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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

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.

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.

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.

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)

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. :)

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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