Hi, my name is Rebecca, and in today's lesson, I'm going to show you how to stop using lazy
English and start using energetic English. How do you do this? Very easy. For the next
few minutes, I'd like you to participate in a little experiment with me. I'd like you
to pretend that you are a professor, and join me in checking these sentences on the board.
So, six students wrote these sentences in an English exam, and what I'd like you to
do is to help me to decide which students, which two students should get the highest
marks. Let's start looking at the sentences. Number one wrote:
"It was a good lecture."
Two: "It was an interesting lecture."
Three: "It was an informative lecture."
Out of these three students, which student do you think should get the highest marks?
Think about it. Well, according to me, it would be the third student. Let's look at
another set of sentences. Number four wrote:
"I had a bad week." Student number five wrote:
"I had a tiring week." And student number six wrote:
"I had an exhausting week." Again, put on your professor's cap and tell
me: which student do you think should get the best marks? Which one? Well, according
to me, it would be student number six. Now, why did we - I think you probably chose
the same ones as me -, why did we choose student number three and student number six? Why did
we choose these responses and why didn't we choose one and four? Because one and four
use the words: "good" and "bad". And what I'd like you to learn in this lesson is to
use any words when you're speaking or writing other than: "good" or "bad". Why? Because
"good" and "bad" are overly used, they're rather boring words, and they're not very
descriptive words; they don't tell us anything specific, they're very vague, they're very
general. What I'd like you to do instead is to do what
these other students went on to do which is to be more detailed, more specific, more descriptive,
more energetic, more dynamic in your speaking and in your writing. This one change will
make a tremendous difference in the way that you speak and definitely in the way that you
write. This is a really important lesson if you're planning to appear for the TOEFL, or
the IELTS, or the TOEIC exam, or any English proficiency exam, or even if you're just in
school and you're submitting assignments and essays. This one technique of getting rid
of the words: "good" and "bad" and replacing them with more interesting words is going
to give you a much higher score. Next, I'll show you exactly how you can do this.
So, now I'll show you how to avoid using the lazy words: "good", "nice", or "bad", and
start using more powerful words instead. All right? You're going to go from the basic,
to the intermediate, to the advanced level word or you could say the more vague word,
general word to a clear word, to a more specific word. Okay? That's what you want to keep in
mind when you're coming up with your words. I've just given you some examples, but you
can certainly come up with lots of other examples. Let's look at some of these.
A "good" meal. A "tasty" meal. A "delicious" meal.
We had a "nice" evening. Okay. We had a "fun" evening. We had an "enjoyable" evening.
It was a really "good" meeting. It was a "useful" meeting. It was a "productive" meeting.
You see how I'm adding so much more information with the more powerful vocabulary. Right?
More detailed vocabulary. We had a "nice" holiday. Well, what is "nice"?
"Nice" is a very general word. If you want to stay general, you can still use a better
word. So here I've given you an example: we had a "pleasant" holiday. We had a "relaxing"
holiday. Okay? So… Oh, I'm sorry. We had a "pleasant" holiday. Or: we had a "delightful"
holiday. That's if you want to stay more general. If, by "nice holiday", you meant that it was
really a quiet holiday, then say: "quiet". A better word than "quiet" is: we had a "relaxing"
holiday. Okay? So you see how you're being more specific because when I say: "I had a
nice holiday", it doesn't tell you very much; just gives you a very general impression.
Let's continue with using the word: "bad". Also, another very overused word.
It was a really "bad" journey. It was a "difficult" journey. It was a "problematic" journey. "Problematic"
means there were many problems that you had or that you encountered on the way, during
your journey. It was a… Such a "bad" experience. It was
such a "scary" experience. It was a "traumatic" experience, from the word: "trauma". Okay?
Now, obviously, the intensity can also change. So it depends what you want to say, but sometimes
it's more interesting when you change the intensity as well.
I had such a "bad" day. I had a really "hard" day. I had an extremely "stressful" day. Okay?
You can see I'm changing many words there. That's a "bad" song. That's a "sad" song.
That's a "depressing" song. Okay? Now, here, I changed… Of course "bad" and "sad" don't
mean the same thing, but I gave it a particular meaning. All right? So, in this case, it was
bad for me because it was sad. Or even better: it was depressing. All right? You… Or you
could… It could be a bad song for many other reasons.
And the weather… This country has such "bad" weather sometimes. Such "cold" weather. Such
"freezing" weather or "arctic" weather. All right? So this is an example of what you
can do to stop using lazy English and start using more energetic English. This is a wonderful
game, you can play it by yourself when you're on the bus, or while you're walking down the
street, or in the subway. Look at people around you, look at places around you. Try to think
of words to describe them. Start with positive things: "She looks good.", "She looks pretty.",
"She looks beautiful.", "He loo…" Okay? Things like that or about a place. Try to
avoid "good", "nice", "bad". Even "interesting" is overly used so try to find better and better
words. After a little while, it will become second nature. "It will become second nature"
means it will come to you more automatically to use a more interesting word, a more dynamic
word, and a more energetic word than simply saying: "good" or "bad".
I've also done something for you, I've written a resource on our website: www.engvid.com
where I've written a list of words that you could use instead of saying: "good" or "bad"
to describe a variety of different things. You could also go to our website: www.engvid.com
to do a quiz on this subject. So thanks very much for watching. Good luck with your English.