Transcript of my podcast episode (41)

Hello, it’s me, finally! And this is ENGSPRESSO episode no. 41! It’s been a long time since my last episode, but instead of developing my podcast, I had to focus on my family and the house we’re building, and (of course!) my students who regularly have lessons with me. Anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since I last published a new episode. The important thing is that I still want to come back here and talk to you! And I’m sure you’re glad that you can listen to another ENGSPRESSO episode today. Also, thank you all for your messages and comments on Spotify! I read them all, and I do enjoy hearing from you!

In the comments under the last ENGSPRESSO episode on Spotify, one of you suggested that I teach you some interesting English idioms. As you know, I normally teach you two new expressions in every episode, and they’re usually practical collocations or idioms. This time, though, I’m going to teach you some extra idiomatic phrases before we get to our usual expressions. Here we go!

1. to have your head in the clouds; to live in la-la land – not to know the facts of a situation; to think that things that are completely impossible might happen, rather than understanding how things really are; e.g. You always have your head in the clouds – can’t you just start thinking rationally? Zawsze bujasz w obłokach – nie możesz po prostu zacząć myśleć racjonalnie?

2. to be big on sth – to like something very much; e.g. He’s not big on football, but he enjoys watching tennis. Nie jest fanem piłki nożnej, ale lubi oglądać tenis.

3. to take a chill pill – to calm down, to relax; e.g. Take a chill pill! It’s just a short test, not your final exam! Wyluzuj! To tylko krótki test, a nie egzamin końcowy!

Remember that you can find more such English idioms in my e-book and course online ’365 idioms, proverbs and sayings’ that is available in the shop on my website.

And now it’s time for our usual expressions!

The first one is also an idiom: TO HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR SB / STH. It means 'to feel that you like someone or something very much’.

For instance: When she was a little girl, she had a soft spot for all puppies and kitties. Now, repeat after me.
The translation is: Kiedy była małą dziewczynką, miała słabość do wszystkich piesków i kotków (dosł. wszystkich szczeniaków i kociąt).

Another example: Why does he treat her so leniently? Do you think he has a soft spot for her?
Dlaczego traktuje ją tak łagodnie/pobłażliwie? Myślisz, że ma do niej słabość?

The second expression is TO MAKE SMALL TALK. When you make small talk, you talk about unimportant things with people you don’t know very well.

For instance: When you’re in a bad mood, making small talk is such a drag!
Kiedy jesteś w złym nastroju, prowadzenie rozmów towarzyskich to taka udręka!

Another example: After a few lessons with her, I finally started feeling more comfortable when making small talk in English.
Po kilku lekcjach z nią w końcu zaczęłam czuć się bardziej komfortowo, prowadząc pogawędki po angielsku.

And now it’s time for your ENGSPRESSO to go!

Our context for the phrases is:

Surprisingly, she finds it easier to make small talk with foreigners – I guess she may have a soft spot for them.
O dziwo łatwiej jej prowadzić pogawędki z obcokrajowcami – sądzę, że może mieć do nich słabość.

Well done! And now I have a question for you: do you like our idioms in this episode? Would you like me to teach you more of them in the next ENGSPRESSO episodes? Please do let me know in the comments on Spotify or somewhere on my Instagram. I’m asking you about it because I know that English idioms are often a bit challenging for learners at lower levels. Despite that, I encourage you not to skip them when learning vocabulary because idioms are used in English all the time! So the sooner you start learning them, the more natural it’ll be to use them. Don’t worry if you can’t understand all of them at once, but also don’t avoid them just because they’re more difficult. Not being afraid to learn more advanced expressions – even when you’re at a lower level – is one of my tips on how to become more fluent in English.

As you know, the link to the transcript of today’s ENGSPRESSO can be found in the description of the episode or directly on my website

Thank you for tuning in and talk to you another time!