This clip is from an episode The Adam Buxton Podcast, which is a very funny and entertaining podcast and a great way to practise listening to natural conversation. In this episode, Adam is chatting to the British comedian Tash Demetriou.

For context, Adam has just asked Tash to update him on recent events in her life.

? . ? Um, .
I been ? Let's . What been ? Um, .
have I been ? Let's think. What I been to? Um, .

…what have I been up to

The phrase “What have you been up to?” is a very natural and relaxed way of asking someone to tell you about recent events in their life.

“What are you up to?” is a way of asking someone what they are doing now – you might ask someone this if you bump into them in the street, for example.

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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.

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash.

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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?

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash.

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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/.

Photo by Victor Lam on Unsplash.

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