Category Archives: CONVERSATION SKILLS

WHY YOU STILL DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY AND HOW YOU CAN OVERCOME THIS ISSUE

After years and years of studying English as a subject at school, you expect at the end to speak English fluently, right?

Unfortunately, many ESL students still don’t speak this language confidently. I remember that I was talking with a teacher and I asked him if after high school the students would be able to speak fluently, and he told me that the program wasn’t designed in that way, the purpose of teaching a second language at school was to help to the students to have a general knowledge of a foreign language.

Many people spend money attending to classes, but the problem is that the teacher is so busy with many students, teaching grammar, grading exams, preparing classes and he barely has time to help the students to get fluency.

Another problem is that in a classroom, the students are not able to practice their speaking skills; they usually learn grammar rules and how to translate into their native languages.

After we identified some of the common problems, let’s analyze how you can overcome these obstacles.

 

How to overcome common obstacles to improve your English skills

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My advice would be that you also need to learn English outside the classroom, learn how to teach English to yourself, enjoy the learning process doing what you like.

The traditional way of teaching English is out-of-date; we can use technology to learn a second language. Schools have been using the same methods to teach for decades, but as you know we live in a digital age, and new generations learn in a new interactive way.

Grammar books make me fall asleep; I learn languages by downloading apps like Duolingo on my phone, reading books on my tablet using digital dictionaries.

The best way to learn how to use grammar in a real conversation is watching movies and TV shows, pay attention to the way that the actors speak and learn phrases and general slang.

Another way to learn how to build your own sentences is reading comics, there are some apps that you can download and enjoy reading your favorite comics in English; and if you read a book, make sure that has a lot of dialogues, and pick up phrases that you can use in a real conversation.

Do you like to listen to music in English? Download some apps to learn the song’s lyrics.

If you are not able to practice your speaking skills at school, get a friend to practice with.

You can use these websites:

http://www.language-exchanges.org/

http://www.italki.com/

You can practice by Skype, Google Hangouts, Oovoo, etc.

If you still think that you need some direction, get an English tutor to help you to improve your skills, he’ll provide you with the right tools and guide you need.

These are just some useful tips, there are more methods for learning by yourself, if you know some of them, please comment below.

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TALK TO YOURSELF IN ENGLISH

When people outside of an English speaking country are learning English, it is kind of difficult for them to practice regularly; that’s the reason why I’d like to share some techniques to improve your speaking skills talking to yourself.

 

Why to talk to yourself

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People who learn languages know this method way too much, they usually talk to themselves every day, the purpose is to help you to speak confidently when you have an opportunity to talk to an English speaker.

When you try this approach, you learn by yourself to use the vocabulary that you’ve learned; you can prepare some topics beforehand for future conversations as well, and at the same time you are working on your pronunciation.

One of my students from China who uses this method mentioned: “Since the last month I do it every day. I’ve been doing it already for a month. It’s becoming easier and easier for me to talk. I don’t have to struggle looking for words or sentences to express myself now.”

 

How to talk to yourself

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There are different techniques that you can try, one of my favorites is to record my soliloquies or monologues. I love learning languages and I love to practice this way because I can play back my records and see how good it is my pronunciation.

Another technique is to talk to yourself in front of a mirror; I think this helps because you can work on your body language too, as you know every culture has its own body language, and you will have the sensation that you are talking to someone else.

And the last one, but not least, talk to yourself whenever you have some free time, it doesn’t matter where you are or if you have your Smartphone to record your voice.

 

What to talk about

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There’s an endless list of topics that you can use, I’d like to mention some of them:

–  You could talk about your daily routine, what you did during the day.

–  Think how you could describe people and places, just look around and you’ll find some material to talk about.

–  Express your emotions and feelings, imagine that you are talking to a close friend.

– Imagine how you would give directions to get at some place.

–  Talk about the future, what you’re going to do next week, plan your events using English.

– If there’s a topic that is not easy for you because you don’t know how to express yourself, try to practice looking for the right expressions and take your time in order to become familiar with the information.

 

As you can see there are a lot of topics, you can talk to yourself using monologues or playing roles, you can imagine that you’re talking to someone else; please ,use topics for a real conversation, so when you have one you’ll be ready to talk about it.

 

How long you need to talk

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Well, it doesn’t  matter, you can talk  10 minutes or 1 hour, just use the time you have available. The point is to practice daily in order that you can improve, after a while you’ll master this method and you’ll see how your English speaking skills improve.

 

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CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH – HOW TO MAKE POLITE REQUESTS

Hello, everybody!

Today, I’d like to talk about how you can improve your English conversation skills making polite requests.

It isn’t nice to give orders in English; if you don’t use polite expressions people will think that you are rude. So, if you’d like to ask something you need to be polite and people will respond in the same way.

I’m going to share with you some expressions that you can use in any situation, but especially in business situations.

 

 Polite requests

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Please …

Could you please…?

Would you …?

Can you …?   It’s not a very polite expression as “could you”; it’s kind of casual.

Would you mind …?  This is a very special expression. For example when someone ask you, “Would you mind opening the window?” what he is really  trying to say is, “Do you have any objection in opening the window?”.  So the answer should be “No, no problem, I’ll open the window”. Please notice that if you use the expression “would you mind”, the verb that you are going to use has to be infinitive.

Examples:  Would you mind turning on the lights?

Would you mind taking this book back for me?

Positive Response
No, not at all.
Of course not.

Negative response:
Yes, I would.

 

 

Now, let’s see how you can use these expressions in real situations.

 

Bank

Could you please sign this form?

Would you fill out this form?

 

Restaurant

Please, bring us some water.

Could you please bring us another bottle of wine?

 

Office

Could you please send them an email?

Would you mind sending them a letter?

 

Hotel

Could you please send me some towels to my room?

Would you send me some towels to my room?

 

Phone

I can barely hear you; could you please speak a little louder?

 

Home

Could you please close the door?

Would you mind turning off the TV?

 

Remember next time when you are making a request to use these polite expressions, and it’ll help you to improve your English conversation skills, and you’ll have pleasant experiences.

 

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That’s all for today, and if you liked this article, please share it and subscribe.

HOW TO KEEP A CONVERSATION GOING IN ENGLISH: QUESTIONS

One of the problems that I noticed with some ESL students is that they have problems to keep a fluent conversation, because they usually don’t know what to say.

This situation is so uncomfortable and awkward; many students prefer to avoid meeting English speakers.

I struggled with these situations on the past, because sometimes I’m an introvert person, but there are some good tips that I’d like to share with you guys.

Asking questions

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If you have the opportunity to talk to an English speaker, and you start a conversation this way:

-What did you do today?

 

– I went to shopping.

 

Well, allow me to tell you that the conversation doesn’t have to finish there. You can ask follow up questions like these:

Who? What? Where? When? Why?

 

Let’s see some examples.

What did you buy?

Where did you go?

Who did you go to shop with?

How much did you spend? (If you would like to know)

 

Here you have another example:

I’m going on vacation.

 

Questions you can ask:

Where are you going? and why?

Who are you going on vacation with?

When are you leaving?

 

Remember ask a question related to what they told you, and if they mention some important details about their family, job, hobbies etc; ask them about them, because people love to talk about themselves. If you find some common topics maybe you can give some suggestions or talk about your experience to keep the conversation going.

Remember to use the five questions: What? Who? When? Where? and Why?

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You’ll improve your English conversation skills if you work on holding  the conversation.

I hope these tips help you guys, and if you liked this article please don’t forget to subscribe and share it.

 

TALK LIKE A NATIVE SPEAKER

Is it difficult for you to understand native speakers?

Do you think that they speak faster?

How can you speak fluently like them?

 

What’s up you guys!!!

Today, I would like to talk about some English contractions in real life, because the way ESL speakers learn to speak is very formal and people don’t talk like that.

On the other hand, grammarticians think that the colloquial contractions are incorrect.

Well, it is common for native speakers to make use of those contractions on a daily basis and also for informal writing like online chat, text messages, etc. So, feel free to use them, it is perfectly correct, you’ll sound like a native speaker, and it’ll help you to improve your fluency and listening skills.

 

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Colloquial contractions:

Gonna – Going to             Example:            I’m gonna go to the movies.

Wanna – Want to               Example:           I wanna speak English.

Gotta –(I’ve) got to          Example :           I gotta go now.

Hafta –have to                  Example:             I hafta do this.

Coulda –C ould have       Example:             I coulda gone to work today.

Shoulda –should have   Example:             Oh man! we shoulda made                                                                                                   some plans.

Woulda –Would have    Example:             If you woulda told me you                                                                                                   needed a ride, I woulda left                                                                                                 earlier.

Musta – Must have         Example:             You musta been a beautiful                                                                                                 baby.

Lotsa –  lots of                    Example:             Lotsa computers are needed at                                                                                       schools.

Sorta – sort of                   Example:             What sorta clothes do you like                                                                                         to put on?

Kinda – kind of                  Example:             What kinda music do you like?

 

Well, guys, these are just some common contractions that you can start using right away, I recommend that you listen carefully how native speakers use them for example when you watch a movie or TV Show, and if you have an English speaker friend, just notice the way he speaks and try to do the same.

 

https://thebestenglishcoach.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/how-to-improve-your-listening-english-skills/

 

That’s all for today, I gotta finish this article haha. If you liked what you read, please don’t forget to subscribe and share it.

If you would like to have online sessions with me on skype, make click on this link  WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN TO SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY?

 

WHAT KIND OF ACCENT SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

When you start to learn a language you also need to select an accent, because you’ll be learning that kind of pronunciation.

There are many English varieties, but the most accepted are the American and British pronunciation, I could also mention other varieties like the Australian or Aussie , Canadian, New Zealand or Kiwi, etc

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Around the world people learn whether the American English or British English.

It’s kind of interesting, but I met some people from South America and China who speak some kind of hybrid English, a mix of British pronunciation and American vocabulary.

 

The American and British pronunciation

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When you start learning English you receive classes about pronunciation, if your school teaches the American pronunciation means General American pronunciation. This is the one used by educated Americans, on TV and on radio. As you know the USA have many states and in every region people speak different, however the General American pronunciation is standard.

If you learned the British pronunciation,  then you are familiar with the Received Pronunciation (RP). RP was the one spoken by the upper class the last century, it is sometimes called the Queen’s English, but today nobody speaks like that in England, but people around the world understand it. Nowadays the most popular accent in the UK is the Estuary English spoken in South East England by the middle class.

 

What kind of accent should you pick up?

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This is a personal decision, but there are some points that you should take into account.

Whether you learn the American or British pronunciation, you’ll be understood around the world.

-As you know the United States of America is a big country with a population nearly to 300 millions. If we compare it with the United Kingdom population of 60 millions, you’ll notice a wide difference. The most spoken English variety around the world is the American.

-The British English is considered the English of the educated people.

-The American English has a better choice of movies, TV shows, music, video games, etc.

-Although the Americans dominate the media, there are still plenty of TV shows and movies with British pronunciation that you can watch, for example: Harry Potter, Sherlock, The Lord of the rings, etc.

– The internet has more American English content, for example: YouTube, podcasts, etc.

-You can meet more Americans than British, since America has more English speakers.

 

These are just some important facts; however, it’s all up to you.

Please take notice of the differences, because sometimes the pronunciation changes and you don’t want to be misunderstood.

Some people mix both varieties. I prefer the American English, and I try not to mix it.

Hey, guys! That’s all for today. If you liked my article, please share it and subscribe.

TIPS FOR SPEAKING ENGLISH CONFIDENTLY

Do you feel shy and nervous when you speak English?

Are you afraid of making mistakes?

Can you read and listen to English, but you can’t speak confidently?

 

What you need to do before to start a conversation

-First of all, you need to learn to listen carefully in order to understand and reply correctly.

(Check my article: HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING ENGLISH SKILLS)

Do you usually have opportunities to talk to someone?

If that it’s the case, review what you already know and prepare in advance.

How can you prepare?

 

College Student Studying in Library

 

One way is thinking in advance about some topics that you could use.

I recommend that you read trendy topics in order to have material for future conversations.

(You can also check my other article: HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH CONVERSATION SKILLS)

Everyone feels shy and nervous, but some people learn how to handle it.

One of my suggestions is to be positive, based on my personal experience, when I’m under stress or I have negative thoughts or I’m down, my conversations skills are really really bad; I make a lot of mistakes. It is different when I feel very good, I try to do my best and I got better results.

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How to speak confidently during the conversation

Once you had taken into account all the things that I mentioned above, you are ready to speak.

Break the ice, introduce yourself, smile and be friendly.

 

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If the person is kind of shy, ask open questions to keep the conversation flowing

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, it is completely fine.

People will notice that you are not a native speaker and  they’ll try understand you.

Practice, practice and practice! This may be very difficult for a shy person, but you need to force yourself to speak every day. Don’t hide your thoughts in your head. If you have something to say, then speak out!

At the beginning will be really hard, but if you practice regularly you’ll start to learn from your mistakes.

This situation is very similar to work out.  When you start to go to the gym, the first days are really hard, but if you work out regularly, you’ll see great benefits.

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That’s all for today, guys, if you like this article, please subscribe and share it.

If you would like to learn how to speak fluently, contact me and I’ll do my best to help you.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN TO SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY?

Would you like to improve your English, but you don’t have time to take a regular course?

Would you like to have some guide and support to help you speak confidently?

Are you sick and tired of spending years studying grammar, how to read and write in English, but you still have trouble listening and speaking?

Did your former English teachers fail by not providing you with the enough English practice?

I have been taking apart the English learning process and helping people who have been struggling with that for a long time.

We learned to speak our mother tongue listening and speaking, as you can see these skills are very important when we learn a second language too.

Everyone can learn to speak any language fluently with the right tools and methods.

Why do I call myself a coach?

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Teachers usually use text books to teach and they don’t take into account the knowledge and capabilities of every student.

A coach will take into account every aspect when it comes to your English skills, even your personality; we set goals based on your needs and what you want to learn.

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Please forget of the regular teaching process, (teach, teach, test) my clients don’t like to work like that.The generic aspect of teaching has been designed to teach groups of people and not individuals to have a general knowledge of the language, that’s why my clients come to me because they need personal assistance.

I do not use the same approach with everybody because every person has his own strong and weak points.

 

Why to study English online

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You’ll have a private tutor helping you in any aspect you need direction.

To learn to speak a second language fluently and faster, you must speak, speak and speak.

The sessions are in full English, you’ll have unique opportunities for intensive practice.

It is really different when you take a course in a classroom, because there are many students and you are not able to work on your speaking skills.

You can also ask to practice only what you would like to learn.

My philosophy is simple but useful: Enjoy the learning process doing what you like.

If you study online from your home, you’ll save time and energy avoiding the problem of transportation.

Nowadays, there are many tools available on the internet, and an English coach will be able to provide you with the information and guide you need to speak English faster.

 

We can work on:

-Conversation skills building

-Idioms and phrasal verbs

-Pronunciation and accent reduction

-Business English or any aspect that you would like to improve.

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What you need

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-A headset for the best sound quality.

-A computer (you could study using your Smartphone, but in order to   use the material that I’ll provide you with, it’s better to use a      computer)

-Intermediate or advanced English

-A strong desired, time and energy to invest in the learning process.

-Please, add me on:

Skype:  thebestenglishcoach

QQ messager: 2118187452

Wechat: apocalypticboy

Email: thebestenglishcoach@gmail.com

 

 

Important information that you need to know

-I usually Charge US$10.00 per hour for every single lesson.

-Once you pay $120.00 monthly, you’ll have at least 3  sessions a week.

-The payments are made in advance through PayPal.

-My time zone is UTC/GMT -6 hours

I have flexible schedules, you can pick up the hours and days that are better for you.

 

We can work on anything that you would like to fix about  your speaking and listening skills in order that you can speak fluent. I won’t give up on you, please keep going; you can learn how to speak confident and fluent.

I’m looking forward to meeting you!

Sincerely,

Ernest

 

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY

Welcome back to my blog!

Today’s article is about how you can learn new words and phrases in an efficient way. I know that sometimes it could be very overwhelming trying to learn many words, that’s why I decided to write about it and share some of my techniques with you guys.

Read a lot

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The best way to add new words to your vocabulary is to read every day.

What do you need to read?

Everything and anything, my philosophy is to enjoy the learning process, that’s the reason I pick up books, newspapers or magazines that I like to read.

Is there any movie that you like based on a novel? Then, read the novel.  Take my case as an example, I recently started to read The Hunger Games novel, that’s my new guilty pleasure.

What kind of words do you have to learn?

Well, that’s a personal decision. Would you like to speak in a formal way? Or would you like to speak more like a common person? Do you need to learn vocabulary based on your work or interests?

Once you have made this choice, we can go to the next step.

Write a lot

You have many options to practice, for example:

– You can create a blog and write about your learning process or your interests.

– To send emails.

-To send SMS.

– To comment on other blogs.

– To chat with your friends on the social networks in English.

text

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If you read and write every day you’ll improve in a great way.

Tips to collect your vocabulary

Pick up a  book, it doesn’t matter if it is a physical book or a digital one.

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I don’t have anything against the physical books, but I prefer to read the digital ones, and I have a reason why I do that.

When I’m reading a book on my laptop or tablet, I select the word or phrase that I don’t know and I google it.

There is something important that you need to do TO USE AN ENGLISH DICTIONARY.

Please, forget about the dictionaries that translate words into your native language.

Here you have some online dictionaries.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/

http://dictionary.reference.com/

http://www.merriam-webster.com/

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/

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I personally love to use the Cambridge dictionary, because it shows the American and British pronunciation.

When you use an English dictionary, you learn new words, one thing leads to another.

When it is hard to grasp the meaning I compare the word with its synonyms and antonyms, but if after that I don’t get it, I google it again and look for images to understand what it’s about.

Many people still prefer the physical books and there is nothing bad with that, but at the same time you need to pick up a good dictionary.

One of my Chinese friends and student prefers to use the Longman dictionary of contemporary English, because it’s easy to understand.

You may collect like 5 words or 2 or 3 phrases, don’t stress yourself, and think about how many words you can learn every day.

Don’t learn isolate words, learn them with their context. When I find a word in an expression that I could use, I write down the whole sentence and think of ways to use it.

It’s very useful to write down examples of how to apply them in a real conversation. That’s why you need to choose words that you’ll be using, common words.

Classify your vocabulary

Once you have collected your material, you need to separate it.

What I do is to create folders and save them on my Smartphone and computer, these devices are always with me. I usually spend some minutes a day to study these words.

I’ve created folders for “words I need to learn” and “words I learned”.

You can classify them better than me, ha ha.

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Some people use physical flash cards.

I take screenshots of the stuff I want to learn and save them in my folders.

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Use it or lose it

Once you got everything you need, every time you have a conversation with an English speaker try to use your new vocabulary right away.

What about if you don’t remember anything?

Relax!  Just check your Smartphone or notebook, and use the material that you have been studying.

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This is very important, because if you are following all the process to learn these things and you don’t use them, it’s pointless, you’ll forget them very soon.

Something that I’d like to add is that when you have a conversation and you listen to a new word, you can add it to your files, study it and use it as well. It is the same  process when you watch a movie or a TV Show, you can pick up some vocabulary.

These were just some good tips and suggestions that I wanted to share, hope you liked them.

Please don’t forget to follow me and subscribe.

 

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH CONVERSATION SKILLS

What’s up guys!!!

Today, I’d like to share some useful methods to improve your English conversation skills even if you live in a country where you have no opportunity to practice.

Let’s start!

Speak, speak and speak

It would be great if you had someone to practice with, but don’t worry if you don’t find English speakers around.

You may use the internet to look for a partner to make a language exchange through Skype, I recommend that you try these websites:

http://www.language-exchanges.org/

http://www.italki.com/

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There are more similar websites, but these ones I mentioned above are really good.

Another thing that you can do is Join a group or club in your city to practice your target language and that’s what I did, I joined  an English congregation, every week I can speak with someone.

Shadowing

Allow me to explain to you this word, perhaps this is the first time you have heard it.

Shadowing is the act of imitating a native speaker talking, especially when you use podcasts.

What I do is pick up a magazine or a book that is also available in audio.

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I choose one or two paragraphs and I focus on the way the speaker talks, for example:  when he stresses the words or how he links one word to another, I try to follow him and record myself and compare it over and over until I master it.

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I practice this method every day 30 minutes, it helps me to say things in a natural and easy way.

Children learn to speak by repetition, we can follow this pattern and speak fluently.

Think in English all the time

90% of the time we think about ourselves in our native language, so try to use English and talk to yourself, at the beginning could be really hard, but after some time it becomes a habit.

 

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If you talk to an English speaker regularly, think in advance about what to say in future conversations.

Something that helps me, too, is to record myself for 10 or 15 minutes, I usually talk about my day or something that  I’m interested and I see what I need to change when I speak.

Read aloud

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When you read aloud you practice your pronunciation and after a while you’ll feel confident speaking, if you create the habit of reading aloud every day for 30 minutes or more, you’ll improve your English conversation skills.

Ok, let me thank you guys for reading my article. I’ll keep blogging more about some useful techniques to help you improve your English, please follow me and subscribe.