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How to Speak Like a Native English Speaker – IELTS Speaking Preparation

 

In this video, you are going to hear a conversation between two native English speakers. It will help you to learn new vocabulary and phrasal verbs, such as: finish off, look forward to, take care of, look after, without a doubt etc.

For people preparing for IELTS, it is really helpful because a lot of the questions I ask are used in IELTS but also in normal everyday conversations. Listen to the way I ask Katy questions to keep the conversation going because a lot of examiners do the same. They want you to express yourself as confidently as possible.

The transcript is below with links and explanations of the phrasal verbs, vocabulary and phrases that we used in the conversation.

Happy learning!

Transcript:

  • Hello, this is Amy, from Study Online English, and you’re going to hear some more conversations with native English speakers.
  • This is my lovely friend, Katy.
  • This is Katy, who we bought the birthday present for.
  • Did you like your handbag, Katy?
  • Oh, I loved it.
  • Fantastic, and how was your day?
  • Did you have a busy day at work?
  • Busy day at work, finishing off the month, and just getting ready now for Easter holidays  Finishing off the month means finishing all the things you need to do such as, the policies or accounts. To finish something off: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/finish-sth-off
  • And do you want to tell everybody what you do?
  • I’m an insurance agent, nothing too exciting, but hey. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/insurance-agent
  • Katy is one of the sportiest people I know. Katy, what are your hobbies? What have you been doing this week? Sportiest: A sporty person enjoys sports and is good at it. Sportiest is the superlative
  • Well, what have I been doing this week? I’ve been walking, cycling, and doing some obstacle training, as I quite enjoy Spartan races, obstacle races.
  • Can you explain what Spartan Race is?
  • Spartan Race is basically between eight and 10 kilometres and about twenty obstacles. Obstacle: an object that you have to go around or over : something that blocks your path
  • I wouldn’t be able to do that.
  • Oh, I’m sure you could. I’m certain you could
  • I wouldn’t mind doing a mini one, one day. One day I’ll come with you.
  • Exactly, why not?
  • So who introduced you to it?
  • Well, a friend of my sisters actually introduced me to it last year.
  • She said to me, “Why don’t you train for that?” and I was like,(my reaction) I wasn’t quite sure at the time, because I actually had a friend that did it a few years back(a few years ago) and I was like no, no, no, that’s definitely not for me, a bit too intense. And I did one race, and that was it, I was hooked.(addicted)
  • Do many girls do it? (Many for countable)
  • Quite a few actually. It’s getting really popular, believe it or not.
  • Do you think some people like to train toward something?
  • I think it’s important to have goals sometimes.
  • Have an objective.
  • When you’ve got your nine to five job, or you’re routine, I think it’s just nice, sometimes, to disconnect and give yourself something to look forward to.
  • Look forward to: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/look-forward-to-sth
  •  Apart from the normal routine of things.
  • Apart from: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/apart?q=apart+from
  • Yeah, do you think a lot of people are quite sporty here, or do you think it’s a mixture?
  • Oh, definitely. No, I think around here, especially a lot. And I think in general now people are taking more care of their health, you know physically, people are looking after themselves more. Taking care: to pay attention. Look after: you do what is necessary to keep yourself/someone/something healthy and safe or in good condition.
  • – Eating healthier. I just think people are more aware (more conscious) of it now than they used to be. (they were before)
  • Yeah, it’s over what, (how much time) the last 10 years people have become…
  • I think so, definitely. – Yeah, because we live in Spain at the moment, but I’m leaving sadly.
  • We’re going to miss you lots.
  • I’m not going for long. I’m going to go to Ireland for a little bit, to Southern Ireland. And visit my family, and just spend some time there for a couple of months and see if I like it.
  • What do you think people like doing here in their spare time?
  • I think, round here especially, cycling is huge.(huge can for used as very popular) I mean, a lot of people cycle, a lot of people run as well. Things like that. A lot of outdoor activities more so, because the weather’s so good here.
  • Yeah, there’s a lot of people who come and train here…(train for cycling races)
  • Oh, they’re from all over Europe. Yeah, they come and train.
  • They’re cyclist aren’t they? Why do you think that is?
  • I think because of the great weather conditions, more than anything. And it’s prepared for that.
  • It’s got a lot of mountains as well, haven’t we?
  • We have, and that we have for training purposes.
  • Yeah, it’s a bit annoying sometimes though. (however)
  • Yes, I do agree with that, even though I like to cycle, hey.
  • Because there’s just so many of them.
  • How often do you see your friends, how often do you see everyone? (everyone is used when the person knows who you are talking about)
  • Oh, I definitely see my friends a few times during the week.(few: more than two)
  • What, for the odd coffee? Odd: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/odd
  • For a coffee, when I’ve got a bit of free time. Coffee, maybe a walk after work, and things like that.
  • Yeah, and how often do you go back to the UK?
  • To be honest, not very often.
  • Do you ever miss the UK?
  • Not that much, I miss my family and friends that I’ve got there, but the quality of life, I love it here in Spain.
  • I must be crazy to go back.
  • I think she is. Are you not going to miss it here?
  • I am going to miss it, but I feel like a need a change.
  • But have you noticed that there’s more… it’s more cosmopolitan everywhere now?
  • I think so.
  • You notice there’s lots of different nationalities everywhere.
  • Definitely, without a doubt.
  • Without a doubt: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/doubt?q=without+%28a%29+doubt
  • So if you liked this video, please like. Or?
  • Please subscribe.
  • Thank you!

What are your hobbies?

 

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Informal and Formal English

Part Oneinformal and formal english

Ways to speak, write a letter, email or even how to send an informal Whatsapp!

As with your native language we always use formal speech when we don’t know the person and for official documents, books, news reports, articles, business letters or official speeches. Once we are friendly with the person we use more casual speech or informal.

Asking for permission

  • Formal: Do you mind if I…? / Do I have your permission to…? / Might it be possible for me to…? / Would it be acceptable for me to…?

  • Informal: Is it alright (for me) to…? / Can I…? / Am I allowed to…?

 

Making arrangements ( suggesting a time and place to meet)

  • Formal: Would you be available…? /I can meet at 1pm if that is convenient with you.

  • Informal: Are you free…? / … is best for me. /

Inviting someone to socialise together

  • Formal: We would like to invite you to…/ Please find enclosed an invitation to…/ It would be our great pleasure if you could attend…

  • Informal: Why don’t you … (with me/ us)? / How about… (with me/ us)? / Fancy coming to…?

 Offering help

  • Formal: Please contact me if I can be of any assistance (with…). / It is our great pleasure to offer you…

  • Informal: Drop me a line if you want me to lend you a hand (with…)/ Give me a call if you need any help (with…).

I hope you have found this article helpful. Part 2 is coming up with some more useful examples.

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Different ways to express you’re happy

Are you really happy about something???

happy-employee-clipart-GjYY0S-clipart

These are different ways to express you’re happy in English.

Ecstatic

Extremely happy:

  • I am ecstatic about my exam results.

Buzzing

A feeling of excitement, energy and pleasure.

  • I’m absolutely buzzing about my promotion.

Over the moonyellow again

To be very pleased:

  • She is over the moon with her new car.

Delighted

Very pleased:

  • I’m delighted for you. What great news!

Thrilled

Extremely happy about something:

  • I’m so thrilled you’re coming to my housewarming.

yellow happyOverjoyed

Really happy:

  • Emma was overjoyed she got the job with Emirates.

 

How happy are you today?

 

 

 

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How to use THE

THE

Ive noticed especially in writing activities that some people find how to use THE confusing.

The is a Definite article. The list may seem long but the main rule is: we use the when we are talking about something or someone specific.share_image(1)

We use The in front of a noun when we believe the listener/reader knows exactly what we are referring to

I’ll pass by and collect the children at four o’clock.

or there is only one of those places  in those surroundings:

When you’re in town you must visit the zoo. (there is only one zoo normally in a town)

I’m going to the Eiffel tower.

 

The is also used to talk about a person or thing that has already been mentioned:

I received the shirt and dress I ordered from a shop on the internet. I really like the dress but the shirt is a little tight.

There’s a position available where I work. The job will involve some international travel.

In a situation where it is clear what is happening:

Could you pass me the salt? Everyone can see it.

Used to talk about a particular person or thing:

I don’t like the comedian. (I don’t like that particular comedian)

I don’t like comedians (in general I don’t like comedians)

To identify a particular person or thing:

The US president is visiting Russia in May.

The sweater is on the chair.

The oranges are on the table.

The man sitting over there is famous.

Use the with countries that include the words “republic”, “kingdom”, or “states” in their names:

The UK

The USA

The UAE

Countries that have plural names:

The Netherlands.

With superlatives:

Everest is the highest mountain on the earth.

That’s the biggest sandwich l’ve never had.

With some adjectives to talk about groups of people:

A lot of rich people don’t know how the poor live.

We must look after the elderly.

When there is one of them in the world that everyone knows about:

The moon.

The sun.

The earth.

The internet.

When we talk about musical instrument:

I already know how to play the piano now I want to learn how to play the violin.

To refer to a system or service:

How long does it take on the train?
I heard it on the radio.
You should tell the police

For certain countries:

The USA

The UK

The UAE

For ordinal numbers (First, Second, Third etc.)

The third house on the left.

The first women on the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to tell the time in English

how to tell the time in English

What time is it?

How to tell the time in English

Tick-tock it’s nearly 2017!

Let’s start by looking at the clock here on our right.

The clock shows for example, that it’s ten to two in the afternoon 13:50

The first half of the hour is always past and the second half is always to.

to and past in giving the time

 

Let’s use two o’clock (14:00) as an example.

First half of the clock

Five past two 14:05

Ten past two 14:10

A Quarter past two or you can say two fifteen  14:15

Twenty past two 14:20

Twenty- five past two 14:25

In English we always say that thirty minutes have Pasted.

Half past two or two thirty 14:30

Second half of the clock

After thirty minutes have pasted it changes to To because now we are looking towards the next hour:

Twenty- five minutes to three 14:35

Twenty to three 14:40

A Quarter to three or 14:45

Ten to three 14:50

Five to three 14:55

Three o’clock 15:00

What time is it?

When asked the time we should always say it is …….. or it’s three o’clock.

  • It’s ten past two. 14:10

We use AT+ Time when giving the time of a specific event.

  • The show starts at eight o’clock 20:00
  • Let’s meet outside at quarter to seven. 19:45
  • I’ll meet you at the restaurant at six thirty or half past six 18:30

When we write the time like in most languages we just use numbers:

  • Meet you at 19:30 there.
  • I get up at 08:30 every day.

See you in the next post!!!

 

 

 

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