Let the world spice up your life.

Cafetalk Tutor's Column

Tutor Suja 's Column

Learning English Watching Clips

May 30, 2017 | 4 Comments

If you're a movie-lover, an interesting and enjoyable way of picking up a language is through watching movies. Better still, if the English movie had English subtitles it would help you make out what the speaker is trying to say, and especially if their accent is difficult to catch.

You could also try this next time. 

Reduce the speed of the clip to x0.5 and then gradually increase the speed to x0.75 and then to Normal as you are trying to make out the words and understand its content. Try to also increase the speed of the video once your listening and comprehension skills improve to see if you can still catch what they are trying to say.

Also, try listening to different clips to understand the way different speakers speak English and their varying accents. 

In this way, you will gradually improve your listening skills. 


Now let's see how you fared with the video. This video clip was taken from the British sitcom or comedy series, Miranda - one of my favourites too!

Did you catch the following phrases?

"If your mum does set you up":

What it means:

In this case, this means to arrange a meeting between two persons, with the aim of encouraging a romantic relationship.

It can also be used in business, as shown below:

His dad, a flourishing business owner, set his son up in his own establishment.

It can also be used to make an innocent person appear guilty or to trick someone:

Going by the way the events unfolded in that murder, it appears that she could have been set up by her close friends.


a smooth operator

What it means:

To refer to someone who is relaxed, confident and who has a controlof the situation


That took me ages

What it means:

It took me a very long time


As if

What it means:

Used in informal situations such as this one , it can be used to show that you do not believe something is possible:

For example:

Person A: Did you get a pay rise?

Person B: As if!


This is also used in a sentence to describe a situation that is likely or possible:

She moved her lips as if to smile.

This column was published by the author in their personal capacity.
The opinions expressed in this column are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Cafetalk.

Got a question? Click to Chat