In this episode of Aussie English I interview my good friend and housemate Richard, who’s originally from Estonia in Europe. We talk about his experiences in moving to Australia, finding farm work here, getting visas, and a whole lot more!
Richard Interview: Moving To Australia, Finding Farm Work, Getting Visas & More
Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to transcribe the episode and place subtitles on it as it would take me at least 2-3 hours to do. If enough of you send me a message or a comment on Facebook asking for it to be done I’ll do it. Otherwise, I’m going to leave it as it is!
Check out all the other recent Aussie English Interview episodes below!
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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 — 3 years ago
This is the first of hopefully many “Walking with Pete” episodes where instead of teaching you the usual Aussie expressions or terms like usual I hope to have more of a conversation to discuss whatever is on my mind at the time. This should give you exposure to more advanced vocabulary as well as listening to a native Aussie speaking naturally as he would with a friend who was there with him.
Come over to the Aussie English Facebook page and chat to the many other Aussie English learners. Practice a few of these words or phrases, ask any questions you may have, and be a part of the conversation! All the best guys!
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By pete — 2 years ago
In this episode of Aussie English I teach you guys how to use the expressions “To have a crack at something”, “To give something a crack” and “To take a crack at something”.
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Expression: To have a crack at something
Hey guys. Welcome to this episode. I hope you guys have all been well. I just wanted to say hey to everyone, thanks for supporting me, thanks for listening to this podcast, I really appreciate everyone’s support and everyone’s interest. I’m really really glad to be able to produce a podcast that is able to help you guys improve you English, whether it’s just your listening comprehension, your understanding of expressions and phrases that we use as natives. And yeah, if you have any suggestions or you have any other sort of things you’re interested in hearing about, about Australia, about the world, about whatever it is that you would like different podcasts to be themed around then definitely jump on the Facebook page. Come over, chat to me, say hello to me, I’m always reading these comments and trying to engage with you guys as the Aussie English community. And, yeah, just come and practice your English. You’re always welcome to come and chat to me on there. Anyway, we can dive straight into this episode today.
Today I want to go over the expression “To have a crack.”, “To have a crack at something”. So, what does “To have a crack” or “To have a crack at something” mean? It means to have a try at something although you’re unsure if you’ll succeed. So, more generally it’s to have a go, to have a shot, to have a turn, to have a try. So, I might also add that you can use this phrase in different forms with different verbs such as “To give” and “To take”. So, you might also hear “To give something a crack” or “To take a crack at something” and not just “To have a crack at something”. So, this is just another way of saying to have a shot at something, to give something a shot or to take a shot at something.
So, what is the definition of the word “Crack”? Interestingly, in this phrase, I guess, it has nothing to do with the literal sense of the word “Crack”, but the literal sense of the word, of “A crack”, it’s multiple things. The first being a line on the surface of something along which it’s split without breaking apart. So, you can see a crack in the concrete on the ground as you’re walking along the pavement, or you could see a crack in the wall of the building, a crack in a tile in your bathroom. And then the second sort of common definition of the word “Crack” is in terms of it being a sound, like a sudden sharp explosive noise or sound. So, if someone let off, as is in the name, a firecracker and you hear a bang. It’s a sharp crack, you know, bang, crack.
So, the origin of this phrase I tried to look up but I couldn’t find anything really about where it had originated from. Someone online suggested it could originate from baseball, the game of baseball where the sound of hitting a ball with the baseball bat is a crack. And so, I think he suggested that by saying to someone “Do you want to have a crack?” it’s telling them, or suggesting to them, that they can have a hit or a try or do you want to have a hit or a try of [hitting] the ball. So, “Do you want to try and give it a crack?” Do you want to try and hit the ball with the bat?
Another way that I thought about it was say that someone’s bought a whip, because a whip crack or the crack of a whip is the sound that a whip makes when you crack it. So, it’s obviously a verb there as well. If you crack a whip it does that [whip sound] sound. So, obviously this phrase may have come about when people ask someone if they wanted to try using that whip. “Do you want to give it a crack” literally means do you want to use the whip and get it to make that crack sound. So, “Have a crack”, “Give it a crack”, “Take a crack”. It could be that, it could absolutely not be that. I’m not sure. But that was another way that I was thinking about it.
So some examples of how I would use the phrase “To have a crack at something”, and again you could say “To give something a crack” or “To take a crack at something”.
Number one, I got the idea for this expression from a video I saw recently, and I posted it on the Aussie English Facebook page where a man gets swooped multiple times by a magpie during nesting season. And the word “Swoop”, the verb “To swoop”, “To be swooped” is when a bird or some kind of flying animal dives at you and tries to attack you or scare you away. So, in this video that I’ll link in this episode the magpie swoops him something like 13 times while he’s riding his bike down the road, and he’s holding the camera so that you can see his face and his head as he’s getting swooped by the magpie. And towards the end of the bombardment of swoops he says something along the lines of “This guy’s really giving it a crack” or “This guy’s really having a crack”. And what does this mean? It effectively means that this guy, the magpie, is really having a shot at attacking him. So, “He’s really having a crack” at attacking him. He’s really having a go, he’s really trying to attack him, he’s trying to hurt him. “He’s really having a crack”.
Another example could be that you want to play a game on your Playstation 4, so your PS4, Playstation 4, your game console, and someone’s come over with a new game. You want to have a go on it but your mate is showing the game, and it’s a one-player game, so only one person can play at a time. So, you can’t play at the same time as your mate. He keeps dying in the game and taking the next turn. So, he dies, he has another turn. He dies, he has another turn. Usually, you would probably give the controller, you would give the turn to your friend, and you keep switching every time someone dies. So, if that’s not happening you could say to your friend as you’re getting impatient that he’s hogging the game that he’s just playing himself and not letting you play, you could say, “Hey dude, can I’ve a crack?”, “Can you give me a crack”, “Can I take a crack at the game now?”, “Can I’ve a crack”. So, can I have a turn, can I have a go, can I have a shot?
Example number 3, maybe a friend has bought a new car, and he’s driven over to your house, he wants to show you the car, he wants to take you for a drive. So, he comes to your house, knocks on the door, you come out, you see the car, you get in the car, and you guys go for a drive, but your friend’s driving obviously, as it’s his car. So, he keeps telling you about how good the car is, how well it handles, you know, the sensation of what it’s like to drive, how it responds, and keeps telling you you’ll get a go eventually but it just doesn’t really seem to be happening and the guy’s not, you know, pulling over and letting you in the driver’s seat. So, if this was happening you could say, “Ok ok ok, dude, dude, dude. I understand, I want to have a go, give us a crack. Give me a crack already. I want to have a crack. Can I take a crack at driving the car?”
Example number four, say your son is competing in a surfing competition this weekend, say at Bell’s Beach, which is one of the most famous surfing competition beaches in the world. And this is down near where I live in the south of Victoria. So, on the coast, Bell’s Beach. He’s up against the country’s best young surfers, your son, he paddles out, he catches a few really good waves but unfortunately the rest of the competition is just too good and they beat him on points. So you could say that “He gave it a really good crack”. So, he tried really hard, he gave it a really good shot, he had a good go, but he ended up losing. So, he didn’t win in the end but “He gave it a really good crack. He had a good crack at the competition but lost.”
So, that’s really all there is to it guys. That’s the phrase to have a crack at something, to give something a crack or to take a crack at something. And it just means to try something without necessarily being sure that you’ll succeed or wanting to have a go, have a shot, have a turn or have a try at something.
So, as usual, we can go through some listen and repeat exercises guys, and I’ll keep this one simple today where I’ll just repeat the phrases “Give it a crack”, “Have a crack”, and “Take a crack” four times [each]. So, listen and repeat after me guys.
Listen and repeat:
Give it a crack x 4
Have a crack x 4
Take a crack x 4
So, that’s it guys. I hope you enjoyed the episode. Remember, come over to the Facebook page. Engage with the community. IF you want to practice your English comment on things, ask questions, share things that you’re passionate about or interested in knowing more about, or things you see and do related to Australia or related to anything else. I’m always willing to chat to you guys if and when I have time. Don’t be a stranger. Come over and say hello, and I’ll chat to you next time guys. All the best.
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By pete — 6 months ago
AE 473 – How to Use English Articles: A, AN, & THE
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today, I’m going to be answering a question from one of my students, Aykhan. Let’s have a look.
G’day, Pete. My name is Aykhan, and I’m Baku, Azerbaijan. I have trouble with articles. Could you make it to explaining how to use them? See ya!
Alright, great question Aykhan. Hopefully, this video will do it justice and simplify using articles. Let’s check it out.
Alright, guys, so what is an article? No, it’s not one of those. It is an adjective in English. ‘A’ or ‘an’, and ‘the’, they’re actually adjectives, because they modify nouns.
So, we have ‘the’, which is the definite article, and this one refers to specific or particular nouns. And then we have ‘A’ or ‘an’, which are the indefinite articles and these refer to non-specific or non-particular nouns.
Let’s look at an example.
If I say, “Let’s read the book”, I’m referring to a specific book, this book, that book. You know this book. So, I want to read the book. Okay?
Whereas, if I say “I want to read a book”, it could be any book. I’ve got dozens of books, hundreds of books in the world, I just feel like reading a book. It doesn’t matter which one. It is non-specific. Whereas, if I say “the book”, it’s the specific book on the ground over here.
Here’s another way to think about this. ‘The’ can be used to refer to a specific member of a group. “My friend James is the tallest person I know.”. James is the specific person, the particular person, out of the group of people, all people that I know, James is the specific person who is tallest.
Whereas ‘a’ or ‘an’ can be used to refer to any member of a group. So, for instance, “My friend James is a tall person”, he’s a tall person. I know many tall people. Out of the group of tall people that I know James is just one of those people. He is a tall person. Non-specific, non-particular. He is just one of many.
So, if we use ‘a’ or ‘an’ this is modifying the noun, it’s an adjective modifying the noun, to refer to any, a non-specific a non-particular member of a group. ‘A’. So, I want a pen or pencil. It doesn’t matter which one. I don’t care. I just need a pencil. I need a pen.
So, let’s go through some examples.
“My son wants a bike for Christmas”. “My son wants a bike for Christmas.”. He doesn’t want any specific bike, he doesn’t want any particular bike, he just wants a bike. It doesn’t matter which one. Any bike will do. We don’t know which bike, because we haven’t found a bike yet. “My son wants a bike for Christmas”.
“I need to see a doctor”. “I need to see a doctor”. I don’t care which doctor. It could be any doctor, but I need a doctor. One of the many doctors in the group that are hopefully at the hospital. “I need to see a doctor”.
“When I was at the beach I saw a dolphin.”, you know? I saw a dolphin. I saw a single non-specific thing, in this case, a dolphin. I saw a single dolphin. There were probably many dolphins, but right now, I’m just talking about the one that I saw. “I saw a dolphin”.
Note: If you want to refer to plural things, as in maybe “dolphins”, “bikes”, “doctors”, you need to use the word ‘some’.
“My son wants some bikes for Christmas”.
“I need some doctors.”.
“I saw and dolphins”.
Rules for using ‘a’ and ‘an’. If the word following the indefinite article ‘a’ or ‘an’ begins with a consonant sound, it needs to be ‘a’: a bike, a girl, a boring event, a European. It needs to be ‘a’ followed by a consonant sound.
If the following word begins with a vowel sound, it needs to be ‘an’. There needs to be an ‘N’ at the end of the indefinite article. ‘An’. An apple, an empty house, an ICU doctor, an hour.
In some rare cases, words beginning with an ‘H’ that is pronounced will take ‘an’ in front of them. And the only example I can think of is “An historic event”, but I wouldn’t worry too much about those.
Alright, time for the definite article, ‘the’. Time the definite article.
So, ‘the’ is the definite article and it modifies the noun to be specific or the particular member of a group that we’re referring to.
So, let’s go through the previous examples we used with ‘a’ and ‘an’, and have a look at how they would change if we want to use ‘the’.
“My son wants the bike he worried at the store yesterday for Christmas.”. He doesn’t want just any bike. He wants that bike, that specific bike, the bike he rode at this store yesterday. We know which bike he wants.
“I need to see the doctor who treated me this morning.”. I need to see the specific doctor, the doctor who treated me this morning. I don’t want to see just any doctor. I want to see this specific doctor who saw me this morning.
“When I was at the beach I saw the dolphin with just one fin.”. So, we’re not talking about any dolphin. We’re talking about that specific dolphin, the dolphin that just has one fin.
Alright, now let’s talk about countable and uncountable nouns. ‘A’ and ‘an’ have to be used with countable nouns, because you have units. Whereas uncountable nouns, you don’t have a single unit so you can’t use ‘a’ or ‘an’.
“I need a new car.”. “I need a new car.”.
“I want to talk to a friend.”. “I want to talk to a friend.”.
‘The’ can be used with uncountable nouns.
“I love eating the food.”. The specific food. “The food at this restaurant, I love eating the food here.”. You know that I’m talking about specific food. “I love eating the food here.”. If I say, “I just love eating food”, “I love eating food”, it’s non-specific. I love eating food. It’s true.
“I spilt the wine on the rug.”. “The” shows that I’m talking about specific wine, the wine I bought yesterday, the wine I was drinking. “I spilt wine on the rug.”. Whereas, if I just say, “I spilt wine on the rug”, it’s any wine. It doesn’t matter, that’s not important, which one it was. It was just that I spilt wine on the rug.
Using ‘the’ geographically.
This is where things get a little bit more specific with the definite article. We need to use ‘the’ before things like names of rivers, names of oceans, names of seas: the Nile, the Pacific Ocean.
We need to use ‘the’ before points on the globe: The North Pole, The Equator.
Before geographical areas: The Middle East, The West.
Before deserts, forests, peninsulas, and gulfs: The Sahara, The Persian Gulf, The Black Forest.
We don’t use ‘the’ before the names of most countries or territories: Mexico, Australia, Bolivia. However: the Netherlands, the Philippines.
Before names of cities, towns, or states: Melbourne, Seoul, California.
Before the names of streets: Washington Boulevard, Collins Street.
Before the name of lakes and bays: Port Phillip Bay, Lake Eyre.
Before the names of mountains: Mount Everest, Mount Kosciuszko.
Before the names of continents: Asia, Europe, Antarctica.
Before the names of islands: Easter Island, Phillip Island.
Obviously, there are always exceptions, but just have to learn those unfortunately.
To finish up, guys, let’s talk about the omission of articles.
Here are some common types of nouns that don’t take articles.
The names of languages or nationalities, unless you’re specifically referring to the population: Chinese, English, Spanish, Russian. If I say “the Chinese”, “the English”, “the Spanish”, I’m referring to the population.
Names of sports: volleyball, soccer, footy.
The names of academic subjects: maths, biology, physics, English.
Alright, guys, so that is it for today’s episode. I hope it helps. Just remember, with regards to articles, that ‘a’ or ‘an’ is referring to any member of a group. “I need a pen”. I don’t care which pen. I just need a pen this pen will do.
Whereas, ‘the’ refers to a specific member of a group. “I need the pen that’s purple”. I need that purple pen. Here it is. This is the purple one, the purple pen that I need.
Anyway, guys, go over it a few times and let me know if you have any other questions that you would like me to do videos in in the comments below. Hit the subscribe if you want to stay up to date with all new videos coming out, and I’ll see you in the next episode. Great to see you, guys. Peace!
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