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Урок 20. Expressing dislikes. (Выражение нежелания.)

Callum: Hello, I’m Callum Robertson and this is How to …, the series from BBC Learning English dot com that shows you how to do things in English.

In an earlier programme we looked at different ways of saying that you like something. In this programme we’re going to be looking at the other side, talking about things you don’t like.

There are of course a lot of different ways of talking about your dislikes. In this programme we’ll start by looking at a few simple ways to answer a basic question. In the programme on likes we had a situation where someone was inviting a friend to dinner. She asked the question ‘Do you like Chinese food?’

This time we’re going to ask the same question, but in a different way.

Example
How do you feel about Chinese food?

Callum: ‘How do you feel about Chinese food?’ This time though the answers aren’t so positive. Listen to this one.

Example
How do you feel about Chinese food?
To be honest, I don’t really like it.

Callum: ‘To be honest, I don’t really like it.’ Notice that before he answers he uses the phrase, ‘to be honest’. This is an expression to use when you are going to say
something you think is not good news for the person asking. The next thing he said was:

Example
I don’t really like it.

Callum: ‘I don’t really like it.’ We saw in the programme on likes that using the adverb ‘really’ before the verb makes the feeling stronger. But it’s not the same with negatives. Putting ‘really’ before ‘like’ here is actually another way to soften the strength of the statement. Again, like using ‘to be honest’, it’s a way of trying not to disappoint the speaker too much.

Example
To be honest, I don’t really like it.

Callum: But, by moving the adverb ‘really’ to a different part of the sentence you can express a strong dislike. Listen to this example.

Example
How do you feel about Chinese food?
I really don’t like it.

Callum: ‘I really don’t like it.’ This is a strong expression of dislike. The adverb ‘really’ goes before the auxiliary. This is much stronger. Compare the two, and remember that ‘really’ before the auxiliary makes the feeling stronger and ‘really’ before the verb makes the emotion softer.

Example
I don’t really like it.
I really don’t like it.

Callum: Today we’re looking at things you don’t like. We’ve heard this strong expression.

Example
I really don’t like it.

Callum: Here’s another one.

Example
How do you feel about Chinese food?
I can’t stand it!

Callum: ‘I can’t stand it!’ That is a very strong statement! This is a very good expression for things you don’t like. ‘I can’t stand it.’ Notice that, although it has the word can’t which ends in the sound /t/, that sound is not pronounced when you say the expression. Listen again.

Example
I can’t stand it!

Callum: ‘I – can’t – stand – it’ becomes ‘I can’t stand it’

And although this is a very strong statement we can make it even stronger by putting the adverb ‘really’ into the sentence. Where do you think it goes to makes this stronger? Before the auxiliary ‘can’t’ or before the verb ‘stand’? Listen carefully to find out.

Example
How do you feel about Chinese food?
I really can’t stand it!

Callum: To make the expression stronger put ‘really’ before the negative auxiliary.

Example
I really can’t stand it

Callum: Let’s now recap the expressions that we’ve looked at today. I’m going to say the phrases and give you time to repeat them.

To be honest
I don’t really like it
I really don’t like it
I can’t stand it
I really can’t stand it

Well done. Now, to finish we’re going to listen to a short conversation in which you can hear some of these expressions being used. Which ones do you hear, and what decision does Helen make about her dinner party.

Example conversation
Helen: Hi Finn! I’m having a dinner party on Saturday night, Neil’s coming, would you like to come?
Finn: Yes, sounds good, what are we having?
Helen: How do you feel about Chinese food?
Finn: Well, to be honest, I don’t really like it, I had a bad experience once.
Helen: Oh, well, do you like Italian food?
Finn: No, I can’t stand it.
Helen: Mmmm, what about French?
Finn: I love it!
Helen: Great, that’s good news. I’ll do a French meal. See you on Saturday at 7.
Finn: I’m looking forward to it.

Callum: Oh, poor Helen, she has to change her plans. Now she’s going to make a French meal. We heard the expressions ‘to be honest’, ‘I don’t really like it’ and ‘I can’t stand it’. That’s all from this programme. We’ve looked at some simple expressions for saying that you don’t like something, we’ve looked at using the adverb ‘really’ to make something stronger or softer, and we’ve also seen how sometimes sounds in English words disappear when you are speaking.