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Watch What You Say

Watch What You Say

Date: Nov 24 2006


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

When learning a foreign language, it is common for new speakers to be curious about profanity. As people become more fluent in a language, they often incorporate street slang into their academic vocabulary.

However, a common mistake for speakers of a foreign tongue is to swear (or curse or cuss) inappropriately. Most curse words do not directly translate from one language to another. It is very difficult to understand the connotations of profanity in another language. You can easily offend a native speaker by using certain words in the wrong context.

One such word is one we refer to here as the f-word. No doubt, you’ve heard it spoken in American movies.

Listen to Mason and Logan talk about why this word is not appropriate for all settings.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Mason:  When I talk I tend to swear a lot. I don’t, I don’t really think about it, it just kinda happens, you know, in my speech, for emphasis or just to fill space or whatever. It’s something that we insert, you know, into sentences for… you know if I really liked a movie, I’d say, “Man that was an f-in’ good movie.” You know, I wouldn’t actually say that, you know, I’d say… I’d swear…

Logan:  Right, yeah.

Mason:  You know, or…

Logan:  The f-word is probably, of all the words, I think in our culture, is the worst swear word you could say. Any kind of a… you wouldn’t go into an interview and say, “Man I need this f-in’ job.” to the… to anybody!

Mason:  Uh-huh. Yeah. It’s just, it’s kinda, it’s a street thing, you know. I mean, it started as, like, a… you’re trying to, you’re throwing it in your conversation ‘cause you wanna act tough. Right? Cause you wanna prove your stuff and…

Logan:  Or it shows how angry you are. If you say, “I’m really mad.” or “I’m really f-in’ mad.” That, the “f-in’” part gets the really… shows how angry you really are.

Mason:  It’s a funny thing ‘cause I studied journalism and I kept on, my four years at college, I kept on trying to convince the editor that I needed to be able to use it in my columns, uh, because, exactly that. There are certain some times, it’s just… especially in the written word where you can’t inflect with your voice, that throwing that in there, people reading… it would have the impact.



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As a rule, check in with native speakers about certain words. By asking questions first, you can avoid uncomfortable situations.

If you’re not sure about a word, do not use it! The most important thing is to be understood. Sure, a little well-placed profanity among friends can add humor or emphasis, but be careful. In professional situations, with teachers or elders, or with new acquaintances, it is best to leave profanity out of the conversation.

Do you cuss in your native language?

Do you cuss in English?



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Tracey, it’s so funny, the other day I sat with my kids to watch a movie ‘Hot tub time machine’. Well, I was highly reccomended to watch that movie plus my kid also heard it’s a good one. Everything went ok, but somehow I thought that it’s not that kind of movie I’d watch with my child. There were so many impact producing words in it and scenes that you’d better watch it alone. So, we moved to another movie. Well :) it was the same. Every movie we took had f-words. Well, in movies, if you watch them alone, it’s ok. Maybe the director wanted to convey the atmosphere of a criminal and hillbilly language more vividley.

But what really is offputting  when a woman is swearing. I don’t like it at all!

09:16 PM Dec 27 2013 |



Russian Federation

I dont like when people use f-words in their speech.

06:46 PM Dec 27 2013 |

Josh K

Josh K


that is ok…..

04:48 PM Apr 29 2007 |



i think so

03:57 PM Nov 24 2006 |

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