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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.


Language level

Intermediate: B1
Pre-intermediate: A2


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.

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


The LearnEnglish Team

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


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for the activity!!.

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
The LearnEnglish Team

I like canelé!

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.