Real English: Phrases for finding an apartment
Hi, guys, and welcome back to www.engvid.com. Today,
we are doing accommodation, and particularly, London accommodation. What do you do? You
come to London. You need to find a place to live. This could apply to anywhere in the UK.
If you don’t know someone and have a place to go to, you might need to check out a
website like Gumtree or Rightmove.co.uk. Now, what we’re going to be doing in today’s
lesson is looking through a couple of different flats, apartments that I found on the Internet
and talking through the key phrases. And then, we’ll talk about useful questions to ask if
you were to visit a house that you wanted to live in. So I’ve — obviously, question No. 1 you have
to ask yourself is how much money can I afford to give? So London accommodation can be a
little bit expensive, so I gave myself a budget — “budget” is the maximum I can spend —
of 800 pounds a month. So it’s quite a lot. What I found was a bedsit, a “cozy” — meaning
a comfortable bedsit — which was priced at 195pw. That means per week.
Okay? Now, some of the useful phrases I found on
this advert for this particular place was that it was a “cozy” bedsit. So this means
comfortable. You could also say that it means “small”. So the positive is, “Mmm. Nice and
comfortable.” But the negative, “Ugh. There’s no room.” Okay? A “bedsit”. What a “bedsit” means is that there is a bedroom,
but there is no living room. There is no room for a television, sofas, chairs. It’s kind
of bedroom, kitchen. Okay? So it’s quite a small flat. “Presented in” — that’s just a load of crap,
really. So you kind of just go, “Oh, it’s in a charming” — what does that mean? “It’s
in a nice — “period” just means “old”. It’s in a nice, old building. Okay? So it’s
a small place in a nice, old building. It has an open plan. That means if I’m lying
in bed, I can see the kitchen. Okay? There’s no wall between bed and kitchen. So “open
plan” means no wall. “Fully fitted kitchen” — so we talk about when a kitchen is “fitted”,
it has refrigerator. Maybe there’s a microwave. Put your pizza in. Heat up some food. There’s
a kettle. Maybe a dishwasher. I can clean my clothes — those kinds of things would
be a “fully fitted”. So I can do everything I need in the kitchen. A “shared bathroom” — to “share” — if I
share my pen with you, then you can use my pen. So if I’m sharing a bathroom, then someone
else is peeing on the toilet seat, okay? “Selected Sky channels”, so that does not
mean all. All — no. It means the landlord chooses what I can watch on the Sky, so typically,
one sport channel, and a couple of useless channels that you don’t
really want to watch. “The rent includes” — that means it’s 195 a week
— I don’t have to spend more on electricity, water, gas, etc. And then, at the bottom of the advert, it
says “to arrange”. That means to organize — I’m looking at — because I’ve got the
advert here, so you know, just scanning through it. “To organize a viewing” — that means to
have a look around — “please call — well, the number is — what is she called? Maria,
at 07 55 79 11 636. Maria is going to get loads of calls now. Sorry, Maria. But maybe it’s
good practice for her because she’s clearly Spanish, so she can practice
speaking English to you guys. “Double bedroom” — this is a slightly different
part of time. So this place was in Earl’s Court, a nice central part of London. My next
one is in Shoreditch. This is like, the super cool, kind of, where artsy people are in,
so East London. And here, you have a double room. That means there is a bedroom — somewhere
where I sleep. And then, there are other people who I am sharing with. Okay? So I’m sharing with
other people. Maybe there are three bedrooms. Now, my key features — a “feature” is a good
point. Okay? It has an eat-in kitchen. That means I make my food — boiling — I’ve made
a cooking video. You should check it out. So I’m cooking in the kitchen, and then I
can eat in the kitchen because there is a table to sit at. So “eat-in” means plus
table. Hopefully with a chair as well. Again, all bills are included. So my price
here, my price here — kind of where I looked there. There, 145 a week. So for a month,
that’s going to be — what? Who’s good at math? 580 a month. Not too bad. Okay? So it’s
going to be cheaper if you are sharing with other people, and maybe quite good
practicing English with them as well. Now, this place has numerous windows throughout.
That means “a lot of” or “many”. Yeah? You can see the root. “Numero”, from the Latin,
means “number”. So there’s lots of windows all over the place. “Making it full” — “full”.
“My glass is full of water.” This house is full of natural light. So that means, you
know, light from outside comes in, which is, you know, good, except in winter
when there isn’t much natural light. Now, they want something from you. I’ll tell
you something. These adverts, many people looking at these adverts and going, “Hello.
Can I come and have a look at your house, please?” So these people are choosing you
in London, okay? So what do they want? They want you — “You must be” — okay? An imperative.
“You must be an easy going person.” That means, “Yeah. I’m okay. No problems. I just, you
know — I pay my rent, and I go to work, and I’m cool.” Yeah? Easy going — no problems,
a no problems person. “And sociable”, okay? From the same sort of root as “society”, means
a collection of people. So if I’m “sociable”, I like talking to people. I don’t just sit
in my room and read my magazine and then go out. I have to be able to talk to people.
So very good if you’re an ESL student. And it says “a pretty”, which means — these are
quite English adjectives. “Pretty”, “quite”, “a bit” — because we like to be polite in
our speech. We don’t say things, kind of, very directly. So we say, “It’s a little bit
of a flexible contract.” What that means is you don’t definitely have to stay there for
a year. You could stay there for a shorter amount of time. Now, I’m not going to give this person’s number
out because I’m a bit worried about poor old Maria over there. But I’m going to give Laura
a ring and see if we can go and pay her a visit. Back in a sec. Oh, hi, there. Maria? Yes. My name is Benjamin.
Yeah. No. I saw your advert on Gumtree. Yeah. It looks really nice. I think I’d like to
come and have a look at it. Is that okay? Right. You’ve got two Swedish girls living
there? They’re single and aged 20. Right. Okay. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
When would be a good time to come and see it? Monday afternoon. Yeah. Okay. That works
for me. That’s a good time for me. And how exactly do I find it? Where is it? What was
the address? Right. I get out of the Tube. I turn left, and it’s the third house. I get
out of the Tube. I turn left, and it’s the third house on the right. Great. Okay. Well,
I’ll see you at 4:30 on Monday afternoon. I look forward to it. Yeah.
Okay. Bye, Maria. Ah. She sounds nice. So obviously, we’ve looked
at our advert, and we think it looks really nice, especially the Swedish girls. So we
ring up. Okay? And, “Hi, there.” Tell them your name, you’d like to come and have a look,
when would be a good time, how to find it. Now, a knock on the door. “Hi, Maria.” I’m
at the place. These are some things we might want to say if we are looking around a flat, a
house, a bedsit, a cozy bedsit, even. Start with small talk. Here, in Britain, we love
talking about the weather. “Ah. It’s been raining all day today.” Or we like talking
about the traffic. “The traffic was bloody awful.” Okay? “Bloody awful.” That means really
bad. “The traffic was awful.” So start with a bid of “small talk”. It means a bit of
chat. Okay? Unimportant conversation. Now, you might want to ask about some rules.
“Am I allowed to play loud music? Practice my guitar? Am I allowed to smoke? Am I allowed to
cook in the kitchen?” Okay. Find out the rules. “Do I have to share?” Again, really useful
verb when we’re talking about accommodation. “Do I have to share the bathroom with the
Swedish girls? Okay. That’s fine.” “How much notice?” If I want to leave the flat, I have
to give my notice and say, “I’m really sorry, Maria. I’m going to leave now.” Normally, they
ask you to say that one month in advance. Okay? So one month is normal. And they
might ask you to write it down. Okay? And if you really like it, if you really like
them all, you say, “When can I move in? When can I move here?” But you say “in”. “When can
you move into the house?” But if you don’t like it, you would say, well — because you
don’t want to say “no”. “No. I hate it. It’s rubbish. I don’t like it. It’s a really nasty
flat.” You don’t say that. You say, “I think I’d like to think about it. Yeah. Thank so
much.” So you don’t say “no”; you say, “I’ll think about it.” So I want you to think about my quiz. You
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