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June 2013

English Expressions

[Expression] Is the Pope Catholic?

Most of you have heard that there is a new Pope. There is a rather funny expression in the English language: “Is the Pope Catholic?”.

This is used when one is replying to someone who asked a question, the answer to which should be very obvious. In other words, instead of actually answering yes or no the question, one can just say, “Is the Pope Catholic?”.


Don’t worry, nobody, even Catholics (or even the Pope), will get offended if you say this. Here is an example: some guys are relaxing at a bar and looking at a very nice lady at the other end of the bar, sitting all by herself. One of the guys asks his friend, “Would you like to go on a date with that nice lady?”. The friend, since he obviously would like to go on a date with her, says with a big smile, “Is the Pope Catholic?”. The reason this expression works is because it is obvious that the new Pope and any others before and after are indeed Catholic. So if someone asks you a question where the answer is clear (and they should probably actually know the answer anyway 🙂 ) then just ask them in return, “Is the Pope Catholic?”. Have fun with it!

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How to Learn English

[Learning English with Books] Benefits of Reading English Aloud

Some people recommend memorization of the English texts you read to improve English. Of course, this may be more helpful when you compare it with reading without memorizing.

The fact is, however, that learning a language is not accomplished in a few days or months. It is very important that you do not get tired of learning English. Many people give up learning English because they studied it too much and too intensively! Let’s relax and think about learning English as a long-term endeavor – without stress or pressure.

We suggest that you read English aloud as much as possible, but without trying to constantly trying to memorize. It is important, however, to read the same texts repeatedly. While you read an article or textbook again and again, you will find that you often memorize the text without even trying! You will likely also develop the ability to construct sentences, as those sentences you have read again and again will become sentences you use in your English speech. If you have the opportunity to practice these sentences and speak English with English speakers regularly, you English speaking ability will improve rapidly and dramatically.

Benefits of reading English aloud to improve your listening skills and speaking

Which one is your favorite position for reading?

English sentences are constructed by combining countless words into many types of sentences. There are, however, several basic patterns of English sentences. Reading helps to familiarize you with these basic English patterns so that you can memorize English sentences, and their structure, better.


We recommend for you to read your textbook aloud at least twenty times while you take English Speaking Lessons by Skype from


How to Learn English

[Learning English with Books] Why Reading is so important?

Babies learning English as their first language and mother tongue learn by listening to their parents’ speaking. This way they naturally learn how to speak. That is why some people suggest that if you want to speak English fluently, you need to improve your listening skills. With this in mind, if you really want to improve your English, it would be ideal if you had a native speaker available to play the role of the parents of those babies. Of course, your English would dramatically improve in this case, especially if that person lives with you and steadily teaches you English. Of course, such as scenario is not always possible.

What about listening to audio English books or lessons? This may help you get familiar with English sounds. But if you do not understand them, the efficiency of this method is not very high. You can only understand sentences you already know. This means you need to get familiar with more English sentences. To achieve this, you should read as many as possible. Reading aloud trains your brain and your vocal organs. While you may initially have trouble reading English aloud since your vocal organs are accustomed to your mother tongue, repeating this practice will enable you to speak English naturally. This is very similar to learning swimming, biking and skating. When you learn them at the first stage, you feel pain in many parts of your body because you use muscles you never used before. Once you learn and practice them, however, your body adjusts naturally and unconsciously.


Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of what you need to read. 🙂

Next time, let’s see what kinds of benefits you can get by reading English.


from Your English Speaking Lesson Partner,