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Knick Knacks
Knick Knacks

Learn English with this knick-knacks English lesson

Date: Jul 18 2014

Themes: Hobbies

Grammar: Phrasal Verbs

Intro

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What does your house say about you? Is it clean and clutter free? Or do you have keepsakes and tchotchke filling every space on the wall?

While some people love to keep gifts and decorations, too many knick-knacks drive other people crazy. If your roommate or your partner has covered every inch of your wall with stuff, you might be dying to rip some of it down and lose it.

It’s true that heirlooms are special and should be kept, but it might be good to invite a friend over to pare you down if you have too many items from your favorite vintage shop. There can be too much of a good thing, especially knick-knacks.

Learn how Jessica and Marni like to decorate in today’s English lesson.

Dialog

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Marni

Marni

Jessica

Jessica

Marni:  Jessica.

Jessica:  Yes.

Marni:  There is this new vintage store around the corner that I’m dying to check out. I need some new knick-knacks. You want to come with me?

Jessica:  I guess so. I hate clutter, though. I don’t need any more decorations for my home.

Marni:  Really?

Jessica:  Yeah.

Marni:  Oh my god. I love a good knick-knack. A little tchotchke. A lot of the ones that I have in my own home are actually hand-me-downs from my grandmother, and so they’re family items.

Jessica:  Oh, that’s kind of neat.

Marni:  I might call them family heirlooms. But I just love little keepsakes, just little things to really give your house some personality.

Jessica:  Absolutely. I’m more of a minimalist, though. I have this motto: “If you don’t use it, lose it.”

Marni:  Wow.

Jessica:  Yeah.

Marni:  Man, you might think my house is kind of junky, then. But I think it’s got a lot of pizzazz.

Jessica:  Maybe I’ll have to come over, and we’ll pare you down a bit with your knick-knacks.

Marni:  OK, but let’s go to the store and just maybe get a few more first.

Jessica:  OK. Just a few minutes.

 

Grammar Point

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Lesson MP3

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Discussion

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Marni invites Jessica to go shopping at the new vintage store. Jessica groans. It’s obvious she doesn’t want to go. Jessica likes spending time with Marni, but she doesn’t want to buy any new decorations for her house. To her, extra items are just extra clutter, and she likes to keep her house as empty as possible.

Marni, on the other hand, loves tchotchkes of all kinds. She has a lot of heirlooms and other keepsakes. They’re special to her, and she thinks they make her house exciting.

Jessica strongly disagrees with Marni’s decorating style. She’ll go to the shop with Marni, but she also plans to help Marni throw away some of her knick-knacks.

Do you collect items for your home? What’s the most interesting knick-knack you own?

 

Comments

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Yozunget

Russian Federation

When I was boy my room was cluttered with different kinds of knick-knacks.  When I got older I got rid of them. Now I just store few keepsakes from my friends.

08:22 AM Sep 14 2014 |

vik32

vik32

India

i dont have any keepsakes and knick knack at my home. there is so much clutter, though. i like antique things to be at my home.

10:22 PM Sep 13 2014 |

pausar

pausar

Poland

When I moved to my house I promised myself, that I didn’t collect knick-knacks, because I hated cleaning all that items in my parents’ house. However, after few years I started collect keepsakes, which are special for me. The most important knick-knacks for me are those, that are connected with my wedding day and honey moon.

12:48 PM Jul 20 2014 |

kenlin16

kenlin16

Taiwan

I am like Jessica that I don’t like too much stuff in my house if they are not used very often. One thing is the more things you collect, the more time you have to spend on cleaning. Beside, too many things sitting there not used are a waste too. I llike thing efficient and neat that  reflect my mind of taking  control of as many things as possible  so my life will go smoother .

11:05 AM Jul 20 2014 |

Tarita_Rambler

Antarctica

@ sammosa,


hand-me-down is a noun (plural hand-me-downs). It means something passed down from one person to another.

12:13 AM Jul 20 2014 |

Tarita_Rambler

Antarctica

Filling every space on the wall is not good. It would take a lot of time to clear up the room. I’m lazy by nature so I prefer empty shelves. But… there are quite a few books and photos on those shelves… 


I see a strange word “tchotchke” for the first time. If there weren’t an explanation in the text I couldn’t understand what it meant.


P.S. Google knows how to translate it into Russian. These words are quite similar :)

01:02 PM Jul 19 2014 |

1 person likes this

rastak

rastak

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i think it s great if i have heirloom but i don’t have.

12:59 PM Jul 19 2014 |

rastak

rastak

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i think it s great if i have heirloom but i don’t have.

12:59 PM Jul 19 2014 |

sammosa

Jordan

why did Marni say hand me downs. why not instead said hand me down . Is “S” here a mistake or something like thgat ?

11:58 AM Jul 19 2014 |

mahbubeh92

mahbubeh92

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i actuall do care about  my room’s decoration thats why i have many knick.knacks  in my room.i like this decorating style when i put stuff with different symbols like chinese and nature like dried flowers and leaves and some specific kind of plants together,


my stuff include keepsake that is  hand-me-down from my grandpa which is long engraved copper glass.and some tchotchke that i bought or i made them i dont like to lose these kinds of knick knacks

10:21 AM Jul 19 2014 |

Zuxraxon

Zuxraxon

Uzbekistan

So do I. I have several knick knacks…like souvenirs and so on. Such things make our home very cute and cozy)

09:29 AM Jul 19 2014 |

1 person likes this

sara1234b

sara1234b

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Hi, there


I love buying new decorations but before i give the old ones away. In my book a suitable knick knack gives plenty of pizzazz to ur house. I have a couple of heirlooms which has beem kept by my family for many years and i feel morally bound to keep them and have some keepsakes that remind me of good friends who i could rely on when i felt down and some of them are lessones to be learned, my mean, to avoid doing the same mistakes. sometimes i desperately need someone pare me down with clutter of my clothes.

05:10 AM Jul 19 2014 |

Worker

Worker

Colombia

I have a lot stuff of my childhood. I like collecting itmes for my home. In my house , we have a lot keepsakes.

04:28 PM Jul 18 2014 |

a2020

a2020

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I don’t collect items for my home i am kind of minimalist I have a knick knack that my ex-gf gave me it is a sphered shape that you can see the sea in it and  i still like it.

11:55 AM Jul 18 2014 |

bravevivian

Ecuador

I don’t like to keep knick knacks at home, however I keep some souvenirs from the countries I have been to, specially paintings.


Anyway it’s a matter of decorating style :D

10:56 AM Jul 18 2014 |

sam14719

sam14719

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

usually i try to protect some specially things for ex keepsakes & heirlooms knick-knacks …..


but sometimes i think with myself who its good if i can throw away some of them and  make free my mind of the past times ..but i cant


we have a Proverb in Iran who say”every things who dont use its and not important for you may be you need to use its a day”


“هرچیز که خوار آید روزی به کار آید”


“har chiz ke khar ayad rozi be kar ayad”in persian languge

05:49 AM Jul 18 2014 |

samine_sh

samine_sh

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i’m a pack rat. i like to have my all stuff, you know feelig of going back to the past,nostalgia

03:33 AM Jul 18 2014 |

La Princesse de la vie

Egypt

I like to be in a tidy organized place, but some little knick-knacks won’t be a mess.. It’s not like I go shpping at a vintage store or even like buying items as just tchotchkes. It’s just about my friends’ birthday gifts for me and most of them are items for decorations, and of course I won’t lose them just because I don’t actually get use of them, but they are keepsakes from my friends. And of course I like to keep them and I plan to take them with me whereever I go because they are dear to my heart and I like looking at them, each one in a place :) The same thing with the hand-downs from my dear grandmother. Heirlooms are special souvenirs that help you remember some dear people to your heart and shall give them to your children also. Then your child will have his parents’ grandparents’ things and this is cool _

02:53 AM Jul 18 2014 |

S&W

S&W

China

I want my home to be clean and tidy.On the other hand ,I hope i would have a room or cellar to store knick-knack.I like japanese dolls.

kimnga

kimnga

Viet Nam

I think I have the same idea with Jessica that I don’t like to keep so many things in my house. However, I love to play with dolls since I was a little girl, so I only keep few of my favorite dolls that my Mom had bought for me until now.

12:38 AM Jul 18 2014 |

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