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,
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
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
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
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!