Hallowe'en Scene 1

It's party time for Ashlie and Stephen - but which costumes to choose?


Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • What do you know about British Hallowe'en traditions?
  • Can you do any magic tricks?

Now watch Stephen and Ashlie preparing for their Hallowe'en party.


Stephen: OK, just the mouth to go and there we go. Wow! What do you think? Looks like Ashlie.

Ashlie: Stephen, can you give me a hand here, please?

Stephen: It’s Hallowe'en this weekend and we’re getting ready for a big party.

Ashlie: We’ll be dressing up and having fun with all the Hallowe'en traditions.

Stephen: And that means we’ve got lots of work to do, starting with these apples and pumpkins.

Ashlie: Yes, but before that we need to get our costumes. Nice pumpkin, by the way. Looks just like you! Come on then, let’s get going.


Ashlie: So, come on then, Stephen, let’s take a look at you.

Stephen: Well, what do you think? I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a magician.

Ashlie: Very nice. But I think it’ll take a little more than a costume to turn you into a wizard!

Stephen: Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that. They actually sell magic tricks here. I reckon I should learn a few. You know, to help with the character.

Ashlie: I think it may be a little harder than you think. Magic takes a lot of practice.

Stephen: I’m a natural. Come on, let’s have a look and see what they’ve got. Hmm. And I’ll need a wand, of course.

Ashlie: Err, are you sure you have enough there?

Stephen: I think so. Look, I’ve got my wand! What’s that?

Ashlie: So, do you think he’ll be able to do any of these tricks?

Man: Well, it does require a lot of practice. And of course you also have to read the instructions very carefully.

Ashlie: Oh dear.

Man: It takes a lifetime to be good magician.

Ashlie: Hear that, Stephen?

Stephen: What?

Ashlie: It takes a lifetime to become a magician.

Stephen: Oh, I don’t need to be a full magician. I’m a trainee. I’ll be on to the big stuff in no time: catching a bullet, sawing a lady in half, disappearing lady. That reminds me, I may need an assistant.

Ashlie: Don’t even think about it! Come on, we need to get home so we can start preparing for the party.

Stephen: And I need to start practising. Hazam Falam, take me home!

Ashlie: Err, OK. Maybe we’ll get the bus.


Stephen: Put the lid on. Abracadabra, ta-da! Ash, I think this trick might be broken. Nothing’s happening.

Ashlie: Are you sure you’re reading the instructions properly?

Stephen: Maybe my wand's broken.

Ashlie: OK. Well, you can’t spend all afternoon on this. We have work to do. We have a party tonight.

Stephen: OK, just give me ten more minutes. I need to make this work.

Ashlie: OK. What’s this? Oh, well, that was easy.

Stephen: Yeah, dead easy.

Ashlie: OK. Ten more minutes. I’m going to start on the food.



Ashlie: Stephen, I said ten minutes. You need to come and help now.

Stephen: What?

Ashlie: Oh, Stephen!

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Submitted by ramicentral2014 on Wed, 13/09/2017 - 22:23

The second test was very complicated for me because i never remember the word that the actor said and the form that I used was listening for part and put the pause and try to write the correct word The Third was a little more easy but with some complications. In general this program is very use full for me

Submitted by Rama Santoso on Tue, 02/05/2017 - 13:46

Task 2 is very difficult for me, I can't remember exactly what I saw in the videos. Do you have any tips to doing this task? Thanks

Hello Rama,

I'd suggest you watch the video at least twice, and preferably three or four times. The last time or two that you watch it, read the transcript (press on the word Transcript below the Tasks) as you watch it. That should enable you to complete most of Task 2. If there are still words you don't know, search for them in the transcript.

In general, you will get a lot more out of these videos and our podcasts if you listen or watch to them more than once. As you read the transcripts, notice words and phrases that are new or useful and study them. This will help you learn much more.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nizam Balinese on Mon, 06/03/2017 - 06:24

Hi Team. Help me with these, please.. 1. It's party time for Ashlie and Stephen, but which costumes to choose? Why is it " to choose" not " to be chosen" ? I mean, Souldn't it be passive voice? 2. In the video time code 2:40, Ashlie says: Are you sure you're reading the instructions properly? Why does Ashlie say in the present continuous tense? In fact, they aren't reading at the moment, they're practicing. Shouldn't it be present perfect? " Are you sure you've read the instructions properly "? Would you like to explain, please? Thank you.

Submitted by Kirk on Tue, 07/03/2017 - 06:39

In reply to by Nizam Balinese


Hello Nizam,

Regarding 1, it's Ashlie and Stephen who are going to choose, so I'd say an active infinitive is more appropriate than a passive one.

As for 2, you could use the present perfect in this situation and that would be fine, but the present continuous is also fine because it can be used to refer to events around the present moment. In addition, consider that Stephen just complained about the tricks not working (in the present continuous), so Ashlie's response goes in line with that.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by STEPHANE ROTH on Tue, 21/02/2017 - 20:29

In Hallowe'en traditions, people wear costumes and try to frighten their friends. Others try to make magic tricks. They have a Hallowe'en party together. Children in costumes come to ask for candies saying "Trick or treats". I can't do any magic tricks.

Submitted by Must on Fri, 06/01/2017 - 14:55

Thank you for the answer. Can you please help with the another part of this question; There is famous Hollywood sign which IS STANDING or STANDS above the hill. We normally say e.g. The earth GOES round the sun. If you say something is going round another. It means it is probably temporary. So from this point of view STANDS seems right. Am I quite right?

Hello Must,

I would agree that the simple form is most appropriate in these examples. The progressive form is possible and might be used when you want, for some reason, to emphasise that it is an ongoing process. For example, you might say that the sign 'is still standing' after an earthquake, or say that the Earth 'is going' around the Sun at this very moment.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team