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Losing and finding things

Part 1

This episode's vocabulary

  • To be prone to sth/do sth - likely to show a particular characteristic, usually a negative one, or to be affected by something bad, such as damage or an illness.
  • To misplace (verb) - to lose something temporarily by forgetting where you have put it.
  • Reminder (noun) - a written or spoken message that reminds someone to do something.
  • To retrace (verb) - to go back over something, for example a path or a series of past actions.
  • In your mind's eye - in your imagination or memory.
  • Lose track (of sth) - to stop keeping a record of something, or stop being certain that you know or remember what has happened.
  • Notice (noun) - (a board, piece of paper, etc. containing) information or instructions.
  • Moderately (adverb) - in a way that is neither small nor large in size, amount, degree, or strength.


Questions and Answers

M: Have you ever lost anything?

R: Hasn't everyone? I wouldn't say I was prone to misplacing things. But it happens from time to time.

M: What do you usually lose?

R: I sometimes struggle to find my earbuds or my flash drive. Since both of these things are quite small. That's especially true when I work in a new place and I leave things lying around. Sometimes I have to set reminders on my phone to tell me where they are actually. What should people do to find what they lost? Well, like I said, maybe setting reminders in advance of the realization would be a good thing. But I think most people, like retrace their steps through the day and try to work out where they were, when they put whatever it was they lost down. If they can't do that, then they try to do something similar in their mind's eye.

M: Have you ever found anything?

R: Not in a while, but I have before. I think the most recent one was I came across someone's change that they'd left behind without realizing. So I left that with the receptionist at the gym that I was in. And hopefully they returned it to the right person.

M: What things do people usually find?

R: I've never really asked, to be honest. Keys and phones are probably the most common since they're so widely used. And they're small enough that you could lose track of them. But then again, I've seen people forget where they left their car before as well.

M: What should people do, if they find something?

R: Try to return it, of course. If that's not possible, then you can usually hand it to someone who can help, like the police or, or you could put up a notice to show that you found it.

M: Is it okay to keep the thing of the person you found?

R: Well, you keep it safe, obviously. But you should always try to give it back. If it's relatively inexpensive or not very valuable, like a lighter than I think it's moderately socially acceptable to keep it. I used to come back from a few nights out with like, several lighters, and no one ever bothered me about it.

M: Yet. Maybe once they will call you and will tell you like Rory by the way 20 years ago, you know.

R: I don't think anyone's going to be annoyed with me for a lighter that I took. Well, not 20 years ago, then I would have been 12.



M: So, losing and finding. So we lose things. And we find things. Right?

R: Should we talk about synonyms for each?

M: Yeah. What else can I say?

R: So let's talk about lose first. You lose something. You misplace it.

M: Yeah. And then you can't, you can't find it because you put it somewhere else. So you misplaced it.

R: So you misplaced it, you lost track of it. That's an important thing, though, because I don't think a lot of people realize this, but I was talking to one of my students about it the other day, you can use a negative with the word to show that you can use it with the opposite meaning. So for example, even though find isn't the same as lost something, you could say I can't find it or I couldn't find it.

M: Yeah. Yeah, that's a good strategy. So we can lose track of things, right? So for example, oh, I sometimes lose track of my phone, of my keys? Usually you lose track of time, but you can also lose track of where things are.

M: So it's okay like, oh, I lost track of my keys? It's a bit strange. No? Usually, like if I misplaced my keys, or I lost my keys, I can't find my keys. Like, oh, I lost track of time I lost track of my thoughts, right? Can we lose track of things? Like objects.

R: I think you can. And I did here. I said it was a synonym. I didn't say it was a good synonym.

M: Ah, okay. Okay. All right. Fine. All right. Yeah. So usually I can't find and then there we go. Something. What about find? Do we have any synonyms? How can you paraphrase find? People find things.

R: Find, come across. You come across something by accident.

M: So it's okay like, oh, last year, I came across some money in the street.

R: Yeah.

M: I just like I found money, came across. And these questions are interesting, because like, have you ever lost anything and you go like, I've lost myself. And then have you ever found anything? I found myself. Yes.

R: Don't talk about that in the exam because that's not what they're asking you for. And you know that that's not what they're asking you for.

M: No, but come on. Like, have you ever lost anything? Yes. I've lost my heart. Okay? IELTS, oh, no, Netflix got my soul and my heart? But if you want to, if you want to, you know, well if you want to create

R: What a great exam strategy. Why didn't I think of that? Let's freak out the examiner.

M: Yeah. So it's much safer to talk about things, items. So like money keys phones. Rory said something about earbuds. Earbuds like earphones, which is nice. Also flash drive, the little thingies. They are usually somewhere there in the depth of your bag. Ladies, I'm talking to you now. So women can talk about lipstick, or makeup, or...

R: We can also talk about what people do to find things. So for example, they retrace their steps. Or they retrace their steps in their mind's eye, which just means in their imagination, remembering what they did that day.

M: Yeah. So I try to trace everything I did with my mind's eye. Yeah?

R: Retrace your steps with your mind's eye.

M: Retrace, yes, my steps with my mind's eye.

R: Or in my mind's eye.

M: So we also set reminders. Set reminders - to remind ourselves of certain things. So setting reminders is a good idea. Then, have you ever found anything? So when you give a short answer, make sure you use present perfect, so have you ever found anything? Yes, I have. Or no, I haven't. And then you can use past.

R: Or if you want to show off your intonation. Not in a while, but I have before. Although that sounded sinister. Obviously, in real life, you'd be like, not in a while. But I have before.

M: And then you said is the most recent one was blah, blah, blah, they had left something behind. So you used past and then past perfect, which is nice.

R: Oh, past perfect.

M: Because I found something somebody had lost. Haha. I found what they had lost.

R: And then people can return things to the owner. Or may keep things without returning them. So it was very nice of Rory to go to the receptionist at the gym, and hand over the change, yeah?

R: Well, I don't know if it was nice, but it was the moral thing to do.

M: So if you find some diamonds or gold in the street, make sure you return all of them to the police. You can also put up a notice. For example, when I found a passport, it was a Russian passport, just in the street in a nice cover. So I put up a notice online, but I actually I created a post. And I posted...

R: So you could say that. I posted a notice in the street. I posted a notice online.

M: Online. Yep, yeah. I posted a notice or I put up a notice. We give things back. So try to give it back. So I wanted to give the passport back to the owner because I know what a pain in the neck, it is to get a new passport. So and it's like it's moderately socially acceptable. Wow. Moderately and socially acceptable.

R: Yes. So moderately meaning reasonably or in the middle. Socially meaning society, and acceptable meaning it's okay.

M: Yeah. Cool. So what else can people lose or find? Have you ever found anything interesting? I found money, I found passports.

R: You found me on the floors of various bars.

M: And sometimes, you know, people go shopping and they put their babies or children in the cart. And you just like go around the shop and like, oh, wow, I found this trolley with a baby.

R: My mother left me in a shop window.

M: There you go. So dear listener, you do know what to say. And we've given you plenty of genius ideas together with vocabulary and grammar. Thank you very much for listening! And we'll see you and hear you in the next episode! Rory, say goodbye to the world.

R: But before I do that, you can find us on Instagram, and Telegram and our website. The link is in the description or you could just google Success with IELTS. Bye!

M: Bye!


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