Episode 19

Episode 19

Tess and Ravi talk about a scary monster. But there's something worse than monsters; Adam and Rob say goodbye!


Adam and Rob

Both: Hello!

Adam: Welcome to episode 19 of the Learn English Elementary podcast. I'm Adam and what's... what's your name?

Rob: Yes, I hope you remember. I'm Rob, and it's great to be back with you again. I've been quite busy recently, and sadly, this is my last podcast, but I hope you're going to enjoy it today.

Adam: OK. And today we're going to hear from Tess and Ravi again. As usual, they're talking about something that you think is typically British. An animal this time. A famous animal. Any ideas what it could be?

Rob: But first let's hear some of your comments on the last podcast. Last time we heard about Carolina. If you remember, she was very depressed and didn't want to get out of bed.

Adam: But her friend, Emily, took control of the situation. And a lot of you commented on what a good friend Emily is to Carolina. Thiosko from Mali said that it's important to have a friend who helps you, and Emily is one of the best friends that anyone could have.

Rob: And Manasset from Cameroon said "Poor Carolina, but great Emily! You helped Carolina to get up and to restore her hope". And he says that from now, when he needs to cheer up, he'll call Emily and ask her advice!

Adam: Last time we asked you to write and tell us about places where you go when you want to cheer up. And some of you like to spend time with nature when you're feeling a bit down. For example, Anacla from France goes to a little park near her house.

Rob: Pure Girl talks about Hammah park in Algiers and Yulia from Japan says "When I feel sad I go to the nearest park by the sea in my city. There I lie on the grass listening to birds chirping and watching airplanes cross the sky leaving their white tracks. And I begin to think how beautiful the world is".

Adam: Yulia also does exercise when she feels depressed. She goes to the gym and she rides her bicycle. Maviduman from Turkey goes running, and a lot of you go for a walk.

Rob: Pure Girl also says that she reads the Koran when she feels down. Ahmed Jalilou from Algeria and promise93 from Libya do the same. It always helps them to feel happy. And xiaxiap1202 - I like that name - also finds her religion helps her. She's a Chinese girl living in Singapore and she was depressed when she first arrived - but then she found a church and met some friendly people there. She says "The service also helped me to have positive thoughts, so I like to go to church".

Adam: Our podcast regular Tkazerooni from Iran sent us a long message with a lot of good advice. Liya from China has the most unusual solution when she feels depressed; she goes to a karaoke bar. She says she can let her feelings out when she sings songs - loudly!

Rob: Wow! But now, let's listen to Tess and Ravi and find out about that famous animal.


Tess and Ravi

Tess: Hi everybody, I’m Tess!

Ravi: And I’m Ravi.

Tess: And as usual we’re going to talk about something you think you know about Britain. Ravi, if I say to you ‘Loch Ness’, what do you think about?

Ravi: The monster: the Loch Ness monster. Hey, Tess, do you think it really exists? I’m sure…

Tess: Right, the Loch Ness monster is another thing that listeners around the world said was a very British thing. Well, a very Scottish thing. First of all, for people who don’t know about it, let’s tell the story. Loch Ness is a big lake in the north of Scotland and some people – lots of people – believe that some strange animal – the Loch Ness monster – lives in the lake. What do you think, Ravi?

Ravi: I think it would be fantastic if there really was a monster in Loch Ness but, well, I don’t really think there is. Sorry.

Tess: I know what you mean. It’s a great story. There have been stories for hundreds of years about a big animal living in the lake – it’s a really big lake – but things got really interesting in 1933 when someone ‘saw’ the monster. The newspapers wrote about it and everyone went crazy about ‘Nessie’. That’s another name for the Loch Ness monster: Nessie.

Ravi: There are lots of different photographs and videos of the monster, but are any of them real, do you think, Tess?

Tess: None of the photographs or videos really prove that there’s a monster. And there have been lots of different explanations: a dinosaur, a dolphin, different types of sea creatures, but no one can really prove it.

Ravi: You know, I’m sure that if there really was a monster then someone would have found it by now. I can’t believe there really is a monster and no one can find anything to prove it.

Tess: Well, it’s a big lake you know and it’s difficult to watch all of it all of the time.

Ravi: But still, Tess, come on!

Tess: I know, it is a bit unbelievable, isn’t it? You know, some people think that there was a monster but it died. That’s why no one’s seen it for a while.

Ravi: Do you know what I think? I think that the Loch Ness monster is a very good way to get tourists to go to the north of Scotland.

Tess: You’re right that Loch Ness is one of the most important tourist attractions in Scotland. It gets hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Ravi: And imagine if they didn’t have the Loch Ness monster. No one would go there.

Tess: Well, it’s still a really beautiful place, Ravi. I would go there. But, yeah, you’re right, the Loch Ness monster is very good for tourism. Everyone who goes there hopes they see the monster and there are films and books and everything. I think it will be really sad if they ever say there definitely isn’t a monster.

Ravi: You’re right. It’s better not to know for sure.


Adam and Rob

Rob: So what do you think? Do you believe that the Loch Ness monster really exists? Have you ever visited Loch Ness? Would you like to go? Write and tell us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish or leave us a message on Facebook.

Adam: And tell us about any stories of strange monsters that you know about from your country, in the water or on the land. We love reading your messages and finding out more about your countries.

Rob: Now let's look at some of the language from the podcast. Listen. What's Ravi talking about?

Tess: You’re right that Loch Ness is one of the most important tourist attractions in Scotland. It gets hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Ravi: And imagine if they didn’t have the Loch Ness monster. No one would go there.

Adam: Lots of visitors go to Loch Ness every year because of the monster. Ravi is imagining Loch Ness without the monster. And the result? No tourists either. It isn't a real situation; he's imagining it. Listen again to the verb forms that Ravi uses.

Ravi: And imagine if they didn’t have the Loch Ness monster. No one would go there.

Rob: He says "Imagine if they didn't have the Loch Ness monster, no one would go there." If they 'didn't have' the Loch Ness monster no-one 'would go' there. The first verb, after 'if', is in the past simple - didn't have, and the second verb is a conditional form - would go.

Adam: This is the structure that we use to talk about imaginary situations in the present or in the future with 'if'. For example, "If I worked harder, I would get better marks." Or, "If I had a lot of money, I'd buy a fast car."

Rob: A fast car? You can't drive! If I had a lot of money, I'd buy a speedboat!

Adam: Actually, I agree. I wouldn't buy a fast car; I'd buy a boat, too.

Rob: A lot of grammar books call it the 'second conditional' or the 'hypothetical' conditional. There are some exercises on the website to practise this type of conditional and to practise other language from the podcast, too. And don't forget to send us your comments. We're looking forward to hearing what you think about Nessie and your stories about strange monsters and animals around the world!

Adam: And, talking of animals, next week we'll see how Carolina gets on at the city farm, and hear from some of her new four-legged friends.

But now, it's time to say goodbye, Rob. It's been great working with you, and I hope that we can hear from you again one day.

Rob: I hope so, yes. Thank you. It's been a pleasure. And thank you all, too, for your comments. So, it's goodbye from me.

Adam: And it's goodbye from him.

Both: Bye!


Language level

Average: 3 (2 votes)
Profile picture for user Sergey Sh

Submitted by Sergey Sh on Fri, 04/10/2019 - 09:47

As for me I don’t tent to believe in that stories. I won’t believe in something until I see it. Having stories about Loch Ness make this place a very popular point and encourage lots of tourists to visit it. That’s the reason I guess as well as Ravi does. I’ve never been in Loch Ness point but I wish I would someday. After listening to what Tess said I really believe that’s a beautiful place to see. The Great Britain is rich of awesome natural places. Instead of my country I’d better notice elves from South of Iceland. I saw on TV how people makes tiny houses on hills. It’s really believed elves are real and require good treatment for them.

Submitted by parisaach on Sat, 18/05/2019 - 12:21

I couldn't talk certainly about these things. World is full of strange things and there are many creatures that people don't know anything about, but I never expect to see a monster. I think fables and rumors make these monsters. Maybe there were some monsters in the past. and who knows maybe they are still exist in faraway places, but it is hardly probable to find a living monster in crowded places. In my country there are fables about some strange creatures, some of them really existed many years ago. My grandmother talking about genies she said she saw them, and there is vally in one of the southern Island of Iran which is named "Star valley" people say genies and gosts living in this valley they appear at night. I went there in the morningi that was really beautiful , there was silent and maybe you afraid if you go alone. but I didn't stay till the night to see the genies and gosts. By the way though I don't believe in monsters it is possible they be real . people don't have enough science to talk about these things

Submitted by User_User on Wed, 16/01/2019 - 18:34

Hello About Nessie and an old monster in Germany Have you ever asked yourself how long the lake exists where the monster lives? Maybe it it exists for several tens or hundreds of thousands of years. Only simple creatures like plants or fungi can get that old not complex ones. If I had to visit Loch Ness on a trip, it would be a waste of time. There is a lot of water in the lake but in my coffee cup is also a lot of water but I must admit not as much as in Loch Ness. There is a old tale about a monster (a dragon or a snake with a long body, short legs and no or very small wings which eats humans) in the woods where people were fighting against it. The monster stands for the Roman army which was attacked in the woods by Germans tribes. It was a famous battle because it was the first time that such a large Roman army has been defeated. It was probably important for forming Germany as a nation. Bye

Submitted by Nancy Nguyen on Thu, 03/01/2019 - 09:35

Hello everyone, When I was a student, I watched the Loch Ness monster in a science documentary on TV, and I believed that it existed. But now, I think the monster maybe died because of changing the climate and no one can find it. In my country, the monster just appears in fairy tales.

Submitted by Hal55 on Sun, 01/07/2018 - 11:25

Hello When I was a child I watched documentary about the Loch Ness monster on TV. and I was excited. I believed that it really existed at that time. and I was scared of the monster imagining how it looked like. Maybe I was imagining it looked like Godzilla. but now, I don't believe the monster was real. because, If the monster really existed, somebody could find him. but I still believe there are some creatures that we don't find yet in the world. I think I won't visit Loch Ness if have a chance to go to Britain.