Typical days | Bangkok Post: learning

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Typical days

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Here are some real (not classroom) examples of people talking about their typical days. We get some very good examples of the use of the simple present, plus some good listening practice as well. 

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Typical days

One topic that is often used for simple present practice is “my typical day”. Here, we don’t talk about what we are doing at this moment, but what we typically, normally do.

Below are some real examples from people who are not practicing for an English class, but who are actually talking about what their typical days are like.

Medical school students

Students at LSU Medical School in Shreveport, LA talk about what a typical day is like in the life of a first year student. Although the school is in the southern part of the United States, only one student, Kilee, has a noticeable southern accent.

Sanjai: My typical day as a student within the first year would be pretty much classroom…

Mario: Right now, we’ll do anatomy lab for a couple hours, until about noon…

Joshua: Maybe histology lab, something that’s more hands-on.

Van: We’ll go into the lab where we look at the brain sections and study the different parts of the brain, so that’s interesting.

Kilee: On days that we don’t have lab, we just have four hour-long lectures and you go home for noon most days and you study.

Jennifer: I will usually start the process of studying by listening to the lecture a second time around and then reading notes that they have printed out for us and then I have to take notes on those lectures, so normally I have about three lectures, so I’ll go ahead and study from probably, say, two until six, go home and eat dinner and then probably starting back up around seven, just kind of go over things that I think I missed or just review things to make sure that I really have a good basis for the…information that they’ve given us for the day.

typical – happening in the usual way; showing what something is usually like ตามแบบฉบับ, ตามปกติ
accent – a way of saying words that shows what country, region, or social class someone comes from สำเนียง
lab (laboratory) – a room or building used for scientific research, experiments, testing, etc; a class that takes place in a laboratory and in which students do experiments  ห้องปฏิบัติการ, ห้องทดลอง
anatomy – the scientific study of the structure of human or animal bodies กายวิภาคศาสตร์
histology – the scientific study of the extremely small structures that form living tissue มิญชวิทยา, วิทยาเนื้อเยื่อ
hands-on – doing something rather than just talking about it or learning about it
process – a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
basis – the important ideas, facts, or actions from which something can develop – รากฐาน, หลักพื้นฐาน, หลัก

Denise Mina

Next, Scottish best-selling author Denise Mina talks about her typical day as a writer of crime stories and plays. Denise does not have a heavy Scottish accent and I could easily understand what she said, except for one part.

Well, a typical working day for me is I get up and I get the kids ready for school and then I come back and I sit at the desk here and… sometimes I get up early in the morning before everybody else and work for a couple of hours just because my head’s clear, but mostly I’ll come back and I’ll sit and I’ll work for two hours and then I’ll run out of ideas and I’ll sit and berate myself and hour and then I’ll eat too much toast and then I’ll panic and then I’ll do about ???? and that’s my day over, but I always expect myself to be able to work for much longer than I do and every day ends in failure and dismay.

That just keeps happening until a book finally comes out. I think it’s a mistake to think that you can set down and finish a book everyday but just, you know, what you hope to do… But, and quite often I’ll stay up late and work and if I’ve got a deadline and I’m not going to meet it, I’ll stay up all night and work and I’ll sleep during the day when everybody else is out.

best-selling – of a product, usually a book, which is bought by large numbers of people  เกี่ยวกับหนังสือหรือสิ่งที่ขายดี
berate – to criticise or speak in an angry way to someone ด่า,ตำหนิอย่างรุนแรง
toast – slices of bread that have been made brown and crisp by heating them on both sides in a toaster or under a grill ขนมปังปิ้ง
panic – to have a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly ตื่นตกใจ
dismay – a feeling of being very unhappy and disappointed ท้อใจ, ผิดหวัง
deadline – a point in time by which something must be done กำหนดเวลาสุดท้ายที่ต้องทำให้เสร็จ, เส้นตาย

Gary Grace

Gary Grace is in the hair cutting and styling business, with the franchise company Supercuts. He currently owns 34 shops.

Well, my typical day is I'm usually up here in my office early and then I take a break, have a bite to eat, come back up here 8:30 – 9:00. Some day….Every week, we have a conference call, the executive committee of the
Supercuts franchise council and we…so that’s one of the early things we do. There’s often other calls. The mornings I work here with my assistant, phone calls and just, you know, just keeping up with stuff. The afternoons are a little more loose, it depends. Often, however, I’m up here until 7:00 at night because my wife isn’t home yet and I…so I just keep going with whatever there is to do in front of me.

franchise – a formal agreement for someone to sell a company’s products or services in a particular place การขายระบบแฟรนไชนส์ คือมีสาขาของร้านค้า เช่น 7-eleven
conference call – a telephone call, often with video, in which a group of people talk together from different locations การประชุมทางโทรศัพท์
executive – a senior manager in a business or other organisation ผู้บริหาร
committee – a group of people who are chosen, usually by a larger group, to make decisions or to deal with a particular subject คณะกรรมการ
council – a group of people chosen to give advice, make rules, do research, provide money สภา, คณะกรรมการ
assistant – a person who helps or supports somebody, usually in their job ผู้ช่วย
loose – not in an exact or detailed way  ไม่เคร่งครัด
it depends – it’s uncertain because several things have to be considered ขึ้นอยู่กับ

To further understand the past simple, read the chapter in Understanding English verb forms: The present simple

You can find a full description of Understanding English verb forms here:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/books/196206/understanding-english-verb-forms

You can buy the book online here:

http://www.se-ed.com/eshop/Products/Detail.aspx?No=9786167061030&CategoryId=482

http://www.chulabook.com/description.asp?barcode=9786167061030

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