In our weekly Madrid Teacher series, four teachers discuss things that annoy them.
Watch the video through to get the gist of the teachers' conversation.
Watch the video again. This time pay attention to the following features of spoken English:
Use of so as a connector.
Use of like as a connector.
Showing agreement: Oh, yeah; absolutely; It's true
Use of really to emphasize the information we are giving.
Use of you know as a filler to gain thinking time.
Use of erm as a filler to gain thinking time.
Use of I mean to paraphrase what you have just said.
Use of vague language when we can't be very precise: kind of
Involving listeners in the conversation by asking them questions.
Use of actually before giving some surprising information.
Use of anyway to return to the main point in the conversation.
Now it's over to you. If possible, get together with a friend and talk about the small things in life that annoy you. You can also talk about the situations the Madrid Teachers discussed.
Make a point of using some of the features of spoken English they used.
Louise: So I was walking down the street the other day. I hate to be stuck behind somebody who walks slowly. It drives me crazy.
Thomas: Oh, yeah.
Louise: I can feel the steam coming out of my ears.
Louise: Is there anything that really really gets you mad?
Thomas: You know, going along with that, I feel the same way but then when I see someone rushing past me, I’m, like, why don’t you just leave a little earlier.
Vicky and Louise: Ha, ha, ha.
Thomas: Really, it’s gotta be my pace exactly, anything slower, anything faster drives me nuts.
Joyce: Or one thing that really bothers me is like, you know, I usually walk down the stairs or sometimes I walk up, you know, those escalators and then, you know, if I’m walking down and somebody’s like behind me like they want me to go faster so it’s like "Excuse me" I’m already walking, like, you know.
Thomas: This is a life or death situation here, I mean, we’re on moving stairs.
All: Ha, ha, ha.
Louise: They could eat you right up.
Vicky: Or when people stand on the wrong side of the escalators and block the passage to walk.
Joyce: Oh, I always tell them to move. I always say, Please can you please move to the right. I always tell them.
Louise: It’s true. Getting places seems to be a source of annoyance. I mean the airports, the metro, all those kinds of places seem to be, seem to be ripe for creating situations that can be annoying. Have you had any bad travel experiences, annoying things when you’ve been traveling?
Vicky: Oh, yeah, actually, you know, over Christmas there was a lot of snow everywhere. My flight was delayed, erm, by four hours. I was flying with Easyjet. It wasn’t so bad but you know how after you’ve been delayed for a certain amount of time, I think it’s two hours or two and a half hours the airline or the company are actually obliged to give you something like a sandwich or a drink or something.
Thomas: Wow, I’ve never heard of that.
Louise and Sophia: They are.
Thomas: All airlines? Is this…
Vicky: It’s a blanket thing, they’re obliged to give you something because they are putting you in a situation where you may not have currency for that country left over, or you’re in a situation where you weren’t expecting to be in, for a long period of time plus the airport’s extortionate, there’s not very much selection, there’s not much choice, anyway, but with Easyjet, nothing, got on the plane and they said finally after five hours now because we waited on the runway for that, OK, you’ve got a budget of 4 euros fifty to have a snack and a drink, a non-alcoholic drink, OK, fine, whatever, but then I said OK, so can I have this sandwich for two euros fifty, a hot sandwich ‘cause I’m starving and this drink, can I have a Coke? "Oh, no". The total came to four euros. And they said, "You can’t have hot food included in this.”
Louise and Sophia: It’s so petty.
Vicky: But then I said, fine, so can I have a Snickers and a packet of nuts and the drink. "Oh no, no, sorry you can only have one snack and one drink. Even though it doesn’t come to your budget.”
Joyce: Well that’s absolutely ridiculous.
Vicky: Ha, ha, ha.
Louise: I feel a bit annoyed just listening to that story. Those petty rules that they put on you they’re just too much.
Vicky: Yeah. Ha, ha, ha.