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449. Film Club: Touching the Void (Part 2)

Part 2 of this Film Club episode looking at the award-winning documentary “Touching the Void” which tells the story of a mountain climbing expedition which goes wrong. Listen to this episode and then watch the film on Netflix or DVD for that extra bit of English input.

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Click here to get the book “Touching the Void”

Click here to get the film on DVD.

The Story Continues…

Their plan was to climb back down the North ridge and then abseil down a part of the north face.

Abseiling is when you use ropes to kind of lower yourself down. But the clouds started coming in again.

The walk along the north ridge was much harder than expected. It was vertical on one side (with overhangs) and steep flutings (like grooves going down) on the other side. You wouldn’t know if you were stepping on something safe or not.

As they were descending, with the weather setting in, things got a bit out of control.

They got lost and they were in a whiteout – unable to see anything.

Their plan was to get down that day. But, by the time the sun went down they were still very high up the mountain, still over 6,000m up.

That night while they were making a brew of water, their gas ran out.

Day 4

The next day they could see that they’d managed to get down the worst part of the ridge and Simon thought they’d get down the rest of the mountain that day. He thought the whole climb was “in the bag” (if something is ‘in the bag’ it means you’re certain to achieve it, you’re definitely going to get it.)

Simon thought it was in the bag. He was wrong.

Joe was climbing in the front, before Simon. He reached a vertical wall, a fall in front of him, so he started to lower himself off it.

The method of lowering yourself down an ice wall, using pick axes and spikes on your feet.
Joe swung his pick into the ice, and it made a strange sound, so he decided to take it out and place it in again.

He was about to swing again, and the whole piece of ice he was attached to with his left hand just came off like a pancake, so he fell through the air.

And he landed hard, on his leg.

It broke, really badly. Not just a fracture.

Pain flew up his thigh from his knee. Incredibly painful.

I’ve never broken my leg and I hope I never do because I’m sure it’s horrible.
I have injured myself before. Of course, I’ve cut my fingers on knives etc. When you do injure yourself there is a shock, especially a kind of shock where you think it could be serious. That kind of shock lasts a few moments, when you don’t just feel pain but you feel a kind of panic, thinking “I’ve seriously hurt myself”. Most of the time that feeling goes away when you realise it’s not bad.

But if it is serious, you get this dreadful feeling that comes on. A truly dreadful feeling that comes from the realisation of just how difficult and inconvenient things are going to get. Not just the pain, but the fact that you now have this injury which is going to make everything so damn hard for you.

Now imagine that feeling when you’re 6000 metres up the side of a freezing mountain in Peru with no water and no medical services anywhere near you.

I don’t know about you, but I would feel more than dread, I’d feel pretty hopeless. I imagine I would feel more than the pain and the inconvenience, there would also be all this emotion coming, like anger, tragedy, sadness.

Anyway, Joe at this point was mainly feeling the intense pain of a badly broken leg.

Here’s what happened, and this is really horrible, ok?

The impact of the fall caused his knee joint to actually split. The joint split and the bone from the lower leg went up through the knee joint, split the end of his femur (the thigh bone) and carried on up the leg.

Unimaginable really. All those ligaments completely ruined, the bone, cartilage, nerve endings, and of course the blood vessels broken by it.

The whole leg would have been unusable of course, and there was a lot of internal bleeding inside his leg.

Apparently he couldn’t cope with the pain at all at the beginning, but after breathing for a while he started to get a grip on it.

But he thought he was done for. He was still level with the peaks of some of the other mountains.

He tried to stand on the leg – impossible.
Simon eventually arrived, and he describes seeing Joe’s face – a complex mix of terror, pain and anguish.

Simon said “Are you ok” and Joe nearly said “I’m fine thanks” – because that’s what we say to that question, even if you’re not fine!

But he said “No I’ve broken my leg” and immediately Simon thought, “Oh god, we’re stuffed”
Now. What would you do if you were Simon and Joe here?

Let’s imagine you’re Joe.

You say, “mate, you’ve got to help me” or “Go ahead without me, I’m stuffed!” or “Don’t you dare leave me!”

Let’s say you’re Simon, what do you say here?
“Mate, don’t worry. We’ll get you down this mountain.”
“Look, you’re not going to make it. Do you have anything you want me to say to your parents?”
“Wait here, I’ll go and get help. I’ll come back for you I promise!”

Obviously, Joe is the one with the broken leg and the pain, but Simon also is in a difficult situation here because they’re partners.

According to Joe, Simon gave him some painkillers which did nothing, and they didn’t talk about it for a few moments because they both knew that Simon was going to have to leave Joe there, because they couldn’t get Joe down from the mountain without risking both their lives in the process.

Joe thought Simon would leave him there because there was no other choice.

Meanwhile, Richard, the third guy is sitting at base camp wondering what has happened to them, thinking that they both might be dead and that he’d find them at the bottom of the mountain because they’d just fall all the way to the bottom! There wasn’t really anything Richard could do because they were many many miles away from civilisation. There was no ambulance service to call. No mobile phones in the 80s. He just had to wait and see.

Back on the mountain, Simon pulled himself together to think about how he was going to get Joe down the mountain.

He decided to try and save him and had to come up with a practical solution.

The plan was, he’d just lower Joe down the mountain on a rope. Just slide him down.

He tied two 150ft ropes (there are about 3.3 feet per metre) together, with a knot in the middle and Simon was attached to one end, and Joe on the other.

Slide Joe down, letting the rope through the belay device. When the knot got to the belay device, stop letting Joe slide. Joe would stand up to take the weight off the rope. Simon would then unattach the rope from the device, let the knot through, then reattach the rope and then let it continue for the rest of the 150feet.

Then when Joe was at the end of the rope, Simon would downclimb to join him.

They continued like this for quite a long time, repeating the process. Letting Joe slide down, then letting the knot through the rope, letting Joe slide down further, then Simon climbing down.

Simon was letting Joe slide down quite quickly, conscious of the time running out and the fact they needed to get down to the bottom as quickly as possible.
It must have been excruciating for Joe.

But there were still these interpersonal things going on.

Apparently Joe kept wondering if Simon was pissed off.

These are the things you think about when you’re with a friend, doing something. Is he pissed off? Does he mind? Apparently Joe was wondering if Simon was annoyed by it all.
But I think Simon was also suffering from shock and panic too, and to an extent he held a lot of responsibility now for both of them, because Joe was out of action. It was basically a single-handed mountain rescue by Simon, in extremely difficult conditions.
It must have been a desperate desperate feeling for both of them.

What they didn’t know at the time though, was that this was just the start and that it would get a lot worse, and that something awful was approaching that they had no idea about.
They continued going down the mountain in this fashion – Joe badly injured, in shock and losing blood into his leg, both of them exhausted, both dehydrated at altitude and close to hypothermia.

A race against time.

The weather turned bad again, and within an hour or two they were descending in a full storm, with wind chill factor of something like -80 degrees.

They couldn’t dig a cave and rehydrate because they’d run out of gas. There was nothing they could do. Apparently at this point they lost control and started panicking, flying down this mountain in this desperate fashion.

As they made some good progress, albeit in such awful conditions, Simon started feeling a sense of hope because he could see that they were virtually down. Almost down at the bottom.

Things were looking up.

I say “reach the bottom” – in reality there were lots of different sections and terrains between the summit and the camp. From top to bottom it was like this:
Peak
Ridge
Face
Less-steep part of the face (approach to the face)
Glacier (like a huge river of ice that flows from the top of the mountain range down to the river bed at the foot of the mountain – slowly moving down, carving out the valley as it goes, crushing rock underneath it) – full of crevasses (massive cracks in the glacier with drops that went down all the way to the floor – to the river bed of the glacier)
The bottom of the glacier – full of huge boulders and stones, with water trickling deep underneath them.
A long section of this rocky terrain.
The base camp next to a glacial pool.

God knows how far from civilisation this base camp was.

Anyway, they were nearly down the mountain face, approaching the glacier. For Simon, he could see a glimmer of hope.

Until suddenly, Joe slipped off a cliff.

Neither of them realised it was coming, but Joe suddenly felt the ground under him get icier and more and more steep, and he started slipping faster and faster – going like a rollercoaster downwards, screaming at Simon to stop, but Simon couldn’t hear him and had no idea it was happening, just assuming that Joe was going faster over some steeper ground..
And then -whoosh, Joe slipped right off the edge of a cliff and was left dangling in the air, right above a massive crevasse – a huge crack in the mountain that went straight down into pure darkness. Joe was dangling over a huge abyss. About 80 feet between him and the opening of the crevasse.

Describe the problem from Joe’s point of view.

He gave up hope and would have died as hypothermia began to set in.

From Simon’s point of view.

Simon’s decision. What would you have done?

What Simon did.

Night fell – Simon dug a snow cave.

Meanwhile, Joe wasn’t dead. He survived the fall and had landed on a ledge in the crevasse, not far from the top.

Day 5

Follow Simon as he goes down.

He was suffering from shock and was also in a serious condition with dehydration, hypothermia and exhaustion. He was also seriously traumatised by what had happened. Apparently he said he was convinced that he was going to die too.

But what about Joe?

Attached himself to the ice wall of the glacier.

Called for Simon.

Pulled the rope.

Saw it had been cut.

Impossible to get out – broken leg, overhangs. Ice.

Joe lost it.

He came face to face with his own death.

He didn’t have a religious moment. He knew nobody was coming to save him. There was no god, just the abyss. It filled him with fear.

Imagine the worst darkness. Fear of the dark – it’s primal.

He was also extremely angry and felt like this was not the end of his life.

Joe’s bravery and refusal to give up.

One of the most impressive moments that has stuck with me.
“You’ve got to keep making decisions, even if they’re wrong decisions, you know. If you don’t make decisions, you’re stuffed.”

Joe could have stayed on the ledge. He could have given up.
He chose to keep making decisions. He chose to keep moving forwards.
It just shows that you must not let things happen to you. Don’t just let yourself be carried away by events. Don’t stop making decisions and let yourself be carried away.
Even if you feel hopeless, like all options are screwed and that you’ll fail no matter what happens. Don’t stop making decisions.
You have to continue and keep going.
Like the famous quote, often attributed to Churchill – “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”
Don’t give up when things are hard and hellish. Keep going.
Don’t just stop and let things happen to you, especially when you’re in hell.
That’s no time to stop! You’re in hell. Keep moving! You’ll get out.
Joe decided he’d use the remaining rope he had to lower himself into the crevasse and possibly reach the bottom.

Bottom.
Crawled along.
Horrible sound – imagine the fear.
A spot of light. Hope.
The incredible joy of the light and emerging, born again.
But out of the frying pan into the fire.
This was still just the beginning of his challenge.
He started following Simon’s tracks.
Night fell. He crawled in the dark until he couldn’t go further and managed to create a snow cave.

Day 6

Simon’s tracks had gone.
He could see the massive challenge ahead of him. He nearly gave up when he realised how far he had to go. The challenge overwhelmed him almost completely.

He was presented with this massive maze near the bottom of the glacier, where it was full of crevasses, creating all these little pathways with huge holes down the sides. Joe had to shuffle through all of this.

He got to the rocks at the edge.
Much harder terrain.

Created a splint using his sleeping mat. Discarded his other gear.

Horrendous experience of trying to get through the boulders and through the rocks. Hopping, falling onto the rocks, getting up, continue. Falling virtually every hop, like breaking his leg again every time.

Just 25 yards but it took so long and with so much pain.

But he describes himself as insanely stubborn at times (spell it correctly this time!)
This worked to his advantage because he was determined not to be beaten. He wanted to have it his way.

This is where the second most impressive part came.

He broke up the challenge into bits. He said – right, I’ll get to that rock in 20 minutes. Everything became about getting to the next rock in 20 mins, then the next 20 minute challenge and so on.
He became obsessed with these targets. If he got to the rock in 18 minutes he’d be over the moon, ecstatic. If he made it in 22 minutes he’d be furious with himself.

This is another thing we can learn about achieving something big. It’s true – trying to achieve one huge thing can seem impossible. You might look at the whole challenge and think, “oh my god, there’s no way I can do that, it’s too big”. But the key to it is to set a series of small goals and just try to reach that, then another small goal. Break it down into little chunks and you will be able to do it. Looking at the whole challenge doesn’t help. It dwarfs you.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – it’s like something my Dad said to me about how to eat an elephant (that sounds weird because you might think – why are you trying to eat an elephant? But it’s just a metaphor that my Dad said to me once).

The thing about my Dad is that he often tends to be right about things. It’s quite annoying when you’re having a discussion or debate because he always somehow ends up being right, but it’s also great because I have learned some pearls of wisdom from him. I don’t know where he got this one from himself, maybe his Dad.

Anyway, when I was a child I think I was talking about how I was finding a school project difficult – I think we were even walking in the garden, but that sounds like it’s too good to be true – walking in the garden with my Dad and he gives me a piece of wisdom, like something out of a Hollywood movie or something. Tell me father, how can I train in the force and become a jedi? Etc.

Anyway, I said “I can’t do my history project Dad…” and he dropped some wisdom on me, saying “How do you eat an elephant?”

The point is this:
Seeing the challenge as one whole thing can destroy your motivation, but step by step, bit by bit – that’s how you get a big thing done. And don’t give up.
Also, you just have to have drive – you have to be stubborn, you have to be motivated. Listen to that army captain you have in your head and obey him!

Joe says that at times he felt like there were two voices in his head. One saying, “let’s rest here in the sun it’s nice” and another part of him which was completely unsympathetic, saying “No, you’ve got to get to that rock. Now get up and go!”

We all have that inside us. That cold, pragmatic voice, which seems frightening or something, but we just have to listen to it sometimes, just to get things done.

Obviously Joe was in seriously bad physical condition at this point. Exhaustion, the badly broken leg, internal bleeding, shock, frostbite, hunger, injuries from his falls.
But also he started falling apart mentally too.
That feeling of there being several voices in his head or several parts of his mind got stronger and stronger – with one part being this cold pragmatic feeling of just relentlessly getting to the next point and the next after that, and the other part of him was just almost disconnected as his mind wandered away from what was happening as if he was observing it all from a distance. It must have been seriously strange and disturbing.

Sound of water driving him mad.

Night fell and he lay on the rock staring up at the stars and his consciousness became quite unhinged, having psychedelic out-of-body experiences. He says he felt like he was becoming part of the rocks and part of the mountain itself, and he lost all sense of time, feeling that he had lain there for centuries.

Day 7 – Joe still isn’t dead!

Meanwhile, Simon and Richard are preparing to leave the next morning.

Joe finds water.
Peeing himself, enjoying the sensation.
Feeling totally robbed of his dignity.
Realises he could make it.
But hit hard by the realisation that Simon and Richard might have gone.

The delusions – thinking that Simon and Richard were, for some reason, following behind him but choosing not to come and help him because they didn’t want to embarrass him.
Then realising that they weren’t there and feeling utterly hopeless and alone and distraught.
Considered just getting in his sleeping bag. But felt it was too pathetic.

Sun went down and he completely lost it. He couldn’t hold his mind together any more.

Confusion and madness. He tried to look at his watch but couldn’t work out what time it was.
The worst thing – he got a song caught in his head. Boney M – Brown Girl in the Ring. It went on and on for hours.

You know when you can’t sleep and you get a song caught in your head, really vividly. Imagine that but 1000x worse.
Like being trapped in hell.
It really upset him because he really wanted to think of other things but he couldn’t because of the song.
“Bloody hell I’m going to die to Boney M”

He would drift off, then wake up thinking he was in a pub car park drunk, he kept losing it. Totally delirious.

He woke up (or became conscious) because of a strong smell – it acted like smelling salts.
He’d crawled into the toilet area of the camp site.
After all that – he ends up crawling through their own shit at the end.
But it gave him hope that Simon and Richard might still be there. He had reached the camp. He called out to Simon, but got no reply.
That was the end for Joe.
This is when he finally knew he was finished.
He described how he lost himself completely at that moment. Ego death.

Simon and Richard were still in their tents, ready to leave the next morning. Apparently, Richard woke up because he thought he heard something.
Imagine you’re in the tent. This is about 4 days after Simon got back. They both thought Joe was dead.

Imagine you’re in the tent, feeling terrible, ready to leave the next day. Darkness.
The wind, blowing across the fabric of the tent. The shadow of the mountains in the background, with the knowledge that the body of your friend is still up there.
You wake up and you freeze because you’re sure you’ve just heard something.

There it is again, but it can’t be true. It sounded like a voice on the wind.
Apparently Richard waited, listening, and heard it again, and it really scared him because he wasn’t sure if it was real, or he was imagining it, or if it was a ghost.
He decided to check on Simon and discovered that he was already up – Simon had heard it too and was convinced it was Joe.

They searched for him shouting his name and found him on the ground a few minutes from the camp site.

What they found was the body of Joe, like a ghost or some kind of monster.
Joe was in such bad condition, covered in earth, crap, frostbite and sunburned, thin, starving, dehydrated and nearly dead.

They carried him to the camp and began the process of trying to rebuild his strength.
That’s where the story ends. We know that eventually Joe was brought down to a nearby civilisation where he received medical attention.

The challenge was not over there of course. I understand that he received some poor medical help in the basic hospital he ended up in, had to be flown back to the UK and his leg had to be amputated.

About the decision to cut the rope.

Joe has always defended Simon’s decision, saying that he would have done the same thing.
I can’t really understand why anyone would have a problem with what Simon did. Why should they both have died? It doesn’t make sense.

In fact, when you think about it, by cutting the rope, Simon saved Joe’s life, or helped to save him.

If Simon hadn’t cut the rope, they both would have fallen and it’s likely that one of them would have died. Let’s say that Joe would have landed on the ledge like before. Simon would probably have died. It’s unlikely that he would have landed on a ledge too. He probably would have fallen into the crevasse, dragging Joe in too. They both would have died.

Anyway what do you think?

Again, I urge you to watch the documentary film on Netflix, on DVD or on what other platform you can find.

Also, consider reading the book, or Joe Simpson’s other books – because apparently he had even more near death experiences on mountains too!

Let me also leave you with this

  • If you’re going through hell, keep going.
  • How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. How do you get down a mountain? One step at a time too! Or you slide, or you drag yourself, or you hop. But you break down the challenge into achievable steps.
  • Nobody even broke their leg learning English – so, enjoy your studies and seize the day!

Thanks for listening.

What happened next?

Returning to Siula Grande

 

433. British TV: Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (Part 2) [Video]

Learn more authentic English directly from the mouths of these native speakers in an episode of the popular British TV show “Kitchen Nightmares” with famous chef Gordon Ramsay. Videos and vocabulary lists available below. 

**This episode includes swearing and some rude content** 

Audio


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Video

Video clips and vocabulary lists

Video 2 – The orange sauce looks like “sci-fi sperm”

Vocabulary

Let’s watch the family in action
Is there any chance you could talk to her
If you open up and ask…
You don’t remember after 5 minutes
Like fuck do I!
You try to make me look small
It’s like a one man band in there
It’s totally upside down
A backlog of orders
Mick starts to crumble
I don’t want no (*any) more food sent down
He can’t handle it
I’ll get my head bitten off / to bite someone’s head off
I’d rather you didn’t take it out on me

Video 3 – The family at war

Vocabulary

Michelle’s impressive
She’s left to face the fallout of Mick’s incompetence
The meals are now being sent back
He can’t handle it / can’t cope / can’t take it / can’t deal with it
I’ll go and sort it out
My husband’s big fucking dream is a complete farce
I’m not having a heart attack over this
My heart’s booming
He speaks to me like shit
I try and take all the knocks
Even I have a breaking point

Video 4 – Catching up with the Martin family at the end

The entire episode (with Korean subtitles)

342. Paul’s “La Bise” Video Success / Audition Story (with Amber & Paul)

In this episode I’m joined by podcast pals Amber & Paul and we talk about Paul’s hit youtube video about French kissing habits, his newfound success as a stand-up (he’s the hottest kid in town), some online abuse he’s had and then an anecdote about an audition that we attended recently, which involved a surprising misunderstanding about accents. There’s also a brief language focus on using relative clauses with ‘which’ to extend your sentences when speaking. Enjoy!

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Image: c/o Robert Hoehn French Fried TV

Transcript for the intro and outro to this episode

Intro

Hello, welcome back to the podcast. This is episode 342. First of all I’d like to say thanks if you’ve recently left comments on my website, written positive reviews on iTunes or especially if you’ve sent a donation to the podcast. I appreciate all of those things very very much indeed and I hope that you feel like you’ve invested in this podcast, even in a small way. Every little helps. So thank you very much.

In this episode I’m joined again by podcast pals Amber and Paul

If you are a brand new listener and you don’t know them then here are the basics: Essentially, they’re both from the south-east of England, I know them from the stand-up comedy scene here in Paris and they both have super-powers, yes that’s right – super-powers.

Amber is a voice-over artist, actress and tour guide. She has a little 2-year-old son called Hugo (who has featured on the podcast before, making dinosaur noises in episode 297), and Amber’s super power is that she has loveliest voice in the world. Her voice is so lovely it could melt the heart of even the toughest person – like anyone at all. Even Vladimir Putin or Batman would be reduced to a little puppy when listening to Amber’s voice, right listeners? If Amber’s voice was on Darth Vader’s iPod and he listened to her talking, he would immediately give up his devotion to the dark side and turn into an ewok or something. That’s Amber.

Paul used to work for Apple – the company, not the fruit. It would be weird if he worked for an Apple. Anyway, last year he took the brave decision to quit his job in order to focus on becoming a full-time stand-up comedian, performing both in English and in French. Paul has a weekly one-man show called #franglais which he performs every week and he also performs a two-man comedy show with me every Thursday, and that one’s called “Sorry, we’re English”. He has his own podcast, called “Becoming a Comedian”, which you can find at paultaylorcomedy.com. Paul’s super-power is his infectious laugh, which causes podcast listeners to randomly split their sides in different countries around the world, which is nice. I imagine if he had to do battle with Darth Vader, he’d just laugh in his face and Vader would turn into Jar-Jar Binks or something.

The conversation you’re going to hear in this episode was recorded the other day when we were sitting upstairs on my little terrace enjoying some sunshine. We recorded about 3 episodes-worth of stuff that day. Two in the sunshine and one indoors because after a few hours it went cloudy and then started raining, which is typical for April in this part of the world. You already heard the first part of that conversation in episode 341.

Click here to check out a list of other episodes featuring Amber & Paul

But in this conversation Amber and I talk to Paul about recent success in his stand-up career, there’s a surprise phone call from Robert Hoehn, we talk about some online abuse Paul’s received, and then Paul and I tell Amber about an audition we had for a TV show recently, which involved a bit of a misunderstanding about our British accents.

One thing I just want to let you know right now is that I’m aware that this conversation is quite quick and you might not get absolutely every single word that we say, but that’s fine because as we know, listening to native speakers at natural speed is a valuable thing for you to do even if it’s difficult to understand every little thing. Just try to fill in the blanks, tolerate the stuff you don’t understand, read between the lines and keep going. Listening several times will help, but the main thing is to relax and just enjoy spending 45 minutes in the sunshine with us.

Where were we?

Where were we in the conversation at the end of the last episode?

There was a bit of a cliffhanger of sorts. Paul was about to tell us what happened in January, and it’s something about his progress as a comedian. Let’s get an update on how it’s all going.

A bit of language analysis – Paul’s long sentence – using ‘which’

In just a moment I’m going to start playing our conversation to you and it’ll carry on from where it ended last time.

The first you’re going to hear is me saying to Paul, “Give us an update on what happened in January” and then you’ll hear Paul speaking pretty quickly, and producing perhaps the longest sentence in the history of humanity. Actually, long sentences with lots of additional clauses are pretty common in spoken English, especially in spontaneous talking. In writing I think it’s best to keep your sentences short and clear but in speaking we often find ways to extend our sentences to include new thoughts and to keep the rhythm going, particularly with words like ‘and’ or ‘but’ (simple ways) but also with relative pronouns, particularly ‘which’, which we add to nouns and even whole clauses in order to extend sentences (like I just did there – did you notice?) Check out the way Paul uses ‘which’ to extend his sentences and add ideas, adding fluency to his speech.

Here’s the first sentence you’ll hear from Paul in this episode:
“Yeah, I think the last time we spoke, I don’t know if we talked about it but I was gearing up for the start of my own show, which was like an hour, my first hour-long solo show, which was starting on January 9th and I was excited (and) nervous because I’d never been on-stage for an hour (and) it was going to be cool, whatever, and then during the month of December, Robert Hoehn, who has been on the podcast previously, he runs an English comedy night and he’s, I guess, seen me do comedy for the last three years and he suggested to me that I make a video out of one of my sketches which I’d been doing on stage, which was around the French, their kissing and saying hello and it’s called La Bise, in France.”

Wow. There are a few examples of ‘which’ in there and also a ‘who’, after he mentions Robert Hoehn, who has been on the podcast previously. Also, there’s the phrase “gearing up for” which means “getting ready for”. OK. Now I’ll let you listen to that sentence in full, spoken by Paul.

One question: How many times does he say “which” and what’s the most common word that comes after it?

*Paul’s long sentence*

Answers:
He says ‘which’ four times and it’s most commonly followed by ‘was’ (3 times) and once it’s followed by ‘had been doing’.

This is often how we add information to stories. I mentioned this language point in the photo competition episode too. That’s episode 327. In Paul’s sentence, “which was” comes after a noun every time, but sometimes it comes after a clause. Question: What is the noun or clause that is followed by ‘which’ in these examples?

“He suggested that I make a video of one of my sketches which I’d been doing on stage which was around the French way of saying hello”.

Answer: Both times it’s ‘one of my sketches’

and “So, we sat on the terrace and just talked for about 2 hours, which was nice”.

Answer: it’s the whole clause ‘we sat on the terrace and just talked for about 2 hours’.

So, there was a little bit of language analysis. But that’s enough of that. I will now let you listen to the rest of the conversation properly, and enjoy another chat with podcast pals Amber & Paul, and by the way, just to let you know in advance – there is a little bit of swearing in this conversation.

*conversation starts*

Watch Paul’s Video about “La Bise”

A France24 TV news report about Paul

Outro – Transcript

We will be back, speaking more ‘crapola’ soon, because we’ll be playing the interactive lying game and that should be the next episode of this podcast.

What’s crapola? It’s just another way of saying ‘crap’ or ‘nonsense’. Crap is poo by the way. Crap is a swear word but it’s not as bad as ‘shit’. Crapola is not such a common word – it’s a variation on the word ‘crap’ and it means ‘nonsense’ or ‘stupid talking’.

Accents

Now, at the end there you heard us talking about accents. That was a slightly heated conversation and since this is my podcast I’d like to try and clarify what I was trying to say.

So, first of all we went for the audition and it was nice, but one of the producers said, “Can you speak with less of a British accent?” and we asked, “You mean you want us to use an American accent?” and she said “Not American, just less British. You know, like the way they speak in New York, because they don’t have an American accent in New York” and we were a bit stunned that doesn’t mean anything. So, first of all I think it’s not possible to have no accent. Everyone has an accent, but you might feel like your accent is the normal, standard position for the language and that every other version is an accent. Even accents which are considered to be the neutral forms are still an accent. So it doesn’t make sense to say that you don’t have an accent or that the people of a particular place don’t have an accent. If they pronounce words, using certain sounds, that’s an accent. Some accents are considered the standard forms, and in the UK and in the USA there are, broadly speaking, two standard accents. There’s Received Pronunciation in the UK, which is generally how I speak (although I have inflections from the midlands and the South East, reflecting the places where I grew up) and in the USA there’s an accent called Standard American, which is a kind of regionless accent. So maybe what the girl meant to say was, can you speak with a standard American accent, or a more trans-Atlantic accent? But then she realised that it could be taken as a bit rude, because it’s like she suggested that there was something wrong with our British accents or something. She didn’t mean any offence of course.

Another thing I often read online is the sentence, “There’s no such thing as a British accent”, which is a bit misleading. Generally people write that in response to comments on Youtube or Reddit or something when an American person has said something like “OMG I love the British accent”, or equally “OH my god the British accent sucks” or something. Then someone gets pissed off and writes a response, like “there’s no such thing as a British accent!” But that’s a bit stupid too. If an accent comes from a part of Britain, it’s a British accent. Obviously British accents exist, but the point is there is not just one British accent – there are many accents from different regions and it’s a bit short-sighted to just imagine there is only one “British accent” when in fact it’s so much more diverse than that, and I suppose that comment “There’s no such thing as a British accent” is the British person’s way of expressing annoyance or frustration over the lack of awareness of the diversity of British accents.

In the UK today we are very sensitive to accents, as Amber mentioned in the conversation. There are many many variations on the way people speak, and those variations indicate things like regional origin and social status. We shouldn’t judge people by their accents, but we do. We also are very affectionate about accents and generally very positive about regional accent variations. We love the diversity of accents in our country and generally it is considered inappropriate and snobbish to laugh at an accent or to suggest that there’s something wrong with speaking in a different way. Being snobbish about regional accents is now quite unfashionable in the UK. Regional accents are generally celebrated these days – and when you watch TV, including the BBC news, you’ll hear lots of different accents being spoken by presenters from around the country, because TV viewers appreciate the regional flavours of the different accents.

So, I suppose part of our surprise at the girl at the audition was just about her lack of awareness of accent variation, but also the slightly clumsy way she talked about the whole subject, suggesting that people in New York had no accent, or that our British way of speaking was just a regional variation of an accent that has its neutral base in Manhattan. But, I understand that identifying regional accents can be very hard when you’re not native to that language, so we didn’t take offence at the girl and it was fine, but we did find it amusing and interesting from a linguistic point of view. So, that’s that.

I must do more episodes about different regional accents on this podcast. There is just so much content to cover and it’s really important that you get a sense of the different accent variations. I have dealt with accents before a bit, but there’s so much more to do on that subject. We’ve only really scratched the surface.

Listen to Adam & Joe talking about British and American actors doing different accents, particularly Ray Winstone (UK – London) pretending to be an American in the film Fool’s Gold. 😂

And this one about Leonardo DiCaprio’s Irish accent and how Hollywood helps actors perform in different accents.

Oh, and remember Tracy Goodwin the American voice coach from Episode 20 of Luke’s English Podcast? Here are Adam & Joe talking about that…

Using Apps to listen to this podcast

This is turning into another longish episode. It happens so easily, but you heard Paul earlier talking about the ‘pause’ button. I wonder if you use that, because as I’ve said before – you don’t have to listen to these episodes in one go, you can pause and listen to the rest later. If you’re using podcasting software like an app on your phone, it will remember where you were when you paused, even if you close the app or switch off your phone or computer.

Here are some recommended apps: There’s the standard Apple Podcasts app, which is fine. I use PocketCasts which is available on iPhone and android. You can also get it on your computer. There’s Acast which is good. Also, try the Audioboom app. All of them let you listen via an internet connection (wifi or data) and the also let you download episodes onto your phone so you can listen when you’re not online. All those apps will save your position in an episode so you can listen, pause, listen again, pause, come back later and listen to more etc.

You can still just download the files from the website and put them on your mp3 player – just check if there’s a folder in your player for podcasts because if you use that folder the mp3 player will probably save your position, just like the smartphone apps do.

Thanks for listening – speak to you soon, bye!

 

245. Merry Christmas! (+ Other News) + Video!

This is just a chance to wish you all a Merry Christmas and to give you a bit of news. There is a video for this episode, featuring 15 minutes of extra footage which I filmed before recording the audio episode. You can watch it below. [Download audio]

Small Donate ButtonVideo – I started recording this 15 minutes before starting the podcast, so you’ll see me preparing myself to start recording, and I show you what it’s like to record a podcast in the slightly cramped (and badly lit) conditions of the ‘spacepod’ or ‘sky pod’! Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera ran out after about 30 minutes! Never mind – the audio podcast is my main focus anyway. :)

Contents of this episode
1. MEEEERY CHRISTMAS (if you celebrate it)
Click these links for previous episodes about Christmas:
160. The A to Z of Christmas
78. Christmas – It’s all about Family

2. Macmillan Competition

3. Nicknames – LEPPERS, LEPSTERS, LEPPISH, PLEPs, LEP Ninjas, LEP FC, The Cult of LEP, LEP United, LEPPARDS, LEPPANS, LEPIANS, LEPANESE, LEPLANDERS, LEPaholics… what do you think? Which nickname do you prefer? Do you need just one nickname or can we use lots of different aliases? I might do a proper survey on this to let you choose your nickname by committee.

4. Emails – I don’t get many opportunities to properly reply to your emails, and I get loads of them. I’ve tried lots of things – putting them in other folders, forwarding to other inboxes etc. The problem is, I just can’t get around to it. The reason is because I can’t really reply to you all individually. I have to just talk to you as one large group. Sorry if you have sent me an email and I haven’t replied. Really – I am very sorry and it hurts a little bit because you’ve gone out of your way. I love to receive emails but I can’t always reply. I haven’t published my email address on the website and I don’t mention it in the podcast (I used to) because I’d rather the correspondence came via teacherluke.co.uk and was public. That way I’m more likely to reply. Correspondence between me and you privately is very rare. So, if you have comments, do leave them on the website. I genuinely love reading your comments and I’m frequently impressed by what a lovely community of people I have listening to this podcast. It’s quite amazing really, so keep doing that – I’m sure I have a large silent majority out there. Most people don’t correspond with me directly. That’s fine. I never send emails to my favourite podcasters (except a text I sent to the Adam & Joe show once, which they read out!) So I understand that most of you have never commented or anything. I would like to hear from you so do get in touch. You could be a long term listener but first time commenter, or whatever. Anyway, I can’t always reply to specific requests which I get sent by email, and I do get a lot. For example, I often get emails with specific requests like giving you help for the IELTS test, asking for advice on visiting France or The UK or whatever. I would honestly love to reply fully to those mails but I can’t justify sitting down to write a full email when that time must be spent on other things.

What I would like to do is publicly read out some emails. I think this is a great way to give you a voice. If you would like to send me emails that I can reply to live on the podcast, please send your emails to podcastreply@gmail.com, that’s podcastreply@gmail.com. I will assume that if you send any email there that you’re happy for me to read it out on the podcast and reply to it orally. I can’t guarantee that all your emails there will be broadcast, but let’s try it. Send emails you’d like me to read out and respond to on LEP to podcastreply@gmail.com.

I realise there’s a forum section for questions you’ve asked me, and in fact several times I’ve attempted to record episodes in response to those forum questions and for one reason or another I had to abandon recording due to technical errors, and time issues. I’m trying to find a system for giving you a voice on the podcast at the moment. Let’s try a few ways until we get the right one. Perhaps the email inbox idea will give me just a little more discretion regarding which emails I reply to.

I am a little wary of giving you the impression that you can make requests for the podcast. One of the ways I can make this podcast work with my time schedule is to have total control over what I put out. It allows me to be flexible, determine my own schedule, motivate me by allowing me to have creative freedom and also it probably gives the podcast a distinctive and original quality. I do get requests that I’m sure would please a lot of people, but they would require a heck of a lot of preparation. Sometimes I do put a lot of time into episodes, but those are the ones I just seem to be particularly driven to produce, out of some urgent sense of creativity. Essentially, the urge to do episodes has to come from me, or they won’t really get done. So, at the end of the day I decide all of the output of the podcast, but it would be nice to feature your input too. Perhaps podcastreply@gmail.com is a good way of doing that. Send your correspondence there and I will aim to stick it into episodes of the podcast, and comment on your questions that way.

5. Lost podcasts. I’ve recorded a few episodes over the years that were not published or got lost due to a hard drive accident. You will probably never hear them and will never know what they were about…

Thank you for listening and Merry Christmas everyone!

Luke

Notting Hill Carnival – 40 Phrasal Verbs


Learn 40 Phrasal verbs in this video! Also, learn about London culture at the Notting Hill Carnival 2009. Luke’s English Podcast is a FREE service for people learning English as a foreign language. Use this podcast as an entertaining way to learn English, pick up vocabulary, understand grammar and develop your pronunciation. Each episode is about a different topic, and includes a different language point. This episode is about phrasal verbs (a popular area of vocabulary), and is my first real video podcast, or ‘vodcast’. I hope you like it. Email me your comments, suggestions and feedback here: luketeacher@hotmail.com

The phrasal verbs are all in this transcript. You can find them and then read definitions below the transcript.

Luke: Hi everyone, this is Luke. Hello, and today I’m going to the Notting Hill Carnival. You probably know about Notting Hill from the movie with Hugh Grant, which looks a bit like this… But the Notting Hill Carnival is a slightly different view of Notting Hill, and it looks a bit like this… It’s the biggest carnival in Europe. It happens every year. It’s a Caribbean carnival so you get lots of Caribbean music, Caribbean food, Caribbean culture, and I’m going to take you, my video camera in order to just video the event and give you an idea, give you a flavour of what the Notting Hill Carnival is all about.
So I went out and I got some cash out of the bank, and I got on the bus and I paid with my Oyster card, which I’d just topped up. And I went to the back of the bus, and I got a seat and waited for the bus to take me to the carnival. There’s Notting Hill. You can see lots of people at the end of the street, and it’s just hotting up at the moment. That’s Notting Hill Gate.
I’m in Notting Hill now, and I got stuck in traffic on the way here. The bus took ages because there was so much traffic. I got stuck in traffic for a while but I’m here now and I’m just walking through Notting Hill. The police are here and they’ve blocked offlots of the streets so that cars can’t drive through. So all the streets are just for pedestrians now. So I’m just walking through Notting Hill with everyone, and I can hear some music in the distance, and I’m going to go and meet up with my friend Raph. So, here we go.
So, you have to queue up for toilets at the carnival because there aren’t many toilets around. That’s a bit annoying. There’s a typical street in Notting Hill, and that’s a typical little shop that you might come across if you walk around. There’s one of the musical floats playing a kind of Caribbean music. I don’t know how that child is still asleep, because it’s very noisy. You can see so many people, so many kinds of people at Notting Hill Carnival. And lots of police as well. There’s Raphael in the distance, waving at… waving and pointing at me. He’s with his girlfriend. Yeah, there he is, doing, like, a crazy dance, because he’s a crazy guy. Here’s Raph. He’s a bit surprised to see me I think.
Raphael: Mr Multimedia! How’s it going buddy, you ok?
Luke: You can pick up lots of nice food from barbecues on the street. Lots of, kind of, Caribbean food like jerk chicken. And this is Portabello Road, which is the main road in Notting Hill. And more musical floats, with people dancing on them, and extremely loud music. They have huge speakers, which pump out very loud music. I’m not sure which flag that is, but it’s one of the islands of the Caribbean I think. These people got covered in red stuff. I don’t know what that stuff is, but they got completely covered init. Lots of police again, just looking after everyone, making sure that we’re not doing anything wrong.
Katherine: Hi, I’m Katherine and I’m loving Notting Hill Carnival.
Liam: I’m Liam Foster from Sunderland in the North East [of England] and I’m loving London at the moment.
Holly: Hi, I’m Holly.
Liliana: Hi, I’m Liliana.
Luke: Very loud music. You can hear the bass. So strong.
Raph: My hair’s shaking!
Luke: Not the best place to bring a bicycle, I think.
Luke: So, what do you think of carnival?
Holly: Erm, it’s rammed.
Luke: It’s rammed.
Holly: It’s rammed. No, I like the music, and the loud sound systems.
Luke: Yeah, isn’t it a bit…
Holly: The colours
Luke: The colours, yeah yeah. Is it the first time you’ve been to carnival?
Holly: Yep.
Luke: Okay, alright. Err, great, thank you. Do you usually carry two beers?
Holly: All the time.
Luke: Really?
Holly: Yeah. It’s the best way to live.
Luke: So, it’s not just a carnival thing.
Holly: No, every day.
Luke: You’ve always got two beers, ok. Ok, is that…? Ok, thanks.
Holly: You were gonna ask another question then and you couldn’t!!
Raph: Check out the chopper.
Luke: Check out this big chopper. The police are, like, cracking down on… well, crime. Even using a chopper. So what’s happening Raph?
Raph: As you can see the area’s quite packed. Erm, and it’s just like basically just like loads of floats and everything going past. A bit of police action up top, erm, and everyone’s just drinking loads of, err, Red Stripe, and whatnot. It’s sort of like a carnival staple, if you will.
Luke: Any phrasal verbs, perhaps?
Raph: Check out the Red Stripe!
Luke: Check it out, yeah. Do you need… Do you usually have 4 Raph?
Raph: Erm… Nah, it’s not, it’s not absolutely necessary to erm, see off four beers or anything, you know? But, maybe later on I’ll just like, get a few more down, you know?
Luke: Yeah, crack open a couple more later…
Raph: Exactly, you know, err
Luke: How does it feel having the camera right in your face, like this?
Raph: It’s quite close

Luke: So, you’re the sergeant, are you?
Sergeant: Yes
Luke: So, how many times have you done carnival?
Sergeant: This is my 25th carnival
Luke: Really? So what’s it about? What’s carnival all about?
Sergeant: It’s about culture, it’s about people enjoying themselves, it’s about everyone having a good time in a good atmosphere, erm, just partying on. It’s the second largest carinival in the world. We could learn a lot from Rio. We could, sort of like, have it more organised, but it’s the spontaneity. It’s the nature of the event.
Luke: Ok. Is it… it’s the second largest in the world is it?
Sergeant: Yes
Luke: I didn’t know that. I knew it was the largest in Europe. Do you normally have any trouble?
Sergeant: Only minor, but then you have trouble at any large public gathering.
Luke: Yeah, ok, thanks very much.
Sergeant: No problem

Luke: So, can I interview you then? So, what’s carnival all about guys? What’s it all about for you?
French guy: So, an English boy, so French boy…
Luke: Huh?
French guy: So, French boy…
Luke: You’re French?
French guy: Yeah
Luke: Where in France are you from?
French guy: From Paris
Luke: Ah, did you come here today?
French guy: Yeah
Luke: Just for the carnival?
French guy: Yeah
Luke: Really? How many times have you been to carnival? Is it your first time?
French guy: First time
Luke: So, what do you think? [They blow their whistles!!]
Luke: Yeah?
Someone off screen (in French): Ca va bein?
Luke: Ok, have a good time yeah…

Luke: Hello, hi, just get everyone in, hello. So, what’s carnival all about for you guys? What’s it all about?
Pirate guy: I dunno, coming onto the street, having a bit of fun, I dunno, not having a massive race riot
Pink hat guy: You sound like a tory
Luke: Not having a massive race riot
Pirate guy: Yeah, definitely. It is, that’s that’s the history of it.
Luke: Have you dressed up today?
Pirate guy: Err, what are you saying?
Pirate girl: It’s so we can spot each other. This is my normal clothes, but we can see him from very far away because he’s in pink.
Luke: Right
Pirate guy: He’s very boring, he never makes any sense though.
Pink hat guy: I dunno who you’re teaching English to, but do they have fake tan in wherever they’re from?
Pirate girl: Yeah, my fake tan went very very wrong.
Luke: That’s fake tan?
Pirate girl: But it tastes really really good
Luke: What’s it made of?
Pirate girl: Chocolate
Luke: Ah, ok, lovely. Ok, well, have a great time.
Pirate guy: You too man. Good luck with the EFL
Luke: Nice one, thanks a lot, bye!

Luke: Err, what do you think of carnival?
Rabbit: I don’t think about it
Luke: You don’t think about it
Rabbit: I don’t think about it, I’m just a f*cking rabbit, man.
Luke: Are you enjoying it?
Rabbit: Err, in a way.
Luke: Have you had any carrots?
Rabbit: People, they are so greedy. They didn’t give me one.
Luke: They didn’t give you any?
Rabbit: Nah
Luke: You can get carrots, right, if you just go in that direction there’s loads of carrots.
Rabbit: Yeah, sure man.
Luke: Ok, have a good one, bye!

Luke: So, you can just see lots of people dancing, walking along Portabello Road, in all their different costumes and things. All sorts of weird and wonderful people, like this guy. This is Bongoman.
Luke: Hey, err, what’s your name?
Bongoman: Oh, I’m Bongoman
Luke: Sorry?
Bongoman: I’m Bongoman
Luke: Bongoman?
Bongoman: Yeah
Luke: Where are you from Bongoman?
Bongoman: Africa
Luke: From where?
Bongoman: Africa
Luke: Africa, okay. So, err, what’s carnival all about for you?
Bongoman: It’s all about peace and love, being together, and sharing love for one another.
Luke: Yeah, nice. Ok. Is that… how does the bongo fit into all of that?
Bongoman: Oh, through African roots culture going back centuries, so…
Luke: Yeah, like the rhythm, the heart beat, all that… Thanks a lot
Bongoman: I’d like to say to my fans, I love you all. Part of my soul is with them. If they’re watching, or if they’re watching on YouTube or Facebook, here’s to them – I love you all, my fans. Keep supporting me all the way. Love you.
Luke: Cheers man

Luke: Thanks Bongoman. I’ve no idea who Bongoman is, but he may be famous on YouTube. These people were completely covered in Chocolate. Someone had a big load of chocolate and they were throwing it at everyone. She’s doing a kind of carnival dance. And that woman got chocolate on my face.
Luke: They got me! Argh!

Luke: Hello, what are your names?
Girl 1: Gem(?)
Girl 2: My name is D’Arcy(?)
Luke: What’s carnival all about? Are you enjoying it?
Girls: Yeah we are enjoying it, very nice.
Luke: Do you live in London?
Girl 2: Yeah, we live in London, we live in South East London, yeah
Luke: Oh yeah? So what is carnival all about for you?
Girl 2: Sorry?
Luke: What’s it all about? What’s the main… thing?
Girl 1: We are in London just as tourists, because we are not English speaking, we are French and…
Girl 2: We come just for the carnival
Luke: Right, so what do you think of carnival then?
Girl 1: Very good.
Girl 2: Very good. It’s very nice, maybe we will come back next year.
Luke: Ok, thanks very much!

Luke: That man tried to hit the camera out of my hands.

Luke: What’s carnival all about man? What’s it all about?
Rastaman: All about? It’s a festival, it’s ????? man. Alright? Everybody enjoy themselves, do everything. Enjoy yourself, ???? ?????
Luke: Right, thank you

Luke: Right, I had no idea what he said, didn’t understand a word of it actually. You can see Popeye and Olive Oil having a good time, enjoying the carnival. Much taller than I expected.

MC: Where’s the beer crew!? Stella Artois! Budweiser! Fosters!

Luke: All the jerk chicken there. Massive barbecues with people chopping it up there on the table. Very tasty it is. It’s quite spicy.

Luke: What’s your name?
Ella: Err, my name is Ella.
Luke: Err, how’s the fest… how’s the carnival?
Ella: Pretty good, it’s pretty busy.
Luke: Yeah, have you been here before?
Ella: Yeah, two years ago
Luke: Okay, is this one better or worse than the last time?
Ella: Err, I think better. I’m with more people, so it’s better.
Luke: Ok, alright. What’s carnival all about?
Ella: Err, I don’t know. Partying. I’m sure there’s like, some historical reason, but…
Luke: What’s it about for you?
Ella: I dunno, having a laugh, getting drunk in the daytime. What about you? What’s it for you?
Luke: The same – having a good laugh, listening to the music, getting into the sort of community spirit of it, and all that. Yeah. Okay, thank you…

Luke: I’m an idiot because I didn’t get her phone number. I should have tried to chat her up, but I didn’t.

Koreans: Hello!
Luke: Where are you from?
Koreans: South Korea!
Korean Girl 1: He is North Korea!
Luke: What do you think of carnival?
Korean Girl 2: Sorry?
Luke (shouting): What do you think of the carnival??
Random guy: Yeah!!! Hypnotic brass dot net! Yeah yeah! What’s up maan? What’s up?
Korean Girl 2: Very nice!
Luke: What do you think of carnival?
Korean Girl 2: Very nice!
Luke: Very nice?
(North) Korean Guy 1: This carnival is wonderful, yeah!
Luke: Yeah, brilliant. Nice one, cheers.
Korean Girl 1: You are very nice!
Luke: Cheers

Luke: You can see St. Luke’s Mews, err, named after me actually. It wasn’t really, erm, yeah. So the Spanish tapas bar was open, but the Japanese café was closed. Typical. It’s very difficult to squeeze through the crowds at the carnival. There’s so many people, it’s difficult to squeeze through. … See, more people dancing in the street. Getting down. Another massive speaker. Very very loud. Seriously loud music. And, erm, you see all the people, kind of, getting down, grooving, dancing, blowing their whistles. It’s just a great party in the street. I mean, normally these streets are very quiet, very nice places, but during carnival they just become crazy parties, with everyone just dancing and drinking, it’s great fun.

This here is, erm, Miss Dynamite, and she’s actually quite famous in the UK. She’s got a recording contract. So you can see she’s getting everyone into it. That’s basically the end of this carnival video. After this, my tape ran out. I had no more tape left. It ran out, so I had to leave a final message for you.

Luke: Ok, erm, I’m just in a toilet now, in someone’s house, someone I don’t know. Erm, the sun’s gone down, the carnival’s going crazy out there, completely insane, so I’ve run out of tape, so that’s the end of this, that’s the end of this video, so ciao, peace, rastafari…

So, that’s the end of the video. I hope you enjoyed it. Now, there are loads of phrasal verbs in the whole video. So, did you manage to spot all the phrasal verbs? I’ll give you a list of the phrasal verbs in this video, at the end of the video, but of course you’ll have to listen to Luke’s English Podcast again in order to find all the meanings. I’ll actually explain all of the phrasal verbs and give you definitions for all of them. Every one that has appeared in this show, in this video, okay? So, what you should do now is watch the video again and try and pick up all of the phrasal verbs, ok?
That’s it, bye bye bye bye bye bye byebybybye

What is a phrasal verb?
It’s a verb which is made of two or more words. A verb and one or two particles. Particles are prepositions or adverbs. E.g. To get on with someone. ‘get’ is the verb, ‘on’ and ‘with’ are prepositions, or particles. (to get on with someone means to have a good relationship with someone – e.g. “I get on really well with my brother. We’re good friends”)
There are 2 types of phrasal verbs: Literal ones and idiomatic ones.
The literal ones are quite easy to understand. The meaning of the phrasal verb is not too different to the meaning of just the verb in the phrase. The particle just modifies the meaning slightly, or is used to connect the verb to a noun. e.g. I know about the Notting Hill Carnival ‘Know about’ is very similar to ‘know’, but slightly different. E.g. I know Tom Cruise (I know who he is), I know about Tom Cruise (I’ve read about him, I know information about him).
Idiomatic phrasal verbs are the difficult ones because the meaning is different from the individual words. E.g. to give up smoking (to quit smoking)
The meaning of the word ‘give’ and the phrase ‘give up’ are completely different.

So, when you see a verb + particle combination (phrasal verb), think about if it is a literal one or an idiomatic one. Luckily, almost every phrasal verb in this video is a literal one (yey!).

Here’s the list of phrasal verbs, and a brief description of their meanings:

  1. To know about something – you have information or knowledge about it. You might have read about it, or heard about it from someone.
  2. To go out – to leave the house, and go outside. It also means to leave the house to go to a pub, bar or club.
  3. To get some cash out – to withdraw money
  4. To get on the bus – to enter the bus
  5. To top up your Oyster card – an Oyster card is an electronic bus/train card. To ‘top it up’ means to put money onto it.
  6. To wait for something – this just means to wait, but we always use the preposition ‘for’ to add an object
  7. To hot up – to become more exciting, busier and more active. E.g. “The carnival is hotting up!”
  8. To get stuck in traffic – to be delayed in a traffic jam. E.g. “Sorry I’m late, I got stuck in traffic”
  9. To walk through somewhere – to walk from one end of an area to the other end. E.g. “I’m just walking through Notting Hill at the moment”
  10. To block off the street – to stop people entering or exiting the street. The police do it with ‘road blocks’. “The police have blocked off the street”
  11. To drive through the street – to drive from one end of the street to the other end. “People can’t drive through the street”
  12. To meet up with someone – to meet someone, usually in an informal/social way. “I’m going to meet up with my friend Raph”
  13. To queue up for something – to wait for something in a line/que with other people. To stand in a queue for something. “You have to queue up for the toilet”
  14. To come across something – to find something while you are walking somewhere, or while you are doing something else. E.g. “I was surfing the internet and I came across a really good podcast about The Beatles.”
  15. To walk around – this means to walk, but not to one destination, just to walk to various places in an area without a specific destination. E.g. “You might come across shops like this when you’re walking around Notting Hill”
  16. To wave at someone – to shake your hand in the air to someone (in order to say hello)
  17. To point at someone – to use your finger to bring attention to someone
  18. To pick something up – to buy it, get it, take it. E.g. “You can pick up loads of nice caribbean food at the carnival”
  19. To pump out music – to play music really loud. E.g. “The speakers were pumping out music until 2AM”
  20. To get covered in something – to have something all over you (it’s passive). E.g. “They covered me in chocolate. I got covered in chocolate.”
  21. To look after someone – to protect, care for someone. “The police are here, just looking after everyone”
  22. To check something out – to look at something “Check out the helicopter!”
  23. To crack down on something – to try to stop something happening, to become strict on something. Usually the government or the police do this. E.g. “The police are cracking down on drug dealing”
  24. To see something off – to eat or drink something completely. To finish eating or drinking something. “You’ve already finished off two beers!”
  25. To get something down – to eat or drink something. “I’m going to get a couple more beers down later”
  26. To crack open a beer – to open a beer! ‘Crack’ is the sound the can of beer makes when you open it.
  27. To party on – to continue partying
  28. To come out into the street – to leave the house and go into the street
  29. To dress up – to put on special clothes (smart clothes, or fancy dress)
  30. To think about something – to consider something. ‘about’ is the preposition we use to connect ‘think’ to an object. You can also say ‘think of’ something.
  31. To go back centuries – to have a long history (hundreds of years). “The roots of African music and culture go back centuries”
  32. To come back – to return to this place again. “I think I’ll come back next year”
  33. To hit something out of your hands – to make someone drop something by ‘hitting’ it while they are holding it. “That man tried to hit the camera out of my hands”
  34. To chop something up – to cut something into pieces with a knife, sword etc. “These people are chopping up the jerk chicken”
  35. To chat someone up – to talk to someone because you think they are attractive, and you want to make them fancy you. Hopefully, you’ll get their mobile phone number, or you’ll be able to go on a date with them, or kiss them… “I should have tried to chat her up”
  36. To name something after someone – To give someone/something the same name as someone else. E.g.”I was named after Luke Skywalker because my parents are big Star Wars fans.” [that’s not actually true, they don’t love Star Wars (IV – VI) as much as me…]
  37. To squeeze through a crowd – to walk through a crowd of people by making your body smaller. “It’s really hard to squeeze through the crowds”
  38. To get down to the music – to dance to the music “Look at all the people getting down!”
  39. To get people into something – to encourage/make people enjoy something “Miss Dynamite really got everyone into it!”  n>
  40. To run out of something – to use all of something, so you have nothing left. E.g. “I ran out of fuel, so I couldn’t drive all the way. I ran out of water in the desert, and I died – that’s why I’m in heaven now, doing a podcast, in heaven, yes, silly example, sorry.”

That’s it, bye bye bye bye bye bye byebyebyebyebyyeyeyeyeyeyyey eye eye eye eye eye eye eye