Views #581 | Intermeidate 5

Irish Cliffs

Marion talks about the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.
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Todd: So, Marion, for people that go to Ireland, what's one place they really should visit?

Marion: Well, one of my favorite spots is called the Cliffs of Moher.

Todd: The Cliffs of Moher.

Marion: Yeah, and that's on the West Coast. It's quite near Galway, so it's a little bit to the south of Galway, I think.

Todd: OK, so it's near Galway.

Marion: Yeah.

Todd: OK.

Marion: That's a city on the West Coast of Ireland.

Todd: What is this place, the Cliffs of Moher?

Marion: The Cliffs of Moher are, as far as I know, are the tallest cliffs in Europe.

Todd: Really, the tallest?

Marion: Yeah. I'm pretty sure. Definitely the tallest cliffs in Ireland, but I'm quite sure that we have that distinction, that they're actually the tallest cliffs in the whole of Europe.

Todd: Wow. That's pretty cool. (Yeah) So when you go to these cliffs, what can you do? Can you climb down them, or?

Marion: No, you can't. (What) I think if you tried, you might end up in the water and you may never get up again.

Todd: You serious?

Marion: Yeah, it's quite scary. When I went there for the first time, I was quite young, and I went with my mother and brother and uncle, and I remember my mother was holding my hand, and my brother, who was younger than me, was of course more brave than I was, so he was going right up the edge, and looking over and leaning out and I was really, really scared because at that time, there was no barrier to keep you from falling in, so yeah, really, really scary.

Todd: I bet. So when you go to the Cliffs of Moher is it really windy, does it rain a lot?

Marion: Yeah, it's quite windy because you're right on the edge of Europe, basically you're facing the Atlantic ocean, which can get quite turbulent, there so you can see the waves crashing up against the cliffs. That's if you lean over of course. There's a flat area of rock where many tourists kind of lie on their stomachs and inch their way up to the edge and then they look over, but I was too scared when I went. I couldn't do it. I thought for sure I'd fall over and die.

Todd: So assuming that someone goes to Ireland and they go to Dublin, they fly into Dublin, how will they get to the Cliffs of Moher?

Marion: Um, pretty easily. Actually, from Dublin you have the choice of going either by train, directly across to Galway, then from Galway, you would need to take a bus, so you could go from Dublin to Galway by bus as well, but the train is probably more comfortable and then it would be a shortish bus ride to the Cliffs of Moher, but obviously in Ireland, you're best bet is really to hire a car if you can.

Todd: OK. Well, sounds like a good place to go. Thanks Marion.

Marion: No problem.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


I'm quite sure that we have that distinction.

If you have a 'distinction,' then you have a unique or distinguishable trait or characteristic.  Notice the following:

  1. I was difficult to make the distinction between the two sounds.
  2. The real distinction between Amy and her twin is the difference in their noses.

lean out

He was going right up the edge, and looking over and leaning out.

To 'lean out' is to stand in a way that is not exactly vertical, but tilted to one side or the other.  In the example, the man is tilted forward to see something below him.  Notice the following:

  1. She leaned out of the car to wave goodbye.
  2. Don't lean out too far, you might fall.


You're facing the Atlantic ocean, which can get quite turbulent.

If you are talking about a 'turbulent' ocean, this is an ocean that is not calm and is full of waves, like in a storm.  Notice the following:

  1. It was difficult to cross the lake by boat today.  With all the wind the water is very turbulent.
  2. I had a very turbulent day today.

crashing up against

You can see the waves crashing up against the cliffs.

If waves 'crash up against something,' they hit it with full force, making a loud sound.  Notice the following:

  1. It's very difficult to swim out far with all the waves crashing up against you.
  2. The sound of the rain crashing up against the windows made it very difficult to sleep.


The train is probably more comfortable and then it would be a shortish bus ride to the Cliffs of Moher.

If something is 'shortish,' it a little bit longer than short.  This is from the perspective of the speaker, so it probably different for each person.  There is no real definition about when something becomes medium length instead of shortish.  Notice the following:

  1. I have a shortish week this week.  I only have to work four days.
  2. He is a shortish man with gray hair.

Vocabulary Quiz

distinction • lean • turbulent
crashing • shortish
  1. It's easier to see if you out the window.
  2. That movie seemed kind of to me.
  3. The branches of the tree are up against the house because of the strong winds.
  4. She recently got an award of for her short story.
  5. The lake is very today, so be careful when you take the boat out.
Answer these questions about the interview.


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