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Weird Tennis Moment and How to Tell a Crazy Story in English
Announcer: This is an All Ears English podcast Episode 1025: “Weird Tennis Moment and How to Tell a Crazy Story in English”
Announcer: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, downloaded more than 50 million times. We believe in Connection NOT Perfection ™, 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, U.S.A.
Announcer: And to get your transcripts delivered by email every week, go to AllEarsEnglish.com/subscribe.
Announcer: Today, we get a great question from a listener. How can you use the verb “to go”, plus a few other weird expressions, to quote someone? Get three ways to do it today.
Lindsay: Hey (hi) Jessica, how are you doing?
Jessica: I am doing so well. James just started second grade this week and it’s really exciting. Ohh my God, he’s such a funny kid. So, when I asked him how his first day of school was, he was, like, “I think okay. My second grade teacher isn’t like way more chill than my first grade teacher.”
Jessica: It was, like, hearing these words out of a little kid’s mouth is so funny.
Lindsay: That’s so weird.
Jessica: He was all, like, ‘‘And everybody is so excited to be there because we have new tokens.” Because, like, tokens are the way they, like, reward kids and give prizes and stuff. So, anyway, it was just, like, the most adorable conversation and he’s super excited about school.
Lindsay: That is awesome. That was so cool hearing you describe your son’s first day of second grade. It brings me back to the days of elementary school and stars on the folders and all that good stuff.
Jessica: Totally. There are so many little tricks, like, so many little details about going to elementary school. Like all the stickers and the tokens and, you know, like, the clips on the board. I don’t know, there are so many little things to keep track of progress and bad deeds and bathroom breaks.
I don’t know. There’s a lot.
Lindsay: It’s so true. And maybe our listeners were able to notice, guys, I hope you are paying attention to this first part here, because Jessica used a few different ways to report what her son had said. Right? To quote this conversation. What did you throw in there, Jessica, to tell us more in a very native way what he said.
Jessica: So, when you’re introducing a quote, right, what somebody else has said, don’t just say “say”. Like, we don’t even use that, right? When we’re telling stories like that. Yeah (yes). So, I used two different ways. I said, “he was like”, and then the quote, and then “he was all” and the quote.
Lindsay: So interesting. I wonder if this will be the first time our listeners have heard this, especially this one, “he was all XYZ”. Right?
Lindsay: You actually added a “like”, you said, “He was all, like, XYZ.” But guys, this is going to be a fun episode today because it’s starting with a student question that I’m going to go ahead and read our student’s question to kick it off today. Are you ready?
Jessica: Awesome. Perfect.
Lindsay: Okay. So, Amer says, his second question is, “When do we use the word ‘go’ instead of the word ‘say’? For example, instead of saying ‘he says’ or ‘he said’, it is said ‘he goes’? I’m really confused and puzzled. Thanks very much. You are amazing. Amer.”
Jessica: Yeah (yes), I can see why that’s puzzling. It is really weird how in English we have all these weird verbs instead of “say”. Right?
Lindsay: It’s so weird. And I think, like, I think a lot of students mix up the grammar and worry about the grammar between “say” and “tell”. Right? Because “tell” means that object, like, “He said…” or, “He told me…” You know what, guys? You don’t even have to use “say” and “tell”, you don’t even have to worry making mistakes, because these three phrases are much more common than “say” and “tell”.
Lindsay: Ohh my gosh, that’s so true. That’s a good point. You can completely avoid those, bypass those completely, and go straight to these. Because these will help you connect more. We were really excited when we saw this question. We both saw it and were, like, “This will be awesome.”
because this will be one of our most natural, native episodes in all of the archives, all 1000 episodes so far.
Jessica: [laughter] Gold banner episode. Yeah (yes). I mean, I have never seen these phrases in any teaching material.
Jessica: Like, anything.
Lindsay: Only here, only here. So, let’s go through three ways, right, three native and natural ways, that you guys can quote someone. Right? So, what’s the first one, Jessica? I think you used… I don’t think you used this one, actually, when you were talking about James.
Jessica: No. So, the verb “go”. Right?
Lindsay: Yeah (yes).
Jessica: Which is so weird. That makes no sense why that would mean “say”, but that’s what we use. So yeah (yes), we use that a lot in present and past.
So, if you’re, like, “I use it in the present tense when I’m describing something that someone says all the time.” Right?
Jessica: Like in that story, James, he uses “chill” all the time now; it’s like his favorite word. So, if I’m sharing that fact with somebody, I could say, “And he always goes, ‘That’s okay Mom, it’s chill.’” Like, if he says something all the time. But I think usually, guys, you’re going to use this to report on past conversations. So, you say would say, “And then he went, ‘I don’t believe you.’”
Lindsay: Yeah (yes). And I think another way that we might use the present tense, “he goes” as we’ve talked about this on the show before, guys, how we want to pull someone into the moment when you’re recounting a story, and you really want to pull someone in, you would use that present tense.
For example, “Last Sunday, I was down on Cambridge Street and I was about to cross the road and I turned my head to the right and this guy goes, ‘Stop’.” Right? That is really when I want to pull someone in, and in that case, I could use the present tense, “goes”.
Jessica: Yeah (yes), for sure. Guys, this is an actual verb tense that, like, nobody knows about. It’s called a historical present. And, like Lindsay said, we use that when we tell stories and jokes to bring our audience in. Right? Just like how do we become a conversation magnet? Like, this is one of those things. Right ?
Lindsay: Yeah (yes) .
Jessica: Using the historical present to bring people, to make the story more real, more immediate for your audience, using present simple. Totally.
Lindsay: So cool, so cool. Speaking of that conversation magnet, guys, this past week, unfortunately this one is coming out just after those webinars, but hopefully you guys made it to that webinar. If you didn’t, then keep your eyes open for the next one, because these are really, really cool ways to learn with us.
Jessica: So fun.
Lindsay: Live. Alright, awesome. Okay.
Jessica: Okay. And then the second one using “like”. Now, listeners, you guys are watching movies, TV shows, all that good stuff. You know that native speakers use “like” all the time, and just add this to the list of another usage of the word “like”. So again, it’s we’re replacing “say” with the “be” verb, right? But we add “like” if you’re introducing a quote. So, “He was like, ‘I don’t agree with you at all.’” Or whatever.
Lindsay: Ohh my gosh, I can’t overemphasize how common this is.
Jessica: I know.
Lindsay: It’s so common. Like, this is kind of the way to quote someone.
Lindsay: How we say, people, just we do, we say “like” all the time. Natives do it.
Jessica: All the time.
Lindsay: And obviously, so there are levels of this. Right? This is informal and, you know, if you go to a job interview, you’re probably not going to say this when you are reporting on a conversation you had at your former workplace. Right? It’s probably not going to be used.
Jessica: That is so funny.
Lindsay: That would be weird.
Jessica: The interviewer is all, “Can you tell me about a time you did something at your past job?” and then the job candidate is, like, “Ohh my God, I did something so amazing and my boss was, like, ‘You’re the best, here’s a bonus.’”
Lindsay: No, no, no, no.
Jessica: You’re not going to talk like that.
Lindsay: That’s going to set you down by, you know, $25,000 a year in your negotiating power in terms of your salary. Right? So, no, don’t do that.
Jessica: Ohh my God. I can’t believe you can put a number on it like that. That’s impressive. [laughter]
Lindsay: [laughter] Just throwing it out there. What I’m trying to say is it will lower the value to your employer in their eyes.
Jessica: For sure.
Lindsay: Because it will make you sound less intelligent, less educated and less articulate. So, guys, so, the point is earlier we said that “say” and “tell” we can bypass them, actually, not exactly, right? We do need “say” and “tell”
in a more formal scenario, but today’s for the casual scenarios.
Jessica: Yeah (yes), for sure. I mean, formal English is way less common and used than formal English. Right? And the connection that happens is on the informal level. So, there are other episodes about more formal, right, like, proper English. But today, guys, this is stuff that you will definitely hear and use when you’re talking to native speakers.
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Lindsay: For sure. Now I’m excited for the last one, because this one is just weird.
Jessica: It is. So yeah (yes), I know. It’s super weird. So, you’re using the “be” verb again, but then you’re adding the word “all”.
Jessica: I totally say this. I don’t know, it feels like a younger sort of phrase to me for some reason. I think I used it more when I was younger than now, but I do still use it. Do you say “he was all” or “she was all”?
Lindsay: I think I do, I think I do. I don’t think I use it as much as the other two, like “he went’’, “he goes”, “he was like”, but I do use it and I do hear it, and I think, you know, it’s okay for our listeners to use it. Right?
Jessica: Ohh, yeah (yes).
Lindsay: It’s not just for teenagers. Yeah (yes), yeah (yes).
Lindsay: Ohh my gosh, it’s weird.
Jessica: Everybody can use this. It’s funny. I feel like these phrases, like, began in the 80s, sort of. Right? I don’t know. I’d be interested to research the etymology on these. But I think these are really common and, like, the stereotype of a, like, a Valley Girl, of someone. Like, a girl in Southern California who uses “like” all the time. But, I mean, that’s just one stereotype and that’s not even, like, it’s not like it only exists there. These phrases are used by all native speakers all over the country.
Lindsay: Yeah (yes), I mean, to give a quick example, it was so funny. Have you watched any of the U.S. Opens tennis, Jessica, on TV, at all?
Jessica: No, I’m not a tennis person.
Lindsay: No. Ohh man, yeah (yes), we actually went to the U.S. Open on Friday. We drove down to Queens and we went to the tournament. It was so cool, it was so cool. But you know, so, this season I’ve been getting more into it.
But I was watching it on TV last night, we’re watching Djoković playing Millman, an Australian guy, and at 2-2 the craziest thing happened.
Millman went up to the net and he was all, “Hey, I have to change my clothes now.”
Lindsay: He has sweat through the entire outfit. Literally, his t-Shirt, his shorts, even his shoes, he had to take them off. He had to go change in the bathroom, he had taken an unconventional time out, and it’s unheard of in tennis.
Jessica: What? That’s insane.
Lindsay: He was all, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to change right now, I really don’t, but I have to.” It was the craziest thing that I’ve seen in men’s tennis in years.
Jessica: That’s so weird. Okay, this is really weird. Don’t people sweat through their clothes, like, often when they’re playing sports? I know, like, if I’m watching soccer, the dudes, you know, like, the uniform is completely stuck to their bodies, but they don’t stop playing.
Lindsay: Yeah (yes), exactly. You really can’t exit the court. I mean, you could take a bathroom break, I guess that’s what that was considered, but it was so weird. It’s like they didn’t even ask the ref, the two of them, Millman went up to Djoković, he was like, “I’m sorry, I have to change.” Djoković was like, “Okay.” But the weird thing is that Millman had the momentum at that moment. I was surprised. It’s, like, “Why don’t you just hit the ball?
You look like you just jumped into a swimming pool, yeah (yes), but just keep going because you have the momentum.” It was totally strange and he was all, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to do it, but I have to.”
Jessica: That’s so funny. Ohh my God, guys. If you are accessing the transcripts for this episode, like that story, the way Lindsay told that story is, I mean, using “he was all”, “he was like”, that is perfect. I mean, you guys can use that as, like, an outline to tell some crazy story you saw recently. You know? Like, so native. Ohh my gosh.
Lindsay: So good.
Jessica: Guys, I would love to hear how you would say this. If you can think of, like, a super crazy thing you heard someone say recently, or just in your memory, leave it in a review for this podcast or put it in the comments for this episode. I would love to see those.
Lindsay: Definitely, guys. Come back to AllEarsEnglish.com/episodes and type 1025 into that search bar. You’ll find this episode and you can leave us a comment. So cool. So, guys, go out and try these. Don’t just stick to “say”
and “tell”. Right? Okay, beyond the textbook, give these a try. And Jessica, before we finish up, I want us to remind our listeners, if they’re taking IELTS exam this fall, where could they go to get our best advice, our best tips?
Jessica: Yes, your first stop is our other podcast, called IELTS Energy. It’s three new episodes every week, you guys, full of all of the IELTS tips and tricks that you need. So, definitely subscribe to that podcast. And honestly, even if you’re not taking IELTS. Because we go through so much amazing vocab and skills for speaking, listening, just like we would need outside of the test as well.
Lindsay: Yeah (yes), that’s so true. I’ve seen some of our listeners who listen to the main, this show, have said that they started listening to the IELTS Energy podcast just to get more, more of the energy, more of the learning. So, that is awesome, love that.
Jessica: I love it.
Lindsay: Alright, cool. Great topic today, Jessica, so much fun to talk about this, and thank you to Amer for asking this question. Such a good question.
Jessica: Yes, great question, Amer. Thank you so much. Guys, send Lindsay your questions.
Lindsay: Alright. We’re out of here for today, Jessica. Take care.
Jessica: Thanks. You, too. Bye.
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