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Views #457 | Low Intermediate 4

Things People Fear

Ruth and Todd discuss what they are afraid of.
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Todd: Ruth, what is something you are afraid of? Like snakes, spiders, rats?

Ruth: Probably sharks.

Todd: Sharks.

Ruth: I know that sounds quite irrational, especially when I don't live near the sea but just the thought of being eaten by a shark. It's horrific. I really, really, I'm frightened of sharks.

Todd: Have you ever seen a shark?

Ruth: No.

Todd: No.

Ruth: Thankfully.

Todd: Yeah.

Ruth: I think I'd run a mile.

Todd: I don't know really what I'm afraid of, I guess,I don't like heights too much. Yeah, so. I have to admit that when I'm on a plane I get kind of freaked out, when I fly, yeah. You think, "How is this thing staying in the air?". You know?

Ruth: You're always happy to land.

Todd: Yeah, yeah. Always, always, very happy to land, and often when I go home I have to fly across the Pacific and there's no land so you look out your window and you think, "Ah, if something goes wrong with the plane we can't land anymore, but that's very irrational because most accidents I think happen over mountains, so. I think so.

Ruth: Although if you landed in the sea, then there might be sharks.

Todd: That's true. How do you feel when you fly?

Ruth: I quite like flying actually. I quite like it. I mean I'm quite used to flying. I've flown to a lot of places. If it's a long haul flight, i guess it's a bit boring, but I like the handheld computer you get to play with.

Todd: Yeah, those are nice.

Ruth: They're good.

Todd: Now, you're a vegetarian so what's the food like?

Ruth: Oh, well the last time I flew I didn't get any vegetarian food. I think I forgot to tell them, so I had to eat the chicken, whatever.

Todd: Really, you actually ate the chicken?

Ruth: No, I didn't eat it. I didn't eat it. I just had it in front of me.

Todd: Yeah, I heard that the vegetarian meal are actually better than the chicken or beef meal.

Ruth: Really, they're quite good, I mean when I've had then in the past they've been quite good.

Todd: Well, here's to not seeing any sharks in the future.

Ruth: Absolutely.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!


I know that sounds irrational, especially when I don't live near the sea.

Something that is 'irrational' is not practical or does not make complete sense. Notice the following:

  1. He can be quite irrational when he's angry.
  2. She's not usually an irrational person, but she's not making much sense right now.


Just the thought of being eaten by a shark is really horrific.

If something is 'horrific,' it causes you to feel horror or shock.  Notice the following:

  1. I just saw the most horrific car accident.
  2. There are some scenes in that movie that are really horrific.


I don't know really what I'm afraid of, but I guess I don't like heights too much.

If you are afraid of 'heights,' you are afraid of high places. Notice the following:

  1. Climbing up the mountain was hard for me, because I'm afraid of heights.
  2. He fixes roofs on houses, so he's used to working at high heights.

freaked out

I have to admit that when I'm on a plane, I get kind of freaked out.

'Freak out' can mean a lot of different things.  Here it means to get nervous about something.  It can also mean a sudden burst of excitement or anger. Notice the following:

  1. You must be in a really bad mood today.  I've never seen you freak out like that before.
  2. She really freaked out when she came home and discovered the doors were unlocked.

long-haul flight

If it's a long-haul flight, it's a bit boring.

A 'long-haul' flight is one that lasts many hours.  Notice the following:

  1. It's definitely a long-haul flight from the U.S. to China.
  2. Do you have everything you need?  This is a long-haul drive.

Vocabulary Quiz

irrational • horrific • heights
freak • long-haul
  1. Rock-climbers have to lose their fear of in order to be successful.
  2. It's kind of a walk, but it's a nice day.
  3. That a way to die.
  4. Okay.  You need to relax.  You're being very right now.
  5. I have something to tell you, but promise me that you won't out.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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