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English is GREAT - Part 1

The story of English starts more than a thousand years ago. Richard goes to the British Library to hear – and see – how the language has changed over the years.

Task 1

Which of these things do Richard and Roger discuss at the British Library?


Task 2

Type in the missing words or numbers.


Task 3

Can you turn these SMS messages into correct English?


Task 4

Choose the best phrasal verb to complete the sentence.




Language level

Advanced: C1
Upper intermediate: B2


Hello Nizam Balinese,

The correct sentences would be as follows:


Technology enables people all over the world to speak English with each other on the internet but its impact will change the language.

However, the changes will take a long time, at least a hundred years or maybe more.

People often speak in a simple way. The main idea of communication is to get the message across.

So I guess the future of English is that it will have shortened words, it will be communicated with less grammar and adopt many words from other languages.


Please note that we do not generally correct sentences for our users. WIth so many users it is just not something we have time to do.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Richard sad "what impact has technology had on the English language?" what means "had". Here we have "has". so for what is required - "had" ?

Hello soxumi1995,

The form here is present perfect (see here for more infomation on this form). It is made as follows:

have/has + past participle

For example:

have looked

have eaten

has gone

has been

When the main verb is 'have' we use the past participle 'had' and so we have 

have had

has had


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much

When Ottoman Empire rule the world, they use Ottoman Turkish which is really far from different Turkish, though.It was difficult to write and speak.That's why Atatürk which is revolutionary, and founder of the Republic of Turkey altered our alphabet into Latin alphabet.
Well, I remember once I have tried to read Shakespeare's English and I couldn't make any sense, at all.I don't think that I would be able to read Middle English.
I'd argue that English will be changing more and more over time because of the technology.Everyday new words are being added, anyway.For instance, podcast,tweet,hashtag,skype,google and etc.

Hello everyone! I have a question. In the video Roger says 'there’s lots of reasons', ' there’s no grammars, there’s no guides to usage really,'. Is using the verb 'to be' in singular form correct?Thanks in advance.

Hello anton81,

Roger does indeed use these forms and it is common use in some dialects, though it is considered non-standard in most. The examples you highlight are the most common uses of this:

singular + lots of + plural noun

singular + no + plural noun


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I don't understand what means 'We capture a snapshot of what the language is like"

Hello Krucenko1990,

A snapshot is a quick photograph which shows what is happening at a particular moment. Here the word is used more broadly to mean any information which shows the current state of something. For example, a set of data about the economy can give a snapshot of the economy at a given moment.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Well I don`t know much about the history or evolving of Arabic. We spent much time learning it in school and it was interesting and full of art. It was much more complicated and difficult to understand, they used to write without dots, I don’t understand how as long as it is the same alphabet we are using today.
If reading Middle Arabic is difficult to me, I think Middle English is a mission impossible, as long as I don`t have any idea about the history of it or how people used to write. I`ve come across some poems for Shakespeare and it was like reading Chinese.
I agree with what was mentioned in the video, the abbreviated language used in texting and chat rooms is affecting English, and as technology is spreading out these changes are becoming faster. I hope it doesn`t change much cause it is very elegant and beautiful just the way it is.