Studying English with Movies: FROZEN

Frozen movie poster

Let’s study a scene from Disney’s “Frozen”

For the third lesson of Studying English with Movies, let’s take a look at the hugely popular animated film from last year, “Frozen.” If you don’t know by now, “Frozen” is a movie from Disney about two sisters, one of which has the power to magically create snow, ice, and other wintry things. The movie became very popular largely due to the song, “Let It Go” which you have probably heard on the radio, or out in public by now. (Here is the music video with lyrics)

So what can we learn from this Disney movie?

As with the first two lessons, let’s follow our same formula.

Get “Frozen” on Blu-Ray (Region-Free) here!

Step 1: Choose the Movie

I chose “Frozen” to use for two main reasons. First, it is such a popular movie, I’m sure many people are somewhat familiar with it or have seen it before. Second, Disney movies are usually good to start with because they are mostly aimed at children, and so the language is a little easier to understand.

Step 2: Choose a Scene

For the scene, I wanted to focus on one that had a dialogue between the two main characters, Anna and Elsa. Again, choosing something with only two characters is usually good for studying in my opinion.

In this scene, Anna has just found Elsa’s new snow castle on the mountain and is trying to get her to come back down to the city. Elsa left the city of Arendelle because she was afraid her magic would hurt the people of the city.

Let’s watch:

Step 3 (optional): Try Writing Down the Script (Dictation)

This scene is a little longer than in our last study with “Elektra.” That’s ok, it’s not too long. If you are ready to try, go ahead and try writing down the script as you hear it. Don’t worry if you can’t understand every word! Instead, just write down the sounds you hear and you can check the script later.

Here is the script for this clip:

Anna: Whoa! Elsa? It’s me! Anna!

Elsa: Anna!

Anna: Whoa! Elsa, you look…different. It’s a GOOD different. And this place, i—it’s amazing!

Elsa: Thank you. I never knew what I was capable of.

Anna: I’m so sorry about what happened. If I’d have known—

Elsa: No, it’s ok. You—you don’t have to apologize. But you should probably go. Please!

Anna: But I just got here!

Elsa: You belong down in Arendelle.

Step 4: Look Up any New Vocabulary

There are not too many tough vocabulary words or phrases in this clip. The ones that I might highlight are:

to be capable of
to apologize

Step 5: Find Common Sentence Patterns

There are a couple of good sentences to choose from but the one I’d like to point out and teach today is Anna’s third line:

Anna: I’m so sorry about what happened.

In this scene, Anna feels that it is her fault for causing Anna to run away from Arendelle up into the mountains. She is expressing her apology to Elsa.

The “key” to this sentence pattern is:

I’m so sorry about ( X ).”

The phrase “sorry about X” shows the speaker’s regret or apology to the listener specifically about the topic “X”. As a complete verb phrase, it would be “to be sorry about X.” The word “so” emphasizes the speaker’s feeling.

Here are some other examples you could make with this pattern:

I’m so sorry about spilling wine on your shirt.”
I’m so sorry about bothering you before your big exam.”
I’m so sorry about the other day.”
I’m so sorry about your iPad.”

The first two examples have the “key” plus a verb in “-ing” form.

I’m so sorry about spilling wine on your shirt.”
I’m so sorry about bothering you before your big exam.”

The second two examples have the “key” plus a noun or noun phrase.

I’m so sorry about the other day.”
I’m so sorry about your iPad.

Can you make your own sentences?
Please show me your examples in the “Comments” section below!

“I’m so sorry about ( X ).”

Step 6: Note How a Character Responds to a Question or Comment

In this dialogue, there are no questions so we can’t look at that type of interaction here. However, there are other aspects we can study to see how a character responds. In this case, we’ll look at how Elsa responds to a comment from Anna.

In this scene from “Frozen,” we’ll use the same comment that we used earlier in the key sentence pattern exercise. To review, Anna is apologizing to Elsa for what she did earlier:

Anna: I’m so sorry about what happened. If I’d have known—

Elsa: No, it’s ok. You—you don’t have to apologize.

So, the key question we need to answer is, “How does Elsa respond to Anna’s apology”? As a result of looking at this, we can get a good idea of how we can respond to an apology in our daily lives.

First, Anna makes a clear apology:

“I’m so sorry about what happened.”

Then, she starts to show regret before Elsa interrupts her:

“If I’d have known—“

So, how did Elsa respond?

Well, in this case, she does not blame Anna for making a mistake or doing something bad to her so she wants to tell Anna that she doesn’t need to worry or feel bad or take the blame.

“No, it’s ok.”

In this case, “No” means that the person who is apologizing does not need to apologize. “It’s ok” emphasizes to the listener that they don’t need to feel bad about this.

To be clear, Elsa adds one more sentence:

“You—you don’t have to apologize.”

Again, this tells Anna very clearly that she is not at fault.

How can You Use this in Conversation?

When someone apologizes to you for something they believe they have done wrong, you can either accept, reject, or refuse the apology.

Accepting means that the other person did, in fact, do wrong to you and you appreciate their apology.

Rejecting means that even though the other person did something wrong to you, it is so bad that they can’t make up for the mistake or wrongdoing.

Refusing is telling the other person that their action was not so bad and that they don’t need to apologize. This is what has happened in this scene.

When you want to refuse an apology, just say,

“No, it’s ok.”

If you wish to stress the point that the other person doesn’t need to feel bad or worry about their mistake or perhaps it wasn’t even a mistake at all, you can say,

“You don’t have to apologize.”

Go ahead and try it!

Bottom Line

Studying movies is fun and can be very useful if you have an effective method. Follow these 6 steps when you want to study English from movies and I’m sure you will learn something that you can use right away!

Do you have any questions about this scene?

If so, please write it in the “Comments” section below and I will respond as soon as I can!
Have fun!

Get “Frozen” on Blu-Ray (Region-Free) here!

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4 Responses to Studying English with Movies: FROZEN

  1. Gita at #

    Hi Teacher ,

    I have a question about accepting or rejecting an apologizing .I mean what are suitable sentences when someone did wrong to me.

    Thank you .

    • ALsensei at #

      Hi Gita,

      Thank you for reading the blog and asking your question. I think it’s a great question!
      As I mentioned in the blog post, Elsa was refusing Anna’s apology so we know a good phrase for that.
      So how about the other possibilities: accepting and refusing?

      To accept, I’d say something like this:

      “Thank you. I accept your apology.” (formal)
      “Thanks. I appreciate that.” (informal)

      To reject, I might say this:

      “I’m afraid that is unacceptable.” (formal)
      “That’s not good enough.” (informal)

      Those would be general phrases but you could add more depending on the specific situation.

      I hope that helps!

      AL

  2. Damla at #

    Hi! I really like this post because it’s very useful. I will follow these learning steps thank you 🙂

    • ALsensei at #

      Hi Damla!

      Thank you for your kind comments!
      I’m glad you have found it useful.

      If you have any questions or movie requests for future blog posts, please let me know!

      Al