Hi, I'm A.J. Hoge, the director of "Effortless English" and welcome to the Free 7 Rules e-mail course. Today is rule 1. Now, rule 1 is: Learn English phrases, not individual words. This one, just like all the other rules, is very simple, very easy. And, like the other rules, this rule is very, very powerful. So simple, so powerful. What is the rule? The rule is: always learn phrases, not individual words. So simple.
So a phrase is a group of words, it's not... you can have a whole sentence, but it's just a, it's even a part of a sentence. So for example, let's say, you have the word "hate", H.A.T.E., "hate", and you want to learn this new word. You can, you know, just write down the word "hate", and then you will find in your dictionary the meaning and then you'll memorize it. Hate, hate, hate, hate. That's the old way, that's the kind of text-book way, the school way. Right? In school, you probably remembered a lot of individual words. You had those big vocabulary lists, you tried to memorize all of them, trying to remember all these individual single words. It's not a good way to learn.
Much better if you learn a phrase, a group of words. And where do you find these phrases? You find these phrases in the real English podcasts that you're listening to, in the real English storybooks that you're reading. So you don't memorize a list in a book. No, no, no. You listen to real English and when you hear a new word you write it down. Or when you're reading a storybook and you see a new word, you write it down. But do not just write down that word, you wanna write down the whole phrase or sentence that it's in. All of it.
So instead of saying "hate", and you just write down "hate", you would say... you would write down "John hates ice-cream". You write down the whole phrase. Why do we do this? What's the power of phrases? Well, phrases give you a lot of information, much more information.
Phrases are easier to remember because they have meaning, they have a kind of a picture, a story, especially when you get them from something that you're reading or listening to. You'll remember it. "John hates ice-cream". You remember the whole story, you remember who John is, you remember that he had ice-cream and then you remember he hated it, he didn't like it. Right? So you have all these extra pieces of information, all this extra information helps you remember the meaning of the phrase and the meaning of that word. So it helps your memory. Much easier to remember.
There's a bonus. When you learn phrases, you are learning grammar also. You are not only learning an individual word, you're learning grammar, you're learning how to use that word correctly. You don't need to think about grammar. You don't need to know the rules. It's automatic. This is another way that native speakers learn English grammar because when we're children, we learn with phrases. We learn groups of words, not just one word by one word by one word. Word by word is slow and it doesn't help, and you don't learn any grammar. But when you learn a whole phrase, you write down a phrase, you're getting extra information. Maybe you don't know it, but you are.
For example "John hates ice-cream". Just that word, that -s on the end: "hates", right? John hates. Well, you know from grammar study that, you know, you're... you're making the subject and the verb agree. You don't need to think about that. Just write down the phrase "John hates ice-cream" and study it, and review it. Always learn the phrase, not just that word. And so, in the future, whenever you say "he hates ice-cream", "she hates ice-cream", you will add that S, the "sss", right? because that's how you learned it. You learned it correctly. You learned it from a phrase.
On the other hand, if you learn it from a textbook, you just learn: the word "hate" means "does not like". And you only learn that form, "hate", "hate", "hate", and you study, you study, you study, you memorize it. That's when you start making mistakes because you learned it only this one way. You didn't learn it with other words, so sometimes you'll say "he hate ice-cream". You'll forget the S because you, you never learned it correctly in a sentence, in a phrase.
So, (is) this is a very simple rule, our last rule in the course*, very, very important: every time you find a new word, always, always, always write the phrase or the sentence. When you review that word again when you study it again, always, always, always study the entire phrase or sentence. Never study just the word, always the whole phrase. Do this every time. Your grammar will begin to improve. It'll improve much faster. And you'll remember the vocabulary faster and more easily. And you will use that vocabulary more quickly. So you get a lot of great benefits. A lot of great stuff happens when you learn phrases instead of words. So phrases, phrases, phrases. Learn them.
I hope you enjoyed the rule number one. Use this rule. Now, your homework is to get a little phrase notebook. So when you find new English vocabulary in a lesson, in something you're listening to, in a book, in an article, write down the phrase, not just one word. Write down the entire whole phrase that you find, and then review that phrase, again and again, each day. And you will create a notebook full of phrases, full of sentences, not individual words. Never an individual word.
Ok, so that's rule 1, tomorrow you'll get another e-mail with _rule number 2_. So I will see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.
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