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'




hi everybody.
It is my first comment and I want to say that, YOU are really gorgeous team.
if I want to put off working I watch to films but I can`t enjoy it because works in my mind or I surf the internet any websites. As you know if you have works it is too easy find interesting stuff.
In Azerbaijan we rarely make new words.

I eat seafood almost once a week especially mussels. I'm addicted to them. The best ones come from north Sardegna. My favourite way to eat them is cooked with spaghetti or preferable fresh with some lemon drops. They are good for you beacause they contain a lot of minerals and noble proteins. They makes you feel near the seaside although you are long distance from it.

In which time you have a supper?
I think that breakfast is in the morning, dinner -- afternoon, supper is in the evening and lunch is American version from dinner or mean fast food.

If I've got some work to do , but I don't want to do it... . First it make me nervous, then I start to look at my social sites, I do it every two minutes. It proceeds about half an hour, then I try to do my work. But usually it isn't get, and then I contin to look at my social sites and news in Internet. I make a tea or cofee. Sometimes I spend time with my childrens. From this site I knew that another people do almost same things.

Hello everyone!
I usually listen to Elementary Podcast when I don't want to work. Because I would like to improve my English.
Sometimes I watch videos of medical techniques.
Thank you!

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.