Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • This story is about an Australian singer who has a Vietnamese background.

  • 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, "Little'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:

  • No matter what you try to do, I keep running, I keep running.

  • 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 I know that I can be.

  • Back to you.

  • There you go.

This story is about an Australian singer who has a Vietnamese background.

Subtitles and vocabulary

A2 BEG UK odd fail nasty rhetorical tag mum

English Bites - Series 7, Episode 18: Thanh Bui

  • 1420 11
    quangjimmy   posted on 2015/04/18
Video vocabulary

Go back to previous version