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How To Learn Sign Language

Improve your Vocabulary: Stop saying VERY!

“Getting from here to there,
it’s been a long while.” Oh, hi. My time is finally here. James from engVid. I can’t believe this, this
is like the Mirror Universe. If you watch Star Trek, you’ll understand;
if not, go watch Mirror Universe with Star Trek. I have two, look at them,
I have two Mr. Es. In the first one Mr. E is hot,
and the first one Mr. E is cold. Let’s go to the board. E, what’s up? “It’s very hot. 35 degrees centigrade.” You’re right. I see you’re wearing
your Bermuda shorts. And the second E is saying he’s very cold:
“It’s minus 30 degrees centigrade.” Ow, this isn’t good. I feel for you. But don’t you think there are better ways
to say it’s very hot or it’s very cold? I think so, and in today’s lesson
I’m going to teach some of you… Not some of you. I’m going to teach all of you how to get rid
of the word “very” to describe everything, and use other words which give more information,
which will make you sound more like a native speaker and make your
writing phenomenal. Oh, “phenomenal”? That’s a word for “very good”. Are you ready? Let’s go to the board. So, today’s lesson is on “very”. “Very” is a very good word, that’s why we use
it, but when you’re writing, to hear somebody say: “Very, very, very, very, very, very,
very, very” is what we call monotonous, it means “mono” as one, “tonous”, one
tone, one sound – very boring. So let’s change that
from you being… You know, using “very” because I teach and
I notice a lot of students saying things, like: “Teacher, today
it’s very cold outside.” I’m like: -“Yeah, it is.” -“And I’m very tired
and very hungry.” I’m like: “Okay, okay.” It’s like being punched in the face again and
again, and I just want to say: “Stop with the ‘very’. Use a different word.” But it’s not fair because “very” is a very
good word-there, I did it again-we just need to find other words to make your language
sound richer to improve it so you sound more like a native English speaker, and to make
it more interesting for you because it will express more of who you are and
your ideas in a better way. It makes you unique. You ready? Let’s go to the board. You’ll notice I put “very” in red because
this is something we don’t want to do, we don’t want to keep
saying: “very”. We want to change that up. And I’m going to give you a list of words
that people or students usually say when they say “very” that I’ve
heard many, many times. And maybe you’ve done this. And today I’m going to give you
singular words to use instead. I’ll explain them, just in
case they’re difficult. Let’s start with the first one. People say: “Very rude”, instead of
saying that, you can say: “vulgar”. “Vulgar” means very rude, and if somebody
says to me: “Your language is vulgar”, I’ll probably stop talking because it means it’s
not right, it’s inappropriate, it’s very bad. Vulgar. “I don’t like your vulgar
tone”, your rude tone. It’s strong. “Very short”, another word we say
is “brief”, which means small. We had a very brief… We had a very brief conversation,
a very short conversation. Cool? “Boring”. When you say: “Class was very
boring today”, you can say: “dull”. “Dull” means very boring. It also means…
See? Here’s a bonus when you
use these words, stupid. If you say someone is dull, you can say they’re
very boring, or dull meaning they’re stupid. Don’t use it like that too often;
people don’t like being called stupid. And if you say: “He’s
rather dull, isn’t he?” I have to listen for context
to mean stupid or boring. Next one, everybody’s
favourite: “Very good”. “Teacher, the food is very good. The lesson is very good. I like this, it’s very good.” Why don’t we change that
to the word “superb”? Look carefully at the word “superb”, you
have the word “super” written inside it. “Super” means what? Above average, excellent,
or superb, very good. “The food was superb.” People don’t usually use this word, so if
you tell me when I cook for you that it’s superb, I’m telling you right now I will
take that as such an amazing compliment. Gentlemen, if you tell a woman she looks
superb, she’ll be like: “Thank you. Really?” Because no one says it. All right? “Freezing”, you can say: “It’s very cold
outside”, but in minus 35, it’s freezing. I can put meat outside and it will turn to
ice, it’s freezing, that’s how cold it is. And if you tell me it’s freezing, I’m going
to get a jacket and another coat, and a hat, and a scarf because I know
it’s very, very cold. You don’t have to say: “It’s
very, very cold today.” Say: “It’s freezing.” Next, here’s a nice word, this
is what we call a $10 word. Cha-ching. “Ravenous”. Even when you say it,
there’s: “Arr, arr”. When you’re ravenous,
you’re not hungry. If you walk into a restaurant and say: “I’m
ravenous”, they will get all the cooks together and start cooking right away, immediately,
knowing that they have to feed you because you’ll eat everything. You can use this about
l’amour, the love. “I’m ravenous for l’amour. I love it. I’m hungry for it. I want it desperately.” It’s a great word. You can be ravenous about reading, it means:
“I want to eat it and take all of it.” Nice word, I like this word,
even the: “Arr”, it’s so sexy. Sorry. “Sluggish”. In the morning when I get up I
move very slowly, you know? Like, real, word, if you’re in Toronto the
TTC is rather sluggish in the morning. You know what I’m saying? You’re always late. It means very slow. But in the morning I’m usually
sluggish, I’m moving slow, you know? Slow, sluggish, like
a slug, like a bug. Slow. His sluggish reaction. Slow reaction. This one has an asterisk: “Very
fast”, when something’s very fast. I read many of your comments and it’s
like: “He speaks: ‘Blah-blah-blah-blah’. He speaks so
quickly, so rapidly. I don’t understand anything.” Yes, James is a rapid speaker. I speak very quickly
or I speak very fast. They moved quickly or you say they moved
at a rapid pace, very quickly, very fast. So, instead of saying: “Very quickly, very fast”,
you can use the word: “rapid” or “rapidly”. Right? Adverb. You can say: “rapidly”. Okay? I told you I’m going to give you lots of information
so you can really change up your vocabulary and sound amazing. Sound superb. When you’re tired, you’re coming home
from work, you can say: “I’m so tired. I’m very, very tired. I’m always very tired.” Use the word “exhausted”. That means done, finished,
totalled, toast, no more. I’m exhausted. Cool? It means you want
to go to sleep now. Or if you’re exhausted of this conversation,
then no more, I can’t do any more, I’m done, it’s over. “Poor”, a lot of people like
to use the word “poor”. Most native speakers don’t even use the word
I’m going to teach you because it’s so strong. If you say: “I’m very poor”
it means I have no money. If I’m destitute, you live on the street,
my friend, you eat with the rats. Okay? You and the rats share Kentucky Fried
Chicken out of garbage at night. All right? I’m just saying. But if you say: “I’m destitute”,
it means: “I’m very poor.” You want to remember this word for the next
time your English friend says: -“Hey, Jimmy. Can I borrow 5 dollars?” -“Sorry, dude. I’m destitute.” He will give you 5 dollars and be
like: “I didn’t know it was so bad. You’re so poor,
you’re destitute?” It means my house is… I live on the street. My house, I have nothing. I’m destitute. After the divorce, most
people are destitute. Don’t get divorced. Okay, next. “Rich”, “very rich”. I know, students love to: “I’m studying English
because one day I hope to be very, very rich. I’m telling you I’m
going to be rich. You know? I’m going to be very rich.” And I go: “You want to be rich? I want to be wealthy.” And they say: “Teacher,
what’s the difference? ‘Very rich’ means I
have everything.” So I say: “Okay, so, you
know Michael Jordan?” They go: “Yes, yes, he’s a very rich
man”, I go: -“Yeah, he’s very rich.” -“They pay him
millions of dollars.” I go: “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” I say: “I want to be the man who pays
Michael Jordan — that guy’s wealthy.” Sudden silence, and then their vocabulary
changes instantly: “I would like to be wealthy, yes, I think it would be
superb to be wealthy. In fact, I’m looking for a rapid change in
my environment so I can become wealthy.” I go: “Oh, you understand.” Change your vocabulary, change
your brain, change your life. Right? Okay, anyway, before I go on that, I don’t
want to become dull going over the same points again and again. I’m going to try to
keep it brief, okay? Ah, I do want to talk about one
difference here, that’s why I have it. We talked about hot, “scalding” and
“scorching”, they’re not quite the same. These both mean very hot, but usually we
use “scolding” for liquids, like water. Right? The water is scolding, it
will burn you it’s so hot. And we say “scorching” for hot
for heat like the summer sun. So you say, if the water… If the coffee is scolding, it will burn you
because it’s a liquid; but it’s scorching outside, it’s hot from
the fire or the sun. They’re similar, it’s just we
use it a little differently. Okay? You wouldn’t probably say:
“It’s scolding outside.” People would go: “Huh? Is there water that I’m
going to step in?” You go: “No, no, no. It’s scorching, very
hot, 35 degrees. But don’t go and put your foot
in the water, it’s scolding. It will burn you and send
you to the hospital.” Cool? All right. I’ll see you in a second. [Snaps] Okay, so if you’re ready, I
want you to pay attention. Remember I taught you a lot of words, you
know: “very happy”, “very tired”, and we’re going to see how well you understood it
by two speeches that I have on the board. And the first speech I’m going to read it to
you and I want you to identify where I’ve used “very” and another word together, like
an adjective like “hot” or “cold”, and tell me where they are. Because if you can’t identify them, we
can’t fix them and use the new vocabulary. You will probably also notice that the story
seems or the speech seems very repetitive as I keep saying “very, very”, and why I said
that, once we get rid of that word and use other words, not only your writing because this
is writing, but your vocabulary and speech will seem much more
natural and fluent. Are you ready? Let’s go to the board. Okay, so: “My name is Tiago.” By the way, Tiago is James in Brazil, so my
Brazilian friends and the three Tiagos I’ve met, how you doing? Okay, so: “My name is Tiago. I live in a very poor”… Or, sorry. “…a very poor part of Toronto. I have to work long hours,
so I am usually very tired. My home has a very good view of the city,
but my apartment is often very cold in the winter and very hot
in the summer. I work hard so one day
I will be very rich.” It’s not a bad speech or story, but I would
say that’s about a grade 3 or grade 4, that’s children’s classes in Canada. You don’t want to
sound like that. So why don’t we add a few words,
some seasoning, some masala? Make it same thing, but now we’ll sound
much more interesting to the ear. You’ll notice you’ll have to work a little
harder with your vocabulary so you’ll get better at speech, and
people will like what… You know, like
listening to you more. Are you ready? Now let’s go to the board. The first thing we’re going to do is
identify the parts that we want to change. So, again, we go: “My
name is Tiago”, got it. “I live in a very poor”, see? We have this and we did learn
another word to say it for that. Right? What’s the next one? “I have to work long hours so I’m usually
very tired”, there’s another one we want to change. “My home has a very good view”, oh, I think
we’ve said two sentences and “very” three times. Okay? “…but my apartment is often very cold
in the winter and very hot”-there we go-“in the summer. And I work very
hard because I…” Or, sorry. “I work hard because I
want to be very rich.” That’s a lot of them. So, take a look and you can see how we use the
word “very” a lot of times in a very small area. Right? Let’s change it up now that we have identified
what we want to change, and look for better words. Well, I’ve taught you the better
words, so why don’t we just…? Why don’t we just
put them in there? You ready? So the first part is:
“My name is Tiago. I live in a _________
poor part of Toronto.” What was the word we used for
“very poor”, almost homeless? That’s right: “destitute”. When you’re destitute, you’re very poor, so
in this case: “I live in a very poor part of Toronto”. “I have to work long hours,
so I am usually _________…” Another word for “very tired”. “Exhausted”, that’s right,
I’m very tired, exhausted. “My home has a _________
view of the city.” Do you know what
my favourite…? Well, my favourite hero is this guy here,
the bat, but his best friend is who? Ah, remember I told
you, “superb”? “Super” is in that word
because it’s super. “A superb view of the city.” “…but my apartment is often
_________ in the winter…” What would it be in the winter? Not “very cold”… “freezing”, it means very cold. “…and in the
summer _________…” You have to be careful because I
taught you two words, remember? Both start with S.
Which one would it be? Not “scolding”, but “scorching”. Scorching hot, scorching. And finally, do you remember I told you the
story about Michael Jordan and the man who pays Michael Jordan,
or the woman? Oprah’s rich, she
can pay him, too. I don’t want to be a rich man,
I want to be a wealthy man. Now, if you look at
the story now… Let’s read it. “My name is Tiago. I live in a destitute
part of Toronto. I have to work long hours,
so I am usually exhausted. My home has a superb view of the city, but
my apartment is often freezing in the winter and scorching in the summer. I work hard because one day I
want to be a wealthy man.” Sounds a little
better, doesn’t it? Yeah, I thought so. Good. So, you… You know me, I’m not
doing this for free. I have a bonus for you. I’ll teach you the bonus, but you notice that
we can change the statement and make it much more interesting, okay? You’re going to work your tongue to work on
better pronunciation and vocabulary, saying words like: “superb”,
“destitute”, okay? Much better than:
“very”, “very”. But as a bonus because I like you so much,
I’m going to go through another five words. Now, I call these
level two words. And you’re saying:
“Level two, what?” Well, level two because these are words Canadians
don’t even use a lot of the time, so when you pull out this word, let’s say
you’re speaking like this, see? And you say: “I’m rather jubilant about this
situation”, people will go: “What the hell?” like that. “You know, I’m very happy
about what’s going on here. How are you feeling
about it, huh?” You know? “I see you seem very anxious about what’s
going to go on, but don’t worry, I’m rather parched. Could you please get me a beer?” They’re going to go: “Whoa. Where’s this person coming from,
so educated, so eloquent?” This will be you, so
let’s go to level two. “Jubilant” means very happy. If you’re feeling jubilant,
you’re very happy. I’m telling you right now: 90% of
Canadians don’t use this word at all. They know it, but
they don’t use it. How about you? When you’re very nervous, you’re
very nervous, you say: “anxious”. It means I’m waiting for something to happen
and I feel very strongly about it in a nervous way. “Parched”, it’s a nice
word, use it at a bar. You get points for that one. “I’m rather parched”,
very thirsty. The earth can be parched, and when you see
the earth is parched there’s usually holes or cracks in the ground,
it means it needs water. You know where you put your
flowers, and it’s like cracks? You say the water… The earth is parched, it means
it’s extremely thirsty. So, trust me, when you go to the bar and say:
“parched”, they’ll get you drinks right away. “Squalid”, this
means very dirty. And believe me, if an English person walks in
your house and says: “Your house is squalid”… Let me rephrase that. If an English person says your house is
squalid, they will not walk in your house. They might call people to come and take
you out and take down the building. Okay? So when you say that, someone might cry, you’re
like: “Your place is squalid and you live in a destitute fashion.” I mean that’s going to make me cry, because
that’s worse than saying bad words, trust me. Okay? And if you… If you have kids you can use this or if you’re
an employer at work, or you know, anyone’s getting on your nerves, you can say: “I
need this place spotless before you go.” That’s not just clean, that means nothing exists
in that area; there’s not germs, nothing. Spotless. Do you understand me? Very strong. All right? So these are your bonus level two words, save
them, put them in your back pocket for when you have to correct
some English speaker. Okay? Show them you do speak English
and you know it well. Of course we have homework. So, before you go, I want you to do this, I want
you to think of five other “very” collocations, because this is collocations, words that go
with “very” that you use, and I want you to share them on engVid. Do you say: “very cheap”,
do you say: “very…”? I don’t know. I don’t know what you say,
that’s the whole point. After you do the quiz there’s usually comments,
go there, leave a comment and say: “I use these ones”, and see what other people say,
maybe they have another word that can help you improve your English or maybe you’ll surprise
people, and maybe even someone like myself will stop by and go:
“Whoa, you can’t say that. You have to say that” or:
“That’s not even English.” Community is a good thing. Anyway, I got to go. I need you to subscribe, there’s something
around here, the “Subscribe” button, press it. A bell should come up. You know, a little bell? Like Taco Bell. Just ding that bell and you’ll get the latest
and greatest that comes out from engVid from myself and other teachers. You won’t have to worry, it’ll come on your
cellphone, or your laptop, or what have you. Anyway, you have a good one. I have probably given you
something to be jubulous about. Jubulous… Jubilant about, and
I’ll see you soon. Thanks a lot.

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