Another 再容易不过了的语言点。OK! 与其只能跟不如一起用， 不能跟不如说。
This is simple as simple can be, if you have a 说 in one of the pairs, the other one has to be paired up with 说 as well. I never learned this because NO ONE EVER FUCKING SAYS 与其说！It's clearly an old grammar construction and if you try to muck it all up and make it 白话文 by adding a 说 it won't catch on! I mean I'm sure 地道的北京人或北方人可能会这样说，但是北京话总是那么怪怪，除了在教材里，所谓的标准普通话语言点只出现在北京人的嘴唇，很得意感觉，确实有人这么说， 没想到。
I remember the first time I heard some use 潇洒 (a not unreasonably out of use word, at least in writing) it was some old lady on the streets of beijing commenting on 外国人潇洒的生活, I almost couldn't keep up talking to her, after using some 北语 books for a year it turns out at least a few out of the thousands of words I learned as "口语” still occasionally popped out of people's mouths.
On a separate and final note, what they mean by ‘口语’ is not 'words you will come across in the course of speaking or listening to chinese, but more, words that will never be used in writing. Well, what about "not so formal" writing you ask? Well, even not so formal writing still shies away from anything too "口语” and since all writing holds extremely formal or even 文言文 as its goal/standard, well, you can figure it out.
Well, what about internet writing? Well, look at that and tell me if you think its "口语“like, in the sense that you could ever imagine anyone every talking like that casually in a conversation.
Well, what about the news or the radio? No, that would be "special" "media chinese". Even the talkshows are full of this "conversational chinese" which only resembles conversations on tv or the radio. If you happen to run into actual conversation on the radio, it will be incredibly 土 and full of slang and 不标准 的词、口音等等。 Go, go look at some youtube clips of people actually talking, I dare you, of better yet, try to listen to the people at the table next to you at dinner. That's actually conversational chinese, or what you chinese teacher would call (not fit to be taught, and not useful for you! Don't talk like that, don't talk like a real person, eh. Yet, one minute after class they all drop their "teacherese". Bizarre, but hardly the most bizarre thing about china or even language use here.)
So, after learning a bunch of 口语 you really want be able to talk to people or understand people talking, and you may ask your teacher what this is useful for then? Well, she'll say, you can "chat" have "small talk" with people. Yes, this is true. You can say, hey, is this lightbulb the right size? Will it really blow up the lamp if I use a 60 watt?" Well, you probably won't be able to say those things, but you'll get close enough for government work. Additionally you'll truly be able to talk about nothing with random people. I mean nothing, because you have no in-depth knowledge of anything nor know the words to discuss the news, culture, geography, etc. You would need to know the words and be reading the news and watching tv to get that far, but from learning 口语 you'll obviously never get those things.
So, why do your teacher say this? Well, it's kind of their dream (in my opinion) to just have that small talk conversation in english, so they think if you can shoot the shit for 30 seconds on "the weather" or "the traffic", it's fucking incredible. They don't really think you would care of even ever want to learn about real chinese things and discuss them with people, they barely want to do that. I dare you to ask your teacher if she reads any newspaper or knows any news. Oh, who am I kidding, the teacher obviously doesn't give it any thought at all, their thought is i teach these fucking words and then i get my money, lets not bullshit after all.
So, they are covered when you say, I can't read this newspaper or I can't read this book. They'll say "Of course, I taught you 口语”。 That's the virtue of teaching 口语, you can't test it against anything and you have no expectations that after learning it 之后你会有真正的机会用它。 God bless you 北语, God bless you america.