Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Jessi: Jessi here.
Daniel: Daniel here. Beginner series, season one, lesson 5 - My major is English. Hello and welcome back to EnglishClass101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn English!
Jessi: We hope you're ready for a great lesson. Daniel, what will we learn today?
Daniel: In this lesson you will learn how to talk about school majors and classes.
Jessi: This conversation takes place outside a classroom at a college.
Daniel: The conversation is between Mike and Vicky, two classmates.
Jessi: The speakers are friends, so the speakers will be speaking casually.
Daniel: Don’t forget, you can leave us a comment on this lesson.
Jessi: So if you have a question
Daniel: or some feedback,
Jessi: please leave us a comment.
Daniel: It’s very easy to do. Just stop by EnglishClass101.com.
Jessi: Click on comments. Enter your comment and name. And that’s it.
Daniel: We’re looking forward to hearing from you. OK, let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Mike: Hey, Vicky! What's up?
Vicky: What's up, Mike? How's it going?
Mike: Oh, I've been better.
Vicky: What's wrong? Do you have a cold?
Mike: No, but I couldn't get into Professor Nation's course.
Vicky: Oh, I see. I'm sorry to hear that. By the way, what's your major?
Mike: My major's education. How about you?
Vicky: I'm an English major.
Mike: Cool. I like English! Oh, and what's Oksana's major?
Vicky: She's also an English major.
Mike: That's nice. You can help each other study.
Vicky: Yup. In fact, I need to meet her now so we can study together.
Mike: Okay. It was nice talking with you.
Vicky: You, too! See ya later!
Mike: See ya!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Jessi: So, in this lesson, Mike and Vicky talk about their college majors. Daniel, what was your major in college?
Daniel: When I was an undergraduate ...
Jessi: An undergraduate? We should probably explain what that means.
Daniel: You're right. When you attend a 4-year college or university after high school, you usually are working toward a bachelor's degree. During this period, you are known as an undergraduate student.
Jessi: Right. That's probably because you haven't graduated yet.
Daniel: Right.
Jessi: If you break down the word, you can see the meaning - under plus graduate.
Daniel: Exactly. Well, when I was an undergraduate, my major was History.
Jessi: History? Oh, I didn't know that.
Daniel: Yup. How about you, Jessi? What was your major?
Jessi: I studied linguistics as an undergraduate. Linguistics is the study of language.
Daniel: That must be why you are such a good teacher here at EnglishClass101.com.
Jessi: Oh, why, thank you.
VOCAB LIST
Daniel: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we shall see is:
Jessi: I've been better. [natural native speed]
Daniel: phrase to show you are not doing well
Jessi: I've been better. [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jessi: I've been better. [natural native speed]
Next...
what's wrong? [natural native speed]
Daniel: phrase to ask why someone does not seem happy what's wrong? [slowly - broken down by syllable] what's wrong? [natural native speed]
Next...
Jessi: by the way [natural native speed]
Daniel: phrase to change the topic
Jessi: by the way [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jessi: by the way [natural native speed]
Next...
major [natural native speed]
Daniel: a student's main course of study in a school major [slowly - broken down by syllable] major [natural native speed]
Next...
Jessi: to help [natural native speed]
Daniel: to make it easier for someone to do something, to give assistance
Jessi: to help [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jessi: to help [natural native speed]
Next...
to study [natural native speed]
Daniel: to spend time and attention to learn something to study [slowly - broken down by syllable]
to study [natural native speed]
Next...
Jessi: Nice talking with you! [natural native speed]
Daniel: phrase to end a conversation pleasantly
Jessi: Nice talking with you! [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jessi: Nice talking with you! [natural native speed]
Next...
See ya! [natural native speed]
Daniel: goodbye (very casual)
See ya! [slowly - broken down by syllable] See ya! [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Daniel: And now let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Jessi: The first phrase we’ll look at is...
Daniel: "I've been better." "I've been better" is a phrase that means "not so good." You can use this expression when you don't feel well. In a previous lesson we learned "never been better." Even though that expression might sound negative because of the word "never," we learned that it is positive. It really means that "I have never been better than now. Right now is the best feeling I have had."
Jessi: In a similar way, "I've been better" means "I have been better than I am now." In other words, "I'm not so good."
Daniel: That's right. Jessi, let's demonstrate.
Jessi: Okay. Hey Daniel! How are you doing?
Daniel: Ah, I've been better. My dog just died.
Jessi: Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that!
Daniel: Not really. All right. What's the next phrase Jessi?
Jessi: The next phrase is "What's your major?" This phrase is used to ask someone about their major in school, that is, what their main subject is. Most colleges and even some high schools require students to choose a main course of study. There are a few ways to answer this question. You can say "My major is English", for example.
Daniel: You can also say "I'm an Education major" or "I study math."

Lesson focus

Jessi: Okay, now let's look at this lesson’s grammar point.
Daniel: The focus of this lesson is contractions and some more practice with subject-verb agreement with the verb be. For example, My major's Education.
Jessi: In the previous lesson we introduced subject-verb agreement with the word “be”. In this lesson we will look at some more examples and focus on the use of contractions in casual English.
Daniel: As we have learned in the previous lesson, “be” is
one of the most common and important words in the English language.
Jessi: As the copula, "be" is used to link the subject with an adjective, another noun, or an expression of place.
Daniel: You can think of be as being like an equal sign (=).
Jessi: The conjugation of “be” can be difficult, so let's review it again using the simple present tense.
Daniel: Good idea.
Daniel: The basic sentence pattern using “be” as a copula in the simple present tense is like this…subject + be + adjective/noun/or expression of place.
Jessi: The conjugation for "be" depends on whether the person is the 1st
Daniel: I
Jessi: 2nd
Daniel: you
Jessi: or 3rd person
Daniel: he/she/it
Jessi: It also depends on whether the person is singular (only 1 person) or plural (more than one person).
Daniel: The conjugation also depends on the verb tense for example, past, present, future, et cetera.
Jessi: Yes, but like the previous lesson, we will only look at the simple present tense this time.
Daniel: Here are some examples…
Jessi: "I am a student."
Daniel: The subject in this sentence is "I", which is the 1st person singular. So, "be" changes to "am" in this sentence. Can you repeat the sentence, Jessi?
Jessi: "I am a student."
Daniel: And what is the next example?
Jessi: "You are a student."
Daniel: The subject in this sentence is "you", which is the 2nd person singular and plural. So, "be" changes to "are" in this sentence. Can you repeat the sentence again?
Jessi: "You are a student."
Daniel: Okay. What's next?
Jessi: "He is a student."
Daniel: The subject in this sentence is "he", which is the 3rd person singular. So, "be" changes to "is" in this sentence. Please repeat the sentence.
Jessi: "He is a student."
Daniel: The same pattern is used for other 3rd person singular subjects like "she" and "it".
Daniel: All right. What do we have next?
Jessi: "We are students."
Daniel: The subject in this sentence is "we", which is the 1st person plural. So, "be" is changed to "are" in this sentence. Can you repeat the sentence?
Jessi: "We are students."
Daniel: Good. And let's do one more example.
Jessi: "They are students."
Daniel: The subject in this sentence is "they", which is the 3rd person plural. So, "be" is changed to "are" in this sentence. Please repeat the sentence.
Jessi: "They are students."
Daniel: Alright, let's hear some examples from this dialog…
Jessi: I am an English major.
Daniel: My major's Education.
Jessi: Let's give a couple more example sentences… Here’s another one.
Daniel: You are an American. And another one?
Jessi: She is beautiful.
Daniel: OK, and now, let's talk about contractions.
Jessi: In casual English, especially in casual spoken English, the subject of the sentence and the verb can be are shortened. These shortened words are called contractions.
Daniel: For example, “I am” becomes I'm in casual English.
Jessi: In the conversation for this lesson we also heard “My major's Education”. The word “Major's” in this sentence is a contraction for major is. Major's.
Jessi: When writing formally, it is usually better not to use contractions. Let's look at a few more examples.
Daniel, you say the formal subject and verb. And I will say the contraction.
Daniel: I am would be
Jessi: I'm.
Daniel: you are would be
Jessi: you're
Daniel: he is would be
Jessi: he's
Daniel: she is would be
Jessi: she's
Daniel: it is would be
Jessi: it's
Daniel: we are would be
Jessi: we're
Daniel: they are would be
Jessi: they're

Outro

Daniel: OK, be sure to visit the website and look at grammar point write up in the PDF for more practice. Well, that about does it for today. Jessi, I’d like to share a study tip a listener shared with us.
Jessi: Ah, you’re talking about the student who uses just the conversation tracks to review the lessons.
Daniel: Jessi, you read my mind.
Jessi: Ha, ha, Did I?
Daniel: Yup. A listener of ours listens to each lesson several times.
Jessi: Then afterward, gets the conversation-only track from our site.
Daniel: She then listens to them on shuffle again and again.
She created her own immersion program using EnglishClass101.com
Jessi: Yeah, that’s a really great idea. So please give it a try and let us know what you think.
Daniel: OK, until next time. See ya.
Jessi: Bye everyone.

Grammar

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349 Comments

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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:33 AM
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Hello Fatima FOFANA,


Thank you so much for your positive message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

Levente

Team EnglishClass101.com

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 12:24 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Ei Mon,


Thank you for your comment. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

Levente

Team EnglishClass101.com

Fatima FOFANA
Sunday at 02:08 AM
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Hello

thank you for these lessons , I'm so happy to learn more

I'll be waiting for the next

thanks

Ei Mon
Saturday at 05:13 PM
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After learning,l know clearly and want to learn continue in the way. Thanks a lot.But I was afraid that my writing was wrong in grammar.But I wanna to try it .Thank!

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 07:20 AM
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Hello Brunel JEAN,


Thank you so much for your positive message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

Levente

Team EnglishClass101.com

Brunel JEAN
Wednesday at 10:23 AM
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English is a piece of cake when we learn in that way.

Brunel JEAN
Tuesday at 08:20 AM
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Excellent

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 09:58 PM
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Hello Thet,



Thank you so much for your message. Yes, absolutely! 😇 If you regularly learn with us, you will experience that your English will skyrocket very soon! It is all about repetition, don't forget!


Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

Levente

Team EnglishClass101.com

Thet
Friday at 10:50 PM
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Thanks ever so much for these lessons.

Can I improve my English skills if I study these lessons?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:43 PM
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Hello Daya Gawade,


Thank you so much for your kind message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

Levente

Team EnglishClass101.com