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Last updated at 12:22 BST, Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Freak

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Jen is freaked out by Feifei's after-work hobby. Find out why by listening to the programme.

Treadmill

Are you obsessed by a hobby or sport?

The script for this programme

Jennifer: Hi, and welcome to The English We Speak. I'm Jennifer and with me today is Feifei.

Feifei: Hi there.

Jennifer: Why do you have that big bag with you?

Feifei: Oh this? I'm going to the gym after work.

Jennifer: Again? But you went yesterday, and the day before that!

Feifei: I need to push myself! I want to get fit.

Jennifer: You're such a fitness freak.

Feifei: Hey, that's not very nice. What do you mean, I'm a 'fitness freak'? You're calling me some kind of strange monster?

Jennifer: I'm not calling you a monster, that's not what the word 'freak' means in this context. In English, you can use the word 'freak' with a noun to say that someone is obsessed by something which you think is strange.

Feifei: So when you call me a 'fitness freak', you're saying I'm obsessed by sport and fitness?

Jennifer: That's right. It's an informal phrase, usually used if the person saying it is not interested in the hobby or action. So someone might be a 'football freak' if they're watching football. My boyfriend is a 'car freak' – he's obsessed with cars and talking about them, but I'm not interested at all, I think it's weird.

Feifei: I understand. Well you might call me a fitness freak, because you don't like it. I'd say I'm a fitness fanatic!

Jennifer: Well, I have no intention of going to the gym today or any day. I don't like it and the thought of using the equipment really freaks me out.

Feifei: Hang on, you've used the word freak again.

Jennifer: Yes, in a slightly different way. 'To freak someone out' is a phrasal verb which means to make someone feel strong emotions, like panic or fear. Going to the gym freaks me out; it makes me panic.

Feifei: It freaks you out! You need to toughen up. I really do think you should come and join me for a gym session tonight.

Jennifer: No way! I'm too scared and too tired. I'd rather lie on the sofa and watch my favourite soap opera.

Feifei: Well, I think that people who sit around and watch television every night are very strange – so I guess you're a television freak! Join us again for another edition of The English We Speak from bbclearningenglish.com.

Both: Bye!

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