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Interactive video lesson plan for: Linking words of contrast: BBC Masterclass

Activity overview:

You may think that British people eat terrible food, are unfriendly and enjoy queuing. However, Dan is here to look at four ways of expressing contrast AND destroy four myths about English people. For more, visit our website:

Transcript (This is not a word-for-word transcript):

Hi Guys! Dan for BBC Learning English here. This time we’ll be looking at four ways of expressing contrast AND busting four myths about English people…which is me! Are you ready? Let's go!

Number One
Many people think it rains in England all the time. However, this is only partly true - it rains 95% of the time and the other 5% it's overcast.

So, however is our first contrastive element. It's followed by a comma and then a clause. Got it? Good!

Number Two
Although it is true that we are good at following rules, English people do not love queuing! That’s just mad! We only do it because without queuing we’d be no better than cavemen. Come on!

Although is our second contrastive element. It can sit at the middle of a sentence or at the beginning and introduces a subordinate clause. It can also be replaced with though and even though. Come on!

Number Three
English people have a reputation for being cold. Well despite being a little formal "How do you do?", we're actually very warm-hearted when you get to know us! It just takes a little time to work through the levels of formality. From stranger to friend. "Hey buddy, what's up man? How's it going? Long time no see."

Now, did you notice the contrastive element? We use despite. Despite is always followed by a noun or verb in the ING form, regardless of the tense. It can be switched with in spite of and can appear at the beginning of the clause or in the middle of a sentence. Cool!

Number Four
Wow, what a guy. Hang on a minute I'm hungry, it must be time for lunch. Now guys, while international opinion of our food is not good saying that it is bland, tasteless and boring, I happen to think that English food is delicious! OK, I'm sorry, I'm kidding. I can't do it with a straight face. It's terrible really, just awful.

Now, while is our last contrastive element. It joins two contrasting clauses together and sits at the beginning of one of the clauses. Usually at the beginning of the sentence. In a more formal and literary style, we can say whilst.

If you don't mind, I've got to return to my lunch. Excuse me.

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