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My blog has ~260 free video lessons to help you practice your English listening skills. It focuses on 30 or 40 words that have more than one sound. Can you understand what they're saying? Add me as a friend if you want to know when a new video is added.


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Here are the video lessons:

1. Overview of the Lessons.

2. Overview of the Sounds. Here are the 30 or 40 words that can have more than one sound in American English.

3. The Word "To" -- Sounds and Phrases

Video Lessons 4-101 have the full transcript. Click on the link to view each lesson.

4. CSI (Blood Moon)
5. Contagion (Trailer)
6. Ellen DeGeneres on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Part 1
7. Ellen DeGeneres on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Part 2
8. NBC's The Today Show
9. Simpsons -- You're Drinking a Candle
10. MTV Dustin's First Snow Day
11. Avril Lavigne -- Interview Thanksgiving Day FOX
12. Hidden Camera Fun with a Warner Brothers Tour
13. Tom Green -- Boy in a Bubble
14. Pretty Little Liars -- The Dress Code
15. Behind the scenes on PLL with Ian Harding
16. Avril Lavigne Make Christmas Cookies on MTV
17. Christmas Angel (Trailer)
18. Interview -- Johnny Depp
19. New Years Eve (Trailer)
20. Elf -- Santa Announcement
21. Christmas VLOG
22. The Pursuit of Happyness (Trailer)
23. The Pursuit of Happyness -- Inspirational
24. Part I -- Psychic Twins on Tyra Banks Show
25. Part II -- Psychic Twins on Tyra Banks Show
26. Part III -- Psychic Twins on Tyra Banks Show
27. Friends -- Rachel's Scene
28. Limitless (Trailer)
29. Limitless – Various Scenes
30. The Art of Getting By (Trailer)
31. The Psychic Twins predict 2012 on Tyra
32. Gossip Girl -- When Serena Met Dan
33. Gossip Girl -- Chuck and Blair's Scene
34. Gilmore Girls -- Smart Talk
35. What A Wonderful World With David Attenborough
36. Friends -- Tattoo Story
37. 17 Again -- Court Scene
38. UFO Indiana December 22, 2011
39. Friends -- The Red Sweater
40. Smart Girls are Mean
41. Elf -- Naughty List
42. Justin Bieber Visits a Needy School
43. Elf -- Buddy Meets Walter
44. Peoples Court -- Lady Gets Caught Trying to Scam Court with Fake Documents
45. House Goes Speed Dating
46. Gilmore Girls -- 1 2 3 He's Yours
47. Gilmore Girls -- Luke's Special Omelette
48. I Love Living Life (Inspirational)
49. Terry Tate -- Office Linebacker
50. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Trailer)
51. Pay It Forward -- Classroom Scene
52. Pay It Forward (Trailer)
53. Paying It Forward at the Gas Station
54. Paying It Forward At Starbucks
55. Paying It Forward by Paying for Lunch
56. Pay it Forward -- Save My Life
57. Anonymous Acts of Kindness
58. My Girlfriends Boyfriends
59. Seven Pounds (Trailer)
60. 21 Jump Street -- You Guys Are Perfect
61. Hunger Games (Trailer)
62. A Thousand Words (Trailer)
63. A-Team -- Helicopter Scene
64. Benjamin Button -- Daisy
65. Desperate Housewives
66. Mr Deeds (Trailer)
67. Mirror Mirror (Trailer 1)
68. Mirror Mirror (Trailer 2)
69. Jet Lag (Trailer)
70. Groundhog Day -- I'm a god
71. Here's Your Sign -- Bill Engvall
72. Good Will Hunting -- Lake Scene
73. Groundhog Day -- Ned Ryerson
74. Groundhog Day -- Best Scenes 1
75. Groundhog Day -- Best Scenes 2
76. Groundhog Day -- Best Scenes 3
77. Groundhog Day -- Phil Steals the Groundhog
78. Groundhog Day -- Homeless Man
79. Pursuit of Happyness -- Subway Scene
80. Pursuit of Happyness -- Rubiks Cube Scene
81. Pursuit of Happyness -- Night at the Police Station
82. Pursuit of Happyness -- Job Interview
83. Pursuit of Happyness -- Accepts Internship
84. Pursuit of Happyness -- Internship
85. Pursuit of Happyness -- Cold Calling
86. Pursuit of Happyness -- Homeless
87. Pursuit of Happyness -- Final Scene
88. A-Team (Trailer 1)
89. A-Team (Trailer 2)
90. A-Team -- Introduction
91. A-Team -- Funny Scene
92. A-Team -- Bad Idea
93. A-Team -- Flying Tank Scene
94. A-Team -- He Makes The Catch
95. Judge Mathis - Spilled Beer on the Computer
96. Judge Judy Acts Fast
97. Hangover 3 (Trailer)
98. Dangerous Minds: Choice
99. A Message from Jim Carrey
100. Steven Addis: A father-daughter bond, one photo at a time
101. Little Rascals (Bored of Education)

Video Lessons 102-on have missing words and answer keys. The number in parentheses indicates the number of missing words in that video lesson.

102. Understanding Fast Speech (An Overview)
103. Improve Your Listening Skills: Cloze Exercises
104 (18): Fast and Furious 6 (Trailer)
105 (06): Titanic (Trailer)
106 (09): Sixth Sense (Car Scene)
107 (14): Monsters University (Trailer)
108 (09): Now You See Me (Trailer)
109 (15): Turbo (Trailer)
110 (08): RIPD (Trailer)
111 (09): Iron Man 3 (Trailer)
112 (09): Captain America (Trailer)
113 (13): Tiger Eyes (Trailer)
114 (18): Violet And Daisy (Trailer)
115 (11): Hunger Games 1 (Trailer)
116 (16): Hunger Games 2 (Trailer)
117 (13): Step Up Revolution (Trailer)
118 (11): Inception (Trailer)
119: Review of Lessons 104-118.
120 (15): Bling Ring (Trailer)
121 (26): Here Comes The Boom (Trailer)
122 (26): Short Term 12 (Trailer)
123 (15): Aladdin (Trailer)
124 (15): Avatar (Trailer)
125 (09): The Avengers (Trailer)
126 (15): Rapture-Palooza (Trailer)
127 (21): Safe Haven (Trailer)
128. Questions such as "What do you...?"
129 (26): Flipped (Trailer)
130 (24): Accepted (Trailer)
131 (18): Kick-Ass 2 (Trailer)
132 (07): Ender's Game (Trailer)
133 (07): Jumanji (Trailer)
134 (05): Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC
135 (01): Obama Shops at a Bookstore
136 (40): Soda Bottle Blaster
137 (02): Mr. Peabody & Sherman (Trailer)
138 (14): "Santa Hat" French Manicure
139 (03): Vampire Diaries
140 (11): Marijuana Legalized in Colorado
141 (35): An Incredible Magic Trick
142 (26): Wayne's Apartment in Bangkok
143 (12): I Honestly Love You
144 (06): Tangled (Grounded For Live)
145 (14): Tangled (Scene)
146 (18): Tangled (Sidekicks)
147 (26): Will Smith Scene
148 (49): Raising an Olympian #1. Nick Goepper
149 (22): Raising an Olympian #2. Mikaela Shiffrin
150 (13): Raising an Olympian #3. Evan Lysacek
151 (15): Raising an Olympian #4. Amy Purdy
152 (09): So You're Saying There's a Chance
153 (06): Call me when you have no class
154 (07): Bruce Almighty. He loves Grace
155 (10): Bruce Almighty. Bruce Meets God
156 (10): Miracle -- Inspirational Speech
157 (07): The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Trailer)
158 (15): The Secret World of Arrietty (Trailer)
159 (02): Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (Trailer)
160 (23): April Fools Pranks
161 (07): Noah (Trailer)
162 (08): Fifth Element (Nice Hat)
163 (07): Fifth Element (Negotiation)
164 (09): Fifth Element (Some Things Are Worth Saving)
165 (12): How to Draw an Easter Bunny
166 (16): How to Make Glamour Easter Eggs
167 (15): Earth to Echo (Trailer)
168 (07): What Mom Really Wants For Mother's Day
169 (17): Mother's Day -- Kid Snippets
170 (10): Mothers Day -- Small Talk
171 (31): Magic Proposal Card Trick
172 (10): Lucy (Trailer)
173 (15): The Fault In Our Stars (Trailer)
174 (21): The World's First Family Robot (JIBO)
175 (11): The Giver (Trailer)
176 (17): John Stamos is Bad at Something
177 (12): Nightcrawler (Trailer)
178 (09): Night Moves (Trailer)
179 (04): Gumbo (Trailer)
180 (05): Hunger Games. Our Leader the Mockingjay (Trailer)
181 (12): A Walk Among The Tombstones (Trailer)
182 (04): Star Wars (Trailer)
183 (18): Divergent 2014 (Trailer)
184 (14): Divergent 2016 (Trailer)
185 (03): Nespresso Commercial
186 (30): Leonardo DiCaprio's Bad Luck
187 (03): X-Men: Apacolypse (Trailer)
188 (20): Waterboys (Clean Water in Africa)
189 (03): Where'd He Go?
190 (02): Finding Dory (Have You Seen Her?)
191 (04): Scream (The New Kid)
192 (09): Central Intelligence (Trailer)
193 (14): The Terminal (Movie Scene)
194 (03): Idiocracy (Welcome to Costco)
195 (03): Troll 2 (They're Eating Her!)
196 (24): Rock Dog (Trailer)
197 (08): Passengers (Trailer)
198 (05): Taco Bell Commercial
199 (01): Moana Clip ("Kinda")
200 (27): A Christmas Party Game for Kids (Snowflakes on a Plate)
201 (11): Marley & Me -- Clearance Puppy (Movie Scene)
202 (19): Marley & Me -- How Marley Got His Name (Movie Scene)
203 (09): Legion (Season 1)
204 (20): Marley and Me (Trailer)
205 (03): Motherhood in 34 Seconds
206 (31): Mom of Quadruplets
207 (08): Nailed It!
208 (20): Boyhood (12 Years)
209 (18): Boyhood (Talk To Me)
210 (32): Boyhood (Darkroom Scene)
211 (02): Shelter Pet Commercial
212 (05): Valerian (Trailer)
213 (10): Collateral Beauty (Trailer)
214 (10): Collateral Beauty (What Is Your 'Why'?)
215 (09): She's All That (Trailer)
216 (17): Why Me, Lord? (Kris Kristofferson)
217 (03): Fast & Furious 8 (A Short Scene)
218 (10): Mother’s Day Wishes from WNBA Stars
219 (04): Logan (Trailer)
220 (16): Inside Out (Riley's First Date)
221 (07): Son of Bigfoot (Trailer)
222 (10): Ferdinand (Trailer)
223 (11): Fast and Furious 8 (Trailer)
224 (10): Jumani: Welcome to the Jungle (Trailer)
225 (12): Middle School (Trailer)
226 (17): Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel
227 (05): Guardians of the Galaxy 2
228 (19): Chris Pratt on Jimmy Kimmel's Show
229 (18): Theresa Caputo on Steve Harvey's Show
230 (03): Divergent (A Short Scene)
231 (15): Baby Driver (Trailer)
232 (07): Thelma and Louise (Brad Pitt Scene)
233 (05): Maze Runner (The Death Cure)
234 (12): Kevin Probably Saves the World
235 (06): The Phrase "Out Of" (4 Short Videos)
236 (08): Meet the Robinsons (Trailer)
237 (07): Oracle Scene (The Matrix)
238 (03): Clear Your Mind (Peaceful Warrior)
239 (09): His Last Time With Dad (Click)
240 (31): Halloween Decoration Ideas
241 (09): Maze Runner Scene (The Doors)
242 (10): Two Letters
243 (06): Interview with Walt Disney (Theme Park Idea)
244 (06): Rampage (Trailer)
245 (06): Wrinkle in Time (Trailer)
246 (41): Emergency 911 Call
247 (05): Infinity War (Avengers Trailer)
248 (15): Liquid Sand Hot Tub
249 (15): Max Steel (Trailer)
250 (07): Sky High School (Trailer)
251 (24): Gift Wrapping Hacks
252 (10): Christmas with Nicolas
253 (26): Christmas Prank
254 (05): Game of Games (Ellen DeGeneres)
255 (16): The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (Trailer)
256 (07): A Time To Dance (Trailer)
257 (20): Peter's Interview (Scene from "Office Space")
258 (12): Peter is Hypnotized (Scene from "Office Space")
259 (07): What Are You Doing For Lunch Today? (Scene from "Office Space")
260 (07): Spongebob Squarepants Movie (Trailer)
261 (19): Making the Shots (Photography Interview)
262 (12): The Resident (TV Show Trailer)
263 (26): Forgiveness

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March 23, 2018
Viewed 518 times.

#263:  Forgiveness


Background:  The speaker in this video is Derwin Gray, a former professional American football player who became a pastor and founded a church in the USA.  He talks about his life, how his father left him when he was 5 years old, how he was mad at his father for not being in his life, how Derwin finally forgave his father and re-established contact with him after his second child was born.  Derwin was about 30 or 35 years old then; he's probably about 40 years old in this video.  I think his story is interesting.

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

Main Features:  There are five main features in this video lesson.  

1) The words "he" and "him" can sound like "ee" and "im".  That is, the initial "h" can be silent.  Examples are the phrases "and he" [an ee], "he is" [ee is], "without him" [without im], and "need him" [need im].  Sometimes you'll also hear the word "had" when it sounds like "ad", such as in the phrase "I had never heard" [I ad never heard].  

2) The word "to" can sound like "ta", "da", or "na".  Here are some phrase with "ta" -- "to me" [ta me] and "to find" [ta find]; with "da" -- "had to" [had da], "need to" [need da], "needed to" [needed da], "to do" [da do], "to know" [da know], "to live" [da live], "to think" [da think]; and with "na" -- "going to be" [gonna be] and "want to be" [wanna be].  

3) The combination of "t" plus "you" can sound like "chu" and the combination of "d" plus "you" can sound like "ju", e.g., "I want you" [I want chu] and "I found you" [I found ju].  

4) Combinations of sounds involving the words "you" and "to", such as "to find you" [ta find ju], "I want you to be" [I want chu da be], and "I want you to know" [I want chu da know].  

5) Miscellaneous sounds that are important but don't occur often, such as "here's the" [here's za].

Missing Words and Phrases (26):  And he [an ee]; going to [gonna] (2 times); going to be [gonna be]; had to [had da] (2 times); here's the [here's za]; I had never heard [I ad never heard]; need him [need im]; need to [need da]; needed to do [needed da do]; that He is [that ee is]; to [ta] (2 times); to do [da do]; to find you [ta find ju]; to know [da know]; to live [da live]; to me [ta me]; to think [da think]; want to be [wanna be] (2 times); want you [want chu]; want you to be [want chu da be]; want you to know [want chu da know]; without him [without im].

Introduction:  My heart was arrested [1] by what I ____________.  

A couple years ago I was, uh, sitting at my computer and I was staring at the screen and then I heard a voice.  Basically the voice said, "Find your father."  And I was like "No!" -- except for I said some curse words which I'm not ________ repeat now.  But I said "No" and I reacted the way I did, uh, because my dad abandoned me when I was five [2].  He wasn't around [3].  He's never seen me play a middle school football game, a high school football game, a college football game ______ didn't see me play an NFL [4] football game.  

Can you imagine having a son who played in the National Football League and who was a team captain and you never go watch him play?  He embarrassed me.  I didn't want him ________ that he had anything _____ with my success.  I wanted him _______ that I didn't ________ and that I could do it ___________.  I was angry.  As a matter of fact, as the voice continued in my mind and in my heart, in essence I said "He hurt me.  Why should I find him?"  

And God, like the loving father __________ just impressed upon my heart and said, uh, "Derwin, you hurt me with your sin but I sent my son Jesus ___________."  And at that moment I, I ______ make a choice to, _____ either walk by faith or to walk away from faith, to either accept God's forgiveness and extend it _____ my father the way He extended it _____ or _______ bitter.  And, and, and being bitter is like drinking poison and hoping somebody else dies.  It was eating away my heart.  

So after some time of wrestling with God, I um found out where my dad was in Texas, found out that he was, uh, that he was locked up [5].  I wrote the hardest letter I've ever ______ write in my life.   And it was really short and it said, 

"Dad I ________________ that I love you because Christ loves me.  I forgive you because Christ forgave me.  And I ______________ a part of my life, part of your grandkids' life.  I ________ a part of my life.  I love you and forgive you."  

So with that I sent the letter off and a couple weeks went by, a couple weeks went by, and one day I'm going to the, uh, the mailbox and, uh, I get my mail like usual and find a letter from my father.  And at that moment immediately I'm just, I'm just weeping and crying because I don't know if I'm ___________ rejected.  I have no idea what's ________ happen.  

But when I opened that letter I read these words.  It said, "Son, thank you for forgiving me and I do __________ a part of your kids' life.  I do __________ a part of your family's life." And then I heard the words that _________________ my entire life from my dad.  He said "I love you."

Well, ever since that moment my dad and I have been reconciled.  We have a relationship now.  And a couple years ago at Cracker Barrel [6] we were eating breakfast and he was also dazzling his grandkids with his checker skills.  They couldn't believe how awesome he was.  

So __________ deal.  Um.  Who do you _______ forgive?  You see, Christ forgave us so that we too can become forgivers.  And when you and I forgive, someone gets set free from prison -- and that someone is you and I.


[1] My heart was arrested = This is an unusual phrase.  I'm not sure what he means exactly.  And there's no context that will help us understand it better.
[2] When I was five = When I was 5 years old.
[3] He wasn't around = He wasn't in Derwin's life.
[4] NFL = National Football League, the USA's highest professional football league.
[5] He was locked up = He was in prison.
[6] Cracker Barrel = The name of a restaurant chain in the US.


1) needed to do [needed da do]
2) going to [gonna]
3) and he [an ee]
4) to think [da think]
5) to do [da do]
6) to know [da know]
7) need him [need im]
8) without him [without im]
9) that He is [that ee is]
10) to find you [ta find ju]
11) had to [had da]
12) to [ta]
13) to [ta]
14) to me [ta me]
15) to live [da live]
16) had to [had da]
17) want you to know [want chu da know]
18) want you to be [want chu da be]
19) want you [want chu]
20) going to be [gonna be]
21) going to [gonna]
22) want to be [wanna be]
23) want to be [wanna be]
24) I had never heard [I ad never heard]
25) here's the [here's za]
26) need to [need da]

More entries: Improve Your Listening Skills #263: Forgiveness, 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)

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