Episode 18

Episode 18

Carolina and Emily don't seem to be enjoying the end-of-year party, but Adam and Jo enjoy talking about 'everyone' and informal ways of saying 'How are you?'



Hello and welcome to Episode 18 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. My name is Adam and my colleague Jo will be joining me later to talk about some of the language in the podcast.

Last time, Tess and Ravi talked about Shakespeare. Tess is a Shakespeare fan, and so am I, but Ravi? Well, I think 'boring' was the word he used – and some people seem to agree with him. We asked you to tell us what you think about Shakespeare and his plays. And some of you definitely agree with Ravi. Krig from Ukraine says 'I don't like Shakespeare very much. I think his plays are quite – boring.'

And nermin-m from Iraq read The Merchant of Venice at school but couldn't finish it because it was – wait for it – boring. Dhananjay Gupta from India had to read a Shakespeare poem in the 9th year of school. Dhananjay was told that Shakespeare is a very good writer but says 'maybe it is true – but I don't like his poem!'

But Shakespeare has a lot of fans out there. Mogtba from Sudan loves Shakespeare and thinks Antony and Cleopatra is 'an awesome play'. Roman_the_first from Russia didn't like Shakespeare very much when he studied him at school, but became a fan years later. He says 'I think Romeo and Juliet is the greatest story ever written about love – love that people are looking for and can't find.'

Farkhanda Bashir wrote a long and very interesting comment about Shakespeare, saying 'His works will make you laugh, cry, and (most of all) think'.

Laura1240 from Italy loves Shakespeare too. When she was only twelve years old she played the part of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet in her school play – in English! That must have been very difficult, Laura. I'm impressed! Did you know that Juliet is actually only one year older than Laura in the play? She's just 13.

Whether you're a fan or not, it seems that a lot of people around the world know a bit about Shakespeare, and even if they haven't read them or seen them, they often know the stories of some of his greatest plays, like Romeo and Juliet, King Lear or Macbeth. And, of course, some of the famous lines, like 'to be or not to be' from Hamlet.

And finally, Manasset, from Cameroon, agrees with Tess that foreigners are bigger fans of Shakespeare than the British. He says that they perform a lot of Shakespeare's plays in Cameroon but when you talk to British people about him, they don't know anything about him. 'Unbelievable,' says Manasset.

We also asked you to tell us about the most famous writers from your countries. And that was very interesting – so many writers that I didn't know about. I'm definitely going to find out more about some of them and read their work. You wrote about famous poets, like Taras Shevchenko from Ukraine, Alisher Navoi from Uzbekistan, the Vietnamese poet Nguyen Du, who Christine Ho tells us is famous for a poem called The Tale of Kieu.

Saagii wrote about Lkhagvasuren Bavuu, the Mongolian playwright – that's someone who writes plays – and NewAgeEnglish wrote about the Chinese writer Wu Cheng'en, who wrote the story of the Monkey King. Dhananjay Gupta thinks Munsi Premchand is one of the best writers in India. And Ayat Hasan from Bangladesh loves the Nobel Prize winner, Rabindranath Tagore. Abdalmonem from Sudan wrote about Tayeb Salih.

I could go on and on, but let me just give a really big thank you to all of you for sending comments, and I can't wait to start reading some of your famous writers.

Don't forget the Elementary Podcast app, which has a lot of helpful features for you. You can get it from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, or you can follow the link from the LearnEnglish website.

And now it's time to see what's happening with Carolina and her friends. Exams have finished and everyone knows their results, so it's time to relax and have a good time at the end-of-year party. Let's see if everyone has a good time.


Carolina – At the party

Carolina: Wow. Everyone's here.

Emily: Everyone and his mother, I think.

Carolina: Can you see Jamie?

Emily: Yeah. He's over there. Come on. Excuse me, sorry, thanks.

Jamie: Hi you two.

Emily: Hi Jamie.

Carolina: Hello.

Emily: Congratulations on your results, Jamie.

Jamie: Thanks.

Emily: So it's all finished.

Jamie: Yeah, three long years of hard work and now I've got my degree.

Emily: A 2:1 is a great result. Are you pleased?

Jamie: I'm really pleased. The last exam was a bit of a disaster, but well – it was all OK in the end.

Carolina: It's what he needed. A 2:1.

Emily: Is it?

Carolina: Yes. For the job in Borneo.

Emily: Oh.

Carolina: But he's not sure about it. Whether to go to Borneo or not. He's thinking about it, aren't you Jamie?

Jamie: Yeah, that's right. It's a big decision.

Emily: It certainly is.

Richard: Hey Jamie! My man! How're you doing?

Jamie: Hi Richard. How's it going?

Richard: Hey Jamie. There's two orang-utans, in the bathroom, and one of them's having a bath, and he – the orang-utan – gets into the bath and he says 'Ooh, ooh, oooh, oooh', and the other one says 'Well, put some cold water in then'… See you later, mate. We'll have a night out before you go.

Jamie: Sure, yeah. See you, Richard.

Carolina: Why did he tell you that joke?

Jamie: Huh?

Carolina: That joke. About orang-utans. And he said 'We'll have a night out before you go'.

Jamie: I don't know. I, er, he … maybe, maybe I told him about the job in Borneo. I don't remember.

Carolina: But we agreed. Not to tell anyone about it yet. Not until you've decided.

Jamie: Yeah, yeah we agreed, that's right. OK. I'm sorry.

Carolina: Have you decided?

Jamie: No.

Emily: Oh lord. Look. There's Cameron. He's coming this way.

Carolina: No! What's he doing here? This is a student party. He isn't a student.

Jamie: I invited him.

Cameron: Hello!

Jamie: Hi Cameron.

Carolina: Hello.

Cameron: Hello Emily.

Emily: Cameron.

Cameron: I haven't seen you for a long time.

Emily: That's true.

Cameron: How are you?

Emily: Fine, thanks. And you?

Cameron: Great. You look fantastic.

Emily: Do I?

Cameron: Hey, Jamie. I heard this joke and I thought of you. There are two orang-utans in Borneo in the forest and one says …

Emily: I'm going to get another drink.

Carolina: I'm coming with you.


Jo and Adam

Adam: And here's Jo back with us again.

Jo: Hello everybody. Wow. What a difficult situation!

Adam: Which one? Emily meeting Cameron?

Jo: Well, yes, that was a bit embarrassing for her. And Jamie's friend talking about orang-utans too! I don't think Carolina and Emily are enjoying the party very much.

Adam: Nor do I. I liked the orang-utan joke though.

Jo: Me too. I’m terrible at remembering jokes. Have you got any good jokes, Adam?

Adam: Erm, erm, here’s one. I’m very good friends with 25 letters of the alphabet. I don’t know Y.

Jo: That’s a brilliant joke, I’ll have to try and remember that one.

Adam: It’s not mine. I heard a comedian called Chris Turner tell it. I’m sure you know some great jokes, listeners. Leave them in the comments for this episode at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish. And now let's look at some of the language from the podcast.

Jo: There are two things I want to look at today. Listen to Carolina when she arrives at the party.

Carolina: Wow. Everyone's here.

Jo: 'Everyone's here.' My students often ask 'What's the difference between everyone and everybody?' And the answer is there's no difference at all. You can use the one that you prefer. When I said hello a minute ago, I said 'Hello everybody'.

Adam: But I'm sure in some podcasts Jo said 'Hi everyone'. There really is no difference at all.

Jo: Do you think 'everyone' or 'everybody' is singular or plural? Listen again to Carolina.

Carolina: Wow. Everyone's here.

Jo: 'Everyone's here'. 'Everyone is'. It's singular. It seems very strange, because 'everyone' sounds like a lot of people, but grammatically it's singular.

Adam: So we say 'everyone agrees with me'.

Jo: Or 'everybody was happy'. We use a singular verb.

Adam: Or 'Is everyone happy?' or 'Does everybody agree?'

Jo: There are exercises on the website to help you with this – and other language from the podcast too.

Adam: Including ways of saying hello and goodbye. Listen to Jamie and his friend.

Richard: Hey Jamie! My man! How're you doing?

Jamie: Hi Richard. How's it going?

Jo: 'How're you doing?' or 'How's it going?' are informal ways of saying 'How are you?'

Adam: Look at the exercises on the website for more examples. And that's all we've got time for today. See you next time.

Jo/Adam: Bye!


Language level

Average: 2 (9 votes)
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Submitted by jmajo on Fri, 09/04/2021 - 15:17

A fox goes into a forest and walk trough it for a wile, then he sees a parrot standing in the branch of a tall tree and tells him, 'Hey, how are you? I haven't seen you for a long time, come down here and let's have a chat' and the parrot tells him: 'mmmhh, I'm fine thanks but I prefer to talk to you from here, I feel a bit more safe from you', then the fox says: 'Ooohh, don't be silly, you think I want to eat you? Well you're wrong, don't you heard about the new law that says that animals can't eat each other anymore, come on, come down and let's hang out to celebrate', then the parrot think and says: '...I didn't know about that law, but it's a good thing isn't it?' and decided to get down from the tree and meet the fox but when he was going down a Puma comes into the forest and see the Fox, then the Puma started to chase the Fox to eat it, then the parrot sees the situation and shouted to the fox: 'Hey!, don't run away, tell him about the new law!!!'........... Gordon or Ravi's jokes about animals were great! Thanks for the episode. Great site!!
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Submitted by danisep on Mon, 23/11/2020 - 20:45

Let me look for some Colombian jokes. 1. There was a couple, and the wife tells his husband, honey I would like to have a wonderful weekend and her husband answers all right, see you on Monday. 2. There was a baby so ugly that needed to learn to walk at 4 months because nobody wants to carry him. 3. there was a senior woman really old that when she was born, the river Thames it wasn’t had arrive to London.

Submitted by Marey Saad on Mon, 12/10/2020 - 16:48

I'll tell you a nice joke which I still remember from series 2, to be exact the last episode, Gordon the producer told this joke. " There was a man hates his wife's car so much, one day he when his wife is away he decided to take the cat away, so he put the cat in a package and take it away and come back home, when he arrived home, he found the cat in front of him, he did that again with the same result, so the third time he decided to take far far away, so he drove to mountains and took it left and right and threw the cat, after a while, he called his wife and asked her if the cat was there, the wife said " yes, it's here" he said " give him the phone, I wanna ask him about the way home". Thanks

Submitted by User_User on Wed, 23/10/2019 - 16:54

Hello Spelling and pronunciation of names and locations: In this episode there were many foreign names. I live in Germany. If I have a foreign name (e.g. a new employee) then mustn't pronounce it how it is written in German, but I must pronounce it like the foreigner would say that name. Spelling and pronunciation can be very different! Particular locations (Towns, Rivers, ...) are often different pronounced as written. Bye

Submitted by parisaach on Tue, 18/06/2019 - 07:42

When I was a child there was no cell phone around and one of our hobbies was to tell jokes . my friends told good jokes but I ve never had a good memory to remind a joke so I had a notebook and I wrote down the jokes I heard. When I became older and mobile phones became popular, I've started to send jokes to my friends and they've sent me good ones back . It was really fun sometimes I sent messages to wrong persons and it was so embarrassing. Today I barely send text jokes . I think the shape of jokes are different now . the text jokes are replaced by funny images and videos. Anyway you want us to tell a joke. As I said I don't have a good memory to keep jokes in my mind. Besides I think most of them wont be funny for you , cause they are about my country, famous people of my country, some of them are language related jokes, and totally they are national. by the way let me tell one of the old banal ones: "two chinese once collided and they broke" as a explain I should say in my language chinese people and dishes (chinaware) are the same.
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Submitted by krig on Thu, 20/09/2018 - 06:13

One man sells wristwatch on the street and says: "Buy my watch - it's an exact copy of swiss watch!" Another man says: "Excellent, I take it. There you are an exact copy of money! "

Submitted by Shiiya on Thu, 14/06/2018 - 13:25

Hello, I´ve never ever told a joke in my whole life because I am such a shy person and I think I am not a funny guy , actually I would like to be good at with jokes it is a good way to "break an ice" among people and of course it is funny too

Submitted by Hal55 on Thu, 24/05/2018 - 22:40

Why was six afraid of seven?? Because, Seven ate nine.