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Marcin Gortat - Beat A Shot

Marcin Gortat - Beat A Shot English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Mar 26 2010

Themes: Celebrity, Hobbies, Sports

Grammar: Gerunds vs. Infinitives


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

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

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At the end of a sporting event, we say that the winning team beat the losing team. They were better than them. In basketball, if a defender is faster than the ball, he or she can beat a shot by hitting the ball out of the air as an opponent is trying to score. This is also called a block.

We recently got the chance to talk with basketball star Marcin Gortat and before we started filming, he told us that his favorite slang term for blocks is “beat the shot.” Along with Dwight Howard, Marcin plays center for the Orlando Magic. He is the first Polish player in the NBA and has earned the nickname “The Polish Hammer” for dunking and blocking shots with authority.

Watch our interview with Marcin Gortat and learn more shot blocking slang as well as Marcin’s favorite hobby, which just might be your favorite hobby as well.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Jason:  Welcome to English, baby! I’m Jason, here with Marcin “The Polish Hammer” Gortat. How’s it goin’, Marcin?

Marcin:  I’m good. How are you doin’?

Jason:  I’m doing well. And so, I understand you speak a lot of languages. What all languages do you speak?

Marcin:  I speak German, Polish, and Serbian.

Jason:  And English, obviously. So, what’s your strategy for learning a language? Do you have a special method that you like to use?

Marcin:  First of all, you know, I like to learn, you know, different languages and we can say that’s my hobby. The next thing, which I’m going to try to learn in the next couple of months is going to be Spanish. So, it’s actually coming really easy. And it’s kind of really easy to learn those languages for me. And obviously English was the first language I learned in school.

Jason:  Great. And so, for all of your fans out there who don’t know a lot of basketball terms, we were hoping you could teach us a slang term for blocking shots. ‘Cause that’s one of the ways you got your nickname, the Polish Hammer. So, what’s your favorite term for blocking a shot?

Marcin:  Oh, you use different things, you know. Most of the time, you know, stuff like I beat that, you know, rejected, you can say also, I got that, stay on the ground and you just use all kinds of different words.

Jason:  So what kind of block is an “I beat that” block?

Marcin:  Just a good block where you’re gonna slap the ball and it’s going to go, you know, into the stands or just, you know, stop him on the board is the best one. If you can catch the ball, that’s really good.

Jason:  Thanks so much for talking with us, Marcin. Can I get you to give me a high-five and say, “English, baby!” in the air?

Marcin:  English, baby!

Jason:  Thanks, man. Thanks so much.


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Marcin likes to block shots and he makes it look easy. Sometimes he can even catch the ball as it goes up toward the basket instead of just hitting it out into the crowd. Either way, you could say he beat[/def] the shot because he got to the ball before it got to the basket. Marcin likes to use “I beat that” when he hits the ball so hard it lands in the stands. Another slang term for blocking shots that Marcin uses is rejected[/def]. After a good block, it’s common for fans to shout, “rejected!”

When he’s not blocking shots, Marcin is learning languages. He says it’s his hobby and that he already knows English, Serbian, German and Polish. His next project will be Spanish.

Shots and opponents aren’t the only things you can beat by being faster or stronger. You can beat a deadline if you get something done early. If you’re sick, you can beat the illness and get well.

Have you ever beat a shot[/def]? Do you think you could beat Marcin Gortat in a game of 1 on 1? Maybe you could beat him at Spanish and learn it before he does.



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Hahah, I like Marcin. He's very positive man and helpful. He helps kids who want to be like him in the future. He plays with them. Not everyone has the time for this or desire.

09:57 PM Aug 01 2010 |

1 person likes this




i am a rpfesıonal baksetball player

and i lıke grtat but my best player ıs garnet

12:31 PM Jul 10 2010 |




I really learn in this lessons. Same, I feel inspired by this people to learn more and more. Thanks Jason, Thx Ebaby. If Marcin needs, I'm really good in Spanish.

01:30 AM Jun 29 2010 |




Marcin is very a hard working, very intelligent guy. He's the proud of our sport, but he isn't the firs Polish player in the NBA. Cezary Trybański was the first one:)

08:32 AM May 21 2010 |




this is my first time here  hoping to recognize more friends.and i like nba because of AI .

10:55 AM May 09 2010 |



good lesson !!!!!!!!!! good nba's player  !!!!! i love orlando magic with vince carter , michael pitrus aka air france !!!!!!!!! and the basketball is tha better sport in the world

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! fan's nba the better nba player it's lebron james it's a show man !!!!!! lebron it's unstoppable

12:08 PM Apr 18 2010 |




It's also my hobby for playing basket ball  and I used to beat a shot unexpectedly as the opponets don't think me as a competitor. Talk to the learning languages , hoping that i will not keep  staying at the rim .

06:41 AM Apr 13 2010 |



the best polish basketball player:)

Poland is very proud of him…

 jetes wielki!!!

09:46 AM Apr 11 2010 |



What are you doing man from china?;p

Maybe someone send me a message?;] please^^ I wanna talk talk talk!;p



I,m sorry – my English isn't very good:)

04:34 PM Apr 07 2010 |



He made me feel weird

12:55 PM Apr 07 2010 |




it's ok i like him a lot

09:18 PM Apr 06 2010 |



He's from Poland like me:D

Zgadzam się z Tobą patii^^

03:54 PM Apr 06 2010 |




he's amazing

05:20 AM Apr 05 2010 |




you must be joking.

02:51 PM Mar 29 2010 |




you must be joking.

02:51 PM Mar 29 2010 |




you must be joking.

02:51 PM Mar 29 2010 |



yes , it mean "火锅“ in China

09:36 AM Mar 29 2010 |




we can be pround of him :]

Poland, Poland, Poland <33 :D

08:12 PM Mar 28 2010 |



amazing  LUBIĘ polski ale taka jest bardzo trudny język (i like polish but it's a difficult language)  but  remember guys  mastery of things come slowly through practice and observation.

06:34 PM Mar 28 2010 |



interesting lesson…......................................................

04:15 PM Mar 28 2010 |

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