#20 0

This clip is from an episode 889 of the Planet Money podcast, which is great to listen to if you would like to hear interesting and engaging stories about the economy.

In this episode, we hear the story of a successful businessman who decided to set up a chain of cafes in which there were no fixed prices – the customers could pay whatever they wanted.

In this exercise, all the weak forms (unstressed forms of grammatical words in connected speech) have been removed. Listen as many times as you need to, and see if you can identify them all. Good luck!

Ron making big bet. Not just business, human nature. wealthy people poor people want sit side side lunch, people be so generous these restaurants break even.

…would want to sit side by side

Side by side = next to or beside somebody or something. e.g. They had lived side by side for 20 years without experiencing any problems, until the night of the fight.

…these restaurants would break even

If a business or an individual breaks even, then they have recovered the money spent on or invested in something – they have not made a loss (or a profit). e.g. The owners expect to make a loss this year, but hope to break even next year.

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#41 0

This clip is from an episode of The Allusionist, which is a wonderful podcast all about language.

The speaker is talking about his work as a hand engraver – cutting text or designs into objects (usually jewellery) by hand. The speaker has a London accent.

And . .
And there's still for us it's it's . We're people do London.
And for us there's still out there for us it's it's a dying trade. We're the youngest people still do it London.

…it’s a dying trade

If someone refers to a job or profession as a dying trade, then they are saying that it is disappearing due to a lack of demand or need for it.

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#40 0

This clip is from an episode of The Allusionist, which is a wonderful podcast all about language.

The speaker is talking about the way that the word ‘please’ is sometimes used differently in British and American English.

I say please person I , shouldn't this?
Every I say please to American person I , maybe I shouldn't doing this?

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#39 0

This clip is from an episode of the Adam Buxton Podcast, which is a brilliant, funny and interesting conversational podcast. This episode features an interview with singer-songwriter John Grant.

John and Adam are discussing how they cope with long journeys.

, , Eurostar Paris.
Well, I I'd long day , then I go straight Eurostar Paris.
Well, I mean I'd had a long day of interviews, then I was booked go straight to Eurostar in Paris.

…Well, I mean

These are examples of fillers – words or phrases that we add to sentences while we think or organise our ideas. These are very common in natural spoken English, and an important listening skill is identifying and then ignoring fillers.

…I’d had a really long day

Notice the weak/contracted pronunciation of the past perfect in this sentence: /aɪd hæd/ rather than /aɪ hæd hæd/.

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