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Unit 46. I Mean, It's Sort of Like...

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Understanding Small Talk

Unit 46; Part A

idea.jpgImportant for listening!
Listen to this conversation. Note that the expressions in black do not really have any meaning; you could easily understand the text without them.

Notice that the speakers say them very fast, often in a low voice: they are "throw away" words, i.e. you could throw them away and the meaning wouldn't change.
46.5.jpg

Unit 46; Part B

 
idea.jpgImportant for listening!
Different people often have their own favourite 'throw away' words. For example, in the conersation above. A says like and you know a lot and В says I mean a lot.
 

 
note.jpgNote: When you are listening, you don't need to understand every word. Often, the things people say really fast are just 'throw away' words, and you can ignore them.

Unit 46; Part C

 
idea.jpgImportant for listening!
The same expressions which people use as 'throw away' words do have meaning in other contexts. In all the sentences on the left below, the expressions in black have meaning. In the sentences on the right, they are 'throw away' words.

Listen and notice the difference in pronunciation: the 'throw away' words are said faster and in a low voice.
 
Tell me everything you know.
"Blue Mountain" is a kind of coffee.
We like to go away at weekends.
I mean the one on the right.
She tells me everything, you know.
"Blue Mountain" coffee is kind of nice.
We like go to the beach or whatever.
 I mean, what's the point of buying one shoe?!
 
 

 



Exercises

flag.jpgYou will hear someone speaking about the weather in Montana (in the USA) with a lot of 'throw away' words. Write what the person says, but miss out the "throw away' words.
Key.It's really cold in Montana sometimes. Your beard and moustache get full of ice and you feel the air freeze, in your nose and mouth.


___________________________
___________________________
___________________________
___________________________
___________________________
___________________________
___________________________

46.2.jpg
flag.jpgYou will hear four people speaking. What are their favourite 'throw away' words? Write them after the name.
Key.Debbie    you know
Kimberly   kind of
Greg   like


Speaker 1: Frank            I mean.    
Speaker 2: Debbie       ____________      
Speaker 3: Kimberly     ____________
Speaker 4: Greg           ____________
flag.jpgUnderline the 'throw away' words in this text. There are nine more expressions to underline.
Key.We don't like have coffee breaks, I mean we just like get a coffee or tea and sort of like take it back to our desks, you know, but its kind of dangerous 'cause, I mean, people sometimes like knock the drink over the computer, you know.

We don't like have coffee breaks, I mean we just like get
a coffee or tea and sort of like take it back to our desks,
you know, but its kind of dangerous 'cause, I mean,
people sometimes like knock the drink over the computer, you know.

Follow up: Read the text aloud, saying the underlined expressions fast and in a low voice. Record yourself if possible.


flag.jpgListen to these sentences. Is the expression in italics 'throw away' (said fast and in a low voice) or not? If it's 'throw away', underline it. Note that the punctuation is not written, so you must decide from the pronunciation.
Key.1 I don't think these are the men you know
2 I've taught you everything you know
3 Do you know the place I mean it's just over there
4 She's not the one I mean she's too tail
5 They're like wild animals
6 This is, like, Arctic weather


1    I don't think these are the men you know
2    I've taught you everything you know
3    Do you know the place I mean it's just over there
4    She's not the one I mean she's too tail
5    They're like wild animals
6    This is like Arctic weather

 

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