Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Jonathan: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use certain special words to intensify adjectives. We’ll listen to a conversation between Mark and Sheila at the office.
Dede: Sheila and Mark are discussing a political, work-related manner.
Jonathan: Because it is a business topic, they will not be speaking too casually, but they will also not be overly formal.
Dede: Let’s give it a listen!
Dede:

Lesson conversation

Mark: We just got word that the president vetoed the bill. I can't believe what an utter failure it was.
Sheila: Oh no...we worked so hard on it. Do you think there's a chance Congress could override the veto?
Mark: Getting a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate in these times?
Sheila: I know it sounds pretty unrealistic, but the bill is popular with the public.
Mark: Maybe I'm just a cynic, but that seems like a total pipe dream.
Sheila: I guess you're right...
Mark: Congresspeople are acting like absolute clowns these days. They never compromise anymore! It wasn't like this in the good ol' days.
Sheila: I can see what you mean.
Mark: And without compromise, these jokers can't make the changes that this country needs!
Sheila: I'm completely with you on that.
Mark: Jeez, if the intern can understand that, why can't the lawmakers?
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Mark: We just got word that the president vetoed the bill. I can't believe what an utter failure it was.
Sheila: Oh no...we worked so hard on it. Do you think there's a chance Congress could override the veto?
Mark: Getting a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate in these times?
Sheila: I know it sounds pretty unrealistic, but the bill is popular with the public.
Mark: Maybe I'm just a cynic, but that seems like a total pipe dream.
Sheila: I guess you're right...
Mark: Congresspeople are acting like absolute clowns these days. They never compromise anymore! It wasn't like this in the good ol' days.
Sheila: I can see what you mean.
Mark: And without compromise, these jokers can't make the changes that this country needs!
Sheila: I'm completely with you on that.
Mark: Jeez, if the intern can understand that, why can't the lawmakers?
English Host: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Mark: We just got word that the president vetoed the bill. I can't believe what an utter failure it was.
Dede: We just got word that the president vetoed the bill. I can't believe what an utter failure it was.
Sheila: Oh no...we worked so hard on it. Do you think there's a chance Congress could override the veto?
Dede: Oh no...we worked so hard on it. Do you think there's a chance Congress could override the veto?
Mark: Getting a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate in these times?
Dede: Getting a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate in these times?
Sheila: I know it sounds pretty unrealistic, but the bill is popular with the public.
Dede: I know it sounds pretty unrealistic, but the bill is popular with the public.
Mark: Maybe I'm just a cynic, but that seems like a total pipe dream.
Dede: Maybe I'm just a cynic, but that seems like a total pipe dream.
Sheila: I guess you're right...
Dede: I guess you're right...
Mark: Congresspeople are acting like absolute clowns these days. They never compromise anymore! It wasn't like this in the good ol' days.
Dede: Congresspeople are acting like absolute clowns these days. They never compromise anymore! It wasn't like this in the good ol' days.
Sheila: I can see what you mean.
Dede: I can see what you mean.
Mark: And without compromise, these jokers can't make the changes that this country needs!
Dede: And without compromise, these jokers can't make the changes that this country needs!
Sheila: I'm completely with you on that.
Dede: I'm completely with you on that.
Mark: Jeez, if the intern can understand that, why can't the lawmakers?
Dede: Jeez, if the intern can understand that, why can't the lawmakers?
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Dede: I have to admit- I really don’t understand a lot of what they are talking about.
Jonathan: Well, you have to understand that the US government is made of checks and balances. The “founding fathers” of the United States wanted to make sure that no one person or one branch of government could become too powerful so they made a “balance” of power and “checks” to make sure the branches of government could limit each other.
Dede: Branches?
Jonathan: The three branches of government
Dede: I think we’ve been focusing mostly on the legislative here, right?
Jonathan: Exactly, that is where Sheila and Mark work. The Congress is the only branch that can make laws by proposing bills; and when they are passed, the president must sign them to take effect. So if the president does not like a law, he or she can cancel it by vetoing it.
Dede: Like they talked about in the dialogue.
Jonathan: Exactly. But after a veto, the bill goes back to Congress where it can die or it can be “overridden” if 2/3rds of Congress vote for it. Then they can by-pass the presidential veto.
Dede: That sounds pretty uncommon though.
Jonathan: It is!
Dede: And what about the Supreme Court? How does the judicial branch work?
Jonathan: The Supreme Court can decide a law is in violation of the Constitution, the basic document of the government, and declare it invalid.
Dede: Then what can they do?
Jonathan: Not much! They can try and change the constitution, but that is even more difficult.
Dede: My goodness, democracy is a complicated system!
Jonathan: It is, it’s designed so that the US could never have a king or any tyrant.
Dede: And they haven’t… yet.
Jonathan: Not to sound like a dictator, but now we're moving to the vocab!
Vocabulary and Phrases
Dede: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Jonathan: utter [natural native speed]
Dede: complete, total
Jonathan: utter [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: utter [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: to override [natural native speed]
Dede: to go over someone's blocking action
Jonathan: to override [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: to override [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: cynic [natural native speed]
Dede: a pessimist
Jonathan: cynic [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: cynic [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: pipedream [natural native speed]
Dede: an unrealistic unattainable goal
Jonathan: pipedream [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: pipedream [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: to compromise [natural native speed]
Dede: to negotiate a solution between two sides with different goals and view points
Jonathan: to compromise [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: to compromise [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: good ol' days [natural native speed]
Dede: the past, when remembered fondly
Jonathan: good ol' days [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: good ol' days [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: joker [natural native speed]
Dede: person who is not serious
Jonathan: joker [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: joker [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: to be with [natural native speed]
Dede: to agree with
Jonathan: to be with [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: to be with [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: lawmaker [natural native speed]
Dede: a politician involved in the legislative process, a Congressperson
Jonathan: lawmaker [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: lawmaker [natural native speed]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Dede: Let's have a closer look at the usuage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Jonathan: The first word/phrase we’ll look at is....
Dede: That’s all our words for today. Do you want to take a look at some words and phrases we have from this dialogue?
Jonathan: Absolutely. We have three phrases today, two from Mark and one from Sheila. Let’s start with…
Dede: "good ol' days", which is a way to refer to the past in a positive light.
Jonathan: Mark complains that “It wasn’t like this in the good ol’ days.” Talking about the “good ol’ days” is common, especially among older people as they compare and contrast the present times to when they were younger. This phrase is most frequently used when we are complaining about something in the present.
Dede: So Mark is saying that in “the good ol’ days” that the government functioned more efficiently?
Jonathan: Exactly!
Dede: OK, I think I understand. So, ready to move onto the next phrase?
Jonathan: Well, in the good ol’ days, we could take more time with our phrases, but I guess so…
Dede: Haha… “I’m completely with you on that”
Jonathan: Sheila says this when she is agreeing with Mark’s point of view. As we learned in the vocab, this phrasal verb mean to agree with someone. It is simple but can be confusing when you are talking about location rather than agreement. We have to look at context when guessing whether they are physically “with” that person or if they are indicating that they understand and agree with what that person is saying.
Dede: Oh… OK
Jonathan: I think we should move on.
Dede: I’m with you on that.
Jonathan: What’s the next phrase?
Dede: "Pipedream", which is "an unrealistic, unattainable goal"
Jonathan: Mark says “That seems like a total pipedream” when referring to the possibility of Congress overriding the veto. We can see that while Mark might prefer that outcome – Congress overriding the veto – he finds the possibility of that actually happening very low.
Dede: Right. Got it.
Jonathan: Think we’ll get out of the recording studio early today?
Dede: That’s a pipedream.
Jonathan: Haha… I’m with you on that.
Dede: But I’m ready to move onto the grammar.
Jonathan: Sounds like a great idea, why don’t you get us started?

Lesson focus

Jonathan: The focus of this lesson is using intensifying adjectives.
Dede: That’s right. Mark says “Congresspeople are acting like absolute clowns these days.”
Jonathan: We can use several adjectives to make other words stronger without otherwise changing their meaning.
Dede: In Mark’s example, we see him using “absolute” to intensify “clowns”.
Jonathan: He doesn’t change what kind of clowns as other adjectives would like big, hot, cold, etc., but instead “absolute” makes the word itself stronger. Often it is useful to think about the adjective as making the word “100%”.
Dede: There are a number of adjectives that we heard in the dialogue, let’s take a look at some more examples of intensifying adjectives
Jonathan: The first is “complete”
Dede: "We expect the kids will be put in complete terror by the film."
Jonathan: Complete terror means 100% scary.
Dede: Yikes. I don’t want to see that film!
Jonathan: Our next adjective is “utter”. We saw this in the vocab section, but let’s see how we can use it.
Dede: "Kids are told not to talk to utter strangers."
Jonathan: An utter stranger is someone who is 100% unknown.
Dede: Probably the most common use for these types of adjectives is when talking about the success or failure of something.
Jonathan: We can indicate a huge degree of success or failure by describing them with these types of adjectives. Since our topic is politics, let’s look at some political examples.
Dede: "After the Republicans won 70% control of the Senate, 60% control of the house, and the presidency, they gained absolute control over the legislature."
Jonathan: Because they have the presidency and majorities in the Senate and House, they have 100% control of lawmaking.
Dede: Until the next election!
Jonathan: We can only hope… Let’s look at one more example.
Dede: "The president’s budget was an utter failure after it was rejected three times."
Jonathan: So they couldn’t pass the budget even after trying 3 times. I think that would be…
Dede: 100% failure. So “utter failure” is appropriate, just like your love life.
Jonathan: I don’t think 95% failure is “utter” failure”
Dede: Haha… I didn’t realize you had improved.

16 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners! Can you make a sample sentence using "pipe dream"?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 07:07 PM
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Hello xoxox,


Thanks for taking the time to write and share this with us.


We will review it and take relevant action.


I hope you're enjoying your studies with us.


Regards,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

xoxox
Monday at 10:08 AM
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Do you know the "Lesson Transcript" is a little different from the dialogue?

It's always confusing when we study.

If the Englishclass101 team corrects this trivial mistake, your site will get more love.

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 04:01 PM
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Hello Ihab,


Thanks for positive feedback! We really appreciate you taking the time to send it to us!


Please let us know how we can help you on your journey.


Cheers,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

IHAB AHMAD
Sunday at 01:21 AM
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I strongly believe studying English with English class 101 is absolute fun.😎

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:55 PM
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Hello Anne,


I think we do! 😞We’re very happy to have you here.


If you ever have any questions, please let us know! 😉


Sincerely,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Anne
Wednesday at 03:48 AM
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Is living without Covid a pipe dream? Do we just have to learn to live with it?

Happy English learning to everyone, Anne

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 11:44 AM
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Hello Az Ho,


Thank you so much for your heart! ❤️️❤️️

We are very happy that you like to study with us.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.


Kind regards,

Levente

Team EnglishClass101.com

Az Ho
Monday at 06:01 AM
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❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:25 PM
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Hello Johanna and Amin,


Thanks for taking the time to post and share. 👍

@Johanna - Great job on your sentence!


@Amin - Welcome on board! I hope you're enjoying your studies so far.


Let us know if you ever have any questions.


Kind regards,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Johanna Barrientos Mendoza
Tuesday at 01:01 PM
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I will try to make a sentece with pipe dream. Hopefully guys, you can give some feedback 😇


For me, travelling around the world in this time of COVID 19 is a pipe dream.