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We're Talking Over

We're Talking Over

Date: Jan 04 2008

Themes: Friend


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

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

Picture a meeting of the government of your country. There’s probably some yelling, lots of interrupting, and maybe some objects being thrown. Could you imagine if each member of the government was silent for a few minutes after anyone said anything to allow time for thinking?

That’s how things are done with the Iroquois. The Iroquois is an ancient confederacy of five tribes of Native Americans. Their Constitution was a big influence on the writers of the US Constitution. But their meeting style, which was very slow and polite, has not been adopted by Western Culture.

For an example of Westerners talking over each other, there’s no need to look further than this site. All the audio files in the lessons are real conversations, and as many of you have noted in comments, the speakers often talk over each other. Listen to Marni and Mason talk over each other once again.


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.





Mason:  Yesterday, seriously, I was checking out some of the backlog lessons…

Marni:  Yeah…

Mason:  ...and I was looking at the comments and people point out that we talk over each other all the time.

Marni:  We do, and I think you and I are probably some of the worst…

Mason:  Probably…

Marni:  ...offenders. And we’re doing it again!

Mason:  I don’t know why. OK, whoa, my turn. When I think why, I just get really excited, you know? I get involved in the conversation.

Marni:  Well, I also think it’s part of normal conversation. I think we do that a lot in this culture. We just kind of interject and it’s not necessarily seen as a taboo, but I can understand where somebody who’s like trying to understand what we’re saying is probably really annoyed with us.

Mason:  Of course maybe I just start talking over you because you talk so long and I have to get my words in edgewise.

Marni:  Oh really? You think I talk too much, huh?

Mason:  Hey, we all go on monologues every once in a while.

Marni:  Exactly. A little soap box.

Mason:  Wait. You’re right. It’s just kind of natural, you know?

Marni:  But I also think it’s a good point to bring up because it is kind of wrong. We should be better listeners in this culture, and I think things would be a lot different if we really listened to each other.

Mason:  As sarcastic as you’re being, I agree with the valid point underneath your wit. It’s a lesson I should really take to heart.

Marni:  We all should.



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Mason noticed that a lot of comments on the lessons here on Ebaby! are from people saying that it’s hard to hear the audio because the speakers are talking over each other. Then he and Marni start talking at the same time.

Mason thinks he butts into the conversation because he’s excited. Marni thinks it’s a cultural thing. It’s just not regarded as rude in the US to interrupt every now and then. It takes a while to make that point, so Mason jokes that he has to interrupt her because she talks so much.

But even if it happens all the time, talking over other people means you’re not a very good listener. Marni thinks the world would be a better place if people listened to each other more. The way she says it is pretty corny, so Mason makes fun of her a little, but he agrees with her point.

Do you talk over people when you speak English? What about your first language?



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Syrian Arab Republic

bad habits , but sometimes It iٍs necessary to clear some points 

06:01 PM Nov 20 2010 |



Yeah, that's a very valid point. when we actually talk over people, we dont just interject in the conversation, we also distract their thoughts. this is a good lesson learned!!!

10:00 PM Nov 19 2010 |

1 person likes this



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

"We should be better listeners".its pretty corny to talk over someone.in this way u cant understand what they said.isn't it?

08:47 PM Aug 08 2010 |



I need one English'sfriend can to teacher my English!!!!!!!

I well very thankyou for you

02:19 PM May 31 2010 |




i  think  the  english are  very   differently..

my english  listening  also  ^^^

09:23 AM Feb 03 2008 |



hi! sure we can make friends with eachother. would you mind why did you call yourself a little pig?

07:57 AM Feb 02 2008 |




well i used to be a leader since i was 7 years old….so i love to interject when there’s a task hahaha….until 11 years old, i started to keep quiet and now i prefer listening more than talking…..

12:16 PM Jan 26 2008 |



Hi, in  my  Country  people  talk  too  much  when  they  are  urguing  about  things   like  football, but  when  it's  an  important  issue, they  are  good  listeners.

05:01 PM Jan 19 2008 |



It is so strimulating to participate with you but I ignore the way I can do that .

04:14 PM Jan 14 2008 |



One of the morals one must take into consideration is to give much more attention to someone while speaking to you . Let him say all he wants to say without interrupting him.Even if he is saying something unpleasant or meaningless ,it is a kind of good manner to listen to him attentively in order to give him/her an impression that you are so much interested in what he is saying.

03:58 PM Jan 14 2008 |

rock girl

rock girl

United Arab Emirates

i usually listen to other when they talk , and i hate to talk when the people is talking

08:56 PM Jan 10 2008 |



listening is better than talking, but in electronic forum, the speakers must show us whene to listen and whene to speak because they are not phisicly present

11:39 AM Jan 10 2008 |


Saudi Arabia

I annoyed than Marni .She speaks with a hurry and I cannot cutch any wordshe says

09:50 AM Jan 10 2008 |




yes me too. i hope we can improve our english.  

07:42 AM Jan 10 2008 |




yes me too


07:39 AM Jan 10 2008 |



Saudi Arabia

Marni speaks very quikly. I can؛t understand her

03:27 PM Jan 09 2008 |

Stefany Liz


At same Mason, you get involved in the conversation and want to understand the other.

03:35 PM Jan 08 2008 |

Stefany Liz


It's interesting to hear that because we all go thinking about when we talk over. Yesterday I just feel I don't good listener, but It's doesn't because I want to impose my ideas. At same mASON

03:32 PM Jan 08 2008 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

so good

04:40 PM Jan 07 2008 |

ade zhang

ade zhang


yeah,very good topic,

im from China,talking over when other peole is speaking is very not polite.of cousre you can practise equoence and ideation in the speaking contest,but that is impolite and rude in our ral life.in my opinion,when other is telling a stroy to you ,you become a better listener.that is very nice each other.have a try that,i think it is good!

12:04 PM Jan 07 2008 |

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