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Episode 30: Ballroom Dancing
Episode 30: Ballroom Dancing
Today we join Sarj as he learns ballroom dancing. First, listen to the advice his housemate gives him on how to dress for the occasion. Listen for some slang, or informal expressions:
Transcript

So I have my first ballroom dancing lesson today. I'm not really sure what to wear.
Jeans or tracks?
Ah no. You have to lose the track pants.
Okay cool.
It's all about image. It's not about comfort.
That's true. Okay, cool. I get what you're saying.
Yeah.
I'll go with the jeans.

She says he has to 'lose' the tracks or track pants. She just means he should not wear them. He'll 'go with' the jeans - he'll wear the jeans to the lesson. To 'go with' something is to agree with it. Notice another way Sarj says he agrees with his friend:

It's all about image. It's not about comfort.
That's true. Okay, cool. I get what you're saying. I'll go with the jeans.

He says 'cool'. 'Cool' just means 'this is good' or 'I agree'.

Hi , how are you. You must be Saj.
Yeah, nice to meet you.
Do you want to pop into our group class?
Yes. Definitely.
Excellent. I'll jut get you to come over here and you can pop in here with the guys and we'll take you through some foxtrot.

He'll take him through some foxtrot - he'll teach him the foxtrot.

Yes, I'm just, I'm really afraid of falling on my first lesson and probably giving the instructor an impression that you know that I'm really not worth it. But I mean we'll just have to take it step by step, literally.

He'll take it step by step - this is an expression that means to do things slowly, one after the other. But he says 'step by step, literally' which means the things he has to learn slowly really are steps. Next, listen for when Sarj uses 'was' or 'were':

There were quite a few people there who were very serious about it and as much as it was just a fun lesson for me you could tell there were a lot people there who were actually in it to learn something. And whenever I was partnered with someone that was my biggest fear as to whether my mistakes would affect them but I guess it was all worth it. Yep.

There were quite a few people, who were very serious, it was just a fun lesson, whenever I was partnered, it was all worth it. Notice that 'were' is used when the subject is plural and that 'was' is used when the subject is singular - I was. Listen again:

There were quite a few people there who were very serious about it and as much as it was just a fun lesson for me you could tell there were a lot people there who were actually in it to learn something. And whenever I was partnered with someone that was my biggest fear as to whether my mistakes would affect them but I guess it was all worth it. Yep.

There is an exception to this rule of using was with a singular subject. Listen carefully:

I actually got a chance to just have a quick chat with one of the people who I was dancing with and she said that dancing brings out confidence in you which I think is very true. And certainly if I were to come here on a weekly basis it would certainly increase my confidence as well.

I was dancing, but 'If I were' to come here. It's the convention to use 'were' in if clauses - if I were:

And certainly if I were to come here on a weekly basis it would certainly increase my confidence as well, in terms of just moving out there and doing what you think is right and doing the right thing. It's an amazing feeling.
He was navigating and leading you ladies around the room so well done.

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