Learn English – What’s in your junk drawer?

I read an article in the Sunday newspaper about junk drawers and thought, “What a fun topic!”

A junk drawer is that space where you keep little things that are often useful. I imagine that your ‘junk drawer’ is different from mine!

Hey there. Do you have a junk drawer in your house? You know, a drawer in the kitchen that contains a lot of little items and it’s all a mess?

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

What is a junk drawer? A drawer is a storage space that you pull out and junk are little items that are not very valuable. They don’t cost a lot, but they’re very useful. And a junk drawer is a spot, usually in the kitchen where people put these everyday necessities. Things like batteries, band-aids, um, screwdrivers, small little light bulbs, note paper, it could be anything. And usually a junk drawer is not organized. It’s a mess. 

Something junky doesn’t have to be small. Sometimes people who like to work on cars might have an old car that doesn’t run anymore and they might call it, “It’s a piece of junk!” But still they keep it. They keep it because there might be a part of this old broken down car that is useful. That’s another example of junk. 

When you open up your junk drawer in your kitchen and you’re looking for something and it’s all a mess, you don’t know where it is, moving items around so you can see them, so you can locate and find something, that is called ‘rummaging’. With your hands, you rummage through the junk drawer, looking for the item that you need. We even have something called a ‘rummage sale’.

It might be at a church. It might be in a community center, or it might be in your garage and your, and on your driveway where you put out things you don’t want, your junk.  And people come and they look through, they rummage through, they move something aside, they pick up and look under, “Oh, that looks interesting!” There’s a saying: ‘One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.’ 

There’s another way we use the word junk. And that is a junk yard. You could call it a garbage dump, but it’s a little bit different. A junk yard might be where old cars get towed or appliances, old appliances. And there are people that own junk yards. They will come pick up your junk and then they sell the junk. They somehow make money from the junk. Maybe they crushed the cars. I don’t know, but that’s called a junk yard. Little bit different from a garbage dump.

I have a couple short videos to show you what kinds of items people keep in junk drawers. Take a look at these:

  1. Here are a few items I have in my junk drawer –   paper for writing notes, stamps for mailing letters, a stapler for stapling papers. 
  2. Here’s my junk drawer. Let’s see, what do we have? Oh, yes, matches, in case the power goes out and we need to light a lantern. Oh, this is interesting. This is, um, plant food. When I buy cut flowers at the grocery store, I put a little bit of this powder, plant food in the vase with the water. Then this green thing. This is our tape measure. When we want to measure something, how long it is, how high it is, we can use this.
  3. I am going to show you some things I keep in my junk drawer in my car. The first one is headphones. The next thing I have in my drunk drawer in my car is masks. This is in my junk drawer, in my car. It’s candy from a Walmart pickup order. In case you need a sweet treat in the middle of the day.

Well, what about you? Do you have a junk drawer in your house? Is it in the kitchen? Is it organized? If it’s organized, it’s not a junk drawer by definition. Junk drawers are never organized. Anyway, tell me about your junk drawer and what you might have in it. 

And remember if you would like the transcript, the written words for today’s episode, just go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com. Well, that’s it for this episode. I’m Maria from English without Fear. Talk to you next time.

(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)



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