Do you want to learn English the right way? The most important factor is to get as much English conversation practice as you possibly can. But sometimes it’s not possible to have a conversation partner in real time. Don’t let that slow down your learning! In this video you’ll learn English, observe natural English conversation patterns, work with some tough-to-understand idioms and have the opportunity to gain practice…no matter where you are!
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Hi guys! Welcome to the video series Idioms We Heard This Week. Today, I’m sitting down with my husband David and we’re going to talk about some interesting idioms, phrasal verbs, vocabulary words, that came up that made us go hmm this week.
So to start, I want to talk about some visitors we had. Tom Kelly, who a lot of you might know, and he’s been on this channel quite a bit, he and his wife Julie came to visit us this past weekend. So fun! They’re just so fun! There’s such good people.
So anyway, there was a birthday party that we had to go to, for one of Stoney’s friend. Someone turning 2 years old. So, David, Stoney, and I went there, and Tom and Julie went out exploring in the neighborhood and he texted me: We’re out and about. Is there anything you need?
Like, should…can we pick up something for dinner or whatever? And I texted him back: No, we’re all set. And then I thought, oh, all set. That’s sort of an interesting phrase that we use. And when I did a little bit of research about it online, people seem to imply that it was a little bit regional, that it was more of a New England thing. But…
Yeah. But I grew up in Florida, you grew up in PA, I didn’t feel that it was really a regional thing.
I don’t think so.
So when you’re ‘all set’, it means you don’t need anything, something is finished, you don’t need help or assistance. So what would be another case which you might use or hear the phrase ‘all set’?
Yeah, the one that I thought of was when you are at a restaurant, and the server comes and says ‘Would you like anything else? This is at the end of the meal.’ I often find myself saying ‘Oh no, we’re all set.’ And it’s, I’m implying we’re all set or I might even say: ‘And we’re ready for the check.’
So it’s like ‘Nope, we’re done, and we’re ready to go.’
Yeah, we don’t need anything more. This is actually reminding me when I was in graduate school, I tutored a girl in high school. And her mom was asking me about a phrase that the high schoolers were using and that was ‘I’m good.’ Like if the high schoolers were at her house, and she would say, you know, can I get you a soda or whatever? And they would say ‘I’m good’ and she didn’t know, does that mean yes? Or does that mean no?
And I explained it means ‘No, it’s sort of like I’m all set, I’m good, I don’t need anything.’
No, thank you.
Okay, another word that jumped out at me this week was, Stoney has a book with little flaps that you can lift which, of course, he loves and there are 100 animals to learn in this book and one of them is badger.
And I was thinking about how I actually saw a badger in real life, probably six or eight years ago, I was by myself walking in the woods in western Massachusetts and this huge thing walked across the trail in front of me and I was like: “What was that?” And I never even knew what it was until I saw Stoney’s book.
‘Huge’ meaning what?
Like four or five feet long.
Larger than a dog?
Oh yeah. I mean, way, way shorter.
– Way more squat.
Yes and I didn’t know what it was even and until I was looking at Stoney’s book and there was a picture of it. I was like, ‘Oh, it was a badger.’ And then I was thinking, you know, I kind of know a little bit about otters. They swim and the river badgers they like to make dams.
What— oh no, sorry.
Beavers like to make dams. But what is the deal with a badger? Like, what does a badger do? What’s…
What should I know about badgers? And then, then I thought about how we use the word badger in a negative way. And it means like to pester somebody, to keep bothering somebody about something. For example, I told David that I wanted to make this video, and I sort of badgered you to cut your hair. Did you feel a little badgered? Like, every day, I was like ‘Don’t forget to cut your hair before Thursday.’
I just— I felt openly badgered.
So it wasn’t just like—
It wasn’t slightly badgered…
It was like ‘Shut up Rachel, I get it.’
I badgered you.
You badgered me.
Well, the reason why I badgered him, for the record, is because he kept not doing it.
That’s classic badger mentality.
Another word for it would be ‘nag’.
– I nagged.
I was a nag. I was nagging him a little bit. I was badgering him to cut his hair. He did. Doesn’t he look nice?
-That makes up for it.
Okay, so then I was also thinking about what other animal words do we use this way? When we’re talking about an animal or we use something relating to an animal to describe a human or something human and I thought of the word ‘bear hug’. Do you guys know this term? It’s when you give like a big, huge embrace of somebody. There are different ways you can hug, right? You can be like a little light hug, or like I hardly want to touch you hug. That is not a bear hug. A bear hug is… like a huge embrace. Lots of body contact in a bear hug.
And Stoney, who’s two years old, is just learning about hugging.
And I was just saying that to him.
No, I want a bear hug. He gave me kind of a light one and I wanted him to really hug me.
Yeah. We’re trying to get him to give us really good hugs while we can and we’re like teaching him. No, put your arms around my neck and squeeze.
We’re badgering him into it.
We are. We are badgering Stoney into giving us bear hugs.
Okay, we also thought about, you had brought up sheepish. Sheepish.
I think it means that you’re feeling a little bit cautious or a little shy. A little bit anxious.
It often comes up in how someone answers a question.
They answered sheepishly, like, sort of, they hesitated in their answer that they weren’t sounding confident.
Yeah. Now, our chairs, our dining room chairs, are squeaky.
We’ll have to get them re-glued.
Okay, another animal one I thought of was ‘squirrely’. So you could use this to describe a person and basically it means they’re sort of acting like a squirrel, which is like moving a lot. Quick movements. I read that it can also mean odd or eccentric. Eccentric.
Eccentric. Is that how you say that?
I don’t say it that way. I think I’m right. Well, I’ll have to look it up.
David is correct. The pronunciation of this word is: eccentric. Eccentric. So another one I was thinking of this week was, I was typing an email to my assistant talking about an email that had not been sent properly and I said ‘Was it an oversight?’
And then I was thinking about oversight and overlook and how they mean the same thing but ‘oversight’ is the noun version.
An ‘oversight’ is something that you failed to notice and the verb of it would be ‘I overlooked that, I’m sorry, I missed it.’ But overlook is also a noun and it has nothing to do with missing something. Not noticing something.
But an overlook would be like a Vista, a visual over a cliff, overlooking something below.
Right. Right. Yeah. That’s tough. That those two are verb and noun. Yeah.
They are really different.
So when you fail to notice something, the noun is: It was an oversight. The verb is: I overlooked that.
Overlook. But ‘overlook’ as a noun, is like a viewpoint. For example, if you’re driving along the highway, you might see Scenic Overlook Ahead. A sign for that and then you can pull over, take a break, take in the view, that’s an overlook.
Those are always good. Not always. But they’re almost always worth it.
– To stop.
You might as well.
Take a little break.
We did that a lot on our road trip. Well, yeah because that was the whole point of the road trip, was to like take our time on the road.
I feel like growing up, my family used to take monster road trips, because we lived so far from all of our family. We were always going somewhere. We always had like a destination in mind. We’re always trying to get there quickly, which might be 18 hours. Like it took 18 hours to drive from our house to my grandparents’ house. So there was no stopping for overlooks. It’s my childhood. We just had to get there because there is already so much driving involved.
The last thing I noticed this week that I thought, ‘Oh! I want to teach that in a video.’ is it’s cold in Philly, and I was walking down the street, and someone was walking towards me and we were all kind of huddled into our jackets and she said something to me and I didn’t understand and I said ‘Sorry’ and then she repeated herself and I thought ‘Sorry’, that’s such a good word to know because when I’ve been in another country, trying to speak and learn and study another language, I’ve always struggled to know the quickest, most efficient way to let someone know that you didn’t understand what they said.
And so I thought I’ve got to tell my students about this, if they’re not already using it. If someone says something and you don’t understand, you can simply say the word ‘Sorry’ with your intonation going up. And that’s like saying ‘I am sorry, I didn’t understand.’ Could you please repeat yourself?
It’s like saying all of that in one simple word: sorry. And also it’s, it’s, you’re not standing out as a non-native speaker by doing that.
– People say that for different reasons.
It might mean that it just wasn’t quite loud enough. Mm-hmm. Saying ‘sorry’ as in ‘I need a little more volume’ but it can also be sorry, as in ‘Sorry, I wasn’t… sorry, I wasn’t quite paying attention. Can you tell me again?’ Sorry?
That’s a great trick.
So native speakers use that one all the time too. So that is a good one to have on-hand when you’re speaking with Americans.
So guys I think I forgot to introduce my husband David at the beginning of this video. So this is my husband David.
And we got the idea to make a series of videos like this that are a little bit more conversational, that are discussing interesting things with English that we noticed throughout our week.
So that we can be teaching you idioms or interesting words that we’re actually using in our daily conversational lives.
The idea for this came out of our podcast. We had a podcast going last year which we discontinued because of not quite having enough time but we made 25 episodes and they’re, they’re pretty good.
You can get a free transcript for any of those so if you want to go back and listen to some of those podcasts, you can go to RachelsEnglish.com/podcast
Also let me know what you thought of the format of this video. Something more conversational. Was that helpful for you? And I think we can even ask people if they hear an idiom or phrasal verb, and they’re not quite sure the meaning or how it’s used, that they can comment below and we can think about using that also in one of our videos.
Yeah. That’d be great.
Yeah. So please feel free to do that if you hear something you’re not quite sure what it means or why it was used like that.
Then put it in the comments below and we’ll read those and might be able to answer it in a future video.
So that’s it guys, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.