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Episode 01: A burglary

The start of Series 3 brings bad news. Tony's Café has been burgled! Or has it?

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.


Before you listen

We suggest you do the vocabulary activity below before you listen. Then listen to the episode and do the first task to check your understanding. Finally, practise some vocabulary and grammar.



Audio script

Tony:  Oh no ... oh no ... I don’t believe it!

Harry (still outside):  Let’s just nip into the café for breakfast ...

Bindyu:  OK, sure.

Harry (entering):  Hi there, Tony! What’s the problem?

Tony:  Just have a look!

Harry:  Ermm ... Everything looks normal to me!

Olivia:  Hi, everyone! Just thought I’d nip in to get a coffee before work ... er ... What’s going on?

Bindyu:  Tony’s upset about something.

Olivia:  I can’t see anything unusual.

Harry:  Me neither.

Tony:  What?! Are you mad? Look – all these cups are broken!

Olivia:  Oh, yeah. Now you mention it ...

Tony:  And look at the mess here! 

Harry:  Some broken plates on the floor.

Tony:  The dustbins!

Fadi:  Hi, all! What’s going on? What’s wrong with the dustbins?

Tony:  There’s rubbish everywhere!

Bindyu:  Oh yeah ...

Magda/Sarah:  Hi, all!

Sarah: What’s up?

Tony:  There’s been a break-in!

Harry:  A burglary?

Olivia:  Thieves?

Magda/Sarah:  Oh no!

Olivia:  Has anything been stolen?

Magda:  Quick! Check!

Tony:  I never leave any money in the café overnight, so that’s not a danger.

Harry:  Is there anything else? Anything valuable?

Tony:  Well, there were those special pieces of fish.

All:  Fish?

Tony:  Yeah ... I had some really nice fish.

Carlos:  Hey, everyone! What’s going on?

All:  Blimey! What?!! What’s that?!

Harry:  Who the ...?

Sarah:  What the ...?

Fadi:  How did ...?

All:  A cat!!????

Olivia:  There’s your burglar!

Tony:  That explains the fish ...

Johnny:  Hello all! Ooohhh ... Hello, puss! Is this the new café cat?


Language level

Intermediate: B1
Pre-intermediate: A2


Hello concha62,

'nip in' means to go in quickly. Harry doesn't want to spend a long time there, just long enough to eat breakfast.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir I am confused in the way , is used in the sentences. I know its one usage is when we are telling about a lot of things in a row for example: You should be intelligent, smart and brave. But when I see sentences like:
1) On Wednesday, Sam will complete one year at the helm of Tata Sons Ltd, the holding company of the salt-to-software conglomerate.
2) As a businessman, I feel things here are substantially more above board.
And the list goes on. I mean, I use them a lot of the times unknowingly but I don't know why we use them and I hope you would help me in this.
Thank you in advance

Hello SahilK,

The comma has many uses in English. It is used, as you say, in lists but it is also used in many other ways. There are grammatical structures which require commas (non-defining relative clauses, for example) and there are many rules of sentence construction (syntax) which govern comma use. There is also the question of style and convention. We use commas to show a break in thinking, for example.

You can find rules for comma use if you search for them - many publications have syle guides, for example, which summarise such rules. However, I think a better approach than trying to memorise rules is to simply read extensively. You will familiarise yourself with good practice in this way without having to learn fixed rules.



The LearnEnglish Team

Sir I have some sentences with which I am not sure whether they are right or wrong:
1) The PM arrives from New York tomorrow.
Why this can't be written as "The PM will arrive from New York tomorrow."?
2) He leaves his job next week.
Why not " He will leave his job next year."?
3) She leaves for America next year.
Why not "She will leave for America next year."?
4) We have lunch at 2:00 tomorrow as Sam 'catches' a noon train. Is this right?
5) Which one is right?
- I have taken lunch at 1:00 p.m.
Or - I took lunch at 1:00.
- I 'prepared' in the morning. Or
- I "have prepared" in the morning.
Thank you in advance

Hello SahilK,

Except for the last sentence, all of the sentences you propose are correct in certain contexts. You can read more about the verb tenses used in sentences 1-4 on our talking about the future page and the sentences in 5 on our talking about the past page. 'I have prepared in the morning' is a bit strange because if we're speaking about the morning of the day we are in, we say 'this morning' instead of 'in the morning' -- so if you changed it to 'this morning', the sentence would be correct.

I think the explanations on the pages I mentioned should clarify these tenses for you, but if you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask us. Please note that if you wonder what the difference is between two sentences, you should try to explain to us what you think the difference is first. This will help us answer your question better.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir these are the sentences that I am confused in:
i) He insists me to try again.
ii) He insists me on trying again.
Why first sentence is wrong and second sentence is right?
Thank you in advance

Hello SahilK,

I'm afraid neither of these sentences is grammatically correct. Perhaps 'He insists (that) I try again' (which is grammatically correct)?

By the way, if you look up the verb 'insist' in the dictionary, you can see the most common grammatical patterns used with it in the example sentences.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello SahilK,

'She insisted on seeing her lawyer' is correct.

*'He insists me on trying again' is not correct.

The structures in those two sentences are different -- note that your sentence has an object pronoun ('me'). Object pronouns are not used this way after the verb 'insist'. If you want to include an object, you have to change the structure to include a 'that' clause: 'He insists that I try again'. Or if there is no object, then you can say 'He insists on trying again', but of course the meaning of the sentence changes this way.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, I came across with these sentences:
1) This letter is very important 'to' your admission.
Can we say ... 'for' your admission?
2) The genes reacted 'to' blood sugar levels in the animals.
Can we say ... 'with' blood sugar ...?
3)And do we use ' or " with words like 'with' or "with"? Which is right? And what do we use with a sentence ' or "?
Thank you in advance

Hello SahilK,

1. In this context you can use 'to' or 'for' without any difference in meaning.


2. There is a difference in meaning:

'X reacts to Y' means that the presence or action of Y causes a change in X or an action by X. For example, I could say 'John reacted to Sue's story with shock'.

'X reacts with Y' describes a chemical reaction which involves both X and Y. An example would be the process of rusting metal, where iron reacts with the oxygen in the air.


3. The use of speech marks (" ") and inverted commas (' ') vary quite a lot. Different people have different preferences and there are differences between US and GB English as well.

I use speech marks (" ") when I quote a person's actual words (or words from a book, a film etc). For example:

"Where are you going?" James asked.

I use inverted commas (' ') when I want to highlight a word in a sentence to show that it is used ironically or to direct the reader's attention to a use which is non-standard in some way. For example, I might write:

My aunt 'entertained' us by playing the piano and singing to us very badly for an hour.

You can read a summary of various uses of these forms of punctuation on this page. The uses there are not necessarily the same as mine - as I said, the use of these varies quite a lot.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team