If you are a new listener, If this is your first time here, welcome! I’m Craig. This is Reza, and we are going to help you improve your English and take it to the next level.
In this episode: Uses of the pronoun ‘it’, Dentist vocabulary, How about…? and What about…?
Comment from Reyna: “Thank you for all your podcasts, I Need to learn English because of my job, and you have been a very important support (you have given me a lot of support). For me (it) is very difficult to understand a native speaker, so I would like you give me some advices (advice) to increase this hability (ability).”
You can improve your listening with English films, music and podcasts.
Listening to podcasts is a very good way to improve your English. Go to Google (or iTunes or the Stitcher app) and search for “photography podcast” or “fashion podcast” or any hobby you have + “podcast”.
TED talks are also very useful for more advanced levels.
The results of our study will be published in our cuaderno at cuadernodeingles.com.
My name is Joanne and I’m an English teacher of Elementary students in Madrid. I’ve been listening to you for two or three weeks and I consider your explanations very clear and accurate, and that’s just what I would like to have for my following questions,
1) What’s the difference between ‘How about…?’ and ‘What about…?’ when you want to suggest doing an activity or a place for example,
‘How about going to the cinema / What about going to the cinema?’. ‘How about at half past five/what about at half past five? or ‘what about meeting John, too/how about meeting John, too?’ I can’t really find any difference.
The same, but I would use “What about” if I wanted to object to something. For example, Craig, let’s go to the pub for a few beers after this podcast” – “Reza, what about your class this afternoon?”
or – If your mum’s coming to visit this weekend and you say to me “Let’s have a wild party this Saturday; get some booze, drugs, invite some hot, sexy women” – “What about your mum?”
Only “How about…?” can be used to ask someone to give you something, or to ask someone if they will do something:
“How about lending me a few euros until the end of the month?”
“How about making a cup tea?” / “How about putting the kettle on?”
2) In one of your podcast you explained the difference between ‘have been to/have gone to'(Episode 35), but what about if you want to make reference to something that you did in the past a long time ago.
For example ‘when I finished my degree, I went to Southampton for three months. I was living with an English family there, and afterwards I came back to Spain and started working in an Academy’. Of course, I went and returned, but as I am telling my lifestory, would that be correct? or would it be better to say ‘…I was in Southampton for three months…’
Thank you very much in advance! – Joanne
I WAS in Southampton for three months. (past simple – speaking about a time in the past – no connection to now)
I WENT to Southampton for three months. (past simple – speaking about a time in the past – no connection to now)
John HAS GONE to Mexico (present perfect – John is not here NOW. There’s a connection to now)
I’VE BEEN to France (present perfect – NOW I’m back, NOW I’m here. There’s a connection to now)
“I’ve been to Chile, I’ve been to Argentina and I’ve been to Paris.” I’m speaking about MY LIFE, My life hasn’t finished. I’m speaking about all the places I HAVE VISITED in my life UP TO NOW (present perfect).
It doesn’t matter how far in the past, or when in the past, these things happened.
Grammar: Uses of the impersonal pronoun ‘it’
It’s a lovely day, isn’t it? – ‘It’ is ‘the day’.
In English, verbs need a subject. In this example we use the verb “to be” – IS, so we need the subject pronoun ‘it’ = ‘It’s a lovely day’ (IT IS a lovely day)
“It’s sunny” (it = the weather)
It’s snowing, it’s raining,
“It’s a good thing you’ve come.”
“It was lovely to see you yesterday.” / “it was lovely seeing you yesterday.” or “Seeing you yesterday was lovely.”
“It is nearly always sunny in Valencia.”
‘It’ can be used as a subject to an impersonal verb.
‘What time is it?’ – ‘It’s 2.’
“It was a surprise that we met last week.” – ‘IT’ is the surprise.
The pronoun “it” is used as a ‘provisional’ subject, when the real subject is an infinitive or a gerund.
It’s difficult to live with her. (to live with her is not easy)
It’s great fun recording these podcasts (recording these podcasts is great fun)
It can be used with certain adjectives, “It’s worth visiting Granada.” (to be worth = merecer la pena / valer la pena)
“It’s no point worrying about it.” (no point = no tiene sentido)
“It took us a long time to get here.”
“It takes two to Tango.” (se necesitan dos para bailar un tango)
“Peter, not John, ate my piece of cake.” – “It wasn’t John who ate your piece of cake, it was Peter.”
It is used to represent a noun.
“I am taking my phone back to the shop because IT doesn’t work.”
“Who is it?”
“It’s Reza on the phone.”
It can also be used for animals and pets.
“Reza loves Berta the greyhound. It’s almost human.”
I won’t kill my chicken because it gives me eggs every day.
It is used for emphasis before a noun or a pronoun.
It was Reza who broke the glass.
It was Craig who made the tea.
It was Bob Marley who wrote the song “No woman, no cry”.
It can be used to refer to something that has been said before:
I decided to come to Valencia in 1997. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Reza has recently had a tooth taken out.
a brace = un aparato
tooth (singular) – teeth (plural)
to make an appointment – pedir una cita
to go for a check up (to have/get your teeth checked – the causitive) check up = revisión, chequeo
to have/get a tooth taken out
Reza had an infection cleaned up
You can have your car fixed (The causitive – HAVE / GET + object + past participle)
Have your hair cut
Have your eyes tested
I have had a tooth removed. (the first ‘have’ is the present perfect ‘have’. The second ‘have’ – had – is the causitive ‘have’)
I’ve had my hair cut
I’ve had my flat cleaned
a filling – empaste – I’m having a tooth filled
to have/get a filling / to have/get a tooth filled
crown = corona
to drill – taladrar
to have a toothache (dolor de muelas)
an injection – inyección
numb – adormecido, insensible
gums – encías
false teeth (dentures) – dentadura postiza
an implant – implante, prótesis
wisdom tooth – muela del juicio
plaque – placa
to brush your teeth – cepillarse los dientes
to floss (your teeth) – usar hilo dental
toothbrush – cepillo de dientes
toothpaste – pasta de dientes
mouthwash – enjuague bucal
Craig and Reza’s Weekly wind-ups ( to wind up = annoy, irritate, bother: fastidiar, disgustar, molestar)
Craig thinks that camping is only useful if you have very low budget, or want to go to a place that’s off the beaten track, like a pop festival for example.
Reza doesn’t like pedestrians who take up the whole pavement (acera) and don’t let you get past.
Reza thinks there are a lot of thoughtless pedestrians who don’t give consideration to others, and Craig agrees.
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The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’