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Vocabulary Quiz
any chance • colonized • make it
face of the • your step
  1. We have to back here by 4 o'clock for your basketball practice.
  2. Have you seen my keys by ?
  3. Most of this area was in the 1600s.
  4. Watch around here because there are a lot of snakes.
  5. He basically fell off the earth after high school.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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133 Malaysia
Phil talks about his travels in Malaysia and a historical city he likes.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

by any chance

By any chance did you go to Malaysia?

We use the phrase 'by any chance' when we are asking if something is true or possible, but we don't really expect the answer to be yes. Notice the following:

  1. You don't, by any chance, have an extra umbrella I could borrow?
  2. Can you take care of my daughter on Friday night, by any chance?


We learned about the colonization of Malaysia.

To 'colonize' a place is to establish a colony or area to live there.  Colonization happened frequently from the 1600s until the 1800s, when countries were exploring new lands and making towns in the new places.  Usually this involved conquering the local people.  Notice the following:

  1. Teaching people about religion was part of the colonization process.
  2. They planned to colonize the new territory.

make it back

I just made it back.

The phrase 'make it back' means to return from another place but the return trip was either long or difficult.  Notice the following:

  1. How did you make it back after your car stopped  working.
  2. Sorry.  I'm not going to make it back in time for our meeting.

face of the earth

Jim Thompson vanished from the face of the earth.

If someone falls off 'the face of the earth' he has disappeared and you don't see or communicate with him anymore.  The face of the earth is literally the ground we stand on, but we usually use to talk about all the parts of Earth in a general sense.  Notice the following:

  1. Where have you been?  I thought you had fallen off the face of the earth.
  2. It feels like all the good people have disappeared from the face of the earth.

watch your step

Be careful if you go hiking. Watch your step.

Literally, 'watch your step' means be careful where you put your feet, but we use this phrase to tell someone to be careful.  Notice the following:

  1. When you start a new job it is always important to watch your step until you figure out the rules.
  2. Watch your step when you work with her.  She has a habit of not telling the truth.