Here’s a 2-part episode featuring a conversation with my cousin Oliver in which we talk about first some challenges he faced over the last few years (including dramatic things like a scooter crash, a tropical disease, a burglary and how he completely flooded his own house) and then some more positive things about being a father and predictions for how society will be different in the future. Also, listen for some general news and announcements about Luke’s English Podcast.
I hope you enjoyed the episodes I recorded as a tribute to David Bowie. Unfortunately, so soon after we lost Bowie, the news came that another great person has died – the British actor Alan Rickman, who like Bowie was 69 years old and died from cancer. He’s most famous for playing the part of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, and the part of Hans Gruber the bad guy in the film Die Hard with Bruce Willis – both very enjoyable and distinguished performances, but he played many other roles too. Alan Rickman was known for his sardonic humour, his wonderfully rich and unique voice, and for bringing a great amount of weight and humanity as well as humour to his roles. He will be missed too.
And, I haven’t even mentioned Lemmy – the lead singer of the group Motorhead, who also died recently. Lemmy played a massive part in the invention of heavy metal music, and was generally a huge personality in the world of British rock. He was on the scene all the way from the 60s until this year when he passed away due to cancer. Lemmy was known for his gravelly voice, his appearance (he looked like a biker dressed in leather with big mutton-chop sideburns and moles on his face – he wasn’t a pretty guy like Bowie by any means), his hard-drinking speed fuelled lifestyle and his bizarre obsession with Nazi regalia – clothing, weapons and so on from the Nazi era. He wasn’t a bad guy, he just liked the designs and imagery from that time – it had nothing to do with the ideology, and at heart he was just committed to playing loud and fast music and living a loud and fast lifestyle – and he will surely go down in history as a true legend of the music world. So, that’s three people, at least. So, can famous British people stop dying please!? If we carry on at this rate there’ll be none left by the end of the year.
But let’s not dwell on these dark things any more! I’m glad to present you this episode today because this one is all about the future, and new life because my cousin Oli is going to be a Dad for the first time – his wife is expecting a baby daughter at any time, so let’s look to the future, with new life and positivity and all that stuff! We’ll start that in just a minute, but first – a little bit of admin…
The comments issue on the website is fixed. I just needed to do a few updates. You can now post comments on the homepage again. No worries!
Email subscribers – are you still receiving emails when I post new episodes? I had a couple of messages from listeners recently who said they hadn’t received emails with new episodes. How about you? If you’re an email subscriber, could you let me know if you received emails for the David Bowie episodes, the episode called With the Thompsons, and the Star Wars spoiler review.
Picture comp is finished – so, don’t send me any more photos please! Thank you for the photos I have received in my email account, and, of course, I have loads of pictures. They’ll go up on the website soon and you can pick your favourite. I’m a little bit concerned about how that’s going to work because there are about a billion photos, but I’ll work something out.
I’ll be meeting Paul and Amber again soon. Firstly to catch up with them both – because quite a lot has happened since we last spoke on the podcast. Amber went to Costa Rica, and Paul Taylor is now something of a celebrity as his comedy video about kissing in France went super-viral over the last few weeks. His video, “Paul Taylor – La Bise” is about his frustration with the French custom of kissing people when you meet them. It was uploaded onto Robert Hoehn’s YouTube channel French Fried TV on new year’s day and within the space of just a few days it got over 1 million views. He was featured on lots of French websites, radio and TV, and then the video went global on the BBC’s website and more. Paul also has a new solo comedy show every Saturday (as well as the one with me on Thursdays) and it’s completely sold out for the next 10 weeks or something. Wow! Remember when he was on this podcast talking about how he quit his job to do comedy? Remember how difficult it was in Edinburgh? Well, things seem to be working out for him now! Good news!
Also, I hope to get Amber and him on this podcast again (if he’ll come on now that he’s such a big celebrity) in order to do that interactive version of the Lying Game – remember that? Listen to “318. The Rematch (Part 2)” to find out the details. Basically, this is a chance for you to get involved in another version of the lying game. All three of us said some statements, and you now have to write questions in the comments section for episode 318. IN the episode we’ll ask each other your questions, and answer them. Then you can decide if they’re true or lies. Again, listen to 318. The Rematch (Part 2) for all the details (listen until the end).
Introduction to this Episode
As you know at Chrimbo I want back to the UK and stayed with my family, and with my cousin at his home in Bristol. It’s been a while since he was last on the podcast, and quite a lot has changed with him. In our conversation we talk about lots of things and I really think this is an interesting episode, and a very valuable one from a language point of view. The topics we talk about are diverse and quite in-depth and as a result we use lots of different features of grammar and vocabulary. I always encourage you to notice language while listening to native speakers on this podcast, so try to do that in this episode if you can. First we talk about what happened to Oli since the last time he was on the podcast, so watch out for the ways in which we talk about the past – tenses, and other forms. Oli faced a few difficulties and challenges, so watch out for the ways he describes those things. Essentially, he tells me a few anecdotes about some of his difficulties in London, watch out for past tenses and so on. Then we talk about the future, and about various predictions for the next 10-20 years, so naturally you can try to notice the specific language, tenses and modal verbs that we use to describe the future, make predictions and make judgements about the future. As well as that, there’s a lot of vocabulary related to technology, transport and communication.
In my opinion this is a very useful conversation for you to listen to. I loved catching up with Oli and I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to it, and by the way, listen all the way to the end to hear Oli play a bit of guitar – and he’s a really good guitarist.
Welcome to part two of this series about the Collins Dictionary Words of the year 2015. In this episode you’ll hear me discuss these words with Amber and Paul. I’ll also explain and clarify a lot of the things you’ll hear in our conversation. You can listen to the episode, download and also read vocabulary notes below.
[DOWNLOAD] ***This episode contains some rude language and explicit content.***
Recently I had Amber and Paul over to the flat and we talked about this list of new words that Collins are introducing into their online dictionary this year. These are all new words we’ve been using a lot this year. Collins have judged them to be worthy of recording in the dictionary. They all relate to new trends in our culture over the last year.
In this series I’m playing you chunks of the conversation with Amber and Paul, and then pausing that and clarifying some of the grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation that you heard.
So, you’re getting to hear some natural conversation, but also you’re getting some intensive language teaching too. Hopefully this is the best of both worlds for you as a listener.
Now, without any further ado, let’s carry on. Let me now play you the next conversation chunk. Here it is – this is word 10 in the list of 10 words. Here we go…
Word 10 – “transgender”
transgender (adjective): of or relating to a person whose gender identity does not fully correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth
He was held up as a great example of an American athlete. (to be held up as something)
He identified as female. (to identify as – this is the expression used to say that someone feels like they have a particular identity, particularly in relation to ethnicity, gender etc – e.g. the case of Rachel Dolezal, who worked as a civil rights leader in Washington. She was criticised in the media (shamed) for lying about her ethnicity – she basically tried to pass herself off as black while campaigning for equal rights issues – but she was actually white. Even her parents were in the media saying “yeah, she’s caucasian”. Pretty weird thing to do, and lots of people got angry saying “you can’t just say you’re black and pretend to be a victim of discrimination, when you’re blatantly white!” When criticised for this, she just said “I identify as black” – not “I am black”. This was also a trending story this year. www.buzzfeed.com/claudiakoerner/a-civil-rights-leader-has-disguised-herself-as-black-for-yea#.tiM247b0q
Transvestism / Transvestite (a transvestite is different to a transgender person. Transgender = a man who identifies as a woman even though physically he’s a man – or the other way around, and a transvestite is a person who enjoys dressing as a member of the opposite sex, for whatever reason – usually this is a man who likes dressing as a woman. For some reason this is far more shocking than a woman dressing in male clothes, which nobody seems bothered about)
3 positions (basically): 1. It’s a good thing 2. It’s a bad thing 3. I don’t really care either way.
She’s old school (Germaine Greer). She’s an old school feminist. (old fashioned)
Her position about what feminism should be and how we should address it was important but it has changed and I think she’s not changed with it.
(I talk over Paul quite a lot when he’s talking about same-sex marriage – sorry Paul)
To misgender someone (not some sort of transgender competition, it’s a verb which means ‘to wrongly gender someone’)
Mx (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms and now Mx)
Word 9 – “to swipe” (there’s some rude language and rude content here)
swipe (verb): to move a finger across a touchscreen on a mobile phone in order to approve (swipe right) or dismiss (swipe left) an image
Swipe was already a word, but this is the specific use of ’swipe right or swipe left’ to mean “accept or reject someone on a dating app”.
“Tinder” (“TINder??” pronunciation with surprise and disdain)
to sign up
The unwritten rule
To make a match
I will “do” anything (“do” here means “have sex with”)
Don’t go there.
You’re going there.
He’s dipping his toe in.
He’s taken pictures of his phallus. (other words for a penis. Medical/clinical words: penis, phallus. Informal but not rude: willy. Suggestive but not swear words: tadger, member, private part(s). Rude words: prick, cock, dick.)
Word 8 – “shaming”
shaming (noun): attempting to embarrass a person or group by drawing attention to their perceived offence, especially on social media
To be publicly shamed
She was trying to be funny by awkwardly implying that it’s very unfair.
There is this massive problem in Africa, and it’s less of a problem in Europe.
If you put that on Twitter the chances are people are going to misunderstand and they’re going to have a knee-jerk reaction, and they will respond in a very angry way.
An Über driver got beaten up by an executive of Taco Bell.
He was completely wasted and completely off his face.
He was slurring his words (remember that one?)
There’s something un-just about it.
You’re making a judgement call on the way someone looks, or what someone does.
You know there was that whole thing about slut shaming.
Book recommendation: Jon Ronson “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”www.audibletrial.com/teacherluke
His voice is a bit off-putting at the beginning but he really draws you into the story.
Hi everyone, how are you? As you know I got married a couple of weeks ago (applause & congratulations) and in this episode I’m going to tell you about my wedding day, including the preparation, the thoughts, the feelings, the emotions, and what happened on the day itself. I’m not sure how long the episode will be, but I’ll aim to keep it to just one episode.
[DOWNLOAD] [AUDIOBOOK OFFER]
So, this is The Wedding Episode. You’re going to hear specific vocabulary related to weddings and you can just follow this personal account of my marriage in France between an English guy (that’s me) and a French girl (that’s my wife, of course). I’m going to describe lots of things in this episode, including how we organised our wedding, the roller coaster of emotions we experienced, why we chose a civil marriage outside and not a religious one in a church, and what marriage really means to me and to my wife. That’s what you can expect in this episode, so strap yourself in and join me on a little journey in to marriage-land, for this special episode of Luke’s English Podcast.
On my wedding day I got a really fantastic surprise which is related to LEP, so I will talk about that in this episode too.
First, let me make a few announcements
– The situation in which I’m recording this episode
– Welcome to any new listeners. I seem to have picked up a lot of new people recently, and I’ve had quite a lot of comments on the website from people saying they’ve just discovered Luke’s English Podcast and that they’re now addicted. That’s great! Welcome to the club. I hope you enjoy being a part of the LEP gang. Join the mailing list. Hello to these recent commenters ROBERTO BISPO DOS SANTOS, Eriko Kato, Kristina Fadeeva, olgaverb, angela, Roberto Geronimo, CFA, deniz from Istanbul, CalMaFdd, Javier (thanks for coming to a recent live show at The Paname), ptholome, Anonymous (a regular contributor), Martin, lotusmar629, Juan Mora, Rhogen Tandayag – I’m not sure where you are all from, some of you are quire regular commenters, not all of you are new, but thank you very much for your comments.
– If you’ve sent me a donation recently then thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are keeping this podcast alive and I wouldn’t be able to do it without your support.
– I joined periscope and did a live broadcast recently. You can see the video on my website (the previous post) and you can follow me on Periscope by searching for my twitter name @englishpodcast or just search for Luke Thompson. You can watch periscopes without the app by clicking here watchonperiscope.com/users/englishpodcast/6862923 From time to time I’ll do live broadcasts, probably when recording podcast episodes.
– I’ve been quiet recently and that’s for the usual reasons. Life has been very busy. I got married, we went away to Italy for a quick romantic getaway, I’ve been occupied at The British Council teaching English all day every day, and we’ve been planning our proper honeymoon which begins in just a couple of days. Also, I’ve been doing quite a lot of comedy in the evenings – various opportunities for comedy gigs arrived over the last two weeks and so I’ve been quite busy. That includes a 1 hour special show that I did with Paul Taylor. We did 30 minutes of stand up comedy each, last Thursday evening. The title of our show is “Taylor & Thompson – Sorry, we’re English”. It’s a show that we expect to perform on a regular basis here in Paris, on either Thursday or Friday evenings. More details to follow.
– I’ve had lots of positive responses to episodes I did recently with Paul Taylor and Amber Minogue. I do plan to have them both on the podcast regularly, and in fact I have plans to record something with Paul later this afternoon, and with both Paul and Amber on Tuesday afternoon. Amber has a young child to look after, as well as her normal working life and so on, so it’s a little bit more difficult to get her on LEP but she loves doing it (and recording episodes of the podcast! -joke) so she’s happy to come over and talk when she has the chance.
– I’m going on my honeymoon in a few days. I’ll be gone for a couple of weeks. I’m recording a few podcast episodes in the next couple of days and I plan to upload them all before I go so you’ll have some stuff to listen to. I might record some things when I’m on my honeymoon. We’ll see. I’ll be on holiday with my wife so I’m not sure I’ll be in the mood for podcasting, but then again we’re going to California so there could be some great opportunities to talk with American people and give an account of our trip. We’ll see. My wife is totally cool with me recording stuff while we’re there (in fact she wants me to interview some of the locals) but I’m not sure if I want to be thinking about that when I’m on my honeymoon. I might want to just relax and enjoy being a tourist. Still, I am going to bring a microphone and a recorder, so we will see what happens. If I get a chance to record something from inside a toilet on another mode of transport then I will take it. I’ve never recorded something from inside a helicopter or a hot-air balloon, so we will see if I get the opportunity to do that :)
Now, let’s get down to business and talk about this wedding!
So, I got married and I am now wearing a wedding ring on the fourth finger of my left hand. It’s only been a few weeks since the wedding. We’re in marital bliss, or the honeymoon period as it’s known. Hopefully this feeling will continue for some time.
I am planning to do another episode after this one, in which I deal exclusively with the vocabulary of weddings. But, in this one I’m not going to teach you any words directly, I’m just going to tell you about my wedding, but of course plenty of wedding-related vocabulary will crop up naturally during in my descriptions. I’ll go through that more explicitly in another episode.
You might be thinking – are you really going to reveal so much about your wedding? That’s a bit personal isn’t it? Are you sure it’s wise to tell people so much about your wedding?
Yes, I am aware of those things. I know that I’m revealing quite a lot about myself online. I know, for example, that students of mine at the university might hear this and they will then find out this personal information about their teacher at university, and this might affect my professional relationship with them. But, I don’t feel I have anything to hide, and I share this story with my listeners here with the expectation that you’ll listen to it with a sense of respect for me and my wife, and that you’ll be respectful with the personal info I’m giving here. I share this information in good faith, and that is what I expect in return from you as a listener. Of course, I don’t really need to say these things to the LEP community because I think there is an implicit level of respect there, but still… I’ve said it anyway.
I do realise that revealing personal things about yourself online is a bit risky. The thing about the internet is that whatever I upload here could end up permanently ‘out there’ in the online world. Even if I decide to remove this episode from my website, people could have already (and probably will have) downloaded it, re-uploaded it or whatever – even if I get rid of the original version, it could still be available on torrent sites or file sharing sites, or other places like YouTube or whatever. I don’t mean to say that I’m super important and that information about my wedding, leaked online, could cause world war 3 or anything, no, I just mean that personally I have to be careful about what I upload because ultimately it will be in the public domain forever. Sometimes I think it would be wise for me not to mention anything about myself at all, but I’m willing to do it – but understand that I do it with the expectation that you’ll treat me with the same level of respect that I treat you, and something personal like my wedding I expect you to treat with the suitable level of care and discretion. I’m sure that most of you understand all that, so it’s fine. I just wanted to mention it though.
So let me now tell you the story of my wedding. Remember, I plan to do another whole episode in which I deal specifically with the vocabulary of weddings, so that will come later.
Where on earth should I start?
This series of days was the culmination of not just months and months of planning, but years of a relationship I’ve had with my girlfriend, who is not my girlfriend any more, because she’s now my wife. It was a very emotional few days, full of the joy of life. I’ve never experienced anything like it and my wife and I, and many of our family and friends are still buzzing about it today. It went better than we could have expected. Let me tell you about it.
You might be thinking – but you already got married! You mentioned it in an episode not long ago. Yes, that’s right, but I got married twice! If that’s confusing, don’t worry because I’ll explain it in this episode.
Notes (not a full transcript)
How did you meet your wife?
Was it love at first sight?
Was it hard to keep the relationship going, long distance?
What made you move to France?
Why did you choose to get married?
-I was never a huge fan of marriage, neither of us were. We used to talk about it and agreed that it wasn’t really necessary. It’s never been that important. But somehow, it felt like the right thing to do. In fact, I decided to propose to her not because it was necessary, but because I wanted to do it as a declaration of love and commitment to her – not because I felt any social pressure to do it, because, as I said – I’d never felt any pressure to marry. I’m not from a conservative or religious background. It made my parents happy, and hers too, but they didn’t put pressure on us to marry (I think they’re more keen for us to deliver grandchildren than to get married…)
So, I proposed as a surprise, and as a statement of my love and commitment. That’s the spirit in which we got married.
How did I propose – that’s between me and her. I’m not sharing that.
I’ll talk more about what marriage means to us, and how that affected the wedding day in a moment…
How was the wedding planning?
-Some parts were great, like visiting places in the south of France and doing wine tasting with friends, writing the vows and imagining the event.
But a lot of it was quite stressful and was a lot of work.
We argued a bit, mainly over the fact that she felt she was doing more work than me (I think that was true, but I certainly did a lot too).
We chose to plan it ourselves. We didn’t use a wedding planner. Our parents didn’t organise it. We did it all ourselves. It’s a huge undertaking, with many different things to organise, and it all has to be perfect! That’s a lot of pressure, especially when you’re the ones in the middle of the day. We never really cared about weddings, but suddenly it becomes important because everyone else is going to be there to see it happen, and because of photos and videos, and you only have one wedding day (hopefully) so it becomes more and more important to make it special, unique and wonderful. As a result you end up micro-managing and planning it. That’s time consuming and costly. As a man it’s not my natural position. I mean, I think I can say that most men are more laid back about their wedding. I mean, they don’t require so much detail in the planning. I think that’s generally true. It doesn’t mean we don’t care – of course we care and we want it to be a brilliant day, but we’re probably a bit easier to please. So, what I’m saying is that my wife had a slightly more specific vision of the wedding than me, and that meant she was pretty much the driving force behind the planning. That frustrated her a bit and the argument went something like this: I’m doing everything and you’re doing nothing.
I’m not doing nothing – I’m doing loads of things. That’s unfair, you can’t say I’m doing nothing.
Well, you’re doing less than me.
Yes, well, you don’t let me do more than you. You’re in control everything. You can’t just control everything, and then complain when I’m not doing it.
Hmm, okay I suppose you’re right. In fact, yes Luke I expect you’ll be right about everything from now on and I should just get used to it.
Yes, exactly. Get used to it. When we’re married I’ll always be right. That’s how marriage works.
Obviously, that dialogue at the end became a joke – I’ll never be right again! ;)
Don’t get me wrong – we didn’t argue all the time. Just whenever we did any wedding planning!
No, that was a joke again.
We didn’t argue that much. Most of the planning went fine, and in fact a lot of it was great fun – especially the visiting of locations in the south of France, choosing/tasting the food & wine, writing the vows, practising songs with my brother Jim and my cousin Oli and just looking forward to spending a couple of days in an amazing location with our closest friends and family.
The most difficult things were: choosing the guest list, the table plan, the dress (I was not involved in that), giving people travel and accommodation advice (it was quite complex) and choosing/planning the ceremony.
*Break for Audible offer promotion: www.audibletrial.com/teacherluke*
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
This is the perfect story for this episode about marriage because it is one of the absolute classics of romance fiction. It was published on 16 October 1847 and tells the story of a woman called Jane Eyre who begins her life living through hardships and mistreatment, she gains her independence and education, falls in love with a man who appears to be out of her reach, and enters the tricky world of love, commitment, family and loyalty in the mid 19th century. There are a few twists and turns in the story and plenty of romance! It is read by Juliet Stevenson who is one of the UK’s most beloved actresses. She hasn’t appeared in many international movies, but she’s well known on television, and has an absolutely beautiful and warm voice which is perfect for this kind of story.
The audiobook version has a rating of 4.6 out of 5, which is extremely high. This truly is one of the UK’s favourite books. You can get it from Audible.com free if you’re not already a member. It’s very simple. Just click one of the audible buttons on my site, or go to audibletrial.com/teacherluke to sign up to a trial. You can download any audiobook you want and after 30 days of trial you can cancel your membership but still keep the book. So, the audiobook is free. All the details of this offer are on my website. I highly recommend you make the most of it, and even continue with a full membership of Audible.
What did you have to plan?
-email addresses and home addresses for contacts
-best man and bridesmaids
-music and entertainment (bands, playlists, audio equipment)
-wording and the person to deliver it
-readings in the ceremony
-location of ceremony
*At this point I skip to the bit below entitled So what happened on the big day? Talk us through it.
-gifts for guests
-wine and champagne orders
-other entertainment for the wedding party
-directions for how to get to the wedding (including all the different travel options)
-taxis for all the guests
-food for the Sunday brunch
How did you find the location for the wedding?
Did you consider getting a wedding planner?
Why did you get married twice?
What about the London wedding? What happened?
Why did you have a civil marriage? Isn’t it a bit meaningless if you don’t get married in a church?
– No, quite the opposite. I’ll come back to this question.
What about your stag do? And her hen do?
So what happened on the big day? Talk us through it.
-Travelled down on Thursday
-Rented a car and on Friday went to the place.
-Had a small gathering with close friends on the Friday night.
-Saturday – less stressful than the London one.
-Very hot indeed!
-Setting up the seats and everything
-Putting up signs and balloons to guide people to the venue
-Getting ready with my best man and friends
-Didn’t see my wife all afternoon
-All guests seated, I lined up with everyone to walk in.
-I walked in with my Mum
-Best man and bridesmaids walked in together
-No pictures and no FB please
-My wife arrived on the arm of her Dad and walked very slowly down the aisle.
-Ceremony started, beautiful conditions.
-Vows (emotional! Everyone cried)
-Song (too slow)
-Final parts – ring, “you may now kiss the bride”
-Walk out then cocktails, champagne and canapés
-Band playing, people chilling out with their feet in the pool
-Speeches, lighting, food, wine, champagne pyramid
-The band (Be Combo)
-Dancing & music playlist
THE VIDEO FROM LEPSTERS CONGRATULATING ME!
At this point I’d just like to say a massive thank you to Guillaume and everyone else who contributed to this gift.
So, Guillaume from Switzerland decided to make a video for my wedding day as a way of saying congratulations and also thank you for doing the podcast. He contacted LEPsters all around the world and asked them to record a short video message of congratulations for my wedding day. He then collected the video footage together and edited it all into one video. The cool thing about it is that it looks like a BBC news report, with correspondents from different countries in the world.
There were contributions from Guillaume from Switzerland, Zdenek from the Czech Republic, Jan from the Czech Republic, Daniele from Italy, Denise from Sao Paulo in Brazil, Rafael from Brazil, Sam in the UK, Edison from Colombia, Edgar from Mexico, Chriss from Mexico, Teodora from Romania, Takako from Japan, Trally from Vietman, Gloria from Argentina.
Thank you all so much for the messages. It was absolutely AMAZING to receive them. It was like the icing on the cake. I watched it together with my wife, my brother, my parents and a group of other people and everyone was blown away. They didn’t realise that I was a bit famous around the world. My wife and I were both touched by the messages and the bits of advice about marriage too. We certainly learned that “a marriage is a workshop in which the man works and the woman shops”.
You can see the video on the page for this episode here:
Other stuff (not mentioned on the podcast I think)
-Bed at 5AM
-Sunday – hangover, hangover cures, food truck, pool, weather
-Monday’s plans – massage, lunch, pool, fancy dinner, friends.
-The atmosphere of the location – lavender, nature, landscape, birds, seeing wild boar at night
-The ride home (with too much luggage)
-Back to normal (but marital bliss)
What was good about the wedding?
There are too many things to say really!
How about the question of the civil marriage – was it meaningless?
It was more meaningful to me than a religious wedding would have been.
Some people, not in our closest circle of friends and family expressed some doubt and scepticism over our decision to have a non-religious wedding in a neutral space (not in a church). Not only is this a little bit disrespectful in my opinion, it’s also a bit short sighted.
Is a non-religious wedding meaningless? Absolutely not. First of all, religion does not have a monopoly on feelings, emotions, sincerity, and sombre promises of faith and respect. These are all things that come from a natural well-spring of humanity that we all have inside us. We’re born with these things, in my opinion, so I believe it’s entirely possible to have a meaningful and emotional wedding without the presence of religious faith. In fact, that’s exactly what happened because it was a very moving and positive marriage.
Ultimately, my wife and I don’t have religious faith, so it would be hypocritical of us to have had a religious marriage.
But it was a very touching wedding – everyone agreed. So many people cried during the ceremony because it was so emotional. But that’s because it was a true and sincere statement of love and commitment from me to my wife. We wrote the words of the ceremony, not a priest. The promises came from us, not from above. The vows were witnessed by our friends and family – and they’re the ones who define the world around us. They’re the communion in which we joined together, and they are the community in which we will continue to be married. It was important for me to share that sincerely with them, and it was their audience that gave the weight and power to the proceedings.
I’ll give you an example. A Japanese couple who I am very close to, but haven’t seen for about 10 years came to the wedding. They travelled all the way from Japan which is a long and expensive flight. It must have been very difficult for them to come, but they did it for us. This is a huge and sincere statement of support for our decision to get married. By travelling so far they reinforced our marriage – I feel the wedding is even more validated by such a sincere act of friendship and support, and I believe the marriage is stronger as a result. They added extra weight to our commitment to be together. We really mean to stay together and hold true to our promise, and we know that our closest friends and family are there to help us stay together. That is genuine, tangible support for our union.
Also, the wedding was a significant moment for me as an ex-pat living away from home in a foreign country. It was an event at which my UK life and my French life joined together (and my online life too). Suddenly my UK friends saw my French life with my French friends. Also, my French friends saw me with my UK friends and understood me more. These friends who didn’t know each other suddenly spent a weekend together. It was very important in bringing my circle of friends closer together, giving me extra security. I feel that my life is less disconnected than it was before. The wedding brought people together and that’s important. Luckily everyone got on with each other and there was very little drama or trouble or anything. That’s just because we’ve got awesome friends and it was really cool to mix them together.
In fact, seeing all my closest friends and family all in one place was quite incredible. Every person there was special to me in some way. It was overwhelming really.
So, the wedding was a celebration of friendship, love and commitment, and it was a success.
What do you expect from marriage in the future?
I don’t expect it to be a solution to problems. I think that’s a mistake. Some people might believe that getting married means that suddenly your problems disappear and that life is all just a mission to get married to the right person, but I don’t agree with that. I’m well aware that it requires work and patience. It can feel restrictive and all that, but I think that if you don’t hide from this reality, and you’re honest with yourself and each other, and you don’t live in fear of conflict, and that you celebrate each other every day in some way, and make an effort to reward each other and communicate and so on, then I think it can be a really wonderful thing. In fact, I already find it very fulfilling and rewarding. How? You might ask… Well, there’s a sense of security and family that you have in joining with someone and becoming an official team. Also, I just enjoy calling her my wife. I’m sure there’ll be moments of hardship, but I really believe you can’t escape the difficulties in life. In the end hardship will come and find you somehow. I was ok with being single, and being alone (because I wasn’t a massive player or anything) but I prefer being in partnership with my wife. I’ve lost my single status and whatever freedoms that involved, but I have gained something more than that – the companionship of my wife and the influence of her on me. I think it’s a good choice. I just hope that we stay close like this for the rest of our marriage and that we find new depths to our relationship, and that it doesn’t go wrong at any point. I think that’s up to us really. As long as the spark is still there, it’s up to us to nurture it and turn it into a warm and nourishing fire.
Are you having a honeymoon?
Yes, we’re going to California (even though it appears to be on fire at the moment, and San Francisco is expecting a big earthquake at any time).
We originally planned to visit South America, but we have postponed that because we left the planning too late. We want to trek the Inca Trail, but it’s fully booked.
It’s easier for us to arrange a Californian holiday, but we will be back in Peru/Bolivia and hopefully other places in the future. We would both love to visit South America, and plenty of other places! In fact, I imagine many of you are thinking – oh Luke don’t go to the USA again, come to our country to celebrate your wedding!
Places we would like to visit:
South America (Peru/Bolivia & everywhere else)
A tour of the UK!
Is your wife going to be on the podcast?
Maybe… we’ll see. Her English is good enough, and I think she’s charming, but I’d quite like to keep her to myself, so we’ll see…
Born as part of the baby boom generation after World War 2, Gill grew up and lived in England during a time of great social change in the latter half of the 20th century. Gill has lived in various parts of the country during her life, including Yorkshire, the Midlands and London, and has had various jobs including time spent at the BBC, at a primary school, at a university, and now in a charity bookshop, but perhaps her most time-consuming and indeed energy-consuming responsibility has been to bring up two boys and manage a household of 3 men, her husband and her two sons. While doing all of that she also studied for a general arts degree with the Open University adding to her now quite considerable knowledge of history, art, literature and philosophy. She is a voracious reader, a fount of knowledge and wisdom, a loving wife and an amazing Mum, and I’m very glad to have her on the programme today.
1. Always by Patsy Cline, written by Irving Berlin
2. I’ll String Along With You by Al Bowlly
3. Harvest Moon by Neil Young
4. Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles
5. Our House by Madness
6. Don’t Forget to Dance by The Kinks
7. Bach Double Violin Concerto – Played by Yehudi Menuhin And David Oistrakh
8. I’ll See You In My Dreams by Joe Brown
Book Choice: The Essays of Michel de Montaigne
Luxury Item: A king-size bed with an everlasting supply of 100% Egyptian cotton sheets
Hi everyone, I decided to teach you some essential language this time. Here’s what to expect from this episode:
The first part is about the pronunciation of ~ed endings (e.g. agED, beggED or wastED, etc)
The second part involves some -ed adjectives.
Then I teach you some idioms and very natural expressions.
The episode also includes a romantic story with sentences you can repeat, and a little bit of horror movie violence, just in case you were bored of all the ‘romance’.
For vocabulary notes, see below.
You can make donations by clicking PayPal donate buttons on my site. It’s my birthday next Wednesday. Just saying…
VOCABULARY NOTES AND TRANSCRIPT FOR THE FIRST PART OF THE EPISODE
In this episode I’m going to teach you some really useful things. It’s been a while since I taught you things, or focused on language. Recent episodes have been interviews, which are really useful because you can listen to authentic English as it really is spoken, but I also think it’s important for us to look closely at some features of language too: either vocabulary, pronunciation or grammar (even though grammar is usually pretty boring unless you’re a grammar geek).
So, in this episode we’re going to focus on a few things.
First we’re going to look at pronunciation of –ed endings. That’s often a tricky area for many people around the world. We’re going to practice that a bit.
There will also be some vocab – some regular verbs that you might find useful, but also some –ed adjectives.
If that sounds a little basic, then worry not because I’m also going to throw in some more idiomatic language as we continue, and anyway this is Luke’s English Podcast. It’s always really fun and entertaining anyway. Darn it, I will make this entertaining as well as useful, if it’s the last thing I do!
So first; let’s look at ed endings.
They’re tricky for many people (particularly Brazilians)
They’re very common, so you really should be able to pronounce them all correctly
There are 3 ways to pronounce them
/t/ /d/ or /id/
Examples: asked agreed wanted
How do you know the correct pronunciation? It depends on the sound at the end of the word, before you add the –ed part.
If it’s an unvoiced sound then the –ed is pronounced /t/
If it’s a voiced sound then the –ed is pronounced /d/
If it’s a t or d sound then you add a syllable by using the /id/ sound
It’s hard to remember and process those rules during fluent speech, so don’t worry about it too much.
What you should do is practice repeating the words in sentences with correct pronunciation so you get used to saying them correctly.
For many of you this will involve unlearning many years of speaking in your native language, or many years of saying the words wrong (becquse you read the words from a page, or because no-one told you otherwise)
If you’re young then congratulations you stand a better chance of fixing this potentially fossilized error.
The verbs: Listen to the episode to hear the pronunciation of them. They’re all regular verbs ending in -ed.
touch / stop / stroll / suggest / walk / want / agree / ask / arrive / beg / blush / chat / decide / drop / enjoy / explain / gaze / grab / jump / knock / look / miss / open / phone / pick / recommend / reply / seem / scream / shock / show / skip / smile / squeeze / start
The Complete Story
1. I was sitting alone in my office when someone knocked on the door, and I stopped working.
2. The door opened, and a pretty woman walked in.
3. When she looked at me, my heart jumped. She was very beautiful. I gazed back at her for a moment.
4. My heart started beating faster. I couldn’t help noticing that she seemed nervous too. She blushed slightly when I looked at her.
5. “Are you Mr Thompson?”, she asked me.
6. “Yes, I am”, I replied. “How can I help you?”
7. “Sorry to bother you” she said. She smiled sweetly. “I’m the new girl in the office, I just arrived yesterday”
8. “Yes, I missed you yesterday, I was out of the office.”, I explained.
9. “Oh, it’s no problem, I phoned you, but you weren’t in. I just wanted to say that I’m really glad to be working with you. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
10. I blushed. She was being so nice. I decided to stop working, so I could show her around the office.
11. We strolled through the building, and I showed her around. As we chatted, we connected on a deep, meaningful level.
12. She asked me if I knew any nice restaurants in the area. I recommended a really good English one near the station.
13. She said she wanted a coffee, so I used the new machine to make her one. When I gave it to her, our hands touched briefly and my heart skipped a beat.
14. After a moment, I suggested that we go to the English restaurant together, for a romantic meal of fish and chips.
15. She agreed, and inside I was delighted. Later that evening, I picked her up on my scooter. As we rode through the bumpy streets, she squeezed my waist to hold on. When I sped up to 32mph she screamed with excitement!
16. We enjoyed a wonderful evening together. She was amazing! When I dropped her off at her house, I made a quick decision. “Will you… marry me?” I asked.
17. “…get …married?” she said, shocked. “The thing is… I can’t…”
18. “Why not?!” I begged. “I love you! Please marry me!!”
19. She grabbed my arm, and said. “I love you too, but I can’t marry you, because…”
What happened next? Leave a comment to give your opinion.
-ED ADJECTIVES AND SOME IDIOMATIC ALTERNATIVES
I didn’t know what was going on
I couldn’t get my head around it
It really messed with my head
I was gutted
I felt really let down
I felt really dejected
I was absolutely petrified
I nearly shat myself (very rude!)
I was shit scared (very rude!)
I just wanted the ground to swallow me up
I felt like such an idiot
I was so chuffed
I was over the moon
I felt amazing
I couldn’t believe it
I was riveted
It was absolutely fascinating
I was on the edge of my seat
I’m well up for it (enthusiastic)
I just want to crash out
It was like a slap in the face
I was stunned
I couldn’t believe my ears/eyes
I jumped out of my skin
Nervous doesn’t mean angry or annoyed.
It means stressed and scared (like before the dentist).
If someone is playing loud music, or clicking a pen: annoyed or angry.
This podcast is all about Men & Women. Are they different? Do they communicate differently? It is inspired by a book called “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, which is a very popular and successful guide to help men and women understand each other. In the podcast today I talk to 2 male friends, and then 2 female friends. There is lots of useful natural English for you to study, remember and copy – and become a more advanced speaker of English! I hope you enjoy the podcast…
Here’s the extract from Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus which is about Martians (Men):
“Martians value power, competency, efficiency and achievement. They fantasize about powerful cars, faster computers, gadgets and new, more powerful technology. They are concerned with outdoor activities like hunting, fishing and racing cars, and are more interested in objects and things than in people and feelings. Martians pride themselves on doing things all by themselves since asking for help when you can do things yourself is perceived as a sign of weakness. So, they will keep their problems to themselves unless they require help from another person to find a solution. When they get upset they prefer not to burden their friends with what is bothering them, and instead retreat into their caves to mull over their problems. If they can’t find a solution, they do something to relax and disengage their mind; or they engage in something more challenging like racing a car, competing in a contest or climbing a mountain.”
And here is the extract about Venusians (Women):
“Venusians value love, beauty and relationships. They find happiness through supporting and helping each other and their sense of identity is defined through sharing and the quality of their relationships. Rather than building highways and tall buildings, they are more interested in living together in harmony, community, and loving co-operation. Communication is very very important and sharing their feelings is much more important than achieving goals and being successful. They pride themselves on being intuitive, and considerate of the feelings of others. When Venusians feel upset, or stressed, or confused or hopeless they find relief by sharing their problems with friends and talking about their problems in detail.”
Language from the conversation with Howard & Nick:
“blokes” – a bloke is a man. It’s an informal word that British people use to say ‘man’. It’s not rude, but it is quite informal. People use this word a lot
“I had a difficult girlfriend and it helped me to deal with her” – to deal with something (e.g. a problem or a difficult person) means to ‘cope with’ it, ‘fix’ it, ‘manage’ it or learn to live with it.
“I found myself turning off and not tuning in” – to ‘turn off’ means to lose concentration and stop being interested in it, e.g. if you’re reading a boring book you might turn off… We also say ‘turn off’ for TVs, lights, radios etc. To ‘tune in’ means that you concentrate or focus on something. We also tune into a radio station on an FM radio.
“it’s a chick’s book” – a chick is a woman. It’s kind of a slang word, and some women think it is a bit rude. A chick also means a baby chicken.
“winging, going on about stuff, moaning” – all of these words mean ‘complaining’
“just back her up…” – to back someone up means to support & agree with someone
“the bestselling book of two thousand and whatever” – ‘whatever’ is a useful word which can mean ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t care’ or ‘I don’t mind’. Here, Howard used it to mean “I’m not sure which year it was, but it doesn’t matter”.
Transcript of the conversation between Luke, Shirley & Michelle:
Luke: Hello hello, 1 2 3 speak…
Shirley: Hello hello, 1 2 3
Michelle: Hello this is Michelle…
Luke: OK, I thought I needed a female perspective on this, so I’m speaking to Shirley and Michelle about the whole thing, erm, so… First of all, what do you think of the, erm, comments that Nick and Howard just made about this book?
Shirley: Well I think that’s probably the reason the book had to be written in the first place, because of comments like that, I’d say.
Luke: Right, so…
Michelle: Interesting that it was actually written by a bloke though, that’s the thing.
Luke: So it was written by a man
Michelle: It was written by a bloke, yeah. John Grey I think his name is.
Luke: Right, ok, do we know when it was released?
Michelle: Late 90s?
Shirley: I’m not sure actually
Luke: OK, so late nineties, alright, so, errrm, first of all then, have you read the book?
Shirley: Well, err, a friend of mine gave it to me to read, and I was reading it when I was on holiday but I got a bit bored of it quite quickly actually. Some of it’s funny, I have to say, some of it’s funny and you can really recognise
Shirley: err, you recognise yourself and whatever in it, but… it’s just it’s a bit repetitive at the end of the day, and I got a bit bored with it
Michelle: Yeah, I’ve only read about half of it as well and, yeah, I also got bored with it and that… well, some of it, I started to find myself quite annoyed with women to be honest. I found myself identifying more with men. I’m not sure what that says about me…
Luke: I’m not sure either!
Michelle: Does it mean I’m from Mars?
Luke: Maybe. I think that… err… One thing that I can say for sure, definitely, is that women aren’t from Venus, men aren’t from Mars. Men and women are both from Earth, right?
Michelle: I think you’re probably right…
Luke: I think they are, aren’t they?
Shirley: I think that’s a fair enough statement Luke, yeah
Luke: Basically what I’m saying is, it’s a bit silly in that sense, but, umm, do you think it’s … well you said it was kind of a bit boring in some places…
Shirley: No, I think it’s valid because, at the end of the day, men and women are different
Shirley: It’s as simple as that, and sometimes, y’know, you have miscommunications with someone
Shirley: Just because of the different ways that you use language, for example
Luke: Yeah, yeah
Shirley: and, err, and so I think something like this is quite valid. I mean, the guy who wrote it, as far as I’m aware, I might be wrong, is a linguist
Shirley: and he deals with gender miscommunication
Shirley: So, erm, so he’s kind of like, erm, it’s got a valid base to it I think
Luke: OK. ERM, One of the things that Howard and Nick identified as being, kind of, true or useful about this book, is the idea that, err, when men are listening to women, they often don’t realise how to listen to women, and that what they do is they offer solutions when they should just be listening. Do you agree with that? Is that true?
Michelle: I think that’s a fair point in the book actually. I did identify with that. Very often if I’ve sort of, got something to complain about or just something I want to get off my chest, that’s all I literally want to do. I’m not looking for solutions, I’m just looking for somebody to listen, or at least pretend to listen
Luke: Ha ha, so Howard, you’ve got to learn from that…
Michelle: but, definitely, from, sort of, past relationships I’ve learned that when a bloke is talking to me about problems, especially work related things, y’know, he would always want me to offer a solution, he would always say “what would you do?”, and erm, I’m not aware that I usually ask people that kind of thing in that situation
Shirley: Well I think that is, I mean, just from listening to Nick and Howard having that little discussion, Nick seems to think women can’t make decisions, and Howard just seems to think that they just whine all the time. I think we’re perfectly capable of making decisions, and just by sounding off, and telling somebody how, that something’s going on, doesn’t mean we need you to fix it. We can fix it ourselves.
Michelle: Very often it helps you to come to your own solution to…
Shirley: Yeah, exactly…
Shirley: Saying that you’re weak because you can’t make a decision…
Luke: Alright, but essentially what you’re saying is that you agree, that when men listen they don’t have to offer solutions, they just need to listen
Luke: OK, umm, so, uhhh, one of the other things that they said, err, I think Nick said this, I might be wrong… I might have agreed with them as well actually… umm, anyway… one of the things that they said is that it seems that the book was written for women, which means that women don’t understand men, and that they said that, well, men are ok because we understand women I think, so do you agree? Who understands who?
Shirley: From the first bit I’d say yes the book is written for women, and I don’t think that a lot of men would be terribly interested in reading it, but I think that that’s not just because women need to understand men, I think women have more of a want to understand
Michelle: Yeah, I’d say that’s a fair comment
Shirley: I think that they’re more interested in working out what it is that’s the miscommunication and trying to fix it .
Luke: Men are more interested in, just…
Luke: football, yeah. Michelle?
Michelle: But I also don’t like people talking to me when the football’s on, so, I don’t think that’s necessarily gender
Shirley: You see I don’t like people talking to me when I’m watching a particular programme. Does it matter if it’s football, or…?
Luke/Michelle: It doesn’t matter
Shirley: So, there you go
Luke: The fact is, football tends to last longer than most programmes
Shirley: And it’s, y’know, and, y’know, it might be a controversial topic but it’s incredibly dull
Luke: No it’s not. Football isn’t dull, is it?
Michelle: It’s definitely not dull
Shirley: Well, is it?
Luke: No. Football isn’t dull. Fact. Erm, right, so that’s it. That’s all I wanted to ask you. Thanks very much for…
Michelle: It’s a pleasure
Luke: … agreeing to answer my questions
Shirley: That’s no problem Luke at all
Luke: OK, thanks very much
Shirley: OK, bye…
All the words are written there! Listen to the podcast to hear me explain some of the things that Shirley & Michelle said!
There’s lots of useful language there. Here’s some USEFUL ADVICE:
HOW TO USE LUKE’S ENGLISH PODCAST TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH:
1. Expose yourself to the language – This means Listen and Read a lot.
2. Notice the language – This means, look at the language, think about it, see how it is used, try to see patterns, study the ‘rules’.
3. Think about your language – This means, think about how you use English, and what you would say about the topic.
4. See the difference – What is the difference between your language, and a native’s language?
5. Repeat Repeat Repeat – This means that you should do everything more than once!! Listen to the podcast more than once. Read the transcript more than once. Say the words to yourself more than once.
6. Copy – You can try to copy the native speakers. You can repeat the conversation with a friend and try to use the same language as in the recording. You can try to use the language when you have your conversations in real life or in your English class.
That’s REALLY GOOD ADVICE from a QUALIFIED AND VERY EXPERIENCED ENGLISH TEACHER, and also it is COMPLETELY FREE!!!!
Right-click here to download. Hello, and welcome to Luke’s English Podcast. This episode is in 3 parts:
Part 1 – I’m going to talk about what I’ve been doing recently, and I’m going to talk about the Present Perfect Continuous Tense
Part 2 – This is the feature section which is about dating & relationships. I’m going to play you a BBC TV comedy sketch about a blind date.
Part 3 – I’m going to teach you some of the most common words and expressions that English people use when they talk about dating & relationships.
Part 1 – What have you been up to?
A typical conversation between friends who haven’t seen each other for a while would be like this:
A: Hi, how’s it going? (Hi, how are you?)
B: Fine thanks, you?
A: Not bad. What have you been up to?
B: Not much. I’ve been working hard recently. Work is really busy at the moment…
So, we use this question to ask about recent activities: “What have you been up to?” or “What have you been doing?”
‘up to’ – means ‘do’ or ‘doing’.
The tense here is the Present Perfect Continuous tense: have/has + been + -ing
This tense is used in the question and answer: “What have you been doing recently?” “I’ve been working hard”
It’s very common for people to use this when they see their friends.
E.g. “Hi Luke, what have you been up to?”
-I’ve been teaching a legal English course recently
-I’ve been playing football in Regents Park
-I’ve been enjoying the good weather
-I’ve been looking forward to the new Star Trek movie
-I’ve been listening to a lot of funk music
-I’ve been on a couple of dates recently
(Present Perfect Simple tense)
Part 2 – Here’s the transcript of the comedy sketch:
Woman: I’m really glad Lisa set us up together
Man: Me too Woman: I normally hate it when friends pair you off with complete strangers
Woman: Thing is… all the guys I’ve been out with recently have been unbelievably stupid… I think you’re different though… well, touch wood! [she knocks on the table]
Man: [thinking it is the front door] Sorry, that’ll be the door… [he walks to the front door]
Part 3 – Useful expressions for talking about relationships & dating
To flirt with someone: When you like a boy or girl, you act in a way which shows that you like them. E.g. girls will laugh at a boy’s jokes, she might play with her hair, she might smile at him a lot, she might touch him on the arm and laugh… When a boy flirts with a girl he might try to make her laugh or show her how strong he is.
To fancy someone: This means that you think someone is attractive. E.g. “I really fancy Jane! I think she’s really good looking.”
To chat someone up: This is when you talk to someone to make them fancy you. E.g. when a man sees a nice woman in a bar, he might chat her up by asking her if she wants a drink. “Would you like a drink? Do you come here often? You’ve got beautiful eyes…”
To go out with someone: This has 2 meanings. 1 – It means that you go on a date with someone. 2 – It means you are someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend. E.g. “We’ve been going out with each other for 2 years. We’re getting married next year.”
To ask someone out: This means to ask someone to go on a date. “Would you like to have dinner with me on Friday?” -he asked her out.
To have chemistry: This means there is a natural magic feeling between people who fancy each other. Chemistry is very important in a relationship.
To fall for someone: This means to fall in love with someone
To drift apart: This is when a relationship goes bad. You drift apart when you become interested in different things, and you don’t enjoy being with each other any more. It means that you slowly become bored with your partner.
To split up with someone: This means that the relationship finished. E.g. “Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston split up with each other a couple of years ago”
To dump someone: This means that you leave your partner and end the relationship. E.g. “She’s really sad because he dumped her. He told her that he didn’t love her any more and that he didn’t want to see her again…”
OK, so that’s it! Those are really useful expressions for talking about dating. Don’t forget to email me if you have any questions or comments. email@example.com Bye for now!
p.s. here’s the comedy sketch on YouTube:
The TV show is called Man Stroke Woman (BBC)
TRANSCRIPT TO 8. DATING & RELATIONSHIPS
Hello, welcome to Luke’s English Podcast. Thank you very much for listening and downloading. Um… I’ve been getting various messages from people. Um… Basically saying that they love the podcast and some people are using it just to learn English when they are, for example, driving to work, or travelling on the bus, or on the underground, and some people are teachers who are using the podcasts in their English lessons. So, I’m happy about that, very glad that it’s becoming so popular. Um, you can, of course, find this podcast on iTunes. If you go to the iTunes Store, you can do a search for Luke’s English podcast and you will find it there and you can subscribe to the podcast using iTunes there. And also, you can leave a short review of the podcast on that page. Um… and I’ve had couple of ratings but I haven’t had any reviews yet. So, please leave a review saying how brilliant the podcast is, okay? I mean, I’d like you to say how brilliant it is of course so that way I can get more listeners, yeh? You don’t have to say it is brilliant. I mean you can be honest, for example, and say ‘I think it’s quite good but I found some of the episodes are a bit too long these days’ or something like that. Or you can say ‘I think it’s very useful but the problem is Luke doesn’t write a transcript for the episodes. It would be better if there is a transcript,’ something like that. Just write a comment, leave a message. I’d like this to be an interactive podcast. So the more messages you send me, the better. So you can leave a review on my iTunes page or you can send me an e-mail by teacherLuke… no, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, in today’s podcast, first of all, I’m just going to tell you what I’ve been doing recently. So I’m going to give you an update on things that I’ve been doing. And, when I talk about that, I am going to be telling you as well about the present perfect continuous tense and how useful that can be when you are talking about recent news, okay? So, the first part would be little bit about my recent news and the present perfect continuous tense. Then, in the feature section, you are going to listen to a small comedy sketch about a date, okay? And then in the language section at the end of the podcast, I’m going to teach you some really really really useful and very important expressions that you can use to talk about dating and relationship, okay?
[3’08” Jingle playing]
Right, so what have I been up to recently? What have I been doing? Well, I’m going to tell you in a second. But before I do that, I’m going to teach you something really useful about English, some really useful and important language, okay? Now when you see your friends, for example, if you haven’t seen your friends for a week or two, in English, it’s very very common to say something like: ‘What have you been up to?’ or ‘What have you been doing?’ Right? ‘What have you been up to?’ or ‘What have you been doing?’ And those questions are about your recent activities, okay? Maybe since the last time you met. So, a common conversation might be something like:
A: Hi, How’s it going?
B: Fine. Thanks. You?
A: Not bad. What have you been up to?
B: Well, …[and then you talk about what you’ve been up to.]
Okay? So that’s ‘Hi, How’s it going.’ ‘How’s it going’ is another way of saying ‘how are you’.
A: How’s it going?
B: Fine. Thanks. You?
A: Not bad. What have you been up to? [‘Up to’ means ‘doing’ actually.]
B: Well, nothing. [Very common for people to say nothing. ]
‘What have you been up to?’
‘Well, nothing.’ [Nothing really or nothing special.]
But sometimes, you know, you can talk about the things that you have been doing. Right? And when we talk about recent news like that, we often use the present perfect continuous tense or sometimes the present perfect tense. Okay? So, the present perfect continuous tense is structured like this, we have ‘have’ or ‘has’ + ‘been’ and then an ‘-ing’ form. For example, ‘I’ve been teaching English’ Right? Or, ‘I’ve been playing a lot of football recently.’ Yeah? I’ve been doing something. And we use that form in the question as well, ‘What have you been doing recently.’ Yeah? So, for example, if you ask me: ‘Hi, Luke. How’s it going?’ And I’d say: ‘I’m fine. Thanks.’ And you’d say: ‘What’ve you been up to recently?’ Well, I’d say:
I’ve been teaching a legal English class recently. Um… At school at the moment, I’m teaching a law course – Legal English, which is very interesting. It’s quite difficult. Some of the language is a little bit complicated. But it’s very interesting to be teaching a different kind of English, in this case, English that is used to describe a legal system or civil court procedures and so on and so forth. That’s very interesting. Also, I’ve been playing football in Regents Park. Regents Park is one of the many parks in London. It’s very beautiful there actually. It’s close to London Zoo. And it’s right in the middle of the city. And every Wednesday, I play football in Regents Park. So, I’ve been playing football in Regents Park recently. Um, I’ve been enjoying the good weather. At the moment, it’s spring here in the London and the sun is shining and the birds are singer and it’s really really nice. London is so much better when the weather is good. It’s really fantastic. So, I’ve been enjoying the good weather. Um… Let see, what else… I’ve been looking forward to the new Star Trek movie. So ‘looking forward to’ means waiting for something because you want it to happen, right? So, waiting for something that is good. Something that is good is going to happen. I’ve been looking forward to the new Star Trek movie. Now I’m not like a big Star Trek fan. I prefer Star Wars actually. But all the critiques say that the new Star Trek film is very very good. So, I’m looking forward to seeing it. I might see it later today actually. And then I can tell you what it’s like. You can see the trailer for the new Star Trek film on the Internet if you go to YouTube and type Star Trek movie. It should be a very good science friction movie, very entertaining. Um… I’ve been listening to a lot of funk music recently. Now, I love music, right? And probably my favourite genre of music is funk or jazz funk. And that sort of music that was being made in the 70s and it’s good music to dance to. And it also got some jazz in it. So there’s [re] some really great solos in jazz funk or funk music. And the musicians are excellent. So it’s really a real pleasure for me to listen to that kind of music. If you don’t know what jazz funk or funk sound like, well, it sounds a bit like this.
[8’35” Funk music playing]
I think you get the idea. Isn’t great? Sounds fantastic, doesn’t? Um, you might say that it’s a little bit cheesy. Right. But I love it. I love that kind of music. Anyway, what else have I been doing recently? Well, I’ve been listening to a lot of funk music like that. And also I’ve been on a couple of dates recently. Um… Now, I’m single at the moment and I’ve been trying to meet someone. So, I went on a[n] online dating service. Now, you might think: Ugh, online dating? That’s a bit sad, isn’t it? Well, I mean it’s not really sad anymore. In London lot and lot of people sign up to online dating services. A lot of my friends are on various online dating services. Lot of people do it here in London. It’s actually a good way to meet people I think. It’s not really sad anymore to do that. So, I signed up for one called Guardian Soulmates, which is run by the Guardian newspaper here. And I’ve had a couple of dates actually from it, which is great. Now, I’m not going to tell you any more about that because it’s person and private. And it’s, well, it’s none of your business really, is it. Yeah, so, I’m not going to tell you any more about that. You will just have to use your imagination to try and guess how those dates went and what the girl was like and all those things. So, yes, I’m not going to tell you any more about it. Instead, I’m going to move very quickly on to the feature section of this podcast, which is all about dating, actually. So, there you go. Just before we move onto the feature section, let me just summarise the little bit of grammar that I told you about there. So, we use present perfect continuous to talk about things that like activities that we have done recently. And, so, you should start using present perfect continuous like that. When you have conversations with your friends. So:
Hi! How’s it going?
Fine. Thanks. You?
Pretty good. What have you been doing recently?
Well, I’ve been listening to Luke’s English podcast.
Luke’s English podcast, what’s that? It sounds fantastic.
Well, it is fantastic actually. It’s brilliant. It’s a really interesting and useful way to learn English.
Okay? So, don’t forget to use present perfect continuous to talk about your recent activities. Now, let’s move on to the feature section of the podcast. Here we go.
[11’54” Jingle playing]
Okay, so, the feature section today is about dating. Um… Right, going out with people. Trying to find someone so that you can have a relationship with them. Now, in England, people meet their girlfriend of boyfriend in lots of different ways. Um, so, how do people meet each other? Well, it might be that their friends hook them up, right? If your friends hook you up with someone, it means that they know you and they know you are single, they also know someone else. So, it might be they know you but they also know a girl, or a boy that they think will like you. And, so, they arrange for you to meet. So they hook you up, right?
Um… And it could be a blind date, for example. They might hook you up on a blind date. So you end up meeting somebody that you’ve never met before. And that’s usually quite a difficult kind of date to go on because it can be very embarrassing if you don’t like each other. It can be a bit difficult and you have to try to make conversation. Ugh, it’s usually quite an awkward situation – a blind date. But a lot of people meet like that. How else? Some people meet at work. You know, I think actually most people in relationships meet their boyfriend or girlfriend at work. It’s very very common.
So, they might, for example, meet at work and flirt with each other and chat each other up at work, and then go out with each other. It might be the guy if he fancies a girl at work. They might flirt with each other and then he might ask her out. And then they go on a date and then you know, who knows, they might fall in love or something. I think it’s very common. By the way, I might use some English expressions in this part of the podcast that you don’t understand. But don’t worry, I m going to teach you those useful expressions at the end of the podcast, okay? Listen to this now and if you don’t understand something, I will explain it later. Also you can send me an email of course if you got any questions.
Okay. So they might meet at work. A lot of people meet in a bar or in a pub or in a nightclub, and it’s a very very common way to meet someone actually. People tend to go out on a Friday or Saturday night, they dress up in their best cloths, they put some perfume or aftershave on and they go out and they drink usually so they get a little bit drunk, which makes it easier to meet someone I think. And they go out and they dance with people and they chat each other up. And then eventually maybe get a telephone number form them and then arrange to meet up on a date in the future. Right? So a lot of people meet each other when they are drinking in a pub or in a club or something. Some people, especially these days, meet each other on the Internet.
So, if you are single, you might decide that you’re going to sign up to an online dating agency. And then you can find someone very quickly and very easily. But the problem is that there are so many people on the Internet that you have to kind of go through a lot of people before you find someone who is right for you. As well as that, a lot of people meet on holiday. [It is] very popular to go to places like Ibiza or Spain or other popular holiday destinations and you meet lots of other people who are at the same age as you. And something being on a holiday means that it’s a romantic situation. And so lots of people have meet[met] their boyfriend or girlfriend on a romantic holiday or something.
And these days some people go speed dating. Now, speed dating is a kind of very quick way to meet lots of people in one night. What happens in speed date is you go to a bar and first of all you have to sign up, so you apply to do it over the telephone. And then you go to a bar, and there might be about 10 or 15 tables in the bar and all the girls sit at the tables. And all the boys have… Well, you have 3 minutes, basically, to try and chat each other up. And after 3-minute, someone rings a bell – ding, ding ,ding – and then you have to move, all the boys move onto the next table. And you talk to the next person. And you got 3 minutes to talk to them. And then the bell rings again and you move to the next table and meet the next girl and talk to them and after about an hour, you have met about 15 people in one night. And then at the end, you write little comments on a piece of paper about them. And you can decide who[m] you’d like to meet again. If both people say that they’d like to meet each other, then they can exchange telephone numbers and have a date in the future. So, it’s very popular these days. A lot of people do it.
Um… Now, you’re going to… I’m going to play you, now, the audio from a little comedy sketch, which is from a BBC television programme, a comedy programme. Now, in this sketch, you are going to hear a conversation between a man and woman who are on a blind date. Okay? Now their friends have set them up, they’ve hooked them up with each other. And you hear the girl talking about how usually it’s very difficult when her friends hook her up with men. And usually, the men that her friends hook her up with are very stupid. But she is very pleased that this guy seems to be different. So, she’s very happy that they met each other. But there is a little joke, a comedy joke in the sketch. Now, I’m not going to explain any more about it. I’m just going to play it to you now. And I’d like you to see if you can understand what is funny about it. What’s the funny thing about this little sketch, okay? So, I’ll explain it to you afterward if you don’t understand. So, here is the sketch:
[18’57” Comedy sketch playing]
Woman: I’m really glad Lisa set us up together Man: Me too
Woman: I normally hate it when friends pair you off with complete strangers Man; Yeah Woman: Thing is… all the guys I’ve been out with recently have been unbelievably stupid… I think you’re different though… well, touch wood! [she knocks on the table] Man: [thinking it is the front door] Sorry, that’ll be the door… [he walks to the front door] Woman: Good…
Okay. Now, don’t worry if you didn’t understand that or you didn’t find it funny. Um… It’s very difficult to understand comedy if you are learning the language. And probably comedy is one of the things that you will appreciate or enjoy later when you become a more advanced speaker of English. So don’t worry if you didn’t find it funny. The main thing here that I’d like to do is to help you understand what happened in that sketch. Now, maybe you understood it but if you didn’t, I’m going to explain it for you bit by bit now. So let’s just quickly listen to some of the sketch again. So here is the first little bit:
Woman: I’m really glad Lisa set us up together
Man: Me too
Okay. So she says, ‘I’m so glad that Lisa set us up together,’ and he says, ‘me too.’ So, I’m so glad that Lisa, that’s her friend, set us up, that means arranged for us to meet. Okay? ‘I’m so glad that Lisa set us up together.’ ‘I’m so glad that Lisa arranged for us up to meet.’ And he said me too. Fine, easy. Now, here is the next bit.
Woman: I normally hate it when friends pair you off with complete strangers
I normally hate it when friends pair you off with complete strangers. Okay? So, when a friend pairs you off with someone, it means that your friend put you in a pair with someone. So, your friends arrange for you to meet someone so that you’d become a pair, you’d become a partner. Okay? Now, a complete stranger is someone that you’ve never met before. So, she means I usually hate it when my friends put me on a blind date with someone. Okay? Right, here is the next bit.
Woman: Thing is… all the guys I’ve been out with recently have been unbelievably stupid…
The thing is all the guys I’ve been out with recently have been unbelievably stupid. Okay? Now, ‘the thing is’, that’s like saying, ‘the problem is,’ all the guys I’ve been out with recently. So, to go out with someone means to go on a date with them. Right. So, all the guys I’ve gone on a date with recently have been unbelievably stupid. So, ‘unbelievably stupid’ means really really stupid. Okay? Now, so, here is the next bit.
Woman: I think you’re different though
Okay, she said, ‘But I think you’re different though.’ But I think you’re different though. She thinks that he’s not like the other guys that he’s not unbelievably stupid. Okay. Well, she hopes so anyway.
Woman: Well, touch wood!
Okay, there she says, ‘well, touch wood.’ Now, to touch wood in England is a superstition. It’s like a kind of good luck thing. So, if you hope that something will happen or you hoped something is true, you touch wood like that. Okay? So, she’s saying ‘you’re not stupid like the other guys’. Well, I hope you are not anyway. Touch wood, right. Yeah, so, that’s what that bit means.
Man: That’ll be the door
He says, ‘Oh, that will be the door.’ Right, so, what happen is, she said, ‘I hoped you are not like the other guys, I think you are not like the other guys. Well, touch wood. Actually, he thought that was somebody knocking on the door. So he is very very stupid actually. Because when she went touch wood, he said that would be the door and he left the table because he thought somebody was knocking on the front door. So, he is very very stupid, yeh, or an idiot. And then she said ‘good’ at t he end but she doesn’t really mean it. I think she is shocked or surprised. So, I’m just going to play you the whole sketch again, so that you can listen to it from the start to the finish.
[23’24” Comedy sketch playing]
Okay, so there it is. I hope you enjoy that, I hope you find it funny. Now, in the next section – the language section, I’m going to teach you really useful expressions to talk about dating and relationships.
[23’56” Jangle playing]
Okay, in English, there are numbers of expressions that we always use when we are talking about romantic relationships, boyfriends, girlfriends, and going on a date. Okay? And you really have to learn these expressions because people always use them when they are talking about this subject, okay? So, these expressions are really important and really useful for you. So, I recommend that you learn them and use them, okay? Now, I used some of these expressions in the feature section when I was talking about dating, okay? So, you… I’m going to explain some of those expressions for you now. Okay, so, let see. First expression is a verb, and it’s ‘to flirt’, to flirt with someone, ‘to flirt’. Um… To flirt with someone is when you… If you like someone, if you think someone is attractive, then you act, you behave in a way show that shows you like them. Okay? So, for example, girls might play with their hair. Right? They often play with their hair when the flirt. Or they laugh at everything that the guy says. So, even if the guy says really bad jokes, she’ll laugh about it. ‘Oh, you’re so funny.’ And she might, for example, back her eye lids at him, or just act in a way that shows she really fancies him, she really likes him, okay? Um… Guys when they flirt, they try to make girls laugh, they might try to show how strong they are, show off their muscles or something, so that’s flirting. And people flirt all the time. When they like someone. Okay?
Another expression is ‘to fancy someone’, ‘to fancy someone’, and ‘fancy’ is a verb. And if you fancy someone, it means you think they are attractive, you think that they are good looking. Okay? So, if you fancy someone, you might start flirting with them, for example. So, ‘fancy’. Yeah. Um…
Next expression is ‘to chat someone up’, ‘to chat someone up’. And that’s a phrasal verb – ‘To chat up, to chat someone up’. If you chat someone up, it means that, first of all, you find them attractive, you fancy them, and then you start talking to them, to try to make them fancy you. Okay? Now I think usually, traditionally, men chat women up. Um… These days, women chat men up a bit as well, but traditionally it’s men who chat women up. And, so, for example, if a man sees a girl in a bar and he fancies her, he might walk over to her and start to chat her up. And there are typically things that man say when they chat women up. So, they’ll say ‘hi, would you like a drink?’ or ‘hi, do you come here often’ or something like that. And then they start chatting, talking to try [to] make the girl fancy him, okay? So, typically things are: ‘Do u come here often,’ ‘Can I buy you a drink,’ or ‘you’ve got lovely eyes,’ that kind of things. So that’s to chat someone up.
Next expression is to go out with someone, to go out with someone. And, there are two meanings of these really. One meaning is to go out with someone means to go on a date, right? So, to go out with someone just means to go on a date. ‘I went out with her last night.’ But we also use ‘to go out’ to mean that you’re someone’s girlfriend or boyfriend. And, often in a continuous form, so, ‘I’m going out with her,’ means she is my girlfriend. Or ‘are you going out with anyone at the moment,’ means do you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend at the moment? Yeah? I’ve been going out with her for 6 months, for example, means she’s been my girlfriend for 6 months. Yeah? ‘To go with someone.’
Another useful expression is ‘to have chemistry with someone’, ‘to have chemistry’. Now if you have chemistry with someone, it means that you get on with each other and there is some like magic between you, so you just really get on with each other and you both fancy each other and just naturally, when you are together, there’s like a magic feeling between you, and that’s called chemistry. And chemistry is really really important in a relationship. You have to have chemistry, because it’s the chemistry actually, the interaction between you that makes it exciting, that makes it interesting, okay? So, for example, if you go on a date with someone, and there is no chemistry, then the date will be really boring. You will think that whatever they are saying is not interesting; it’s not exciting. Yeah? But if there is chemistry, it’s kind of exciting, you fancy each other, you know, you might want to kiss each other, and there’s a good feeling between you and that’s called chemistry. Chemistry is also the word of the name of kind of science. But we also use it to mean good feeling between boy and girl, Chemistry.
Now you can, if you fall in love with someone, you can say that you fall for someone, so ‘to fall for someone’. So, for example, you know, she’s been going out with him for about four weeks, and she really fancies him, and actually, I think she’s starting to fall for him means she’s starting to fall in love with him. So, ‘to fall for someone’. Okay.
Now, for example, if you meet some one, you fancy each other, you flirt with each other, you stat to chat each other up, maybe, if you fancy them, you can ask them out, so, to ask them to go on a date with you. You ask some one out. So, may be the boy fancies her, he asks her out and she says yes, so they go on a date with each other. There is chemistry between them and they start going out with each other so they start becoming boyfriend and girlfriend, and then, maybe the fall for each other And then, eventually, perhaps, who knows, they get engaged and get married and have children and live a lovely happy life.
But sometimes it goes bad; sometimes a relationship will go wrong. Okay? And, so there are few expressions that we can use to describe when a relationship goes bad. For example, you might say that, um… You and your girlfriend are drifting apart. To drift apart, so, that means you are slowly moving away from each other, slowly moving away, so you are drifting apart, okay? Um… And if u are drifting apart, if you don’t love each other anymore, then you may split up with each other. So that’s a phrasal verb, ‘to split up with someone. So if you split up with each other, it means that the relationship is s finished. Okay? So, for example, they were going out with each other, but then they split up with each other and now they are single. Okay? ‘To split up with someone.’ Now, you can also use an expression to mean that you leave some or you’ve finished a relationship, and that is to dump someone. Okay? So, for example, if, you know, she was going out with him for three months. But after three months, she realised that he was really boring and she didn’t fancy him anymore, and so, she dumped him. Right? When you dump someone, you have to tell them a reason, you have to say, ‘look, I’m sorry but I don’t think this is working’ or ‘I’m sorry, but I don’t fancy you anymore’ or ‘I’m sorry, but it’s not you, it’s me you know. I’m not ready for a long relationship.’ Okay? And when you say that, you’d say, ‘I don’t think we should see each other any more.’ Then you dumped that person. It’s very sad. It’s not a good thing to do over the telephone, for example. Although a lot of people do it over the telephone, so to dump someone. So, those are some of the sort of most important expressions, I think, to describe a dating and relationships.
There are more expressions that you can use. And I think that because this is a good subject, I’m going to do more podcasts about this in the future. And, in fact, what I’d like to talk about in the future would be good chat up lines, so that’s good things you can say to chat someone up. And things that people often say when they dump each other. I think it’s a interesting subject, so, hopefully, I’m going to interview some of my friends and get their good chat up lines and things that they might say if they dump someone, okay? Now I will write all of the expressions that I’ve explained on the podcast home page, which is, of course, teacherluke.podomatic.com. You can see all the expressions written and I’ll also write a transcript of the comedy sketch that you listened to. So, don’t forget to visit the site to get some of the words and expressions that I’ve explained for you here. And also, don’t forget to send me an email. I’m going to end this podcast with a question. And the question is, ‘how do people meet each other in your country.’ Now, I told you about how people meet in England, but I know that in some countries like, for example, in Japan, there are different ways to meet your partner. So, how do you meet each other in your country? Send me an email; I’d very much like to hear from you. That’s the end of the podcast. I hope you have a nice day. And I hope you enjoyed listening. Take care. See you soon. Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye….