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Episode 18: Thanh Bui
Transcript
We'll look at tag questions and rhetorical questions, as well as the expressions odd one out and there you go.
I really want to tell my story of growing up in this country. Born to refugee parents - what's that like? And for other Asian Australians to relate to my story.

Integrating into the country was very difficult I think. Obviously not knowing the language. I grew up in a very Vietnamese family. I didn't speak my first word of English until I was about 5 or 6. So I remember my teacher, my teacher in I think prep wanting me to stay down the class because I couldn't speak English properly.

I've always been sort of the odd one out. I remember being called all sorts of names - and sort of I had a few people there, that, you know, little kids can be very nasty to each other can't they?
The odd one out is someone who is a bit different or who doesn't fit easily into a group. Being called names is being insulted and called rude and unpleasant things. Listen again:
I've always been sort of the odd one out. I remember being called all sorts of names - and sort of I had a few people there, that, you know, little kids can be very nasty to each other can't they?
Thanh uses a tag question - can't they? - to encourage agreement. He says 'kids can be very nasty to each other can't they. Tag questions like this have a positive/negative pattern - kids can be nasty/ can't they? or they can have a negative/positive pattern - You don't like this/ do you? Now listen for another question that doesn't need an answer:
I really want to tell my story of growing up in this country. Born to refugee parents - what's that like?
What's that like? - He doesn't want an answer; he just wants you to think about it. This sort of question is called a rhetorical question.

But what was it like?
When we got to a stage where I was about 9, 10, 11 I'd be, myself and my brother would be doing all the translating for mum and dad on every level, every front.
Every level, every front means any situation where English was used. His parents depended on them to explain what things meant.

And what did he depend on his mother to do for him?
I think it all started really young when mum used to sing for me for 4 hours every night without fail.
She used to sing to him. Used to means it doesn't happen now. She sang to him 'without fail'. Without fail emphasises that something always happens. She always sang to him. Listen again:
I think it all started really young when mum used to sing for me for 4 hours every night without fail.
Now listen for another rhetorical question:
Vocals is very difficult to teach I think 'cos it's, it is such an intimate instrument. You can't see it. Hello where is it? You can't actually see it.
Again, he doesn't want an answer, he wants to emphasise a point.

So we've seen that tag questions can encourage agreement, can't they? The odd one out is someone who doesn't fit in, being called names is being insulted and without fail means always.

We'll finish with the expression 'there you go', which is something you can say when giving someone something:
I'm an artist and that's what I am and I can't run away from it and if I run away from it I'll always be half the person that I can be.

There you go.
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