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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 hayaalqasem,

Words like this are borrowings from other languages - from French in this example. When a foreign word enters into common use in English it is first used as a foreign word, then slowly becomes anglicised (made more English) over time.  Ultimately, the word may change its spelling.  'Cafe' is a good example of this, and it is common to see it spelt today without the accent.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Good evening, I'm new in these andansas and would like to practice my English. Anybody know any chat where you can practice

Hello Nice to meet you :D, I'm a new participant, my purpose is same to you, do you use skype ? it will help you improve your english, you can talk with me :)

Hi BSilva,

Welcome to LearnEnglish - we're glad you found us! You're of course welcome to have conversations here in the comments. It's not nearly as fast as a chatroom, as we moderate all comments, but we're very happy to see users interacting here. Just remember that it's against the House Rules to share any personal information here.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

For some days i am suffering from a terrible problem . I just couldn't understand which dictionary to choose paperback or online ? If british council recommends one to buy one , what will be that paperback or online ? I expect a specific answer , not something like diffegent people like different. I am here to follow british council , so i shall use what will be recommended by this website .
Thank you

Hello Frank Williams,

I'm afraid I'm going to have to disappoint you!  This is not because I'm going to tell you that different people learn in different ways (though that is certainly true), but because the British Council is a non-profit organisation and it is not our role to recommend privately-produced materials and books to learners; indeed, it would not be proper for us to favour one private publisher over another.  It's also true that there are many different kinds of dictionaries and here I can make some suggestions.  Judging from your level of English, an advanced level monolingual dictionary would seem appropriate, perhaps one with a digital component (i.e. a CD version which you can install).  You might also find a dictionary with some grammatical information useful. Finally, you may want to choose a dictionary which has good information on collocations - which words are commonly used together.

I would suggest that you compare various dictionaries: look up the same words in each (perhaps something unusual such as 'vociferous' and something common and with a wide meaning such as 'set') and see which entries are most useful and accessible. Look at the organisation of the dictionary to see which is easiest to use, and look at the extras that come with the dictionary - practice exercises, online materials, digital versions, revision exercises etc.

I hope those suggestions are helpful.  There are many dictionaries to choose from, and some of the online bookshops allow you to browse inside them, so this can be a good way to compare them.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

this episode was a bit difficult for me i couldn't understand the meaning of some words..

Hello VaneArg,

I just wanted to point out that you can see what is said in the episode by clicking on Transcript, just below the audio player. It's also available under Download beneath the exercises. Whenever you don't understand a word or expression, there's a handy Cambridge Dictionaries Online search box on the right side of the screen that you can use to look it up. I'd encourage you to write down new vocabulary in a notebook so that you can refer to it later - you can really learn a lot this way.

And if you don't find a word or expression, then please ask here in the comments - either another user or one of us on the team will be happy to help you.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,The Learn English Team:
 I got a question,hope you can help me. In what situation people can say,"are you crazy?" Is the sentence very impolite? I met someone online,he always tells me he got ill and will be die soon. I am trying to comfort him all the time. One day he told me he want to get a gun and shot himself, I thought that's very terrible. So , I was not say 'I am sorry to hear that, and be positive' as usually, I just said :"are you crazy?" I didn't think too much. so he got angry. Am I too rude ? If someone tells you something like that, what would the people say in America. How to respond.I look forward for your answer.Thanks a lot .

Hi Jeany,
It's often hard to know whether a particular choice of words was rude or not, because it depends on details of the situation, the relationship and the individual people. It can also depend on culture; in some places friends will use the worst insults they can think of as a greeting and it's a sign of friendliness!
So, sometimes 'Are you crazy?' would be rude and sometimes it would be appropriate. My personal opinion is that a person who is talking about taking their own life is discussing one of the most serious and extreme actions a person can take. For that reason, worrying about the correct choice of words seems a distraction from the main topic. Also, this person should know that English is not your first language and so sometimes you choose words that aren't perfect. My reaction would be sympathy for this person's problems and not to worry that you said the wrong thing. Sometimes anything you say is the wrong thing!
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team