Views #1237 | Intermediate (B1)

Freaks and Animals

Julia and Todd discuss names for people with certain habits or lifestyles.

Todd: So, Julia, let's talk about types of people.

Julia: OK.

Todd: Right, first one, are you a fitness freak?

Julia: A fitness freak? I'm fairly fit but I'm not a freak. No, I'm not a fitness freak, no.

Todd: So you exercise but it's not like you do it all the time?

Julia: No, and I do some unhealthy stuff as well. I like to drink and I'm a former smoker and yes, no I'm not a fitness freak.

Todd: Right. I think a fitness freak is like somebody who does it, who exercises compulsively.

Julia: I indulge in bad stuff too so no I'm not a fitness freak.

Todd: OK, so that leads us to the next question. Are you a party animal?

Julia: Not any more. I'm too old now.

Todd: When you were younger, you were a party animal?

Julia: I think, yeah, that was probably the type that I most fitted into.

Todd: Nice. I was never a party animal.

Julia: No?

Todd: No, I've always been pretty tame. I've always been pretty tame.

Julia: Yes, I was pretty wild when I was younger.

Todd: Really?

Julia: Yeah.

Todd: So you used to drink, smoke, stay up late?

Julia: Yeah. All that and more, yeah.

Todd: Come home in the wee hours of the morning?

Julia: Oh, yeah.

Todd: Oh, nice, that's cool. OK, next one would be do you know anybody in your family who's a couch potato?

Julia: Couch potato?

Todd: Because I know that you're not a couch potato.

Julia: I'm not a couch potato, no. My brother sometimes demonstrates couch potato traits.

Todd: Yeah.

Julia: He likes to play video games and stuff like that and he'll spend a lot of time watching movies and so he does spend a lot of time sedentary compared to me. He makes me look like a fitness freak, I guess, because he doesn't do so much exercise.

Todd: Right. And so for people listening a couch potato is somebody who watches a lot of TV and sits on the couch.

Julia: Spends a lot of time on the couch, yeah.

Todd: Well, how about the similar personality trait of the bookworm? Are you a bookworm?

Julia: A bookworm? No, but I think my husband's probably a bookworm.

Todd: Yeah?

Julia: He spends a lot of time reading books. He reads very fast so he gets through a lot of books.

Todd: He's a speed reader?

Julia: Yeah, he's a very fast reader and he has to read. He has to have a book with him all the time. He cannot, a waiting room or on a train or any situation where you've just got to sit around, he cannot do it if he doesn't have a book.

Todd: Yeah. You know I live alone and that's a terrible trait that I have. I cannot sit and eat and just eat without something to occupy my attention. I have to read or I have to be like watching something on the computer and if I go to a waiting room or anything like that or I'm on a plane I'm the same. I have to have something to read. It drives me nuts.

Julia: You see I can't read on transport because I get sick. It makes me sick, it makes me nauseous.

Todd: Like motion sickness?

Julia: Yeah. So I don't have a habit of reading on a train. A bus or a car, oh my God no, I can't read. No way but my husband reads everywhere all the time.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson



A fitness freak is someone who exercises compulsively.

If you do something 'compulsively,' you have an irresistible desire to do it. It's like something inside of you tells you that you must do it. Notice the following:

  1. It's hard to relax around him, because he compulsively does things with his hands.
  2. She is always compulsively touching her hair.



I've always been pretty tame.

Here, 'tame' is the opposite of wild. Instead of being a crazy party boy, Todd was calmer and more relaxed. Notice the following:

  1. Her boyfriend is a little too tame for her.
  2. She's usually kind of wild at bars, but she was tame tonight.

wee hours


Did you come home in the wee hours of the morning?

The 'wee hours' of the morning would be the time when the sun starts coming up. Notice the following:

  1. I'm exhausted because I was awake until the wee hours of the morning finishing this paper last night.
  2. He always stays out until the wee hours of the morning when he goes out with his friends.



He spends a lot of time sedentary compared to me.

You are 'sedentary' when you don't move around very much or do physical activity. Watching TV is a sedentary action. Notice the following:

  1. After breaking her leg, she had to be completely sedentary for six weeks.
  2. He has gained a lot of weight since he started a more sedentary job.

drives me nuts


I have to have something to read. It drives me nuts.

Something that 'drives you nuts' irritates you or makes you feel crazy. Notice the following:

  1. It drives me nuts the way he talks with food in his mouth.
  2. This song drives him nuts, so I always play it when he is around.



I can't read on transport because I get nauseous.

When are 'nauseous, ' you feel like you want to vomit. Notice the following:

  1. This medicine will keep you from getting nauseous in the car.
  2. I think I ate too many sweets, because I'm feeling very nauseous now.

Vocabulary Quiz

compulsive • tame • wee • sedentary • drove
nauseous • insomnia • worry • tendency
  1. Don't be such a wart. Everything is going to be fine.
  2. If you stay awake until the hours of the morning every day, you will always be tired.
  3. That smell is kind of making me .
  4. is a huge problem for me when I get stressed.
  5. I need to find a job that isn't so .
  6. His older brothers are crazy, but he's always been very .
  7. It's her to apologize for things that are not her fault.
  8. She is very about doing exercise every day.
  9. There was a women who talked on her phone almost the whole bus ride and me crazy.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Try These Lessons

1140 Big Picture
1240 Big Picture
Vella talks about her life plans.

1239 Big Plans
1239 Big Plans
Daniel talks with Vella about his hopes.

1238 More Freaks
1238 More Freaks
Julia and Todd discuss certain traits.

1237 Freaks and Animals
1237 Freaks and Animals
Julia and Todd discuss certain lifestyles.

1236 Hotel for Her
1236 Hotel for Her
Erina's ideal hotel when traveling.
Courses for Students and Teachers

One Minute English Videos

Views English Lessons

Mixer English Lessons

Learn Academic English with News Stories

About the Teacher / Creator

Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
Contact Me Here