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Knowledge is GREAT - Part 1

Richard goes to one of the world's greatest universities: Oxford. He discovers some of its history and hears about its famous students.

Task 1

Which of these topics do we hear about?


Task 2

Use a word or number to complete the sentences.


Task 3

Put the two halves together to make phrases from the video.


Task 4

Use the verb in brackets, and decide on the best verb form for each of these sentences.




Language level

Advanced: C1
Upper intermediate: B2


I have been to England before, but because of time, I didn't pay a visit to here. After this video, I really feel that I must visit this university next time.

Oxford is a wonderful university to training.I want to visit there one day

How can I download the video?? Help,please :)

hi Adam, how are you? I hope you felling good .
this my first time in this Website and i need your help to how can i improve my English language as a native language because the website Contains more subject and i  don't know how can start  with it and thank you  for all this information

Oxford, a great place to study in Great Britain :)

I have never been to Oxford,but i would like to go one day.I know some famos University:Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge...I think University are rally important if you want to succeded in life it is batter to finished some famouse and respectable University...
Thank you for this video "Knowledge is great" and also if i have some mistake in my santances plese tell me to correcte...
Best wishes

Hello, I'm new here and I don't know from where I'll start.. I want to learn English from the bigening i need an advice thank you all.

Hello HamDah!

For using the site, think of it as a library – just borrow what is interesting! We have lots of things to help you practice your English. A good place to start is our Elementary Podcasts. These are short radio shows about different subjects. You can read the transcripts and do the exercises to help you understand the show. You can talk to other learners in the comments, too.
Don't forget that we also have a search box. Put a topic into the box you're interested in – like 'meeting people' or 'the present simple' - and you'll get a list of pages about that topic.
If something is too hard, don't worry. Find something easier, and come back to it later. Just try to look at something every day!
Good luck!
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, everyone! Let me tell you that I appreciate the precious job that British Council does with this website.

Well, I have carefully and patiently heard and seen the video. I could perceive that Richard did not mention the definite article “the” before “Old Schools Quad” at the second paragraph and also could perceive that Sally did not mention the verb “be” in the present tense after “Many of the colleges” at the eighth paragraph, so why were they put on the transcript?
Visiting the Oxford Dictionaries website, precisely looking up the definite article “the”, I saw this: used to refer to a person, place, or thing that is unique. Thinking about the “Old Schools Quad”, I imagine that that quad is unique, so the definite article “the” must/might be used, and then the transcript is right. But why didn’t Richard speak/mention/use the definite article before that unique place? Has it anything to do with the word “Schools” being in plural?
About Sally, why didn’t she speak/mention/use “are”, now that that clause needed a verb? She could have paused, e.g.: “Many of the colleges, almost as old as that too, though some of them were established in the twentieth century”. However, in this case there would be two phrases and one clause, and the sentence could lose its meaning or could be difficult to understand.
Thank you very much.

Hi Rilton,
Thanks for your complement about LearnEnglish; I'm glad you like our work here.
You are correct that many unique places use 'the' in their names. Richard talks about the Bodleian Library, for example and we also refer to hotels (The Grand Hotel), theatres (The Globe), seas (The North Sea) and rivers (The Thames) using the definite article.
However, it's not true that all places use 'the'. Oxford University is also a unique place, but we don't use 'the' when we say or write it. The same is true of cities, streets etc. So you can see that places are one of the most difficult areas for the use of articles. You can read a bit more about there on this page about the use of 'the' in English.
To get back to your question, what about 'Old Schools Quad'? Well, I had to double-check it, which shows you how hard this area of English is, but it is usually used with 'the'. So, the transcript is correct and Richard probably missed out a word when speaking, although what he said doesn't sound particularly wrong to me. Remember that most people don't speak in perfect sentences, so there are times when we had to make a decision about whether to keep the transcript exactly the same as what was spoken or change it slightly so that our users could read perfect English.
As for Sally, I can actually hear her say 'are' at 1:55, although it's very quick.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team