Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Jonathan: In this lesson we’ll listen to a conversation between Dave and Isabel.
Dede: Dave and Isabel got back together and are at an election night party waiting to hear the results of the election Dave has been working on.
Jonathan: As they are dating again, they will be speaking very casually. They are both nervous and excited.
Dede: Alright, ready to go?
Jonathan: Let's listen to the conversation.
Dede:

Lesson conversation

Dave: Isabel, I'm so happy we got back together.
Isabel: Me too, sweetie, I was being impulsive before.
Dave: And I really should have considered your feelings more when I was talking to you.
Isabel: Anyhow, it's ancient history now. I'm glad I got to come out to see you in Oregon for election night...
Dave: Oh look, the polls are closing soon! I'm so excited! This campaign has been such a rush, and election nights always give me pins and needles.
Isabel: Calm down! I know what you're talking about, though. It is fun to watch the returns come in. I don't think quite as much is at stake for me though...
Dave: Yeah, that's for sure. It's going to be close too; I'm so nervous that I'm shaking like an earthquake. What do you think about the rest of the country? Who do you think is going to win nationally?
Isabel: I think that if the Democrats can win in Ohio, they'll win nationwide; it's such a bellwether state.
Dave: Maybe, but if they take Ohio but lose in Florida, it will be really tough to see who gets a majority.
Isabel: Yeah, it's just a shame that the Democrats struggle in the South. If the Democrats won in Alabama, they could win anywhere. This year it's a toss-up; anything could happen.
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Dave: Isabel, I'm so happy we got back together.
Isabel: Me too, sweetie, I was being impulsive before.
Dave: And I really should have considered your feelings more when I was talking to you.
Isabel: Anyhow, it's ancient history now. I'm glad I got to come out to see you in Oregon for election night...
Dave: Oh look, the polls are closing soon! I'm so excited! This campaign has been such a rush, and election nights always give me pins and needles.
Isabel: Calm down! I know what you're talking about, though. It is fun to watch the returns come in. I don't think quite as much is at stake for me though...
Dave: Yeah, that's for sure. It's going to be close too; I'm so nervous that I'm shaking like an earthquake. What do you think about the rest of the country? Who do you think is going to win nationally?
Isabel: I think that if the Democrats can win in Ohio, they'll win nationwide; it's such a bellwether state.
Dave: Maybe, but if they take Ohio but lose in Florida, it will be really tough to see who gets a majority.
Isabel: Yeah, it's just a shame that the Democrats struggle in the South. If the Democrats won in Alabama, they could win anywhere. This year it's a toss-up; anything could happen.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Dede: Sounds like they are having a good time at the election party!
Jonathan: Most candidates hold large gatherings for their campaign staff, supporters, and volunteers so that they can watch the returns come in, and, hopefully, celebrate their candidate’s victory. In addition to official election night gatherings by the candidates, many politically active people gather with friends to watch the results of important elections together. It can be a fun social experience for those that love politics.
Dede: I remember one time that I went to an election party!
Jonathan: How was it?
Dede: It was great! We had a bunch of TVs on the different cable news channels and were even playing games betting on who would win what.
Jonathan: (laughs), want to move onto the vocab?
Dede: Sure!
Vocabulary and Phrases
Dede: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Jonathan: impulsive [natural native speed]
Dede: hasty, not careful, too quick
Jonathan: impulsive [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: impulsive [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: to consider [natural native speed]
Dede: to think about, to take into account
Jonathan: to consider [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: to consider [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: ancient [natural native speed]
Dede: extremely old
Jonathan: ancient [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: ancient [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: poll [natural native speed]
Dede: voting location
Jonathan: poll [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: poll [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: rush [natural native speed]
Dede: an exciting feeling, from “rush of adrenalin”, adrenalin is the chemical that makes you feel excited
Jonathan: rush [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: rush [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: pin [natural native speed]
Dede: a small, sharp metal object for holding fabric together
Jonathan: pin [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: pin [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: return [natural native speed]
Dede: result from the polls on election night
Jonathan: return [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: return [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: at stake [natural native speed]
Dede: at risk, good or bad depending on the result
Jonathan: at stake [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: at stake [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: bellwether [natural native speed]
Dede: predictor, indicator
Jonathan: bellwether [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: bellwether [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: tossup [natural native speed]
Dede: unknown result, unpredictable situation
Jonathan: tossup [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: tossup [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 it for this lesson. Let’s take a look at three phrases from the dialogue.
Jonathan: Sure thing, what’s the first one?
Dede: "pins and needles", which means "an excited feeling someone gets when they are nervous." In the dialogue, Dave says “Election nights always give me pins and needles.”
Jonathan: As we learned from the vocab section, a pin is a sharp metal object. You probably also know what a needle is. When we say something “gives us pins and needles” we are referring to the exciting sharp feeling we get when we are nervous and unsure about the outcome of something.
Dede: So, Jonathan, what exactly is it that gives you pins and needles?
Jonathan: Hmm, I think listening to my favorite music sometimes gives me pins and needles!
Dede: Oh yeah, me too! I know exactly what you mean. I also get it right when I get the results of a test and I am nervous and excited.
Jonathan: Yeah! We can also use it in a more physical sense, like a tingling feeling you get after something is numb.
Dede: Right, like if you sit funny and your leg falls asleep, when you stand up, you usually get “pins and needles”
Jonathan: Ready for the next one?
Dede: Sure, Isabel says “Anyhow, it’s ancient history now.”
Jonathan: As we learned, "ancient" means extremely old. So when we call something “ancient history” we mean that it is old news and does'nt really matter any more. We usually say this about a negative event to show that we have gotten over it.
Dede: Hey remember way back when I spilt coffee on you?
Jonathan: Yeah…
Dede: I’m really sorry about that.
Jonathan: Are you kidding? It’s ancient history! Let’s get back to modern times with our last phrase.
Dede: (laughs) OK. Next is "toss-up", meaning "an unpredictable situation".
Jonathan: In the dialogue, Isabel says “This year it’s a toss-up. Anything could happen.”
We use the word toss-up to indicate when we can’t predict the result, usually in something that is a competition, like an election, a sports event, or an important decision.
Dede: We can use the preposition “between” to talk about who the decision is affecting.
Jonathan: So who do you think is going to win the World Series this year?
Dede: Hmm, I think it’s a toss-up between the Phillies and the Yankees.
Jonathan: Well I, for one, really hope it’s the Phillies!
Dede: Ready to move forward with the lesson focus.
Jonathan: Sounds good!

Lesson focus

Jonathan: The focus of this lesson is using similes and metaphors to express strong feelings
Dede: Dave says “I'm so nervous that I’m shaking like an earthquake.”
Jonathan: Similes and metaphors are literary devices we can use to enhance the way we express our emotions.
Dede: They are useful to make our speech more creative and stronger and also to express our feelings in interesting ways.
Jonathan: While it is great to use similes and metaphors sometimes, try not to overuse them or you will sound unnatural.
Dede: Our listeners might not be quite sure what the definitions of metaphors and similes are, though.
Jonathan: Good point. A metaphor is a comparison made between two unrelated objects to highlight a common characteristic.
Dede: And a simile is a metaphor that highlights a similarity between the two objects with “like” or “as”
Jonathan: Let’s look at a couple of common similes and metaphors you might hear
Dede: Let’s start with metaphors
Jonathan: "She was in a stormy mood."
Dede: "Stormy" means unstable and potentially dangerous. Someone in a “stormy” mood might be the same way.
Jonathan: "My heart froze when I saw him."
Dede: When you feel scared or nervous, you can say your heart froze.
Jonathan: "We were in the dark about the rescheduled meeting."
Dede: “In the dark” means you cannot see what is going on, so it means that they did not know about the rescheduled meeting.
Jonathan: Now let’s take a look at a few similes
Dede: "That dog is as big as a horse!"
Jonathan: No dog is as large as a horse, but by making this comparison we express how large it seems.
Dede: "The teacher screamed at me like a drill sergeant."
Jonathan: Drill sergeants are known for being loud and mean, so we know that the teacher was really loud and scary when she screamed.
Dede: "He ran like a cheetah."
Jonathan: Cheetahs are extremely fast so this means he ran very quickly.
Dede: Let’s listen to a few more metaphors and similes. Listeners, why don’t you try and figure out what they mean!
Jonathan: If you can’t guess the meaning, check out the Lesson Notes!
Dede: The first is “I felt like a bird soaring in the sky.” (repeat twice)
Jonathan: And the next one is “She slept as soundly as a log.” (repeat twice)
Dede: Here’s another “He is a monster when he plays baseball.” (repeat twice)
Jonathan: And the last one is “We’re so hungry we could eat a horse!” (repeat twice)
Dede: Metaphors and similes are a great way to express yourself creatively.
Jonathan: But remember not to overuse them!
Dede: But my, time flies! We are at the end of the lesson!
Jonathan: Wow, that went by as fast as a jet!
Dede: Thanks for listening!
Jonathan: We’ll be back soon for the very last lesson of Upper Intermediate Season 1!
Dede: Be sure to join us then, and in the meantime be sure to check out EnglishClass101.com for all the latest!
Jonathan: I’m Jonathan, signing off.
Dede: And I’m Dede; have a pleasant today and an even better tomorrow!

17 Comments

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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Hello Listeners! Can you make a sample sentence using "pins and needles"?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 02:32 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Mojgan,


Thanks for taking the time to ask us your question.


If something is "at stake" it means "at risk."


So the statement you mentioned means 'I don't think as much is at risk for me..."


I hope this is helpful to you. 😄👍


Sincerely,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Mojgan
Wednesday at 08:22 AM
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Hi there,

What does it mean

"I don't think quite as much is at stake for me though."


Thank you..

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 06:34 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello again Filip,


Thanks for getting in touch. 😄


It would be better to say "It's a toss-up this year." "Toss-up" being a phrasal verb defined as 'to throw a coin into the air in order to make a decision between two alternatives, based on which side of the coin faces uppermost when it lands' (a chance). "It" isn't a personal pronoun, personal pronouns include 'I', 'me', 'we', 'us', 'it', 'they', 'them', 'she', 'her', 'he' and 'him'.


In relation to your sentences, I would change the following to:

- 'My dog is very big'

- 'The train station is crowded'


If you would like further assistance, I suggest upgrading to our ‘Premium Plus’ membership to get personal instructions from one of our English teachers through our ‘MyTeacher’ feature! (Link: www.englishclass101.com/myteacher)


Kindly,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Filip
Thursday at 11:14 AM
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Hi,


I'm still confused with this sentence "This year it's a toss-up". I know that "it's" is the contraction of "it is", my confusion is its use in the sentence.

If "This year" is the subject of the sentence, why do we use the personal pronoun "it"?


These sentences sound weird to me and I thing are wrong:

- This year it is a toss-up -> with contraction -> This year it's a toss-up

- My dog it is very big -> with contraction -> My dog it's very big

- The train station it is crowded -> with contraction -> The train station it's crowded.



Thank you!

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Friday at 07:08 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Filip,


Thanks for taking the time to ask us your question. 👍


The statement you picked up uses a contraction (it's). This is a shortened version of "it is," therefore it does actually make sense in this dialogue.


I hope you're enjoying your studies with us.


Sincerely,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Filip
Friday at 02:17 PM
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Hi,


I think, I found a mistype at the final line of the dialog "This year it's a toss-up"


Should it be "This year is a toss-up"?


Am I wrong?


Thank you


Best regards

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 07:21 PM
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Hello Green,


Thanks for taking the time to share with us and our students. 👍


Feel free to shoot through any questions you have throughout your studies.


Kind regards,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

green
Sunday at 11:13 AM
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He felt as if he were on pins and needles while waiting for their decision.

I felt as if I had become a Mozart when listening to Mozart's sonata, and it always gave me pins and needles😉.

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:42 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello xoxox,


Thanks for taking the time to post and share. 👍


It's always great to hear from our students so please continue to comment.


Feel free to shoot through any questions you have throughout your studies.


Cheers,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

xoxox
Thursday at 03:38 PM
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I was impulsive.

--> I was always impulsive. (My characteristics)

I was being impulsive.

--> I was not an impulsive person, but I was impulsive for some reason by that time.