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English Homepage – 3 Minute English » Venture English

#31 As Far As, or As Long As?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144These two idioms sound a lot alike, and they may be seem to mean the same thing. But they are not interchangeable. In this podcast we talk about the difference between “as far as” and “as long as.”


See the transcript here!

#30 I Need It Yesterday!

Welcome to season two of  “3 Minute English!” I hope you enjoy the new season of English tips. You might have heard someone tell you “I need this report yesterday!” Were they crazy, confused or just using bad English? Well maybe none of these. We’ll talk about this idiom today.

Find the written transcript here!

#29 Don’t Care OR Don’t Worry?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144The words “care” and “worry” seem like they should be interchangeable. But are they? In this episode we talk about the differences between these two words.

#28 How to Use the Verb “Seem”

3MinEngLogoRev144x144“Seem” is a tricky verb to use in a sentence because the object seems like the subject and the subject seems to be missing. What? Listen to this week’s podcast and I hope everything becomes a bit clearer!

#27 Can Pigs Really Fly?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144I don’t think there’s a flying pig, but in English we use the idea of flying to make quite a few idioms. In this episode we talk about “when Pigs Fly” and other idioms that come from flying.

#26 To Write Up or Write Down?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144These two phrasal verbs look very similar. But are their meanings also similar, or opposite?  When should you use each one? In this episode we look closely at these two phrasal verbs.

#25 Better Ways to Say “Cheap!”

3MinEngLogoRev144x144The word “cheap” has some real baggage attached to it. Besides meaning inexpensive price, “cheap” has the nuance of poor or  below standard quality. It’s not a good word to use in many situations. So what are some alternatives? We’ll discuss that in this week’ episode.

#24 Tips For English Negotiation

3MinEngLogoRev144x144What are some good phrases for negotiation? I’m often asked this question. We’ll go over a few of them here, and we’ll start talking about strategies for effective English negotiations.

#23 “Should Have” and “Was Supposed To” – What’s the Difference?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144These two phrases are often used in the same situations by native speakers. But is there a difference in meaning? There sure is, and it will help to know the differences when you decide which one to use.

#22 Detour or Shortcut?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144Sometimes you may have to take an alternate route. But when you do is it a shortcut or a detour? These two words are useful in business and daily life, but are you using them correctly? We’ll talk about that in this episode.

#21 Stand-up!

3MinEngLogoRev144x144Have you been told to stand-up? Have you been stood-up? Are you a stand-up person? Have you stood-up for what you believe in? These are a few ways to use the phrasal verb stand-up. Do you know the meaning of all these phrases? This week we talk about standing up!

#20 How Many Ways Can You Use “Drop”?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144The little word “drop” has a lot of meaning! It can be used as a noun or verb, in formal speech or slang, and is often a part of idioms and set phrases. In this podcast we talk about 8 different meanings or usages of the word “drop.” But there are many more usages. In fact this podcast is just a drop in the ocean!

#19 Off the Grid

3MinEngLogoRev144x144Have you heard the idiom “off the grid” before? Lately it seems to come up a lot. But do you know what it means? In this episode we’ll talk about falling off the grid.

#18 Ability, Capability, Skill and Competency

3MinEngLogoRev144x144These words are so close in meaning that often you can use them interchangeably. But what is the difference and what is the nuance of each word in a situation. We’ll discuss it on this episode. IT’s a little longer than three minutes… but I guess they all are! Enjoy the episode.

#17 Using “Shall”, “Will” and “Must”

3MinEngLogoRev144x144The verb “shall” is difficult to use. It’s a formal word, very good for some situations, but it has a strong nuance. When should you use it? And when should you use “will” or “must” instead? That’s what we’ll talk about in this episode.

#16 Nouns That Define Nouns

3MinEngLogoRev144x144Sometimes nouns work together to describe a thing or idea, such as peanut butter, or fruit cake. But what happens to these nouns when they are plural? Do we say peanuts butter or fruits cakes? In this episode we talk about this common and confusing situation. After listening you’ll be able to answer that question easily!

#15 Margin or Commission?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144The words margin and commission are often confused by non-native speakers. It’s no wonder, they have very similar meanings. But they are used in different types of situations. This week we talk about these two words and when to use them.

#14 Using What and How

3MinEngLogoRev144x144What” and “how” are both question starters, part of the 5 W’s and 1 H. But their meanings can sometimes seem very close, and it may be difficult to decide which word to use in a question. A common mistake is asking “how do you think?” instead of “what do you think?” In this episode we talk about when to use both of these words.

#13 Deadlines! – Using By, Until and Due

3MinEngLogoRev144x144Talking about deadlines can be a confusing business. But it’s important to get it right! In business we need to make sure our colleagues understand deadlines. We need to be clear in talking about deadlines. This week we talk about how to make deadlines more clear using by, until or due.

#12 “Except” or “Besides”? Part 2

3MinEngLogoRev144x144As we covered in last week’s podcast, whether to use the word “except” or “besides” is often confusing. This week we cover another situation where we have to consider which of these words to use. If you didn’t listen to last week’s episode, listen to that one first and then listen to this week’s part two. I hope that after listening to both episodes, using the words “except” or “besides” will become a little bit clearer for you.

#11 “Except” or “Besides”? Part 1

3MinEngLogoRev144x144It’s often difficult to know whether you should use “except” or “besides” in sentences. Sometimes either word is fine, but often one is preferred.. In Part 1 we look at a few situations where besides would work better than except.

#10 Avoiding Cost Down, Level Up and Other Up/Down Noun Phrases

3MinEngLogoRev144x144Often English words enter other languages. In the case of Japanese, the phrases cost up and level up are common phrases that come from English but are only used in Japanese. This week we look at natural English alternatives to express increase and decrease.

#9 To Treat, To Deal With, To Handle or To Take Care Of?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144These verbs and verb phrases have a similar meaning, but the nuance and feel can be quite different. Which one should you use and when. this episode introduces way to look at and understand these verbs.

#8 – Overwork and Overtime – What Is the Difference?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144Many English learners use the words “overwork” and “overtime” to mean the same thing. Actually these words have very different meanings. In this episode we discuss the meaning and usage of these words.

#7 – Is It “I Think I Cannot” or “I Don’t Think I Can”?

3MinEngLogoRev144x144In positive sentences we can say “I think I can…” or “I think I will…” etc. But how about if the sentence is negative? Is it “I think I cannot” or “I don’t think I can”? This is a common usage question. Both are grammatical, but there is a different feel. Which one should you choose? The answer may surprise you.

#6 – Using the Verbs “Look”, “See”, and “Watch”

3MinEngLogoRev144x144Often the verbs “look”, “see”, and “watch” are confusing to English learners. When should you use each one? In this episode we give tips on how to decide quickly which word to use for a given situation.

#5 – Alternatives for the Phrase “Make Efforts”


What words can you use when the word “try” just isn’t enough? I hear people use “make efforts” often, but that phrase really isn’t idiomatic. Her are some good alternatives you can use to match the situation with the right nuance.

#4 – Using Alternative Words for the Word “Goods”


The word “goods” is a perfectly good word, but it is often overused among non-native speakers. In this podcast we’ll discuss some alternative words you can use that will make your speaking sound more natural.

#3 – Using “Cheer On” and “Cheer Up” Correctly


This week we look at common problems with the verb cheer, especially the phrasal verbs “cheer on” and “cheer up”. They sound very similar but their meanings can be quite different.

#2 – Using “From” When Describing Time Spans


When talking about time, the word “from” can be a common English mistake. It shouldn’t be used if we define the beginning but not the end of a time span. Here are some ways to improve your English by fixing this common English error.

#1 – Using the Word “Staff” Correctly


The word “staff” is often misused as a singular noun. It’s a very common mistake. But staff is actually a group noun that refers to many people. This week we start 3 Minute English with a discussion on how to use the word staff correctly.