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Lesson Transcript

Braden: How to keep American meetings on track. In this lesson, you’ll learn about direct and indirect objects and Back-leading a meeting.
Barbara: This conversation takes place at work in the company meeting room.
Braden: And it’s between June and Big John.
Barbara: Big John is the Manager of the store and June is an employee. Therefore June is speaking professionally and Big John is semi-professionally.
Braden: Let’s listen to the conversation.
June: Hey, Big John, I'm running a bit short on time. I have an appointment with a big-ticket customer in about ten minutes.
Big John: That's right. Well done, June. That's the kind of
initiative we need here at this store.
June: I've actually learned quite a bit during this meeting and was wondering whether we could review the tasks and projects that have been assigned.
Big John: Well, we've been talking about the store's problems for about forty minutes now.
June: I know, but I'm having trouble distinguishing between what I'm supposed to do and what the other departments should be doing.
Big John: What do you mean?
June: It's just that in my department, we are really focused on sales and, while we've spoken quite a bit about the problems we're having as a store, I'm having trouble identifying exactly what I should implement in my department so that I can increase sales.
Big John: Haven't you been listening for the past forty minutes?
June: Yes I have been listening, sir. In fact, I think the solution proposed by Cody is excellent. I just wanted to be clear that we are going to implement his plan.
Big John: No one has agreed on any plan of action yet.
June: Okay. I just needed to be sure I was on the same page as everybody else.
Braden: So, we wanted to talk a little bit about How to back-lead a meeting without being a jerk
Barbara: Sometimes we can be too direct, especially when something is really irritating to us. In situations like these, you have to be very careful. For me this tends to happen most at work meetings.
Braden: Big John is talking about some problem and telling everyone to be creative and fix it but the meeting keeps getting off track. I used to say things like “Can we get back on track and resolve the problem?” or, after someone make a particularly un-useful comment, “Could you please focus? We have to get this done now.”
Barbara: It took a while but I learned that speaking like this is very offensive. Using phrases like these puts the focus of the entire group on the errors of another person which in turn makes that person very defensive and resentful towards you. Feelings like these make it very difficult to work productively with your co-workers.
Braden: I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Latin America and had to get a pretty thick skin because this kind of un-tempered directness is very common.
Barbara: It’s much better to use phrases that focus on yourself and make it sound like the problem is your fault. For example,
Braden: “I’m sorry but I can quite figure out what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Barbara: Notice that even though the problem is with the group, you still make it sound like your problem. Phrasing yourself like this makes things run smoother because no one feels attacked. You could further the issue with something like
Braden: “We’ve talked about so many different things I’m having trouble distinguishing between what I need to do and what my co-workers should do.”
Braden: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we'll look at is...
Barbara: solution [natural native speed]
Braden: a means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation
Barbara: solution [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: solution [natural native speed]
propose [natural native speed]
Braden: suggest something for consideration, discussion, or action by others
propose [slowly - broken down by syllable]
propose [natural native speed]
Barbara: to identify [natural native speed]
Braden: to recognize, point out which
Barbara: to identify [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: to identify [natural native speed]
implement [natural native speed]
Braden: put into effect
implement [slowly - broken down by syllable]
implement [natural native speed]
Barbara: excellent [natural native speed]
Braden: that which excels the others; extremely good
Barbara: excellent [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: excellent [natural native speed]
everybody [natural native speed]
Braden: every person
everybody [slowly - broken down by syllable]
everybody [natural native speed]
Barbara: focused [natural native speed]
Braden: directing a great deal of attention towards
Barbara: focused [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: focused [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 “have you not been…”
Braden: This phrase causes difficulty even for native english speakers. The idea is clear, the concern lies in how do you correctly respond to this?
Barbara: Since the question has been asked in the negative, you should respond in the negative. In English, just like math, two negatives make a positive. However, while it’s technically correct to respond with a simple, “No.” It’s best to add a positive formulation as explanation. Just like she did in the dialogue.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: have you not been… (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: have you not been… (fast)
Braden: Perfect! What’s next?
Barbara: Our next phrase is “same page.”
Braden: In this context, the phrase refers to a mutual understanding that every “should” have. The idea is as if everyone were writing a book and since they are all working together, they need to be on the same page so that parts of the story are not written before they make sense.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: same page (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: same page (fast)
Braden: Excellent!

Lesson focus

Braden: Let’s take a look at the grammar point.
Braden: So, Barbara, what’s the focus of this lesson?
Barbara: The focus of this lesson is direct and indirect objects
Braden: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase…
Barbara: In fact, I think the solution proposed by Cody is excellent.
Braden: The first thing we need to address is W”hat is a Direct Object?”
Barbara: A direct object is a person or thing that is directly affected by the action of a verb. For example, “Susan ate a banana.”
Braden: In this sentence, an banana disappeared because it was eaten by Susan. The object is directly affected through a specific action. In other words, it is a direct object.
Barbara: When I was in school I learned that Direct objects answer certain questions. Specifically the questions – What was affected by the action of the verb? or Whom was affected by the action of the verb?
Braden: For example, “Alex kissed Sam.” The question comes, Who was kissed? and the answer is – Sam. Therefore, Sam is a direct object.
Barbara: Direct objects can be nouns, proper nouns (names), pronouns, phrases and clauses.
Braden: For example, “Jennifer bought a house.” - Here, The direct object 'house' is a noun.
Barbara: Pronouns can be used as direct objects as well. It's important to note that pronouns used as direct objects must take the object pronoun form. Object pronouns include me, you, him, her, it, us, you, and them.
Braden: For example, “She's going to visit them next month.” Here the 'them' is an object pronoun and means "a few people."
Barbara: Gerunds (the -ing form) and gerund phrases and infinitives (to do) and infinitive phrases can also function as direct objects.
Braden: For example, “I hope to finish soon.” – Here, 'to finish soon' (an infinitive phrase) functions as the direct object of the verb 'hope'.
Barbara: Clauses contain both a subject and a verb. This type of longer phrase can also be used as a direct object of a verb in another clause.
Braden: For example, “Hank believes that she is doing well at school.” The phrase "that she is doing well at school" directly tells us what Hank believes. This dependent clause functions as a direct object.
Barbara: Now on to indirect objects. Indirect objects or persons or things to receive the benefits of an action. In other words, when something performs some action for or on something else the person or thing it is done for is the indirect object.
Braden: For example, “Luke bought Mitch some chocolate.” Here Mitch received the direct object “chocolate.” Notice that the indirect object is placed before the direct object.
Barbara: Also, while in school, I learned that indirect objects answer questions. Just different questions.
Specifically, Indirect objects answer the questions “to whom,” “to what,” “for whom,” or “for what.”
Braden: For example, “The manager explains the rules to his staff during the meeting.” To whom are the rules explained? answer – The staff (indirect object)
Barbara: Nouns can be indirect objects. Generally, however, indirect objects are usually people or groups of people. This is because indirect objects (people) receive the benefit of some action.
Braden: For example, “Renée showed Terry her shoes.” Here, “Terry” is the indirect object and “shoes” (what Renée showed) is the direct object.


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


Please to leave a comment.
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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hello everyone! Direct and indirect objects were always very difficult for me. Are they hard for you, too?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:45 PM
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Hello Erman,

Please download the lesson transcripts at the bottom of the lesson using the blue 'Download as PDF' button.

I hope this is helpful to you. 😄👍



Team EnglishClass101.com

Monday at 05:11 PM
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where is "part of lesson transcrips" in the pages, i can not see since 2 weeks . that had been very bad , we can not follow to podcast 😓. apply going to for break . please fix it for all pages and lessons . add to "lesson transcrips" section for all again. please.we don't want to be disappointment 😓

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 04:32 AM
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Hello Ahmed,

Thank you for posting. If you want to assert yourself, saying "No." or "Yes." might be the best response, but if someone says this to you in a business situation, it is usually best to accompany these with "I'm sorry" or with more explanation. For example, "I'm sorry, I did not catch that.", "No, I'm sorry. Please say that again.", or "Yes, I have been listening, but I do not understand. Can you please say that in a different way?". Each situation is unique so use your good judgment! :D

Let us know if you have any questions.



Team EnglishClass101.com

Wednesday at 04:37 AM
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"Haven't you been listening". this sort of questions really gets on my nerve and whenever I get asked in that way, I think twice before I answer. so, what I understood from this lesson so far, is that I have two options to answer that kind of question, either to say no, period or to say yes I have been listening. am I correct?

another point, does a big-ticket customer mean an important one?

thanks in advance.

Englishclass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:27 AM
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Hi AungZW.

Glad to have you here!

In case of any doubts, please don't hesitate to contact us !



Team Englishclass101.com

Tuesday at 02:18 PM
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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:19 AM
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Hi Paul,

You can say "Luke bought Mitch some chocolates." If you are saying "for Mitch" then it isn't an indirect object, but becomes a prepositional phrase because of the preposition "for". So, your sentence is correct, but it isn't a direct-indirect object sentence.

I hope that makes sense!


Team EnglishClass101.com

Friday at 01:47 AM
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Won't it be correct if I say "Luke bought some chocolate for Mitch"? Direct object is placed before inderect object?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 10:07 AM
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Hi architettomichelotti9853,

Thank you for your message. "Should be doing" here is present continuous, and is the natural expression to talk about what the departments ought to do in the present time -- if you don't have control over what the departments are doing. It is possible to say "should do" instead, but "should be doing" is more concrete, talking about a reality the speaker has less control over. "Should do" would be more abstract, and it sounds like the speaker is making plans for the other departments.

The speaker uses this simple "should do," however, because she is expressing uncertainty, particularly about her role. What she "should do" is a more abstract idea. Because she has control over her actions, but doesn't know what they will be yet, she uses this form.

Thank you.

Team EnglishClass101.com

Thursday at 02:46 AM
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Hello englishclass101

can you explain me the different nuance between:

what the other departments should be doing (lesson notes - line 5)


what the other departments should do


see you soon