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Episode 07

Tess & Ravi

Adam and Rob discuss your favourite times of day. Also, Tess and Ravi talk about something British people love, but most people hate!

Transcripts

Adam and Rob

Both: Hello!

Adam: I’m Adam.

Rob: And I’m Rob.

Adam: Welcome back, Rob.

Rob: Thanks very much.

Adam: How was your trip?

Rob: It went very well, thank you. And welcome listeners to Episode 7 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. Once again, thanks for all your comments – great to read them as usual.

Adam: You remember that we asked you about your favourite time of day. I said that my favourite time was night. A few of you agreed: Yakup in Turkey, Madera in Russia who likes to go dancing at night and Sergio in Italy who said:

I love the night too, Adam, even though it's not healthy... After spending a day working, eventually the night is my own time in which, when my wife and my daughter sweetly sleep, I can read what I want, listen to my favourite music, write my physics books, watch sci-fi movies and so on... To wake up in the morning become really tough, but this is the way I feel alive!

Rob: That’s a very nice comment, Sergio. But you’re in the minority – there are more people who prefer the morning. Too many to mention all of you, but let’s have a look at some of them. Emin in Turkey says:

It’s the very early morning, when most people are asleep and there is a soothing and peaceful silence. It's a little difficult to wake up very early, but I think there is no moment in the world that makes me feel better than that.

Adam: Lamai in Thailand agrees:

My happiest time of the day is in the morning, I get up at 5.30 am, with the singing of the birds in the trees near my house and then with a cup of coffee, I walk in my garden, fresh and at peace.

Sounds lovely.

Rob: It does. FRG likes ‘breakfast time’, but I think that’s because he likes breakfast! Baijuka, who’s in the UK, likes mornings but not Monday mornings when she starts work again.

Adam: Last word to Mohammed in Iraq:

You can see me happy at any time of the day when I don't have something to worry about. For example, when I'm off work, considering I'm a junior doctor working in a public hospital in Baghdad. I try to relax and enjoy each and every minute I get because the next day I could be staying in the emergency room or in the ward looking after patients.

Rob: Thank you once again for all your comments and remember you can join in and add your own comments by going to www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish or by finding us on Facebook – look for Elementary Podcasts.

Adam: OK! Tess and Ravi are back. Before you listen to them, do you know what a ‘queue’ is? It’s a line of people, one behind the other and some people think it’s very British. Let’s see what Tess and Ravi think.

 

Tess and Ravi

Tess: Hello again. I’m Tess.

Ravi: And I’m Ravi and as usual we’re going to talk about something you think you know about Britain – fish and chips, the British weather, drinking tea – all those typically British things.

Tess: And we’ll tell you just how typical they are.

Ravi: Or aren’t.

Tess: All the things we talk about were suggested by you, our listeners, and our topic for today is something I think you’ll enjoy, Ravi – it’s queuing – standing in line to wait for things.

Ravi: Aaargh. I hate queuing! I hate waiting for things!

Tess: I knew you would hate it. But lots of people said that they thought queuing was very British and I think it’s true. Think about the things we queue for; we form a queue when we wait for a bus, we queue up in supermarkets, to buy tickets for things, in the bank, we’re always queuing.

Ravi: But people queue for things all over the world, Tess. How can you say it’s typically British?

Tess: True, but what we heard from our listeners is that British people are very good at queuing.

Ravi: How can you be good at queuing? All you have to do is stand behind the person in front of you.

Tess: Well, have you ever tried joining a queue in… No, I don’t want to say a country, in case some of our listeners get upset. Have you ever tried joining a queue in another country?

Ravi: Erm… yeah, I suppose I have.

Tess: People say British queues are more polite than in… some places. Like we almost enjoy queuing.

Ravi: My grandma does. She joins a queue whenever she sees one, even if she doesn’t know what it’s for.

Tess: I bet she never jumps the queue though, does she?

Ravi: You don’t know my grandma.

Tess: Jumping the queue is when you don’t go to the back of the queue but you try to push your way to the front of the queue instead of waiting for your turn. Do you ever jump the queue, Ravi?

Ravi: Me? I’m too polite to do that.

Tess: See? That’s what people think about the British, that they like queuing and they’re very polite so they make nice, tidy queues.

Ravi: Hmm.

Tess: I think it’s true, more or less. British people do make very organised queues. What about the queues for the winter sales, Ravi, or to buy tickets for the tennis at Wimbledon? It’s almost a national tradition; it’s on the TV news and everything. Every year, some people queue up for days to get the best bargains at the start of the winter sales in the shops after Christmas. They sleep outside in the cold and they seem to enjoy it – that’s a bit crazy, isn’t it?

Ravi: It is a bit. Do people in other countries do that sort of thing?

Tess: I don’t know, actually. Maybe our listeners can write in and tell us about queuing in their country? I bet they don’t queue like the British do.

Ravi: OK. If you’re listening, write and tell us about queuing in your country. Do you think the British queue differently?

Tess: We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Adam and Rob

Adam: What do you think about queuing, Rob?

Rob: I hate queuing. I can’t stand it.

Adam: I don’t mind it. And it’s interesting, because when I go to a foreign country where people have a different approach to queuing, I find it very hard to change my style.

Rob: How do you feel about queuing? If you’ve been to Britain, do you think it’s true what Tess and Ravi said – are the British good at queuing?

Adam: How about queues in your country? Do people queue up politely or do they jump the queue? Do you jump the queue? We’d love to hear from you. Write and let us know at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish

Rob: Right, let’s look at some of the language Tess and Ravi used:

Ravi: Aaargh. I hate queuing. I hate waiting for things.

Tess: People say British queues are more polite than in… some places. Like we almost enjoy queuing.

Tess: See? That’s what people think about the British, that they like queuing and they’re very polite...

Adam: Firstly, Tess and Ravi used different ways to talk about liking and not liking things. Ravi said he hates queuing and Tess said that British people enjoy queuing. We can use positive words like ‘like’ ‘love’ ‘enjoy’ and negative words like ‘hate’ ‘can’t stand’ ‘dislike’. How many more can you add to each list? Try the exercise on the website.

Rob: Next, though – listen to what comes after the like and dislike words:

Ravi: Aaargh. I hate queuing. I hate waiting for things.

Tess: People say British queues are more polite than in… some places. Like we almost enjoy queuing.

Tess: See? That’s what people think about the British – that they like queuing and they’re very polite...

Rob: I hate queuing – we enjoy queuing – they like queuing. That ‘ing’ form is the gerund and we use it after some verbs – like those verbs of liking and disliking. We also use gerunds after prepositions – words like ‘at’ ‘on’ or ‘in’ – like in this clip:

Tess: True – but what we heard from our listeners is that British people are very good at queuing.

Rob: If you use a verb after a preposition – use a gerund – the ‘ing’ form. For example, ‘good at queuing’, ‘interested in learning English’.

Adam: We’re running out of time now, but there are lots of exercises about this on the website, so if you want to know more – check it out there.

Rob: That’s all for this time. We’ll be back with Carolina next time.

Both: Bye.

Discussion

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

When I went to London I had to queue at Natural History Museum and I have to say that British people are really polite at queues, so organised and respectful people. I love that because you feel even relaxed at queuing in London.
Queuing in my country is sometimes a tough task, that includes at metro, in a bank, even at supermarket. Many people do the jumping thing here and it is not polite. I got upset when that happens.

Queuing is good.It is a discipline.I feel sometime queuing is good But I don't like long queues.
I didn't come in contact or see the British people while queuing so I don't know much more about them.
In my country, most people try to jump the queue.But I don't like jumping queue.

Hello,
I do like tea very much actually, i drink from four to five cups of tea every day with cake or biscuit which is the best thing i can do to take some rest, i like to mix some milk to the tea as well as you Ravi, i suppose that all people drink tea all over the world.
Thanks

Hello,
I like the topic today, queuing is very polite and cevilized way of waiting , i respect your behaviour and i like it as well, i hope all people all over the world respect each other like this, and be decent.
Thanks

Hello, Kirk.

Thank you, by of course that help me. And on the other hand, "I like tamales too" this is a typical colombian food. Delicuous! :)
Regards.

Dear LearnEnglish team.
I see in elementary podcast series three episode seven there are numerous ways that we can use a gerund, but I am confuse a gerund with a continuos verb, so would you like explaing me this topic a gerund it´s different for a continuous verb, please?
Regards.

Hello anaisavecas,

Gerunds ('I like swimming') and present participles, which are used to make continuous verbs ('I'm swimming'), have the same form – in other words, they look the same. The difference is in their grammatical function.

A gerund is used as a noun. In 'I like swimming', 'swimming' is a noun that is an object, just like in 'I like tamales', 'tamales' is a noun that is the object of the verb.

A present participle can be used in different ways, but in continuous verb forms, it is used after the verb 'be' to speak, for example, about an action in progress: e.g. 'I am swimming in the pool'. Here it is part of the verb (not a noun).

Does that help? You might also want to look at our -ing forms and present continuous pages for more details on this.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Alyson,

Yes, 'playing' is a gerund in this sentence. It is the direct object of the verb 'begin'. 'an instrument' is the direct object of the gerund 'playing'. This may seem strange, as a gerund is used as a noun, but since gerunds are formed from verbs, they can also have an object. It's quite detailed, but you might want to take a look at the Wikipedia page on Gerunds.

As for the answer sentence, 'she' is indeed the subject, 'began' is the verb and 'playing' is a gerund with 'an instrument' as its direct object. 'when she was four years old' is a subordinate clause describing time -- see the 'When as a conjunction' section on this page.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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