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Natural English Conversations

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  1. 1. The Snake Bite
    2 Topics
  2. 2. Drinking with the Flies
    2 Topics
  3. 3. Flamin' Mongrel!
    2 Topics
  4. 4. The House Warming
    2 Topics
  5. 5. The Coffee Mix-Up
    2 Topics
  6. 6. The Tour Booking
    2 Topics
  7. 7. Dental Humour
    2 Topics
  8. 8. Buying at Bunnings
    2 Topics
  9. 9. Caught in the Storm
    2 Topics
  10. 10. Directions to Uluru
    2 Topics
  11. 11. The Wildlife Hotline
    2 Topics
  12. 12. Convict Museum
    2 Topics
  13. 13. Date Night
    2 Topics
  14. 14. Buying a Ute
    2 Topics
  15. 15. No Hat, No Play
    2 Topics
  16. 16. Lost Budgie Smugglers
    2 Topics
  17. 17. The Farmer's Market
    2 Topics
  18. 18. Training for Kokoda
    2 Topics
  19. 19. Seasick to Hobart
    2 Topics
  20. 20. Trip to Antarctica
    2 Topics
  21. 21. Up the Guts
    2 Topics
  22. 22. Fish & Chips
    2 Topics
  23. 23. Iron Cowboys
    2 Topics
  24. 24. Pies for Lunch
    2 Topics
  25. 25. The New Barista
    2 Topics
  26. 26. Date Night
    2 Topics
  27. 27. Planning a Trip
    2 Topics
  28. 28. Buggered Up Bickies
    2 Topics
Lesson 5, Topic 1
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5. Vocabulary Breakdown

Peter Smissen March 10, 2019
Lesson Progress
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Pete: Man, I’ve been working my arse off all day. I think it’s time for a break. I think I might grab a coffee from that little café around the corner.

  • Man – used, irrespective of the sex of the person addressed, to express surprise, admiration, delight, etc., or for emphasis.
    • e.g. Oh, man! I’m so tired!
    • e.g. I’m so sorry I arrived late, man.
  • To work your arse off – (Aussie slang) to work incredibly hard.
  • A break – a short pause, i.e. when working.
  • To grab something – used informally/casually to mean “to get something” or “to have something”, especially when talking about something you want to purchase.
  • Around the corner – (of a location) very close.

Pete leaves his house and walks down the street and enters the café. He picks a nice quiet out-of-the-way table near the window and sits down as the waiter walks over.

  • A café – a small restaurant selling light meals and drinks, particularly coffee.
  • To pick something – to choose or select something.
  • Out-of-the-way – isolated; remote.
  • A waiter – a man whose job is to serve customers at their tables in a restaurant.

Waiter: Hey, how’s it going? Are you here for lunch or were you just after a coffee?

  • To be after something – to want something; to desire something; to be looking for something.

Pete: Hey. I’m just going to grab a coffee if that’s alright.

Waiter: Absolutely. What can I get you?

Pete: Well, I usually have a cappuccino or latte, but I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to coffee. What do you recommend I should try from here?

  • A cappuccino – a type of coffee made with espresso and milk that has been frothed up with pressurised steam.
  • A latte – a type of coffee made with espresso and hot steamed milk, milkier than a cappuccino.
  • Open-minded – willing to consider new ideas; unprejudiced.
  • When it comes to something – when the specified matter is under consideration.
    • e.g. When it comes to footy, Pete isn’t very interested in it.
    • e.g. She loves going shopping when it comes to looking for new clothes.
  • To recommend something – put forward (someone or something) with approval as being suitable for a particular purpose or role.

Waiter: Hmmm… good question. I might quickly ask the barista as this is her specialty, not mine. Just give me a tick.

  • A barista – a person who serves in a coffee bar.
  • To be someone’s speciality – to be a pursuit, area of study, or skill to which someone has devoted much time and effort and in which they are expert.
  • Just give me a tick – used to ask someone to wait briefly. “A tick” here refers to the tick of the second hand on the clock, so it is a variant of “just give me a second”.

The waiter walks over to the coffee machine and has a quick chat with the barista, then heads back over to Pete’s table.

  • Head back over to somewhere – return back to somewhere.

Pete: How’d you go?

  • How did you go? – here, “go” is used to mean “turn out”, i.e. how did things go? = how did things turn out?
    • e.g. How did you weekend go?
    • e.g. Did the party go well?

Waiter: Okay, so she reckons her macchiato is the best in the town, though, she does make mean flat white as well.

  • To reckon – (Aussie slang) to think or have the opinion of something.
    • e.g. What do you reckon? = What do you think?
    • e.g. I reckon I’ll go for a surf later.
  • A macchiato – a drink of espresso coffee with a dash of frothy steamed milk.
  • The best in townhere, “in town” means “in this town”. So, if you say “this coffee is the best in town” it means “this coffee is the best one available here in this town”.
  • Make a mean flat white – here, “mean” means “very skilful or effective; excellent.”
    • e.g. He’s a mean cook = He’s an excellent cook.

Pete: Mmmm… tough choice. I might have to go with the macchiato then.

  • (It’s a) tough choice – (it’s a) very difficult decision to make.
  • To go with something – here, “to go with” means “to choose something” or “to select something” when you have multiple options.
    • e.g. I’ll go with the red team = I’ll choose the red team.

Waiter: Too easy. I’ll bring it over shortly.

  • (It’s) too easy – used for saying that “the thing you want me to do is too easy and won’t be a problem”. You can use it in place of “no worries!” or “sure!”.

Pete: Cheers, mate. Thanks.

  • Cheers – (informal/casual) thanks.

5 minutes later

Waiter: Alright, here’s your flat white. So, just that for today?

  • (Is it) just that? – (informal/casual) (Is it) all you wanted? – it’s an informal way of saying “Would you like anything else?”.

Pete: Ah… I think there may have been a mix-up. I was after the macchiato instead of the flat white.

  • I think there may… – (formal/polite) here using “I think” and “may” when pointing out something that someone has done wrong is a way of doing so politely as it doesn’t directly blame or call out someone’s mistake.
  • A mix-up – a confusion of one thing with another, or a misunderstanding or mistake that results in confusion.

Waiter: Oh my god, I’m so sorry. I think I must’ve mixed the two up in my head when I put the order through. I’ll get her to make it for you now. Sorry about that.

  • Oh my god! – Used as an exclamation when surprised, shocked, or impressed by something.
  • Mix something up – to mistake or confuse two or more things for one another.
  • To put through an order – (for a waiter or cashier) to enter an order into the till / cash register.

Pete: All good. I’m not in a rush. Don’t stress.

  • (It’s) all good – (informal/casual) (It’s) not a problem.
  • Be in a rush – need to leave soon for an appointment somewhere else.
  • Don’t stress – Don’t worry about it.

5 minutes later, again.

Waiter: Okay, hopefully, I got it right this time. Here’s your macchiato.

  • To get something right – do something correctly.

Pete: Actually, I might go the flat white.

  • To go something – to choose or select something.

Waiter: Are you serious? Haha

  • Are you serious? – Are you joking (with me)?

Pete: Nah, I’m just screwing with you, man. Thanks a lot.

  • To screw with someone – to joke around with someone; to be playing a joke on someone.

Waiter: No worries. Enjoy.

  • Enjoy! – (informal/casual) here, it’s a short version of the phrase “enjoy your meal/drink/etc.”.