Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Jonathan: Hello Listeners! This is Jonathan.
Dede: And I’m Dede! Are you a Slave to American Coffee?
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:
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 life-long 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.
Dede: Wow, are there people that are THAT addicted to coffee?
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.
Jonathan: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Dede: 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 is:
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 we have:
Jonathan: dependency [natural native speed]
Dede: reliance, addiction
Jonathan: dependency [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: dependency [natural native speed]
Next is:
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 we have:
Jonathan: to accomplish [natural native speed]
Dede: to succeed at something
Jonathan: accomplish [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: accomplish [natural native speed]
Next is:
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 we have:
Jonathan: to get hooked [natural native speed]
Dede: to become addicted
Jonathan: get hooked [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: get hooked [natural native speed]
Next is:
Jonathan: to operate [natural native speed]
Dede: to function
Jonathan: operate [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: operate [natural native speed]
Jonathan: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Dede: The first word/phrase we’ll look at is....
Jonathan: dependency
Dede: A reliance, or addiction
Jonathan: How was it used in the dialogue?
Dede: Mark tells Sheila: “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: zombie
Jonathan: a type of monster, a living dead person
Dede: As the conversation on coffee continues, Shiela says: “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: no one
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: “No one wanted to do anything tonight because they were so tired.”
Dede: I have one too: “No one wants to go out with me anywhere.”
Jonathan: Aww, I’m sorry Dede!
Dede: That’s OK! I don’t want to go out with anyone anywhere anyhow. Well, okay, that’s not true. I just wanted to use 3 any words in a sentence.
Jonathan: Nice job!
Dede: Thanks!


Jonathan: Alright folks, that's about it for Upper Intermediate Season 1 Lesson 7. Thanks for listening, hope you’ll be back soon.
Dede: Bye bye for now!