Learn English Language through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Hello Everyone,

Here’s our third video in the Learn English Through series. Harry Potter movies are an interesting challenge for ESL learners because they offer a completely different conversational vocabulary set than American movies do. The Sorcerer’s Stone was very entertaining to do and I hope that everyone enjoys watching it as much as I enjoyed making it! As I go through each movie series like Harry Potter, please keep in mind that I WILL NOT BE REPEATING ANY VOCABULARY/IDIOM EXPLANATIONS. So, please try to memorise each vocabulary/expression/idiom set and watch the movies in order. 


As always:

These videos are being made for two types of English language learners:

1. Those who have studied textbook English hard, but are having trouble understanding cultural references and nuanced English
2. Those who are tired of studying the same way every day, but still want to boost their vocabulary and English language ability through daily practice.


Here are the vocabulary and expressions for those of you who want to quiz yourself later!If you have any questions or comments about the vocabulary please leave a comment and please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Vocabulary and Expressions for Harry Potter
Term or Expression Definition
 I should’ve known you would be here, Professor McGonagall  I should’ve (should have) known = As I expected/as I thought
No problems, I trust, Hagrid? I trust = a positive affirmation. Similar to saying “right?” after a sentence.
Little tyke fell asleep just as we were flying over Bristol Tyke = small child
 There won’t be a child in our world who doesn’t know his name There won’t be X who/that won’t Y = double negative à positive sentence. This means that EVERYONE will know him.
There there, Hagrid, it’s not really good bye, after all There, there = Something to say to calm someone who is crying.After all = all in all, when all is said and done,  in the end
Any funny business, any at all, and you won’t have any meals for a week Funny business = bad, disobedient behavior. Also means to make trouble.
 I swear I don’t know, one minute the glass was there and then it was gone  I swear = emphasizes the fact that what you are saying is really the truth. Example) you must swear to tell the truth in a court of law.
There’s no such thing as magic No such thing = emphasizes that something does not exist
Go and get the post Post = British term for mail
 No blasted letters today, no sir, not one single bloody letter  Blasted/bloody = British term for negative emphasis. In American English we would say “damn” or “freaking.”
Daddy’s gone mad, hasn’t he? To go mad = to go crazy, to become crazy
We swore when we took him in we’d put a stop to all this rubbish To take someone in = to give someone a home/adopt someone.Rubbish = British term for garbage/trash.
 I was the only one to see her for what she was. A freak  To see someone for what they are = see someone’s true identity/true self (even if they are pretending to be like something else)Freak = monster/weird person
Muggle?Non-magic folk Muggle = normal person who can’t use magic in the Harry Potter world.Folk = Means people. An old English word (folc) derived from German (volk) for people, still used commonly these days.
I will not pay to have some crackpot old fool teach him magic tricks Crackpot = an eccentric and/or foolish person
 I’d love a dragon  I’d love something = I would really like to have something
Curious, very curious Curious = British term for “strange/mysterious.” It also means “to want to know about something” like it does in American English. However, in American English “curious” does NOT mean strange/mysterious.
Wicked Wicked = Term used by generation X and onwards to mean cool, awesome. The original meaning of wicked is bad/evil/horrible. Possibly originated from the old English word ‘wicca’ which means witch.
 Anything off the trolley dears?  Trolley = British term for cart.
No thanks, I’m all set All set = To have everything you need.
We’ll take the lot A/the lot = British term for ‘everything’
I’m Ron WeasleyPleasure Pleasure = nice to meet you (although Hermione is being sarcastic here)
It’s not real, the ceiling. It’s just bewitched to look like the night sky Bewitched = to cast a spell on/to enchant.  This is in present passive tense (object + to be + past participle form of verb + by + subject) emphasizing the ceiling (object of the sentence)
When I call your name, you will come forth Come forth = come up to the front
 Mental that one, I’m telling you Mental = crazy
What’s he teach?Potions, but everyone knows it’s the dark arts he fancies To fancy something = British term meaning to like something. Example) I would fancy a cup of tea right now.
That was bloody brilliant Brilliant = British term for amazing, awesome, great. In American English this word only means ‘very intelligent’ or ‘genius.’
 There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class  Incantations = words that are spoken in order to cast a magic spell. Example) Abracadabra, Wingardium Leviosa.
To not pay attention To pay attention = to focus, to listen to, to heed. An old English expression that dates back to the early 1700s.
Clearly, fame isn’t everything Something isn’t everything = something isn’t as important as you think. Example) money isn’t everything, love and friend-ship are also important.
 Note that 5 points will be taken from your house for your classmate’s cheek Cheek = disobedience, used when a child talks rudely to an adult. Also similar to “talking back” to an adult.
Our job is to make sure you don’t get bloodied up too bad Bloodied up = beat up, hit until you are bleeding
It’s spooky, she knows more about you than you do Spooky = scary, frightening. This term is often used during Halloween. Example) Ghosts are spooky
 Uhhh Troll bogies  Troll = A mythological creature that is very ugly and is either very small or very large.Bogies = British term for boogers, nose gold, nasal mucus
For sheer dumb luck Sheer = Nothing other than, for the only reason that, onlyDumb luck = originates over 1000 years ago from the Roman expression “blind luck” which is a reference to Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck who was blind. This means to be very randomly and extremely lucky.
It’s Snape, he’s jinxing the broom Jinx = a bad or evil spell/curse. To jinx someone mean’s to cast a jinx spell on someone. **Check out our “Frozen” video for another definition of the word jinx**
Happy Christmas Happy Christmas = British term for Merry Christmas. The term “merry” has been used as far back as Charles Dickens’ use of the word in 1843. However, it is believed that Queen Elizabeth II started saying ‘happy’ because ‘merry’ suggests that one should be inebriated or “drunk” on alcohol at Christmas.
When you’ve had time to decide where your loyalties lie Where your loyalties lie = which/whose side you are on.
For god sake pull yourself together man Pull yourself together = Tells someone to become emotionally stable/tells someone who is emotional/upset to calm down
Hang on a minute Hang on a minute = wait a minute, wait
Up to something Someone is up to something = someone is doing something bad/suspicious
Hmm… alas, earwax Alas = An expression of grief, pity, sadness or concern. This is usually said before you say something negative.
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends. Great deal = a lot ofStand up to/for someone = To make a spirited defense against. To defend yourself and make a situation better
If that dolt of a cousin of yours Dudley gives you any grief Dolt = moron, idiot, fool
You could always threaten him with a nice pair of ears to go with that tail of his Threaten = To say one’s intention (what they will do) to do something bad/negative to someone/something if something is not done the way they want it to be done/not done.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Report Card Explanation:


Genuine Language Usage: This movie features some great authentic British English usage. It is so genuine, in fact, that in some places it is even hard for American/Canadian language speakers to understand. Nevertheless, it is a great source for genuine language usage.

Educational Value: This movie has a lot of great authentic vocabulary and also helps ESL students improve their language cognition ability by presenting them with a lot of fake words with made-up meanings that they need to grasp to understand the movie. In addition, the way the vocabulary is presented is very memorable.

Fun Factor: I realise that there are a lot of problems with the Harry Potter story-line, but it is still a very entertaining series. I, myself, have watched the entire series multiple times and I am always entertained and delighted by the story. This particular movie is really great because it invites the viewers to imagine a fun reality where magic really exists.