Celebrations

Here is the transcript for season two episode one about celebrations. If you have any questions or comments you can add them below.

Hello and welcome to real exam English season 2! Firstly, thanks so much to everyone who downloaded and subscribed to the podcast in season and also to everyone who sent me messages to say you enjoyed the podcast. That´s really amazing and greatly appreciated, thanks so much.

Ok so season 2 is going to be similar to season one. We have speakers from all over the English-speaking world answering exam questions and we will pick out the best bits to analyse. We are going to have some dialogues too so we will get some nice language to use when interacting with someone, agreeing and disagreeing, making suggestions, that kind of stuff.

This first episode is about celebrations. It´s a new year, it´s definitely going to be better than last year so hopefully we´ll all have lots to celebrate! So you´re going to hear some super language to describe partying and enjoying yourself, we have some nice phrasal verbs and lots of great real-English idioms!

So let´s go!

Which do you prefer? Celebrations with family or with friends?

I’m gonna go with friends on this one and it’s just my family is quite small. And I like to go out like if I’m going to have a proper party. I like to be a bunch of friends. I like to go out, have some drinks, have some fun. Um and catch up with people that I haven’t seen in a long time. That’s how I that’s how I like to celebrate. Obviously family being there is cool as well.

Just a phrasal verb to pick up on here, that´s to catch up with friends. So to catch up with someone means talk to someone you havent seen for some time in order to find out what they have been doing. For example, I haven´t seen you in ages, lets catch up over a beer.

Is there an event in your hometown which you particularly enjoy?

I feel like we have had no events. Yeah, because it’s been 2020, so there’s been like no events, and normally there’s lots of stuff that goes on. Around us we have my town Queen Bee and have a really lovely multicultural festival which is Quite small I guess, but it means that it’s really friendly and it’s really easy to be around. So that’s a really good one.

What special occasions have you celebrated recently?

Well Christmas um, which is being actually really lovely this year a very different. We normally spend it with my parents and instead we just had it The five of us. Um, we went to a club that did all the food and that was really fun. It’s also been my 6 year olds birthday and that was a great birthday party. We went to a local skate park and did barbecue dinner for friends and family and that was really fun.

Do you like organizing parties?

I do actually. I really like, I like playing host. I get very nervous that No one will turn up. But I do like organizing parties and I probably am a bit more slapdash than I would like to be, but I love, I love to be Able to invite people and make them feel welcome and to have nice food and hang out with  friends and family. So yeah, I like organizing parties.

Lovely Australian accent there. The first thing to comment on is the use of the word really. So we heard really lovely, really friendly, really easy, really good, really fun. All of these are correct but it´s not showing much variety to the examiner. So alternatives you can use are very, like very friendly, great, like great fun, something a bit fancier like remarkably or extremely, like its extremely easy, or of course you could use an extreme adjective so instead of saying really good, just say amazing or awesome or something like that. But the point here is to make sure to vary your language.

We heard some great vocab here too including the phrasal verb to turn up. the sentence was no one will turn up, which means no one will arrive or put in an appearance, you can also use show up in the same way. The speaker said she was a bit more slapdash that she would like. Slapdash means you act in a hurried and careless way. For instance, my slapdash effort at painting the fence resulted in lots of uneven patches.

How do you celebrate the new year?

Ordinarily I go out and go out dancing. I probably get drunk. And last year me and my partner went to Manchester and we went to a Hacienda reunion party which was near where the Hacienda used to be. At the end is actually a black like a block of flats so that used to be a really cool club in the 90s. I think new order played there, Madonna all the big like People kind of played the Hacienda back quite late 80s, early 90s. Uh, and it was just. It’s got a bit of a name for itself as being this House music club I guess from Manchester, so we went to this reunion Hacienda reunion and it was a lot smaller in a lot tamer than the real original Hacienda.

And but it was still good and I still enjoyed myself, and it played all the old tunes from my early 90s. And yeah, it’s just a a good blast from the past. You know where you can like reminisce and pretend to be young again? So yeah, that’s what I did last year, so ordinarily I go out, let my hair down, Get drunk and have a boogie.

A great answer about the legendary Hacienda Club. We had some brilliant expressions here. The first one is its got a name for itself, this means its got a reputation. You could say, he has got a name for himself as a bit of a ladies man. We also had a blast from the past which means Something or someone that a person has not seen for a long time, which makes you feel nostalgic. For example, watching my favourite childhood cartoons was a blast from the past. Then we had a run of super vocab, I go out, let my hair down, get drunk and have a boogie. So to let your hair down is a great way of saying to relax or unwind, particularly when going out like in the example here. Get drunk you should all already know and to have a boogie means to have a dance. Excellent stuff there!

Is there an event in your hometown which you particularly enjoy?

We have a rodeo every summer. That’s a lot of fun. So Rodeo is a big deal in small town, Texas.

And so you know it’s it’s a time that everybody gets together and participates. And there’s a parade and there’s you know, a lot of a lot of to-do for the events, but it’s a chance for everybody to kind of get together and loosen up. But that’s kind of my favourite.

What presents do you like to give and receive?

When I was growing up we would. We would say that we’d get four presents, so you get something you want, something you need something to wear and something to read, and so we’d get you know, like if you wanted to, you know. PlayStation Wherever you might get that, but you also got underwear and you might also get a book And you get you know something that was, you know, something that you needed to a shirt, pair, pants, whatever. So it was a chance to give you the things that were utilitarian but also give you a little something for your birthday too. So that’s kind of the way that we do presents in my house. And so that’s a lot of the stuff that I get and give are along those same lines. So for me, camping gear i one that I’ve always liked to receive, ’cause I always like to try new gadgets and gizmos. See what’s out there? I don’t end up keeping all of them, but I I do get the experiment with it and you know it’ fun. It’s a hobby, so.

Ok so if you didn´t recognize this accent initially then the mention of rodeo should tell you it´s the USA. We heard this expression there was a lot of to-do, that’s to hyphen do.  This means a lot of excitement and commotion, usually more than necessary, it can be used to describe anger too actually. An example is getting our passports renewed was such a to-do.

Also, We heard that the speaker likes gadgets and gizmos which are excellent ways to describe small devices you use for a particular purpose, like camping in this instance. These are great words to use when you have to write or speak about technology too.

Have you ever been to a fancy dress party?

Well, you know, yes. As far as costume parties, Halloween you know is one time of the year where .You know, it’s entirely acceptable, encouraged to to dress up in costume, and you know that’s something that we had have done often in the past. We had some friends of ours that would have a Halloween party every year at their house last year that they did not. Naturally because of The coronavirus and pandemic and so on. But we have dressed up. We usually make our own costumes and dressed up the new year.

How do you celebrate the New Year?

The new Year is a bit of a let down here in so having grown up in New York and having lived nearby New York City in Times Square. It would have always been tradition to you know, stay up and watch the ball in Times Square, you know, come down on New Year’s Eve. You know, and if you’ve been near, the vicinity of Times Square at that time a couple of years. But you know later in life. I mean most recently with the family and after moving to the mountains in the United States, you don’t really have a particular time zone that’s relevant, You know or important, and so it’s pretty uneventful. Don’t really do much. I wouldn’t say we really have too much as far as parties here with kids because you know, it’s time to go to bed, and we’re tired too.

Ok so this question was about fancy dress parties, which is British English and in the answer the speaker used costume parties to describe the same thing, which is US English. He also used this expression “and so on”, he said because of coronavirus and the pandemic and so on. This basically means etcetera and is essential vocabulary if you have to do a writing exam. I frequently receive writings from my students, particularly my Spanish students, with something like this “I like pizza, hamburgers, kebabs dot dot dot”. Ok you cannot use dot dot dot in the same way in English, so please don´t put it in your writings, in it´s place put and so on, I like pizza, hamburgers, kebabs and so on. We also heard the phrasal verb to dress up which means to put on a costume and In the second answer he said New Years Eve was a let down, this means it was a disappointment. You can use this either as a noun, it was a letdown, or as a verb I was let down by my sons behaviour.

What presents do you like to give and receive?

Great question. I really like giving books out because I really like reading and I really like to think about what is the other person interested in that I could give them or what kind of fiction is the person Into that I could buy, so I love giving books and I definitely give more books than I received. I love receiving  , but I feel because I’m a big bookworm People are sometimes a little bit scared to give me a book because they don’t know if I have it already. Well, they don’t know if I’ll like it. I really like receiving gift vouchers because It can sometimes feel a bit impersonal, but it does give you a flexibility. So I’ve received for example, gift vouchers for music venues that I can use to buy concert tickets, and that’s much less risky than buying a concert ticket. Again, if your friends don’t know who you are, and I like receiving anything music related.

Music presents are indeed awesome, I agree. We heard this great word bookworm, which is nice vocab for somebody who is really into books. There are some similar ones like a film buff for someone who is into films or a foodie for someone who loves food. Handy vocab to have to describe you or someone you know who fits these categories.

Do you like big parties?

Oh pre covid yes. love getting together with family and friends acting a fool. You know just playing games, cracking jokes. I absolutely love it.

Ok so more cool vocabulary here for having fun. We had acting a fool, which is a brilliant expression here to mean behaving in a kind of silly way and cracking jokes is a great way to say telling jokes.

Do you like organizing parties?

Love it, absolutely love it. It´s the event management background in me. Absolutely love it. Love organizing little surprises, even for my girlfriends birthday this year, 2020, yea that was a huge surprise. She had no idea what was going on, you know from balloons in the house to the massive card she doesn’t really need to the gifts to the meal to actually going to Madrid. So things like that I think….I love doing it. I love the particulars of it. I love the risk in it. I love the fact that things can go wrong, that´s kind of the dangerous side of it. But I absolutely love it, it´s great fun.

That, my friends is a Scottish accent. A lot of people struggle with the Scottish accent so if you are one of them then make sure to check out the transcript on realexamenglish.com,

And that’s it for episode one. So remember the next time you go out to celebrate to let your hair down, act a fool, crack some jokes, catch up with friends, have a boogie and so on. Remember guys to check Facebook and Instagram for grammar and vocabulary exercises and videos and I´d love to hear from you so come on, get in touch!

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