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Learn English with THE HUNGER GAMES

Learn English with THE HUNGER GAMES

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there. I’m Alex.
Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on how to learn English with books. Today,
I’m looking at a very specific book. This is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It
is a young adult novel that is very popular, and has been turned into a movie,
and is easy to find everywhere. So, in this lesson, I’m going to talk about
why The Hunger Games is a great book to start for new intermediate English learners, and
also, I’m going to talk about 10 items of vocabulary from chapter one of the book. If
you’d like to get a copy of the book yourself, you can check out the link to Amazon attached
to this video for a physical copy, and if you’re interested in an audio version of the
book, you can actually link to where, if you do sign up, you get your first
book free, so you can get The Hunger Games, you can get classics like 1984, you can find
newer books as well. So, if you’re interested in that, check out the links attached to
the video. And now, let the games begin. So, like I mentioned, The Hunger Games is a
good book for intermediate English students for a number of reasons. First of all, The
Hunger Games is written in the first person, so there is a lot of: “I”, “I”, “I”, just
like you normally speak in everyday life, where the most common personal pronoun you
use is probably “I”. Second of all, it is written in the present tense. Now, I don’t
mean that the book doesn’t have future tense, or past tense, or conditionals. It has all
those things, but the primary tense it uses with the character
speaking is the present. So, now, I’m going to read you the first paragraph
of the book so you can see what I mean. “When I wake up, the other
side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out,
seeking Prim’s warmth, but finding only the rough
canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams,
and climbed in with our mother. Of course she did. This is
the day of the reaping.” So, you see “is”, you hear: “The other side of the bed is cold when I wake up.” Present simple. Now, not only does this make
it a little easier for new English learners or intermediate English learners to read the
book because the present tenses are usually the first ones you learn, it also makes the
book a lot more engaging, interesting, and exciting, because everything feels a lot more
present. There’s no other way to put it. Third of all, The Hunger Games, as you probably
know if you’re watching this video, or maybe you don’t know, is very popular.
Now, you might be thinking: “Why is this a good thing if I’m
choosing a book to learn English?” Well, number one: It’s
really easy to find. Whether you’re looking for the audio book
or if you’re looking for a physical copy, if you’re looking for the e-book – every website,
every store will have stacks and stacks of copies of this book. This also means there
are multiple translations. This might also mean that you have already read this book in
your own language, and it might be a good idea, now, to read it in English, because
you’re already familiar with the content, the characters, and what the
action is like in the book. Fourth, it does have an interesting story.
Is it my favorite book of all time? No, it’s not, but it
is pretty interesting. There is a dystopian world,
a tyrannical government that’s ruling everyone, and there’s a strong
female hero. So this book is actually really popular with teenage girls, also with boys
and men, but there is a strong female lead, which is attractive
to many people. Now, the other thing is that this book is
packed with vocabulary. Not just this book, obviously, many books are packed with vocabulary,
vocabulary, vocabulary. And what I recommend, especially if you do buy a physical copy of
this book, is that you use it like a notebook. Be ready to just write in it. Write vocabulary
all over the place. Write translations. If you want to write, you know, the Spanish translation,
the Portuguese translation, the Farsi translation, the Arabic translation,
so it makes sense to you. Now, I can speak from this from a personal
level, because I am currently reading The Hunger Games, but I’m reading it in French,
as I am studying French. And the first… I’m only about five pages in, but those first
five pages are just filled with notes in pencil that I have left. And I’m writing all over it,
I’m treating it like a notebook. You know, normally I take good care
of my books, and I think: “Oh, my book, my book, it must
be in perfect condition.” But, if you’re learning a language,
when you buy a book, you use it like a notebook; you write all over it. It
makes it much more personal for you, and it will help you to learn the vocabulary and
the grammar a lot quicker. And speaking of vocabulary, let’s look at some words
from chapter one of The Hunger Games. Okay, so, the first word we are going to look
at from chapter one of The Hunger Games is “swollen”. “Swollen” is an adjective that
means enlarged due to internal pressure. It sounds complicated, but as soon as I
describe it, you’ll get it. For example: “His ankle looked swollen for
3 days after he twisted it.” So a part of your
body can be swollen when it is twisted or it becomes enlarged.
If you have an allergy, for example, your neck might become swollen. If you twist your
ankle when you’re running, the ankle gets bigger, it gets swollen. Okay?
So just repeat after me: “Swollen”. Okay, good. Let’s continue to the next one, which
is a phrasal verb. Now, this phrasal verb is “blurt out”. “Blurt
out” means to say something suddenly without thinking about it. So if you just say something
and you don’t really think about it, you blurt it out. For example: “You can’t just blurt out anything
that pops into your head!” So if you’re, you know, having a fight with your
boyfriend or your girlfriend, and you suddenly blurt something out that is a secret,
like: “I’ve been cheating on you!” because you feel so guilty, it’s probably not a good
thing. But when you blurt something out, you say it without thinking because you’re emotionally
charged inside and you want it to come out. Next: “upbeat”. If you’re an upbeat person,
you’re positive, you’re happy, you’re cheerful. So, for example: “She’s always
upbeat around the office.” You see the prefix “up”, and “beat” like “boom, boom, de dum, boom”. If
you’re upbeat-right?-you’re positive, cheerful, happy. Like: “Hey, how’s it going? Hey, how
is your day going?” Things like this. So, if you’re upbeat, you’re happy, cheerful.
Positive personality. So, are you an upbeat person or are you someone who is, you know,
a little more subdued or sad in life? Which, I’m sorry. So… Next: “resemble”. “Resemble” is a verb. If you
resemble something or someone… To resemble means to be like or similar to.
For example: “He resembles his father.” So this means maybe in his
character, his personality. It can also mean in his
looks, his appearance. He resembles his father. Okay? And finally, we have: “abandoned”. This is an
adjective or a past verb, which could mean to be left alone or deserted. Now, if you are
deserted, abandoned, left alone, it means someone just-I’m going to drop
this-abandoned you. Okay? So, for example: “Their parents abandoned
them when they were 12.” Maybe their parents were not
happy people, they had a lot of things going on, they didn’t like their
kids… It could be a number of reasons. Maybe they had depression issues, and the parents
abandoned their children. This is a sad story. I don’t know why I made this example. I’m
very sorry, students. All right, let’s look at five more pieces
of vocabulary. Our next word is “snob”. Now, a snob is someone
who acts superior or who feels they have better taste than someone else. For
example: You could be a movie snob, you could be a food snob,
a video game snob. Someone who feels your taste is
better, you know, than other people. For example: “Don’t be a food snob. We’re
going to McDonald’s!” Okay? You made lunch plans and your friend has a limited
amount of money they can spend, and they say: “I want to go to McDonald’s. It’s cheaper than
going to this steak restaurant you recommended, where I have to pay $50 for a steak.” Okay?
So: “Please don’t be a food snob. We’re going to McDonald’s! End of story.” All right?
So, don’t be a snob. Next we have a verb, this is “ensure”. So,
“ensure”, you see “sure”, “ensure”, make sure or make certain.
So, for example: “Please ensure you
lock the door.” We did this to ensure that everyone, you know, would
stay awake during the movie or something like that. Next we have another verb: “scrub”. So, when
you think of “scrub”, you see the word “rub”, in there, and “scrub” means to rub hard with
a brush, a cloth, etc. So, if you’re doing, like this, you’re scrubbing the floor, or
scrubbing the wall, or scrubbing your hands. Okay? Now, this is usually on a hard surface.
So, for example: “I hate scrubbing the toilet.” If your toilet is very dirty and you have to
get in there, and scrub the toilet. Okay? Next, this is an expression: to
keep tabs on someone or something. If you are keeping tabs on
someone or on something, you are observing it carefully, or you’re
keeping a record of something. For example: “We need to keep tabs on
how much we’re spending.” So this could be in a business,
this could be in a relationship, this could be a conversation
with your roommate where, you know, you don’t feel confident,
you don’t feel comfortable about how much money you have, and you tell your roommate,
you tell your business partner, you tell your girlfriend/wife/husband,
whoever: “We need to pay attention to
how much money we’re spending. We need to keep tabs on
how much we’re spending. Track it, record it, pay careful
attention, and observe our habits.” Okay? You can also keep tabs on a person.
So, you know, if you have been with a company for five years and
there’s a new employee, your boss might tell you: “Keep tabs on this guy. Keep tabs on this
girl. Keep tabs on this one.” This means: “Pay attention to them. They are new. They
might make mistakes more easily than you, since you’ve been here for longer.
So keep tabs on them.” And finally, we have “mercy”. “Mercy” is a
noun. It usually goes with the verb “show”, “to show mercy”. It means to show compassion or kindness.
So, for example: “They didn’t show their
enemies any mercy.” So this means that in a war,
one army showed no mercy, no compassion, no kindness for someone else.
Imagine, you know, if you are in a war or if you’re in a fight with a person and you’re
losing the fight, and you want them to stop, you might just say: “I give up. Mercy. Mercy. Mercy.
Please, please, please stop. Show some kindness. Show
some compassion, please.” So today, we looked at 10 words. Number one:
“swollen”, this means enlarged due to internal pressure. So, if you have an allergic reaction
to something, your hands can become swollen or your neck can become swollen. If
you twist your ankle, your wrist, they can become swollen as well. Next we have “blurt out”. So, again, this is
a phrasal verb that means to say something without thinking about it. You can blurt
out your true feelings for someone, like: “I love you.” Okay? You blurt out, you
say it without thinking about it, because it’s inside you
and it wants to come out. Next: “upbeat”. This is an adjective
that means positive, happy, or cheerful. A person can have an upbeat personality, they
can be an upbeat person in general. Okay? A movie can even have
an upbeat feel to it, if it’s a very positive movie, you
know, with light touches to it. Next: “resemble” is a verb that means
to be like or similar to. So, two songs can resemble each other, two
people can resemble each other, two movies can resemble
each other if they are similar. So, as I said
in the previous example: “Oh, he resembles
his father.” Or: “You resemble someone
I know.” Or: “She resembles her sister”, looks like or maybe
acts like her sister. Next: “abandoned” which means to be left
alone or deserted. If someone abandons you, they leave you all by yourself,
and usually they never come back. It’s a very sad, dramatic word, if you
remember the example we gave before. Next: “snob”. A snob is a person who acts
like they’re superior or like their tastes are better than yours. So, we mentioned food
snobs, movie snobs, you can have video game snobs. Any type of snob, a person who feels
they are better than you and have better taste than you at something. Next: “ensure”. Just see
the word “sure” and think: “make sure”. Ensure, make
sure, ensure make sure. Or make certain. Okay? So, please ensure
you do the quiz after this video on Next we have “scrub”. So, to
scrub, think of this action [rubs hands together] Okay. To rub hard with a brush or cloth, etc. You
have to scrub your bathroom, scrub the tub, scrub the toilet, scrub the floor. Scrub
your feet, maybe your feet are really dirty. Next: to keep tabs on someone or something,
it means to observe carefully or to keep a record. So, if you keep tabs on someone, you’re
paying close attention to what they’re doing. You can keep tabs on your spending, how much
money you’re spending, for example, as well. And finally, we have “mercy”, which is compassion
or kindness. So this usually goes with the verb “show”, “to show mercy”. Show
compassion, show kindness. All right. So, today, we have been talking
about The Hunger Games. If you would like to get an audio version of the
book, you can check out the link to attached to this video. There, when you sign
up, you can get your first book for free. Also, if you want to get a print copy of the
book, don’t forget to check out the Amazon link, which is also attached to this video.
And, as always, if you want to test your
understanding of this material, check out the quiz
on And if you like this video, like it, comment
on it, subscribe to the YouTube channel, check me out on
Twitter and Facebook. And one more thing, guys, so this is kind of a new video
style that I’m trying, and I’d like to know, if you guys enjoyed this talk
about books and learning vocabulary through books, if you’d like to see more videos
like this where I look at a specific book, like 1984 or like The
Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings,
or something like this, also let me know in the comments, and
we’ll see what can happen after that. All right, until next time,
thanks for clicking.

100 thoughts on “Learn English with THE HUNGER GAMES”

  1. Hello, Alex! Thank you for your video. I've read The Hunger Games trilogy in English. There were a lot of new words and expressions for me. "Keep tabs on" was one of those expressions. 🙂 Simple grammar, interesting words/phrases and the great story make the trilogy perfect for English learners. I like the new style of the video. I'd love to see more videos like this one. You said that you were studying French. Can you please tell me about interesting websites or YouTube channels for French learners? 🙂

  2. what a great idea , suggesting a book to read and giving us a brief about it , by this way we can develop our English, so thaaaaaaaank you very much

  3. great video! i´m a spanis lit student and i perfectly know that any english written books are better in their original idiom.

  4. Hi Alex, excellent work and video. If you could analyze and explain The Lord of the Rings this would be a blast I'm really sure that would be a success. I know that is a really big topic and hard work but worthwhile. Thanks!!

  5. Hi Alex, I am a real fan of your English channel. Can you help me with the expression"Get squared away" I can't figure out what it means. It's really doing my head in. For example I was watching Maze runner and someone said Now come with me We'll get you kids squared away. what does it mean? We'll help you settle down? Can you give me a synonymous?

  6. An amazing idea, I was looking for a YouTube Chanel which could recommend me books to practice my English, thank you very much Alex.

  7. I'm in love with this video! That's pretty amazing lesson, thank you Alex! What about a new vocabulary from the book called "The fault in our stars" ?

  8. Professor Alex your classes are simply awesome. I am learning many things from it. You are very good in what you do, congratulations. Can you talk about engineering terms someday? Thanks.

  9. I started to read the hunger game and it's so amazing because this weird story give me a new outlook of the live and took me to its world

  10. Hat off to you, sir for this nice video.I love the way you teach. I have bought all 3 books of the Hunger Games. I am going to start reading it. Thank you for your recommendation.

  11. It is a great idea to show how we can learn with books! Could you make another similar video but this time with the novel "1984"?

  12. Hi teacher Alex,my name is Samantha and I'm from Brazil.I found out your channel some days ago and I have watched your videos since then.I'm trying to improve my English every day.I'd like that you make a video about Learn English with Harry Potter book series.

  13. I think the study of books are interesting. But I think the study about movies are amazing. As you did in Star Wars.
    And can ben any movie that you want to see.

  14. Thanks for clicking, everyone! Just a reminder that you can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.


    Finally, if you would like to support EngVid, you can donate at this link:

    We truly appreciate every donation we receive. Thank you for studying with us.

  15. I really enjoy your videos. could you be able to make a video about drive cars and every situation that the people could be envolved.

  16. I'll be waiting for new video. It is a very interesting video. Thank you very much, Alex, for you help to improve my English:)

  17. Nice tip! I have been reading lots of books in english, others books as good as Hunger games to start are Legend (Marie Lu) and Divergent.

  18. I'd like to see this type of videos and maybe you give us some movies or series names which can help to improve our English. Thanks for your videos, they are very good:)

  19. thank you you are great i like your videos and like the new shape of it i need to talk about slang vocabulary that it use in normal live please bring a book ThaT talk by slang language thank you

  20. I very liked this video, thanks a lot, please give more vocabulary. Its easier to learn them with you)

  21. i like your vedio..and i have learnt of lot of vocabulary from this videos.. i like your teaching style..but one thing i want to know that is how to download the hunger game book and audio? here book is not available..plz tell me.

  22. Wow! I loved this lesson so much! I had already read it in Portuguese and now I'll definitely buy the audiobook. What an inspiring lesson. Congratulations!

  23. Thank so much Alex.
    i just am studying English in AUS.
    This video helps me too much i like it. i can learn more vocabulary also gain listening skill and enjoy by the book story.
    so your question that of coz i need resemble more this video.
    thank you so much again.

  24. 😍😍thanks a lot it's very helpful I'm asking you if you don't mind to make a videos about the other hard words in the other chapters if that's even possible ???

  25. I'm studying English in Canada, Language Center in Casablanca and my first book is the Alchemist has written by Paulo Coelho I didn't finish it yet but I'm learning a lot of new words
    Thanks for your lessons ^^

  26. Hi Alex! I've watched many of your videos with my students. They are always interesting and thorough. Today, I'm writing a comment for the first time, only because I'd be fantastic if you could post many more videos on books. I don't really care about the genre; I feel like having somebody to teach you new words in a catchy way doesn't really need a specific book… I used to be an avid reader of Lobsang Rampa, now, after a family with two kids, no maid, no babysitter, and a half-time job; reading for myself is very much a 5 min activity I can do a couple of times a week. Anyway, Please, keep doing this kind of videos!

  27. Now i know why i was having difficulties in reading books such as 'sherlock Holmes', this book you mentioned seems like an easy reading compared to sh. thaanks Alex!

  28. This is a great lesson. Those words are hard to remember but after this lesson I already remember them.

  29. Hi Alex, I learnt fabulous vocabularies with video can you please you make videos like this it much very useful to learn vocabulary with good examples.
    I really appreciate you given good video

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