3 idiomatic expressions for everyday conversations

By 26 June 2018 Video lessons 2 Comments
idiomatic expressions in English

Hey there, and welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll have fun becoming fluent in American English. I’m your English coach Christina, and all this month, you’ve been working to understand fast-talking Americans. Today is the final installment of this special series, and your last chance to join my course Understand Real American English, which helps you decode fast-talking Americans and understand real conversations.

Today,  let’s learn some idiomatic expressions with a friend I’ve known all my life!

Let’s go!

Already, in the conversation with Zachary, a few weeks ago, you saw how many typical little expressions we can use, even in very short conversations.

Today, you’ll learn 3  more of these 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 bartending, which means “serving drinks in a bar.” That’s the context.

Let’s listen to the conversation

Let’s listen to the extract once, just to hear it (this works better if you watch the video…)

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.

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!

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 alot.” I think you can guess this one, but let’s see it again:

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.

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.”

You’re 3 expressions closer to understanding fast-talking Americans! Be sure to watch the episode, so you train your ear to understand them in fast conversations!

If you want to understand more conversations like this one, this is the final week to join my online course Understand Real American English. We close registrations on Tuesday July 3, 2018.

With 10 unscripted dialogues, complete lessons, plus worksheets, you’ll learn to decode real conversations between fast-talking Americans.

Click here to learn more about the course and how to join, before we close the doors for 2018!

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

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