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Lesson Transcript

Kellie: Read All About It in the British Papers!
John: Hi everyone, I’m John. In this lesson, you’ll learn about negative prefixes on adjectives.
Kellie: The conversation takes place in the office, and is between Lucy and Jessica.
John: They’re employee and employer, but are on friendly terms, so the language will be informal.
Kellie: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Lucy: Why is everyone so excited this morning? I’ve never seen the office so full of life at 9am on a Monday morning before!
Jessica: Have you not read the papers this morning?
Lucy: No, I didn’t get the chance. What’s happened?
Jessica: Our CEO has been investigated for tax fraud and HMRC found out that he was paying his money into illegal, offshore accounts. He’s one of the biggest tax evaders of the last decade. Of course, it’s reflecting badly on the bank now and making us unpopular, even though it was his personal decision not to pay his taxes.
Lucy: Is the bank in trouble?
Jessica: I think it will blow over in a couple of days, but until then there will be plenty of overpaid and uninformed journalists who probably aren’t paying their taxes correctly either, calling for a full investigation of the bank.
Lucy: The bank pays what it owes though, doesn’t it?
Jessica: As far as I’m aware, yes. It won’t stop the tabloids claiming that all bankers are overpaid and cheating the public purse when it’s only some who do that. Anything to whip the public into a frenzy.
Lucy: I’m sure that my boyfriend’s Uncle is writing a strongly worded letter of complaint to his MP as we Speak.
Kellie: Sounds like the bank CEO is in trouble.
John: Yeah, you have to pay your taxes, especially when you work for a financial institution like a bank! Why should anyone trust you with their money, if you don’t take care of your own in the proper manner?
Kellie: That’s very true. The CEO has been caught not paying his taxes, so let’s talk a little about the tax system in the UK.
John: Okay! A lot of countries have a flat rate tax where everyone pays the same percentage no matter how much they earn, but it’s more complicated than that in the UK.
Kellie: There are different rates for different levels of earnings.
John: And if you don’t earn much at all, usually due to working low-level part-time jobs, you may not pay any tax at all.
Kellie: What are the rates?
John: Under £8,015, there is no tax paid at all. Above that it’s 20%. Mid-level earners of between £34,000 and £150,000 pay 40% and the mega-rich pay 45%.
Kellie: Sounds complicated to work out!
John: Luckily the tax office in the UK, HMRC, do the calculations and automatically collect the tax from the earnings of those who fall in the lower tax bracket. Those who earn more and have to do their own tax return, called a self-assessment in the UK, can afford accountants!
Kellie: (laughs) that’s true! The taxation rates are pretty high in the UK.
John: They are. That’s why people like the bank’s CEO use offshore accounts so much, and become tax exiles.
Kellie: I guess so! 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: full of life [natural native speed]
John: something that is lively, loud and energetic
Kellie: full of life [slowly - broken down by syllable] full of life [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: CEO [natural native speed]
John: acronym of Chief Executive Officer – the highest ranking executive in a company
Kellie: CEO [slowly - broken down by syllable] CEO [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: tax fraud [natural native speed]
John: purposely underpaying the amount of tax due
Kellie: tax fraud [slowly - broken down by syllable] tax fraud [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: offshore account [natural native speed]
John: a bank account that is held outside the country that someone resides in, usually in another country with a low tax rate
Kellie: offshore account [slowly - broken down by syllable] offshore account [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: tax evader [natural native speed]
John: someone who pays less tax than they should via illegal measures
Kellie: tax evader [slowly - broken down by syllable] tax evader [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: to reflect [natural native speed]
John: thoughts, ideas and opinions about subject A being linked to subject B due to an association between the two
Kellie: to reflect [slowly - broken down by syllable] to reflect [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: to blow over [natural native speed]
John: to be quickly forgotten, or to end quickly
Kellie: to blow over [slowly - broken down by syllable] to blow over [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: frenzy [natural native speed]
John: a state of wild excitement or unusual behaviour
Kellie: frenzy [slowly - broken down by syllable] frenzy [natural native speed]
John: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Kellie: Let’s begin with a nice one – “full of life.”
John: This means “to be really energetic, lively and animated.” It’s mainly used for humans and animals, but you can use it for places where people are, like a party or train station, and also for inanimate objects that can move.
Kellie: Like a car.
John: Yeah, you could say that an old car is still “full of life” if it is in roadworthy condition, but you couldn’t say that a pen is “full of life.” An office, such as in the dialogue, can be full of life, though, because Lucy is referring to the people inside it and not the actual
Kellie: Okay. Next is “tax evader.”
John: This is someone who doesn’t pay their tax, like the bank CEO. You have to be careful not to mix up “evader” and “evasion” with “avoider” and “avoidance” though.
Kellie: Can you explain the difference?
John: “Tax evaders” are breaking the law, whereas “tax avoiders” are using legal means to not pay their tax. It’s easy to confuse the two, as they are very similar.
Kellie: They are. Finally is “to reflect”.
John: If you look in a mirror, you can see your own image – the mirror reflects it. Other things such as negative actions and bad publicity can be reflected from one person to another, or their company. The actions of the CEO may be independent of the bank and his role as CEO there, but they will be associated with the bank. They will be reflected.
Kellie: Alright. Let’s move onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Kellie: In this lesson, you’ll learn about adjectives and negative prefixes.
John: Changing adjectives into their negative forms is both easy… and difficult at the same time! It’s easy because all you do is add a little prefix at the beginning, but it’s difficult, because there are many different prefixes and no real rules on which to use.
Kellie: Are there any general guidelines?
John: A lot of it is based on the origins of the words. English has taken a lot of words from a lot of different languages but they retain some characteristics of their original language.
Kellie: Okay.
John: For example, words that originated in French or Latin will usually begin with “dis~”, “in~” or “non~”.
Kellie: Such as words like “disrespect” and “indecisive”.
John: Greek words are often prefixed with “a~” and “anti~”. Like “amoral” and “antisocial”.
Kellie: I can never remember where words originated from! They’re all just English to me now!
John: It can be tricky to remember where, yes!
Kellie: And these are only general rules, and not correct 100 percent of the time, right?
John: Right. Unfortunately, it’s another one of those things where you just have to learn and memorise what is right. The prefixes aren’t interchangeable and can’t be swapped.
Kellie: Shame. Do you have some examples of the prefixes in action for us?
John: Of course! In the dialogue, Jessica says “it’s reflecting badly on the bank now and making us unpopular”. She prefixes the adjective “popular” with “un~” to turn it into the negative “unpopular”.
Kellie: Let’s have another example.
John: Jessica also says that “there will be plenty of overpaid and uninformed journalists”. This time it’s “un~” turning informed into its negative form.
Kellie: The prefix really changes the meaning.
John: Yeah, it does. Another example is “the question he posed was very irrelevant”. Relevant is made negative by adding “i” “r”, pronounced as “ir”.
Kellie: Any other tips for us?
John: This is only important when writing, as it doesn’t affect the pronunciation, but when using the prefix “non~”, in British English it is separated from the adjective by a hyphen. You should write “non, hyphen, alcoholic” to make “alcoholic” negative, for example.
Kellie: In other English-speaking countries, they wouldn’t use the hyphen?
John: You can see it both used and not used, but in British English it is used exclusively with the hyphen.
Kellie: Thanks for that.


Kellie: Alright, that’s all we have time for in this lesson.
John: Make sure you check the lesson notes, and we’ll see you next time!
Kellie: Bye!


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Friday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! Do you like reading British papers?

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Monday at 09:15 PM
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Hi AungZW,

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Monday at 12:47 AM
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