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Episode 07

In this episode Tess and Ravi talk about their families, and their guests talk about Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Muhammed Yunus and life in Cairo. You can follow Carolina in Newcastle, but in this episode she’s not feeling very well. Will she have to go to see a doctor?

Elementary Podcasts: Tess & Ravi

Listen to the podcast then do the first exercise to check your understanding. If you have more time choose some of the language practice exercises.

Check your understanding


Language practice exercises

Task 1

Tess and Ravi

Practise the language you heard in Tess and Ravi’s introduction [00:20].

Use the information below to complete the Conversations in English activity.

            Dad ------------------------- Mum 
(died two years ago)   |   (lives in Swindon)
                   Harry (28, builder)
                   Julia (26, works in an office)
                   Dave (24, works in a bank)
                   Dan (22, graphic designer)
                   Paula (20, student)


Task 2

Carolina 1

Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [15:10].


Task 3

Carolina 2

Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [15:10].


Task 4

Tom the teacher 1

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [22:30].


Task 5

Tom the teacher 2

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [22:30].


Task 6

Tom the teacher 3

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [22:30].




Language level

Intermediate: B1
Pre-intermediate: A2


Hello Eddi,

Some verbs can be followed by either the -ing form or to-infinitive. On these pages you can see some examples:

In this example, there is a difference in meaning:

When you stop thinking about it = do not think about it any more

When you stop to think about it = pause in  what you are doing so that you can think about it


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

As for me, it mainly depends on how far you’re going to go, on the weather outside and your mood. If there is a sunny day I prefer to walk the distance of five to ten kilometers. If I’m in the mood for rain I can go for a walk or get to work on foot when it’s raining. When it comes to traveling far I prefer train to bus. I love planes but I haven’t experienced long distance flying yet. Well, actually I’ve flown in a plane for a couple of times but I’ve never landed in it. I mean, I’ve taken off but always landed by myself using a parachute. I love to ride a bicycle too but mostly for fun and not on business.

I think I live in a town rather than in a city. That’s probably why we don’t have such public transport as underground or even trams here. The most common ways of traveling in my town are trolleybuses and vans which are modified for human transportation and run by private carriers. Of course, there are plenty of taxis in the streets too. The fastest and, that is why, the most expensive way to reach one’s destination is a taxi. A taxi is the only transport you can use after midnight. Although, about two trolleybuses have recently started working overnight here. The thing is that the fare is doubled and number of routs is limited. A trolleybus is the cheapest and the slowest public transport during a day. Vans which I mentioned above are something in between and that makes them the most popular public vehicles among the citizens. As for me, I like to walk to places when there’s no rush or go by van when I need to get somewhere quickly or when I’m just tired. I use taxis mostly at night or when there is no other possibility to reach a desired destination on time and on foot. It could be situated too far from the nearest stop, for example. I usually walk to and from work as it is not very far from the place where I live. Most people here use vans or trolleybuses to get to work or somewhere else. The pensioners always use trolleybuses because they are free for them. I guess, most tourists coming here prefer buses or modified vans. The taxis in my town charge you according to the meter. But it wasn’t always like that. Around ten years ago or so you had to pay the amount of money you were said to pay by a cabdriver. There weren’t many conflicts over the payment in my personal experience but sometimes it was just too much for a covered distance. Many drivers, who work illegally, still do it.

If there were a possibility I would like to meet an outstanding physicist Albert Einstein. He was born in Germany in 1879. I guess, he is most famous for his special theory of relativity. Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. He received the award for his numerous contributions to theoretical physics and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect. Unfortunately, he died many years ago and there isn’t any known, sane means to connect with him. Although, I don’t think I would have a chance to speak to him anyway. I mean if I had lived at the time when he was still alive. Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey. He obtained his doctor’s degree at the age of 26. In 1933 he renounced his German citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America. He was offered the Presidency of the State of Israel after World War II, which he declined. He received doctorate degrees in science, medicine and philosophy from many European and American universities. He is famous for many non-scientific works too. If I met him I would ask him what, in his opinion, the purpose of living is. I’m sure we would laugh a lot over his and my responses, especially mine, and just have a great time discussing it.

Hello The LearnEnglish Team!
I have a bothering question. If you translate this sentence 'Well, I've got three big brothers and one sister.' into my language the hearer will think that there are five siblings in your family including you. Can an English speaker perceive it the same way sometimes or it is always obvious that you have one big sister and who knows how many younger ones? Wouldn't it be clearer if one said 'big sister'? (According to the task (the first one) the speaker definitely has two sisters, one of whom is older than he is.)
Thank you in advance!
With appreciation,

Hello Dima,

The sentence as you state it is ambiguous. It is clear that there are five siblings, as you say. It is clear that the three brothers are older than the speaker. It is not clear whether or not the sister is older or younger than the speaker. If the speaker wished to make this clear then they could say '...and one big sister'. However, you make one mistake: the speaker in the task is Paula, who is a woman, not a man, and who is the youngest in the family.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I know flying is the safest way for travelling but I love car and driving in the road. In this type of travelling,I and my family are independent and we can stop driving everywhere we want and to be happy with sightseeing for example starry night or sunrise or sunset.they are so attractive and beautiful view. But in the plane or train you are dependent.

I live in Tehran,capital city of Iran. Here there are many different types of public transport for instance underground,BRT,bus,minibus,taxi and private taxi.Because of traffic jam government attempt to progress public transport in big cities and encourage to use of them.One of the best types of public transport is underground that is rapid and cheap but always is full of people and packed. BRT is acronym Bus Rapid Travelling that is used in special lines in streets with traffic jam is cheaper but slower than underground. Taxis in Tehran is irregular and doesn't have meter and more expensive than both of underground and BRT. Tourists often use private taxi in Tehran that is most expensive type of transport that usual people seldom use of those unless for urgency tasks for example carrying patient to hospital.

What's the best way to travel? It depends. I means it depends on how far you are going to go. For me and for our country transport, driving a motorbike is best way when travelling around the city, taking a car or train is good when travelling far away from the city with the distance from 50km to 300km, and taking a plane is the best way when travelling with the longer distance, for instance more than 500km.

In Vietnam, travelling by taxis is something expensive. It is twice or three more expensive than by other transports such as by motorbikes or bus. Most of taxis which are from official taxi companies have meter to indicate how long the journey is (how many kilometers) with the unit price is fixed and indicated in the price table visible to the customers. However, there are still lot of taxis from private individuals which unofficially operate. If you take this kind of taxi, the meter may be adjusted to issue wrong indicators which are higher than the actual ones and of course you have to pay more. Specially if you are a foreign tourist and have no idea about which way to reach the destination, the drivers may drive around with the longest distance instead of the shortest one to take more money from you. The best way to avoid this is to take telephone numbers of some prestigious taxi companies and call them to take their taxis.