A lot of the things we used to take for granted are now seeming very special, such as when meeting up with friends again as the coronavirus lockdown starts loosening up and we begin returning to work and school. I realize this may not be happening quite yet where you live, but it will hopefully start in the coming weeks or by mid-summer at latest.
There are a lot of English slang words and idioms commonly used in informal speech, so let's take a look at a few of those today. Let's start with a phrase I used in the first sentence of this lesson:
Again, this assuming your opponent plays perfectly, but we'll take that for granted.
Caption 20, Numberphile - Connect FourPlay Caption
"To take something for granted" means that you presume something automatically, without really thinking about it. When that something is not as you expected, you are surprised.
Let's start with some different ways that people greet each other besides the standard "hello," "good morning," "good afternoon," and "good evening."
Caption 29, English with Annette O'Neil - Ways To Say HelloPlay Caption
How's it going?
Caption 30, English with Annette O'Neil - Ways To Say HelloPlay Caption
Caption 31, English with Annette O'Neil - Ways To Say HelloPlay Caption
All of the above questions are rhetorical, which means that people are usually not expecting you to tell them your life story or about real problems you might be having! Usually you just answer "fine," or "not much," or "I have been busy" or something simple like that. Note too that sometimes "what's up" is slurred into "'Sup," "what up," and similar variations.
Caption 46, English with Annette O'Neil - Ways To Say HelloPlay Caption
"Howdy" is just a colloquial or casual way of saying "hello" that originally came from the more formal question "how do you do?". You can see from the bold letters where the word came from!
If you haven't seen each other in a long time, you might say something like "it seems like forever" or the odd-sounding "long time no see!" This last phrase, meaning "we have not seen each other for a long time," is thought to have come from the basic English first spoken by immigrants to North America over 100 years ago.
When meeting up with your friends for the first time in a long time, please remember to keep safe according the local rules of where you live. But also remember to enjoy yourself as we begin to have more social interactions again into summer!
Watch the entire conversational video series on Yabla English by Annette O'Neil and test your comprehension using the Yabla Flash Card Game.