Professionals Podcasts - Achievement

Listen to this speech given at a party being held for the retirement of an employee, James Dawson. The managing director of the company delivers a speech outlining James's achievements.

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.


Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


Hi LearnEnglish Team!
I'd like to ask some questions about passive voice, because I have been confusing for a long time:
1/ The bus fare has gone up
2/ Her English has improved
"Her English" and " the bus fare" are not a subject to do the actions but why that's acceptable here?
3/ In the context when I make some documents with customer: "Your details verified" or "your details have been verified"
I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks

Hello victorchan2410,

Your examples are not passsive voice [be + past participle], but rather present perfect [have/has + past participle]

'The bus fare has gone up' has no passive form as 'go up' is an intransitive verb (no object). You could say 'The bus fare has been raised (by the bus company)'.

'Her English has improved' can be made into a passive form: 'Her English has been improved by her hard work'.


'You details have been verified' is the correct form, I expect, though it is hard to be entirely sure without knowing the full context.



The LearnEnglish Team

I think this course is very helpful for English Learning guys.

Thank you very much for the british council for providing resources to improve my English. I am here to improve english writing skills and by this material and guidance i shall achieve this in future. I read this transcript 6 to 7times than able to solve the task. I have learned that with practice I improve my score.

Before I commented, I was looking to find who James Dawson was but I could not find out who James Dawson was. A lot of names.


It is pretty difficult for me to get clear order to make correct choice at the very beginning first time.

I try to manage wisely time on reading and marking keywords including name, the topic as well as viewing all the questions with keywords inside each sentence such as merge, lost job, negotiate, rewards.... besides, I concentrated on numbers of years so as to find the events happened in order.

But a lot of problem with.

It seems like I can catch up with the rapid audio speaking and gradually more and more the lady speaking about to make a bit of one more correct order.

Is it very dangerous in such questions,

Dear Kirk, thanks for your reply to my previous question. Now answer to my next one please. Should we use “have” instead of “has” in the sentence: “…the hard work and dedication of all our workers has made our company the success it is today.” ? The reason is that there are more than one thing mentioned in this sentence as a source and a cause of the company success. So we can’t say “they… has made the success…”, but we must say “they… have made the success…”. Is it right or not? Could you explain it please?

Hello Vasily,

Both 'has' and 'have' are possible here. This is because it is possible for the speaker to see 'hard work' and 'dedication' as two separate qualities, or to see 'the hard work and dedication of our workers' as together forming a single cause. It is less a grammar question than a question of the speaker's perspective.

You can see this more clearly in this example:

The rain and wind are making it hard to run. [two separate problems]

The rain and wind is making it hard to run. [two things which together form a single cause ('the conditions')]



The LearnEnglish Team

There is a question about this sentence: “As most of you who have been working here long enough will know, it has been a long struggle to become one of the European market leaders in our field…” . The question is why does the speaker use in this pattern the verb “will know” ( in future tense)? I think that here more correct to use the verb “ know” in present tense because the speaker addresses the staff of the company "who have been working in the company long enough" and so they already know about the fact of long period of struggle of this company for the leading role in its field of business. So the pattern “ As you know …” in this case must be more correct then “ As you will know “ I think. Am I right or wrong? Could you explain this pattern please?

Hi Vasily,

In this case, 'will' isn't used to express the future but rather to show that the speaker supposes that their listeners already know this fact. You could certainly also just say 'know' instead of 'will know' without really changing the meaning, as the other phrases already show the speaker makes this assumption. Still, it is not uncommon to use 'will' in this way to show that you think something is true. 

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team