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Real Conversations

Recordings of real conversations and interviews, with transcripts of the conversations so you can read and listen at the same time. It is a good way to learn real English.

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How does she know that you love her?

How does she know that you love her?

Don’t sing. Let’s just walk.

He knows the song too.

Present Perfect Tense

I have never heard this song.

Really nice work.

Ok. That is it.

Idiom – take somebody for granted

It is not enough to take the one you love for granted.

How do I know he loves me?

How do I know he cares?

Present Participle

Sending flowers when the sky is gray.

A little bit every day.

That is how you know.

See?

I have seen quite enough. Let’s go.

You’ve got to show her that you need her.

Everybody wants to live happily ever after.

Everybody wants to know that true love is real.

Take these flowers to Nancy. Please.

What are you? Crazy? They are birds. They don’t know where she lives.

That’s how you know.

The Importance of Love

How important is love?

Link to the Love Page

Share your thoughts...

Do you have a dream?

Infinitives

“to cope” is the infinitive form of the verb.

Link to infinitive lesson

Crossing the Stream

A strream is a small river.

Angels

The song talks about believing in angels.

Do you believe in angels?

Dreams

How important are dreams? And what exactly are dreams?

Some people say dreams are just mental garbage. They are just random images from your waking life.

Other people say that they are messages from another world. Some believe they are messages from your soul.

The Meanings of the Word – Dream

In English the word “dream” has two distinct meanings. One meaning is the mental images which we remember when we wake. They are the experiences we remember while asleep and they stay in our minds a while after we wake up but they often vanish quickly.
The other meaning of the word is “objective” or “ambition”.

If you have something you really want, it can be a dream or vision or goal.

What is your dream?

Tell us in the comments section below.

Are you familiar with the Martin Luther King speech?

I have a Dream


Link to Historical Materials

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Trading – Gambling or Investing

In this lesson we are going to look at two short videos. The first one is an anti-gambling advertisement by the Victorian Government. It is aimed at gambling addicts or problem gamblers.

gambling addicts
problem gamblers
people who have a problem with gambling

The second video is an advertisement for online trading. This advertisement is for a company called IG which provides trading in financial derivatives.

online trading
trading stocks
trading financial derivatives

Perspectives on Gambling

Note how one video portrays gambling as a problem but the other video glorifies gambling as a glorious exciting occupation. The first film shows images of a woman playing on slot machines or fruit machines but the second film portrays a man on a mountainside, in a lake and other natural places. Let’s watch the first video.

Questions About the Video

What type of gambling is pictured in the film?
Who is the film aimed at?
Is gambling portrayed positively or negatively?

Anti-Gambling Advertisement

Karl was always at work
He was never home.

a bit of fun at the pokies (poker machines – slot machines)

I won at first
I sold the watch he bought me, but he didn’t notice.

I even sold Gran’s things.

Jenny was worried about me.
She told her dad.

He was going to leave.

I decided I really needed help.

And listened.

Is On-line Trading Different from Gambling?

Before we look at the next advertisement let’s ask, is online trading or retail trading in financial derivatives a form of gambling? What do you think?

What type of gambling is pictured in the film?
Who is the film aimed at?
Is gambling portrayed positively or negatively?

Now look at the advertisement:

Advertisement for Prospective Traders

to be a trader
you need that spark inside
the courage … vision .. determination … and insight
the eye to see opportunity
and the wit to seize the right one
especially when it is right in front of you.
That is what it means to be a trader.
That is what it means to trade.

What do you think about gambling? Tell us your opinion in the comments section below.

Share your thoughts...

I have never seen anything like you

Non – Standard Language

I have never seen anything like you.
I have never seen nothing like you.

“anyone” focuses more emphasis on the identity of the person as a person, as opposed to as a thing.

I have never seen anyone like you.
I have never seen anything like you.

Present Perfect Tense

Note the pattern:

I have seen ….
I have seen
I have seen …

But I have never seen …

Present Simple Tense

Do you do you want my love?

Do you, do you want …. ?

Listening with Partial Comprehension

When you listen it is not necessary to understand one hundred per cent. Partial listening leads to full comprehension in time. But you have to start by actively listening. Listen to the parts you know.

Listen to the parts you recognise.
Then try to work out the parts that you do not know. Do it several times.

Link to more songs:

Man in Black

How Long do we have left?
You are beautiful
Do you know the Way to San Jose?
Time After Time

Link to Vocabulary Tests

Link to Real Conversations

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Road Trip to the Beach

Are you in the club?

Passive Voice

Ok Elsa. I just wanna say for the record that I am really excited.

I am thrilled to be getting out of Arendale.

Present Perfect Continuous

I have been wanting to get out of Arendale.

Relative Clauses

I just want to know where we are going. I don’t understand why it has to be a surprise.

Present Continuous Tense

And you are driving so fast.

Relative Clauses

I don’t know where you learned to drive.

Present Perfect Tense (simple)

I have never even been in a car.

But you seem to know what you are doing so that is good.

Past Continuous Tense

But back to what I was saying.

Present Simple Tense

I don’t understand.

Relative Clauses

Is there any reason why I can’t know where we are going?

Present Continuous Tense

You are still driving so fast.

What do you say Elsa, can you tell me?

No, Anna! It has to be a surprise. No more questions.

That was a pretty firm “no”.

Appropriate

I just hope that where we are going is appropriate for somebody who is wearing a hat and mittens.

It seems like we have been in the car for a really long time.

Metaphor – Figurative Language


Have I ever steered you wrong?

I am your date!

No. You have never steered me wrong.

The Beach

Ok We are here. The beach!

This is so great.

I cant believe we are here. This is so beautiful.

I just wish I had a bathing suit.

Present Perfect Tense (simple)

Don’t worry Anna. I packed everything we need.

Wow! I love my suit. I love yours too.

This is also nice.

Keeping me warm and cosy with my mittens and my hat.

Past Continuous Tense

Anna! I was protecting your beautiful royal skin from the harsh rays.

Future Tense

No w you go and sit over there sand I am going to get in the water.

Past Simple Tense

The water felt so great.

You really should think about getting in the water

Hey Anna! How does the water feel?

I don’t know, Elsa. Still a little hot. I am wearing a hat and mittens with my bathing suit.

No problem, Anna.

Ahhh I am gonna get you for this.

What do you think she did? (Did she throw water on her?)

Link to dialogues with audio and transcript: Mosquito City

Share your thoughts...

Listening – The Sanskrit Tradition


Look at this template. Can you fill in the blanks?

Presenter: Hello I am ….

Our topic today is …

My guest today is …

Welcome ….


Now Read and Listen:

Guest: I am very glad to be here.

Presenter:It is a pleasure to be with you. You know I think many people who speak English do not realize that our own language as well as most western languages have their origins in what is sometimes called the proto-Indo-european language, which is really the same language from which Sanskrit and the Hindu traditions are derived.

Guest:Yes, English, Russian, Icelandic, French, Greek are all dialects of a mother tongue that is spoken very widely in India and many parts of the world.

Presenter:We think of our language as being western and we think of India and its culture as being eastern but actually they have not only a common linguistic origin but a common cultural basis as well.

Guest:Yes common thought. If we divide east and west I would put the boundary between India and China perhaps. India is western, by my way of thinking.

Presenter:Well, Buddhism which was born in India and then moved to China bridges that gap as well.

Guest: Buddhism is the west and went to the east.

Presenter: There we have an example of how we are much more intimately related to eastern culture than we realize. And many many words in the English language have Sanskrit origins or origins that are traceable to the Sanskrit tradition and the earlier proto-Indo-european language.

Guest: Yes, most of the words in English go back to the Teutonic northern European Icelandic root to the Indo-european root to the Sanskrit or the Vedic …

Listening for Gist


The two speakers speak slowly.You can listen to the conversation and understand most of it if you know the vocabulary. If you do not know vocabulary, it does not matter. You can still note patterns and phrases that are familiar and develop listening skill. Listen for phrases you understand:

we think of ..

the language in which ..

the great equation

is an artificial language

spoken in the wisdom traditions

spoken in the street

a synthetic language

not the street language

a formal language

used by the priests and the philosophers

what is actually spoken in the bazaar

concepts like …

the terms are so precise

they are used

the English equivalents do not exist

states of consciousness

precision for thought and consciousness

you have translated the Upanishads

you have described to me

and then they realized

if they are written down

an oral tradition

to give you an idea

the beginning of the

the sound of the universe

everything has come out

in the world

should be enveloped

only for performing good deeds

only thus and in no other way

it actually is in some ways reminiscent ..

there is something a little deeper

the word “sutra” is interesting

means a string

a string of pearls

nuggets of wisdom

if you pause

the word “human”

a Sanskrit word

the eternal sound

everything that is alive

humanity will ..

the Vedic tradition

eternal cycles

better times are coming

a career in theoretical physics

how the universe came about

there is a sense

the depth of insight

Did you find this helpful? Tell us how you feel about listening in the comments section. Then listen and read with the links below:

More Conversations with Audio and Transcript

1. What is your first language?

2. Twenty four hours I am on the job

3. The Five Elements

4. The Same Thing


5. Chanting the Vedas

6. The Same Thing – Again

Vocabulary Tests

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Employ

Conclude

General

Design

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Time and time again

“Time after time” means “time and time again”. It is another way to say “always” or “forever”.

Poetry and song are an abbreviation of prose. Prose is ordered thought.

Present Continuous Tense and Present Simple Tense

I am lying in my bed.
I hear the clock.
It is ticking.
I am thinking of you.

Link to present Continuous Tense Lesson

Passive Voice

I am caught up in circles.

Link to Passive Voice Lesson

The Use of Nothing

Confusion is nothing new.
It is not new.

I am having flashbacks (memories) of warm nights.

Metaphor

I was almost left behind.
I have a suitcases of memories.

Link to the metaphor page.

Present Continuous Tense and Modals

I am walking too far ahead.
You are calling to me.
I cannot hear what you said.

First Conditional

If you are lost, you can look and you will find me.

Future “will” Continuous Form

I will be waiting.

Time after time.

First Conditional

If you fall, I will catch you.

Time after time.

I will be waiting.
Time after time.

Reported Speech

You said: “Go slow”.

I fall behind.
I get left behind.
I am too slow.

Clock Vocabulary

The second hand unwinds.

There are three hands on a clock face. They are the hour hand, the minute hand and the second hand.

The hour hand, which measures the hours, is not really a hand.
It is an arrow.

The minute hand moves faster than the hour hand.

The second hand moves fastest of all. It counts the seconds.

Link to the Time Page


Link to the Hour Page

Vocabulary Tests

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Conclude

General

More Songs


Beat – Power words with songs

Share your thoughts...

You are Beautiful

Transport

I saw you on the subway ..

In New York we call it “subway”. In Paris we call it “metro”. In London we call it “tube” or “underground”.

James Blunt is British but he uses the American term for the urban rail system. Which variety of English is more popular in your region, British or American?

Link to London Accent


Link to French Accent

Link to New York Accent

Non-standard Language

I won’t lose no sleep on that
I won’t lose any sleep over that

A Reference to Drug Use

I was fucking high – I was stoned.


Many young people smoke marijuana in Britain.

Was he high (stoned) on marijuana or just “high on life”?

What do you think?

The Use of Rhyme

I saw your face in a crowded place
I don’t know what to do
I will never be with you

Rhyme is used in Poems. Listen to this poem. Banjo Player’s Brother

The Transcendent Nature of Beauty

In “You are Beautiful” James Blunt writes (and sings) about somebody who he saw on the subway. He was deeply effected by the experience of having seen beauty. Whether it be a human being, a natural place, an object or an idea, the experience of beauty can have a powerful and transcendent effect on our emotional life.

When we arrive at a new mental state we can be aware of what has changed our mood or emotional perspective, but we can also be aware of the mental or emotional state which we were in before the experience of beauty and the change that it wrought.
If the earlier mental state is significantly different from the later one, then it seems more significant for the extent of the change which has come upon us.

Perhaps the author was feeling low or cynical or unable to believe in the possibility of love. Perhaps he was alone or lonely and felt down and dejected and his vision was locked on to a limited perspective of what life can be.

But then he saw a beautiful human being and his perspective was changed. He became aware of another possibility. If somebody as beautiful as this existed, perhaps he could find her or someone like her to fill an emptiness that he felt in his life. Perhaps.

When a person is surrounded by beauty such as when one lives in a magnificent city with an exquisite urban panorama or a hidden valley where the wonders of nature are abundant and ubiquitous, might one become blase and immune to beauty? If one is able to see beautiful things every day, might one become inured to it and in a certain sense, immune to it?

Certainly lack of exposure to beautiful things and the experience of ugliness, whether visual or emotional, will create a certain mental framework which makes the experience of beauty all the more remarkable. And if the beauty which one beholds is human beauty, then how wonderful that moment when one senses the existence of beauty, particularly as one emerges from an ugly place.

Surely human beauty is the supreme expression of that quality which touches our hearts. Human beauty is allied to the faculties of admiration, desire and love. It hints at the possibility of a different life, which is, after, all just another way of viewing this life that we already have.

When we look into the eye of another with trust and admiration and love, do we gaze on god?


Link to the Heart Page

Link to More Songs


Man in Black


Twenty five Minutes to Go

Vocabulary Tests

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General

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