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Episode 17

To negate or not to negate? Shakespeare and negative verb forms are the topics the team speak about in this week's episode.

Tess & Ravi



Language level

Intermediate: B1


Hello Gabriel Ferraz,

Contractions are a reflection of how English is spoken and they are very common in speech. In fact, if someone did not use contractions while speaking it would sould very unnatural, extremely formal and possible rather robotic.

We use contractions in informal writing but generally we avoid them in more formal writing.


I hope that helps to clarify it for you. The more you read, the more you will develop a feel for when such stylistic devices are appropriate.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, tnx for your useful podcasts,
About your question, i should telll you in my opinion continues assessment system is better than exam system, because exam system will be forget after while.

Thank you very much Peter M

Good afternoon everyone, It's very nice episode
I want to kow when I can use haven't or don't have


When 'have' is the main verb then we usually use the negative don't have.

When 'have' is an auxiliary or helper verb (such as in present perfect forms) then we use haven't.

For example:

I have a dog > I don't have a dog [have as main verb]

I have some time > I don't have any time [have as main verb]

I have been here before > I haven't been here before [have as auxiliary verb]

We have got £10 > We haven't got £10 [have as auxiliary verb]


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I love Shakespeare plays. But I've only watched (Tempest, King Lear) ou read (Hamlet, Tempest, King Lear, Henry IV, Romeo and Juliet...) them in Portuguese. I'd like to read them in English someday, but in modern English.

Actually, I have never watched Shakespeare's play, I just heard that he was very famous and the "Romeo and Juliet" is very famous.

Good evening everyone.
To be honest I don't know much about Shakespeare, even I haven't seen any movies in my country but I think I saw plays theatre ,Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet.
I know it's a bit embarrassing but I will try to have learn more about him due to the fact that William Shakespeare is the greatest writer in the world and I must know more about his life or maybe his operas. I will try to find some movies and some plays of the theatre of him.

Hi there,
The podcast is very nice, i enjoyed it so much. But i'm very confusing the phrase "i'm not sure, i'd go that far". Can you explain about it?
Thank you,

Hi Lotustran,

This phrase means 'I agree with you, but only up to a point'. We use it when we don't disagree with someone, but we think that they are exaggerating, or giving too strong an opinion. For example:

I think that film was the best film ever!

I'm not sure I'd go that far. It was good, but not the best ever.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team