Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

0831 Not the Marrying Kind

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 831: Not the Marrying Kind.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 831. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from beautiful Los Angeles, California. I still need a song for the opening. I need some sort of music for that “from beautiful Los Angeles, California” part. We have a beautiful website at eslpod.com. Go there, join ESL Podcast, and download the eight- to ten-page Learning Guide we have for each of our episodes.

This episode is called “Not the Marrying Kind.” It’s a dialogue about a man who doesn’t seem to want to get married. Let’s get started!

[start of dialogue]

Stacey: I have a date with George this Saturday. I can’t wait!

Brad: Have a good time, but you know what the word on the street is about George, don’t you?

Stacey: What?

Brad: He’s not the marrying kind.

Stacey: Oh, he just hasn’t met the right girl yet. When he does, he’ll be ready to settle down.

Brad: I don’t think so. Women who have gone out with him have told me that he’s up front with them: he has no intention of tying the knot – ever.

Stacey: Do you think he’s a commitment phobe?

Brad: I have no idea. I just know that he likes to play the field and anyone who dates him should not try to reform him.

Stacey: I wouldn’t try to reform him. I think he’ll just fall head over heels in love with me and he’ll put his philandering ways behind him.

Brad: Don’t count on it.

Stacey: I’m convinced of it.

Brad: I’m always surprised by the degree to which women can delude themselves when it comes to love!

[end of dialogue]

Stacey is talking with Brad and she says, “I have a date with George this Saturday.” A “date” (date) is when you have a romantic evening or afternoon with someone – you go somewhere with someone – usually it’s romantic. Sometimes “date” can just mean an appointment. But here it means a romantic time together. Stacey says, “I can’t wait.” I’m really looking forward to this date. Brad says, “Have a good time. But you know what the word on the street is about George don’t you?” The expression “the word on the street” means what people are saying about something even though they don’t have proof that it’s true – here’s what people are talking about, here’s what people are saying about this thing or this person. Often it just means a rumor (rumor). Stacey says, “What?” Brad says, “Well, the word on the street about George is that he’s not the marrying kind.” The expression “not the marrying (marrying) kind” means he’s a person who’s not interested in getting married. He wants to remain single. Usually, this is said about a man. Sometimes it could be said about a woman as well. “He’s not the marrying kind.” We might also say, “He’s not the marrying type (type).” It means the same thing. He’s not a person that will want to get married.

Stacey says, “Oh, he just hasn’t met the right girl yet.” He hasn’t met the right person for him. That’s what all women believe that even men who are not the marrying kind will marry them because they are the perfect woman for them. Stacey says, “When he does” – when he does meet the right girl or the right woman – “he’ll be ready to settle down.” The phrasal verb “to settle (settle) down” means to begin to live a quiet, calm life. Usually, it’s an expression we use when we are talking about someone in their, say, 20’s or perhaps 30’s who’s now ready to get married. They were single for a long time. They like to go out and party and enjoy themselves. But now the fun must end and they get married. No, I’m just kidding. Getting married is fun, too, kids!

Brad disagrees with Stacey. He doesn’t think that George is ready to settle down and get married. Brad says, “Women who have gone out with him – meaning who have gone on dates with him – have told me that he’s upfront with them.” To be “upfront” means to be direct, to be honest, to be straightforward – you’re not hiding anything, you’re not trying to be secret. We use this term, usually, when we are trying to tell someone something that perhaps is difficult for them to hear or that they don’t want to hear and we want to be honest with them – we want to tell them right away. Brad says that George has been upfront with women. “He has no intention of tying the knot – ever.” “Intention” (intention) is what you plan to do. It’s what your plan is, what your goal or your aim (aim) is. Brad says, “George has no intention – he has no plans to tie (tie) the knot (knot).” The expression “to tie the knot” means to get married. It’s very common in American English. A “knot” is normally something, for example, when you have shoes that have shoelaces, you tie a knot so that your shoes don’t fall off. Well, here it means to tie a knot – I guess to your husband or your wife, so that you won’t be separated. It’s kind of like going to jail – kind of like prison – where I suppose in the old days, they would tie a knot around someone’s hands so they couldn’t move – that’s marriage, basically.

Stacey asks, “Do you think he’s a commitment phobe?” “Commitment” is when you agree to do something with someone or you simply agree to do something – it’s like a promise. “Phobe” (phobe) refers to someone who’s afraid of something. So, a commitment phobe would be someone who’s afraid of commitment – who doesn’t want to promise to do something like get married. Brad says, “I have no idea” – I don’t know. “I just know – I only know – that he likes to play the field.” The expression “to play the field” describes, usually, a man who likes to date many different people – a person who doesn’t want to just have one long-term relationship – romantic relationship. Sometimes we describe informally someone as being a “player” (player). The idea is similar – someone who likes to have usually different girlfriends – he plays the field. “Anyone who dates George,” Brad continues, “should not try to reform him.” “To reform (reform) someone” – or something – means to fix it, to change it, to make it better. Women often think they can change a man. They can reform him, they can make him different for what he really is. This is a common belief among many women who get married. Is it true? Well, sometimes.

Stacey says, “I won’t try to reform him. I think he’ll just fall head over heels in love with me and he’ll put his philandering ways behind him.” The expression “to fall head over heels (heels) in love with someone” means to have a sudden strong romantic interest in someone. It’s – I suppose – related a little bit to “love at first sight (sight),” where you see someone – you see a beautiful woman across the room or a beautiful man – a handsome man – and you fall in love with them. You fall “head over heels in love.”

To fall head over heels doesn’t mean it happens the first time you see them. That would be the expression “love at first sight.” But it could happen. You fall head over heels with someone the first time you see them. Stacey says that she thinks after George falls in love with her that he’ll put his “philandering ways behind him.” “Philander” (philander) means that a man goes out and has romantic relationships with different women – typically sexual relationships with different women. He’s not interested in having a relationship with only one woman. Often, the man will be lying about his relationships to the women that he is with. That’s the way men are sometimes, unfortunately. Stacey says that she thinks George will put his “philandering ways” – ways (ways) here means habits – “he will put his philandering ways behind him.” To put something “behind you” or “behind him” means to forget about it, to no longer do that thing. Brad says, “Don’t count on it.” “To count on something” means to depend on to rely on something, to believe something is true. Brad says, “Do not count on it” – don’t expect that to happen. Stacey says, “I’m convinced of it” – I’m persuaded, I believe it is true.

Brad says, “I’m always surprised by the degree to which women can delude themselves when it comes to love.” “I’m always surprised” –It always surprises me – this is an expression we use when we are talking about something perhaps that we don’t understand, but also as a way of emphasizing to the other person how we have a very different opinion than they do about something or how unusual we think their opinion or their action is. Brad says, “I’m always surprised the degree – the extent, the amount – to which women can delude themselves.” “To delude” (delude) means to lie and cause others to believe those lies. In this case, the women are deluding themselves – they’re lying to themselves. They are trying to persuade themselves of something that they know isn’t really true. So when you delude yourself, you are lying to yourself because you don’t want to accept the reality – the truth. Brad says, “I’m always surprised by the degree – by how much – by the degree to which women can delude themselves when it comes to love.” The expression “when it comes to” – means concerning, regarding, in relation to, or about. Of course, this woman – Stacey – thinks she can reform George and Brad is saying, “No, that’s not going to be possible. You’re deluding yourself.”

Now let’s listen to the dialogue this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Stacey: I have a date with George this Saturday. I can’t wait!

Brad: Have a good time, but you know what the word on the street is about George, don’t you?

Stacey: What?

Brad: He’s not the marrying kind.

Stacey: Oh, he just hasn’t met the right girl yet. When he does, he’ll be ready to settle down.

Brad: I don’t think so. Women who have gone out with him have told me that he’s up front with them: he has no intention of tying the knot – ever.

Stacey: Do you think he’s a commitment phobe?

Brad: I have no idea. I just know that he likes to play the field and anyone who dates him should not try to reform him.

Stacey: I wouldn’t try to reform him. I think he’ll just fall head over heels in love with me and he’ll put his philandering ways behind him.

Brad: Don’t count on it.

Stacey: I’m convinced of it.

Brad: I’m always surprised by the degree to which women can delude themselves when it comes to love!

[end of dialogue]

You can always count on learning lots of new and useful English expressions and phrases in our scripts that are written by our wonderful scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2012 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
the word on the street – a rumor; what people are saying about someone or something without proof that it is true

* The word on the street is that Kolya spent a few years in prison.

not the marrying kind – a person who is not interested in getting married and plans to remain single

* In the past, women were expected to get married, but now it’s more acceptable for a woman to say that she’s not the marrying kind.

to settle down – to begin to live a quiet, calm life, especially getting married and starting a family

* Noemi traveled a lot in her 20s, but now she’s ready to settle down and have kids.

upfront – direct, honest, and straightforward, without hiding anything

* Xander had an upfront discussion with his boss about his growing responsibilities, which resulted in Xander getting a raise.

intention – what one plans to have happen; aim; plan

* It wasn’t my intention to hurt you. I’m sorry.

to tie the knot – to get married

* They’re going to tie the knot on September 24th.

commitment phobe – someone who is afraid of having a long-term relationship with another person and refuses to get married

* Lionel has had some bad relationships in the past and now he considers himself a commitment phobe and won’t even date anyone.

to play the field – to date many different people without having a serious long-term relationship with anyone

* Laura believes that it’s okay for men to play the field as long as they tell the women they’re dating that they aren’t interested in a long-term relationship.

to reform – to fix or improve a system or someone, usually by making many small changes or by changing someone’s behavior

* Is the prison system designed to punish or reform criminals?

to fall head over heels in love – to suddenly have very strong romantic feelings toward another person

* Charlene has fallen head over heels in love with Drake and says she’s going to marry him by the end of the year.

to put (something) behind (one) – to no longer do something or act a particular way; to make someone part of one’s past

* Pierre is so worried he won’t get the job. He needs to just put his fear behind him and apply for it anyway.

philandering ways – the habits of a man who has sex with many women but is not interested in having a long-term romantic relationship

* Everyone warned Sheila of Jun’s philandering ways, but she decided to go out with him anyway.

to count on (something) – to rely on something; to believe that something is true

* Ismeta always tells the truth, so if she says she’ll do something, she will. You can count on it.

convinced – persuaded; believing that something is true

* Why are you so convinced that Alfred is telling the truth?

degree – extent; a measure of the quantity of something, especially on a scale

* We were shocked by the degree to which they were in debt.

to delude – to lie and cause others to believe in those lies; to make someone believe something that isn’t true

* The company deluded everyone into thinking that it was much more profitable than it actually was.

Comprehension Questions
1. What does Brad mean when he says that George “likes to play the field”?
a) He likes to play sports.
b) He likes to work in the yard.
c) He likes to date many different women.

2. Why won’t Stacey try to reform George?
a) Because she thinks he’s perfect just as he is.
b) Because she thinks his behavior will change once he falls in love with her.
c) Because she knows he will never change.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to settle down

In this podcast, the phrase “to settle down” means to begin to live a quiet, calm life, especially getting married and starting a family: “Why are you in such a hurry to settle down? Take a few years to travel and enjoy life on your own.” The phrase “to settle down” also means to become calm and quiet: “Hey kids, settle down in there!” The phrase “to settle back” means to sit down or lie down and relax so you can enjoy something: “She settled back with a good book and a glass of red wine.” Finally, the phrase “to settle a bill/account” means to pay the money that is owed: “When Grandpa died, there wasn’t much money left over after we settled his accounts.”

degree

The word “degree,” in this podcast, means extent and is a measure of the quantity of something, especially on a scale: “Scientists disagree over the degree to which human activities are contributing to global warming.” A “degree” is also a measurement of temperature: “Did you hear that it’s supposed to be 104 degrees outside tomorrow afternoon?” In schooling, a “degree” is the piece of paper one receives after graduation, showing that one has passed a certain combination of courses: “He has degrees in computer science and economics.” The phrase “to some degree” or “to a certain degree” means partly or partially: “Paul’s performance has improved to some degree, but he still has areas for improvement.” Finally, the phrase “by degrees” means very slowly: “The doctor says Maxine is getting better by degrees, but it will still take a long time for her to recover fully.”

Culture Note
Trends in American Marriage Rates

In recent years, “marriage rates” (the percentage of people who are married) in the United States have been “falling” (decreasing). A recent report from the Pew Research Institute found that just over half of all “adult” (more than 18 years old) Americans are married: just 51% in 2010 “versus” (compared to) 72% in 1960. The number of marriages “taking place” (happening) each year is also decreasing.

Nobody knows exactly why these changes are taking place. Some people think it might be because of the recent “economic downturn” (a period of time when the economy does not perform very well). If people have less money to pay for a wedding, they might “delay” (postpone; decide to do later) getting married. “Likewise” (similarly), people may decide to wait to get married until they feel that they can “support” (pay for the expenses of) a family. Other people want to complete their education and find a “steady” (reliable) job before they start a family.

Other people believe the changes are “due to” (caused by) changing societal expectations. It is now more acceptable to “cohabit” (live with another person without being married to that person) or be a single parent than it was in the past, so there is less pressure to be married.

People are also getting married much later than they used to. In the 1990s, most people were married in their mid-20s, but today half of American men are 29 or older when they get married for the first time and half of American women are 27 or older when they get married for the first time.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - b