Views #1074 | Intermediate (B1)


Silvia and Diego talk about things they like to buy and keep as collectibles.

Diego: Hello, Silvia. I want to ask you a question. Whether you collect or hold onto things too much?

Silvia: I think too much is an understatement, actually. I do have a lot of stuff in my room. A lot.

Diego: And you live in another country right now. Right?

Silvia: Yeah, and I'm actually worrying a lit bit about how I'm going to take everything back home.

Diego: OK, so what sort of things do you hold onto?

Silvia: Well, now I have from every country I've visited I always get a magnet of the country. Well, that doesn't have, you know, it's small.

Diego: Yeah, it doesn't take up that much space.

Silvia: But then, I love to buy handbags. And I have tons of handbags that I have no idea what I'm going to do with actually.

Diego: How many handbags do you own?

Silvia: Thirty, plus home another thirty, so ...

Diego: Wow!

Silvia: Yeah, I think maybe I have to get rid of a few.

Diego: I think so too. And do you collect anything?

Silvia: Ah, actually no. How about you?

Diego: Well, I don't live at home anymore. I live overseas, so I think the first time that I moved from one city to another, I used to have a lot of stuff, but then I realized how difficult it was to move everything, so I think I just got to the point where I didn't want to be packing stuff all the time, so I tried to throw everything away. I mean everything that I don't really, really need, I tried to not buy it, or just let it go.

Silvia: I think with guys it's easier right?

Diego: Maybe it's a bit easier.

Silvia: With girls, I don't want to get rid of clothes that I haven't worn in a year or I have a lot of shoes as well and they take a lot of space. I was trying to get rid of a few things the other day and I counted thirty-five pairs of shoes.

Diego: Wow!

Silvia: Yeah, I know. So, yeah, I think I should have a yardsale or something.

Diego: I think so too. And I think the more you move around, the less things you want to have because you know you have to pay more when you move to another place, and it's very annoying to put everything in two boxes and suitcases and everything.

Silvia: Yeah, I'm learning that now actually.

Diego: Yes, I think you should stop buying purses.

Silvia: I know. Wish me luck with the packing.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

an understatement


I think too much is an understatement

When we make an understatement we use words that are not strong enough to talk about how bad or serious something is. Notice the sample.

  1. With Thai food, I think too spicy is an understatement - it’s super hot!

hold onto


What things do you hold onto?

When we hold on to something, it means we keep it, usually for a long time. Notice the following.

  1. I don’t like working in customer service, but I’m going to hold on to my job until the economy improves.
  2. When François went to America he gave away almost everything, but he held on to his DVD collection.



I have tons of handbags.

Here ‘tons’ means ‘a lot of’. It can be countable or uncountable. Here are two examples using ‘tons’.

  1. Since she quit her job, Elena has tons of free time.
  2. I download all my music so I have tons of CD’s that I never listen to.

let it go


I tried to not buy it or let it go.

To ‘let it go’ means to forget about something we are or have been thinking seriously about. Notice the sample sentences.

  1. I love the new Apple iPad but it’s so expensive! I need to let it go for now.
  2. Jack’s girlfriend broke up with him. He had a hard time letting go of the relationship.

yard sale


I think we should have a yard sale.

In America for example, we have an outdoor sale of used personal or household items we no longer need or use. The sale is usually held in front of our home.

  1. The Smith family had a big yard sale before they moved to the new house.
  2. The garage is really cluttered. I think we should have a yard sale and get rid of some stuff.

Vocabulary Quiz

understatement • hold onto • tons
let it go • yardsale
  1. Saying the artic is chilly is an .
  2. I bought this lamp at a .
  3. He has of old records.
  4. I was sad to sell my car but I had to .
  5. He likes to all his junk.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

More Lessons

#1075 Retail Therapy
1075 Retail Therapy
Silvia talks about her love of shopping.

#1074 Collectibles
1074 Collectibles
Silvia and Diego talk about things they collect.

#1073 Free Stuff
1073 Free Stuff
Moving and the need to get rid of his stuff.

#1072 Her Best Friend
1072 Her Best Friend
Rebecca talks about meeting her best friend.

1071 His Best Friend
Gareth talks about someone he is very close to.


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