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Lesson Transcript

Braden: Going on an American Firing Frenzy
Braden: In this lesson, you’ll learn about Relative clause usage and Getting fired.
Barbara: This conversation takes place in the morning at the store in a few minutes after the store has opened.
Braden: And it’s between Mitch and June.
Barbara: The speakers are Co-workers and Mitch seems to be confused about who was promoted to Assistant Manager.
Braden: Let’s listen to the conversation.
June: Where is everybody?
Mitch: You mean your co-workers?
June: Sure.
Mitch: There were some disagreements last night, and staff members who disagreed were fired.
June: By whom?
Mitch: By me.
June: And who, exactly, did you fire?
Mitch: Pretty much everybody. You must understand that something had to be done.
June: You do realize you aren't the assistant manager, right? And that you can't really fire anyone?
Mitch: Well the staff members I fired certainly seem to have taken it to heart because they're not here.
June: Well, go ask them to come back.
Mitch: I can't do that.
June: And why not?
Mitch: Because then they will not fear me.
June: Why on earth would any of them need to fear you? Are you nuts?
Mitch: I know! Big John's going to come in here and see that no one's working and he's going to fire me!
June: You should have thought of that before you tried to "strike fear" into the hearts of your co-workers.
Braden: So, we wanted to talk a little bit about Getting fired.
Barbara: Every company has a different policy about terminating an individual's employment. And there are a number of words used that have roughly the same meaning. The most common term is to get fired.
Braden: This means that the company terminated her employment. Usually, getting fired is a consequence of some kind of misconduct while at work. In other words, the employee did something wrong and was therefore fired.
Barbara: Another very common term is to quit. This means that you terminate your employment with the company. The main difference being that it was your choice to leave the company as opposed to the company choosing to fire you.
Braden: It is this difference in meaning that is played on in films when you hear actors say, “You can't fire me, I quit!”
Barbara: Another similar phrase is to get laid off. This phrase is when the company terminates the employment of an individual.
Braden: The difference between “getting laid off” and “getting fired” is that getting laid off does not require any kind of misconduct on the part of the employee or the company. An employee is usually laid off because of financial reasons within the company.
Braden: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is:
Barbara: fired [natural native speed]
Braden: dismiss an employee from a job (informal)
Barbara: fired [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: fired [natural native speed]
disagreements [natural native speed]
Braden: lack of consensus or approval
disagreements [slowly - broken down by syllable] disagreements [natural native speed]
Barbara: disagree [natural native speed]
Braden: have or express a different opinion
Barbara: disagree [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: disagree [natural native speed]
staff [natural native speed]
Braden: all the people employed by a particular organization
staff [slowly - broken down by syllable] staff [natural native speed]
Barbara: nuts [natural native speed]
Braden: insane
Barbara: nuts [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: nuts [natural native speed]
drug [natural native speed]
Braden: substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body
drug [slowly - broken down by syllable]
drug [natural native speed]
Barbara: strike [natural native speed]
Braden: to hit
Barbara: strike [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: strike [natural native speed]
fear [natural native speed]
Braden: feeling resulting from belief that someone or something that's dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat
fear [slowly - broken down by syllable]
fear [natural native speed]
Barbara: whom [natural native speed]
Braden: used in formal language instead of “who” when “who” is the object
Barbara: whom [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: whom [natural native speed]
Braden: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Barbara: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase "to take to heart."
Braden: “To take to heart” means that you take something (typically an order from a superior) as supremely important. For example, a boss tells his employee to be as efficient as possible.
Barbara: The employee "takes this to heart" by internalizing and acting on the “be as efficient as possible” motto as the most important directive he has. Typically, he then begins restructuring his entire workflow and department if he can to be as efficient as possible.
Braden: Could you break this down for us?
Barbara: to take to heart (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: to take to heart (fast)
Braden: Perfect! What’s next?
Barbara: Our next phrase is “are you nuts?”
Braden: “Are you nuts?” Is an idiom that means “Are you crazy?” There are many theories as to why this phrase exists in English. However, the most generally accepted Stems from a colloquialism referring to a person’s head as their “nut.”
Barbara: Overtime, the meaning was converted to the meaning that we have today. In Great Britain, you can hear people referred to as “nutters” To mean that they are crazy.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: Are you nuts? (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: Are you nuts? (fast)
Braden: Great! Let’s take a look at the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Braden: Barbara, what’s the focus of this lesson?
Barbara: The focus of this lesson is relative clause usage
Braden: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase...
Barbara: There were some disagreements last night and staff members that disagreed were fired.
Braden: Relative clauses provide extra information. This information can either define something (defining clause), or provide unnecessarily, but interesting, added information (non-defining clause).
Barbara: Relative clauses are usually introduced by a relative pronoun who (whom), which, that, whose but that is only a tendency, not a rule. Sometimes the relative clause is introduced by where, why or when instead of a relative pronoun or by no relative pronoun at all.
Braden: You need to consider a few things when deciding which relative pronoun to use.
Barbara: First, Does it refer to a person or an object?
Braden: and second, Is the relative clause a defining or non-defining relative clause?
Barbara: NOTE – Relative clauses are often used in both spoken and written English. Some say, there is a tendency to use non-defining relative clauses mostly in written, rather than in spoken, English.
Braden: First we’ll look at defining relative clauses. The information provided in a defining relative clause is crucial in understanding the meaning of the sentence.
Barbara: For example – "The document that I need has 'Bahamas' written at the top."
The purpose of a defining relative clause is to clearly define who or what we
7are talking about. Without this information, it would be difficult to know who or what is meant.
Braden: Another example would be “The house is being demolished.” In this case, it is not necessarily clear which house is being demolished.
Barbara: Now on to Non-defining Relative Clauses. Non-defining relative clauses provide interesting or additional information but information that isn’t essential to understanding the sentence.
Braden: For example, "Mrs. Jackson, who is very tall, lives on the corner." “The phrase “who is very tall” could be removed from the sentence and meaning would still make sense.
Barbara: Just a quick note about punctuation, and non-defining relative clauses. If the non-defining relative clause occurs in the middle of a sentence, a comma is put before the relative pronoun and at the end of the clause. For example, it’s "Mrs. Jackson (comma) who is very tall (comma) lives on the corner."
Braden: If the non-defining relative clause occurs at the end of a sentence, a comma is put before the relative pronoun. Also, in defining relative clauses there are no commas.
Barbara: For example "Children who play with fire are in great danger of harm." Generally, “who” and “which” are more usual in written English whereas “that” is more usual in speech when referring to things.
Braden: Now let’s Relative Pronouns Used As The Object of Non-Defining Relative Clauses. The example here is the phrase "Peter brought out his favorite antique, which was a bookshelf, to show his friends." Here, “which must be used because “That” can never be used in non-defining clauses.
Barbara: Next let’s look at Relative Pronouns Used As A Possessive In Non-Defining Relative Clauses. An example of this would be, "The singer, whose most recent recording has had much success, was signing autographs."
Braden: To wrap things up, remember that In non-defining relative clauses, “which” can be used to refer to an entire clause. For example, "He came for the weekend wearing only some shorts and a t-shirt, which was a stupid thing to do."
Barbara: Also, remember that after numbers and words like many, most, neither, and some, we use “of” before “whom” and “which” in non-defining relative clauses. For example, "Dozens of people had been invited, most of whom I knew."


Braden: That just about does it for today. Thanks for listening.
Barbara: See you later!


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

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Good morning everyone! Did you think this dialogue was funny? I certainly did! I'm still chuckling!

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:17 AM
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Hi there Jeongsoon,

Thanks for asking your question! 😄😁

I believe your asking the context of this statement... Person B in the dialogue fired/laid off some staff members from their company and is wondering why they aren't at work!

Taking something 'to heart' means to be deeply hurt or affected by something.

I hope this is helpful to you! 😄



Team EnglishClass101.com

Jeongsoon Heo
Monday at 11:32 AM
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I can't understand this sentence.

'Well the staff members I fired certainly seem to have taken it to heart because they're not here.'

What does it mean at whole story?

Englishclass101.com Verified
Monday at 07:51 PM
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Hi AungZW,

Thank you for posting.

Have a great day!


Team Englishclass101.com

Monday at 01:11 PM
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