Joe the 4-year-old nephew - is he a pest or just a sweet little boy? Written by Chris Rose.

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Language level

Elementary: A2


Hello ,LearnEnglish team
Greetings of the day !!

I've few queries or doubts for sentence formation.
I'm posting them here. If I'm not allowed to ask queries which are not related to audios here please feel free to remove this post.

query -
providing them 'with' the convenience or providing them 'the' convenience

providing them 'with' the knowledge or providing them knowledge
is there any difference in the meaning if we use 'with'.

Thanks and regards

Hello HelloAshu,

There are quite a few different patterns with the verb 'provide'. You can see them in the dictionary entry (follow the link) and in the 'more meanings of provide' section on the right side of the page I linked to. It's difficult to say for sure without knowing more about the context, but I'd use 'with' in this case, i.e. when there is an indirect object ('them'), the preposition 'with' is usually used before the direct object.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


Hello British Council Team and fellow learners,
I've just joined this forum.

I've 2 doubts.

1)in this podcast there is one sentence..

And you probably shouldn’t have a business meeting in a café!

On this site itself in articles section i've read that there is no article used for the location.
eg. in school, at college, at airport.
In abaove sentence cafe is also location then why 'a' article is used before cafe.

2) My sister can’t get a babysitter.

In above sentence can't is used. I'm confused because her sister couldn't get babysitter on that particular day..that means she can get every other day. In short I couldn't figure out why can't is used here and why not couldn't.ce

Thanks in advance.

Hello HelloAshu,

There is no rule that says an article cannot be used with locations. There are certain locations with which we use no article when using the location for its intended purpose. For example:

I am at university - I'm a student.

I'm at a/the university - I'm visiting it.

I'm in prison - I'm a criminal.

I'm in a/the prison - I'm visiting it.

We would say 'at school' (a pupil) and 'at university' (a student) but not 'at airport' - this one needs an article (a or the, depending on the context).


'Can' is used rather than 'could' because the situation described is true in the present. The sentence would be possible with 'could' as well, of course: 'could' describes her attempt that morning or yesterday; 'can' describes the situation at the time of speaking - it is still true.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Peter M,

First of all thank you so much for your immediate reply. British Council and Team is doing really a great job.
I wish I had joined this platform before.Anyway...It's better late than never.

I Was referring link below for understanding the use of articles. Most of the times I use wrong articles.

Now I understood your explanation for articles for this case.

seems like i need to work hard on can and could.

Thanks once again.


Hi Kirk,
thank you so much for your quick answer! Thanks also for the helpful link!
By the way: This series is difficult for me, because it's real spoken English and not these typical textbook dialogues, which are rarely heard in reality. But that's why I like your work so much!
All the best and God bless you!

Hello Bernd,

I'm very glad you're finding the podcasts useful! I see that Peter has already answered your other question. Please don't hesitate to ask us if you need any further help.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I used to hate young kids, they wouldn't listen to me and nothing but a nuisance, but now I turned 58, I do NOT think so any more. Young boys are all right. They are just kids, if they want to cry, let them cry. They soon grow up and learn things or have some worries anyway. Until that time, play and make a noise!

Hi there,
Peter said there would be a dictionary tool on right of the page. But - I am sorry - I cannot find it at all! Please can you help me?
Thanks a lot!

Hello Bernd,

I'm afraid our on-page dictionary tool no longer works. The good news is that you can access the same dictoinary for free at the Cambridge Dictionary website.


All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team