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Making Many, Many, Many, Many Cookies with Lindsay and Gabby
Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 209: “Baking Many, Many, Many, Many Cookies with Lindsay and Gabby.”
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel’, from Boston, USA.
Gabby: In today’s episode, you can learn the perfect recipe for baking cookies. No, just kidding. We’re gonna (going to) talk about a fast fix for one of the most common and challenging English mistakes. So check it out.
Lindsay: Hey, guys. Remember your English is a Porsche and if you wanna (want to) keep tuning up your Porsche, if you wanna (want to) know all of the TOP 15 FIXES today, go straight to AllEarsEnglish.com/TOP15. And you can get that in a free e-book right away.
Gabby: Hey, Lindsay. What’s up?
Lindsay: Not much. I’m hungry.
Gabby: Oh, I’m always hungry. What are you hungry for?
Lindsay: Do you like to bake? Well, I’m hungry for, (um), baked goods, but, Gabby, do you like to bake? ‘Cause (because) I just like other people to bake for me. I don’t actually like to bake myself.
Gabby: I think it’s gonna (going to) be a problem because I’m the same way. I like – well, I like to buy baked goods. (Um)…
Lindsay: Oh, really? Okay.
Gabby: Actually – well…
Lindsay: I like homemade…
Lindsay: …baked goods.
Gabby: …I like to bake, but only if I have a nice kitchen. So right now I’m living in Tokyo and I have a really small kitchen. I don’t even have an oven. So it’s impossible for me bake. I have to…
Lindsay: Oh my god.
Gabby: …buy baked goods.
Lindsay: All you have is your little rice cooker there I would imagine, right?
Gabby: I don’t even have a rice cooker right now.
Lindsay: You don’t have a rice cooker? You’re…
Lindsay: …living in Tokyo.
Gabby: I know.
Lindsay: That’s so weird. I remember when I was living in Tokyo I had a rice cooker and I had no idea how to use it. It’s the simplest thing in the world, but the directions were in Kanji and I was like – my first week there I was crying. I was like I don’t know how to eat. I don’t know how to use this.
Gabby: Yeah. So when I was in the U.S. though, when I was in Boston I would, I would bake cookies sometimes.
Lindsay: Oh, yeah and so how would you – wh-wha-what’s the first ingredient that you would throw into baking cookies, (like), how…
Lindsay: …where would I start if I wanted to bake cookies?
Gabby: Well, you definitely need some flour, (like), maybe about three cups of flour.
Lindsay: Wow, that’s so much flour.
Gabby: Three cups? It depends how many cookies you wanna (want to) make.
Lindsay: Wow. So many cups and so much flour. I can’t believe – that’s a lot of flour. Okay. So you like flour I can see.
Gabby: And I would put about a cup of sugar and…
Gabby: …maybe a table – no, teaspoon of salt…
Lindsay: A teaspoon of salt. (Um).
Lindsay: Not too much, not too much salt. Don’t…
Gabby: Not too much.
Lindsay: Just be careful. Don’t put too much salt in there.
Gabby: And then…
Gabby: …maybe a cup of chocolate chips.
Lindsay: Oh, I would put two cups of chocolate chips.
Gabby: (Uh), that’s…
Lindsay: I would go…
Gabby: …a lot.
Gabby: That’s too many.
Lindsay: …on with the chocolate chips.
Gabby: That’s too…
Lindsay: Well, hey…
Lindsay: …(I mean), I, I like chocolate, (you know). What can I do? So, (hm).
Gabby: (Um), I like to put other things in the cookies too, like, maybe a few raisins.
Gabby: You don’t like…
Lindsay: Eww, eww.
Lindsay: I’m sorry. Raisin cookies just don’t do it for me. That’s just, that’s a disappointment. Gotta (got to) go straight to the chocolate, the good stuff.
Lindsay: Raisins? Why are you messing around with raisins?
Gabby: Well, I think there’s (there are) a few other ingredients in cookies. I think you have to put eggs and…
Gabby: …what else? Maybe…
Lindsay: How many eggs do I need?
Gabby: (Um), maybe just one. (I mean), otherwise if you put a lot of eggs it’s gonna (going to) be like pancakes or an omelet.
Lindsay: Yeah. You don’t wanna (want to) put too many eggs.
Gabby: Right. All right.
Gabby: So should we talk about ingredients and our FIX for today?
Lindsay: Our FIX, today’s FIX – so this is – today is…
Gabby: Number four.
Lindsay: …tune up your Porsche, number four…
Lindsay: …of our TOP 15 series and what’s our – what are we working on today, Gabby? What are we tuning up?
Gabby: We are tuning up ‘much’ versus ‘many’.
Lindsay: Ooh. Good one.
Gabby: Yeah. So this is tricky because, oh man – how do you know when to use ‘much’ or when to use ‘many’? It – I’m…
Gabby: …sure you know the rule. If you’ve had an English class, your teacher probably told you about countable and non-countable nouns, or count…
Gabby: or non-count. Maybe they…
Gabby: …even talked about ‘mass’ nouns, that’s uncountable. There’s a few different ways of talking about these. (You know), knowing the term in grammar is not so important. What’s important is understanding how to visualize, or how to think about the meaning of these words.
Lindsay: Right and it’s also good to be able to move from explaining the same object in a countable way and in a non-count way, right?
Gabby: Right, exactly.
Lindsay: So we used some examples here. Gabby said, “Oh, you need, (um), three tablespoons of salt.”
Lindsay: “Oh, so ‘many’ tablespoons of salt,” or…
Lindsay: “So ‘much’ salt.”
Gabby: Yes, exactly. So I think we need to start with how to visualize what a noncount noun is like because I imagine something that’s like a mass or like, (um) – for example, you can’t put a fence around it. You can’t put a border around…
Gabby: …it clearly. Okay.
Gabby: It’s not, it’s not like a-a-a-an object that you could set on the table and it’ll, it’ll hold its shape. It’s something that – for example, if I dumped a bag of sugar on the table it would just go everywhere.
Lindsay: Yeah, exactly.
Gabby: And so sugar…
Lindsay: So that one we can’t count.
Gabby: Right. I can’t count sugar because it would go everywhere. What are some other things that would…
Gabby: …just go everywhere? (Uh), sorry.
Lindsay: Okay, so, okay, don’t, yeah – so for example, sand I’m thinking about sand…
Lindsay: …right? Sand on the beach similar to sugar…
Lindsay: …it’s everywhere. All around you, on your feet, between your toes, you can’t count it. You, (eh), but you could count grains of sand, right?
Gabby: Well, yeah. Once we start identifying a part, or a section, or an…
Gabby: …individual unit, then we…
Gabby: …can, we can start counting. So…
Gabby: …a grain of sand, a cup of sand, a bottle of sand.
Gabby: (Um), I don’t know what else of sand you would have, but with foods it’s really easy to identify different counters because we have tablespoons, we have teaspoons, we have cups, we have – or…
Lindsay: Or a bag of chocolate, right?
Lindsay: We said a bag of chocolate…
Lindsay: …versus chocolate in general.
Gabby: Or chocolate chips.
Gabby: Chips of chocolate are countable. So we…
Gabby: …have to think about, in our mind, what is a unit that would stand on it’s own. What’s something that wouldn’t just go everywhere if you dump it on the table?
Lindsay: (Mm), absolutely.
Gabby: Even something that you can’t eat like money. If you dump a bag of money on the table – doesn’t that sound nice – it will go everywhere. Okay.
Lindsay: It would go everywhere.
Gabby: We have to think…
Lindsay: But we could…
Lindsay: …break that down, right?
Lindsay: How could we break it down into things that we can count?
Gabby: Sure, a dollar bill.
Gabby: So a…
Lindsay: Or a nickel.
Gabby: …bill or, yeah, a nickel, sure. So those are units that we can count. All right so what’s the point of visualizing all of these things that you can count or can’t count? Well, that’s how you know if you should use ‘many’ or ‘much’.
So think of ‘much’ as those things that you dump on the table and they go everywhere. Right.
Lindsay: Yeah, they go between your toes. They spill over the table and you…
Lindsay: …can’t contain them.
Gabby: Exactly. (Um), ‘much’ or ‘a lot’, (right). So I tend to think…
Gabby: …of ‘much’ as a word that I use in negative sentences like, (um), for example, “I don’t have ‘much’ money.”
Lindsay: Oh, I was gonna (going to) say that too.
Gabby: Or, “I don’t, I don’t want to eat ‘much’ sugar.”
Lindsay: Right, right. (Um), “But I do have ‘a lot’ of free time.”
Gabby: Oh, that’s a good one, time, nice.
Gabby: Yeah. (Um), or, yeah, “I, I wanna (want to) eat ‘a lot’ of, (um), salt.” I’m trying to think of a good example that’s (non-coun-) – how about, “I wanna (want to) drink ‘a lot’ of milk because it does a body good.” That’s a – sorry – that’s a slogan that, (uh), I think the dairy association in the US came up with so…
Lindsay: Does a body good.
Gabby: …we automatically think, ah “milk, it does a body good”. I don’t know if you…
Lindsay: Right, but some people are questioning that now…
Gabby: I know.
Lindsay: …but yes anyways.
Gabby: And actually I don’t really drink much milk, but how ‘bout (about), how ‘bout (about), “I wanna (want to) drink ‘a lot’ of almond milk.” How, how ‘bout (about) that?
Gabby: Is that, is that okay?
Lindsay: Yeah, absolutely. You can do that and that would do your body good.
Gabby: Yeah. So, anyway, I tend to think of ‘much’ as kind of negative. I, I use it in negative sentences and ‘a lot’ with positive. So this is another common mistake which is kind of a related point, but I hear a lot of people saying, for example, “I have ‘much’ money.”
Gabby: For example.
Lindsay: Sounds a little bit strange.
Gabby: Sounds really strange. You would say, “I have ‘a lot’…
Gabby: …of money.” (I mean), well, I don’t know if you would say that, but just for example.
Lindsay: I wouldn’t.
Gabby: Maybe – how, how ‘bout (about) this, “I eat ‘much’ sugar.” That’s not…
Gabby: …right. I…
Lindsay: Also, but…
Gabby: Really strange.
Lindsay: …you could say, “I don’t eat ‘much’ sugar.”
Gabby: Yeah, negative…
Gabby: …negative, right. So, “I…
Gabby: …eat ‘a lot’ of sugar,” is more correct.
Lindsay: Yes. That’s it.
Lindsay: That’s it. So also to remember guys, a lot of these TOP 15 FIXES we’ve been talking about how you can move seamlessly between one and the other, right?
Lindsay: So in that same conversation we can move with the same topic, the object that we’re talking about from ‘much’ to ‘many’ as we’ve just done. So keeping your English kind of fluid and moving back and forth and not staying rigid is, is part of the key here.
Gabby: Exactly, yeah, and just to finish up because we were talking about ‘much’ a lot you wanna (want to) also know when to use ‘many’. So ‘many’ is when you can count something, like, (um), teaspoons of sugar. Are you going to put ‘many’ teaspoons of sugar in your cookies? Or ‘many’…
Lindsay: Right, or ‘many’ bags of chocolate? Or…
Lindsay: …bags of flour or cups of flour, not bags.
Gabby: Yeah, exactly. So I hope this is a little bit more clear. (Um), just remember that if you can dump something on the table and it goes everywhere you’re gonna (going to) be using ‘much’ or ‘a lot’.
Lindsay: (Uh-hmm), and if you can put it into little containers, or pieces…
Lindsay: …or cups, or teaspoons, or bags you’re gonna (going to) be using ‘many’.
Gabby: (Uh-hmm). Perfect, I love it. That’s clear to me.
Lindsay: All right. Thanks Guys.
Lindsay: If you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.
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