Episode 05

In this episode Tess and Ravi talk about pets, and their guests talk about Didier Drogba and life in New Zealand. You can also follow Carolina’s adventures in the UK as she arrives at her student accommodation in Newcastle. Will she make some new friends?

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.

Transcript

Section 1 - “I didn't know you had a dog!” – talking about pets

Ravi: Hello again and welcome to LearnEnglish Elementary podcast number five. I’m Ravi – from Manchester

Tess: And I’m Tess – from London. We’re here with Gordon – our producer. Hello Gordon.

Gordon: Hello!

Tess: …. and, as usual, we’ve got lots of interesting things for you to listen to. But first of all, do you want to know my big news for this week, Ravi?

Ravi: Let me guess. You’re going to be the star of a brand new Hollywood movie? You’ve won the lottery?

Tess: Not quite, Ravi. I’ve got a cat!

Ravi: Really?

Tess: Well, it’s just a baby cat – a kitten, but yes, I got him yesterday. He’s gorgeous.

Ravi: It’s a boy cat then? Where did you get him? Tess: Well, my friend Kate found him in the street. And Kate’s already got two cats so I said I’d take this one.

Ravi: What colour is he?

Tess: Well, he’s only small but he’s a brown tabby.

Ravi: What’s a tabby again? Is that the stripy one?

Tess: That’s it – tabbies are the ones with sort of dark stripes – like a tiger. He’s really lovely.

Ravi: What are you going to call him?

Tess: D’you know, I just don’t know. I’ve got lots of ideas for names but I can’t decide. I thought maybe you could help me. What would you call a cat?

Ravi: Hmm. That’s a difficult question. To be honest, Tess, I’m more of a dog person. I’ve never really thought about names for cats.

Tess: You don’t like cats?

Ravi: Well, it’s not that I don’t like cats. I just prefer dogs, that’s all. Anyway, I’ve got an idea, why don’t you call your cat ‘Gordon’.

Tess: Hmm. I don’t think so. I need to think of a name soon though, really. Anyway, let’s move on.

Section 2 – I’d like to meet

Tess: Let’s start with I’d Like to Meet. If you’re listening for the first time, I’d Like to Meet is the part of the show where someone tells us about the famous person – alive or dead – that they’d like to meet – and why. This time round we’ve got Olu with us. Hi Olu.

Olu: Hi Tess.

Tess: Where are you calling from Olu?

Olu: From West London.

Tess: And what do you do?

Olu: I’m still at school. In Year 12 Tess: OK. And who would you like to meet, Olu? Who are you going to talk to us about?

Olu: I’d like to meet Didier Drogba.

Ravi: Drogba? The footballer? Chelsea? You do know I’m from Manchester, don’t you, Olu? You know, Manchester United?

Olu: Yeah, well, it’s not just because he’s Chelsea.

Tess: Come on Olu – don’t listen to him. Why would you like to meet Didier Drogba? Tell us something about him.

Olu: Well, he’s a footballer – you already know that – and he’s from Ivory Coast, in West Africa, and he plays great football.

Tess: And do you like him because he’s a good footballer?

Olu: Well, I do, I like the way he plays and he scores some great goals and all that, but there’s more than that. He was born in Ivory Coast but he moved to France when he was five – he went on his own to live with his uncle. Imagine that – a five year-old boy moving to a new country by himself?

Tess: Wow.

Olu: And then he went back to Ivory Coast but moved back to France a bit after that. His family were really poor, you know, and they had to move around to look for work and that.

Tess: So did he start playing football in Ivory Coast?

Olu: No – in France. And this is another thing I like about him, see, most players at the really big clubs go there when they’re quite young but Drogba played for a few years with small teams and worked his way up, through hard work. He was 26, I think, when he went to Chelsea. But anyway, what I like him for most is that even though he’s made it now and he’s got loads of money and that he really hasn’t forgotten where he came from. He does loads of work for Unicef – he’s like an ambassador or something for them so he does all this charity work. Y’see, my dad came here from Nigeria when he was really small and, I’ve never been to Africa but all you see on TV is about problems in Africa all the time so it’s really good to see someone who comes from somewhere like Ivory Coast doing good things, you know.

Ravi: And Ivory Coast were in the World Cup in Germany, weren’t they?

Olu: Yeah. It’s the first time they’ve got to the World Cup Finals, and they did OK. Drogba was African footballer of the year as well.

Tess: And what would you like to say to Didier Drogba if you met him, Olu?

Olu: Erm, I guess I’d say thank you to him for the work he does for Africa and for showing people something good from Africa. And for scoring all those goals for Chelsea!

Ravi: Hmmm. I don’t know about that. But that was great Olu, thank you.

Tess: And don’t forget, we’d like to hear from you, our listeners. Tell us which famous person, dead or alive, you’d like to meet – and why. Email us at ‘learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org., that’s learnenglishpodcast - all one word – at - britishcouncil – all one word dot org, that’s o-r-g.

Ravi: I’ll tell you what Tess, why don’t you call your cat Didier? That’s a great name for a cat.

Tess: Hmm. I don’t think so, really.

Section 3 – Quiz

Tess: OK. Now it’s quiz time. What is it this time Ravi?

Ravi: It’s something a bit different today – we’ve got our two players joining us on the telephone – I hope – Hello Vineeta?

Vineeta: (on phone) Hi Ravi

Ravi: And hello Jason.

Jason: (on phone) Hello

Ravi: Jason – where are you from and how old are you?

Jason: Erm .. I’m 15 and I’m from Durham.

Ravi: Near Newcastle? That’s where Carolina is. What’s the weather like in Durham today Jason?

Jason: Not great, really. It’s a bit cloudy.

Ravi: Oh dear. How are things where you are Vineeta? Where are you?

Vineeta: I’m in Plymouth.

Ravi: OK Plymouth – we’ve got opposite ends of the country here, Durham and Plymouth. It’s north against south. Sorry, Vineeta, what’s the weather like in Plymouth?

Vineeta: Not too bad. Quite sunny.

Ravi: OK. Better than Durham. Right. Do you both know what you have to do? I’ll explain for our listeners. I’m going to ask Jason and Vineeta some questions. To answer, they press any button on their phone and we’ll hear a buzzer. Let’s hear yours Jason.

(sound of Jason’s buzzer)

Ravi: And yours Vineeta (sound of Vineeta’s buzzer)

Ravi: Great. Now, the quiz is called ‘Beginning With ..’ – your answer has to begin with the letter I give you – so if I say, for example, ‘a sport beginning with 'F’ you could say ‘football’. Let’s have a practice run to begin with. Fingers ready? An animal beginning with P

(Jason’s buzzer)

Ravi: Jason?

Jason: Polar bear

Ravi: Yes. OK then, let’s play. First one to three is the winner. Ready?

Jason & Vineeta: Ready

Ravi: OK then, let’s go. A vegetable beginning with ‘L’ (Jason’s buzzer)

Ravi: Jason!

Jason: Lettuce

Ravi: Right. One nil to Jason. A colour beginning with ‘Y’.

(Jason’s buzzer)

Ravi: Jason again.

Jason: Yellow

Ravi: Right. Two nil. Come on Vineeta. A bird beginning with ‘E’.

(Vineeta’s buzzer)

Ravi: Vineeta.

Vineeta: Eagle.

Ravi: Yes. Well done Vineeta. Two one. OK. A sport beginning with ‘G’

(Jason’s buzzer)

Ravi: Jason.

Jason: Golf

Ravi: Yes! That’s three for Jason so you’re the winner. Well done Jason. And bad luck Vineeta. He was just a bit quicker than you.

Vineeta: Yeah.

Ravi: But never mind. Well done to both of you and thank you both for playing. Now, Tess, a cat’s name beginning with …..

Tess: I wish I could decide. Remember listeners that if you’ve got any ideas for games we can play, we’d love to hear them. You can send them to the usual address..

Section 4 – Our person in

Tess: Right, now then. The next part of our podcast is Our Person In – the part of the show where we hear from different people around the world. You’ll like it this time Ravi – you like Lord of the Rings. Graham Baxter is …Our Man in New Zealand.

Graham: When I was a boy and I first read Lord of the Rings, I dreamt of visiting the places Tolkien, the author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, created. Hobbiton, Middle Earth, Mount Doom. Now, finally, I have found all of these places, here, in New Zealand.

Peter Jackson, who directed the Lord of the Rings films, was born in Wellington – the capital city of New Zealand. When he was looking for places to make the fantastic worlds he needed for his films he knew where to look. New Zealand has all kinds of scenery – and you can see a lot of it in the three films. The green hills of Matamata became Hobbiton and the Queenstown area became the Eregion Hills – and lots of other places – all with a little bit of help from computer magic.

People in New Zealand are proud of their country’s star role in the films but they are also happy at what Lord of the Rings has done to bring tourists to New Zealand. After the third film in the trilogy, The Return of the King, won 11 Oscars the number of tourists who visited New Zealand went up by 8%. More than a billion people have visited the Lord of the Rings website – fantastic publicity for this small country.

For me, this is my boyhood dream come true – a tour of the amazing worlds of Lord of the Rings – and all right here in New Zealand.

Ravi: Great. I’d love to go to New Zealand. I’ve always wanted to go.

Tess: Me too. The scenery sounds amazing. And it always looks so green in pictures.

Ravi: Yeah. It looks fantastic. Don’t forget listeners that we’d love to hear about the scenery or countryside in your country. Is there a special place you like to go or some especially famous countryside? You can write and tell us about it. As usual the address is learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org. Go on, why not write, we’re always happy to hear from our listeners?

Section 5 – Your turn

Tess: Now, for Your Turn this time, since I’ve got a new cat, we decided to ask people a very important question – “Which do you prefer - cats or dogs?” It’s a very simple question but people have very strong opinions. Let’s hear what they said.

Voice 1: Dogs. Definitely. Why? Look – if you’ve got a dog it really loves you. All cats care about is who feeds them. You can think a cat loves you but if someone else gives it food it’ll be gone.

Voice 2: Well, I’ve got two cats so I think you know what my answer will be. But cats are just so much easier to look after. With dogs you’ve got to take them for walks all the time and all of that and you have to clean up their poo – yeuch.

Voice 3: That’s easy. Dogs are noisy, smelly and stupid; cats are much more intelligent. If you’re sitting on your sofa, right, it’s lovely when a cat comes and sits on you and purrs. Would you want a big daft dog to come and sit on you?

Voice 4: Cats are just so boring. All they do is sit around and sleep all day. They’re selfish, basically. Dogs play with you and stuff. They’re fun, you know.

Voice 5: Well, to be honest, I’m not really an animal lover. I think it’s cruel to keep dogs in the city – they should be in the country. Cats make me sneeze and they’re a real problem if you want to go on holiday. If I had to have a pet I’d probably have a goldfish.

Ravi: Interesting. What about you Tess? Why do you prefer cats?

Tess: I just do. Cats are so much more intelligent than dogs, I think. I like dogs too but, you know, like the last person said, I think it’s a bit cruel to keep a dog in a small flat like mine.

Ravi: OK. What about you listeners? Cats or dogs – which do you prefer? You can write and let us know. It’s learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org. We’d love to hear from you.

Section 6 – Carolina

Tess: Right. Now it’s time to meet Carolina again. Carolina is from Venezuela and she’s come to the UK to live and study – and have fun! Last time we listened Carolina was on the train from London to Newcastle in the north of England, where she’s going to study at university. Let’s see what happened when she arrived in Newcastle. Another student is showing her round the student accommodation. 

Gemma: ... and if you get lost just ask someone. Anyway, this is the kitchen. Like I said, there are five of you in this flat and this is the kitchen for your flat. The other flats have all got their own kitchens. Right – I think that’s everything, I’m going to get back. I’m sure you want some time to unpack your stuff. Some of the other girls in your flat are here already. You’ll probably meet them here in the kitchen a bit later.

Carolina: OK. Thanks Gemma. Thanks for showing me around.

Gemma: No problem. I’ll probably see you around. OK. See you. I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Newcastle.

Carolina: Thanks. Bye

(in the shared kitchen )

Carolina: Erm. Hello. Charlotte: Hi. Oh! Are you in Room 4? Hi! Come in!

Carolina: Hi. Yes, I’m in Room 4. I’m Carolina.

Charlotte: Hi Carolina. I’m Charlotte. Nice to meet you. I’m in Room 2. We’re neighbours.

Carolina: Oh, right. Nice to meet you.

Emily: I’m Emily. I’m in number 1.

Carolina: Nice to meet you.

Emily: Nice to meet you.

Jenny: And I’m Jenny. Hi.

Carolina: Hi Jenny. Do you all know each other?

Jenny: No – we just met this afternoon. There’s another girl, Beth, but she’s not here at the moment. Have you just arrived? I’m sorry – I didn’t catch your name.

Carolina: Carolina. Yes, erm, I arrived about an hour ago.

Charlotte: Did you fly to Newcastle?

Carolina: No, erm, I got the train to Newcastle. I flew to London – to Heathrow.

Charlotte: Ah, OK. Where are you from?

Carolina: I’m from Venezuela.

Emily: Really? Wow! Have you flown from Venezuela today? You must be exhausted.

Carolina: Yes. I am actually. I just wanted to meet you all before I went to bed.

Jenny: What’s the time difference between here and Venezuela?

Carolina: It’s four hours behind here. So it’s seven o’clock in the evening in Venezuela now.

Charlotte: Do you want a cup of tea Carolina?

Carolina: Erm. .. No thanks. I’m going to go to bed. Erm. Do any of you know where we have to go to register tomorrow?

Emily: I do. I went there today. I can go with you if you want?

Carolina: Really? That would be great.

Jenny: Can I come too? I need to register as well. What course are you doing Carolina?

Carolina: Erm … Environmental Science. How about you?

Jenny: French and Politics. I think we have to register in the same place.

Emily: You do. It’s all in the same building. Shall we go at about nine tomorrow morning? Is that too early for you Carolina?

Carolina: No. Nine o’clock is OK. If that’s OK with you, sorry, erm …Jenny? Jenny: Nine’s fine. It’s a date! Now, you get yourself to bed Carolina – you look exhausted.

Carolina: OK. I am. Nice to meet you all. See you in the morning.

Charlotte/Jenny/Emily: Goodnight/See you tomorrow/See you in the morning.

Tess: Right. Carolina seems to be OK in Newcastle. Her flatmates sound nice.

Ravi: Yeah. How does it work? She doesn’t share a room with anyone, does she?

Tess: I don’t think so. I didn’t. Usually a ‘flat’ has four or five rooms – single rooms – and then those four or five people have a shared kitchen and maybe a shared bathroom too.

Ravi: Oh, OK. I see. Anyway, we’ll hear more about Carolina next time.

Section 7 – The Joke

Ravi: Now it’s time for …da-dah! Gordon and his amazing jokes. So what have you got for us today Gordon? Parrots? Talking dogs?

Gordon: Chickens. They can’t talk though.

Ravi: OK. Come on then. Let’s hear it.

Gordon: OK. A man is driving slowly down a country road when he sees a chicken run in front of his car. Nothing strange about that – but then, he notices that the chicken has three legs. "How strange" he thinks, "a three-legged chicken". He starts to drive a bit faster – 40 kilometres an hour - but the chicken goes faster too. He drives a bit faster – 70 kilometres an hour – but the three-legged chicken just runs faster too. The man goes faster and faster but the chicken keeps running. When they are both doing over one hundred kilometres an hour, the chicken turns a corner into a farm.

Quickly, the man stops his car. The farmyard is full of three-legged chickens. There are three-legged chickens everywhere. So, he sees the farmer in the farmyard and he asks him, “Where do all of these three-legged chickens come from? 

This is amazing”. “I breed them” says the farmer. “There are three of us, me, my wife and our son. We all like chicken legs, so … I made a three-legged chicken, so we can all have a leg at dinner time”. “Amazing” says the man, “How’s the meat? Does it taste good?”

“Well”, says the farmer, “I don’t know. We haven’t caught one of them yet.”

Tess: I don’t get it.

Ravi: Oh, Tess. They can’t catch the chickens because they’re so fast.

Tess: So do they taste good or not?

Ravi: Never mind Tess, never mind. Right. That’s all we’ve got time for this time but don’t go away. After this little break you’re going to hear Tom, our English teacher. After every show, Tom talks about the language you heard and gives you ideas to help you learn. So, don’t go away, but I’ll say goodbye now. See you next time.

Tess: Bye! Don’t forget to send us your emails! Here’s that address one more time. It’s learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org.

Tom the teacher

Tom:

Hi, my name’s Tom – you’ll hear from me at the end of every podcast. I’m going to talk about some of the language that you heard, and talk about ways to help you learn English. Today I want to talk about verbs. You probably know that most verbs in English are ‘regular’. That means that the forms are very easy to remember. For all regular verbs, we make the past form in the same way. We add ‘E, D’ (or just ‘D’ if the verb already ends in ‘E’). For example, the verb ‘look’. The verb is ‘look’ and to make the past form we just add ‘E,D’. ‘Looked’. And the verb ‘like’. It already ends in ‘E’ so we just add ‘D’ to make the past. ‘Liked’.

So far so good. But the bad news is that a lot of the most common English verbs, verbs that you need to use all the time, are ‘irregular’. This means that they don’t follow the same rule. ‘Have’ is an irregular verb. You already know that the past of ‘have’ isn’t ‘haved’ – it’s ‘had’. But there are a lot more of them.

Listen to part of Carolina’s conversation with her new flatmates. Can you hear the three different forms of the verb ‘fly’?

Charlotte: Did you fly to Newcastle?

Carolina: No, erm, I got the train to Newcastle. I flew to London – to Heathrow.

Charlotte: Ah, OK. Where are you from?

Carolina: I’m from Venezuela.

Emily: Really? Wow! Have you flown from Venezuela today? You must be exhausted.

Did you hear the three forms? They were ‘fly’, ‘flew’ and ‘flown’. If you use a coursebook, or have a grammar book to study, it probably has a list of irregular verbs. And the list is organised in three columns. If you look for the verb ‘fly’ you will see ‘fly’ in the first column, ‘flew’ in the second column and ‘flown’ in the third. Listen again.

Charlotte: Did you fly to Newcastle?

Carolina: No, erm, I got the train to Newcastle. I flew to London – to Heathrow.

‘Fly’ is the base form of the verb – some people call it the infinitive. We use it in lots of different ways. For example – we use it with ‘going to’ to talk about the future. ‘He’s going to fly to London next week’. We use it with ‘do’ and ‘did’ to make questions, ‘Did you fly to Newcastle?’

Remember that this first column is not the present tense. It might look the same – we say ‘I fly to London every week', but remember that we say ‘he or she flies’.

The second column is ‘flew’. This column is easy - it’s the past simple form. ‘Flew’ is the past simple of fly. Carolina flew to London and then she got the train to Newcastle.

Now let’s look at the third column. Listen again.

Carolina: I’m from Venezuela.

Emily: Really? Wow! Have you flown from Venezuela today? You must be exhausted.

The third column is ‘flown’. Some people call it ‘the past participle’. We never use this form alone – we use it with other verbs. We often use it with ‘have’ or ‘has’ to make the present perfect, like Emily did – ‘Have you flown from Venezuela today?’. Or we can say ‘I’ve never flown in a helicopter’.

We also use the third column with the verb ‘be’ in sentences like ‘Nissan cars are made in Japan’ or ‘My bag was stolen on the bus’. So, that’s the three columns in an irregular verb list. 

Now we need to think about the best way to learn these irregular forms. It probably isn’t a very good idea to sit down with a list of irregular verbs and try to learn all of them. There are a lot of irregular verbs in English, and some of them will be verbs that are new to you. The important thing is to learn the three forms of the verbs that you already know, so that you can use those verbs correctly.

Make a page in your notebook for irregular verbs – make three columns and fill in the verbs that you already know. Verbs like ‘make’, ‘do’, ‘meet’, ‘have’ and ‘go’ for example. Then write a sentence with each form as an example. Example sentences will help you to remember the forms. Then when you find a new verb you can add it to your list. You can find a link to a list of irregular verbs on our website – use it to check the forms of the verbs that you know and add them to your notebook.

Now let’s talk about something different. The weather. Listen to Ravi talking to the people who are going to do the quiz.

Ravi: What’s the weather like in Durham today Jason?

Jason: (on phone) Not great, really. It’s a bit cloudy.

Ravi: Oh dear. How are things where you are Vineeta? Where are you?

Vineeta: (on phone) I’m in Plymouth.

Ravi: OK Plymouth – we’ve got opposite ends of the country here, Durham and Plymouth. It’s north against south. Sorry, Vineeta, what’s the weather like in Plymouth?

Vineeta: Not too bad. Quite sunny.

Now, some people say that the British talk about the weather all the time. Well, we don’t talk about it all the time, but it is true that we talk about it a lot. I think one reason for that is that the weather here changes a lot. You can never be sure of the weather in Britain – it’s often a surprise - so there is always something to say about it.

But we don’t often have long conversations about the weather. It’s a very useful way of starting a conversation with someone, especially someone that you don’t know very well, in a shop for example. You can say “Nice weather isn’t it?” or “What terrible weather we’re having”, or “What a lovely day”. The person will respond and then probably move the conversation on to another topic.

One more thing about the weather. A lot of people think that the British use the phrase “It’s raining cats and dogs”. Now, this phrase does exist in English, but I must say that I’ve never used it in my life, and I don’t remember anyone saying it to me either. It really isn’t very common, and it’s probably best not to use it yourself. It really isn’t very natural.

Before I go, I’d like to tell you about a useful phrase that I noticed in this podcast. Listen to this extract. Gemma has just shown Carolina her new flat. Listen to the phrases she uses when she says goodbye.

Gemma: Right – I think that’s everything, I’m going to get back. I’m sure you want some time to unpack your stuff. Some of the other girls in your flat are here already. You’ll probably meet them here in the kitchen a bit later.

Carolina: OK. Thanks Gemma. Thanks for showing me around.

Gemma: No problem. I’ll probably see you around. OK. See you. I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Newcastle.

Did you notice that Gemma says “I’ll probably see you around”? Gemma hasn’t made any arrangements to see Carolina again, and they aren’t doing the same course, but because they both study at the same university, they might meet one day in the café or in a corridor. So she says “I’ll probably see you around”. Try to use “I’ll probably see you around” when you say goodbye to someone this week.

OK. That’s all from me today. I’ll talk to you all again on the next podcast. Remember you can send your questions to me at learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org. I’ll be happy to answer your questions! In a moment you’ll hear the address for the website where you can read everything you’ve heard in this podcast. So bye for now! See you next time..

Check your understanding

ultipleSelection_NjI0Mw==.xml

Tess and Ravi

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

Task 1

GapFillDragAndDrop_NjI4NA==.xml

Carolina

Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [14:38].

Task 1

GapFillDragAndDrop_NjI4NQ==.xml

Task 2

MultipleSelection_NjI5MA==.xml

Tom the teacher

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [21:10].

Task 1

TrueOrFalse_NjQ4NA==.xml

Task 2

GapFillTyping_NjMzNw==.xml

Task 3

GapFillTyping_NjMzOA==.xml

Discussion

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Language level

Pre-intermediate: A2
Intermediate: B1

Submitted by Declemnt on Tue, 05/02/2019 - 03:45

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Hi everyone first of all thank you for these amazing series. Second of all, I have a question regarding spelling or pronunciation, to be more specific in this part of the audio. 8.23 (Ravi: Right. Two nil. Come on Vineeta. A bird beginning with ‘E'. (Vineeta's buzzer) Ravi: Vineeta. Vineeta: Eagle.) I've listened several times and always listen an 'A' instead of an 'E'. For me, what Ravi says sounds like 'ei'. However, the player answered correctly, she said 'Eagle'. Could you please tell if this was a mistake of pronunciation or there is a way to identify when people spell an E but sounds like an A? Please, I'll really appreciate if you answer me this. Honestly, I've been struggling with spelling, overall when this happens with the vowels. Thanks.

Hi Declemnt,

I've listened to the recording and I think Ravi clearly says 'E'. Note that Ravi has a accent from the north of England, which perhaps you are not so familiar with.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Yes, it must be the accent. I clearly hear something like iː (phonetically). If it was the letter A he would have said something like eɪ instead.

Submitted by cuneyt on Sat, 22/12/2018 - 23:02

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Hi, I have a question. Could you tell me preposition or conjunction is correct? ( I don't look after a pet "at" my home.

Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 23/12/2018 - 07:59

In reply to by cuneyt

Permalink

Hi cuneyt,

We would say 'at home'. We would say the whole sentence a little differently, however:

I don't have a pet at home.

 

If you say 'don't look after' it suggests that you have a pet but treat them badly instead of looking after them, which I guess is not what you want to say.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by cuneyt on Sat, 22/12/2018 - 22:56

Permalink
Hi, Actually I am not animal person. I don't like cats Because its are very thankless. I prefer dogs. I don't look after a pet the my home. The living our buildings are for people. I will look after a husky dog if I will have private house.I can build dog house in the garden. İt can live there. I think the animals live place is nature. Unfortunately we cut up everywhere. Maybe won't see kind of animals fify years later. İt will die if we don't stop.we mustn't build factory near the rivers, lakes and forests. We have to keep it clean our seas if we want to eat fish. Anyway I have had a budgerigar for a year. Firstly, We bought a budgerigar.İt was fledgeling. We couldn't take care of it. İt died after three weeks. then we have bought another one. She is very healty and happy at the moment.Good night. Don't worry be happy.

Submitted by Darya Molchanova on Sun, 09/12/2018 - 07:28

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Hello everyone! I prefer dogs, but I also like cats.

Submitted by .Nima on Fri, 26/10/2018 - 15:55

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I do prefer cats, dogs are lovely but they are too emotional. By the way we have a cat and we love it so much.

Submitted by lewan on Sun, 14/10/2018 - 11:48

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In fact, I'm not an animal person too, but I think I prefer dogs for their faithfulness whereas the cats are egoists. but, i can't stand a dog in my house because i'm too clean. In fact, i shouldn't get an animal because i'm afraid not to take care of him as well, i don't like to let him without food for example, it's horrible

Submitted by arktika013 on Wed, 26/09/2018 - 10:37

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I prefer all of them. I have three cats and a dog. The dog's German shepherd. He's clever. He had won some competitions when he was young. He's retired now. All cats are ordinary but they clever too. They're so gentle when they want to eat.

Submitted by arman on Wed, 15/08/2018 - 20:45

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I think Ravi is not really from England!!! i think he is from india or pakistan and his parents or himself has migrated to england .because his face not realy like to english people!!!!

Hello arman,

The UK is very much a multi-ethnic society in which it is really not possible to judge someone's nationality or origin from their appearance. Ravi's ancestors may have come to the UK hundreds of years ago. It can be quite misleading to make assumptions based on a person's appearance, and even rather offensive as these are generally based on stereotypes.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

yes that's right.you know because in our country we have a few immigratns,our people know themselves easily!!! thank for your reply

Submitted by Irina07 on Mon, 06/08/2018 - 20:37

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Thank you very much for your help British council! I am a vet so I really love all animals, but if I must decide between dogs and cats, the first answer is definitely: It is impossible to choose between them! :). In the countryside when I usually stay the whole holiday I have three dog ( they called Pusa, Fram and Obama) and one cat by name Flaffy. Fram is my favorite, it has white hair, big and black eyes and aswell he is very obedient, Pusa is brown ans she is older than Fram and Obama has black hair and he is the biggest. The cat, Flaffy is older but he looks great, he has white fur like Fram, but he has amazing blue eyes. I love them and I know that here in the countryside they have enought space and my mother feed them very well. They are the happiest animals.

Submitted by mitykg on Tue, 31/07/2018 - 09:55

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Thank for your help. I appreciative it. I notice this in transcript. "Gordon: OK. A man is driving slowly down a country road when he sees a chicken run in front of his car" the verb "run" is not true here, i think it must be "runs" here because there is relative clause in the sentence ? and this one, "How strange" he thinks, "a three-legged chicken". I want to ask what rule to build a pharse "three- legged chicken" ? (legged)

Hi mitykg,

Although we occasionally make mistakes, in general you can expect that what you read or hear on our site is correct. 'run' is correct here. After a verb of perception (e.g. 'see', 'hear', etc.), a bare infinitive form is often used after an object. This is the structure used in the sentence you ask about. 

As for your second question, 'legged' is an adjective formed from the noun 'leg'. This is an unusual construction; more commonly, it's used to form adjectives from the past participles of verbs, but that is not the case here, where it means a chicken with three legs.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Wuwu on Wed, 18/07/2018 - 07:07

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This extract is in transcript. Tess: D’you know, I just don’t know. 1.why did this sentence not use "?" as an ending?Is it not a question? Olu:they had to move around to look for work and that. 2.what was "and that" meaning ? Olu: He does loads of work for Unicef –he’s like an ambassador or something for them so he does all this charity work. 3. what does "something for them"mean? 4.dose "How are things where you are" mean "how are things with you"? 5.He was just a bit quicker than you. How can I understand "just" ,exactly or a very short time ago? 6.All cats care about "is "who feeds them. why using "is" in it? 7. I just wanted to meet you all before I went to bed. what does it mean? Ravi: Yeah. How does it work? She doesn’t share a room with anyone, does she? Tess: I don’t think so. I didn’t. 8.does Tess'reply mean that she share a room with someone? 9 .what does this sentence mean That’s all we’ve got time for this time?

Hello Wuwu,

In answer to your questions:

1. No, it is not a question. 'D'you know' here is an expression which shows the speaker thinks what they are saying is surprising or unexpected. It's similar to 'You know what, ...' or 'Actually, ...' or 'In fact, ...'

 

2. The phrase 'and that' here means 'and things like that'. It's used in informal speech.

 

3. The core phrase here is 'an ambassador for them', which is clear, I hope. The words 'or something' tell us that the speaker is not completely sure if the person is an ambassador or just something similar.

 

4. Yes, it does.

 

5. The phrase 'just a bit' means 'only a little bit'. It tells us that the difference was very small.

 

6. The phrase 'All cats want' is the subject of the sentence and it means 'The only thing that cats want'. It is confusing, because it could mean 'every cat', so I understand your question here. However, this is a different use of 'all'.

 

7. The sentence means that the speaker did not want to go to bed before seeing everyone, so waited for them.

 

8. Tess's reply ('I don't think so') means that Tess thinks she does not share a room with anyone. She adds the information that she (Tess) did not share a room either.

 

9. The sentence means that there is no time in this episode for anything else.


As you can see, I've answered all of your questions. However, normally we do not answer such long lists of questions. We are a small team here and we have many thousands of users. We try our best to help everyone but we have limited time available to us so we ask users to limit their posts to one or two questions. It's not necessary to understand absolutely every phrase in every text.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by mitykg on Fri, 29/06/2018 - 05:55

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This extract is in transcript. ...You can say “Nice weather isn’t it?” or “What terrible weather we’re having”, or “What a lovely day”. The person will respond and then probably move the conversation on to another topic. I notice the sentence "The person will respond and then probably move the conversation on to another topic.". There are two prepositions 'on to' together here, no new words to me but I don't understand what means completely with 2 prepositions "on to" here.

Hello mitykg,

Move on is actually an intransitive phrasal verb - that is to say, a phrasal verb in which the particle on is an adverb and which does not have an object.

The phrase to another topic is a prepositional phrase.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Josep Anton on Sun, 03/06/2018 - 18:53

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Hi everyone, I answer about the subject below: You listened to Olu talking about Didier Drogba. Is there a famous sportsperson that you can write about? If you can think of someone, make some notes to answer these questions: Yes, I can. His name is Andres Iniesta and he is from Spain. He plays football/soccer with the Barcelona football club in the first league of Spain until now. From July first he is going to play football with the Vissel Kobe, from the J1 League of Japan. He made his debut in 2003 with the first Catalan team in the First Division, with which he played for 16 seasons (2003-2018), having won 32 titles as a Barça player. As a Spanish international, Andrés Iniesta has gone through the lower categories of the national team, proclaiming himself European U-16 champion in 2001 and U-19 in 2002, and youth world sub-champion in 2003. He has been an absolute international with the Spanish national team since 2006, with which he was proclaimed European champion in 2008 and 2012, and world champion in 2010, scoring the famous goal of victory against the Dutch in the 116th minute of the final. He is married and have three children. I like him because he is a great footballer but he is a modest person. Now is also known for his wine cellars in the Mancha, Spain, where he grow his vineyards. Best Joes

Submitted by Strzelu on Tue, 22/05/2018 - 20:28

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Hello, I'd like to tell you about Roger Federer, one of the most talented and awarded Swiss tennis players of all time. He started playing tennis when he was 8. In this year he became the oldest world No. 1 at age 36 which is simply amazing. He has many, many world records including 20 Grand Slam titles and 30th final at Australian Open. He's well-known for his charity work too. In 2003 he formed The Roger Federer Foundation which focuses on improving level of education in Southern Africa and Switzerland. He's a really intelligent and educated person. He speaks English, German and French. I admire him for his great, sport heart and also as a father of 4 twins. Personally I think this is the best tennis player in the world who's made many changes in tennis overall. I wish I met him face to face and told him how much I love him. I hope he'll still be playing as long as he's able to. Thank you for your attention and please respond to my e-mail. I want to know if I made any mistakes.

Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 23/05/2018 - 07:29

In reply to by Strzelu

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Hello Strzelu,

Thank you for the comment. We don't correct posts on LearnEnglish as we are a small team and have many users posting every day, but we do read every post before it appears on the site.

Federer is a remarkable athlete. I'm not sure there is anyone like him in any other sport at the moment.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by MaxiMuz1979 on Sat, 12/05/2018 - 09:49

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I want to tell about Russian Olimpic champion in high jump with a pole Yelena Isinbaeva. She was born in 1982 years in Volgograg. she is half a russian , her father is tabasarans. When she was five her father gave her to sportschool. 16 years old she the first time won the World youth game in Moscow. She jumped 4 meteres in high with a pole. That was begin the career of Olympic champion. She has became two times the Olympic champion. Maximum of the height that she took was 5 meters 11 santimeters. Now she has two children. I pride she because she made the sport career and remained feminine.

Submitted by wangyao on Tue, 17/04/2018 - 14:53

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My English teacher told me to make a simple sentence about what I did yesterday. I wrote: "I played loads of games with my friend at my house." She said that "loads" doesn't have any meaning but it was used many times in this recording. Therefore, does she mean that I cannot use "loads" in this situation or she didn't know about this word? Last but not least, do you meet any trouble when reading my comment?

Hello wangyao,

I can't comment on what your teacher means - for this you will have to ask her. The phrase 'loads of' means the same as 'lots of' or 'a lot of' but it is a very informal phrase which is used really only in informal speech or in very informal writing.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

So can I use it while I am writing a letter to a friend that not very close with me?

Hello wangyao,

I'd need to know more about you and your friend and your relationship to give you good advice on this, but if, for example, you are both relatively young and have a good friend in common, 'loads of' is probably OK. But if you're in doubt, I'd recommend using 'lots of', which is slightly more informal than 'a lot of' and is appropriate in a wider range of context than 'loads of'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Kien Alang on Thu, 15/03/2018 - 02:21

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Hi LearnEnglish Team, Some 'conversation in English' exercises are long, but you put them on a line or a paragraph that makes me (also other users) difficult to read and complete the exercise. For example task 1 of all series 1 of the podcast. I think it will be better if you break them down a new line after every person's session done like this: Glen: Good morning, Stella. Sorry, I'm a bit late. I had to take my dog to the vet. Stella: Hi. That's OK. The meeting hasn't started yet. I didn't know you had a dog. Best, Kenny

Hi Kenny,

Thanks for your comment and I agree completely. Each person's words used to be on separate lines, but when we changed our exercises to make them easier to use on mobile devices, this problem came up and we haven't yet been able to fix it. I'm going to take it up with our technical team and see if we can get it fixed.

In the meantime, I'm sorry for the inconvenience!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

 

Submitted by User_User on Fri, 02/02/2018 - 19:26

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Hi everyone Today I want to write something about how to learn vocabulary more effective. In podcast number 5 they recommend a notebook. A notebook has several disadvantages: 1) You have always the same word order. If the sequence is different you may be not able to remember the words. 2) There are always some words/phrases on a page which you know very well and some which are difficult for you to remember. If you want to learn the difficult words you always repeat the easy ones - which is boring and ineffective. 3) If you know a word very well you mustn't repeat it every day. You can repeat it in this way: - every day - every three days - every two weeks - and so on. A better way to learn vocabulary is flash cards. You can use a box with five compartments which you can buy in every larger stationery shop in Germany. There is information how to use a box on youtube and on wikipedia (in German). I haven't seen any good descriptions in English though. There are also computer programs available which are helping you to repeat vocabulary more effective. When I read the transcript to the podcast I mark the words which I don't know. Then I look up the words on an online dictionary which also tells me how frequent the word is. I learn only words or phrases which are among the top 7500 entries. Thank you very much for your time :)

Submitted by User_User on Wed, 31/01/2018 - 18:47

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Hi everyone I've downloaded the support pack and I'm posting three question about it: Support Pack; Section 6 Exercise 2 1) Question number. 2 a is correct: I got the train from London. I've never seen a sentence like this. We give here the starting place ("from London"). I've only seen sentences so far where we give the destination place. 2) Question number. 2 b is false: I went to Newcastle by train. I've typed "went by train" into the google search page and this phrase does exist. So maybe the word order is incorrect. The word order is: WHO -> WHAT -> WHERE -> WHEN -> HOW -> WHY to Newcastle (=where); by train (= how) Maybe we write "went by train" together but I've seen example sentences in which they weren't written together. 3) Question number. 4 d is correct: it's seven in the evening I would expect seven o'clock or seven hundred hours I can't remember that a number alone is enough to tell the time. Thank you very much for your time

Hi User_User,

1) Question number. 2 a is correct: I got the train from London.
I've never seen a sentence like this. We give here the starting place ("from London"). I've only seen sentences so far where we give the destination place.

It's perfectly fine to use 'from' with the starting point or 'to' with the destination. It really depends what information is relevant in any particular context. For example, if a person is meeting you at the station then they already know where you are going, but may not know where you are travelling from, and this information may be useful to them in finding the correct platform.

 

2) Question number. 2 b is false: I went to Newcastle by train.
I've typed "went by train" into the google search page and this phrase does exist. So maybe the word order is incorrect.
The word order is:
WHO -> WHAT -> WHERE -> WHEN -> HOW -> WHY
to Newcastle (=where); by train (= how)
Maybe we write "went by train" together but I've seen example sentences in which they weren't written together.

Word order in English can be quite flexible. Both of these are correct sentences:

I went to Newcastle by train.

I went by train to Newcastle.

Of these, the first is the most common.

For particular rhetorical effect you can even put the by-phrase at the beginning:

By train I went to Newcastle, and by car to Edinburgh.

You would be unlikely to see this outside of literary or rhetorical contexts.

3) Question number. 4 d is correct: it's seven in the evening
I would expect seven o'clock or seven hundred hours
I can't remember that a number alone is enough to tell the time.

This is quite common in spoken English when the context makes it clear that we are talking about the time and there is no confusion about am/pm:

Let's meet at eight.

The meeting started at eleven. We're late!

We would only say 'seven hundred hours' in very particular usage such as in military contexts or public announcements (railway stations and so on).

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by chunya on Wed, 31/01/2018 - 11:03

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hi! In "I’d like to meet" part Ravi said: You do know I’m from Manchester, don’t you, Olu? Is that correctly phrase? I thought that the verb "do" must be on the first position. Perhaps these two questions have different meanings and I don't understand the difference? Thanks!

Submitted by Kirk on Wed, 31/01/2018 - 17:23

In reply to by chunya

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Hello chunya,

This is a special use of the auxiliary verb 'do'. When it is used like this, it adds emphasis to the verb -- Ravi seems to think that Olu doesn't realise that Ravi is from Manchester, even though this seems obvious to Ravi. By saying 'you do know' instead of 'you know', Ravi shows this. You can read more about this on this archived BBC page.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

 

Submitted by Last biker on Mon, 29/01/2018 - 07:34

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Sorry , now when I've reiterated myself my questions I just wrote down below , I noticed that I've made some mistakes: ''a chicken runs'' not ''a chickens runs'' and the second ''chicken'' not ''chiken''. Sorry again about these. I didn't pay attention as much as I needed.

Submitted by Last biker on Mon, 29/01/2018 - 06:17

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Hello again, Task 7- Joke. '' A man is driving slowly down a country road when he sees a chicken run in front of his car.'' Why didn't you use instead the present form of verb ''run'' , the gerund form : running ? For me it sounds better '' he sees a chicken running...'' And, on the other hand if you think that the verb'' run'' is more correct why didn't you use '' runs'' ? ...a chikens runs... Thank you so much for your answer

Hello Last biker,

After verbs of perception in these constructions we use either the -ing form or a bare infinitive. You can see the difference clearly in these examples:

  1. I saw a man kiss his wife.
  2. I saw a man kissing his wife.

The difference here is that in the first sentence the speaker sees the whole action (the kiss from start to finish) as one event. In the second sentence the speaker sees the action in progress (when the speaker looks they are already kissing. You can see the same distinction in your example.

We do not use the present simple in this construction, so 'kisses' ('runs') is not correct.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Last biker on Sat, 27/01/2018 - 16:40

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Hi my friends, In Task 6 - Carolina , in Practice materials Exercise 1 there is a double mistake for word : tomorrow. It is write down in two different places but in the same exercise ( 1, as I said) , tommorow. Just take a look. Thanks

Hi Last biker,

Thank you for spotting this and pointing it out to us. We try as hard as possible to ensure that our exercises do not have errors like this but some inevitably creep through and then we rely on our users to spot them. I have corrected the spelling in the task.

Thanks again,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by jedd on Sun, 31/12/2017 - 18:45

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hy everybody. In France, we tell : it's raining ropes. To make a relation between the raining and the cats, we can notice that the cats hate the water. Like astapic, I consider the pets may be friends for the persons who are single. I knew someone who prefered her dog than human beings. She really loved this animal. It's truth a dog is faithfull. Yet, I prefer cats who are more independant. But, I have the same problem than a speaker in the podcast, cats make me sneeze. When I was a childreen, I had a rabbit. He ate chocolat and slept in the kitchen. After, I bougnt a duck. But, it was dirty and I didn't want to pick up its poo. I notice that some problems are the same in a lot of countries

Submitted by NJ493 on Sun, 31/12/2017 - 04:31

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Hi everyone I will like to meet with MAHENDRASINGH DHONI,he is cricket player.He is a good men. He is captain of our India cricket team. Under his captainship India won three worldcup in cricket.He is real men with his stands. He is my hero. Thank you.

Submitted by Juanchi on Tue, 19/12/2017 - 21:44

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Hi everyone I'd have liked to meet with Rene Favaloro, he was a famous surgeons Argentino. He worked as surgeon in an small village called Jasinto Araos, La Pampa, Buenos Aires about ten years. In sport he played tennis when he was a Young, but he was distinguished in their profesión. He passed several years in the Cleveland Clinic of U.S. and créated the by pass aorto-coronarie, a surgery that changed the survive of coronarie disease on over the world. Then he became to Argentina and created a great Foundation with your name, and exist today. Finally he decided commit suicide with a shot in your own heart.

Submitted by Juanchi on Sun, 10/12/2017 - 14:16

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Hi My name is Juanchi, I'm Corrientes in Argentina. I ask apology for my English, I am learning. I want to say a breaf comment about pets. I have two dog a female and a male, mother and son. I live in a house with an small patio, so the animal haven't space to run. Therefore I am agree with the people that think is cruel have this sort of animal shuted all day. But I love de dog although I need take out sometimes. thank..

Submitted by jthoth on Mon, 04/12/2017 - 14:22

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Hello. Here is the truth. --------------------

Submitted by Kirk on Mon, 04/12/2017 - 17:14

In reply to by jthoth

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Hello jthoth,

Thanks for sharing an interesting link. I'm afraid, however, we don't usually publish links to anything other than other dictionaries or other grammar resources. Sorry about that!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Sandra Silva on Wed, 18/10/2017 - 19:54

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I would like to introduce you Algarve in South of Portugal. This region hás long beachs with blue and green waters. There is moutains too with a unique and beautiful fauna and flora to enjoy. And, better than anything, it is sunny almost all the year! Tourism is important in this region and is so strong due to the beauty of the beachs and the great weather. People usually came to Algarve to enjoy the waves doing surf and bodyboard. I live here four years now and I came from North of Portugal ( a beautiful region to visit too) to work in marine sciences.

Submitted by astapik on Wed, 04/10/2017 - 14:09

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I love cats. I had a brown tabby for 16 years but I had to put him to sleep. And like Tess I took a completely little kitten brown tabby again! It's really gorgeous pet! I think pets help people not to be alone and to be more friendly, good-hearted, something like that. In russian we have equivalent "It's raining dogs and cats" - it's poured like from a bucket, but I don't know can I speak so in English.
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