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  • Vanessa: Hi.

  • I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

  • Dan: And I'm Dan.

  • Vanessa: Are you ready to improve your vocabulary A to Z?

  • Dan: I am.

  • Vanessa: Let's do it.

  • In today's special vocabulary lesson, I'm here with my husband, Dan, and we're going

  • to be talking about one important vocabulary word for each letter of the alphabet, A to

  • Z, 26 new words.

  • All of these words have a theme.

  • Dan: Yes, you can use them to describe your English-learning journey.

  • Vanessa: Yes, but you can also use them in other situations.

  • So, for each of these words, I'm going to give an example that you can use to talk about

  • your English journey, and Dan's going to give an example about something else, another topic.

  • Dan: Something personal.

  • Vanessa: Yeah, we don't know yet.

  • Dan: But not too personal.

  • Vanessa: We'll see.

  • Feel free to check out the description for a timestamp for each of these words, so that

  • you can go back and study them later.

  • I hope that you'll be able to really remember them by reviewing them again and again.

  • Are you ready to get started?

  • Dan: Yes.

  • Vanessa: Let's go.

  • A, apprehension: A fearful expectation of something.

  • I feel some apprehension when I speak English with a native English speaker or in front

  • of other people in a crowd.

  • What about you?

  • When do you feel apprehensive?

  • Dan: Well, I used to feel apprehensive giving speeches, but now I've gotten over that a

  • little bit.

  • But when I was in college, I wrote on the calendar D-Day.

  • This day is coming, and it's going to be terrible, and I was so scared.

  • I was so apprehensive, but now, I've gotten over it.

  • Vanessa: Yeah, I remember that speech.

  • You actually did a great job.

  • So, your nervousness really didn't lead to a bad conclusion.

  • Dan: Maybe it even helped me.

  • Vanessa: Yeah, you felt apprehensive.

  • All right, let's go to the next one.

  • B, bittersweet: A good feeling with a bit of sadness.

  • When I studied abroad in Texas, it was bittersweet to leave my host family because I had some

  • really great memories with them, but I was also looking forward to see my family back

  • home.

  • What about you?

  • Are you going to feel bittersweet anytime soon?

  • Dan: Actually, we will feel bittersweet because we are leaving this house and moving to a

  • new house.

  • So, it's bitter because we have a lot of good memories here and that's sad, but it's sweet

  • because we're going to a new house.

  • It's bittersweet.

  • Vanessa: Yes.

  • C, complacent: Comfortable with no desire to change or improve.

  • I don't want to be complacent about my English level.

  • I always want to be improving.

  • What about you?

  • What do you do when you feel complacent?

  • Dan: Well, I usually try something new, and this word, it actually sounds like it could

  • be positive, but really it's a negative thing.

  • You're comfortable, and you should change.

  • When I feel complacent, I try something new like when I was not exercising in the past,

  • I decided to play hockey.

  • So, I joined a league, and I played hockey on a team, and I got lots of exercise.

  • Vanessa: Yeah, you didn't want it to be too complacent.

  • Dan: D, diligent: Being committed to a task.

  • I know that I need to be diligent if I want to remember all of these vocabulary words.

  • I should study them every day.

  • Do you know anyone who's diligent?

  • Vanessa: Yes, I do.

  • Dan: Vanessa is very diligent.

  • Every single day, she works on the fearless fluency club, the YouTube channel.

  • She's always learning new things in English.

  • She is diligent.

  • Vanessa: Thank you.

  • E, expend: To use up money or energy.

  • Sometimes, I expend all my energy worrying about making a mistake, and then I don't actually

  • speak.

  • What about you?

  • How do you feel at the end of the day?

  • Dan: Well, lately, I certainly feel expended at the end of the day because we have a toddler,

  • so he's running around all day.

  • We're chasing him all day, and when he goes to sleep at night, we feel expended.

  • We're done.

  • We have to lie down.

  • Vanessa: We have expended all our energy taking care of him, and we just want to relax.

  • F, feasible: To be possible.

  • Is it feasible to be a fluent English speaker?

  • Yes, it is.

  • Is it feasible for you to be an NHL player?

  • Dan: No, it is not.

  • It is not feasible for me to play in the NHL because I haven't practiced enough to play

  • professional hockey.

  • I'm just an amateur.

  • Vanessa: G, gist: The main idea.

  • I'd like to understand everything in English TV shows and movies, but right now I'm struggling

  • to understand the gist of what they're saying.

  • It's really tough.

  • What about for you?

  • What happened before we filmed this lesson?

  • Dan: Well, Vanessa described this video to me, and she showed me a script, and she started

  • going over everything, and I said, "It's okay.

  • I get the gist."

  • So, I know the main idea, I get it, and I can do it now.

  • Vanessa: Yes, and you're doing great.

  • Dan: Thank you.

  • Vanessa: H, hiatus: A gap or break in an event.

  • I studied English in high school, and after that, I took a long hiatus for 30 years.

  • Dan: Wow.

  • Vanessa: What about for you?

  • What's something that goes on hiatus?

  • Dan: A lot of times TV shows will go on hiatus, so they'll shoot a season.

  • There'll be season one, and you're waiting for season two, but they're on hiatus, so

  • you have to wait.

  • I remember the show, Rick and Morty.

  • There was season one that...

  • This is not popular with her, but I like Rick and Morty.

  • There was season one, and then they went on hiatus, and Everybody was waiting for season

  • two, and it finally came out.

  • Vanessa: Maybe a couple months later.

  • Dan: Mm-hmm (affirmative), it was longer than...

  • I think it was like a year or two.

  • Vanessa: Oh, okay.

  • That's a long hiatus.

  • I, insatiable: Can't be satisfied.

  • I have an insatiable desire to learn English.

  • My desire to learn English is insatiable.

  • Dan: Yes, and meanwhile, I have an insatiable desire to eat Pizza.

  • I love pizza, so bring me pizza, please.

  • Vanessa: J, jaded: Cynical or worn out due to past experience.

  • I feel so jaded about English classes.

  • I've joined so many of them, and nothing's worked for me.

  • What about you?

  • Do you feel jaded about anything?

  • Dan: Yes, I often feel jaded about politics because every single year, you see somebody

  • running, and they say the same thing, and you just get tired of it.

  • Nowadays, too, you have a social media, so you're reading people's posts, and this side's

  • angry, and that side's angry.

  • Nothing gets solved.

  • I'm very jaded about it.

  • Vanessa: You're cynical because you've got this past experience built up, so you feel

  • jaded about politics.

  • Maybe you feel the same way too, or maybe you don't.

  • K, knack: Something that's easy for you.

  • I thought I didn't have a knack for languages, but with Vanessa, it's easy.

  • What about you?

  • Do you have a knack for anything?

  • Dan: Some people might say, "I have a knack for playing the piano."

  • I can hear a song, usually something easy, maybe a Beatles song, and then I can spend

  • a few hours and learn it on the piano.

  • I'll just teach myself.

  • Vanessa: Yeah, sometimes it even takes a couple minutes.

  • Dan: Yeah, if it's Mary Had a Little Lamb.

  • So, I have a knack for playing the piano.

  • Vanessa: L, lull: A short period of calm or a break.

  • I started watching English lessons on YouTube.

  • But then when I went on vacation, there was a lull in my English learning.

  • What about for you?

  • Was there ever a lull in your life?

  • Dan: Oh yeah, there have been lulls in my life.

  • For example, every Christmas, there is a lull in my healthy eating.

  • There is just too much good food around, and my mom, she puts out chocolate.

  • So, I walk through the door, and I just grab a piece of chocolate when I enter the house,

  • so I'm not eating healthily during Christmas.

  • There's a lull in my healthy eating.

  • Vanessa: M, modest: Humble.

  • He says that his English isn't good, but he's just being modest.

  • It's actually pretty great.

  • Dan: Yeah, we actually knew a guy who was the opposite of modest.

  • He would say things like, "When I was at the gym the other day, I looked at my muscles,

  • and I saw the sweat on my arm, and my arms looked really great."

  • Vanessa: That's not modest.

  • Dan: Yeah, he wasn't very modest, but it was funny.

  • Vanessa: N, nuance: A subtle difference in meaning.

  • Sometimes phrasal verbs have slight nuances that are important to know.

  • For example, find out or figure out.

  • If you want to learn more about these two phrasal verbs, you can check out my video

  • about it up here.

  • What about for you?

  • Was there ever a time when you needed to learn some nuances?

  • Dan: Yes.

  • When you travel to a different country, you'll probably find some cultural nuances.

  • So, something in their culture is just a little bit different, and you don't notice it right

  • away.

  • When we lived in South Korea, there were a lot of cultural nuances.

  • They wouldn't speak as directly to you.

  • They would be a little more subtle.

  • They would say things indirectly, and you had to figure out exactly what it meant.

  • Vanessa: Yeah, so it was important for us to be sensitive and aware of these cultural

  • nuances, so that we could get along with other people and understand each other.

  • O, obsolete: No longer used, rare.

  • Vanessa teaches me real conversational English, things that are not obsolete, things that

  • are really used in real life.

  • What's something that's obsolete in your life?

  • Dan: Well, I used to have an iPod, and I would listen to that thing every single day, but

  • now it's obsolete.

  • Apple doesn't even make an iPod anymore.

  • They make iPhones.

  • So, just a dedicated music player is obsolete.

  • Vanessa: Sure.

  • I want to let you know that I got this idea to go through the alphabet with English vocabulary

  • from Jacob, from EnglishTVLive.com.

  • He has a podcast, and on different episodes, he's talking about five vocabulary words for

  • each letter of the alphabet.

  • So, it's much more intensive than what we're doing today, five words, and he interviewed

  • me for the letter, O.

  • We talked about obsolete, oblivious, ominous, omit, opportunistic, these five words.

  • So, if you'd like to check out Jacob's podcast, and especially the episode that we made together

  • about the letter O, check out the link in the description so that you can learn more

  • English.

  • P, pragmatic: Practical, useful.

  • I try to be pragmatic about what I study in English.

  • Is it useful?

  • Is it important?

  • What about you?

  • Are you generally a pragmatic spender when it comes to money?

  • Dan: Yeah.

  • When it comes to money, I think I'm generally pragmatic, but I am less pragmatic than Vanessa.

  • She only buys things she needs, but I'll look around, and I'll get the nicer things in life.

  • I'll spend a little bit more money, but not too much.

  • Vanessa: Sure, I think you appreciate beauty in a way that maybe I don't always appreciate.

  • Dan: Sure.

  • Vanessa: So, I'm very pragmatic sure, and you're generally pretty pragmatic when it

  • comes to spending.

  • Dan: I'm pretty pragmatic.

  • Vanessa: Q, quench: To satisfy a thirst or desire.

  • My desire to learn English is unquenchable.

  • I will never be complacent.

  • Dan: Yes, and we typically use this word for your thirst, right?

  • On a hot summer day, a cold beer will really quench your thirst.

  • Vanessa: R, rash: Acting without much thought.

  • When my boss told me that I needed to give a presentation in English, I immediately quit

  • my job.

  • Okay, I admit that was a little rash.

  • Dan: Just a little rash, yeah.

  • Some people said that we made a rash decision when we got married at 22 years old, which

  • is a little bit young in this country, maybe a little bit.

  • Yeah, some people thought it was rash, but we knew we were right for each other, and

  • we'd been dating five years, so we knew it wasn't rash.

  • Vanessa: S, sheer: Complete only.

  • It was sheer luck that I found Vanessa's YouTube channel because it has helped my life so much.

  • I hope that's true for you.

  • Dan: Hey, it was also sheer luck for me to meet Vanessa because I lived eight hours away

  • from Vanessa, but we went to the same college, and on the first day we just happened to sit

  • next to each other.

  • It was sheer luck.

  • Vanessa: Yes, and if you'd like to know about how to use the word "happened to" that Dan

  • just used, you can click on this card up here and learn more about it.

  • T, tentative: Without confidence, hesitant.

  • I feel tentative when I need to speak English, but Vanessa's lessons have helped me so much.

  • What about you?

  • Do you know anyone who is tentative in life?

  • Dan: I don't know about any one, but I know a cat who is very tentative.

  • We have