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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.

Hi I'm Anne Marie with Speak Confident English and welcome to this week's

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B1 US winter season warmth adrenaline confident english wind

How to Talk about Winter Weather and the Winter Season with Advanced English

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    Emily posted on 2018/09/18
Video vocabulary