REAL ENGLISH CONVERSATION | Learn Real English From Real English Conversations Episode 4

By watching this video lesson, you will learn how to finally have a real English conversation.


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Short Description: Discussing various aspects of crime

Conversation PART #1 [03:06 – 03:39]


  1. Stuart: “So is there violence in America, Yes. Is that something that you necessarily like have to worry about when you’re here? Yeah, it’s in the back of your mind. You gotta be alert and you gotta be smart. But now that we’re having some kind of constraints, I’ll kinda shift gears and I’ll say that the most common crime in America, I would say, what you would consider a white-collar crime.”
  2. Tiffani: “Mmhmm…”
  3. Stuart: “And you know, for lack of a better term, that’s the big guy screwing over the little guy.”

Words / Expressions / Patterns + Definitions + 3 Example Sentences

  1. In/At the back of your mind
    1. Meaning: If something is at/in the back of your mind, you intend to do it, but are not actively thinking about it
      1. “It’s been at the back of my mind to call José for several days now, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.”
      2. “The thought that Paul might leave was always at the back of her mind.”
      3. “In the back of her mind, she knew he was lying.”
  2. Be alert
    1. Meaning: quick to notice any unusual and potentially dangerous or difficult circumstances; vigilant
      1. “An alert police officer discovered a truck full of explosives.”
      2. “The therapist should be alert to the possibilities of a patient losing all hope.”
      3. “Parents should be alert to sudden changes in children’s behavior.”
  3. Shift gears
    1. Meaning: To start thinking or acting in a new way, especially more quickly than before
      1. “We had to shift gears at the end of the year.”
      2. “The team will need to shift gears and play at a higher level than before.”
      3. “Sometimes you just have to shift gears to get things done.”
  4. White-collar crime
    1. Meaning: A crime that typically involves stealing money from a company and is done by people in important positions
      1. “Embezzlement is a white-collar crime.”
      2. “The movie was all about a white-collar crime.”
      3. “White collar crimes are a big issue in America.”
  5. Screw someone over
    1. Meaning: Treat someone unfairly; cheat or swindle someone
      1. “They tried to screw them over.”
      2. “Don’t try to screw me over.”
      3. “Did they screw you over?”

Breakdown / Analysis

  1. Rephrasing
    1. In this part of the conversation, Stuart is giving more details about his response. He first says his answer and then rephrases it to make sure his words have been clearly understood. This is something that is very important to English fluency.
    2. So remember these three things when you are trying to clearly express your opinion:
      1. State your opinion
      2. Restate your opinion using different words
      3. Make sure that you restate your opinion using simpler words

Conversation PART #2 [03:39 – 04:39]


  1. Stuart: “So many lower-class Americans are being taken advantage of by people that have it, you know. Like people that don’t need to take advantage of them. You know, there are people like some of the hardest working people are getting less for their work.”
  2. Tiffani: “Mmhmm.”
  3. Stuart: “The least for their work. And then on top of that, their pockets are literally being stolen from. You look at a scenario like Enron.”
  4. Tiffani: “Mmhmm, mmhmm.”
  5. Stuart: “These people work for this company, you know, and like the guy who ran the company literally pocketed their retirement ****and he’s just like. “Yep, sorry guys.” Like, you know, like your money’s gone. He does a short little stint in jail and he still gets to keep that money.”
  6. Tiffani: “Yeah.”
  7. Stuart: “And meanwhile, these people that have worked for this company, regular people like you and me.”
  8. Tiffani: “They’re out of luck.”
  9. Stuart: “They’re straight outta luck.”
  10. Tiffani: “Mmhmm.”
  11. Stuart: “That’s going to change their life.”
  12. Tiffani: “Mmhmm”
  13. Stuart: “You know…That’s life-changing for them.”

Words / Expressions / Patterns + Definitions + 3 Example Sentences

  1. Lower-class
    1. Meaning: The economic group with the least wealth and power in society
      1. “He claims his flat-tax proposal would help middle-class and lower-class Americans.”
      2. “She described the brutal realities of lower-class life during the Depression.”
      3. “Education now offers the lower classes access to job opportunities.”
  2. Take advantage of someone
    1. Meaning: If someone takes advantage of you, they treat you unfairly for their own benefit, especially when you are trying to be kind or to help them.
    1. “She took advantage of him even after they were divorced.”
    2. “Don’t lend them the car. I think they’re taking advantage of you!”
    3. “The enemy could not fail to see the opportunity and take advantage of it.”
  3. Stint
    1. Meaning: A period of time which you spend doing a particular job or activity or working in a particular place
      1. “He is returning to this country after a five-year stint in Hong Kong.”
      2. “Perhaps her most productive period was her five-year stint as a foreign correspondent in New York.”
      3. “He has just finished a stint of compulsory military service.”
  4. Out of luck
    1. Meaning: Having bad fortune, experiencing a misfortune
      1. “I think you are out of luck.”
      2. “You are basically out of luck.”
      3. “We were out of luck.”

Breakdown / Analysis

  1. Real-Life Story/Example
    1. In this part of the conversation, Stuart starts to talk about Enron. He gives details about the owner and the employees, in order to prove his point about the lower class being treated in an unfair way.
    2. So remember this rule when you are giving your opinion or story:
      1. Always tell a connecting story that will help people understand the reality of what you are saying
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