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Mark and Jill talk about what’s making headlines in Vancouver newspapers. They also discuss a couple of vocabulary questions from LingQ members.
Mark: Anyway, that’s what’s interesting to me.
Jill: See, there you go, different perspectives.
Mark: Not that I don’t like good food though, so maybe I should go to that restaurant.
Jill: But, you know, you certainly don’t have to pay three or four hundred dollars to have a good meal.
There are lots of great restaurants around.
Vancouver has so many amazing restaurants.
Mark: For sure and if you’re going to a place like that you’re going to hobnob and to be seen.
Jill: Well and it’s a whole experience.
Jill: It’s a two-three hour experience; service is amazing.
It’s not the same as the service you get at other restaurants.
It is very professional and the servers are all French, really French, so they speak with that accent.
Not that that matters, but people seem to…
Mark: Sure it does.
Jill: It’s more authentic and yeah, so it’s an experience, but again, it’s something that maybe most people would do once every year or two or three.
Mark: Right. I mean if you had a waiter there who was French but spoke with no accent he wouldn’t get the job.
Jill: Yeah, that’s right.
Mark: Or he’d have to fake it.
Jill: Very true.
Mark: Anyway, it’s interesting that it’s a hot topic and it’s kind of nice that it’s kind of a different news topic as opposed to…
Mark: …or drive-by shootings or whatever else is happening.
Jill: Yeah, right.
Mark: So, it’s kind of refreshing to see something like that on the front page I guess.
Otherwise, I think you’ve picked out a few questions from the forum, as usual.
Jill: Yeah, there’s not many. We really haven’t had much action on the forum in the last few days.
I would encourage people to use it more.
Ask questions, go to the EnglishLingQ Forum; anybody can post there.
You can be a free member and post there and tell us what you’d like us to talk about.
You know, we’re doing this for you.
Mark: You must have questions about English; let us know.
Maybe we’ll lead off from there.
We’ve got…I don’t know who wrote these, do you remember?
Jill: No, actually, I don’t remember.
I don’t remember, but one sentence was or one word that this person had a problem with was the word “where” in the sentence that says “I feel it is a little strange that there”…oh, I’m sorry, that’s what she wrote.
In the sentence “It’s getting to the point now where I kind of want my weekends to do other things and to have my own time”, so “getting to the point where”, she didn’t understand why the word “where” was used.
Mark: Right. Why you didn’t say “it’s getting to the point…” It doesn’t make sense if you don’t have a word there.
Jill: Yeah, you have to have something there and she just doesn’t understand why it’s “where”.
I think the best piece of advice is that she needs to just learn that’s how we say it.
That’s a phrase “the point where”, “the point…”
A lot of the time, I mean, to ask why things are said a certain way…that’s part of our methodology here at LingQ or our belief or our, I don’t want to say instructions, but our way of thinking is that just learn, just listen, be observant of how people say things and understand that when that’s said it means this and try and repeat that phrasing when you’re trying to get across that same concept.
To continuously ask why something is said a certain way is actually counterproductive because it really doesn’t matter and most of the time there isn’t a reason.
In this particular case, there really is not a reason why we say “the point where” other than, okay, maybe the point is some kind of location-related word, so “where” suggests location, so “the point where”, but really all of that doesn’t matter; what matters is this is how we say it.
Jill: And you need to learn that.
Mark: And you need to learn that. “I’m getting to the point where…”
Jill: …“I don’t want to do this anymore.”
Mark: “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
Jill: It’s a very common phrase and it’s just something you need to get used to and start using.
Mark: Right. You can’t say “I’m getting to the point I don’t want to do this anymore.” You have got to say something there and the way we say it is “the point where”.
As in many other expressions…no, I guess the next one we aren’t going to talk about it, but you were talking earlier about another question in the forum.
Jill: “Test out”.
Mark: “Test out”.
Jill: To “test out” something.
Mark: To “try out” and someone was asking, you know, why we need “out” there. Is it the same?
Is “try’ the same as “try out”?
Yeah, I guess in most cases “try” is the same as “try out”.
Jill: And “test out” means to try something. You test out a new car. You try a new car.
And so then she wanted to know as well if you could basically use any word, any verb, “to something out”, which no, is not the case.
You can’t say…she used “to make”, which means to create or to produce or, well yeah, to create something.
I mean, you can use it in many different ways and “to make out”, which is to decipher.
Well, there are a lot of different ways you can use “to make out” as well, but no, they are not interchangeable at all.
Jill: So, “to test out” and “to try out” are just one of the phrases that she needs to learn.
Mark: You know, I think very often, like when I learned other languages, there are similar situations in other languages where things are said a certain way and part of a phrase is a word that you somehow wouldn’t expect to be there, but in actual fact, that’s how it’s said.
To ask why that phrase is there because doesn’t it mean this is counterproductive.
Basically, you just have to say okay, in that situation they are expressing this thought using that phrase, therefore, I should learn that phrase so I can explain this thought, express this thought, in that language.
Jill: With phrases you really can’t separate each word in the phrase and try to figure out each individual meaning; that’s not the point of a phrase.
A phrase means something because of the words that are grouped together and very often you take a phrase and if you try to separate each individual word it doesn’t make sense because each word on its own does not add up to what the phrase means.
Mark: Right and it is not always obvious what is a phrase and what isn’t a phrase.
You know, one thing that I’ve always appreciated with Babylon’s software, if any of you out there have the Babylon desktop software, what’s great about Babylon is that very often it will identify a phrase.
They have some kind of algorithm that searches the text and identifies whether this word is, in fact, part of a phrase in that sentence, which is very helpful if you’re not as familiar with the language in pointing out that these words go together.
That is something that one day we would like to be able to have on LingQ so that when people look up a word it will help identify that, in fact, this word is part of a phrase for them.
Jill: But that would be very helpful I think.
Mark: It is helpful, even using Babylon.
Jill: And I mean, really, that was about it for the forum.
Mark: Yeah, okay.
Jill: Hopefully on Wednesday we’ll have some more.
Mark: Yeah, we’ll have more. Send us your questions however you want; email, on the forum, phone us; Jill is always happy to talk.
Jill: Alright, until next time.
Mark: We’ll talk to you next time.