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  • Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

  • Are you ready to expand your vocabulary and expand your mind?

  • Let's do it.

  • It's a fact that the more vocabulary you know, the more you can understand natural, fast

  • English conversations, and the more that you can express yourself, so today, I'd like to

  • help you learn 10 essential advanced English expressions.

  • These aren't specifically for business situations, but you could use them then.

  • These aren't really just slang expressions, but you could use them in casual situations

  • too.

  • These are phrases for daily life.

  • There are phrases that I use all the time, and I have a feeling that you're going to

  • hear them all the time, and hopefully now, you're going to be able to use them yourself.

  • All of these phrases were in my course, The 30-Day English Listening Challenge: Pack 4,

  • that came out on January 1st, 2020, this year.

  • If you would like to join this course, you will learn three new expressions every day

  • for 30 days, 90 expressions like this, and you can become my student.

  • Check out the link up here to learn more information about this course.

  • During today's lesson, try to say the sample sentences out loud with me.

  • This is a great chance to practice your pronunciation muscles, listen to your own voice, speaking

  • and using great English grammar and vocabulary, and it's a good way to help you remember what

  • you're learning.

  • All right, let's start with the first expression, "To take something seriously."

  • Usually, we use the word, take, this verb, when we're grabbing something or when we're

  • getting something, but instead, this expression uses take in a figurative sense.

  • This means you're accepting something sincerely.

  • We often use this in a negative sense.

  • For example, let's look at this sentence, "When the teenager told her mom, 'I hate you,'

  • her mom didn't take it seriously."

  • This is a negative situation, "Didn't take it seriously."

  • What is it?

  • Are we using it to talk about her daughter?

  • No.

  • We're talking about her daughter's words, so the mom is not feeling like this is a sincere

  • statement from her daughter.

  • Because her daughter is a teenager, maybe she's going through some hard times, so the

  • mom is not going to get upset when her daughter says, "I hate you."

  • She's not going to take those words seriously, or you might say, "I wish I had taken school

  • seriously."

  • Take school seriously means to study hard, to be sincere in your efforts.

  • "I wish I had taken school seriously, but I still graduated even though I didn't learn

  • as much as I could have.

  • I wish I had taken school seriously."

  • Let's go to the next expression, "On top of."

  • Are we talking about physical placement here?

  • No.

  • Instead, take a look at this sentence and try to guess what you think it means.

  • "My dog ripped my school books, and on top of that, he ate my homework."

  • We have a bad situation that has become worse, so, "My dog ripped my school books."

  • This is already a bad situation, "But then, on top of that, he ate my homework."

  • We can use this wonderful expression, "On top of," just like we would, "In addition

  • to."

  • Usually, it shows some kind of surprise, right?

  • "On top of that, he ate my homework.

  • I can't believe it."

  • "I'm surprised.

  • In addition to what he already did, he ate my homework," or you might say, "This vocabulary

  • lesson is great.

  • On top of that, it's free."

  • You could say, "In addition to that, it's free."

  • That's fine, but when you say, "On top of that," you're implying that you're kind of

  • surprised.

  • "I can't believe that Vanessa is giving us this lesson for free.

  • On top of that, it's free.

  • Wonderful."

  • Quite a few.

  • If I said, "I ate quite a few cookies," do you think this means a few, a little, or a

  • lot?

  • This expression can be a little bit tricky because even though it uses a few, which usually

  • means a small amount, this expression really means a lot.

  • The word, "A few" means a little, but when we add quite, we're making this an indirect

  • way to say a lot, quite a few cookies, maybe 20 cookies.

  • This is a lot of cookies for one person to eat, so you might say, "I ate quite a few

  • cookies."

  • You're being indirect about how many cookies you ate, but we know it was a lot, or you

  • could say, "Quite a few students participated in The 30-Day Listening Challenge.

  • This means a lot of students participated in The 30-Day Listening Challenge.

  • If I want to be a little more indirect, then this is a great statement.

  • I could say, "A lot of students participated," but to be a little indirect, we could say,

  • "Quite a few students participated in the course," and I hope you can too.

  • Little to no.

  • What is happening here?

  • Little to no.

  • "I invited 20 people to my party, but little to no people responded."

  • Let's think about this phrase as a scale.

  • Little is on one side, so a few people, a couple people, and then no people are on the

  • other side.

  • Little to no, a lot of people is not even on the scale, so we have a little to no.

  • "Little to no people responded."

  • You could also think about this like one to 10.

  • If we use this same idea with the word two, we're talking about a scale.

  • "One to 10 people responded."

  • Okay.

  • This is the same idea.

  • It's a scale, but you will also hear, "Little to no people responded."

  • What about this sentence?

  • "Last week, he had little to no time to cook.

  • He was so busy."

  • Here, we're talking about little time, maybe like 20 minutes, to no time to cook.

  • He was so busy.

  • "He had little to no time to cook."

  • To be a roller coaster.

  • This is a figurative expression.

  • We're not talking about actually sitting on a roller coaster, which is the ride at an

  • amusement park.

  • Instead, we're going to use this figuratively, and you could say, "Last year was such a roller

  • coaster.

  • I got married, and then I got fired from my job, and then I moved to New York," so there's

  • a lot of positive and negative things that are happening.

  • It's a roller coaster.

  • "I got married, and then I got fired, and then I moved to New York," so we're talking

  • about the ups and downs of life.

  • It's a roller coaster.

  • We often use this word with emotional.

  • "It's an emotional roller coaster.

  • The relationship was an emotional roller coaster for six months."

  • If one of your friends is dating someone and the relationship just isn't very smooth, they

  • don't get along too well, they don't really communicate that well, you might say, "Yeah.

  • That relationship was an emotional roller coaster.

  • Sometimes they loved each other.

  • Sometimes they were so angry.

  • Then, they love each other."

  • "Not a very healthy relationship.

  • It was an emotional roller coaster for six months."

  • What about this expression, "I'm talking"?

  • Does it mean I'm speaking out loud?

  • No.

  • Instead, this is often used to give more information about a specific point.

  • It's kind of a casual expression.

  • Let's imagine this situation, you're sitting in a classroom, and the teacher says, "This

  • semester, we will be studying historical figures.

  • I'm talking Winston Churchill, Genghis Khan, Aristotle."

  • She's giving more information about who are historical figures, so she could have just

  • said, "We will be studying historical figures."

  • Okay, but she wanted to give more clarification about this point, historical figures, so she

  • said, "I'm talking Genghis Khan, Winston Churchill, Aristotle."

  • This is a wide spectrum of people, so that's why she used this expression, "I'm talking."

  • Let's look at another example.

  • "The restaurant was so fancy.

  • I'm talking suit and tie, a local weekly menu, a live cello player."

  • Oh, you're giving more clarification about fancy.

  • What does fancy mean?

  • What is a fancy restaurant?

  • Oh, well, you're going to give us some more details about this point.

  • You're going to talk about a suit and tie.

  • Maybe you had to wear a suit and tie.

  • Maybe the servers wore suit and ties.

  • There's a local weekly menu that changes every week, and there was a live cello player.

  • That's pretty fancy if you ask me, so you're clarifying.

  • I'm talking this, this and this.

  • Great.

  • The next expression is, "At all."

  • At all.

  • This means completely, and it is only used in negative situations.

  • "I haven't studied for my test at all."

  • "I haven't," that's our negative part.

  • "I haven't studied at all," or you could say, "I haven't studied completely," but "At all"

  • is much more natural, so we can add this always to the end of the sentence.

  • "I haven't studied at all," or you could say, "I thought my cats would be annoyed about

  • having a new baby at home, but they don't care at all."

  • "They don't," so we're using that negative word.

  • "They don't care at all."

  • Do they have any care about the new baby?

  • No.

  • None at all.

  • Notice how this is always used at the end of the sentence.

  • Six figures.

  • Are we talking about six people?

  • No.

  • What if I said this sentence, "He wants to be a doctor because he wants a six-figure

  • salary"?

  • Oh, what can you guess?

  • What do you think that this expression means, six-figure salary?

  • Well, we're talking about numbers that have six figures, so this means $100,000 and up.

  • 100,000, 200,000, 300,000.

  • When you're a doctor, at least in the U.S., usually you make a lot of money, so you have

  • a six-figure salary.

  • The term, six-figure, just to note money above 100,000, or you could say, "They earned six

  • figures last year."

  • That talks about how much money they made.

  • I had a student in The 30-Day Listening Challenge ask, "Can you say five figures?

  • For example, I have a five-figure salary.

  • He makes five figures."

  • Not really.

  • We really only use this with six figures, and I think it's just because five figures

  • could be $10,000, which in the U.S. is not a high salary, or it could be $90,000, which

  • is a lot of money, so it doesn't really have the same implication, but when you say six

  • figures, this is always a lot of money.

  • Even if you make 100,000 compared to 900,000, it's still a lot of money, so we only use

  • this when we're talking about six figures in a salary.

  • To go through something.

  • We're not talking about going through a tunnel, instead, this is a figurative, a phrasal verb

  • expression, and it's talking about experiencing a lot of negative things, a lot of negative

  • experiences.

  • You might say, "Last month, I went through a lot."

  • "My grandmother was in the hospital, my car broke down, and I had a terrible cold," So

  • you experienced a lot of negative things.

  • "I went through a lot."

  • You can use this in a more vague situation.

  • You could just say, "You're going through a lot right now.

  • Please take care of yourself."

  • "You're going through a lot."

  • You can use it to talk about your friend, let's say that you're having a dinner party

  • and your friend doesn't come, and someone says, "Hey, why didn't he come?"

  • You might say, "He's going through a lot right now.

  • He needs some quiet time by himself.

  • He's going through a lot."

  • This implies, "He's having a lot of difficult experiences right now, so let's take it easy."

  • Our final expression is, "To make it."

  • Does this mean create something, to make something?

  • No.

  • Instead, to make it means to be successful.

  • You might say, "He's moving to L.A. to become a movie star.

  • I hope he makes it."

  • You can substitute in the sentence and say, "I hope he's successful.

  • I hope he makes it."

  • It here is just his goal.

  • "I hope he makes it," but we always keep this expression together, "Makes it," or we can

  • talk about being successful in a kind of more vague way.

  • You might say, "He drove to the concert through the rain, the snow, the hail, and finally,

  • he made it.

  • He was successfully at his destination.

  • He successfully arrived at his destination, the concert.

  • He made it."

  • It implies struggle, but he was successful in the end.

  • This isn't talking about his career, like going to L.A., becoming a movie star, you

  • made it.

  • No.

  • Instead, he just successfully arrived at his destination.

  • "After all of that, rain, snow, hail, I made it."

  • Great.

  • Excellent work with these 10 new phrases.

  • You opened your mind to these new phrases, so I hope that you'll be able to hear them

  • all around you now.

  • To improve your listening skills and expand your vocabulary, I want to give you a free

  • sample of The 30-Day Listening Challenge.

  • You can check out this video that I made up here, and it's a free sample of one of the

  • lessons so that you can see what wonderful things you can learn, and to be my personal

  • student every day on the challenge, you can join quite a few other students who are taking

  • English seriously, and I hope that you too can make it.

  • Check out this link up here so that you can join the 30-Day Listening Challenge and expand

  • your vocabulary and listening skills each day.

  • Now, I have a question for you.

  • Let me know in the comments, what is something that you take seriously, or maybe what is

  • something that you don't take seriously?

  • Let me know in the comments.