12 Essential English Novels Everyone Should Read

12 Essential English Novels Everyone Should Read

Original Article: https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/12-literary-works-read.html


1. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë

This tumultuous tale of life in a bleak farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors is a popular set text for GCSE and A-level English study, but away from the demands of the classroom it’s easier to enjoy its drama and intensity. Populated largely by characters whose inability to control their own emotions leads to violence and revenge, it’s a tale that spans two generations and two families. At the heart of the story is the mysterious ‘gypsy’, Heathcliff, adopted as a ragamuffin child into the Earnshaw family to live at Wuthering Heights. As he grows up, he becomes close to his adopted sister Cathy, falling in love with her only to be met with crushing disappointment when she marries Edgar Linton, a kind and gentle man from neighbouring Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff disappears and returns a rich, educated man bent on revenge.


2. Middlemarch, by George Eliot

Middlemarch, subtitled “A Study of Provincial Life”, is the story of the inhabitants of a Midlands village in the 1830s. Masterfully weaving together several plotlines, the novel charts the fortunes of an interesting cast of characters, exploring their motivations, delusions and preoccupations. The remarkable thing about Middlemarch is the detail and realism with which George Eliot describes emotions. Feelings you thought were unique to you are described here in a way that could be describing your own thoughts. It’s one of the reasons why Middlemarch has been described the likes of Martin Amis and Julian Barnes as one of the greatest English novels ever written; read it and you’ll soon find yourself agreeing with them.


3. Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four makes depressing but essential reading. Published in 1949, it’s the author’s vision of a dystopian future dominated by totalitarian state surveillance, mind control and perpetual war. At the centre of the novel is Winston, whose job is to rewrite old news stories so that they toe the party line, whom we follow in his quest for rebellion against the government he works for. Its memorable opening line sets the unsettling tone for the rest of this uncomfortable novel: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” You probably already use phrases from this influential book without necessarily knowing it; “Big Brother” and “Room 101” are both references taken from this novel. As you read Nineteen Eighty-Four, ask yourself: how close do you think Orwell’s vision is to how society is today?



4. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

If you haven’t read the book, you’ll almost certainly have seen Peter Jackson’s epic three-part movie adaptation of it. Incredible though the films are, there’s inevitably a lot missing from them and it’s well worth persevering with the book’s slowish start to follow the journey of Frodo and friends more closely. If you’re not familiar with the story, The Lord of the Rings tells the story of a hobbit, Frodo, who must undertake a dangerous mission to the dark land of Mordor to destroy a powerful ring – a weapon that absolutely corrupts those who come under its power. As you’ll soon find out, that’s a highly simplified plot summary!

Reading the book, you’ll be hard-pressed not to gain a deep admiration for the detail and thought Tolkien put into creating his imaginary world; languages, detailed family trees, maps, rich histories and backstories – all add to the sense of realism one feels when absorbed in Tolkien’s work. You’ll also spot some of Tolkien’s influences, such as Nordic mythology and the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf (read this poem alongside Tolkien and you’ll notice where his inspiration for the Golden Hall came from). If you’re new to Tolkien, you might like to read The Hobbit beforehand; it’s a lighter read than The Lord of the Rings and it sets the backdrop for the events of the tome that follows it.


5. Diary of a Nobody, by George and Weedon Grossmith

If you’ve ever in need of a little gentle comic relief, you can’t do much better than the delightful Diary of a Nobody. It’s the (made-up) diary of a self-important Victorian lower-middle class gentleman, Charles Pooter, in which he details the day-to-day household quandaries and social embarrassments we can all relate to. It was serialised in Punch magazine in Victorian times, and it’s a charming insight into what the Victorians found funny – but in many places, it’s still laugh-out-loud funny to the modern reader.



6. His Dark Materials, trilogy by Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials is comprised of three novels: Northern Lights (known in the US as The Golden Compass), The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. The story is set in a fantasy world that contains numerous parallel universes, some of which bear some resemblance to real-life Oxford. Lyra, the protagonist, inhabits the fictional Jordan College, Oxford, in a world in which human beings are accompanied by animal embodiments of their souls, called daemons. The initial similarities and intriguing differences between Lyra’s world and real life will draw you in right from the start, and you’re sure to be gripped as you accompany Lyra on a journey that sees her coming of age and discovering that space and time are not what she expected. If you want to do some background reading, try Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost, of which Pullman’s trilogy is a partial reinvention.



7. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë

This novel by Emily Brontë’s elder sister Charlotte has inspired numerous film adaptations, and tells the tale of a young governess, Jane Eyre, who goes to live and work in a foreboding country house with an eccentric master, Edward Rochester, who hides a dark secret in a remote wing of his sprawling home. The story focuses on Jane’s transition to adulthood, told from her perspective in the first person. Throughout the novel we observe her sense of morality, which is tested by the situations she finds herself in – first during her abusive childhood and then in her response to the passionate feelings she experiences towards Mr. Rochester.



8. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

Here is another coming-of-age story, and arguably one of the greatest ever told. If you think Charles Dickens is boring, or you’ve been put off him by studying him at school, please give him another chance. Like all his novels, Great Expectations is full of humour and populated by an entertaining cast of brilliantly-named characters. It tells the tale of Pip, an orphan from a poor background who learns a valuable lesson in life after his acquisition of personal wealth proves an unsatisfying experience that changes him for the worse, driving him away from the only people who’ve ever loved him.

Along the way he meets the enigmatic Miss Havisham, an old lady jilted at the altar decades ago, who has frozen everything in her house at the moment at which her life was so tragically altered. The image of her wedding cake, still on the table but covered in cobwebs and mould, is one of many enduring and vivid scenes in this brilliant novel, which explores a number of moral themes including what it means to be a gentleman.



9. Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

Even if you’re not normally into the Gothic, Rebecca is sure to have you gripped. Its nameless narrator tells the chilling tale of her experiences at Manderley, the house at the centre of the story, after marrying Maxim de Winter, its owner. Manderley proves to be haunted by memories of Maxim’s previous wife, Rebecca, who drowned the previous year; and the creepy Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper, is determined to show Maxim’s new wife that she is no replacement for her beloved Rebecca. We follow the second Mrs. de Winter as she struggles to fit in at Manderley and uncovers the truth behind who Rebecca really was and what really happened to her. Its opening lines will haunt you as they’ve haunted the millions of readers who’ve enjoyed Rebecca since its publication in 1938: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”.


10. Any Jane Austen novel

It was impossible to choose just one Jane Austen novel for this list, as they’re all absolutely brilliant and packed full of interesting and sometimes amusing characters – and heroines you can’t fail to love. As well as being entertaining stories in themselves, Jane Austen’s novels are recognised for their historical importance thanks to their social commentary on the Georgian aristocracy. Austen herself was on the outskirts of the aristocracy, well-placed to write about the people and situations she undoubtedly met with in real life. Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey; take your pick, but if forced to choose, my personal favourite is Emma, the tale of a well-meaning but headstrong young woman who makes it her mission to act as matchmaker to local villagers – with disastrous consequences both to them and to her own chances of romance.


11. Far from the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy’s evocative novel Far from the Madding Crowd is set in ‘Wessex’, an early region of south-west England that no longer exists but is used to conjure up a sense of a place neither real nor made-up – an agricultural England that, during Hardy’s lifetime, was under threat from industrialisation. Rural life is a central theme in a story that follows the shepherd Gabriel Oak and his love for Bathsheba Everdene, a beautiful and independent newcomer to the local farm she’s just inherited.

Unfortunately, Oak isn’t the only one with his eye on the wilful Bathsheba, and two rivals appear on the scene in the shape of another farmer, Mr. Boldwood, and a dashing but rakish soldier, Sergeant Troy. Love and its sometimes dangerous and destructive power are explored among a number of other themes, including luck and tragedy.


12. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh’s portrayal of the trials and tribulations of an aristocratic family and their friend, the narrator Charles Ryder, has been an inspiration to plenty of Oxford applicants, who hope to recreate the evocative Oxfordian scenes described in the early parts of the book – complete with Sebastian’s famous teddy bear, Aloysius. But there’s a lot more to Brideshead Revisited than idyllic Oxford life and decadent scenes involving Champagne and quail eggs. At its heart is the tale of a young man’s struggle with Roman Catholicism and with his own family, but there are many other themes running through it, including the decline of the English stately home after the two World Wars and a longing for the bygone era of the English nobility.

Brideshead Revisited was adapted into a landmark television series with Jeremy Irons in the role of Charles Ryder; once you’ve read the book this makes wonderful viewing, sticking closely to the book. With Irons’ velvet tones vividly bringing to life Waugh’s words, this is one television adaptation that, in my opinion, will actually help you gain a deeper appreciation of the book.


These remarkable novels have all left their mark on popular culture and embedded themselves into the English psyche. Once you’ve read them all, you’ll have more of an idea of where your own literary tastes lie and you can make up your own list by taking from this one and adding your own. What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Merry Christmas in 12 Languages

Merry Christmas in 12 Languages

There’s more than one way to say Merry Christmas, why not learn it in a different language.


French – Joyeux Noël

German – Frohe Weihnachten

Mandarin – Sheng Dan Kuai Le (圣诞快乐)

Danish – Glædelig Jul

Finnish – Hyvää joulua

Hungarian – Boldog karácsonyt



Italian – Buon Natale


Norwegian – God Jul


Portuguese – Feliz Natal

Russian – rah-zh-dee-st-VOHM (C рождеством!)

Spanish – Feliz Navidad

Swedish – God Jul


Merry Christmas to all our non-English speakers!

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15 Simple Words That Feel Impossible For Non-English Speakers To Learn

15 Simple Words That Feel Impossible For Non-English Speakers To Learn

Original Article: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/15-simple-words-that-feel-impossible-for-nonenglish-speakers-to-learn-a3708576.html

By MARK ABADI Business Insider –  


English is a notoriously difficult language to learn, from its inconsistent pronunciation to the endless list of irregular verbs.

For some people learning the language, it’s extremely difficult to nail down relatively simple words that many native speakers take for granted.

Business Insider reached out to the online language-learning platform Duolingo to find out some of the most difficult words in English for non-native speakers to learn. The site collected data from speakers of Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Arabic and came up with 15 simple words that are especially tough.
















For many of the words, its the spelling and pronunciation that cause trouble for English learners, a spokeswoman for Duolingo told Business Insider. It isn’t immediately clear how “isle” and “ceiling,” for example, should sound.

In other cases, difficulty arises when a word is polysemous, or when it has multiple meanings. “Shore,” “dish,” “harbor,” “net,” and “lounge” all could mean various things depending on the context, and it can be difficult for English learners to suss out the correct context.

And then there’s pineapple, a fruit which contains neither pine nor apple. Imagine teaching someone that word for the first time, and you can understand its inclusion on the list. It’s just one of the many deceptively tricky words that comprise the colorful English language.

Read more from Business Insider UK
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Why I chose this school, the first reason was because Let’s Learn English produces quality and small classes and this is what I needed. Therefore I searched for a small school to let me have direct contact with the teachers because my English was very basic or almost nothing.  My first purpose was to learn the English language faster. I am absolutely satisfied for having achieved my objective; I know I need more practice, and I’m sure I will continue. I can say so much about Let’s Learn English but I have few words to express how I felt at the school, I must say that it was the best decision I made, in my opinion, the school is of high quality and their teachers Mr. Joshua and Miss Zinzi are the best.

Thank you so much Let’s Learn English’s my best wishes to school.


I can honestly say that it was the best chosen, studying English at Let´s Learn English (LLE). I have spent 04 weeks preparing for the IELTS Test, and actually I learned a lot inside and outside the classrooms. The teachers and the staff are excellent, the process of teaching are innovative. The School’s locations at Observatory is wonderful. I also met exceptional people and an excellent accommodation in Homestay where we maintain chatting till now. I really loved stay at LLE. I have got a truly family in South Africa, Cape Town.



Hi everybody, May I say, Let´s Learn English and all the people I met at LLE, will remain forever in my heart. Ann, Mike and every one of the teachers (Zinzi, Lorna, Taps..), they became my true family not only for 3 months I spent in Cape Town…. When I arrived in South Afrika, my english was only: hi, my name is… I am from Czech Republic, I am from Prague… and…” It´s me, Alena” (at the aeroport when Mike came to pick me up).. Can You imagine? . LLE is the best school I have ever studied, mainly because of great and special people . Big big Thank You , I hope, see You again… With love



I have been learning English at Let’s Learn English for four weeks and I’m really happy. The people at the school are very friendly, they are always able to help when help is needed, and the classes are fun. I have been very comfortable at the school and at my homestay. I have met a lot of people, from different countries (Angola, Congo, Mozambique, Germany, Spain, South Africa, etc), who were studying at the school. Of course, I have improved my English. After school, you can enjoy Cape Town and cape peninsula, an amazing place, while you practise English talking with the people.



I am a student from Let’s Learn English. I’ve been studying here for a month, it has gone so fast! I have met a lot of people at school which I’ll keep in touch with. The teacher is very good and all the workers help you with what you need. Besides study, we also have done different activities, like paint t-shits, barbeque, Cape Town tour… I can say that I’ve been very good at school and in Cape Town, for me it has been a very enjoying experience.



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10 Reasons Why Learning English Is Important

10 Reasons Why Learning English Is Important

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Facts About English You Didn’t Know

Facts About English You Didn’t Know

10 Interesting Facts About the English Language that You Didn’t Know

Original Article: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/10-interesting-english-facts-guest/

Guest Post by Rochelle Ceira


10 Interesting Facts About the English Language that You Didn't Know

Did you know that enneacontakaienneagon is actually a word in the English language? (And you thought pronouncing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was difficult?). In fact, the meaning of the word is just as bizarre as the word itself: it’s a shape with ninety-nine sides.

Compared to other languages, English may seem simple, but that is probably because most people don’t realize it is full of crazy inventions, misinterpretations, mistakes, strange words, and needless words!

Let’s take a look at ten interesting facts about the English language:

1. “I am” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.


2. A pangram sentence is one that contains every letter in the language.


For example, the sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is a pangram.

3. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (*breath*) is NOT the longest word in English.


This extra long word (that approximately means “fantastic”) was popularized by the movie Mary Poppins and was eventually added to the dictionary. What you probably didn’t know is that there is a word that is longer—yes longer—than this one. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a type of lung disease caused by inhaling ash and dust. Go ahead and try pronouncing that!

4. There are “ghost words” that mean nothing.


Believe it or not, there are some words that appeared in the dictionary because of printing errors. The nonexistent word “dord” appeared in the dictionary for eight years in the mid-20th century. It became known as a “ghost word.”

5. The shortest, oldest, and most commonly used word is “I.”


Medieval manuscripts reveal that some of the oldest words in English are “I,” “we,” “two,” and “three.” This makes “I” one of the shortest and oldest words in the English language. It is also the most commonly used word in English conversations.

6. A new word is added to the dictionary every two hours.


Between now and your next meal, a new word will be put into the dictionary. During the course of the year, almost 4,000 new words are added! So, the next time you try to catch the attention of the dissertation committee, try adding some new words to your project.

7. There’s a name for words that we repeat often.


Words we always use even though they add no meaning or value to a sentence are called crutch words. For example, in the sentence “Then I was like, OMG, then like, he went there, and like…” it is pretty obvious that “like” is the crutch word. “Actually,” “honestly,” and “basically” are also commonly used as crutch words.

8. Swims will be swims even when turned upside down.


Such words are called ambigrams.

9. English is the language of the air.


This means that all pilots have to identify themselves and speak in English while flying, regardless of their origin.

10. Girl used to mean small boy or girl.


The word “girl” was not initially used to refer to a specific gender. It used to mean “child” or “young person” regardless of the gender.

Rochelle Ceira is a specialist in English, currently serving as an instructor at a private institute. She also works part-time with a team of dissertation experts at Dissertation Avenue. She’s an avid reader of Dan Brown and G.R.R Martin, and she loves to indulge in their novels whenever she has time.

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Reaching Your English Goals

Reaching Your English Goals

LLE offers you the opportunity to achieve your goal, and go beyond that goal. We provide an excellent combination of the best of blended learning techniques and the warm friendliness of a very secure learning environment.

Contact us today to start learning English!

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Which Countries Speak English?

Which Countries Speak English?

Original Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-speaking_world

Majority English-Speaking Countries

Antigua and Barbuda
the Bahamas
the British Indian Ocean Territory
the British Virgin Islands
the Cayman Islands
the Falkland Islands
the Isle of Man
Pitcairn Islands
Saint Helena
Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands

Countries Where English Is An Official Language

the Federated States of Micronesia
Hong Kong
the Marshall Islands

Papua New Guinea
the Philippines
Saint Lucia
Sierra Leone
the Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka
South Africa
South Sudan

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Popular Restaurants In Observatory

Popular Restaurants In Observatory

Here are a list of popular food-loving restaurants:

List according to Google


Clarke’s Bar & Dining Room
133 Bree Street

The Charles Café
137 Waterkant Street

Obz Cafe
115 Lower Main Rd

A Touch of Madness Restaurant
12 Nuttall Rd

1890 House Sushi and Grill
40 Trill Rd

Cocoa Cha Chi
Shop 20, Lower Main Rd

The Wild Fig Restaurant
1 Liesbeek Ave

127 Lower Main Rd

Mango Ginger
27 Lower Main Rd

Queen of Tarts
213 Lower Main Rd & Bishop Rd

Eagle Eye Spur
2, St Peters Square, Main Road

Sticky Fingers BBQ
96 Station Rd

Reverie Social Table
226A Lower Main Rd

86 Station Rd

Ferdinando’s Pizza
South Africa, 205 Lower Main Rd

Cafe Ganesh
38 Trill Rd

the Peacock: Indian Inspired Tapas & Bar
105 Lower Main Rd

96 Station Rd

Jerry’s Burger Bar Observatory
123 Lower Main Rd

Linko Restaurant
88 Lower Main Rd

Lower Main Rd

Mr Lin’s Sushi & Thai
109 Lower Main Rdrest

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