At an art market, Ash and Stephen find themselves in an argument about who is the better artist. They decide to have a competition, but first they need to find out what art is.

Instructions

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to the Tasks and do the activities. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.

Task 1

Order the sentences according to the video.

Exercise

Task 2

Decide if these statements are true or false.

Exercise

Task 3

Order the words to make useful expressions from the video.

Exercise

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Comments

Hi there! Could you give me a hand with this?

A man walked into a hotel, saw a nice coat, put it over his arm and walked out again.

I do not understand the reason of using the word 'again'. And, can we use there the word 'again' even if the man had not been in the hotel before?
P. S. I'm Alexander, you're awesome, have a nice day!

Hello Alexander,

The 'again' here refers to the fact that he was walking before (walking into) and now is walking again (out). It's slightly illogical if we are pedantic but I suppose we focus on the action of walking rather than the direction in this case. Languages are full of these kinds of constructions which are not entirely logical if we dig deep.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there! I cannot help asking who the word ('his'), in the example below, is related to.
"
The thief gave the inspector his coat.
"
Is this coat of the inspector or thief?
Thanks a million beforehand!

Hello again alexander-Rednaxela,

The sentence is ambiguous in this respect (i.e. there is no way to know for sure) but unless the context indicated something to the contrary, most of the time people would probably think that the coat belonged to the thief. Since we're talking about a thief, however, it would probably be better to be more specific, since it could well be the inspector's coat as well!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there! I'm wondering whether I got Stephen right.
"
Stephen: So this is art, is it?
Ashlie: Err, yes, Stephen, it is.
"
There's no inversion in the tag because of Shephen's misunderstanding of the reason for
'a pile of old junk' is called art.
This website is just the ticket for me! You're awesome!

Hello Alexander,

Yes, this question tag is correct. 'is it?' is correctly inverted for a question tag -- were you perhaps asking about why it is affirmative and not negative? This is not uncommon. In this case, Stephen is expressing his doubt -- he is not at all convinced that what he sees is art. By using a question tag, he shows his doubt but leaves open the possibility that he is wrong, which is a way of being polite.

I hope this helps you understand it better. If I've misunderstood your question, please ask us again.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

 

Hi there! Can I use 'somewhen' instead of 'somewhere' in this passage ?
"
Stephen: Yes, excellent idea! Except one thing... You're not an artist.
Ashlie: Well, I can learn, can't I? All great artists had to start somewhere.
"
Thanks a million beforehand!

Hello alexandeR-Rednaxela,

I'm afraid 'somewhen' is not a word, at least in standard British or American English. The good news is that you could say 'sometime' to refer to an uncertain or unspecified time.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I would appreciate a brief tutorial on the use of the word "would" in the following manner:
(1) "I wish I would have" [instead of "I wish I had"]
and
(2) "if he would have done it differently" [instead of "if he had done it differently"]

In each case the use of "would" in the sentence is superfluous and redundant, but what, grammaticaly, is wrong with using "would" instead of simply using the past perfect participle or (if I have it right) the future perfect participle?

I hear it and read it often but can't explain the actual grammatical deficiency.

Can some one help with this.

Hello Faustus,

The standard form here is 'I wish I had...' and 'If he had...', as you suggest. The use of 'would have' here is not a standard form and is either an error or a dialectical feature.

We express past hypothetical situations using a backwards tense shift in English (past > past perfect) rather than the modal auxiliary 'would'. The modal auxiliary is used in the counterfactual result clause:

If + past perfect (past hypothetical condition) > would have + past participle (counterfactual result)

If I had received the invitiation I would have gone to the party.

If I hadn't lost my wallet I wouldn't have had such problems.

I can't give you a reason why this is so as, ultimately, all such grammatical structures are arbitrary, of course. This is standard use, however, and the error or non-standard element in the sentences you quote is the use of a form in the condition clause which belongs in the result clause.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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