Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Jonathan: In this lesson we’ll learn about using the words "anything" and "nothing" correctly from a conversation between Sheila and Mark in their office, and about how to make small talk in offices.
Dede: Sheila just returned to the office with coffee and is making casual conversation with her boss Mark before they get back to work.
Jonathan: Sheila and Mark are in a work situation, so Sheila is speaking politely with Mark. However, you’ll notice that Sheila and Mark’s tone is getting more casual than in previous lessons. This is because they are getting to know each other better and in American offices this means they can speak more informally.
Dede: Ok, let's listen to the conversation.
Dede:

Lesson conversation

Sheila: Here's your coffee, Mark. Can I get you anything else?
Mark: Oh, thanks, Sheila, I don't need anything right now. (slurp) I swear, there is nothing more important than coffee in Washington.
Sheila: Nothing? Not even power or influence or money?
Mark: Absolutely nothing. If there were no coffee in Washington, no one would get anything done!
Sheila: Hmm, I don't really understand it. I can drink anything and be fine.
Mark: You're young. You just haven't developed a lifelong dependency on caffeine yet. No coffee in this town would mean that half the people in this office couldn't get anything accomplished.
Sheila: Sounds like a dangerous drug! I've seen everyone before their first cup—it's like talking with zombies.
Mark: Oh, we are! Once you get hooked on this stuff, you can't operate without it.
Sheila: Hmm... I suppose as bad habits go, it's not so bad, though.
Mark: It's definitely better than smoking.
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Sheila: Here's your coffee, Mark. Can I get you anything else?
Mark: Oh, thanks, Sheila, I don't need anything right now. (slurp) I swear, there is nothing more important than coffee in Washington.
Sheila: Nothing? Not even power or influence or money?
Mark: Absolutely nothing. If there were no coffee in Washington, no one would get anything done!
Sheila: Hmm, I don't really understand it. I can drink anything and be fine.
Mark: You're young. You just haven't developed a lifelong dependency on caffeine yet. No coffee in this town would mean that half the people in this office couldn't get anything accomplished.
Sheila: Sounds like a dangerous drug! I've seen everyone before their first cup—it's like talking with zombies.
Mark: Oh, we are! Once you get hooked on this stuff, you can't operate without it.
Sheila: Hmm... I suppose as bad habits go, it's not so bad, though.
Mark: It's definitely better than smoking.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Dede: My goodness, are people really so addicted to coffee in the United States?
Jonathan: Well, as you heard, coffee is essential for many offices to function. While tea or other beverages are preferred in other countries, coffee is the number one drink in the United States.
Dede: So everyone drinks it?
Jonathan: Well not everyone, but I’d say most people do. Many people drink it continuously through the day for its stimulating caffeine and develop mild addictions. When coffee addicts do not drink coffee for a long time, they can even get headaches! That is why some people call themselves “Coffee-slaves”; because coffee is kind of like their master.
Dede: That’s crazy… It sounds like some kind of narcotic…
Jonathan: Oh it’s not that bad! Coffee is a major point of casual conversation in an office and jokes and conversation about making, drinking, and cleaning up coffee are a part of every office.
Dede: I guess it’s part of the culture…
Jonathan: That’s exactly right. Let’s move on to our vocabulary.
Vocabulary and Phrases
Dede: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Jonathan: influence [natural native speed]
Dede: power to affect something or somebody
Jonathan: influence [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: influence [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: absolutely [natural native speed]
Dede: in a complete and total way
Jonathan: absolutely [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: absolutely [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: dependency [natural native speed]
Dede: reliance, addiction
Jonathan: dependency [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: dependency [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: caffeine [natural native speed]
Dede: a chemical in coffee, tea, and chocolate that helps your attention and focus
Jonathan: caffeine [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: caffeine [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: accomplish [natural native speed]
Dede: succeed at something
Jonathan: accomplish [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: accomplish [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: zombie [natural native speed]
Dede: a type of monster, a living dead person
Jonathan: zombie [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: zombie [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: get hooked [natural native speed]
Dede: to become addicted
Jonathan: get hooked [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: get hooked [natural native speed]
: Next:
Jonathan: operate [natural native speed]
Dede: to function
Jonathan: operate [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: operate [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 our vocab for this lesson. Let’s examine some of the phrases we have from this dialogue.
Jonathan: Sure thing. We have two and the first is…
Dede: “You haven't developed a life-long dependency on caffeine yet.”
Jonathan: Mark says this to mean that while Sheila isn’t a coffee drinker yet, she will mostly likely become one. Most, but not all, professional office workers in America drink coffee and develop “life-long dependencies” which mean they have trouble functioning without a few cups of coffee in the morning. Mark predicts, in a friendly manner, that Sheila will also at some point become the same way.
Dede: What about you? You’re a coffee drinker, right?
Jonathan: Oh, most definitely. I started drinking it in university and never stopped…
Dede: You coffee-slave!
Jonathan: (laughs), let’s move on the next phrase.
Dede: “I’ve seen everyone before their first cup – it’s like talking with zombies.”
Jonathan: Sheila is comparing people before they drink their morning coffee to undead monsters. This is a light-hearted and funny way to talk about people in the morning.
Dede: I don’t think it’s so funny! I’ve seen you in the morning before your coffee, there is nothing funny about that!
Jonathan: Haha, that’s true. I did almost bite you once…
Dede: Alright, well that’s all of our phrases for this lesson. Let’s move onto the Lesson Focus
Jonathan: Sounds like a plan.

Lesson focus

Dede: The grammar focus for this lesson is using “anything” and “nothing” correctly.
Jonathan: That’s right. In this lesson, we’ll be looking at how we can use “any” words and “no” words without making mistakes or sounding odd.
Dede: Any words, like “anything”, “anywhere”, or “anyone” can be a bit tricky.
Jonathan: True, and so can "No" words like “nothing”, “nowhere” or “no one”
Dede: The most important thing to remember, though, is to not use double-negatives.
Jonathan: Right. Only one aspect of a phrase can be negative. That includes the subject, the verb, and the object.
Dede: So when Mark says “no one would get anything done!”
Jonathan: The negative aspect is the subject
Dede: But the verb “would get” and the subject “anything” are affirmative and positive.
Jonathan: Exactly. We can usually say the same sentence in different ways by just changing the negative aspect
Dede: For examples “I was so sick, I didn’t eat anything.” could also be said as “I was so sick, I ate nothing.”
Jonathan: Or “The library was empty, there wasn’t anyone there.” could be said “The library was empty, there was no one there.”
Dede: In general though, we make the verb negative in the sentence and use “any” words more often than a positive verb and a “no” word.
Jonathan: That’s correct. “No” words are most commonly heard as one word answers to sentences. Hey, Dede, what are you doing?
Dede: Nothing! Hey, Jonathan, where are you going?
Jonathan: Nowhere! Wait a second, who’s at the recording booth door?
Dede: No one!
Jonathan: Great! We just used all of the “no” words to answer questions. Our listeners at home may want to listen to that section a few times so that they can completely understand.
Dede: That’s a good idea. So, let’s take a look at what Mark said again.
Jonathan: “No one would get anything done!”
Dede: In this case he uses both a "No" word and an "Any" word.
Jonathan: Right, and what would be another way to say it?
Dede: Mmm… “No one would get anything done”?
Jonathan: Perfect! We still only have one negative aspect!
Dede: I see…
Jonathan: Here’s another example
Dede: I have one too
Jonathan: Aww, I’m sorry Dede!
Dede: That’s OK! I don’t want to go out with anyone anywhere anyhow.
Jonathan: Haha, hopefully you’ll find someone soon.
Dede: I’m sure I will.
Jonathan: Alright folks, that's about it for Upper Intermediate Season 1 Lesson 7.

15 Comments

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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners! What do you usually do to keep you awake in the morning?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:39 PM
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Hello Gary,


Thank you for posting and sharing! We hope you're enjoying your studies with us.


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


Cheers,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Gary Wong
Tuesday at 06:25 AM
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In the morning, I usually drink water, juice or coffee. I have not got an addiction to coffee, even though I drink it often. Our family has our own coffee machine. So, we make coffee at home. Sometimes, we go to the local café to buy drinks.

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 10:47 AM
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Hi there Andrés,


Thanks for taking the time to ask us your question. 😄I can see your confusion.


This lesson was regarding the word "any" and "no." For example, 'nothing, nowhere, no one' and 'anything, anywhere, any one.'


It would be grammatically correct to say "I did nothing," although sound a little bit awkward so it's not recommended.


In relation to your examples, those examples are correct, you only need this rule if you're using a verb that means 'no.'


I hope this is helpful to you. 😄👍


Sincerely,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Andrés Gualdrón
Thursday at 02:24 PM
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Hi!

I have a question, the unit says that we have to make sure that we use a negative verb for "any" words.

But I've seen many times the use of:

"If there is anything I can do, let me know" or "If you need anything else, just let me know"

Does that mean that these 2 phrases are grammatically incorrect? as the verb "is" and "need" are positives?


Thank you!

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 09:32 AM
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Hi there Beemo,


Thanks for taking the time to post and share. 👍


If you ever have any questions, let us know!


Kindly,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Beemo
Wednesday at 03:11 AM
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Hi,

Actually I don’t have addiction on coffee, like a degree of I didn’t drink it for three months(successively) I don’t mind on this point.


That was the answer for your question.😄


*best regards*

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Monday at 02:38 PM
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Hi there Az Ho,


Thanks for the ❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️!


Great to hear from you again!


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


Cheers,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Az Ho
Thursday at 11:48 PM
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❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 11:50 AM
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Hi there Brunel,


Yes, you can say "I'm a slave to coffee." It is quite a grand statement so would be used in humour.


You can say this for anything you are a huge fan of.


Kindly,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Brunel JEAN
Friday at 09:32 AM
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Can anyone be only slave of coffee or we can use this expression for anything we love much?