Episode 06

Carolina and Jamie disagree about telling Emily about Cameron as they get ready to eat dinner, while Adam and Jo consider potatoes and the past continuous. 



Adam: Hello and welcome to Episode 6 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. My name is Adam and, as always, Jo will be joining me later to talk about some of the language in the podcast.

As usual I'll start by looking at your comments on the last episode. If you remember, Tess and Ravi talked about the British personality. People all over the world seem to think that the British are cold and reserved, not very friendly. Tess and Ravi weren't sure that it's true (and neither were Jo and I!), but maybe that's because we're British. So what do you think? Is it true or just a stereotype that people believe?

And, from the comments that we received, it seems that most of you do think that the British are a little reserved and sometimes unfriendly. Giulia12 from Brazil lived in London for a year. She says 'I had very few British friends but they were very friendly with me all the time which I truly appreciated 'cause they made me feel at home.' But although she had a few good friends, Giulia found most other British people very polite but a little cold. Maybe, as Meli12 and Antomun both say, British people need to get to know you a bit before they can relax and be more open to friendship.

Betty1 sent a comment from the UK and she also thinks that the British aren't very friendly. She's lived in Britain for a few years and says that she doesn't have any British friends at all. But she finds elderly people often ask her where she's from and enjoy talking to her. That's interesting, Betty – perhaps older people do enjoy talking to strangers more than young people.

Tanni from Pakistan agrees with the British attitude to the home and privacy. She thinks it's the only place where you can be comfortable and it should be private. And Emir Çağrı from Turkey says that he thinks the British seem to be reserved, but he actually likes that about us – it isn't always a bad thing.

And finally, Englishlover2015 writes about some other ideas that people in Yemen have about the British – we always talk about the weather, we say 'please' and 'thank you' a lot, we're well organised in queues and we're always punctual. Tess and Ravi have talked about some of these topics in earlier podcasts. So listen back if you want to hear what they said.

So thanks for all your comments and, please, keep sending them in. And I'd like to remind you again about the Elementary Podcasts app with lots of features for you to help you learn more English, including questions to test your understanding of the podcast. You can download the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and there's also a link to the app on the LearnEnglish website. And there are even more exercises on the website plus other features.

And now for today's episode. We're going to see what Carolina and her friends are up to. Do you remember what happened in the last episode? Yes! Carolina and Jamie saw Emily's boyfriend Cameron kissing another woman. Will they tell Emily .... or won't they? Let's find out. 


Carolina – In the kitchen

Carolina: Where are the potatoes?

Jamie: In the shopping bag.

Carolina: Can you wash them? I'm making the salad.

Jamie: If you’re washing the salad then I can't wash the potatoes.

Carolina: Here. Look. I've nearly finished. I don't know why you're angry with me.

Jamie: No, you don't, do you?

Carolina: Is it because I told Emily that we saw Cameron with another woman?

Jamie: Mmm. There might be a connection.

Carolina: Oh, Jamie. What did you want me to do?

Jamie: I wanted you to wait.

Carolina: Wait for what?

Jamie: Wait until we know the whole story. Maybe the other woman was an old girlfriend and he was saying goodbye to her …

Carolina: Can you pass me that knife?

Jamie: Here. Maybe he just met her that day and then didn't want to see her again … maybe …

Carolina: Maybe, maybe, maybe. He was kissing her, Jamie. That's not ‘maybe’. Maybe you're afraid that Cameron will be angry with you and leave the band? Is that the problem?

Jamie: How do you want these potatoes? Chips? Mashed?

Carolina: Mashed. Do you want tomatoes in this salad?

Jamie: Yes, please.

Carolina: Can you get them out of the fridge?

Jamie: Sure ... OK, Carolina. I'm sorry. You're right. I know you're right. You had to tell Emily. I don't want to fight about this any more. It's just … I don't know … Cameron's my friend.

Carolina: I know. But he's not a nice man, Jamie. He's made Emily so upset.

Jamie: Where is she tonight?

Carolina: She went home to her parents for the weekend. She'll be back tomorrow.

Jamie: Poor old Emily. Where's the salt?

Carolina: In the cupboard over there. Yes, poor Emily. Grrr. I'm so angry with Cameron.

Jamie: Calm down. You're killing that salad.

Carolina: I never want to see Cameron again.

Jamie: Well, you have to see him sometimes. We're in a band together, remember? He's the lead singer.

Carolina: So you have to see him – but I don't.

Jamie: Don't be stupid. What about the gig at the Students' Union? Our first concert?  You'll see him there.

Carolina: I don't know if I want to go to the concert.

Jamie: What! Are you serious?

Carolina: Maybe … Yes … oh, I don't know. And don't call me stupid.

Jamie: I'm in a band, it's really important to me, we've got our first gig soon and my girlfriend tells me she doesn't want to come. Fantastic … What do you want on the salad? Oil and lemon?

Carolina: Yes, please.

Jamie: Have you got any lemons?

Carolina: They're in the fridge. Anyway, I'm working the night of the gig. I'll be in the shop.

Jamie: You can ask Alice to swap days with you. She can do your Saturday evening and you can do her Sunday. Don't use work as an excuse.

Carolina: I'll think about it.

Jamie: Great.

Carolina: Come on. Let's eat.

Jamie: Yeah. Let's.


Jo and Adam

Adam: Hello again, Jo!

Jo: Hello everybody!

Adam: So ... Carolina told Emily about Cameron and the woman in the pub!

Jo: And Jamie isn't very happy about it!

Adam: No – they don't sound very happy, do they? I hope they enjoy their dinner!

Jo: Hmm. They're having mashed potatoes. I love potatoes!

Adam: I love roast potatoes. They're the best!

Jo: Jacket potatoes, loads of butter is delicious! Or chips ... Do you cook at home a lot, Adam?

Adam: I cook as much as I can. Sometimes I'm too tired and I do something really simple – just pasta and pesto. I try not to eat too many takeaways or frozen meals.

Jo: I hardly ever cook at home, to be honest. My husband is a brilliant cook.

Adam: And what about you, listeners? Do you cook at home? Or do you eat in a canteen, or buy something to eat on the way home? Write and tell us.

Jo: And I'd like to know your favourite way of eating potatoes!

Adam: The address is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish. ... Now, let's look at some of the language that we heard in the podcast. Jo?

Jo: Carolina and Jamie saw Cameron in the pub – with another woman. Listen to Jamie. Listen to the verb forms.

Jamie: Maybe the other woman was an old girlfriend and he was saying goodbye to her …

Jo: 'Maybe he was saying goodbye to her'. 'Was saying'. This form of the verb is the past continuous.

Adam: And some grammar books call it the past progressive.

Jo: It's the verb 'to be' in the past and the 'ing' form of the verb. Listen to another example.

Carolina: Maybe, maybe, maybe. He was kissing her, Jamie. That's not ‘maybe’.


Jo: 'He was kissing her'. Carolina saw Cameron – and what was he doing? He was kissing the woman in the pub. Let's have another example, Adam.

Adam: OK. Um ...  Hey, Jo. I saw you yesterday in the street.

Jo: Really? What was I doing?

Adam: You were carrying three big bags of shopping.

Jo: Ah, yes ... I was going home from the supermarket. ... So why didn't you help me!

Adam: Sorry! I was in my car – I was driving! There are exercises on the website and in our LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts app about past continuous and other things connected to the podcast – including ways of cooking potatoes, Jo.

Jo: Mmm. And don't forget to write to us with your comments. See you next time!

Adam: Bye!

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Submitted by jmajo on Sat, 06/02/2021 - 14:40

Yes, I love to cook at home, in fact I cook for my family most of the times, I use to cook dinner almost every day, I'm not a professional but my relatives said I do it really well. I never buy fasten food, frozen or precook food because I think it's not healthy at all, I rather prefer use fresh ingredients and some vegetables grown in my garden to make fresh salads and home made food, but sometimes I do buy some frozen meat though. It's difficult to know the conditions in which most of the canteens or shops make the food they sell, sometimes they use to include ingredients that are nearly out of date. Definitely my favorite recipe to cook potatoes is the mashed potatoes, I use to mash them with olive oil, salt, some milk, garlic and a bit of marjoram. Delicious! Thanks for the episode. Great site!!

Submitted by Marey Saad on Mon, 05/10/2020 - 19:44

The situation is completely different here in my country, mothers always cook and we sometime buy takeaway food from canteens.

Submitted by danisep on Tue, 29/09/2020 - 17:24

The majority of times my parents cook especially my father, He is a great cooker, but when I’m alone I cook simplest meals like pasta with tuna and mashed potatoes or things like that. Potatoes are one of my favorite foods, so I like them in various ways like fries with ketchup or roast but I prefer them mached because they are more healthy.

Submitted by SamerTJ on Mon, 08/06/2020 - 12:49

I used to cook for me and my classmates for about 5 years and I still know how to prepare a lot of delicious meals. However, nowadays I eat in a canteen at my university.

Submitted by Bruno2020 on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 16:57

Well!I rarely cook at home,I live with my parent,so normally I do not need to cook.I love baked potatoes with cheese.

Submitted by Shinchan on Tue, 30/07/2019 - 09:26

I don’t know about cooking so much. I cook very often.I love chicken.Sometimes i hangout with my friends and we eat various type of food.I like fries potato.

Submitted by Lee Min Ho on Tue, 30/07/2019 - 07:47

Yes i love cooking, specially chicken item. Sometimes i buy fast food item but don't like it that much.I like home made food cause it is tastier and healthier. I like fried potatos with some salt and red Chili powder, its yummy!

Submitted by Goodfellas on Tue, 30/07/2019 - 06:44

I'm a food lover. I like homemade food. Though I'm not expert in cooking but I can manage to cook which is worthy to eat.

Submitted by linkin park on Mon, 29/07/2019 - 18:22

i like junk foods.I also cook food in my home.but i like fried chicken most.

Submitted by Farhan on Sun, 28/07/2019 - 07:44

I like homemade food so I like to cook . It's also hygienic and healthy.I don’t know to cook very much.but I like eating in the home...

Submitted by Lucy Heartfilia on Sat, 27/07/2019 - 18:11

I like homemade food so I like to cook . It's also hygienic and healthy. Sometimes I also buy food from the canteen whenever I feel a little bit lazy to cook food... And also if I become too much hungry I buy something to eat on the way home. My favorite way of eating potatoes is fried potatoes.. they're the absolute best.

Submitted by Cinderella on Wed, 24/07/2019 - 16:12

I like any types of food which is tasty .I cook at home and don't go outside to eat frequently .I order food from outside sometimes on any occasion .

Submitted by parisaach on Wed, 29/05/2019 - 05:57

Actually I don't like cooking . I live with my parents and my mother always cook. She always tell me you should learn to cook but I guess cooking is not difficult. I used to cook sometimes when I was at school I cooked pastery and when my mother was seek I cooked. Anyway the only way I like to eat potato is french fries . I guess all the people like french fries.

Submitted by ali aiad ali shanan on Sun, 03/02/2019 - 11:52

I don’t know to cook very much.but I like eating in the home

Submitted by cuneyt on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 22:36

Hi Everyone, I was cooking food hardly a day goes when I was a unıvesity but I didn't (did not) konw to cook much food. I cooked omelet, pasta instant soup and french fries. I like to cook foods. I am asking myself why I wasn't a chef Whatever I like go to the restaurant. Espcially I enjoy to try specific foods. I never have ate food while I was walking. It ıs not good. Whe have to respect dishes. All of them is felicity. We can drop and step on its. We must be careful if We eat something. My wife is preparing foods for me because she kons off work before me. Hardly I help to her at weekend. I don't ( did not) work at weekend so I should help. We are family. Nowadays we eat go out .We will be baby boy three month later. My wife can't stand all time.Finally I like french fries and baked potato. İts turkish name is kumpir. we also put into sausage, ketchup, mayonnaise, pease, pickle butter and cheese . İt is very delicious. You can eat it in istanbul from Turkey. Good night May god protect you( too disbeliever)

Submitted by krig on Fri, 31/08/2018 - 06:57

I am surprised that Jamie don't know anything about Cameron's private life - after all he is his close friend! And more it worse if he knows but doesn't tell the truth (but I don't think so).

Submitted by Dania92 on Fri, 27/07/2018 - 08:55

i like home made food because it is more healthy and clean but some times i have many things to do so i go and bring some thing to eat my special potatoes is mashed potatoes it is really very delicious i aften add some chesse to it

Submitted by Emily on Mon, 25/06/2018 - 17:18

Hi everyone! In Italy cooking is a normal activity for every woman, in every good family. Especially in the south, we cook a big variety of food, known in all over the world, as pasta, pizza, vegetable's dishes, fish's dishes, cured meats of great quality. My special potatoes are cooked in the oven, with olive oil, salt, oregano and a mix of peppers (black, green, red, white pepper together). Very delicious!

Submitted by natiolicosta on Tue, 12/06/2018 - 00:33

Hi, everyone! I don’t know to cook very much. Nowadays I only work, so I take my mother’s food to work. I love it, it’s really good. And my favourite potatoes is fries! :)

Submitted by Shiiya on Tue, 29/05/2018 - 12:28

Hello, I am always cook at home , because it is healthy and cheaper , and nowadays cooking are at fashion with a lot of cooking program on tv , cooking is a kind of therapy for me and when you made a beautiful dish and people praise you it makes me feel so proud.

Submitted by Hal55 on Wed, 09/05/2018 - 23:11

I'm use to cooking by myself. Actually, I don't like cooking very much. but I don't want to eat anything bad for my health. and I'm trying to lose my weight. so I only cook and eat salad and smoothie and roasted chicken. that's all. I really love potatoes. but I haven't had any potatoes for ages for my diet. I would want to taste it in chips... thank you :)

Submitted by B1968 on Fri, 13/04/2018 - 08:59

Hello every body I like potato when throw in fire.

Submitted by Tomoaki Hachiya on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 21:41

Carolina, please forgive Cameron, men sometimes flirt with attractive women.  I am one of them. I sometimes (in the past, of course) flirt with some girls and have some relationships with them, but it's not serious, just a fickleness. I do love my wife and want to continue to be a good husband forever!

Submitted by TitorGonzalez on Sat, 11/11/2017 - 20:25

Hellos I´m from Mexico. In the Weekend, People here, eat in family, the sons and grandchildren the come to grandparents to have a delicious meal. But in the week, the single persons buy food for eat because they don´t have time to make food, the job is very absorbent. However married people afther the school, go home and eat with here kids, some times they go to a restaurant o buy somethig, It depends.

Submitted by Lisa320 on Mon, 06/11/2017 - 07:38

Please i have a worry i want to know if i should listen to all the series about listening skills before moov to something else reading skills for exemple or what should i do exactly? Thanks

Hello Lisa320,

This is entirely up to you and your needs and interests. LearnEnglish is very flexible and you can use it in many different ways. You can find more information on how to use the site most effectively on our Help pages.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Lisa320 on Mon, 06/11/2017 - 07:30

I like cooking for other People because generally when i have finished i can not eat the meal i cooked. I prefer someone else to cook for me so i like eating mum plats they are always delicious.

Submitted by LilianaGomez on Thu, 12/10/2017 - 20:15

I cook at home. I prefer natural meals to unhealthy food. Although, sometimes I can buy a takeaway from the vegetarian restaurant. I don't like waiting for waiters, and dishes, and the bill. It takes too much time.

Submitted by vishnujana on Sun, 10/09/2017 - 18:52

I do not eat in a canteen, cafe because I am squeamish and home meal cheaper.

Submitted by ngoc phule on Sat, 12/08/2017 - 16:29

hi, i'm Phu, a newcommer.

Submitted by VictoriaNY on Sun, 02/07/2017 - 17:40

I always cook at home ans think that do it OK. But I hate cooking every day. I like to cook in the mood only. It's hard for me to cook every day but I have to do it beacuse it more cheap than go to a cafe or a restaurant. I like fried eggs with tomatoes. It's tasty and easy to cook)

Submitted by Mehmet F. Kara on Fri, 30/06/2017 - 21:41

Sometimes I cook at home. Especially I really enjoy cooking meal when I try to new recipes. Because I believe that trying different flavours enhance my creativity. Besides I think that is more healthy, tasty and low-cost . But lack of time is one of the factor of restrictive. I prefer fried potato together other fried vegetables like squash, eggplant, pepper and tomato. Optionally we can sprinkle yogurt with garlic over.

Submitted by Mariam33 on Wed, 14/06/2017 - 19:37

I cook very often! I cook for my friends,my family and my boyfriend,i find cooking relaxing! I don't eat very often potatoes but when i do,i cook them in the oven.

Submitted by Princess Nouran on Sat, 20/05/2017 - 14:05

Hello, Thanks for this. I really don't like to cook, i like every thing ready for me and sometimes I order delivery.

Submitted by karroum_oguad on Sun, 07/05/2017 - 14:18

Hello, I'm new hère, and after a long search on net, i found you program is the best but, if possible to add one thing very important, about connecting speech, mean add another transcript of each episode showing linking, stress, assimilation, elision ,...

Submitted by Peter M. on Mon, 08/05/2017 - 07:15

In reply to by karroum_oguad


Hello karroum_oguad,

Thank you for the suggestion. We may include more exercises on pronunciation in the future, including exercises on connected speech. I think it would be an enormous task, however, to show any more than a few examples in the transcript.

You can, of course, listen to and read the text at the same time and identify which words are linked in that way. Trying to speak with the recording - keeping pace with it - is a good way to practise speaking quickly and linking your speech.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by ejossue on Wed, 29/03/2017 - 00:49

I like cooking and potatoes, but I have no much time to do it though. My wife and I usually do simple and quick meals for breakfast or dinner. In Mexico we cook potatoes in many ways, one of them that I like is, you mashed the potatoes and then fry them with oil then serve them with a salad and salsa. I love fried potatoes with ketchup and salsa. :P

Submitted by ioannanioti on Wed, 18/01/2017 - 12:31

hi, I was studying English in my youth but I let them go for a long period of time. You see I'm a sixty years old widow now, with two adult children, who has their own life. I always wanted to travel but I had no time. Now I have all the time to do what always wanted to. That is the reason why I registered in your site. The episode 6, is the first I read and I found it very interesting and helpful. Thanks in advanced for any help you could give me. I look forward to it and for your reply too. As for the potatoes I like them fried and I cook them often enough despite their bad effect on my health. my regards ioanna

Hello ioanna,

Welcome, and thanks for your message. You've chosen a good place to start - Elementary Podcasts is great for reviewing general English and can help you especially with improving your vocabulary, listening comprehension, grammar and essential English for talking with other people. You might also want to read through our Frequently asked questions, where there's some general advice on how to get the most out our site.

We look forward to seeing more comments from you, and please don't hesitate to ask us any questions you may have.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team