While you listen
Elementary Podcasts are suitable for learners with different levels of English. Here are some ways to make them easier (if you have a lower level of English) or more difficult (if you have a higher level of English). You can choose one or two of these suggestions - you don't have to follow all of them!
Making it easier
- Read all the exercises before you listen to the podcast.
- Look up the words in the exercises that you don't know in a dictionary.
- Play the podcast as many times as you need.
- Play each part of the podcast separately.
- Read the transcript after you have listened to the podcast.
Making it harder
- Listen to the podcast before you read the exercises.
- Only play the podcast once before answering the questions.
- Play the whole podcast without a break.
- Don't read the transcript.
Now, listen to the podcast and do the exercises on the following tabs.
Leave a comment below!
- What about you? Do you cook at home?
- Or do you eat in a canteen, or buy something to eat on the way home?
- And what's your favourite way of eating potatoes?!
Leave a comment and we'll discuss some of your answers in the next podcast.
Adam: Hello and welcome to Episode 6 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. My name is Adam and, as always, Jo will be joining me later to talk about some of the language in the podcast.
As usual I'll start by looking at your comments on the last episode. If you remember, Tess and Ravi talked about the British personality. People all over the world seem to think that the British are cold and reserved, not very friendly. Tess and Ravi weren't sure that it's true (and neither were Jo and I!), but maybe that's because we're British. So what do you think? Is it true or just a stereotype that people believe?
And, from the comments that we received, it seems that most of you do think that the British are a little reserved and sometimes unfriendly. Giulia12 from Brazil lived in London for a year. She says 'I had very few British friends but they were very friendly with me all the time which I truly appreciated 'cause they made me feel at home.' But although she had a few good friends, Giulia found most other British people very polite but a little cold. Maybe, as Meli12 and Antomun both say, British people need to get to know you a bit before they can relax and be more open to friendship.
Betty1 sent a comment from the UK and she also thinks that the British aren't very friendly. She's lived in Britain for a few years and says that she doesn't have any British friends at all. But she finds elderly people often ask her where she's from and enjoy talking to her. That's interesting, Betty – perhaps older people do enjoy talking to strangers more than young people.
Tanni from Pakistan agrees with the British attitude to the home and privacy. She thinks it's the only place where you can be comfortable and it should be private. And Emir Çağrı from Turkey says that he thinks the British seem to be reserved, but he actually likes that about us – it isn't always a bad thing.
And finally, Englishlover2015 writes about some other ideas that people in Yemen have about the British – we always talk about the weather, we say 'please' and 'thank you' a lot, we're well organised in queues and we're always punctual. Tess and Ravi have talked about some of these topics in earlier podcasts. So listen back if you want to hear what they said.
So thanks for all your comments and, please, keep sending them in. And I'd like to remind you again about the Elementary Podcasts app with lots of features for you to help you learn more English, including questions to test your understanding of the podcast. You can download the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and there's also a link to the app on the LearnEnglish website. And there are even more exercises on the website plus other features.
And now for today's episode. We're going to see what Carolina and her friends are up to. Do you remember what happened in the last episode? Yes! Carolina and Jamie saw Emily's boyfriend Cameron kissing another woman. Will they tell Emily .... or won't they? Let's find out.
Carolina – In the kitchen
Carolina: Where are the potatoes?
Jamie: In the shopping bag.
Carolina: Can you wash them? I'm making the salad.
Jamie: If you’re washing the salad then I can't wash the potatoes.
Carolina: Here. Look. I've nearly finished. I don't know why you're angry with me.
Jamie: No, you don't, do you?
Carolina: Is it because I told Emily that we saw Cameron with another woman?
Jamie: Mmm. There might be a connection.
Carolina: Oh, Jamie. What did you want me to do?
Jamie: I wanted you to wait.
Carolina: Wait for what?
Jamie: Wait until we know the whole story. Maybe the other woman was an old girlfriend and he was saying goodbye to her …
Carolina: Can you pass me that knife?
Jamie: Here. Maybe he just met her that day and then didn't want to see her again … maybe …
Carolina: Maybe, maybe, maybe. He was kissing her, Jamie. That's not ‘maybe’. Maybe you're afraid that Cameron will be angry with you and leave the band? Is that the problem?
Jamie: How do you want these potatoes? Chips? Mashed?
Carolina: Mashed. Do you want tomatoes in this salad?
Jamie: Yes, please.
Carolina: Can you get them out of the fridge?
Jamie: Sure ... OK, Carolina. I'm sorry. You're right. I know you're right. You had to tell Emily. I don't want to fight about this any more. It's just … I don't know … Cameron's my friend.
Carolina: I know. But he's not a nice man, Jamie. He's made Emily so upset.
Jamie: Where is she tonight?
Carolina: She went home to her parents for the weekend. She'll be back tomorrow.
Jamie: Poor old Emily. Where's the salt?
Carolina: In the cupboard over there. Yes, poor Emily. Grrr. I'm so angry with Cameron.
Jamie: Calm down. You're killing that salad.
Carolina: I never want to see Cameron again.
Jamie: Well, you have to see him sometimes. We're in a band together, remember? He's the lead singer.
Carolina: So you have to see him – but I don't.
Jamie: Don't be stupid. What about the gig at the Students' Union? Our first concert? You'll see him there.
Carolina: I don't know if I want to go to the concert.
Jamie: What! Are you serious?
Carolina: Maybe … Yes … oh, I don't know. And don't call me stupid.
Jamie: I'm in a band, it's really important to me, we've got our first gig soon and my girlfriend tells me she doesn't want to come. Fantastic … What do you want on the salad? Oil and lemon?
Carolina: Yes, please.
Jamie: Have you got any lemons?
Carolina: They're in the fridge. Anyway, I'm working the night of the gig. I'll be in the shop.
Jamie: You can ask Alice to swap days with you. She can do your Saturday evening and you can do her Sunday. Don't use work as an excuse.
Carolina: I'll think about it.
Carolina: Come on. Let's eat.
Jamie: Yeah. Let's.
Jo and Adam
Adam: Hello again, Jo!
Jo: Hello everybody!
Adam: So ... Carolina told Emily about Cameron and the woman in the pub!
Jo: And Jamie isn't very happy about it!
Adam: No – they don't sound very happy, do they? I hope they enjoy their dinner!
Jo: Hmm. They're having mashed potatoes. I love potatoes!
Adam: I love roast potatoes. They're the best!
Jo: Jacket potatoes, loads of butter is delicious! Or chips ... Do you cook at home a lot, Adam?
Adam: I cook as much as I can. Sometimes I'm too tired and I do something really simple – just pasta and pesto. I try not to eat too many takeaways or frozen meals.
Jo: I hardly ever cook at home, to be honest. My husband is a brilliant cook.
Adam: And what about you, listeners? Do you cook at home? Or do you eat in a canteen, or buy something to eat on the way home? Write and tell us.
Jo: And I'd like to know your favourite way of eating potatoes!
Adam: The address is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish. ... Now, let's look at some of the language that we heard in the podcast. Jo?
Jo: Carolina and Jamie saw Cameron in the pub – with another woman. Listen to Jamie. Listen to the verb forms.
Jamie: Maybe the other woman was an old girlfriend and he was saying goodbye to her …
Jo: 'Maybe he was saying goodbye to her'. 'Was saying'. This form of the verb is the past continuous.
Adam: And some grammar books call it the past progressive.
Jo: It's the verb 'to be' in the past and the 'ing' form of the verb. Listen to another example.
Carolina: Maybe, maybe, maybe. He was kissing her, Jamie. That's not ‘maybe’.
Jo: 'He was kissing her'. Carolina saw Cameron – and what was he doing? He was kissing the woman in the pub. Let's have another example, Adam.
Adam: OK. Um ... Hey, Jo. I saw you yesterday in the street.
Jo: Really? What was I doing?
Adam: You were carrying three big bags of shopping.
Jo: Ah, yes ... I was going home from the supermarket. ... So why didn't you help me!
Adam: Sorry! I was in my car – I was driving! There are exercises on the website and in our LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts app about past continuous and other things connected to the podcast – including ways of cooking potatoes, Jo.
Jo: Mmm. And don't forget to write to us with your comments. See you next time!