Advanced English Conversation & Advanced English Listening Skills, Learn Advanced English Listening and Speaking

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...Level 1 ...Level 2... Level 3... Level 4

Level 5: Advanced English Audio Lessons Advanced English listening skills

Advanced English conversation skills Using English slang and humour

Advanced English phrasal verbs and their usage Using complex sentences with multiple clauses Advanced English idioms and vocabulary English for daily life, social life and business Advanced verb tenses & usage

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…and much more! If you subscribe to my online English lessons, I will send you 5 audio lessons per week, similar to the examples below. All your lessons are stored in your personal lesson bank, and you can review them any time. I am happy to send you a free trial, or if you would like to start receiving

regular lessons, please click here to subscribe.

**Some text is hidden with black-out (..). Please click on this text to show it. Click again to hide it and test your English listening skills.

Here is your DailyStep on Monday, 12 March 2012

This audio is for members only, please click here to subscribe

- Sorry, I’m late David but the car’s been playing up again.

- Surprise, surprise. I’ve told you you want to get rid of that heap of scrap. It’s been on

its last legs for years and it’s a death trap.

- What do you mean? I’ve just had a new radiator put in it and it passed its MOT last

year with flying colours. I reckon it’s got a few more years in it yet.

- Oh come on, get real! I’ll give you a rundown of why in my opinion it should have

been condemned to the scrap heap years ago.

- Why should I get rid of a perfectly roadworthy car?

- Well, firstly it’s a rust bucket, it’s bad for the environment, and I’ve seen it

kangarooing down the high street pumping out clouds of toxic exhaust fumes like Chitty

Chitty Bang Bang, leaving the unfortunate shoppers who happen to be in the vicinity

coughing and spluttering in its wake and besides that, your work is suffering as a result.

You’re late again.

- Oh, I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.

How to see the text:

Click on black to show text: click again to hide text .

Situation: Martha apologises to David for arriving late at work but she is having problems with her old car. He tries to persuade her that the car should be scrapped.

Style: Informal and between friends. .

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1.Apologising: Sorry, I’m late David but the car’s been playing up again. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

2.Giving an opinion: I reckon it’s got a few more years in it yet.

3.Asking someone to face reality (strong and informal): Oh come on, get real! (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

4.Giving an opinion about a series of things: I’ll give you a rundown of why in my opinion it should have been condemned to the scrap heap years ago.

5.Expressing indignation or reluctance: Why should I get rid of a perfectly roadworthy car? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

6.Adding a further point: and besides that, your work is suffering as a result. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

7.Apologising: Oh, I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

. Notes:

1.the car’s been playing up (phrasal verb: to play up = to not work properly or to behave badly) again = the car has not been working very well again

2.Surprise, surprise (here the speaker is using sarcasm – he means that it is not a surprise at all.) = What a surprise!

3.to get rid of (phrasal verb) = to dispose of (more formal) 4.heap of scrap (idiom) = old car that is very bad condition

5.It’s been on its last legs for years (idiom: to be on its last legs = to be ready to die) = It has been ready to be replaced for years

6.a death trap (idiom) = a very dangerous thing that could cause a fatality

7.I’ve just had a new radiator put in it = I got the mechanic to replace the old radiator 8.radiator = water storage container (in the cooling system of a car)

9.it passed its MOT last year with flying colours (idiom) = it passed its MOT with good marks 10.MOT = Ministry of Transport compulsory annual test (to prove the roadworthiness of a vehicle) 11.I reckon it’s got a few more years in (phrasal verb) it yet = I think it will work for a few more

years still

12.get real (informal and strong. Be careful with this expression as it could cause offence. It is fine between friends, or in strong arguments) = you need to face reality

13.I’ll give you a rundown of why (more emphatic) = I’ll explain to you a series of reasons why 14.it should have been condemned to the scrap heap years ago (stronger) = it should have been

taken to the scrap yard years ago

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16.Why should I get rid of (phrasal verb) = Why should I dispose of (more formal)

17.a perfectly roadworthy car = a car that is in good enough condition to be used on the road 18.a rust bucket (idiom) = a rusty old car

19.kangarooing down the high street (idiom) = moving down the high street with very erratic jumping movements (like a kangaroo)

20.pumping out (phrasal verb) = emitting (more formal)

21.toxic exhaust fumes = poisonous waste products (the waste products of a petrol engine)

22.Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (note: this expression is onomatopoeic, in other words, it sounds like its meaning. If you say ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, it is a bit like the sound of a car with its engine backfiring!) = a famous flying car (from the children’s film of the same name, based on the novel written by Ian Fleming)

23.who happen to be in the vicinity = who are by chance in the area 24.coughing and spluttering = making erratic engine noises

25.in its wake = after it has gone past (note: the white water left in the sea after a ship has passed is called ‘the ship’s wake’.)

.

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_car-trouble-001_01 Please click the ‘save’ icon below to download the MP3 file:

Here is your DailyStep on Tuesday, 13 March 2012

This audio is for members only, please click here to subscribe

- Anyway, what’s wrong with the car this time?

- Well, I was just driving over the East Hill bypass when I noticed that the red light was

flashing on the temperature gauge, but as I had just had the radiator replaced, I

thought it couldn’t be overheating and just assumed that the gauge must be giving a

faulty reading.

- And was it?

- Unfortunately not. When I got to the traffic lights on Long Lane they were on red.

That’s when I realised that steam was pouring out of the bonnet. I released the bonnet

catch and got out of the car to take a look under the bonnet. As I opened it, a huge

cloud of steam billowed out, almost scalding my face. I thought, “Blasted thing, why do

you keep doing this to me?” and in my frustration I kicked the passenger door and the

wing mirror fell off.

- I’ve told you to get rid of it. If you were to do any more repairs on it, you’d just be

throwing good money after bad.

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.

How to see the text:

Click on black to show text: click again to hide text .

Situation: Martha explains how even though the car has just had a new radiator, it still overheated at some traffic lights.

Style: Informal .

Functions:

1.Returning to the main subject: Anyway, so what’s wrong with the car this time? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

2.Giving an unavoidable negative answer: Unfortunately not. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

3.Expressing frustration: I thought, “Blasted thing, why do you keep doing this to me?” (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

4.Giving an opinion: If you were to do any more repairs on it, you’d just be throwing good money after bad.

. Notes:

1.bypass = road that goes past a town or city

2.the red light was flashing = the red light was going on and off (phrasal verb) intermittently (as a warning)

3.the temperature gauge = the instrument for indicating the temperature of the engine 4.I had just had the radiator replaced = Somebody had recently replaced the radiator for me 5.overheating = getting too hot

6.the gauge must be giving a faulty reading = the gauge can’t be working properly 7.the traffic lights = the traffic signals, with 3 lights (red, amber and green)

8.they were on red = the red light was on (phrasal verb)

9.steam was pouring out (phrasal verb) of = a large amount steam was coming out (phrasal verb) of

10.steam = water vapour

11.the bonnet = the cover to the engine compartment

12.a huge cloud of steam billowed out (phrasal verb - more descriptive) = a huge cloud of steam came out (phrasal verb)

13.scalding = burning (with a hot liquid)

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15.In my frustration = because I was so frustrated

16.I kicked the passenger door = I hit the passenger door with my foot (note: we never actually say it like this!)

17.the wing mirror = the side mirror (on a car)

18.fell off (phrasal verb) = became detached / separated and fell to the ground 19.get rid of it (phrasal verb) = throw it away (phrasal verb)

20.throwing good money after bad (idiom) = wasting even more money on something that you have already wasted money on

.

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_car-trouble-001_02 Please click the ‘save’ icon below to download the MP3 file:

Here is your DailyStep on Wednesday, 14 March 2012

This audio is for members only, please click here to subscribe

- So, if the car broke down, how did you manage to get to work?

- Well, I had a bottle of water stored in the boot as a provision for just this type of

emergency, but when I tried to take the cap off the thing where you top up the water,

the blasted thing had melted and fused to the lid of the container.

- Ha ha, sorry, but it’s like a comedy of errors. Please do continue - I could do with a

laugh.

- Well, you’re going to enjoy this then! I took my tool box out of the boot, which

consists of a hammer and a rusty old spanner. As the adjustable spanner had rusted to

the point where it was useless, I thought I’d give the cap on the water container a

gentle tap with the hammer.

- Oh, no! Which school of mechanics did you go to?

- It’s not funny! The water container split open and I realised that I would have to get

the local garage to tow the car away. The recovery driver gave me a lift to work.

- They must love you down at the local garage. You are probably keeping them in

business!

.

How to see the text:

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Situation: David finds Martha’s story about trying to fix the car very funny and also makes fun of her skills as a mechanic.

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Style: Informal Functions:

1.Asking how somebody was able to do something: So, if the car broke down, how did you manage to get to work? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

2.Asking someone to continue speaking after an interruption: Please do continue (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

3.Asking someone to be more serious: It’s not funny! (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

4.Making an assumption: They must love you down at the local garage. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

. Notes:

1.the car broke down (phrasal verb) = the car stopped working 2.how did you manage to..? = how were you able to..?

3.the boot = the luggage compartment (normally at the rear of the car) 4.as a provision for = just in case of

5.to take the cap off (phrasal verb) = to remove the top 6.top up (phrasal verb) = to fill to the top

7.the blasted thing = the stupid thing / the useless thing

8.had melted = had turned to liquid (when a solid changes to liquid as the result of heat, this process is called melting)

9.fused to the lid of the container = become stuck to the top of the container

10.it’s like a comedy of errors (here the speaker is referring to a comedy of the same name written by William Shakespeare) = it is a very funny story, with one error after another

11.I could do with (phrasal verb) a laugh (here the speaker is making fun of the other speaker) = I need a laugh

12.tool box = container for tools (such as hammers, spanners, drills and screwdrivers) 13.consists of = is made up of (phrasal verb)

14.a hammer = a tool for knocking in nails

15.adjustable spanner = tool for turning nuts and bolts. This tool can be made larger or smaller depending on the size of the bolt

16.rusted = oxidised (metal) 17.a gentle tap = a soft hit

18.Oh, no! Which school of mechanics did you go to? (here the speaker is using sarcasm) = Where did you learn to fix cars?

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20.split open (phrasal verb) = cracked

21.to tow the car away (phrasal verb) = to take the car away (phrasal verb) with a truck that has a crane on the back

22.The recovery driver gave me a lift (idiom) to work = The driver of the tow truck took me to work in his truck

23.You are probably keeping them in business (here the speaker is joking) = You are probably providing them with enough income to maintain their business

.

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_car-trouble-001_03 Please subscribe to hear and download this MP3 file:

Here is your DailyStep on Thursday, 15 March 2012

This audio is for members only, please click here to subscribe

- Ok, thank you I’ll get back to you. Bye. That was the mechanic about the car on the

phone.

- Oh yes, and what was their diagnosis. Don’t tell me! Let me guess. They want you to

throw a bit more money at it?

- Yes, how did you know?

- Let’s call it an educated guess! Well, what’s the damage?

- They reckon they can have it back on the road for about two grand.

- Two grand?

The head gasket is gone so water is getting into the engine, which in turn caused the

radiator to crack. When I asked the mechanic if it was a big job, I got the usual sucking

of air through the teeth and humming and harring and he said, “Oh, it’s a huge and very

fiddly job, love, we’ll have to get it up on the ramp, blah-di-blah-di-blah”.

- So, at last you’re coming round to the idea that it’s time to say goodbye for once and

for all to the old banger.

- Oh, I can’t bear to think of her being pulled apart in some scrap yard.

.

How to see the text:

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Situation: After finding out how much it would cost to fix her car, Martha finally starts to think that it is time to scrap it.

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.

Functions:

1.Promising to call again: Ok, thank you I’ll get back to you. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

2.Saying you want to guess the answer: Don’t tell me! Let me guess. They want you to throw a bit more money at it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

3.Saying very subtly that you already knew: Let’s call it an educated guess! (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

4.Asking how much something costs: Well, what’s the damage? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

5.Talking about the gradual acceptance of a situation: So, at last you’re coming round to the idea that it’s time to say goodbye for once and for all to the old banger. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

6.Expressing revulsion or displeasure: Oh, I can’t bear to think of her being pulled apart in some scrap yard. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

. Notes:

1.I’ll get back to (phrasal verb) you = I will call again later (on the phone) 2.the mechanic = the person who repairs cars

3.diagnosis = analysis of the problem

4.to throw a bit more money at it (idiom) = to spend even more money on it

5.an educated guess (idiom) = a guess based upon a combination of common sense and the facts 6.what’s the damage? (informal) = how much will it cost?

7.They reckon = They think

8.they can have it back on the road for about two grand = They can repair it for two thousand pounds

9.two grand (informal) = £2000

10.The head gasket is gone = The head gasket is broken / worn out (phrasal verb)

11.The head gasket = A gasket or seal that sits between the engine block and the cylinder head 12.water is getting into (phrasal verb) the engine = water is entering the engine

13.which in turn = which as a result

14.the radiator = water storage container (in the cooling system of a car) 15.to crack = to fracture / to brake

16.I got the usual sucking of air through the teeth and humming and harring (sometimes this tactic can be used to confuse and intimidate the customer) = The mechanic behaved in the typical way a British mechanic would when he is trying to give the idea that the job will be very difficult and

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therefore very expensive

17.humming and harring (informal) = emitting strange sounds (that indicate deep thought) 18.fiddly job = difficult and time consuming job

19.love = (sometimes men refer to women as “love” but this can be seen as quite condescending.) 20.to get it up (phrasal verb) on the ramp = to raise it on the access platform

21.blah-di-blah-di-blah (informal and quite rude)= and so on, and so on

22.at last you’re coming round to (phrasal verb: to come round to something = to gradually accept an idea or argument) the idea that = you are finally beginning to accept the idea that

23.for once and for all (more emphatic) = finally

24.the old banger = the old car that is in a bad state of repair

25.I can’t bear to think of (more emphatic) = I really don’t like to think of

26.to think of her being pulled apart (note: even though we do not have masculine and feminine objects in English people sometimes refer to vehicles or ships as feminine)

27.pulled apart (phrasal verb)= dismantled / broken up (phrasal verb)

28.scrap yard = place where used cars are dismantled (and their raw materials are recycled) .

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_car-trouble-001_04

. Please subscribe to hear and download this MP3 file:

Here is your DailyStep on Friday, 16 March 2012

This audio is for members only, please click here to subscribe

- Wow, you’re early today! What happened?

- I had to get the bus.

- Are you alright? You look a bit upset.

- It’s nothing really.

- Come on, what’s wrong?

- Well, on the way to work the bus passed by Sandyford Rd car breakers and I saw my

old car behind the wire fence perched on top of a pile of twisted old cars and rusty

vans. It was such a shame to see it in that state, its windscreens were shattered, they’d

taken the tyres off and stolen parts from the engine. Then, just as the bus pulled up

level with it, a huge iron claw hanging from a crane sunk its teeth into the roof of my

faithful old car, hoisted it into the air then dropped it into the crusher. A sickening

screech of straining, splitting metal filled the air and then it was gone.

- Well, don’t get too upset. Bear in mind that today’s scrap metal dealer is now

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manufacture new ones. Try to imagine that a little bit of the spirit of your old car lives

on in every new car that you see pass by.

.

How to see the text:

Click on black to show text: click again to hide text .

Situation: On the way to work, Martha sees her car being crushed at the scrap yard and after realising how upset she is, David offers some words of comfort.

Style: Informal .

Functions:

1.Enquiring about somebody’s state of mind: Are you alright? You look a bit upset. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

2.Asking what is the matter: Come on, what’s wrong? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

3.Describing a sad sight: It was such a shame to see it in that state, its windscreens were shattered... (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

4.Talking about the moment something happened: Then, just as the bus pulled up level with it, ...(note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

5.Consoling: Well, don’t get too upset. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.) 6.Making a point: Bear in mind that today’s scrap metal dealer is now something of an eco

warrior... .

Notes:

1.upset = emotionally sad

2.car breakers = scrap merchants (people who break up (phrasal verb) old cars) 3.perched on top of (in the way that a bird sits on its perch) = sitting on top of 4.a pile of = a mound of / a heap of

5.twisted = distorted 6.rusty = oxidised (metal)

7.vans = light commercial vehicles 8.a shame (stronger) = a pity

9.in that state = in that bad condition 10.windscreens = windows (of a vehicle) 11.shattered = broken and cracked

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14.claw = hand (of a bird or other animal) 15.a crane = a lifting machine

16.sunk its teeth into (more descriptive and dramatic) = bit into

17.my faithful old car (idiom) = my car that has served me well for years 18.hoisted it into the air = lifted into the air

19.the crusher = the machine for smashing and compressing the old cars

20.A sickening screech of straining, splitting metal (more descriptive) = a horrible metallic noise 21.Bear in mind that = Remember that

22.scrap metal dealer = person who recycles (old metal and machines) 23.an eco warrior (idiom) = a person who fights to protect the environment 24.recycling = reusing

25.raw materials = basic materials (such as metal, wood etc.) 26.lives on (phrasal verb) = continues living

27.pass by (phrasal verb) = go past .

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_car-trouble-001_05 Please subscribe to hear and download this MP3 file:

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