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Kellie: Mind Your Manners in Britain! In this lesson, you’ll learn about rhetorical questions.
John: The conversation takes place in Craig’s flat, and is between Lucy and Craig.
Kellie: They’re best friends, so they will be speaking informally.
John: Let’s listen to the conversation!
Lucy: So, what happened to that job in the warehouse?
Craig: It was just a temporary contract to cover Christmas as they needed extra staff. All of the Christmas temps were laid off.
Lucy: Ugh, you could have waited until you’d finished eating to answer. Did your mother never tell you that you shouldn’t eat with your mouthful?
Craig: Did yours never tell you that it’s rude to point at people? And take your elbows off the table!
Lucy: Sorry. At least you don’t slurp your tea like John does when it’s too hot to drink. That drives me crazy.
Craig: How are things going with him? Is there a wedding on the horizon?
Lucy: It’s rude to ask a lady about her love life. But no, we’re just enjoying being together at the moment. I haven’t seen much of him since Christmas because work has been so busy and he’s been spending all of his time in the gym trying to lose those extra Christmas pounds.
Craig: Well, your mother did insist on baking enough mince pies to feed an army.
Lucy: Yes, but he didn’t have to eat them all!
Craig: It would have been rude to say no.
Kellie: This dialogue was all about manners.
John: Manners are very important, especially in the UK. I still consider the UK to be a very polite country, despite the fact that things are changing there.
Kellie: I agree. There are lots of little manners and customs you’re taught as you grow up that you’re expected to follow, and as these differ from country to country it’s important to try and figure them out.
John: It’s so nice that Lucy and Craig decided to give us all a crash course in some of them!
Kellie: Isn’t it just! Manners are often relaxed when with friends, but in formal or business situations with strangers, it’s best to mind your manners.
John: Yes. I think most of the important ones that people expect to be followed involve food and eating. Talking with your mouth full of food is seen as being very rude.
Kellie: I hate it when people do that. I don’t want to see what people are eating! Please, swallow your food before you begin to talk.
John: If someone speaks to you while you’re eating, they’ll be quite happy to wait for you to swallow before answering. It’s far politer than answering immediately with a mouthful of food.
Kellie: Another thing I hate is when people slurp their food or drink.
John: Me too. It’s difficult to avoid slurping spaghetti or noodles sometimes, but you should really try to do so. It’s the same with hot drinks or soup – wait for it to cool down!
Kellie: I know slurping is acceptable in some countries, but the noise really annoys me.
John: It’s not pleasant, is it?
Kellie: No. Let’s move onto nicer things and look at the vocab.
John: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is:
Kellie: warehouse [natural native speed]
John: a large building where goods are stored before being sent to a store or delivered to a customer
Kellie: warehouse [slowly - broken down by syllable] warehouse [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: temporary contract [natural native speed]
John: a short term agreement
Kellie: temporary contract [slowly - broken down by syllable] temporary contract [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: Christmas temp [natural native speed]
John: an employee who only works over the busy Christmas period
Kellie: Christmas temp [slowly - broken down by syllable] Christmas temp [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: to point [natural native speed]
John to draw attention to something, usually by extending a finger in that direction
Kellie: to point [slowly - broken down by syllable] to point [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: to slurp [natural native speed]
John: to eat or drink noisily
Kellie: to slurp [slowly - broken down by syllable] to slurp [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: on the horizon [natural native speed]
John: within view or reach, something that may happen soon
Kellie: on the horizon [slowly - broken down by syllable] on the horizon [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: pound [natural native speed]
John: imperial weight measure commonly used in the UK. Equivalent to 0.45kg
Kellie: pound [slowly - broken down by syllable] pound [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: to feed an army [natural native speed]
John: to make an excess of food
Kellie: to feed an army [slowly - broken down by syllable] to feed an army [natural native speed]
John: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Kellie: Unfortunately, our first vocabulary item continues on from the last discussion we had as the item is “to slurp”.
John: Sorry about that! That means “to eat or drink food noisily”, usually because it’s hot or something you have to suck into your mouth like noodles. Try and avoid it at all costs! As Lucy says in the dialogue, it drives her crazy, and it does the same to most people.
Kellie: Definitely, so let’s move on quickly! Next is “on the horizon”.
John: This refers to something that will happen soon or is in reach, but will not happen immediately. It’s in sight but in the distance, just like the horizon is.
Kellie: So if I was unemployed and job searching, and I was asked if a new job was on the horizon…
John: If you had applied for jobs or even had an interview and were waiting for the outcome, you could say yes. You don’t have a new job yet and haven’t been offered one, but there is something there that means you could have it soon. When Craig asks Lucy if a wedding is on the horizon, he’s asking if things are moving in that direction.
Kellie: Okay. Finally we have the idiom “to feed an army”.
John: Have you ever had a family dinner where the cook has made so much food that it barely fits the table, and is just far too much for the number of people
Kellie: Frequently.
John: You could say that there was enough food to feed an army.
Kellie: Because it would take an army to eat it all.
John: Armies are made of many fit and healthy men and women, so they eat a lot of food! I can only imagine how many mince pies Lucy’s mum must have made at Christmas!
Kellie: It must have been a lot! Let’s move onto the grammar now.

Lesson focus

Kellie: In this lesson, you’ll learn about rhetorical questions.
John: These are questions that are asked without the intention or purpose of receiving an answer. They don’t need answering – they have a different purpose to regular questions.
Kellie: What kind of purpose do they serve?
John: In daily conversation, they are usually used to make some sort of point. It can often be through anger or frustration, and they can be quite sarcastic in nature. They can also be used to try and make people think, and reconsider things.
Kellie: Let’s go through some scenarios where you would use rhetorical questions.
John: I said that they can be an outlet of anger and frustration, and this is because they can be used to make some quite negative points heard.
Kellie: Can you give us an example?
John: You could say to someone “can’t you do anything right?” It’s rhetorical because you’re not expecting them to answer it, what you’re really doing is insinuating that they always fail.
Kellie: That’s kinda mean. Let’s hear a nice use.
John: You can answer a question with a rhetorical question. In this scenario, the rhetorical question is used to emphasise a point or answer, and can be used in a humourous way.
Kellie: Let’s try that one. I’ll ask you a question and you can answer with a rhetorical one.
John: Okay.
Kellie: “Do you want the last of this ice cream?”
John:“Is the sky blue?”
Kellie: Of course the sky is blue, so that rhetorical question is a way of saying yes, and making a point that the answer to the question is obvious.
John: I’d never turn down ice cream! Another use of rhetorical questions is to cast doubt on a firm statement. “He was the killer… or was he?”
Kellie: That sounds like the closing line to a horror movie that wants a sequel.
John: It’s a structure that’s frequently used in movies and TV. There was a firm statement that he was the killer, but the rhetorical question at the end then makes you begin to doubt that statement.
Kellie: Now that we’ve heard some scenarios, how about examples from the dialogue?
John: The examples from Lucy and Craig are both to make negative points, but they’re being said in a joking and sarcastic way. The first example is “did your mother never tell you that you shouldn’t eat with your mouthful?”
Kellie: Which insinuates that Craig was talking with his mouthful, and Lucy didn’t like it.
John: Correct. Craig then responds with “did yours never tell you that it’s rude to point at people?”
Kellie: Ah, so Lucy is pointing at Craig as she’s criticising him for eating with his mouth open.
John: Yes. Craig isn’t expecting an answer there, he’s just pointing out that Lucy is being hypocritical by criticising his manners, while acting ill-mannered herself.
Kellie: Everyone points, though, so it’s not really considered rude anymore.
John: No, he just wanted to get back at Lucy!
Kellie: (laughs) okay.


Kellie: That’s all for this lesson.
John: Make sure you check the lesson notes, and we’ll see you next time.


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Friday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! What is considered rude to do in your country?

Englishclass101.com Verified
Sunday at 06:38 PM
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Hi AungZW,


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Sunday at 04:51 PM
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Saturday at 09:26 PM
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I really hate it if anyone blows his nose especially at a table. That makes me much crazy so I couldn`t help but knock him off a table. I may accept slurping, but in my opinion blowing nose while eating meal is very disgusting. That puts me off