Get to know a little about the Big City Small World audio soap by reading the FAQs.

What is Big City Small World?

Big City Small World is an audio soap opera. Soap opera is a term used to describe a fictional radio or television programme that often follows the lives of a group of people. The storyline for the soap often spans several episodes and each show ends with a promise that the storyline will be continued in the next episode.

Are the characters based on real people?

No, they are not – they are purely fictional. However, you will be able to interact directly with the characters through the Learn English website. Each of the characters has a profile page and you will be able to leave messages for them. Behind each character is a real person, who will respond to you.

Are there any learning activities with the audio?

Yes, for each episode there will be some comprehension questions, vocabulary and grammar exercises, and of course a complete transcript of the episode.

What should I do if I don't understand something?

Leave a comment asking a question about the part you don't understand and one of the LearnEnglish Team will try to help you.


thank you for your help, great website.

Could you describe a peel-back pencil, a propelling pencil, a clutch pencil in details? What does putty mean in the word a putty rubber?

Hello Fatme,

I don't think descriptions are the best way to explain these (and you can find definitions in any online dictionary). If you do a search for images of each item then you will know exactly what they are.

'Putty' is the substance which is used around windows to keep the glass in the frame. It is soft and usually grey in colour, something like plasteline. A putty rubber is an eraser which is soft and can be formed into any shape. Again, an image search will show you very clearly what this is.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter,
Thank you for your help very much. I will follow your advice.

Best wishes,

Is it correct to say: I don't wish I worked in a different country?

Hello Oxanation,

Yes, that sentence is correct, especially as a response to someone saying that you wish you worked in a different country.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Are numbers determiners? What is the difference between 'five big boys' and 'the five big boys'? Each noun phrase can have only one determiner, can't it?

Many thanks.


Hello buckieloon,

Numbers can be used as quantifiers, which are a type of determiner. Different combinations of determiners and quantifiers are possible – you can see detailed information on this in the Wikipedia article on English determiners.

The difference between the two phrases you ask about is that in the first, the five big boys haven't been mentioned before, whereas with the second, the speaker or writer assumes that the person listening or reading knows which boys are being talked about (because they've already been mentioned). See our Determiners and quantifiers page for more on this.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir,
Please tell me which one of the sentence is right.
1. i have not received my parcel.
2. I didnt receive my parcel.
And also tell me different between
1. I can do that
2.i could do that
If i use these two sentences in present tense

Hello Parminder singh,

You can find the answers to questions like these in the Verbs section of our English Grammar – be sure to look at the menu on the right side of the screen to find the parts about the present perfect, past simple, etc.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team