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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Powerful Vocabulary: English Words To Sound Smart

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Well hey there I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!

Now learning powerful words is really great

for your English vocabulary

but if you can't use them effectively,

there's just not really much point is there?

And when I say use them effectively, I mean use them

correctly in your sentences with the right

supporting words to help it sound natural

and relaxed and real.

For many English nouns there are actually only a small

number of verbs that can frequently be used with them,

words that just sound

right when they're used together in sentences

and we call these combinations of words 'collocations'.

Now learning English collocations is so helpful

if you want to sound more natural and intelligent

when you speak and today it will

focus on a particular set of intelligent words

that will help you to talk about personal challenges.

So these words are going to be incredibly powerful

in job interviews, in a professional context,

when you're sitting exams, the times when you need to

reflect on your personal life experiences.

So if you're ready to expand your vocabulary,

stick around!

Before we get started, a super quick reminder to

turn on the subtitles down here if you need to

and if you feel like doing something lovely today

then help me to translate this video so that

other people in your country can watch it

and can learn from it too and of course,

it's going to be excellent English practice for you.

I think it's fair to say that most of us are trying

to improve ourselves in some way.

That's what you're doing here watching me, isn't it?

Now we are always trying to learn new skills

and get better at things or

try to tweak and improve our personal qualities a little

to try and become better versions of ourselves.

That's why we set goals, that's why we're conscious

or we're aware of the things that we're trying to improve.

And this is called personal development.

So I want to know

what are your personal goals right now?

What are you working on in yourself?

For me, I'm trying to get conversational in Spanish

and I'm really trying to work on my management

and my leadership skills.

See my team has grown really quickly over the last

twelve to eighteen months and

you know, I want to be the best leader that I can be

for my team so I really want to improve these skills.

So what about you? What are you working on?

My aim in this lesson is to help you expand

your vocabulary around this topic and to help you to feel

more confident when you're using sophisticated

language in English.

This vocabulary, it really is essential

if you need to use English professionally

or if you're planning to use English at university.

These are all great words and expressions

to learn.

When we're trying to improve ourselves,

we've recognised that there's a problem,

something's not working or something's blocking us

from getting to where we want to go

and we call this thing that's blocking us an obstacle.

Now it can be a physical thing like a tree that's fallen

across a path

but it can also be a problem that prevents you or stops

you from achieving something that you want to do.

So say you really want to apply for a job

but in the application they said that you need

five years of working experience.

You only have two. So this is an obstacle,

right? It's a problem. It's blocking you.

It's not completely impossible to get around

that obstacle but you've got to work a little harder

to make it happen, right?

So 'obstacle' is a countable noun, you can have

an obstacle or you can have five obstacles

and it's most commonly used with the verbs

hit, face and overcome.

All of these verbs have slightly different meanings.

We hit a significant obstacle

when we found out we had no budget left.

So by using 'hit', we're highlighting that moment that

the obstacle stopped us, right?

I can't even imagine the obstacles

you face in daily life.

So here the verb 'face' is highlighting that moment

that you deal with the obstacle like you're looking at it

and you're standing there ready to take it on.

She had to overcome many obstacles

on her journey to become CEO.

And 'overcome' here, it highlights that moment you got

past the obstacle. It's not blocking you anymore.

We use these same verbs with the noun 'challenge' too.

And really that's just a synonym of 'obstacle'.

When I created my online English learning community,

I had no idea how many challenges I'd face

along the way.

We've really overcome lots of challenges

to reach the point where we are today.

We express this same idea by saying that we

we get over hurdles or we overcome hurdles.

One of the biggest hurdles that we had to overcome

with our community was connecting them across

different time zones.

So what about you? Have you had to overcome any

challenges in your job or in your personal life?

I want you to practise using this language

in the comments below this video.

Fears and doubts are things that hold us back.

Often they are the reason why we don't

feel very confident at all.

Our fears are our thoughts that we have when we're

frightened or we're worried about something,

we fear that something bad will happen.

And a doubt is a feeling of not being certain

about something,

being unsure about what will happen.

So we have doubts about our ability to do things,

about our choices, the decisions that we've made.

I have some doubts about our ability to complete this

project by Christmas.

In fact, you can use self-doubt here to make it

clear that the doubts you have are with yourself.

Now we often use the verb 'overcome' again with 'doubt'

and with 'self-doubt'

and we use it to say, you know, when we stopped

feeling uncertain. It's also really useful to practise

the verb 'doubt' as well.

There were so many times when I doubted

my ability to lead a team.

Let's focus on fear for a minute or two.

We all have to deal with fear, right? We have to learn

how to manage fear.

It's a really natural and a really normal part of life.

If we're lucky enough, we find a way to harness fear

in some situations.

Have you heard of that expression?

Now we use the verb 'harness' when you find a way

to use that fear to your advantage.

The energy from that fear gives you the power

to do something courageous or challenging

and we actually often use that verb 'harness'

with an emotion. We use it to say that we bring

that emotion under control

and then do something positive with it.

So for example. You might harness

your team's enthusiasm which means, you know,

you want to make the most of their enthusiasm

and get the best out of them.

We all have fears but what about those moments

when we find the courage?

We face our fears. We let our fears come right up to us

and we stand our ground

and we deal with those fears, right?

I got called up on stage and at that moment,

I was forced to face my fears.

Okay let's not dwell on our problems and our fears

for too long, we all like a happy ending, don't we?

So how can we flip these negative situations

and begin to make them more positive?

Well let's focus on some vocabulary

that will help you to do that.

You're all familiar with the word 'opportunity' right?

You can be given an opportunity.

You can receive an opportunity.

You can get an opportunity.

But what if you want to emphasise your role

in getting that opportunity?

It's much more powerful to say that you took

the opportunity or you grabbed the opportunity.

It tells us that you were in control of the situation.

I grabbed the opportunity

to introduce myself to the CEO.

Now an even stronger word is the verb 'seize'.

So this is when you take something really eagerly.

I want to make sure our team

seizes these opportunities in the future.

You can create an opportunity as well

and this suggests that you made it possible

through your actions to have that opportunity.

You can take advantage of an opportunity.

And that's when you take that opportunity

and use it for your own gain.

When my boss announced his resignation,

I took advantage of the situation and presented

my paper at the conference in his place.

Good way to take advantage of a situation.

How many times has something or someone

changed the way that you think about something

or changed your point of view?

Well it sounds much more intelligent to say

"change your perspective"

or explain that something shifted your perspective.

So your perspective is a more intelligent way

to talk about your way of thinking about things.

And the verb 'shift' is used to say that something

moved slightly.

Working with high school students helped him to shift

his perspective on the attitudes

and work ethic of young people.

Okay we have to talk about the word 'potential' here,

one of my favourite words because it's

full of possibility. It talks about the possibility to achieve

something in the future.

And the future is full of possibility.

It's full of potential. And when something that was once

possible but is now true or real, we use the verb

'realise' with 'potential' here.

I realised his potential

as soon as he came into the interview.

We also use this verb with 'dream'.

My boss helped me to realise a long-term dream;

to present at an international conference.

So this is a much more professional way of saying that,

you know, you made your dreams come true.

So can you tell me about a time that you

seized an opportunity or you realised a dream?

I'm really excited to see you using some of these words

and collocations in the comments below.

I'll be coming down to check them out

and give you some feedback on them soon.

Now I always make a point of giving feedback

and writing comments for the first few days

after my videos have been published

so if you want feedback on your sentences

then write them now

right when we're first watching this video.

And make sure that you're subscribed

with the notifications on so that you don't miss out

on any of my future lessons

and opportunities to get feedback.

If you want to keep practising with me,

you know where to go.

I'll see you in there!

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