Home > Free British Accent Training, Learning Material > British English accent training lesson 17: out of this world

British English accent training lesson 17: out of this world

In this lesson I aim to help you enhance your vocabulary and English pronunciation by discussing the universe surrounding Earth, and associated idioms and expressions. Please see the notes below.






Solar system

Galaxy (Milky Way – contains 200 billion stars)

The Universe

Aliens / extraterrestrials; otherworldly


Our solar system

The Sun (star)

The Moon

Planets (simplified phonetics)

Mercury (MUR-kyuh-ree)

Venus (VEE-nuss)

Earth (urth)


Jupiter (JOO-pih-tur)


Uranus (yur-RAY-nuss)

Neptune (NEP-choon)

Pluto (PLOO-toh) [not technically a planet]


The Big Bang

Higgs boson

Large Hadron Collider



Signs of the Zodiac (star signs – for your horoscope)

Aries                19 April – 13 May

Taurus             14 May – 19 June

Gemini                        20 June – 20 July

Cancer             21 July – 9 August

Leo                  10 August – 15 September

Virgo               16 September – 30 October

Libra                31 October – 22 November

Scorpio            23 November – 29 November

Sagittarius       18 December – 18 January

Capricorn        19 January – 15 February

Aquarius          16 February – 11 March

Pisces              12 March – 18 April



Otherworldly idioms and expressions


“Out of this world”

Describe something that is really amazing:

“That goal last night was out of this world.”


Over the moon / on cloud nine

If you are “over the moon” or “on cloud nine”, you’re absolutely delighted and very happy about something:


“Manchester United supporters are over the moon / on cloud nine today.”


On / from a different planet

Used interchangeably with “on” and “from” with two polemic meanings:

Describe someone who seems a bit crazy or unrealistic:

“You talk such nonsense sometimes, you’re on a different planet, I swear.”

Describe someone or something which is so amazing they can’t be from this world:

“She’s special, she’s from a different planet.”

NOTE: be very careful to understand the context so you know if it is the positive or negative.


Someone is a “star”

They are wonderful / very special / talented at something:

“Thanks so much, you’re a star!”

“Star” can be a very positive adjective too:

“She’s a star employee within that organisation.”


Reach / aim for the stars

Seek lofty dreams / goals / objectives:

Reach for the stars – you can do anything you set your mind to.”


Once in a blue moon

Describe something that happens very rarely:

“He’s actually completed his homework! That happens about once in a blue moon.”


Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” (The sexes are so different as to be from separate planets.)


Further reading

Scientists and religious clerics meeting together:


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