think in english. or don’t

think in english is common advice for english teachers to give to their students. think in english is also the title of a vlog on the richyrocks youtube channel that considers how practical and realistic this advice is.

some useful english knowledge & vocab u can take from the video–

  • the first line is

i got nothing written down

i got is a common reduction of i have got. nothing written down indicates the dialogue of the video is improvised.

a waiter writing down an order

a waiter writing down an order (juice images/alamy)

at 1:10, there is another reduction of the have got structure

i got years and years of experience

fun efl practice  :) richyrocks english on youtube

  • twice in the video u can hear i get it which means i understand. sometimes the question do you get it? is reduced to get it? or got it? and i get it can be reduced to got it as well.  got it?

this meme is an example. do u get it?

socially awkward penguin laughed so he would fit in, even though he didn’t get the joke.


  • there is a graphic at 2:20 in the vid that emphasizes the word bumblefuck as used in the line

if u translate everything you’re gonna be speaking some bumblefuck language.

bumblefuck usually refers to a location nobody has ever heard of.  in the video the usage means unclear, confusing.


whatever bumblefuck language they’re speaking, i don’t get it


  • at 3:14 a hypothetical is presented to show the problems with constantly translating between english and your native language

imagine u were writing a computer program

this hypothetical idea is known as 2nd conditional.  the graphics that accompany the computer program metaphor (starting at 3:18), present another example that follows the standard structure for 2nd conditional–> if + past tense + would, could, might or may.

ifwere programming your mental process to comprehend and communicate in english; translating everything from english to your native language for understanding, then back to english to speak would be inefficient.

we use second conditional here because in reality, most of us don’t have mental processes that run like a computer program.

programmers discussing their code

it’s running slow because of all the translating


  • there is also an example of 3rd conditional, which is used for hypothetical situations in the past. listen at 1:50 for

i shoulda been thinking in english, but i couldn’t

should used in the past frequently indicates an error, as it does here.

don't make this face when u speak englis

if u are making this face, stop tryna think in english.


  • the final comments of the video are

i’m just tryna take a load off your mind


that’s what i aim to provide

tryna is a reduction of trying to. take a load off means relax or sit down, u can hear it a bunch of times in this classic rock song performed in this video by aretha franklin and duane allman.

aim means that’s the objective, the goal.  in other words, if u are trying to think in english and it’s making u crazy, relax; don’t force yourself.

do u try to think in english? does it work for u? share your thoughts under leave a reply