Art Scene 1

At an art market, Ash and Stephen find themselves in an argument about who is the better artist. They decide to have a competition, but first they need to find out what art is.

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to the Tasks and do the activities. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.


Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Are there open-air art markets in your country?
  • Do you have any artistic talents?
  • What do you think makes for good art?

Now watch to find out how Ashlie and Stephen get into their fight.


Ashlie: What about this, Stephen?

Stephen: Typical, Ash. You choose the biggest thing in the market for your tiny flat.

Ashlie: Well, yeah... I guess it is a bit too big. Let's look over there.

Stephen: We can’t take too long. We’ve got to go and say hello to Pete.

Ashlie: Yeah, OK... We're at an art market – it's a kind of market where artists sell their art.

Stephen: Ashlie wants to buy some art for her flat and she’s already seen about ten things she wants to buy.

Stephen: Hi, Pete. How's it going?

Pete: Hi, guys. Great, thanks. It’s quite busy today. There’s lots of people buying things.

Ashlie: Wow... so you're actually making some money?

Pete: Yeah, of course. This is a great place to sell art.

Stephen: Right, well, let me give you a hand. You need a proper salesman!

Ashlie: Right, OK – you stay here. I'm off to find some art for my flat.

Stephen: OK, but don’t be gone too long – and don’t spend all your money!


Ashlie: Hi there. Ooh, how much are these?

Stallholder: They’re twelve pounds.

Ashlie: They’re very cool. Are they all your own designs?

Stallholder: Yeah, they are. Liachild is my own brand.

Ashlie: Good luck with it!

Stallholder: Thanks a million.

Ashlie: Thanks.

Stallholder: Thank you.


Stephen: So what did you buy, then?

Ashlie: Nothing, actually, but I’ve got an idea that could make us some money!

Stephen: What is it?

Ashlie: Well, I'm going to make some art, come back to the market and sell it! Brilliant idea, huh?

Stephen: Yes, excellent idea! Except one thing... You're not an artist.

Ashlie: Well, I can learn, can't I? All great artists had to start somewhere.

Stephen: Well, if it's that easy, why don't we both try and make some art? And then come back next week and try and sell it?

Ashlie: Stephen, I reckon you won’t be able to sell a single thing.

Stephen: Sounds like a challenge. Why don't we make it a bit more exciting?

Ashlie: In what way?

Stephen: Well, the one who sells the most is the winner... and the winner gets to keep all the money we make. Agree?

Ashlie: Agree.

Stephen: Ah! You’re going to be giving all your money to me!

Ashlie: Oh, yeah, right, whatever. Come on then, I need to get some inspiration.


Stephen: So this is art, is it?

Ashlie: Err, yes, Stephen, it is.

Stephen: Looks like a pile of old junk to me.

Ashlie: Art is all about ideas. Try and look at what the artist is trying to say.

Stephen: This is harder than I thought.

Ashlie: Come on, let's have a look over there.


Stephen: So Ash – what do you think of this? I have been trying to understand the message. What is the artist trying to say here?

Ashlie: Well, what do you think, Stephen?

Stephen: I guess he's trying to make us think about the modern world. He’s using a rubbish bin to show how everyday objects...

Ashlie: Stephen – that is a rubbish bin. Come on, you. Let’s make some art!

Task 1

Order the sentences according to the video.


Task 2

Decide if these statements are true or false.


Task 3

Order the words to make useful expressions from the video.


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Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)
B2 English level (upper intermediate)
Profile picture for user Aye Chan Moe

Submitted by Aye Chan Moe on Sat, 20/03/2021 - 08:11

It's a quite lovely video.

Submitted by Bruno2020 on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 22:17

Thanks for this episode! Unfortunately, here in Brazil, the open-air art markets are all closed because of the Covid 19.

Submitted by fidaasiddig on Mon, 14/10/2019 - 09:58

Hello (Don't be gont too long)I didn't understand the structure of the sentence ,And what too long mean? Thanks
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 16/10/2019 - 06:51

In reply to by fidaasiddig


Hello fidaasiddig,

We use Don't be... to tell somebody not to behave in a certain way. Here, the speaker is telling the other person to be on time, because Don't be too long means Don't take too much time.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by fidaasiddig on Sat, 14/09/2019 - 16:22

Hello, (You’re going to be giving all your money to me) Why it's not (You’re going to give me all your money) (artists had to start)why had not have to

Hello fidaasiddig,

You could say 'not going to give' in this context. There is no grammatical reason for using the continuous form in this kind of exclamation. It is just a way of adding emphasis to this kind of sentence in informal speech.

In the second example, 'had to' is used because the speaker is thinking about artists in the past, and is saying 'it was always this way'. You could use 'have to' and it would be correct. In that case it would describe artists in general, saying 'it has always been this way' (in the past and now).



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by nikoslado on Sun, 18/11/2018 - 19:12

Dear Team,I've already finished the Learn English Podcasts and the BCSW series and tried to do the next studing step,i.e.,the Word of the Street series as you recommend.I confront some problems here and I'm trying to deal with them.However,the main problem for me is the fast and not always clear dialogoues and conversations.Sometimes I feel lost and confused, even I try listening and reading them again and again.I've tried to reduce the speed on the video, but it's impossible in this series.What else can I do?Could you help me?

Submitted by Armandito on Sat, 17/11/2018 - 18:41

Hi LearnEnglish Team, I´ve got a doubt. It ´s the last question in the preparation task ¨the before you watch seccion¨. The question which says " What do you think makes for good art? is it about what you consider good art is? the kind of art you like or prefer? I´m looking forward to receiving your reply. best regards!! - Armando

Hi Armandito,

The question 'What do you think makes for good art' means, as you say, 'What do you think makes good art?'

The answer shoudl be something like 'I think good art is...'.



The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user btriton

Submitted by btriton on Mon, 04/06/2018 - 14:22

Yes, there are many open air market in my Country, paints and handcrafts things, I am not a talent for artist but my daughter likes paint and make it good, I liked the art and appreciate any creation and talented people.

Submitted by Stephane on Tue, 20/03/2018 - 17:09

Hi the Learn English Team, In the task 3, could we say : "Let's have a go and look over there" instead of "let's go and have a look over there ? Best regards, Stéphane

Hello Stéphane,

Although what you suggest is grammatically correct, it means something else. 'have a go' means 'try', so essentially you'd change it to 'let's try and look (or 'try looking') over there'. The other version doesn't have the idea of trying in it.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user alexandeR-Rednaxela

Submitted by alexandeR-Rednaxela on Tue, 13/02/2018 - 14:40

Hi there! Could you give me a hand with this? “ A man walked into a hotel, saw a nice coat, put it over his arm and walked out again. “ I do not understand the reason of using the word 'again'. And, can we use there the word 'again' even if the man had not been in the hotel before? P. S. I'm Alexander, you're awesome, have a nice day!

Hello Alexander,

The 'again' here refers to the fact that he was walking before (walking into) and now is walking again (out). It's slightly illogical if we are pedantic but I suppose we focus on the action of walking rather than the direction in this case. Languages are full of these kinds of constructions which are not entirely logical if we dig deep.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user alexandeR-Rednaxela

Submitted by alexandeR-Rednaxela on Mon, 12/02/2018 - 14:58

Hi there! I cannot help asking who the word ('his'), in the example below, is related to. " The thief gave the inspector his coat. " Is this coat of the inspector or thief? Thanks a million beforehand!

Hello again alexander-Rednaxela,

The sentence is ambiguous in this respect (i.e. there is no way to know for sure) but unless the context indicated something to the contrary, most of the time people would probably think that the coat belonged to the thief. Since we're talking about a thief, however, it would probably be better to be more specific, since it could well be the inspector's coat as well!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user alexandeR-Rednaxela

Submitted by alexandeR-Rednaxela on Mon, 12/02/2018 - 12:40

Hi there! I'm wondering whether I got Stephen right. " Stephen: So this is art, is it? Ashlie: Err, yes, Stephen, it is. " There's no inversion in the tag because of Shephen's misunderstanding of the reason for 'a pile of old junk' is called art. This website is just the ticket for me! You're awesome!

Hello Alexander,

Yes, this question tag is correct. 'is it?' is correctly inverted for a question tag -- were you perhaps asking about why it is affirmative and not negative? This is not uncommon. In this case, Stephen is expressing his doubt -- he is not at all convinced that what he sees is art. By using a question tag, he shows his doubt but leaves open the possibility that he is wrong, which is a way of being polite.

I hope this helps you understand it better. If I've misunderstood your question, please ask us again.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


Profile picture for user alexandeR-Rednaxela

Submitted by alexandeR-Rednaxela on Mon, 12/02/2018 - 12:21

Hi there! Can I use 'somewhen' instead of 'somewhere' in this passage ? " Stephen: Yes, excellent idea! Except one thing... You're not an artist. Ashlie: Well, I can learn, can't I? All great artists had to start somewhere. " Thanks a million beforehand!

Hello alexandeR-Rednaxela,

I'm afraid 'somewhen' is not a word, at least in standard British or American English. The good news is that you could say 'sometime' to refer to an uncertain or unspecified time.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team