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Episode 04

In the episode Tess and Ravi talk about how they’re feeling, and their guests talk about Bob Marley, an unusual festival and British money. You can follow Carolina’s journey by train from London to Newcastle. Will she catch her train?

Elementary Podcasts

Listen to the podcast then do the first exercise to check your understanding. If you have more time choose some of the language practice exercises.

Check your understanding


Tess and Ravi

Practise the language you heard in Tess and Ravi’s introduction [00:20].

Task 1



Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [13:03].

Task 1


Task 2


Tom the teacher

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [20:10].

Task 1


Task 2




Language level

Intermediate: B1
Pre-intermediate: A2


Can you explain something in transcript. Thanks for that !

Ravi: Right, that’s almost the end but we can’t go before we hear from Gordon, our producer. Hey, Gordon, I’ve got a joke for you this week.
Gordon: Oh yes? Erm, come on then, let’s hear it.
Ravi: OK. What’s red and invisible?
Gordon: Erm, I don’t know. What’s red and invisible?
Ravi: No tomatoes!
Gordon: Ho, ho, ho! That’s worse than mine. Leave the jokes to me Ravi.

I didn't undersrand what Ravi and Gordon talking in the converstation. "what's red and invisiable" and "No tomatoes", what were they talking ? what they mean?
Gordon: Yeah. A little while after that there’s a very sad scene. The dog starts crying its eyes out.
a bit strange at this phrase " its eyes out", is there a missing verb here, "its eyes are out"? if I'm wrong, can you tell me the structure in the sentence "The dog starts crying its eyes out.",which is subject, verb, object or anything else ?

Hello mitykg,

The comment about the tomatoes is a joke and is supposed to be absurd. Tomatoes are red, obviously, and you can't see them because there are none. It's very silly, which is why Gordon reacts as he does.

The phrase 'cry your (my/his etc) eyes out' is a fixed expression. It means to cry very hard. The implication is someone cried so hard that their eyes fell out.



The LearnEnglish Team

in Download Support pack and Transcript 1003KB/ Section 5 – Your turn there is a senstence.
"A good, serious book is always better than the film". Is it correct to compare objectives with using definitive article in one part (film) and indefinite article in the another (book)?
thank you

Hi ATi,

This is possible when the context has already told us something about the second noun. For example, if the context is that we are discussing a restaurant that has particularly poor food, you could say 'A homemade meal is always better than the lasagna', where 'the lasagna' refers to the unfortunate lasagna that the restaurant makes.

In this case, the sentence is understood to mean '... better than the film version of the book' and so this contextual information also makes it OK. 

Otherwise, as far as I can think, it would be unusual to have this kind of combination. As you are probably thinking, it would be better to use two definite or two indefinite articles.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Kirk or Peter. Could you help me!

in transcript,
Tess: You’re joking. I can’t watch TV for that long. I get bored. Anyway, I didn’t really like Lord of the Rings. I liked the book. The film’s never as good as the book, I think.

"Anyway, I didn’t really like Lord of the Rings. I liked the book."
To tell about hobbies, we often use simple present but in this case, why Tess uses simple past to tell about her hobbies? does she like books at the present ?
in transcript
Ravi: I haven’t read the book so I don’t know but, believe it or not, that’s exactly the question we asked people in ‘Your Turn’ this week – ‘Which do you prefer – the book or the film?’

'Your Turn' have not happened yet while Ravi is talking in this case. Why he uses simple past, not simple future "that’s exactly the question we will ask people in ‘Your Turn’ this week ?

Hello mitykg,

Tess uses the past simple because she is talking about how she felt when she read the book. She's not talking about a hobby here but about one specific time in the past (how she felt when she read the book). If she was talking about hobbies then she would use the present simple, but the hobby would be reading in general, not the act of reaching one particular book.

Ravi uses the past simple because Your Turn is recorded before Ravi's programme. The questions have already been asked and the answers recorded even if they have not been shared with listeners yet.



The LearnEnglish Team

I'd like to meet Svyatoslav Vakarchuk. He's not only very talented Ukrainian musician but also (it's very important for me) a honest man. In difference of some other stars he doesn't lead a double life. He is a patriot as well and expresses very true views about what is happening in our country and what Ukraine should be like. Who knows may be someday he will become our president.

I have two questions in Task 7 ( Series 1 Episode 4)
1. when Ravi told his joke to Gordon "What’s red and invisible" and the answer is "no tomatoes" - "no tomatoes" what does it mean ?
2. The joke of Gordon - when he said "“It is amazing. He hated the book” - I can't get it too
Thank you for your help on this.

Hi HanhTran,

The idea behind the first joke is that something red is a tomato, but since the joke asks what is red and invisible, non-existent tomatoes ('no tomatoes') is the answer. As Gordon says, it's a pretty bad joke, so I wouldn't worry if you don't think it's funny or that it qualifies as a joke.

The idea behind Gordon's joke is that we expect the dog owner to think that it's amazing his dog understands human language (just like the man who observes the dog during the film). But instead of saying this, the dog owner takes for granted that his dog can understand language -- when he says that the dog didn't like the book that the film was based on, this implies that the dog can not only understand spoken English, but can also read it!

Does that make sense?

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I have a question about the information of Bob Marley in section 2
I heard the guest of "I'd like to meet section" talked that Bob Marley died in 1991
but in the transcript is 1981
Is he wrong ?
Thanks !