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Level 5: Advanced English Audio Lessons

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...  

Lesson
Functions
Notes

Functions:

  1. Returning to a previous topic: So, anyway, after a few days the builders managed to knock the wall down (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Explaining how a relationship began positivelySo, at first we were getting on fairly well (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Asking about how a situation went wrongSo, when did it all start to go pear-shaped? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Indicating that understatement is used for effectI was a bit shocked, to say the least, when he came up with the figure of fifteen grand (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Focussing on a positive aspect of a negative situation: but I thought that at least it would keep him going for a while. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. the builders managed to knock the wall down (phrasal verb) = the builders were able to demolish the wall (more formal)

  2. It was a terribly noisy, dusty process = Knocking the wall down (phrasal gerund – i.e. a noun made from a phrasal verb!) was very noisy and created a lot of dust

  3. they were careful to throw all the rubble in the skip = they made sure they threw the broken stones and bricks into the skip

  4. the rubble = the broken stones and bricks left after a wall has been demolished

  5. the skip = the large metal container for building waste

  6. sweep up (phrasal verb) the dust = clean away (phrasal verb) the dust using a brush

  7. generally tidy up (phrasal verb) = clear away (phrasal verb) the mess that they had left around the house

  8. at first we were getting on (phrasal verb) fairly well = to start with we enjoyed a good working relationship

  9. I was able to put up with (phrasal verb) all the inconvenience = I managed to tolerate the noise and the mess 

  10. when did it all start to go pear-shaped? (idiom, very informal. To understand the image behind this idiomplease think of the shape of a pear, which is wider at the bottom than at the top. If an apple goes pear-shaped, it has lost its shape and much of it has fallen downwards) = when did everything begin to go wrong?

  11. on the Friday night = on the Friday night of the week that we are talking about (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  12. the building contractor = the person who was employed to arrange workers and materials for some building work

  13. foreman = the person in charge of a group of builders

  14. happy with the work so far = pleased with what had been done up to that point

  15. I said that I was (not repeating the same idea) = I said that I was happy with the work so far

  16. If he needed any money up front (idiom, informal) = If he needed to be paid in advance

  17. I’d agreed to pay for the work bit by bit (idiom) = I had agreed that I would pay for the job in instalments

  18. as each stage of the work was completed = after each part of the job was finished

  19. the wages = the money paid to the workers (note: we use two different terms for payment to workers: a salary is a regular monthly payment to a permanent worker; wages are paid weekly or at irregular intervals on completion of individual tasks.)

  20. a little up front (idiom) for materials = a small amount of money paid in advance for building equipment

  21. I was a bit shocked, to say the least = I was extremely shocked, in fact I was much more than shocked!

  22. , to say the least, = and that is an understatement 

  23. he came up with (phrasal verb) the figure of fifteen grand = he calculated that I owed him fifteen grand

  24. fifteen grand (very informal) = £15,000 / fifteen thousand pounds

  25. I thought that would at least keep him going (idiom) = I thought that, on the positive side, it would be enoughmoney for him to continue working 

  26. keep him going (idiom) = give him enough money to continue working

  27.  for a while = for some time

..

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_GB-02

Geraldine: So, anyway, after a few days the builders managed to knock the wall down. It was a terribly noisy, dusty process but at the end of each night they were careful to throw all the rubble in the skip, sweep up the dust and generally tidy up. So, at first we were getting on fairly well and I was able to put up with all the inconvenience.

Robert: So, when did it all start to go pear-shaped?

Geraldine: Well, on the Friday night, Sid, the building contractor and foreman, asked me if I was happy with the work so far and I said that I was. I asked him if he needed any money up front as I’d agreed to pay for the work bit by bit as each stage of the work was completed. He said that he just needed the wages for his workers and a little upfront for materials. I was a bit shocked, to say the least, when he came up with the figure of fifteen grand but I thought that at least it would keep him going for a while.

.

Situation: Geraldine tells Robert how the building work on her house started well, but then started to go downhill.

Style: informal

.

Functions:

  1. Returning to a previous topic: So, anyway, after a few days the builders managed to knock the wall down (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Explaining how a relationship began positivelySo, at first we were getting on fairly well (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Asking about how a situation went wrongSo, when did it all start to go pear-shaped? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Indicating that understatement is used for effectI was a bit shocked, to say the least, when he came up with the figure of fifteen grand (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Focussing on a positive aspect of a negative situation: but I thought that at least it would keep him going for a while. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

.

Notes:

  1. the builders managed to knock the wall down (phrasal verb) = the builders were able to demolish the wall (more formal)

  2. It was a terribly noisy, dusty process = Knocking the wall down (phrasal gerund – i.e. a noun made from a phrasal verb!) was very noisy and created a lot of dust

  3. they were careful to throw all the rubble in the skip = they made sure they threw the broken stones and bricks into the skip

  4. the rubble = the broken stones and bricks left after a wall has been demolished

  5. the skip = the large metal container for building waste

  6. sweep up (phrasal verb) the dust = clean away (phrasal verb) the dust using a brush

  7. generally tidy up (phrasal verb) = clear away (phrasal verb) the mess that they had left around the house

  8. at first we were getting on (phrasal verb) fairly well = to start with we enjoyed a good working relationship

  9. I was able to put up with (phrasal verb) all the inconvenience = I managed to tolerate the noise and the mess 

  10. when did it all start to go pear-shaped? (idiom, very informal. To understand the image behind this idiomplease think of the shape of a pear, which is wider at the bottom than at the top. If an apple goes pear-shaped, it has lost its shape and much of it has fallen downwards) = when did everything begin to go wrong?

  11. on the Friday night = on the Friday night of the week that we are talking about (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  12. the building contractor = the person who was employed to arrange workers and materials for some building work

  13. foreman = the person in charge of a group of builders

  14. happy with the work so far = pleased with what had been done up to that point

  15. I said that I was (not repeating the same idea) = I said that I was happy with the work so far

  16. If he needed any money up front (idiom, informal) = If he needed to be paid in advance

  17. I’d agreed to pay for the work bit by bit (idiom) = I had agreed that I would pay for the job in instalments

  18. as each stage of the work was completed = after each part of the job was finished

  19. the wages = the money paid to the workers (note: we use two different terms for payment to workers: a salary is a regular monthly payment to a permanent worker; wages are paid weekly or at irregular intervals on completion of individual tasks.)

  20. a little up front (idiom) for materials = a small amount of money paid in advance for building equipment

  21. I was a bit shocked, to say the least = I was extremely shocked, in fact I was much more than shocked!

  22. , to say the least, = and that is an understatement 

  23. he came up with (phrasal verb) the figure of fifteen grand = he calculated that I owed him fifteen grand

  24. fifteen grand (very informal) = £15,000 / fifteen thousand pounds

  25. I thought that would at least keep him going (idiom) = I thought that, on the positive side, it would be enoughmoney for him to continue working 

  26. keep him going (idiom) = give him enough money to continue working

  27.  for a while = for some time

..

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_GB-02

 

Functions:

  1. Returning to a previous topic: So, anyway, after a few days the builders managed to knock the wall down (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Explaining how a relationship began positivelySo, at first we were getting on fairly well (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Asking about how a situation went wrongSo, when did it all start to go pear-shaped? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Indicating that understatement is used for effectI was a bit shocked, to say the least, when he came up with the figure of fifteen grand (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Focussing on a positive aspect of a negative situation: but I thought that at least it would keep him going for a while. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. the builders managed to knock the wall down (phrasal verb) = the builders were able to demolish the wall (more formal)

  2. It was a terribly noisy, dusty process = Knocking the wall down (phrasal gerund – i.e. a noun made from a phrasal verb!) was very noisy and created a lot of dust

  3. they were careful to throw all the rubble in the skip = they made sure they threw the broken stones and bricks into the skip

  4. the rubble = the broken stones and bricks left after a wall has been demolished

  5. the skip = the large metal container for building waste

  6. sweep up (phrasal verb) the dust = clean away (phrasal verb) the dust using a brush

  7. generally tidy up (phrasal verb) = clear away (phrasal verb) the mess that they had left around the house

  8. at first we were getting on (phrasal verb) fairly well = to start with we enjoyed a good working relationship

  9. I was able to put up with (phrasal verb) all the inconvenience = I managed to tolerate the noise and the mess 

  10. when did it all start to go pear-shaped? (idiom, very informal. To understand the image behind this idiomplease think of the shape of a pear, which is wider at the bottom than at the top. If an apple goes pear-shaped, it has lost its shape and much of it has fallen downwards) = when did everything begin to go wrong?

  11. on the Friday night = on the Friday night of the week that we are talking about (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  12. the building contractor = the person who was employed to arrange workers and materials for some building work

  13. foreman = the person in charge of a group of builders

  14. happy with the work so far = pleased with what had been done up to that point

  15. I said that I was (not repeating the same idea) = I said that I was happy with the work so far

  16. If he needed any money up front (idiom, informal) = If he needed to be paid in advance

  17. I’d agreed to pay for the work bit by bit (idiom) = I had agreed that I would pay for the job in instalments

  18. as each stage of the work was completed = after each part of the job was finished

  19. the wages = the money paid to the workers (note: we use two different terms for payment to workers: a salary is a regular monthly payment to a permanent worker; wages are paid weekly or at irregular intervals on completion of individual tasks.)

  20. a little up front (idiom) for materials = a small amount of money paid in advance for building equipment

  21. I was a bit shocked, to say the least = I was extremely shocked, in fact I was much more than shocked!

  22. , to say the least, = and that is an understatement 

  23. he came up with (phrasal verb) the figure of fifteen grand = he calculated that I owed him fifteen grand

  24. fifteen grand (very informal) = £15,000 / fifteen thousand pounds

  25. I thought that would at least keep him going (idiom) = I thought that, on the positive side, it would be enoughmoney for him to continue working 

  26. keep him going (idiom) = give him enough money to continue working

  27.  for a while = for some time

..

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_GB-02

Lesson
Functions
Notes

Functions:

  1. Returning to a previous topic: So, anyway, after a few days the builders managed to knock the wall down (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Explaining how a relationship began positively: So, at first we were getting on fairly well (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Asking about how a situation went wrongSo, when did it all start to go to pot? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Indicating that understatement is used for effect: I was a bit shocked, to say the least, when he came up with the figure of fifteen grand (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Focusing on a positive aspect of a negative situation: but I thought that at least it would keep him going for a while.(note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. the builders managed to knock the wall down (phrasal verb) = the builders were able to demolish the wall (more formal)

  2. It was a terribly noisy, dusty process = Knocking the wall down (phrasal gerund – i.e. a noun made from a phrasal verb!)was very noisy and created a lot of dust

  3. they were careful to throw all the rubble in the skip = they made sure they threw the broken stones and bricks into the skip

  4. the rubble = the broken stones and bricks left after a wall has been demolished

  5. the dumpster = the large metal container for building waste

  6. sweep up (phrasal verb) the dust = clean away (phrasal verb) the dust using a brush

  7. generally clear up (phrasal verb) = clear away (phrasal verb) the mess that they had left around the house

  8. at first we were getting on (phrasal verb) fairly well = to start with we enjoyed a good working relationship

  9. I was able to put up with (phrasal verb) all the inconvenience = I managed to tolerate the noise and the mess 

  10. when did it all start to go to pot? (idiom) = when did everything begin to go wrong?

  11. on the Friday night = on the Friday night of the week that we are talking about (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  12. the building contractor = the person who was employed to arrange workers and materials for some building work

  13. foreman = the person in charge of a group of builders

  14. happy with the work so far = pleased with what had been done up to that point

  15. I said that I was (not repeating the same idea= I said that I was happy with the work so far

  16. If he needed any money up front (idiom, informal= If he needed to be paid in advance

  17. I’d agreed to pay for the work bit by bit (idiom) = I had agreed that I would pay for the job in instalments

  18. as each stage of the work was completed = after each part of the job was finished

  19. the wages = the money paid to the workers (note: we use two different terms for payment to workers: a salary is a regular monthly payment to a permanent worker; wages are paid weekly or at irregular intervals on completion of individual tasks.)

  20. a little up front (idiom) for materials = a small amount of money paid in advance for building equipment

  21. I was a bit shocked, to say the least = I was extremely shocked, in fact I was much more than shocked!

  22. to say the least, = and that is an understatement 

  23. he came up with (phrasal verb) the figure of fifteen grand = he calculated that I owed him fifteen grand

  24. fifteen grand (very informal) = £15,000 / fifteen thousand pounds

  25. I thought that would at least keep him going (idiom) = I thought that, on the positive side, it would be enough money for him to continue working 

  26. keep him going (idiom) = give him enough money to continue working

  27.  for a while = for some time

..

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_US-02

Geraldine: So, anyway, after a few days the builders managed to knock the wall down. It was a terribly noisy, dusty process but at the end of each night they were careful to throw all the rubble in the dumpster, sweep up the dust and generally clean up. So, at first we were getting along fairly well and I was able to put up with all the inconvenience.

Robert: So, when did it all start to go to pot?

Geraldine: Well, on the Friday night, Sid, the building contractor and foreman, asked me if I was happy with the work so far and I said that I was. I asked him if he needed any money up front because I’d agreed to pay for the work bit by bit as each stage of the work was completed. He said that he just needed the wages for his workers and a little up front for materials. I was a bit shocked, to say the least, when he came up with the figure of fifteen grand but I thought that at least it would keep him going for a while.

.

Situation: Geraldine tells Robert how the building work on her house started well, but then started to go downhill.

Style: informal conversation

.

Functions:

  1. Returning to a previous topic: So, anyway, after a few days the builders managed to knock the wall down (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Explaining how a relationship began positively: So, at first we were getting on fairly well (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Asking about how a situation went wrongSo, when did it all start to go to pot? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Indicating that understatement is used for effect: I was a bit shocked, to say the least, when he came up with the figure of fifteen grand (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Focusing on a positive aspect of a negative situation: but I thought that at least it would keep him going for a while.(note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

.

Notes:

  1. the builders managed to knock the wall down (phrasal verb) = the builders were able to demolish the wall (more formal)

  2. It was a terribly noisy, dusty process = Knocking the wall down (phrasal gerund – i.e. a noun made from a phrasal verb!)was very noisy and created a lot of dust

  3. they were careful to throw all the rubble in the skip = they made sure they threw the broken stones and bricks into the skip

  4. the rubble = the broken stones and bricks left after a wall has been demolished

  5. the dumpster = the large metal container for building waste

  6. sweep up (phrasal verb) the dust = clean away (phrasal verb) the dust using a brush

  7. generally clear up (phrasal verb) = clear away (phrasal verb) the mess that they had left around the house

  8. at first we were getting on (phrasal verb) fairly well = to start with we enjoyed a good working relationship

  9. I was able to put up with (phrasal verb) all the inconvenience = I managed to tolerate the noise and the mess 

  10. when did it all start to go to pot? (idiom) = when did everything begin to go wrong?

  11. on the Friday night = on the Friday night of the week that we are talking about (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  12. the building contractor = the person who was employed to arrange workers and materials for some building work

  13. foreman = the person in charge of a group of builders

  14. happy with the work so far = pleased with what had been done up to that point

  15. I said that I was (not repeating the same idea= I said that I was happy with the work so far

  16. If he needed any money up front (idiom, informal= If he needed to be paid in advance

  17. I’d agreed to pay for the work bit by bit (idiom) = I had agreed that I would pay for the job in instalments

  18. as each stage of the work was completed = after each part of the job was finished

  19. the wages = the money paid to the workers (note: we use two different terms for payment to workers: a salary is a regular monthly payment to a permanent worker; wages are paid weekly or at irregular intervals on completion of individual tasks.)

  20. a little up front (idiom) for materials = a small amount of money paid in advance for building equipment

  21. I was a bit shocked, to say the least = I was extremely shocked, in fact I was much more than shocked!

  22. to say the least, = and that is an understatement 

  23. he came up with (phrasal verb) the figure of fifteen grand = he calculated that I owed him fifteen grand

  24. fifteen grand (very informal) = £15,000 / fifteen thousand pounds

  25. I thought that would at least keep him going (idiom) = I thought that, on the positive side, it would be enough money for him to continue working 

  26. keep him going (idiom) = give him enough money to continue working

  27.  for a while = for some time

..

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_US-02

Functions:

  1. Returning to a previous topic: So, anyway, after a few days the builders managed to knock the wall down (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Explaining how a relationship began positively: So, at first we were getting on fairly well (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Asking about how a situation went wrongSo, when did it all start to go to pot? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Indicating that understatement is used for effect: I was a bit shocked, to say the least, when he came up with the figure of fifteen grand (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Focusing on a positive aspect of a negative situation: but I thought that at least it would keep him going for a while.(note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. the builders managed to knock the wall down (phrasal verb) = the builders were able to demolish the wall (more formal)

  2. It was a terribly noisy, dusty process = Knocking the wall down (phrasal gerund – i.e. a noun made from a phrasal verb!)was very noisy and created a lot of dust

  3. they were careful to throw all the rubble in the skip = they made sure they threw the broken stones and bricks into the skip

  4. the rubble = the broken stones and bricks left after a wall has been demolished

  5. the dumpster = the large metal container for building waste

  6. sweep up (phrasal verb) the dust = clean away (phrasal verb) the dust using a brush

  7. generally clear up (phrasal verb) = clear away (phrasal verb) the mess that they had left around the house

  8. at first we were getting on (phrasal verb) fairly well = to start with we enjoyed a good working relationship

  9. I was able to put up with (phrasal verb) all the inconvenience = I managed to tolerate the noise and the mess 

  10. when did it all start to go to pot? (idiom) = when did everything begin to go wrong?

  11. on the Friday night = on the Friday night of the week that we are talking about (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  12. the building contractor = the person who was employed to arrange workers and materials for some building work

  13. foreman = the person in charge of a group of builders

  14. happy with the work so far = pleased with what had been done up to that point

  15. I said that I was (not repeating the same idea= I said that I was happy with the work so far

  16. If he needed any money up front (idiom, informal= If he needed to be paid in advance

  17. I’d agreed to pay for the work bit by bit (idiom) = I had agreed that I would pay for the job in instalments

  18. as each stage of the work was completed = after each part of the job was finished

  19. the wages = the money paid to the workers (note: we use two different terms for payment to workers: a salary is a regular monthly payment to a permanent worker; wages are paid weekly or at irregular intervals on completion of individual tasks.)

  20. a little up front (idiom) for materials = a small amount of money paid in advance for building equipment

  21. I was a bit shocked, to say the least = I was extremely shocked, in fact I was much more than shocked!

  22. to say the least, = and that is an understatement 

  23. he came up with (phrasal verb) the figure of fifteen grand = he calculated that I owed him fifteen grand

  24. fifteen grand (very informal) = £15,000 / fifteen thousand pounds

  25. I thought that would at least keep him going (idiom) = I thought that, on the positive side, it would be enough money for him to continue working 

  26. keep him going (idiom) = give him enough money to continue working

  27.  for a while = for some time

..

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_US-02

Lesson
Functions
Notes

Functions:

  1. Narrating the passing of time: So, around came Monday morning (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Making an assumption: You must have been starting to worry that you’d been ripped off (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Explaining the reasoning behind a past action: Well, I just convinced myself that it was nothing to worry about(note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Empathising: I bet you were relieved (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Returning to a previous topic: Anyway, next morning there was a knock on the door (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. around came Monday morning and… (phrasal verb) = On Monday morning / Monday morning arrived and... (note: the speaker is making the story sound more dramatic by using this idiomatic turn of phrase to mark the passing of time.)

  2. I got up (phrasal verb) = I arose (more formal) / I woke and got out of bed

  3. at the crack of dawn (idiom) very early in the morning / when the sun was rising 

  4. put the kettle on (phrasal verb) = boiled some water to make tea / filled the kettle with water and switched it on(phrasal verb)

  5. in anticipation of the builders arriving (more dramatic) = expecting the builders to arrive

  6. by 10 o’clock there was still no sign of them (idiom) = When 10 o’clock arrived, they had still not arrived

  7. The clock ticked on (phrasal verb) till 11 = Another hour passed / time kept passing until 11

  8. I was starting to get worried (informal) = I began to worry

  9. I called Sid’s mobile (informal) = I rang Sid’s mobile phone

  10. it went straight on to answer machine = it went straight to voicemail / instead of ringing, the phone switch immediately to an answering service (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  11. You must have been starting to worry = I’m sure you were beginning to get concerned

  12. ripped off (idiom) = cheated out of (phrasal verb) your money

  13. Sid had done a runner with your money = Sid had taken your money and did not intend to finish the job

  14. done a runner (idiom, very informal slang) = left a place quickly to avoid paying, or in order to take someone’s money

  15. I just convinced myself that... = I kept telling myself that... until I believed it

  16. it was nothing to worry about = there was no need to be concerned (more formal)

  17. the phone rang and it was Sid (informal, and more dramatic) = Sid phoned me

  18. apologising profusely (more formal, and more dramatic) = telling me that he was extremely sorry (note: the use of formal vocabulary here shows that the speaker is being sarcastic)

  19. something unexpected had cropped up (phrasal verb) = an unforeseen situation had occurred (more formal)

  20. he would be back on the job (idiom) tomorrow = he would come back to work on my house the following day 

  21. Yes, I was (short answer) = yes, I was relieved

  22. next morning there was a knock on the door (more dramatic) = The following morning, someone knocked on my frontdoor

  23. I answered it = I opened the front door (note: we use ‘answer’ to mean open the front door when somebody has knocked on the door or rung the doorbell. We also use the same verb when our phone rings and we answer it.)

  24. a scruffy-looking boy = an untidy and badly dressed young man

  25. who can’t have been older than 15 = who I think was only 15 years old / who I assume was no more than 15 years old  (more formal)

  26. to find... stood at my front door = and saw… standing at my front door (note: in colloquial, informal speech it is common to use the past tense ‘stood’ after ‘to find’, but the correct form of the verb is the present participle, standing’)

  27. in a pair of wellingtons = wearing rubber boots

  28. with a shovel in his hand (more dramatic) = holding a shovel

  29. a shovel = a tool made of a wide square metal or plastic blade fixed to a handle, for moving earth or other loose material

.

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_GB-03

Geraldine: So, around came Monday morning and I got up at the crack of dawn and put the kettle on in anticipation of the builders arriving,  but by 10 o’clock there was still no sign of them. The clock ticked on till 11 and I was starting to get worried so I called Sid’s mobile but it went straight on to answer machine.

Robert: You must have been starting to worry that you’d been ripped off and that Sid had done a runner with your money.

Geraldine: Well, I just convinced myself that it was nothing to worry about. About 2.30 the phone rang and it was Sid apologising profusely, saying that something unexpected had cropped up and that he would be back on the job tomorrow.

Robert: I bet you were relieved.

Geraldine: Yes, I was. Anyway, next morning there was a knock on the door and I answered it to find a scruffy-looking boy who can’t have been older than 15 stood at my front door in a pair of wellingtons and with a shovel in his hand.

 

.

Situation: Geraldine continues to tell Robert about the problems she had with a building company that she employed to build an extension on her house.

Style: informal conversation

.

Functions:

  1. Narrating the passing of time: So, around came Monday morning (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Making an assumption: You must have been starting to worry that you’d been ripped off (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Explaining the reasoning behind a past action: Well, I just convinced myself that it was nothing to worry about(note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Empathising: I bet you were relieved (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Returning to a previous topic: Anyway, next morning there was a knock on the door (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

.

Notes:

  1. around came Monday morning and… (phrasal verb) = On Monday morning / Monday morning arrived and... (note: the speaker is making the story sound more dramatic by using this idiomatic turn of phrase to mark the passing of time.)

  2. I got up (phrasal verb) = I arose (more formal) / I woke and got out of bed

  3. at the crack of dawn (idiom) very early in the morning / when the sun was rising 

  4. put the kettle on (phrasal verb) = boiled some water to make tea / filled the kettle with water and switched it on(phrasal verb)

  5. in anticipation of the builders arriving (more dramatic) = expecting the builders to arrive

  6. by 10 o’clock there was still no sign of them (idiom) = When 10 o’clock arrived, they had still not arrived

  7. The clock ticked on (phrasal verb) till 11 = Another hour passed / time kept passing until 11

  8. I was starting to get worried (informal) = I began to worry

  9. I called Sid’s mobile (informal) = I rang Sid’s mobile phone

  10. it went straight on to answer machine = it went straight to voicemail / instead of ringing, the phone switch immediately to an answering service (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  11. You must have been starting to worry = I’m sure you were beginning to get concerned

  12. ripped off (idiom) = cheated out of (phrasal verb) your money

  13. Sid had done a runner with your money = Sid had taken your money and did not intend to finish the job

  14. done a runner (idiom, very informal slang) = left a place quickly to avoid paying, or in order to take someone’s money

  15. I just convinced myself that... = I kept telling myself that... until I believed it

  16. it was nothing to worry about = there was no need to be concerned (more formal)

  17. the phone rang and it was Sid (informal, and more dramatic) = Sid phoned me

  18. apologising profusely (more formal, and more dramatic) = telling me that he was extremely sorry (note: the use of formal vocabulary here shows that the speaker is being sarcastic)

  19. something unexpected had cropped up (phrasal verb) = an unforeseen situation had occurred (more formal)

  20. he would be back on the job (idiom) tomorrow = he would come back to work on my house the following day 

  21. Yes, I was (short answer) = yes, I was relieved

  22. next morning there was a knock on the door (more dramatic) = The following morning, someone knocked on my frontdoor

  23. I answered it = I opened the front door (note: we use ‘answer’ to mean open the front door when somebody has knocked on the door or rung the doorbell. We also use the same verb when our phone rings and we answer it.)

  24. a scruffy-looking boy = an untidy and badly dressed young man

  25. who can’t have been older than 15 = who I think was only 15 years old / who I assume was no more than 15 years old  (more formal)

  26. to find... stood at my front door = and saw… standing at my front door (note: in colloquial, informal speech it is common to use the past tense ‘stood’ after ‘to find’, but the correct form of the verb is the present participle, standing’)

  27. in a pair of wellingtons = wearing rubber boots

  28. with a shovel in his hand (more dramatic) = holding a shovel

  29. a shovel = a tool made of a wide square metal or plastic blade fixed to a handle, for moving earth or other loose material

.

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_GB-03

Functions:

  1. Narrating the passing of time: So, around came Monday morning (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Making an assumption: You must have been starting to worry that you’d been ripped off (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Explaining the reasoning behind a past action: Well, I just convinced myself that it was nothing to worry about(note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Empathising: I bet you were relieved (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Returning to a previous topic: Anyway, next morning there was a knock on the door (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. around came Monday morning and… (phrasal verb) = On Monday morning / Monday morning arrived and... (note: the speaker is making the story sound more dramatic by using this idiomatic turn of phrase to mark the passing of time.)

  2. I got up (phrasal verb) = I arose (more formal) / I woke and got out of bed

  3. at the crack of dawn (idiom) very early in the morning / when the sun was rising 

  4. put the kettle on (phrasal verb) = boiled some water to make tea / filled the kettle with water and switched it on(phrasal verb)

  5. in anticipation of the builders arriving (more dramatic) = expecting the builders to arrive

  6. by 10 o’clock there was still no sign of them (idiom) = When 10 o’clock arrived, they had still not arrived

  7. The clock ticked on (phrasal verb) till 11 = Another hour passed / time kept passing until 11

  8. I was starting to get worried (informal) = I began to worry

  9. I called Sid’s mobile (informal) = I rang Sid’s mobile phone

  10. it went straight on to answer machine = it went straight to voicemail / instead of ringing, the phone switch immediately to an answering service (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  11. You must have been starting to worry = I’m sure you were beginning to get concerned

  12. ripped off (idiom) = cheated out of (phrasal verb) your money

  13. Sid had done a runner with your money = Sid had taken your money and did not intend to finish the job

  14. done a runner (idiom, very informal slang) = left a place quickly to avoid paying, or in order to take someone’s money

  15. I just convinced myself that... = I kept telling myself that... until I believed it

  16. it was nothing to worry about = there was no need to be concerned (more formal)

  17. the phone rang and it was Sid (informal, and more dramatic) = Sid phoned me

  18. apologising profusely (more formal, and more dramatic) = telling me that he was extremely sorry (note: the use of formal vocabulary here shows that the speaker is being sarcastic)

  19. something unexpected had cropped up (phrasal verb) = an unforeseen situation had occurred (more formal)

  20. he would be back on the job (idiom) tomorrow = he would come back to work on my house the following day 

  21. Yes, I was (short answer) = yes, I was relieved

  22. next morning there was a knock on the door (more dramatic) = The following morning, someone knocked on my frontdoor

  23. I answered it = I opened the front door (note: we use ‘answer’ to mean open the front door when somebody has knocked on the door or rung the doorbell. We also use the same verb when our phone rings and we answer it.)

  24. a scruffy-looking boy = an untidy and badly dressed young man

  25. who can’t have been older than 15 = who I think was only 15 years old / who I assume was no more than 15 years old  (more formal)

  26. to find... stood at my front door = and saw… standing at my front door (note: in colloquial, informal speech it is common to use the past tense ‘stood’ after ‘to find’, but the correct form of the verb is the present participle, standing’)

  27. in a pair of wellingtons = wearing rubber boots

  28. with a shovel in his hand (more dramatic) = holding a shovel

  29. a shovel = a tool made of a wide square metal or plastic blade fixed to a handle, for moving earth or other loose material

.

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_GB-03

Lesson
Functions
Notes

Functions:

  1. Narrating the passing of time: So, around came Monday morning (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Making an assumption: You must have been starting to worry that you’d been ripped off (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Explaining the reasoning behind a past action: Well, I just convinced myself that it was nothing to worry about (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. EmpathizingI bet you were relieved (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Returning to a previous topic: Anyway, next morning there was a knock on the door (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. around came Monday morning and… (phrasal verb) = On Monday morning / Monday morning arrived and... (note: the speaker is making the story sound more dramatic by using this idiomatic turn of phrase to mark the passing of time.)

  2. I got up (phrasal verb) = I arose (more formal) / I woke and got out of bed

  3. at the crack of dawn (idiom) very early in the morning / when the sun was rising 

  4. brewed some coffee = made some coffee

  5. in anticipation of the builders arriving (more dramatic) = expecting the builders to arrive

  6. by 10 o’clock there was still no sign of them (idiom) = When 10 o’clock arrived, they had still not arrived

  7. The clock ticked on (phrasal verb) till 11 = Another hour passed / time kept passing until 11

  8. I was starting to get worried (informal) = I began to worry

  9. I called Sid’s cell phone = I rang Sid’s portable phone (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  10. it went straight on to voice mail = it went straight to a recorded message  / instead of ringing, the phone switchedimmediately to an answering service (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  11. You must have been starting to worry = I’m sure you were beginning to get concerned

  12. ripped off (idiom) = cheated out of (phrasal verb) your money

  13. Sid had run off with (phrasal verb) your money = Sid had taken your money and did not intend to finish the job

  14. done a runner (idiom, very informal slang) = left a place quickly to avoid paying, or in order to take someone’s money

  15. I just convinced myself that... = I kept telling myself that... until I believed it

  16. it was nothing to worry about = there was no need to be concerned (more formal)

  17. the phone rang and it was Sid (informal, and more dramatic= Sid phoned me

  18. apologizing profusely (more formal, and more dramatic= telling me that he was extremely sorry (note: the use of formal vocabulary here shows that the speaker is being sarcastic)

  19. something unexpected had cropped up (phrasal verb) = an unforeseen situation had occurred (more formal)

  20. he would be back on the job (idiom) tomorrow = he would come back to work on my house the following day 

  21. Yes, I was (short answer= yes, I was relieved

  22. next morning there was a knock on the door (more dramatic) = The following morning, someone knocked on my frontdoor

  23. I answered it = I opened the front door (note: we use ‘answer’ to mean open the front door when somebody has knocked on the door or rang the doorbell. We also use the same verb when our phone rings and we answer it.)

  24. a scruffy-looking boy = an untidy and badly dressed young man

  25. who can’t have been older than 15 = who I think was only 15 years old / who I assume was no more than 15 years old  (more formal)

  26. to find... stood at my front door = and saw… standing at my front door (note: in colloquial, informal speech it is common to use the past tense ‘stood’ after ‘to find’, but the correct form of the verb is the present participle, standing’)

  27. boots = work shoes

  28. with a shovel in his hand (more dramatic) = holding a shovel

  29. a shovel = a tool made of a wide square metal or plastic blade fixed to a handle, for moving earth or other loose material

.

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_US-03

Geraldine: So, around came Monday morning and I got up at the crack of dawn and brewed some coffee in anticipation of the builders arriving,  but by 10 o’clock there was still no sign of them. The clock ticked on ’til 11 and I was starting to get worried so I called Sid’s cell phone but it went straight on to voice mail.

Robert: You must have been starting to worry that you’d been ripped off and that Sid had run off with your money.

Geraldine: Well, I just convinced myself that it was nothing to worry about. About 2.30 the phone rang and it was Sidapologizing profusely, saying that something unexpected had cropped up and that he would be back on the job tomorrow.

Robert: I bet you were relieved.

Geraldine: Yes, I was. Anyway, next morning there was a knock on the door and I answered it to find a scruffy-looking boy who can’t have been older than 15 stood at my front door in a pair of boots and with a shovel in his hand.

 

.

Situation: Geraldine continues to tell Robert about the problems she had with a building company that she employed to build an extension on her house.

Style: informal conversation

.

Functions:

  1. Narrating the passing of time: So, around came Monday morning (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Making an assumption: You must have been starting to worry that you’d been ripped off (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Explaining the reasoning behind a past action: Well, I just convinced myself that it was nothing to worry about (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. EmpathizingI bet you were relieved (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Returning to a previous topic: Anyway, next morning there was a knock on the door (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

.

Notes:

  1. around came Monday morning and… (phrasal verb) = On Monday morning / Monday morning arrived and... (note: the speaker is making the story sound more dramatic by using this idiomatic turn of phrase to mark the passing of time.)

  2. I got up (phrasal verb) = I arose (more formal) / I woke and got out of bed

  3. at the crack of dawn (idiom) very early in the morning / when the sun was rising 

  4. brewed some coffee = made some coffee

  5. in anticipation of the builders arriving (more dramatic) = expecting the builders to arrive

  6. by 10 o’clock there was still no sign of them (idiom) = When 10 o’clock arrived, they had still not arrived

  7. The clock ticked on (phrasal verb) till 11 = Another hour passed / time kept passing until 11

  8. I was starting to get worried (informal) = I began to worry

  9. I called Sid’s cell phone = I rang Sid’s portable phone (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  10. it went straight on to voice mail = it went straight to a recorded message  / instead of ringing, the phone switchedimmediately to an answering service (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  11. You must have been starting to worry = I’m sure you were beginning to get concerned

  12. ripped off (idiom) = cheated out of (phrasal verb) your money

  13. Sid had run off with (phrasal verb) your money = Sid had taken your money and did not intend to finish the job

  14. done a runner (idiom, very informal slang) = left a place quickly to avoid paying, or in order to take someone’s money

  15. I just convinced myself that... = I kept telling myself that... until I believed it

  16. it was nothing to worry about = there was no need to be concerned (more formal)

  17. the phone rang and it was Sid (informal, and more dramatic= Sid phoned me

  18. apologizing profusely (more formal, and more dramatic= telling me that he was extremely sorry (note: the use of formal vocabulary here shows that the speaker is being sarcastic)

  19. something unexpected had cropped up (phrasal verb) = an unforeseen situation had occurred (more formal)

  20. he would be back on the job (idiom) tomorrow = he would come back to work on my house the following day 

  21. Yes, I was (short answer= yes, I was relieved

  22. next morning there was a knock on the door (more dramatic) = The following morning, someone knocked on my frontdoor

  23. I answered it = I opened the front door (note: we use ‘answer’ to mean open the front door when somebody has knocked on the door or rang the doorbell. We also use the same verb when our phone rings and we answer it.)

  24. a scruffy-looking boy = an untidy and badly dressed young man

  25. who can’t have been older than 15 = who I think was only 15 years old / who I assume was no more than 15 years old  (more formal)

  26. to find... stood at my front door = and saw… standing at my front door (note: in colloquial, informal speech it is common to use the past tense ‘stood’ after ‘to find’, but the correct form of the verb is the present participle, standing’)

  27. boots = work shoes

  28. with a shovel in his hand (more dramatic) = holding a shovel

  29. a shovel = a tool made of a wide square metal or plastic blade fixed to a handle, for moving earth or other loose material

.

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_US-03

Functions:

  1. Narrating the passing of time: So, around came Monday morning (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Making an assumption: You must have been starting to worry that you’d been ripped off (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Explaining the reasoning behind a past action: Well, I just convinced myself that it was nothing to worry about (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. EmpathizingI bet you were relieved (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  5. Returning to a previous topic: Anyway, next morning there was a knock on the door (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. around came Monday morning and… (phrasal verb) = On Monday morning / Monday morning arrived and... (note: the speaker is making the story sound more dramatic by using this idiomatic turn of phrase to mark the passing of time.)

  2. I got up (phrasal verb) = I arose (more formal) / I woke and got out of bed

  3. at the crack of dawn (idiom) very early in the morning / when the sun was rising 

  4. brewed some coffee = made some coffee

  5. in anticipation of the builders arriving (more dramatic) = expecting the builders to arrive

  6. by 10 o’clock there was still no sign of them (idiom) = When 10 o’clock arrived, they had still not arrived

  7. The clock ticked on (phrasal verb) till 11 = Another hour passed / time kept passing until 11

  8. I was starting to get worried (informal) = I began to worry

  9. I called Sid’s cell phone = I rang Sid’s portable phone (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  10. it went straight on to voice mail = it went straight to a recorded message  / instead of ringing, the phone switchedimmediately to an answering service (note: we never actually say it like this!)

  11. You must have been starting to worry = I’m sure you were beginning to get concerned

  12. ripped off (idiom) = cheated out of (phrasal verb) your money

  13. Sid had run off with (phrasal verb) your money = Sid had taken your money and did not intend to finish the job

  14. done a runner (idiom, very informal slang) = left a place quickly to avoid paying, or in order to take someone’s money

  15. I just convinced myself that... = I kept telling myself that... until I believed it

  16. it was nothing to worry about = there was no need to be concerned (more formal)

  17. the phone rang and it was Sid (informal, and more dramatic= Sid phoned me

  18. apologizing profusely (more formal, and more dramatic= telling me that he was extremely sorry (note: the use of formal vocabulary here shows that the speaker is being sarcastic)

  19. something unexpected had cropped up (phrasal verb) = an unforeseen situation had occurred (more formal)

  20. he would be back on the job (idiom) tomorrow = he would come back to work on my house the following day 

  21. Yes, I was (short answer= yes, I was relieved

  22. next morning there was a knock on the door (more dramatic) = The following morning, someone knocked on my frontdoor

  23. I answered it = I opened the front door (note: we use ‘answer’ to mean open the front door when somebody has knocked on the door or rang the doorbell. We also use the same verb when our phone rings and we answer it.)

  24. a scruffy-looking boy = an untidy and badly dressed young man

  25. who can’t have been older than 15 = who I think was only 15 years old / who I assume was no more than 15 years old  (more formal)

  26. to find... stood at my front door = and saw… standing at my front door (note: in colloquial, informal speech it is common to use the past tense ‘stood’ after ‘to find’, but the correct form of the verb is the present participle, standing’)

  27. boots = work shoes

  28. with a shovel in his hand (more dramatic) = holding a shovel

  29. a shovel = a tool made of a wide square metal or plastic blade fixed to a handle, for moving earth or other loose material

.

Audio file name: DailyStep-5_cowboy-builders-001_US-03