CSP #36 - What Would You Change About Yourself

CSP #36: What Would You Change About Yourself?

Hello, dear listeners, and welcome to Episode 36 of the C1 Speaking Podcast! If you have listened to the previous episodes, you know all about my practice routine designed to supercharge your English speaking skills.

Today, we’re not only going to answer an intriguing question, but we’re also going to apply our routine. So, without further ado, let’s go!

Question: Kristian, tell me, what would you change about yourself?

Answer: Ah, that’s an easy one. What I’d consider changing about myself is, interestingly, not related to my interpersonal skills. You see, I find it fairly easy to get along with almost everyone I meet, although I’d describe myself as quite introverted. No, the one thing I feel I need to really improve is organisation, particularly when it comes to financial record-keeping and administrative tasks. To put it bluntly, I’m rather inept at managing this stuff, so much so that I have asked a friend to help me get things in order. So, yes, if you ask me this question, I’d say being better organised in administrative matters is something I’d really like to improve.

 

Collocation Explanations

Here are three interesting collocations from the model answer:

1. Fairly easy: “Fairly” emphasises that the task at hand is easily accomplished, but not to an extreme degree.

    → Example: Learning to ride a bike was fairly easy for her; she only fell once before she got the hang of it.

2. Put it bluntly: Used to preface a direct, straightforward, or frank statement, possibly at the risk of sounding harsh.

    → Example: To put it bluntly, your performance has not met the company’s expectations, and we need to see improvement.

3. To be rather inept at: Describes a lack of skill in a particular area, emphasising the level of inadequacy.

    → Example: He is rather inept at cooking; the last time he tried to make pasta, he ended up burning the sauce.

 

Collocation Practice

Collocation: “Fairly Easy”

1. Repeat

   → Your turn: “Fairly easy.”

2. Say the opposite

   → Original: “The test was fairly easy.”

   → Possible answers:

  • “The test was fairly difficult.” 
  • “The test was not easy at all.”

3. Change tense

   → Original: “Understanding the instructions is fairly easy.”

   → Possible answers:

  • “Understanding the instructions was fairly easy.” 
  • “Understanding the instructions will be fairly easy.”

4. Substitute

   → Original: “The recipe is fairly easy to follow.”

   → Your answer: “The manual is fairly easy to follow.”

5. Synonyms

   → Original: “The task was fairly easy.”

   → Your answer:

  • “The task was reasonably simple.” 
  • “The task was quite straightforward.”

6. Say something true for you

   → Original: “Learning to ride a bike is fairly easy.”

   → Your answer:

  • “For me, learning to cook basic recipes is fairly easy.” 
  • “I find using smartphones fairly easy.”

 

Collocation: “Put it Bluntly”

1. Repeat

   → Your turn: “Put it bluntly.”

2. Say the opposite

   → Original: “To put it bluntly, you’re wrong.”

   → Possible answers: “To put it diplomatically, you’re mistaken.”

3. Change tense

   → Original: “I‘m going to put it bluntly.”

   → Possible answers:

  • “I put it bluntly.” 
  • “I will put it bluntly.”

4. Substitute

   → Original: “The teacher put it bluntly that the student’s performance was not up to par.”

   → Your answer: “The coach put it bluntly that the team’s performance was poor.”

5. Synonyms

   → Original: “To put it bluntly, it was a disaster.”

   → Your answer:

  • To say it outright, it was a catastrophe.” 
  • To put it plainly, it was a mess.”

6. Say something true for you

   → Original: “To put it bluntly, the food was terrible.”

   → Your answer:

  • To put it bluntly, I don’t enjoy doing chores.” 
  • To put it bluntly, I need to improve my time management.”

 

Collocation: “To Be Rather Inept At”

1. Repeat

   → Your turn: “To be rather inept at.”

2. Say the opposite

   → Original: “She is rather inept at cooking.”

   → Possible answers: “She is rather proficient at cooking.”

3. Change tense

   → Original: “He is rather inept at public speaking.”

   → Possible answers: “He was rather inept at public speaking.”

4. Substitute

   → Original: “The company is rather inept at marketing.”

   → Your answer: “The team is rather inept at strategizing.”

5. Synonyms

   → Original: “I am rather inept at maths.”

   → Your answer:

  • “I am rather clumsy at maths.” 
  • “I am rather unskilled at maths.”

6. Say something true for you

   → Original: “Many people are rather inept at managing their time.”

   → Your answer:

  • “I am rather inept at multitasking” 
  • “I find myself rather inept at remembering names.”

 

And there we have it, friends! We’ve just applied our practice routine to three essential collocations, helping us not only understand but also effectively use them in our conversations.

Remember, this routine is part of my Ace C1 Speaking Course, available on my website. Just click on the PRACTISE FREE button to get started.

Thank you for joining me today! I hope you found this episode enriching. If you enjoy my podcast, don’t forget to leave a review or share it with your friends. Until next time, stay curious, keep learning, and as always, happy speaking! 

Speak soon, my friends! Bye-bye!

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