Cars
Do you like cars? What cars do you like? Do you prefer to be a driver or a passenger? What do you usually do in a traffic jam? When do you travel by car? Do you prefer sitting in the front or back?
Vocabulary
  • Add-on (noun) - an extra part that is added, especially to an officially organized plan, system, agreement, etc.
  • Navigation (noun) - the act of directing a ship, aircraft, etc. from one place to another, or the science of finding a way from one place to another.
  • Upkeep (noun) - the cost or process of keeping something, such as a building, in good condition.
  • Breeze (noun) - something that is easy to achieve, often unexpectedly.
  • Arduous (adj.) - difficult, needing a lot of effort and energy.
  • To sandwich (verb) - to put something or someone in a small space between two other, usually bigger, things or people.
  • To eject (verb) - to force someone to leave a particular place.
Questions and answers
M: Rory, do you like cars?

R: Well, I like how they can get me where I need to be relatively quickly and efficiently compared to other forms of transport. If you mean do I like them like I would a hobby then no, I don't see that as a good use of my time.

M: What cars do you like?

R: Once that work? I don't really follow what the latest models are with their various accessories and add-ons. Sorry.

M: Do you prefer to be a driver or a passenger?

R: Absolutely a passenger, there's less responsibility for the safety of the car and navigation and the general upkeep of the thing. All you need to do is sit there and not be too distracting. It's a breeze.

M: What do you usually do in a traffic jam?

R: Well, assuming I've charged my phone I'll just sit and read or listen to videos online. There's precious little else to do until the problem fixes itself. And I'm not a mechanic. If it's a very long arduous process, then I might sit and complain online about it. But that's just cursing at the wind, isn't it?

M: When do you travel by car?

R: All the time, really. I get lifts to and from work and university, and I take taxis home on work nights out. And nights out in general. And I'll learn to drive one day., so that will also make up a big part of my day I suppose, when I'm doing, well, when I'm engaged in the learning process.

M: Do you prefer sitting in the front or at the back?

R: I used to prefer being in the front seat. But to be honest, I can sit just about anywhere now. As long as it's not the middle of the back, well, the back row or the back seats. It's a bit uncomfortable being sandwiched in there when you have legs the length of mine, and then obviously if there's a crash, then you could be ejected through the windscreen. So that's not a terribly nice thought either, is it?

M: Thank you, Rory, for your answers!

R: Hopefully, they didn't drive you up the wall! Hey, I got in my joke!
Discussion
M: Yay, our favourite idiom to drive somebody up the wall. So for example, I can say that, oh, your coincidences drive me up the wall. It's like... Like they annoy me.

R: Well, that's unfortunate.

M: Or Maria's jokes drive me up the wall. Right. As you've noticed, Roy's answers were really short.

R: Yes.

M: Because Rory is just not into cars. And that's fine, you know, your answers in speaking part one could be short. Again, if it's not your topic, if it's not something you're into, that's okay. But still, he kind of he gave the answers. He explained why. So we're happy with that, right? So the examiner will just move to another topic. And there you can give a bit longer answers. But in terms of the length, so we were fine.

R: Actually, to be honest, these answers, the length of them is probably about appropriate for part one answers. Usually, mine are a bit longer just so I can cram in some vocabulary. So they're okay.

M: Yeah.

R: I think.

M: How much should I say in speaking part one?

R: Maximum two or three sentences?

M: Two or three. Yeah, but really just answer the question right? If you give like two sentences, and that's it, you can't give anything else, that's fine. Two or three. If you're giving more, the examiner will just stop you. How much do I say? As much as it takes. Cars. Rory uses cars to get him where he needs to be. Right?

R: And as opposed to... Unlike most people who do not do that.

M: Yeah, and you just compared to other people who like them as a hobby, right? So do I like them like I would a hobby? No. So cars are not a hobby for Rory. It's just a form of transport. Cars or vehicles, forms of transport. Yeah. And what cars do you like? And Rory, you said that I don't really follow the latest models. Models of cars, right?

R: So if you know... If you have a particular kind of car that you like, then you could talk about the model, and that would be the type of car. But if you're like me, and you're totally ignorant, then you can drop the word module in there. And there you go. Some topic-specific vocabulary for talking about cars, and you didn't even need to try that hard.

M: Yeah. And then you can say a couple of things about the brands. So Rory, okay, let's do this. I'm gonna give you the brand of a car, but I'm going to mispronounce it. So I'm going to say it in the wrong way.

R: Oh, God.

M: And you should give the correct pronunciation.

R: I should, but will this actually work? Let's see.

M: Yeah, okay. Ferrari. Ferrari.

R: Ferrari?
M: Ferrari. I like Ferrari. And do I say that I like a Ferrari, or I like Ferraris, or I just like Ferrari?

R: Oh, God. Sorry. Excuse me. I'm so bored of talking about cars already. So I like Ferrari the company, but I like Ferraris the cars.

M: I like Bugatti.

R: Is that Bugatti?

M: Yes. Yeah, I like Bugattis. Bugattis, right? So many Bugattis.

R: I don't know what that is. Bugatti is luxurious brand. Italian. It's really expensive. Bugatti cars. What about the car that James Bond drives?

R: That's an Aston Martin.

M: Aston Martin, yeah. What about the car, which is similar to an animal, a nice animal? Ja...

R: Well, that could be anything because you have... You have, you have Mustang, which is a kind of horse.

M: Okay.

R: What were you thinking of?

M: Ja... Ja...

R: Oh, Jaguar. Yeah, that's a British brand.

M: Jaguar. Yeah.

R: They don't make them anymore. I think they went out of business.

M: Really? Oh, wow!

R: I don't know. I think they did. Well, I'm not very sure about that. But definitely, oh, maybe that was Rover. The British car industry is not what it used to be.

M: Hmm. Pity. Yeah. And Rover. So Land Rover. So I enjoy Land Rovers, Ferraris, right? Jaguars. And what about Mercedes? Mercedes.

R: Is that Mercedes?

M: Mercedes. Okay? I prefer Mercedes. Mercedes, right? What about three-letter car?

R: BMW.
M: Correct. BMW. And one of the poshest cars is... The poshest.

R: The Porsche. Well, do you know, it's funny, because apparently, in America, they say Porsche, but in the UK, I've always heard it pronounced Porsche. So which is it?

M: Porsche. I think, more commonly, they say Porsche. Yeah, in, for example, in France, Monica and we talked about it, like Monica got a Porsche. And they said Porsche, or Porsche.

R: I thought they said Porsche. Which I was just like that sounds too close to the name Porsche, which is a girl's name. And I was like, that doesn't sound right. But then American pronunciation is different.

M: Yeah, dear listener. So you can just go ahead and name some of the brands. And again, even if you don't have like a Jaguar or a Rolls Royce, you can say I like them or I'd like to have a Ferrari, I like a James Bond's car. So yeah, go ahead, throw in some brands of cars, Mercedes. Yeah? Right. Then Rory prefers to be a passenger. So we have a driver and a passenger. And Rory, you said that you prefer to sit where? The front? I prefer the front.

R: I used to prefer sitting in the front. Now I don't care. Actually, it really does depend. Because do you ever go in a taxi and sometimes you don't really want to talk to people, so you just sit in the back?

M: Oh, pretty much all the time.

R: Yeah, I used to be quite good at speaking to people in taxis, but now I'm usually working. So it's like I'm really sorry. I kind of sit and chat I have to like write a message.

M: Oh yeah. So we say sit in the front or sit at the back or in the back of a car?

R: Doesn't matter.

M: So in the back or at the back. Also gonna say at the front?

R: Yeah.

M: To sit at the front. Right. Or to sit in the front seat. Seat. I prefer the front seat. It's not front, it's front, front seat. Yeah, I always sit at the back. Whenever I take a taxi, always at the back. Rory prefers to be a passenger, because there is a less responsibility for the safety of the car. Also for the safety of other people around, for the safety of trees, and, you know, everything.

R: For the safety of anyone near a car that I'm in I should be a passenger.

M: And navigation. Navigation you mean the...

R: Navigating, finding your way around.

M: Yeah. Yeah. And by the way, this one is called the steering wheel.

R: I was gonna say is this the universal sign for navigating?

M: Yeah, like too-too-too. And then all you need to do is sit, relax. And Rory said it's a breeze.

R: But that just means it's easy.

M: IELTS? It's a breeze.
R: It is a breeze. You just don't panic.

M: After this podcast, it's just, it's a breeze. What did you mean by a very long... Process.

R: Arduous. And you usually feel tired after an arduous process because it's taxing and it makes you tired.

M: Yep. And you feel stuck in a traffic jam, so it's arduous. Can a journey be arduous?

R: Yes.

M: Right. What else can be arduous?

R: Talking about cars for 20 minutes?

M: Yeah. And then that's just cursing at the wind.

R: But that just means it's like complaining about something, but it's useless because it just happens anyway.

M: Hmm. Could you give us another example? When can I use it?

R: Well, it's just, it's just another way of saying it's totally useless. So like, if someone's complaining about the fact that it's raining outside, and you just say like, well, that's just cursing at the wind, isn't? Because there's nothing you can do. You can't turn off the rain.

M: Oh, such a pity. I always complain about the rain. Just rain, stop it. Just, just "Que pasa?". Just stop it. Yeah, I always curse as the wind. I talk to rain. I often talk to snow and to wind. When the wind is really strong, I just talk to wind out loud in the street. Yeah, that's me. Hello. I'm Maria, I talk to rain.

R: I'm Maria cursing at the wind.

M: Right, so we can say that I get lifts to and from work. So if you get a lift, somebody gives you a lift in their car. Right?

R: They pick you up, which is another phrasal verb.

M: Yeah, and kind of like you pick something up. Or Rory gets picked up by somebody. So you can say I get lifts, lifts to and from work. Or I give lifts to somebody to my friends. Right? I pick them up from school, I pick my children from school, or, I don't know, from somewhere. What could be sandwiched in there? Sandwiched

R: But that just means that you're... You have people on either side of you and it's a bit cramped, so your shoulders are up around you and you're trying to fit in.
M: So if for example, there are like what, four people at the back, right? Of a car. So it gets cramped?

R: Well, if you have four people in the back of a car, then it's illegal. You can only fit three people. Can't you?

M: Yeah, yeah, but some people do that, right?

R: Do they? Who?

M: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

R: Is it you?

M: No, no, I don't drive. I have driver's license, but I don't drive. It's dangerous for the world.

R: Apparently, the streets of Moscow were only designed to hold 100,000 cars. But there are like a million cars in Moscow. So this explains why it's such a disaster for driving around it, which is something I have described in our premium podcast. When... I think it was part two, I had to talk about being in a traffic jam and I talked about that. So there you go. Check that out. The links are in the description below. Also, some advertising, talked about that last time as well.

M: Yeah, Rory, if you had a car, what car would it be? Rolls Royce?

R: It would be a driverless car so I didn't have to drive it.

M: Oh, so something like a Tesla? Driverless Tesla.

R: Yeah.

M: Wow, nice.

R: That would be good. What about you?

M: I would like to have a Jaguar or a Porsche. Ferrari would be nice. Yeah. Red, red Ferrari. Yeah. Nice. I would have like red shoes and... Anyway. Thank you for listening!

R: Yes, it's important that your car matches your shoes.

M: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And with nail polish also.

R: See you next week! Bye!

M: Thank you, dear listener. We are not gonna go on this tangent, shoe tangent. So thank you for listening! Bye!
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