Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Special Effects
Special Effects

Learn English: Meaning of Special Effects

Date: Jan 13 2020

Themes: Tech

Grammar: Comparing Quality


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

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

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

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

Today’s action movies are full of scenes that feel out of this world. They might show a person floating in outer space, or a fantasyland on Earth, but they’re definitely things that don’t actually exist. Filmmakers are able to create these places using special effects that are designed on computers.

Special effects can make animals and machines talk, or help a human fly across a city. One of the best things about special effects is that they can help viewers to see and experience things that could not happen any other way.

Lily loves special effects in movies, but Jessica doesn’t see why they’re so great. Learn more in today’s English lesson about movie making.


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

Log in to Listen

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





Lily:  Did you see “Interstellar”?

Jessica:  I have not seen it yet.

Lily:  It’s so amazing. The special effects in that movie are absolutely mind-blowing.

Jessica:  I heard the CGI is pretty incredible. But I must say, I prefer movies to be straightforward. I like it when we go back to the basics and just have traditional movie-making.

Lily:  The fact that all of these leaps and bounds have been made in the technology, sometimes you can’t even tell when what is special effects and what’s real. That’s cool and we should use that and try to keep refining it and making it even more awesome than it already is. It’s not just for explosions.

Jessica:  It’s true. I guess the possibilities are limitless when it comes to special effects and what they can do with technology. Maybe I’ll be more open-minded with it.

Lily:  Yeah. Definitely go and see “Interstellar.”

Jessica:  Alright. I will.


Grammar Point

Go Super to learn "Comparing Quality" from this lesson Go Super!


Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!


Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

The iTEP® test

  • Scedule an iTEP® test and take the official English Practice Test.

    Take Now >


Go Super to Listen Go Super!

Lily loved the film, “Interstellar,” and thinks that the special effects were mind-blowing. She’s a big fan of movies where viewers are taken to new worlds because special effects create limitless possibilities. She thinks that technology has been great for films.

But CGI in films doesn’t impress all viewers. Jessica prefers the straightforward look of films without all of the special effects of a fantasyland. But she does agree to be more open-minded and will check out “Interstellar” to see how the special effects look.

Do you like special effects in films? What’s your favorite film with special effects?



Log in to Comment



I prefer special effects, we aré in the 21st century.

03:47 PM Feb 04 2015 |

2 people like this



Sri Lanka

Special effects do keep me on the edge of my seat. But the problem is I don’t want to watch the whole movie sitting on the edge of my seat. 

In other words, I don’t mind the special effects as long as they support the story and don’t overpower it. 

03:04 PM Feb 04 2015 |




Ya Nina,

I quite agree with you. Now that movie companies can use many special effects, films’ plots become very simple sometimes. For example, you can’t say that James Cameron’s Avatar has an intricate plot. But the special effects in that movie were really great. And science fiction films cannot be dispensed with CGI in the majority of cases.

I wonder what movies Alfred Hitchcock would have directed if he had been able to use special effects making birds talk and do other strange things =)

I’m going to watch “Interstellar” this weekend. Then I will comment on this lesson one more time ;)

01:45 PM Feb 04 2015 |




I’m not a big fan of action movie especially those with special effect but I did watch AVATAR and I think it was pretty cool, not bad to rewatch again. Special effect is the cause of HT and I think the film maker really worth to think about making more and more film with special effect. In addition limitless possibilities will bring the audience into different world and really mind blowing.

I think I gonna take a look at Interstellar

12:59 PM Feb 04 2015 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

the art of cinema is unbelievable these days

12:56 PM Feb 04 2015 |

Ya Nina


Can’t say that I’m a very hot admirer of the movies with special effects, because nowadays every producer tries to “improve” his film using different special effects both where they need and where they absolutely not be needed. 

In that case I completely agree with Lily, because I was excited and amazed when I’d seen the “Interstellar”. Honestly, after the view I suppose that either you must make a film which be better that “Interstellar” or you mustn’t create the films ever. I even didn’t suppose that “Interstellar” amazed me so much. Anyway, this film made so strong impression on me not only because of the unreal special effects but due to the fact that a lot of clever erudite people thought all small details and create fabulous film which could impress us (not onle me) its fantastic idea but in the same time its reality. Who knows how create our Universal in fact…

09:09 AM Feb 04 2015 |




I am more like Jessica, I prefer the straightforward look of films. Maybe it’s me,I dunno,but films that have a lot of special effects ,like Avatar and Hobbit, to name a few, have lost its appealing to me. I have seen on TV how CGI are created and then all the magic of going to see an adventure flick full of visual effects was gone. My father was a cameraman ,most films were shot on location , not in a lab. You see, I am very traditional, or if you like it, close-minded.

by the way, i have read that people who went to see ” Interstellar “after leaving the projection hall had suffered from dizziness, have  any of you experienced this?

09:08 AM Feb 04 2015 |




@buttafly,I am a royal fun of” Life of pie”.I can’t remember how many times i re-watched this movie.Fantastic,I have to say Special effect make this movie vivid.

Special effect give movie more and more space for imagination and creation .However,a good story is the same important. 

08:23 AM Feb 04 2015 |




Yeah, I do like the visual input and I think special effects have played a key role in movies ever since they started filming. 

My all time favorite so far is Life of Pi. The director equally wowed me and my kids with the visuals and the emotional input. On second thought, Inception isn’t bad either, just not as emotionally rewarding :)

07:22 AM Feb 04 2015 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i prefer real film to fictional film but there are exception and it is hobbit


06:58 AM Feb 04 2015 |




I love special effects! It greatly contribute to attractive features of the movie. It’s kinda psycological effect of not real thing taking a shape of allegory that you think for long after the movie. Or you just watching without thinking – just wow- put your fist down and create thousands of bats charging at the villains. ( Dracula untold) And, of course, Avatar is my favorite with special effects movie. What a nice movie!




I like them too.

Serval days ago, I went to the cinema and watched the film “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies”.  It is 3D.  And the special effects are awesome.  I think That’s the most wonderful film I saw from 2014 to now…!


Hong Kong

Yeah, I do love films with many special effects especially for some sorts of films, which are describing the future living. And the special effect makes films become more attractive to see. Moreover, special effects invloved in films is essential for some films acting love story like “The Titanic”. Without special effects, I can’t imagine how the film director present the story perfectly in front of the spectators.

03:08 AM Feb 04 2015 |




I think the actors in such films are bored when they have to act against that green background :)

Who have seen “Interstellar”? Could you please tell me if it worth seeing?

03:01 PM Feb 03 2015 |

GrammaristSuper Member!

United Arab Emirates

This lesson reminds me of AVATAR, though I am not fan of it!! But the use of special effects and technology gave it so much credit. However, these uses sometimes draw out other elements of the movie, unless arranged in harmony with its components. Too often the emphasis of technology is far overweighed, and therefore neglecting other stuff that is not less important. 

05:50 AM Feb 03 2015 |

Likes (18):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast