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Native Speaker Expressions That Are NOT in Your English Textbook
Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 180: “Native Speaker Expressions That Are NOT in Your English Textbook.” [Instrumental]
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: Do you think there’s a right and a wrong way to speak English? In this episode, we’ll explore the answer.
Lindsay: Gabby, can you believe that All Ears English has been around for a year?
Gabby: It has been almost a whole year. Oh my gosh! It’s amazing.
Lindsay: And it’s awesome. Our community is growing. We wanna (want to) thank you guys.
Gabby: Yeah, we love putting on the All Ears English show. But you know what, it’s in danger.
Gabby: It’s in danger because we need your help to keep going. We need your support. We’ve started a Kickstarter campaign that will help to fund the All Ears English podcast. All the episodes are going to continue to be free for you, but we need your help to fund our Kickstarter campaign to keep going. The deadline is October 1, 2014, and you can go find our campaign on our website, AllEarsEnglish.com/Kickstarter.
Gabby: Lindsay, what’s up?
Lindsay: Gabby! Oh, today, Gabby…
Lindsay: …I feel like singing. ‘I can’t get no satisfaction and I tried…”
Lindsay: ‘And I tried…’
Gabby: Lindsay, that’s not grammatically correct.
Lindsay: Gabby, I was having a good time.
Gabby: (You know), we’re serious English professors and you shouldn’t be singing such lyrics that are not grammatically proper.
Lindsay: I’m taking a walk on the wild side here.
Gabby: I don’t know about that. Guys, in today’s episode, we’re gonna (going to) talk about six Native speaker mistakes that you commonly hear, (like), every single day.
Lindsay: Right. And this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t practice with Natives, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn English out in the world…
Lindsay: …with Native speakers.
Lindsay: It’s not a problem, but we just wanna (want to) highlight a couple of the big ones.
Gabby: And just be aware that the way we speak English is different from the way we write English. These are some forms that you might not see written – you might – but, for example, if you’re taking a TOEFL test, or you’re taking an IELTS, or you’re, (you know), you’re trying to write an academic essay, then, (you know), you won’t see these forms.
Lindsay: Definitely not.
Gabby: But you’ll hear them.
Lindsay: And before we go into this…
Lindsay: …I just wanna (want to) remind our community our motto, our slogan is “Connection not Perfection.”
Lindsay: And that hasn’t changed just because we’re doing this episode.
Gabby: Right, right, right. And guys, I was joking about being… Lindsay: Yeah.
Gabby: …a proper professor.
Lindsay: Jeez, you were kinda (kind of) scary there.
Gabby: I-I know. I-I don’t really believe that.
Lindsay: I was having a great time singing. Why were you so mean?
Gabby: Yeah, I was just being funny. You guys know I’m really, really, really funny.
All right. So let’s get into it. Actually the song that Lindsay was singing, the “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, it’s an awesome song – and that’s a great example of actually, (um), doing a double negative. ‘I can’t’ is negative, ‘I cannot’, (right), ‘get no satisfaction’. So we have a double negative, and…
Gabby: …(you know), that’s just not what we learn in grammar class.
Lindsay: Right. Or another example could be (um), “I don’t got no money.” I’ve heard that before.
Gabby: Oh, “I don’t got no money.”
Gabby: “I don’t, I don’t got…”
Lindsay: Big mistake…
Gabby: “…any money”
Gabby: Yeah. (Um), right. And ‘got’ is actually another (kind of) Native speaker comment, (um), (like), not so correct word that we use. ‘Got’…
Gabby: …‘got’ is a (kind of) – is a shortening of gotten, but it, it has replaced ‘have’…
Gabby: …in many, (um), Native speaker conversations. “I don’t have any money.” “I, I ain’t got no money.”
Gabby: Or, or “I, I…”
Lindsay: Or, for example…
Lindsay: …(um), “I got a car.”
Gabby: (Uh-huh), “I got a car.”
Lindsay: (I mean), I say that honestly.
Lindsay: Sometimes I say that.
Gabby: …absolutely. It’s normal.
Gabby: It’s normal. Or, “I, I’ve got no idea.”
Lindsay: “I got, I got no idea.”
Gabby: Instead of “I have no idea,”…
Gabby: …we, we might say, “I’ve got no idea.”
Gabby: ‘Cause (because) this is part of the reason why listening to English presents such a challenge to a lot of you because we do substitute a lot of textbook English with these common words, which we’re calling mistakes in thisepisode, but it’s debatable whether they’re even mistakes because they’re so common and the language evolves, it changes.
Lindsay: Language is dynamic.
Lindsay: And that’s another episode we could do about… Gabby: Yeah.
Lindsay: …a dynamic versus static languages and what’s the way.
Gabby: But we want you to be aware that we use these words and phrases all the time. So if you want to improve your listening in English, you have to know these.
Lindsay: Okay, so what’s another one Gabby?
Gabby: ‘Ain’t’. So, I think we said it just now when I said, “I ain’t got no money,” which is, (like), three things in one that you don’t see in a textbook.
Gabby: …’ain’t’ means ‘I don’t’.
Lindsay: Right. Or it can mean ‘I’m not’, (right), like…
Lindsay: …“I ain’t from here.”
Gabby: (Uh-huh), (uh-huh), (uh-huh).
Lindsay: Let’s simplify that.
Gabby: (Um), I’m tryna’ (trying to) think if there’s, (like), a popular song – I think ‘ain’t’ – it, it, we hear it in so many different songs, different lyrics.
Lindsay: Especially in music from the 60s.
Lindsay: You might wanna (want to) check out, (like), Creedence Clearwater Revival. I’m sure they have ‘ain’t’.
Gabby: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Lindsay: I love that stuff.
Gabby: Yeah. Well, maybe we’ll think of the lyrics later, but (um), that’s just, (you know), it’s another reason why, (like), listening to lyrics in English is really helpful, but maybe more helpful for your speaking and listening…
Gabby: …and less helpful if you’re preparing to take an academic test.
Lindsay: Yeah. So you – yeah.
Gabby: So another one is – actually we talked about it on our last Tuesday episode when we were talking about hope and wish, (um), “If I was…”
Lindsay: Right. Now, this one’s super, super, super common.
Gabby: “I wish I was a little bit taller.”
Lindsay: It almost sounds correct because so many…
Gabby: So many people say it.
Lindsay: …[crosstalk] use it.
Lindsay: I think you actually would have to be an English teacher…
Lindsay: …or an intellectual.
Gabby: Yeah. What’s the correct way to say this?
Lindsay: “If I were.”
Gabby: “If I were”, yeah.
Gabby: But I’m gonna (going to) bet that 90% of Americans would normally say, “If I was.”
Lindsay: Right. Yeah. Absolutely.
Gabby: I’ve done a poll. I’ve polled all Americans and I’ve asked them, yes…
Lindsay: Oh, wow, you’re so prepared for this episode.
Gabby: So, anyway, yeah, “If, if I was,” (um), instead of “If I were.” Lindsay: “If I were,” instead of “If I was.”
Gabby: Right. Sorry. No. Well, people say “If I was.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
The correct, grammatical way is “If I were.”
Lindsay: “So, if I were a millionaire, I would buy an island.” Let’s give another example.
Gabby: Isn’t that another song? (Um), if I…
Gabby: Oh, no. “If I had a million dollars.”
Lindsay: Oh, different, different.
Gabby: Sorry, guys.
Gabby: All right. So another…
Lindsay: This one is long.
Gabby: Well, I think people tend to avoid the past participle. So…
Lindsay: Oh, okay.
Gabby: …the correct sentence would be, “I have gone…” Lindsay: (Mm-hm).
Gabby: “…to…” Where have I gone? “I’ve gone to…”
Lindsay: Three states in the last three days.
Lindsay: For example.
Gabby: Exactly. “I’ve gone to Texas, New York, and Massachusetts in the last three days.” It’s true. But, (um), a friend of mine, and I won’t name names, but he said, “I have went…”
Gabby: “…to three states.”
Lindsay: Sounds weird.
Gabby: “I’ve went.” But it’s common.
Lindsay: (Mm-hm). Yeah. I think I was just talking to somebody yesterday who used this actually. So…
Gabby: Well, we – (I mean), that’s not the only example. I think we, we tend to avoid the past participle…
Gabby: …and, (you know), English is changing. The past participle is often very different.
Gabby: (Like), for example, “I buy… bought. I have… Well, I have bought…” It’s the same, right.
Gabby: “I have, (um)… I’ve gotten.” Right.
Lindsay: Yeah, “I’ve gotten.”
Gabby: (Um), or, (like), “I drink. I drank. I have drunk.” Lindsay: Yeah.
Gabby: That’s one.
Lindsay: So with that verb…
Gabby: Really going out of style.
Lindsay: …people really avoid that verb.
Lindsay: Also because the word ‘drunk’ means ‘to be drunk’.
Lindsay: So we, we don’t like to say…
Gabby: Or, “I…”
Lindsay: …the word ‘drunk’.
Gabby: “…swim, I swam, I swum.”
Gabby: (I mean), it’s so different, that now, I think, people are forgetting the…
Gabby: …past participle.
Lindsay: And going around.
Lindsay: So instead of saying, “I have swum five miles,” “I went swimming…”
Gabby: Yeah, oh, yeah. You avoid it all together.
Lindsay: “…and I swam five miles.”
Lindsay: And we’re not recommending that you guys use these, (right), we’re not saying go out and say “I have went.”
Lindsay: …we’re just saying when you hear it…
Gabby: Be aware of it.
Lindsay: …just, just listen, just hear it and, and understand that, (you know), that’s what some people use, and it’s okay.
Gabby: Well, in my opinion, I’m gonna (going to) be a little bit on the edge here.
I’m gonna (going to) be a little…
Gabby: Yeah, I-I’m gonna (going to) be a little out there with my opinion. I think that the way you speak English depends on who you want to be seen as and who you want to spend time with.
Gabby: We tend to start speaking like the people who we spend the most time with.
Lindsay: That’s true.
Gabby: And so if you want to be part of a group of friends and colleagues…
Gabby: …who speak like this, then you should speak like this. You should…
Lindsay: Yeah, because language creates culture.
Gabby: That’s a really good point.
Gabby: So you create your culture through the way you speak.
Gabby: I love it.
Lindsay: And I think it’ll happen naturally. It’s not that you need to say, “I wanna (want to) use these phrases ‘cause (because) I want to hang out with some, certain people.”
Lindsay: It’s more like when you start hanging out with them, you will just (kind of) adopt the phrases.
Gabby: Exactly. They’ll be – (I mean) – we use this word a lot. They’ll be your tribe, (right). You, you want to empathize and emulate, (you know), and, and have, (um), empathy with the people you hang out with. But look, (I mean), if you want to be an academic, if you want to be seen as someone…
Gabby: …who knows the grammar rules then – or you shouldn’t talk like this.
Lindsay: Yeah, no. Definitely not. And there’s one more… Gabby: Yes
Lindsay: …that can be really confusing. So when we talk about regrets, (right).
Lindsay: “Oh, if I had had more money when I was younger…” Gabby: (Mm).
Lindsay: “…I would have bought a car,” for example.
Gabby: Right. What’s…?
Lindsay: So that’s correct.
Gabby: That’s correct, yeah.
Lindsay: But the mistake that we make is “If I would’ve had more money, I would’ve bought a car.”
Lindsay: So Native speakers will repeat would in the ‘if’ phrase and in the ‘when’ phrase.
Gabby: Right. ‘Cause (because) it’s confusing.
Lindsay: Or in the ‘would’ phrase. So, (right), so it’s – (hm). It’s common. I think I heard this on TV. I think a celebrity was being interviewed.
Lindsay: Even a celebrity…
Lindsay: …was being interviewed the other day and I heard it.
Gabby: Well, (you know), celebrities aren’t always known for their grammar.
Lindsay: Which is fine.
Lindsay: So I think the point we’re trying to make here guys is understand that language is flexible.
Lindsay: Be open to that.
Lindsay: And then you decide what version of English you want to use.
Gabby: That’s right.
Lindsay: We’re not saying use this or use that…
Lindsay: (Um), based on who you wanna (want to) hang out with, how you wanna (want to) be seen, and where you wanna (want to) go…
Gabby: Absolutely. So you create your identity and you create your culture through the language you use.
Lindsay: (Uh-hm). Nice.
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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