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Lesson Transcript

Braden: An Unconventional American Solution.
Braden: In this lesson, you’ll learn about Verbs + Prepositions and Using the negative instead of being negative.
Barbara: This conversation takes place in the evening in the employee break room.
Braden: And it’s between Mitch, June, and Alex.
Barbara: The speakers are co-workers but June is the assistant manager and wants to help everything workout right. This is a very casual discussion.
Braden: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Mitch: What is happening? Is the calculator broken?
June: Hey. What's going on? Is everything okay?
Mitch: June! Thank goodness you're here. You'll know what to do. My new sales strategy was a huge success. It resulted in me moving the largest volume of big-ticket items since 2006, but no matter how many times I crunch the numbers, I'm still out $2,700.
June: Well, actually, you forgot to carry the one, so it's really $3,700.
Mitch: What am I going to do? Big John is going to accuse me of stealing merchandise.
June: Don't get worked up. Let's see whether we can get any ideas from our co-workers.
June: Okay, everyone, listen up, we're just looking for a few ideas to make a lot of cash quickly. What have you got?
Alex: My mom knows a dude who will torch the place. All your troubles will go up in flames and if anything goes wrong, we can always blame that guy.
June: While I'm impressed by the out-of-the-box nature of Alex's pitch, I'm thinking that maybe a more legal solution might be better.
Braden: So, we wanted to talk a little bit about using the negative politely.
Barbara: In English, we often use the negative structure to soften negative comments. For example,
Braden: “This is bad.” vs. “this isn’t good.”
Barbara: Many people consider this to just be positive thinking or a semantic technique. No matter what it is, this grammar structure is frequently used in business and meeting situations. For example, you shouldn't say “He’s stupid.” Instead, say, “He isn't smart.”
Braden: Or instead of “That car is ugly.” say “That car isn't pretty.”
Barbara: These phrases can be even further softened by giving them a personal tone. For example-
Braden: “This is bad.” vs. “I don’t think this is good.”
Barbara: “He’s an idiot.” vs. “He’s not the smartest person I know.”
Braden: “I think that car is ugly.” vs. “That isn’t the prettiest car I’ve seen.”
Barbara: Notice how, in the dialogue, after Alex's suggestion,
June doesn't just say, "That's stupid." Even though it was a stupid suggestion.
Braden: Not only is she not rude, she finds a way of complimenting the comment Alex made so that he doesn't feel bad when his plan was rejected.
Braden: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is:
Barbara: strategy [natural native speed]
Braden: a plan of action or policy
Barbara: strategy [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: strategy [natural native speed]
success [natural native speed]
Braden: an accomplishment achieved on purpose
success [slowly - broken down by syllable] success [natural native speed]
Barbara: largest [natural native speed]
Braden: having the greatest size, extent, or capacity of a group
Barbara: largest [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: largest [natural native speed]
volume [natural native speed]
Braden: quantity
volume [slowly - broken down by syllable] volume [natural native speed]
Barbara: impressed [natural native speed]
Braden: to cause admiration or respect
Barbara: impressed [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: impressed [natural native speed]
accuse [natural native speed]
Braden: charge (someone) with an offense
accuse [slowly - broken down by syllable] accuse [natural native speed]
Barbara: merchandise [natural native speed]
Braden: goods to be bought and sold
Barbara: merchandise [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: merchandise [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 “big ticket.”
Braden: “Big ticket” means that the item was very expensive. “Big-ticket” has a few possible origins. One of which is the idea that, since the price of the item was very high, therefore the tag (or ticket) where that price was written also needed to be very large.
Barbara: another possibility refers to tickets that used to be used to keep track of the inventory. When a large or expensive item was sold the ticket was the receipt.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: big ticket (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: big ticket (fast)
Braden: Perfect! What’s next?
Barbara: Our next phrase is “crunch the numbers.”
Braden: “Crunch the numbers” means to calculate Or to make calculations. this is a very casual expression and frequently used among friends.
Barbara: There are a few variations, including – crunch those numbers – which means keep doing calculations. as well as – “Number cruncher” which means someone who is good at math.
Braden: Could you break this down for us?
Barbara: crunch the numbers (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: crunch the numbers (fast)
Braden: Perfect! What’s next?
Barbara: Our next phrase is “carry the one.”
Braden: “carry the one” Refers to the Mathematical process of addition. the idea is that as you add numbers together you will frequently go over the base 10 factor upon which Western numerical systems are founded.
Barbara: every time you reach 10 You “carry the one” over to the next numerical bracket while continuing from zero again in the original numerical bracket.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: carry the one (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: carry the one (fast)
Braden: Perfect! What’s next?
Barbara: Our next phrase is “out-of-the-box.”
Braden: “out-of-the-box” Is a phrase referring to the human tendency of thinking within specific limits. When an individual has a unique idea or arrives at a unique solution to a problem, it is often said that they have thought outside the box.
Barbara: in the United States, Thinking outside the box is generally of very positive thing.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: out-of-the-box (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: out-of-the-box (fast)
Braden: Excellent!

Lesson focus

Braden: Let’s take a look at the grammar point.
Braden: Barbara, what’s the focus of this lesson?
Barbara: The focus of this lesson is verbs and prepositions, Part 3
Braden: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase...
Barbara: It resulted in me moving the largest volume of big-ticket items since 2006
Braden: This lesson is set up as a reference lesson. We've gathered together a list of over 100 verb/preposition combinations and put them together for this series. This is part 3 in the series.
Barbara: These are not phrasal verbs. However, they are verb/preposition combinations that are frequently used in maybe in the next 50 years, some of these might become phrasal verbs!
Braden: We have quite a few of these so we’ll go through them with minimal explanation.
Barbara: First let’s take a look at Verbs used with the preposition “in” First, to be absorbed in (doing) something – "Peter was absorbed in reading his book."
Braden: Second, to confide in someone – "I confided in Tom my desire to find a new job."
Barbara: Third, to be engrossed in (doing) something – "I surprised Jane who was engrossed in watching TV."
Braden: Fourth, to implicate someone in (doing) something – "The boss implicated June in the office mischief."
Barbara: Next let’s look at Verbs that are commonly used with the preposition “Of.” First, to accuse someone of (doing) something – "His mother accused him of eating the entire cake."
Braden: Second, to convict someone of (doing) something –
Barbara: Third, to remind someone of (doing) something / someone – "Peter reminded me of Tom."
Braden: Fourth, to suspect someone of (doing) something – "The police suspect Mitch of breaking into the safe."
Barbara: Next we’ll look at Verbs used with the preposition “On.” There are quite a few of these so we are going to limit them to just six. First, to be on something / someone – "She is on Peter to do his best."
Braden: Second, to base something on something – "I base my conclusions on market research."
Barbara: Third, to blame something on someone – "She blames the lack of interest on the teacher's poor explanation."
Braden: Fourth, to concentrate something on (doing) something – "They concentrate their efforts on improving the infrastructure."
Barbara: Fifth, to congratulate someone on (doing) something – "Tom congratulated Lisa on getting her diploma."
Braden: Sixth, to decide on something – "We've decided on getting a new car."


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