Episode 07

Episode 07

Tess and Ravi are back to talk about shopping in London, and Jo and Adam look at how to use the word 'too' in different ways.



Adam: Hello and welcome to Episode 7 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. My name is Adam and, as usual, my colleague Jo will be joining me later to talk about some of the language in the podcast.

If you remember, in the last episode Carolina and Jamie were having a rather angry conversation in the kitchen. Chr1xm said that it was like a Mexican ‘TV novella’ – that’s funny! They were also preparing their dinner together – they were making mashed potatoes. So we asked you to send us your comments about whether or not you cook and eat at home, if you enjoy cooking – and your favourite ways of eating potatoes!

And a lot of you, like me, really like cooking and making fresh food at home.

Elenapinna from Italy cooks fresh food at home every day. Kochaina from Poland enjoys getting together with friends and family and cooking and eating together and Fatima Lucas Ramos from Portugal usually cooks the family meals at home. And Inna Yeshchenko likes cooking very much – she says it's a way for her to relax and feel like an artist! I know exactly what you mean Inna.

And as for potatoes, well, it seems that everybody likes them – baked, roasted, boiled, mashed – with cream cheese as Stellamaris from Brazil cooks them – that sounds delicious! A lot of you think that fried potatoes are the most delicious, but some people, like Icimachado from Brazil, avoid them because they're high in calories and maybe not very healthy. Now you’re making me feel guilty!

A lot of you talked about wanting to eat healthy food. Mayes2112013 from United Arab Emirates has a small daughter, so cooks at home every day to give her and the family healthy food. Good on you!

But it isn't always easy to cook at home – you might have to eat lunch in a restaurant. Or in the university canteen, like Van Su from Vietnam. Van Su would prefer to cook at home, but it isn't allowed in the university dormitory.

Of course, not everybody is a cook. Like Van Su, Ivan Rublev from Russia is leaving home this year to go to university and is beginning to worry about learning to cook! So far, his mother and grandmother have done all the cooking for him.

For all those 'non-cooks' out there, Kindman74 from Algeria has a good idea – why not try the episode's recipe for mashed potatoes? It's Activity 6 on the Series 4, Episode 6 page.

So thanks for all your comments and please keep sending them in. And don't forget the Elementary Podcasts app – you can download it from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, or follow the link on the LearnEnglish website. It has a lot of helpful features, including a transcript so you can read the script and listen at the same time.

Now it's time to hear from Tess and Ravi again. And, as usual, they're going to talk about something that people think of when they think of Britain. And this time it's an activity that a lot of you said you like doing when you're in Britain, especially in London.


Tess and Ravi

Tess: Hello again. My name's Tess.

Ravi: And I'm Ravi.

Tess: What do you think about when you hear the word 'Britain'? Bad weather? Football? Fish and chips? You told us that you think of all of these things.

Ravi: And of course, a lot of you think of London. We've already talked about Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, but there were lots of other places that you were interested in.

Tess: Places and activities. One of your favourite things to do in London is … shopping.

Ravi: Hurray! It's my favourite too. Forget the museums, let's go shopping!

Tess: Or let's go shopping in the museums. I love museum shops.

Ravi: I was thinking about clothes, shoes – real shopping.

Tess: Ah. Real shopping. Sorry. So where's your favourite shopping place in London, Ravi?

Ravi: Where shall I begin? Oxford Street, Covent Garden, the markets, gosh – there are hundreds. What shall we talk about first?

Tess: Oxford Street. Oxford Street is probably the most famous shopping street in London. The first thing to say is how long it is. It's one and a half miles from one end to the other.

Ravi: About three kilometres.

Tess: More or less. And there are five hundred and forty-eight shops.

Ravi: Heaven!

Tess: It’s famous for the big department stores – the really big shops – and all the big name shops are there.

Ravi: Aaah. Christmas shopping in Oxford Street, with the lights and the window decorations …

Tess: My idea of hell. Too many people for me. Too busy.

Ravi: So where do you go shopping?

Tess: I like Covent Garden. There's the market and the shops too. You can get more unusual things there, and there are street performers and artists and music. It's got a great atmosphere.

Ravi: And great restaurants. Do you know why it’s called Covent Garden?

Tess: I’m glad you asked me that – I looked it up. In the thirteenth century it was a convent, you know with monks and nuns, and they had a really big garden and they produced lots of fruit and vegetables. So 'Covent Garden' comes from 'convent garden'.

Ravi: Yeah, I looked it up too. I was going to say that.

Tess: Then later, the place became a fruit and vegetable market until 1974 when it moved. They kept the original buildings and opened a new market selling all sorts of interesting things. Next time you're in the old market, look up.

Ravi: Look up?

Tess: Look up – at the top of the lights. On top of each light there's a pineapple.

Ravi: Pineapple the fruit?

Tess: Yes. It shows how important fruit and vegetables were to Covent Garden.

Ravi: I'll look next time I'm there. Talking about markets, you know, I think my favourite is Portobello Road.

Tess: Yeah, on Saturdays. It's great.

Ravi: Some really good second-hand shops.

Tess: I didn't know you liked second-hand, Ravi. I can't imagine you wearing somebody's old clothes.

Ravi: Designer second-hand, Tess, good quality. Not just 'old clothes'.

Tess: And don't forget Camden Market. Lots of things from India, the Middle East, jewellery, handicrafts, antiques.

Ravi: And it's such a nice place, with the canal. It's open every day I think.

Tess: Yes, it is.

Ravi: That's perfect. Covent Garden on Friday, Portobello market on Saturday, Camden Market on Sunday, and Oxford Street for the rest of the week. A perfect holiday!


Jo and Adam

Adam: Hello again, Jo.

Jo: Hi, everybody.

Adam: That was interesting about Covent Garden, wasn't it?

Jo: Yes, it was. I love going to Covent Garden, but I didn't know about the history – or the pineapples.

Adam: I’m usually too busy when I visit London to go to any special areas to shop. It’s a shame, because London has more interesting shops than my city.

Jo: There aren’t any shops at all in the village where I live, so I do most of my shopping on the internet these days.

Adam: Wow, so you have to wait for everything to come in the post. What about you, listeners? What are your favourite places to go shopping where you live? Do you like shopping centres? Markets?

Jo: And have you been to any of the places in London that Tess and Ravi talked about? Or would you like to?

Adam: Why don't you write and tell us? The address is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish.

Jo: Now, let's look at some of the language from the podcast. Listen to Tess and Ravi. Tess doesn't like shopping in Oxford Street at Christmas. Why not?

Ravi: Aaah. Christmas shopping in Oxford Street, with the lights and the window decorations …

Tess: My idea of hell. Too many people for me. Too busy.

Jo: Tess doesn't like Oxford Street because there are 'too many people' and 'it's too busy'. That's 'too' spelt 'T-O-O'. T double O. We use 'too' when something is more than we want or like. For example, 'I don't like this cake – it's too sweet for me'. I like cakes, and I like some sweet things, but this one is too sweet – it’s more sweet than I like.

Adam: You can use 'too' with any adjective. 'It's too hot today.' 'I'm too tired to go to the gym.' 'My house is too small – I need to move.'

Jo: And with nouns we use 'too many' or 'too much'. 'Too many' if the noun is countable – 'there are too many people' – or 'too much' if the noun is uncountable.

Adam: 'You drink too much coffee – it isn't good for you.'

Jo: Don't forget that 'too' is saying that you don't like something – it's more than you want or like. It doesn't mean the same as 'very' or 'very much'. There are some exercises on the website to help you with this.

Adam: And I think that's everything for this podcast. Don't forget to send us your thoughts about shopping …

Jo: ... where you live or in London.

Adam: And we'll see you next time. Thanks for listening!

Jo/Adam: Bye!



Average: 5 (2 votes)
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Submitted by karla olivos on Wed, 17/03/2021 - 02:59

My favorite places to go shopping where I live is the coppel department store and the Bodega Aurrera supermarket, there are only markets but if I like shopping centers they are still not where I live

Submitted by Jesús macedo on Wed, 17/03/2021 - 02:14

My favorite places to go shopping where I live is the supermarket and the center of my municipality, there are only supermarkets and a department store.

Submitted by jmajo on Fri, 12/02/2021 - 15:52

I usually buy online most of the things I need, but when I need vegetables and fruit I use to go to the local supermarket where I can find most of the things I need. I don't like the shopping centres because they're most of the times too crowded and the things are more expensive than the local weekly markets. I never been in London but I'd like to go someday to visit the London street food markets because I saw some videos of it on the internet and it looks very interesting. Also I'd like to see the buskers or street artists of those streets which Tess and Ravi talked about in the podcast. Thanks for the episode. Great site!!

Submitted by MS on Mon, 07/09/2020 - 19:13

I like clothing but i don't like to go to shopping its waste of time and i got tired but i love street market, traditional market that buys old things about the country you have there, in my city i like going to shopping center such as panorama mall.

Submitted by SamerTJ on Tue, 09/06/2020 - 08:17

I hate clothes shopping. there are hundreds of choices, lots of people and in my opinion, all of the clothes are the same. I used to pay for my brother to go and buy me some clothes, in addition to allowing him to wear my new clothes for a week. But now it is better with online shopping. :-) Actually I like going to antique shops, I can spend all my day shopping there because they have a lot of amazing stuff. OMG, I think I am a very old-fashioned man. I've just recognized that...

Submitted by Leonardo Lisboa on Sun, 07/06/2020 - 20:57

I don't like shopping in fact, but when I need (christhmas for example) I like shopping in the main street of the city where I live, called "big street". I would like to go to convent garden in London, I just love the description that Tess did.

Submitted by Bruno2020 on Tue, 26/05/2020 - 21:37

Hi everyone! I'd love to watch a football match in Britain!It would be fantastic...

Submitted by georassvet on Wed, 03/04/2019 - 18:14

Hello everyone! My name is Sergey and my friend name is Marina. We study English together. My opinion is that I know thing that I want to buy, I have some shops where I usually buy. Marina opinion is that she searches things in online stocks because she likes minimalism of buying, every thing must be important and need.

Submitted by nikoslado on Fri, 15/02/2019 - 19:27

Dear teachers, Before I almost ask my question you already replied kindly... So,I will not be tired of saying that you are the best we would expect to find all of us trying to learn the English language but not having the corresponding financial means and knowledge. I'd like also you to convey my thanks to the British Council for its social education offer.Keep in doing it. We all need you... Nikos