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Knowledge is GREAT - Part 1

Richard goes to one of the world's greatest universities: Oxford. He discovers some of its history and hears about its famous students.

Task 1

Which of these topics do we hear about?


Task 2

Use a word or number to complete the sentences.


Task 3

Put the two halves together to make phrases from the video.


Task 4

Use the verb in brackets, and decide on the best verb form for each of these sentences.




Language level

Advanced: C1
Upper intermediate: B2


Hi Rilton,
Thanks for your complement about LearnEnglish; I'm glad you like our work here.
You are correct that many unique places use 'the' in their names. Richard talks about the Bodleian Library, for example and we also refer to hotels (The Grand Hotel), theatres (The Globe), seas (The North Sea) and rivers (The Thames) using the definite article.
However, it's not true that all places use 'the'. Oxford University is also a unique place, but we don't use 'the' when we say or write it. The same is true of cities, streets etc. So you can see that places are one of the most difficult areas for the use of articles. You can read a bit more about there on this page about the use of 'the' in English.
To get back to your question, what about 'Old Schools Quad'? Well, I had to double-check it, which shows you how hard this area of English is, but it is usually used with 'the'. So, the transcript is correct and Richard probably missed out a word when speaking, although what he said doesn't sound particularly wrong to me. Remember that most people don't speak in perfect sentences, so there are times when we had to make a decision about whether to keep the transcript exactly the same as what was spoken or change it slightly so that our users could read perfect English.
As for Sally, I can actually hear her say 'are' at 1:55, although it's very quick.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, Adam!
So the right for the case of "Old Schools Quad" is to use the definite article "the". I got it.
About Sally, I still can't hear her say "are". I inclusively put less speed to the video. But well, if you say that she says "are"...
Thank you very much.

I heard one of the famous university  is Oxford. the university has many college and students in the world. They are a very smart and intelligent student.  

It`s gorgeous!!!! I hope  my daughters can study there next year. The problem is that it is so expensive. But I want give them the best.  Bye!!!!!

O.K. If I had a new life I would spend it at Oxford University! In the present my life (I'm seventy), though .....never say never...,  it's too late for me! I'm happy just trying to learn a bit of English! Thanks so much for your "job".

Answer D: its research projects] should be one of the answers.  Richard and Sally mentioned research several times in the video.

I will be visiting Oxford someday! i wish!

Thanks I can watch now??//
I am going to study in Oxford university soon, thanks for giving me information about it..,,,...

Nine hundred years old. Well, It's absolutely fantastic!  Oxford is a famous and important university.I'll visit it when I travel to Britain. And I also hope to visit Cambridge.
The University Of Saint Paulo is the most important university in Brazil. It is the best university in Latin America...

i can't see the video!!!!! :(((((((((((