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Literature is GREAT - Part 2

Modern-day authors cast their own spells, too, and Richard visits a very magical place to find out about contemporary English writers.

Task 1

Which is the best summary of the video?


Task 2

Watch the video again, and choose the best answer.


Task 3

Drag and drop the words to complete the sentences.


Task 4

Complete the paragraph about Philip Pullman by typing the missing words into the spaces.




Language level

Advanced: C1
Upper intermediate: B2


Literature invites us to a kind of microcosm which has multi-layered time where a reader can travel back and forth and be pulled and pushed in many directions.
I've recently read "Vanity Fair" by William M. Thackery. British literature is...

To be honest, I don't know why the Harry Potter Series is so popular, but I think it is related to the fact that even if they're fantasy books, they deal with problems that everyone goes through, like puberty.

The only books mentioned in the video which I've read are the Harry Potter Series and Narnia.

Well, yes, I can write a novel. I think everyone can write. It's all about practice. Of course, imagination matters too, but, in general, everyone can write something, people just have to try.

Hi, BC! I would like to know if it is possible to say: "The trilogy WON numerous prizes..." instead of "The trilogy HAS WON numerous prizes....."

Hello Stanislav,

Yes, that is certainly possible. Which form is correct depends on the context. For example, in a news article about how the trilogy recently won many prizes, 'has won' would be more likely. But if you're speaking about how it won many prizes in a time that is conceived of as finished, 'won' would be more likely. You can read more about this on our talking about the past page.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you for these interesting clip
I would like to know why all the three tenses (simple past , present and past perfect) could be used, interchangeably, in task 4 {including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 2002 - the first time the prize was given /has been given /had been given}

Hi ibrahimadam667,

The perfective is not a tense. We describe it as an aspect and it describes how the time of the action is seen by the speaker - as complete or not, as in progress or not, as permanent or temporary, as an isolated action or one related to another and so on. This means that we often have a choice of how to describe a given action depending on how we see it. For example, both of these sentences are possible:

I live in London. [present simple]

I've lived in London for 10 years. [present with perfective aspect - present perfect]

The difference is what the speaker chooses to emphasise. In the first sentence the speaker is stating a bare fact without any other information. In the second sentence the speaker sees that fact as an unfinished process which continues into the present from the past. The fact is the same but the speaker gives it a different emphasis by choosing to use a particular aspect.


There are several options in your particular example for the same reason:

including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 2002 the first time the prize was given to a children's book. 

The speaker is simply relating a fact about the prize in 2002.


including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 2002 the first time the prize has been given to a children's book. 

The speaker is now telling us not just that the prize was given, but that it has still (today, at the time of speaking) never been given again to a children's book. The present perfect tells us that the action described (being given for the first/only time) is still true today.


including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 2002 the first time the prize had been given to a children's book. 

The past perfect tells us that the action described (being given for the first/only time) was true at the time but may not be true now. There is no difference in fact between this form and the past simple (above) in this context; the choice is really a stylistic one.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Team.
Help me with this, please.
In the Task IV :
" For the past forty years, Philip Pullman [has enchanted] young people with his fantasy novels. He [has written] over twenty children's novels, but [is] best known for his trilogy, his Dark Materials, which [has sold] over fifteen million copies to date.
My question is ; Don't you think the last essay will be appropriate in passive form?
" which [has been sold] over fifteen million copies to date".
Is my opinion wrong?

Hello Nizam,

I'm afraid the version of the sentence you suggest is not correct, but if you really wanted to use a passive form you could say '15m copies have been sold to date'. In any case, I can see how the sentence from the video must look strange to you, but it actually is correct. The verb 'sell' (see the second definition in the first entry) can be used intransitively, and that is how it is used here. 

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I think that Harry Poter is so good because all the story happens in a parallel world, where i can see a mixture of fantasy and reality. These kind of story activate our imagination and brings more pleasure on the reading.
I think that i couldn't write a novel, because i am better with numbers than words.

Hello :)
I would like to know if the best French translation about " sit on the edge of their seats" would be "coller au siège"? I thought the way of these expressions are a bit different but have the same it right? or wrong?...