Filed Under: Culture
March 9, 2021 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

Language is a funny old thing, isn’t it.

When you visit someone in Japanese you give a “boring gift”. Something that would confuse English speakers (why give it if it’s boring?). The Polish aren’t a number of years old, but “have” a number of years. In Russia it doesn’t rain; the rain “goes”, just like a train or someone out the door to work.

English uses the past simple almost as much as the past present.

But Italians rarely use the past simple.

Brazilians lend and borrow with the same word.

And the Spanish “take” decisions.

Your native language and English aren’t the same, and one of the big challenges of mastering a language is overcoming this.

But how do we do it?

I STILL have trouble with the words “come” and “go” in Japanese ー they simply don’t work the way they do in English.

Well, I’ll tell you what WON’T work.

Knowing the grammar rules and thinking that will help you in conversation.


You see, while languages are different, there’s a REASON they’re different, and if you want to master English you’ve got to start with that reason.

Luckily that’s what MEFA Week 9 is all about. Follow what I say, and you’ll learn how to stop making mistakes in English. It won’t be quick or easy, but it is very simple.

Now, Week 9 is a fair while away.

But don’t worry, because you can get started right away: many years ago I did a seminar all about the three essential ingredients for speaking intelligent sounding, sophisticated English that includes an overview of this topic. I recorded the event, but it was never for sale… then eventually I forgot all about it. Well, no longer. This “lost event” is included as a bonus when you enrol for the next MEFA group, and you’ll get access immediately after enrolling.

Which you can do here:

Dr Julian Northbrook