William:Hello, and welcome to the English We Speak, I'm William.
Yang Li: And I'm Yang Li…
William: And your task, Yang Li, is to guess today's word, OK?
Yang Li: OK.
William: Awesome. Li, try some of this cake…
Yang Li: A cake? Oh, thanks! That's very nice…
William: Do you like it? Awesome. They're pretty awesome cakes, huh?!
Yang Li: Yes, and I think I know what this week's word is. It's…
William: Hang on Li, try some of this coffee as well – it's really…
Yang Li: Awesome?
William: Exactly - it's really awesome. You got it. So listen to this. Which three
adjectives are used in this clip?
Example This party is awesome. The food is amazing. The wine is excellent.
Yang Li: Awesome, amazing and excellent.
William: That's right. Awesome means excellent or amazing.
Yang Li: Awesome. This word has existed in English for a long time, hasn't it?
William: Yes, and it used to mean awe-inspiring. So awe means great respect or admiration, so something that’s awesome or awe-inspiring makes you feel great respect and admiration.
Yang Li: Full of respect and admiration. But now it just means cool?
William: Exactly, and that’s thanks to the influence of American slang. So the word can now be used to describe almost anything.
ExamplesThese shoes are awesome.This is an awesome radio programme.Wow! You are awesome at singing, mate!
William: And there is one slightly different usage of this word. Listen to this.
ExampleA: Are you free to come for hotpot tonight?
B: Yes, I should be.
A: Awesome. That makes four of us!
William: So what does awesome mean in that clip, Li?
Yang Li: It's like when we say 'great' at the beginning of a sentence.
William: Well, that's it, yeah, exactly. Awesome can also be used at the beginning of asentence to indicate agreement or approval.
Yang Li: Awesome! That's clear now.
William: Awesome. And that's the end of this awesome programme.
Yang Li: William, do you have any cakes left?
William: Er, just one. Do you want to share it, Li?
Yang Li: Awesome. Bye.