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Lesson Transcript

Jessi: Jessi here.
Daniel: Daniel here. Beginner series, season one, lesson seven. We’re seeing a new movie.
Jessi: Hi everyone. And welcome back to EnglishClass101.com, the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn English!
Daniel: That's right! Thanks for being here with us for this Beginner Series season one lesson!
Jessi: So Daniel, what will we learn in this lesson?
Daniel: In this lesson, you will learn how to talk about events that are happening RIGHT now.
Jessi: This conversation takes place at the campus of Innovative University, IU!
Daniel: The conversation is between Oksana, an exchange student from Ukraine and Yuki, an exchange student from Japan.
Jessi: The speakers are friends, therefore the speakers will be speaking casually.
Daniel: But before we begin the lesson, we want to ask you if you read the lesson notes while you listen.
Jessi: Yes, you may find this to be a good study tip.
Daniel: Please try it out and tell us if it helps you.
Jessi: Leave us a comment or send us an email.
Daniel: Alright, let’s listen to the conversation.
Oksana: Yuki! What's up?
Yuki: Oh, not much, I'm just waiting for a friend.
Oksana: I'll wait with you. So, is he handsome?
Yuki: How do you know it's a he? (laughs) Uh, well, yeah, he is handsome. He's an exchange student from Italy.
Oksana: Nice! I love Italian accents!
Yuki: Me too!
Oksana: So, what are you doing together?
Yuki: We're seeing the new movie, "Attraction."
Oksana: And then?
Yuki: And then, we'll be eating at the new Italian restaurant.
Oksana: Sounds romantic! Does he live near here?
Yuki: He's living in the dorms right now, but he's moving into an apartment next month.
Oksana: Cool. Oh, by the way, while I was coming here, Vicky called me. She also said she will see "Attraction." I think tomorrow.
Yuki: Really? Whom is she going with?
Oksana: Oh, now that I think of it, I think he's Italian too. His name is Marco.
Yuki: Marco? That's my friend's name.
Daniel: Jessi, what is your impression of Marco?
Jessi: Well.... it looks like he has some explaining to do!
Daniel: It sure does! In the dialog, both Oksana and Yuki say they like Italian accents. It is pretty common for English speakers to enjoy listening to foreign accents.
Jessi: Of course, this is not always true. But some people think a foreign accent is "exotic" or “attractive”. This is probably most common with speakers who come from Europe and England. Italian and French accents especially seem romantic to some people.
Daniel: How about you Jessi? What do you think about accents? Do you find certain kinds of accents to be romantic or attractive?
Jessi: Hmm, well I think British English accents are very pleasant to listen to. How about you Daniel?
Daniel: Hmm … let me see. For me, it's more on a case-by-case basis. Even with the same language accent, some speakers sound nice and others not so nice. I guess that's true with native accents as well.
Jessi: Right, so it can depend on the person's speaking style.
Daniel: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we shall see is:
Jessi: What's up? [natural native speed]
Daniel: informal for - How are you?
Jessi: What's up? [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jessi: What's up? [natural native speed]
not much [natural native speed]
Daniel: nothing special, nothing especially
not much [slowly - broken down by syllable] not much [natural native speed]
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]
apartment [natural native speed]
Daniel: a rented room or set of rooms to live in within a larger building
apartment [slowly - broken down by syllable] apartment [natural native speed]
Jessi: exchange student [natural native speed]
Daniel: a student attending a school in a different country from his/her own
Jessi: exchange student [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jessi: exchange student [natural native speed]
dorm [natural native speed]
Daniel: informal for dormitory, a college or university building where students live
dorm [slowly - broken down by syllable] dorm [natural native speed]
Jessi: accent [natural native speed]
Daniel: pronunciation that is common to a group of people from a certain area
Jessi: accent [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jessi: accent [natural native speed]
handsome [natural native speed]
Daniel: good to look at
handsome [slowly - broken down by syllable] handsome [natural native speed]
Jessi: attraction [natural native speed]
Daniel: feeling of interest that causes someone to move closer to something
Jessi: attraction [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jessi: attraction [natural native speed]
romantic [natural native speed]
Daniel: of or relating to love
romantic [slowly - broken down by syllable] romantic [natural native speed]
Daniel: 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 will look at is "by the way." As we saw in the definitions, "by the way" is a phrase used to change from one topic to another. For example, while you are talking about the weather, you may suddenly remember that you want to talk with your conversation partner about something else. Daniel, let's demonstrate an example.
Daniel: OK. I'll pretend I am finishing a topic, and you can change the topic.
Jessi: Sounds good.
Daniel: And so, we were able to win the game.
Jessi: Cool! Oh,"by the way", what are your plans tomorrow?
Daniel: So as you can see, tomorrow's plans are not related to the game. But, by using "by the way", Jessi was able to smoothly change topics.
Jessi: Right. OK, and the other word we will look at in this lesson is "handsome". The definition of "handsome" is "easy to look at", or "attractive". It can be used for things as well as people, and for women as well as men.
Daniel: But, it is used much more often for men than for women. In fact, there is an expression "tall, dark, and handsome" as a description of what many women want in a man. How about you, Jessi? Is that what you look for in a man?
Jessi: Hm, sure, why not! When it is used for a woman, it usually means that she is refined and has poise.
Daniel: That’s right. And since those things often take time, it is rarely used for young woman.
Jessi: Yeah, for younger women, words such as "pretty" and "beautiful" are more common.
Daniel: Yeah, as in, “Jessi is pretty.”
Jessi: Oh, why thank you!

Lesson focus

Jessi: OK, let's take a look at the grammar point for this lesson.
Daniel: The Focus of This Lesson is the Progressive Aspect.
Jessi: For example, in the the dialogue we heard the sentence, “I’m just waiting for a friend.”
Daniel: In Beginner Series, Season 1, Lesson 6, we learned that the 12 “tenses” in English are really three tenses and four aspects. We also learned that by combining these tenses and aspects, we get this number "12".
Jessi, what are the aspects.
Jessi: Well, they are simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive.
Daniel: Alright, and the three tenses?
Jessi: Present, past and future!
Daniel: That's right!
Jessi: And by combining aspects and tenses, we get the "12", right?
Daniel: Right again! Jessi, you're on a roll!
Jessi: Of course!
Daniel: We also told you before that our plan is to show you the core idea behind each tense and aspect so that you will be able to understand the meaning of each one more deeply.
Jessi: Yes, and we also began our study of the tense-aspect system by introducing the simple aspect and looking at some examples of how it works with the three tenses.
Daniel: In this lesson, we will take a closer look at the progressive aspect of verbs. It will be useful to contrast the progressive aspect with the simple aspect, so we hope you remember that lesson. Do you remember the core meaning of the simple aspect, Jessi?
Jessi: Yep. In short, the main idea of the simple aspect is that the event you speak of is thought of as a complete event. The example we gave is “I live in Los Angeles.”
Daniel: Right. In this form, the sentence presents the event as complete. There is no suggestion that the speaker may stop living in Los Angeles.
Jessi: So Daniel, how about the progressive aspect?
Daniel: OK. You can recognize the progressive aspect because a form of the verb "be" such as "is, am, are, was, were", and so on… comes before the main verb. And the main verb is in the present participle form.
Jessi: Participle form. In other words, the main verb has ~ing at the end. For example, "I am speaking."
Daniel: Right. The main idea of the progressive aspect is that the event is incomplete or limited.
Jessi: In other words, it might still be in progress (so, progressive).
Daniel: Uh huh. In other words, the event may be continuing and unfinished. This is why the progressive aspect is often called the continuous aspect.
Jessi: Yeah, many books use "present continuous", "past continuous", and "future continuous."
Daniel: Yup. OK, let’s look again at the example we gave in Lesson 6. "I am living in Los Angeles." The facts of this sentence are the same as "I live in Los Angeles." However, with "I am living in Los Angeles", it sounds like the situation is temporary.
Jessi: Right. It sounds like you might move soon.
Daniel: Exactly. So, again, the simple aspect is used to talk about events as if they are complete and the progressive aspect is used to talk about events as if they are incomplete, changing, or unfinished. The progressive also differs with the simple in that the progressive aspect is always used to talk about specific events while the simple aspect can be used to talk about general truths. Jessi, what is an example of a general truth?
Jessi: Hmm. How about "Bears sleep in the winter."
Daniel: How nice! That's a good example because it's a general truth that doesn't change. Now, let’s combine the progressive aspect with the verb tenses and see how they work together. Jessi, let's quickly review. What is the present tense used for?
Jessi: The present tense is used to talk about events that are happening now.
Daniel: And what is the main idea of the progressive aspect?
Jessi: The progressive aspect is to talk about events that are incomplete.
Daniel: Exactly, so, we can combine the present tense with the progressive aspect to talk about events that are in progress now. How about an example?
Jessi: For example, "We are recording this lesson now."
Daniel: Right, that means that we are in the process of recording at this moment. In other words, the recording has not finished yet. OK, we can also form the present progressive to talk about events that will come to an end, maybe in the near future. How about an example from the dialogue?
Jessi: Sure. Yuki says in the dialog, "I'm just waiting for a friend."
Daniel: Good example. With this sentence, it is clear that the waiting will end soon, because she expects her friend to come soon. There are more uses for the present progressive, and we’ll look at some of those when we study the present tense in more detail.
Jessi: Sounds good. So, shall we look at how the progressive is used with the past tense?
Daniel: Yes, let's. What did we say the past tense is used for?
Jessi: We said that for now we will say that we use the past tense to talk about events that happened before now. For example, when we talk about yesterday, we usually use the past tense.
Daniel: Right. And when we combine the past tense with the progressive, we can talk about actions in progress at a specific point in time in the past or when a simple past event happened. How about an example from the dialog?
Jessi: Sure. Oksana says, "While I was coming here, Vicky called me."
Daniel: OK, so the simple past event here is "Vicky called me." That happened at a specific time.
Jessi: Right. And when that happened, Oksana was in the process of coming to the school campus.
Daniel: Right. OK, we’ll look at some more uses of the past progressive when we study the past tense in more detail. And finally, let’s take a look at how the progressive aspect works with the future tense. What did we say the future tense is used for?
Jessi: We said that we use the future tense to talk about events that have not happened yet. For example, when we talk about tomorrow, we usually use the future tense.
Daniel: So, if you use it with the progressive aspect, we are talking about an event in an incomplete sense that may happen after now. The future progressive can be used to talk about action that will be in progress at a specific time in the future. Let’s have an example.
Jessi: For example, “I will be watching T.V. at 8 p.m. tomorrow.”
Daniel: Right. 8 p.m. tomorrow is in the future and at that time, you will not be finished watching T.V.. In future lessons, we will look at the present tense, past tense, and future tense more carefully. We will learn the main idea for each tense because we now understand that tense is not just about time.
Jessi: And when we do look at each tense, we will also review the meaning of the progressive aspect again.


Daniel: Sounds like a plan. But before we finish up, we want to remind you of an important language tip.
Jessi: Yes, it’s so important that we want to repeat it.
Daniel: Yes. We just want to remind you that practice is not the only important part of learning a language. Noticing the form of language is important also. So if you notice forms and language, you will be able to start using new grammar forms, and catch your own mistakes quicker, and use the correct forms.
Jessi: Right, and that’s really important, so that’s why we wanted to mention it again.
Daniel: That’s right.
Jessi: Also be sure to review the grammar point for Beginner Series, Season 1, Lesson 6.
Daniel: Excellent point. Review, review, review.
Jessi: Well, that just about does it for today.
Daniel: But before we go, we want to tell you about a way to drastically improve your pronunciation.
Jessi: And that is, the voice recording tool.
Daniel: Yes, the voice recording tool in the premium learning center.
Jessi: Record your voice with the click of a button.
Daniel: And then play it back just as easily.
Jessi: So you record your voice and then listen to it.
Daniel: And then compare it to the native speakers
Jessi: And adjust your pronunciation
Daniel: This will help you improve your pronunciation quickly.
Daniel: OK, we’ll see you soon
Jessi: Bye, everyone.


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