273. The Bad Haircut Situation Part 2: More Role Plays & Improvisations

(Longest title ever?)
In the last episode, Amber, Paul and I talked about giving compliments, sharing bad news, and generally saying negative things in a careful and diplomatic way. We then did a couple of role play improvisations to help you notice specific language. In this episode we continue with the improvisations. You can see some samples of language used in those improvisations below.

I hope you enjoy this episode. As ever, please leave your comments below!

The Role-Plays and Language
3. You go to your friend’s house and they show you their new living room which took months to decorate and cost hundreds of pounds, but it looks awful.
– It’s different to how I imagined
– Normally I love the smell of fresh paint
– …very human
– You’ve really made a statement
– …ah, so it’s finished!

4. Last year you lent your iPod to a friend while he was in hospital. Now he’s better and he’s been out of the hospital for quite a few months but he’s still using your iPod all the time. Demand that he gives it back to you, but do not be rude to your friend!
– You look so great / so nice to see you (positive)
– I was woooooondering
– Did I lend you my iPod?
– I can show you a website
– I was thinking, if I could possibly get back that iPod
– I was thinking possibly if I could have it back
– You don’t mind?

5. You are the manager of a small office. Staff members in the office have complained to you that a member of the team has serious BO (body odour) issues. You’re the one who has to tell him about it, and suggest some solutions. But don’t hurt his feelings!
– Take a seat
– How are you?
– I wanted to have a chat
– essentially
– Let me start again
– Unfortunately, it seems…
– Specifically
– Being frank
– What can I do for you? (resolving the issue)
– I understand. That’s fine.
– Here’s the issue
– What Mr Taylor was trying to say was…

6. You’re the boss of a school. You have to inform one of your teachers that they’re going to be replaced by a Japanese teaching robot.
– No language recorded (I was too involved in the role play).

Fancy transcribing this episode? Click this link to access the google document and start transcribing!

  • Ivan

    OMG !!

    The scene with ipod is fascinating!
    More entertainment than an average conedy movie!

  • Abdullah Tariq

    Hi Luke, Amber and Paul,
    Only recently discovered Luke’s English podcast, been listening to it for last few days and this episode was hilarious. At 2am I was laughing out loud. Loved the role plays an the challenges. Amber has an amazing voice and Paul is very direct lol.

    I have been trying to imitate your accent luke, every letter and their sounds, I loved ambers accent in this episode. So interesting.

    Keep up the good work

  • Sveta

    Hello from Russia! Luke, you’ve really changed all my life, in all ways. I mean it! Completey! First when I came across your video “Native Speakers in London” I was confused as I was not understanding those at all…. But later on I made an effort to review my attitude…. Thank you ever so much for all those outstanding episodes and podcasts indeed! Immensely! Absolutely adorabale – Amber’s and Paul’s voices are so charming! Can’t stop listening to all of your podcasts… Still “Sick in Japan” seems to be the most appealing to me, I don’t know why… And also A Life-Changing Teaching Experience in Ghana – had a huge impact on me as well. I won’t forget that feeling….

    • Great! I’m glad you’re enjoying it so much!

      • Sveta

        You ARE an incredible teacher ever I’ve met in my life…You don’t even know how much you’ve influenced on my way to learn and master(rize:))))))) my Engish and on my students as well, since in Russia where I live (a small town) it’s such a rare occasion to meet a native-speaker… I do value your every effort…. Every episode and podcast it’s like a piece of precious of linguistic art….. Long live Luke’s Enlish Podcast! I’ll always appreciate you

  • ricardo

    Hello master Luke, Amber and Paul,

    Great and engaging episode. It was a really fun. Lovely voice has Amber.

    Be diplomatic is an art in some situations. Its difficult mix being completelly polite and leave a message in the same time.


  • Hai Master Luke, this is really an amazing episode . The imaginary role plays are very funny and a joy to listen . I thank your two good friends , Paul and Amber , for making it a very interesting and engaging one. The one deals with the body odour of the employee is the funniest one which made me laugh a lot . Amber has a lovely voice which is very singsong to listen . Thank you very much master Luke for these special podcasts.

  • Brian

    Hello Luke, it is the first episode that I listened to and I love it! There are lots of useful language and hilarious stories. However, I shouldn’t have listened to this podcast and studied chemistry at the same time. I was wearing the earphones, reading my notes, and giggling constantly, which possibly made my roommate think I was crazy because this subject is not a funny matter. Anyway, I’m really hooked by this podcast and looking forward to more new episodes. Thank you. :)

    • Hi Brian, welcome to the podcast! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m always glad to know that my listeners have been giggling and being distracted from other things while listening to my episodes. :)

  • Zhenya Shevchenko

    Super useful and thought-provoking episodes!

    Luke, in a living-room episode you were miserable )))), you simply chickened out and completely failed to show your real impression. I don’t think in real situation your friend would understood that you actually hated the room. But I think I would behave just the same as I am a very amiable person unfortunately))).

    I am still thinking is it good or bad that your friends won’t tell you directly what they think about your _____. This is so true about Ukrainians as well, we are very kind and soft with our friends and people in general. But we all see that it doesn’t bring any good to us in the end of the day…. So we ARE trying to be more honest and less roundabout. I think the most important phrase was given by Amber (what a lovely and clever lady!) – she said that another British person would understand what your real attitude/thoughts were even if you were not saying it directly. Because they know how to read between the lines.

    well, Luke, this is my time to be honest with you 8). I honestly consider your early episodes with English Robot 2000 to be the least interesting episodes of your podcast. Actually they are the only uninteresting episodes for me. I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings and I am glad you are not doing them any more ))).