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  • - All right, three, two, one.

  • Hello this is Jack from ToFluency.com,

  • and welcome to this English lesson

  • where my wife and I are going to have a conversation

  • about our recent trip to the UK.

  • So stick around if you want to learn

  • some conversational English.

  • And if you want to know some of the differences

  • between life in the UK and life in America.

  • So Kate, welcome back to the channel.

  • - Thank you, it's been a little while.

  • - Yep, and if you are new here,

  • then Kate and I do these conversation lessons

  • so that you can learn conversational English.

  • And definitely check out the description for phrases,

  • and also some resources that will help you

  • improve your English including my free book,

  • the "5 Step Plan for English Fluency".

  • Okay, so firstly, we visited the UK a few weeks ago now,

  • and we spent about two weeks there.

  • And we visited two countries in the UK,

  • England and Wales.

  • Now how was your overall experience been in the UK?

  • What stands out to you on that trip?

  • - So first of all, even though we have been to the UK

  • several times as a family,

  • and I had been to the UK several times

  • before even meeting you,

  • I have never been to Wales before.

  • So that was completely new to me.

  • And also

  • this is the first time taking our son,

  • who is five and a half years old,

  • where he will remember this trip,

  • most likely. - Or at least have,

  • well one specific memory which we might talk about later.

  • But just to give you some context,

  • if you didn't know, Kate is American, she's from America.

  • I'm from the UK originally,

  • but I've been living in America for a few years now.

  • So personally whenever I go back to the UK,

  • I always see it with fresh eyes.

  • So everything seems new again.

  • Everything seems like I'm exploring it for the first time.

  • But then after a few days, it feels normal.

  • - It feels normal.

  • So what stood out to you

  • in those first few days

  • that you didn't remember or you remembered differently?

  • - Yeah, great question.

  • So for me, and I've mentioned this to everyone I've seen,

  • who asked me about the trip,

  • but the food.

  • - Oh yeah?

  • - Yeah.

  • - Good, bad?

  • - Amazing.

  • The food in the UK is really good.

  • It has a very bad reputation, right?

  • Everyone in America thinks food is bad in the UK.

  • But the meat and the cheese is just outstanding.

  • - And the produce.

  • - And the produce.

  • Fruits and vegetables, right?

  • - Yeah.

  • - But I think one of the reasons

  • that the meat is really good,

  • do you know what the reason is?

  • - I have a guess.

  • Should I tell? - Yes.

  • - I think that a lot of the produce in general,

  • and especially meat and cheese,

  • is from small local farms

  • where you can see that the animals are getting outside

  • and just having a better healthier life.

  • - Yeah, so especially when you're on a train

  • or when you're traveling on the motorway,

  • you see cows and sheep everywhere.

  • They're in the fields, they're outside,

  • and you see so many cows and sheep.

  • And in America it's not something you see.

  • - Yep. - But also the cheese.

  • (laughing)

  • I had so much cheese.

  • - You had so much cheese.

  • What's your favorite kind of cheese?

  • - Lancashire cheese.

  • Which, they say about Lancashire cheese,

  • that it doesn't travel very well.

  • Which means that it can't be distributed in long distances.

  • - Did you have any Lancashire cheese?

  • - Yep.

  • - You did?

  • - Yeah I bought some Lancashire cheese from that local shop.

  • And it was delicious.

  • And then you can have brown sauce on the Lancashire cheese

  • or Branston Pickle, which is very good.

  • - We don't have as many pickles or sauces as you do.

  • It's basically ketchup.

  • - What is?

  • - The sauce. - Oh here?

  • - Hm mm.

  • - Yeah, ketchup and mayonnaise.

  • - Ketchup 90% of the time.

  • - Is mayonnaise as popular as it used to be here?

  • Or is it just our friends, maybe?

  • - That's a great question.

  • I don't know.

  • - I'll look up the statistics later.

  • But yeah, food was excellent.

  • Meat and cheese, which I really liked.

  • And

  • (chuckling)

  • What else stood out to me?

  • I think that people are a little bit more direct in the UK.

  • Which,

  • all right we can work this out

  • because I'm not exactly clear on this.

  • - Go on.

  • - Because people talk about

  • people in the UK being very reserved,

  • and not as outgoing.

  • So if you're on public transport,

  • then everyone in the UK is staring.

  • They're not really looking at people

  • and making conversations.

  • Not that it happens a lot anyway.

  • But people aren't as open.

  • So if you are out on the streets

  • and you pass somebody in America,

  • you always say hello.

  • - Often.

  • - Often, but in the UK it's not as common.

  • - Sure.

  • - But I find that with your friends,

  • people are a little bit more direct.

  • They'll say what they are thinking.

  • Did you pick up on that?

  • - I think that there's a combination of things.

  • In general, I think that Americans are friendlier.

  • - Hm hmm.

  • - Or the expectation is that people will try to be friendly,

  • whether it's on the street,

  • whether it's somebody who is helping you.

  • - Service.

  • - Service, hm mm.

  • Whether that's in a restaurant or a bank or at a shop,

  • people are generally friendlier here.

  • But at the same time, I think that we do try to keep

  • everything kind of positive and nice.

  • - Yes.

  • - And smooth, and maybe that's not true for the UK,

  • but yeah. - Wow.

  • It's quite a criticism in a way. (chuckling)

  • - But I think when things are bad,

  • you have a habit of understating it.

  • - Yes.

  • - Whereas we tend to probably overstate it,

  • and be more dramatic about it.

  • - I think not just when things are bad,

  • but when things are good as well.

  • Where, yeah, if somebody asks you how's everything going,

  • are you having a good trip,

  • are you having a good time?

  • Americans just say, - American.

  • - Yeah, it's amazing. - It's amazing.

  • - This is awesome. - It's awesome.

  • So great.

  • And what would you say?

  • - Yeah, it's good.

  • - Or you would even say it's all right.

  • - It's all right.

  • - Ah ha. - It's all right.

  • And all right means good. - Amazing.

  • - All right.

  • - All right means amazing, in American.

  • - Yeah, and that's a little exaggerated

  • but that's definitely a difference.

  • - If it's bad, we say oh it's terrible.

  • It was awful, it was horrible.

  • And you say?

  • - Erm, not the best.

  • - Not the best.

  • - Yeah. (chucklings)

  • It's not the best.

  • That's a really good point.

  • And another difference I noticed was that

  • everything seemed smaller in the UK.

  • So when we're talking about houses, cars,

  • cars are a lot smaller.

  • - A lot smaller.

  • - And the roads.

  • It's just everything in general, I feel.

  • - Hm mm.

  • - And portion sizes?

  • - Yep.

  • - Well one thing that is bigger in the UK, a pint.

  • - Oh.

  • - Yeah.

  • (chuckling) A pint in the UK is 20 ounces I think.

  • In America it's 16.

  • - Well then.

  • - Yeah, that's one thing that's bigger in the UK.

  • - So we have cars, houses, roads, buildings,

  • food. - Buildings.

  • - But you have beer.

  • - Beer.

  • Or water, a pint of water.

  • A pint of lemonade.

  • But yeah everything felt quite dense.

  • And even in the north.

  • Because in London,

  • that's the most populated area,

  • then the southeast in general.

  • And the north is, people think

  • oh it's a little bit more open and not as dense.

  • - Hm mm.

  • - In terms of the population.

  • But it did feel like there was a lot of traffic

  • a lot of the time.

  • - Yes.

  • - Especially in Manchester.

  • And Manchester's changed a lot since we were last there.

  • There are cranes everywhere,

  • new buildings going up all the time,

  • and I feel that is just gonna get

  • even crazier in terms of the traffic.

  • - Do you know what's fueling

  • all of the growth in Manchester?

  • - I think what's happened over the last 15, 20 years,

  • or probably longer,

  • is that all the opportunities for work,

  • they're in one city in the northwest,

  • which is Manchester.

  • So

  • all my friends who are from Branston,

  • now live in Manchester.

  • My sister lives in Manchester.

  • And if you think about that in Yorkshire,

  • then it's probably Leeds.

  • So people go to Leeds, same in Birmingham.

  • So all the opportunity is in one city.

  • So that's why it's growing like that.

  • And just population growth in general.

  • - Interesting.

  • So we've established, more density,

  • more compact cars and houses.

  • - Hm mm.

  • - How did that feel to you

  • after you've gotten used to living in America?

  • - Yeah it felt a little bit,

  • I wouldn't say claustrophobic,

  • how would you describe it, a little bit crowded?

  • - Hm mm.

  • - Yeah, I think it's worth saying as well,

  • there's no clip on this one,

  • that

  • our experience in America,