Brian asks Fanny about how hard it might be speaking English in China.
Brian: Hey Fanny.
Fanny: Hey, Brian.
Brian: How’s it going?
Fanny: Not bad.
Brian: Alright, so we’re asking each other questions about our countries, and last question that I asked was “when is the best time to visit?” but I have another question to ask if you don’t mind.
Fanny: Yeah, sure go ahead.
Brian: As you might have noticed I’m not Chinese, and I don’t speak any Chinese.
Brian: Is it going to be hard for someone who only speaks English to travel in your country?
Fanny: Yeah, that’s a good question. You know, I mean if you go to China and now if you cannot speak Chinese, of course it will be a little bit difficult for you because you know there will be 2008 Olympic games, in Beijing right, 2008 so there are a lot of Chinese people who can speak English right there so I think they can help you.
Brian: See, I don’t know if I would be going during the Olympic Games because, like, maybe it’s really crowded and really kind of busy. I’m thinking to go like maybe before that when it may be a bit quieter.
Fanny: Hmmm … sorry. I think maybe I made you confused, I mean because people are getting ready for the Olympic Games,so people are just, you know, learn English to communicate with foreigners to help them and to guide them … I mean, what I meant, you can find a lot of people who can speak English there.
Brian: Oh, so because of the games many people are learning English … but I could still … even if I didn’t go during that time, English people are still around.
Fanny: Right, right exactly. If you go to the shops most people there can already speak English, Japanese or Korean.
Brian: Oh really?
Fanny: Yeah, so …
Brian: Very talented people in your country.
Fanny: Yeah, we can say that.
if you don’t mind
I have another question to ask if you don’t mind. We use the phrase ‘if you dont mind’ to make a request more polite. Notice the following:
- If you don’t mind, can we change seats?
- If you don’t mind, can I give my friend your telephone number?
as you may have noticed
As you might have noticed I’m not Chinese. We use the phrase ‘as you may have noticed’ to talk about things we can easily see. Notice the following:
- As you may have noticed, this is not a safe city.
- As people are noticing, she is doing really good work.
maybe I made you confused. When something is not clear or difficult to understand, we get confused. Notice the following:
- The lecture really had me confused.
- The instructions did not help. They just confused me.
Because of the games many people are learning English. The phrase ‘because of’ means ‘as a result of’. Notice the following:
- The game was cancelled because of the rain.
- Because of the weekend traffic, we stayed home.
During that time, English people are still around. We use the word ‘still’ to talk about a situation that started in the past and is continuing now. Notice the following:
- That show is still on TV. It has been on for years.
- As you may have noticed, he is still here.
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