Today’s Walking With Pete episode is just a short one where I fill you guys in on what I’ve been doing recently making the first Aussie English Video Breakdowns (AEVB) episode and uploading it to YouTube.
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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 — 1 year ago
In this episode of Aussie English I answer the question, “How can I improve my pronunciation?”, particularly when you’re home alone!
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By pete — 2 years ago
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WWP: Internet Issues & Vocab Builder Videos
Guys! What’s going on? What’s going on? Welcome to this episode of Walking With Pete.
Man, I got so impatient about starting that I’ve actually started the video before I have even crossed the path, crossed the road and gotten into the park. So, (I’ve) just got to watch for the traffic, make sure I don’t get hit by some cars. This might take a while. It’s obviously sunset. I’ll try and keep the camera looking at me without giving you guys some glare like that for the entire episode. I’ll do my best. Anyway, maybe… no, I won’t be sneaky. I better wait. I’ve got to behave, be a good boy.
So, anyway, what can I talk about while I’m waiting for the fricken traffic to pass? It’s been a pretty frustrating week/weekend. You guys probably have noticed that the website’s been down, that’S BEEN DRIVING ME NUTS, driving me crazy. So, TO BE DRIVING YOU NUTS means to be… NUTS as in crazy, as in mad, not as in the food, you know, a nut like a seed, which is also a slang term for a man’s genitals, the two of the… we’ll just say it, testicles. You can use the word NUTS to mean testicles in English.
Anyway, TO DRIVE YOU NUTS, TO GO NUTS, TO BE NUTS, when you’re describing someone as BEING NUTS it’s more that they’re crazy, they’re mentally unstable, they’re insane. So, that’s what’S BEEN DRIVING ME NUTS, the website. You guys will probably have all known what was going on with that, but for those who don’t the website was down for several days, and I guess I’ll just give you the entire story, ‘cause I can go over some expressions to describe what I’m about to do. And I’m about TO HAVE A BITCH TO you guys, TO HAVE A BITCH. If I HAVE A BITCH it means that I complain, I whinge, I moan about something, I tell you something that’s been irritating me, I complain, I try and GET IT OFF MY CHEST. GET IT OFF MY CHEST is just sort of get it out there and, you know, unburden myself so that it’s no longer something that I’m stressed about. Anyway, I want TO HAVE A BITCH and GET this issue OFF MY CHEST, unburden myself, tell you guys about what happened. So, the website was down. That WAS DRIVING ME NUTS because I couldn’t work out what was wrong at first.
So, at first I thought, “Ok, I’ve done something. I’ve stuffed something up.”, I was looking online but (I) couldn’t work out what it was. So, I contacted my host, and the host is the person (company*) who has the data for the website. So, that’s what’s, you know, they’re the one (ones*) who housed the entire website on their own servers, on their hard-drives, wherever they are. And I was using a company called Arvixe. And I don’t mind telling you this, guys, because any of you guys listening out there I really suggest that you do not use this company in the future. Don’t use Arvixe.
Anyway, I tried to contact them 5 times, count it 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 times. I got onto some people, I don’t even know where they were, but they were definitely not in American where I think the company is based out of, and they were somewhat useless, because their support system is an online chat, and each time they were telling me the problem was on my end and telling me, I guess I don’t really want to bog you guys down in the real… the small details, but that I had to go onto my website and change something, and refresh it, because that was the problem that the website wasn’t communicating, whatever. I won’t go into it. But I kept doing that 3 or 4 times I tried. The first time the guy said he sorted it out and that it was all fixed and then the second to fifth time I tried fixing it myself each time TO NO AVAIL. TO NO AVAIL meaning it didn’t achieve anything, it didn’t work, it was pointless, it was useless, nothing changed. So, I tried TO NO AVAIL to do all of that.
Anyway, I got incredibly pissed off, because the problem wasn’t resolving and I felt embarrassed, I wanted the website to be there for you guys, and I know how frustrating it is when something that you’re passionate about is not there for you to use. And obviously I’m here to help you guys out. I want to be there for you guys. And so, that was frustrating me after two or three days of trying to get that fixed.
So, ultimately, I decided, F them, fuck them, and I decided after the fifth time to just move my website to a new host. And, again, that was a massive headache, and a headache is something that’s a pain, it’s a problem, it’s not literally a head ache in the fact that you’ve got an ache in your head, but it’s that sort of non-literal sense of driving you nuts, of giving you a headache because it’s so complicated, it’s such a pain in the arse to try and sort out.
So, I tried to move the website across to a new host and that was somewhat less painless, less painful* I want to say, that was less painful because it was painless than I was expecting. So, I was really happy that that was so easy to sort out. And, yeah, I moved the website across. I put that on the new host, and this time they’re someone in Australia, someone in Melbourne. So, that’s obviously going to make things a lot more easy, and I simply emailed them, to be honest, and within 2 (or) 3 hours the website was up. So, now it’s back. There you go. Problem sorted. Crisis averted. But, what a pain in the arse, what a headache, and I’m glad I had that little BITCH, I’m glad I WAS BITCHING TO you guys and GETTING IT OFF MY CHEST.
But yeah, first and foremost I just want to apologise for the inconvenience. I know that it was probably, or most definitely, frustrating any of you guys who like listening to the podcast whilst also reading the transcripts, because you wouldn’t have obviously had access to the transcripts on the website unless you had downloaded these already. So, yeah, I’m sorry about that guys. I’m sorry it took a few days to organise and sort out, but fortunately it’s back. Let me know if you have any issues, because, yeah, I’m just horrified that it’s not going to be there for you guys. I can see it, I can see it on my phone, I can see it on my computer. So, it seems to be all good, but let me know if there’s any issues if you’re checking this straight after I put this up online for you guys.
Alright, so that was the first sort of order of the day, (it) was to just go over that and touch base with where we’re at for that. (I’m) trying to think what else we were going to talk about, I’ve got another… there was another subject, there was another topic. Oh! I started a new idea for a series of videos that I want to put on YouTube to try and help you guys expand your vocabulary, and to try and help you learn numerous different synonyms, and a synonym is a word that means the same as another word.
So, for instance, in the video that I did today, this is the perfect example, I taught you guys probably 10 or more different ways of saying “a lot of” or “lots of”. So, “a lot of”, “a lot of” things, that’s the singular version, “a lot of” things, or “lots of” things, the plural version.
And so, I guess, I wanted to talk to you guys about this. This is an idea I’ve been having rolling around in my head for a little while now, and I guess the main reason that I have decided to try and do this is because A. no one else seems to have done this really online, and B. it’s the kind of thing that I would really like to have in the languages that I’m learning.
Anyway, I should probably tell you what the basic idea is. The basic idea is to first and foremost tell you, show you, say to you as many different synonyms for a certain sentence of a certain word that I can think of. So, in this example today I said numerous different synonyms for “a lot of” such as “a great deal of”, “a bunch of”, “a ton of”, “a shitload of”, “a load of”, “a head of”, “a stack of”. So, there’s all those different kinds of synonyms, and I’ve put it together in a lesson where there’s a few different substitution exercises. So, first I get you to turn the sentence from the singular version, for instance, “there’s a lot of something” into the plural version, for example, “there are lots of X”, whatever it is.
So, I did that, first and foremost. There are also a few in there that you can’t make plural or that sound incredibly weird if you make them plural.
I’ll give you Melbourne in the background there guys. You can have a perve, have a look, have a squiz at Melbourne through this field. And, I just lost my train of thought. That will serve me right for interrupting myself.
Anyway, so yeah, I’ve done that. I’ve tried to make that episode on “a lot of” and “lots of” and all the different ways of saying that. I’ve also tried to include other aspects of the English language in these exercises. So, obviously, not only are you going to be working your vocabulary and trying to expand your vocabulary by learning different synonyms for specific words, but also you’ve got… I’m going to try and include other things in there. So, for example today I included numerous different ways of saying “women”. So, there were like five, I think it was like “babes”, “chicks”, “ladies”, “women”, “girls”. And then there were five for “men”. So, obviously, “men”, “boys”, “dudes”, “guys”, “blokes”. I think they were the five.
And so, I want you guys to practice associating all those words with meaning the same thing, because obviously you’re going to hear these things all the time, all the time. Guys say these kinds of… and I just said it. Guys, say these kinds of words when they’re talking about women, when they’re talking about other guys, and women say these kinds of words when they’re talking about women and guys, etc., etc. etc.. And so, it’s the kind of language that you’re going to hear all the time from native speakers.
I might just sit down.
So, I think that’s why it’s incredibly important to try and get you exposed, give you some exposure to all of this different kind of language, these different synonyms, get you practicing changing in and out and using all of them. So, that’s why I’m trying to create these kinds of lessons to put on YouTube as well as the podcast to try and help you expand your vocabulary whether it’s passive vocabulary, i.e. you just hear and you understand instantly whether or not you actually use it yourself, or for the active vocabulary if you want to learn all of these different ways of saying effectively the same thing. And this is the kind of thing that you’re going to want to do to get from that intermediate level to the advanced level in a language. And this is particularly what I try and do when I’m trying to get from the intermediate to advanced level in languages that I’m learning. I get to that point where I have one word for most if not all things that I want to be able to say, that I want to be able to communicate when I’m having a conversation, but it’s kind of like painting with one colour. After a while, you know, you’re learning how to paint, one colour’s all you need at first, but then you get a little bored, and then you get a little more, “I want to be able to do this. I want to be able to express myself differently. I want to be able to put my personality into my paintings or into my English.”.
And so, that’s why I think it’s so important to learn different synonyms, different ways of expressing yourself, because that is when you can take your English to the next level and really expression your own personality. Ultimately, our passive vocabulary, the stuff that we know, is massively, massively, massively bigger than our active vocabulary, the words that we actually use, the words that we say. And, words that I say may not be the same as the words that my parents say, my friends say, other English natives say. In fact, I can almost tell you with certainty that they won’t be the same words. The way they will explain situations, describe things, is almost certainly going to be different from how I would do it. And this is where putting your personality into the language you’re learning, English in this example, becomes incredibly important, and this is how you do it, this is how you do it. You learn all of these different words, for some reason one of them will seem nicer or cooler or easier to remember than a lot of the other ones and you’ll just start using that one all the time, and it becomes part of your English personality.
So, that’s why I’m trying to create these lessons, guys. That’s the aim of these lessons. I’m trying to also make them fun where I teach you more slang. So, in the “a lot of” or “lots of” lesson, today, that I’ve made I also taught you words like “a crap-ton of”, “shitloads of”, “fuckloads of” and how to use those.
Damn flies everywhere!
And so I’ve done that because, again, that’s the kind of stuff that I use every day. You’re not going to learn that in books because it’s probably pretty inappropriate with regards to formal English. You’re not going to ever use that kind of language in a job interview or if you’re in an interview on TV or talking to someone you don’t really know, but most of the time I imagine that once you get to Australia you’re going to form friendships where 1. People are going to be saying this stuff, particularly if they’re natives. They’re going to be saying “fuck-tons”, “shit-tons”, “crap-tons” when they’re talking about “a lot of” or “lots of” something. And so 1. I want you to be able to understand what that means, because it is relatively slangy, it’s quite a lot of slang to say, to use those kinds of words. But (2.) I also want you to be able to learn them and use them yourselves because if I heard someone who was a non-native English speaker using those I would incredibly impressed, you know, to be honest, and I don’t know what else to say. Yeah, that is why is why I’ve included them.
So, don’t be too shocked when you hear me swearing. I always try and give you some context and idea as to when and where not to use… when and when* not to use these expressions, and I won’t ever teach you stuff that is incredibly offensive without telling you at least. I will always give you a disclaimer or a caption down the bottom, but yeah, and I’ll do it now. If in doubt, go without. So, if in doubt, if you don’t know whether or not you should be using it, don’t use it. If you hear someone else use it while you’re talking to them obviously that’s a good sign that it’s ok to use it. So, until you get used to when and how to use these things, obviously, don’t use them in every single conversation, but play with them, you know. Practice them, play with them.
One last thing I might mention. Work on your pronunciation in these episodes as well. So, you can get different things out of these episodes. Not only am I going to give you as much as I can with regards to synonyms and different ways of saying these words, but I’m also going to give you the ability to listen and repeat and practice your pronunciation. So, if you notice that you have any kind of trouble with the pronunciation of any of these words or any of these sentences, definitely listen and repeat and go over these, and just keep practicing your pronunciation guys. It’s a never-ending battle. It’s the same for me and French, and me and Portuguese. I’m constantly finding out that I’m saying something slightly incorrect or in a bit of a weird way, and ultimately there’s no problem with having an accent but we always all want to reduce it as much as possible, right?
Anyway, this episode of Walking With Pete has gone long enough. I hope you guys are liking what I’m putting out there, what I’m giving you guys. Again, I’m sorry about the website being down. I’m going to try and put this episode up tonight, although, by the time you see it you won’t know when “tonight” is. So, I’ll get this out as soon as I can. I want it out by Wednesday. But yeah, let me know what you think in a comment below guys, and I’ll put up the episode that I’m talking about, the vocab expander kind of episode, as soon as possible, and when I do I’ll link below as well.
So, until then guys, peace out and all the best!
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By pete — 3 years ago
In today’s episode, Ep060: Expression – To Nail Something/It, I teach you how to use the common English expression “To nail something” or “To nail it”.
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Ep060: Expression – To Nail Something/It
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today’s another expression, and this is an expression that I use all the time, and I’ve actually caught myself using it a number of times in previous episodes. So, I thought that it would definitely be something that I should go over, that I should teach you, that I should show you and break down, and show you how to use it, ‘cause it is one of those more slangy kind of expressions, but it’s common everywhere now in English. I think it originated from America and it would’ve been on American TV and so it’s just become popular everywhere. I’m sure people in England would know it, people in the US and Canada would know it, and it’s definitely used everywhere in Australia.
So, the expression is “To nail something”, “To nail something”. And it’s often just “to nail it”. You would say, “To nail it” if um… you already know what “It” is that you’re already talking about in conversation. You can say “You’ve nailed it” or “To nail it”.
So, literally, what does “To nail” mean? The verb “To nail something” is used to refer to hammering a nail, and “a nail” is a small thin piece of steel or metal of some kind that you would hit with a hammer into a piece of wood quite often to sort of fasten something somewhere. So, if you were building say a deck, which is something in front or behind of your house made of wood that you can walk on and have a barbecue on, and have seats on. It’s made of wood. If you were hammering the wooden pieces, the wooden planks, into place, you would be hammering nails. You would be nailing it down. You would be hammering nails through the wood and fastening the wood there. So, that’s “to nail”. Literally, “to nail something” is to hit a nail through it. So, you can nail a sign to a post, or you could say that Jesus was nailed to the cross. They pushed… they pushed… they hammered nails through his hands and his feet into the cross to fasten him to the cross. So, that’s to nail.
However, figuratively, I would use it more often in a figurative sense, because it’s just something I would say quite often when I use the word “nail”. And if you nail something or you nail it in a figurative sense it means that you have completed a task successfully, perfectly, impressively, or you’ve gotten something correct, you know, you’ve gotten something right.
So, what do I mean by this? I’ll run you through a few examples.
So, for example you’ve just had an exam, and you’ve come out of the exam, you’ve said to your friends, you know, “I think I did really well. I answered all the questions. I felt like I knew every single thing that the exam was asking, and I had enough time. I did really well. I finished ahead of time. I left. I feel like I nailed it. I feel like I nailed the exam. I nailed it.” And that would mean that you felt like you did incredibly well, you know, almost too well. That you’re going to get a really really high score. It was too easy. You nailed it.
Another example could be that a teacher asks a student a question in the classroom, and the student answers the question perfectly. You know, it’s a maths question for example and they give the exact answer. The teacher could say, “Well done” to the student, “You nailed it. You nailed the question. You got the question correct. It was perfect. You were successful. You nailed it!”
Another example could be that you’re learning how to pronounce a word, and I think this is where I’ve used this [expression] many other times in the podcast when I’m talking about pronunciation. You’re trying to, sort of, perfect or to successfully pronounce a word in a foreign language say, Australian English or English, you could say the process of trying to get the pronunciation perfect is something that you are trying to nail. So, you’re trying to nail the pronunciation, which means that you’re trying to get the pronunciation perfect. You’re trying to do it incredibly well. And you could also say that once you get the pronunciation correct, and you get it correct every time, that you’ve nailed it. You nailed the pronunciation. So, you’re trying to pronunciation, you’re trying to learn the pronunciation, you’re trying to get it right, and then when you do get it right, and you get it right every time, you could say then “I’ve nailed it. It’s too easy. I’ve nailed it.”
One last example could be that someone is auditioning for a part as an actor, say in a big film, you know, say Game of Thrones, say a new blockbuster that’s coming out next year in Hollywood. They go in. They do the audition, but they come out and they don’t feel like they did very well. So, they don’t think that they’ll get the part. So, they could come out and they could say to their friends and family, “Unfortunately I don’t think I nailed the audition.” So, you can use it in that opposite respect. You can either nail something or you can not nail something. So, you can say, “I don’t think I nailed it. I don’t think I did very well. I don’t think I did it perfectly. I don’t think I was successful. I don’t think I nailed the audition”.
So, now let’s do some exercises just to practice our pronunciation guys. And I’ll just run through the phrase “To nail it” five times for you. And then I’ll run through the conjugation of the past tense, “I nailed it”, through all the different ah… pronouns.
To nail it x 5
To nail something x 5
I nailed it
You nailed it
He nailed it
She nailed it
We nailed it
They nailed it
So, that’s the episode for today guys. See if you can listen multiple times, and see if you can nail the use of the expression “To nail something” or “To nail it”, and then practice the pronunciation and see if you can nail the pronunciation of “To nail it” or “To nail something” and try and nail the conjugation. So, hopefully I’ve used the phrase “To nail” enough times that you will definitely remember it and definitely understand it in the future when you hear it. And hopefully you’ll nail it in the future and use it yourself when you’re speaking English. All the best guys and I’ll see you soon.
If you liked this expression episode guys then please jump over here and check out all the other Aussie English expression episodes to help you improve your Aussie English.
Also be sure to 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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