Story: Have you seen Sex & the City 2? I saw it recently and I thought it was awful!
Pronunciation lesson: Even native English speakers sometimes don’t understand spoken English!
This podcast is for intermediate to advanced English learners. I use core vocabulary to tell you a story about something that happened in my daily life in Canada. Each podcast also includes a pronunciation lesson that explains something I said in the story. You’ll hear the story twice. The first time, the story is a little slower than normal. After the pronunciation lesson, you’ll hear the story again, but at a regular speed. I speak naturally and with a standard American accent.
(This story was originally published in 2010.)
Have you seen Sex & the City 2? I saw it recently and I thought it was awful. I really enjoyed the first Sex and the City movie. It was emotional but funny at the same time. I liked the TV show although I wasn’t a huge fan of the show because I didn’t really like the characters. The show was set in New York City, which is one of my favorite cities in the world, so I loved watching how the characters lived their lives in that city. I also really liked the amazing clothes the girls wore. So, I was excited to see Sex and the City 2!
We had an hour to kill at the theatre because I got the show time wrong. When I checked the times on the internet, I clicked on the wrong date. As a result, I thought the movie was at 6:15, but it was actually at 7pm. I like to get there early to make sure we have time to get some treats before the movie, so we had a lot of time on our hands.
The great thing about movie theaters nowadays is that there are a lot of food choices! We went to the concession stand, bought some slices of pizza and some drinks, and sat down to read the free magazines. Going to the movies in Canada is not cheap! Admission for an adult is now $11.99, which is not so bad, but they charge an arm and a leg for food and drinks! I had to pay $6.26 for a small bag of popcorn! That’s outrageous. Not many people go to the movies on a Monday, so we practically had the theater all to ourselves! We had the best seats in the house, right in the middle, with the best view of the screen.
As for the movie, I thought it was terrible! The language they used and the jokes were so crude. At times it seemed like a bunch of frat boys wrote the script. It was not what I expected from Sex and the City at all! There was really no story, and there were so many product placements that the movie seemed like one big commercial. It was really disappointing. I don’t think there will be a Sex and the City 3!
NOTE: Did you notice that I didn’t use the word
cinema at all? DO NOT use cinema in American English! You can say ‘the movies’ instead, as in “Let’s go to the movies tonight!”
For a long time, I thought the name of the TV show was “Sex IN the City” … and so did a lot of people!
And and in are both function words. They are both unstressed in a sentence, but and is reduced to /ən/, which sounds very similar to in.
Listen carefully. I’ll say in first, then and.
Sex IN the City
Sex AND the City
Can you hear the difference? I couldn’t. So, don’t worry if sometimes you don’t understand the unstressed function words in a sentence. Often native English speakers can’t understand them either!
a concession stand
We went to the concession stand, bought some slices of pizza & some drinks …
= a place in a sports stadium, movie theatre or any public place where food and drinks are sold
We had the best seats in the house!
= in any type of theatre, the ‘house’ is the people watching the show and the area where they are sitting.
At times it seemed like a bunch of frat boys wrote the script.
= A fraternity is a male social organization common at American universities [the female equivalent is a ‘sorority’]
= frat boys are sometimes known for childish behaviour
…and there were so many product placements that the movie seemed like one big commercial
= a form of advertising; a company pays a TV show or movie to use its product(s) in the TV show/movie (the product is ‘placed’ in the movie/TV show)
For example, in the movie one of the characters drives a Mercedes (a German car brand)
(What is core vocabulary?)
to have an hour to kill / to kill time
as a result
to have time on your hands
a slice of pizza
to go to the movies
an arm and a leg
(to have something) all to ourselves
the best seat in the house
in the middle
a bunch of