Business-minded Johnny is busy as always, while Harry has an important question in mind. What is it? Written by Chris Rose.


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.

Audio icon Download audio 2.6 MB (right click & save)

Task 1

Task 2

We use tag questions to confirm our understanding of something. Look at these sentences.

So everyone knows now, do they?
He isn’t going to ask her now, is he?
She will say yes, won’t she?


Task 3

Task 4




Hi Sir,
I am Marjui,an Indian, beginner in group.
I can Speak little,write little,everything little. I want to improve my language.
Once I had spoke with a US citizen, I understand that my Listening skill also poor!
help me to Improve my language.

Hi Marju,

Welcome! I'd suggest you try the Elementary Podcasts. Start with series 3 episode 1. First, listen to one or two sections of the podcast, and then read the transcript (under Instructions & downloads) as you listen. Then do the exercises that correspond to the sections you've listened to.

You should choose some useful phrases from what you've listened to and imitate their pronunciation - repeat those words and phrases many times. Pronounce whole phrases, not just words, because the pronunciation of words in English changes according to context. Repeat these phrases until they're relatively easy to say.

Then try to use these phrases - with English speakers if you know any, or you can just say them to yourself. This will help you learn to use them and to remember them.

The more time you invest in each episode, the more you will learn.

Good luck!

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

i miss this group

Very useful these episodes to training the Language expecially for grammar rules and to improve listening skills
For speaking (my real problem) in lesser degree. For speaking fluency only one way it's real useful: speak with other people, best if they are native.
By the way a special thanks to British council.
This site is a "mine" for learner

Hello safetysaran,

There is no substitute for practising with a partner, of course, so think about the people you know and consider if any of them could be a practice partner for you.  It may be that you know someone else who is also learning English and who would like to practise with you, or perhaps you know some people who do not speak your language but do speak English.  However, if you do not have a practice partner it does not mean that you cannot practise because it is possible to practise alone.  Just speaking English to yourself while you are at home, going about your normal daily activities, can help a great deal with your fluency and can help you to feel more confident, which will help you to cut down your hesitating.

You can also use the audio and video materials here on LearnEnglish to improve your fluency. After doing the exercises, try listening with the transcript (listening and reading). Then try saying the text yourself, and finally try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording. This will help you to develop speed in your speech, which is a key component of fluency.  You'll also pick up a lot of language as chunks - words which are often used together in set phrases - which you can use to communicate with less hesitation.

I hope those suggestions are helpful.  Good luck with your learning.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Learn English team,

This is a very useful site that I've never seen before.
Thank you very much & wish you all the best.

my English is very bad,and this is i can't listen ,what can i do???

Hi English-leaner,

I don't understand why you can't listen to this podcast. Is it because you don't know how to play it? Is it because there is a technical problem? Is it because you don't understand it when you listen? Please tell us more so that we can help you.

You might want to try Series 3 or 4 of the Elementary Podcasts instead of Big City Small World - I think you will find it a little bit easier to understand.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

i can't listen English. It is very bad. Who can help me??

Hi anhtuan92,

I'd suggest that you listen to the recording several times. First, take a deep breath and let it relax you. Then listen to the recording one time without stopping it and without worrying if you don't understand parts or even all of it. Listen to it again one, two, or even three times - again, don't worry if you don't understand yet.

Then read the Transcript (without listening). Some of it will probably look familiar to you, as you've just listened to it several times. Read through it a couple of times or more, and then listen to the recording again (without the transcript). See if you understand it better. Then, listen while reading the transcript.

Finally, practising pronunciation will also help your listening. Choose some phrases from the episode that you think are useful or that you like, and practise pronouncing them. Repeat them until you feel your pronunciation is fairly close to the pronunciation on the recording, though don't get stressed if you can't do it at first. Pay attention not only to how individual words are pronounced, but to the tonal contour (the "music") of the phrase and imitate that as well.

As you practise, if you feel tension, take a deep breath and let it relax you. It's better to practise frequently for short sessions than infrequently for a long sessions (i.e. every day for 15 minutes is more effective than once a week for several hours).

Good luck!

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team