Hey there, this is Teacher Ola Podcast episode 110. Learn English With Olivia Rodrigo ‘Good 4U’

My name’s Ola and I am an online English teacher, I teach through one to one classes and I want you to know I believe you can eliminate your language blockade. I’ve overcome a massive blockade myself and I know how to do it. This podcast is for you if you’re an English learner who wants to speak English with more confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. You’ll boost your vocabulary, brush up your grammar, and improve your pronunciation.  Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning!

Hello there! Welcome to today’s episode. Thank you for pressing play and tuning in to this show. Doing that you have started your journey to fluency. Stay till the end, do the work, repeat sentences out loud and watch what happens.

Today I’ve picked Olivia Rodrigo’s viral hit titled ‘Good 4U’. I must tell you that her music, especially this song, ‘Good 4U’, reminds me of Marina and the Diamonds. I don’t know if you have the same impression, but, yes. I hope you’ll like what I’ve prepared. Lot’s of words, phrasal verbs, idioms, everyday expressions, but we’ll begin, as we always do, by having some song facts. Well, I guess we’re done, we can start the episode. One more thing, subscribe to my newsletter, become a member of TOPeople and receive worksheets to every episode every Wednesday for free. Ok, now we can jump in. 

In this song, Olivia’s taking a swipe at a former love interest who has moved on very quickly, too quickly from their relationship. It’s a breakup song. She can’t comprehend why he doesn’t care for her anymore and is acting as if their relationship never happened.  In the music video, Olivia’s destroying his bedroom, setting fire to her ex’s belongings. The lyrics are full of sarcastic remarks.
Rodrigo said: “I love pop-punk music; I love grunge music; I love country music and folk music. I think, honestly, you can see little influences of all of those genres in my album.’

Let’s see the lyrics now. Please listen and repeat each line.

Well, good for you, I guess you moved on really easily

You found a new girl and it only took a couple weeks

Remember when you said that you wanted to give me the world? (Ah-ah-ah-ah)

First of all let me tell you that in the song we have some filler words. Words, which aren’t supposed to add much meaning but rather fill up the sentence so to speak. This is very natural, it happens across all languages. Guess what, some time ago I recorded an episode on filler words. It’s a great one, please tune in and learn more about words which fill in your sentences and as a result help you sound natural. It’s episode 13: Sound More Natural. Filler Words. In this song, the lyrics open with the phrase: ‘Well’, that’s our filler. Then, in the second line we have: ‘I guess’, that’s also a filler word. Thanks to such filler words the lyrics sound as if she was talking to us, telling us a story like you tell stories to your friend. It’s very common in informal speech, the one you’d have with a friend. 

You moved on really easily – easily, not easy. Why? Well, it’s because we need an adverb here. The main verb ‘to move on’ in this case cannot be replaced with the verb ‘to be’, hence we need an adverb. Tune in to episode 102 where I explain this tip in detail. We canr discussing something new. For instance: I’ve been stuck in this office long enough—it’s time I moved on. Let’s move on to the next point. 

It only took a couple weeks – to take has a whole lot of meanings, but I’ve noticed that when it’s connected with time it causes some lack of confidence, using this phrase with time causes some lack of confidence. So. To take with reference to time means: to need or require a particular amount of time. It requires 20 minutes to get to the swimming pool. It takes 20 minutes to get to the swimming pool. Few more example sentences: The process took about a year. How long does it take you to get to your office? It took her two hours to repair the car. It won’t take long. It’ll take time to learn this. It’ll take time. This means that it ill take a lot of time. 

Remember when you said that you wanted – you said that you wanted. Not ‘you said you want’ but ‘you said you wanted’. His original words, if we were to quote hime, were: ‘I want to give you the world’. He used present simple tense. It was some time ago though and today we’re reporting his words, yes, it’s reported speech and what we should remember is to change the tense. It’s called ‘backshift’ we change the tense  of the reported clause by moving it back one tense. For example, present simple goes back one tense to past simple. Past simple goes back one tense to past perfect. You said that you wanted to give me the world.

Let’s move on to the next phrase:

And good for you, I guess that you’ve been workin’ on yourself

I guess that therapist I found for you, she really helped

Now you can be a better man for your brand new girl

You’ve been working on yourself  – to work on something means to try hard to improve or achieve something. I’m working on it. I’m working on my pronunciation. I’m working on my English speaking skills. 

We’re working on plans for the next month. There’s something more to it. To work on someone is to try to persuade somebody to agree to something. She hasn’t accepted my invitation yet but I’m working on her. 

Brand new girl – If something is brand new it’s completely new. Recently I bought a brand new computer. 

Let’s get back to the lyrics. Listen and repeat:

Well, good for you, you look happy and healthy, not me

If you ever cared to ask

Good for you, you’re doin’ great out there without me, baby

God, I wish that I could do that

If you ever cared to ask – care to do something.  It means to be interested in doing a particular action or activity. Often used in the negative to mean the opposite. No thanks, I don’t care to exercise today. I don’t feel great. It’s a shame he didn’t even care to ask about my feelings.  

You’re doing great – Have you ever been wondering if there is any difference between ‘how are you’ and ‘how are you doing’? These phrases are so ubiquitous that we don’t even think about them, but they can carry slightly different meanings. How you are doing is more general, more casual, more conversational. How are you’ can be ore personal. It can be a genuine question about someone’s health, feelings or mood. It’s also more formal than ‘how you are doing’. The meaning you convey from this greeting depends on the context heavily! Focus on intonation, and react accordingly. Don’t forget that often ‘How are you’ doesn’t require any honest answer. Sometimes it’s just a way of saying ‘hi’. But! Of course, if you add a specific Joey Tribbiani’s style to it, and omit ‘are’, ‘how you doing’ you will sound flirtatious, that’s a given. 

I wish that I could do that – Wish deserves a separate episode on Teacher Ola Podcast but for now, let me tell you that after ‘I wish’ you need to put a verb in past tense if you speak about present. 

I wish I had a dog. Now. Not in the past, in my childhood. I wish I had it now. I wish I could do that, but I can’t.

Let’s go back to the next chunk of lyrics. Listen and repeat, you know the drill:

I’ve lost my mind, I’ve spent the night

Cryin’ on the floor of my bathroom

But you’re so unaffected, I really don’t get it

But I guess good for you

I’ve lost my mind – to lose your mind – to become mentally ill. I think he lost his mind. 

Unaffected – not changed or influenced by something. Not affected by something. Example: She was seemingly unaffected by his presence.

I don’t get it – to get. This verb has like thirty meanings. Thirty. Let’s focus on this one expression only: ‘to get’ here means to understand. I don’t get you, I don’t understand you. He didn’t get the joke. 

Well, good for you, I guess you’re gettin’ everything you want (ah)

You bought a new car and your career’s really takin’ off (ah)

It’s like we never even happened

Baby, what the fuck is up with that? (Ha)

Your career’s really takin’ off – to take off. This is our phrasal verb of the day. Let’s have a look at a few meanings of this phrase. 

First of all, when we talk about airplanes, to take off means the opposite to land. When a plane takes off, it leaves the ground and begins to fly. The plane takes off at 5. 

The second meaning is to leave a place in a hurry. If you’re in a hurry you might say: I have to take off right now.  

If your idea, your product, your work of art becomes successful, popular suddenly or unexpectedly or quickly you can sy it took off. My career has finally taken off.

If you remove some piece of clothing from your body we say you take it off. Take off your shoes, take off your jacket. The opposite is to put on. put on your shoes, put on your jacket. 

If you need a break from work, what do you do? You take a few days off. I’ve come to a decision to take a few days off this week. 

One last meaning. To remove an amount of money or a number of points, any number of any things in fact,  in order to reduce the total. The manager took $5 off the bill. 

What the fuck is up with that – if we take away the swear word ‘fuck’ we’re left with: ‘what’s up with that?’ This question means: what is wrong with it or what is it doing that isn’t normal. My phone is broken. What’s up with it? 

Another fragment of lyrics, here we go:

And good for you, it’s like you never even met me

Remember when you swore to God I was the only

Person who ever got you?

Well, screw that and screw you

You will never have to hurt the way you know that I do

Remember when you swore to GodI swear to God. Nice phrase, I guess useful on a daily basis. He swore to God he hadn’t done it. Notice how we change ast simple to past perfect for the fact that we report somebody’s words. Reported speech. 

Screw that , screw you – ok, so to screw something or someone is a swear word. I see some students use it for regular conversations. I think it’s because we watch so many tv series, and people use this word. Please, always pay attention to the context. Who do they talk to? What mood do they have while speaking and generally, what is the context? To screw someone is an offensive way of showing that you are annoyed or do not care about somebody. It’s offensive. 

Final part to listen and repeat:

Maybe I’m too emotional

But your apathy’s like a wound in salt

Maybe I’m too emotional

Or maybe you never cared at all

Wound in salt – let’s have a look at a few idioms with the word ‘salt’.

To rub salt into the wound – to make a difficult experience even more difficult for somebody. You have the wound, it’s already painful but rubbing it with salt makes things even worse. Synonyms to that expression? To fan the flames, to irritate, to intensify, to worsen. An example sentence: Watching them receiving the prize rubbed salt into the wound. 

To take something with a grain or with a pinch of salt – ​to be careful about believing that something is completely true. For instance: If I were you, I’d take everything they say with a pinch of salt.

Worth your salt – if someone is worth his or her salt they are ​deserving respect, especially because they do their job well. Any actress worth her salt knows how to sing and dance.

That is it when it comes to vocabulary and grammar I distilled from the lyrics. Time to put this into practice. Now you will hear some of the sentences from today’s episode but  this time you’re going to have time to repeat them out loud. If you’re new here, and have no idea why it’s so important, go to episode 9 and learn about speaking out loud. Also, go to episode 76 and find out how to learn English, how to learn speaking English with this podcast. How to take full advantage of your time here. Episode 76: Buy A Notebook And Do THIS For 10 Min A Day. 

Listen and repeat:

I’ve been stuck in this office long enough—it’s time I moved on.

It won’t take long.

You said that you wanted to help. 

She hasn’t accepted my invitation yet but I’m working on her. 

Recently I bought a brand new computer. 

It’s a shame he didn’t even care to ask about my feelings.  

 I wish I had a dog.

I think he lost his mind. 

The plane takes off at 5.

I want to take off right now. 

My career has finally taken off.

I’ve decided to take a few days off this week. 

The manager took $5 off the bill. 

He swore to God he hadn’t done it. 

Watching them receiving the prize rubbed salt into the wound. 

If I were you, I’d take everything they say with a pinch of salt.

Well done! Good for you, you managed to stay till now. As you already know, that’s not the end of your work for this week. Go to your inbox and grab the worksheet. 

If you’re not a member download it from teacherola.com/110. Being a member of TOPeople is free and beneficial because every week I send an email with exclusive content along with a fresh worksheet. 

That’s It! That’s all I have. I hope you liked the episode, if you did, as always, please leave your rating in iTunes if you can.  Share, comment, like, do whatever you can to help this podcast stay afloat! Tell someone about this podcast and help me spread the message. Thanks a million.Be here next Wednesday, same time, same place we’ll talk about vocabulary. We’ll look at one really specific unit of vocabulary. Namely, the word: bitch. Thanks for listening,  take care. Happy learning. Stay fearless and say it out loud. Bye-bye!