Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Show 153 Tuesday 3 October

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.


Hi, I’m Sarah. This is The Daily English Show. More about articles today: when to use a and the.
This is another rule: when you’re telling a story, the first time you mention something you say a and the second time the.

For example: yesterday I saw a man and a woman having an argument at the train station – the man was shouting and the woman was crying.

And another rule: you can use the plus adjective to talk about a group of people.
For example: the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the injured, the dead.

Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor.

Now, how about names of places? Usually, no the.
So for: states, countries, regions, islands, mountains, cities, towns ... no the.
Africa, Switzerland, New York, Sicily, Madrid, Everest.

But with names with things like Republic, Kingdom or States, use the: the United States of America, the United Kingdom.

And plural names of places need the: the Netherlands, the Philippines, the Rocky Mountains, the Bahamas.
So if you see an s, the.

And oceans, seas and rivers have the: the channel, the Thames, the Amazon, the Mediterranean sea, the Nile.


Kia Ora. In Stick News today, the Prime Minister of New Zealand has advised people to consult their dictionaries after they took offence to a word she used.

Helen Clark is the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Don Brash is the leader of the opposition.
Recently, Helen hasn’t been happy with Don.
National accused Labour of corrupt election spending. Then they spread rumours that Helen Clark’s husband was gay.
This rarked Helen up and she described Dr. Brash as a “corrosive and cancerous person within the New Zealand political system”.
The New Zealand Herald spotted a story and decided to survey people to see if they cared or not.
73.6 percent said the comment was not OK. Some cancer patients didn’t like it either.
But Helen Clark said people should look the word up in their dictionaries.
"I'm sorry if people have taken offence, but clearly it is not a description one applies to people with cancer,” she said.

The Prime Minister is now choosing a different word to describe her political opponent: odious.
And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 3rd of October.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
# 101 What do you listen to?

Kazuya and Sarah talk about housework.
Step 1: Repeat Kazuya’s lines.
Step 2: Read Kazuya’s lines on the screen and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Which housework do you hate the most?

Kazuya Um, probably laundry. How about you?

Sarah Yeah, I don’t mind laundry in summer when in dries quickly ... but in winter, it’s a pain the arse.

Kazuya And I hate folding washing.

Sarah Mmm, I don’t really mind it, actually ... I usually listen to the radio at the same time, so it’s kind of relaxing.

Kazuya What do you listen to?

Sarah Um, I usually listen to interviews from National Radio, or podcasts.

Kazuya That’s a good idea.


Music on the show used with permission from jamendo.com

Today's questionanswer music:
Artist: Keep Cool Vibration
From: Nancy-Metz, France
Album: Conquest of the empire
Track: Day after day
music at jamendo

Today's news

Show 152 Monday 2 October

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.


Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show. I read a story on CNN today about this famous quote:"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

This is what Neil Armstrong said when he landed on the moon. But ... a or no a, that is the question. Did he say: “one small step for man” or “one small step for a man?”

If there’s no a in that sentence, it doesn’t make sense. Because there’s a difference between “man” and “a man”.

One difficult thing about English is when to use “a”, when to use “the” and when to use nothing. This is a question I get asked a lot by students: “What’s the difference between “a” and “the”?” Or “Can you please explain how to use “a” and “the?”

Well, this is a big question... check it out: in this grammar book there are like 10 pages of a and the practice.
By the way a and the are articles. A and an are indefinite articles and the is the definite article. It might not be essential that you know that, but it does help if you’re reading a grammar book.

So, when to use “a”, “an” or “the”... Well, in many cases you just have to memorize it. But there are some rules. So I thought I’d give you a rule today using the word television or TV.

So, if you’re talking about things in general – no the. For example: TV rots your brain. Not that I think it does, but a lot of people say that.

If you’re talking about one thing – a. I want to buy a TV.

And if you’re talking about one specific thing – then the: I can’t find my watch, have you seen it? Yeah, it’s on top of the TV.

So, back to the quote with man – a man means one man and man means humans in general. Although using “man” or “mankind” to mean “men and women in general” is kind of old fashioned and not really acceptable these days.

So if you ever go to the moon you could say: "That's one small step for a person, one giant leap for the human race."


Kia Ora. In Stick News today, the missing a in Neil Armstrong’s moon quote has been found.

On the 20th of July, 1969, the first human walked on the moon. His name was Neil Armstrong. He flew to the moon with two friends in a rocket called Apollo 11.
When they arrived, Armstrong called Earth and said: "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
He then went for a walk. He put his left foot on the moon first and said: “That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
These words became famous but there was one small problem with the “a”. It sounded like he didn’t say it.
Most people assumed he left it out by accident. Armstrong himself said: “... it was certainly intended, even if it wasn't said -- although it might actually have been”.
Now, thanks to computer software, and Australian computer programmer says he found the missing "a".

There’s now hope this technology can be used to locate the millions of letters that go missing daily around the world.
And that was Stick News for Monday the 2nd of October.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
# 100 That’s an expensive shop isn’t it?

Mari and Sarah talk about the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Step 1: Repeat Mari’s lines.
Step 2: Read Mari’s lines on the screen and talk to Sarah.

Mari Did you go out last night?

Sarah No, I stayed home and watched a movie.

Mari What did you watch?

Sarah Breakfast at Tiffany’s – have you seen it?

Mari No, I’ve heard of it though. Is it about that jewelry store?

Sarah Not really. At the start she’s eating something and looking through the window of the jewelry store.

Mari Oh, so that’s what “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” means.

Sarah Yeah. And later on they buy something at Tiffany’s.

Mari That’s an expensive shop isn’t it?

Sarah Yeah, it is. And they don’t have much money, so they try and buy something for 10 dollars or under.


Music on the show used with permission from jamendo.com

Today's questionanswer music:
Artist: NeXuS
Album: Trance Planet
Track: Night flyer
music at jamendo

Today's news