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Lesson Transcript

Beginner Season 1, Lesson 14 - If I Had Studied Harder, I Would Have Done Better
Chihiro: Chihiro here.
Daniel: Daniel here. Beginner series, season one, lesson fourteen. “If I had studied harder, I would have done better.”
Chihiro: Hi, everyone. I’m Chihiro, and welcome to EnglishClass101.com.
Daniel: With us, you’ll learn to speak English with fun and effective lessons.
Chihiro: We also provide you with cultural insights. and tips you won’t find in a textbook.
Daniel: In this lesson, you will learn how to talk about things that happened before.
Chihiro: This conversation takes place at Innovative University (IU)
Chihiro: This conversation takes place between Oksana and Vicky.
Chihiro: The speakers are friends, therefore the speakers will be speaking informally
Daniel: Cool. Now, if you are listening on an iPod or an iPhone, click the center button of the iPod, or the screen of the iPod Touch or iPhone.
Chihiro: When you do that, you can read the lesson notes while you listen.
Daniel: Yes, read along while you listen.
Chihiro: This technique will help you remember faster.
Daniel: OK, let’s listen to the conversation.
Oksana: Vicky, have you met Naomi before?
Vicky: Of course! In fact, we're study partners!
Naomi: That's right! So, Vicky, how did you do on your history test?
Vicky: Well, if I had studied harder, I would have done better, that's for sure!
Naomi: Yeah, it definitely was a tough test.
Oksana: Hey, do you both have some time now? Maybe we can go grab a cup of coffee?
Naomi: I'd love to, but I actually have to go to work now.
Vicky: Where do you work, Naomi?
Naomi: I work at the bookstore, you know the one on the corner of Fifth and San Carlos?
Vicky: Oh, sure I do, I had worked there before they opened that ice cream store nearby… I switched jobs after that!
Oksana: Do you mean to the ice cream shop?
Vicky: Of course! Where else? Now I can get all the free ice cream in any flavor I want! Actually, that's where I met Marco!
Naomi and Oksana: Marco?!!!
Chihiro: So Daniel, what was your first job?
Daniel: My first job? My first job with a paycheck was as a busboy at a barbecue restaurant.
Chihiro: That definitely sounds like a first-time job! In the States, many university students hold part time jobs while they study to pay for necessary expenses. These are usually jobs that don't require a college degree, although some students do find jobs that are related to their major.
Daniel: Right. Some of these major-related jobs can be in the form of a paid or unpaid internship that eventually lead to career opportunities. The job that Vicky has at the ice cream shop is most likely just one for spending money, and not related to her major.
Chihiro: Yeah, nevertheless, her jobs sounds pretty delicious, don't you think?
Daniel: Definitely! OK, now for the vocabulary.
Daniel: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we shall see is:
Chihiro: definitely [natural native speed]
Daniel: absolutely, surely, will certainly happen or is certainly true
Chihiro: definitely [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: definitely [natural native speed]
tough [natural native speed]
Daniel: difficult, hard to deal or handle
tough [slowly - broken down by syllable] tough [natural native speed]
Chihiro: work [natural native speed]
Daniel: employment, earning money for labor done
Chihiro: work [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: work [natural native speed]
bookstore [natural native speed]
Daniel: place of business where books are sold bookstore [slowly - broken down by syllable] bookstore [natural native speed]
Chihiro: nearby [natural native speed]
Daniel: near; in the immediate area
Chihiro: nearby [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: nearby [natural native speed]
to switch [natural native speed]
Daniel: to change, to shift
to switch [slowly - broken down by syllable] to switch [natural native speed]
Chihiro: class [natural native speed]
Daniel: series of meetings at school for a topic of study, course of study
Chihiro: class [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: class [natural native speed]
to grab [natural native speed]
Daniel: to take suddenly, to seize
to grab [slowly - broken down by syllable] to grab [natural native speed]
Chihiro: ice cream [natural native speed]
Daniel: sweet frozen dessert made of cream or butterfat
Chihiro: ice cream [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: ice cream [natural native speed]
flavor [natural native speed]
Daniel: the way something tastes in the mouth flavor [slowly - broken down by syllable] flavor [natural native speed]
Daniel: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Chihiro: The first phrase we’ll look at is, “grab a cup of coffee.” In this case, the word “grab” does not literally mean to suddenly take or pick up the coffee, but it means to have a cup of coffee. In other words, Oksana is saying, “Maybe we can go have a cup of coffee.”
Daniel: Right. This expression is often used when talking about getting something. For example, if I say, “I'll grab something to eat before the show.” It means that I will get something to eat before the show.
Chihiro: Okay, sounds good. Let's go on to the next phrase, which is “On the corner of 5th and San Carlos.”
Daniel: This means the ice cream shop where Vicky works is on the corner of two streets; one street is called 5th Street or 5th avenue and the other is called San Carlos. It is common in North America not to say the word, street or avenue or road if it's obvious that the streets or avenues or roads are what people are talking about.
Chihiro: Right. And, “on the corner” simply means that the shop is located where the two streets meet. This is also a common expression in describing where something is. I can say something like “I live on the corner of River View and Harrington,” which means that I live where River View street and Harrington street meet.
Daniel: Okay, hope you understand the meaning of both phrases now.

Lesson focus

Chihiro: And now, let’s look at the grammar point for this lesson.
Daniel: The focus of this lesson is the past perfect, as in the
sentence, “If I had studied harder, I would have done better.” In Beginner Series, Season 1, Lesson 8 we learned about the perfect aspect. In this lesson, we will focus on the combination of the perfect aspect and the past tense. Tell us, Chihiro, what is this combination called?
Chihiro: It's called the past perfect tense. In Lesson 8 we explained that the perfect aspect's core meaning is "prior" or "before". This is in reference to another time in the context. And, in Lesson 12, we learned that the core meaning of the past tense is "remoteness" or "distance", the most common remoteness being time.
Daniel: So listeners, since you already know the core meaning of the perfect aspect and of the past tense, you are ready to look at verbs with the past perfect form and understand the grammar.
Chihiro: And if you don't remember, or skipped those lessons, please go back and listen to them.
Daniel: Good advice. You can notice the form of the perfect by the presence of “has”, “have,” or, “had” before the main verb and that the main verb is found in the form of the past participle* (in other words, it ends with an ~ed or ~en). In the case of the past perfect, we use the past form of “have”, which is “had”. This shows that there is another past event that is the reference point.
Chihiro: Let me give you an example. If I say, “I had already eaten dinner when you invited me”. “Eaten” is the past participle form of “eat” and with the past tense of “have”, that is, had before it, the verb shows that the eating happened "prior" to the reference point in the context which is, “invited”, a complete, past event. For more on the form of the progressive aspect, see the lesson notes in the PDF for Lesson 8.
Daniel: Now, let's look at examples from this lesson's dialogue to see how the past perfect is used. Chihiro, what is an example from the dialog?
Chihiro: In the dialog, Vicky tells Oksana, “Oh sure I do, I had worked there before they opened that ice cream store nearby.”
Daniel: In this sentence, she uses the perfect aspect because she is using a past event as a reference point, in this case, the past event is when the ice cream store opened. She also uses the past tense because her working there was prior to the opening of the store. And, if you remember, "prior" is the core meaning of the perfect aspect.
Chihiro: There is another use of the past perfect in the dialogue.
Daniel: Right, it's when Vicky says to Oksana, “If I had studied harder, I would have done better.”
Chihiro: In this sentence, the past tense is used because she is talking about something that is complete and remote, that is, the time she could have studied. She uses the perfect aspect because she is referring to the period before the end of that time. But, notice that she is talking about something that is imaginative. She cannot go back and change time.
Daniel: So, we can use the past perfect to talk about imaginary conditional events. Also notice that she begins with “if”, which is a marker for the conditional. “If” is often used with this form of the past perfect.
Chihiro: All right. Let's recap. We use the past perfect to talk about one event that was completed before another event that is the reference time. It is also used with imaginative past situations along with words like “if”.
Daniel: And, as we have seen in the last several lessons, by focusing on the core meaning of both the aspect and the tense, we can recognize the differences in meaning and use.


Chihiro: That just about does it for today.
Daniel: Some of our listeners already know about the most powerful tool on EnglishClass101.com
Chihiro: Line by line audio.
Daniel: The perfect tool for rapidly improving listening comprehension.
Chihiro: by listening to lines of the conversation again and again..
Daniel: listen until every word and syllable becomes clear.
Basically, we break down the dialogue into comprehensible, bite-size sentences.
Chihiro: You can try the line by line audio in the premium learning center at EnglishClass101.com
Daniel: Goodbye, everyone.
Chihiro: Later, guys.


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