Idiomatic expressions

By 21 January 2019 Video lessons No Comments
idiomatic expressions in English

Hi there! I’m your English coach Christina, welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll learn American culture and business know-how to become confident in English.

All this month, we’re making it easier for you to  understand fast-talking Americans with lessons on listening comprehension and colloquial expressions. This week, you’ll learn 3 essential everyday idioms with a lifelong friend of mine. Let’s go!
If you’re on my email list, last week, you got a listening comprehension quiz from my course Understand Real American English.

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Now, let’s look at 3 expressions from an authentic conversation with my friend Michael. You’ll learn these 3 everyday expressions: a bunch of people, to keep to myself, and to hang out with.

Let me give you a little context for the conversation: I’m seeing my friend Michael for the first time in maybe 10 or 15 years, but we’ve been friends since we were born. Michael builds helicopters, but he also works some weekends in a bar, just for fun. We’re talking about how and why he started this side job. That’s the context.

Let’s listen to the conversation

Let’s listen to the extract once, just to hear it. There are no subtitles, because real life doesn’t have subtitles, so it’s normal if you don’t understand much for now. Just listen to the sounds.

(HINT: I recommend you watch the video before you read the rest of this post if you want to test your listening skills!)

Michael: It was a good way to get out and meet people and-
Christina: Yeah, right.
Michael: Kind of-
Christina: That’s right. Yeah, you, you know, the best way to, I guess, meet a lot of people is, like, if you’re working in a social situ-, like a bar-
Michael: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Christina: You’re gonna meet a bunch of people, so.
Michael: And I have met a lot of people, a lot of good people.
Christina: Yeah.
Michael: Some crazy ones, but-
Christina: Well, yeah, you know, it’s a bar, so. (laughs)
Michael: It’s a good way to get you out and talking ’cause I’m actually pretty shy-
Christina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Michael: And quiet and keep to myself a lot, so.
Christina: Yeah.
Michael: It was a life-changing thing that I really enjoy doing.
Christina: Okay.
Michael: I just don’t do it very often.
Christina: Don’t do it very often. It’s just, like, a side thing.
Michael: But it’s kind of, you know, it sounds cool to say that you’re a bartender. Everybody likes us.
Christina: Yeah, they’re like, “Oh, you must be a pretty cool guy to hang out with.”
Michael: Yeah. (laughs)
Christina: ‘Cause you, you know, you’re the guy that people pay money to talk to, so.
Michael: Yeah, they think I … Yeah, exactly.

Now, let’s look at these expressions more closely, so you can learn what they mean.

“A bunch of people”

Maybe you can guess this one. I said that when you work in a bar, “you’re gonna meet a bunch of people.” Can you guess from the context? Listen again, this time with the subtitles:

Michael: It was a good way to get out and meet people and-
Christina: Yeah, right.
Michael: Kind of-
Christina: That’s right. Yeah, you, you know, the best way to, I guess, meet a lot of people is, like, if you’re working in a social situ-, like a bar-
Michael: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Christina: You’re gonna meet a bunch of people, so.
Michael: And I have met a lot of people, a lot of good people.
Christina: Yeah.
Michael: Some crazy ones, but-

“A bunch of” is a very common, colloquial expression for “a lot of” , so you can also say “a bunch of ideas”, “a bunch of problems”, “a bunch of friends”, anything really!

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To keep to myself

Now, when you think of a bartender, you think of someone who likes to be with a bunch of people, who likes to talk to people, and makes conversation easily. But Michael says “I’m quiet and keep to myself a lot.”

Michael: It’s a good way to get you out and talking ’cause I’m actually pretty shy-
Christina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Michael: And quiet and keep to myself a lot, so.
Christina: Yeah.
Michael: It was a life-changing thing that I really enjoy doing.
Christina: Okay.

If you keep to yourself, it means you don’t talk to people easily, you’re quiet, shy. Not what you imagine a bartender to be! But that’s why Michael likes it, because it helps him to be less shy!

“To hang out with”

This is a very common expression, “to hang out” and “to hang out with someone.” You’ve probably heard it a bunch of times! Listen to it again, in context and see if you understand the meaning:

Michael: But it’s kind of, you know, it sounds cool to say that you’re a bartender. Everybody likes us.
Christina: Yeah, they’re like, “Oh, you must be a pretty cool guy to hang out with.”
Michael: Yeah. (laughs)
Christina: ‘Cause you, you know, you’re the guy that people pay money to talk to, so.
Michael: Yeah, they think I … Yeah, exactly.

“To hang out with someone” means basically to spend time relaxing with someone, not doing anything special, maybe just talking and having a good time.

And when you join the Understand Real American English course, you get an invitation to my Student Hangout, the place where you can meet other students, exchange, and ask for help with your English.

And now, you understand the everyday expressions “a bunch of people”, “to keep to myself”, and “to hang out with.”

But I recommend you watch the video to actually HEAR them in authentic, unscripted conversations

If you want to understand more conversations like this one, get my course Understand Real American English. From now until Friday January 25, 2019, you get a -25% discount on the enrolment fee. That’s 97 euros instead of 129 euros.

Plus, you get 2 free months of membership in the Faster Fluency Conversation Club, and my resource pack to eliminate 50 common mistakes from your English.

Together, it’s all worth 234 euros, but you can get it for just 97 euros when you join before Friday January 25.

Let’s make 2019 the year you worksheets, you finally understand real conversations between fast-talking Americans. To join today and get all the bonuses, click here and sign up now.

Thanks for watching Speak English with Christina, and I’ll see you next time!

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