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!
- Have you ever said that you were sick so that you could miss work or school? Did your boss, teacher or parents find out?
- Or maybe you think it's better to tell the truth, like Carolina did. Please write and tell us!
Leave a comment and we'll discuss some of your answers in the next podcast.
Adam: Hello and welcome to Episode 8 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. My name is Adam and, as usual, my colleague Jo will be joining me later to talk about some of the language in the podcast.
Welcome to all of our new listeners, like Sneha80, Rai Akash and ash203, all from India, abaybahirdar from Ethiopia, khalid1325 from Sudan and everyone else. It's great to have you with us and we're really glad you're all enjoying the podcasts.
If you're new to the podcast or the LearnEnglish website in general, have a look at our Help page. There's a lot of useful advice about how to use the site, what to do if you're having technical problems and ideas to help you improve your English, not only listening but speaking too.
Last episode, Tess and Ravi talked about their favourite places to go shopping in London. So Jo and I asked you to tell us about where you like to go shopping. Some of you have visited London for shopping, especially Covent Garden, which is also Tess's favourite place. And Goffredo from Italy and Pavucek from the Czech Republic both agree with Tess about Oxford Street – too many people. Although Pavucek loves shopping for clothes in the UK because it's cheaper than in the Czech Republic.
Jupecas14 wrote from somewhere else in the UK – he and his wife love shopping in Cardiff, which is the capital of Wales. My parents live near Wales. I should visit Cardiff one day.
Most of you like shopping in your own cities too. Bcneta from Spain loves shopping in street markets in Barcelona, and asadullah786 from Afghanistan likes ‘Kabul Centre’ shopping centre. Tanya Klimova from Russia likes going to the famous GUM department store in Moscow – not only for shopping but also to have a meal, watch a film or see an exhibition. That sounds much more cultured than the shopping I do.
Let's finish with Wala Eldin from Sudan. He says that women can spend all day shopping and come home with just one thing, but if a man needs, for example, a shirt, he will just go to one or two shops and buy one. So, Wala Eldin says, if a man goes shopping with a woman ‘he will suffer’!
I'm sure there are lots of men who would agree with you, Wala Eldin! But is it true? I know a lot of women who are very fast in shops and some men who can’t make decisions at all!
Thanks for all your comments and please keep on sending them in. We enjoy reading them all.
And, if you like to listen on the move, remember the Elementary Podcasts app – download it from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, or just follow the link from the LearnEnglish website.
Now it's time to find out what Carolina and her friends are doing. Last time, if you remember, Carolina and Jamie were having an argument about Cameron because he hurt Emily, and then Carolina said that she didn't want to go to Jamie's band's first concert – which hurt Jamie! So are they still friends? Will Carolina go to the concert or not? Let's find out.
Carolina – At the flat / in the shop / at the gig
Emily: What's happening about work tomorrow night?
Carolina: Nothing. Why?
Emily: Jamie's band's gig at the Students' Union. You need to phone Alice and ask if she can do your hours. The concert starts at ten.
Carolina: I'm not going.
Emily: Not going? Why not?
Carolina: Because I don't want to.
Emily: Oh Carolina. Is this because of me? And that stupid man Cameron?
Carolina: He was so horrible to you, Emily. He... he... broke your heart. I don't want to see him. You're not going to the concert…
Emily: Well, no.
Carolina: So, neither am I.
Emily: Don't be silly. You have to go. It's really important to Jamie. You don't have to speak to Cameron. I'm serious, Carolina. I'll feel terrible if you don’t go. Phone Alice. Please.
Carolina: Hello? Alice? This is Carolina, from the shop. Hi. How are you? Yes, I'm fine, thanks. Um, I'm sorry to bother you, but I want to ask you a favour. I need to finish early tomorrow. Yes, I work until midnight. Could you do some hours for me, so I can leave early? And I'll do your hours on Sunday? Oh. OK. No, no, no, that's all right. No, I understand. Bye.
Emily: What about your boss? What's his name?
Carolina: Mr Spencer.
Emily: Tell him you're sick and you can't work.
Carolina: I can't do that! Anyway, I told you, I don't want to go.
Carolina: One fifty, please. And that's fifty pence change. Thank you. Good evening.
Mr Spencer: Good evening, Carolina.
Carolina: Good evening, Mr Spencer.
Mr Spencer: Everything OK?
Carolina: Oh yes, yes. Fine.
Mr Spencer: Good. Now, let me just check the cigarettes. I think we need… two, four, six, eight…
Carolina: Mr Spencer?
Mr Spencer: Yes?
Carolina: Um. Do you think I could finish early tonight? About half past nine?
Mr Spencer: Finish early? On a Saturday night? I'm sorry, Carolina, but the shop closes at midnight. You knew the hours when you took the job.
Carolina: Yes, Mr Spencer.
Mr Spencer: Is it important?
Mr Spencer: Nine thirty's impossible. But let me phone Connor. Maybe he can come in and do some hours for you.
Carolina: Oh, thank you, Mr Spencer.
Mr Spencer: Connor? Mr Spencer here. Could you come in to the shop…
Jamie: What are you…? I thought you weren't… You said…
Carolina: Well, I'm here! I changed my mind. I couldn't miss your first gig, Jamie.
Jo and Adam
Adam: Hello, Jo. Welcome back.
Jo: Thanks, Adam. It's nice to be here again. So Carolina went to see Jamie's band play...
Adam: Yes. And Jamie was pleased to see her. I hope they'll be OK now.
Jo: Me too, thanks to Emily though – she pushed Carolina to go to the gig. She told Carolina to phone her boss and say she was sick.
Adam: But Carolina didn't want to.
Jo: I know – but it's funny. I'm sure everyone has done that, told a little lie – at least once.
Adam: Well, everyone lies when they say that their friend’s new haircut looks nice, even when you preferred the old one. But I have only once pretended to be sick when I wasn’t. It was fifteen years ago. It wasn’t a problem for my boss, but I still feel bad about it.
Jo: Adam, I can’t believe that! That’s terrible! I think people always know when I’m telling a lie. I’m a really bad liar.
Adam: And what about you? When do you tell lies? Have you ever said that you were sick so that you could miss work or school?
Jo: And did your boss, or teacher – or parents – find out?
Adam: Or maybe you think it's better to tell the truth, like Carolina did. Why don't you write and tell us? The address is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish.
Jo: Now we're going to talk about some of the language that you heard in the podcast. To say 'Hello', we can say 'Good morning' before 12 o'clock midday and 'Good afternoon' after 12 o'clock. But what do we say after about 6 o'clock in the afternoon – after 6pm? Listen.
Mr Spencer: Good evening, Carolina.
Carolina: Good evening, Mr Spencer.
Jo: They both said 'Good evening'. My students often get confused between 'Good evening' and 'Goodnight' – so let me explain. After about 6pm, use 'Good evening' to say 'Hello' and use 'Goodnight' to say 'Goodbye' or when you're going to bed. Sometimes we also just say ‘Morning’ or ‘Evening’, without saying the word ‘good’.
Adam: So when you arrive at the restaurant, you say 'Good evening' to the waiter.
Jo: And when you leave the restaurant, you say 'Goodnight'.
Adam: 'Good evening' is quite formal. You don't say 'Good evening' to your friends – you just say 'Hello' or 'Hi'.
Jo: But you do say 'Goodnight' to friends and family, when you're going home…
Adam: Or going to bed. Look on the website to find exercises about this, and other language from the podcast.
Jo: And that's all for this time. See you soon.