Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele: New Year’s Eve

Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele:  New Year’s Eve
Lea Michele
Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele:  New Year’s Eve
Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele:  New Year’s Eve
 New Year’s Eve Movie


New Year’s Eve! The biggest party of the year!

Kutcher and Michele are featured in the romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve” directed by Garry Marshall.  Let’s check out Ashton Kutcher’s personal plans for New Year’s Eve!

Lea Michele: What are you going to do for New Year's?  Why don't you come celebrate with my big Italian family and me? They would die.

Ashton Kutcher:  I don't know where I'm going to be on New Year's, I haven't sorted it out.

Talking about your future plans for New Year’s Eve is quite common at this time of year.  The common conversation question at this time of year is:

“What are you going to do for New Year’s (Eve)?”
"I don't know where I'm going to be on New Year's,"

Some people have already made their plans and some people like Ashton aren’t exactly sure yet. 
Often as language learners we search for more difficult ways to express ourselves.  However, in this case, the use of ‘be + going to + infinitive’ is quite common and useful in the question or answer form.  However if you are looking for something new both Ashton and Lea use some common, casual expressions that might be new to you in this context.


(1)I haven't 'sorted' it 'out'. =
Same English
I haven’t clarified my plans or I haven’t put my plans in order.

Ashton feels he will go out ‘somewhere’ on New Year’s Eve but hasn’t created an exact or detailed plan yet.

(2)They would 'die'.  = 
Same English
(Longer English) They (my family) would die if you came to my family’s house.

They would be very, very excited/surprised.

Lea feels her family would be thrilled to have Ashton at their house for New Year’s Eve.
Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele:  New Year’s Eve

Original Lea Michele and Ashton Kutcher New Year's Eve interview  (above excerpt - Time: 05:43 - 05:53)

Practice Speaking Style

Question: What are you going to do for New Year's? 
Answer:  I don't know where I'm going to be on New Year's.

Question: What are you going to do for New Year's? 
Answer:  I am going to go to New York’s Time Square and watch the ball drop.

Question: What are you going to do for New Year's? 
Answer:  I am going to be at a nightclub with my friends.

Question: What are you going to do for New Year's? 
Answer:  I am going to stay at home and watch movies.

Question: What are you going to do for New Year's? 
Answer:  I am going to go to a restaurant with my boyfriend.

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve!  

Also check out related blog:
Josh Duhamel: New Year’s Resolutions



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Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele:  New Year’s Eve

Celebrity English

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Tom Cruise: A Christmas Memory

Tom Cruise
                                               Tom Cruise
Christmas is a time to share with family and friends.  Also people will be talking about Christmas memories from the past.  Let’s take a look at Tom Cruise’s favorite Christmas as a child... 

Interviewer: When I was a kid the time of year that I loved was Christmas because it was the only magic time.  Didn’t you one year, I read that there was a gift of poems.

Tom Cruise: Yeah

Interviewer: Tell me.

Tom Cruise:  As I said, a beautiful mother, and it was actually the first Christmas when my parents were divorced and we didn’t have any money. And really not enough to buy each other a present.  And all of the money kind of went to…well didn’t kind of, it went into paying for food on the table.  And so my mother said listen: “What we are going to do is we are not going to buy each other gifts.  We are going to pick names out of hat.  And for a month you are going to do something for that person and on Christmas day we are going to reveal who you are and we are going to write poems for each other.

Tom Cruise: It was actually the best Christmas I had as a kid! It was a great Christmas!

Interviewer: It sounds like a great Christmas.

The story is direct.  Tom starts by setting the ‘scene’ for the listener.  His parents had just divorced.  There was no money to spend on Christmas gifts.  Food was the most important item.  Tom uses past verb tenses to create the scene for the listener. 

Next, Tom tells the story from his mother’s words.  She is using ‘going to’ to express a future within the story time period.  This gives the story a change of pace.  It feels like we are there with Tom, listening to his mother’s Christmas plan.  It is a nice style and more interesting than telling a whole story with past tense verbs only.  Also, changing the pace of a story helps keeps the listener interested.  In the final two sentences Tom reverts back to the use of past tense verbs and finishes telling the story.  Tom reveals the importance of this memory to the listener with great enthusiasm and excitement in his voice:  this was the best Christmas he had as a kid with excitement in his voice.  The excitement in his voice also creates interest from the listener. 

If you want to try out Tom’s Christmas Memory/Story Style, here it is:

Tom’s Story Telling Template:

1.Set the scene in the past in your own ‘voice’ or perspective.
2.Have one of the main characters in the scene/memory tell the story.
3.Return to your own ‘voice’ and why it was important to you (enthusiastically).

Full and original interview with Tom Cruise 'Christmas Memory" 
(Counter: 6:05 - 7:01 – ‘Christmas Memory’ portion of interview)

Tom’s latest movie Trailer
Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol


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happy holidays

Celebrity English

Monday, 5 December 2011

Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson: Giving Gifts

Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson

Gift Giving

The Christmas season is starting to come alive.  The stores have put up their Christmas decorations.  Talking about ‘what to give people for Christmas’ is a common conversation topic for this season.  The stars of the Twilight series tell us a little bit about their gift giving styles….

Targeted Listening
 Listen to the video to answer the questions below:

1.What kind of gifts does Kristen like to give?

2.What kind of gifts does Taylor like to give?

3.What kind of gifts does Robert like to give?

Targeted Listening Answers
1. Kristen’s Answer:  “I love giving pets when it is appropriate. “ “ I gave…ah…Josh Hutcherson…um…ah…a turtle when I worked with him.”

2. Taylor’s Answer:  “I like giving simple things.”
“Basically, I like giving creative gifts rather than just going out and buying something.”

3. Robert’s Answer:  “I was going to get my parents a boiler for Christmas.”

 Speaking Style
Both Kristen and Taylor give a generalized answer style of their gift giving style or habit: “I love/like giving _______.” Kristen expands her idea by giving a specific example ‘a turtle’.  Robert gives a specific answer for a single case (parents) of gift giving for Christmas rather than telling the listener his habit or style of gift giving.

Kristen and Taylor give an answer style that is the most common for a ‘habitual case’.  However, people also answer like Robert and give an example directly: ‘a boiler’ which ‘breaks’ the common grammar pattern (habitual case).  The interviewer is quite amused and laughing at his unique gift idea.  It’s fun and unique! 

So, listen to the video a few more times to get comfortable with the sentence styles and ideas.  Then, talk with your friends this week and find out what type of ‘gift givers ‘they are.  Enjoy!

Speaking Practice Stylized for Daily Conversation

Question: What kinds of gifts do you like giving?

1. Kristen’s Answer style:  I love giving ________. I gave ________.

2. Taylor’s Answer: Basically, I like giving ________.

3. Robert’s Answer:  I was going to get ________.

1. Kristen’s Answer style:  I love giving chocolates. I gave my best friend expensive chocolates for her birthday.

2. Taylor’s Answer style:  Basically, I like giving hand made gifts

3. Robert’s Answer style:  I was going to get my sister a gift card to her favorite store.


Celebrity English