Being sympathetic, chocolate, places in a city, ways of wasting time, Carolina has lunch with Jamie's parents, a joke, the present continuous, 'portmanteau' words

Elementary Podcasts
Audio icon elementary-podcasts-s02-e04.mp3

Task 1

Section 1 - Conversations in English

"I'm sorry to hear that" – being sympathetic

Part 1 is based on the Introduction. This section looks at how to be sympathetic when someone tells you about something bad that has happened to them.

Suggestion: One way to use this is to read the Transcript, and then do some exercises to help you to learn the common phrases. A good idea is to practise these with a friend who speaks English or is also learning English.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Rearrange the lines to make the conversation.


Practice materials: Exercise 2

For further practice activities please download and print the Support Pack.

Task 2

Section 2 - I'd like to talk about

Section 2 is based on someone talking about something that they’re interested in – it could be anything – a hobby, a person, a place, a thing – something that they know a bit about and would like to share. It helps you to practise speaking for a little bit longer – for example, when you're explaining something, or telling people something about yourself.

Suggestion: The best way to practise is with a friend who speaks English or is also learning English. However, if you can't find someone, you can send us a paragraph in English.

You listened to Stacey talking about chocolate and here is some more information about chocolate.

Do you have a favourite food that you would like to tell us about? If so, use the information in the Support Pack to help you make some notes.

Now put your notes together to write a paragraph about the thing that you really like to eat and add it as a comment at the bottom of this page.

Task 3

Section 3 - Quiz

Section 3 is based on the Quiz. This helps you to learn the meaning of new words and how to remember them.

Suggestion: You can write your answers in our Support Pack. You might want to use a notebook or part of your folder to make your own word lists and maps. The quiz in this episode was about places in a city.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Match places to definitions (1)


Practice materials: Exercise 2

Match places to definitions (2)


Practice materials: Exercise 3

For further practice activities please download and print the Support Pack.

Task 4

Section 4 - Your turn

Section 4 is based on 'Your Turn'. It helps you to listen and understand people giving their opinions.

Suggestion: Download the Support Pack and look at the phrases that the people use. Sometimes they don't use complete sentences. Write down notes and then say what you think.

In Your Turn you heard 5 people answer this question: ‘If you've got some work to do, but don't want to do it, what do you do to put off working? What things do you do to waste time?

What about you? What do you do when you don't want to do your work? Do you agree with what any of the people said in the podcast?

So, write down what you think, explain why, and send this as a comment at the bottom of the page.

Task 5

Section 5 - Carolina

Section 5 follows Carolina – a girl who has come to the United Kingdom (UK) to live, study, and to have fun exploring a different country and culture. Listening to this can help you if you find yourself in a similar situation. You will see that there is often more than one way of saying the same thing in English.

Suggestion: listen to Carolina's conversations with Jamie and his parents and then do exercises 1 and 2.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Complete the sentences with the correct phrases.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Choose the phrases that can correctly complete each sentence.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

For further practice activities please download and print the Support Pack.

Task 6

Section 6 - Joke

Section 6 is a joke. A joke is normally a funny story you hear and tell someone else. But you can also describe funny things that happen to you. The most important thing is to watch your friends to see if they are enjoying the story or not – then you can make it longer or shorter.

Suggestion: We suggest you do this:

  • Listen to the joke on your computer/mp3 player.
  • Do Exercise 1, in which you put the lines of the joke in order.
  • Do Exercise 2, in which you tell the joke.
  • Think of a funny story that you know. Write down the most important words in English (use a dictionary?). Then try telling the joke.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Put the lines of the joke in the correct order.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Download the Support Pack. Look at the notes and tell the story without looking at the script.

Task 7

Section 7 - Tom the Teacher

Section 7 is Tom the Teacher. These are more traditional exercises. They look at being accurate in English, and often use the type of exercises you may find in English tests and exams.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Decide if the present continuous sentences refer to the present or the future.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Complete the text with verbs in the present continuous form.


Practice materials – Exercise 3

Choose the correct spellings of the 'ing' form of verbs.


Practice materials - Exercise 4

Match the 'portmanteau' words to their definitions*.


*Note: a 'portmanteau' word is one that combines parts of two normal words to make a new word, e.g. 'chocolate' + 'alcoholic' = 'chocoholic'




Hello everybody!

I'm trying to improve my level of english, and in this lection I learned many new things, e.g.: I didn't know the 'portmanteau' words term.

What do you do when you don't want to do your work? I prefer listen to the music and see movies. I like science fiction.

Lucky and greetings,

Hello team,
I like choclate very much of course, my favorite kind is the plane ones without biscuites or nuts or caramel inside, i'd like to eat it last thing in the day just before going to sleep after long day of hard workind, it makes me feeling happy and relaxed actually.

Hello Tom,
Actually i gonna ask very primitive questio, when you say at the end bye for now, why you did not say just bye, or both are the same meanig, can i say it to a friend at end of a telephone chat, is it formal or not
Thank you

Hello Sherine hussein,

'Bye for now' is quite informal, but so is 'Bye'. The more formal way to say this 'Goodbye'.

'Bye for now' suggests that we know that we will see the other person again soon. 'Bye' or 'Goodbye' are more general in meaning.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks alot Peter for the explanation.

I've just eaten a chocolate. Ravi and Tess asked what we think about chocolate,and for that moment I was eating it. Coincidence! Actually, I wasn't eating only a chocolate. It was zephyr. It is something like marsh-mallow. Zephyr in chocolate. Delicious. But, I think it's very harmfully for our teeth. I can't eat a lot of chocolate without worry. Chocolate with high concentration of sugar can cause diabets. If one eats a chocolate in the morning and it's his first meal on this day, it's very bad for his health. That's why my girlfriend in the morning doesn't allow me to eat chocolate first. So, firstly I should eat a fruit or a sausage or something like this. Anyway, I love chocolate and I think if there is a little concentration of sugar in chocolate, then we can eat it a lot and don't be worried about our health. But I prefer to eat a little than a lot.

thank you

dear team british council.
I have a question. The word facebook is another example of portmanteau? I have looking for the translation of facebook in tradukka and do not shet a translation.
Thank you.

Hello anaisavecas,

I wouldn't say that 'Facebook' is a portmanteau, but rather a compoun noun. Before the website was invented, in some American universities there were 'facebooks', i.e. books with the names and photos of the students. I haven't been able to find a definition that says this in any dictionary, but if you read the Wikipedia article on the history of Facebook, it's clear that this is what Zuckerberg means in one of his quotes.

If you do an internet search for 'examples of portmanteau', I'm sure you can find many pages that will give you a better sense of this kind of word.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

If I have something to do but I want to put off, I will read books or watch TV. Sometimes, I play tennis with my friends in the stadium and you know playing tennis can boost blood circulation and it is very good for our health. Then, I will surf the Internet to find something interesting like reading newspapers ot watch some funny clips.