It’s confession time on this week’s podcast. Apart from chocolate, Craig has another addiction. Learn all about it (and some stationery vocabulary) on this episode of Aprender Inglés con Reza y Craig.
Voice message from Olga from Russia
12.00 PM is often accepted as being 12 o’clock midday
12.00 AM is midnight
But not everybody agrees! PM means post meridiem (after midday) and AM means ante meridiem (before midday). It’s better to use the 24-hour clock.
When should you say ‘Good morning’, ‘Good afternoon’, ‘Good evening’, ‘Good night’?
Emiliano (Emi) from Argentina sent us another email. (We answered his questions about phrasal verbs in episode 181)
I have some questions regarding grammar:
When can I use the word ain´t?
Ain’t is a contraction for am not, is not, are not, has not, and have not.
(In some dialects ain’t is also used as a contraction of do not, does not, and did not).
‘You ain’t seen nothing yet!’ / ‘Say it ain’t so.’ / ‘The creative process ain’t easy.’
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ / ‘Two out of three ain’t bad’ / ‘It ain’t necessarily so.’
Is there any rule for contractions or apostrophes? I thought that apostrophes should apply for verb contractions like I´m, she´s and so on, but, I´ve seen many words (especially in songs) that do not follow this rule like ” throw ’em back” or ´bout instead of about.
Could you give me some advice to improve my reading skills? I usually read part by part and sometimes I’m not able to join the right words and the expression changes, to hear me reading is like to heard (hearing) a 6 year old child reading.
(We don’t usually read aloud)
My other question is: could you give some advice to measure my improvements? there are a lot of thing(s) to be learnt about the language and I don’t know if I am getting a good progress over it. (making good progress)
Finally, I ´d like to share a curious thing about your name Reza: do you know that your name means “he/she prays” in Spanish? “Rezar” is the infinitive of the verb “to pray”, so your name means “to pray” conjugated in a third form of present tense.
It’s true. I’m addicted to stationery: pens, pencils, folders, envelopes…..
Stationery vs. stationary
I exercise on a stationary bike. (adjective)
I have a fetish for office stationery. (noun)
Stationery – noun – remember the ‘e’ stands for envelope
Stationary – adjective – remember that the ‘a’ stands for ‘at rest’
Let’s look at a list of vocabulary that you might find in an office. Does Craig consider it porn?
Stapler (grapadora) – staples
Blank paper, lined paper, squared paper
Notebook/jotter – to jot something down
Hole-punch – perforadora
Ring binders – carpeta de aros
Pencil sharpener – sacapuntas (SHARP – afilado (knife), puntiagudo (needle, pencil) agudo/a, nítido/a (not blurry, intelligent – he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, not the sharpest knife in the drawer)
BLUNT – not sharp, desafilado, directo/a ‘a blunt person’ or ‘a blunt statement’ – franco/a)
Rubber (UK), eraser (US) – goma
Sellotape (trademark) /sticking tape/sticky tape – tape dispenser
Glue/adhesive – pegamento – to stick/glue something
(A pair of) scissors – tijeras
A ruler – regla
A folder – carpeta, files, filing/file cabinet – archivo
Index cards – fichas
Rubbish bin, trash can, waste paper basket
Drawing pins (UK), thumbtacks (US) – chinchetas
Appointment diaries (personal journal – diario / scheduling diary – agenda)
Ballpoint pens, biros (trademark), fountain pens, quill, nib
How do you feel when you walk into a stationer’s?
What does it smell like?
Is my addiction normal?
Reza’s mum, who worked in a stationer’s for many years, used to say that you can judge a man by the quality of his stationery. (Not every pen is a Montblanc!) Perhaps nowadays you can judge a man by his IT equipment?! (Apple, Android….)
I don’t have time to put pen to paper recently.
My application is being held up by red tape.
He’s only a pencil/pen pusher.
The mafia rubbed him out for irritating them.
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. Do you have a strange addiction or fetish like Craig? Please tell us about it so that I can start thinking I’m normal and don’t need psychiatric help!
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On next week’s episode: Wales
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’