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English Conversation: The Meaning of Hand Gestures

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Have you noticed that you make hand gestures while speaking your native language? Body movement during conversation can give off social clues that are particular to a certain culture. But when people learn a language, they often forget to learn the words and expressions that we make with our hands. You may find that a hand gesture in your culture has a different meaning in English-speaking countries. In this lesson, I will teach you common hand gestures used when speaking English. Take the quiz to test your understanding: http://www.engvid.com/english-conversation-the-meaning-of-hand-gestures/ TRANSCRIPT Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video, I am going to teach you all about how we use our hands in English. So there are many ways we use our hands in English. I'm going to teach you a lot of different ways we use them. A lot of students get very confused with this, because the way we use our hands varies from culture to culture, so what we do in Canada and England and the U.S. might be very different than with what you do in your country. Okay? So pay close attention to these differences. So to start with, let's look at: "knock on wood". If you're living in an English-speaking country, you may have noticed sometimes people have a wooden object or a desk, a table, something made of wood, and they knock on it. Okay? You might wonder: "What does this mean, knock on wood?" In English tradition, if you say something good, for example: "I did very, very well on my test. I killed my test. I did amazing on my test", you might knock on wood to make sure that you don't jinx it. Okay? I'll give you another example. Imagine if I want to go on a picnic, and I'm a little afraid about rain, I might say: "Oh, you know, today's supposed to be a very sunny day. Knock on wood." I'm knocking on wood to prevent rain. Okay? So it's a superstition we do in order to kind of protect ourselves from the opposite happening. Okay? One last example: -"How did your interview go? How did your job interview go?" -"Oh, it went well." [Knocks] Okay, so that's why we knock on wood, it's a superstition. All right, let's look at some of these other ones. "Quotes". A lot of students have asked me: "What does this mean?" Okay? So, for example, somebody might say: "Yeah, she's beautiful." Or: "He's really smart." This kind of has a sarcastic tone to it. It means somebody has said somebody is beautiful, but you don't believe it. Or somebody has said somebody is smart, but you don't believe it. So if you hear someone saying something, and you're, you know, pretty much using their words but you don't believe it, you can do quotes. Okay? Another example: "Yeah that movie was awesome." Okay? So it means you don't believe it. English is fun. Your teachers might tell you English is fun. When you're talking to your friends, you might say: "English is fun", if you don't believe it. All right, the next one: "crazy". All right? In English, if we think someone is crazy, we go... Okay? So, for example: "That guy, he's very..." [Clicks tongue] It means he's very crazy. Okay? "Fingers crossed". A lot of the times in English, we take our fingers and we cross them, and we go like this. This means we're hoping something happens. Okay? So, for example: I hope you like this video, fingers crossed. Or: I hope I did well on the test, fingers crossed. Okay? So this means you hope something is happening. Now, this is a little different from if you take your finger and you put it behind your back. If you take your finger... Your fingers crossed and you put it behind your back, it means you're telling a lie. So, for example: "Oh, I loved the movie you made. The movie you made was incredible." If my fingers are behind my back, it means I'm lying to you. "I never talk to that guy." Okay? Fingers behind my back, it means I'm lying. Okay? Now, this one you might know, I think it's a very common one: "OK". It can also mean: "nice work" or "A-OK". So that means something has gone well. We have this one which is a very rude one. This, which means... And sorry, I'm not doing this to you; I'm just teaching it. This means "up yours", which pretty much in English means "fuck you". Okay? So if you ever see somebody going like that, it's not polite. It means up yours or fuck you. Oh, we have one... Two more. "Peace sign". Okay, when we're talking about peace in English, we often go: "Peace." So this is against war. In the 1960s, there were people called Hippies, they were always going: "Peace." This is very different than the V sign, this. Peace is like this, the V sign is like this. The V sign is something that is almost the same as this. In England, in Australia, in New Zealand, if you do this to somebody, you're pretty much telling them: "Fuck you." Okay? So be careful. "Peace", versus "Fuck you."
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Text Comments (730)
Cade fojar Xusein (2 days ago)
Thank you emma for your good explanation
Saju Ahmed (7 days ago)
The one who use finger crossed gesture is the stupidest man on earth. Who would be that much stupid to use a gesture to tell a lie. Pathetic
Chad Gilmore (10 days ago)
You need to do some more research..They are freemason and occult symbols you don't have a clue what your talking about
GaliciaRecords (11 days ago)
Thank you Emma.
Manish Kumar (11 days ago)
Thanks allot mam
cringey weirdo (14 days ago)
My fiend keeps spamming me with 🖖🏻🖖🏻🖖🏻 help in British btw
NK47k (18 days ago)
6:26 PUBG emote
Kirill Krasovsky (20 days ago)
I can't do the one from Star Trek
Chad Gilmore (10 days ago)
The one from Star Trek is a freemason symbol this person has no idea what these symbols mean!
Dinesh (21 days ago)
In India showing little finger means someone has to go to pee.
H. A. N. S. (25 days ago)
in Indonesia we knock the Wood (table) when we want to ask a question, so the speaker is able to see or hear. we can also raise our hand but sometimes we knock the table before raising our hand
Shobit Sharma (27 days ago)
It is very amazing to see you and to learn from you. You are gorgeous 🖖
Ana Mendoza (1 month ago)
I love how you teach,excellent.
pradnya kulkarni (1 month ago)
Hi Emma , You are awesome teacher. Pls let me know how to get quize. I have already subscribe your channel.
YOGESH KALE (1 month ago)
Please also make a video on a single word or a phrase having several meanings,
Gurutama Prem (1 month ago)
The gestures are the same in Portuguese
Julieta8683 (1 month ago)
Awesome thank you Emma :)
Purple Girl (1 month ago)
The Knock of Wood is a Hungary hand gestures too Csak úgy mondom neked
naveen multivedios (1 month ago)
very nice vedio
bhukya upendra (1 month ago)
I love your teaching skills ...and you are looking sooo beautiful mam
desbele tes (1 month ago)
Thank you very much
Faraz Hashmi (1 month ago)
Thanks MaM...
Omar Mohamed (1 month ago)
thank you so much teachers Emma
Mehran Pournouri (1 month ago)
That was great. Thank you
Funny Strawberry (1 month ago)
Я одна российская?
Alex Egov (26 days ago)
конечно, дудки, нас немало)))
mohammed Ali (1 month ago)
Thank you my teacher, I want tell you thing, most of these, we uesing in my home town .that amazing.
Wali Akram (2 months ago)
Emna your way of teaching is very well God bless you
Mahmuda Zakir (2 months ago)
rj banna (2 months ago)
Sergio Arias (2 months ago)
Thank you teacher To share video!! Good lessons
Sergio Arias (2 months ago)
masy masy1 (2 months ago)
I love you emma
tewodros wolderufael (2 months ago)
it is fantastic. thanks
MUKESH KUMAR MEVAL (2 months ago)
I did not understand the means of up yours quotes
A. S (2 months ago)
Emma you are fantastic
Hrvoje Bertović (2 months ago)
Helo Dear , Thx from Croatia. Question What this rock on in 6 min. other side of the hand when you looking back middle finger and ring finger??? I know something like v in England and v in Peace ??? Thx a bunch Love and Re5pect
beshoy mongy (2 months ago)
Pedro Veríssimo (2 months ago)
You are not Emma Watson, but Teacher Emma, much better, becouse you teach us English very well, thanks!!!
We have knock on wood in iran as well
Ganesa Moorthy (2 months ago)
really great
Nawar Nawar (2 months ago)
Thank you Emma i really enjoyed this lesson ,by the way most of these gestures exist in my culture
MERAJ AHMAD (2 months ago)
I love your way and you
Muhammad Ahmed (2 months ago)
5:24 But Winston churchill used it as well as a sign of victory!?
Chand Bhikhhiwindia (3 months ago)
nice video
ISHA NAIK (3 months ago)
Nice video
huss hass (3 months ago)
you are the best teacher , thank you
Patel Yogesh (3 months ago)
I watched YOU first time . you cute
Вася Пупкин (3 months ago)
You forgot or don't know the mark "so so". It is when you stretches your palm in horisontal point and wiggle it. Thank you for your lessons.
Djd F (3 months ago)
I love you
Saya Singh (3 months ago)
she teaches very well 😍
adam ibra (3 months ago)
Hey honey Emma how are fee u know how much I love you Emma thank you so much for learn English or this lesson
Gah! (3 months ago)
I will learn a lot if she is my teacher. That’s for sure:)
Badampudi Raju (3 months ago)
Hello Emma. Your way of teaching is very interesting , clear and understandable. you are really a professional teacher with cool and respectable nature. Thanks in heaps.
Nema Sabry (3 months ago)
Does anyone here know the meaning of the gesture that was in the hunger games movie?
Deepak Kumar (3 months ago)
Oh Emma you have a wonderful way to describe.
Cabdulaahi Qeyliye (3 months ago)
I understand very well,thanks.
Le Lounga (3 months ago)
😀 really enjoyed
adam ibra (3 months ago)
Thank you so much for this lesson I love you so much
C.k Ritu (3 months ago)
great video mam
Mukhtiar Khawaja (3 months ago)
What does Fingers pinched together gesture means
I Like Food (3 months ago)
So what does it mean when someone types “goodnight 🤞”? I’m confused
naeem muhammad (3 months ago)
Thanks a lot , after a long time find a great and really a nice teacher again.
نوال (3 months ago)
not all but some of them however thank you.
نوال (3 months ago)
it is the same in my country ksa
. mb
lellouche dyhia (4 months ago)
This is à fascinating vidéo Thanx
Behrouz Akhavan (4 months ago)
I always enjoy your videos and this one was one of the greatest. Thank you 🙏🙏
MD SALMAN (4 months ago)
Ma'am your all lectures are very useful.
Vladimir Putin (4 months ago)
4:36 I love you teacher.
naireaww (4 months ago)
Hi from Thailand. This is the best clip that I've ever seen in English teaching media. It answers many questions that I wondered for a long time. In addition, your explanations are very easy to understand for forienge students. Thank you very much for making this exellent clip.
Kishalay Sinha (4 months ago)
She is definitely not what rude vulgar scoundrels call a "chinky". So what could have happened to her eyes? Did she have a very serious accident and her eyelids got stitched or something? She is undoubtedly an excellent teacher of English grammar. BY THE WAY, I NEVER LIE - unlike everybody in this bad sordid world. Incidentally, I have recently graduated from My insincere habit of using "sweet and s." for all gals to (insincere?) "darling" for all s. gals including this sweet and s. darling. Robot? - G
abdi razaaq (4 months ago)
almost 90% of them we use it in somalia
Kornel Usowicz (4 months ago)
The whole clip is great, but I don't agree with the statement that 80% of communication is the body language. Come on! It's just a myth that is passed on. How can you communicate everything you want on the phone? How can you communicate that you need mint tea with gestures? How can yoy communicate: "Tomorrow at 5 pm I'm going to the cinema with my sister."? Etc. Nonetheless, I will recommend the clip😊
Zawar Ali (5 months ago)
awesome, really helpful.
Rajesh VR (5 months ago)
Excellent episode, amazingly informative mate!🖖
Sawera Hanif (5 months ago)
Youuuu areeee wowwwwww! 😚😚😚
VerryLongName (5 months ago)
Native speaker here. I’m watching this because I don’t use hand gestures much at all and I feel they’re good in conversation. I wanna learn some
Rose india (5 months ago)
Touch wood we say here in India for knock on wood
sam mirison (5 months ago)
you are wonderful in explaining English and its cultural aspects. Thank you for making these videos and making them available to public.
MÉXICO MÁGICO (5 months ago)
Adil Draissi (6 months ago)
Thank you very much I think ,For quotes its not just for something we dont believe...quotes also for relative concepts or things that need discussion and people dont agree about them......
Baikonur 920 (6 months ago)
Long live and prosperity! (i can do ithe hand gesture).
Dilli Rai (6 months ago)
Ha ha ha ha very useful .
Đặng Trần Khang (6 months ago)
thanks you emma is very good
Eder Telvino (6 months ago)
Here in Brazil we have the same thing when we want to prevent, we knock on wood too. it's fun hahaha
Eder Telvino (6 months ago)
I really liked your car!
Ricardo Faria (6 months ago)
Omg so many times I used to take a picture and tried to do the peace sign but sometimes i did the v money sign by mistake. Now i can see the meaning of what ive done lmao
Daro Dewkeea (6 months ago)
Hello emma welcome my home evriday emma riwesh aer you you nambar one eglish problem my lif. Free english you lopinan
Danny Joey (6 months ago)
And the hand shake/quiver for not quite/meh
luis arevalo (6 months ago)
Your videos are exelents Thank you
Raaj national (6 months ago)
Excellent mem thanks
Aisha Khalid (6 months ago)
I really liked the way you teach... Your accent and style is very good and easy to understand.... It's very clear...
charanjeet singh (6 months ago)
sumant behera (6 months ago)
Your expression are really good....you teach good as well... finally I must say You are really beautiful.
GIRIDHAR C.P. (6 months ago)
It's really short sweet and perfect Keep it up
satyaveer singh (6 months ago)
Thanks mam So much
Sujit Debnath (6 months ago)
Nice video mam!!
Sondip Mandal (6 months ago)
Love you very much ( Only this)
Mohamad (6 months ago)
In our culture thumb up means fuch rather than ok or perfect.
Mohamad (6 months ago)
You coverd so many hand gestures but I think there must be more.

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