Episode 19

Episode 19

Tess and Ravi talk about a scary monster. But there's something worse than monsters; Adam and Rob say goodbye!


Adam and Rob

Both: Hello!

Adam: Welcome to episode 19 of the Learn English Elementary podcast. I'm Adam and what's... what's your name?

Rob: Yes, I hope you remember. I'm Rob, and it's great to be back with you again. I've been quite busy recently, and sadly, this is my last podcast, but I hope you're going to enjoy it today.

Adam: OK. And today we're going to hear from Tess and Ravi again. As usual, they're talking about something that you think is typically British. An animal this time. A famous animal. Any ideas what it could be?

Rob: But first let's hear some of your comments on the last podcast. Last time we heard about Carolina. If you remember, she was very depressed and didn't want to get out of bed.

Adam: But her friend, Emily, took control of the situation. And a lot of you commented on what a good friend Emily is to Carolina. Thiosko from Mali said that it's important to have a friend who helps you, and Emily is one of the best friends that anyone could have.

Rob: And Manasset from Cameroon said "Poor Carolina, but great Emily! You helped Carolina to get up and to restore her hope". And he says that from now, when he needs to cheer up, he'll call Emily and ask her advice!

Adam: Last time we asked you to write and tell us about places where you go when you want to cheer up. And some of you like to spend time with nature when you're feeling a bit down. For example, Anacla from France goes to a little park near her house.

Rob: Pure Girl talks about Hammah park in Algiers and Yulia from Japan says "When I feel sad I go to the nearest park by the sea in my city. There I lie on the grass listening to birds chirping and watching airplanes cross the sky leaving their white tracks. And I begin to think how beautiful the world is".

Adam: Yulia also does exercise when she feels depressed. She goes to the gym and she rides her bicycle. Maviduman from Turkey goes running, and a lot of you go for a walk.

Rob: Pure Girl also says that she reads the Koran when she feels down. Ahmed Jalilou from Algeria and promise93 from Libya do the same. It always helps them to feel happy. And xiaxiap1202 - I like that name - also finds her religion helps her. She's a Chinese girl living in Singapore and she was depressed when she first arrived - but then she found a church and met some friendly people there. She says "The service also helped me to have positive thoughts, so I like to go to church".

Adam: Our podcast regular Tkazerooni from Iran sent us a long message with a lot of good advice. Liya from China has the most unusual solution when she feels depressed; she goes to a karaoke bar. She says she can let her feelings out when she sings songs - loudly!

Rob: Wow! But now, let's listen to Tess and Ravi and find out about that famous animal.


Tess and Ravi

Tess: Hi everybody, I’m Tess!

Ravi: And I’m Ravi.

Tess: And as usual we’re going to talk about something you think you know about Britain. Ravi, if I say to you ‘Loch Ness’, what do you think about?

Ravi: The monster: the Loch Ness monster. Hey, Tess, do you think it really exists? I’m sure…

Tess: Right, the Loch Ness monster is another thing that listeners around the world said was a very British thing. Well, a very Scottish thing. First of all, for people who don’t know about it, let’s tell the story. Loch Ness is a big lake in the north of Scotland and some people – lots of people – believe that some strange animal – the Loch Ness monster – lives in the lake. What do you think, Ravi?

Ravi: I think it would be fantastic if there really was a monster in Loch Ness but, well, I don’t really think there is. Sorry.

Tess: I know what you mean. It’s a great story. There have been stories for hundreds of years about a big animal living in the lake – it’s a really big lake – but things got really interesting in 1933 when someone ‘saw’ the monster. The newspapers wrote about it and everyone went crazy about ‘Nessie’. That’s another name for the Loch Ness monster: Nessie.

Ravi: There are lots of different photographs and videos of the monster, but are any of them real, do you think, Tess?

Tess: None of the photographs or videos really prove that there’s a monster. And there have been lots of different explanations: a dinosaur, a dolphin, different types of sea creatures, but no one can really prove it.

Ravi: You know, I’m sure that if there really was a monster then someone would have found it by now. I can’t believe there really is a monster and no one can find anything to prove it.

Tess: Well, it’s a big lake you know and it’s difficult to watch all of it all of the time.

Ravi: But still, Tess, come on!

Tess: I know, it is a bit unbelievable, isn’t it? You know, some people think that there was a monster but it died. That’s why no one’s seen it for a while.

Ravi: Do you know what I think? I think that the Loch Ness monster is a very good way to get tourists to go to the north of Scotland.

Tess: You’re right that Loch Ness is one of the most important tourist attractions in Scotland. It gets hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Ravi: And imagine if they didn’t have the Loch Ness monster. No one would go there.

Tess: Well, it’s still a really beautiful place, Ravi. I would go there. But, yeah, you’re right, the Loch Ness monster is very good for tourism. Everyone who goes there hopes they see the monster and there are films and books and everything. I think it will be really sad if they ever say there definitely isn’t a monster.

Ravi: You’re right. It’s better not to know for sure.


Adam and Rob

Rob: So what do you think? Do you believe that the Loch Ness monster really exists? Have you ever visited Loch Ness? Would you like to go? Write and tell us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish or leave us a message on Facebook.

Adam: And tell us about any stories of strange monsters that you know about from your country, in the water or on the land. We love reading your messages and finding out more about your countries.

Rob: Now let's look at some of the language from the podcast. Listen. What's Ravi talking about?

Tess: You’re right that Loch Ness is one of the most important tourist attractions in Scotland. It gets hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Ravi: And imagine if they didn’t have the Loch Ness monster. No one would go there.

Adam: Lots of visitors go to Loch Ness every year because of the monster. Ravi is imagining Loch Ness without the monster. And the result? No tourists either. It isn't a real situation; he's imagining it. Listen again to the verb forms that Ravi uses.

Ravi: And imagine if they didn’t have the Loch Ness monster. No one would go there.

Rob: He says "Imagine if they didn't have the Loch Ness monster, no one would go there." If they 'didn't have' the Loch Ness monster no-one 'would go' there. The first verb, after 'if', is in the past simple - didn't have, and the second verb is a conditional form - would go.

Adam: This is the structure that we use to talk about imaginary situations in the present or in the future with 'if'. For example, "If I worked harder, I would get better marks." Or, "If I had a lot of money, I'd buy a fast car."

Rob: A fast car? You can't drive! If I had a lot of money, I'd buy a speedboat!

Adam: Actually, I agree. I wouldn't buy a fast car; I'd buy a boat, too.

Rob: A lot of grammar books call it the 'second conditional' or the 'hypothetical' conditional. There are some exercises on the website to practise this type of conditional and to practise other language from the podcast, too. And don't forget to send us your comments. We're looking forward to hearing what you think about Nessie and your stories about strange monsters and animals around the world!

Adam: And, talking of animals, next week we'll see how Carolina gets on at the city farm, and hear from some of her new four-legged friends.

But now, it's time to say goodbye, Rob. It's been great working with you, and I hope that we can hear from you again one day.

Rob: I hope so, yes. Thank you. It's been a pleasure. And thank you all, too, for your comments. So, it's goodbye from me.

Adam: And it's goodbye from him.

Both: Bye!


Language level

Average: 3 (2 votes)

Submitted by dhiyaa on Fri, 08/09/2023 - 20:13


I'm not really sure about Loch Ness monster I think it's just a big random animal and the people they take this story year to year
but i would to say rob i really love you and i enjoy very much with you

Submitted by Veena Kumari on Wed, 10/02/2021 - 03:55

Hi everybody, I agree with most of the comments. I don’t think so there are any monsters in the world. Majority of them are creations of myths and fables. Technology has advanced so far that if there are any monsters they must have captured till now. I have not been to Scotland yet but hope to see it soon. I have not heard any monster stories of my country yet.

Submitted by jmajo on Fri, 22/01/2021 - 20:05

I think it's possible that a monster would had lived in the lake hundred of thousands of years ago, like the Megalodon in the oceans, but if nowadays something like that still be living there, someone would had taken a good photo of it already with all the technology that we have to do it. I have never been to Scotland so I never visited the loch Ness, but I'd love to visit the loch someday, it sounds fascinating. There aren't very much stories about monsters in my country, but in the countryside some people tell stories about a half-man half-wolf that visits the farms at nights and eats sheep, but it's difficult to believe because we don't have wolfs in this country, I think there are just fantastic invented to scare the children at the dark nights in the winter. Thanks for the episode. Great site!!

Submitted by Sajja on Fri, 08/01/2021 - 05:44

No, I don't really think that there is a monster in the loch ness lake.Maybe some of people created this story to make other people excited or attracted them to visit this place. The other odd I thought in it that story like many imagination myths which there are in lots of cultures . For instance , in my country the Giddiness one of the common myths in countrysides. The myths speaks about strange and scared woman who is appeared after evenings in lakes and start calling certain man who there is near a lake by his name. She continues calling him by strange and magic voice. After that he will become like crazes people and he will not be alive for a long time after that because he will kill himself without clear causes. The thing which make me a little quiet this woman don't hurt girls only men .
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Submitted by Czar Aaron on Mon, 14/12/2020 - 18:54

Hi everybody, I did not believe that the Loch Ness monster really exists in environment unless it could be a very big fish. Of course the monster was in minds of people who lived there. And next it became a legend. I would like to go to Loch Ness to see the lake. I saw a movie about this lake which is big and has lot of sediment from nearby mountains. It is not pure and I wouldn't see anything inside lake. But the landscape would be amazing. In my country (Poland) is a legend about Dragon from Wawel who lived in a cave by the Vistula River and it breathed fire. Knights fought with him and they were dying. There was a young shoemaker who made the artificial sheep with brimstone inside of it. He gave it for the dragon who ate the sheep and blew itself up. It was the funny story for children. Best wishes Bye

Submitted by Mazoon AL.Ghssani on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 08:31

I didn't go to Loch Ness before, but If I have a chance to go I would go certainly. Actually, I don't want to go there to see the monster I believe that there is no any monster there but just I want to see the beautiful lake and the landscape.

Submitted by Marey Saad on Mon, 28/09/2020 - 21:00

If I had money, I would travel in the world over.

Submitted by msoriano on Fri, 12/06/2020 - 18:23

Hi everyone! I don´t believed in Lonch ness monster really exist; In my opinion it was an invention to attract tourist, if really existed we would have evidence like photos. I have never been in Lonch Ness, I really like to go there because it is really beautiful you can appreciate a lot of landscapes.

Submitted by Bruno2020 on Tue, 12/05/2020 - 01:46

Well,I'd love to go for a visit to see Loch Ness.Probably it is a beautiful lake. who knows one day I go there.

Submitted by Patricia Zapata on Mon, 17/02/2020 - 16:30

Hello every one. I don't believe that the Loch Ness monster really exists. I think that it's a fantastic history that the people invented for tourism. But, I would like to visit Loch Ness. I know that this monster don't exists, but I thinks that this place could be a beauty lake and the landscapre must be wonderful.