Everyday English Vocabulary Lesson: Gossip Girl TV Program

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You can learn a lot of everyday English from TV programs, especially those that are well written. Today let’s have a look at some of the English conversation  phrases from the opening scene in the first Gossip Girl episode. If you have the DVD, please follow along. Sorry, I can’t post the video here.

The scene opens with this voice-over. Gossip Girl is narrating over the scene of people in Grand Central Station in NYC.

“Hey Upper East Siders, Gossip Girl here… and I have the biggest news ever. One of my many sources, Melanie91, sends us this: Spotted at Grand Central, bags in hand: Serena van der Woodsen. Was it only a year ago our “it-girl” mysteriously disappeared for quote “boarding school?” And just as suddenly she’s back. Don’t believe me? See for yourselves: Lucky for us, Melanie91 sent proof. Thanks for the photo, Mel!”

Now, let’s do a vocabulary check.

Gossip Girl here.  Using here after your name is generally done by news reporters or TV commentators. It is the same as saying, This is Gossip Girl.

I have the biggest news ever. In everyday casual English conversation, we sometimes leave out some parts of a sentence. This phrase is a great example. I have the biggest news ever is a shortened form of I think it is the biggest news in the world. The structure of this phrase is superlative + noun + ever, and it follows the verb:

  • That restaurant has the best pizza ever. I think that restaurant has the best pizza in the world.
  • Titanic is the best movie ever. I think Titanic is the best move ever made.

bags in hand. The phrase bags in hand means holding her bags (suitcases).

it-girl. The phrase it-girl means the most popular girl.

quote. In spoken English, using the word quote before a word or phrase gives special emphasis to that word or phrase. Using the word quote this way often has the nuance that the speaker has some doubt about the word or phrase being emphasized:

  • I’ve heard that Jane is the most quote ‘beautiful’ woman in the office.
  • Jack doesn’t want to come to the party because he said it is quote ‘too late.’

she’s back. We sometimes use back as an adverb to mean returned to the original place or state. She’s back means She has returned.  

  • I need to put milk back.
  • How long has Joe been back?

That’s all for today. I hope you found it useful!



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