoughts...

How do you say “hello” in your language?

You say “yes”

I say “no”

You say “come”

I say “go”

Oh no!

You say “goodbye”

I say “hello”

hello hello

I say “high”

you say “low”

you say “why”

I say “I don’t know”

Being Contrary

If one person disagrees all the time we say: “That person is contrary”

A contrary person is a person who likes to disagree. Have you ever met a person who is really contrary?

Tell us about it in the comments section.

Share your thoughts...

We Can Work It Out

Phrasal Verb

“to go on” is a phrasal verb which means “to continue”.

“To work something out” is a phrasal verb. When the Beatles sing “we can work it out”, they mean: “We can solve any problem.

Point of View – Perspective

“Try to see it my way” means “Try to see it from my point of view”.

Life is very short

There is no time for fussing and fighting.
Do you agree?

Idiom

“Only time will tell” means “we will know after some time”.

Will the war in Syria end? Only time will tell. What do you think?

Share your thoughts...

Time Goes by So Slowly

These phrases are the same:

Time goes by.
Time passes.

Does time pass slowly or quickly for you? Is there a reason for that? In this song the singer says “Time goes by so slowly” because he is missing his lover and waiting to see his lover again.

Does time pass slowly or quickly for you? Why is that?

Tell us about it in the comments section.

Have you seen the TIME PAGE

Share your thoughts...