Home > Free British Accent Training, Learning Material > British English accent training lesson 17: out of this world

British English accent training lesson 17: out of this world

In this lesson I aim to help you enhance your vocabulary and English pronunciation by discussing the universe surrounding Earth, and associated idioms and expressions. Please see the notes below.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4hOxNjsw24

 

Notes

Space

Solar system

Galaxy (Milky Way – contains 200 billion stars)

The Universe

Aliens / extraterrestrials; otherworldly

 

Our solar system

The Sun (star)

The Moon

Planets (simplified phonetics)

Mercury (MUR-kyuh-ree)

Venus (VEE-nuss)

Earth (urth)

Mars

Jupiter (JOO-pih-tur)

Saturn

Uranus (yur-RAY-nuss)

Neptune (NEP-choon)

Pluto (PLOO-toh) [not technically a planet]

 

The Big Bang

Higgs boson

Large Hadron Collider

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson

 

Signs of the Zodiac (star signs – for your horoscope)

Aries                19 April – 13 May

Taurus             14 May – 19 June

Gemini                        20 June – 20 July

Cancer             21 July – 9 August

Leo                  10 August – 15 September

Virgo               16 September – 30 October

Libra                31 October – 22 November

Scorpio            23 November – 29 November

Sagittarius       18 December – 18 January

Capricorn        19 January – 15 February

Aquarius          16 February – 11 March

Pisces              12 March – 18 April

 

 

Otherworldly idioms and expressions

 

“Out of this world”

Describe something that is really amazing:

“That goal last night was out of this world.”

 

Over the moon / on cloud nine

If you are “over the moon” or “on cloud nine”, you’re absolutely delighted and very happy about something:

EXAMPLE

“Manchester United supporters are over the moon / on cloud nine today.”

 

On / from a different planet

Used interchangeably with “on” and “from” with two polemic meanings:

Describe someone who seems a bit crazy or unrealistic:

“You talk such nonsense sometimes, you’re on a different planet, I swear.”

Describe someone or something which is so amazing they can’t be from this world:

“She’s special, she’s from a different planet.”

NOTE: be very careful to understand the context so you know if it is the positive or negative.

 

Someone is a “star”

They are wonderful / very special / talented at something:

“Thanks so much, you’re a star!”

“Star” can be a very positive adjective too:

“She’s a star employee within that organisation.”

 

Reach / aim for the stars

Seek lofty dreams / goals / objectives:

Reach for the stars – you can do anything you set your mind to.”

 

Once in a blue moon

Describe something that happens very rarely:

“He’s actually completed his homework! That happens about once in a blue moon.”

 

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” (The sexes are so different as to be from separate planets.)

 

Further reading

Scientists and religious clerics meeting together:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19997789

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