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October 29, 2017
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#240: DIY [1] Super Spooky Halloween Decor


Instructions:  Listen to the youtube video above and fill in the blanks in the transcript below (or write your answers on a piece of paper). Beginners can use the list of missing words and phrases, but if you're an advanced student, try to fill in the blanks just by listening to the video, without looking at the missing words and phrases.  The answers are given at the end of the lesson.

Main Features:  There are 5 main features in this video.  1) The word "of" often sounds like "uh"; that is, the final "v" sound is silent.  In this video you'll hear the phrases "some of" (some uh) and "kind of" (kind uh).  Note that the phrase "kind of" is sometimes written as "kinda" in text messages and other informal writing Note also that the "v" sound is also silent in the phrase "out of", but here the "t" sounds more like a "d", so it sounds something like "oud uh", which I'll write as "oudda"2) The beginning sound of the pronouns "him" (im), "her" (er), and "them" (em) is sometimes silent.  You'll hear these sounds four times in this video.  3) The word "to" often sounds like "ta" or "da".  You'll hear this word 10 times in this video.  4) The suffix "to" can also sound like "ta" or "da", such as in the words "into" (inda), "onto" (onda), and "together" (dagether).  5) The word "to" sometimes sounds like "na" in such phrases as "going to" (gonna) and "want to" (wanna).  You'll hear these sound more than 8 times in this video. 

Missing Words and Phrases (31):  Easy-to-make [easy-da-make]; going to [gonna] (5 times); going to be [gonna be]; her [er]; him [im] (2 times); into [inda]; kind of [kind uh]; onto [onda]; out of [oudda]; ready to [ready da]; see you [see ya]; some of [some uh]; start to [start ta]; sure to [sure da]; them [em]; time to start [time da start]; to [ta] (4 times); to be [ta be]; to let [da let]; together [dagether]; want to [wanna] (2 times); want your [want chur].


Hi, guys!  I can't believe that Halloween's right around the corner [2].  Last year was a total bust [3] for us.  I was 7 1/2 months pregnant and Lincoln was sick and we never even made it ______ the house in our costumes.  And the year before wasn't much better.  So we're going big this year.  I'm starting with decorating the house and today I'm ________ show you three super-spooky and really _______________ Halloween decorations.

First up are these blood-curdling candles.  All you'll need is a white and red candle and some embellishments.  We're ________ start with our white candle and a smaller red candle which is ___________ our blood.  Light the red candle, let it burn for a minute, and then simply lift it and drip it on top.  And continue around the entire candle until it's as bloody as you want it to be.  Oooooo.  This is _______ creeping me out because I seriously hate blood.  And ta-da! [4] Our candle is done.  That literally took 2 minutes _____ make and I think these turned out so cool and scary.  These bloody candles make a skin-crawling centerpiece for any Halloween party.  I like _____ add little embellishments like nails, spiders, or skeleton hands to make ____ even creepier.

Next up is a spooky skull wreath that's perfect for Halloween.  All you'll need are some foam skulls and a  hot glue gun.  We're ________ start with our skulls.  How many you need depends on how large you _________ wreath _____.  I have 17 of these small ones and we're ________ begin arranging them in a circle side-by-side so that the heads are all touching.  Once your shape is complete it's _____________ gluing these guys ________.  We're ________ take one of the skulls, lift _____ face up, and attach the hot glue. ...  And we're done!  You have a super-easy Halloween wreath that you can hang on your door ______ trick-or-treaters know you're open for business.

And finally we have these super-creepy cheesecloth ghosts.  All you need is a large doll, some cheesecloth, and fabric stiffener.  We're going to start with our doll.  You're going to need one that's pretty large -- she's about 20 inches -- and drape your cheesecloth over her.  I cut it to a little over twice the length of the doll so it's about 45 inches and then doubled it over.  Tuck the fabric around the arms and the legs _____ give it form.  Now we're ________ spray on our stiffener.  I've diluted mine in some "Stiffen Quik" so that I can spray it directly ____ the fabric.  As the cheesecloth gets wet, it'll ________ wrinkle up and mold to the doll's body.  Give it a thick, even coat.  And if you don't _______ wipe down sticky counters, you might _______ do this outside.  Our fabric's saturated and now we're going to leave _____ overnight _____ dry and terrify anyone that walks ____ my kitchen. ...  Alright, our fabric's dry and we're going to start removing it from the doll.  Gently peel away the fabric and set _____ on a step for a spooky Halloween scene that's _______ give your guests a scare. 

Alright, guys.  I hope this puts you in the Halloween spirit and you'll give _______ these decorations a try.  Tell me in the comments below what you're doing for Halloween -- Calvin's excited -- and we'll _______ next Friday.  Bye guys!


[1] DIY = Do It Yourself.  If you want to know how it's pronounced, here's a good website that gives both the American and British pronunciations: 
[2] Right around the corner = Something that's going to happen very soon. 
[3] A total bust = A complete failure.
[4] ta-da! = This word calls someone's attention to something remarkable. 


1) out of [oudda]
2) going to [gonna]
3) easy to make [easy da make]
4) going to [gonna]
5) going to be [gonna be]
6) kind of [kind uh]
7) to [ta]
8) to [ta]
9) them [em]
10) going to [gonna]
11) want your [want chur]
12) to be [ta be]
13) going to [gonna]
14) time to start [time da start]
15) together [dagether]
16) going to [gonna]
17) him [im]
18) to let [da let]
19) to [ta]
20) ready to [ready da]
21) onto [onda]
22) start to [start ta]
23) want to [wanna]
24) want to [wanna]
25) her [er]
26) to [ta]
27) into [inda]
28) him [im]
29) sure to [sure da]
30) some of [some uh]
31) see you [see ya]

More entries: Report this Improve Your Listening Skills #262: The Resident (TV Show Trailer), Improve Your Listening Skills #261: Making the Shots (Photography Interview), Improve Your Listening Skills #260: Spongebob Squarepants Movie (Trailer), Improve Your Listening Skills #259: What Are You Doing For Lunch Today? (Office Space), Improve Your Listening Skills #3: The Word "To" And Its Sounds, Improve Your Listening Skills #258: Peter is Hypnotized (Scene from Office Space), Improve Your Listening Skills #257: Peter's Interview (Scene from Office Space), Improve Your Listening Skills #256: A Time To Dance (Trailer), Improve Your Listening Skills #255: The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (Trailer), Improve Your Listening Skills #254: Game of Games (Ellen DeGeneres)

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06:15 AM Oct 30 2017


United States

Here's a website that gives both the British and American pronunciation of words: