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Episode 02

Elementary Podcasts

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!

Transcripts

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!

Discussion

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Language level

Intermediate: B1
Pre-intermediate: A2

Comments

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

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 !

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).

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.

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

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.

Good luck in your English learning!

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.

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 .

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.

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