Modern-day authors cast their own spells, too, and Richard visits a very magical place to find out about contemporary English writers.

Task 1

Which is the best summary of the video?

Exercise

Task 2

Watch the video again, and choose the best answer.

Exercise

Task 3

Drag and drop the words to complete the sentences.

Exercise

Task 4

Complete the paragraph about Philip Pullman by typing the missing words into the spaces.

Exercise

Discussion

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Language level

Advanced: C1
Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

I absolutely agree that Britain has the world's best writers in all of history! And J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter series is undeniably one of them. I can't remember how many times I've read and reread these books but it's definitely on the top of my favorites list. I think Harry Potter is popular because it appeals to all ages and of course the story itself was brilliant. I knew it is intended for children but it is too good of a series to pass out. J.K. Rowling truly changed my life. I can never imagine a world without Harry Potter and the world within this book.

Anyways, I've also read most of the writer's books mentioned except that of Cressida Crowell (How to Train your Dragon). His Dark Materials Trilogy was my recent favorite.

I think I can write a novel if only I have the time and resources, and when that happens that would be a big tick off from my long bucketlist.

Thank you very much for this video about Harry Potter. It was really interesting! That's my all time favourite book! I think it is so popular because it's wriiten so simple and cool! The language is modern and nice. I've read "Harry Potter" books and "Olver Twist" book and I loved them very much! I don't think I can write something like a novel but I'm writing a fanfic now. And I'm trying to do my best although I don't have enough free time for this.

It is magic that makes Harry Potter books popular. The amount of fantasy was used just about right. Harry used to be a London boy, just as normal as the readers themselves, but he set out to live in a magical world. He is like one of our friends who has taken us along to feel the thrill of seeing, learning, and practicing magic, to be anxious about using the power for the first time, to fight the dreadful and wicked villain, Voldemort, and to be with a band of good merry friends who might also be silly from time to time.

Alan Rickman said during an interview that when he was making the first or second movie he got an exclusive hint from J.K. Rowling which revealed Professor Snape's fate. Two days ago, on the 18th of this month, J.K. Rowling tweeted "I told Alan what lies behind the word 'always'." It is soooo amazing! I can never plan my writing like that. I mean it was years before the last book was even published. I don't think I can weave everything together so seamlessly and logically.

It's a pity there is no suport pack to print as in other videos.
Is it a chance that it appears in the near future?
Thanks in advance.

Hello Primegirl25,

We're a very small team with loads of work, so I'm afraid that creating support packs for the GREAT videos is not something we'll be doing anytime soon, if ever. I'm not sure if it would interest you, but there is a GREAT Videos app, which has the exercises in mobile format, I believe.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Firstly, I'd like to thank you for the lovely video. But I have a question about Task 4. Is it possible to use:
- wrote instead of has written in the sentence: He (write) over twenty....
- won instead of has won in the sentence: The trilogy (win) ....
- was translated instead of has been translated in the sentence: His work (translate).
Thanks in advance!

Hello Reido,

Thank you for your nice comment! It's nice to hear that you like the video.

Grammatically speaking, those forms are possible. However, the meaning is different. The present perfect (has written, has won, has been translated) is used when the time reference is an unfinished period, whereas the past simple is only used when the time period is finished. For example:

The author has written five books. [The author may write more]

The author wrote five books. [No more will be written for some reason, such as the author no longer being alive!]

As you can see, there is quite a difference, and the same is true of your sentences.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I don’t have any idea how Harry Potter became popular, I suppose it began when it was made into a film. With these kind of discussions-reading and writing, I can’t relate because I am not fond of these things but I thank you LearnEnglish Team with this I need to push myself into reading and writing especially that I am reviewing to take IELTS :)

Thank you very much for this great opportunity to learn English! Fantastic!

I think the Harry Potter books are so popular because of their colourful but simple, immediate language and for the originality of the story. The author has been very clever in mixing up magic and reality in a proper balance. When I finished the books, I was able to see magic here and there in the real world. I think every act of kindness can bring some sort of magic, in the end.
I did not read the books mentioned by Richard in the video, except for the Harry Potter's saga. Actually I do not like fantasy books such as Tolkien's etc. I watched "How to train a dragon 2" at the cinema and I liked it. I didn't know it had been adapted from a book. I think I could try and read it.
I don't think I would be able to write a story, I'm very fond of books but I'm not so good at writing down things... I prefer to tell them, instead.

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