In the final episode of this season, find out about Magda's new job and how Sarah deals with her intrusive landlord. Harry has some surprising news and Johnny has a big decision.

BCSW - Good news & bad news

Instructions

Do the Preparation task first. Then listen to the audio. Next go to each Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.

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Hello Kirk,
There are really some excellent dictionaries where I can look up words. But sometimes I wish for a source where I can find phrases, phrasal verbs, chunks of language that are often used in everyday language. Can you suggest an online encyclopedia specialized in this?
Thanks for your effort!
Best wishes
Bernd

Hello Bernd,

I'm afraid it's British Council policy not to recommend specific books as we have to remain neutral with regard to publishers and authors, and also websites. Modern lexicography places a lot of emphasis on lexical patterns such as collocation, phrasal verbs and so on, so you'll find a lot of examples of these in any dictionary, though you may need to scroll down past the first definitions. Remember that the drop-down menus in most dictionary search windows provide suggestions which will include patterns using the main word. For example, if you start typing 'look' you will see suggestions like 'look', 'look at', 'look for' and so on.

I would say that your best option would be to browse the websites of the most well-known dictionaries, such as Cambrige and Merriam-Webster, and do some test searches to see which set of results is most helpful to you. Modern dictionaries have quite similar databases in terms of size but organise their results in different ways, and you may find that certain dictionaries suit you better than others.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you, Peter, for your detailed answer! You are right and probably the best way to keep the expressions in mind is my own search in different sources.

All the best!
Bernd

Olivia said: “Fingers crossed”. What does this mean, please? And what does “get on with somebody” mean? Thanks!

Hello again Steven,

If you search for 'fingers crossed' and 'get on' in the dictionary, you will find definitions and example sentences for both.

Please be sure to check the dictionary first. If you can't find an expression or still don't understand, you're welcome to ask us, but I think the dictionary will help you with many of your questions.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I am confused about the sentence: Try not to get too worried about the exam. Why "worrying" is not right here? Thanks for help.

Hi fangQ,

This sentence uses the verb 'get' plus an adjective ('worried'). Used in this way, 'get' expresses a change of emotional state and means 'become'. So what this sentence suggests is that the person is starting to become worried, and the speaker advises them not to continue getting more worried. You can use 'get' with many adjectives in the same way – see the example sentences under the definition 'START TO BE' in the dictionary.

'Worrying' has a different meaning than 'worried' and doesn't make sense here. You can find definitions and examples of both of those words in the dictionary and our Adjectives ending in -ed and –ing page might also help you understand how these adjectives work.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi! I'm sorry to disturb you, but I still don't understand why in the sentence:
That’s ______ excellent news. (task 5) It's not correct to fill in the gap whith AN.

Please, could you help me to understand that?

Many thanks!

Hello Debbybb,

'news' is an uncount noun, which you can see, by the way, in the Cambridge Dictionary entry for 'news' where it says noun [U] – the [U] means 'uncount'. 'a/an' is only used with singular count nouns, not uncount nouns.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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