Australians are fond of using the word ‘mate’.
However, the word ‘mate’ can mean different things depending on the context in which it is used. In some cases the meaning can be the opposite of what the word ‘mate’ literally means. For example, the speaker may be referring to a close friend, or they may be angry while talking to a stranger.
Read out each example and discuss the relationship between the person speaking and the person listening. You may even wish to discuss these questions:
1. Do you think the speaker knows the person they are speaking to?
2. Do you think the word ‘mate’ is being used as a term of endearment here, or contempt, or in a neutral way - neither good or bad?
3. What do you think the relationship is between the speaker and the user?