Episode 02

Carolina and Emily are also back for Series 4! Along with Jo and Adam, they talk about the time of year when bargains can be had – the January sales!


Jo and Adam

Adam: Hello! And welcome to Episode 2 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. My name's Adam and my colleague Jo will be joining us later on to talk about some of the language in the podcast.

It was great to start reading all your comments again. A lot of comments were from old friends of the podcast from Series 3, 2 or even Series 1. Zara from Venezuela sent her greetings, and both Shnider from Egypt and Saulo from Brazil said 'welcome back'. Predkambrij from Slovenia and Dilshadcan from Iraq told us how the podcasts helped with their English. If you want to get the most out of the podcasts, remember to do the exercises as well as listening to the audio.

And thank you to everyone, like Andeo from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who welcomed Jo to the podcast team. We’re both really looking forward to working with you over the rest of the podcasts, whether you listen to them on the website or via our mobile app. You can find the LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts app by searching the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and there’s also a link on the LearnEnglish website.

I'm sure you remember the last episode was about the British and pets – and we asked you to tell us about your pets and the most popular pets in your country. And what a variety of pets you told us about!

Andeo talked about his dog Žućo, whose name means 'yellow’. Fabimuc from Colombia has a dog called Tango, who's only three months old. Aww! Jamir is also from Colombia and he used to fight with his siblings because they all wanted their cats in their beds at night!

Lam Tran from Vietnam said that, although dogs and cats are the most popular pets in his country, rabbits and hamsters have become more popular recently.

You told us about keeping cats, turtles, birds – like canaries or pigeons – sheep and even a frog! But you aren't all pet lovers! Lisa-chriki's husband had three rabbits as pets but Lisa didn't like the smell so he couldn't keep them. It’s important to think carefully before you get a pet because it can be a lot harder to give a pet away than to get one.

A lot of people made the point that keeping a pet, or not, depends on the culture of your country and the standard of living. Chocolar said that, in his part of West Africa, only a few people have money to look after pets – it's more important to look after people. In some places it's unusual to keep pets like dogs or cats, but people take good care of their cows, sheep and goats.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment – we really enjoy reading them and hearing what you think. It’s really interesting to read different answers to our questions from users all over the world.

Now it's time to hear from another old friend – Carolina. Carolina is from Venezuela, but she's living and studying in Newcastle in the north-east of England at the moment. She has a best friend called Emily and a boyfriend called Jamie. Let's see what she's doing today.



Carolina – At the shopping centre

Carolina: Oh. What a lot of people!

Emily: Well, yes. It's the first day of the sales. People go crazy. Let's go in here. I like their jeans.

Carolina: So do I. Oh, it's very crowded.

Emily: Come on. The jeans are over here.

Carolina: Excuse me … Um … Excuse me, please … excuse me.

Emily: What are you doing?

Carolina: Trying to get past the people.

Emily: You can't just say ‘Excuse me, excuse me’. You have to push. Like this. Look. Excuse me! Follow me!

Emily: These jackets are nice.

Carolina: Yes.

Woman: Excuse me. Excuse me.

Carolina: Aaargh!

Emily: Are you OK?

Carolina: That woman pushed me into the jackets. I nearly fell over. I thought the British were polite!

Emily: Not in the sales. Come on. The jeans are over there.


Emily: Well, I've got my jeans. What's next? What do you want to get?

Carolina: Well, you know. I'm being careful with my money.

Emily: I know – that's why we're here – at the sales. You can buy something. Oh, let's go in here. They've got really, really cheap T-shirts. Like two pounds each.

Carolina: No, I don't think so.

Emily: Why not? Look. Special sales offer. Two T-shirts for the price of one. Come on.

Carolina: Jamie told me about this shop.

Emily: Told you what?

Carolina: It isn't ethical. We shouldn't buy things there.

Emily: Oh, lord! What do you mean, it isn't ethical?

Carolina: The T-shirts are very cheap because they don't pay the workers enough money. They make them work long hours in terrible conditions.

Emily: Oh.

Carolina: Let's go for a coffee. I'll pay.

Emily: OK. You know you could buy four T-shirts for the price of two coffees, don't you? I mean, I understand what you mean, but …


Waitress: Here you are. Two coffees.

Carolina and Emily: Thanks.

Carolina: I don't think I like the first day of the sales.

Emily: We've only been in one shop!

Carolina: I know. Anyway, how are things going in your exciting new love life? With Cameron.

Emily: ‘Exciting new love life’? It's going quite well.

Carolina: Only ‘quite’ well?

Emily: Oh, OK. It's going very well. I really like him. I don't see him very often – he's busy working in the bookshop, and practising with the band – but it's good. I'm happy.

Carolina: I'm sooo glad, Emily.

Emily: He says he's going to write a song for me.

Carolina: No!

Emily: Can you imagine?

Carolina: Not really. ‘Oh Emily, with your lovely blue eyes, and your yellow hair’ – dang dang dang.

Emily: Blonde hair, please, Carolina. Not yellow.

Carolina: I can't wait to hear the song.


Jo and Adam

Adam: Phew! I don’t like crowds, but I love finding a bargain, something cheaper than usual. Jo is here with us again today – do you like the sales, Jo?

Jo: I do. But the January sales are a really big thing in Britain, aren't they?

Adam: That's right. Some people queue outside the big shops all night. They sleep in the streets waiting for the shops to open in the morning.

Jo: Oh, I’ve never done that. That’s crazy! Sleeping on the streets just to get a bargain?

Adam: Absolutely. But now let's talk about some of the language from the podcast. Jo?

Jo: Well, I want to talk about two common verbs – 'can' and 'should'. 'Can' and 'should' are both modal verbs. And modal verbs are different from verbs like 'go' or 'like'. Listen to Emily. What form of the verb follows 'can'?

Carolina: Well, you know. I'm being careful with my money.

Emily: I know – that's why we're here – at the sales. You can buy something.

Adam: 'You can buy something.’

Jo: That's right. 'Can buy', not 'can to buy'. We use the infinitive form of the verb but without 'to'. Now listen to Carolina.

Carolina: I can't wait to hear the song.

Jo: The negative of 'can' is 'can't'. 'I can't wait'.

Adam: Or 'I can't decide what to have for dinner tonight'.

Jo: And 'should' is the same. After 'should' we use a verb without 'to'.

Adam: And the negative is 'shouldn't'.

Jo: Listen to Carolina.

Carolina: It isn't ethical. We shouldn't buy things there.

Jo: Notice the pronunciation of 'should' and 'shouldn't'. It's spelt with an L – 'S-H-O-U-L-D', but the L is silent – we don't say it.

Adam: One more thing about modal verbs – we make a question by changing the word order – we don't use 'do' or 'did' to make a question. For example, 'Can you help me?'

Jo: Or 'What make of computer should I buy?'

Adam: Why don't you write and tell us what you think about sales? Do you love them or hate them? When's the most popular time for sales in your country? The address is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish.

Jo: And there are exercises on the website to help you with the language from the podcast – including 'can' and 'should'.

Adam: So, see you next time. Bye!

Jo: Bye!

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Submitted by Khalid waleed on Sat, 23/10/2021 - 01:40


A actually I like to get sales especially for electronics items. Add, in my country
the most time for sale is in end of year, Most of sale find into big and famous markets.

Submitted by jmajo on Tue, 26/01/2021 - 18:04

I don't have a particular feeling about the sales because I only buy something when I need it, I don't use to wait until sales time to buy the things I need and I think people should buy things only when they really need them, for instance, if I only will use 2 pairs of shoes why should I buy another one only because is cheap. I think sales and bargains are good when people really need what they buy, lots of people in my country buy clothes and stuff on sales and then they use it only once, that's problematic consumerism. I'm not sure when's the most popular time for sales in my country but I've noticed that in the time between seasons(for instance summer-autumn) all shops that sell clothes reduce the prices for the summer clothes to get rid of it before the autumn comes. Thanks for the episode. Great site!!

Submitted by Czar Aaron on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 15:29

Hi English writers ;) It is very well to write your opinion about your country sales. Also there are sales in Poland. Polish people loves discounts which is why shops constantly show discounts on some products. Of course there are special occasions like autumn clothes sales or opening the new shops where they offer many good bargains. Then there are queues and a crowd. I remember once special occasion in Warsaw. I appeared in front of the shop early morning. Polish people stayed very polite in the queue. The shop door was closed yet. When the doors was opened, people ran into the shop to catch products. This is always very fanny and sometimes these actions are shown on the Internet. However, I achieved the leather wallet and the leather gloves with reduced price there. Indeed I like discounts and I always read ingredients of each product because the palm oil is no good for the environment and I like products with more meat. I make shopping in UK and discounts are here also. As well as many shops have the special card for their clients. Then the prices are cheaper. It is great idea! Best wishes for everyone Let good bargains be in your stores

Submitted by Bruno2020 on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 16:38

hello from Brazil! Well,sales can be fantastic if there are true sales in the shops.Nowadays in Brazil there is black friday,which means on black friday the prices are lower,but the truth is here in Brazil,the shops keep the same prices,whether is black friday or not.So,it doesn't make any sense to buy things in those false sales events.

Submitted by kamicounciler on Thu, 09/01/2020 - 19:43

yes sales can be great,i d love sales specially on digital goods. in our country iran , there isnt a definit time for sales.

Submitted by Sergey Sh on Mon, 07/10/2019 - 07:14

I guess everybody loves bargains as evidenced by always lots of people there at these events. I can’t but notice that many becomes a bit crazy amid something store announced big discounts. As long as you are crowded by loads of people trying to push each other, all that can make you unfocused and distracted, so you can’t do purchase properly. I mean myself. That’s why I dislike these events when it’s so crowded that can contribute to my head hurts, so those who doesn’t know me enough find it to be stranger enough why I avoid from being there. Even when there is almost empty at some shop it’s always getting hard for me to do shopping cause I tend to hesitate a lot trying to make a good choice between several things. There is my own approach of how to be on sales without being crowded. I prefer doing it by means of internet. There are sales occurs there from time to time as well. The most popular places for sales are some big and famous shops as a rule and it doesn’t matter what season of the year is outside. You just come and they ask you whether you wanna get a discount card but besides after you took them your phone number, you are always up to date when the next sales coming.

Submitted by parisaach on Tue, 21/05/2019 - 07:37

In my country nearly all of clothes shops have end-of-season sales in the end of summer and winter. They sale clothes to empty their stocks and bring new season clothes. Another time that people like to buy cheap things in my country, is the day before our new year. I remember when I was young I liked to go out with my sister the last day of year and we usually went to Bazar [the biggest market in my city]. There were many shops and venders around venders sold very cheap and interesting things and shopkeepers brang their wares outside and they sold things cheaper. We enjoyed of buying cheaper goods though it was so crowded. Now I don't like to go to those places in the end of year because I really don't enjoy of buying the things I want when all the people push you and, wait long time to using fitting room. Actually I hate buying in crowded places I'd rather buy when the shops are empty and quiet.

Submitted by D-Trix on Thu, 04/04/2019 - 20:36

I think i'm not really interested in sales, during this period shopes are very crowded and people go crazy. They jostle in the aisles, fighting each other for clothes, computers and almost for evey things, they even spend sleepless nights in front of the shopping centres and for what purpse? to buy something maybe they don't really need it. What kind of a crazy world are we living in?

Submitted by User_User on Sat, 16/02/2019 - 19:50

Hello I don't buy at the sales because I would have to travel to the nearest town by public transport. If I bought something in town and I would want to give something back I would need to travel back to this town again, which always costs money and a lot of time. I mainly buy by mail order shopping. I've got two weeks to decide whether I keep the goods. If I wanted to give them back I could do that at a shop in the same village where I live. I don't buy t-shirts for less than 20 euro because I'm expecting bad quality then. I hope that the material is at least 99 per cent cotton. The conditions under which the workers work are of no importance for me. Bye

Submitted by ali aiad ali shanan on Mon, 28/01/2019 - 16:47

I really like sales in all time .I'm enjoy .

Submitted by cuneyt on Mon, 26/11/2018 - 20:39

Hi Everyone, I agree with Carolina What she say is true everything But there are the system all over the world. System name is capitalism. No longer we live with it. I am sorry say that is our life sytle. we did it. we have been depletive comminty while we had been producing comminty. we are eating the world. we will not find to produce anything. We will eat everything. The capitalism is like a snowball effect. İt is getting big day by day. We have a lots things. cars, TV, high tecnology mobile phone, foods etc. in Future We will not find to even for eat a bread. We must stop. in future is very dark. good night. sweat dreams if There are asleep people.

Submitted by Babak010 on Sun, 08/07/2018 - 09:58

hello guys i don't like sales because crowd and noisy, i think it's useless (my opinion), i think if you want, like or need the things you can buy it even if it's not in seals but sometimes some shops have good seals that i want see them especially if they be BRANDS.

Submitted by Emily on Tue, 05/06/2018 - 18:52

Hi! I'm Emily (yes, like Emily from the poadcast :-) ) and I'm from Italy. I don't like so much the sale's period, because I hate the crowd in the shops. Plus, it happens that i don't find the things that I need, especially about my size. I prefer to buy throughout other part of the year, not in january.

Submitted by Shiiya on Mon, 21/05/2018 - 12:17

Hi , I really like sales but I don´t like crowd , unfortunately in my country sales like "Black Friday" is a false discount they first rise the price and then on Black Friday they announce it on 50% off , sometimes them only have 10% off , but people in country become crazy in this time of the year , they buy a brand new mobile that they don´t need , they buy a such beautiful new shoes that they don´t need and so on , I can´t believe that .

Submitted by YUEHJUNGCHEN on Fri, 13/04/2018 - 15:35

Hi My name is Yueh-Jung. I am from Taiwan. I like go shopping but often just look. I like discount and sales to buy what I need. It's depend on my purpose to decide to like or unlike the crowd. The things looks like cheaper, but I still spend more of my budget. In fact ,It's more expensive on sale for me :( .

Submitted by Frenando Trenes on Thu, 05/04/2018 - 12:24

Certainly I don't like sales at all, because of the big amount of people inside the shops. I hate crowds! But, unlike me, my wife loves sales. She's very fond of them. When I need something, I go to one or other shop to get it, no matter if we're in sales time or not. Greetings from Madrid (Spain).

Submitted by Mary Mullane on Mon, 05/03/2018 - 16:23

We like the sales because the prices are reduced. Sometimes they have special offers. You can buy one and get one free. The best sales in the Ukarainne are in January and also on Mother's day. The discounts are between 5% and 25%. In Bangladesh we never have sales of discounts. The best time for sales in South Africa is from January to mid February. Usually the discount is around 25% Posted by Mary's English Class

Submitted by Tomoaki Hachiya on Mon, 19/02/2018 - 20:42

Oh, I hate crowds and bargains. First of all, I hate big cities like Tokyo, New York, or London. I like quiet, calm countryside, and do my shopping in a quiet, less people around shop. I'm not interested in cheaper prices, I don't mind paying a little bit more money if I can do shoppin in a quiet circumstance.

Submitted by Chris 2018 on Thu, 01/02/2018 - 23:03

Hi guys, I came to participate in your company

Submitted by Mohamed Salah 91 on Tue, 28/11/2017 - 12:38

Hi, my name is Mohamed Salah, i am from Egypt. In Egypt the period that there is large sales in various shops and brands is the black Friday, there is very large discounts on various products like clothes, electronics, ... etc. Due to the economical status of the country that it is reflected on the people, a lot of people wait this day to buy what they need with lowest costs. the shops are being very crowded on that day. So i think that making discount is very good idea either for consumer or the seller, bet i wish to say that shops should increase the period of the sale to a week, not only two days.

Submitted by hanhtoro97 on Thu, 16/11/2017 - 15:55

Hi! My name's Hanh. To me, the day of the sales is not important for me. I only buy something if necessary. In my country, the shop usually have sales in December- the final month of the year. In this time, there are a lot of people go to the shops and buy the cheap cloths. The street is so crowd, so I don't like to go out this times.

Submitted by fatema yaz on Tue, 14/11/2017 - 20:41

hi I am fatema from Jordan I like the sales so I can buy my needed with a suitable price I think in sales we spend a lot of money to got a good bargain in our country the sales on January for winter and in September for summer

Submitted by Yulia4 on Sun, 05/11/2017 - 12:46

Hello! My name is Yulia. I am from Russia, from Siberia. I am a doctor, but I can not spend a lot of money. I like shopping. Many people in my country like discounts and sales. During the sale we by a lot of things, which we do not need. As, a result we spend loads of money !

Submitted by CyntiaSuryadewi on Fri, 03/11/2017 - 02:08

Hay, I like sales but sometimes sales make us spend money out of budget. Especially for women who love shopping very much , please be careful with your wallet and credit card. Keep rational so you can buy only the thing that you really need not just because it prices is cheap. Because based on my experience, i bought a lot of t-shirt in sales last month but until now i just wear 1 or 2 t-shirt. I think it's kind of wasting our resources (money).

Submitted by BienDong on Fri, 13/10/2017 - 09:15

I think, alot of people like discount or sales, so do i. But i dont like crowd, i don't like push each other. So anyway that's my opinion.

Submitted by vishnujana on Wed, 06/09/2017 - 16:09

In our Country very popular second hand shops because new cloths are expensive for general.

Submitted by mary nastase on Sun, 03/09/2017 - 07:36

Hello and thanks for the lessons! I'm from Romania and a always enjoy your podcasts. I do a lot of listening and a lot of reading with your help but it is still hard for me when i tray to write. Anyway, you help a lot, i hope one day i'll be confident enought and express myself better in write!!! You are doing a great job for the english learners from all over the world.

Submitted by Sergei Shv on Mon, 28/08/2017 - 02:37

Hello The LearnEnglish Team! As for me I have neutral position regarding to the sales so I rarely visit clothing shops. I mean I'm not hooked on some new cloths, brands, collections and etc. Plus I also dislike to be crowded when there are lots of good discounts at shops. In that situation it can you upset when you try out some new shirt or jeans you selected but all of the fitting rooms are busy. Moreover you often have to wait inside huge queue to get a cash desk like you are in airport. What the good things in that situation when you are at some big shop where there are lots of people trying to do some bargains are you can meet your friends or even make acquaintance with new people or just listen music that sounds everywhere at shop. The most popular time for sales here in Russia also like in other countries is afternoon and tonight. Therefore if you wanna avoid big queues you'll better do your shopping in the morning but in many cases it's only possible in weekday but not in day off of course. Thanks a lot for the episode.

Submitted by alaaaaa on Sun, 27/08/2017 - 14:48

hi i'm Alaa from Egypt we have sales in jun too their are clothes comes from china, Italy, England and french. and Egyptian clothes too. but i don't like sales day's it's very crowded .

Submitted by avilart48 on Wed, 23/08/2017 - 17:54

Hi! I'm Luis from México. In México there is a lot of cheap clothes because it arrives from China and there are sales from U.S.A. There were high-quality clothes made in México but the illegal importations make them damages.

Submitted by Yelin on Mon, 19/06/2017 - 02:45

I like the sales, I don't love them because of the crowds, but it's interesting when you can find a bargain in a place not too noisy. The clothes usually are really expensive, so I try to find a discount, online or in the stores. I often ask it when I go to buy something. In Colombia we don't have a popular time for sales, but there are places where the brands often offer discounts, or cheaper products.

Submitted by Shunlai on Tue, 16/05/2017 - 18:07

I really really love Sales.We can get Buy 1, Get 1free, big disscount . Sales always make me happy.I can buy something I can't buy bcoz of high price during Sales. In my country ,December and January are the most popular time for sales. So do April,Our Country New Year Month.

Submitted by MarinaMaki on Mon, 15/05/2017 - 14:39

Hi, I like sales but I not prefere go there on first day. Mostly there are many people, it is always a crowd. I think that people should be very carefull when they by on sale, because of there are so many chlothes (things) that are fault. One more thing, on sale, I always by something what I actually needn't.

Submitted by khinpapa naing on Thu, 27/04/2017 - 07:53

I liked sales and discount when I was young now I don't like to go there.Because a lot of people are crowded and pushed each other and sale of goods are most not good. In our country(Myanmar), sales and discount are made new years days (25th December to 5 January) and Myanmar new years days( 1 April to 12 April)

Submitted by TatiNovik on Fri, 14/04/2017 - 04:53

I like discounts and sales, but the important thing is not to buy unnecessary things. I don't like when a lot of people throw things out, in my opinion it's awful and I do not participate in such activities. prefer discounts brand stores, where there are no queues. :)

Submitted by Jacob Weaver85 on Wed, 12/04/2017 - 17:44

I like sales also, especially if we look at interactive content such as computer games. One of my favourite sale is christmas sale on steam platform. I'm interested in good quality tools for car mechanics too because usually they're expensive and when you catch that kind of occasion it's worth saved money.

Submitted by Mydinh boy on Sat, 08/04/2017 - 04:40

I think everyone loves sale and so do I. However I'm not really conflict to sale. In my country, sale is popular especially clothes good. whenever there is discount , people rush into shops and they spend much money on their favorite things. I myself prefer buying online to going to shops. For me I think sale is good chance for many people to spend little money on good things.

Submitted by ejossue on Fri, 24/03/2017 - 19:00

I like the sales in shops because you could have a better price on some clothes and even electronics. In spite of the low prices, some shops make up the price, they raise the normal price, then apply a discount and then people think they are paying a low price. That's a trick that many shops do to mislead the people. Be careful when buying on sales! XD

Submitted by anaisavecas on Thu, 23/03/2017 - 16:29

Dear British Council Team. Thanks for your colaboration. I have solved the problem. greetings to you.

Submitted by anaisavecas on Tue, 21/03/2017 - 00:26

Dear British council team, in the series four says that you can find the LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts app by searching the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, but I do not download it. I need to improve English and I would like listening from my mobile. Is this page paying or free? I have been trying download but I can not. Please, can you help me? Thank you.

Submitted by Mortoja on Fri, 20/01/2017 - 15:15

Hi I am Mortoja. I am from India.Frankly I am not much shopaholic but People in India usually shop more during the occasion like Durga puja, diwali, Eid festival, and before big day of 25th december. They also get some lucrative discount for buying cloths, necessary stuffs they needed for the festival and many things they want to buy.

Submitted by FRADJA on Tue, 10/01/2017 - 11:26

Most of the clothes shops in Algeria haven’t sales, generally they reduce price only in the end of season especially for the good quality. Some people have to buy some clothes in the end of season to wear them in the next, I prefer that too.