Real English Conversations


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JJ talks about her new living situation and how she gets along with her roommates.

Country: JJ and Todd from the U.S.

Time: 1:21

Level: Intermediate

Normal speed

A bit slower 

Audio Script

TODDSo, JJ, I hear you've got a good living arrangement.



JJ: I love it, and of course, you know, like any person, I was a little bit leery about living with roommates but at the same time I thought living in a foreign country I didn't wanna isolate myself completely, especially since I don't speak the language, and I first met Jessica at the airport and when we were close to tears from laughing so hard on the train ride, from the airport to Matsudo Station, I realized this is gonna be a good living arrangement, and we got here and the Brits had taken one half of the apartment and so we Americans moved into the other half and have gotten along brilliantly, even the little squabbles that tend to come up, seem to be solved fairly quickly, maturely and I love it. This is the best living arrangement I've ever had. At the same time I think it's kind of something that's, that can be expected when you come to teach abroad. It takes a certain kind of person to decide to leave everything familiar behind and meet new people, have new experiences. You're not taping any of this, are you? 

TODDNo, I am actually... (laughs) …thanks a lot JJ.



Vocabulary Notes

   Living arrangement   

“This is the best living arrangement I've ever had”.

Your 'living arrangement' is the place that you live and the people you live with.  Notice the following:


  1. The living arrangement in the dorms is very difficult for some people.
  2. They have a very difficult living arrangement right now.

“I was a little bit leery about living with roommates, but I also didn't want to live alone”.

If you feel 'leery' about doing something you are apprehensive or nervous about it.  Notice the following:


  1. She always feels a bit leery about doing new things.
  2. Are you leery about moving away?
   Close to tears   

“We were close to tears from laughing so hard on the train”.

If you are 'close to tears' you are almost to the point of crying.  In the example it refers to crying from laughing so hard.  Notice the following:


  1. She was so frustrated that she was close to tears.
  2. The team was close to tears when they lost the game.

Squabbles / tend to come up

“The little squabbles that tend to come up seem to be solved fairly quickly”.

'Squabbles' are small arguments that naturally happen when you live with someone.  If something 'tends to come up' it happens naturally to everyone once in a while.  Notice the following:


  1. Little squabbles tend to come up all the time in life.
  2. My sister and I squabble all the time.
   Leave behind  

“It's what's to be expected when you leave everything familiar behind and have new experiences”.

If you 'leave everything behind' in this sense you move to a place where nothing is familiar to you.  Notice the following:


  1. Would you be scared to move to a new place and leave everything you know behind?
  2. When you go to college you leave your childhood life behind.

Now, it's your turn!

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