Modern-day authors cast their own spells, too, and Richard visits a very magical place to find out about contemporary English writers.

Task 1

Which is the best summary of the video?

Exercise

Task 2

Watch the video again, and choose the best answer.

Exercise

Task 3

Drag and drop the words to complete the sentences.

Exercise

Task 4

Complete the paragraph about Philip Pullman by typing the missing words into the spaces.

Exercise

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Discussion

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Hi
thank you for these interesting clip
I would like to know why all the three tenses (simple past , present and past perfect) could be used, interchangeably, in task 4 {including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 2002 - the first time the prize was given /has been given /had been given}

Hi ibrahimadam667,

The perfective is not a tense. We describe it as an aspect and it describes how the time of the action is seen by the speaker - as complete or not, as in progress or not, as permanent or temporary, as an isolated action or one related to another and so on. This means that we often have a choice of how to describe a given action depending on how we see it. For example, both of these sentences are possible:

I live in London. [present simple]

I've lived in London for 10 years. [present with perfective aspect - present perfect]

The difference is what the speaker chooses to emphasise. In the first sentence the speaker is stating a bare fact without any other information. In the second sentence the speaker sees that fact as an unfinished process which continues into the present from the past. The fact is the same but the speaker gives it a different emphasis by choosing to use a particular aspect.

 

There are several options in your particular example for the same reason:


including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 2002 the first time the prize was given to a children's book. 

The speaker is simply relating a fact about the prize in 2002.

 

including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 2002 the first time the prize has been given to a children's book. 

The speaker is now telling us not just that the prize was given, but that it has still (today, at the time of speaking) never been given again to a children's book. The present perfect tells us that the action described (being given for the first/only time) is still true today.

 

including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 2002 the first time the prize had been given to a children's book. 

The past perfect tells us that the action described (being given for the first/only time) was true at the time but may not be true now. There is no difference in fact between this form and the past simple (above) in this context; the choice is really a stylistic one.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Team.
Help me with this, please.
In the Task IV :
" For the past forty years, Philip Pullman [has enchanted] young people with his fantasy novels. He [has written] over twenty children's novels, but [is] best known for his trilogy, his Dark Materials, which [has sold] over fifteen million copies to date.
My question is ; Don't you think the last essay will be appropriate in passive form?
" which [has been sold] over fifteen million copies to date".
Is my opinion wrong?

Hello Nizam,

I'm afraid the version of the sentence you suggest is not correct, but if you really wanted to use a passive form you could say '15m copies have been sold to date'. In any case, I can see how the sentence from the video must look strange to you, but it actually is correct. The verb 'sell' (see the second definition in the first entry) can be used intransitively, and that is how it is used here. 

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I think that Harry Poter is so good because all the story happens in a parallel world, where i can see a mixture of fantasy and reality. These kind of story activate our imagination and brings more pleasure on the reading.
I think that i couldn't write a novel, because i am better with numbers than words.

Hello :)
I would like to know if the best French translation about " sit on the edge of their seats" would be "coller au siège"? I thought the way of these expressions are a bit different but have the same idea...is it right? or wrong?...

Hello gacir,

I'm afraid that this is a service we don't provide. In any case, there is no-one currently on our team who knows French well enough to help you with this. You might want to consider the Cambridge English-French Dictionary, which might have some useful examples in it for you.

Good luck!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Oh! sorry...I think i was wrong, "sit on the edge of their seats" means "excited". I thought in French about something like "blown away"...
Thank you. :)

gacir.

hello guys, i'm here! I am a big fan of harry poter books and i'd like to visit all places you showed here. I think its amaizing to travel around Britain with your team and take interviews with realy interesting pesons. Thanks so much

AS to me, Harry Potter is fantastic, such a great story caught people all over the world having one and only aim - to get a LETTER from Hogwarts.
Unfortunately I am not familiar with other books/writers mentioned in this short video. Maybe one day I'll read them.
And maybe I will write something one day...who knows.

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