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Describe something you cannot live without (not a computer or a phone)

Part 2

This episode's vocabulary

  • Diary planner (noun) - something such as a book or computer program showing the days, weeks, and months of the year, in which you can put the dates of events, meetings, etc.
  • Milestone (noun) - an important event in the development or history of something or in someone's life.
  • To keep track (idiom)- to make certain that you know what is happening or has happened to someone or something.
  • To doodle (verb) - to draw pictures or patterns while thinking about something else or when you are bored.
  • To brainstorm (verb) - (of a group of people) to suggest a lot of ideas for a future activity very quickly before considering some of them more carefully.
  • Unsuited (adj.) - not right for someone or something, usually in character.
  • To modify (verb) - to change something such as a plan, opinion, law, or way of behaviour slightly, usually to improve it or make it more acceptable.
  • Sentimental (adj.) - giving too much importance to emotions, especially love or sadness.
  • Someone wouldn't be caught dead - someone dislikes something very much.


Questions and Answers

M: Rory is going to describe something he can't live without. And it mustn't be a computer or phone. Yeah, I know, I know. He's gonna say what it is, what he does with it, how it helps him in his life. And he's gonna explain why he can't live without it. Rory, are you all ready?

R: Yes.

M: Okay, shoot. Fire away.

R: Well, I think I would definitely struggle to get by without my diary planner. It's like a notebook with all of my tasks and dates to complete them by with all of the key milestones in between. I use it to keep track of everything for work and university. So everything's just in the one place. I'm speaking like, it's one thing, actually. But really, it's one of a series of diary planners I've used over the years since I became a teacher, actually. I find it useful, like I said, to have everything in one place from the dates of recordings to plans for different classes, to just having a place to doodle and brainstorm ideas, at least for the year that it's for. Obviously, you can't keep using the same one over and over again, because you just run out of space. I could move it online with that in mind. And people keep telling me to do that. But I prefer something paper based. And it's less easy to lose or accidentally delete, or if there are some technical problems, then that might prevent me from being able to, well, to use it, if I was ever abroad, or something like that. My most recent one was actually a thank you gift from a camp that I worked with in Russia, though, in many ways, it's unsuited for the job, because I really ideally need a page for every day, and this one barely has half of that. So I've had to extensively modify it. Nevertheless, I wouldn't be without it. Since it's got all of that useful information stored in one handy place. And there's some sentimental value to boot. I also get some like sort of cheeky Russian practice, because it's all in Russian too, like, for example, the months and even the section where all of my details are. And then towards the end, there's sort of alphabetically ordered sections for people's names and addresses. So I wouldn't be caught dead without it.

M: And would you buy a new one if you lost it?

R: Well, I think I pretty much have to.

M: Thank you very for your answer!



M: Yeah, so here you have to describe something that you can't live without. Rory talked about his diary planner. Yeah. And it's something like a book. Like the book of Rory's life. Diary planner. And what else you can talk about here that something you can't live without? Okay. Not your computer, not your phone. Okay? It should be something else. Okay, maybe, ladies, makeup, right? You can't live with your makeup, or with your perfume? Or I don't know, with your red shoes, or your red dress, for example.

R: OXYGEN! You can't live without oxygen!

M: Love. You can't live without love. I'm going to tell you about love. Oh, that's actually interesting. Because technically you can. Yeah, maybe you can't live with your pet. Can I talk about my pet? Like a dog? Or a cat? I can't live without my cat. Or my bed? My plants? I don't know. Yeah, again, dear listener, could you choose something, and again, this something should be easy for you to talk about. If you choose some something that you cannot describe, or you don't know any words about so don't do that. Right? So make wise choices. So this legendary Rory's diary planner. You can actually see it in one of our photos. It's on Instagram, right Rory? Remember, we have a photo of the two of us and you writing in your planner. Is this the one?

R: That's the one Well, actually no, I think that might have been one of my old one from 2021. I've got a new one for 2022.

M: And do you keep the old ones?

R: Yeah, they're all in my bookshelf, I suppose. In the bookcase at home.

M: Wow. And how many of them do you have?

R: It's a good question. I don't know I'd have to go through my bedroom and check. I think there's about seven of them.

M: Nice. Yeah, so like a diary planner because you keep a diary. Right? So Bridget Jones diary, remember the film?

R: Well, Bridget Jones's diary was for her life. This is just for me to organize things.

M: True, true. So that's why you call it like a diary planner, a notebook. And Rory said that I use it to have my key milestones. So there Rory has his key milestones. So what are they?

R: Well, it depends on the task, doesn't it? Because if we think about essay writing, then we need to plan the stage for like collecting the research, and then find time to read it, and then find time to categorize it, and then find time to write about it and put it in the correct order, and then check it, and things. So those are all milestones for a particular task.

M: And then you can say I use it to keep track of everything for work and university. So I use it to keep track of things, to remember things, to organize things to have them under control.

R: Yeah, just to understand where everything is.

M: You can say I find it really useful to have everything in one place. So again, doesn't matter what you're talking about here, I find it useful. And then this is a place to doodle. So doodle, that's a nice one.

R: Yes. But doodle is just like things that you draw when you're thinking or distracted or trying to be creative.

M: Yes. When you are listening to this episode, and you draw some nonsense somewhere, so kind of you listen to it, and you doodle. You can also say that I prefer something paper-based. So if you are talking about a notebook or your diary planner, because it's less easy to lose it. So it's more difficult to lose it, or delete it, yeah? Delete something.

R: And then I went into more detail just by saying my most recent one, and then explaining like the story behind that. And then I wouldn't be...

R: I wouldn't be caught dead without it.

M: Oh, yeah. I wouldn't be caught dead without it.

R: So actually, these are all things to talk about. Sorry, these are all ways of talking about things you can't live without, I would struggle to get by, I wouldn't be caught dead without it.

M: And also you can say like, it's handy, it's useful, it's valuable. It has some sentimental value to it, right? So it's important to you personally. And you can use the second conditional here, right? So it's like, I wouldn't be caught dead without it. So if I lost it, I'd, blah, blah, blah, right? Or I can't imagine what I'd do if I lost it, for example, because again, this is a thing that you can't live without. So if I lost it, my life would never be the same again, for example.

R: I'd be lost without it.

M: I'd be lost without it. Yes.

R: But let's comment on the structure. So I said what it was, but I didn't say I have or I would like to tell you, or I'm going to tell you about something I couldn't live without. No, I said I would struggle to get by without and then explain. And then I talked about what I did with it, just it's like, and then I explained what it's for, and how it helps me in life. So again, all of the different things I use it for, and well, different aspects of it. And indeed, I gave some extra details about the story behind it as well. And I explained why I couldn't live without it. Because it's extremely well, it's not extremely essential, it's just essential for me being able to function.

M: Yeah, so all these words are nice. And, for example, when you start the talk, you say I think I would definitely struggle to get by, right? So to get by without it like to live without it. So I'd struggle to get by without it. That's a nice synonym.

R: Well, hopefully, no one will struggle to get by without any of our vocabulary here. But if you do, then there it is for the taking. However, join us for part three, where I'm going to talk about something but I don't know what the topic is. Do you know what the topic is, Maria?

M: Yeah, the topic is about like old things, buying things. Because here we talk about a thing you can't live without. So then the next part is going to be about things, getting more things, shopping, and shopping habits. So we'll see you there.

R: Bye!

M: Bye!


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