211 episodes

If you want to learn English with short easy-to-understand lessons then you've come to the right place. I'm Bob the Canadian and I make videos on Youtube (Just search for "Bob's Short English Lessons" on Youtube!) as well as podcasts right here to help you learn English. Four times each week I upload a short English lesson with a complete transcript in the description. During these lessons I teach one or two curious phrases from the English language and answer a listener question. Thanks for joining me and I hope your English learning is going well!

Bob's Short English Lessons Bob the Canadian

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If you want to learn English with short easy-to-understand lessons then you've come to the right place. I'm Bob the Canadian and I make videos on Youtube (Just search for "Bob's Short English Lessons" on Youtube!) as well as podcasts right here to help you learn English. Four times each week I upload a short English lesson with a complete transcript in the description. During these lessons I teach one or two curious phrases from the English language and answer a listener question. Thanks for joining me and I hope your English learning is going well!

    Learn the English Phrases THAT'S GETTING OLD and OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER

    Learn the English Phrases THAT'S GETTING OLD and OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER

    Read along to practice your English and to learn the English phrases THAT'S GETTING OLD and OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER
    In this English lesson I wanted to help you learn the English phrase, "That's getting old!" Now I should mention, I think I did this phrase a couple of years ago, but I did just hear this the other day again. It's something we say when someone tells the same joke over and over again, and it's not funny anymore. Or they're saying something, that's getting old, the geese flying by making noise. That's getting old. It's when you refer to something that was maybe nice, or amusing or funny, or didn't bother you at one time, but because it happens over and over again, you're getting tired of it. You would then say that's getting old. I once worked with a guy that always called me Bub instead of Bob. It was kind of a funny thing that he did, but eventually I just said, hey, you know what? That's getting old. My name's Bob, not Bub, just use my real name.
    WANT FREE ENGLISH LESSONS? GO TO YOUTUBE AND SEARCH, "BOB THE CANADIAN"
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    Anyways, oh, I'm losing track of where I am. The second phrase I wanted to teach you today is the phrase, "Old enough to know better". So we use this phrase when someone, usually a younger person who is a teenager, or maybe in their twenties, when they do something and they should have known not to do it. Maybe they drive their car too fast and they go in the ditch or something like that. We would say, man, they were old enough to know better. They did something that they were old enough they should have been wise enough as well not to do that thing. Sometimes I see teenagers do things like that. They do things where you're like, you know what? You're old enough to know better. You're old enough to know what you're doing is wrong or that you shouldn't be doing it.

    Anyways to review, when you say that's getting old, you're referring to something that is no longer funny. Like those geese going by, that's getting old for me. I mean, I like the geese. It's cool to hear them honk sometimes, but they seem to do it every time I start making a video and that's getting old. And when you say that someone is old enough to know better, it means that they have gotten to the age where, when they do certain things, they should know whether it's good or bad to do that.

    Anyways, let's look at a comment from a previous video. This comment is from Dúlio. Blackbirds singing in the dead of night. It's what they sing in the song Blackbird by the Beatles. And my response was great reference to a great song.

    So Dúlio was referring to a song called Blackbird where they have that line in the dead of night, which is a lot like the phrase I taught you in the previous video, right? In the dead of night or in the dead of winter. So thanks Dúlio for that.

    I'm not gonna walk around too much today because it's extremely windy out here. And if I was to say something about something that's getting old, I would also say that trying to make videos when it's windy is getting old. I do love going outside, but sometimes it's just a little too windy.


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    • 4 min
    Learn the English Phrases THE DEAD OF NIGHT and THE DEAD OF WINTER

    Learn the English Phrases THE DEAD OF NIGHT and THE DEAD OF WINTER

    Read along to practice your English and to learn the English phrases THE DEAD OF NIGHT and THE DEAD OF WINTER
    In this English lesson, I wanted to help you learn the English phrase the dead of night. When we say the dead of night, we mean the very middle of the night. Like the darkest point of the night. When I go to bed at 10 o'clock at night, sometimes I get up in the middle of the night, because I have to go to the washroom, or I'm really thirsty. So if it's like one or two o'clock in the morning, or three o'clock in the morning, you could say it's the middle of the night, but you could also say it's the dead of night. They sometimes use this in movies or TV shows that are really scary. They'll say like I saw something when I was walking outside in the dead of night. So in the dead of night simply means the middle of the night
    WANT FREE ENGLISH LESSONS? GO TO YOUTUBE AND SEARCH, "BOB THE CANADIAN"
    If you enjoy these lessons please consider supporting me at: http://www.patreon.com/bobthecanadian
    Right now it's snowing outside. And the second phrase I wanted to teach you is the dead of winter. Notice it's the same phrase almost, but instead of the evening or the night, I'm talking about a season. Right now, it is just about December. I think you're watching this on December 1st actually. I'm recording it on November 30th. It's actually the beginning of winter. It's not the dead of winter yet. When we get to the end of January, when it's really cold, when it's -15 Celsius outside, and there's three feet of snow, we would say that that is the dead of winter.

    So to review, when you say it is the dead of night, it means it's the middle of the night. When you're old like me, you tend to get up once or twice in the middle of the night, usually to go to the bathroom. But yeah, that's kind of a funny thing when you get old. When I was younger, I just slept through the night. Now I usually get up at least once to go to the bathroom. And usually I get a drink of water, which makes me have to go to the bathroom a few hours later. Maybe I should stop doing that. Anyways, and when you talk about the dead of winter, you're talking about the middle of the winter, usually in January, right now, it's just the beginning.

    But hey, let's look at a comment from a previous video. This comment is from Jesús. Hi, teacher Bob, regards from Mexico. Why do you say is actually a term, and not only is a term? Why actually, thank you. Have a nice snow day, and God bless you. And my response is this. It is an extra word that is used to emphasize something. In this case, I used it to subtly point out that I had made, that I had misspoke.

    So in the last video, I did say that, let me walk for a little bit. I did say, oh, this is actually a term, because initially I had said it was a phrase, but it's not actually a phrase. Wow, this is really low down. I should crank my camera up a little bit. You're gonna go for a little ride here. I wanted you to be able to see out the window. So there we go. So in the last video, I showed one word, and I initially said phrase, but one word isn't a phrase. A phrase is a collection of words. So I said something like, it's actually a term. I used the word actually to kind of emphasize, and subtly point out that I had misspoke, that I had made a mistake.


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    • 4 min
    Learn the English Phrases AS WHITE AS SNOW and SNOWBIRD

    Learn the English Phrases AS WHITE AS SNOW and SNOWBIRD

    Read along to practice your English and to learn the English phrases AS WHITE AS SNOW and SNOWBIRD
    In this English lesson, I wanted to help you learn the English phrase, 'as white as snow'. When something is really, really white, when it's pure white, we describe it as being 'as white as snow'. Can you see why? Snow is incredibly white. This morning, when I woke up, I looked out the window and I saw that we had a fresh blanket of snow outside. So I quickly grabbed my new hat, which says Canada on it, by the way. And I grabbed my camera. I had been waiting to teach this phrase for awhile. It kind of ties in with this Friday's, this past Friday's lessons, lesson on color. Sorry, it is early in the morning, I'm having trouble talking. When we see something that is really, really white, we often say it's 'as white as snow'. And I think you can see why.
    WANT FREE ENGLISH LESSONS? GO TO YOUTUBE AND SEARCH, "BOB THE CANADIAN"
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    The second phrase I wanted to teach you today is actually a term and it's a Canadian term. It's the term 'snowbird'. A snowbird is an older Canadian who goes and lives in Florida or in the Southern United States during the winter. Right now, it's the time of year, where many snowbirds, older Canadians who are retired, who don't really like this so much, who don't like the cold weather and the snow, they often get in their cars and they drive to Florida in the winter. So a snowbird is a Canadian who goes and lives in Florida or in another Southern state in the winter. Last year, they didn't go. They weren't able to cross the border, but this year they are definitely able to go. And they're heading out in droves right now, the older people who like to go to Florida, the snowbirds are definitely heading out this month and next month to go to Florida and to enjoy some of that good, good sunshine that we don't seem to have today.

    Anyways, to review, when you say something is as white as snow, you mean that it's very, very white. It's basically this color that you see behind me. And a snowbird, this is a very Canadian term. It's a term for a person who is retired, who doesn't like winter and who goes and lives in the United States, in the Southern United States where it's warm during the winter months.

    But hey, let's look at a comment from a previous video. This comment is from Magdalena. 'Bob, you have really beautiful spruce trees. I really like them.' And my response, 'I agree. Spruce trees are really nice. I wish we had planted more of them years ago.'

    So yes, I am going to walk over there now. Thanks Magdalena for that comment. I do wish that years ago, Jen and I had planted more spruce trees. In the winter, as I mentioned, they just look really beautiful in the snow. You'll notice that as I walk towards them, the ground around the spruce trees is nice and white from the snow. And you'll notice that the spruce trees themselves have a really nice kind of a little layer of snow on them. And so, yes, it is really nice to have trees like this on our property. Let me get them in the frame a little better. The camera really wants to look at me, it doesn't want to look at the trees.


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    • 4 min
    Learn the English Phrases TO HAVE AN IMPACT and TO HAVE A HAND IN

    Learn the English Phrases TO HAVE AN IMPACT and TO HAVE A HAND IN

    Read along to practice your English and to learn the English phrases TO HAVE AN IMPACT and TO HAVE A HAND IN
    In this English lesson, I wanted to help you learn the English phrase, to have an impact. Normally you have an impact on someone. You can have an impact on something as well, but the most common usage of this phrase is to say that you have an impact on someone, or someone has an impact on you. This means that they have influenced you. They have helped you during your life in some way. Here's a good example. When I was in high school, a teacher said to me, hey, you're really good at French. Maybe you should become a French teacher. That teacher had an impact on me. That teacher influenced decisions I made in my life. So definitely that teacher had an impact on me. Hopefully that makes sense, that's what that phrase means.
    WANT FREE ENGLISH LESSONS? GO TO YOUTUBE AND SEARCH, "BOB THE CANADIAN"
    If you enjoy these lessons please consider supporting me at: http://www.patreon.com/bobthecanadian
    The second phrase I wanted to teach you today is to have a hand in. When you have a hand in something, it means you means you are involved in it. Let's say you're planning a party for someone in your family. And you are the person who goes to get all of the snacks and treats. You would say that you had a hand in planning that party. So when you have a hand in something, it means you are involved in it. It means you are one of the people who is planning it, and doing work so that it happens.

    Let's review though. When you have an impact on someone, or when someone has an impact on you, it means that one person is influencing the other person, usually in a positive way. And when you have a hand in something, it means you are involved in planning it.

    But hey, let's look at a comment from a previous video. I know it looks nice on the camera for you, but it's actually getting dark out here. It's a little late. This comment is from Padma. Except Christmas trees, all other trees have lost leaves. It seems they too are ready for winter. And my response is yes, we had a lot of rain and wind the last couple of weeks, and most of the leaves have blown off.

    So a little bit of a tree tour. Let me lean back a bit. Yes, you could see that all of the trees behind me, the leaves have fallen. In fact, you can see where they've fallen in just a moment. They have all fallen on the ground, but you can see in the distance, Padma was referring to these trees, I think, on my property. These are what are called blue spruce. Blue spruce trees do not lose their leaves. We have three of them here. I don't know if you can see the other one in the background there. They do not lose their leaves, and they look a lot like Christmas trees. It is very nice in the winter when it snows a lot. And when the spruce trees, we also have some pine trees on other parts of our property. I'm not sure if you can see them. It's really nice when the spruce trees and the pine trees, and we don't have a lot of fir trees here, but when those three types of trees are sitting, like when it snows, and the ground is all white, and these nice green trees are sitting in a nice white landscape, it just looks really, really beautiful.


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    • 4 min
    Learn the English Phrases LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE and DOG-TIRED

    Learn the English Phrases LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE and DOG-TIRED

    Read along to practice your English and to learn the English terms LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE and DOG-TIRED
    In this English lesson, I wanted to help you learn the English phrase, let sleeping dogs lie. This is a phrase we use to talk about a situation where there was a conflict or an argument, and it's now settled down, and there's a bit of peace. And then, if someone wants to start arguing again, we say, hey, it might be best right now to let sleeping dogs lie. If you're having a moment of peace, if two people are getting along, it might be a good idea to just let sleeping dogs lie. No need to start the argument again. No need to say something that annoys another person. No need to start to do things that are annoying when you have a little bit of peace. So, if you were fighting with someone, and you guys came to a resolution, and you weren't fighting anymore, and then if the other person wanted to start fighting again or arguing, you could say, hey, let's just let sleeping dogs lie, let's just enjoy this moment of peace.
    WANT FREE ENGLISH LESSONS? GO TO YOUTUBE AND SEARCH, "BOB THE CANADIAN"
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    The second phrase I wanted to teach you today is the phrase, dog-tired. I was hoping Oscar would be in this video, but he's running around over there right now, maybe we'll catch him later. When you're dog-tired, it means you're really, really tired. At the end of a long day's work, sometimes I'm dog tired. Sometimes I'm just really tired at the end of a long day. I'm gonna turn a little bit here. Oh, that's a little bit too bright, sorry. Oscar is out there, we'll see him in a bit.
    Anyways, to review, when you say let sleeping dogs lie, it means that there was a conflict, and it has now ended, and if someone says something to start the conflict again, in order to tell them that you don't want them to, you say, hey, let's just let sleeping dogs lie. And if you are really, really tired, if you worked a long day, and you have done a lot of physical labor, you might say, oh, I'm just dog-tired right now. It's just a way of saying that you're really, really tired.

    But hey, let's look at a comment from a previous video. This comment is from Qiu Park. The river level now is a bit lower than usual, right? It looks like a winter view already, appreciate your lesson. And my response was, yes, it is much lower. We were able to clean up the electric fence, and put away all our irrigation pipes. We're almost ready for the first snowfall here. Just a couple of more things to do.

    So thanks, Qiu Park for that comment. Yes, the river, it's a little bright, and it's a little far away, but if you can see in the distance, the river is at a more normal level right now, and we're almost ready for winter. In a minute, you'll hear some crunching sounds, because if I spin you around, you'll see that there's no snow on the ground, but we do have ice. We have a little bit of ice on the puddles around here. It definitely went below zero last night.

    I'm gonna walk this way, and see if we can see Oscar. Maybe I'll call him. Mm, whistling isn't working, because my lips are so cold. I'll try just calling them. Oscar, come here, pup. Come on! Come on, boy. Come on. When he gets here, he might be dog-tired. Come on, puppy, come on. Oh, he sees that I have the camera. He's not too happy about that. 
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    • 4 min
    Learn the English Phrases A SLIM CHANCE and BY ANY CHANCE

    Learn the English Phrases A SLIM CHANCE and BY ANY CHANCE

    Read along to practice your English and to learn the English phrases A SLIM CHANCE and BY ANY CHANCE
    In this English lesson I wanted to help you learn the English phrase, "a slim chance". When you say there is a slim chance that something will happen, it means that it might happen. It means that there's a chance it won't happen, but there's also a chance that it will happen. A slim chance. Today, it said that there is a 10% chance of rain today. That's a pretty slim chance that it will rain. There's actually more of a chance that it won't rain, but there is a slim chance that it will rain. There's also a slim chance that as you watch this English lesson, you might not understand me. I might speak too quickly at a certain point in time. There's always a slim chance when I make these lessons that I'm going to speak too quickly. I try to speak clearly. I don't speak super slow, but I don't speak super fast but there is a slim chance that I might actually talk a little too fast during this lesson.
    WANT FREE ENGLISH LESSONS? GO TO YOUTUBE AND SEARCH, "BOB THE CANADIAN"
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    The other phrase I wanted to teach you today is the phrase, "by any chance". Now I use this when I ask a question to make the question somewhat polite. I'll sometimes say things like this, "You don't, by any chance, know how to get to the airport." "You don't, by any chance, know how to get to the museum." It's a little phrase I add that basically means, is it possible that you know this? And it makes the question a little bit more polite. I used to ask this question a long time ago, because I used to smoke. And I used to say every once in a while to someone, "You don't, by any chance, have a light, do you?" And that would mean I was asking if someone had a lighter. By the way, I smoked cigarettes when I was a lot younger for a couple of years, it was really bad. I shouldn't have done that. Smoking is bad for you. So, but during that time, I would sometimes say to people, "Hey, you don't, by any chance, have a lighter, do you?" You see how the question is formed? It's kind of weird, eh? You wouldn't, by any chance, have a lighter. Or you don't, by any chance, have a lighter, do you? We kind of put the negative at the beginning and then by any chance, but it's a polite way to ask something.

    So to review, when there's a slim chance of something happening, it means that it might happen, but probably not. And when you use the phrase, "by any chance", when asking a question, it makes the question a little bit more polite. You might actually ask this question to someone. You might say, "You don't, by any chance, speak English, do you?" And if they say yes, you could have a cool English conversation.

    Anyways, let's look at a comment from a previous video. This comment is from Shahd Ammar. "OMG, Bob, is that a lake behind you?" I wanna see it, it's amazing." "Nope, not a lake, just a river." This is my response. "It's really nice and peaceful to walk along the banks, especially in the early spring, sometimes in the winter it freezes thick enough that snowmobiles drive on it. That isn't as peaceful."

    I think I've talked about this before. One of the interesting things about living along the river is that people use it for recreation. Recreation is when you do something for fun. So I don't mind when people come in a small boat and fish. I don't mind when people go by in a canoe. But sometimes people go by on their jet skis or Sea-Doos and they're really loud and they disturb the water. And in the winter, a lot of people come by on their motorcycles, which are really loud, and they like to go by in the middle of the night when I'm trying to sleep. My bedr
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    • 4 min

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