Six students from around the world meet. What do they have in common? They are all exchange students studying at a U.S. university for a semester. Throughout the semester, they learn more English, learn about U.S. culture, and learn more about their fields of study. This series of Everyday Conversations is about these six students and their experiences during a semester at a university in the U.S. These conversations are for intermediate-level English-language learners or higher.
In this conversation, three students (Ajay, Lucía and Jana) talk about soccer.
Ajay: I can’t believe you’re calling it soccer now!
Lucía: When in Rome…
Jana: I’m with Ajay. At the start of the semester, you were adamant about calling it football.
Lucía: Yes, well, that was before I made the team!
Jana: I’m really excited to see you play. I haven’t been to a soccer game yet. And you know I’ve never played soccer before in my life.
Ajay: I went to a game last week. It was pretty intense!
Lucía: We take athletics very seriously on my team. By the way, after the game, we’re having a bonfire party. You both will come to that too, right?
Jana: Of course!
Ajay: I can’t wait.
Now let’s review the vocabulary.
When in Rome is a shortened version of the full phrase when in Rome, do as the Romans do. This phrase means that when one is in a different country, one should follow the customs of the country. It also means that when one is in an unfamiliar situation, one should follow the lead of those who are familiar with the situation.
In this context, the phrase I’m with someone means that the speaker agrees with the person named. For example, I’m with you means that I agree with you.
When someone is adamant, he or she is not willing to change an opinion or decision.
Pretty intense means that something is done with great energy, enthusiasm, strength or effort. In the conversation, the soccer game was pretty intense. This means that the game was played with serious effort and energy.
A bonfire is a large outdoor fire. Sometimes bonfires are built for entertainment, such as a party with friends. In fall in the U.S., they are sometimes built to burn leaves.
The phrase by the way is used to introduce a statement that mentions another subject. For example: I went to the movies last night and saw the movie you recommended. By the way, I saw your sister there.
When someone can’t wait, it means they are looking forward to something.
Ready to learn more English? Our materials can help.
The American English website offers a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English-language learners daily.
Everyday Conversations are developed by the State Department’s Heidi Howland, a senior program officer in the Office of English Language Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.