Episode 09

Episode 09

Tess and Ravi talk about a typical English drink and where to find it. Jo and Adam look at adjectives and adverbs. 



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 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.

Jo: Yes.

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!


Average: 4.3 (4 votes)

Submitted by cuneyt on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 14:07

Hi Everboy, How is it going? Yes, Of course. there are a lots of place for drink alcohol. My countrys people prefer drink because of cheaper than other alcoholic drinks. The taxes are very high to alcoholic drinks and cigarettes. The beer İs cheapest. I don't like beer. it is taste too hot for me. I also prefer select drinks as Chivas Regal. I drank Bavaria 8.6 that kind of beer. İt has ½ 7.9 alcohol. I recommend it everybody just two beer enough for feel relax. I don't know british beers' names so I can't say anythıng about topic. I went to several pubs when I was a in Malta but I am not sure that is british pubs. "Alcohol is harmful to health" I agree ths statment. Bye for now.
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Submitted by Mostafa Taavoni on Wed, 21/11/2018 - 06:31

Alcoholic drinks are unlawful in my country but I know many people who drink it. In my opinion, I prefer healthy things and because of it, I don't drink any alcoholic drinks but it doesn't mean I don't like beer. I like any kind of beer but it must be non-alcoholic. I've never been to the UK and I can't say anything about British pubs or beers.
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Submitted by Nathalie on Tue, 20/11/2018 - 09:42

We went to London for holiday in auguste we have just arrived to the town and we wanted to eat and that was very difficult to find a pub who accepte children just for est that was only 7 mm the evening In France we can eat everywhere with children to the bar the pub ... children with parents...!we Will not give alcohol drink To our children and earlier in the evening i think it is a safety place ont with drunk people ...we were really bored and disappointed
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Submitted by krig on Thu, 06/09/2018 - 08:28

Beer is very popular drink in my country. As for me I very like porter - real strong English beer!

Submitted by Shiiya on Fri, 01/06/2018 - 12:16

Hi , I don´t like alcoholic drink and beer on special occasion I drink some wine, but I really like to go pub the environment are so great , talking with friends an so on

Submitted by Hal55 on Mon, 14/05/2018 - 07:45

I like drinking beer. and I think I have tried British beer before. but I prefer to drink larger like Japanese beer. There are many pubs and bars in Japan. And especially the one is called HUB is very famous pub in my country. I can see the HUB everywhere in cities. The HUB looks British traditional style. And most of them are crowded with Japanese and foreigners. I don't often go there but it would be nice to hung out with foreigners there. I think I want to go to a real pub in Britain one day.

Submitted by foofighters12 on Tue, 01/05/2018 - 19:02

I used to drink a lot of alcohol when I was younger, but now I'm on a lot of medication so I can't I'm not supposed to, drink but now I only have two drinks on accessions like Christmas new year birthdays and our wedding anniversary.

Submitted by Tomoaki Hachiya on Sat, 17/03/2018 - 05:21

I don't drink myself, but I tried a pub in Glasgow when I traveled UK last year. The waiter was kind enough to offer me a so delicious food! It was a bowlful of mussels, the soup of which was so, so tasty. I'll never forget the taste! To tell the truth, my wife and I are going to Britain again, so I'll try beer this time!

Submitted by Zeeshan Siddiqii on Tue, 16/01/2018 - 05:10

Hello Teacher, Do we say "Express love to me abundantly." or "Express love abundantly to me." I mean my question is about, placement of the indirect object (me) and the adverb i.e. abundantly.
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Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 17/01/2018 - 07:38

In reply to by Zeeshan Siddiqii


Hello Zeeshan Siddiqii,

Grammatically speaking, both sentences are possible. The indirect object is quite flexible in terms of its position:

Give me the parcel quickly.

Give the parcel to me quickly.

Give the parcel quickly to me.

The first and second of these are the most common but the third is possible.


Your examples are fine grammatically but do not sound like everyday English. You might find this kind of phrase in poetry, for example, but it would sound odd in many contexts.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team