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Big Meal Scene 2

Stephen works hard to make sure everything is perfect for Ashlie's birthday meal.

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


Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


would you please tell me what the meaning of
"it's the thought that counts" is ?
thank you so much

Hi Aliz46

When people say "it's the though that counts" they mean; the important part of a gift is the intention or idea in the mind of the person that gives it.

If you buy a strawberry cake for your friend's birthday and then discover that your friend is allergic to strawberries, you have still done a nice thing. Your friend would thank you all the same because the intention behind the gift is the most important thing.

Does that make sense?



The LearnEnglish Team

i am indian and i have learned many thing from british council.
thank you very much.

Sometimes i like surprises, if it can give me really happiness, of course i like indeed. But sometimes i don't like. e,g now, when i loaded on the page, i found i couldn't watch the video again. What a big surprise!

Question 1.

 yes, i like surprises. It was my daughter's AMC result. She got a higher Distinction for that. It was the my daughter's first experienced of the exam. She was 8 years. I 'm the one who taught to her. I was so happy.

Question 2.

My sister-in-law was expecting a baby. Doctor told she will get a baby girl.But when  baby born doctor's scan result went wrong. It was a baby boy.My brother was so happy. That is the one we ever had best surprise.

question 3.

My all friends and family tell I'm a good cooker. When my daughters 4th b'day i made a cake. It was Winnie the pooh with honey pot. Every body told it was so nice. After cut the cake it was so hard. Because , by mistake i used pastry margarine as a margarine. Finally i ordered a cake to serve for visitors.

how i envy you, Ashlie! this's great. and Stephen, you're so cute!  


I am iranian and speak FARSI (Persian).

thank you very much indeed because of these useful videos. the method of learning is amazing . thank all of you for all time and resource you spend to learn others.

i have had bad bad experience when i warm milk on oven (gas) . when i forgot it and milk over heat and spill on gas.

Yes I like surprises.....................

My best surprise was that when I got admission in university..............

Yes, at many occasion I got a bad experience of cooking; one of them was that when I was cooking egg-am late.............

Do you like surprises?
I think the point is not "to like" surprises. I like but I don´t know how to cope with this. I´m not prepared to receive surprises. I become very shy in this kind of situations.
What is the best surprise you have ever had?
It was my birthday. I was singing and playing my guitar at a kind of Pub. There were many friend of mine gathered around a large table.  All them were pretending a normal situation. Suddenly I heard a strange voice in the middle of the room. It was my wife saying: " Pay attention please!" Today is my husband´s birthday so, please let´s us sing a special song for him!.   I became very red!! My face became quite hot!. It was terrible!!.
Have you ever had a bad experience when cooking? What happened?
Yes!! I was cooking rice and talking about many subjects with my friends in the same time. It distracted me and I switched salt by suggar. Could you imagine what happened?