Episode 08: Happy New Year

Episode 08: Happy New Year

What are Johnny and his friends going to do for New Year's Eve? Is Carlos finally asking Sarah out on a date?

Do the Preparation task first. Then listen to the audio. Next go to each Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.


Before you listen

We suggest you do the vocabulary activity below before you listen. Then listen to the episode and do the first task to check your understanding. Finally, practise some vocabulary and grammar.



Audio script

Johnny: So, after our successful Christmas, what are we going to do for New Year’s Eve?

Sarah: When is New Year’s Eve?

Harry: Tomorrow!

Sarah: New Year already! Christmas has only just finished!

Magda: Strictly speaking, Sarah, it still is Christmas – Christmas goes on until January 6th. New Year’s Eve is part of Christmas.

Sarah: Wow, it never ends...

Carlos: I can cook again! Is there a special dinner for New Year in Britain?

Harry: Not really

Johnny: In China there are lots of processions in the streets. Are there processions here?

Olivia: Not really

Sarah: In China New Year is a very important holiday. Is it very important in Britain?

Fadi: Not really.

Johnny: So what do people do for New Year?

Harry: Depends... some people have parties, some people go to a pub or a club and drink a lot.

Olivia: Some people go and stand outside – quite a lot of people go to Trafalgar Square in the centre of London...

Johnny: Let’s do that!

Harry: No way! It’s too cold!

Fadi: And usually raining!

Olivia: And too chaotic!

Sarah: Do people drink a lot?

Harry: Some do.

Sarah: I hate drinking beer.

Harry: A lot of people stay at home and watch TV.

Olivia: Then sing a song at midnight

Sarah: What’s the song?

Olivia: It’s a Scottish song really... (sings a bit of Auld Lang Syne)

Sarah: That’s nice. What do the words mean?

Olivia: Erm, well, no one really knows...

Harry: Some people know.

Fadi: In Scotland, probably!

Johnny: So what shall we do, then?

Sarah: I don’t want to go to a pub and get drunk.

Fadi: We could go to a club – I know some great places – we can go out dancing till dawn! Great music, lots of girls...

Olivia: You and your girlfriends...

Fadi: OK, OK... Let’s forget that idea then.

Harry: No, it’s not for me... I don’t think Bindyu would like it...

Fadi: Come on Harry, you can’t let Bindyu organise your life!

Harry: She doesn’t organise my life! I like being with her, and I like doing the things she wants to do...

Fadi: I’ve lost you, mate!

Harry: I think you need a girlfriend too!

Fadi: Hey! No way! I’ve got lots of girls...!

Johnny: Oh yeah? How come I’ve never met them?

Fadi: Well, erm, hey, erm... you know how it is...

Johnny: I think we should have a procession...

Olivia: Where?

Magda: Just around the café.

Tony: What’s that? A procession in my café?! Forget it! Anyway, I close early on New Year’s Eve, so you lot will need to find something else to do.

Johnny: We have to decide now then – what are we going to do on New Year’s Eve?

Harry: I’m going to see Bindyu. I think we’ll stay at home.

Olivia: I’m going to stay at home too. My sister’s going to a party with her husband, so I have to look after my nephew Joe.

Fadi: Now you tell me!

Olivia: Sorry... listen – why don’t you come round?

Fadi: Erm... OK then...

Carlos: Sarah... erm... I... er... would you like to come out with me?

Sarah: I can’t leave my friend Magda on her own!

Johnny: And hang on – what about me, too!?

Olivia: Ok, everyone... I guess you can all come to my house, but only until midnight! Then you all have to go home!

All: Hooray! Great idea! Happy New Year!!!

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

Task 4

Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

Submitted by lnowakows on Mon, 18/10/2021 - 10:42


hello, I've noticed again that Tony again uses strangly a word "lot" in the sentence: ...so you LOT will need to find... what does it mean "lot" here? Thankyou, all the best...

Hello Inowakows,

'you lot' means 'you' in the plural. In other words, Tony is talking to all of his friends at this point, not just one of them. This is quite common in some informal speaking.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by User_User on Tue, 23/06/2020 - 06:32

Hello I've got the following question (Task 3; second question): Which sentence is correct? a) Carlos said that he can cook again. b) Carlos said he could cook again. Sentence b) is correct. I mean that they mean pretty much the same thing. So both are OK in my opinion. Why is sentence a) wrong? Bye
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Tue, 23/06/2020 - 11:23

In reply to by User_User


Hello User_User

Yes, you are right. I've changed question 2 so that the first answer is incorrect.

Thanks very much for pointing this out to us, and I'm sorry any confusion!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by jmajo on Fri, 20/09/2019 - 13:51

Good episode. Thanks!!.

Submitted by parisaach on Mon, 22/07/2019 - 04:48

Hello and thank you for the podcasts and great site. I'm listening to the podcasts everyday. I have a question and I appreciate if anybody answer it: When we use "Now you tell me"

Hello parisaach

I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the podcasts. When Fadi says this, he's a little disappointed that Olivia hadn't told him earlier that she wouldn't be able to go out.

This is definitely the most common time that people use this expression, that is, when they wish someone had told them something earlier because now their plans must change or what they were planning to do will have to be different and there's no time to change plans.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user mehrazin

Submitted by mehrazin on Wed, 27/02/2019 - 17:36

Strictly speaking what does it mean? And would u please write the Scottish song words here as its very nice song. New year in my country is an important holiday, too, it goes on 13 days and the 13th day or the last day of vacation is called lie day some thing resembles the first day of April .its really the time of new nature celebration. we send lots of messages for friends and relatives to ask best wishes for them during the year . new year in Iran has been traditionally celebrated, for ages. people go to the friends home and relatives to have fun and meet them enjoy themselves.we have got rice and fish as special dinner for new year .we set a special table called haftsin table which is decorated symbolically. we ve got fingers crossed at the time of the year delivery i. elders give money to the young and specially the kids , some thing like European red envelopes. some people stay at home and watch TV and some travel to the other cities as it s the best time to travel and get refreshed and have a trip . I love you all British council team . as I have studied English teaching course at university,i found out your website is the most perfect and the most useful one , not comparable with the other lg sites , you're offering the best ways for the users through perfect and modern methods of lg teaching and learning in a perfect and effective way. user s mind is challenging to improve the skills as soon as possible. your helpful efforts are more than our expectations. especially, we receive your nice ,impressive and perfect services free of charge. I don’t know how it could be appreciated, well done you,great job and best wishes for you from my depth of heart . good luck to u all.

Hello mehrazin

Thanks for your kind words – we're so glad that you find our site useful! To answer your question, 'strictly speaking' is a way of showing the person you are speaking to that you are trying to be accurate. For example, many people here in Spain say 'England' when they are in fact speaking about the UK. So I could say, 'strictly speaking, people from England have a UK passport, not an English passport'.

The Wikipedia has the full lyrics for Auld lang syne, but here's the first verse for you:

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

Thanks also for telling us about Nowruz. I'm happy to tell you that we are working on an article about Nowruz, which we will publish in our Magazine in the next few weeks so that people from around the world can learn more about it while practising their English.

It's a little too early, I know, but Happy Nowruz to you!

Best wishes


The LearnEnglish Team