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One Super Conversational Way to Talk About Your Plans in English
Michelle: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 233: “One Super Conversational Way to Talk About Your Plans in English.”
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 Michele Kaplan, the ‘New York Radio Girl’ coming to you from Boston and New York City, USA.
Lindsay: Your textbooks have been leaving out one way to be super conversational in English. Today, find out how to talk about your weekend plans the way Natives do.
Lindsay: Hey, Michelle, we’re here today with our Super Fan, All Ears English Super Fan.
Michelle: Oh, great. Okay. So what’s his name?
Lindsay: So his name, this month, is Attila.
Michelle: Hi Attila. Thanks for listening.
Michelle: (Um), so tell me, (um), what’s an example of how Attila, (uh), the Super Fan, has applied what he’s learned from All Ears English to his real life.
Lindsay: Good question Michelle. So Attila has been going back and listening to our old episodes. And we really appreciate that ‘cause (because) there’re a lot of great episodes in there. He really liked Episode 12 where we talked about making mistakes…
Lindsay: …(right). Yeah. So mistakes are a big deal for our listeners and we know that we wanna (want to) just push through those mistakes. Right, Michelle.
Michelle: Absolutely. Oh, my goodness. Mistakes are such a great part of the process, I think.
Lindsay: I think so too. I think so too.
Michelle: (Um), so tell me, how many people has Attila told, (uh), about All Ears English in the past one or two months?
Lindsay: Yeah. Good question. So Attila actually has his own blog, a language blog where he talks about different places to learn English and I wanna (want to) give you guys his URL if you wanna (want to) learn about how to learn English. So his URL is challengeoflearningUSEnglish.blogspot.hu, and he’s written about All Ears English over there.
Michelle: Okay. Awesome. That’s so cool that he’s done that. You guys should definitely check it out. Lindsay: Yeah. And, and the one thing, (right) – so, (um), the way that Attila, (um), believes th-th-the key to success in English in life – he really believes in enthusiasm. And this is so important. Don’t you think?
Michelle: I completely agree.
Lindsay: Yeah. (I mean) why not (d-) – if you’re really gonna (going to) do something, why not do it with enthusiasm?
Michelle: Definitely. I think that that’s so important. You should be enthusiastic about what you’re learning because learning is exciting and especially learning a language, I think, is such a great thing to learn.
Lindsay: There it is. So, Attila, thanks so much for being an awesome Super Fan.
Thanks for supporting our community and thanks for listening.
Michelle: Thank you Attila.
Lindsay: Hey, Michelle. What’s happening?
Michelle: Hey, Lindsay. Not too much. How are you?
Lindsay: I’m feeling great. I am super excited because today is our first in a series called ‘Tear Up Your Textbook’ Tuesday.
Michelle: That’s awesome. I think this is gonna (going to) be really, really exciting and wonderful for everyone because, (you know), so often we get so – held on – we, we hold on to our textbooks way too much. And sometimes the textbook doesn’t have everything we need.
Lindsay: Absolutely. And that’s what we wanna (want to) show you guys on these Tuesdays what the textbook has left out or what the textbook has not told you about conversational English, real English. Right, Michelle?
Michelle: Exactly. Exactly. So I’m really excited about this as well.
Lindsay: I know. This is gonna (going to) be really cool. So the first thing we wanna (want to) talk about on this first ‘Tear Up Your Textbook’ Tuesday is how to talk about things that are happening in the future, right, Michelle. What do textbooks usually tell us when we talk about the future?
Michelle: I think that a textbook is usually gonna (going to) say you talk about the future by using ‘will’ or ‘going to’.
Lindsay: Ooh. But there’s another way, a top secret way that Native speakers use, I think, more than ‘will’ and ‘going to’, and what is that?
Michelle: We actually use the progressive, (uh), to talk about the future, which is really interesting and i-it can be, (uh), a little confusing, but I think it’s so important because I do think that it’s very conversational.
Lindsay: It’s very conversational, so that’s why – let’s highlight it now in a conversation.
Lindsay: Let’s stop talking about grammar, let’s go straight to the conversation. (Sh)… So Michelle, what are you having for dinner tonight?
Michelle: (Uh), tonight I’m having (uh) something delicious. I’m having some chicken. (Um), I’m, I’m… Sorry.
Lindsay: That’s okay. [crosstalk]
Michelle: Okay. Okay. So, (to-)… Okay. Tonight I’m having chicken and rice for dinner. My future mother-in-law is cooking a delicious…
Michelle: …dinner for me and I’m so excited.
Lindsay: Oh, that’s awesome. So are you bringing anything to the dinner? Are you, are you bringing a, a bottle of wine to the dinner or anything?
Michelle: (Uh), yeah. I’m bringing some wine. I’m gonna (going to), (uh), go to the store and get some wine, (um), maybe some flowers. It’s gonna (going to) be great. What about you? What are you doing for dinner? Lindsay: Ooh, that’s a good – (uh), tonight I am joining my, my meditation circle, actually, for a potluck. And a potluck is one of those cool terms, American, cultural terms which means that we all bring our own dish. And that means – I just realized I haven’t cooked anything.
Lindsay: And that’s happening in a few hours [crosstalk].
Michelle: (Uh-oh). Okay.
Lindsay: I’m in trouble.
Michelle: You need to do that.
Lindsay: So in that case, I’m definitely stopping by the grocery store on my way.
Michelle: Okay. That sounds like a good idea.
Lindsay: And so what are you, what are you doing for the rest of the weekend? (I mean), what are you doing this weekend?”
Michelle: (Um), this weekend I’m seeing a, a movie that I’ve wanted to see for a long time.
Lindsay: Oh, what movie are you seeing?
Michelle: (Uh), I actually can’t remember the name, but it’s the one about, (uh), Stephen Hawking.
Lindsay: Oh, interesting. So wha-what did he do by the way? What… he’s – so he’s a math whiz. Is that his, (um), his gig?
Michelle: Yeah, he’s basically a genius, but unfortunately, he, (you know), he was diagnosed with a terrible disease, which, which left him, (you know), in a wheelchair and he speaks…
Michelle: …(uh), (you know), basically by a computer. (Um), so this movie is all about that. So I’m seeing that this weekend. (Um)…
Michelle: …so that should be good.
Lindsay: Yeah. Where’s the movie playing? Are you, are you going downtown to see the movie or where, where are you gonna (going to) see it?
Michelle: I think I’m going in the mall.
Lindsay: Oh, okay.
Michelle: Oh, yeah. There’s a movie theater at the mall. So, I-I’ll, I’ll see the movie there. It’s gonna (going to) be really good. I hope. I – it got really good reviews.
Lindsay: Great. And are you, are you getting popcorn at the movies? [crosstalk]
Michelle: Of course, I’m getting popcorn. I’m getting popcorn. I’m getting soda. I’m buying some, (uh), (hmm), probably Sour Patch Kids. Those are my favorite candy.
Lindsay: But they charge so much money if you buy the popcorn in the movie theater.
Michelle: That’s true. That’s why I’m sneaking it in.
Lindsay: Ooh. Tricky. You’re sneaking it in. I like that.
Michelle: Yep. I’m sneaking it in. Everybody does that. I, (I mean), hopefully, hopefully this doesn’t get me in trouble, but I think people often put, (uh), candies in their, in their jackets, (um)…
Lindsay: Be careful Michelle. A lot of people listen to this podcast. So you never know.
Michelle: That’s true. I’m not, I’m not, (uh), trying to convince you to do any of this, but (uh), I guess I like to live on the edge.
Lindsay: You like to live on the edge. What does it mean to live on the edge?
Michelle: Living on the edge is like, (um), doing crazy things and, (you know), being spontaneous, not…
Michelle: …getting too caught up in the rules. So for me…
Michelle: …living on the edge is bringing in, (uh), candy to the movie theater.
Lindsay: I like that. I like that. And what are you doing for the holidays this year?
Are you visiting family, or…?
Michelle: Yeah. For the holidays I’m going to Maryland.
Lindsay: (Um), nice.
Michelle: Yeah, so…
Lindsay: Are, are you driving down there or are you taking the train?
Michelle: Yeah, I’m driving. I’m driving. I’m happy…
Lindsay: Aw, man. I hope….
Michelle: …because we recently got a car.
Lindsay: Oh, awesome. Awesome. Hopefully, the weather will be, will be nicer down there, (right). It’s probably a little bit warmer than in New York.
Michelle: Yeah, (probab-), just a little bit warmer. It’ll probably still be kinda (kind of) cold, but that’s okay. What about you, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?
Lindsay: Yeah. So I’m going to my parents place in New Hampshire. I hang out with my parents a lot on the holidays. It’s really nice. (You know), we, we have great conversation now that I’m older. When I was a teenager, I didn’t wanna (want to) talk to my parents. I’m sure that some of our listeners felt the same way, right. You’re an awkward teenager or 20-something, you wanna (want to) hang out with your friends on the holidays, but now, I really look forward to my time with them.
Michelle: Yeah. That’s great. That’s great. So, are you gonna (going to), are you doing any shopping when you go home?
Lindsay: (Um). Oh, my god. I’m not doing any (sho-) – I usually leave my holiday shopping until like the 24th, like the day before Christmas.
Michelle: Oh, no!
Lindsay: I really – I procrastinate on that, (you know).
Michelle: That’s okay. That’s okay.
Lindsay: Yeah. It’s hard to get into gear too early. Are you a last minute shopper?
Are you an – do you do things ahead of time?
Michelle: Ah, that’s a good question. I think it depends. Sometimes I see a gift and I get inspired and I get a gift really, really early.
Michelle: But then other times, I get so nervous about the whole thing that, (um), I get so caught up in trying to find the perfect gift that…
Michelle: …that I don’t get anything until the last minute.
Lindsay: Yeah, that happens. It gets so stressful and you, you start to overthink things. What am I gonna (going to) get this person? And, (uh), I have to say sometimes I just get gift certificates. I know it’s kind of lame, but, (you know), (I mean), sometimes I just don’t know what to get.
Michelle: I don’t think it’s lame. I, I think at sometimes it’s, sometimes it’s a really good option.
Lindsay: Really? I guess so. (I mean), I like to receive gift certificates.
Michelle: Yeah. No, me too. Me too. I think it’s good.
Lindsay: Hey, guys. Do you wanna (want to) get a lesson on how to use this language tip in real English conversations? Go to
AllEarsEnglish.com/Future to get this before the price goes up. That’s AllEarsEnglish.com/F-u-t-u-r-e.
Lindsay: Yeah. So this has been good. So we’ve been using this future tense, this progressive tense to talk about things that are happening in the future. So what were some of the questions that I asked you, Michelle? Do you remember?
Michelle: Okay. Yeah, you asked me, (um), what I’m having for dinner?
Lindsay: (Um), yes, exactly. Right. So that’s so weird. This is something that textbooks don’t talk about a lot. But it’s here guys. We’re showing you this is real, conversational English and if you wanna (want to) sound natural, use this form of the future. You don’t have to eliminate the other forms because we did use ‘will’ and ‘going to’ also…
Lindsay: …a few times in this conversation, right Michelle?
Michelle: Absolutely. No, they’re definitely important. You shouldn’t just throw them away, but I think that if you are really thinking about real conversation, I wouldn’t say, “What are you going to have for dinner?” probably.
Michelle: …probably, I’d probably say, “What are you having for dinner?” That just to me, (you know), it sounds much more natural. And I think it’s, that’s the difference. It’s more conversational. And, (you know), as we said, like sometimes the textbook may leave some of that information out.
Lindsay: Yeah. I wonder why they tend to teach the ‘will’ and ‘going to’ and, and tend to ignore this one. But, oh well. So that’s why we’re here, to teach you guys.
Michelle: Absolutely. I think this will be really, really helpful.
Lindsay: Yeah, absolutely. And so just to remind our listeners a few of the other questions that were asked. What else did… what else did I ask you? Do you remember?
Michelle: (Um), you asked me where, where am I going, (uh), this weekend, what am I doing this weekend. (Um)…
Michelle: Oh, and I said, (you know), “I’m seeing a movie. I’m seeing a…”
Michelle: “…movie this weekend.”
Lindsay: Right. I asked you, “Are you, (you know)…” “What are you bringing to the dinner?”
Lindsay: Or, “Are you bringing anything to the dinner?” Yeah.
Michelle: Right. Exactly. Yeah, so I said, “Oh, yeah, I’m bringing wine. I’m bringing flowers.” Things like that.
Michelle: I-it just sounds like very, very conversational and, and it can be confusing.
Maybe the textbook leaves it out because it’s confusing, (um), considering, (you know), the other uses of the progressive tense. (Um), so…
Michelle: …(you know), normally, a lot of times we think about the progressive tenses being what are you doing right now?” (Um)…
Lindsay: Right. Right.
Michelle: …present, present, (uh), continues.
Lindsay: That’s not what we’re talking about though, right.
Michelle: Right. Exactly.
Michelle: So (kind of), I guess, (you know), when you, when you add or, (uh), when you add ‘this weekend’ or ‘tomorrow’, or, or it’s implied, right. Like…
Michelle: …“I’m having chicken for dinner,” (you know). This is something that we’re talking about for the future. I’m not talking about right now. (Um)…
Lindsay: Right. And I think another important thing to remember about this is that this is not the far future, right. Everything that Michelle and I have talked about today are things that are happening this weekend or this month, (right). Christmas is happening in just one month. This is (kind of) immediate plans.
Michelle: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Lindsay: (Mm-hmm). It’s not something – it’s not a future plan, right. We talk about ‘will’. “Oh, someday I will buy an island,” right. That’s different. That’s different.
Michelle: Right, right. I do think that this is more immediate. “I’m seeing a movie this weekend.” (Um), I probably…
Lindsay: “I’m bringing…”
Michelle: Yeah. I probably wouldn’t say (like), “In three years, (um), I’m buying a house.” I’d probably say, “In three years, I will buy a house,” or “I’ll buy a house.”
Michelle: Or, “I’m (goi-)…”
Michelle: (You know). And so, in that sense I do think that that’s a really good point Lindsay that it can be, (you know), usually for immediate future.
Lindsay: Yeah. Things that are pretty sure…
Lindsay: …that you’re sure are gonna (going to) happen and for the immediate future. Ooh, this has been really good and this has been the… the first in our series of ‘Tear Up Your Textbook’ Tuesday. So now we wanna (want to) know what you guys are doing this afternoon, (right), or this evening.
So come on over to AllEarsEnglish.com/233 and let us know what you’re doing this weekend, or this afternoon. Okay, guys. So, thanks for joining us today Michelle. Thank you so much. And, (uh), enjoy your afternoon.
Michelle: Thank you, Lindsay. You too.
Lindsay: Yeah. Take care.
Michelle: Okay, bye.
Lindsay: It’s time to speak more naturally, have more confidence and connect with more people using today’s language tip. Get the lesson guide for step by step instruction on how to make this the future tense a part of your vocabulary. You’ll also get a video lesson from Lindsay, a comprehension quiz, the transcript from today, conversation questions to use this tense and more. But, the price goes up in a few days’ guys. So go to AllEarsEnglish.com/Future. That’s AllEarsEnglish.com/F-u-t-u-r-e.
Lindsay: If you believe in connection, not perfection, and you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, please subscribe to our podcasts 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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