Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to introduce 10 common everyday expressions that we use in American English. I'm going to introduce the expression. I'm going to talk about the grammar of the expression, explain the basic meaning, and then introduce some sample responses to the question. The aim of this lesson, the goal of this lesson is to give you some natural expressions, some questions, some phrases you can use, and also to help you know some natural ways to respond to these expressions, too. Let's get started.
Okay. The first expression I want to introduce is this one, "How is it going?" In quick speech, we say, "How's it going? Hey, how's it going?" "How's it going?" the meaning of this is really how are you? But we're using this casual expression, "how's." Meaning, "How is?" And "it" refers to your life. "How is your life going?" Meaning, recently, how is your life turning out? Recently, how has your life been? "How are you?" in other words. "How's it going? How are you?" To respond to this question, you can use a very short simple expression, "How's it going?" "Good." "How's it going?" "Great." "How's it going?" "Not bad." Something quick, short is best for this. "I'm good. How are you?" That sort of thing is fine. You can return the question, "How's it going? Good. How's it going with you?" You can say "with you" if you like.
Let's continue to the next expression then. Next one is, "How was your weekend?" This is a past tense question. Therefore, the speaker is asking about last weekend. "How was your weekend?" However, the pronunciation of this question is different from how I just pronounced it. It's not, "How was your weekend?" but "How was your weekend?" You can share, again, like we did with "How's it going?" a quick summary of your weekend, a quick overview of your weekend. "How was your weekend?" "All right." Or, "How was your weekend?" "Okay. I didn't do much." "Didn't do much" also sounds very, very contracted. It sounds very reduced in speech. "How was your weekend?" "It didn't do much." "Didn't do much" becomes "didn't do much." "I didn't do much." "All right" is a nice one. It just means kind of a neutral example, or, "How was your weekend?" "It was great. It was good." You can use a lot of different expressions similar to those we talked about here. "How was your weekend?" A past tense question.
Okay. Now, let's go to a future tense question. "Up to anything this weekend." "Up to anything." This is like maybe you know the expression, "What are you up to?" means, "What are you doing?" Here, up to means doing. "Doing anything this weekend?" This question means, "Do you have any plans for this weekend?" But we say, "Up to anything this weekend" in a kind of casual way. The pronunciation then is different. I said, "Up to anything this weekend?" The native speaker level pronunciation is, "Up to anything this weekend?" When you answer this question, "Up to anything this weekend?" "Yeah. I'm going skiing with my friends." Or, "Yeah. I'm having a picnic." Or, "Yeah. I'm going for drinks with my coworkers." For no. You can say, "No. No plans." Or if you want to ask the other person, maybe they have a plan, you can say, "No. What's up?" You're inviting kind of a plan. You're inviting an invitation here. "Up to anything this weekend?" "No. What are you doing?" That's another good way to respond.
Okay. Onto the next expression. Next one is, "Do you wanna grab lunch?" or "Do you wanna grab dinner? Do you wanna grab a drink?" Here, we're using "wanna." "Wanna" is the reduced form, the contracted sound of want and to together. "Do you want to?" in other words. The meaning here, "Would you like to?" This is an invitation sentence. "Would you like to," some verb, "with me?" "With me" is included here, but it's implied in the sentence. We don't need to say, "Do you wanna grab dinner? Do you wanna grab a drink? Do you wanna grab lunch with me?" We can drop "with me." It's understood from the context. "Would you like to do something with me?" This is a more formal way of asking this question.
Also, when you're speaking, these parts come together. Not, "Do you wanna grab lunch?" but "Do you wanna? Do you wanna grab lunch with me? Do you wanna get dinner with me?" I changed it now to "Do you wanna get" in that case, too. You might hear "get." Here in the original sentence, I used "grab." "Grab" sounds like taking something quickly with your hand. To grab something, like to grab this marker quickly. It sounds very casual. You can change the verb to get if you like, meaning, to get something, like to receive something kind of, but to go out and get that thing. "Do you wanna get lunch with me? Do you wanna get a drink?" That's a much better pronunciation. Okay. To respond to this, you can accept with, "Sure. Sounds good." Or just, "Sounds good." Or just, "Sure." That's fine, too. If not, you can say, "I can't." Like, "I can't. I have to work. I can't. I have to study." Or, "Sorry, I'm tired." You could use that expression as well. You can accept or reject if you like.
All right. Let's go on to the next one, next expression. "How'd, event, go?" "Event" here is something that the speaker knows you were planning to do. "How'd the birthday party go? How'd the meeting go? How'd the barbeque go?" Here, you'll see I'm using the apostrophe "D" at the end of how. In speech, "how did" is reduced to "how'd." "How'd the barbeque go? How'd the meeting go? How'd your birthday party go?" for example. "How did" sounds like "how'd" in fast speech. "How'd the meeting go?" It means how was that event, how did something go. We're using the verb "go" here, but it's just asking, "How was it? Was it good? Was it bad? Was it effective? Was it exciting?" Think about a simple past tense response about this event.
Some examples, "It went well." Here, you see I'm using past tense "went" because the original question uses "go." "How did the event go?" This is a nice match. "It went well. It went good. It went okay." for example. Here I have, "It went okay." You can change the nuance. You can change the feeling of your response by changing the way you say "okay." "It went okay. It went okay." It sounds a little bit different. Think about your intonation. Think about the sound of your voice when you respond to this question.
All right. Onto the next one. This is one many people seem to struggle with. This question, "What've you been up to lately?" Here, we see "up to" again. We talked about up here, "up to anything, doing anything." But the grammar here sometimes creates confusion. "What've you been up to lately?" This "ve" is "what have." "What have you been up to lately?" This sentence means, in other words, what kind of things have you been doing lately? "Lately" means recently. "Since I last saw you, since the previous time we met," for example, "what did you do?" in other words. In the recent time period, what have you been doing?
In speech, however, we don't say, "What have you been up to lately?" We say, "What've you been up to lately?" This part, "What've you been" comes together. "What've you been up to lately?" Try to use that pronunciation to sound more natural. "What've you been up to" becomes very, very short. "What've you been up to lately?" Okay. How to answer this question? To answer this, you can use the word "just" to emphasize that it's nothing big, it's just a simple thing, no big deal. "Just working" is fine. "Just studying" is fine too, or just, "Not much" as well is fine too. "Not much, been busy, too." A simple quick answer with an activity or maybe with an adjective is good. "What've been up to lately?" "Just working." That's fine. Think about your recent activities when you reply to this question.
All right. Let's go on to the next question then. The next one is, "What do you think about some topic, some issue here?" You can use this in casual situations and in work situations to ask someone's opinion about something. "What do you think about? What is your opinion of something?" However, in speech, this part, the beginning part, "What do you think," this part becomes a bit more reduced. It becomes kind of contracted, shorter in speech. Not, "What do you think about blah, blah, blah?" but, "What do you think about? What do you think about this movie? What do you think about Thai food for lunch? What do you think about the policy?" for example. "What do you think?"
Also, a good pronunciation point, as always, is that "th" sound. "What do you think?" Work on that "th." "What do you think about something?" Okay. How to answer this question then? "What do you think about something?" You can include in your answer, "I think," before introducing your opinion. "I think it's good." Or, "I think it's a nice idea." Or, "I think it's bad," for example. Of course you can drop it as well. In a more casual situation, I think native speakers probably will drop this. "What do you think about Thai food for lunch?" "It's okay." Or, "What do you think about this movie?" "Yeah, it seems boring." Here, I've got "it's" as my sample, but you can of course change this. I just said "it seems boring," so that's quite different from "it's." This is like an adjective pattern. It's okay. It's not bad, for example, but you can always change this to just share your opinion, but you can preface that, you can introduce I think before your expression as well.
Okay. Onto the next one. Let's look at this, "I gotta head out." This "gotta," this might be a little confusing. "I gotta," this refers to "I have got to" or "I have to leave." "Head out" here. "Head out" is a casual way to say leave or depart. "I gotta head out" means I have to leave, I have to leave. I've got to leave. "I gotta head out" sounds like "I gotta head out very quickly. I gotta head out. I gotta head out." Or we can say, "I have to leave." Here though, the ending of the "have" word and the beginning of this "t" sound kind of connect. "I have to leave. I have to leave." This "O" sound in the two is a very quick sound, too. "I have to." It's like, "I have to leave."
If you want to write it, it might look something like this, "I have to leave," H-A-F-T-A maybe. "I have to leave" or "I got to head out." These are very quick sounds. Practice making those. "I gotta head out. I have to leave." How do you respond if someone says this to you, your coworker, your colleague? Just say, "Okay. See you. That's fine." Or, "Maybe catch you later. I'll talk about this in just a moment. Okay. See you, or okay, bye, or catch you later. In other words, some farewell, some parting expression is good to use here.
All right. Let's go on to the next one. "Have a good night." You'll notice not "good night" always, but "Have a good night." This is a nice friendly and yet polite way to say goodbye to someone in the evening or maybe after work. "Have a good night," or maybe, "Have a nice evening" is good, too. "Have a good night." This means, I hope you, I hope you have a good night. It's a nice expression. But again, the pronunciation here, not "Have a good night" but "Have a good night." You can hear these parts. The end of good and the beginning of night seem to connect a little bit. "Have a good night." Not have a good night. It's quite difficult to say, but "Have a good night," sounds much better. How do we respond to this? We can just say, "Thanks. You too." "Have a good night." "Thanks. You too." That's a really nice way to respond. If you just say, "Yeah, I will," it sounds a little self-centered. It sounds a little too focused on you, on the speaker. "Thanks. You too" is a friendly way to return this sentiment, this idea.
Okay. Let's go on to the last one I said I would explain. This one is catch you later. This means I will see you later. You imagine in the future you are going to see the other person later, but we use this casual catch. It doesn't mean "catch" like a ball to catch someone, but "catch" as in like I will be in the same place as you at another time. It's like why we use catch. It's like we're together again, kind of like catching a ball but it's like you're catching a person and their time with you, perhaps. We can think of it that way. Anyway, "catch you later," again, the pronunciation reduces here. Not "catch you later," but "catch yah later." You can hear this "you" becomes "yah." "Catch yah later, catch yah, catch yah." These parts connect, too. "Catch yah later." How do you respond? "Yeah. See you." That's fine here. Just agree. "Okay. Bye." That's fine as well. "Catch yah later." "Okay. See you. Catch yah later." "All right, bye." One of those parting expressions is nice to use here.
Okay. Those are 10 everyday expressions and a little bit of the grammar and pronunciation included in these expressions and some sample responses. Try to listen for these and try to practice a more natural pronunciation here. Try to work on connecting the words that we talked about here. Try to work on making those reduced sounds and listening for the reduced sounds as well because they sound quite different from the way they look on the page and the way that they are presented sometimes in lessons as well. Try to work on these sounds. All right. But that's all I want to introduce for this lesson. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I'll see you again soon. Bye.