Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com. Are you ready to expand your vocabulary and expand your mind? Let's do it. It's a fact that the more vocabulary you know, the more you can understand natural, fast English conversations, and the more that you can express yourself, so today, I'd like to help you learn 10 essential advanced English expressions. These aren't specifically for business situations, but you could use them then. These aren't really just slang expressions, but you could use them in casual situations too. These are phrases for daily life. There are phrases that I use all the time, and I have a feeling that you're going to hear them all the time, and hopefully now, you're going to be able to use them yourself. All of these phrases were in my course, The 30-Day English Listening Challenge: Pack 4, that came out on January 1st, 2020, this year. If you would like to join this course, you will learn three new expressions every day for 30 days, 90 expressions like this, and you can become my student. Check out the link up here to learn more information about this course. During today's lesson, try to say the sample sentences out loud with me. This is a great chance to practice your pronunciation muscles, listen to your own voice, speaking and using great English grammar and vocabulary, and it's a good way to help you remember what you're learning. All right, let's start with the first expression, "To take something seriously." Usually, we use the word, take, this verb, when we're grabbing something or when we're getting something, but instead, this expression uses take in a figurative sense. This means you're accepting something sincerely. We often use this in a negative sense. For example, let's look at this sentence, "When the teenager told her mom, 'I hate you,' her mom didn't take it seriously." This is a negative situation, "Didn't take it seriously." What is it? Are we using it to talk about her daughter? No. We're talking about her daughter's words, so the mom is not feeling like this is a sincere statement from her daughter. Because her daughter is a teenager, maybe she's going through some hard times, so the mom is not going to get upset when her daughter says, "I hate you." She's not going to take those words seriously, or you might say, "I wish I had taken school seriously." Take school seriously means to study hard, to be sincere in your efforts. "I wish I had taken school seriously, but I still graduated even though I didn't learn as much as I could have. I wish I had taken school seriously." Let's go to the next expression, "On top of." Are we talking about physical placement here? No. Instead, take a look at this sentence and try to guess what you think it means. "My dog ripped my school books, and on top of that, he ate my homework." We have a bad situation that has become worse, so, "My dog ripped my school books." This is already a bad situation, "But then, on top of that, he ate my homework." We can use this wonderful expression, "On top of," just like we would, "In addition to." Usually, it shows some kind of surprise, right? "On top of that, he ate my homework. I can't believe it." "I'm surprised. In addition to what he already did, he ate my homework," or you might say, "This vocabulary lesson is great. On top of that, it's free." You could say, "In addition to that, it's free." That's fine, but when you say, "On top of that," you're implying that you're kind of surprised. "I can't believe that Vanessa is giving us this lesson for free. On top of that, it's free. Wonderful." Quite a few. If I said, "I ate quite a few cookies," do you think this means a few, a little, or a lot? This expression can be a little bit tricky because even though it uses a few, which usually means a small amount, this expression really means a lot. The word, "A few" means a little, but when we add quite, we're making this an indirect way to say a lot, quite a few cookies, maybe 20 cookies. This is a lot of cookies for one person to eat, so you might say, "I ate quite a few cookies." You're being indirect about how many cookies you ate, but we know it was a lot, or you could say, "Quite a few students participated in The 30-Day Listening Challenge. This means a lot of students participated in The 30-Day Listening Challenge. If I want to be a little more indirect, then this is a great statement. I could say, "A lot of students participated," but to be a little indirect, we could say, "Quite a few students participated in the course," and I hope you can too. Little to no. What is happening here? Little to no. "I invited 20 people to my party, but little to no people responded." Let's think about this phrase as a scale. Little is on one side, so a few people, a couple people, and then no people are on the other side. Little to no, a lot of people is not even on the scale, so we have a little to no. "Little to no people responded." You could also think about this like one to 10. If we use this same idea with the word two, we're talking about a scale. "One to 10 people responded." Okay. This is the same idea. It's a scale, but you will also hear, "Little to no people responded." What about this sentence? "Last week, he had little to no time to cook. He was so busy." Here, we're talking about little time, maybe like 20 minutes, to no time to cook. He was so busy. "He had little to no time to cook." To be a roller coaster. This is a figurative expression. We're not talking about actually sitting on a roller coaster, which is the ride at an amusement park. Instead, we're going to use this figuratively, and you could say, "Last year was such a roller coaster. I got married, and then I got fired from my job, and then I moved to New York," so there's a lot of positive and negative things that are happening. It's a roller coaster. "I got married, and then I got fired, and then I moved to New York," so we're talking about the ups and downs of life. It's a roller coaster. We often use this word with emotional. "It's an emotional roller coaster. The relationship was an emotional roller coaster for six months." If one of your friends is dating someone and the relationship just isn't very smooth, they don't get along too well, they don't really communicate that well, you might say, "Yeah. That relationship was an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes they loved each other. Sometimes they were so angry. Then, they love each other." "Not a very healthy relationship. It was an emotional roller coaster for six months." What about this expression, "I'm talking"? Does it mean I'm speaking out loud? No. Instead, this is often used to give more information about a specific point. It's kind of a casual expression. Let's imagine this situation, you're sitting in a classroom, and the teacher says, "This semester, we will be studying historical figures. I'm talking Winston Churchill, Genghis Khan, Aristotle." She's giving more information about who are historical figures, so she could have just said, "We will be studying historical figures." Okay, but she wanted to give more clarification about this point, historical figures, so she said, "I'm talking Genghis Khan, Winston Churchill, Aristotle." This is a wide spectrum of people, so that's why she used this expression, "I'm talking." Let's look at another example. "The restaurant was so fancy. I'm talking suit and tie, a local weekly menu, a live cello player." Oh, you're giving more clarification about fancy. What does fancy mean? What is a fancy restaurant? Oh, well, you're going to give us some more details about this point. You're going to talk about a suit and tie. Maybe you had to wear a suit and tie. Maybe the servers wore suit and ties. There's a local weekly menu that changes every week, and there was a live cello player. That's pretty fancy if you ask me, so you're clarifying. I'm talking this, this and this. Great. The next expression is, "At all." At all. This means completely, and it is only used in negative situations. "I haven't studied for my test at all." "I haven't," that's our negative part. "I haven't studied at all," or you could say, "I haven't studied completely," but "At all" is much more natural, so we can add this always to the end of the sentence. "I haven't studied at all," or you could say, "I thought my cats would be annoyed about having a new baby at home, but they don't care at all." "They don't," so we're using that negative word. "They don't care at all." Do they have any care about the new baby? No. None at all. Notice how this is always used at the end of the sentence. Six figures. Are we talking about six people? No. What if I said this sentence, "He wants to be a doctor because he wants a six-figure salary"? Oh, what can you guess? What do you think that this expression means, six-figure salary? Well, we're talking about numbers that have six figures, so this means $100,000 and up. 100,000, 200,000, 300,000. When you're a doctor, at least in the U.S., usually you make a lot of money, so you have a six-figure salary. The term, six-figure, just to note money above 100,000, or you could say, "They earned six figures last year." That talks about how much money they made. I had a student in The 30-Day Listening Challenge ask, "Can you say five figures? For example, I have a five-figure salary. He makes five figures." Not really. We really only use this with six figures, and I think it's just because five figures could be $10,000, which in the U.S. is not a high salary, or it could be $90,000, which is a lot of money, so it doesn't really have the same implication, but when you say six figures, this is always a lot of money. Even if you make 100,000 compared to 900,000, it's still a lot of money, so we only use this when we're talking about six figures in a salary. To go through something. We're not talking about going through a tunnel, instead, this is a figurative, a phrasal verb expression, and it's talking about experiencing a lot of negative things, a lot of negative experiences. You might say, "Last month, I went through a lot." "My grandmother was in the hospital, my car broke down, and I had a terrible cold," So you experienced a lot of negative things. "I went through a lot." You can use this in a more vague situation. You could just say, "You're going through a lot right now. Please take care of yourself." "You're going through a lot." You can use it to talk about your friend, let's say that you're having a dinner party and your friend doesn't come, and someone says, "Hey, why didn't he come?" You might say, "He's going through a lot right now. He needs some quiet time by himself. He's going through a lot." This implies, "He's having a lot of difficult experiences right now, so let's take it easy." Our final expression is, "To make it." Does this mean create something, to make something? No. Instead, to make it means to be successful. You might say, "He's moving to L.A. to become a movie star. I hope he makes it." You can substitute in the sentence and say, "I hope he's successful. I hope he makes it." It here is just his goal. "I hope he makes it," but we always keep this expression together, "Makes it," or we can talk about being successful in a kind of more vague way. You might say, "He drove to the concert through the rain, the snow, the hail, and finally, he made it. He was successfully at his destination. He successfully arrived at his destination, the concert. He made it." It implies struggle, but he was successful in the end. This isn't talking about his career, like going to L.A., becoming a movie star, you made it. No. Instead, he just successfully arrived at his destination. "After all of that, rain, snow, hail, I made it." Great. Excellent work with these 10 new phrases. You opened your mind to these new phrases, so I hope that you'll be able to hear them all around you now. To improve your listening skills and expand your vocabulary, I want to give you a free sample of The 30-Day Listening Challenge. You can check out this video that I made up here, and it's a free sample of one of the lessons so that you can see what wonderful things you can learn, and to be my personal student every day on the challenge, you can join quite a few other students who are taking English seriously, and I hope that you too can make it. Check out this link up here so that you can join the 30-Day Listening Challenge and expand your vocabulary and listening skills each day. Now, I have a question for you. Let me know in the comments, what is something that you take seriously, or maybe what is something that you don't take seriously? Let me know in the comments. Try to use this expression.