Podcast

Conversation strategies: Saying more than just “no” and using “really” for emphasis and to soften statements

Episode 2

To say more than just “no”, you can use the following strategies.

Strategy 1: Saying more than just no

When someone asks you a question and you want to give a negative answer, it’s not nice to just say no. saying more than just no is friendly and polite:

  • No, not really.
  • Well, no, actually…
  • Well, no, I mean…

A: Do you enjoy watching sports?  B: Um, no, not really. I mean, I’d rather play sports than watch them.

A: Do you like walking? B: Um, not really. I prefer running.

A: Do you have any hobbies?  B: Well no, I mean, I guess I don’t have time for hobbies.

A: Would you like a dessert? B: No, thanks I’m fine for now. I mean I’m trying to watch my weight.

A: Would you like something to drink? B: No, thanks. Maybe later.

A: Do you enjoy cooking?  B: Um, no, not really. I mean, I cook every day but I’m not really into it.

A: Do you have any hobbies?  B: Well no, I don’t really have much time.

Strategy 2: Using “really” for emphasis and to soften our statements

The second strategy is to use the word “really” for both making your statements stronger and making your statements softer.

You can use really to make statements stronger:

I’d really like to visit Thailand in the near future. (really before a verb). I’ve seen photos of the beaches, islands, Buddhist temples. I’ve heard of the Thai massage, Thailand’s rainforest and of course, it’s cuisine.

Remember the first part of my sentence “I’d really like to…”. We can use “really” to make statements stronger. The pattern is REALLY + VERB

  • I’d really like to go hiking sometime. (really before a verb).
  • My boyfriend really wanted to hike the Rainbow Mountain in Cusco, after the ordeal he realized hiking is not for him.
  • I’d really like to take some time off work. I’m a bit stressed out.
  • I’d really enjoy running a marathon.
  • I’d really like to live in a different country for a few months. I think it would really make me understand other cultures. She’d really hate to be stood up.

You can also use REALLY + ADJECTIVE

  • I’m really good at photography. (really + adjective).
  • I’m really good at computer design. (really + adjective)
  • My best friend is really good at creative writing.
  • My mom is really good at baking.
  • My dad is really good at telling jokes.
  • I’m really fond of cats.
  • My sister’s really fond of dogs. She’s recently adopted a dog called Lily.

*fond of: to like someone very much, especially when you have known them for a long time and almost feel love for them. Example: Over the years we’ve grown very fond of each other.

You can also use really to make negative statements softer:

  • You can use really with adjectives

The pattern is NOT + REALLY + ADJECTIVE

I’m not really interested in photography. (not + really + adjective)

I’m not really interested in politics. (not + really + adjective)

I’m not really good at cooking. (not + really + adjective)

I’m not really good at video games. (not + really + adjective)

  • You can also use really with verbs:

The pattern is DON’T + REALLY + VERB or DOESN’T + REALLY + VERB

I don’t really have much time for hobbies. (really after don’t or / doesn’t)

I don’t really have much time for hobbies. (really after don’t or / doesn’t)

  • Not really can also be a polite way to answer no:

A: Do you work out a lot?  B:  Not really. Actually, I don’t work out at all.

To listen to this episode click here:

B1, B2, Podcast

Episode 4: Condiments around the world – Condimentos alrededor del mundo

Hi English/Spanish Learners! Ayleen here, your teacher from wespeakidiomas.com

In today’s episode Chris and I talk about condiments around the world. Not only will this episode help you improve your listening skills, but it will also help you learn a few new words since we’ll be using different words to describe condiments and sauces in English and Spanish.

Episode 4: Condiments around the world – Condimentos alrededor del mundo

We discussed different types of sauces:

  • Brown sauce
  • Apple sauce
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Mint sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Chilli sauce
  • Sweet and sour sauce

In this podcast Chris used different adjectives to describes sauces:

Word in English Definition in English Spanish translation
thick almost solid, and therefore flowing very slowly, or not flowing at all espeso
mild not very strong or hot-tasting suave
smooth a liquid mixture that is smooth has no big pieces in it OPP lumpy sin grumos
spicy food that is spicy has a pleasantly strong taste, and gives you a pleasant burning feeling in your mouth SYN hot picante

 

I used a couple of words that might be new for you:

Word in Spanish Definition in Spanish English translation
empalagoso demasiado dulce (no en un buen sentido) overly sweet
paladar gusto con que se percibe el sabor de los alimentos palate
arándano rojo arbusto de la familia de las ericáceas que mide entre 10 y 40 cm de altura, con hojas alternas, aovadas y aserradas, flores solitarias de color blanco verdoso o rosado y frutos en bayas negruzcas o azuladas cranberry
arándano azul blueberry
icónico representativo de la cultura iconic

These are the condiments in Thailand I mentioned in the podcast.

The one on the left corner is known as chilli flakes. Next to it, you can see the white sugar. At the front, fish sauce and chili and vinegar and chili.

condiments

Oh! and of course, the peanuts!

padthai peanuts

Then I asked Chris a question he didn’t understand:

  • ¿A qué crees que se deba eso? ó ¿cuál crees que sea el motivo por el que…? The translation to English is very simple, Why do you think…?

Now you know different words in English and Spanish to describe your favorite sauce!

By the way, what’s your favorite sauce?