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About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
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By pete — 2 years ago
AE 282 – WWP: Walking home after too many pancakes…
What is up, guys?
I am currently walking home after a friend’s birthday in this city.
So, I thought it would be the perfect time to do a Walking With Pete episode, as I have a few things to chat about and talk to you about my week, my day.
So yeah, I’ve just been in at the museum studying today. I’ve got to put together my talk.
I think I told you about this in the last Walking With Pete episode.
And aside from that, I was just hanging out with some friends, as well as having dinner out with them first.
And then, I had a birthday event at a Pancake Parlour in Melbourne Central, which is sort of like a mall.
A big sort of… Yeah, I guess it’s a mall, like a place where there’s a whole bunch of other shops and businesses, and they’re all open late at night.
You’ve got bars in there.
The Lion Club is one of the bars that I go to from time to time there that has a lot of foreign people that go, and they often have language meet ups I think that too.
So, we went to Pancake Parlour for Kate’s twenty eighth birthday, I believe. And it’s funny.
They’ve got like a deal at the moment obviously to get more people to go.
Later on at night, it’s very very clever.
Where normally they have pancakes for, I think it’s $19.90, about 20 bucks or so, to get these certain pancakes there, and at the moment there’s a deal going during winter where if you go and then sign up on their website you get an email, and they… you show the people at the front of the business there the email that you’ve received.
You get given a card.
And then, for the same pancakes that you would normally pay $19.90 for you pay what the temperature is in dollars.
So, tonight for instance, instead of paying $19.90, I only had to pay $9.20, because when… at the time that I bought the pancakes the temperature was 9 degrees point two.
And the cool thing is that the longer you wait, obviously at night the temperature goes down, and the cheaper the pancakes get.
And I feel like it’s incredibly clever, because it’s encouraging people to go to the Pancake Parlour the later it gets.
And they’re open until like 2:00 a.m..
And so, potentially if you went there at 2:00 a.m. the pancakes would only cost you, you know, maybe a dollar, two dollars, maybe even zero dollars depending on their temperature.
So anyway, yeah, that’s what I got up to tonight. It was pretty cool.
There was a lot of people there, a lot of people were.
So, I’m so stuffed, I’m so full. I had a lot to eat.
We went out and had Japanese food before that, and then pancakes.
Oh, just insane. Too much food. Too much food.
But hey, you’ve got to have those sorts of one-off events, special events, on weekends, right?
Where you just let loose and enjoy yourself, do something a little bit naughty.
So this week’s was Japanese food followed by some pancakes. Anyway aside from that, at the museum working away.
Doing my talk, my presentation that I’ve got to get together for the next maybe two weeks. Within the next two weeks I give this presentation.
And then I pretty much just have to sit back, relax, kick my feet up, take it easy. Wait for the marks to come back from the PhD and I’m done once I make those changes.
I wonder if you can hear these lorikeets across the road. So, it’s pretty funny.
At the moment it’s probably… what would the time be?
I think it’s about nine o’clock, and these parrots are going nuts in the middle of the road here.
I’m at Flemington road.
So I’m near the hospital walking home, and these lorikeets are obviously getting ready for the night.
They’re all going nuts, they’re going bonkers, and crazy.
Making a lot of noise in these trees while I’m walking home, and it’s nice and cool.
It’s probably about seven or eight degrees now. (It’s) meant to get down to about three degrees.
So, yeah, (it’s) nice and calm. (There’s a) bit of noise in the background, guys.
So, apologies if there’s a lot of traffic noise in the background, though it shouldn’t be too bad.
The last episode that I did was okay, because I’ve got mic pretty close to my mouth. So hopefully you guys can hear me okay.
But, yeah, besides that today you may or may not have been online when I did a live session.
So it was a live session talking about phrasal verbs.
And today’s session was talking about the phrasal verbs that go with on and off as opposites.
So in English we have obviously a lot of phrasal verbs as I’m sure you guys know.
You guys will probably know this all the more than than even I do, because obviously I use a lot of these things naturally without having to think about it.
And so, I am trying to take a different approach to teaching phrase verbs.
I want to teach you about how I as a native use them as opposed to.
Having to learn more one by one, which is a pretty laborious task, because there are a lot of them. Again, as I’m sure you all know.
And so, I’m trying to come at it more from the approach of teaching you how I am thinking about the message that I’m trying to communicate, and why I decide to use certain phrasal verbs, and how I decide to use them.
And so, as you know, phrasal verbs tend to be two or more words that act as a verb.
Quite often a verb and then an adverb or a preposition.
For instance, put on, take off, get up to something, you know, there’s those multiple words.
But, quite often, especially with these these phrasal verbs that I would refer to as “regular phrasal verbs” where they have a literal meaning.
It’s not something like… What’s a phrasal a verb that doesn’t have a literal meaning?
Things are going “to look up”, you know, maybe. Meaning that things are going to get better.
Or “what are you up to?” That’s a good example. That’s a common one where.
“To be up to” something doesn’t really have like a literal… It doesn’t make literal sense.
But there are lots of phrases verbs that do make literal sense.
Like “to put something on”, as in to put your jumper on, to wear something.
Or to take something off. As in to remove something, a piece of clothing.
Or to pick something up or put something down. A lot of those make literal sense.
And there’s heaps of those in English.
So, at the moment, I’m trying to tackle those, and teach you guys those in live classes on Facebook as you will have noticed.
And I think it’s much more important if you’ve noticed already how I teach these, I try and talk about how you want to be thinking about two things when you’re using these phrasal verbs, at least me as a native, I’m thinking about two things. I’m thinking about…a lot of the time in the cases of “off and on” or “in and out”, I’m thinking about it directionality.
So for instance, if I’m going in or I’m coming out, I’m thinking about what I’m using in or out as the direction that I’m going.
Am I going in here and my coming out?
And then I’m deciding on the verb that I want to use by how I’m trying to explain the action of going in or going out or coming in or coming out.
So for instance I might say that I’m running in or I’m walking out.
I’m jumping in or I’m hopping out.
So a lot of the time independent of the preposition the verb can be changed however you like simply to describe what’s happening.
So that’s how a lot of the time natives aren’t thinking about phrasal verbs in like, “Oh what phrasal verb do I have to use here?”.
It’s more, what’s the action that’s taking place?
What’s the verb that I want to use? And then what direction is it going in?
You know, what is the…How my describing the action that’s taking place, and then the movement that’s occurring?
For instance, picking up, putting down.
The verb there “pick” is describing you holding the thing, grabbing the thing, touching the thing, you’re grasping the thing.
And then the preposition “up”, is telling me that you’re lifting it up.
You’re grasping that thing and you’re lifting. So you’re picking it up.
But then I can change that and say I’m lifting it up.
I’m… you could say the other verbs, and it wouldn’t be too bad, but it may not necessarily be common or correct, like if I was to say, I’m grabbing it up, or I’m handing it up or other verbs to describe that action.
They may not be common, but a native speaker is going to know exactly what you’re trying to say if you do those kinds of things.
And that’s how we learn as natives.
We don’t learn what is a phrasal or a verb and what isn’t a phrasal a verb.
We obviously learn by using and learn by listening, by reading, by absorbing the language.
And so, this is an approach I think you guys need to take.
And it’s why I’m trying to teach the classes the way I’m teaching them where I’m trying to give you the concept of how I as a native, and thinking about using phrases verbs like this.
Sorry about the sound. And then, allow you to take this concept and apply it when you’re talking, as opposed to having to just memorise a long long long list of phrases verbs.
Especially, for regular ones because chances are you certainly already know all the common verbs that we use with phrasal verbs like, to come, to go, to put, to pick, to lift.
I’ll wait a second.
So, you almost definitely know all the words that phrasal verbs are composed of, particularly common regular phrasal verbs.
And so, I want to teach you how to create them yourself, because once you learn that pattern you don’t need to look at the list of phrasal verbs and learn them all by heart.
You’ll just apply that concept, you’ll apply that rule, and you may say the odd…
You know, you might make a weird combination from time to time like, “I’m grabbing something up” or “I’m…”. It’s hard for me as a native to think about wrong phrasal verbs.
Grabbing something up, grabbing something down, picking something down.
You know, you might use these weird combinations that aren’t technically phrasal verbs, that aren’t commonly used by natives, but people are going to get the idea.
And eventually people are going to correct you, and you’re going to use the correct phrasal verb.
So that’s why I’m doing these live sessions.
I’m trying to take a different approach to teaching you guys these phrasal verbs where I teach you more about the concepts of using them, particularly with opposites like, to turn something on verses to turn it off.
The idea of on vs. off. In that case, to go in vs. is to go out.
The idea of in and out, in that case, where the verbs can change independently of the prepositions.
So that’s why I sort of wanted to make this Walking With Pete episode, to introduce that kind of idea to you guys, to talk about the concepts that I am trying to discuss in the live classes that I’m going to do on Facebook in the near future.
And also, I guess, just to talk to you guys openly about that and to see what you think of them. I want you to make sure you get on Facebook and take a look at the classes that I’ve already done.
So I’ve already done ones on the phrasal verbs using in and out as opposites as well as on and off as opposites.
And let me know what you think. Are they too long? Are they too short?
Would you prefer a different kind of set up?
Because at the moment I kind of try and just riff it, meaning I make it up, I wing it, I improvise.
I just try and talk to you guys as if you were just sitting there with me as opposed to reading off a transcript verbatim, reading off a transcript word for word, just repeating what’s in front of me, because I feel like that’s not real English.
That’s not how people speak. And so you don’t hear…
That’s why I always don’t read off a transcript.
I always just have point form to try and, you know, riff it, to make it up, to improvise, and show you what real English sounds like.
So, step one for you guys is to go over to Facebook, check that all out, let me know what you think.
Give me some feedback.
Step two, I guess, is to tell you that the idea behind that is to obviously create more content for the online membership, The Aussie English online membership.
And I know I keep harping on about this, meaning I keep talking about this all the time, but I’m trying to create effectively a one-stop-shop, meaning the only place you need to go in order to not only learn Australian English, but English more generally.
So in my dream, my idea, at the moment is to create this online service for you guys where you can get on, you can become a member, you can mingle, you can meet up with other people that are also learning English, as well as get more access to me as a teacher, but then also give you these kinds of resources where I’ll have mini courses about pronunciation, about phrasal verbs, about Australian history.
I want to just keep adding to it week by week.
Expanding this thing as it goes. Growing this thing.
And just create awesome content for you guys.
But the most important thing for me, aside from obviously creating this stuff, is to get feedback from you, because I may think I know what you want, I may think I have good ideas or that this makes sense, this is going to be interesting, but at the end of the day, ultimately, in the end, I need to hear back from you to see what you think.
You need to tell me what you think.
You need to give me your two cents, meaning, you need to tell me what you
think. Give me your opinion, and be honest.
You’re allowed to not like things.
You’re allowed to think, “Oh this is good, but it might be better if you do it this way, or if you mention this, or if it’s longer, or if it’s shorter.”
So really really really please get on Facebook or send me an email, send me a message on Facebook, whatever you want, but give me some feedback.
Tell me your opinion of these things and how I can better serve you guys, and help you learn English, ’cause my passion, my mission, is to give you guys a place to learn Australian English, to better equip you, to better facilitate your learning of Australian English in particular, but obviously English generally, and allow you to come here and speak like a native, understand natives, understand our culture, understand our history, and better fit in, because that’s what I seem to hear from a lot of people that come to Australia, it’s really hard to meet Australians, it’s really hard to get the jokes Australians make, it’s really hard to understand the slang that Australians use, it’s really hard to understand the pronunciation that Australians use, it’s really hard to speak like an Australian.
So my mission is to answer these questions or at least equip you with some kind of tool, some kind of materials, that are going to allow you to overcome these issues.
And that’s why I’m trying to create this online membership at the moment.
At the moment, you obviously know that I have the Aussie English Supporter Pack, which covers all of the podcast.
So, obviously, once a week I release an expression episode.
I try and do it on Sunday night where I release that for you guys, and I give me the transcript and a heap of exercises to reinforce what you’ve learnt that lesson.
To go over phrasal verbs, vocab and a point of grammar, that we’ve used in that lesson.
To really reinforce what you hear on the podcast, and accelerate your learning.
But whilst I start at least growing this online membership library I’m going to just be adding all of this material, all of the mini courses, like that pronunciation of the muted -NT.
And I’m mean to do some stuff for the “a” endings of words that I did on YouTube the other day, that episode, that other one simple tip to sound more Australian.
I going to put through a step by step guide on that.
But before I release this more broad membership website, for now, I’m just going to be adding it all to the Aussie English Supporter Pack.
So, remember you guys can sign up for that at the moment. It’s one dollar to try it for a week.
And then it’s 19 dollars per month after that, at the moment. If you sign up now the prices will never change.
So, ultimately, if you sign up now while I’m building everything, I plan to turn the Aussie English Supporter Park, at least at the moment, into the future membership.
And the future membership, once I’ve created everything and grown it, is going to cost more, much more, or at least, you know, a fair price obviously, but more because it’s going to have so much more to it, and I’m going to make myself more available for people.
But it’s going to cost more.
So the point is if you sign up now you’re going to be paying a lot less for what will be the Aussie English membership in the future once I get rid of the Aussie English Supporter Pack.
And that’s going to happen I’m thinking in the next three to six months.
Like, I’m chipping away at the moment. I’m slowly creating material.
I’m slowly adding to the library, but I don’t want to release it until I have a bit of material built up for you guys.
So, until then, if you want a really good deal and you want to support me and you want to join up on the Aussie English website and become a member all you have to do is go to www.theAussieEnglishpodcast.com and then click Learn English Faster.
You can try for a week. It’s one dollar. See what you think.
Again, if you’ve got any feedback, you like it, you don’t like it, you’d prefer I added this to it for added to it then let me know.
Give me feedback. I’m open to changing and doing different things and taking on board, thinking about, what it is that you would prefer.
And if you don’t like it I will give you your money back.
Like, that is the thing, I want it to be zero risk for you guys.
If you give it a go try it for a week and then you pay the nineteen dollars for the first month, if after a month total, so if after your first four weeks, a whole month, 30 days, you’re not 100 percent satisfied with it for whatever reason. I will give you your money back, 100 percent money back guarantee.
No questions asked. Ultimately, guys, I want it to be risk free.
I want you guys to be able to try it, to be able to learn from it, to improve your English.
So… Loud cars. So, that’s it for this episode guides. One were Walking With Pete episode.
I’m about to get home, and I’ll probably do some more Aussie English stuff before I go to bed.
Again, I’m thinking about doing that slang challenge soon, 30 day slang challenge.
So, I might put that together this weekend. We’ll see how much time I’ve got.
And yeah, I guess we’ll leave it at that guys. I’ll chat to you soon. All the best.
If you need help with anything, if you just want to chat to me, remember you can send me an e-mail at theaussieenglishpodcast [at] gmail.com or just send me a message on Facebook.
You are always welcome to chat to me on Facebook, and when and if I have time I will always reply, and just say it or try to help you with whatever issues you have at the time.
So thanks for listening guys.
Thanks for everyone who has been showing up to the live sessions on Facebook.
I really appreciate it. I hope you guys are loving it.
I’m also going to… I should mention before I log off, I’m also going to put them on the podcast, and I’d love to know what you think, ’cause I’m not sure if they’ll fit well, ’cause some of them are pretty long, but I want to give you as much resources as possible.
So I might put them up on the podcast. See what you guys think.
But this is definitely gone long enough, and I’ll show it to you soon.
All the best guys.
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By pete — 6 months ago
Learn Australian English in this episode of Aussie English where I teach you the Australian pronunciation of CAN vs CAN’T.
AE 464 – Can vs Can’t | Australian Pronunciation & Accent Training
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today I have a question from Dan who sent me this on YouTube, and Dan said, “How do we get the difference between can and can’t in Australian English?”. So, how can we pronounce these, and how can we listen out and hear the differences? Let’s go.
Alright, so this was a really good question. Thanks Dan. And remember, if you guys wanna ask me a question that you would like me to do a video on in the future, put that below.
Also, don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and the bell notifications button as well if you would like to stay up to date with all the future episodes.
Alright, so ‘can’, we’ll go through ‘can’ first. ‘Can’ has the vowel sound /æ/. Okay? So, it sounds like words like fan, van, man, plan, and scan. However, ‘can’ can often be contracted, it can be de-emphasized, when it is in a sentence that has other words, where the word ‘can’ is not the focus.
So, ‘can’ is an auxiliary verb and I can use this verb before other verbs if I want to show that I am able to do this thing. I’m able to, I can do this thing. However, it can be contracted, it ‘can’ be contracted into just the schwa sound in Australian English, English everywhere can do this. Okay? “…’can’ do this”. So, if there are words in the sentence after ‘can’ I would generally say that you can contract it. Okay? So, it sounds like ‘can’. I so say this with me.
Can, can, can, can.
Good job. And let me give you some examples, okay?
I can see. I can see. I would never say it like that. Because the word ‘see’ is there, I would say, “I can see”. ‘Can’. The other example here is: can he help you? Can he help you? Can he help you? Can he help you? You’ve got ‘help you’ in there so you can say: ‘can’ he help you? Can help you?
The only thing I want to mention, when it is stand-alone, when it is by itself, in a sentence as in someone has used a question, they’ve ask you, “Can you do this? Can you do this”, and you’ve replied, “Yes, I can.”, you would never contract it. And so, you would say the full, well-pronounced word ‘can’. You wouldn’t say, ‘I can’ or ‘you can’.
So, for example: I can help you later. Can you? Can you? ‘Can’ is the only interesting word in that sentence aside from the pronoun. Can you? Can you? You wouldn’t say: can you? “Yes, I can”, not, “Yes, I can”. Okay?
So, quick recap. ‘Can’ sounds like: van, Dan, man, plan, etc., but it can be contracted when it is not the important word in a sentence, and it can become, it ‘can’ become, ‘can’. Can, can.
Alright, now let’s move onto ‘can’t’. ‘Can’t’. So, this is a different vowel sound. ‘Can’t’ sounds like words including: car, star, far, bar. This is a long /ɐː/ vowel sound, as opposed to a short /ɐ/ vowel sound. Okay? And this happens in the Australian accent where we have this vowel difference. Can, /æ/, can’t, /ɐː/. /æ/, /ɐː/. This is Australian, could be British as well, but it doesn’t happen in the Standard American Accent.
They will say ‘can’ and ‘can’t’, ‘can’ and ‘can’t’, and you have to listen for that T.
However, because we have that vailed difference in Australian accents you won’t often hear the T at the end. You can hear ‘can’, ‘can’, you know that that is the affirmative form, there’s no negative there, ‘can’, ‘can’. And when you hear ‘can’t’, you know, that’s negated because of the vowel sound.
And remember guys, this is different from the short version of this vowel. ‘Hut’ is a very short /ɐ/ sound, but if we make that longer, it changes the meaning of the word to heart, heart. Right? So, this is why it’s important to get this vowel sound right or you will change the meaning of the word and it’s quite bad.
Story time. Okay, so once I was working in a restaurant and the Thai lady, who was my manager at the time, I had to ask for a break. I needed to go on a break. So, I said, “Can I go on break?”, and she replied to me, “No, you cunt”. So, that was incredibly awkward, because I’m sure you guys will know that that word is one of the worst, if not the worst, words in English.
The way in which I told her to get around this was to just make sure she elongates that /ɐː/ sound. So, if you’re worried about making that mistake, just make sure that your elongating the vowel sound in the word ‘can’t’. Okay? Don’t make it quick. Don’t make it quick. Can’t.
Another point we also touched on a moment ago was that we mute the T. So, quite often you won’t hear people say ‘Can’t’, you’ll hear them say ‘can’t, ‘can’t’. So, what’s happening is that that T is a stop consonant where pressure builds up behind the tongue, and then is released, it’s released, but we can un-release it, although that’s not a word, we can prevent it from being released by just going. So, we would say, instead of ‘can’t’, we don’t say the /t/ and instead we just say ‘can’t’, and the tongue stops the air, ‘can’t’.
So, it sounds like a very, very, very short N sound instead of a long N sound. So, this is another way to listen out for this. If you heart, ‘can’t’, ‘can’t’, ‘can’t’, it’s different from ‘carn’, ‘carn’. That N sound is a lot more emphasised in the word ‘carn’ as opposed to ‘can’t’.
So, let’s compare these two words, okay, where will say the T released and then we’ll say unreleased.
Can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t.
As a result of this T being muted as well, when a word follows the word ‘can’t’ and it begins with a vowel sound, quite often we will link these words with an N sound. Okay? That /n/ in ‘can’t’ right at the end there. So, two examples are: I can’t open the door. I can’t open the door. I can’t open the door. N_open, N_open. I can’t open the door.
It can’t end like this. It can’t end like this.
Although, ‘can’ can be contracted to ‘can’, because ‘can’t’ or ‘can’t’ is already a contraction of the words ‘can not’, we won’t contracted any further. Okay? We won’t say ‘can’t’. So, let’s practice pronouncing the differences between ‘can’ and ‘can’t’, okay? Listen out for it.
Can, can’t, can, can’t, can, can’t, can, can’t.
Now I’m going to say to you a list of sentences, guys, and I’m not going to show you what those sentences are until after I have said them, and I want you to see if you can pick when I say ‘can’ or ‘can’ and when I say ‘can’t’. Okay? So, listen and have a think, pause the video if you need, but practice your ear here. This is where you want to listen and see if you can notice the difference in pronunciation. Let’s go.
Listening Comprehension test:
- ____ animals feel?
- She ____ help you.
- I ____ see him.
- He ____ eat now.
- ____ they buy me something?
- ____ you say anyone?
- It ____ end like this.
- We ____ leave when you want.
- I ____ change his mind.
Good job guys. I hope that helps. I know that the different sounds between ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ can be a real pain in the butt. Keep practising it. It will take a little time, but I am sure that you will get the hang of it sooner rather than later.
Remember, guys hit that ‘Subscribe’ button if you want to keep up to date with all the future videos coming out with regards to Australian English or English in general, and don’t forget to listen to the Aussie English Podcast.
This is the free podcast that I create, guys, for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English. So, check it out via the website here.
Until next time, guys, I hope you have an amazing day and I’ll see you later. Peace!
- Can animals feel?
- She can’t help you.
- I can see him.
- He can eat now.
- Can they buy me something?
- Can’t you say anyone?
- It can’t end like this.
- We can leave when you want.
- I can’t change his mind.
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By Admin — 7 months ago
AE 459 – Expression: Have Eyes Bigger Than Your Stomach
G’day, guys! What is going on? Welcome to this episode of the Aussie English Podcast.
I hope that you mob are going great. I hope you’ve had an amazing week and that it has also been an amazing weekend.
So, that intro to day was the sound of a male koala making a mating call, and it comes from a clip from Taronga Zoo on Youtube. This will be linked in the transcript. If you guys want to check out a lot of Australian wildlife, definitely go and check out Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
I remember hearing this for the first time when I was camping as a kid. I can’t remember where we were, but it was probably in the Dandenongs or somewhere on the Great Dividing Range in Victoria or New South Wales, somewhere like that, and I remember waking up in the middle of the night and hearing this bloodcurdling kind of rumble or scream, the one that you just heard, and thinking, “Oh my god! What animal is this? Is a pig? Is it some kind of, you know… is it a wolf? Is it a bear? Is it some kind of predator coming to get me?”. I was, you know, seven or eight years old. And then my dad woke up and he told me, “No, that’s a koala, mate. That is the sound a male koala makes when it’s looking for a female with whom to mate.”.
So, there you go, guys. Hopefully, that will save a few of you from being scared shitless when you guys come to Australia, go camping, and may find yourselves in the middle of the night being woken up to that sound.
Anyway guys, welcome to the Aussie English Podcast. This is the number one podcast for anyone learning Australian English or English in general. It’s designed to take you from intermediate to advanced. I speak naturally like a native speaker. I don’t slow things down, and yeah, I try to teach you vocab, expressions, all the kinds of English that I would use on a day to day basis when I speak English.
So, the Aussie English podcast, guys, is brought to you by the Aussie English Classroom. This is a website. It’s an online learning classroom where you guys get access to now dozens of online courses related to these episodes. So, you’ll learn the vocab from these episodes, you’ll get listening comprehension quizzes that you can go through to test your listening comprehension skills, and then you’ll also learn things like the more advanced vocab, the pronunciation, and intonation, connected speech, all those things out of the listen and repeat exercise, and then also expressions that I use in these episodes. So, I tend to make those into videos at the moment, each about 10 minutes. You get several of those each week in a new course. So, if your goal is to take your English to the next level, I definitely recommend signing up at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. It’s just one dollar for your first month. So, get in there and give it a go.
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Anyway, let’s get into the content today, guys. So, this joke. Today’s joke is related to stomachs, bellies, tummies. I wanted to tie it in with the expression for today. So, the joke is:
What did the policeman say to his tummy? What did the policeman say to his tummy? I’ve got you “under a vest”.
Another good one, guys. Another good one. I’ve got you “under a vest”. So, the joke here is, obviously, with “I’ve got you “under arrest””, but policemen tend to wear things like bullet-proof vests, and the tummy, the stomach, the belly is found obviously under a vest if you’re wearing a vest. So, that’s the joke there. Police often say, “I’ve got you under arrest”, and in this case, they’re wearing a vest and their tummy is “under a vest”. The jokes just keep on killing.
So, today’s expression, guys. Today’s expression is “to have eyes bigger than your stomach”. “To have eyes bigger than your stomach”. You might also hear this is “bigger than your belly”, “bigger than your tummy”. That doesn’t really matter too much, but it’s often “to have eyes bigger than your stomach”.
Now, this one has suggested by my fiancée say in the private Facebook group for all the Aussie English Classroom members, although, Kel, to be honest, you kept suggesting expressions that I had already done and I suggested this expression that she then put forth as her suggestion, and I’m making quotation marks with my fingers, because it was really my suggestion, and this one won. So, I guess we’ll call this 50/50 Kel. We both won this one and there’s been a bit of rivalry recently where Kel keeps putting forward expressions that she wants me to do, but no one votes on them and everyone else gets their expressions in. So, anyway. If you want to be involved in that, guys, join up to the English Classroom and I’ll put you in the private Facebook group.
As usual, let’s go through the different words in this expression. We’ll define those, we’ll then go through the expression definition, a little bit about its origin, I’ll give you some examples of how to use this expression in day to day life, some situational examples, we’ll worth a little listen and repeat exercise, guys, for you to practice your pronunciation, and then I’m going to go through Aussie facts about the Koala. Okay. So, today’s Aussie fact will be about the koala.
So, let’s get into today’s definitions for this expression or the words in this expression.
Alright so, “to have”. I’m sure you guys know “to have”. To possess or to own something. I have two arms and two legs. I have a car. Okay? To possess or to own something.
“An eye”. “An eye” is one of the two organs you have in your head that allow you to see, to look at things, to watch things. They give you the sense that is vision. “An eye” or “two eyes”.
“Bigger than something”. If you are “bigger than something”, you are larger than something, you are of increased size compared to that things. So, “bigger than something”, larger than something. Smaller than something is the opposite there.
“A stomach”. “A stomach” can be a few different things, but in this sense, it is the organ inside your body that begins the digestive process, right? If you swallow some water, if you eat some food, that ends up in your stomach. Okay? The organ “the stomach”, which is the one that is being used here in the expression “to have eyes bigger than your stomach”.
However, your stomach can also be your tummy, your belly. So, that part of your body on the… I guess, on the outside, sort of on the inside, but it’s like between your hips and your ribs on your body. That’s also your stomach. Okay? You can refer to that. You know, you might go to the doctor and he might say, “Give me a look at your stomach. Pull the shirt up and I’ll have a listen to your digestion, you know, using whatever it is, that little device that they use. Show me your stomach.”.
Alright, so the expression “to have eyes bigger than your stomach”. What is the definition? What on earth does this expression mean? Have you guys heard this one before? Does it ring a bell? Have you ever heard this expression? “To have eyes bigger than your stomach” is a way, if we want to use this literally, to talk about people who put too much food on their plate that they can’t eat. Okay? So, their eyes have obviously overestimated how much food that their stomach can take, that can be put into their stomach. So, if you see something delicious on a plate and you put a lot of it on there, more than you’ll ever be able to eat, your eyes are too big for your stomach, obviously, because your eyes have assumed that they can get something incredibly large that your stomach can’t fit in it.
But it can also mean to be greedy, right? If your eyes are bigger than your stomach, you are a greedy person, you want more than you’ll ever actually consume or use.
But then, figuratively, we can use this expression, “to have eyes bigger than your stomach” to mean that you have attempted to do something, you’ve tried to carry something out, you know, a task, a course of action, something, you’ve tried to do it, but it was too much, it was too large, it was too ambitious for you to accomplish. Okay? So, “to have eyes bigger than your stomach”, you tried to do something, but it was too ambitious. You couldn’t actually complete that thing. You overestimated your ability to do that.
So, the origin of this expression. I’m not 100 percent sure where it originally came from, though, I did do a little bit of digging online, and I found that an essay from the 1600s, Montaigne’s essay “Of the Cannibals”, which was published in 1580, but translated into English in 1603, used this expression metaphorically about things other than food. And it was translated to state:
I’m afraid our eyes are bigger than our bellies and that we have more curiosity and capacity for we grasp at all but catch nothing but wind.
Does that make sense? So, I’m afraid our eyes are bigger than our bellies and that our curiosity, we have more of our curiosity than capacity, than the ability to do something. And that which we grasp at, we grasp at everything, but the only thing we actually catch, we get in our hands, is air, is wind, is nothing. Okay?
So, let’s go through three examples, guys, of how I would use the expression “to have eyes bigger than your stomach”.
So, example number one. Okay? And this is the literal example. Imagine that you have gone to a hotel, you’re staying there, you have arrived, you’ve unpacked your bags, you’ve gotten settled in the hotel room, and you’ve gone downstairs, because it’s dinner time and there is an all-you-can-eat buffet so you can… you know, you pay your fee and you can eat as much as you would like. It’s a self-serve buffet. You have to serve yourself. So, the food looks amazing, you want to try everything, you pick up a plate, you get your knife and fork, and you go along the little, I don’t know what it would be like a walkway where you can go to each dish and put a bit on your plate. You fill your plate entirely. This thing is overflowing with food. You sit down, you start eating, but you quickly realise that your eyes were bigger than your stomach, because you put way too much food on your plate then you could actually fit in your stomach. Right? Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
Example number two. Alright, this time you are at work. Maybe you’re the manager of a team, you know, maybe you’re an engineer and you manage a team of engineers who have to build a structure like a bridge or a building or a wall or a dam, some kind of structure. If you take on a project and it turns out to be incredibly big, way bigger than you originally thought that your team could complete and successfully finish this thing on its own, it’s obvious that your eyes were bigger than your stomach. You tried to take on more than you could do. You overestimated what you could actually achieve. And so, your eyes were bigger than your stomach and in order to finish this project, you have to get outside help.
Example number three. Alright, this time imagine that you are a cage fighter, someone who fights in the UFC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, in a sport known as Mixed Martial Arts or MMA. Okay? So, this time imagine you are Conor McGregor. Some of you guys might know of Conor McGregor from the UFC. So, I imagine you’re this guy fighting. He took on a fight a few years ago, I think, a year or two ago with a guy called Nate Diaz. This wasn’t long ago. Conor McGregor fought Nate Diaz. And in their first fight, Connor had sort of challenged this guy, but the guy was 5-10 kilos heavier. I think he was one or two weight divisions above Conor McGregor. So, Nate Diaz refused to drop the weight to get to Conor McGregor’s weight division. So, Conor just had to fight him at his natural weight if he wanted to challenge him. He didn’t really have anything to lose. Obviously, he could lose the fight, but if he won the fight, it would be a huge, you know, bragging right of his, because he would have beaten someone a lot bigger than him. However, the first fight didn’t go this way. He ended up getting choked out. So, Nate Diaz put a stranglehold on Conor McGregor, around the neck, and Connor had to tap to say, “I give up. You’ve won!”, and Nate Diaz won the fight. So, obviously, we could say here that Conor McGregor’s eyes were bigger than his stomach. He was very arrogant and thought he could achieve a lot more than he could in reality at this time. He expected to win, but he lost. His eyes were definitely much bigger than his stomach was.
So, hopefully now you understand the expression, guys. Literally, it would be to put too much food on your plate, more than you could actually eat, hence having eyes larger than your stomach. Something that was so delicious, so appealing, you took a bigger portion than you could ever finish. Okay? So, to be pretty greedy.
Figuratively, though, it’s to attempt to do something that is too much, too large, and you can’t accomplish it. Okay? To overestimate what you can achieve. It was too ambitious.
So, let’s go through the listen and repeat exercise, guys, and then we’ll go through the fact about koalas and we will finish up.
So, this this exercise is there to help you practice your pronunciation, guys. Let’s go. Listen repeat after me and practice your English accent. Alright.
To have eyes
To have eyes bigger
To have eyes bigger than
To have eyes bigger than your
To have eyes bigger than your stomach x 5
I had eyes bigger than my stomach
You had eyes bigger than your stomach
He had eyes bigger than his stomach
She had eyes bigger than her stomach
We had eyes bigger than our stomachs
They had eyes bigger than their stomachs
It had eyes bigger than its stomach
Good job, guys. Good job. I really recommend doing these exercises. One, because it will help you work on your pronunciation, which is always important. You know, it doesn’t matter how advanced you get, it’s the kind of thing that you just need to keep practicing, you know, you can’t train to run a marathon, and then never train again and be able to run a marathon any time in the future.
Also, it’s really good because it teaches you to practice grammar passively. You don’t have to focus on it, right? If I say, “I had eyes bigger than my stomach”, “you had eyes bigger than your stomach”, not only are you practicing your pronunciation, but your conjugating the verb “to have” into the past here, “I had”, and you’re also matching up different pronouns, “I” and “my”, “you” and “your”, “he” and “his”. It may seem that it’s pretty simple stuff, but it’s always good to just keep practicing this stuff so that it becomes intuitive and you don’t have to think about it.
So, guys, remember too, if you would like to go more into depth with the pronunciation here in today’s exercise as well as all the previous episodes, if you guys are really trying to nail that Australian English accent or just improve your English accent in general and you want to understand connected speech, pronunciation, intonation, rhythm, all of that sort of stuff, there will be a detailed 10-minute video for this episode and all the previous ones in the Aussie English Classroom. So, make sure that you sign up and give that a go, guys.
Anyway, let’s get into the Aussie English fact for the day. And as I mentioned earlier, this one is all about koalas. How did I think about koalas? What did koala’s have to do with the expression “to have eyes bigger than your stomach”? So, I was sitting there when I was thinking about this expression and I was like, “Okay, stomachs, Australia, Australian animals, stomachs, stomachs, ah! Koalas! They have a crazy digestive system in their stomach, right? In their stomach.”.
So, that’s how I came across this or I made this connection. I used to be a biology student at university, and when I was doing undergrad, I can remember dissecting a dead koala. So, this koala had been road kill. I think it’d… it obviously crossed a road, unfortunately, as a car or a truck was hurtling down the road and they couldn’t stop in time, killing the koala. And so, fortunately, for us, unfortunately, for the koala, the biologist who was running the class found this thing on the road and we were able to dissect it and examine its insides, which is a little morbid, a little macabre, but it is what biology students need to do to learn about these animals.
Anyway, we got to see how crazy its digestive tract was. This is the… everything from the mouth to the anus is the digestive tract. Okay? Your oesophagus, your stomach, your intestines, all the way to the anus. Everything that the food goes through.
So, anyway, I know today’s going to be biology heavy, but bear with me, it’s interesting stuff, guys.
So, koalas have a highly advanced digestive system as compared with other mammals and herbivores specifically, which is specifically adapted to detoxifying the poisonous chemicals in eucalyptus leaves. So, the toxins in these leaves from gum trees, eucalyptus leaves, they’re produced by gum trees in order to protect the trees from being eaten, obviously, by leaf-eating animals like insects, and obviously koalas.
So, these trees grow in all different kinds of places all over Australia in many different types of soils and it seems that the least fertile soils, those with the least amount of nutrients for the trees to use to grow, tend to be the most toxic. Okay? Which makes sense. You know, this is possibly one reason why koalas eat certain types of eucalypts and they live in certain areas with more nutrient-rich soils. Because obviously if you’re a tree trying to grow in very nutrient-poor soil, you don’t really want to be eaten. At least you can’t afford to regrow your leaves as often.
So, the koala’s diet is based 100 percent on these leaves. And koalas are one of only three mammals known to only survive on a diet solely based on eucalyptus leaves. And the other two mammals are also Australian, and they are the Great Glider, a type of marsupial that glides between trees, and the Ringtail Possum, which many of you may see if you are in cities like Melbourne and Sydney. These are those very small possums with the prehensile tail. The tail that curls up.
So, if other animals try and eat these leaves, whether they’re a cow, or a horse, a person, or a dog, best-case scenario is that they will get incredibly sick, and the worst-case scenario is that they would die. So, this is why you never see eucalyptus leaves on the menu in any Australian restaurants, guys.
This is the reason as well why Koalas have developed such a specialised digestive system for consuming their toxic food and absorbing as much nutrients as possible from this food. So, koalas have a highly-adapted fibre-digesting organ called a caecum, which is huge in koalas. It’s up to two metres long. And other animals have these as well including dogs and humans and horses. However, in humans, the caecum is incredibly small and effectively useless. It is the appendix in humans, which is often removed.
The caecum contains bacteria that break down the fibre into substances and the koala can then absorb these more easily through a process called fermentation, which is where bacteria, yeasts, and other organisms use chemicals to break down substances. So, it is effectively how alcohol is produced from sugar in plant material. That is fermentation.
However, that being said, the Koala can still only get to 25 percent of the fibre it eats. So, only a quarter of the food that it eats it is actually able to get the energy from.
A koala eats between 200 and 500 grams of leaves per day, and their teeth are specially adapted to this diet having sharp front incisors to nip the leaves from the tree and molars at the back that are also kind of sharp used to shear and cut the leaves up.
Water is also absorbed through the leaves by the koala so the koala rarely has to drink unless it is in times of drought where it’s really hot and it obviously is dehydrated.
So, being able to get as much nutrients and energy out of these leaves as possible in this food is incredibly important, because eucalyptus leaves are incredibly low in nutritional value, and this is why koalas have to eat so much. And in fact, it’s also why they have such low metabolisms, meaning that they burn less calories, they can conserve more energy for longer periods of time, and it’s the reason why they sleep so long. So, these guys sleep for up to 22 hours a day in order to conserve energy and digest. And it’s the longest sleeping of any animal, even longer than a slow off from places like South America, right? They sleep for up to 15 or 18 hours a day, whereas, the koala sleeps for up to 22 and then eats for the other two.
Anyway, guys, I hope you enjoy this episode. I hope you don’t mind the biology heavy fact about the well-adapted stomach of Australia’s koala. Make sure you go out there and tell someone these awesome facts, because koalas rule! And keep an ear out next time you go camping somewhere in the forest for the koala’s mating call.
Anyway, guys, I hope you have an amazing weekend and I will chat to you in the next episode. Catch ya!
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