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Lesson Transcript


Barbara: Good evening!
Braden: Braden here. Place Your Adjectives Right for a Bright Future in English. In this lesson, you’ll learn about Adjective placement and The future of energy.
Barbara: This conversation takes place in the evening, on the phone.
Braden: And it’s between Sarah and Alexi Braddaouwscki.
Barbara: Sarah is inviting Alexi Braddaouwscki to participate formally in the seminar, so the language is professional.
Braden: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Sarah: My name is Sarah Walker, I'm calling on behalf of the International Relations Department at the University of Indiana.
Alexi Braddaouwscki: Yes?
Sarah: We're looking for experts to come to an international seminar and in our research on engineers, your name came up several times. We were wondering if you would like to be one of our delegates.
Alexi Braddaouwscki: What is the seminar about?
Sarah: The theme of the seminar is Energy and our Future. So, it's a large, modern theme with plenty of space to express whatever information you deem necessary.
Alexi Braddaouwscki: When will it take place?
Sarah: The first week of March. The third through the fifth. You'd return home on the sixth.
Alexi Braddaouwscki: Is that the first full week of March?
Sarah: Yes, sir, it is.
Alexi Braddaouwscki: I apologize, but I already have an important previous engagement the first week of March.
Sarah: So you won't be able to participate?
Alexi Braddaouwscki: No, I will not.
Sarah: That's unfortunate. Since you won't be able to come, could I ask you a few quick questions?
Alexi Braddaouwscki: Sure. Fire away.
Braden: So, we wanted to talk a little bit about The future of energy.
Barbara: The three main categories of energy sources are – fossil fuels, renewables, and nuclear fission.
Braden: Energy development is a major occupation for engineers. Currently, most of the world's energy is harnessed through fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas.
Barbara: As access to these energy sources becomes more expensive, many alternative energies are being researched to supplement and in some cases replace energy from fossil fuels.
Braden: However, as engineers will often point out, there are many practical problems that also need to be sorted out. For example, in the United States, the power grid uses alternating current or AC.
Barbara: Most renewable energy sources produce direct current electricity or DC. A switch to one of these technologies would require replacing almost every wire, in every house, in every city in the entire country. Most developed countries would also need a similar restructuring.
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: expert [natural native speed]
Braden: a person who has authoritative knowledge in a particular area
Barbara: expert [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: expert [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: research [natural native speed]
Braden: the systematic study of something
Barbara: research [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: research [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: wondering [natural native speed]
Braden: used to introduce a polite statement or request
Barbara: wondering [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: wondering [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: previous [natural native speed]
Braden: the one before
Barbara: previous [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: previous [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: engagement [natural native speed]
Braden: an arrangement to do something
Barbara: engagement [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: engagement [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: unfortunate [natural native speed]
Braden: not having the good fortune
Barbara: unfortunate [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: unfortunate [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: modern [natural native speed]
Braden: of or relating to the present or recent past
Barbara: modern [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: modern [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: deem [natural native speed]
Braden: regard or consider in a specified way
Barbara: deem [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: deem [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 Asking for Verification.
Braden: For example, Sarah asked, “So you won’t be able to participate?”
Barbara: This phrase is asking for verification or confirmation of understanding.
Braden: When you ask for verification, You usually use yes-no questions which are questions where expected answer is either a yes or a no. Notice how the stresses placed on the “won't.” In questions about verification, the stress is always placed on the information you want to verify.
Barbara: For example "You did say next week didn't you?” The (did) is stressed.
Braden: Or from the dialogue, “Is that the first full week in March?” Our next phrase is fire away. We point out this phrase because of the context. The phone call was formal, but this phrase is casual.
Barbara: These kinds of telephone calls are always warm because you do not know the person you're calling or the business they are about. For that reason, the majority of the phone call was formal.
Braden: However this phrase “fire away,” is quite casual. Alexi used this phrase because the official nature of the phone call had been taken care of.
Barbara: Sarah had called to invite him to the seminar, he would not be able to do that, and therefore there was no more reason (from his perspective) to maintain formality. Therefore he began to speak casually.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: fire away (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: fire away (fast)
Braden: Perfect! Let’s take a look at the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Barbara: The focus of this lesson is adjective placement in English
Braden: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase
Barbara: It’s a large, modern theme with plenty of space to express whatever information you deem necessary.
Braden: When using more than one adjective to describe a noun place the adjectives in the following order before the noun.
Barbara: Before we get started, we should point out that in English, we rarely use more than three adjectives preceding a noun. It happens, but it’s usually better to restructure your sentence.
Braden: The first adjectives are Opinion adjectives. For example, “an interesting book, a boring lecture.” A sample sentence would be, “A wonderful old Italian clock.”
Barbara: Here we have an opinion first, age seconds, and origin last.
Braden: Next in order is Dimension. For example,” “ a big apple,” or “a thin wallet." A sample sentence would be “A big square blue box.”
Barbara: Here the order is a dimension, then shape, then color.
Braden: Next in order is Age. For example, “a new car,” “a modern building,” or “an ancient ruin.” A sample sentence would be “A disgusting pink plastic ornament.”
Barbara: Here we have the order opinion, then color, then material.
Braden: Next in line is Shape. For example, “a square box,” “an oval mask,” or “a round ball.”
Barbara: An example sentence would be “Some slim new French socks.” Here the order is a dimension, then age, then origin.
Braden: Next we have Color. For example, “a pink hat,” “a blue book,” or “a black coat.”
Barbara: An example sentence would be “The Doctor traveled in a blue wooden box.” Here the order is color then material.
Braden: Next in order we have Origin. For example,” “some Italian shoes,” “a Canadian town,” “an American car.”
Barbara: It’s hard to find examples of origin at the beginning because we are at the end of the list. But an example would be something like “El Cid is an interesting old Spanish novel.”
Braden: The order here is opinion, then age, then origin.
Barbara: Last we have Material. For example, “a wooden box,” “a woolen sweater,” or “a plastic toy.”
Braden: An example sentence would be “It was so cold the man wore a large black woolen suit.” Here the order is a dimension, then color, then material.
Barbara: To finish things off, we’re going to give you nouns that have three adjectives in the correct order before the noun. Post in the comments the category each adjective belongs.
Braden: First we have “a pretty old square picture frame.”
Barbara: Next we have, “An interesting modern Brazilian opinion.”
Braden: And last is, “A nasty green, red apple.”
Barbara: There’s a trick in that one!
Braden: Post the order in the comments and we’ll get a good discussion going on for this one. Ok?
Barbara: Alright!


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