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Episode 01: Fingers crossed

The old friends are gathering around in Tony's café to share some good news. But the café might be closing down soon!

Do the Preparation task first. Then listen to the audio. Next go to each Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.


Language level

Intermediate: B1
Pre-intermediate: A2


Hello, can you help me with this... I don't now the meaning of "except she leaves the top off the
toothpaste tube" I really don't understand this sentence...

Hello Jim,

The word 'top' is probably what's confusing you here. One of the many meanings of 'top' is 'lid', i.e. the little plastic part that you take off to open the tube of toothpaste. Nowadays, the top of a tube of toothpaste is actually something you open and close rather than take off, but with older tubes some people removed them and then didn't put them back on again. That's Sarah's small complaint about Magda's behaviour now that they are flatmates.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

" It can only get worse". what does that mean? could you please explain more about this sentence.

Hello Vuong doan,

It means that something is going to be worse in the future than it is now. It is a pessimistic statement.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


I would wish to know if it is possible to write and if it has the same meaning the word "current" instead of "usual" for in the sentence below.

To be absent from your usual place. (e.g. on holiday)


Hello El Al,

Have you compared the definitions and uses of these two words in our dictionary? Just type them into the searchbox under Cambridge Dictionaries Online to see them. I think you'll see that both can be used, depending on what you want to say.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


Sorry but, in the preparation, "A university qualification", shouldn't be "An"?

Best regards,

Hello rodrigo-zayit,

No, the correct form here is 'a'. This is because the pronunciation of university begins with /ju:/ rather than /u:/.

You can check the pronunciation of words in the Cambridge Dictionaries Online (there is a search window on the right).

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

i want to the meaning of this
To be doing something that you shouldn’t be doing

Hi archijais,

'to be doing' and 'be doing' are continuous forms, and so in general indicate something in progress at the moment. The idea is that you are doing something, and you shouldn't be doing this thing.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team