English Conversation: The Meaning of Hand Gestures
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Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video, I am going to teach you
all about how we use our hands in English.
So there are many ways we use our hands in English. I'm going to
teach you a lot of different ways we use them. A lot of students get very confused with this,
because the way we use our hands varies from culture to culture, so what we do in Canada
and England and the U.S. might be very different than with what you do in your country. Okay?
So pay close attention to these differences.
So to start with, let's look at: "knock on wood".
If you're living in an English-speaking country,
you may have noticed sometimes people have a wooden object or a desk, a table, something
made of wood, and they knock on it.
Okay? You might wonder: "What does this mean, knock on wood?"
In English tradition, if you say something good, for example:
"I did very, very well on my test. I killed my test. I did amazing on my test",
you might knock on wood to make sure that you don't jinx it. Okay?
I'll give you another example.
Imagine if I want to go on a picnic, and I'm a little afraid about rain, I might say:
"Oh, you know, today's supposed to be a very sunny day. Knock on wood."
I'm knocking on wood to prevent rain. Okay? So it's a superstition
we do in order to kind of protect ourselves from the
opposite happening. Okay? One last example:
-"How did your interview go? How did your job interview go?"
-"Oh, it went well." [Knocks] Okay,
so that's why we knock on wood, it's a superstition.
All right, let's look at some of these other ones. "Quotes".
A lot of students have asked me: "What does this mean?"
Okay? So, for example, somebody might say:
"Yeah, she's beautiful."
Or: "He's really smart."
This kind of has a sarcastic tone to it. It means somebody
has said somebody is beautiful, but you don't believe it. Or somebody has said somebody