martes, 20 de enero de 2015

Madrid Teacher: Horrible neighbours

This week our Madrid Teachers talk about horrible neighbours. First of all, watch the short two-minute video to get the gist of the conversation.

Now watch the video more carefully, paying attention to the following features of spoken English:
  •  Double subject: My horrible neighbour, she’s got this strange thing
  • Use of just to emphasize the information
  • Use of so as a linking word
  • Use of really to emphasize the verb or the adjective
  • Use of repetition for dramatic effect on and on and on and on
  • Use of I mean to paraphrase what you have just said and make yourself clear
  • Conversation fillers to gain some thinking time: you know; like
  • Reacting to what you have just heard: Oh my god; Gosh
  • Showing agreement: Yeah, boy
  • Use of vague language: stuff
  • Showing surprise: Really?

Now it's over to you. If possible, get together with a friend or relative and tell neighbour-related anecdotes that you have lived through or simply heard. Don't forget to use some of the features of spoken English we have just revised in this post.

I couldn’t get any sleep last night. My horrible neighbour, shes got this strange thing that she does after about half past eleven every day. She just starts ranting, just shouting at someone who I don’t ever hear shouting back. So, I don’t know whether she phones, she phones someone that she really hates or her husband. I don’t know, he’s too scared to answer back but you just hear her, on and on and on and on, for about an hour and then she stops and goes to sleep so, I had a horrible night last night. I’m so tired.
We had a neighbour like that once. The, the wife was constantly berating the husband, I mean just insulting him, telling him he, you know, he should just go ahead and die. She was really rough on the poor man. The man would just wander the streets, looking through the garbage. And he just, they just drove him . . .
Oh my god!
. . . she just drove him nuts. It was really incredible.
Gosh.  It’s so hard to, to deal with as a neighbour because it’s their personal problems and. . .
Yeah, boy.
It’s a bit hard to knock on the door and say, “can you keep it down?”
Yeah, or “leaving him, leave him alone!”
Yeah, right? Let them . . .
You can’t, you can’t help but hear that stuff. It’s like, you don’t want to hear it, but it’s horrible stuff.
It’s kind of an invasion of privacy.
Really? Right.
When I was at university, I lived in off-campus housing, and our entire building was all students, I mean, you know, there are times at university when you would like to get some work done, believe it or not, but there’s no way you’re going to get it done when you have an entire apartment building filled with people drinking and partying and, throwing it all to the wind.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a real challenge, if you can get through that,…
…you can get through anything.
I know, they should give you an extra degree.