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Hi I'm Anne Marie with Speak Confident English and welcome to this week's
Confident English lesson. Today I'll be answering a question that I received by
email just a few weeks ago. In that email Ahmad said, "Hi Anne Marie, thank you very
much for your emails and classes in English (you're super welcome.) but I would
like to hear from you on how to talk about the winter season. I don't have
good words to use when I speak about it, for example the positive points. Ahmad
that was a great question and I love it for two reasons: number one my goal is
always to help you have the language you need to speak with confidence and to
speak naturally in English. So if you want to talk about the winter season
more easily in English, more naturally, than I'm excited to help you do that. And
number two, where I live it is the dead of winter so it's the perfect time to
talk about this subject.
The dead of winter. That expression might give you an idea of how some people feel
about the winter season. This idiom means to be in the middle of winter when it is
the coldest darkest period of the year and for many this idiom describes how
the winter looks and feels. So for those of you who right now do not live in a
country with a winter season - maybe you're in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil,
Argentina - and maybe you're wondering right now it's the middle of summer so
could you say it's the dead of summer? Absolutely not. We never use that
expression when we're talking about the summertime. Summer is full of life and
warmth, everything is in bloom, so instead we say the height of summer. So for those
of you in the southern hemisphere where it's warm and wonderful right now, you
are experiencing the height of summer while many of us up north are in the
dead of winter. Now of course there are many people who love the winter season.
They find it invigorating and full of activities. And then there are others,
like me, who are simply waiting for the season to pass. Now as I said there are
people who really love the winter season, like my husband. For them the winter is a
time full of exciting sports and the winter chill gives them a bolt of energy.
A winter chill is a feeling of being really cold and often you're shivering.
Shivering is that uncontrollable movement or shaking of your body when
you're really cold. Some people like that winter chill. Why? I
have no idea but again for them it sparks life and invigorates them. Now
there are a couple of other ways we can talk about the feeling of cold air in
the winter in a more positive way for example, we might say that the air is
brisk or the air is crisp. In the last few years during the winter season
Americans have become obsessed with a Danish word and concept.
This word is hygge (and I'm probably mispronouncing it if I am I'm so sorry
feel free to correct me) but this concept if I understand it correctly is focused
on the idea of coziness, that feeling of warmth and comfort. With this idea in the
winter we think of warm fires, drinking hot chocolate, wrapping ourselves in
blankets, chunky knit sweaters and just being at home and comfortable. Now a
chunky knit sweater is one of those thick, heavy, warm sweaters that we wear
on the coldest days of the year. This is the perfect weather for those lazy
weekends when you just want to read your favorite book or do some binge watching
on Netflix. For those of us who live in winter seasons with a lot of snow we of
course think of winter sports like skiing downhill skiing or cross-country
skiing. There's snowshoeing sledding and even
snowkiting. Snowkiting. Have you ever heard of snowkiting? To be honest I had
never heard of it until very recently but it has become my husband's brand-new
hobby. Snowkiting is when you use a board like
a snowboard and you glide across the snow or the ice
using kite power. All of these sports provide a great workout of course and
they often give us an adrenaline rush. An adrenaline rush is that sudden burst of
energy and excitement that we get with an increase of our adrenaline hormone
and some people love that feeling, they can't wait for the winter to arrive so
they can dive into those favorite sports and get that adrenaline rush. And then
you have people like me who prefer to just stay home in that cozy feeling and
wait for the winter to end. For those who don't like the winter season because the
days are so short and dark they might find the winter season to be very bleak -
it means empty or barren, to not have any warmth or life. And we're always jealous
of people who live in that southern hemisphere where it's the height of
summer. For us that winter chill doesn't feel invigorating or full of energy. Nope.
Instead for us it might feel raw, biting, or harsh. These are all words that we use
to describe a feeling that is really unpleasant or something that makes us
feel uncomfortable for example a biting wind or a harsh wind. And speaking of
wind, for us it isn't crisp giving us that burst of excitement.
Instead the wind for us is howling. A howl is the sound that a dog makes when
it's injured or in pain so if you imagine the wind sounding like that it
has that strong sound and we can almost hear how cold the wind feels. And on
those coldest days you have to brace yourself just to go outside. To brace
yourself means to prepare or get ready to do something
that is really unpleasant or challenging. Now of course people who don't like the
winter can still appreciate those days when you look outside and it's just a
winter wonderland. A winter wonderland is a scene when you look outside
after hours of snowfall and everything is white and perfect, beautiful and it's
so quiet. But then unfortunately those huge snow plow trucks come and they plow
the snow from the roads, they remove the snow. And at that point the snow becomes
dirty and brown and slushy. Slush is melted or watery snow. And finally, yes
even though we don't like the winter, we do also appreciate that idea of hygge,
that warmth and comfort, sitting somewhere cozy and wonderful. But we only
do it because we have to. We stay inside to avoid freezing our butts off and we
try to find the new best Netflix series for some binge watching. (Side note: right
now my favorite Netflix show is The Crown. If you haven't watched it yet
I definitely recommend it.) But let's get back to the winter. Now that you have
some language to talk about the good the bad and a little bit of the ugly during
the winter season I want to hear from you. I want to know what you love or
don't like so much about the winter season where you live. As always I do
have some challenge questions for you in the online lesson, so after you watch
this video take the opportunity to practice using some of this new language,
learn from others in the Confident English Community and even get feedback
by sharing your thoughts and ideas in the comments section
at the bottom of the lesson. And if you enjoyed today's video be sure to give it
a thumbs up on YouTube or share it on Facebook. Those are two perfect ways to
let me know that this lesson was useful to you. And with that no matter where you
live, I hope that you have a wonderful week full of warmth and comfort and I'll
see you next week for your Confident English lesson.




469 タグ追加 保存
Emily 2018 年 9 月 18 日 に公開
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