Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Amy Winehouse: Condolences

                                                                    Amy Winehouse



We are here for a short time on this earth.  So, unfortunately we must sometimes say: “good bye”.  The topic is never easy but here are two common language styles.

Language Style

 Demi Moore: "Truly sad news about Amy Winehouse. My heart goes out to her family.”

Usher:  "I'm so sad to hear the horrible news of Amy Winehouse's death. I'm so happy I knew you Amy...we'll miss you!!"

The first sentences of Demi and Usher are common expressions for beginning to express sympathy. 

It is truly sad news about Amy Winehouse.

I’m so sad to hear the horrible news of Amy Winehouse’s death. 


The word ‘truly’ can be interchanged with ‘so’.  These words simply emphasize the person’s feeling of sadness.  For example:

I’m truly sad to hear the horrible news of Amy Winehouse’s death. 

However, ‘so’ can’t be interchanged with ‘truly’ despite the same meaning. (Native English speaking patterns can be tricky)

The easiest word to use that can be interchanged in both cases is ‘very’.  ‘Very’ has the same meaning as ‘truly’ and ‘so’.  
For example:

It is very sad news about Amy Winehouse.

I’m very sad to hear the horrible news of Amy Winehouse’s death. 

Use the word you like best.  Most native speakers don’t think about it.  However, in American English ‘truly’ has more of a formal feeling because it is found more in writing than speaking.  But in the case of someone’s death, people often use more formal words to express their feelings.

The second sentences of Demi and Usher are where they personalize their message.

Demi: My heart goes out to her family.

Usher: I'm so happy I knew you Amy...we'll miss you!!

Although both sentence are more personal in nature, the ideas are quite common in condolences.

Condolences Speaking Pattern

 Examples:
________ sad news about ________. My heart goes out to her family.

1.Truly sad news about (person’s name). My heart goes out to her/his family.
2.Very sad new about (person’s name). My heart goes out to his/her family and friends.

I'm ________ sad to hear the horrible news of ________ death. I'm so happy I knew you ________....we'll miss you!!

3.  I’m so sad to hear the horrible news of (person’s name) death. I'm so happy I knew you (person’s name)...we'll miss you!!
4. I’m truly sad to hear the horrible news of (person’s name) death. I'm so happy I knew you (person’s name)...we'll miss you!!
5.  I’m very sad to hear the horrible news of (person’s name) death. I'm so happy I knew you (person’s name)...we'll miss you!!

For the last part of this blog, I have included two of Amy’s favorite singers/influences.  Please enjoy the videos and think of all the good things Emy Winehouse brought to the world in such a short time.  She was definitely up there with the greats! Goodbye song bird!

Videos
 Sarah Vaughan

 Billie Holiday


To Amy’s family and friends ~ I am truly sorry for your loss,
                                                                                                      Alex

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Angelina Jolie: A long-term Relationship Partner

Angelina Jolie Relationship Talk
                                                                       Angelina Jolie

Question: And if you get another love, what will he be like?

Angelina Jolie:  The kind of man I could be with one day would 
                             have to be an amazing father, a compassionate, 
                             strong, independent individual. I want somebody
                             who demands I be better than what I am today.

                        (*to note: this interview was taken before Brad Pitt became her partner*)

Speaking Style

Today’s theme continues from last week’s Blog about the type of guy or girl we would date; or wouldn’t date.  Last week was about dating preferences.  This week’s language focus is similar but used when we are talking about being with someone more permanently. To refresh your memory here is last week’s conversational speaking pattern:

Avril: Boys with guitars  they’re really fucking hot.  I could never date a preppy guy

Avril gives us her ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ regarding guys.  This gives us lots of information to continue talking to her. For example we might answer, “Yeah, I love guys with guitars too.  There awesome!” or “ No way.  I love preppy guys.  I think they are more mature.”

In today’s natural language focus, Angelina shares with us the type of man she would like to be with in a future long-term relationship.  The language she uses is very subtle and casual:

Angelina: The kind of man I could be with one day would have to be __________.

The expression ‘the kind of man’ is common and casual.  The sentence: “ I could be with one day would have to be…” is a possible future that almost has a fairy tale feeling to it.   The next part of her language emphasizes her ideal man for a long-term relationship:

"… an amazing father, a compassionate, strong, independent individual.  I want somebody who demands I be better than what I am today."

As you can see, Angelina’s passion comes out in the use of several adjectives and then the secondary sentence. The adjectives are descriptive but precise and the secondary sentence shows how she wants to be affected by her next partner in a direct way.  Angelina wants a great father for her son, and a compassionate, strong, independent man in her life.  Moreover, this person must be all of these things in order to affect her to become a better person. 

Angelina’s language pattern flows so nicely.  Her passion and ideas are propelled clearly without sounding arrogant.  She allows us to see past the outside beauty and into the sensitive but intelligent, beautiful person inside her.  This is the type of language that attracts a great partner to the beginning of a wonderful relationship.  Angelina’s language has that female X-factor or irresistible magnetism that parallels her physical traits. 

Now, to bring out your own personal magnetism…or catch guys like Brad Pitt or anybody else you want!

Angelina’s Conversational Speaking Pattern

The kind of man I could be with one day would have to be __________.  I want somebody who ___________.

Some examples to get you started:

1. The kind of man I could be with one day would have to be strong but sensitiveI want somebody who demands I be better than what I am today.
2. The kind of man I could be with one day would have to be intelligent, funny, and love dogs.  I want somebody who understands me.
3. The kind of woman I could be with one day would have to be strong, independent, and loving.  I want somebody who demands I be better than what I am today.
4. The kind of woman I could be with one day would have to be intelligent, warm, and a cat lover.  I want someone who is also my best friend.


I hope you will enjoy trying out these speaking patterns in your daily love life!  

Take care and I hope you catch the partner you want,
Alex - Celebrity English
Celebrity English Language and Culture

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Avril Lavigne: Dating

Avril Lavigne Maxim
                                                               

Question: What type of boys are you into?

Avril Lavigne:  Boys with guitars…they’re really fucking hot. I 
                          could never date a preppy guy. 

Speaking Style

In conversation, with friends, the type of person you like to date often occurs.  Guys and girls often spend hours talking about the type of person they like or don’t like.  Today, we will look at how to start talking naturally about dating.

Avril has a young, vibrant style of casual conversation.  In this case, she is asked about the type of guys she likes.  She gives a good strong answer with her ideal type and what she doesn’t like.  In some cultures, we might avoid the part about what we ‘don’t like’ but in English it comes across naturally.

Avril also uses common expressions to make her feelings vibrant or passionate.  Speaking with passion makes people want to listen to you.  Let’s change the question and answer expressions into direct English with the same meanings. 

Question: What type of boys are you 'into'?
                   = What type of boys do you 'like'? (same meaning)

Avril: Boys with guitars they’re really 'fucking hot'.  I could     
           never date a 'preppy guy'.    
           = Avril: Boys with guitars they’re really, 'really 
              attractive and sexy'.  
              I could never date a guy who wears 'neat, classic
              clothing with a preparatory school style'. 
              (same meaning)
  
Casual Slang Word Summary

1. 'fucking' = very

2. 'hot' = really attractive and sexy

3. 'preppy guy' = a guy who wears young but classic clothing that is neat and well put together.  The clothing is usually expensive.  This fashion style comes from clothing designed after expensive preparatory school uniforms.  Modern preppy fashion can be seen in the clothing line by ‘Tommy Hilfiger’.

Now let’s put these ideas into practice.  Below is the main speaking pattern to try out in your next English encounter with a native speaker. Also, don’t forget the slang!

Conversational Speaking Pattern


Boys with ________...they're really fucking hot.  I could never date a ________.

1. Boys with snowboards …they're really fucking hot.  I could never date a guy who doesn’t like the mountains in winter.
2. Boys with muscles …they're really fucking hot.  I could never date a skinny guy.

Girls with ________...they're really fucking hot. I could never date a ________.

3. Girls with tattoos   …they're really fucking hot.  I could never date a boring girl.
4. Girls with long hair …they're really fucking hot.  I could never date a girl with short hair.


I hope you enjoy challenging these speaking patterns in your daily life!
Take care,
Alex
                                                   

More Stuff!


Avril Lavigne's official website

Tommy Hilfiger's official website
LINK: http://usa.tommy.com/tommy/

Avril's video about how a guy can make her feel!

                                                          
Celebrity English Language and Culture




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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Natural English from Aretha Franklin and Bono: 'Growing Up'

Natural English from Aretha Franklin
                  Aretha Franklin 'The Queen of Soul'
Natural English from Bono: 'Growing Up'
Bono of U2

















In casual conversation, the simple question: “Where are you from?” often occurs. Let’s take a look at how Bono (Irish musician) and Aretha Franklin (American musician) answer the question.

Question:  “Where are you from?”

Bono: I grew up in a lower-middle-class neighborhood.

Aretha Franklin: I was brought up in Detroit, and most of my 
                           family's here.

Speaking Style

People often ask me:  “Which style is better?”

I grew up…
        OR
I was brought up…

I think if you ask your native speaker friends, they will say they use either style without thinking.  Both answers are natural in a casual/informal conversation.  Also, you can notice that Aretha Franklin shortened her sentence by dropping the object.

I was brought up by my grandmother in Detroit.  (according to Aretha’s biography)

In conversation you can do this too!

Common Mistake

However, language learners often want to add an object to the verb ‘grew up’ because the ideas seem similar or interchangeable to the verb 'to be brought up'.

For example:

I grew up by my parents in New York.       incorrect
My parents grew me up in New York.        incorrect

Unfortunately, both sentences are incorrect because the verb ‘grew up’ doesn’t take an object.  The verb ‘brought up’ can take an object. 

I was brought up by my parents in New York.      correct
My parents brought me up in New York.              correct

Now the sentences are “OK”!

Anyhow, don’t think too much about grammar.  You can use either phrase in casual conversation quite easily by following Bono and Aretha’s answer styles.  Here are some examples if you need some extra practice.  Please try them out at your next social gathering.  

Conversational Speaking Patterns


I grew up in __________.

1. I grew up in New York.                                  
2. I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood.   

I was brought up in __________.

3. I was brought up in Detroit.                    
4. I was brought up in the countryside.      


More Stuff!

Check out the tourist links of Bono and Aretha’s hometowns:

Bono-Dublin, Ireland

Aretha-Detroit, Michigan, United States
LINK http://www.visitdetroit.com/

Celebrity English Language and Culture
Take Care Alex! See you next week!