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This clip is from the fascinating Hidden Brain podcast. This episode is all about laughter.

This clip was selected to give you practice identifying redundancy in spoken English – all of those unnecessary extra words, phrases and mistakes that are a natural (but very confusing!) part of natural, spontaneous conversation.

, , .
It and , actually, in our to day have a control over the do and the make.
It really is and , we actually, in our day to day humans have a of control over the that we do and the that we make.

…and on a day to day basis

This is a useful phrase to use when describing things that you do every day, or very regularly. e.g. Dealing with difficult customers is something I have to do on a day to day basis.


…and we, we actually


There are two examples of redundancy here. As well as the repetition of ‘we’, the speaker starts to form a new sentence (we actually) but then abandons it to communicate it in a different way and with additional background information (in our normal day to day behaviour). This is also called a false start.

Redundancy is basically anything that is unnecessary in a sentence. In spoken English, this can include repetition (e.g. we), fillers (words or phrases that are used to fill silences, often to allow time for the speaker to think) and false starts (where a sentence or idea is begun and then abandoned.

Redundancy is a completely natural feature of spontaneous spoken English (and other languages). The best thing that you can do is learn to recognise redundancy and ‘edit it out’ or ignore it to prevent it causing confusion. One way of doing this is to begin noticing common examples of redundancy (e.g. you knowkind ofsort of ).

This is an area that having a better understanding of individual words and phrases can be very useful – this will make it easier for you to identify redundancy and choose to ignore it. Over time, this will happen naturally and automatically.

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