Episode 05

In this episode Tess shares some good news with Ravi, and their guests talk about Formula 1 and telling the truth. You can also follow Carolina as she takes something back to a shop. Will she get her money back?

Transcript

Transcript

Download the LearnEnglish Elementary podcast. You’ll find all the details on this page: http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/elementary- podcasts/series-02-episode-05

Section 1: "Well, that's good news"

Ravi: Hello and welcome back to the second series of the Learn English Elementary podcast. This is podcast number five, and I'm Ravi.
Tess: And I'm Tess. Hi.
Ravi: Well, Tess, is he back?

Tess: Hm?
Ravi: Oscar. Did he come back?
Tess: Ohh, Oscar! Yes! Sorry, I'd forgotten about that.
Ravi: The last time we were here, listeners, Tess was upset because Oscar was missing. Sorry – Oscar is Tess's cat. He was missing. Three days wasn't it Tess? When did he come back?
Tess: Well, it was quite strange. After the last podcast, I went home and he was there, waiting for me. It was like he'd never been away.
Ravi: Well, that's good news! Where'd he been?
Tess: I really don't know. He just came back and acted like everything was completely normal.
Ravi: I told you he'd come back. How long was he gone for?
Tess: Well, four days, really. I looked at some internet sites and there are lots of stories about cats disappearing for a few days or even a few weeks and then coming home.
Ravi: Why do they do it?
Tess: Because they can. I don't know. Nobody really knows.
Ravi: Well, I'm glad he's come back. I bet you were really happy to see him. Is he OK and everything?
Tess: He seems fine. I took him to the vet for a check up but he seems absolutely fine.
Ravi: You see, that's the thing about cats. You never know what they're thinking. Dogs are much easier to understand. Dogs don't disappear for a few days then come back.
Tess: That's because dogs aren't as clever as cats. Anyway, I went to see that film you recommended.
Ravi: The James Bond film?

Tess: Yeah.
Ravi: And?
Tess: It was OK. I quite enjoyed it but it was a bit too violent for me.
Ravi: It's not really violent.
Tess: I know, I know but I'm … I don't know. I can't watch anything with guns and explosions and everything.
Ravi: Oh, Tess.
Tess: I know, I know. Right. Are we ready to have a look at what we've got on the podcast today. We've got Carolina – she met Jamie's parents last time, we've got Alison doing our quiz, we've got Your Turn about telling the truth. Have we got a joke from you, Ravi?
Ravi: We have.

Section 2: I’d like to talk about…

Tess: And to start with, as usual, we've got I'd Like to Talk About. This is the part of the podcast when we ask someone to come in and talk about something that's important for them – a person, a place, a thing, a hobby – anything.
Ravi: And today we've got Rafael with us in the studio. Hi Rafael.
Rafael: Hi Ravi. Hi Tess. And, um call me Raffa – that's what my friends call me.
Tess: OK. So, where are you from Raffa?

Rafael: Well, actually I was born in Spain, in Madrid. We lived there till I was ten, then we came to London. My dad's Spanish and my mum's English.
Ravi: Cool. So you're bilingual then Raffa?
Rafael: Yeah, I guess so. My English is probably better then my Spanish though, now anyway.
Tess: And what do you do?
Rafael: I work for my dad. He's got a small business, selling books, mostly on the Internet. So I work with him and I'm learning the business.
Tess: So don't tell me - you're going to talk about your favourite book.
Rafael: Well no actually. I'm going to talk about Formula 1.
Ravi: Formula 1? Great stuff.

Rafael: When I was a kid, my dad used to take me to see Formula 1 and I really, really loved it. The noise, the smells, the people. It was so exciting. Then when I got a bit older, I wasn't so interested. In those years, Michael Schumacher was always the World Champion, and I got bored with seeing Ferrari win all the time. Then Fernando Alonso won in 2005, and suddenly, hey, it was interesting again.
Ravi: And is that because Fernando Alonso is Spanish … by any chance?
Rafael: Well yeah, of course. But the races are a lot more fun to watch as well. It's funny, my favourite drivers are Alonso and Lewis Hamilton – one's Spanish and the other's British, so that's pretty good for me – I don't mind who wins.
Ravi: I bet they do. Alonso and Hamilton don't like each other very much do they?
Rafael: Well, no, that's true.
Tess: Do you travel for Formula 1?

Rafael: Travel?
Tess: Sorry, bad question. I mean, do you go abroad to watch the big races?
Rafael: No, unfortunately. I usually watch them on the telly with my dad. Now if I was rich……..my dream is to go and see the Monaco Grand Prix.
Tess: Ah yes, that's a famous one. I don't know much about Formula 1, but I've heard of Monaco.
Rafael: Yeah. It's a really cool race around the city, round the streets, with loads of corners and turns – it's totally different from racing around a track. If you're really rich you can sit on your hotel balcony and watch the race. I forget who it was, but somebody, one of the drivers, once said that racing in Monaco is just like riding a bicycle around your living room. And there's a Spanish one now - in Valencia – a street race I mean. I'm hoping my dad will go next year.
Tess: And take you with him. Rafael: That's the plan.
Tess: But seriously, is it safe? I don't like watching it in case someone has a crash and gets killed.
Rafael: Well, it's as safe as it can be I guess. It's a big question at the moment, what the rules should be and so on. Obviously, nobody wants to see drivers getting killed, but at the same time, everybody wants the races to be exciting – that's why people watch it – and it isn't exciting if it isn't dangerous – it can't be completely safe.
Tess: And what about the environment? It isn't a very green sport is it?
Rafael: That's another good question. Some people think that that will be the future of Formula 1, that they'll start making the cars more friendly to the environment, - remember these people spend millions and millions of pounds on designing new cars, so they might find some technology that can then be used in normal cars, so that would be good.
Ravi: Well thanks Rafael. And I hope you get to Monaco one day.
Rafael: Thanks Ravi. Ok bye, everybody.

Tess and Ravi: Bye
Tess: And thanks again.
Ravi: Hey Tess, what does a cat say?

Tess: A cat says miaow, Ravi.
Ravi: And what does a Formula 1 cat say?
Tess: I don't know Ravi. What does a Formula 1 cat say?
Ravi: Meeeeeeeeeowwwwwwwwwmmmmmm.

Tess: Very funny. Was that your joke for today?

Ravi: Oh no. The best is yet to come.
Tess: Hmm. OK. Remember, listeners, that if there's something you'd like to tell us about you can send it to us at learn English podcast at British Council dot org, that's learnenglishpodcast - all one word – at - britishcouncil – all one word DOT org, that's o-r- g. If we like it, we'll put it on the site.
Ravi: You can write something or record yourself, if you want.

Section 3 – Quiz

Tess: OK. Time now for our quiz. We've got Alison waiting to talk to us. Alison?

Alison: Hi Tess.

Tess: Hi Alison.
Ravi: Hi Alison. Where are you from?

Alison: From Aberystwyth.
Ravi: In Wales?
Alison: That's right, but I live in Norwich now.

Tess: Ah, East Anglia. Beautiful part of the country. That's where I went to university. I love Norwich. What do you do Alison?
Alison: I work in a bank but I want to go to university next year.
Tess: In Norwich?
Alison: Erm... I don't know yet. Probably not in Norwich though.
Ravi: You want to get away from home?

Alison: No, it's not that. I mean, … it's nice to see new places isn't it?
Tess: What do you want to study?

Alison: Probably Film Studies.
Tess: Great. OK. Are you ready for the quiz?

Alison: I hope so.
Tess: Well, we're going to do 'ten things' again. I'll give you the topic and you've got one minute to name ten things on that topic. So, for example, if I say 'ten musical instruments' you can say 'piano, guitar, saxophone ..'. You get the idea?
Alison: Yes, OK.
Tess: Right. The topic this time is ….ten ball games. Ten games you play with a ball. You've got one minute starting from now.
Alison: Football. Basketball. Golf. Tennis. Erm … cricket. … Ice hockey.
Ravi: That isn't a ball.
Alison: No, of course not. Oh, um. Squash. … Rugby.
Tess: That's seven. Three more.
Alison: … Handball. … Have I said basketball?

Tess: Yes
Alison: Baseball! 

Tess: One more.
Alison: Argh! Erm, hockey!

Tess: Yes! Well done Alison.
Alison: That was more difficult than I thought.
Tess: I know – you think it's going to be really easy. Let's go over them again – football, basketball, golf, tennis, cricket, squash, rugby, handball, baseball and hockey. That's ten.
Ravi: Well done Alison. We'll find something to send to you. And good luck with university.
Alison: Thanks Ravi.

Tess: Bye, Alison.
Tess: Bye Tess, bye Ravi.
Ravi: Bye. … Right, Your Turn and Carolina coming up next after this

Section 4: Your turn

Ravi: Hello again. Now it's time for 'Your Turn'. This is the part of the podcast when we go out to ask some different people a question and find out what they think. And this time the question is 'Is it always best to tell the truth?' In other words, is honesty always the best policy?
Tess: Good question. Is it better to tell the truth or is it sometimes better to tell a lie? Let's see what people have to say about it.
Voice 1: I think it’s probably best to tell the truth most of the time. Um ... I think if you ... if you ... if you’re dishonest or if you tell a lie there’s often a very good chance that ... um ... you’ll be found out or it will come back ... um ... to hurt you, so I think on the whole I think it’s better to tell the truth although I have to say that sometimes ... um ... just so as not to hurt other people’s feelings or for other particular reasons it’s probably ok to tell a small lie or to be a little bit dishonest.

Voice 2: Um, no. I don’t think it’s always best to tell the truth ... I think it’s sometimes a good idea to tell the truth, for example, if you have done something wrong … if you just tell the truth then usually your problem is easy to solve but if you lie about it, it can become more difficult to solve your problem … but I think if you are thinking about somebody’s feelings, for example, if someone has their hair cut and it looks terrible and they ask you about it, it might be best to tell a small lie and tell them that it looks ok so that you don’t hurt their feelings.
Voice 3: Yes, it is always best to tell the truth because if you don’t tell the truth your conscience is going to haunt you forever.
Voice 4: It depends, I think that ... err ... if you ... um ... want to have a good relationship with someone who you ... err ... think is a ... could be a good partner you have to be honest … ah ... but in general with friends or a person that you don’t know very much it’s not that good to be honest.
Voice 5: Yes ...err ... it’s hard thing ... it’s a hard thing to do but ... definitely because in the end if you start lying you have to make lies to cover
the lies and in the end it’s just easier for everyone if you just says what’s on your mind.
Tess: That was interesting. You know, I think it's usually best to tell the truth. Lies always cause more problems in the end. What do you think Ravi?
Ravi: Oh, I don't know Tess. That's a bit too simple. I bet if you think about the last week, you've told loads of lies. We do it all the time – we just don't notice it.
Tess: Hmm. Does it count as a lie when I laugh at one of your jokes?

Ravi: Well – yes. That's exactly what I mean about lies. … Are you saying my jokes aren't funny?

Tess: Nooo. I always tell the truth. 

Ravi: I'm getting confused now.
Tess: Never mind Ravi. And listeners, please send us your opinions about telling the truth – we'd love to know what you think. You can write to us or send us a recording.

Section 5: Carolina

Tess: But now it's time to find out how Carolina's getting on. Carolina, you'll remember, is from Venezuela but she's studying at Newcastle University – and finding out about life in Britain. Last time we heard from her she was visiting Jamie's parents…
Ravi: Jamie's her boyfriend
Tess: … so let's see where she is today.

Emily: Are you ready Carolina?
Carolina: Sorry, Emily. I wanted to wear that new jacket I bought, you know, the green one. But…
Emily: What's wrong with it? It's really nice.
Carolina: Well, I wore it yesterday, and now look. The zip's broken. Look, it won't move up or down. I don't know what happened to it. I didn't notice it last night.
Emily: Let me have a look. … Yep, that's broken alright – it won't move at all.
Carolina: Oh dear. It was quite expensive. Do you think I should take it back to the shop?
Emily: Well yes, I do. The zip shouldn't break on a new jacket. It obviously isn't very well made. Have you still got the receipt?
Carolina: The receipt? The piece of paper they gave me when I bought it? Oh dear, I'll have to look for it. It must be in my bag somewhere. Oh, will you come with me Emily? To the shop?
Emily: What for? You can speak English.
Carolina: But it's really difficult in another language. To complain. I don't like doing it in Spanish but in English….!
Emily: OK, I'll come with you. But you have to do the talking. I'll tell you what to say – you can practice before we go.
Carolina: OK. Thanks Emily.

[In the shop]

Carolina: {practising } I bought this jacket here last week and now the zip is broken.
Emily: Don't worry. You'll be fine.
Shop Assistant: Good morning. Can I help you?

Carolina: Um, yes, I bought this jacket here last week and now the zip is broken. Here's the receipt.
Shop Assistant: Hmmm. Have you worn this jacket?
Carolina: Once. I was wearing it when the zip broke.
Shop Assistant: If you'd like to leave the jacket with us, we can put in a new zip. It will be ready in a week.
Carolina: No thank you, I don't want a new zip. I don't want to wait for a week. I'd like my money back please.
Shop Assistant: I'm afraid I can't give you your money back. The company doesn't give refunds for clothes that have been worn.
Carolina: I only weared… Emily: wore…
Carolina: …wore the jacket once, and the zip broke. That shouldn't happen.
Shop Assistant: Just wait for one moment and I'll check if we have another jacket of the same size in stock.
Carolina: I'm sorry. I don't want another jacket - the same thing might happen again. I've already explained that I want my money back.
Shop Assistant: Well …

Emily: {whispers} Manager.
Carolina: Yes, um, could I speak to the manager please?

Shop Assistant: Certainly. I'll call him. Mr Parker? Could you come over here please?
Emily: You're doing really well.
Shop Assistant: …but the lady doesn't want another jacket. She says that she wants her money back.
Mr. Parker: Good morning madam.

Carolina: Good morning.
Mr. Parker: Is this the jacket?

Carolina: Yes
Mr. Parker: And you bought this last week?
Carolina: Yes, that's right. And I'd like to say that I'm very disappointed with your shop.
Mr. Parker: I think in the circumstances we can give you a refund. The zip is obviously faulty. Mrs Johnson, the receipt is for twenty-nine ninety-nine I believe. Could you give her the money please?
Shop Assistant: Certainly Mr Parker.

Carolina: Thank you very much.

Emily: Phew. Well done.

Tess: Well done Carolina. The shop assistant wasn't very helpful, was she?
Ravi: No, I know. It depends on the shop though. They all have different policies.
Tess: The voice of experience?
Ravi: Well yes, you know I do a lot of shopping. And let me tell you, it's always a good idea to speak to the manager.

Tess: Yes, I think Carolina did really well. …

Section 6: The Joke

Tess: That's almost the end of this podcast. Ravi?

Ravi: Yes! This is a good one. A man goes into a library. Lots of people are sitting at tables, reading and studying. He walks up to the desk and says to the woman {in a loud voice} "I'd like a train ticket to Manchester please". The woman behind the desk looks shocked and says "I'm sorry sir. This is a library!" The man looks a bit confused for a few seconds and then says "Oh, I'm terribly sorry. … {whispering} "I'd like a train ticket to Manchester please".
Tess: Very good. OK – that really is the end for this podcast. Remember, the address for anything that you want to send us is learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org. Don't go away because Tom the teacher will be here in a moment to talk about some of the language that you heard in the podcast. But now it's goodbye from Ravi and me. See you next time! Bye!
Ravi: Bye!

Tom the teacher

Tom: Hi, I’m Tom. I’m here at the end of every podcast to talk about some of the language you heard in the programme, and to talk about ways to help you learn English. Today I want to talk about the words ‘everybody’ and ‘nobody’. I’m sure you know what they mean. Listen to Rafael saying goodbye at the end of ‘I’d like to talk about.

Ravi: Well thanks Rafael. And I hope you get to Monaco one day.

Rafael: Thanks Ravi. Ok bye, everybody.

Tom: He says “Bye everybody”. He’s saying goodbye to all the people that can hear him – not just Tess and Ravi. He could also say “Bye everyone”. ‘Everybody’ and ‘everyone’ mean exactly the same in English. There’s no difference. Now listen to ‘nobody’. Tess and Ravi are talking about cats that disappear for a few days and then come home again. 

Tess: I looked at some internet sites and there are lots of stories about cats disappearing for a few days or even a few weeks and then coming home.

Ravi: Why do they do it?

Tess: Because they can. I don’t know. Nobody really knows.

Tom: Tess says “Nobody really knows”. There isn’t a person who knows the answer. She could also say “No-one really knows”. ‘Nobody’ and ‘no-one’ are the same. There’s no difference between them. So far, so good. But what about the verb? Is ‘nobody’ singular or plural? Do we use a singular verb or a plural verb? Listen again. Listen for ‘nobody’ and the form of the verb. 

Tess: I looked at some internet sites and there are lots of stories about cats disappearing for a few days or even a few weeks and then coming home.

Ravi: Why do they do it?

Tess: Because they can. I don’t know. Nobody really knows.

Tom: That’s right. “Nobody knows.” Tess uses the third person singular form of the verb – the form that has an ‘s’ in the present simple, the form that we use with ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘it’. Here’s another example. Raffa is talking about Formula One. Listen for ‘nobody’ and the verb.

Rafael: Well, it’s as safe as it can be I guess. It’s a big question at the moment, what the rules should be and so on. Obviously, nobody wants to see drivers getting killed. 

Tom: Yes, he says ‘nobody wants’. So try to remember to use the third person singular verb form with ‘nobody’ or ‘no-one’. Now listen to Raffa again, but this time, listen for ‘everybody’. What form of the verb does he use?

Rafael: Well, it’s as safe as it can be I guess. It’s a big question at the moment, what the rules should be and so on. Obviously, nobody wants to see drivers getting killed, but at the same time, everybody wants the races to be exciting – that’s why people watch it.

Tom: Yes, he says ‘everybody wants’. He uses the third person singular form of the verb – with an ‘s’. This probably seems strange to you. ‘Everybody’ means ‘all of the people’ but we use the singular verb form. Well yes, it is strange. But the word ‘everybody’ is singular grammatically, so we use the singular verb form. Try to remember – with ‘everybody’ and ‘everyone’ we use the singular verb form. Now for something different. If you visit Britain, or another English-speaking country, you might have to speak English in difficult situations – like Carolina when she had to take her jacket back to the shop and complain about the broken zip. Listen to Carolina and Emily. What does Emily tell Carolina to do?

Carolina: Oh, will you come with me Emily? To the shop?

Emily: What for? You can speak English.

Carolina: But it’s really difficult in another language. To complain. I don’t like doing it in Spanish but in English….!

Emily: OK, I’ll come with you. But you have to do the talking. I’ll tell you what to say – you can practice before we go.
Tom: Yes. She says “You can practice before we go”. That really is very good advice. If you know that you have to speak English in a difficult situation, then take some time and plan what you are going to say. Then you can use a dictionary to find the words that you need to use. Write it down on a piece of paper if you want - and learn it. Or practice the dialogue with a friend. You’ll feel much more confident about what you’re going to say. Just like Carolina. She did really well in the shop – the manager gave her her money back! Now I want to look at another word – the word ‘actually’. Listen to Tess and Raffa. What does Raffa mean when he uses ‘actually’?

Rafael: I work for my dad. He’s got a small business, selling books, mostly on the Internet. So I work with him and I’m learning the business.

Tess: So don’t tell me - you’re going to talk about your favourite book.

Rafael: Well no actually. I’m going to talk about Formula 1.

Tom: Did you hear it? Raffa sells books so Tess thinks he’s going to talk about a book – and Raffa says “Well no actually. I’m going to talk about Formula One.” He says ‘actually’ because he’s saying something different from what Tess expected. Listen to another example – from Tess and Raffa again.

Tess: OK. So, where are you from Raffa?

Rafael: Well, actually I was born in Spain, in Madrid. We lived there till I was ten, then we came to London.

Tom: Raffa says “Well, actually I was born in Spain. He says that because he knows that Tess thinks he’s probably British – that he comes from somewhere in Britain. He knows that she’ll be surprised that he was born in Spain. In some languages - Portuguese, Spanish and French for example, ‘actually’ is a false friend. That means that the word in English has a different meaning to the word in Portuguese. ‘Actually’ in English means ‘in reality’ – it means that you’re giving the true information about something. It doesn’t mean ‘at the moment’ or ‘nowadays’. I talked about false friends in series one, in podcast number seven – and there’s an exercise in the support materials too. If someone says “You’re Spanish aren’t you?”, you can say “Well actually, I’m Mexican”. Try to notice ‘actually’ in the English that you read and hear this week. Now for a phrase that you can use this week in English. Listen to Ravi talking to Alison at the end of the quiz.

Ravi: Well done Alison. We’ll find something to send to you. And good luck with university.

Alison: Thanks Ravi.

Tom: Ravi says “Good luck with university”. He hopes that everything goes well for Alison when she goes to university. So if someone has an exam the next day, or is going to start a new job, you can say “Good luck with the exam”, or “Good luck with the new job”. Say “Good luck” to someone this week. OK. I’m going to stop there. I’ll talk to you all again next time. Remember you can write to me about any language that you noticed in this podcast. I’ll be happy to answer your questions! The address is learnenglishpodcastATbritishcouncilDOT org. In a moment you’ll hear the address for the website where you can read everything you’ve heard in this podcast. You
can also find some practice exercises to do online and a support pack that you can print. Right. That’s all for this time. Bye for now! See you next time.

Check your understanding

MultipleSelection_MjgyMQ==.xml

Tess and Ravi

Practise the language you heard in Tess and Ravi’s introduction [00:25].

Task 1

GapFillTyping_MjgyMg

Carolina

Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [14:00].

Task 1

GapFillDragAndDrop_MjgyNA

Task 2

MultipleSelection_MjgyNQ

Tom the teacher

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [19:44].

Task 1

GapFillTyping_MjgyNw

Task 2

ReorderingHorizontal_MjgyOA

Task 3

TrueOrFalse_MjgyOQ==.xml

Task 4

TrueOrFalse_MjgzMA

Language level

Intermediate: B1
Dear all, I started watching swimming on the telly when I was a teenager with my friend. He loves swimming, too and he used to teach me how breathing under water without successful. In those days Novella Calligaris won World Champion and I admired her, I was her fan. In the last years I decided to challenge myself and I enrolled to a swimming course. After a few years I learned the four styles. To be honest, I'm actually a bit poor in dolphin style. Is it correct the preposition "in" for this context? It’s more interesting to watch swimming on tv nowadays because the underwater shootings are very exciting, you can see every swimmer movements. In the future I hope to swim dolphin like Michael Phelps ?!?

Hello dolphin59,

Generally we say 'poor at' (or 'good at', 'terrible at' and so on). The name for this style of swimming in English is not dolphin, however, but the butterfly. 'Dolphin' is the name given to the kick used in the butterfly.

Thus the sentence should be as follows:

To be honest, I'm actually a bit poor at the butterfly.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear all, I'd like to share all my aspects in answering this question, is it always best to tell the truth. Actually from the point of religion we are ordered clearly to say the truth & be honest, & that should be done.But actually we are't able to do that, probably because we are not grown up with the required encouragement, may be because the life became hard now a days or we perhaps we do that to not lose some one & I believe that all these reasons are accepted but I also believe that we have to train ourselves & our offspring on telling & accepting the truth everywhere & any time to make the life easier & better place for living, There is only one excepting in telling the truth, that is if the truth is rude like saying to the ill or sick that his case is hopeless case, telling someone that his garment or hair style is very bad or telling someone of your friends that you hated him or her. That is it & I'd like to read your comments on my opinion.
I'd like to talk about, Actually & for sake of safety, I'm saying that this kind of races have to be prohibited by the authorities in different countries although it is very interesting but it courage small irresponsible youth to mimic it in unpaved streets which expose other lifes to danger. Why we do not enhance sports which make the people health is better & encourage the team work like football, volleyball, these sports grows up the spirit of team work in the same time it do not harm the environment like car races also do not keep in mind bad memories of watching big & dangerous accidents which happen to the races. I also do want to be polite & not to harm other peoples feeling about what I'm going to say, what is going in Spain or Rome "I think" of oxen fighting with the trained killers do not show any mercy or exciting what they gain of killing innocent ox with no real benefit, as we can not consider is a real benefit. If they use it for farming like our ancestors or eating its meet it mean we kill it to get real benefit as our bodies are need for the protean, but killing for exciting & entertainment is rude actually.
Hi everyone! I want to say that I'm against formula 1 becouse, first it's dangerous sport, it isn't safe for people life and second it isn't green sport. It's hurmful from either side. And I don't understand ones who gets pleasure when another so risk his life.
Hello! I'd like to ask something . Could you please explain me why did Rafael say "If I was rich..." ? I thought he had to say " If I were rich..."

Hello Masiv4ik,

You're right that in traditional grammars, the subjunctive form 'were' is used for all subjects in second conditional constructions like this one. Many people, however, have long used past simple forms, including 'was' for first and third person singular subjects (e.g. 'I', 'she') as well, and these are now considered correct in informal and even some formal contexts.

But if you're used to using 'were', I would try to change the way you speak. It is perfectly normal to use it as well, and is even considered 'more' correct by some people, so you'd probably make a good impression!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello The Learn English Team! At I'd like to Talk About section Tess asked Rafael "Do you travel for Formula 1?", and then she said it was a bad question. So could you explain me the difference between "travel" and "go abroad" please?. I'm really confused.

Hello filipeanttonio,

The question Tess asks is not bad grammatically but was not clear to Rafael, which is why Tess apologised.

'Travel' is a general term but it can be used in this way. I can ask 'Do you have to travel for work?', which might mean 'Does you job involve travelling?' or 'Is your place of work far away?' Tess reformulates the question to make it clearer to Rafael, as 'go abroad' makes it clear that she means 'travel abroad'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello filipeanttonio,

The question Tess asks is not bad grammatically but was not clear to Rafael, which is why Tess apologised.

'Travel' is a general term but it can be used in this way. I can ask 'Do you have to travel for work?', which might mean 'Does you job involve travelling?' or 'Is your place of work far away?' Tess reformulates the question to make it clearer to Rafael, as 'go abroad' makes it clear that she means 'travel abroad'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Truth has no fall,we should always speak truth.by speaking truth we can win pride and success not only in this world and the eternal world as well.
Hello, i want to ask about 'formula one' i searched for the word in the dictionary, but i found another meaning for it, why they call the car race, formula one?

Hello Sherine hussein,

I believe that there are various categories all called 'formula'. There is a Formula Two and so on. However, this is a question for a motorsport expert to answer, not a language expert so more than that I cannot say!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I think it's better always to tell the truth, especially with people who is colse to me, because telling the truth will build a strong and good relationship between us, but sometimes it is not bad to tell a small lie to protect one's feelings from bring hurt though.
Heello learn English team, I have two questions about some of the language, i have heard, i don't understand the expression 'by any chance' i did not find it in the dictionry, and i dont know when to use it. Another qoute from you Tom is 'so far, so good' when to use it too. Thank you My regards Sherine

Hello Sherine hussein,

You can find it in the dictionary on this page - just scroll down the page. As you'll see from the definition and examples, it is used to make a request more polite. It has a similar meaning to 'Is there any possibility that...'

You can find the second phrase in the dictionary too, on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sherine hussein,

Just click on the words 'on this page' in my last answer. You might need to scroll down the dictionary page to find the precise phrase.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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