Technology
Do you like to use new technology? What technology do you often use? What electronic devices have you bought lately? Is there any technology you want to buy? What are the benefits of using technology?
Vocabulary
  • Come/get to grips with something (idiom) - to make an effort to understand and deal with a problem or situation.
  • Touchpad (noun) - a special area on a laptop or other computer that you touch in order to move the cursor or give an instruction.
  • Key (noun) - any of the set of moving parts that you press with your fingers on a computer keyboard, or musical instrument to produce letters, numbers, symbols, or musical notes.
  • To wear down (phrasal verb) - if you wear something down or if it wears down, it becomes flatter or smoother as a result of constantly rubbing against something else.
  • To rub off (phrasal verb) - to remove or be removed by rubbing.
  • Hoover (noun) - a brand name for a vacuum cleaner.
  • Vacuum cleaner (noun) - a machine that cleans floors and other surfaces by sucking up dust and dirt.
  • Sought-after (adj.) - wanted by many people and usually of high quality or rare.
  • Replacement (noun) - the process of replacing something with something else.
  • To wear out (phrasal verb) - to use something so much that it is damaged and cannot be used anymore, or to become damaged in this way.
  • Portability (noun) - the quality of being light and small enough to be easily carried or moved.
  • Efficiency (noun) - the good use of time and energy in a way that does not waste any.
Questions and answers
M: Do you like to use new technology?

R: I think it's safe to say that technology has always been seen by me as much more of a curse than it is a blessing. I always struggled to get to grips with it.

M: What technology do you often use?

R: I think my laptop has been used so regularly that some of the touchpad keys have started to, well, to wear down, really. Em, I'm just looking at it now, actually, there's a bit on it that's begun to get rubbed off. So I'm obviously never away from it, really.

M: What electronic devices have you bought lately?

R: Actually, this was something that was discussed recently at work. I was talking to people about how I bought a microwave and a hoover, or a vacuum cleaner.

M: Is there any technology you want to buy?

R: Not overly, other than the more sought-after items like laptops and phones, those kinds of things that need to be replaced every couple of years. Oh, I also fancy getting some new earphones as well, and a new charger pack, but they're also just replacements for things which have been worn out over time.

M: What are the benefits of using technology?

R: Well, I suppose the one that is most often mentioned in conversation is the increased access to information. But there's also things like portability, increased efficiency of work processes, so the benefits are endless. Although, some would argue the disadvantages are as well.

M: Thank you, Rory, for your super answers!
Discussion
M: So you see, dear listener, Rory is not really into technology. He's got no ideas about the recent trends and advances, technological advances. So he's like old school, laptops, smartphones, chargers, earphones, like nothing.

R: What kind of advanced technology are you using other than that then?

M: I'm using? All right. I'm using drones.

R: When are you using drones?

M: Oh, pretty much every day for photographs and stop asking questions.

R: Okay.

M: I'm using virtual reality technology. Okay?

R: When?

M: What?

R: When? Are we just trying to force in some words to get people to talk about technology?

M: No, but like, really, these are the trends. Okay? So these are technological trends.

R: If you're watching this video, and if you own a drone, then let us know in the comments, and we'll take a quick poll.

M: Yes, dear listener, if you own a drone, or if you own an electric bike, or something like an e-scooter, or some, you know, fancy headphones like that, you know, this, you know... Like, let us know, like what fancy technology do you personally own in the comments. Okay? Right, and first of all, we pronounce it technology. Tech, technology. And technology is, right? Technology is important?

R: Allegedly, yes.
M: And Rory said that technology has always been seen by me as a curse.

R: So the usual, or, sorry, the regular way of saying that is like it's more of a blessing than a curse to say, oh, it's more a positive than a negative thing. But I've changed it here to say it's more of a curse than a blessing. Because I always think it's like more problematic than it is helpful.

M: Yeah. And then Rory continues with I always struggle to get to grips with technology.

R: Oh, is this idiomatic language?

M: Yes, it's super idiomatic and super language. I can't get to grips with technology? I can't understand technology. I can't use it. I'm, you know, what's this microphone? Yeah.

R: You think Maria is joking, but like the journey we had to go on to get me to learn how to use the microphone properly was a long and spectacular journey.

M: Yeah. And to be honest with you, I can't get to grips with technology myself, because it's always difficult for me. All these programs, I don't know, updating stuff, and just using my laptop is sometimes really hard because I don't know what's going on inside my laptop. So I can't get to grips with technology. Yeah, that's true.

R: But we could talk about what's on the outside of your laptop like a touchpad or a touchpad key. So the touchpad is, well, if you've got a laptop like mine, I'm just looking at it here, it's the little square that you move around, and it works as a mouse. And the touchpad keys are the two things that are like the buttons of the mouse.

M: And you've used the nice phrasal verb, wear down.

R: Yes.

M: So the touchpad keys, they wear down, they become, you know, this shabby. And... So they wear down.

R: And the paint started to get rubbed off or worn out.
M: The paint rubs off, or wears out. So the same as clothes. For example, if you wear... If I wear this sweater for, I don't know, five years, it's gonna wear off. And is it the same as wear out?

R: Well, let's think about this, no. They've got different prepositions. So it means different things. Wear out is when you use something so much that it starts to break down. Wear off is when you're... Well, when something starts to stop working inside you or when you've rubbed something so much that it started to come away. And if something gets rubbed off, then it means that you're doing this, it's like there's robbing motion. But they're all just ways of saying like the thing is falling to pieces, basically. Or being degraded in some way.

M: But we need phrasal verbs. They have very specific. High-level phrasal verbs. Like we need them.

R: And if you like phrasal verbs, then you will love our podcourse, successwithielts.com/podcourses. It's programmed into me now, it's a Pavlovian response.

M: The link is in the description. Go get this phrasal verb course. Yeah. And could you give us three sentences with three examples? Wear down, rub off and wear out.

R: I guess the paint on my laptop has started to get rubbed off, because it's old, and it's been through the wars. Some of the keys are getting worn down, because they've been used so much. My laptop's been used so much that I suppose the circuit boards or the motherboard has started to wear out because, again, it's just been used so much, the connections are starting to degrade.

M: Do you feel the level of band nine? It's like in the air with these phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are idiomatic. Use them. Rory has recently bought a new set of appliances. Appliances, like kitchen appliances, so different technology for the kitchen. And he talked about a hoover. This is a hoover.

R: I should say, a hoover in Scotland is what most people would call a vacuum cleaner.
M: Vacuum cleaner. But dear listener, if for example, you have recently bought an intelligent television, or maybe you bought an autonomous car, or I don't know, a robot, for example, or virtual reality, I don't know, set. Yeah? Or 5g technology, for example. Yeah? The latest trends in the world in the next generation of mobile network technology. I'm reading smart words.

R: Oh, I was gonna say you're definitely reading that from somewhere.

M: But this is cool, right? This is like nice to say, like, oh, yeah, yeah. I'm using the latest innovations in mobile network technology. Hey, yeah, like tech trends. Yeah? Tech, technological, tech. Tech trends for 2022. Whoa. Yeah. Or I prefer to keep up with the latest trends. Yeah? With the latest technological advances, and I want to buy a drone. Even if you don't want to buy a drone, you can say this just to vary your vocabulary. Oh, yeah, I've recently bought a drone. Hey! And because I have drone-friendly airspace. Airspace, yeah? Drone-friendly airspace.

R: Do you have drone-friendly airspace?

M: Yeah, we do. But sometimes, you know, you have these signs with drones, you know, you can't use drones. So yeah, it's interesting, like something new in our life. Like I think a year ago we didn't use to have these signs at all, and now we have them. No drones in this area. It's prohibited to fly a drone. Phones and computers need to be replaced. And this is our passive structures. Really nicely used by Rory. Well done, Rory. So something needs to be replaced. And you can say like, okay, I want to replace my computer, but passive looks really cool here. And, Rory, you said that I fancy getting a new headset. Yeah? Fancy doing something.

R: I do, which just means that I, well, would like to do something, really. And I quite fancy getting a new laptop and a new phone because both of them are falling to pieces right now. So it's just another way of saying that I want to do something. But instead of saying I want all the time, I fancy getting.

M: I fancy getting a new MacBook, for example. The benefits of using technology. Can I say there are many benefits to using technology? To.
R: Yes, but there will be a difference between them. But I don't know what that difference is off the top of my head. Let's have a look. Because they should know the answer to that. So, the benefit to and the benefit of are to do with getting the benefits, but for the benefit of is to do with it going out.

M: And one of the benefits is portability, right? It's portable, right? My headphones are portable, I can carry this in my little Gucci bag or Chanel bag. Rory, could you comment on the passive structures?

R: No! No, I can't talk about the passive structures, because there are many. For example, let us look at the first answer here. When I said it has been seen by me. So, has been seen, oh, it's perfect aspect with passive voice. So it's extra complex. And then my laptop has been used. Again, by me. So I didn't need to say that, because I'm the only person that uses my laptop. And then for the third question, I'm just looking at the note that I made here. Yes, something which was discussed recently at work. So, it's obvious who does the discussing, the people at work. And also, if something needs to be replaced. So, the only thing that can do the replacing right now is the people involved in the situation.

M: Thank you, Rory! And a couple of more questions for me, Rory and technology. Serious. Rory, would you like a drone to deliver a package for you? For example, you bought a new laptop, and a drone delivers this package.

R: I suppose it depends on how urgently it's required. Passive voice. I don't know. I mean, I like the idea that that could be possible. However, I don't think that's good for people. It's just another thing that makes us even more impatient and short-sighted emotionally.

M: Yeah, dear listener, so we can see that we're likely to see more drones in the future. And they will be used for delivering different goods, you know. And, Rory, would you like to have a robot in your house?
R: Hmm... I'm just trying to work out what it would do in my house, to be honest. I suppose if the house needs to be cleaned, then the robot could do that. Passive voice. Needs to be cleaned.

M: What about a new VR? Virtual reality in Rory's life. Have you ever done any, like virtual reality things, activities?

R: I did. Yeah. I went to this place with my friends and... I think it was the most popular thing there because it was the thing that was used the most regularly for the whole time we were there. That was used most regularly, passive voice again. But in my own home, like I don't know where I would put it and I also don't really have much time to use these things. So it would be kind of a pointless purchase, wouldn't it?

M: And, dear listener, yeah, even if you don't enjoy virtual reality, you can just talk about it. You know, yeah, a nice like variety in your answers. And you can say I like virtual reality. It's immersive. Immersive, you know. Immersive experience. You are inside the game. So playing Spider-man, like jumping from one building to another. Rory, would you like to be a Spider-Man? Batman is a superhero.

R: Let's answer these things in order. There was only one question. It has been argued that Batman is a superhero but that is incorrect. Passive voice.

M: There we go again. There we go again.

R: But for me being Spider-Man, no, I would rather, I don't know, I always wonder if I'd be better at flying or swimming in the sea with the fish. So I still haven't made up my mind about that.

M: Okay, dear listener, thank you very much for listening! We've given you passive structures and some nice vocabulary and Rory, who is not so much excited about technology.

R: But I am excited about passive voice and, hopefully, you will be too now.

M: Thank you so much for listening! If you do want to say thank you for this free video, you can make a donation. Any donation is a good donation. The link is in the description. Thank you, we love you, we hug you! Joy and happiness through technology from me to you. Bye!
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