Gramática: present simple
Craig likes rice. He doesn’t cook often. He doesn’t cook everyday. Craig makes a mess when he cooks. Reza’s mum is very houseproud. ‘Houseproud’ is a compound adjective. ‘Football’ is a compound noun.
Use the present simple when you talk about habits and states that never change:”Reza is messy”.
You can also use the present simple to talk about the future: When Reza stays at his mum’s house, he’ll be tidy.
You can also use the present simple for timetables: Reza’s flight leaves at 6.30.
Pronunciación: the schwa
When you wake up Monday morning, how do you feel? That’s the sound of the schwa, the most common sound in English: a – a pen, a book, a teacher, a computer, mother, sister, father, brother, banana – have a banana.
of – for – glass of beer, a cup of tea.
Reza’s Hot Tip: Write a sentence with a gap, wait a few days then try to remember the word and write it in the gap.
Reza’s mum is very _______ (houseproud) – Look at Craig’s desk. It’s really _____ (messy).
Vocabulario: make and do
hacer = make/do – make: food and drink / do business and make money (US English – How much money do you make? Br. English – How much money do you earn? make a profit/loss – create / physically make: table, furniture,- Do: in the house (except bed) Did you make your bed this morning?
Phrasal verb: take up
Reza wants to take up a hobby (start, begin)
Making models takes up too much space and time. (uses, occupies)
Maybe the electrician will take up the floorboards in his house (remove, lift)
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called See You Later – licensed by creative commons under a by-nc license at ccmixter.org.
Si quieres mandarnos un comentario sobre este podcast o una pregunta sobre la gramática, la pronunciación or el vocabulario de inglés, mandenos un email a email@example.com.
FULL TRANSCRIPTION (kindly contributed by Angélica)
Hola y bienvenido a aprender inglés con Reza y Craig.
C: Hello Reza,
R: Hi Craig, how is it going?
C: Pretty good, pretty good. I think first we should introduce ourselves.
R: Good idea.
C: So, my name is Craig, and I’m an English teacher here at the British Council in Valencia, and I’m originally from London.
R: and my name is Reza, I also live in Valencia and work at the British Council, and I come from Belfast.
C: So let’s begin with our first spot which is grammar focus. Reza over to you.
R: Craig, you live in Valencia, right?
C: I do.
R: It’s famous for rice. They grow rice here and they eat it a lot, right? Do you like rice Craig?
C: I love rice, not all rice dishes, I don’t really like arroz caldoso, arroz a banda, but I love paella, especially with chicken.
R: Yeah. And can you cook any rice dishes?
C: I don’t cook it, I just eat it.
R: Do you cook other things? I mean, how often do you cook anything at all?
C: Beans on toast sometimes, maybe I’ll have something fried, or a sandwich.
R: But do you cook like every day or once a week?
C: No, only when I have to.
R: You don’t really like household chores then, do you?
C: No, no I don’t clean, I don’t do anything in the house if I can help it.
R: And what about the washing up, do you always do the dishes?
C: No, I have a dishwasher.
R: On the rare occasions when you do cook Craig, do you usually make a mess when you cook?
C: Always. I make a mess when I cook, I make a mess when I make a salad, when I make a sandwich…
R: So, you are a messy person right?
C: I’m a messy person in the kitchen.
R: Like me!
C: You too?
R: Yeah. I really try to be tidy about the house, but I just can’t keep things in order. Do you think is possible for a person to change? I want to be tidier.
C: I don’t know if we do change. I think maybe we can change our habits. Yeah, that’s possible.
R: When I go to stay at my mum’s house, next Friday, I’ll be tidy. She is very, very house-proud.
C: Your mum? What does house-proud mean?
R: House-proud? That means it’s very important for her to have her house looking neat, and tidy and clean. It means a lot to her. She’s house-proud.
C: Because proud is “orgulloso”.
R: That’s right. House-proud: “orgullosa de su casa”.
C: Right. My mum is very house-proud as well.
C: Oh yeah! I’ve seen your mum’s house, it’s spotless. So, as I say Craig, I’m off to Ireland soon to visit my house-proud mum.
C: Right. And she’s not gonna let you make a mess in the house.
R: No, no way, no way. I’ll do a bit of housework, you know, but generally she likes to do it. She just doesn’t trust me.
C: So, what do you call words like that, where house is one noun and proud is an adjective and they are together, compound nouns?
R: Well house-proud will be a compound adjective.
C: Compound adjective?
R: Because it’s describing my mum. You can have a compound noun as well like football, everybody’s heard of football, everybody understands it, actually it’s a compound noun; you got the word foot, you got the word ball. Stick them together and you got football. My mum is house-proud; house, proud, stick them together and you got house proud.
Craig, have you noticed there that I asked you lots of questions about housework and what your mum is like, and you were asking me what my mum is like, and things like that… did you notice that most of the verbs were present simple?
C: I did.
R: Do you know why?
C: Is it because there is something that people usually do like as a habit? Your mother, she is house-proud on a regular basis, she does the cooking, she cleans the house, she does the shopping, so, when you speak about things like habits, we use the present simple.
R: Exactly, that’s one use of it… I also said that I’m a messy person and you’re a messy person, that’s a characteristic, that’s something that never changes. It’s not a habit, it’s a state which will never change, that’s also present simple.
C: I see, and messy in Spanish is…
R: messy?? Is mmm
R: the opposite of tidy. So my mum is really tidy around the house, she’s house-proud, I’m the opposite, I’m messy, I don’t care where I put things, and I never keep things in order, I’m the opposite of tidy.
C: You make a mess. Haces un lío.
R: I make a mess, that’s right. And I don’t do much housework.
I told you I’m going to stay in my mum’s house next Friday…did you notice I said “when I stay in my mum’s house next Friday I’ll be tidy”. I said “when I stay in my mum’s house”…that’s a present simple. I stay, “me quedo”. But the meaning is actually future, you can use the present simple as a future meaning if there is a time with it like next Friday. When I stay in my mum’s house, next Friday. By the way, my flight to Ireland leaves very early in the morning, I’ll have to get up about 5 o’clock.
C: That’s also present simple. My flight leaves…
R: you spotted it, that’s right! It’s next Friday, its future, but its present simple, because it’s a timetable. A timetable, you know, for buses, trains, school…timetable, “un horario”.
C: So I can say my lesson starts at half past six.
R: That’s right, even if your lesson is in the future.
C: ok. Are there any other uses of present simple apart from habits and timetables?
R: ahh, habits, timetables, characteristics…I said you at the beginning I think that Valencia is famous for its rice, they grow a lot of rice, they eat a lot of rice, it’s a characteristic of Valencia, characteristic. I also said my mum’s house-proud, that’s a characteristic of hers.
C: And as you said before, things that are always true. Water boils at..is it 32 degrees centigrade?
R: I don’t know, hundred degrees centigrade, that’s easier for me to remember!
C: Is it Fahrenheit?
R: No, centigrade!
C: When you heat water, it boils.
R: That’s it, always! It’s always gonna happen, can’t change. The sun rises in the East and sets on the West. Always present simple. Rises, sets.
C: Ok! Moving on then to the pronunciation spot. So, I wanted to talk about the commonest sound in English. How do you feel Reza when you wake up Monday morning and you think of work, what sound do you make?
R: / ə /
C: Close, with me is more like…/ ə /. You wake up in the morning, you are thinking of work, or you are thinking of your English lesson, and the sound you make is /ə/. So that’s the commonest sound in English, it’s called the schwa. For example, un bolígrafo is /ə/ pen. Un libro is /ə/ book. Then there is moth /ə/, sist/ə/, broth/ə/, teach/ə/, /ə/ comput/ə/, and very often words like prepositions and articles in the middle of a sentence have this sound /ə/, which is a weak form, un sonido débil.
R: Like “/tə/”, when people say “I’m going to the shops”, they say “/tə/”.
C: “I’m going to the shops”, in normal speech “I’m going / tə / the shops”. So you have /tə/ and / də /, two schwas. A cup of tea, so “of” /ə/ cup / əf/ tea. No “of” but /əf/.
R: So it’s always a weak sound then, the schwa, it’s never a strong sound.
C: Yeah! It’s a sound without effort, sin esfuerzo, just /ə/, /ə/ book, /ə/ cup of tea.
R: I heard Spanish people mispronounce schwa, because it’s almost like they make too much effort to pronounce it, and it doesn’t sound like a native speaker. They say /aaaaa/ cup-of-tea, instead of /ə/ cup /əf/tea.
C: Because they put equal stress in Spanish on each syllable. In English it’s stressed time, so we change the stress on different syllables. Another one, /bəˈnɑː.nə/. Have /ə bəˈnɑː.nə/, no, “have /ei ba-ná-ná/”. Have /ə bəˈnɑː.nə/. Lots of schwas.
TIPS TO LEARN NEW VOCABULARY
C: Reza have you got a hot tip for us this week?
R: Well Craig, we talked about a few topics today and we discovered some new vocabulary. As you know, it can be hard to remember new words and expressions. You and I have had to learn Spanish, not easy.
C: Some of us still trying.
R: Yeah, me too!
C: I’m still trying!
R: It’s easy to learn a word and forget it in a few days, right? Well, when I was first learning new Spanish vocabulary, I used to write sentences, but with a gap, a space, “un hueco”, I didn’t write the complete sentence. And the gap, the space, was the missing word or words, expressions, that I just learned and I wanted to remember.
C: Well, we see those all the time in textbooks, and course books, on the Internet where you have a sentence with a space that you have to write the missing word. Is this idea.
R: Right, exactly! So you can make up your own. Or you can copy a teacher’s or someone you heard if you want, but make a copy of your own if you like. Let me give an example Craig, here today we were talking about my mum, and how she’s house-proud. Now imagine “house-proud” was a new word for me, ok? And I wanted to remember in a few days what house-proud means. I might not hear it again, so it’s going to be easy to forget it, right? So, what if I wrote down on a piece of paper, number 1: Reza’s mum likes to clean and tidy her house a lot, because she is very ______.
C: So the missing word is… house-proud.
R: I write on another piece of paper or the other side of the same piece of the paper, but out of sight, 1. house-proud, in an answer key. I can write as many sentences as I like. Here is another sentence…Imagine we wanted to remember the word “messy”, right?
C: I think of football. The Barcelona footballer…Leonel Messi.
R: Leonel Messi. But Craig, I’m talking about the adjective “messy”! We were talking about which means untidy, quite the opposite of house-proud, we could write, both Craig and Reza don’t tidy up much. They are _____.
R: That’s the word!
- Or, I could say: look at my desk! It’s really _____.
R: So we write the word “messy” on the answer key, that’s number two. You could write as many as you like, three or four to remember, twenty if you got time. Then, leave them for a few days…that’s the test, because anyone can remember a word for a minute, a half an hour, an hour…leave it for a few days, then come back to it and test yourself. That’s a really good way to remember vocabulary. It’s much better than just writing lists of words. You need the context to remember.
C: That’s a wonderful idea. And also I suggest that you choose words that you like, because many of my students write long lists of words, too many words. I say just choose six, or seven or eight words from a lesson that you like, the words that you think you’ll use, words that you want to learn, not every single word, just choose the ones you like.
C: “messy” is easy to remember, just remember the footballer.
COLLOCATE WITH CRAIG
C: So now we are going to “Collocate with Craig”. I’m going to give you some popular collocations, for example, how do you say in English Reza, hacer, hacer la compra?
R: Oh Craig! I know that’s a trick question, I know that one. It can be “make” or it can be “do”.
C: That’s the thing. Well, with the shopping it’s probably do the shopping. But the problem is “hacer” in English is sometimes “make” and is sometimes “do”. So, one thing to remember, food and drink, you usually “make”. You make a sandwich, you make a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, you make a cocktail, you make dinner, breakfast and lunch, so food and drink you “make”. Business and money, which one is do, which one is make?
R: Oh! I’m not sure. A bit of both Craig. You can do business, you can make money… is that right?
C: That’s it, you do business and make money. How much money do you make? Is an American English way to say how much money do you earn? So in American English you use make when you ask about somebody’s salary. I make about three thousand a year.
Profit and loss. Speaking about money, what do you think? Make or do? Make a profit or do a profit?
R: Definitively, make.
C: Correct! Make a profit and make a loss. This year our company made a loss. They lost money. This year we made a huge profit.
R: What about deal Craig? Make a deal or do a deal?
C: Make a deal. Make a deal with someone. How do you say that in Spanish? Hacer un trato?
C: Let’s make a deal. Another thing to remember, when you physically create something, “creas algo”, like you make a table, is usually make. If you make furniture you are creating the furniture, you make a table from wood.
R: When you mean like there is a physical product at the end of it?
C: Correct! And finally, things in the house. Most things in the house you do, so you do the shopping, you do the cleaning, you do the washing up, you do the ironing…Except, the thing that you make?
R: I do, make the bed.
C: something I never do in the morning is make the bed. So, one exception, I think the one exception, is to make the bed…everything else in the house you do. Did you make the bed this morning?
R: I did, I always do.
C: Next episode we’ll speak about more expressions with make and do.
C: Reza do you have a phrasal verb for us?
R: I do Craig. The phrasal verb for today is: “take up”.
C: Take up?
R: Take up. You know Craig, I have plenty of free time these days, I want to take up a hobby, any suggestions?
C: Well, you could take up fishing, that’s relaxing, do you feel stressed?
R: I do! Yeah!
C: Take up fishing.
R: Ok! So, take up a hobby means start, begin an activity that you haven’t done before. That’s take up. Craig I have friends who make model planes and ships and things like that as a hobby. But I don’t want to do that, because I reckon that hobby takes up too much space and time. There is another use of “take up”. Making models takes up too much space and time.
C: Entonces el mismo phrasal verb puede tener más que un significado.
R: Oh yeah! Most phrasal verbs have more than one meaning. So we find take up, begin or start a hobby or activity, or we’ve got take up space, take up time, making model planes takes up too much space and time. It takes up, it uses, it occupies, that’s another meaning of take up.
C: And I suppose if you take up golf, you have to buy the golf clubs, and a golf bag, which would take up a lot of space in your flat, especially if like me you have a small flat.
R: Exactly! That’s it. So you’ve just used ‘take up’ twice in the same sentence with two different meanings. And they are both really common meanings, you’ll hear them all the time.
C: So is there anything you seriously considering taking up?
R: I’m considering taking up cycling. It would keep me fit I hope.
C: That’s healthy, that’s good idea. Especially in Valencia because is so flat.
- But you know, maybe I’ll have to just to wait a while because there’s something else on my mind..you know, very soon an electrician is coming right to my flat, to change the cables, the wiring, “los cables”. I’m a bit worried. Apart from taking up lots of time, do you think this electrician is going to take up the floor boards in my house?
- Uh! That’s a good question. It depends whether the original cables were under the floor. But he might have to take off some of the plaster. What’s plaster in Spanish? I can’t remember! Escayola! Yeah, to take off the escayola. Take off the plaster from the walls to get to the wires. But take up the floor boards probably not, I hope!
R: So I’m glad to hear that. We got the word take up there, the phrasal verb means lift, remove something, so hopefully the electrician doesn’t have to take up, lift, remove, “levantar” my floor boards. But Craig says he probably will have to take off some plaster, take off, “quitar”, remove, “quitar la escayola”. Take off the plaster.
C: Well, I think may be we’ve taken up too much of our listeners time, possibly, a nice way to finish our first episode, so thank you for listening, thank you to Reza, and we hope to see you in the next episode.