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Lesson Transcript

Kellie: Knowing What’s Important in a British Workplace.
John: In this lesson, we’ll be learning about restrictive adjective clauses.
John: The dialogue takes place between Lucy and Craig and happens in Craig’s flat.
Kellie: As they’re friends, they’ll be speaking informally. Let’s listen to the conversation!
Craig: How did the interview go? Did you bottle it?
Lucy: Nice to see that you have so much faith in me! And no, actually. The interview went very well, I thought.
Jessica, the lady who interviewed me, was very nice and seemed to like me.
Craig: Did it seem like a good place to work?
Lucy: Yeah, everyone was friendly and the building was lovely. They even had their own gym on site, free membership for employees of course, and it’s better equipped than the one I go to now.
Craig: Only you would see an on site gym as a plus point. How about the job itself?
Lucy: It seems to be exactly what I want. The graduate programme covers all of the main aspects of the job, I’d be starting in the investment banking section, and there are plenty of opportunities after completing it.
Craig: And how about the two most important things?
Lucy: Hmm? What are those?
Craig: The pay and the tea making facilities.
Lucy: (laughs) Both are top of the range, I’m happy to say, and just the icing on the cake.
Kellie: So here, we heard Lucy tell Craig all about her job interview.
John: Yes, it’s important to tell your friends your news! I’m sure Craig was especially interested because in Lesson 3, he helped Lucy complete her application form.
Kellie: I thought Craig was a little rude to Lucy though.
John: Really? Why?
Kellie: Well, his comment about her bottling it and then mocking her for liking the gym facilities.
John: We’ll talk about some of that vocab in detail later, but Craig wasn’t being mean to Lucy or mocking her. It was just banter.
Kellie: Just friends having fun?
John: Yeah. Banter is very important between friends, and in Britain especially it can sound rude or mean as the British sense of humour can be quite dark and cruel. He didn’t mean to be unkind to her, he was just having a joke and Lucy didn’t take offense.
Kellie: Yeah, Lucy didn’t seem to mind and just carried on with the conversation.
John: British people love to be sarcastic and mock each other but they usually only do it with people they consider to be good friends that they know won’t be offended by it. It’s a sign of affection really.
Kellie: Yes, it never gets that serious.
John: I don’t know… you should try working in an office or a factory the day after a big football game! The supporters of the winning side can be evil to those who support the losers! But, it’s all in good fun. Brits can also be mean to themselves when they speak and put themselves down, so it’s all fair game.
Kellie: Okay! Let’s move on to the vocab now.
John: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is:
Kellie: to bottle [natural native speed]
John: to lose courage, to back down
Kellie: to bottle [slowly - broken down by syllable] to bottle [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: to seem [natural native speed]
John: how something appears
Kellie: to seem [slowly - broken down by syllable] to seem [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: on site [natural native speed]
John: something that is actually there, at that place
Kellie: on site [slowly - broken down by syllable] on site [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: plus point [natural native speed]
John: a good or advantageous thing
Kellie: plus point [slowly - broken down by syllable] plus point [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: aspects [natural native speed]
John: a distinct feature or part of something
Kellie: aspects [slowly - broken down by syllable] aspects [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: investment banking [natural native speed]
John: a section of banking that helps companies raise more money
Kellie: investment banking [slowly - broken down by syllable] investment banking [natural native speed]
Kellie: facilities [natural native speed]
John: equipment that helps to perform an action
Kellie: facilities [slowly - broken down by syllable] facilities [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: icing on the cake [natural native speed]
John: something good that happens in an already good situation
Kellie: icing on the cake [slowly - broken down by syllable] icing on the cake [natural native speed]
Kellie: We spoke about it earlier, so let’s start with the idiom “to bottle”.
John: In this situation, “bottle” means your nerves or courage. If I say “do you have the bottle?” I’m not asking if you have a bottle for some milk, I’m asking if you have the courage to do something. If someone has “lost their bottle”, they’ve…?
Kellie: Lost their courage.
John: Yes. They’ve let their nerves and worries get the better of them. A job interview is a nerve wracking experience that needs a lot of confidence and courage, or ‘bottle’, to be successful at. When Craig asks “did you bottle it?” to Lucy, he is asking if she lost her courage, or ‘lost her bottle’.
Kellie: I’d say this is a pretty common expression, wouldn’t you?
John: It’s a slang expression but yeah, you will hear it quite a lot. You may hear people say “I bottled it” and it’s often used when athletes, especially footballers, are in a high pressure situation and fail. If a footballer misses a penalty at an important stage of the game, then he’s “bottled it”.
Kellie: Okay. Next is “on site”.
John: We’re very lucky here as our offices have an “on site” recording studio so we don’t have to go anywhere else. “On site” means that it is in the same building.
Kellie: In the dialogue, the company Lucy is applying to has a gym “on site”. So there’s a gym in the building?
John: Yes. That’s becoming common with bigger buildings that have a lot of employees.
Kellie: And last off is “icing on the cake”.
John: Do you like cake?
Kellie: I love cake!
John: Yeah, cake is a wonderful thing! How about cake with icing? Icing is sometimes called frosting and is a glaze made of sugar mixed with liquid.
Kellie: I love icing! That’s even better.
John: And that’s what the idiom means! You take something that is already great, like cake, and then add an extra thing that makes it even better. That extra thing is the “icing on the cake”.
Kellie: Ahhhh. So if I bought a CD that I really wanted and it came with a free poster, the poster would be the icing on the cake?
John: Yeah, it’s an extra bonus on top of something that you already thought was good. Lucy already likes the job and the office, so having good pay and the facilities to make a good cup of tea are just the icing on the cake for her.
Kellie: Got it! Let’s move on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Kellie: In this lesson, you’ll learn restrictive adjective clauses.
John: Okay. An adjective clause is a clause in a sentence that modifies a noun. It acts as an adjective, but is an actual clause instead of just being a single word. There are both restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.
Kellie: What’s the difference?
John: A restrictive clause doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence. You can take it out of the sentence and everything will still make sense and have the same meaning. It stands alone and is signalled by commas at the beginning and end.
Kellie: I guess that a non-restrictive clause is one that when removed, will change the meaning of the sentence?
John: Yeah. That isn’t closed off by commas and is an important part of the sentence. For example, “people who are good at football should join the football team”. The restrictive clause is “who are good at football”. If we removed that from the sentence then it will change the meaning as it would then mean everyone should join the team, when really the team only wants those good at football.
Kellie: Let’s hear some examples from the dialogue.
John: Lucy says “Jessica, the lady who interviewed me, was very nice and seemed to like me”. The restrictive adjective clause here is “the lady who interviewed me”. If you take it out of the sentence you are left with “Jessica was very nice and seemed to like me.”
Kellie: Ah, that still makes perfect sense.
John: The restrictive adjective clause doesn’t change the meaning, it just adds extra background information. Another example is “They even had their own gym on site, free membership for employees of course, and it’s better equipped than the one I go to now”. Could you tell where the restrictive adjective clause is there?
Kellie: Um, “free membership for employees of course?”
John: That’s it! If we remove that from the sentence we’re left with “they even had their own gym on site and it’s better equipped than the one I go to now.”
Kellie: In written text it’s easy to tell them because of the commas, but what about when people are speaking?
John: We verbally separate the restrictive adjective clause. There’s usually a pause and a change in tone to separate it from the rest of the sentence. You may have noticed it when I was reading the examples from the dialogue earlier.
Kellie: Can you do it once more for us?
John: Sure! Listen to how I say “free membership for employees of course”. “They even had their own gym on site, free membership for employees of course, and it’s better equipped than the one I go to Now”.


Kellie: Ah, I could hear the difference!
John: Right!
Kellie: Alright, well that’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening and see you next time.
John: Bye, everyone!