Category Archives: Resources for learning English

Apps for learning phrasal verbs

cambridge phrasal verbs apps

Photo credit: cambridgemobileapps. com

Being quite a fan of online dictionaries, I try to alternate between two-three of my favourite for a change. Today I turned to the Cambridge Online Dictionary and started browsing other tabs on the website. I came across the Apps section, which had two free apps for learning phrasal verbs, which I rushed to install on my phone.

They are The Phrasal Verbs Machine and Phrasalstein. Both feature superb graphics, surprisingly good music and about 100 phrasal verbs each. You can either browse phrasal verbs and see short and witty videos and examples illustrating the meaning or choose an Exercises tab to try and guess the meaning. I could instantly see the amount of hard work that gone into developing these apps and it’s great that they are free. What’s more, you can view translations into other languages – French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian, Italian – or simply view a definition in English. What a treat for a polyglot!

I recommend these apps to anyone looking to brush up on their phrasal verbs or to learn some more!




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binge-watching phrase origin visual thesaurus

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When I subscribe to newsletters I always hope that they’ll make me cleverer and smarter. But what actually happens is that I usually get tired of them pretty quickly and sometimes I just delete them without reading. Not so with the newsletter from Visual Thesaurus, which is a brilliant software for linguists.

Today’s post was about ‘binge-watching‘, something I occasionally indulge in, I have to admit. Being not quite impartial to certain series, I find it difficult not to watch several episodes at a time, and that’s what binge-watching is.

This is a valuable addition to my I-didn’t-know-there-was-a-word-for-that-in-English-collection. There’s even a synonym for that in the article – ‘marathon-style watching‘.

The article on binge-watching by Ben Zimmer explores the origin of ‘binge’, and how it brought about binge-drinking, binge-eating and binge-watching.

Update: MacMillan Dictionary recently added a synonym – ‘to chainwatch‘.

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woodwardenglish learning english resources

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I’ve been planning for a while to start writing about the resources – websites, dictionaries and apps – that I use or just stumble upon and that should be helpful for English learners (myself included). This is going my first one.

I stumbled upon this website as I was searching for the explanations and examples of differences between ‘fun’ vs. ‘funny’.

I think it’s a brilliant resource for learners of intermediate to advanced levels with some very good visuals, such as this Cooking Vocabulary or Daily Routines cartoon (for elementary / intermediate level), or even Do vs. Make usage.

One of the most helpful posts is probably 7 tips for learning new vocabulary. I agree wholeheartedly with this strategy and I’ve been using it myself, especially the flashcards. More on them later.

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