Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript


Barbara: Good morning!
Braden: Braden here. You Must Stick to the Agenda in American Meetings.
Barbara: In this lesson, you’ll learn about Modal verbs grammar review, part 1 and Following a meeting agenda.
Braden: This conversation takes place in the afternoon, at the office.
Barbara: And it’s between Jennifer and Jonathan.
Braden: These two are co-workers so they’ll be speaking semi-professionally.
Braden: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Jennifer: Okay Jonathan, I don't have much time today, and we have a lot to get done. So we have to be quick.
Jonathan: Fine with me.
Jennifer: So first let's take a look at the workshop schedules.
Jonathan: Right. I received a call from Baxter Jeffries yesterday, and he said he won't be able to come.
Jennifer: Oh no. Did he give a reason?
Jonathan: Not really. Just scheduling difficulties.
Jennifer: With Baxter not coming anymore we'll have to rearrange which delegates will participate in each workshop.
Jonathan: I agree. At least he called now and not a week before the seminar.
Jennifer: Yeah. I heard that Susan Treiman did that last year and they almost had to cancel two of the workshops because she was the only one qualified to lead them.
Jonathan: At times like those it's nice to work at a university, just grab one of the professors. We can do that, can't we?
Jennifer: Yes, but only as a last resort. It's more interesting to have people who don't live here.
Jonathan: For sure. Really quick though, when you say you don't have much time, what do you mean?
Jennifer: We don't have to rush, but let's just make sure we're finished by three-thirty.
Jonathan: Then we'll have to keep each item to under fifteen minutes. Otherwise, we'll never get through.
Braden: So, we wanted to talk a little bit about Following a meeting agenda.
Barbara: Planning is an important part of meetings and organizations. In general, planning can be defined as identifying the steps required to create the desired outcome.
Braden: When dealing with meetings, planning is even more essential and expected. As you could be bringing together anywhere from two to several hundred people in a meeting, it is important to have planned out how the meeting will go.
Barbara: One of the critical steps in planning a meeting is creating the agenda.
Braden: A meeting agenda is a structure that marks the steps or phases that the meeting will go through from beginning to end. There is usually a short introduction, a list of topics to be discussed or reported on, and a closing section.
Barbara: In well-structured meetings, and agenda is built sufficiently in advance of the meeting that all parties can review the agenda before the meeting begins.
Braden: Typically, the meeting agenda is prepared by the meeting leader's secretary or by the meeting leader themselves.
Barbara: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Vocabulary and Phrases
Braden: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Barbara: quick [natural native speed]
Braden: moving fast or doing something in a short time
Barbara: quick [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: quick [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: workshop [natural native speed]
Braden: meeting where a group of people engages in discussion
Barbara: workshop [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: workshop [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: schedule [natural native speed]
Braden: plan for an activity or event or day; agenda
Barbara: schedule [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: schedule [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: participate [natural native speed]
Braden: take part
Barbara: participate [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: participate [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: mean [natural native speed]
Braden: signify
Barbara: mean [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: mean [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: finish [natural native speed]
Braden: to end
Barbara: finish [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: finish [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: item [natural native speed]
Braden: an individual article or unit
Barbara: item [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: item [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: otherwise [natural native speed]
Braden: in other respects, another way
Barbara: otherwise [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: otherwise [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: through [natural native speed]
Braden: moving from one side to another of something
Barbara: through [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: through [natural native speed]
Braden: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Barbara: In the dialogue, we heard phrases that demonstrated Agreeing on the Ground Rules for a Meeting.
Braden: Here, Jennifer tells Jonathan about some ground rules she has for the meeting. Specifically that the meeting needs to finish quickly. She uses the phrases, “I don’t have much time today,” and “we have to be quick.”
Barbara: Out of politeness, Jonathan agrees to this, and they begin their meeting. Notice that even though they are in a hurry, they still have a relaxed conversation about the topics.
Braden: That’s right. Just because you’re in a hurry doesn’t mean you need to speak in a dry, uninteresting way. Just keep the conversation bit to a minimum.
Barbara: Toward the end of the dialog she used the phrase, “let’s just make sure we're finished by three-thirty.” This was another phrase used to set group rules for the meeting. You say, “let’s just make sure were finished by...” and then specify the time.
Braden: Our next phrase is last resort. No, this is not talking about a really nice hotel. In English, when we use the phrase “last resort” it means we have no other options but that one.
Barbara: The word “resort” in this case refers to a secondary meaning, which is, “to choose a strategy or course of action.”
Braden: Typically, this strategy or course of action is undesirable, disagreeable, or difficult in some way.
Barbara: Which is how it was used in the dialog. Jonathan suggested getting a professor from the university and Sarah responded, “only as a last resort” because that would be an undesirable course of action.
Braden: She further explains why it would be undesirable by saying, “It’s more interesting to have people who don’t live here.” Could you break this down?
Barbara: last resort (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: last resort (fast)
Braden: Let’s take a look at the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Braden: So Barbara, what's the focus of this lesson?
Barbara: The focus of this lesson is a review of the grammar of modal verbs, Part 1
Braden: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase
Barbara: I received a call from Baxter Jeffries yesterday, and he said he wouldn’t be able to come.
Braden: Modal verbs grammar can be confusing at times. In the PDF for this lesson, we will take a look at a wide variety of modal verbs and their grammar forms.
Barbara: However, as this would be a very very long lesson, we will only cover a few of them in the audio.
Braden: We’ll take a look at a number of the more difficult aspects of modal verbs' grammar including many exceptions to the rule.
Barbara: First, the Can - May distinction. Both 'can' and 'may' are used in question form to ask permission.
Braden: For example, “Can I come with you?” and “May I come with you?”
Barbara: Many grammarians consider 'may' correct and 'can' incorrect when asking for permission.
Braden: However, in modern spoken English it is common to use both forms and considered correct by most people.
Barbara: Next on to the Can - To Be Allowed To distinction. One of the uses of 'can' is to express permission. In the simplest sense, we use 'can' as a polite form to request something.
Braden: However, at other times 'can' expresses permission to do something specific. In this case, 'to be allowed to do something' can also be used.
Barbara: 'To be allowed to' is more formal and is commonly used for rules and regulations.
Braden: For example, “Can I go to the party?” is the same as “Am I allowed to go to the party?”
Barbara: Another example is “Can he take the course with me?” which is the same as “Is he allowed to take the course with me?”
Braden: Next we’ll look at Must. 'Must' is used for strong personal obligation. When something is very important to us at a particular moment we use 'must.'
Barbara: For example, “Oh, I really must go.” or “My foot is killing me. I must see a doctor.”
Braden: Next we have Have to. Use 'have to' for daily routines and responsibilities.
Barbara: For example, “He has to get up early every day.” or “Do they have to travel often?”
Braden: Last we have Mustn't vs. Don't Have To. The important thing to remember here is that 'mustn't' expresses prohibition.
Barbara: However, “Don't have to” expresses something that is not required but the person may choose to do so if he or she pleases.
Braden: For example, “Children mustn't play with fire.” verses, “I don't have to go to work on Fridays.”


Braden: That just about does it for today.
Braden: Thanks for listening!
Barbara: See you later!