Hello, Habr! The series “Friends” is a whole era that ended 17 years ago, but in fact, it is forever registered in our heart. Therefore, we watched the “new episode” of “Friends”, as they wrote in the Russian-speaking space, but in fact, a show about the creation of a series, which evokes a storm of emotions.
The author of the article, while still a green kid, watched Friends on TV, trying not to miss a single episode. Because it’s funny. And even if not all jokes could be translated into Russian perfectly – the author understood this after watching the series already in English – but it was still awesome.
So let’s get a little nostalgic about the past, remember “Friends” and at the same time analyze some interesting phrases in English that we met in Friends: The Reunion.
For those who haven’t watched yet. Friends: Reunion is not a new episode of the series, but a show about the show, a tribute and just a reason to remember the great moments of the project 17 years later.
The actors themselves say that they would not want to star in new episodes, even if they were planned. In their opinion, this will kill all the happy ending that was created in the last episode.
The reactions of the six actors to the return to the set is a must-see. They seem to be reincarnated in images again and begin to joke in the same way as their characters.
– You had this, like, big speech, and you were struggling with it all week long, and you wrote it on the table. And I didn’t know that that’s what you did. And I saw it and asked you. And you told me to mind my business. So when you weren’t looking, I erased it before we shot.
– That’s so mean!
– And you got so mad at me.
– I didn’t know you did that. Why would you erase it?
– Just to get you.
– You had something like a big monologue, and you fought over it all week, wrote it on the table. And I didn’t know you did it. I saw and asked you, and you answered that I should not meddle in my own business. Well, when you weren’t looking, I erased it before shooting. – It was so cruel!
“And you’re so angry with me.”
“I didn’t know you did it. Why did you erase it?
– Yes, just to piss you off.
Already such a small passage is a treasure trove of features of spoken English. Matt LeBlanc begins many sentences with “and”. This is a common parasite word.
It is often used by native speakers to ensure consistency of speech. One gets the impression that the whole monologue is one big sentence. And the word “like” in the meaning of “type” is used by the actor quite a lot.
Fillers are a common problem for most Americans. And in informal communication with native speakers it is quite difficult to get used to it.
The phrase “That’s so mean” can be confusing to students. In most cases, “mean” acts as a verb translated as “to mean, to have a meaning.” Less commonly – in the form of a noun with the meaning “middle”. And even less often – as an adjective “rude, vile, cruel.” It was in the latter sense that Courteney Cox used it.
The question “Why would you do that?” Is also interesting from a grammatical point of view. You can also ask “Why did you do that?”. The difference in these types of questions is fundamental.
“Why did you do that?” asks about the reasons for the actions, about the circumstances and decisions that preceded the event.
“Why would you do that?” asks about the motivation of the person who did something.
To make it easier, then:
Why did you do that? – Why did you do it?
Why would you do that? – Why did you do that?
Do you feel the difference?
Well, as a finishing touch – “Just to get you”. We have already talked about the widest use of phrasal verbs with get in the article “5 phrasal verbs with get and their 33 meanings, or Why students don’t like English“. But just as a verb, the word “get” also has a huge number of meanings. To be more precise – 289. And one of them is to “rave”.
The actors are sincerely happy to return to their native film studios, they just chat, remembering the shooting and funny situations.
The creators of the Friends: The Reunion project have created a real time machine that takes you 20 years back. Well, cool! It was pleasant to feel nostalgic about this.
Friendship, humor and English
Friends is one of the coolest TV shows you can use to learn English. There are a lot of puns and linguistic humor – in Russian localization, they were able to translate no more than half of all jokes with high quality.
The language in it does not seem to be something complicated – you just watch the series and absorb the speech. It is “Friends” that are one of the best teaching aids. And not only we think so.
Here are the opinions of members of the world’s most popular Korean band BTS:
– My mom bought me DVDs of the whole series when I was in elementary school.
– Friends really had a big hand in teaching me English, and the show really taught me things about life and true friendship.
– My mom bought me a DVD of all the episodes of the series when I was in elementary school.
– Friends really played an important role in my learning English, the show really taught me a lot about life and true friendship.
By the way, the phrase “had a big hand” can be confusing too. Because it cannot be translated directly – not “has a big hand”, but “played an important role”.
But much more important is not even the English itself, but its combination with the plot and the relationship between the characters.
Probably one of the main reasons why so many people around the world love this series and continue to watch it even ten years after its completion. From the very first episodes, when it’s just a group of friends who always get into stupid situations, to the last, where Chandler and Monica already have children, and Rachel and Ross still decide to be together.
And some of the scenes that the actors decided to repeat are something.
—You peed on yourself?
– You can’t say that! You don’t know!
– I thought I was gonna pass out from the pain. Anyway, I tried, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t bend that way, so …
– That right, I stepped up. She’s my friend and she needed help. If I had to, I’d pee on anyone of you.
– Did you pee on yourself?
– Do not say that! You do not know!
– I thought that I would throw skates out of pain. I tried it anyway, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t bend that way, so …
– Yes, I took responsibility. She is my friend and she needed help. If I had to, I would pee on each of you.
Even “toilet” humor sounds funny. It is not vulgar and does not cause a facepalm. After all, Joey’s key motive was to help her friend. And so on throughout the series. Characters find themselves in stupid situations and extricate themselves from them, but all this without negativity and toxicity. Nobody condemns anyone, everyone is just kidding, laughing, but at the same time they help. A real utopia.
True, because of such situations, the actors often felt uncomfortable. After all, when the show gained stunning popularity, they began to invite Hollywood celebrities to episodic roles. Dozens of world stars appeared in the picture: Julia Roberts, Danny de Vito, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie and many others.
David Schwimmer recalls one of these situations:
– We had one of my idols, Sean Penn. And then we get the script and, of course, I realize that “Oh, I’m potato”. So I had very little, if any, dialogue with him. But here I’m thinking “Greatest actor in the world, and I’m fucking potato”.
– One of my idols, Sean Penn, came to visit us. And when we got the script, of course, I understood like this: “Oh, I’m a potato.” And I had very little, if any, dialogue with him. But then I thought, “The greatest actor in the world, and I’m a goddamn potato.”
In general, “Friends” with the help of a large number of secondary characters make it possible to get acquainted with a wide variety of options and accents of the English language.
Apart from puns and linguistic humor, then almost all the vocabulary of the series is quite simple. And it can be understood by a student even with a Pre-Intermediate level of English. But to understand all the nuances of jokes, you need to know at least Upper-Intermediate. True, this is a topic for another great material. We talked a little about this in the article. “Play on words is not for donkeys: how to translate and understand puns in English”… But to be honest, you can write a full-fledged dissertation in the field of linguistics based on Friends. Or even several.
For Friends: Reunion, famous movie stars also gave their comments. And we were obliged to add one of them here. We are sure you recognize Keith Harrington, the notorious Jon Snow from Game of Thrones:
– I can’t quite be specific about which one, but I know I’m part of the Geller family. I’m incredibly anal, I’m neurotic as hell, and I wear overly tight trousers.
– I can’t say who exactly, but I know that I am part of the Geller family. I’m very meticulous, crabby as hell, and I wear too tight pants.
Everyone knows the word “anal” in its vulgar meaning. But he still has quite a cultural and acceptable: “meticulous, boring, corrosive.” We are sure that the actor used this word on purpose to make a reference to the linguistic humor of the series.
If you want even more analysis of the English language in the series Friends, then watch our video about the corporate phrases of the characters:
An era that did not go away, but remained forever in our hearts
Friends: Reunion is about nostalgia. We think back to ourselves when we were younger and watched the series. The actors also remember themselves when they were young when they played in it.
And we are very amused that even outside the set, they did not leave the images. Or, perhaps, in the series, they just played themselves – a little exaggerated, but at the same time close images.
When the actors found a piece of the scenery, on which they left their signatures on the last shooting day, it is immediately clear who left which one:
– Oh, we all signed this.
– Oh, there’s mine.
– What? What is it?
– “I shit here”. That’s right.
– I knew it.
– Of course that’s you.
– Oh, we all signed it.
– Oh, here’s mine.
– Which one? Which exactly?
– “I shit here.” Well, of course.
– I knew it.
– Of course it’s you.
We have no doubt that Joey would have left the exact same message for the future. Maybe that’s why the show has become so popular? You believe in his heroes. That’s all. The directors, screenwriters and actors have done a great job, the number of fans of which is growing every year. The next generation is already watching Friends and the jokes still seem close and funny.
Here’s just one caveat: you need to watch them in the original. The series had a huge impact on the development of the English language, many jokes became classic, and slang actively adopted phrases and puns.
Friends’ humor is inseparable from English. And in order to fully understand all the funny moments, you need not only know English, but feel it. Do you want to learn? Sign up for a free lesson with a teacher at EnglishDom.
Meanwhile, the author and editor of the material left to revise Friends. From the first episode. Because the soul demands.
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