Thứ Sáu, 30 tháng 10, 2020

Talking about a celebrity in English!

1. Would you like to be a celebrity ?

2. Have you ever seen a celebrity in person ?

3. Do you know anybody who has a celebrity in their family?


4. What are the advantages  of being a celebrity?


5. What are the disadvantages  of being a celebrity?


6. Do you think that celebrities have the right to privacy?


7. What do you think of paparazzi ?


8. Do you read gossip magazines ?


9. Do you watch gossip TV programs ?


10.   Do you belong to any fun club ?


11.   Who was your hero, when you were younger?


12.   Which celebrity do you admire ? Why?


13.   Which celebrity do you not like? Why?


14.   Do you have to be beautiful to become a celebrity?



15.   Do you have to be intelligent or talented to become a celebrity?


16.   Are celebrities happy?


17. Which celebrity would you like to meet? What would you do if you could spend a day with this person?


18. Do you think it's moral to sell your private life to the media?


1. Who is your favourite celebrity in your country?

2. How do celebrities influence their fans in your country?

3. Do you like any foreign celebrities?

4. Would you like to be a celebrity? Why?

5. Do you think we should protect famous people’s privacy?


celebrity 

a famous person


in person 

yourself

I can’t see the match in person, all I can do is to watch it on TV.


advantage 


The biggest advantage of living in the country is the silence.


disadvantage 


The biggest disadvantage of living in a big city is the constant noise.


privacy 


I couldn’t share a bedroom with somebody else. I need some privacy.


paparazzi 


The actress took legal action against the paparazzi who once followed her even in the bathroom.


gossip magazine 


I never buy gossip magazines. Why should I care about the others’ lives?


gossip TV program 


She keeps watching the same gossip TV program every evening and she always knows what’s happening in show business.


fun club 


His teenage sister belongs to the fan club of Harry Potter and her room is all covered with posters of the movies and books.


hero 


Jack Nicholson is my hero. I’ve seen every movie that he acted in.


admire 


I really admire her for her courage and intelligence.


someone’s claim to fame 

someone’s reason for being famous, well-known

Michael Jackson’s claim to fame was his great musical talent and dancing skills.



To be on top of the list (expression) to be the highest priority

To be a (big/huge/avid) fan of (expression) to admire SO

Public figure

So-called (adj)

Claim to fame 
Someone’s reason for being well-known or famous.

Versatile :
A person who is able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities, mostly different roles they perform.

Glamorous:
Someone who is attractive in an exciting and special way.

A one trick pony:
A celebrity can be called ‘ A one trick pony’ when they are skilled only in one kind of genre.

Overrated:
If something or someone is overrated, that person or thing is considered to be better or more important than they really are.

Arrogant:
A celebrity who is unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important than, or know more than, other people.

Highest accolade:
It is a form of praise or an award given to a celebrity for the brilliant work put in by them over the years.

Glowing tributes :
Praising with enthusiasm received from the critics and audiences for the performance.

Big break :
A celebrity who has a significant good fortune or opportunity to showcase their talent.

Victim of their own success:
To have problems because of your success, as success gets into ones head their attitude towards others changes, they become arrogant and start to think as if they are only one on the planet with the skill and talent.











Thứ Năm, 22 tháng 10, 2020

Listening Practice: Survival English

Exercise 10: Talking to a landlady (17:41)

Mrs. Tiger's new lodger is asking what he is allowed to do. Listen to the conversation and make a cross (X) if it is not allowed and fill in the table below.





Exercise 13: Trip to Belfast (25:38)

Listen to the talk and fill in the missing information in the notes below:

Belfast is one of the (1)___ capital cities in the world and it has grown very fast. Today the city has a population of (2)___, nearly a third of the entire population of Northern Ireland, but in the 17th century it was only a (3)___. Then, during the 19th century, the development of industries like linen, rope-making, (4)___, tobacco and sea trade doubled the town size every ten years. The city is well known for (5)___. It was here that the "Titanic" was built and set out on her (6) ___ maiden voyage.

Plan for the trip to Belfast



Exercise 14: TV and radio (28: 23)

Listen to the talk and complete the notes below.

There are two main broadcasting companies in Britain. 

One is (1)___, the other is (2)___

National radio is controlled by the (3)___. There are four stations.


(8) The BBC has ___ TV channels. ___ has more serious programmes and news features.

(9) The IBA is responsible for looking after ___ independent TV companies.

(10) There is a break for advertisements about every ___ minutes.

(11) Channel 4 is an independent channel. It has more ___ programmes than the main channels.

(12) Many people think the programmes on British TV have a ___ standard, but some people ___ the amount of violence on TV.

Exercise 15: Sports (30:44)

Questions 1 - 10

Listen to the talk and fill in the missing information in the right places


Questions 11 - 16

Indicate whether the following statements are true or false by writing T for true and F for false in the boxes below.

11. All colleges have their own impressive sports facilities   T/F

12. The most popular outdoor sports are football and tennis   T/F

13. Motor racing is one of the most popular sports in Britain   T/F

14. "To play the game" means "That's not fair"   T/F

15. "That's not cricket" means "to be fair"   T/F

16. The most popular sport in Britain is football   T/F




 

Thứ Tư, 21 tháng 10, 2020

Conversations about Food!

Practice talking about your jobs: 


Student A:


What kind of food do you like?


Student B:


I'm really crazy for Korean and Japanese food. 



Student A:


Why do you like Korean food?


Student B:


Because Korean food is spicy, tasty, flavorful and healthy. How about you? What kind of food do you like?


Student A:


I'm keen on American and Italian food?



Student B:


I think American food is unhealthy! Why do you like it?



Student A:


I like American food because It's delicious, sweet, cheesy and buttery. What kind of food do you dislike?


Student B:


Well, I think I'm not a crazy fan of American food because it's too sweet, oily and fried. It makes me fat. How about you, what kind of food don't you like?


Student A:


Ah, I see. I'm not keen on Thai food because it's so spicy and sour, I can't eat spicy food.


Student B:


Do you like cooking?


Student A:


Well, not really. And you?


Student B:


Yes, I love cooking.


Student A:


How often do you cook?


Student B:


I cook 3 times a week.


Student A:


What's your specialty?


Student B:


My specialty is seafood fried rice


Student A:


Wow, I like it very much. What are the ingredients?


Student B:


The main ingredients are seafoods like shrimp and cuttlefish. The veggies are carrot and string beans. The spices are cooking oil, garlic, black pepper, sugar, salt and fish sauce.


Student A:


How do you cook it?


Student B:


First, I pour cooking oil into the frying pan and add garlic, about 30 seconds. After that I add shrimp and cuttlefish and stir them about 5 minutes.


Second, I add carrot and string beans and stir everything about 3 minutes. 


Finally, I add spices and rice, then I stir the mixture 












Crossword about Jobs!





Across

3. A person that works in a food outlet, looking after customers and serving food (male).

5. A person that designs building and houses.

7. A scientist who specializes in the study and treatment of the mind and behavior.

9. A person that defends people in court and gives legal advice.

11. A person that repairs machines, especially car motors.

15. A person that works with meat: cuts the meat and sell it in his shop.

16. A person whose job is to take in or give out money in a store, bank, etc.

19. A person whose main job is to prevent crime.

20. A person who can cut your hair or give it a new style.

23. A person that is at the entrance of a company/hotel.

25. A person that works with the money and accounts of a company.

27. The person with the most important position in a company.

28. A person that delivers mail to your house.

32. This person writes books or novels.

33. A person whose job is to give people advice about what to eat in order to be healthy and stay in a good shape.

34. A person whose job is to cut men's hair, beards and mustaches.

35. A person that makes new reports in writing or through television.

39. A person who has the job of designing things.

42. A person that passes knowledge to students, usually at school.

43. A person who develops solutions to technical problems. They sometimes design, build, or maintain engines, machines, structures or public works.

45. A person that works with flowers.

46. Someone who works in an office, writing letters, making phone calls, and arranging meetings for a person or for an organization.

47. A person that prepared food for others, often in a restaurant or café.

48. A person that can fix problems you have with your teeth.

49. Someone who takes care of your baby or child while you are out, usually by coming to your home, especially someone you pay to do this.





Down

1. A person who teaches and trains an athlete or performer.

2. A person who serves drinks at a bar or restaurant.

4. A person that works with electric circuits.

6. A person (such as a director or producer) who makes movies.

7. A person who is trained to prepare and give out medicines in a hospital or shop.

8. A person that tidies an area or place (such as in an office).

10. A person that collects trash/rubbish from bins in the street.

11. A person who writes, sings, or plays music.

12. A person who works in an office, dealing with records or performing general office duties.

13. A person who studies the stars and the universe.

14. A person that puts out fires.

17. A doctor who performs operations that involve cutting into someone's body in order to repair or remove damaged or diseased parts.

18. A person you go to see when you are ill or have some type of health problem.

21. A woman flight attendant.

22. This person usually makes bread and cakes.

24. A person that repairs your water systems or pipes.

26. A person that makes clothes for others, many times producing exclusive items of clothing.

28. A person that takes photos.

29. A person that takes part in a play or a movie (male).

30. A person who flies a plane.

31. A person that makes things from wood including houses and furniture.

35. A qualified person that decides cases in a law court.

36. A person whose job is to arrange and manage funerals.

37. A person trained to help a doctor look after the sick or injured.

38. A person that saves lives where people swim (at a beach or swimming pool).

40. Someone who works on different projects with different companies instead of being a company employee.

41. A person who works for the army.

44. A person who is trained to give medical care and treatment to animals. 

Thứ Ba, 20 tháng 10, 2020

Conversations about jobs!



Practice talking about your jobs:

Student A: 

What do you do for a living?

Student B: 

I'm a teacher of English. I work in Phan Thiet and I work for Co Tu's Homestay. How about you? What do you do?

Student A:

I'm a developer. I work in California, USA. And I work for Microsoft.

Student B: 

Wow! Really amazing. Can you describe your company?

Student A:

Yeah, my company is huge. It's an American corporation. We have over 150,000 employees, the headquarter is located in Washington and we have many branches all over the world.

How about your homestay? Can you describe it?

Student B: 

Well, It's just a small, local and family business homestay. We have only about 10 staff. We have 2 branches: 1 in Phan Thiet and 1 in Mui Ne. Maybe in the future we will open a new homestay in Da Lat or Nha Trang.




What products or services do you sell?

Student A:

Let me see... We have many softwares and apps like Microsoft word, excel, powerpoint, Skype and so on...

Student B:

Yeah, I know Skype and Microsoft office. I really like them all.

Student A:

Wow, I'm happy to know that. And you? What products or services do you sell?

Student B:

As you know, It's a homestay, so we have different kinds of rooms for guests like family rooms, double rooms and dorm rooms. We also cook breakfast, lunch and dinner and sell some drinks like coffee and soft drinks. We offer Jeep tours to the guests and blah blah blah...

At the same time, we teach English for adults, teenagers and little kids too. Here, we teach people how to communicate English for different topics.

Student A:

It sounds a lot of fun! How are your co workers?



Student B:

Because we are a family business homestay, so everyone's very close, friendly, funny and happy. We sometimes have dinner or go to the coffeeshop together. We travel once or twice a year to Da Lat or Phan Rang. We really have a lot of fun.

Student A:

It's really nice. Because my company is so big, we have so many staff in the office, so I even don't know everyone. I just say "hi" to anyone I meet in the office, some of them are quite friendly, but the others are not really.

But I love my team, we have only 15 staff in my team, 14 of us are boys and only 1 is a girl. Everyone's so funny, caring and helpful. We often make jokes and laugh a lot in the office. After work, we often hang out to the movie theater, coffeeshop, bars and bla bla. We sometimes travel together around USA and to other Europe countries too.

Student B:

Awesome! How about your boss?



Student A:

My boss is quite strict, difficult and demanding. But she's very talented, kind and generous. Whenever I have any problems, she's ready to help me a lot. How about your boss?

Student B:

My boss? She's my mom. She's quite hot tempered, difficult and talkative, but she's really understanding and smart. I learn a lot from her too.

Student A:

Cool! Do you like your job?

Student B:

Yes, of course. I love it because I can meet and talk to different people. I can learn about their culture and so on. It's a fun and creative job, sometimes it may be boring and challenging.

How about you? Do you enjoy your job?

Student A:

Yeah, definitely. I love it, even though it's very stressed and challenging sometimes, we often work overtime and don't have so much time for family, but it's quite promising, I can get high salary and bonus too. And if I become good, I can have promotion.






Chủ Nhật, 18 tháng 10, 2020

Talking about TV program in English!

 

Types of Television shows

Sports

Sitcom

Documentary

Soap Opera

Cartoon

Travel/ Holiday

Kids/ Children's

Drama

Makeover

Comedy Drama

Teen Drama

Romantic drama

Family Drama

Medical Drama

Legal Drama, Crime Drama, and Police Procedural Drama

Horror Drama

Historical Drama

Space Drama

Political drama

Musical Drama

Docudrama

Reality TV

Game show

Animated Series

Television Serials

Telenovela

Factual TV or TV Documentary

Mokumentary

On-demand TV and Streaming TV

News programming

Talk shows

Variety shows

Sketch comedy

Sci-fi and fantasy

Anime

Other vocabularies:

Episode

Rerun

Season

Show

Program

Network

Broadcast

Cable TV

Channel

Streaming

Download

The show is on

On the air

Example:

The Simpsons has been on the air for over twenty years!

Hilarious

Super funny

Action packed

Suspenseful

Boost

Ratings

TV commercials


It's so awesome!

It's really great.

It's amazing!

You might hear someone say:

I love that show!

For a funny show, you can say:

That show is hilarious!

It's super funny.

You could describe an action drama like this:

It's action-packed.

it's really suspenseful.

Here are some phrases to describe a documentary or educational TV show:

It was fascinating.

It's a really interesting show. 

Describing bad TV Shows

Here are some negative adjectives that you can use when you don’t like a show:

  • terrible
  • lame
  • awful
  • boring
  • frustrating

A show that doesn't make the viewers think very much can be described as "mindless":

All he watches are those mindless reality TV shows.

For a comedy that you don’t like, you can say:

I don’t find it funny at all.

If a show is too emotional or too fake, you can describe it like this:

It's so cheesy!

If you generally like a show, but you didn't like one episode, you can say that it was "weak":

That was a pretty weak episode.


Phrases for talking about a TV show:

“My favorite program of all is…” 
“I love watching…” 
“I adore watching…” 
“I hate watching…” 
“I can’t bear watching…” 
“That program keeps me on the edge of my seat” 
“I can’t bear to miss an episode of…” 
“The special effects are…” 
“I missed last night’s episode. Can you tell me what happened?” 

Adjectives to describe TV programs and what we think about them:

“Scary” 
“Interesting” 
“Fascinating” 
“Great fun” 
“Funny”  
“Exciting” 
“Depressing” 
“Sad” 
“Uplifting” 
“Boring” 
“Realistic” - 
“Unrealistic” 
“Amazing” 
“Soppy” 
“Addictive” 
“Stimulating” 
“Thought-provoking” 

Examples:


“I think soaps are boring.”
“In my opinion, news and weather programs are usually depressing.” 
“Most sports programs send me to sleep, but I quite enjoy watching tennis and volleyball.” 
“I love comedies – I always feel optimistic and happier after having a good laugh.” 
“I love watching most types of films – even tear-jerkers.” 
“I find wildlife documentaries totally thought-provoking. “ 

Other vocabularies:

Episode

Show

Season

Season premiere

Season finale:  

Binge-watch


Part 1: Talking about TV habits

Do you watch much TV?

I go through phases

Sometimes I get really into a show

I binge - watch a show over a few days

I put something on in the background while i'm doing other things


Questions:

How much TV do you watch?

What was the last show you really got into?

Have you ever binge - watch a show?

Do you like to put TV on in the background when you're doing housework

Yes/ No

Not really

I used to, but now i'm too busy, I don't have time

Feel guilty

Get into 

Example:

I got into photography when I was a teenager

Get addicted to

Episode

It's fun to

Part 2: 

Part 3:

Part 4: Talking about a TV show you dislike


  • What is one of your favorite TV shows?
    • Why do you like it?
    • When is it on?
    • Does you father like it, too?
  • Will you watch TV tonight?
    • If so, what will you watch?
  • What did you watch on TV yesterday?
  • Do you like ___? (Insert the name of a TV show.)
  • Do you prefer listening to the radio or watching TV?
  • Do you think it is good for children to watch TV?
  • Do you think TV is educational?
  • Do you think there is too much violence on TV?
  • Do you think that TV is a good thing?
  • How often do you watch TV?
  • What do you usually watch on TV?
  • What kind of TV programs do you usually watch?
  • What kind of TV shows do you dislike? Why?
  • What are the advantages of watching TV?
  • What are the disadvantages of watching TV?
  • What is your favorite program on cable TV.
  • What channel is your favorite channel? Why?
  • What TV commercials do you like?
    • Why do you like it?
    • Which ones do you hate?
  • What's your favorite commercial?
  • What is the purpose of advertising a product?
  • When you drive or walk, do you get distracted by advertisements on buses or billboards?
  • When you go food shopping, do you buy foods you've seen in TV commercials?
  • Do you like the _____ advertisements? If not, why? (You can substitute any company's name.)
  • Do you think it's right to see naked women in TV commercials selling beauty products?
  • What types of TV program are there?
    • Which type do you like best?
  • When do you usually watch TV?
  • Do you think that TV makes people lazy?
  • Do you think too much time is spent watching TV?
  • Does TV make a person passive? Does TV take away a person's ability to think for himself or herself?
  • Do you think that TV prevents people from communicating?
  • What do you think of TV shows that are designed to "discover new talent?"
  • If you couldn't watch TV at home but had to stay there, what would you do?
  • Could you live without TV for a week?
  • What do you think about reality shows?
  • Would you participate in one if you were invited?
  • Which channel do you like the best?
  • Do you like watching TV alone or with your family?
  • Who decides what to watch: the parent or the child?
  • What do you think about Reality Shows?
  • Is television one of the best inventions of all times?
  • Why do you think television industry is so successful?
  • What do you think of the "rubbish" programs on TV which are only dedicate to gossip about famous or pseudo famous people?
  • There is a famous English saying that goes "you are what you eat." Does this apply to television? Can the programs you watch affect your behavior?
  • What kind of entertainment do children like?
  • Do you think children watch too much TV these days?
  • What are the benefits of being an EU member?
  • What are the drawbacks of being an EU member?
  • Do you think that every future politician should be vetted for security reasons?
  • Who is the most controversial politician in your country?
  • Do you think there are any possible dangers to society from the material broadcast on TV channels?
  • How do you feel when watching explicit scenes on TV with your parents? How do your parents usually react?
  • Does violence on TV influence some young people to engage in violent behavior?
  • What do you think should happen if a cell phone rings in class?
    • In a restaurant?
    • In a movie theater?
    • During a concert or speech?



Olivier: Do you watch much TV?

Kasia: Not really. I used to, but now I’m too busy, and I don’t have the time. Sometimes I put something on in the background while I’m doing other things, like cooking or cleaning. You?

O: I go through phases. Sometimes I get really into a show, and I binge-watch it over a few days, or I’ll have weeks where I watch a lot of TV in the evenings. But, at some point, I get tired of it and I take a break for a few weeks.

K: So you’re either watching TV all the time, or not at all?

O: I guess! I get addicted to things easily.

K: I’ve never really understood the whole binge-watching thing. I’ve never been *that* into a show. I can watch one, two episodes of something, but then I want to do something else.

O: That’s a better way to do it. It’s fun to watch a really good show, but sometimes I feel guilty, like I could be doing something better with my time.

Do you watch much TV? In the dialogue, you heard several phrases you can use to talk about TV and your TV-watching habits. Look at four sentences.

  1. I go through phases.
  2. Sometimes, I get really into a show.
  3. I binge-watch a show over a few days.
  4. I put something on in the background while I’m doing other things.

Do you know what these mean? Are any of them true for you? ‘Go through phases’ is a general phrase. You can use it to talk about many things. It means that you have times where you do something a lot, and then times when you don’t do it much. So, if you say ‘I go through phases’, and you’re talking about watching TV, you mean that there are times when you watch TV regularly, and times when you don’t. Maybe one month you watch a lot of TV, but the next month, you hardly watch any.

If you ‘get into’ something, then you become really interested in it. If you get into a TV show, you start watching it, and then you like it and you want to watch more. You can use ‘get into’ for other things. You could say ‘I got into photography when I was a teenager’, meaning that you developed a strong interest in photography at that time.

‘Binge-watch’ means that you watch a lot of episodes of a TV show in a very short time. Maybe you watch a whole season of a show in one or two days. A ‘binge’ has the idea of something unhealthy.

Finally, if you put something on in the background, you aren’t really watching it. Maybe you’re half-watching, or you’re listening but not watching. What about you? Look at four questions:

  1. How much TV do you watch?
  2. What was the last show you really got into?
  3. Have you ever binge-watched a show?
  4. Do you like to put TV on in the background when you’re doing housework?

Could you answer these questions? Try it now! Make sure you answer with a full sentence. Try to use the language from the dialogue and this section. Pause the video and make your answers. How was that? Could you answer fluently? If not, remember that you can always review the dialogue and the section again.

Let’s look at our next topic from Oxford Online English to help you learn how to talk about TV in English.

2. Different Ways to Watch TV

Kasia: Are you watching anything good at the moment? I’m looking for a new show to watch.

Olivier: There’s this medical drama I’ve been watching. It’s on Wednesdays at nine o’clock. You should check it out!

K: ‘On Wednesdays’? You mean on actual TV?

O: Yeah…

K: Wow! You still watch broadcast TV? I haven’t connected my TV aerial for years.

O: So, you just stream everything?

K: Yeah. That’s weird. I mean, no one I know watches broadcast TV these days.

O: I guess I’m a bit old-fashioned. I like having a choice of channels. Mainly, I’m a big sports fan, so I get a cable package. That way, I can watch football and basketball games live.

K: That makes sense. Still, having to watch something at a specific time seems so inconvenient. I like being able to watch what I want when I want.

O: I have a set-top recorder, so I can record things and watch them later. Plus, you can skip the ad breaks.

K: Ad breaks! I had forgotten about those. Most streaming services don’t have any ads. So, you never stream things? You’ve never used Hulu or Netflix or anything like that?

O: No, never. I just don’t have much interest.

How do you generally watch TV? In the dialogue, we talked about two different ways to watch. Do you remember? You can watch broadcast TV, meaning traditional TV where you choose a channel and watch programs on a schedule, or you can watch TV on a streaming service, like Netflix or Hulu. You also heard some different advantages of these two ways to watch TV.

Here’s a question: can you think of two advantages of watching broadcast TV, and two advantages of streaming? In the dialogue, you heard these:

  • I like having a choice of channels.
  • I can watch football and basketball games live.
  • I like being able to watch what I want when I want.
  • Most streaming services don’t have any ads.

If you watch something live, you watch it as it’s happening, in real time. ‘Ad’ is short for ‘advertisement’ or ‘advert’. ‘Ad’, ‘advert’ and ‘advertisement’ all have the same meaning. Also, they’re all countable nouns. Be careful not to mix these up with ‘advertising’ which is the abstract noun, and is uncountable.

Can you think of any other advantages of broadcast TV or streaming services which weren’t mentioned in the dialogue? Try to think of one more advantage for each. Pause the video if you want some thinking time! What did you think of? Of course, there are many possibilities! Here are four ideas.

  • Broadcast TV is usually free, because it’s supported by advertising.
  • Broadcast TV has more news and current affairs programs.
  • Streaming services produce their own exclusive shows and films, which you can’t watch anywhere else.
  • Many streaming services let you watch TV shows from other countries and in other languages.

Did you get similar ideas? Do you agree with these points, or not? What about you? Do you watch broadcast TV, streaming services, or both? Which is better for you, and why? Practice these phrases to talk about TV in English. Pause the video and try to answer these questions with at least three full sentences. Take your time, and practise your answer several times, until you can speak fluently. Could you do it? Great! Let’s move on.

3. How to Describe a TV Show

Olivier: What kind of thing do you watch?

Kasia: It depends. Sometimes, if I’m tired at the end of the day, I’ll just put on a sitcom, or a cookery show or something. If I want something more serious, I like drama series, and some documentaries.

O: I like comedy a lot, too. Do you ever watch stand-up?

K: No, mostly just sitcoms, and a few cartoons like Bojack Horseman and things like that.

O: Bojack Horseman? What’s that?

K: It’s a really dark animated comedy.

O: What’s it about?

K: It’s about a horse who used to be a famous TV star, and it’s set in a world where animals live together with people, and… You know what? It’s a little hard to explain. But, it’s really good. You should check it out.

O: Who’s in it?

K: Lots of people. Will Arnett, who was in Arrested Development, and Alison Brie. A lot of other big-name actors, too.

O: Is it funny?

K: Yeah, it is, but it’s dark. It’s quite sad sometimes.

O: Hmm… Maybe I’ll take a look. Where’s it on?

K: It’s a Netflix production, so I think you can only watch it there.

In the dialogue, you heard several questions you could use to ask someone about TV shows they watch. Look at the questions. Can you complete the missing words?

  1. What ________ of ________ do you watch?
  2. What’s it _________?
  3. Who’s _________ it?
  4. ________ it funny?
  5. Where’s it ________?

Can you remember the answers, or can you work them out? Let’s look together.

  1. What kind of thing do you watch?
  2. What’s it about?
  3. Who’s in it?
  4. Is it funny?
  5. Where’s it on?

Could you answer these questions for yourself? We’ll look at how to answer in a minute; first, let’s check the meaning of the questions. What does ‘who’s in it?’ mean? And what about ‘where’s it on?’ ‘Who’s in it’ is asking about the actors. You’re probably asking whether the show has famous actors. You can use the preposition ‘in’ to talk about acting in a show or film. For example, you can say: ‘He was in Arrested Development,’ or ‘Robert de Niro was in Heat.’

‘Where’s it on’ is asking about where you can see something. You can use the preposition ‘on’ to talk about where or when a show is happening. You can use it for other things, too, like films at the cinema, plays at the theatre, or concerts. Now, think about the first question: what kind of thing do you watch? You could answer this by saying:

  • I mostly watch crime series.
  • I watch a mix of documentaries and medical drama.
  • I watch a bit of everything.

What about you? How would you answer this question? Next, think of a show you really like. Look at the questions from the dialogue.

  • What’s it about?
  • Who’s in it?
  • Is it funny/exciting/original?
  • Where’s it on?

We added some adjectives to the third question, because you’ll need different ideas depending on the show. Can you make four sentences, answering these questions, to talk about a show which you like? Let’s see a sample answer:

  • I’m watching a sci-fi show called The Expanse. It’s about human society in the future, when people live all over the solar system, and the tensions between different factions. The main story is about the discovery of alien life on one of Saturn’s moons. It doesn’t have any big-name actors in it; I haven’t seen most of the cast anywhere else. I think it’s quite original, although the story takes some time to get really interesting. I watched it on Netflix, but I think now it’s only on Amazon video.

What about you? Try to make an answer like this, talking about a TV show you like. Use the questions to give your answer structure. Either write your answer down, or say it out loud. Or, do both!

Could you do it? Try as many times as you like. For now, let’s look at our last section to talk about TV in English.

4. Talking About a TV Show You Dislike

How to Talk About TV - a woman with a dislike face

Kasia: Are you watching the new Game of Thrones season?

Olivier: No, actually. I gave up on it a while ago. Why, is it good?

K: Yeah, I think so. Where did you stop?

O: About two seasons ago. I liked it at the beginning, but I felt like it went downhill in later seasons. Some storylines just made no sense, and there was a lot of padding.

K: Really? I think it’s just got better with time. The season they’re making now is the last one, and I think it’s the best yet. The plot has so many great twists. Normally, I can guess where a story is going, but with this, it’s full of surprises.

O: Personally, I thought it was quite predictable. One problem was that it got too melodramatic. Every episode finished with a huge cliffhanger, like a bad soap opera.

K: Well, they had a lot of plot threads to resolve from earlier. I think they’re doing a good job with it. I hate it when shows leave storylines hanging and don’t explain things properly.

O: I am a little curious to see what happens with some things, but probably not enough to watch it again.

K: I can tell you if you…

O: No—no spoilers. I might change my mind.

K: You should! If you don’t like a TV show, what reasons could you give?

You heard several points in the dialogue. Do you remember them? Look at some phrases you heard:

  • It went downhill in later seasons.
  • Some storylines made no sense.
  • There was a lot of padding.

Could you explain the meaning of these? ‘Go downhill’ is a conversational phrase meaning ‘get worse’. If you say ‘I liked it at the start, but it went downhill later’, you’re saying that the quality of the show got worse with time. If something makes no sense, it isn’t clear or understandable. If you say ‘some storylines made no sense’, maybe you mean that the characters made unrealistic decisions, or problems were solved in a very unrealistic, fantastical way. ‘Padding’ means something which is added just to fill time. If a TV show has a lot of padding, there’s a lot of empty content, which doesn’t add to the story or the characters. Of course, you could use these sentences in different ways. For example:

  • It went downhill after the end of season one.
  • Some storylines didn’t go anywhere.
  • There was a lot of boring dialogue.

Finally, let’s look at three more useful words you saw in the dialogue. Look at three sentences. Can you explain the highlighted words?

  • Every episode finished with a cliffhanger.
  • They had a lot of plot threads to resolve.
  • No spoilers!

A ‘cliffhanger’ is a dramatic ending to an episode, where you really want to know what happens next. Often, a cliffhanger means that the episode ends right in the middle of a key story moment. ‘Plot threads’ are like storylines. Many TV shows have many characters and plot threads, which go in parallel to each other. Generally, you want a show to resolve all its plot threads, meaning that every storyline has an ending. Otherwise, a bad show might leave storylines hanging, meaning you never find out what happened.

Finally, a ‘spoiler’ is when someone tells you about the story of a film or TV show before you watch it. Sometimes, TV reviews or articles will include the words ‘spoiler alert’ at the beginning. This is warning you that you shouldn’t read it if you don’t want to find out the story for yourself!

Here’s a final task for you. Can you describe a TV show you really like? Say what kind of show it is, what it’s about, and why you like it. Put your answer in the comments on YouTube, and you can get some feedback and corrections on what you learned to talk about TV in English!