Listen to three more stories told by Amber, Paul and Luke – can you guess if they are true or lies?
Hello ladies and gents, welcome back to the podcast. Are you ready for your regular dose of English listening practice? Here we go.
This is episode number 663 and it is another Lying Game with Amber & Paul, this time recorded remotely during the lockdown, fairly late in the evening, recently.
The Lying Game is something Amber, Paul and I have been playing for years on this podcast. Basically it involves us telling each other stories about our lives, but we can choose to either tell the truth or tell a lie. The others then have to ask questions about those stories and then try to guess if they are made up or not. Points can be won or lost accordingly.
Before we start I just want to point out some bits of language for you to notice while you listen.
Grammar: Watch out for the narrative Tenses
Essentially this game is about storytelling and most of the time the stories take place in the past, so there are lots of descriptions of past events and questions in past tenses. If you wanted to, you could look out for things like the grammatical tenses being used.
Past simple tense is definitely the most common one (“I jumped into the water” “I didn’t jump into the water” or “Did you jump into the water?” or “Why did you jump into the water?” ) , but also watch out for instances of the other narrative tenses that we know and love – past continuous and past perfect and how they’re used in combination with past simple to build a narrative.
Past perfect (had + past participle –> I was going to Ireland because Alice had invited me to stay) is used to show that certain things happened before the main events of the story. It doesn’t just mean “things that happened a long time ago” (a common mistake) but rather it’s used to show background events – things that happened before the main events of the story. It’s not as common as past simple or past continuous but it is definitely used, although it can be quite hard to hear the ‘had’ part.
Also, we use past continuous (was/were +ing –> I was living in Brighton at the time) to show the situation or context at the time the main events happened, or to show things that happened over and over again.
For example, watch out for these sentences in the episode. (these ones mainly contain past perfect) Watch out also for the pronunciation. Can you hear the “had” in these sentences?
- “[We went to Greece.] It was the first time that we’d ever been on holiday together.” [First time in their lives at that point. No previous trip to Greece before then.]
- “We’d never been together outside the UK or Paris.”
- “[At the time] I was living in Brighton, it was the summer holidays and Alice had invited me to stay with her in Ireland which is where she is from.” [Alice invited Amber earlier than the main events of this story]
- “Alice had already gone home for the holidays and I was joining her.” [Alice went home before the main events of this story]
- “They were making us drink cocktails that I’d never heard of before” [Never before in our lives at that point]
So if you are up for it you can listen out for bits of grammar like that but you can also just listen to the stories without worrying about grammar and play the game with us. Do you think these stories are true or are they untrue? Are they fact or fiction? All real events, or completely made up? Try and work it out as you listen. You get one point for every story you guess correctly. That’s a maximum of 3 points for you. For us playing the game, the points system is equally simple for some reason we always manage to get a bit confused by it.
The stories this time all involve drunken nights out. There’s also some swearing in this, which you might want to bear in mind if you’re using this in class or something.
I want to just highlight some vocab in advance, just to help you a bit. These are things you might not know but which are pretty important for understanding the stories.
- a stag do / a stag party = a party a man has before he gets married, usually involving going out with best friends – one of whom will be the best man at the wedding, lots of drinking, a trip to another city or country, some humiliation of the groom-to-be, maybe a trip to a strip club. “I was on my cousin’s stag do” – you heard me mention my cousin’s stag do in a recent episode, when the two of us were dressed as a pantomime horse. It’s called a bachelor party in the USA.
- a hen do / a hen party = (not mentioned in the story, but if you learn stag do you’ve got to learn hen do as well, they go together as a pair) basically a hen do is the same as a stag do but for girls – it usually involves going out with a big group of girls, including the bridesmaids, but they’ve got fancy dress on or they’re all wearing angel wings or something, or special T shirts with the bride’s face on, lots of drinking and fairly lewd behaviour, and maybe a male stripper. Stag dos and hen dos, that’s the kind of rich, deep cultural heritage which makes me proud to be an Englishman. “It’s Emma’s hen do at the weekend.” Bachelorette party in US English.
- What the Fuck France! This a comedy TV show that Paul Taylor made on French TV, which made him quite famous among the French (French people).
- Boxers / boxer shorts = a kind of men’s underwear, similar to those worn by boxers.
- To get whacked – to get assassinated by the mafia (this is Italian American slang that you might hear in a Martin Scorsese film)
- Frolicking – playing, jumping, dancing around –> frolicking around in the water
- Lax = not caring enough about security or rules, being lazy about security, a lax approach to air travel, very lax security at the hotel
- A maze = Something you might find in the garden of an old English stately home. Imagine the garden of an English stately home – an old house in the countryside, like Downton Abbey or Hampton Court or something. In a maze there are hedges which have been grown to form a series of interconnected paths, and for fun you have to find your way from one end to the other or find the middle, without getting lost.
I will let you discover what actually happens in the stories and how all that language is actually featured.
So that’s it for the introduction and a little pre-teaching of language. Now you can just sit back and listen on as we let the game begin!
So that was the late night lockdown lying game with Amber and Paul. I hope you enjoyed it.
I think I’ve found the cure for hiccups.
Happy Hour with Paul Taylor – 6PM CET weekdays on YouTube and Facebook.
There are lots of other lying game episodes in the archive. Head over to teacherluke.co.uk and do a search of the archive for “lying game”. You can also search in the app that way. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve done this on the podcast now. We’ve had stories about working on Keanu Reeves films, being bullied by members of Coldplay, meeting rock stars at buddhist temples, seeing famous French film stars on my roof, working as a pole dancer in Paris, stabbing yourself in the face accidentally, rolling cars on country roads, knocking down walls in Japanese apartments, getting offered threesomes, and all kinds of other things. It could be a whole podcast of its own.