Real English: Talking about pets and animals
- Published on: Saturday, February 4, 2017
- Do you like animals? Do you have a pet? Join me and Gizmo and learn to speak about your favorite animals! Asking about pets can be a great conversation starter. So in this lesson, we will answer your most common questions about pets. What do North Americans think of their dogs? What questions can you ask people about their pets? Do we call pets "he", "she", or "it"? What sounds do dogs make? What do we call dog and cat hair? Learn the answers to these questions and many more. Take our quiz to practice what you learned in this useful lesson that will teach you not just English vocabulary, but an important aspect of North American culture!
Hello. My name is Emma, and this is my friend Gizmo, and today we are going to help you learn English. Today's English is all about dogs. Okay? So, let's ask some questions to Gizmo, and we can get some answers.
Our first question: Do we call pets "he", "she", or "it"? What do you think, Gizmo? Usually for pets we like to use "he" or "she". Okay? So you might ask somebody: "What's her name?" or "What's his name?" when you're talking about a dog or a cat. We usually use "it" for wild animals, although sometimes we also use "he" and "she" if we want to personify them. So, majority of the time we use "he" or "she" when we're talking about pets.
Okay, question number two: What is pet hair called? Do you know the answer to this one, Gizmo? It is called fur. Okay? F-u-r, fur. As you can see, Gizmo has a lot of fur. We use the word "fur" when we're talking about cat hair, dog hair, hamster hair. It's what we call fur.
Okay, our next question: What are pet hands called? Okay, let's show Gizmo's off. So Gizmo, what is this called? This is a paw. So, dogs and cats have paws. I'm just going to put Gizmo down for a second. There you go. Okay, so his hands are called paws.
Okay, our next question: What does "canine" mean? "Canine" is another way to say "dog", but "canine" is more scientific sounding. So if you're reading a science book or something that's formal writing, you will probably see the word "canine". It's the science... Scientific word for dog. We also have the word "puppy". What does the word "puppy" mean? "Puppy" means a baby dog. Okay? So, when a dog is very small and very young, usually around, you know, two months to one year, we call it a puppy. For kittens, that's what we call a baby cat, a kitten.
Okay, our next question is a very good one: What sound does a dog make? Sounds are very cultural. In different cultures, animals make different sounds. For dogs, in English, dogs can either bark, they can say: "Woof woof", or they can say: "Ruff ruff". Is this different than what dogs say in your language? If you're wondering with cats or with, you know, all sorts of other animals, you can actually check out Ronnie's video which covers a lot of these different animal sounds if you're interested.
Okay, finally, our last question for vocabulary: What do you call a dog with no home? So a dog that lives in the streets. We call a dog with no home a stray dog, or we can also say a street dog. So we would say: "That dog has no owner. He's without a family. He's a stray dog." Or: "He is a street dog." So now let's look at some grammar and pronunciation, and cultural tips about talking about dogs.
Okay, so our next question is a grammar question, and it's a very important grammar question. Okay, so let me hold Gizmo. Okay. So, Gizmo, you see these two things? "I like dog", "I like dogs". Do you know what the difference between these two sentences are? No? Okay, well, let me tell you. "I like dog" is very different than: "I like dogs". When you want to say you like dogs as in, you know, you think they're really cute and funny, and you enjoy them, you say: "I like dogs" with an "s". This is different from: "I like dog" with no "s". If you say: "I like dog" it makes it sound like you like to eat dog. Okay? And this is true for a lot of animals. If we say: "I like chicken", it means I like to eat chicken. This is very different from: "I like chickens", which means: "I think chickens are cute. I enjoy chickens, and I find them very interesting."
Okay, so the next question is a pronunciation question, and that is: What is the pronunciation difference between "dogs" and "ducks"? So a duck is an animal, you know, that says: "Quack quack", at least in English it does, and a lot of students, when they say these words they pronounce them the same way.