Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Chihiro: Hey everybody, Chihiro here.
Daniel: Daniel here. Asking for Directions.
Daniel: Chihiro, what are we looking at in this lesson?
Chihiro: In this lesson, you will learn how to ask and give directions.
Daniel: This conversation takes place in New York out on the street.
Chihiro: The conversation is between a ticket agent, Susan and Mike.
Daniel: The speakers will be speaking casually.
Chihiro: Okay, let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Susan: Oh, wait. We don't know where the theater is.
Mike: Go ask that guy again. He looks busy and upset, but don't let it bother you.
Susan: Excuse me, where is the Gershwin Theater?
Ticket Agent: It's on Fifty-First Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
Mike: How do we get there from here?
Ticket Agent: Walk four and a half blocks up Seventh Avenue. Turn left on Fifty-First Street, and it'll be right there.
Susan: Is this Seventh Ave?
Ticket Agent: Yes.
Susan: Well, how long will it take to walk there?
Ticket Agent: Less than ten minutes. You might want to hurry. The show starts in twenty minutes.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Chihiro: I hate getting lost, especially in a city where the streets aren't like a grid.
Daniel: Yeah, I hate those places that look like spaghetti on a map.
Chihiro: Yeah, me too. Asking for directions is of course common to do anywhere, and many non-native English speakers learn how to ask for directions from textbooks.
Daniel: Right. But hearing the instructions given are another thing. Direction givers may talk very quickly, or say words that non-native speaker's didn't learn to say. In North America, blocks are a common way to indicate how far to go, since a block is the area divided by two streets, it's an easy indicator.
Chihiro: Right. I know when I was in Costa Rica, people usually used measurements there.
Daniel: Measurements? What do you mean?
Chihiro: Well they would say something like, 100 meters west, and 200 meters south of the old gas station. And since people generally know the main landmarks, that's how they explained it. And it's like they were born with this inbuilt compass, because they knew their directions definitely!!
Daniel: (laughing) Do they give directions like, “Go 100 meters past where the old barn was”?
Chihiro: Yes they do. They actually use old landmarks instead of the new ones.
Daniel: Or maybe they say something like, “You can’t get there from here.” (laughing) Well, anyway, it's definitely different than from New York!
Chihiro: Yeah, definitely.
VOCAB LIST
Daniel: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word is:
Chihiro: busy [natural native speed]
Daniel: full of activity, engaged in activity, occupied
Chihiro: busy [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: busy [natural native speed]
Daniel: Next...
Chihiro: upset [natural native speed]
Daniel: unhappy or angry
Chihiro: upset [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: upset [natural native speed]
Daniel: Next...
Chihiro: theater [natural native speed]
Daniel: place where performances are held on stage
Chihiro: theater [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: theater [natural native speed]
Daniel: Next...
Chihiro: to bother [natural native speed]
Daniel: to annoy
Chihiro: to bother [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: to bother [natural native speed]
Daniel: Next...
Chihiro: block [natural native speed]
Daniel: section of a city or town enclosed by streets
Chihiro: block [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: block [natural native speed]
Daniel: Next...
Chihiro: to turn [natural native speed]
Daniel: to rotate or revolve
Chihiro: to turn [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: to turn [natural native speed]
Daniel: Next...
Chihiro: to hurry [natural native speed]
Daniel: to move quickly, to rush something
Chihiro: to hurry [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: to hurry [natural native speed]
Daniel: Next...
Chihiro: show [natural native speed]
Daniel: performance in a theater that may have singing and
dancing
Chihiro: show [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: show [natural native speed]
Daniel: Next...
Chihiro: less [natural native speed]
Daniel: smaller in number or amount
Chihiro: less [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Chihiro: less [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Daniel: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Chihiro: The first phrase is,
Daniel: “Don't let it bother you.”
Chihiro: The person who says this phrase is telling another to not let a certain thing concern or trouble that person.
In this case Mike uses it jokingly to Susan saying that she shouldn't let the busy and upset look the ticket agent has trouble her. In other instances, the phrase can hold a genuine meaning. For example,
Daniel: “Don't let him bother you.”
Chihiro: This means that some guy may be annoying me, and Daniel is giving me advice to not let him annoy me, or at least try not to.
Daniel: Did you have someone in mind?
Chihiro: No, it's just a good example.
Daniel: Okay then, the next phrase we'll look at it is…
Chihiro: “Walk four and a half blocks.”
Daniel: As we talked about before, a block is the space separated by two streets. In a city like New York, the streets run parallel up and down. Therefore this is a good way to describe the location of a place. Note the
pronunciation of “and a half,” it sounds like “ena half.”
Chihiro: Right, “four ena half.”
Daniel: “Four ena half.”
Chihiro: “Ena nother,” ena nother lower intermediate grammar point is coming up for you.

Lesson focus

Daniel: Let’s review imperatives in this lesson. As mentioned in lesson 20 of this lower intermediate series, imperatives are verbs that are used to tell people what to do, to give advice, or to give invitations. Please refer back to lesson 20 for the structure of Imperatives.
Chihiro: And as mentioned before, imperatives are very useful and commonly used for giving directions. This doesn’t mean that the person giving directions is giving orders, but it’s just a common way to use this grammar form. In this lesson we will mainly look at the use of imperatives in such cases.
Daniel: Remember that imperatives assume that “you” is the subject, so the word “you” is usually left out.
Chihiro: Right, so the structure is, the imperative verb + details. Daniel, can you give us an example from the dialogue?
Daniel: “Walk four and a half blocks up Seventh Avenue.”
Chihiro: And the other one?
Daniel: “Turn left on 51st Street.”
Chihiro: So, those two examples both use the imperative form to tell somebody where to go.
Daniel: Right, but that's only two, so Chihiro, can you give us some general examples?
Chihiro: Sure, how about, “Go straight down St. James Street.”
Daniel: Sounds good...what else?
Chihiro: “Make a right onto Santa Clara.”
Daniel: And the negative of that would be,
Chihiro: “Don’t make a right on Santa Clara, but onto San Fernando.”
Daniel: As you can see from these examples, different verbs are used in their imperative forms to give directions.
Chihiro: Also note that the verb “make” in “Make a right,” is commonly used for driving.

Outro

Daniel: Well, that just about does it for today.
Daniel: Bye for now!
Chihiro: See you all soon!
REPETITION OF DIALOGUE
Susan: Oh, wait. We don't know where the theater is.
Mike: Go ask that guy again. He looks busy and upset, but don't let it bother you.
Susan: Excuse me, where is the Gershwin Theater?
Ticket Agent: It's on Fifty-First Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
Mike: How do we get there from here?
Ticket Agent: Walk four and a half blocks up Seventh Avenue. Turn left on Fifty-First Street, and it'll be right there.
Susan: Is this Seventh Ave?
Ticket Agent: Yes.
Susan: Well, how long will it take to walk there?
Ticket Agent: Less than ten minutes. You might want to hurry. The show starts in twenty minutes.

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Hello dear,

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