Views #889 | Mid Intermediate 5

National Sport

Brian and Fanny talk about the national sports of their respective countries.
Fanny: Hey, Brian, what's the most popular sports in Canada?

Brian: The most popular sport is definitely ice hockey.

Fanny: Ice hockey! So do you play hockey by yourself?

Brian: I don't actually. When I was a kid, I wanted to play ice hockey, and I was always like begging my dad and asking him but he always said 'NO'.

Fanny: Why?

Brian: I think the big reason is that... Well, he told me it was too expensive.

Fanny: Is it?

Brian: It's not cheap. You know, it costs quite a bit to get all the gear but the big reason I think is the practice was always very early in the morning.

Fanny: Oh, I see.

Brian: Like five a.m. is when the practice is, and I think he was too lazy to wake up and take me to the practice.

Fanny: Oh, I see.

Brian: He told me it was too expensive. Deep down I think he was.... he didn't want to drive me.

Fanny: So are there many people playing hockey?

Brian: There are. It's a great sport. It's very popular with many children, and maybe high schools and universities all have hockey teams.

Fanny: Oh, nice. That means you're a lot of rich people in Canada, then.

Brian: Or maybe they spend all of their money on hockey gear. Have you ever played hockey?

Fanny: No, no, not really. It's not that popular in China.

Brian: What kind of sports are more common in China?

Fanny: People always play soccer...

Brian: Ah, soccer.

Fanny: And table tennis. Table tennis is very popular.

Brian: You're country is very strong at table tennis I think.

Fanny: We always get all the medals in the big, you know, big events

Brian: Why is table tennis so popular now do you think?

Fanny: I think the first reason is that everybody can play it because it's very easy to get the, you know, the... to get ready for the sports. It's not expensive.

Brian: No, I guess you just need the ball and the paddle.

Fanny: The paddle. The ball and the paddle. Yes, and a partner.

Brian: Right. Right. So have you played it then?

Fanny: Yeah, I'm quite good at it.

Brian: Oh, really.

Fanny: Because my mother plays very well and so I always played with my mom, so I got better now.

Brian: OK. So she taught you how to play table tennis?

Fanny: Actually she didn't teach me but we always played together.

Brian: Right.

Fanny: Practice makes perfect.

Brian: So they say.

Fanny: Yeah.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

begging my dad

I was always like, begging my dad and asking him but he always said, 'no'.

When we beg for something, we ask someone in a strong, urgent and persistent way to help us.  Notice the following:

  1. As kids, we were always begging our dad to take us to Disneyland.
  2. In high school, I begged my dad to by me an old car, and he did!

deep down

Deep down I think he didn't want to drive me.

We use the phrase deep down to talk about a strong and sincere feeling or belief we feel in our heart.  Notice the following:

  1. Deep down he misses his ex-girlfriend.
  2. He looked confident, but deep down he was scared.

I'm quite good at it

Fanny says "I'm quite good at it".

The word 'quite' has the same meaning as 'very'.  Notice the following:

  1. Learning English is quite difficult.
  2. Be careful with the soup.  It's quite hot.

Practice makes perfect

Fanny says practice makes perfect.

'Practice makes perfect' is an idiom that means the more time we spend practicing something, the better we become.  Notice the following:

  1. When we study English, remember "practice makes perfect."
  2. 'Practice makes perfect' is an old but true idiom.

So they say

Brian agrees, so they say.

We use the phrase 'so they say' to talk about information we hear from other people or news organizations, but we are not sure if it is true.  Notice the following:

  1. The course is difficult, so they say.
  2. The fighting at the border has stopped, so they say.

Vocabulary Quiz

begging • deep down • good at
makes perfect • so they say
  1. He's working on secret movie project now, .
  2. If practice then why am I still so bad at playing my violin.
  3. She's really basketball event though she never practices.
  4. Stop me for money and go get a job.
  5. You have to know that this is a bad idea.
Answer the following questions about the interview.


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