Do you like chatting with friends? What do you usually chat about with friends? Do you prefer to chat with a group of people or with one friend? Do you prefer to communicate face-to-face or via social media? What will you do if you disagree with others?
  • To shoot the breeze (idiom) - to spend time talking about things that are not important.
  • To catch up (phrasal verb) - to learn or discuss the latest news.
  • Fine (adj.) - very delicate, small, or exact.
  • Out of the ordinary (phrase) - unusual.
  • Run-of-the-mill (adj.) - ordinary and not special or exciting in any way.
  • To get up to something (phrasal verb) - to do something, often something that other people would disapprove of.
  • To be up to something (idiom) - to be doing something.
  • One-on-one (adj.) - a one-on-one activity involves two people talking directly, usually with one teaching or giving information to the other.
  • Chit-chat (noun) - informal conversation about matters that are not important.
  • Face-to-face (adj.) - directly, meeting someone in the same place.
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Questions and Answers
M: Do you like chatting with friends?

R: Yeah, it's fun to shoot the breeze when you're relaxing, you can catch up and come up with new ideas for things you'd like to do in the future.

M: What do you usually chat about with friends?

R: Well, the finer details are kind of private, but nothing particularly out of the ordinary. It's all very run-of-the-mill stuff like hobbies, relationships, things that are going on at work. And what we're getting up to in general, and what we've been up to since we were last together.

M: Do you prefer to chat with a group of people or with one friend?

R: Well, if we're going for depth, then probably a one-on-one experience would be better because you can talk for longer. And... Well, like I said, in greater depth, than you would, if it was a group of people. However, if it's just people chit-chatting at a party, for example, then I think a group of people would be fine.

M: Do you prefer to communicate face-to-face or via social media?

R: Well, it's similar to what I said before, really. If it's important then face-to-face would be the ideal. However, if it's just random conversations or sharing memes, then social media would work. I mean, it's what it's designed for.

M: What will you do if you disagree with others?

R: What, in the course of a casual conversation with a friend? That seems rather unlikely. Althoughб if it did happen, then I suppose I would just steer the conversation in a direction towards something we agree on.
M: Chatting, dear listener. So chat with friends. What synonyms do we have here? So we can chat with friends or you can shoot the breeze. It's fun to sit and shoot the breeze. Shoot the breeze is a very informal nice synonym to chat with friends, or shoot the breeze. So when we chat to people, it may just be chatting, nothing serious. You just like... You just chat about everything in the world. Or you shoot the breeze. Rory, give us a sentence. How can I use this idiom?

R: Sometimes it's fun to just sit with your friends and shoot the breeze for a while.

M: What else?

R: Was that not good enough for you?

M: I just prefer meeting my friends, shooting the breeze.

R: And shooting the breeze. Oh, good parallelism there. Meeting, shooting.

M: You can also say talk with friends or chit chat with friends. So chitchat with friends. A more formal synonym would be to have a conversation with people. I usually have a conversation with my friends about... What if I say chatter? Chatter. Will be a synonym to chat with friends. Chatter?

R: No, I think chattering is more of a sound, to be honest with you. You hear it in the background, people chattering in the background. But that describes the kind of noise or your teeth chatter when you're cold. And you're... This is a common experience in Scotland and Russia at this time of year.

M: Or I can say it, for example, like stop this chatter.

R: Yes. But then you're referring to the noise, not anything specific, like the conversation. It's just the blathering.

M: You can also say gossip. So gossip with your friends about other people. So when we discuss other people behind their backs. So, oh, you know this Syrah? Oh... She married this Bob. You know? And this is like, sometimes we gossip, or sometimes I gossip with my friends. We can catch up on things. So when you meet your friends, you chitchat with them. And you catch up on things. You catch up? Like you talk about what they had before, what's going on now. So just catch up on things.

R: But it's fun with prepositions because you catch up on things, but you catch up with people. So just be careful. Because on is for the subject and with is for the thing that you do together.

M: Could you use it in a sentence?

R: It's fun to catch up on recent events, or I try to catch up with my friends at least once a week.

M: We come up with new ideas, we create new ideas, we invent something new. So we come up with new ideas while we're chatting away. So to chat away also is a synonym, yeah?

R: Is it?

M: So we just chat away forever.

R: But that's like talking about the length of time you spent talking.
M: What do you usually chat about with your friends? Well, about IELTS, about you, dear examiner. And here, Rory told us just about like run-of-the-mill stuff. So I usually talk about run-of-the-mill stuff.

R: Yes, but run-of-the-mill is just normal things to talk about. Most people talk about their relationships or their work with people. I think that's the two most common things. You can talk about other things but I don't think you would talk about them for very long.

M: So run-of-the-mill, ordinary, nothing special. And usually, people chat about what? About other people, relationships, friends work, their flat, their children, family. Yeah? Or you can also say, I usually talk about our mutual interests. Mutual? Interests we have together. Yeah. So Rory and I often talk about podcasts. Our podcast. So this is something that we have in common, right? Usually, we talk about something we have in common, or we discuss our mutual interests, or we gossip about people. Yeah? So we talk about other people. Or you can say I enjoy discussing my feelings with my friends, I share my experiences, like what I've been to, or what I've been up to. So I've been up to? What I've been doing. And Rory has told us like, what we've been getting up to. So we usually talk about what we've been getting up to.

R: But that's just what we've been doing.

M: Yeah, we usually talk about what we've been doing. Present Perfect Continuous. Or what we've been getting up to. You can also say we enjoy talking about what we've been up to. So what are you up to? Or what have you been up to? We enjoy discussing what we've been up to. What we've been doing. We can share it with a group of people or with one person. So here if we are going for depth. So if you have some philosophical conversations, if we are going for depth, then one-on-one experience. So one-on-one experience? You're talking to one person, right? So you can discuss things in greater depth. So in greater detail. To discuss things in great detail, or in greater depth, I prefer one-on-one experience. But if it's just chit-chatting, I can talk to a group of people. So just chit-chatting, just shooting the breeze. Communicate face to face, or communicate via social media. Rory, also, what do I say? Like I talk to people on WhatsApp? By WhatsApp? Via WhatsApp?

R: Oh, on WhatsApp, because it's the internet. So everything is on when it comes to the internet, which is funny because it's got the word in in the word internet, but it's always on the internet, on WhatsApp, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

M: So whatever app you have, I talk to people on blah. And then you name the name of this app. Application you have. Maybe you talk to people on Facebook or on Telegram, on Instagram. Could you write in the comments what social media platform are you using to talk to people? Okay? Or just like I usually chat with people on... Write in the comments. Face-to-face communication would be best if blah, blah, blah. Yeah? Or if it's just a random conversation. Random? About anything. So if it's a random conversation, social media is perfect, for example.

R: I don't know why it's perfect, to be honest with you. I wasn't really thinking when I gave that answer. But I suppose if you're talking to random people on the internet, then some distance would be good. So social media does that.

M: We can also say social media is designed for sharing memes, for sharing pictures, for random conversations, or just shooting the breeze. A casual conversation with a friend. A casual? Like is informal, is like nothing serious. So if it's a casual conversation, like casual clothes, trainers and jeans.

R: It's such a strange question, though. What would you do if you disagreed with others? I mean, surely most people would just move on from the subject and just be like, well, we don't agree about that. But okay. And then it's moving on from there.
M: No, I think like some people would just continue the conversation, and they would...

R: Try to convince people that they are correct.

M: Yeah, try to convince people that I'm correct. Or argue about something, or raise your voice and start shouting.

R: Oh, my God. Do you think people would admit to that, though? That seems like pretty belligerent behaviour.

M: Well, dear listener just to use the vocabulary, you can say, okay, I would love to convince this person that I'm right. Okay? It's hard for me to accept that I might be wrong. And I'm just, you know... What do you say like when you have a conversation and then you kind of feel it? It's kind of it's coming, you know? It's...

R: You can feel the tension in the air. But what do you do when you disagree with people, Maria?

M: No, I just like, okay. I see there's no point. So I just like, I don't go in there. I'm just like okay, fine. Like you think what you need to think. But sometimes I do give my ideas and I want to convince another person for some time, but when I feel the tension inside myself, and I feel the tension in the air, I just go, okay, okay, fine.

R: That's supersensible, you will live a lot longer. You do a good job convincing me that things are right, though. Usually.

M: No. To you, I just tell you that you're wrong. And I'm right. And that's it. And we finish everything. So...

R: And then I comply. That's it.

M: You can steer a conversation towards something you agree on. Okay? So you can say, when I disagree with a person, I prefer to steer our conversation to something we agree on. Or I prefer to change the subject, for example. When you start talking about clothes, you change the subject, you talk about films.

R: That's enough chit-chatting for now.

M: Thank you very much for watching, for listening! Make sure you check out our premium episodes, speaking parts two and three. We're using fresh IELTS topics. The links are in the description. Please write in the comments. We're very interested in what you have to say. What platforms, and apps do you use to chat with people? So I usually chat with my friends on... Okay?

R: Yes, just before we go, time for a reflection activity, and the focus today is to remember. So, without rewinding the video or the recording, can you remember the answer to the question do you prefer to communicate face to face or on social media was. Write what you can remember in the comments, and I'll give you some feedback on any of the mistakes that you made to help you get better at it.

M: Thank you so much! Bye!

Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
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