Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Kellie: A Superstitious Brit.
John: In this lesson, you’ll learn about the simple future tense.
Kellie: The conversation takes place outside a restaurant, and it’s between Lucy and John.
John: They’re boyfriend and girlfriend, so they will be speaking informally. Let’s listen to the dialogue.
DIALOGUE
Jack: I'm determined that tonight's date is going to be better than the first one. I even rang the restaurant in advance to make sure that no big groups were booked in.
Lucy: That's very kind of you! I'm sure it will be better than last time; we were just really unlucky.
Jack: And that's why I've done everything that I can today to be lucky. I haven't opened any umbrellas indoors or put any new shoes on any tables.
Lucy: (laughs) Have you avoided walking underneath any ladders or tried to cross paths with a black cat?
Jack: Of course! I've touched every piece of wood I could find and have kept my fingers crossed all day.
Lucy: (laughs) Wouldn't crossing your fingers all day interfere with your job? How can you fix cars with crossed fingers?
Jack: It was a challenge, I'll tell you! I kept dropping my spanner. But, if tonight goes off without a hitch, it will have been worth it.
Lucy: C'mon, let's go inside and order. I'm so hungry that I'm going to eat everything on the menu!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Kellie: There were a lot of superstitions in that dialogue!
John: Yes, Jack didn’t want to risk any bad luck happening on the second date after the disaster of the first.
Kellie: Where do these superstitions come from? Why is crossing paths with a black cat good luck, for example? I’ve heard that in almost all other countries it’s bad luck!
John: It is bad luck practically everywhere other than Britain! Black cats are associated with witches so they’re bad luck in most places but in Britain they’re lucky and it’s especially lucky if one crosses your path.
Kellie: Do a lot of superstitions have a historical basis?
John: Yes. It’s bad luck to leave new shoes on a table because many years ago the way shoes were made meant that there were sometimes nails sticking out of the soles, and that could scratch the table. If you wore the shoes and walked around in them for awhile however, the nail would get worn down and it would be okay. A lot of these superstitions are so old and so familiar to everyone that people don’t know the origin any more, they just know not to do them!
Kellie: No opening umbrellas indoors then?
John: Definitely not! If you give a purse or wallet as a gift to someone you should always put some money in it and one of the worst things that can happen to you is breaking a mirror, because you’ll have seven years of bad luck!
Kellie: Do you know why that is so unlucky?
John: In ancient times mirrors were thought of as tools of the gods so to break one was truly terrible.
Kellie: I’ll be extra careful around mirrors in the future!
John: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
John: The first word we shall see is...
Kellie: to be determined [natural native speed]
John: to be committed and dedicated to doing something
Kellie: to be determined [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: to be determined [natural native speed]
John: Next,
Kellie: to book [natural native speed]
John: to reserve something, such as a table in a restaurant or hotel room
Kellie: to book [slowly - broken down by syllable] to book [natural native speed]
John: Next,
Kellie: to cross paths [natural native speed]
John: to meet someone by chance and accident, not by choice
Kellie: to cross paths [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: to cross paths [natural native speed]
John: Next,
Kellie: to touch wood [natural native speed]
John: to protect against bad things happening, British people touch something wooden
Kellie: to touch wood [slowly - broken down by syllable] to touch wood [natural native speed]
John: Next,
Kellie: to cross fingers [natural native speed]
John: to hope that something good happens, to wish for good luck
Kellie: to cross fingers [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: to cross fingers [natural native speed]
John: Next,
Kellie: to interfere [natural native speed]
John: to get involved in something that doesn’t concern you
Kellie: to interfere [slowly - broken down by syllable] to interfere [natural native speed]
John: Next,
Kellie: spanner [natural native speed]
John: a tool used to grip and hold things like screws – also known as a wrench
Kellie: spanner [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: spanner [natural native speed]
John: Next,
Kellie: without a hitch [natural native speed]
John: to happen without any problems
Kellie: without a hitch [slowly - broken down by syllable] without a hitch [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
John: Let's take a closer look at the usage of the words and phrases used in this lesson.
Kellie: Let’s start with “cross paths”.
John: Okay. Imagine you go shopping and you randomly bump into a friend. You haven’t arranged the meeting and you don’t even know that your friend will be in town, but you meet him anyway. It can be said that you “crossed paths” with him. Literally, the path he was walking crossed, or met, yours.
Kellie: And we would use this only for random meetings.
John: Yes. If you’d arranged it then you couldn’t say that you’ve crossed paths. It used to be a negative sentence as it implied that you’d not only crossed paths but that you’d blocked each other too, but now it’s more neutral. The most famous use of it is shown in the dialogue - “to cross paths with a black cat”.
Kellie: Okay. Next is “touch wood”.
John: Another superstition and a very popular one! In some other English speaking countries they say “knock on wood” and it’s very similar. If you talk about something happening in the future that you hope will be successful, then you can say “touch wood” as a way of protecting against something bad happening.
Kellie: We also do the action of touching wood.
John: Usually yes! Just a light tap of anything wooden is fine. If there isn’t anything wooden around, people will often tap their head instead.
Kellie: That’s right.
John: It’s a joke that their head is made of wood instead of flesh and brains.
Kellie: I see! Finally we have “cross fingers”.
John: This is to wish for good luck. You can say that you’ll keep your fingers crossed or just do the action and people will understand. You simply cross your index and middle fingers.
Kellie: That’s easy.
John: It is. People sometimes cross the fingers of both hands to wish for extra luck, or even joke about crossing their toes.
Kellie: That would be a lot of luck!
John: It would! You can cross your fingers to wish luck for yourself or for other people. It’s a very common gesture in Britain.
Kellie: Thanks for the explanation. Okay, let’s move onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Kellie: In this lesson, you’ll learn about the simple future tense.
John: Yes. There isn’t a future tense as such in English so we mark future actions with auxiliary verbs such as “will”. I will do this, I will eat lunch... they are future actions because of the use of “will”.
Kellie: Okay.
John: We can use the future tense for more than to just describe what you will do in the future. Another common use is for predictions.
Kellie: Like fortune telling and superstitions?
John: Amongst other things, yeah! We can also make more common predictions such as what the weather will be like tomorrow. These predictions can be a guess, or from experience and knowledge.
Kellie: And they take the form of “will” plus the “verb”?
John: Yes, they do. “It will rain tomorrow.” But, we can also use “going to”; in this case the terms are interchangeable.
Kellie: So “it’s going to rain tomorrow” means the same as “it will rain tomorrow”?
John: Yes, it does. But be careful – “will” and “going to” are not always interchangeable. They are when making predictions, but not when making plans, for example.
Kellie: What are some examples from the dialogue?
John: Jack says that “I’m determined that tonight’s date will be better than the first one”. He’s predicting the date will be better than the date in lesson four, and considering how bad that one was, I think he’s probably going to be right!
Kellie: Ah, that was another prediction! You predicted that Jack would be correct.
John: That’s right! Lucy also made a similar prediction - “I’m sure it will be better than last time”.
Kellie: She’s also predicting that it will be a better date.
John: She is. Do you think that they will have a good date?
Kellie: I think they will! I think that Jack really will do everything he can to make sure of it.
John: I think so, too.

Outro

Kellie: That’s all for this lesson, so make sure to check the lesson notes, and we’ll see you next time.
John: Bye, everyone!
Kellie: See you soon!

9 Comments

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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:30 PM
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What kind of supertitions do you have in your country?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:03 AM
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Hello hamid,


Thank you for your comment. 😇

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We wish you good luck with your language studies.


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hamid
Thursday at 01:14 AM
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On the 13th day of the new year (start of spring) in iran, most people go to an outdoor picnic, because they believe that the number 13 is sinister. On the same day, people usually tie grass to bring them good luck.

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Sunday at 06:54 PM
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Hello Guy,


Thank you for taking the time to leave us your kind words. 😇

If you ever have any questions, please let us know.


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Levente

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Guy
Saturday at 07:06 AM
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Hello

Good lesson

The conversations are speed but I think the real speed...

Thanks

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Thursday at 09:00 PM
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Hi AungZW,


Thank you for using our site!


Keep studying with Englishclass101.com :)


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Cristiane

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AungZW
Wednesday at 01:57 PM
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?

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Sunday at 05:31 PM
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Hi Paul Jedich,


It's interesting to hear which superstitions different countries share!


Kellie

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Paul Jedich
Sunday at 04:09 AM
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In my country I've never heard about supertitious like putting shoes on the table, or opening umbrellas indoors ; and crossing path with a black cat is deemed to be for a bad luck. The rest of the superstitious are the same as in my country.