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Part 2

Describe a gift you would like to buy for your friend

This episode's vocabulary

  • Debt (noun) - something, especially money, that is owed to someone else, or the state of owing something.
  • Mortgage (noun) - an agreement that allows you to borrow money from a bank or similar organization, especially in order to buy a house, or the amount of money itself.
  • Weigh sb down (phrasal verb) - to make a person feel worried and unhappy because of problems, responsibilities, and duties.
  • Life-affirming (adj.) - If you describe something as life-affirming, you mean that it makes you feel positive about life.
  • Put/set sth to rights - to improve or correct something.
  • Intangible (adj.) - impossible to touch, to describe exactly, or to give an exact value.
  • Contingent on/upon sth - depending on something else in the future in order to happen.


Questions and Answers

M: Rory, are you ready?

R: Yes.

M: Yes. Give this gift to us.

R: Well, I think my friends have just about everything they need. But I promised myself that if I ever came into a very large sum of money, like winning the lottery, or if someone left me like a lot of stuff in there will, then I would pay off all my friends debts. So things like student loans and mortgages. Just wipe out all the debt and give them financial independence and peace of mind. I don't have anyone in particular in mind for this, to be honest, mostly because I know it's a problem that a lot of my friends are facing. So I think I would just ask who needed it, and I would give them the gift of financial freedom, ideally, as many of them as possible. I mean, as many of my friends as possible, I think it's an important thing to do. Because when you're weighed down with debt, then you worry about paying that off, instead of doing things which are more life-affirming, like having fun, or taking a holiday or spending time with your friends. And for many people, it's not like it's a choice, like they have to go into debts, to be able to not necessarily get ahead in life, but even just to survive these days, which I think is actually grossly unfair since there are other people who don't have to do that. And this is sort of a way of evening, the scales as it were. So this would be my way of putting the world to rights and helping my friends out and helping them along in life. I suppose that's the point of having friends in the first place, isn't it? So you can call on them when you need help. It's unlikely that I'll ever have that much money in the first place. But at least I'll have my priorities in order if it ever came to it. I suppose other people would buy smaller things like clothes, or maybe like small trinkets. But often, I think the best present you can give people are the intangible things. And I think this definitely counts.

M: Do you prefer to give gifts or receive gifts?

R: I think that's contingent entirely on what the gift is.

M: Thank you for your answer!



M: Oh, it was so sweet! So lovely!

R: Well, I hope so. It's like a really hypothetical one, but I think paying off your friend's debts is like the gift that would just keep on giving.

M: Nice, nice one. So, dear listener, Rory told us about, if he wins a lottery, he would pay off all his friends debts. But you can describe a gift you'd like to buy for your friend. Like something an object, right? Or something, a certificate, for example, or what else can we buy? Socks?

R: Books? Yeah, that's a good thing. If anyone ever wants to get me a no, well, no, not now. I have like, I'm awash with books. But if in the future, if I run out then, if anyone wants to get me a gift ever, it should be books because I like to read.

M: Hmm. So could you now decide what gift you'd like to talk about? Again, you should make a wise choice, you should choose something that you can describe that you know the words to describe this thing. Again, it could be an object, it could be like a certificate, right? So for example, I'd like to get my friend a certificate to the spa salon, or to hairdressers, so something like this. But make sure that it's easy for you to talk about. Also, it could be for example, a gift that somebody gave to you. But now because of the question you're choosing, okay, so I got this gift, but I'm gonna describe it as if I'd like to buy it for my friend. You just kind of imagine this situation. Now. What topic-specific vocabulary do we have here about gifts, presents, gift-giving?

R: Oh... What do we have?

M: Like first of all, give them a gift?

R: Starting off really simple. Aren't we? Like you give a gift, you buy a gift for someone. Give a gift to someone. Buy a gift for someone.

M: Can I say present? Like present a gift for your friend.

R: Present a gift. You'd have to be careful with the pronunciation but yes.

M: But usually we just give, give, we use as give. Okay, present a gift.

R: And kinds of gifts, you can have a physical gift, or an intangible gift, which just means that you can't see or touch it.

M: Yeah. An intangible gift would be an experience. Right? So if for example, I get you a jump from, from a parachute. A jump with a parachute.

R: Parachute jump.

M: Parachute jump, but still kind of it's some kind of experience but it's tangible, right? Or intangible?

R: No, it's, um, it's an experience. It's intangible.

M: Intangible. Yeah. So I think they're called, like experience gifts? Or what do you call them? Give an experience. Forget about, you know, tangible gifts, like, give experiences,

R: You can also use gift as a verb, I gift someone. Gift you an intangible experience. It was gifted to me. However, none of that I used here, I went into a great deal of depth with financial phrases.

M: So what are the top financial phrases of the day,

R: So a large sum of money, and you come into a large sum of money, which is another way of saying that you get a large sum of money, it's usually from a situation. So you can't control whether you win the lottery or not. So if you come into money, then it's something that you haven't controlled, it's just happened to you. You pay off debt, which means that it's no longer there. And different kinds of debt include student loans and mortgages. In both cases, debts are seen as a problem. And problems are something that you face. So I said, a problem that a lot of them are facing, or a problem which many of them face. If you have debt, then you are weighed down by debt or weighed down with debt. And that just means that it's a problem that's constantly with you until it's solved. And if you have to go into debt to live, then it's unfair, but it's not just unfair, it's grossly unfair, which is like saying, it's very unfair.

M: Yeah.

R: So when you make things fair, again, you put the world to rights, which means you make things better again. So yes, I went a bit off the beaten track with this answer, but I did justify it. I said, some people might choose to buy gifts, which you can touch, but I am going to get something intangible. And you can use that instead.

M: Yeah, cool. Also, this question is about the future, dear listener, okay. Be very careful. A gift you'd like to buy for your friend. So the structures are used would like to, right. So you should talk about the future, not the past. Rory, which structures did you use about this hypothetical situation and the future?

R: If I ever came into a large sum of money, I would...

M: So we have the second conditional.

R: Apparently,

M: Which means that Rory thinks that hmm, it's not quite real now. So if I ever came. If Rory had used the first conditional, it would have sounded more real.

R: And I even underlined that later, I said, it's unlikely that I'll ever have that much money in the first place. But at least I'll have my priorities in order if it ever came to that. So past simple came to show the distance from reality.

M: True. Also this nice structure, it's unlikely I'll ever do this, right? It's likely I'll do this likely means probably, unlikely means not probably, right. So this is a nice one. For example, my friend is likely to like this gift, or it's unlikely that I'll ever buy it, but I want to buy it. So we also, you used will. I'll. I'd like to buy this or I'll buy it, my friend will like it. And also, if structures, yeah. You can use a real conditional. So if I get enough money, I'll buy it. Right? Or when I get enough money, I'll get it for my friend.

R: On the subject of word. I said this would be my way of putting the world to rights.

M: Yeah.

R: So again, talking about possible future, this time without if.

M: Yeah, so this would be nice, or it would be a great idea to buy a yacht to my friend. It will be a lovely idea to buy shoes to Maria and send them to her. Perfect.

R: We should talk about how the different parts were covered. So it says what gift you would like to buy. So I said my friends have just about everything, which means the powerful they need. But I would do this, so I would pay off. Who you would like to give it to? I said my friends and I said, I don't have anyone in particular in mind. So still talking about who I would like to give it to, but just in a very vague way, why you would like to buy a gift for your friend? Well, I explained. It's not like it's a choice. It's unfair. So it's my way of putting the world, to rights.

M: Yep.

R: And explain why you chose that gift. That's the point of having friends, isn't it? So you can call on them when you need help. So like, it's my job as a friend, or it would be my job as a friend.

M: Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. It's really interesting how you addressed this topic. And again, you answered the question. So if you justify your choice of a story, it's fine. Right? So again, you should talk about the topic. But here, I think it's fine. The topic says, like describe a gift you'd like to buy for your friend. But Rory talked about money. And he explains why he has chosen to talk about this. So this is absolutely fine. It is not fine if I start talking about a gift somebody gave to me. Like, oh, once I received this nice pair of shoes, no, no, this is off-topic. Okay? Because the topic is a gift you'd like to buy for your friend. And this is about the future. The future. Okay? Careful.

R: I heard an interesting theory once from a student who said, you don't need to talk about these things. They're just a guide. And if you choose to talk about something different, then you can. What do you think about that?

M: That's true, but that's about the bullet points, because the card has three bullet points. And usually, the last one is explain why blah, blah, blah. So these are a guide. Yes. And you can go off-topic. It's okay. But you must, for an eight and above, you should address the question. But about the bullet points. No, you can not mention them at all. Yeah, you can change them if you want. That's true. For lower-level students.

R: Yeah. It's helpful.

M: Yeah. Because like, they give you the structure. Yeah, they give you the structure. But again, some people are high level, right? So they can structure their story. And they can change their story and still be logical, and coherent, and organized, right? So, and it's okay.

R: But I think for most people, it's best to say, just use what you're given.

M: Yeah, yeah, true. Because it's a good structure. In the exam, you are looking at the card, you're looking at your notes, if you made any, and you're looking at the examiner. So you see the card in front of you, so you can follow the structure. So yeah. Okie-Dokie. Oh, Rory, you're so generous.

R: Well, I've not done anything yet. We're just talking about a hypothetical future me.

M: Okay, when you win a lottery, or when you come into a very large sum of money, let me know. So I can just get a mortgage for a flat, or something, or a house, okay?

R: For debt that already exists. You can't just...Whatever...

M: I'm joking. Thank you very much for listening! And we'll see you in part three!

R: Yes. We're going to talk about gift-giving. So if you thought that we were short on vocabulary for gifts this time, then stick with us for part three. Bye!

M: Bye!

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