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Lesson Transcript


Barbara: Good evening!
Braden: Braden here. Using Active and Stative English Verbs.
Barbara: In this lesson, you’ll learn about Action vs. stative verbs and Request for information
Braden: This conversation takes place in the morning, on the phone.
Barbara: And it’s between Sarah and Jeffery Nye.
Braden: Sarah is inviting Mr. Jeffery Nye to participate officially in the seminar, so the language is formal.
Braden: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Sarah: I'm Sarah Walker, and I'm calling on behalf of the University of Indiana. I sent an email to Mr. Jeffery Nye regarding an international seminar.
Jeffery Nye: Ah yes. This is he.
Sarah: Hello sir. As I explained in my email, we're organizing an international seminar in March of next year, and we'd like to invite you to give a speech and to participate in two-panel discussions.
Jeffery Nye: Well, I'm interested, but I need more information.
Sarah: What would you like to know?
Jeffery Nye: Most of my concerns are about expenses.
Sarah: Understandable. We will reimburse you for all expenses related to the seminar. Because of our own financial structure, we are unable to directly pay for plane tickets or hotel stays. However, remember to keep all receipts and deliver them to us upon your arrival. That way, we can invoice properly, and you can receive your reimbursement.
Jeffery Nye: Excellent. Could you please send me some documentation on previous seminars and whatever you have available for this seminar? That way I will be able to prepare better.
Sarah: Yes sir! I will speak to our secretary and will have those sent to you by the end of the day.
Jeffery Nye: Excellent.
Sarah: Does this mean, sir, that you will be attending our seminar?
Jeffery Nye: Yes it does. Count me in.
Braden: So, let's talk a little bit about Request for information
Barbara: A request for information is a standard business process used to gather information. However, a request for information is specific in a few aspects.
Braden: The first is that a request for information is typically in a written format and in larger companies that have specific suppliers and contracts, a request for information is probably a formal procedure with specialized wording and formatting.
Barbara: A request for information, frequently referred to as an RFI, is often used as a starting point for communication with potential suppliers.
Braden: In the dialogue, Mr. Jeffrey Nye requested information from Sarah about the seminar. He said, “Could you please send me some documentation of previous seminars?”
Barbara: While his request was not a formal written document as it is in some businesses, the idea is the same. And he requested formal documentation in return.
Braden: 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: behalf [natural native speed]
Braden: in the interests of another
Barbara: behalf [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: behalf [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: seminar [natural native speed]
Braden: a conference or other meeting
Barbara: seminar [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: seminar [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: international [natural native speed]
Braden: existing, occurring, or carried on between two or more nations
Barbara: international [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: international [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: delegate [natural native speed]
Braden: a person who represents others in a conference
Barbara: delegate [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: delegate [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: speech [natural native speed]
Braden: a formal address or discourse
Barbara: speech [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: speech [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: panel [natural native speed]
Braden: a small group of people brought together to discuss a particular matter
Barbara: panel [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: panel [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: interested [natural native speed]
Braden: showing curiosity about something
Barbara: interested [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: interested [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: concerns [natural native speed]
Braden: a matter of interest or importance to someone
Barbara: concerns [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: concerns [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: unable [natural native speed]
Braden: lacking the capacity to do something
Barbara: unable [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: unable [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: documentation [natural native speed]
Braden: material that provides official information or evidence or that serves as a record
Barbara: documentation [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: documentation [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 the word documentation.
Braden: Documentation is defined as material that provides official information about a determined topic.
Barbara: Notice that the material itself is not official, but the information that it provides is official.
Braden: For example, he could’ve asked for more information about the seminar. This is a generic request for information. Many different types of information would qualify such as websites, personal notes, or news articles covering the event.
Barbara: However, by asking for documentation Mr. Jeffrey Nye is requesting information that comes from the organization, in this case from the department of international relations and more specifically from the committee itself.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: documentation (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: documentation (fast)
Braden: Our next phrase is "count me in." We point out this phrase because of the context. This phone call was for the most part very formal, but the phrase is actually casual.
Barbara: It was formal because Sarah does not know Mr. Jeffrey Nye and to be polite they maintain a formal use of language.
Braden: At the end of the conversation, Mr. Nye agrees to participate in the seminar. Since, by agreeing, he has become part of the “inner circle” or a part of the committee’s plans, he now feels he can speak in a more relaxed way. Could you break this down?
Barbara: count me in (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: count me in (fast)
Braden: Let’s take a look at the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Barbara: The focus of this lesson is action vs. stative verbs
Braden: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase
Barbara: We’re organizing an international seminar in March of next year.
Braden: All verbs in English are classified as either stative or action verbs (sometimes referred to as 'dynamic verbs').
Barbara: Action verbs describe actions we take or things that happen. Stative verbs refer to the way things 'are' - their appearance, state of being, smell, etc.
Braden: The most important difference between stative and action verbs is that action verbs can be used in continuous tenses and stative verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses.
Barbara: Here’s and action verb example, “She's studying math with Tom at the moment.” or “She studies math with Tom every Friday.”
Braden: Some other examples are, “They've been working since seven o'clock this morning.” or “They worked for two hours yesterday afternoon.”
Barbara: Some stative verb examples would be, “The flowers smell lovely.” However, “Those flowers are smelling lovely.” is an action verb.
Braden: Some other examples would be, “She heard him speak in Seattle yesterday afternoon.” as compared to, “She was hearing him speak in Seattle yesterday afternoon.”
Barbara: So, let’s take a look at some Common Stative Verbs. There are many more action verbs than stative verbs.
Braden: Some the most common stative verbs are “be,” “hate,” “like,” “love,” “need,” “belong,” “believe,” “cost,” “get,” “impress,” “know,” “reach,” “recognize,” “taste,” “think,” and “understand.”
Barbara: Be aware that some stative verbs can be used as action verbs with different meanings.
Braden: For example, the verb 'to think' can either express an opinion or the process of considering.
Barbara: In the first case, when 'think' expresses an opinion, it is stative,”
Braden: For example, “I think she should work harder on her math.” or “She thinks he is a fantastic singer.”
Barbara: Think', however, can also express the process of considering something. In this case 'think' is an action verb.
Braden: For example, “They're thinking about buying a new house.” and “She's thinking of joining a health club.”
Barbara: Generally, stative verbs fall into four groups. The first group is Verbs Showing Thought or Opinion.
Braden: Those would be verbs like, “know,” “believe,” “understand,” “recognize
Barbara: The second group is Verbs Showing Possession. These would be verbs like, “have,” “own,” “belong,” and “possess.”
Braden: Third we have Verbs Showing Senses. For example, “hear,” “smell,” “see,” and “feel.”
Barbara: Last, we have Verbs Showing Emotion. These are verbs like “love,” “hate,” “want,” and “need.”
Braden: If you are unsure whether a verb is an action verb or a stative verb ask yourself – Does this verb tell some sort of process or a state?
Barbara: If it tells a process, then the verb is an action verb. If it tells a state, the verb is a stative verb.


Braden: That just about does it for today.
Braden: Thanks for listening!
Barbara: Bye-bye!