Ted Talk 2

Ted Talks #2: Learn Something New for 30 Days

This is our second Ted Talk post and is by Matt Cutts called, “Try Something New for 30 Days.”

Before you start the video, I’d like you to think about the following questions:

- What have you achieved in the past thirty days?
- What things do you do on a daily basis that are a waste of time?
- Have you tried something new recently?

(NOTE: We use the present perfect in the first question as “the past thirty days” is a present time expression and it still is connected to the present.)

Now, let’s take a look at the video:

The Clip

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Analysis

To be stuck in a rut / To be in a rut

To be stuck in a rut means that you aren’t making progress and you are doing the same things all the time. Matt got out of his rut by trying something new for 30 days.

Here are more examples:

  • My work is so boring and I’m not progressing. I’m stuck in a rut.
  • I don’t want to get stuck in a rut with this novel I’m writing. I need some inspiration.

To follow in the footsteps

Matt says, “I decided to follow in the footsteps of the great American philosopher..” This means to copy someone or do something that is very similar to someone you know. A lot of the time, this is to do something similar to your parents.

  • My friend followed in his father’s footsteps and became a painter.
  • I’m going to follow in your footsteps by travelling to Argentina next year.

The months flying by

If time flies by, it means that it goes by very quickly. There is one particular expression here:

  • Time flies when you’re having fun.

To want something badly enough

To want something badly means that you really want something.

  • (A football manager to his players): How badly do you want to win this game?
  • If you want to speak English badly enough, you’ll work at it every day.

They were more likely to stick

If something sticks it means that it continues. When Matt made small changes, he said that he was more likely to continue doing these things, that they were more likely to stick.

Give it a shot

This is an American expression that means to give it a go, or try it out. It is usually used when the risks are low and the potential outcome is positive.

  • (Talking to a friend who likes a girl): Go on, talk to her, give it a shot.
  • I’m going to give this new project a shot.

Exercise

Choose the best option (taken from the talk):


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Name: Email:
  • Sergio

    Great lesson my friend! Thanks!

  • Jaroslava Svajcrova

    Tedova ?e? m?la velmi dobrou výslovnost, proto jsem jí velmi dob?e rozum?la. Obsah byl veselý a velmi p?ínosný (proti prakrastinaci). Ted je jist? velmi vzd?laný a p?emýšlivý ?lov?k. Mám ho ráda od prvního okamžiku. Takové lidi chci potkat celý sv?j život.

    Ted’s speech was with very good pronunciation , so I understood it very well . Content was cheerful and very helpful ( against prokrastination ) . Ted is certainly very educated and thoughtful person . I liked him from the first moment . The such people I want to meet in my whole life . Thank you.

  • Amsaa

    Wow! Many information can a learner get from your lessons. May God bless you :)

  • samaneh

    i have learned many practical expressions in my first challenge .thank u jack for your help

  • Simon

    Hi, very intersting approach to do something new. I will read your blog posts and do the exercises every day (hopefully). Simon