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

Kellie: A Great Excuse to Set Off Fireworks in Britain. In this lesson, you’ll learn about phrasal verbs.
John:The conversation takes place in a park, and is between Lucy and Jack.
Kellie: They’re boyfriend and girlfriend so they will be speaking informally.
John: Let’s listen to the conversation!
Lucy: I haven’t been to an organised fireworks display since I was a kid.
John: Me neither. We used to have our own little bonfire in the garden and light our own fireworks.
Lucy: Please tell me that you weren’t one of those people who started setting off fireworks a couple of months before the fifth of November?
John: No! We had our party on the fifth of November itself. The dogs hated the noise though and would spend most evenings in October cowering under the couch. They wouldn’t get up until early December. I don’t know why people start their fireworks so early.
Lucy: Some people just like being able to get their hands on low level explosives, I think. I always just wanted to get away from it all and avoid it.
John: (laughs) I love Bonfire Night! It was a gutsy plan of old Guy Fawkes and his chums to try and blow up the King. Imagine what would have happened if they’d got away with it? I wonder what we’d be celebrating on the fifth of November if the gunpowder plot had worked.
Lucy: Maybe we’d be burning dummies of the King, instead of Guy Fawkes?
John :Well, as long as they still sold sparklers and councils organised displays then it’d be okay by me.
Lucy: You’re just here for the baked potatoes, aren’t you?
John: Not everything is about food… although the baked potatoes are a huge plus point.
Kellie: I love Bonfire Night.
John: You do?
Kellie: Yes, I love all of the fireworks and going to nice organised displays.
John: Bonfire Night is also known as Guy Fawkes Night and happens every 5th of November in the UK. It’s a festival to celebrate the failure of Guy Fawkes and his friends, in their plot to blow up the King and parliament back in 1605.
Kellie: Guy Fawkes and the other plotters were Catholics, and the Protestant King James I made the lives of Catholics very difficult, so they wanted to kill him and install a Catholic head of state.
John: Yep, but they were caught out, convicted of treason and executed instead.
Kellie: Yeah, it didn’t exactly go to plan, did it?
John: (laughs) No, it didn’t! So, every year we set off fireworks to celebrate their failure. Big bonfires are built and dummies, nicknamed ‘Guys’, are thrown onto them. They’re supposed to represent Guy Fawkes himself.
Kellie: People have their own fireworks parties, don’t they?
John: Yeah. As well as the big and safe organised displays, people often buy their own fireworks and have parties at home. You can usually hear fireworks from October through to December.
Kellie: It does go on a bit long. I like fireworks on the 5th of November only.
John: Me too!
Kellie: Let’s move onto the vocab now.
John: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is:
Kellie: bonfire [natural native speed]
John: a large open air fire used in celebrations
Kellie: bonfire [slowly - broken down by syllable] bonfire [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: to cower [natural native speed]
John: to crouch down and try to hide due to being scared
Kellie: to cower [slowly - broken down by syllable] to cower [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: low level [natural native speed]
John: not intense – of low importance, rank or pressure
Kellie: low level [slowly - broken down by syllable] low level [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: Bonfire Night [natural native speed]
John: a British festival held on the 5th of November
Kellie: Bonfire Night [slowly - broken down by syllable] Bonfire Night [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: chum [natural native speed]
John: colloquial term for a close friend
Kellie: chum [slowly - broken down by syllable] chum [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: dummy [natural native speed]
John: a model of a person
Kellie: dummy [slowly - broken down by syllable] dummy [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: sparkler [natural native speed]
John: a type of hand-held firework
Kellie: sparkler [slowly - broken down by syllable] sparkler [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: council [natural native speed]
John: the local government that runs a city or town
Kellie: council [slowly - broken down by syllable] council [natural native speed]
John: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Kellie: Our first item is “to cower”.
John: This verb means ‘to recoil away in fear’ and there is usually a physical reaction that follows. The person who is scared will try to get away from the source by crouching down or crawling underneath a table.
Kellie: Like John
John: Right. They are cowering away from the noise.
Kellie: Next is “low level.”
John: Something that is low level is lacking in power, pressure or risk. It’s a job with no responsibility, a sports league that has no professional players, or
basic education.
Kellie: Or like in the dialogue, the type of explosives included in fireworks! The opposite of high level.
John: Of course. I could say that I have a low-level job with a low level wage, but if I work hard enough...
Kellie: ...one day it’ll be a high-level job with the wage packet to match!
John: Hopefully! Our last item is “council”. This is the term for the local government, the one that looks after the day-to-day running of a city or town. They handle local taxes, rubbish collection, road maintenance and other things such as organising public events like
firework displays.
Kellie: I think that other English-speaking countries may use different terms.
John: Yeah, maybe “city hall.” You’ll often hear people say they are contacting the council or if they are visiting the council offices for any reason, they may simply saying that they are “going down the council”.
Kellie: There’s no need to specify that it’s the council buildings.
John: None at all.
Kellie: Okay. Thanks for the explanations. Now it’s grammar time.

Lesson focus

Kellie: In this lesson, you’ll learn more about phrasal verbs.
John: Yes. We first addressed these in lesson 2, so let’s begin by quickly recapping the basics, before moving onto the new stuff.
Kellie: Good idea.
John: A phrasal verb consists of a verb and a particle or preposition. It functions as a new unit, and the meaning is usually different to what the verb on its own means – sometimes considerably different.
Kellie: So that’s a phrasal verb. This lesson concentrates on on phrasal verbs that use the verb “get”.
John: Yes. There are so many phrasal verbs that use “get”, and they all have such varied meanings. I think we should go through a few and explain them.
Kellie: Shall we start with the examples in the dialogue?
John: I think we should! “They wouldn’t get up until early December” – the phrasal verb is “to get up”. In this case it means “to stand”, or “to rise”. In other circumstances, though, it can mean “to wake up and get out of bed”.
Kellie: How about “I always just wanted to get away from it all and avoid it.”
John: “To get away” means to escape something and it’s commonly used in the context of holidays and using them as an escape from daily life.
Kellie: And it’s entirely different to “imagine what would have happened if they’d got away with it”.
John: Yes it is! That means to do something without being noticed or punished. So you need to pay close attention to whether there is a “with” there or not.
Kellie: Here’s a few more that weren’t in the dialogue – “I hope to get back home before the trains finish for the night”.
John: “To get back” means to return. But, if you “get something back” that means an item you had previously has been returned to you. There’s also “to get back at someone” which means to take revenge on someone.
Kellie: Wow, three very similar phrasal verbs but different meanings. Don’t get them mixed up!
John: That’s why it was important to do “to get” phrasal verbs separately! There’s so many of them.
Kellie: Let’s see another couple.
John: Okay. “I want to get the message across.” The structure “to get (something) across” means to communicate and convey something.
Kellie: How about “I didn’t get along with the new manager very well”.
John: “To get along with” means “to like someone, or something.” This sentence is negative, so the speaker is saying that they didn’t connect with the new manager. It can mean to like someone or become friends with them.
Kellie: That could cause problems if you don’t get along with your manager.
John: It can, but it happens, sometimes! No matter how hard you try, there are just some people that you can’t get along with.
Kellie: True!


Kellie: Okay, thanks for the explanations. I think that’s all for this lesson.
John: See you next time!
Kellie: Bye!