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!
- Do people drink beer in your country?
- If you like beer, have you ever tasted British beer? What did you think of it?
- Have you ever been to a British-style pub? Or an Irish pub?
- What do you think of them?
Leave a comment and we'll discuss some of your answers in the next podcast.
Adam: Hello and welcome to Episode 9 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. My name is Adam, but my colleague Jo isn’t here today. Last week she was eaten by a shark! OK, that’s a lie. She’s fine and she will be joining me later to talk about some of the language in the podcast.
But your comments on the last podcast were mostly about lying. If you remember, last episode Carolina wanted to finish work early so she could go to Jamie's band's concert. So, should she tell her boss that she was ill – a lie – or should she tell the truth? Well, in the end Carolina decided to tell the truth, her boss let her finish work early, and she went to the concert. Lucky Carolina!
So Jo and I asked for your comments about telling lies in situations like this – when you want to miss school or have a day off work. Has everyone done it? I know I did it once, but I still don't feel very good about it.
Some of you think that it's always better to tell the truth. Bianca Amaral from Brazil says that she really hates lies. Dasad from Indonesia points out a big disadvantage of telling lies – you then have to tell more lies to cover up the first one. That’s very true, Dasad. And of course, there's always the danger that your boss, or parents or teachers will find out that you were lying to them. Abdilahi from Somalia wrote about a friend of his who lied to his boss about why he was late for work, but the boss knew it wasn't true, and now he won't trust him again.
Jo said that she's a bad liar – people always know when she's telling a lie. And some of you said the same thing. Marziyeh, from Iran, says ‘I can't tell a lie because I laugh and my eyes show that I'm telling a lie’. I’m also a very bad liar. Or am I lying about that too?!
Betty1 thinks that little lies are part of everyday life and she gives a good example: job interviews, when you try to make yourself seem very serious and professional. Betty usually says that psychology is her hobby, and when the interviewer asks her more about it, she talks about a few books that she's read.
And, to finish, spl84, from Spain, wrote a funny comment about lying to miss school. ‘I said I was sick a lot of times because I didn't like getting up early ... but now I work in a restaurant and I start work at 2 p.m., so I don't have to lie.' Maybe some schools should start at 2 p.m. too!
So, once again, a big thank you for all your comments – we always enjoy reading them. Keep on sending them in and, of course, keep on listening to us. And don't forget the Elementary Podcasts app. It has lots of helpful features to make it easier for you to learn: a moving audioscript that you can read as you listen and you can slow down the audio speed if you find it difficult to understand. You can follow the link from the LearnEnglish website, or you can download it from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Now it's time to hear what Tess and Ravi have to say. As you know, they've been talking about things that people think are typically British, like keeping pets or big red London buses. And today they're talking about something that many British people like to drink. What do you think it might be? Let's see.
Tess and Ravi
Ravi: Hi everyone and welcome back. I’m Ravi.
Tess: And I’m Tess and, as usual, we’re here to talk about something you think you know about Britain.
Ravi: Yes – what do you think about when you think about Britain? Our listeners said things like the Royal Family, politeness and drinking tea – but tea wasn’t the only drink that people mentioned. What do you think the other one was, Tess?
Tess: Erm … was it … wine? Actually we do make wine in Britain, you know – in some parts of Britain, in the south – but I guess it was probably beer, was it?
Ravi: British beer, yes, it was. British beer and British pubs. It’s a really interesting one because people thought about this one in two different ways. On the one hand, people said that British pubs and British beer were something different from pubs in other places. On the other hand, some people said that British people drink a lot.
Tess: I don’t. I don’t drink alcohol at all.
Ravi: I know you don’t. Is there a reason why you don’t drink?
Tess: Not really, nothing special. I just don’t like it. You’re the expert on this one, Ravi.
Ravi: I am not. I’m not an expert, but I’ll start with beer. When people say ‘British beer’ they probably mean what we call ‘bitter’. The beer that you find in most other countries is called ‘lager’ here.
Tess: Lager’s the light coloured one – a sort of golden colour.
Ravi: That’s right, and ‘bitter’ – British beer – is usually darker, sort of brown.
Tess: Do they taste different?
Ravi: Completely. Lagers are usually cold and they all taste more or less the same, but bitters aren’t so cold and there’s much more taste – in my opinion.
Tess: Are they really strong?
Ravi: Not especially – it depends. Some are and some aren’t. There are so many different kinds and lots of small breweries where they make beer all over the country.
Tess: So do the British drink a lot?
Ravi: Well, lots of people said that but I just don’t know, Tess. I had a look on the internet for some facts and figures. The British do drink quite a lot, but not the most in Europe.
Tess: Who was that?
Ravi: I can’t remember but there are a few places with similar numbers. But lots of people think that the British are the biggest drinkers. I think it might be because of pubs.
Tess: What do you mean? Ravi: Well, in lots of countries people go for a drink in bars or cafés and they eat food and they are sort of … family places, but pubs in Britain are different – you don’t really see children or families in pubs here. Tess: Yes, you do.
Ravi: You don’t – not often, not like in Spain or Italy. I think pubs are different from bars in other countries.
Tess: But you can go into pubs and bars and not drink alcohol. I do. I go to the pub and just have a soft drink.
Ravi: Yeah, you don’t have to drink alcohol in a pub, but most people do … Oh, I don’t know, Tess, this is just my opinion.
Tess: I don’t know either. I think we can say the British drink differently from other places.
Ravi: Yeah, I agree. Anyway, this is making me thirsty. Fancy a drink?
Tess: Go on then. I’ll have an orange juice.
Jo and Adam
Adam: Hello, Jo.
Jo: Hi, Adam.
Adam: Interesting podcast.
Adam: I think there are different sorts of pubs. There are some which are mostly for drinking, and others where families can come for a meal. I like pubs where people know each other, but they’re still friendly to strangers. What do you think? Jo: You’re right, friendly pubs are great. There’s nothing worse than walking into a pub and feeling unwelcome. I’ve got a couple of favourite pubs from my hometown in Cornwall. I love pubs that have a view of the sea.
Adam: What about you, listeners? Have you ever been to a British-style pub?
Jo: Where do you go when you want to spend time and relax with your friends? Write and tell us what you think.
Adam: The address is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish. And now it's time to talk about some of the language that you heard in the podcast.
Jo: OK. Listen to Ravi. What word does he use to describe pubs in Britain?
Ravi: Well, in lots of countries people go for a drink in bars or cafés and they eat food and they are sort of … family places, but pubs in Britain are different.
Jo: 'Pubs in Britain are different'. 'Different' is an adjective – we use adjectives to describe nouns.
Adam: 'A big house', 'a rich man', 'a beautiful view'.
Jo: Now listen to Tess. What word does she use to describe how the British drink?
Tess: I think we can say the British drink differently from other places.
Jo: 'The British drink differently'. 'Differently' is an adverb and we use adverbs to describe the way that we do things. Adverbs describe verbs. For example – can you sing, Adam?
Adam: Oh yes, Jo. I sing beautifully. Are you a good driver, Jo?
Jo: Well, I like to think I am – I always drive very carefully, Adam. 'Beautifully' and 'carefully' are both adverbs.
Adam: Most adverbs end in 'ly' – 'L-Y'. But some adverbs are irregular. For example, if you're good at English, then you speak English well.
Jo: And 'Formula 1 drivers drive very fast'. 'Fast' doesn't end in 'ly'.
Adam: As usual, there are some exercises on the website to practise some language from this podcast, including adverbs.
Jo: And that's the end of the podcast for this time. So bye for now!
Adam: See you next time. Bye!