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How to Boost Someone’s Ego in English with One Simple Word

Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 237: “How to Boost Someone’s Ego in English with One Simple Word.”

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, downloaded more than 5 million times. We believe in connection, not perfection. You’ll finally get real Native English conversation with your American hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Michelle Kaplan, the ‘New York Radio Girl’ coming to you from Boston and New York City, USA.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Michelle, I don’t think I have any good ideas for today’s episode.

Michelle: Really, but, but you always have such good ideas though.

Lindsay: (Ah) Okay, let’s give it a try. So, guys today you’re going to learn how to boost someone’s ego using one simple word.

[Instrumental]

Michelle: Hey, what’s up Lindsay?

Lindsay: Hey Michelle. How are you doing?

Michelle: I’m good. How are you?

Lindsay: I’m feeling great. I’m excited to be here recording a podcast episode with you.

Michelle: Yeah! Me too.

Lindsay: Awesome. Glad to hear it. So today is our second tear up your textbook Tuesday. Where we’re going to talk about some things that are often not really included in textbooks, right?

Michelle: Absolutely, even, I mean, textbooks can be really good and they can give you some great, you know, basic English but sometimes they’re kind of missing the boat when it comes to conversational English.

Lindsay: Missing the boat. I like that. I think that’s a good way to describe what happens sometimes and, you know, we want to show you guys how to be friendly and how to build relationships and how to, you know, how to have more friends and just feel better in the English speaking world. So, that’s what we’re here to do with these Tuesdays and specifically today we want to show you how to boost someone’s ego. Right, how to make someone feel better about something.

Michelle: Absolutely.

Lindsay: And so, let’s, let’s actually jump into a couple of situations here Michelle and maybe our listeners will be able to figure out what we’re saying or what word we’re using to boost each other’s egos.

Michelle: Okay, yeah that sounds great.

Lindsay: So, let’s, let’s imagine this first situation. We’re in New York and I’m going to take you for a tour of my neighborhood. Okay, are you ready?

Michelle: Yeah, yeah, that sounds awesome.

Lindsay: All right, here we go. So, Michelle, this is South Park Slope, I mean, this is, you know, this is where I live. So, you know, it’s really, it’s not that great.

It’s kind of messy. There’s trash on the ground all the time

Michelle: Really? I mean, I think it’s kind of cute though. I mean I think it’s nice. Can I see, like show me around?

Lindsay: Okay, well, well this is my apartment, first of all, and unfortunately it’s a railroad apartment which I think I talked about on another episode which means, you know, there’s no privacy in the apartment and there’s no sink in the bathroom.

Michelle: (Ugh), I know, well, I mean, it’s okay Lindsay. I mean, you’re in South Park Slope though, you know, like you’re near Prospect Park. There’s a lot of good things.

Lindsay: Yeah, that’s true. That’s true, but I guess South Park Slope is pretty cool these days, isn’t it? It’s kind of, kind of hip and it’s, it’s a cool neighborhood but I have to do my laundry in this horrible laundromat across the street and it just smells bad.

Michelle: I know, but, I mean, like I said there’s a lot of good things about it though, right? Like, you’re near downtown Manhattan. You have cool coffee shops. Like, everything is good, right?

Lindsay: Yeah, I guess you’re right, I mean, alright you’re making me feel a little bit better about my neighborhood. I guess, I have Gorilla Coffee, which is this really cool coffee shop. Have you ever been to it?

Michelle: I haven’t, but, I mean, it sounds super cool.

Lindsay: Yeah, it is cool so why don’t we go have a coffee there now, so maybe I’m feeling a little better about the price I’m paying for South Park Slope.

Michelle: There’s a lot of things to do though, so I mean, I think, I think it’s all good.

Lindsay: Yeah, that’s true. Thanks for (uh) boosting my ego Michelle.

Michelle: You are welcome, any time.

Lindsay: That was great. So, I felt like that was pretty natural. What do you think Michelle? Was that pretty natural, a pretty typical conversation?

Michelle: Absolutely, I mean, a lot of times, you know, of course one person can be kind of down on themselves about something and the other person naturally is going to try to make them feel better about it, boost their ego like you said.

Lindsay: Boost their ego, exactly. So, I wonder if our listeners could hear what that word was that we kept using, that you continued to use throughout the conversation. What was it Michelle?

Michelle: (Uh), the word that I used was though.

Lindsay: Ahh, and where did you put it?

Michelle: I put it at the end of the sentence.

Lindsay: Interesting. And what did you do with your voice at the end of the sentence to go along with though?

Michelle: I believe that I raised it.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Michelle: My intonation raised.

Lindsay: Yeah, right exactly. Oh you live near a cool coffee shop though, right. Yeah, the intonation, that’s a big part of this. So guys, when you want to boost someone’s ego, make someone feel better, help them see the bright side of a situation, you want to use though at the end of the sentence. This is a really cool, natural (uh) trick. It’s really a trick that we’re teaching you here.

Michelle: Absolutely, I mean, this is something that people say all the time, and yeah it’s really just you put a little bit of stress on the word though to kind of you know make people feel better. Like, oh that’s so great though, you live in a great apartment though, right?

Lindsay: Such a cute apartment though. It’s such a cool neighborhood though.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Hey guys, today Michelle and I are showing you how to boost someone’s ego, how to make someone feel better about themselves and build a relationship by using the word though. But, if you want a more in-depth five step lesson guide on how to use though in your conversations with native speakers, go to allearsenglish.com/ego, that’s allearsenglish.com/ego.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Okay, let’s do one more situation. So now, you guys that are listening today, now you know the term, the word we want to use to boost someone’s ego is ‘though’ at the end of the sentence. So, listen to how we use it now in this next situation.

Michelle: Okay.

Lindsay: Yeah, so this next situation Michelle, you’re cooking tonight.

Michelle: Uh-oh.

Lindsay: I know, I know. It’s a scary thought, but, and we’re at your place and you’re cooking and I’m trying to boost your ego and make you feel better about what you’ve cooked.

Michelle: Okay, sounds good.

Lindsay: Okay, here we go. So, Michelle, thanks for cooking dinner tonight.

Michelle: Yeah, no problem. I mean, it’s, you know, I made tacos, but, like, I’m not really a good cook at all.

Lindsay: Ahh, but it’s, it’s nice and spicy though. It tastes really good.

Michelle: Aww, thanks. I don’t know, like, I’m not really good at like, you know, chopping up the vegetables. I tried to make it good but like, I don’t know.

Lindsay: They taste crisp though, they taste fresh. I mean, I, I think they’re good.

Michelle: Really?

Lindsay: Yeah, where did you get the recipe?

Michelle: Um, I just found it online. It was like the first time I tried it and I don’t know, I just, I mean, I just, I think it tastes okay, I mean.

Lindsay: It was a great idea though. I mean, you know, trying something new.

Michelle: Thanks. Thanks. Yeah. I, I, I don’t know but yeah, no, I feel better. Like, you feel that it’s okay? Like, it’s not, like, too crunchy or too soft or anything?

Lindsay: Definitely, it’s fine. What else do you like to cook? I mean, what else have you tried cooking? What other meals?

Michelle: (Um), let’s see. Well I like to make different pastas with different sauces.

(Um), so, yeah things like that. I’ve actually tried to make a zucchini pasta.

Lindsay: And what happened then?

Michelle: It was okay. I mean, it’s, you know, nothing can, nothing can replace real pasta, but it was pretty fun. But, yeah, no, I mean you’re making me feel a lot better about my cooking.

Lindsay: Yeah, ok great, that was another great example of how to boost someone’s ego around the cooking situation because I’m also not a very good cook, but you know if I have a friend come to my house and I cook for that friend, I want them to say something nice about my cooking, not to be totally honest. And that’s interesting Michelle, right? That’s another topic we could go into, honesty across cultures.

Michelle: Oh, I think that’s really interesting and also like yeah directness.

Lindsay: Directness and honesty. I think there are some parts of the world where you should actually tell them that their cooking is bad because it’s linked to another aspect of culture, but here in the US often it’s a good idea to, you know, boost someone’s ego. If it’s not a serious issue, then just make them feel a little bit better.

Michelle: Yeah. And I think though is a really, really good way to do that.

Lindsay: Though is a good way to do that. Can you think of any other situations when we might use though to boost someone’s ego?

Michelle: (Um), probably when you’re like in a dressing room and your friend asks you, like, do I look fat?

Lindsay: Ooooo, that’s a good one.

Michelle: You can be like the color is really good on you though.

Lindsay: Oh that’s a great one.

Michelle: Oh, like, it lights up your face though and it suits your body though, you know.

Lindsay: That’s it, that’s it, perfect. That’s a great example. I love that.

Michelle: Thanks.

Lindsay: Yeah, so maybe the dress doesn’t look good on the person, but you’re gonna (going to) find the good things about the dress and maybe the colors or the shape or something and make them feel better.

Michelle: Right. Exactly.

Lindsay: Awesome. So, so we’re comparing this to although because a lot of textbooks will use the word although, right. And they’ll put that at the beginning of a sentence, right.

Michelle: Right.

Lindsay: And I don’t think that’s super realistic. What do you think Michelle?

Michelle: I completely agree. I mean, I think, I’m trying to think of when I would actually say ‘although’ and I just don’t think that it’s very common. I mean, potentially, you know, in writing, but I don’t think that when I actually speak I use although very often. I mean, I think that ‘though’ is much, much more common and I think, you know, that it says, I don’t know. I think that it’s really helpful to learn about culture and it’s really a good thing that (uh) the textbook isn’t going to tell you.

Lindsay: So, ‘though’ is, so we’ve given you guys a real trick. So I think that ‘although’ is more formal and as you said it’s used more in writing. And I think though is a way to build a relationship with someone, boost their ego, make them feel better, as long as you throw it at the end of a sentence, put it in at the end of the sentence, use the tone of voice. Listen to this episode again so that you can mirror our tone of voice.

Michelle: Right, exactly. Like, you’ll notice that you say the good part and then you add though in at the end. Like, it’s so cute though. The vegetables are really crisp though. I love that right.

Lindsay: That’s it. The shoes look really good on you though. That’s it, that’s it. This has been good. So, why don’t you guys come back to

allearsenglish.com/237 and let us know when you’ve used this word though to boost someone’s ego, to make them feel better about themselves or about their cooking or about something along those lines.

Okay. So this has been great. Thanks Michelle for joining us today.

Michelle: Thank you so much Lindsay. This was great.

Lindsay: Take care.

Michelle: Thanks, bye.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: We gave you some good tips today on how to use though to make people feel better about themselves in a conversation in English, but if you want a little more help we have a five step lesson guide prepared just for you if you go over allearsenglish.com/ego, that’s allearsenglish.com/ego and I’ll see you there.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: If you believe in connection, not perfection and you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. And hey, if you liked today’s show please let us know with a review in iTunes. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.

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