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Lesson Transcript

Gina: How to Introduce Yourself. I’m your host Gina.
Gabriella: And I’m Gabriella.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn the basics about introducing yourself in the UK.
Gabriella: The formal conversation takes place in an office, and the casual one takes place at a party.
Gina: Each conversation is between two people.
Gabriella: The speakers are business people in the first conversation, and in the second they are a friend and a family member.
Gina: Let’s listen to the formal English conversation first.
Gabriella: Hello, my name is Gabriella White. What's your name?
Donna: Hello, Ms.White. My name is Donna Jones, but you can call me Donna. It's nice to meet you.
Gabriella: Nice to meet you too, Donna. I am friends with your brother and he speaks very highly of you.
Donna: I'm glad to hear that.
Gina: Now let’s listen to the informal English conversation.
Gabriella: Hi, I'm Gabriella. And you are...?
Donna: Donna. It's good to see you, Gabriella.
Gabriella: You too! I know your brother and he is always talking about you
Donna: I hope he only says nice things!
Gina: We heard two different types of introduction there.
Gabriella: We did – both formal and informal.
Gina: Let’s talk a little about a formal situation first.
Gabriella: As this is an audio lesson, we wouldn’t have seen this, but Gabriella and Donna probably shook hands as they were introducing themselves.
Gina: Shaking hands is very important when you first meet someone, isn’t it?
Gabriella: It is. The handshake should be firm but not harsh and not last for too long. Just a few shakes of the hand is enough.
Gina: Do people shake hands in informal situations?
Gabriella: They can do. It isn’t as common though.
Gina: What might people do instead in informal situations? I don’t remember much hugging and kissing happening…
Gabriella: No, that’s quite rare! Maybe a nod of the head or a raised hand, almost like a little “hello” wave.
Gina: This sounds a little complicated to judge. How do you know if things are formal or informal, or whether you should shake hands or not?
Gabriella: If you’re unsure, then let the other person set the tone. Let them introduce themselves first if you can and follow their lead.
Gina: But if you can’t let the other person go first?
Gabriella: Then I would suggest being formal. If you’re too formal then it may be seen as funny, but if you’re too informal you run the risk of offending someone.
Gina: How about using people’s names? Surnames or first names?
Gabriella: Sometimes people will introduce themselves and then tell you what you can call them. The situation dictates what name to use too. At a party you’ll definitely use someone’s first name or nickname, but at work it could be either the surname or first name.
Gina: Yeah, some workplaces are informal enough that even the most important bosses are happy to be called by their first names. Others would want to be addressed by their surname, as Mr. or Mrs.
Gabriella: If in doubt, ask!
Gina: I think that’s good advice for many things!
Gabriella: Me too!
Gina: Okay, let’s move onto the vocabulary.
Gina: The first word we shall see is...
Gabriella: to call [natural native speed]
Gina: to use a different, usually more casual name for someone
Gabriella: to call [slowly - broken down by syllable] to call [natural native speed]
Gina: Next
Gabriella: to meet [natural native speed]
Gina: to come together
Gabriella: to meet [slowly - broken down by syllable] to meet [natural native speed]
Gina: Next
Gabriella: friend [natural native speed]
Gina: someone you know and like
Gabriella: friend [slowly - broken down by syllable] friend [natural native speed]
Gina: Next
Gabriella: brother [natural native speed]
Gina: male sibling
Gabriella: brother [slowly - broken down by syllable] brother [natural native speed]
Gina: Next
Gabriella: to be [natural native speed]
Gina: to exist
Gabriella: to be [slowly - broken down by syllable] to be [natural native speed]
Gina: Next
Gabriella: to know [natural native speed]
Gina: to be aware of something
Gabriella: to know [slowly - broken down by syllable] to know [natural native speed]
Gina: Let's have a closer look at the usuage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Our first item of vocabulary for this lesson is “to call”.
Gabriella: This can mean many things, but in the context of the dialogue it refers to how you say someone’s name. “Please call me David” means “please use the name David”.
Gina: If you’re not sure, you could ask someone “what should I call you?”
Gabriella: That’s right. It’s not just used for people though – you can also use it for places, buildings, sports teams… anything.
Gina: Ah, for example, Manchester United are called the Red Devils, right?
Gabriella: In this case it’s referring to a nickname that the team are known as. So yeah, it can be used for anything.
Gina: Next is “brother”.
Gabriella: In simple terms, a brother is a male family member that has the same parents as you. The female equivalent is sister.
Gina: “Brother” can also cover people who share only one parent or someone adopted into the family too.
Gabriella: If you have a male friend that you’re really close to you can call him your brother too. It’s used in many circumstances.
Gina: Finally we have the verb “to know”.
Gabriella: If you have some knowledge, then you know it. I know how to speak English.
Gina: That’s handy for these lessons!
Gabriella: It is, isn’t it? You can also say that you know people.
Gina: Ah, like I know you, because we work on these lessons together.
Gabriella: Yes, you have knowledge of who I am. Another handy thing for recording together!
Gina: (laughs) Yes, it is! Okay, let’s on to the grammar.
Gina: In this lesson, youll learn about the verb “to be”. This is a very important verb in English, isn’t it?
Gabriella: It is. It’s at the core of many sentences and is especially handy when you’re introducing yourself.
Gina: Okay, let’s run through the different forms it takes, because although it’s a very common and important verb, it’s also one of the most irregular.
Gabriella: Of course it is!
Gina: So when referring to yourself in the present tense, we use…
Gabriella: “Am”. As in, “I am David”.
Gina: “I am speaking English”.
Gabriella: When speaking of somebody else, it’s “are”. “You are Donna.”
Gina: “You are speaking English”. How about a third person?
Gabriella: “Is”. “He is David.” “She is Donna.”
Gina: “He is speaking English.” “She is speaking English”. And if it’s more than one person?
Gabriella: It’s “are”. “They are David and Donna”.
Gina: “They are speaking English”.
Gabriella: That’s right!
Gina: Let’s hear some more examples from the dialogue.
Gabriella: “I am friends with your brother and he speaks very highly of you.”
Gina: That’s “am” as the speaker is talking about himself. Like when Donna says “I’m glad to hear that.”
Gabriella: Ah, did you notice something about the example you just gave?
Gina: Ah yes, it was ‘I apostrophe m’ “I’m” instead of “I am”.
Gabriella: It’s more common for the verb “to be” verb to be contracted in speech so “I am” becomes “I’m”.
Gina: “You are” becomes ‘you apostrophe re’ “you’re”.
Gabriella: “He is” and “she is” become ‘he apostrophe s’ “he’s” and ‘she apostrophe s’ “she’s” respectively.
Gina: And “they are” is ‘they apostrophe re’ “they’re”.
Gabriella: You have to be careful with “you’re” and they’re”, as there are some words very similar to them that have different meanings, and even native speakers confused them sometimes!
Gina: Thanks for the extra information!


Gina: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Don’t forget to check the lesson notes and practise introducing yourself in English.
Gabriella: See you next time. Bye!
Gina: Bye!