Fun Easy English Classroom March 9
 
 
 
 

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Learn the American
English reduction
oughta
American English Reduction "oughta"

Today in the Fun Easy English classroom you are going to learn "oughta" an American English reduction.
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Reductions: "oughta"

American English reductions are reduced forms of English words.
  • This American English reduction is formed when you combine and reduce the following words.
  • oughta = ought + to
  • This American English reduction is used in the following way.
  • You oughta find a better job.
  • This American English reduction has the following meaning.
  • You ought to find a better job.
  • (Meaning: You should find a better job.)
Examples: "oughta" (reading and reductions)
  • I oughta get going.
  • (Meaning: I should leave now.)
  • We oughta go before it begins raining.
  • (Meaning: We should go before it begins raining.)
  • They oughta change the team uniforms.
  • (Meaning: They should change the team uniforms.)
  • She oughta study for the college entrance test.
  • (Meaning: She should study for the college entrance test.)
  • He oughta think before speaking.
  • (Meaning: He should think before speaking.)
From YOUR Teacher: Oughta

Yeah this is kind of a strange reduction but it is used a lot in English conversations.
We oughta get going.
You oughta eat something before you leave.
Note: Reductions

Remember the following:
  • Reductions are reduced forms of English words.
  • Reductions, such as oughta are not real words in English.
  • You need to use reductions in order to sound more natural.
  • You need to know reductions in order to understand conversations between native English speakers.
  • Reductions are used extensively in American TV, movies, music, literature, and in conversations among native English speakers.
Reductions in Music and TV


Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know

Songwriters: Alanis Morissette / Glen Ballard
You Oughta Know lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, The Bicycle Music Company

Alanis Nadine Morissette (born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian–American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actress. Known for her emotive mezzo-soprano voice, Morissette began her career in Canada in the early 1990s with two mildly successful dance-pop albums. Afterwards, as part of a recording deal, she moved to Holmby Hills, Los Angeles and in 1995 released Jagged Little Pill, a more rock-oriented album which sold more than 33 million copies globally and is her most critically acclaimed work. Her follow-up album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998.

This video is a good example of the usage of "oughta", and "gonna" English language reductions.

Use a dictionary to look up words you do not understand.
Lyrics

I want you to know, that I am happy for you
I wish nothing but the best for you both
An older version of me
Is she perverted like me?
Would she go down on you in a theater?
Does she speak eloquently
And would she have your baby?
I'm sure she'd make a really excellent mother
'Cause the love that you gave that we made
Wasn't able to make it enough for you
To be open wide, no
And every time you speak her name
Does she know how you told me
You'd hold me until you died
'Til you died, but you're still alive
And I'm here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It's not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know
You seem very well, things look peaceful
I'm not quite as well, I thought you should know
Did you forget about me, Mr. Duplicity?
I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner
It was a slap in the face
How quickly I was replaced
And are you thinking of me when you fuck her?
'Cause the love that you gave that we made
Wasn't able to make it enough for you
To be open wide, no
And every time you speak her name
Does she know how you told me
You'd hold me until you died
'Til you died, but you're still alive
And I'm here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It's not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know
'Cause the joke that you laid in the bed
That was me and I'm not gonna fade
As soon as you close your eyes, and you know it
And every time I scratch my nails
Down someone else's back I hope you feel it
Well, can you feel it?
And I'm here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It's not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know

 
Video: Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know
 
 
Additional Lessons
About These Lessons

The following classroom lessons are great for students who want additional conversation, listening, and reading practice. Please post a comment at the bottom of this page in the Facebook Comments window with your thoughts about these lessons.
  • Conversation Lesson - Intermediate Level. Let's Learn English conversation lesson with a conversation video, a video script, audio listening practice, and a new words section.
Conversation Lesson 16 - Find Your Joy!
(Intermediate - Conversation, Listening, Reading)

In this lesson Anna loses her key. When she goes looking for it, she finds a life coach instead. And that's where the confusion begins.
Lesson Video

Watch the video and then read the video script.
Video Script

Anna: Hi, Kaveh! Let’s go to lunch!
Kaveh: Ooh, I know a great place. When I first started working here, I would go every day!
Anna: Great. Oh, no.
Kaveh: What’s wrong?
Anna: I lost my key! I just had it this morning.
Kaveh: You should check the Lost & Found office.
Anna: Great idea. Where is it?
Kaveh: Oh, it used to be across from the cafeteria. But now it’s down in the basement next to the elevators. It’s really hard to find.
Anna: The Lost & Found is hard to find. That’s funny.
Kaveh: It is.
Professor Bot: I hope Anna can find the Lost & Found office!
Used to and would describe something that happened repeatedly in the past.
Kaveh uses would when he says, “When I first started working here, I would go every day!
There are two differences between used to and would.
Number 1: We use would only when we say the time period first.
Number 2: For verbs like be, think, feel, see and understand, we can only use used to.
Kaveh says, "It used to be across from the cafeteria."
Keep listening for more!
(A worker moves the sign for the Lost & Found office. So, Anna walks into the wrong office without knowing it.)
Serenity: Come in! I am Serenity.
Anna: Hi, Serenity. I’m Anna!
Serenity: Please, sit down. How can I help you?
Anna: I lost something very important.
Serenity: Shh. I already know. You need help.
Anna: Yes. I need help finding the key …
Serenity: Shh. You need to find the key – the key that will give you happiness.
Anna: Yes. Finding this key will make me very happy.
Serenity: First, Anna, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
Anna: Okay.
Serenity: I used to be a very important person with a very important job. I made a lot of money -- I mean a lot.
Anna: Wow. Good for you!
Serenity: No! No, it was bad for me. I lost the most important thing – the key! You’ve lost it too, haven’t you, Anna? Haven’t you?
Anna: I guess. So, how does this work? Do I have to fill out a form or something?
Serenity: No. No forms. Just answer this one question: As a child, what did you use to do to feel happy?
Anna: When I was little, I used to sing all the time with my family. Those were good times.
Serenity: Singing is so joyful! I used to sing. But now that I’ve started my business, I’ve just been too busy. Too busy! Anna, why don’t you sing again?
Anna: I sing everywhere! I sing in the office. I sing on the metro. I sing in the elevators. I sing on the escalators. I sing in the bathroom. Serenity! Serenity! I really need to find my key. Yeah!
Serenity: Yes, we need to find the key … the key to happiness.
Anna: No, no. I just need to find the key to my apartment.
Serenity: I used to know. But now I don't! Do you, Anna?
Anna: I don’t know. I think I left it in the ladies’ room. You know, this isn’t the Lost & Found, is it?
(Anna starts walking out of the room)
Serenity: It could be the Lost & Found. I’m lost! And I used to find joy for people! I used to find joy!
Anna: You know, this is a bad time for you. I’ll find the Lost & Found myself. Bye, thanks.
Serenity: I used to find joy. I used to find joy! I used to find joy!
Anna: Ah, I found my key!
Serenity: I used to find joy!
Pofessor Bot: Oh no. Serenity lost her joy. But at least Anna found her key! Check out our website for more!
Listening

Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.
Practice
Now, practice the grammar you just learned. Use the Comments section below to tell us what you used to do to feel happy.

Remember to follow these rules:

Rule # 1: Use would only when you introduce the time period first.

You can mention the time in the same sentence:

"When I first started working here, I would go every day!"

Or, you can mention the time in the previous sentence:

"When I first started working here, I did not bring lunch from home. I would go to restaurants every day.

Rule # 2: For stative verbs, only use used to. A stative verb is a verb used mainly to describe a state or situation rather than an action.

Two examples from today's lesson:

Serenity: "I used to know. But now I don't"

Kaveh: "It used to be across from the cafeteria.

There are many stative verbs in English. Some examples include: be, know, think, feel, see, understand, want, like, love, hate, wish, mean, remember, taste, believe, hear, look and seem.
New Words
  • basement - n. the part of a building that is entirely or partly below the ground
  • elevator - n. a machine used for carrying people and things to different levels in a building
  • escalator - n. a machine used for carrying people and things to different levels in a building​
  • cafeteria - n. a place where people get food at a counter and carry it to a table for eating
  • form - n. a document with blank spaces for filling in information
  • joy - n. a feeling of great happiness
  • joyful - n. full of joy
  • key - n. something that provides a solution​ or explanation
  • life coach - n. a person who counsels and encourages people on matters about their careers or personal challenges
  • Lost & Found - n. a place where lost items are kept to await reclaiming by their owners (sometimes also written as lost-and-found or lost and found)
  • serenity - n. a feeling of calm and peacefulness ("Serenity" is also the name of the life coach.)
  • state - n. a way of living or existing
Conversation Lessons

Study all 30 English intermediate conversation lessons. Let's Learn English conversation lessons each with a conversation video, a video script, audio listening practice, and a new words section. These lessons are for intermediate students.
Conversation Lessons

Study all 52 English beginner conversation lessons. Let's Learn English conversation lessons each with a conversation video, a video script, audio listening practice, video speaking practice, video pronunciation practice, a new words section, and a writing activity. These lessons are for beginning students.
Source: Voice of America
Additional Information
Study Tips
(Beginner - Listening)

Avoid Ineffective Study Methods. An audio lesson to help you study English more effectively. The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed. Great English study tips.
Click here to visit the lesson page with the written script for this audio program.
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