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Episode 09

Elementary Podcasts: Tess & Ravi

In this episode Ravi is thinking about giving up his Spanish lessons, and their guests talk about a special watch and time machines. You can also follow Carolina as she and Jamie go out for dinner. Will they have a good meal?

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.

Transcripts

Section 1 – Ravi’s learning Spanish

Ravi: Hello again, welcome back to the LearnEnglish Elementary podcast.  Series two, episode nine. Hello!

Tess: We’re your presenters. He’s Ravi and I’m Tess.

Ravi: Si, yo soy Ravi. Vivo en Londres.  Erm ..

Tess: Ahh.  ¿Hablas español, Ravi?  ¡Bueno!  ¿Como estas?

Ravi: Erm …. erm …. I didn’t know you spoke Spanish, Tess.

Tess: Solo un poquito…

Ravi: OK, you can stop now.

Tess: Have you been taking Spanish lessons?

Ravi: Yeah, I have. You know, going to Barcelona and everything, I thought I’d have some lessons to help me when I get there but … well …

Tess: What?

Ravi: I think I might stop going to the lessons.

Tess: Oh dear. Why?

Ravi: Oh, I don’t know. I just don’t think I’m getting any better.

Tess: How many lessons have you had?

Ravi: Three.

Tess: Oh come on, Ravi. Three isn’t many.

Ravi: I know, I know.

Tess: And of course it’s difficult at first, but don’t give up. You really should give it longer than three lessons.

Ravi: It’s just that... well... everyone is better than me. I feel really stupid sometimes.

Tess: What’s your teacher like?

Ravi: She’s great.

Tess: Well why don’t you talk to her about it? I’m sure she’ll understand.

Ravi:  Well she doesn’t understand anything I say in Spanish.  But, yeah, you’re right.

Tess: And just think how good it’ll be in Barcelona when you can do things in Spanish – ordering meals, buying postcards, talking to girls …

Ravi: Well, two or three more lessons won’t hurt, will they? OK. I’ll talk to the teacher and I’ll carry on going to lessons. OK?

Tess: Good. Now, shall we start the podcast? What have we got today?

Ravi: We’ve got all of the usual things – Your Turn is about time machines, Carolina and Jamie are at a restaurant, Abbie’s going to do the quiz but first of all we’ve got I’d Like to Talk About and we’ve got Pete here in the studio. Hi Pete.

Section 2 – I’d like to talk about

Pete: Hi.

Ravi: I’d Like to Talk About is the part of the podcast when a guest tells us about something that’s important to them. It could be anything at all – a hobby, a person, a place, a thing – whatever you want. We’ve had loads of interesting topics – chocolate, fell running, Einstein, Bath – and today, Pete is with us – where are you from Pete?

Pete: From Birmingham.

Ravi: OK. And what do you do?

Pete: I’m a student. I’m studying Design.

Ravi: And what are you going to tell us about.

Pete: I’d like to talk about this watch.

Tess: OK, listeners, because you can’t see it, I’ll describe the watch that Pete has here. It’s a wristwatch; I’d say it’s quite old.

Pete: It’s nearly sixty years old.

Tess: It’s got a leather strap. The face of the watch is white – well it was white, as I say, it’s quite old – and it isn’t telling the right time. Why is this watch special, Pete?

Pete: It was my grandfather’s watch. He came to England more than fifty years ago and this is the watch he was wearing when he arrived here.

Ravi: Where did he come from?

Pete: From Hungary.

Ravi: To Birmingham?

Pete: Not at first. He was in Dover for a while. He met my grandma in Dover and they moved to Birmingham a couple of years later. When he came over here he didn’t have much – just a few pounds in his pocket, you know. But this watch was a present to him from his grandfather – his twenty first birthday present – so it was really special to him and now it’s special to me.

Tess: Is it very valuable? I mean, I know you don’t want to sell it or anything but it is it worth a lot of money?

Pete: No, not at all. It doesn’t even tell the right time! It’s just an ordinary watch but it’s special to me because it really reminds me of my granddad. I remember when I was really small I used to sit on my granddad’s knee and play with his watch and he used to let me wind it up.

Ravi: You have to wind it up? It hasn’t got a battery?

Pete: Yeah, it’s clockwork, yeah. You wind it up there, with that winder. You have to do it every day. I don’t do it usually now because it’s so old. In fact I don’t really wear this watch very often, but it’s important to me as a kind of heirloom, you know – something to give to my children, when I have them.

Tess: Is your granddad still alive?

Pete: No, he isn’t. He died 2 years ago. He left the watch to me in his will. He always said he was going to leave it to me, and he did. I really like that I have a connection to Hungary, where my granddad came from.

Tess: Have you ever been to Hungary?

Pete: No, I haven’t. I’d like to go though. I’d really like to see the place where my granddad used to live and all of that. The name of the shop where he bought this watch is on the back too, look. I wonder if the shop is still there.

Ravi: That would be great – if you took the watch back to the shop after sixty years and asked them to fix it.

Pete: I think the guarantee might have run out by now.

Tess: So you’d have to pay to have it fixed? Yes, I think it might. OK, then Pete, we’ll take a photo of your watch to put up on the website, if that’s OK?

Pete: That’s fine.

Tess: And thanks for coming in to talk about it.

Pete: My pleasure.

Tess: Thanks. If you’re listening, and there’s a special object you’d like to tell people about, you can write about it and send a picture or recording to us at LearnEnglishPodcast at British council dot org. That’s - LearnEnglishPodcast - all one word – at - BritishCouncil – all one word DOT org, that’s o-r-g.  If we like it, we’ll put it up on the site.

Ravi: Have you got any old things like that from your family, Tess?

Tess: Erm .. I’ve got a necklace that used to be my grandma’s. That’s quite old. I don’t really wear it very often. How about you?

Ravi: No, not really. Next time I go to visit my grandparents I might just ask them if they’ve got anything, you know, interesting.

Section 3 – Quiz

Tess:  Ravi! You’re terrible. Right then, let’s move onto the quiz. Who’s playing today?

Ravi: It should be Abbie. Hello, Abbie?

Abbie: Hi Ravi.  HIC

Tess: Hi Abbie

Abbie: Hi Tess

Ravi: Where are you calling from, Abbie?

Abbie: From Manchester.  HIC!  Sorry.

Ravi: Another Mancunian, like me. Great. Have you got hiccups, Abbie?

Abbie: Yes, sorry.

Ravi: That’s OK.

Tess: Do you want to go and …

Ravi: BOO!

Abbie: HIC!

Tess: What are you doing Ravi? Listen, Abbie, do you want to go and get a glass of water? We’ll wait for you.

Abbie: OK. Thanks. I’ll be back in a minute.

Tess: OK, go on. What was that about?

Ravi: Well, I thought when someone had hiccups you gave them a big shock like that.

Tess: I think a glass of water is a bit better, really. There are lots of ways though. Actually, maybe that’s an idea for Your Turn – How do you cu…

Abbie: Hello?

Ravi: Hi Abbie. Have they gone?

Abbie: Yes, I think so. Sorry about that.

Ravi: That’s OK. Where were we? Manchester. What do you do in Manchester, Abbie?

Abbie: I work in a nursery – looking after children.

Tess: Ahh.  How old are the children?

Abbie: Well the oldest ones are four and the youngest ones are … tiny. I work with the three and four year olds, mostly.

Ravi: Do you like it? I can’t think of anything worse than having lots of three year olds running around all day.

Abbie: I love it. The kids are really lovely. It’s great.

Ravi: That’s good then. It’s always good if you enjoy your work. Just like me and Tess. OK, then, Abbie, are you ready to play Hot Seat?

Abbie: OK then.

Ravi: You know what to do? I’ve got these cards and I’m going to give them to Tess and she’ll explain the words to you. They’re all on the same topic and Tess has to explain them without saying the word on the card. OK?

Abbie: OK.

Ravi: And we’ll see how many you can guess in a minute. Are you ready?

Abbie: Think so.

Ravi: OK. Here are the cards Tess, and the topic today is …means of transport … ah, that’s an easy one.

Tess:  No it isn’t.

Ravi: You’ve got one minute starting from … NOW!

Tess: Right. It’s got two wheels – and an engine.

Abbie: Motorbike.

Tess: Yes. Next one. … It flies – but it hasn’t got wings

Abbie: Aeroplane.

Tess: No, it hasn’t got wings. It goes round and round … the thing goes round and round like this.

Abbie: Helicopter.

Tess: Yes. OK. A big thing. Erm. Lots of people sit in it.

Abbie: Train?

Tess: No. On the road. With a driver. Four wheels. Double-decker!

Abbie: Bus.

Tess: OK. This one’s got two wheels but no engine... you pedal.

Abbie: Bike. Bicycle.

Tess: Yes. Erm … this one flies and it has got wings.

Abbie: Plane.

Tess: Yes. Right. It’s a car and you pay the driver to take you where you want to go.

Abbie: Taxi.

Tess: Yes. This one’s a ship. Erm .. cars can go on it, sometimes. It goes backwards and forwards between two places.

Abbie: A ferry.

Tess: That’s right. OK – the one we said before – big thing, lots of people. It runs on rails.

Abbie: Train?

Tess: Yes. This one’s like a train but in the city. It’s electric and it runs on rails in the city centre. A bit like a bus but on rails

Abbie: Tram?

Tess: Yes

Ravi: OK. I’ll let you have that one. Well done, you two that was pretty good. How many was that? Motorbike, helicopter – I liked the way you tried to show Abbie what a helicopter does with your hands Tess.

Tess: Well, it’s difficult to describe.

Ravi: I know, I know – but on the phone? Just teasing you. Motorbike, helicopter, bus, bicycle, aeroplane, taxi, ferry, train, tram. {quickly} One two three four five six seven eight nine. Nine. Well done. That’s a record, I think.

Tess: Well done, Abbie. We’ll send you something for playing.

Abbie: Thanks Tess. Well done to you, too.

Ravi: Yeah, well done, Abbie. See you.

Abbie: Bye!

Ravi: I told you it was an easy one.

Tess: No. We were just very good at it. Have you ever had nine right answers?

Ravi:  Moving on, we’ve got Your Turn, Carolina and my joke – after this.

Ravi: I’ve had a great idea for a joke to tell, Tess.

Section 4 – Your Turn

Tess: I can’t wait. Before we enjoy Ravi’s joke though, we’ve got Your Turn. This is the part of the podcast when we hear what people think about a question we ask them. A different topic each time and we always get some interesting answers. This time the question we asked was:  If you had a time machine, what ‘time’ would you visit? Why?  Let’s hear what people said.

Voice 1: For fun I’d go back to the 80s because I’m totally addict to that kind of fashion and, ah, of course I’d like to meet, ah, ah, Vivienne Westwood at the beginning of her career, with Sex Pistols and other people like that.

Voice 2: Um, I think I’d like to go back to the olden days, like the sixteenth or seventeenth century, but I’d have to be a rich person, living in a castle with lots of people to make the fires and cook my food and wash and dress me and things like that.

Voice 3: If I had a time machine I would like to visit, um, err, my childhood when I was, ah, three years old because my father passed away when I was four, and I don’t really remember how my father looks like, and, ah, I have only, like, five pieces of memory of him, so I would really like to go back in time and to get to know him better, and, you, ah, have a fatherly love from him.

Voice 4: I think I would like to go back to the time of Tang dynasty in China because I read so much about this era, the richness of their poetry and their art and their way of life, so I would really like to go back to that era to talk to the people in those times, talk to the famous poets such as Li Bei, and even meet the founder of that great dynasty, ah, there’s so much to learn about this culture, um, yeah, that is really the time I would like to go back to.

Voice 5: If I had a time machine I would like to go forward in the future, maybe to the year 3000, see what life was like, how we’d advanced, what our technology, um, how we traveled, what kind of strange transportation we’d have found, um, and how healthy we were and what the world looked like at that time.

Ravi: Interesting. What do you think Tess?

Tess: The 1960s, probably. Great music, great clothes – and I could see what my parents were doing. It’d be like that film … what do you call it?

Ravi: Back to the Future? Yeah. I’d go to the future, actually. See if it’s like it is in the films. Anyway, listeners – if you want to write or record where you’d like to go in a time machine you can send it to us at the usual email address.

Section 5 – Carolina

Tess: Now it’s time to see what’s happening with Carolina. If you’ve listened before you’ll know that Carolina is a student who’s come from Venezuela to study at Newcastle University. In every podcast we hear a little about what she, her boyfriend Jamie and their friends have been doing. Last time, they were all doing some conservation work at a nature reserve to the north of Newcastle. This time, Carolina and Jamie are in a restaurant.

Jamie: So, what are you going to have?

Carolina: Hmm. I’m not sure.

Jamie: Have the fish and chips. It’s traditional.

Carolina: Fish and chips! I don’t think so.

 Jamie: What’s the problem?

Carolina: I like fish and I like chips, but not like that. It’s so …. heavy.

Jamie: Well I don’t see why …

Carolina: British food is so strange sometimes.

Jamie: British food is very good actually – if you try it. You liked my mum’s cooking didn’t you? Um, let me see, I think I’ll have the vegetarian pasta.

Carolina: How long have you been a vegetarian?

Jamie: About five years now.

Carolina: Don’t you miss eating meat?

Jamie: Not at all. I don’t really like it any more.

Waiter: Are you ready to order?

Jamie: Well I am. Carolina?

Carolina: Oh um, yes. I’ll have the steak please.

Waiter: How would you like it done?

Carolina: Oh um, I like it pink, you know, still with some blood. ….

Jamie:  Uggghhh.

Carolina: ...not cooked too much. How do you say that?

Waiter: Rare. So that’s one steak, rare. And for you sir?

Jamie: The vegetarian pasta for me please.

Carolina: Um, what does the steak come with?

Waiter: Chips and a mixed salad.

Carolina: Oh, OK, that’s fine.

Waiter: And to drink?

Jamie: D’you want wine?

Carolina: Yes OK, – do you?

Jamie: Yeah, OK. Can we see the wine list please?  The wine’s expensive. It’s always the same in this country. The wine is the most expensive part of a meal. Let’s just have the house wine. Red or white?

Carolina: I’d prefer red.

Jamie: OK. Excuse me. Can we have a bottle of the house red please?

Waiter: Certainly.

Carolina: Is Layla a vegetarian?

Jamie: No. She eats fish. Why?

Carolina: I just wondered.

Jamie: You just wondered.

Carolina: Yes. I just wondered. You spend a lot of time with her Jamie.

Jamie:  Do I? Well I like her. She’s a good friend. That isn’t a problem is it?

Carolina: Oh no. No problem at all.

Jamie: So how’s the steak?

Carolina: It’s good. And how’s your pasta?

Jamie: Delicious.

Carolina: Oh Jamie. Let’s not be angry with each other. I don’t see you very often nowadays. You’re always busy.

Jamie: We were together all last weekend at the nature reserve.

Carolina: Well yes, I suppose so. With Henry and Ivan and Layla. But you know, I’m going home to Venezuela for the holidays soon…..

Jamie: Yeah. Holidays!

Carolina: ….. so I won’t see you for a while…. so I thought we could have dinner, and you know, talk a bit.

Jamie: Yeah. It was a good idea. It’s nice. We’re talking.

Carolina: Yes, but I meant... talk about…..

Jamie: What? Talk about what?

Carolina: Oh never mind. Forget it. Eat your vegetarian pasta.

Jamie: So, do you want another coffee?

Carolina: No thanks

Jamie: I’ll get the bill then. Can we have the bill please?

Waiter: Your bill.

Carolina: Give it to me. I’m going to pay for this.

Jamie: Don’t be daft - I don’t want you to pay for my dinner.

Carolina: I invited you, so let me pay. Please - I want to.

Jamie: OK then – well, thank you very much.

Carolina: How much should I leave? You know, for the waiter?

Jamie: For the tip?

Carolina: Yes, the tip.

Jamie: About ten per cent is usual I think. Let me put in the tip if you’re paying.

Carolina: Ten per cent….. No, it’s OK. I’ve got it. 

Jamie: So when are you leaving?

Carolina: Friday morning.

Jamie: Oh. Friday. Well, I’ll call you before you go. Perhaps we can have a drink or something.

Carolina: OK. That would be nice. Call me.

Tess: Oh dear. That didn’t sound very happy, did it?

Ravi: I’m sure it’ll be fine you know. Jamie should go to Venezuela to visit Carolina. That’s what I would do.

Section 6 – Joke

Tess: I’m sure you would. Have you got a joke for us?

Ravi: I have. I was going to tell you a different one but Abbie reminded me of this one.

Tess: Come on then, let’s hear it.

Ravi: Right, well. A man goes into a chemist’s shop and says to the pharmacist "Excuse me, but have you got anything for hiccups?” The pharmacist looks at him for a couple of seconds, and then suddenly reaches across the counter and "thwack" - slaps the man’s face really hard.  'Ow!', says the man. "What did you do that for?’ “Well," says the chemist, "you haven’t got hiccups now have you?” “No, I haven’t” says the man –“but my wife out there in the car has still got them.”

Tess: Very good. I like that. But, listeners, that’s all from me and Ravi for this podcast. Don’t go away because Tom the Teacher will be here in a moment

Ravi: And be sure to listen next time when we’ve got a very special guest with us. You can write to us at LearnEnglishPodcast @ BritishCouncil dot org, see you next time, bye!

Tess: Bye!

Tom the Teacher

Tom: Hi, I’m Tom.  I’m here at the end of every podcast to talk about some of the language you heard in the programme, and to talk about ways to help you learn English. I’d like to start today by listening to some questions we heard in the podcast. Listen to Tess ask Ravi a question here – and listen to Ravi’s answer:

Ravi: Erm …. erm …. I didn’t know you spoke Spanish, Tess.

Tess: Solo un poquito…

Ravi: OK, you can stop now.

Tess: Have you been taking Spanish lessons?

Ravi:  Yeah, I have.

Tom: Tess asked Ravi, ‘Have you been taking Spanish lessons?’ and Ravi answered, ‘Yes, I have’. Now, Tess’s question was a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. Ravi’s answer could be simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’. But he said ‘Yes, I have.’ We often answer ‘yes – no’ questions this way. Listen to another example.

Tess: Is your granddad still alive?

Pete: No, he isn’t. He died 2 years ago.

Tom: Did you notice the difference? Tess asked, ‘Is your granddad still alive?’ so Pete used the same verb in his short answer – ‘No, he isn’t’. In the first example we heard, Tess asked ‘Have you been taking Spanish lessons?’ so Ravi answered, ‘Yes, I have’ – You use the same verb as the question to make the short answer. So if the question is ‘Do you like football?’ your short answer can be ‘Yes, I do’, or ‘No, I don’t’. Question tags, work in a similar way to these short answers. Listen to this.

Tess: And just think how good it’ll be in Barcelona when you can do things in Spanish – ordering meals, buying postcards, talking to girls …

Ravi: Well, two or three more lessons won’t hurt, will they? OK. I’ll talk to the teacher and I’ll carry on going to lessons. OK?

Tom: Ravi asked a tag question. A tag question is a little question at the end of a sentence. They can be ‘real’ questions – where you don’t know the answer – but in this example it wasn’t a ‘real’ question. Ravi knows that two or three more lessons won’t hurt. Listen to another tag question from Tess.

Tess: Oh dear. That didn’t sound very happy, did it?

Tom: Like with the short answers to yes-no questions, the verb in the tag question depends on the verb in the first part of the sentence. If the verb is negative – like ‘that didn’t sound very happy’ – then the tag question is positive – ‘did it?’. Ravi’s tag question was the same, ‘two or three more lessons won’t hurt’ – negative – ‘will they?’ – positive. There was one more example, in the joke.

Ravi: 'Ow!', says the man. "What did you do that for?’ “Well," says the chemist, "you haven’t got hiccups now have you?” “No, I haven’t” says the man.

Tom: There’s a tag question and a short answer in that one, did you spot them?  Now, let’s move on. Carolina and Jamie were in a restaurant this time. Listen to a little bit of the conversation in the restaurant.

Waiter: Are you ready to order?

Jamie: Well I am. Carolina?

Carolina: Oh um, yes. I’ll have the steak please.

Waiter: How would you like it done?

Carolina: Oh um, I like it pink, you know, still with some blood. ….

Jamie: Uggghhh.

Carolina:..not cooked too much. How do you say that?

Waiter: Rare. So that’s one steak, rare. And for you sir?

Jamie: The vegetarian pasta for me please.

Carolina: Um, what does the steak come with?

Waiter: Chips and a mixed salad.

Carolina: Oh, OK, that’s fine.

Tom: There are some expressions that you almost always hear in restaurants. The waiter says ‘Are you ready to order?’ When Carolina orders steak, the waiter asks ‘How would you like it done?’ and he asks Jamie ‘And for you, sir?’ You probably won’t hear these expressions anywhere else. There are expressions for other places too. For example, in a clothes shop, you might say, ‘Have you got this in a size twelve?’ or ‘Can I try it on?’ It’s a good idea to learn some of these useful expressions for different situations. Do you remember, in another podcast, the way Carolina practised what she wanted to say before she went into a shop? If you keep these special expressions for different places together in your vocabulary notebook you can practise them when you need them.

Now, listen to Ravi talking to Abbie, who did the quiz.

Ravi: Where are you calling from, Abbie?

Abbie: From Manchester.  HIC!  Sorry.

Ravi: Another Mancunian, like me. Great. Have you got hiccups, Abbie?

Abbie: Yes, sorry.

Ravi: That’s OK.

Tess: Do you want to go and …

Ravi: BOO!

Abbie: HIC!

Tom: Ravi shouted ‘Boo!’ at Abbie because she had hiccups. Some people think that you can make hiccups go away by giving the person a shock. ‘Boo!’ is what we shout when we want to give people a surprise or a shock. Or if you’re playing with a baby you might hide your face and say ‘Boo!’ What do you say in your language?

Finally for today, I want to look at Ravi talking to Abbie again, a little bit after he shouted ‘boo’ at her.

Ravi: Hi Abbie. Have they gone?

Abbie: Yes, I think so. Sorry about that.

Ravi: That’s OK. Where were we? Manchester. What do you do in Manchester, Abbie?

Tom: Ravi said to Abbie, ‘where were we?’. They were talking, then they were interrupted by Abbie’s hiccups, then they started their conversation again. When Ravi said ‘where were we?’ he meant – what were we talking about before our conversation was interrupted?  See if you can use ‘where were we?’ this week. OK. That’s all we’ve got time for. I’ll talk to you all again next time.  Remember you can write to me about any language that you noticed in this podcast. The address is LearnEnglishPodcast @ BritishCouncil DOT org. In a moment you’ll hear the address for the website where you can read everything you’ve heard in this podcast. You can also find some practice exercises to do online and a Support Pack that you can print. Right.  That’s all for this time.  Bye for now!  See you next time.

Check your understanding

MultipleSelection_NTMyNg

Tess and Ravi

Practise the language you heard in Tess and Ravi’s introduction [00:23].

Task 1

ReorderingVertical_NTMyNw

Carolina

Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [14:49].

Task 1

GapFillDragAndDrop_NTMzMA

Task 2

MultipleSelection_NTMzMQ

Tom the teacher

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [00:00].

Task 1

GapFillDragAndDrop_NTMzMw

Task 2

GapFillTyping_NTMzNA

Task 3

Matching_NTMzNQ

Discussion

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

If you had a time machine, what "time" would you visit?Maybe I would like to travel back to my childhood.It was a good time in my life.

Unfortunately, I haven't got any special object, but I can stand it.
If I have a time machine, I would like to back in my childhood and started everything again.

Hello!
I think if I have a time machine I like to go about six or seven years later and see myself future.I want to know what will happen after that I leave my country to US or another country for a new life, I hope that will be nice because I really try for better life.

If I had a time machine, I’d say that I would visit 1960s cause in that time there were good music, cloths and whole life was, you know better, I mean calm and cheaper than now. I would look at my parents being young and how did the youth spend their leisure time. There weren’t any computers and smartphones that times and it means people were more outdoor. I think the whole life were more simple cause of there wasn’t that rush rhytm like now it is. People work more and more year after year cause of life becomes more expensive and economic situation more unstable than early.

If I had a time machine, I'd like to visit the Victorian Era, in Britain, surely ... All those castles and elegant clothes are interesting for me. But only for a while, because I'm not sure I like to live in that time. I really enjoy new technologies, so maybe I should travel to the future ... I think it's better to visit a museum, you do not need a time machine to travel to the past, it's cheaper. I don't know, I can not decide. I lost my chance in science fiction, I'm afraid.

So, its nice, if i had time mashine. I would like to visit 1990. It is time for starting internet. in 1990 internet penetraded in each home and i would create a some internet company or social networks and got a lot of money. 1990 was the beginning for create different companyes in my country. i want to create some company in my country, but i dont know , what can i do. i confused, because a lot of companies created and they are developing more time, than me.

Hi
In this sentence: You really should give it longer than three lessons.
Might I use "more" instead of "longer"? Is there any difference bettwen these two words?

Hi NahB,

You could use either 'more' or 'longer' here, with no difference in meaning. Technically, 'more' would mean 'more lessons' and 'longer' would mean 'more time', but it seems to me that this difference is not important here.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sir,
I have a little confusion about the following sentence structure.
It comes in the first section just after Ravi and Tess's conversation in Spanish.

"Ravi: Erm …. erm …. I didn’t know you spoke Spanish, Tess."

Confusion is: why Ravi said "you spoke Spanish" as per my understanding it must be like
"I didn't know you could speak Spanish". Is there any rule applied to the use of tense in this sentence? Sir, could you please explain?

And one additional doubt I want to clarify, what sentence would we say for the following situation?
The situation is: I am saying to my friend that don't always disturb me in the morning at 6am as I always sleep at that time.

Please clarify which is more suitable "Do not disturb me I would be sleeping at 6AM"
or "Do not disturb me I am sleeping at 6AM"
or "Do not disturb me I always sleep at 6AM"

Thank you very much in advance.

Hello parbodh,

In answer to your first question, for most verbs we would use the modal 'could' to show ability:

I didn't know you could swim = about a person's ability

I didn't know you swam = about a person's habits

However, with certain verbs we use the simple form to show ability. For example, while we can say 'I can speak English', we can also (and more frequently do say) 'I speak English' with the same meaning. Thus, it is fine to say either ...could speak... or ...spoke... here.

 

In answer to your second question, the most common way to say this would be ...I'm usually/always sleeping at six o'clock. This emphasises that the sleeping is in progress around that time – it began earlier and finishes later than six o'clock. If you say ...usually/alway sleep... it might suggest that you went to sleep at six.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

 

 

I didn't know you spoke Spanish

I didn't know you could speak Spanish

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