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Advanced English: Listen to a Conversation about Sleep in British and American English

advanced english conversation sleep(1)

In this English conversation, you are going to learn words and phrases related to the topic of sleep.

We talk at our normal speed and this is a great way to practice your listening.

If it’s too difficult, turn on the subtitles. And be sure to watch it twice!

There are so many words and phrases to learn here. Let’s get started:

Sleep deprivation

This means that you’re not getting as much sleep as you need.

You can also say that you suffer from a lack of sleep.

Margaret Thatcher got by on 4 hours of sleep

To get by on four hours of sleep means that you can function normally just by sleeping for four hours.

  • I can get by on 5 hours of sleep
  • I can get by on $1,000 per month (financially)

I just power through

To power through means to do something even though you’re facing difficulty. It suggests that you are determined.

It made me think about the type of sleep we used to get

Two things here:

  1. notice the verb pattern here?: made me think
  2. we used to get (a habit or fact in the past)

Here is a video on this:

We used to have long lie-ins

In American English, you’ll hear to sleep in.

  • She slept in and missed her train
  • I need a sleep in

Pull an all-nighter

This means to stay up all night. Kate pulled an all-nighter so that she could finish her assignment.

  • I think I have to pull an all-nighter
  • I used to pull a lot of all-nighters

I had a major paper due

This means that Kate had a deadline for an important assignment.

Past perfect example

“By the time I met your family, I had been awake for 36 hours.”

This is a great example of the past perfect.

  • I had never watched Star Wars before I watched it last year.

It was a big derby

This means that it was a local rivalry. I support Preston and they played Burnley.

Learn more about football vocabulary here:

Light vs heavy sleeper

If you’re a light sleeper, you wake up easily during the night. A heavy sleeper is the opposite.

We also talked about sleeping through the night. This means that you don’t wake up.

First conditional example:

“If it weighs more, it will help you sleep better”

Learn more about this here:

If you’re a parent, it doesn’t matter

This is the zero conditional!

If something doesn’t matter, it means that it doesn’t play a role / it isn’t important.

I wish I could nap

Kate used a great example of wish here.

This means that Kate can’t nap but she wants that to be different.

Can you catch up on sleep?

To catch up on something means to do something that you haven’t had time/chance to do.

Get into something

Kate said, “my younger sister has got really into dreams.”

To get into something means to start having an interest in something.

  • I’m starting to get into politics
  • I’m really into football

Question Time!

How much sleep do you need? What helps you get to sleep at night?

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