Episode 02

Episode 02

Carolina and Emily are also back for Series 4! Along with Jo and Adam, they talk about the time of year when bargains can be had – the January sales!


Jo and Adam

Adam: Hello! And welcome to Episode 2 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. My name's Adam and my colleague Jo will be joining us later on to talk about some of the language in the podcast.

It was great to start reading all your comments again. A lot of comments were from old friends of the podcast from Series 3, 2 or even Series 1. Zara from Venezuela sent her greetings, and both Shnider from Egypt and Saulo from Brazil said 'welcome back'. Predkambrij from Slovenia and Dilshadcan from Iraq told us how the podcasts helped with their English. If you want to get the most out of the podcasts, remember to do the exercises as well as listening to the audio.

And thank you to everyone, like Andeo from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who welcomed Jo to the podcast team. We’re both really looking forward to working with you over the rest of the podcasts, whether you listen to them on the website or via our mobile app. You can find the LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts app by searching the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and there’s also a link on the LearnEnglish website.

I'm sure you remember the last episode was about the British and pets – and we asked you to tell us about your pets and the most popular pets in your country. And what a variety of pets you told us about!

Andeo talked about his dog Žućo, whose name means 'yellow’. Fabimuc from Colombia has a dog called Tango, who's only three months old. Aww! Jamir is also from Colombia and he used to fight with his siblings because they all wanted their cats in their beds at night!

Lam Tran from Vietnam said that, although dogs and cats are the most popular pets in his country, rabbits and hamsters have become more popular recently.

You told us about keeping cats, turtles, birds – like canaries or pigeons – sheep and even a frog! But you aren't all pet lovers! Lisa-chriki's husband had three rabbits as pets but Lisa didn't like the smell so he couldn't keep them. It’s important to think carefully before you get a pet because it can be a lot harder to give a pet away than to get one.

A lot of people made the point that keeping a pet, or not, depends on the culture of your country and the standard of living. Chocolar said that, in his part of West Africa, only a few people have money to look after pets – it's more important to look after people. In some places it's unusual to keep pets like dogs or cats, but people take good care of their cows, sheep and goats.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment – we really enjoy reading them and hearing what you think. It’s really interesting to read different answers to our questions from users all over the world.

Now it's time to hear from another old friend – Carolina. Carolina is from Venezuela, but she's living and studying in Newcastle in the north-east of England at the moment. She has a best friend called Emily and a boyfriend called Jamie. Let's see what she's doing today.



Carolina – At the shopping centre

Carolina: Oh. What a lot of people!

Emily: Well, yes. It's the first day of the sales. People go crazy. Let's go in here. I like their jeans.

Carolina: So do I. Oh, it's very crowded.

Emily: Come on. The jeans are over here.

Carolina: Excuse me … Um … Excuse me, please … excuse me.

Emily: What are you doing?

Carolina: Trying to get past the people.

Emily: You can't just say ‘Excuse me, excuse me’. You have to push. Like this. Look. Excuse me! Follow me!

Emily: These jackets are nice.

Carolina: Yes.

Woman: Excuse me. Excuse me.

Carolina: Aaargh!

Emily: Are you OK?

Carolina: That woman pushed me into the jackets. I nearly fell over. I thought the British were polite!

Emily: Not in the sales. Come on. The jeans are over there.


Emily: Well, I've got my jeans. What's next? What do you want to get?

Carolina: Well, you know. I'm being careful with my money.

Emily: I know – that's why we're here – at the sales. You can buy something. Oh, let's go in here. They've got really, really cheap T-shirts. Like two pounds each.

Carolina: No, I don't think so.

Emily: Why not? Look. Special sales offer. Two T-shirts for the price of one. Come on.

Carolina: Jamie told me about this shop.

Emily: Told you what?

Carolina: It isn't ethical. We shouldn't buy things there.

Emily: Oh, lord! What do you mean, it isn't ethical?

Carolina: The T-shirts are very cheap because they don't pay the workers enough money. They make them work long hours in terrible conditions.

Emily: Oh.

Carolina: Let's go for a coffee. I'll pay.

Emily: OK. You know you could buy four T-shirts for the price of two coffees, don't you? I mean, I understand what you mean, but …


Waitress: Here you are. Two coffees.

Carolina and Emily: Thanks.

Carolina: I don't think I like the first day of the sales.

Emily: We've only been in one shop!

Carolina: I know. Anyway, how are things going in your exciting new love life? With Cameron.

Emily: ‘Exciting new love life’? It's going quite well.

Carolina: Only ‘quite’ well?

Emily: Oh, OK. It's going very well. I really like him. I don't see him very often – he's busy working in the bookshop, and practising with the band – but it's good. I'm happy.

Carolina: I'm sooo glad, Emily.

Emily: He says he's going to write a song for me.

Carolina: No!

Emily: Can you imagine?

Carolina: Not really. ‘Oh Emily, with your lovely blue eyes, and your yellow hair’ – dang dang dang.

Emily: Blonde hair, please, Carolina. Not yellow.

Carolina: I can't wait to hear the song.


Jo and Adam

Adam: Phew! I don’t like crowds, but I love finding a bargain, something cheaper than usual. Jo is here with us again today – do you like the sales, Jo?

Jo: I do. But the January sales are a really big thing in Britain, aren't they?

Adam: That's right. Some people queue outside the big shops all night. They sleep in the streets waiting for the shops to open in the morning.

Jo: Oh, I’ve never done that. That’s crazy! Sleeping on the streets just to get a bargain?

Adam: Absolutely. But now let's talk about some of the language from the podcast. Jo?

Jo: Well, I want to talk about two common verbs – 'can' and 'should'. 'Can' and 'should' are both modal verbs. And modal verbs are different from verbs like 'go' or 'like'. Listen to Emily. What form of the verb follows 'can'?

Carolina: Well, you know. I'm being careful with my money.

Emily: I know – that's why we're here – at the sales. You can buy something.

Adam: 'You can buy something.’

Jo: That's right. 'Can buy', not 'can to buy'. We use the infinitive form of the verb but without 'to'. Now listen to Carolina.

Carolina: I can't wait to hear the song.

Jo: The negative of 'can' is 'can't'. 'I can't wait'.

Adam: Or 'I can't decide what to have for dinner tonight'.

Jo: And 'should' is the same. After 'should' we use a verb without 'to'.

Adam: And the negative is 'shouldn't'.

Jo: Listen to Carolina.

Carolina: It isn't ethical. We shouldn't buy things there.

Jo: Notice the pronunciation of 'should' and 'shouldn't'. It's spelt with an L – 'S-H-O-U-L-D', but the L is silent – we don't say it.

Adam: One more thing about modal verbs – we make a question by changing the word order – we don't use 'do' or 'did' to make a question. For example, 'Can you help me?'

Jo: Or 'What make of computer should I buy?'

Adam: Why don't you write and tell us what you think about sales? Do you love them or hate them? When's the most popular time for sales in your country? The address is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish.

Jo: And there are exercises on the website to help you with the language from the podcast – including 'can' and 'should'.

Adam: So, see you next time. Bye!

Jo: Bye!



Average: 5 (2 votes)

Submitted by Nilay. on Tue, 10/10/2023 - 11:27


I am happy about the sales. I really like them. When there is a sale, I can buy more things for less money. In my country(TURKEY), the best time for sales is at the end of the season. For example, when summer starts, you can buy winter items for a cheaper price. I think the end of the season is the best time for shopping. Also, there are many places to shop in my country. You can shop in stores, bazaars, or shopping malls. You can find sales everywhere

Submitted by Sıtkı76 on Tue, 20/06/2023 - 12:10


I like shopping as every woman. But it is important for me that what shooping. İf I shopping for house needs, it is not enjoyable for me. But İf I shopping for my needs for example makeup or clothers it is very enjoyable. Nowadays every people effected the economik crisis as mine. So I attention my shopping. We separate shopping for monhty. For axample we decided this month is personel care shopping. everyone listed personel care needs and I set aside some money for this. We check the that list and adjust according the our budget. Than we buy the needs. next month will be clothers, the other month will be elektronik items..

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Submitted by Muniraalsharif on Thu, 08/06/2023 - 09:32


No one don't love sales, but it's hard to find sizes and good picas, as for my country discount season I'm not sure when but usually the shops make their sales at the end of the year.

Submitted by Khalid waleed on Sat, 23/10/2021 - 01:40


A actually I like to get sales especially for electronics items. Add, in my country
the most time for sale is in end of year, Most of sale find into big and famous markets.

Submitted by jmajo on Tue, 26/01/2021 - 18:04

I don't have a particular feeling about the sales because I only buy something when I need it, I don't use to wait until sales time to buy the things I need and I think people should buy things only when they really need them, for instance, if I only will use 2 pairs of shoes why should I buy another one only because is cheap. I think sales and bargains are good when people really need what they buy, lots of people in my country buy clothes and stuff on sales and then they use it only once, that's problematic consumerism. I'm not sure when's the most popular time for sales in my country but I've noticed that in the time between seasons(for instance summer-autumn) all shops that sell clothes reduce the prices for the summer clothes to get rid of it before the autumn comes. Thanks for the episode. Great site!!
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Submitted by Czar Aaron on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 15:29

Hi English writers ;) It is very well to write your opinion about your country sales. Also there are sales in Poland. Polish people loves discounts which is why shops constantly show discounts on some products. Of course there are special occasions like autumn clothes sales or opening the new shops where they offer many good bargains. Then there are queues and a crowd. I remember once special occasion in Warsaw. I appeared in front of the shop early morning. Polish people stayed very polite in the queue. The shop door was closed yet. When the doors was opened, people ran into the shop to catch products. This is always very fanny and sometimes these actions are shown on the Internet. However, I achieved the leather wallet and the leather gloves with reduced price there. Indeed I like discounts and I always read ingredients of each product because the palm oil is no good for the environment and I like products with more meat. I make shopping in UK and discounts are here also. As well as many shops have the special card for their clients. Then the prices are cheaper. It is great idea! Best wishes for everyone Let good bargains be in your stores

Submitted by Bruno2020 on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 16:38

hello from Brazil! Well,sales can be fantastic if there are true sales in the shops.Nowadays in Brazil there is black friday,which means on black friday the prices are lower,but the truth is here in Brazil,the shops keep the same prices,whether is black friday or not.So,it doesn't make any sense to buy things in those false sales events.
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Submitted by kamicounciler on Thu, 09/01/2020 - 19:43

yes sales can be great,i d love sales specially on digital goods. in our country iran , there isnt a definit time for sales.
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Submitted by Sergey Sh on Mon, 07/10/2019 - 07:14

I guess everybody loves bargains as evidenced by always lots of people there at these events. I can’t but notice that many becomes a bit crazy amid something store announced big discounts. As long as you are crowded by loads of people trying to push each other, all that can make you unfocused and distracted, so you can’t do purchase properly. I mean myself. That’s why I dislike these events when it’s so crowded that can contribute to my head hurts, so those who doesn’t know me enough find it to be stranger enough why I avoid from being there. Even when there is almost empty at some shop it’s always getting hard for me to do shopping cause I tend to hesitate a lot trying to make a good choice between several things. There is my own approach of how to be on sales without being crowded. I prefer doing it by means of internet. There are sales occurs there from time to time as well. The most popular places for sales are some big and famous shops as a rule and it doesn’t matter what season of the year is outside. You just come and they ask you whether you wanna get a discount card but besides after you took them your phone number, you are always up to date when the next sales coming.

Submitted by parisaach on Tue, 21/05/2019 - 07:37

In my country nearly all of clothes shops have end-of-season sales in the end of summer and winter. They sale clothes to empty their stocks and bring new season clothes. Another time that people like to buy cheap things in my country, is the day before our new year. I remember when I was young I liked to go out with my sister the last day of year and we usually went to Bazar [the biggest market in my city]. There were many shops and venders around venders sold very cheap and interesting things and shopkeepers brang their wares outside and they sold things cheaper. We enjoyed of buying cheaper goods though it was so crowded. Now I don't like to go to those places in the end of year because I really don't enjoy of buying the things I want when all the people push you and, wait long time to using fitting room. Actually I hate buying in crowded places I'd rather buy when the shops are empty and quiet.