Views #1070 | Intermediate 5

Touch and Contact

Amir and Tu talks about social contact in their home countries between various people.

Amir: Maybe it's something I have to mention about Iranians, we don't kiss, of course, on the lips. It's only on the cheek.

Tu: Yes, even on the cheek?

Amir: Yes, on the cheeks.

Tu: Even on the cheeks.

Amir: Well, men in Iran kiss each other on the cheeks.

Tu: What?

Amir: Yeah, just like Italian people. We do that.

Tu: Really? For greeting?

Amir: For greetings.

Tu: In public?

Amir: No, you go in the party, there are like fifty people sitting in the living room, then all of them stand up, and the new guest arrives, and then they shake hands and they have to kiss three times each person on the cheeks. It just takes so long. Sometimes when I'm back from other countries I feel like well, just greet them by just waving my hand, things like that.

Tu: What about holding hands?

Amir: Holding hands? We shake hands. Yeah, definitely, we shake hands.

Tu: You don't like hold hands?

Amir: Ah, hold hands, like a boyfriend and girlfriends holding hands ... well, that really can be done only in the mountainside where it's not so much observed, yeah.

Tu: Oh, you know what? Actually, in Vietnam we hold hands pretty frequent. I don’t know why, but I got the habit of holding my mom’s hand.

Amir: Oh, OK.

Tu: And, so when I first came here, I was so worried that they would say I’m a lesbian. or something. Yeah, but, we do hold hands a lot.

Amir: Uh, well, when you’re saying holding hands are you mean female or males you know or who you’re holding hands with?

Tu: Oh, yeah, actually, you know of course lovers hold hands, but usually females. Females, Vietnamese females got the habit of holding hands on the street, you know, going shopping and hanging out, just friends, female friends. I don’t see many men holding hands, but usually females do it quite often.


Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

have to mention


There's something that I have to mention

When a speaker says ‘I have to mention’, it usually means they will make an important point. Notice the following.

  1. The country is beautiful, the people are nice and the food is delicious, but I have to mention, the traffic is terrible.
  2. Nadia seems nice, but I have to mention, I don’t like her boyfriend much.

of course


we don’t kiss of course

We use ‘of course’ when we assume that something is obvious or already known. Here are two examples.

  1. Jack really enjoyed the trip to Beijing. Of course, the language was a bit of a problem.
  2. It’s difficult to practice English with native speakers. Of course, studying helps.

just like


Just like Italian people.

We use the phrase ’just like’ when we talk about things that are similar. Notice the samples.

  1. The Japanese love baseball, just like the Americans.
  2. I wish I could sing just like Beyoncé.

habit of


I got in the habit of

A habit, of course, is something we do often, usually with out thinking about it. Note the examples.

  1. In high school, Suzanne got in the habit of studying late at night.
  2. While living in Asia. I got in the habit of taking off my shoes before entering a building.

on the street


You don't kiss on the street.

‘On the street’ simply talks about daily things we do and see while walking around a town or city.

  1. Couples in Iran don’t normally hold hands on the street.

Vocabulary Quiz

habit of • of course • just like
have to mention • on the street
  1. I the bad things too.
  2. I'm 15 so I live at home .
  3. You look your dad.
  4. He got in the going everyday.
  5. I bought it from a vendor .
Answer the following questions about the interview.

More Lessons

#1070 Touch and Contact
1070 Touch and Contact
Amir and Tu talks about social contact

#1069 Greetings
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Steven talks about he learned to live off the land.

#1067 Nature Camp
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Steven talks about a camp in Costa Rica.

#1066 Costa Rican Adventure
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Steven talks about adventures in Costa Rica.


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