Learn English vocabulary, expressions, and culture for birthdays!

Hello! My name is Emma and today is a very special
day. Today is my birthday! So, I’ve decided to wear my birthday dress,
which has a whole bunch of balloons on it, and I decided to teach you some English we
use when we talk about our birthdays. So, the first thing I wanted to talk about
is a mistake I see a lot when people talk about their birthdays. Somebody might ask you “When were you born?”. They want to know what year you were born
in, or “When did you come into this world?”. So, “When were you born?” So, any students make a mistake with this. They say “I born in 1992”. So, that is a mistake. How do we say this correctly? We say “I was born…” and notice we are using
the past tense here. We’re not saying “I am born”, we are saying,
since it happened in the past, we use the past tense and we say “I was born”. So, “I was born”, and we often given a year. Do we give on the year, or in the year? This is another area of confusion for many
students. So, we say “I was born in…” and then we
say the year. So, this isn’t true, but I’m just going to
but a year here. I was born in 1995. I was born in 2001. I was born in 1954. None of those are true, by the way, but just
to highlight that we use “in” with the year. If we want to ask somebody this question,
we say “When were you born?”. When were you born? Or we can ask “What year were you born?” and
then the answer would be “I was born in …” and then whatever year it is. We can also talk about our birthday. What is your birthday? When is your birthday? I was born on May 24th, for example. So if we are giving the birthday itself, and
by that I mean the month and the day and the year, if you want, or just the month and the
day, we can use “on”. I was born on May 24th. I was on May 24th, 1995, okay? So there are some examples for you on how
we use “was born” and which prepositions we use. Okay, so this is one thing we often use when
we talk about our birthdays. The next one is somebody might ask us “How
old are you?” In English, we even have a song about this. At the end of the birthday song, people often
sing “How old are you now?”, so on some birthdays you might hear that. So when someone asks “How old are you?”, what
do you say in response? You can say “I am”, you put your age here,
so for example, “I am 96 (again, not true, but I don’t like to share my age)”, so, “I
am 96 year old”. Wait a second. Is there a mistake here? Do you see what the mistake is? Many students forget to put an “s” on years. Okay, so, I am 96 years old. Sometimes, we don’t even use this part. Sometimes we just say “I’m 96. I’m 18. I’m 51”. So, you can use “years old”, or you can just
leave it off if you want and just say the number. Both are okay to do. Now, there are a lot of languages that are
similar to English, but the do things a little bit differently like Spanish or French, so
sometimes you’ll hear somebody from these language backgrounds, they might say “I have
96 years”. Okay, so, I’ve heard this before. “I have 18 years”. In English, we don’t use the word “have” in
this way with our age, okay? So this is a mistake. So be very careful if you’re from a French
background, a Spanish background, I’m not sure what other language backgrounds do this,
but in many language backgrounds, they use “have”. We don’t do that in English with our age. We use the “be” verb. Okay, so sometimes, our birthday just happened. So we just had a birthday and our age has
changed. So, we use a special verb in this case. We use the verb “turned”. I just turned 32. So, this means my birthday just happened and
my new age is 32. I just turned 26. I just turned 51. Okay, so, notice this verb, we have it in
the past tense, and we have an -ed at the end, so we pronounce it “turned” with a “duh”
sound at the end. I just turned 32. Sometimes, our birthday is close, but it hasn’t
happened yet. Imagine my birthday is one month away. I am 31 and I’m turning 32. So in this case, this means this is going
to happen soon. I’m not yet this age, but I will be this age. So, you might ask somebody, if someone says
“I have a birthday in two weeks”, you might say “Oh, how old are you turning?” How old are you turning? “Well, I’m turning 21. I’m turning 54”, okay? And, again, notice we could put years after
this – I’m turning 32 years old, but in conversation, we often just don’t use the “years old”. We often just say the number. Okay, so the next thing I wanted to teach
you is, for birthday English, a very common expression we use. We tell people when it’s their birthday, we
say “Happy Birthday”. Now, sometimes, because we’re so busy, we
might forget someone’s birthday. Have you ever forgotten someone’s birthday
before? I know I’ve forgotten many birthdays. So, if you forget somebody’s birthday, what
can you say? Instead of saying “Happy Birthday”, you can
say “Happy Belated Birthday”. We say this when we forgot the person’s birthday
or we didn’t have time to wish them a happy birthday. Maybe we just didn’t see them or talk to them. But it’s a way to say Happy Birthday but it’s
late, okay? So when you wish somebody a happy birthday
but you’re a little late, you say “Happy Belated Birthday”. Alright, so now let’s look at some other expressions
and words we use when we’re talking about our birthdays. So, the next thing I want to talk about are
false friends. A false friend is when you have a word in
your language and a similar looking word in English and you think they mean the same thing
because they look similar but they really have different meanings. We call these “false friends”. English has many false friends with languages
like French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, so any languages that share a similar
history with English often have friends that are false. So, I’m going to give you an example of this. Anniversary. This word exists in many different languages,
or similar words to anniversary, they look very similar, but they have different meanings. In English, an anniversary is not a birthday. We use the word anniversary when we’re talking
about a special date that happens once a year where we remember something. So, for example, we might have a wedding anniversary. We might have the anniversary of an important
event in our life, but we do not use anniversary when we are talking about birthdays, okay? So these do not equal the same thing. The next thing I wanted to talk about is a
common question we might want to ask somebody when we find out it’s their birthday. Especially if we work with them, this is a
great way to make small talk. You might ask somebody “Oh, what are you doing
for your bday or birthday?” So, first of all, “bday”, let’s talk about
this. Bday means birthday. It’s a way we sometimes write birthday and
we want to save time and maybe we’re texting our friends, instead of writing birthday,
we might in a text message or email, we might just write bday, this means the same thing
as this. So, what are you doing for your birthday? So, we want to know what are your plans? If you ask somebody this, they might respond
with “Oh, I’m celebrating my birthday with friends. I’m celebrating by birthday with family. I’m celebrating at a restaurant”. So we often use the word “celebrating” with
birthdays. Not always, but it is a common word – it’s
a common verb we can use when we talk about birthdays. Okay, you might even talk about maybe you’re
having a party. “I’m having a birthday party” “My friends
are throwing me a party”. So birthdays – the thing about birthdays in
Canadian culture is different people do them different ways, so you have some people who
want big birthdays where they might invite a lot of people to a restaurant or they might
have a party at their house, whereas you might have some people who like to have smaller
birthdays. Maybe they like to just spend it with their
boyfriend or girlfriend, or maybe just with their family. Some people don’t even celebrate birthdays. So, it’s a good idea to talk to people about,
you know, what do you do for your birthday, how do you celebrate? Because different people do it differently. Okay, so the next question has to do with
birthdays. The question is “What is”, or “What’s” (what’s
meanswhat is) your zodiac sign, or we can also say “What’s your sign?”. When people ask this question, what they’re
really talking about is your horoscope. So, depending on the month you were born,
you have an animal or some sort of symbol that represents that month. And so, when we talk about “signs”, people
who are really into astrology, they might ask you those questions. And what they’re asking is “What is your sign”,
so if you know it – I’ll give you some examples: there’s Aquarius, Leo, Virgo. If these words are strange to you, that’s
okay, but sometimes in Canadian culture or North American culture, we talk about our
signs, which are – they refer to the month we were born in. So, for example, if you were born in May,
you may be a Gemini. So, the idea is that people who have this
birthday month, in the newspaper you will see something called “horoscope”. A horoscope is a prediction, so it’s a way
to talk about the future, based on your birthday month. So, for example, if you’re a Gemini, you can
open up a newspaper in North America, you can look for the horoscope, you can find,
okay, Gemini, this is for May, and then you can read a fun predication about your future. It might say “Oh, today, you’re going to have
a wonderful day!” or “Be careful, someone at work is not being honest with you”. So, some people get really into this. Some people really like horoscopes. Some people don’t know anything about this
and they aren’t interested in it, but it is a part of the culture so in case you’re wondering,
somebody might ask you “What’s your sign?”, and this is what they’re talking about. The last thing I wanted to talk about today
is the culture of birthdays, or, sorry, the culture of age. In different cultures, some things are very
openly talked about, and some things we don’t really talk about that much. So, in North America and in other Western
countries, your age is one of these things where some people don’t like to tell their
age. So, for example, my grandmother, I don’t know
how old she is, because she’s one of those people that will never tell what her real
age is. So, if I ask her, “Grandmother, how old are
you?” I don’t know what she’s going to say. It’s different every time, and she does not
like that question. So, some people don’t like being asked “How
old are you?”. So, my tip is don’t ask somebody their age
unless you’re very close with them, or if they tell you, okay. Some people don’t care and will tell you their
age, no problem, so some people do care, so depending on the person, you might want to
be careful about this, okay? So my recommendation – don’t ask somebody
what their age is unless you know them well. And this is especially true for work as well,
okay? So, we have covered a lot of different topics
related to birthdays! Thank you for watching. I’m going to go celebrate now. So, happy birthday to me, I’ll wish myself
a happy birthday, and I wanted to thank you for watching this video and my birthday gift
to you is I want you to check out my website at www.engvid.com and I have a birthday quiz
there, so you can take this quiz to practice everything you’ve learned in this video. You can also subscribe to my channel. Don’t forget to ring the bell. If you ring the bell, you can see the new
videos that I’m creating. You can also check out my website at www.teacheremma.com
. There, you can find some resources as well as many different topics on English, so check
it out. Thank you so much for watching, and until
next time, take care!

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