6 Minute English

Learn and practise useful English language for everyday situations with the BBC. Your weekly instruction manual for saying or doing something in English is published every Friday.

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Learn and practise useful English language for everyday situations with the BBC. Your weekly instruction manual for saying or doing something in English is published every Friday.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2017-11-23 11:26
last episode published
2017-11-23 11:26
publication frequency
7.0 days
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Number of Episodes
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Why more of us are getting fitter together

Group exercise has become very popular in recent years. Rob and Catherine talk about going to the gym and why gym membership is becoming increasingly popular
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How do you like your coffee?

Has the internet replaced the lively debate and intellectual discussions in coffee shops that used to be their main feature in the past?
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How much is a zillion?

A million, a billion and a zillion - which of these is biggest and which one is not an exact number? Rob and Catherine talk about the language we use to describe numbers
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Pedestrianisation - is it good for cities and towns?

There’s a fresh interest in keeping cars out of cities. Is it a good idea?
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Too much sugar

Are you aware of how much of the sweet stuff you eat? Neil and Rob talk about sugar and teach you some tempting new vocabulary
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What's wetiquette?

How do you behave in a swimming pool? Do you respect other swimmers or do you end up in their way? Rob and Neil talk about 'wetiquette' and teach you other new vocabulary
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Why pay for bottled water?

Have drinks manufacturers persuaded us that bottled water is better than tap water?
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Do adults exercise enough?

Neil and Rob talk about vigorous exercise – and whether adults take enough of it!
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What can't computers do?

Are you afraid of machines that copy human intelligent behaviour? Neil and Tim talk about all the things computers can do nowadays and teach you useful vocabulary
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The wonders of hair

Did you know that when the entire body is aging hair can grow stronger? Learn about hair and hair-related vocabulary with Neil and Tim
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Having a row or asking for directions?

Tim and Neil talk about interactions that can be misunderstood by people of different backgrounds, and teach you useful vocabulary
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A policeman, a pilot, a chef - what's our fascination with uniforms?
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Laughing could kill you

In a competition for control between laughter and breathing and speaking, laughter always wins, says a neuroscientist. Neil and Tim discuss the dangers of laughter
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Would the world stop without clocks?

What would happen to the world if all the clocks stopped? Neil and Rob wonder if we are slaves of time
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What makes a video go viral?

Rob is keen to share funny videos - he loves cat ones. Neil is not interested. What makes people want to share them?
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Fancy dress funerals

Funerals are sad occasions but some people decide to turn them into joyful celebrations of the dead person's life. Rob and Neil talk about fancy dress funerals
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It's good to talk

Do you feel very anxious or depressed sometimes? Talking to a professional can help. Neil and Rob talk about talk therapy and teach you six items of useful vocabulary
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How honest are we?

Rob and Neil discuss if honesty is a product of living in a group.
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You think you’re invisible?

Do you want to be invisible? Neil and Dan explore how we are being watched.
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How do pets navigate?

We hear stories about pets who manage to find their way home, even across hundreds of miles? How do they do it?
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Why is the self-help industry so successful? Rob and Neil improve themselves and teach you six items of useful vocabulary in this episode of 6 Minute English
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Faces and first impressions

We all form quick opinions about others. But are our first impressions wrong, or even dangerous?
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Built to fail?

Why do we throw away so much technology?
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Relax, slow down and breathe. Neil and Catherine explore mindfulness - what it is and what benefits it offers
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Is happiness genetic?

Could the key to being happy throughout life lie in your DNA? Why are Nordic countries generally happier than other nations?
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Water Burial

Neil and Dan discuss how water burial could be the efficient and environmentally friendly way to bury the dead in the future. And they teach you six items of useful vocabulary
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Could you go vegan?

Neil and Catherine discuss why more and more people are becoming vegan. They also teach you six items of useful vocabulary
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Goldfish, brains and phones

Are fish able to focus for longer than humans? Neil and Catherine discuss how our brains are being affected by technology. They also teach you six items of useful vocabulary
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How much food do you waste?

Neil and Dan discuss how food waste could cause the end of the world, and who's doing something about it
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The super rich

The rich are getting richer. In this programme we look at the relationship between the super rich and their favourite plaything: the superyacht
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Miraculous survival

How did a man fall from a 47 storey skyscraper and survive?
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Dan and Catherine discuss sighing, and learn how it is in fact a vital human activity that keeps us healthy - and teach you six items of vocabulary
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Multiple careers

Are the days of a job for life over?
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Food and mood

How does your food affect your mood?
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Dog detectors

How sensitive is a dog’s sense of smell? Good enough to smell cancer? Listen and find out!
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The rise of the emoji

Are you an emoji person? We explore how simple smiley faces have become powerful communication tools
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What your lunch says about you

What do you eat for lunch? Sandwiches are the most popular lunchtime meal in the UK, but why?
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Mermaids – Fact or fiction?

Are mermaids real?
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Life expectancy

Can humanity really breach the 90 year limit?
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Gun control without guns

Gun control with no guns? How is that possible? Join Dan and Neil to find out
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How romance ruined love

Neil and Dan discuss romance, as well as teach you 6 new items of vocabulary
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Can you trust your own eyes?

Catherine and Neil discuss why the police and the legal system are concerned about eyewitness testimony
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Why do cities make us rude?

Catherine and Neil discuss how the pressures of modern living are making us hostile to each other
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Family history

Neil and Catherine discuss why many people are obsessed with learning about their family history
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Life on the edge

The increased study of extremophile microbes has revealed a lot about what is and is not needed to sustain life on Earth
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What's your superpower?

Why are we so fascinated with the superheroes that populate our cinema screens and comic books?
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Alice and Neil discuss whether we would miss driving as driverless cars are tested in cities around the world
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Introvert… and proud!

What’s your personality type? If you are an introvert you’re in good company; Barak Obama, JK Rowling are introverts...
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Why do crazes take off?

Alice and Neil discuss why some games, hobbies and activities become crazes
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When do you feel sleepy?

Alice and Neil discuss circadian rhythms - that influence our daily cycle of physical, mental and behavioural changes - and what shift workers can do to help
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