Episode 02: Hello Carlos!

Carlos, the aspiring chef, shows up out of the blue - but he might help save the café.

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.

Transcript

Audio script

Olivia: Oh no! I don’t understand how this can happen!

Tony:  Told you so.

Sarah:  Hi Olivia! What’s the problem?

Carlos:  Excuse me...

Olivia:  It’s not just here, not just the café...

Sarah:  What do you mean?

Tony:  Told you so.

Carlos: Excuse me...

Olivia:  It’s true!

Sarah:  What is?

Olivia:  They want to knock down my shop, as well as the café!

Sarah:  Demolish it? Get rid of it completely?

Olivia:  Yes.

Tony:  Told you so.

Sarah:  Oh no!

Olivia:  That’s what I keep saying...

Carlos:  Excuse me!

Tony:  Yes?

Carlos:  Could I have something to eat please, and a cup of tea?

Tony:  Sure, here’s a menu, go and take a seat somewhere...

Sarah:  Oh dear...let’s go and sit down – there’s Harry over there, let’s sit with him.

Harry:  Hello there. Magda’s on her way. I think we need to have a plan...

Olivia:  Yeah, but what can we do?

All:  Hey Magda! Hi! We’re over here! Come and sit down!

Magda:  Hello everyone! What’s the matter? Why does everyone look so sad?

Harry:  The café is going to close...

Sarah:  ...and Olivia’s shop too!

Magda:  Why? Oh - the property company... they’re building new flats... I remember now...

Harry:  That’s right – and they want to demolish this place, and Olivia’s shop next door.

Olivia:  They’re offering us compensation...

Magda:  “Compensation”?

Sarah:  Money...

Olivia:  But it’s not enough. I want to keep my shop...

Sarah:  Yes, and I want to keep this café open... there’s nowhere else where we can all meet.

Carlos:  Excuse me...

All:  Yes?

Carlos:  I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation...

Magda:  Were you listening to us?

Carlos:  No, sorry, I wasn’t listening, I just heard what you were talking about...

Olivia:  Is this the first time you’ve been here?

Carlos:  Well, yes it is, actually...

Harry:  It’ll probably be the last...

Carlos:  Well, yes, I know... that’s what I wanted to say...

Sarah:  What?

Carlos:  I’m afraid I work for the company, the building company.

Olivia:  The company who want to knock down my shop?

Harry:  And our favourite café?

Carlos:  I’m afraid so, yes...

Olivia:  Can you stop them?

Carlos:  Well, no, I’m not sure about that...

Sarah:  What do you do for the company?

Carlos:  Well, that’s the problem, I’m not one of their top managers, or anything like that...

Harry:  That’s a shame.

Carlos:  I’m just a caterer.

Magda:  Caterer?

Carlos:  Yes, I make food for them.

Harry:  Hang on a minute, I don’t understand... you’re the caterer... you make food...

Carlos:  Yes, that’s right. I’m a chef, actually. Or at least that’s what I’d like to be...

Harry:  But you’ve just come in here to get food...

Carlos:  Oh yeah...well, you see, the problem is, I don’t really like the food I have to cook for other people. I prefer to try new things – so I came in here!

Harry:  Right...

Olivia:  Can you help us?

Carlos:  I’m not sure what I can do... I don’t really want to lose my job...

Sarah:  No... I guess not – but if you work for the building company, you could do some research for us...

Carlos:  Research? How do you mean?

Sarah:  You could find out some information for us...

Carlos:  Erm, well, ok, I mean, if I can... I’d like to help you!

Olivia:  Great! Let’s see what we can do... we can save this place!

Language level

Intermediate: B1
Pre-intermediate: A2

Soumis par User_User le sam 11/04/2020 - 05:25

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Hello In previous episodes Sarah was looking for a flat. Now she has found one. I'm currently listening to a video about buying houses in Great Britain. There are some differences between renting a house in Germany and in Great Britain, so I write about it here: Most British people try to buy a property and only a few are happy with their rented flats. They often rent their flats for a short period of time and the quality is in most cases really bad. The tenants are not much protected by the law. If you have a contract for one year, and you buy furniture and the landord doesn't extend the contract you must think what you can do with the furniture you bought. Bye

Soumis par PhuongHoang le jeu 09/04/2020 - 04:00

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Hello LearnEnglish team ! Sarah said " I want to keep this café open ". Why not " openning " ? Thanks a lot for helping me !

Hello PhuongHoang

The verb 'keep' can be followed by 'something' and some adjectives, such as 'open', 'quiet', 'clean', etc.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par Joel-0505 le sam 26/10/2019 - 00:41

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Hi team! I have two doubts about an expression, could you help me to understand the sentence bellow? "I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation" by Carlos. I can understand what it means in the context (i guess), but the verbs used for that doesn't make sense to me because of "help". I mean, I know we can't traslate word for word and waiting for the same meaning because there are many words and verbs which make sense when they are together but in this sentence I can't find any relation between them. Shouldn't we say: "I can't avoid overhearing"? help is like "avoid"? the other one is that we use "help" followed by a to + infinitive or a bar infinitive but particularly in this sentence there are three verbs in a row "could (modal)" "help" and "overhear in its progressive form". So, can I use this estructure to make similar sentences?, like: "I couldn’t help running" (If you're scared for example), "I couldn’t help laughing" (if something is funny) or "I couldn’t help arguing" (if something is bothering you). that's it . Thanks for your help and kindness. regards!

Hello Joel-0505

Yes, the idea in Spanish here is 'no poder evitarlo'. You could say 'not avoid', but it would sound a little strange; I'd recommend you try to learn 'can't help' instead.

The three sentences you ask about at the end are all correct and are good examples of how this structure is used. By the way, you can see a definition and more examples of this use of 'help' by following the link and scrolling down the page to the 'STOP YOURSELF'.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par nikoslado le mer 27/03/2019 - 20:35

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DearTeam ,I know my confusion is because I'm unwittingly affected by the Greek structure.After your kind reply, my confusion seems to move about the existence, the use , and the meaning of the two successive verbs ''help save''.I could understand something like:1)''he might save the cafe'',2) ''he might help the cafe'',3)''he might help and save the cafe'',4)''he might help his friends (to)save(them) the cafe'', or ''he might help the cafe to be saved'',but not ''he might help save the cafe''.Could you explain me ,please?
Hello nikoslado There are many verbs that can be combined. When this happens, the second verb can go in several different forms, e.g.: - I enjoy swimming. ('swimming' = an -ing form) - I want to swim. ('to swim' = a to+infinitive) - They made me swim. ('swim' = a bare infinitive) In each of these cases, it's the first verb that determines the form of the second verb. In other words, 'enjoy' is followed by an -ing form, 'want' is followed by a to+infinitive and 'made' is followed by a noun object and a bare infinitive. There are some verbs that can be followed more than one kind of form. The verb 'help' can be followed by a to+infinitive or a bare infinitive. So you could say 'He is helping save the café' or 'He is helping to save the café' -- both forms are correct. Does that help you make sense of it? Best wishes Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par nikoslado le mar 26/03/2019 - 19:36

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Dear Team, I' ve got a query in this headline sentence:''.....but he might help save the cafe.'' The verb ''save''- from what I' ve already searched- never has a passive meaning, but only an active one. So, how is the structure here?Is there any Anglicism? Because I realise that the meaning is that Fadi can help the cafe to be saved. Thanks a lot for your kindness. Nikos
Hello nikoslado, The verb here is active ('Fadi' is the subject and 'the cafe' is the object). I'm not sure why you think it is passive. More generally, 'save' can easily have a passive meaning: "The project was saved by a brilliant idea from one of the team." Peter The LearnEnglish Team
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