Lesson 42: Rumors



In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over this topic: rumors. First, read the following dialogue out loud with your tutor, then switch roles and try again. 

Dorothy and Kevin are talking about rumors and gossip.

Kevin, have you heard the rumor about Gar?
No, who is spreading rumors about Gar?
I don’t know, but the hearsay is that he’s leaving Cambly for another company.
Hmmm, the rumor mill is normally a bad thing. Sometimes people have big mouths.
I don’t like when people talk behind your back!
I think people are just jealous and that’s why they spread rumors.
I agree. I wish people would tell the truth.
Me too! Lies can be hurtful.
If people only knew how bad rumors can be, they would not spread them.
I don’t think gossip will ever stop.


Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

have you heard (phrase) a question used to introduce news or rumors
Have you heard that Kevin is sick?
spreading rumors (phrase) when people start talking about another person; usually not true
I wish people would stop spreading rumors about me having lots of money.
hearsay (n) something heard from another person; usually not true (synonym of rumor)
According to hearsay, Dorothy broke her leg.
rumor mill (n) the process of how information about someone is spread from one person or group to others
The rumor mill says that Apple is introducing a new iPhone.   
big mouth (mouths) (n) someone who says things that are meant to be secret or are only rumors
He opened his big mouth and told everyone that I was going to Hawaii.
behind your back (idiom) the act of talking about someone without them being present
It’s not nice when people talk behind your back.
jealous (adj) unhappy and angry because someone has something you want
He was jealous because other men were talking to his girlfriend.
truth (n) a fact or belief that is accepted as being true
Tell me the truth. Did you eat my chocolate?
lies (n – plural) a false or untrue statement about someone or something
My best friend is telling lies about me cheating on my wife.
gossip (n) information about the lives of other people; not always true (synonym of rumor)
Have you heard the latest gossip about one of our co-workers?


Practice answering the following questions with your tutors. You can use the sample answers to come up with your own answer.

  1. Is there a rumor mill at your work or school?
    1. There are always rumors about someone going around.
    2. On occasion, I hear something from the rumor mill.
    3. Your answer:
  2. Have you ever talked about someone behind their back?
    1. Once in awhile, I talk about a co-worker with my wife.
    2. I don’t like to talk about people behind their back, but sometimes I do.
    3. Your answer:
  3. Do you know someone with a big mouth?
    1. One of my friends always has a big mouth. He’s can’t keep a secret.
    2. Sometimes I have a big mouth and let out information I shouldn’t.
    3. Your answer:
  4. Why do people spread rumors?
    1. I think it’s human nature.
    2. Some people just like to talk bad about others before they know the truth.
    3. Your answer:
  5. Is being jealous a good or bad thing?
    1. I think being jealous can be a good or bad thing.
    2. Being jealous can lead to problems with relationships with family and friends.
    3. Your answer:


Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Why do people spread rumors about other people?
  2. Tell me about a time when a rumor was spread about you.
  3. Why do people lie?
  4. Have you ever told a lie about someone else? If yes, describe the lie.
  5. In your opinion, are lies hurtful?


Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.



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