Elementary Podcasts: Tess & Ravi

In this episode Ravi is thinking about giving up his Spanish lessons, and their guests talk about a special watch and time machines. You can also follow Carolina as she and Jamie go out for dinner. Will they have a good meal?

Listen to the podcast then do the first exercise to check your understanding. If you have more time choose some of the language practice exercises.

Check your understanding


Language practice exercises

Task 1

Tess and Ravi

Practise the language you heard in Tess and Ravi’s introduction [00:23].


Task 2

Carolina 1

Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [14:49].


Task 3

Carolina 2

Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [14:49].


Task 4

Tom the teacher 1

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [21:51].


Task 5

Tom the teacher 2

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [21:51].


Task 6

Tom the teacher 3

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [21:51].




Language level

Intermediate: B1


If I had a time machine, I'd like to visit the Victorian Era, in Britain, surely ... All those castles and elegant clothes are interesting for me. But only for a while, because I'm not sure I like to live in that time. I really enjoy new technologies, so maybe I should travel to the future ... I think it's better to visit a museum, you do not need a time machine to travel to the past, it's cheaper. I don't know, I can not decide. I lost my chance in science fiction, I'm afraid.

So, its nice, if i had time mashine. I would like to visit 1990. It is time for starting internet. in 1990 internet penetraded in each home and i would create a some internet company or social networks and got a lot of money. 1990 was the beginning for create different companyes in my country. i want to create some company in my country, but i dont know , what can i do. i confused, because a lot of companies created and they are developing more time, than me.

In this sentence: You really should give it longer than three lessons.
Might I use "more" instead of "longer"? Is there any difference bettwen these two words?

Hi NahB,

You could use either 'more' or 'longer' here, with no difference in meaning. Technically, 'more' would mean 'more lessons' and 'longer' would mean 'more time', but it seems to me that this difference is not important here.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sir,
I have a little confusion about the following sentence structure.
It comes in the first section just after Ravi and Tess's conversation in Spanish.

"Ravi: Erm …. erm …. I didn’t know you spoke Spanish, Tess."

Confusion is: why Ravi said "you spoke Spanish" as per my understanding it must be like
"I didn't know you could speak Spanish". Is there any rule applied to the use of tense in this sentence? Sir, could you please explain?

And one additional doubt I want to clarify, what sentence would we say for the following situation?
The situation is: I am saying to my friend that don't always disturb me in the morning at 6am as I always sleep at that time.

Please clarify which is more suitable "Do not disturb me I would be sleeping at 6AM"
or "Do not disturb me I am sleeping at 6AM"
or "Do not disturb me I always sleep at 6AM"

Thank you very much in advance.

Hello parbodh,

In answer to your first question, for most verbs we would use the modal 'could' to show ability:

I didn't know you could swim = about a person's ability

I didn't know you swam = about a person's habits

However, with certain verbs we use the simple form to show ability. For example, while we can say 'I can speak English', we can also (and more frequently do say) 'I speak English' with the same meaning. Thus, it is fine to say either ...could speak... or ...spoke... here.


In answer to your second question, the most common way to say this would be ...I'm usually/always sleeping at six o'clock. This emphasises that the sleeping is in progress around that time – it began earlier and finishes later than six o'clock. If you say ...usually/alway sleep... it might suggest that you went to sleep at six.



The LearnEnglish Team



I didn't know you spoke Spanish

I didn't know you could speak Spanish

At first I think that it's impossible to create a time machine if only in your mind, but If I have it I would like to travel in a couple of places in the past and then a hundred years into the future. Of course I would to travel to the maximum until I get bored.

If time machine would really exist, I'd like to visit ancient times to see what actually were famous events and historical persons. After all historical facts and descriptions of persons come to us misrepresented and so would be interesting to know truth.

About time machine I have many dates which I want to visit again. For example I could start training and improve my football skills, after that I would choose one of important competitions and go back to the past to chosen competitions, taking a part in it and try to win it. I would know what actually I need to improve, so my plan would be:
1) I improve my weaknesses
2) I choose the footbal competitions from my life and remeber its date
3) I'm going back to the past and try to win it, again
But I have to say, first of all I need some money. I think loads of people want to have some, so the first thing I would do with time machine it's earning. Like in the film "Back to the future" I would go to the past (or future) with records about results of football matches, then I would bet on some of the results, taking loads of money and come back to my time.
I think I can imagine a lot of different cases which I could do with time machine.

If i had a gime machine, i would go to the future, to see how people live, and the newest inventions, the most rapid means of transport, but i am afraid to go and find lots of pollution, and loss of clean water, lots of diseases caused by the electromagnetic waves of wirless devices, in thst case, i would run away again to the present time.
Thank you