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Lesson Transcript

Kellie: An...Interesting First Date in Britain.
John: In this lesson, you’ll learn about causative verbs.
Kellie: The conversation takes place in a restaurant, and it’s between Lucy and Jack.
Kellie: They’re on a date so they’ll be speaking informally.
John: Let’s listen to the conversation!
Jack: As far as first dates go, I must admit that this has been a slight disaster.
Lucy: It wasn’t your fault they lost your reservation... or spilled soup down my dress.
Jack: Minestrone red is a good look for you; you should consider wearing it more often. But yeah, I didn’t know that half of the restaurant had been reserved by a noisy hen party.
Lucy: Or that they’d drink the bar dry.
Jack: Or that the hen party would cause the staff to be so busy that the food would be cold and disgusting. My sister highly recommended this restaurant. I will have to shout at her when I get home.
Lucy: Don’t be too harsh on her. I’m sure that on any other night they would have washed the cutlery properly. I’m glad we got the waiter to change our glasses before we drank from them. Jack: We should have made the chef cook for us specifically.
We didn’t even get to eat properly because the service was so bad. I felt quite justified in not leaving a tip. Are you still hungry?
Lucy: Starving. I had been looking forward to eating here all day so I only ate light.
Jack: Fancy a McDonalds?
Lucy: Well, it can’t be any worse than that restaurant, can it?
Kellie: Well, that date didn’t seem to go very well, did it?
John: Not really! They were unfortunate to be in the same restaurant as a noisy hen party.
Kellie: Can you tell the listeners what a hen party is? I would love for it to literally be a party of chickens but I think I’m wrong there.
John: Haha, you are wrong. But only slightly. Hen is an old slang word for women, so it literally means a women’s party. It’s the name given to the female-only parties that a bride has before her wedding day. It has different names in different countries, such as bachelorette or stagette.
Kellie: Are they usually noisy and likely to drink the bar dry?
John: It depends on the bride and her friends. Like the male version, called stag parties or stag dos, they’re very individual and should be based on what the bride wants. Some brides have quieter nights and some brides decide to party. It’s becoming increasingly popular for hen and stag parties to be held abroad.
Kellie: Wow, people make holidays out of these parties?
John: Yeah. You can get really cheap flights to some beautiful parts of Europe such as Prague, so in recent years people have been making weekends out of it. Traditionally, the parties happened the night before the wedding, “the last night of freedom”, but now they can be several weeks before.
Kellie: They sound like fun! It’s almost worth getting married just for the party! Now, let’s move on to the vocabulary.
John: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is...
Kellie: disaster [natural native speed]
John: something, such as an event, that goes very wrong
Kellie: disaster [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: disaster [natural native speed]
John: Next.
Kellie: reservation [natural native speed]
John: an advance booking for things such as a table in a restaurant, a hotel room, a ticket and so on
Kellie: reservation [slowly - broken down by syllable] reservation [natural native speed]
John: Next.
Kellie: to spill [natural native speed]
John: when liquid falls over the edge of the container its in - usually unintentionally
Kellie: to spill [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: to spill [natural native speed]
John: Next.
Kellie: hen party [natural native speed]
John: a party women have before they get married
Kellie: hen party [slowly - broken down by syllable] hen party [natural native speed]
John: Next.
Kellie: to drink ~ dry [natural native speed]
John: to drink so much that the source runs out
Kellie: to drink ~ dry [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: to drink ~ dry [natural native speed]
John: Next.
Kellie: harsh [natural native speed]
John: to act in a hard and unforgiving way
Kellie: harsh [slowly - broken down by syllable] harsh [natural native speed]
John: Next.
Kellie: cutlery [natural native speed]
John: the group name for eating tools such as knives, forks, spoons etc
Kellie: cutlery [slowly - broken down by syllable] cutlery [natural native speed]
Kellie: starving [natural native speed]
John: to be very hungry
Kellie: starving [slowly - broken down by syllable] starving [natural native speed]
Kellie: Let’s start with the word “disaster”.
John: Okay. Imagine you’ve planned the perfect day trip.
You’re going somewhere beautiful with a good friend and it’s going to be a fantastic day. But on the day, you oversleep and leave later than planned. Then, your car breaks down, it starts raining, you lose your wallet and you argue with your friend. Your day trip wasn’t perfect – it was a “disaster”.
Kellie: Ah, so it’s used to describe events where a lot of things go wrong, such as on Lucy: and Jon’s date?
John: That’s right. We also use “disaster” to describe things such as earthquakes and hurricanes, but when using it in the context of the dialogue, it means that something was a big failure. If you had a job interview and you thought that it went badly because you couldn’t answer some questions or kept stuttering, it could be called a “disaster”. It’s an exaggeration.
Kellie: Okay. How about “harsh”?
John: That’s used to describe words or actions that are very strict. Probably too strict. For example, if when recording this lesson you kept making mistakes all of the time it wouldn’t be surprising if I became a little angry and criticised you a little. But, if I shouted at you, said some very mean things and over-reacted, then you could say I was being “harsh”.
Kellie: Please don’t shout at me!
John: I’ll try not to! In the dialogue, it was John’s sister who suggested that they go to the restaurant and John: says that he will shout at her when he gets home. Lucy: tells him not to “be too harsh on her”. John: is joking there and Lucy: knows that, but she could also be asking him not to be “harsh” because it wasn’t his sister’s fault that things went wrong. Yes, she suggested the restaurant, but she didn’t plan all of the disasters, so shouting at her because of all the bad things that happened would be “harsh.”
Kellie: Got it. Finally, we have “to drink something dry.”
John: This isn’t literal! It just means that a lot of liquid has been drunk. The hen party haven’t literally drank all of the alcohol that the bar has, they’ve just drank a lot of it!
Kellie: Can you use that saying with any liquid? Can you drink so much coffee that you drink Starbucks dry?
John: You can, yes, but it’s commonly used to say that a bar or pub has been drunk dry.
Kellie: Right, onto the grammar now!

Lesson focus

Kellie: In this lesson, you’ll learn about causative verbs.
John: Causative verbs are easily identified because they follow a set pattern. They consist of three words. The first is the actual causative verb itself, such as “let”, “make”, “have” or “get”. The second word is a person or pronoun, such as “me”, “you”, “us” and the third word is a normal verb. A causative verb found in the lesson is “made the chef cook” – the causative verb is “made”, it’s followed by a person, “the chef”, and finished with the verb “cook”.
Kellie: So it’s causative verb, person, verb.
John: Yes. Another example from the dialogue is “got the waiter to change our glasses”.
Kellie: In that case “got” is the causative verb, “the waiter”
is the person and the verb is “to change”.
John: Yep. Causative verbs that start with “get”, or the past tense “got”, means that the person has been convinced to do it. So Lucy and John would have asked the waiter to change the glasses for them because they were dirty.
Kellie: The first example you gave us included “made”.
John: “made” or “make” means that someone has been forced to do it, so the chef would have been forced to cook for them specifically. Causative verbs that start with “let” mean that someone has been given permission to do it. If you say to your boss “let me go home”, you’re asking for his permission to leave the office and go.
Kellie: And “have”.
John: That’s to give someone the responsibility. “I’ll have my friend do it” means that you’re giving the task to your friend.
Kellie: I notice that some of these examples, especially from the dialogue, are conjugated.
John: Yes, it’s always the causative verb itself that is conjugated and not the final verb. So, how would you conjugate “I’ll make you answer correctly” into past tense?
Kellie: “I made you answer correctly”?
John: Yes! And you did answer correctly! It’s “make” that changes to “made”, and not “answer” changing to “answered”. “I’ll make you answered [emphasise the ‘ed’] correctly” would be wrong.


Kellie: Ah, I get it! That’s all for this lesson but as we were talking about causative verbs, I’ll let you finish the lesson this week.
John: Very good! Thanks for listening, everyone, and see you next time!
Kellie: Bye, everyone!