This the transcript for the Real Exam English podcast episode about fame.

It´s quite common in English exams to see questions about celebrities and the consequences of being famous. Therefore, we have asked some typical questions to speakers from the US, the UK, New Zealand and Australia. You are going to hear some great phrasal verbs, some really useful vocabulary about fame and we are also going to focus on some super ways to use the word good.

As usual you can find the transcripts for this episode on the Real Exam English website, realexamenglish.com

Ok, let´s rock and roll

What would you like to be famous for?

I think that fame is a very strange thing and people can be famous for just about anything. Whether it’s you know science or or just just basically being there like a lot of influencers are. I suppose for me I would love to be famous for Being a person who effects change, being a person who really has made an effort to do good in the world, I want to be a doctor in the future and I would really, really love to be known as sort of a person who in in medicine who is really attempting to change.The face of health care in a country or across the globe.

are we too easily influenced by people we have never met, such as sports stars or other famous people?

Wholeheartedly, yes, I think we are. I think people get so obsessive with famous people, be it people in sports, in movies, in bands.You know the current wave of K pop the obsession that some of these young girls have with K pop enough to even pay money towards K pop to advertise them because they think that they are a part of like this. This K pop army it’s insanity. And I don’t actually think it’s healthy. I think it’s quite bad for us. Any sort of idol worship, in my opinion, is bad for a person because they have certain expectations or they’re trying to escape from something. It’s Ultra strange for me and I think we certainly can have mentors and look up to people and things that they have done or they have achieved.But we need to keep grounded and understand that these people are people too. They have some horrible views. They have some good views. They’ve done good things and bad things. And that’s just the reality of life.

Ok so here we have our first uses of good. Loyal listeners to the podcast will know that I´m not a big fan of using good too much as an adjective in English exams, particularly when describing pictures or how people are feeling. For higher level exams you really should be using more ambitious adjectives to try to impress the examiners. That being said, there are some great expressions using the word good and in our first answer here we had one, to do good in the world, which means to be kind and help others, to act virtuously. This expression actually came up in a C1 use of English exercise I did in class yesterday, which just shows the benefit of listening to and studying expressions like these.

Anther useful expression we heard was across the globe, which is a nice alternative to around the world, or worldwide. Like temperatures have increased across the globe. Then there was to keep grounded, which means to remain sensible and reasonable. For instance, even though he became the biggest rockstar in the world his friends and family kept him grounded.

Next, We have a lovely inverted phrase, be it. The speaker said “I think people get so obsessive with famous people, be it people in sports, in movies, in bands.” So, using be it means we are creating a list of things in a sentence, similar to “whether it is”. An example would be I love all types of international cuisine, be it Chinese, Italian, Turkish or whatever, or the movie Titanic is just amazing, be it the acting, the soundtrack or the special effects, everything is brilliant. Awesome phrase that one, I like it a lot.

Last but not least, in these answers we heard some top vocabulary relating to famous people, influencers, idol worship, mentors, who are like role-models and we had this phrasal verb to look up to, which means to respect and admire and is a really common phrasal verb in Cambridge use of English exams.

What would you like to be famous for?

I would say, well, fame. You know we could measure it local fame, you know, national fame global fame if I’m famous locally, for, you know, being somebody who.Who just does the right thing, you know? And and, uh, walks humbly and modestly and who somebody who you can?If you need help, you can ask me, I’m you know that’s that’s good enough for me. Somebody who’s who is known as a.As an intelligent person, uh, that’s you know, that’s enough for me. It’s just local fame, big fame, you know.If if I could be famous for anything that’s not the point, the point would be to use my fame to hopefully bring light into the world and inspire others so you know, if I could be famous.For you know, being the champion of the, you know of a national like Turkey dog eating competition. You know that’s fine as long as I could use my message to to bring light. 

A very noble answer there, the speaker said he would like to bring light into the world which means to have a positive effect on the world. He also had a nice expression with good, which was “that´s good enough for me”, meaning that something is adequate for your needs. Like, hey Trevor, I only have potatoes and butter for dinner, that´s good enough for me. I am Irish, after all.  

What would you like to be famous for?

I think I’ve ever really wanted to be famous, as it were. I have always wanted to make money from music. I would love that, uh, I guess if you’re making enough money to live from music then you are going to be, You know at least vaguely well known and famous, so that’s the one.

Do we respect famous people’s privacy enough?

Hell, no. Like if people are being bullied by random people on the Internet to the point where they kill themselves just because they’re famous. No, we’re not respecting them. We’re not respecting them at all like. Social media makes it incredibly easy to reach out to someone. And you can either do it in a positive fashion like you know. Like tweet or Instagram or band and go hey, I dig what you’ve just done. Or you can just be horrible. Uhm, don’t be horrible.

In the first answer here the speaker says he didn´t want to be famous, as it were. So this expression, as it were, is used to make what you say sound less definite and is often used after a figurative or less common expression. For instance, hey do fancy coming to my place to watch Netflix and chill, as it were. Another way of saying the same thing is so to speak. Like, when I was stuck on top of the mountain I looked death in the face, so to speak.

After that, we had a phrasal verb, to reach out to someone, which means to make contact with them, like in the answer social media makes it easy to reach out to someone. And he goes on to say you can reach out to someone in a positive fashion, fashion here meaning way, so in a positive way, like, as the speaker says by saying to a band “I dig what you´ve just done”, which means I like and appreciate and admire what you´ve just done. Like I dig what you did for me man, or I dig your new shoes, they´re really cool.

What else is really cool is English classes with me, so if you do need any help preparing for an exam or if you just want to keep your English up to date, in case you need it for work or travel or whatever, then get in contact and I would be more than happy to help. For details, check out the Real Exam English website, realexamenglish.com

Do we respect famous people’s privacy enough?

So there’s I mean there’s different schools of thought on this. Which is, you know, one is well, they’re famous so tough they need to deal with it.

I I don’t think that the paparazzo, particularly, respect people’s privacy. I don’t think newspapers who were looking to sell photos in order to generate Revenue for their newspaper or online, you know posts or blog spots or whatever, uhm.Some respects celebrities privacy. I mean the reality of it is that there are some celebrities who are quite happy to put everything out there, because as far as their concerned, you know all all.Some all publicity is good publicity, but I think you know there are some. There are some celebrities who’ve managed to maintain that privacy, and I think you know, let’s not put stuff up just to to to knock someone down.

Which famous person would you like to meet? Why

I’m not sure I actually want to meet anybody famous, and the reason I say this is because I I remember this age-old adage about, you know, once you meet your your sort of superhero, you find that they’re not necessarily the person you were and you end up being quite disappointed or disgruntled. So I’m. No, I’m I’m not. I’m not really interested in meeting a celebrity if I happen to meet them then great.I mean, I also went to school with people whose parents were famous, so it’s not a big deal for me.You know, I I there are lots of inspiring people. But, uh.And I’m, I mean, you know if I happen to meet someone, that’s great. If not, then it’s fine too.But if I had to pick someone, probably somebody like Nelson Mandela.

Nice. The first answer starts off with the class expression, There´s different schools of thought on this, meaning that different groups of people have different ideas or opinions about it. This would be a fantastic expression to use at the start of an essay for example, when you are introducing a topic.

We then had yet another expression with good, and that is that all publicity is good publicity, which I think is self-explanatory really. There are some variations of this too, like any publicity is good publicity, or there is no such thing as bad publicity. Imagine using one of these in a writing exam about fame, you would definitely impress the examiner.

In the second answer she mentioned the age-old adage, don´t meet your heroes. An adage is a wise saying, so an age-old adage is a really old and wise saying, nice expression that, particularly as age-old is a compound adjective, age hyphen old, and remember examiners like compound words so it´s nice way to get more marks in your exam.

Lastly, we will focus on a couple of phrasal verbs, let’s not put stuff up on the internet just to knock people down. So to put something up on the internet is post or upload something and to knock someone down is to make them look bad.

Are we too easily influenced by people we have never met, such as sports stars or other famous people?

A lot of people are, you know. They’re just the same as anyone else. They’ve just had a different opportunity in life than I have. But yes, a lot of people are, and they do, you know, live their life. You know, uh, following movie stars or singers and things like that, but I think it’s better just to be an individual.Just live your life.Yeah, be a leader, not a follower.

Which famous person would you like to meet? Why

Oh gosh, I’ve never really thought about it. Famous people don’t really appeal to me, uhm? What’s his name? The guy Clooney. What’s his name?George Clooney, that’s it.Handsome manThat would be it, probably.

Haha, I love this answer, she is clearly not big into famous people, the guy Clooney, priceless. Ok folks that´s about it for today, I hope you thought the episode was beneficial and you found some useful language to help you improve, be it the phrasal verbs, idioms or all of those good expressions.

Remember to like and subscribe the podcast if you haven´t already done so, and keep an eye out on Facebook and Instagram for any upcoming free conversation classes.

Right, see you next time, Trevor

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