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Understanding Grammar - Making New Year's Resolutions

Understanding Grammar - Making New Year's Resolutions

In this week’s Premier Skills English podcast, Rich is making a New Year’s resolution and Jack gives him some advice. The language focus is on future forms to talk about resolutions and there is an activity to learn some phrasal verbs with up. The task is to make some resolutions of your own and there is a new football phrase for you to guess. Happy New Year!

Transcript

If you find the podcast difficult to understand, you can read the transcript and listen at the same time.
Read and listen at the same time.

Jack: What are you doing?

Rich: I’m writing my new year's resolutions... This year, I think I will take up scuba diving.

Jack: Really? But you live in the mountains.

Rich: Well, maybe I’ll take up scuba diving.

Jack: That’s no good Rich – if you’re going to make a resolution, you need to be confident – you need to be sure. You have to say I’m going to… or even, if you’re really sure I will.

Rich: OK OK - I’m going to take up squash. What about you? Have you made any New year’s resolutions?

Jack: No. I don’t believe in them. In fact, I think New Year’s resolutions are a bad idea.

Rich: What do you mean? It’s a New Year - a fresh start. It’s the perfect time to make some plans.

Jack: I’m all for self-improvement, but I think New year’s resolutions don’t work. I mean, what was your resolution last year?

Rich: Hmmm. Perhaps you’re right.

Welcome

Rich: Hello my name’s Rich

Jack: and I’m Jack

Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast

Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.

Jack: What’s happening this week, Rich?

Rich: Well, it’s the New Year. 2018 is about to arrive or maybe it’s already arrived depending on when you are listening to this podcast. So, we’re going to talk about our New Year’s resolutions and the language you need to tell people about them.
Jack: That’s right. We’re going to focus on the grammar you need to talk about resolutions, we’ll also look at some phrasal verbs and how we use the word likely to describe the probability of something happening.

Rich: And don’t forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have another football phrase for you to guess.

Topic Focus

Jack: At the beginning of the podcast I was asking you about your New Year’s resolutions Rich …

Rich: That’s right, I think I’ll take up squash. You’re right. That’s a much better idea than scuba diving.

Jack: No, not you think you’ll take up squash.

Rich: Alright, I’m going to take up squash.

Jack: No, you WILL take up squash. That’s the point of New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions are stronger than plans. It’s like a promise to yourself. Something that you will do.

Rich: OK, so I’m going to take up squash. What about you Jack? What’s your New Year resolution?

Jack: To be honest, I think they are a bit silly. People always say I will give up this I will take up that. but By the middle of January these resolutions are often forgotten.

Rich: That’s a bit negative Jack. Come on! Where’s your will power?

Jack: OK, maybe I do have a New Year resolution but I think it’s a bad idea to tell people. You should keep it a secret. If you tell someone, you are less likely to achieve them.

Rich: So, you do have a New Year resolution. What is it then?

Jack: Like I said I’m not telling.

Rich: Mmm let me think. Is it to give up smoking?

Jack: I don’t smoke.

Rich: Is it to give up bacon, sausage and fried egg sandwiches.

Jack: Disgusting!

Rich: I know. It’s to take up a new hobby. You’re going to take up stamp collecting!

Jack: NO

Rich: Trainspotting? I give up.

Jack: I do have one plan that I don’t mind telling you about.

Rich: Go on then.

Jack: We’re going to move house.

Rich: I didn’t know that. Cool! But it’s not a resolution is it? It’s a plan!

Jack: I tell you what. I’ll challenge you to a game of squash at the end of January. If you beat me, I’ll tell you my New Year’s resolution.

Rich: You’re on!

Language Focus

Jack: We’ve just used lots of useful language for talking about resolutions and future plans.

Rich: Let’s start with two phrasal verbs with up.

Jack: If you start a new hobby, you take up a new hobby.

Rich: And if you stop doing something that is bad for you, you give up. So you could take up a sport - like me, I’m going to take up squash or you could give up a bad habit. Like Jack.

Jack: I told you I don’t smoke. I gave up smoking 10 years ago. Let’s get back to the language.

Rich: OK - another useful expression that we used was ‘likely’. We can say that we think things are likely if we think that they are going to happen.

Jack: But I think the phrase is more commonly used to say that things are not likely - that is, to say that we don’t think that something is going to happen. Earlier, I said that I don’t believe in resolutions because when you tell someone your plans, it makes them less likely to come true.

Rich: Or maybe more likely because you don’t want to be embarrassed if they don’t come true!

Jack: You could be right. The last bit of language to talk about is some grammar. When Rich and I were talking about New Year’s resolutions, we used different future forms to talk about plans.

Rich: We used three future forms. All of them can be used to talk about plans, but they are a bit different because they express different levels of confidence.

Jack: If you are not really sure about something, you can say I think I will or I probably will.

Rich: I think I will take up gardening. I have a nice garden, but I’ve never really been interested in plants and flowers. I think I’ll spend more time on the garden this year.

Jack: That sounds like a good plan. If you are more confident about a plan - you might say I’m going to ... So I could say I’m going to give up smoking.

Rich: But you don’t smoke?

Jack: It’s just an example. If I did smoke, it would be a good resolution.

Rich: If you make a really strong resolution – and you want to express it – like it’s written on your heart, you can say I will.

Jack: But we just said that you use that when you’re not sure about something.

Rich: Not quite, If you’re not sure you should say I think I will or I hope I will, but if you just say I will, it sounds like it’s something you really care about. Listen to these examples:

Jack: I think I’ll go on a diet and lose some weight this year.

Rich: I’m going to go on a diet and lose some weight this year.

Jack: I will go on a diet and lose some weight this year.

Rich: Hmmm ... I see what you mean – it’s very dramatic. I don’t think I ever talk like that.

Jack: No. Me neither, I’m just giving an example.

Rich: Actually, Jack. I think you do. You are quite dramatic.

Jack: Really Rich? You always make fun of me. I can’t take it anymore.

Rich: Jack?

Jack: I was just being dramatic.

Rich: OK – on a more serious note – when you are talking about plans, it’s best to use going to.

Jack: I’m going to stop being dramatic.

Rich: I’m going to stop making fun of you.

Jack: Ha ha – I don’t think that’s very likely.

Task

Rich: Your task this week is to tell us some New Year’s resolutions.

Jack: We want you to tell us one New Year’s resolution for yourself. Can you think of something that you want to give up or take up?

Rich: We also want you to write two more New Year’s resolutions. One for someone you know - it could be a family member or a friend.

Jack: And another New Year’s resolution for a football player, manager or football club.

Rich: You have to use your imagination a little bit here and you can write the resolution and the name of the person.

Jack: Write the resolutions in the comments section.

Football Phrase

Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week?

Jack: Yes, I have, but first, last week’s football phrase. The phrase was festive football. Festive football is the phrase we use to describe the matches that are played close to the Christmas holidays. In the UK, there are more matches than normal during the festive period.

Rich: Well done if you got the answer right! We recorded this podcast before the holidays so no names this week but we’ll be back from our holidays soon! What’s this week’s phrase Rich?

Jack: The phrase is ******** **** ****. This is what the referee gives if a player is obstructed - when a player gets in the way of another player. When an ******** **** **** is given you can’t shoot at goal. You know that it’s an ******** **** **** because the referee puts his hand in the air when the ball is played.

Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below.

Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!

Vocabulary

How much did you understand?

In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?

Rich: I’m writing my New Year's resolutions... This year, I think I will take up scuba diving.

Jack: Really? But you live in the mountains.

Rich: Well, maybe I’ll take up scuba diving.

Jack: That’s no good Rich – if you’re going to make a resolution, you need to be confident – you need to be sure. You have to say I’m going to… or even, if you’re really sure I will.

Rich: OK OK - I’m going to take up squash.

There were a few more tricky words in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words.

Activity 1

Activity 1: In this activity, try to match the words and phrases to their definitions.
Can you match the words to their definitions?

Harry Kane has broken the calendar scoring record in 2017. What do you think he has planned for 2018?

Language

Phrasal verbs with up

In the podcast, we used two phrasal verbs with up:

I think I will take up scuba diving.

Is your resolution to give up smoking?

To take up something means to start doing a new activity as a hobby. Rich decides to take up squash and lots of people take up a new sport or hobby at the new year.

To give up something means to stop doing something that you do regularly. It is usually used with bad habits. Jack said that he gave up smoking 10 years ago. You can also give up unhealthy foods and drink.

In this next activity, you have to complete 10 phrasal verbs with up.

Activity 2

Activity 2: In this activity, you have to complete the phrasal verbs with up.
Can you complete the phrasal verbs?

Do you think Arsene Wenger has made any New Year's resolutions?

Language

Likely

Likely is an adjective that means probable. We use it to say we think something is going to happen.

Rich: Do you think Man City will win this weekend?
Jack: Yes, it’s likely.

The simple negative form is unlikely.

It is unlikely that Arsenal will sell their top striker.

In spoken English, it’s common to say not likely. 

Jack: Do you think that Liverpool are going to win the League?
Rich: I hope they will but it’s not very likely.

You can also use likely in the phrase be likely to.

Manchester United are likely to buy a new defender before the transfer window closes.

Manchester City are 15 points ahead at the top of the table. Are they likely to win the league?

You can also use the phrase to make comparisons with more and less.

Spurs and Arsenal both have the same points. If Harry Kane keeps scoring goals like this, Spurs are more likely to finish in the top four.

 

When Burnley visited Old Trafford, things didn't go as well as Manchester United had planned.

Language

Future plans and resolutions

In the podcast, we used three future forms:

I think I will ...
I am going to ...
I will ...

We use I think I will ... or I probably will ... when we are talking about plans that we are not sure about. 

When I go to Newcastle, I think I will visit St James’ Park... if I have enough time.

We use I am going to when we have made a plan that we believe will happen.

Next week, I am going to buy a new bike. I am going to do more cycling in the new year.

We use I will ... on its own to talk about plans in two situations. The most common is for plans we are making at the time of speaking. 

Oh no! I’m late. I’m going to miss my buss.
Don’t worry. I’ll give you a lift.

This is a spoken form and is almost always contracted: I will = I’ll

Another use is when we want to really emphasise our commitment to a plan. This is the use that we discussed in the podcast.

Jack told Rich that he should be confident about his new year’s resolution and say:

I will take up squash.

Can you lend me some money? I will pay you back, I promise!

It is not a very common use and can sound a bit dramatic.

Activity 3

Activity 3: Can you complete the extract from the podcast with the correct future forms?
Drag the future forms into right places.

Task

Make your own resolutions

Your task this week is to make some New Year’s resolutions.

We want you to make one New Year’s resolution for yourself. Can you think of something that you want to give up or take up?

We also want you to make two more New Year’s resolutions. One for someone you know - it could be a family member or a friend and another New Year’s resolution for a football player, manager or football club. You have to use your imagination a little bit here. 

Write your New Year's resolutions in the comments section.

Quiz

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Comments

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
09/01/2018
UA
2333
points

I think that something got wrong with my points after I re-passed the Quiz on this page.


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
09/01/2018 12:23
Ukraine
Watford
2333

I think that something got wrong with my points after I re-passed the Quiz on this page.

admin's picture
admin
10/01/2018
GB
212
points

Hi Liubomyr

That is strange. I have had a look and there is a problem. I've passed it on to the developers.

Jack - The Premier Skills English team


admin's picture
admin
10/01/2018 09:38
United Kingdom
Arsenal
212

Hi Liubomyr

That is strange. I have had a look and there is a problem. I've passed it on to the developers.

Jack - The Premier Skills English team

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
10/01/2018
UA
2333
points

Thank you Jack, now it looks that the problem has been fixed.


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
10/01/2018 10:27
Ukraine
Watford
2333

Thank you Jack, now it looks that the problem has been fixed.

Khaldoun83's picture
Khaldoun83
03/01/2018
DZ
203
points

1- I'm a little bit confused because I thought that we use going to when we decide before the time of speaking or when we are very sure that something is going to happen based on what is going on in the present time. E.g: He is working very hard, he is definitely going to succeed.

And we use Will when we decide at the time of speaking or when we are not sure about something.   E.g: Liverpool aren't playing well, I think that they will lose the game.

2-My new year resolution is to take up an IELTS test, by the mid of the year.

3- Football phrase: A free kick.

 


Khaldoun83's picture
Khaldoun83
03/01/2018 15:42
Algeria
Liverpool
203

1- I'm a little bit confused because I thought that we use going to when we decide before the time of speaking or when we are very sure that something is going to happen based on what is going on in the present time. E.g: He is working very hard, he is definitely going to succeed.

And we use Will when we decide at the time of speaking or when we are not sure about something.   E.g: Liverpool aren't playing well, I think that they will lose the game.

2-My new year resolution is to take up an IELTS test, by the mid of the year.

3- Football phrase: A free kick.

 

admin's picture
admin
06/01/2018
GB
212
points

Hi Khaldoun83

You are right. These are the most common uses of will and going to. We do use will to describe a plan made at the time of speaking. However, we also use will to make really strong plans like resolutions. You can also use will to make predictions. In your example, you have used I think to show a lack of certainty. If you just use will, you are asserting confidence in your own prediction. This is also rare, but you sometimes hear experts making confident predictions this way. 

I'm sorry if I have made this more complicated than necessary, but we would need a whole series of podcasts to deal with English future forms properly.

Thanks

Jack - The Premier Skills English team 

 


admin's picture
admin
06/01/2018 00:00
United Kingdom
Arsenal
212

Hi Khaldoun83

You are right. These are the most common uses of will and going to. We do use will to describe a plan made at the time of speaking. However, we also use will to make really strong plans like resolutions. You can also use will to make predictions. In your example, you have used I think to show a lack of certainty. If you just use will, you are asserting confidence in your own prediction. This is also rare, but you sometimes hear experts making confident predictions this way. 

I'm sorry if I have made this more complicated than necessary, but we would need a whole series of podcasts to deal with English future forms properly.

Thanks

Jack - The Premier Skills English team 

 

sten's picture
sten
03/01/2018
UA
50
points

My New Year Resolution is take up traveling. I am going to learning more English and writing more texts


sten's picture
sten
03/01/2018 12:50
Ukraine
Manchester United
50

My New Year Resolution is take up traveling. I am going to learning more English and writing more texts

elghoul's picture
elghoul
02/01/2018
DZ
2171
points

Football phrase: ******** **** ****.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
02/01/2018 17:38
Algeria
Arsenal
2171

Football phrase: ******** **** ****.

elghoul's picture
elghoul
02/01/2018
DZ
2171
points

My New year resolution is to give up putting sugar in my coffee.

Wenger resolution in this end of first leg might be : " We are going to end this season in a better place than last year so we will engage a new winger".

Man City is likely to win the Premier League Championship.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
02/01/2018 17:35
Algeria
Arsenal
2171

My New year resolution is to give up putting sugar in my coffee.

Wenger resolution in this end of first leg might be : " We are going to end this season in a better place than last year so we will engage a new winger".

Man City is likely to win the Premier League Championship.

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
02/01/2018
GH
4395
points

I would like to learn driving this year and get my driver's license so that after my national service I could get employed, especially because most organizations would most likely employ you if you can drive in addition to your competence.


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
02/01/2018 06:46
Ghana
Manchester United
4395

I would like to learn driving this year and get my driver's license so that after my national service I could get employed, especially because most organizations would most likely employ you if you can drive in addition to your competence.

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
02/01/2018
GH
4395
points

My new year resolution is to try and make people feel better from most interactions that have with me.


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
02/01/2018 06:42
Ghana
Manchester United
4395

My new year resolution is to try and make people feel better from most interactions that have with me.

zhz
02/01/2018
CN
61
points

Happy new year!
My new year's resolution is to take up learning Japanese.


zhz
02/01/2018 04:28
China
Burnley FC
61

Happy new year!
My new year's resolution is to take up learning Japanese.

lakerwang
01/01/2018
CN
219
points

Happy New Year! Hope all your New Year resolutions will be achieved!
My New Year resolution? I think I will do more exercise to be able to do 20 pull-ups.And I wish all players who have a chance to take part in World Cup Russia could avoid any injury.
This week's phrase is '******** **** ****'


lakerwang
01/01/2018 15:40
China
Chelsea
219

Happy New Year! Hope all your New Year resolutions will be achieved!
My New Year resolution? I think I will do more exercise to be able to do 20 pull-ups.And I wish all players who have a chance to take part in World Cup Russia could avoid any injury.
This week's phrase is '******** **** ****'

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
01/01/2018
GH
4395
points

Happy New Year Rich, Jack and to all friend on here.
This week's phrase is an ******** **** ****


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
01/01/2018 09:34
Ghana
Manchester United
4395

Happy New Year Rich, Jack and to all friend on here.
This week's phrase is an ******** **** ****

Rich's picture
Rich
01/01/2018
ES
248
points

A very Happy New Year to you too, Kwesimanifest!

Jack & Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
01/01/2018 14:57
Spain
Liverpool
248

A very Happy New Year to you too, Kwesimanifest!

Jack & Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
31/12/2017
UA
2333
points

Happy New Year to all PremierSkills users and teachers!


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
31/12/2017 18:48
Ukraine
Watford
2333

Happy New Year to all PremierSkills users and teachers!

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
31/12/2017
UA
2333
points

I think that the phrase is '******** **** ****'


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
31/12/2017 09:28
Ukraine
Watford
2333

I think that the phrase is '******** **** ****'

Rich's picture
Rich
31/12/2017
ES
248
points

You're spot on, as usual, Liubomyr! Well done!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
31/12/2017 14:08
Spain
Liverpool
248

You're spot on, as usual, Liubomyr! Well done!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1kwesimanifest4395
2assemjuve3593
3aragorn19863527
4haydi3189
5Alex_from_Ukraine2706
6Ahmed Adam Mamado2469
7nikosonris2453
8Liubomyr2333
9MUGEMANYI2320
10elghoul2171
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Ukraine24927
2Serbia24503
3Albania20333
4Macedonia19011
5Bosnia and Herzegovina16046
6Armenia13347
7Kosovo13071
8Georgia12349
9Spain9678
10Montenegro7894
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United76858
2Arsenal55077
3Liverpool54212
4Chelsea44427
5Manchester City17189
6Leicester City9367
7Tottenham Hotspur5254
8Newcastle United4611
9West Ham United3795
10Watford2845

Level

0
No votes yet

Goals

Skills: Listening

Language: Future forms

Language: Phrasal verbs with up

Task: Make some New Year's resolutions