English Listenign Lesson Lab Online
Views #35 | Low Intermediate 4


David talks about movies and a few he's seen and liked recently.
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Todd: All right. Tennessee, you were talking about how you like movies.

Tenn: Yes, I'm a big movie buff.

Todd: OK. What kind of movies do you like?

Tenn: I kind of like most genres of movies. It's just-- what I look for is a good story and good characters is the main thing. So even if I like the genre, if like whether it be science fiction or historical drama, if the story isn't good then I don't like it at all.

Todd: OK. Off the top of your head, what's a movie that you really liked?

Tenn: Well, the Lord Of the Rings they've been doing I really have enjoyed.

Todd: Uh-huh.

Tenn: They did a good job.

Todd: Did you read the books?

Tenn: Oh, yes! It was one of the first adult books I've read when I was in elementary school.

Todd: OK. Well, what is the last movie you saw?

Tenn: The last movie I saw, Pirates of the Carribean.

Todd: OK. Was it any good?

Tenn: Ah, it wasn't bad.

Todd: It wasn't bad.

Tenn: Yeah.

Todd: Alright, thanks a lot.

Tenn: I like pirates.

Todd: You like pirates. What? You like pirates?

Tenn: Oh, yeah! You know, when you're a kid, pirates is the thing to be.

Todd: Yeah!

Tenn: Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

Todd: OK. All right. Thanks Tennessee.

Tenn: OK.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

movie buff

I'm a big movie buff.

A 'movie buff' is someone who is really interested in movies and watches a lot of them.  We can put the word buff after many nouns to show that the person is interested and knowledgeable about that topic, like car buff or sports buff.  Notice the following:

  1. He was a big movie buff when he was younger
  2. I have nothing to contribute in a conversation with movie buffs.


I like most genres of movies.

A 'genre' is like a category or a type of something.  For movies, horror, comedy and romance are examples of genres.  Notice the following:

  1. Her favorite genre is romantic comedy.
  2. What kind of genre do you like to read?

off the top of the head

Off the top of your head, what's a movie that you really liked?

To give an answer 'off the top of the head' is to say the first answer that comes to your mind.  When we answer like this we don't think about our answer or the question for a long time, instead we give our first response.  Notice the following:

  1. He can answer most history questions off the top of his head.
  2. Can you give me an example off the top of your head?

wasn't bad

[Was it good?] No, the movie wasn't bad.

If a movie 'wasn't bad' it means that it was average, or not fantastic, but not terrible.  Many times our body language will show what we really mean with this statement.  In some cases 'not bad' can really mean pretty good.  Notice the following:

  1. The food wasn't bad, but the service was terrible.
  2. That bus ride wasn't too bad.

the thing to be

When you're a kid, pirates is the thing to be.

The 'thing to be' is something that is popular right now.  We can use the phrase 'the thing' in front of many verbs to show what is popular now.  Notice the following:

  1. Tacos are the thing to eat in Mexico.
  2. iPads are the thing to have this year.

Vocabulary Quiz

music buff • genre • off the top
wasn't bad • thing to do
  1. Skydiving is the when you visit.
  2. Do you know her phone number of your head?
  3. What do you mostly see?
  4. She is a real . She knows the lyrics to thousands of songs.
  5. He thought the movie , but I really liked it.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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