Understanding Grammar: New Year’s Resolutions
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack
Rich: and I’m Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Rich: We recommend that you listen to this podcast on the Premier Skills English website because that is where we have the transcript, language examples, activities, quizzes and a discussion page to help you understand everything we talk about.
Jack: However, if you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, you can leave answers to our questions in the review section. We do read all the reviews and would love to hear from you.
Rich: Remember that we are looking for people to interview in our podcasts.
Rich: Don’t forget that we have our football English podcast called This Week that you can listen to at the start of every week. This week’s episode is all about the festive fixtures in the Premier League. There have been loads of Premier League matches over the holidays
Jack: Some of the football words and phrases we look at include to be in charge, to be in the hot seat and to lose ground.
Rich: It’s on the Premier Skills English homepage, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and lots of other places right now!
Jack: In this week’s podcast, we’re going to talk about the language of New Year’s resolutions.
Rich: Of course, it’s 2020. Happy New Year, Jack!
Jack: Happy New Year, Rich and Happy New Year to all our listeners. We hope 2020 is a great year for all of you.
Rich: New Year’s Resolutions. Many people make resolutions at the start of a new year. Resolutions are made on the first of January.
Jack: Resolutions are decisions to do something or not do something. It is often because people want to change something about their behaviour or actions.
Rich: Some common New Year’s resolutions are to do more exercise, to quit smoking or to learn a new language. I’m not sure what I’ll do in 2020 I think I’ll take up a new hobby or maybe I’ll learn French. What about you, Jack?
Jack: I know what I’m going to do and I’ll tell you later. In this week’s podcast, we’re going to talk about New Year’s resolutions and the language you need to tell people about them.
Rich: We’re going to focus on the grammar you need to talk about resolutions.
Jack: And your task this week will be to tell us about a New Year’s Resolution you have made.
Rich: Before all that though, we need to look at last week’s football phrase.
Last week’s Football Phrase
Rich: If you didn’t hear our football phrase last week we’re going to give you one more chance to guess now. We’ll give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase.
Jack: Well done if you got it right last week and congratulations to those of you who wrote the correct answer on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: Alex from Ukraine was the first to get the phrase right last week. Well done, Alex. And well done to Luibomyr from Ukraine, Lakerwang from China, Kwesimanifest from Ghana, Idzingirai from Zimbabwe, Rafael Robson from Brazil and Elghoul from Algeria who also got the right answer.
Jack: Remember you can also write your answers in the review section on Apple Podcasts if that’s where you listen to us.
Rich: Let’s hear last week’s phrase one more time. Do you know what the phrase is?
Jack: The football phrase is * ******** *******. The first word is the festival we spoke about in last week’s podcast and the second word is something we spoke about in the countdown. It’s the tube that is pulled open at the dinner table by people in the UK on Christmas Day. This word can also be used to describe something that is very good like a goal or a match. So, at this time of year, a match that finishes 4-3 or something like that can be described as * ********* *******.
Rich: We’ll give you the answer at the end of the show and we’ll have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Introduction to Roleplay
Jack: In this week’s roleplay, you are going to hear us talking about our New Year’s resolutions. Remember, a New Year’s resolution is a decision that is made on the first of January to do something or not do something.
Rich: While you are listening, we have a couple of questions for you to answer.
Jack: The questions are: What is Rich’s New Year’s resolution and What is my New Year’s resolution?
Rich: It’s 2020! A new year, a new decade. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?
Jack: I’m going to be healthier, cleverer, richer, funnier ...
Rich: But have you made any New Year’s resolutions?
Jack: Well, as it happens, I have.
Rich: Go on ...
Jack: Have you heard of all these environmental groups and all the climate issues in the news?
Rich: Yes. I have. Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg ...
Jack: Well, I’ve been inspired to do more. I’ve decided to be more environmentally friendly.
Rich: But what are you going to do exactly? Start growing your own vegetables?
Jack: There’s nothing wrong with that, but ... no. I’ve actually made a list.
Rich: A list. Wow. You’re serious about this.
Jack: Yes - I am. There are loads of things you can do personally. I’ve made three resolutions. Would you like to hear them?
Rich: Go on then, what’s number 3.
Jack: At number three: I’m going to reduce the energy I use at home.
Rich: You’re going to sit in the dark in the cold.
Jack: Not quite, Rich. I’m going to work harder to turn off lights and to turn off my computer when I’m not working.
Rich: OK - that’s a good idea.
Jack: There are lots of other little things. For example, I’m not going to overfill the kettle when I’m making tea.
Rich: That’ll save you money as well. What else?
Jack: Well, the hardest one will be to try to use the car less.
Rich: But you work from home - that should be easy.
Jack: I know, but I’ll walk with the kids to school and try to use my bike more.
Rich: Even when it’s raining?
Rich: Alright. What’s next on your list?
Jack: At number two: I’m going to use less plastic.
Rich: That’s a good idea.
Jack: We need to use less plastic. Things like plastic straws - I will never buy or use them again.
Rich: I agree. I say no to straws. I can use my mouth to drink. I’m a grown-up.
Jack: There are loads of other ways to use less plastic, too. I’m going to take a bag to the shops then I won’t need to use plastic bags.
Rich: Also, if you only take one bag, you won’t buy too much. It will save you money.
Jack: You can think of the environment as well as your pocket, Rich! And, I’m going to have a cup in my bag, too.
Rich: Erm... OK. What’s the cup for?
Jack: You know, a coffee cup. For when I buy a coffee in town. I don’t need a plastic coffee cup.
Rich: Oh! Yes! I do that already. I get 20p off my triple, venti, half sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato because I bring my own cup.
Jack: I’m also going to avoid over-packaged items. You know, single servings and small packs.
Rich: I always buy in bulk.
Jack: That’s the idea. It’s always better for the environment.
Rich: It’s always cheaper!
Jack: It seems that you do a lot of this stuff already.
Rich: What’s number one on your list?
Jack: At number one on my list is eating less meat.
Rich: Eating less meat? Why?
Jack: Because meat, especially meat like beef and lamb has an enormous impact on the environment.
Rich: Have you seen how much lamb costs? I can’t remember the last time I had lamb.
Jack: We’re having meat-free days at least twice a week in our house. Did you know that beef and lamb produces half of all carbon dioxide emissions that come from farms?
Rich: We have meat-free days in our house. We could have more. You should see the impact it has on my bank account. Vegetables are much cheaper than meat.
Jack: And it will have a big impact on our planet, too. Having meat-free days or becoming vegetarian is a brilliant way to reduce your carbon footprint but just changing the meat you eat can do that, too.
Rich: OK, so what are you going to do again to be more environmentally friendly?
Jack: I’m going to reduce the energy I use at home.
Rich: A 25% reduction that’s gotta be worth about £25 a month.
Jack: I’m going to use less plastic.
Rich: Using my own coffee cup. That’s 20p off... two coffees a day ... five days a week, that’s £8 a month.
Jack: I’m going to eat less beef and lamb.
Rich: Meat-free Tuesdays and Thursdays. Swap a kilo of lamb for a kilo of veg. That’ll save me £50 a month.
Jack: So, that’s my New Year’s resolution. What’s yours Rich?
Rich: To save money.
Jack: Did you get the answers to our questions about the roleplay? We asked you what our New Year’s resolutions are.
Rich: Well, Jack’s New Year’s resolution is to be more environmentally-friendly and mine is to save money by copying Jack’s New Year’s resolution!
Jack: In the roleplay, we were speaking about plans for 2020 and the future.
Rich: The most common form we use to talk about resolutions is ‘going to’. We use ‘going to’ to talk about intentions - things you would like or plan to do in the future.
Jack: We used going to a lot in the roleplay. I said I’m going to reduce the energy I use, I’m going to use less plastic and I’m going to eat less meat.
Rich: When we are speaking we sometimes say ‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to’. This is quite informal. Listen to these examples and repeat:
Jack: I’m going to use less plastic. I’m gonna use less plastic. I’m going to eat less meat. I’m gonna eat less meat.
Rich: We use ‘going to’ when we are quite confident about a plan. We believe it will happen.
Jack: If we are a little less confident, we might use ‘I think I’ll’ … or ‘maybe I’ll’. Listen to what Rich said at the beginning of the podcast:
Rich: I think I’ll take up a new hobby or maybe I’ll learn French.
Jack: Rich isn’t confident here. I’m sure if I ask him a few questions in French this time next year he won’t have learned anything.
Rich: Did you notice that I didn’t say ‘I will’ in these sentences I said ‘I’ll’. This is a tricky bit of pronunciation. Have a listen again and try to repeat: I think I’ll take up a new hobby or maybe I’ll learn French.
Jack: We can also use ‘will’ when we are very confident that we are going to something in the future. You can stress the word will in a sentence. Have a listen to this. I will use less plastic. I will eat less meat.
Rich: It’s not very common to speak like this in normal conversation. It’s a bit more like how politicians might talk when giving a speech to potential voters.
Jack: So, it’s probably best to use ‘going to’ when speaking about New Year’s resolutions as they should be things that you are confident about doing.
Rich: This week’s task is to tell us about a New Year’s resolution.
Jack: Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Are any of your resolutions connected to the environment? What do you think of my New Year’s resolutions? Do you think you could do them too?
Rich: Maybe your New Year’s resolutions are connected to different topics. Maybe they are connected to health and fitness or your career or studies or maybe to family, travel or money.
Jack: Let us know what you think about New Year’s resolutions and your New Year’s resolutions at the bottom of the page on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: OK, it’s time for this week’s football phrase. It’s your turn this week, Rich.
Rich: This week’s football phrase is the ******* ******** ******. The New Year is a busy time for football clubs because on the first day of the year the ******* ******** ****** opens. This gives a chance to clubs to buy and sell players. They have to be quick though because the ******* ******** ****** is only open for a month.
Jack: We should get quite a few right answers for this one. Before we leave you we need to tell you last week’s football phrase. The answer was a bargain buy.
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. If you get it right, we’ll announce your name on next week’s show.
: If you have any questions or comments or suggestions for the podcast or anything football or English related, you can leave them on the website in the comments section, on social media - on facebook or twitter, on apple podcasts or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
: Remember you can also email us if you want to practise your English skills and answer a few questions for a future podcast. That email address again is: email@example.com
Jack: Bye for now, enjoy your football and happy New Year!