You are here

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


Thanks a lot. This video is amazing. I got to know many things about English.

I'm stuying English in Morocco. Thank you Richard, this is an elightening video about English!.

How many things I can learn with these videos! Thanks a lot.
I don't know a lot about Italian language. But I know that there's a discipline that studies the evolution of the language, I don't know exactly the name. I think it's very interesting: many words that have different meaning in the past, or words that now are not very common in use.
I remember that in some English poems instead of "you" it was written "thou", wasn't it? But I couldn't read anything in old English.
What about the future? I think many words will not be used anymore and they will leave the place to new others, especially because of new technology, economy and other new sciences.

really, it is an intresting vedio, really I like it and really, English is great !

I have a problem with the exercise, it's saying INVALID XML CONFIG, but before it was working. Is it just happening to me or there is a problem in the site??

Hello denise_n,

I see you have problems on a couple of pages - I've answered your similar comment on another page with some questions.  Are you using the same device that was working before, or a different one?  If the same, have you tried clearing your browser cache/data?  This can often help.  If a different one, what happens when you go back to the other device?

The page is working fine when I test it, so I would guess that the problem is either temporary or something at your end.  Please let us know if the problem persists, and we'll try to help if at all possible.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Good day. In the Question "So, what impact has technology had on English language?" why we use the "had on"?  if we say the same sentence without it, is it mistake?

Hello geortheo,
This sentence is easier to understand if we look at it as a statement rather than a question:
'Technology has had a great impact on the English language.'
When you look at it this way, you can see that the 'had' here is part of a normal verb form - a present perfect form.  'On' is the preposition that always goes with 'have an impact (on something)', and so we can see that 'had on' is necessary in the sentence, unless you choose to change the tense, of course.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Is it possible to learn English listening in english-speaking radio, TV and so on?  I have a problem with the perception of English listening comprehension, although I understand the written language. Who can advise me?
Thanks in advance.

Hello alexpred3105,
Listening to authentic English on the radio, or watching on TV and so on, can certainly help you, though it can be frustrating if you don't understand very much.  A good step is to listen to texts which you can also read, such as audiobooks.  Then, as you get better at listening, you can move on to radio and TV programmes.  The BBC has excellent sites for its radio and TV programmes where you can find links to many different styles of programme.
I hope that helps you.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team