Oxford Scene 2

Stephen explores the ancient city of Oxford and meets some girls who are studying at the University. 

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


Before you watch

While Ashlie was doing her exam, Stephen decided to have a look around Oxford.

  • Where do you think he goes to find out more about Oxford?

He meets some students sitting by the river.

  • What do you think they talk about?

He decides to do something special for Ashlie.

  • What do you think he is going to do?

Now, watch the video and find out if you were right.



Stephen: While Ashlie’s in her exam, I’m going to have a look around Oxford. You probably know it’s famous for its university, but let’s find out a little bit more.


Stephen: Hello. 

Tourist lady: Hello.

Stephen: Er, I’m visiting Oxford for the day, what’s the best thing to do?

Tourist lady: Well it’s a lovely day. I suggest you walk around the colleges, take a bus tour, explore the Bodleian Library or take a punt on the river with a picnic.

Stephen: How many colleges are there?

Tourist lady: There’s around 39.

Stephen: What’s the best way to see Oxford?

Tourist lady: The best way to see Oxford is probably on foot with one of our green and blue badge guides.

Stephen: Great. Thank you so much.

Tourist lady: You’re welcome.

Stephen: Bye.

Tourist lady: Bye.


Stephen: Hiya girls. You alright?

Students: Good, thank you. 

Stephen: Are you students here?

Students: Yes 

Stephen: What are you studying?

Student 1: History.

Student 2: Yeah History, too. 

Stephen: What’s it like being a student here?

Students: It's great. 

Student 2: Really good.

Student 1: It’s, like, the best university known worldwide so it’s a great place to be. 

Stephen: So tell me what it’s like studying here in Oxford.

Student 1: We have lectures and seminars and then it’s your own time to go to the library and read your books and do your research for the next lecture so if you don’t do that reading, then you’re not prepared for the next lecture – so it’s really up to you to do your own work.

Stephen: And what’s the social life like here?

Student 2: Loads of stuff, like, really good pubs, really good clubs… erm, like, when it’s sunny and stuff it’s beautiful to just sit in the sun and, like, go punting and stuff. So it’s really nice.

Stephen: Right, I’ve got a great idea for what to do with Ashlie when she finishes her exam. 


Stephen: So? How did it go? 

Ashlie: Really well, I think. I answered all the questions and I finished in time, so fingers crossed.

Stephen: Great. Listen, you deserve a treat after all your hard work. I’ve somewhere I want to take you.

Ashlie: Alright then, I’ll see you in a second.

Stephen: OK. Bye.


Ashlie: Wow, it’s really nice down here.

Stephen: I know. I’ve booked us a boat for a trip on the river.

Ashlie: Really? Oh thank you. That’s great. I’ve always wanted to try this.

Stephen: Come on. 

Ashlie: Can I have a go first? Watch out. Here I go…

Stephen: Ready?

Ashlie: Yup. Off we go! 


Stephen: This is great. Which way shall we go, Ash? Let’s ask the GPS.

Stephen: OK, my turn. 

Ashlie: Stephen, not like that - we’re going round in circles! Stephen! Stephen – watch out for that.

Stephen: The GPS! Ashlie! What are we going to do now, without the GPS?

Ashlie: Oh, it was useless anyway. It didn’t help us get here.

Stephen: I’ll have to go and buy a map.

Ashlie: OK, you can read the map but give me the keys because… I’m driving home. Stephen! Watch out!

Task 1

After you watch

What did you learn about Oxford?

Choose the best answer to these questions.


Task 2

Comprehension Task

What did you learn about Oxford?

Put the sentences into the correct order.


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Language level

Submitted by btriton on Tue, 29/05/2018 - 13:38

Hi, Learning support team, I think you could put more task in these section, these tasks are very easy and I don't understand all the dialogue, the main aspect yes, but not totally , so i think you could exploit more to ask more about the video, when the girls interchange ideas with Stephen their pronunciation is very hard to understand and they talk so fast by instance. Thanks in advance

Hi btriton,

Thanks for your feedback! Have you seen the transcript? That should at least help you understand the dialogue. Your point about more exercises is a very good one, but I'm afraid it's unlikely that we will develop any more exercises for this page.

This is because we are currently working on a lot of new pages in our Listening skills section that will be produced at different levels; all of them will have several exercises. I'm afraid it will be a few months before we are able to publish them, but please check back here in the future or keep your eye on our newsletter for an announcement there once they are ready.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Vrindalee on Tue, 15/05/2018 - 17:18

Hi everyone! I wanted to know, why the tourist lady says," there's around 39" when Stephen asks about number of colleges? Why doesn't she say "there are around 39"? Why the sentence is not in plural form here?

Hello Vrindalee,

I agree that the plural form here would be grammatically correct. However, in informal conversation people sometimes use there's with plural nouns in this way. Well done for spotting this non-standard, but quite common, usage!



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter, I've noticed you used in your reply the word 'usage'. I think that it is sometimes possible to use 'use' as a noun as well, am I right? Do they differ? Thanks!

Hello Seb Ant,

Yes, that's right, both 'use' and 'usage' are nouns. We usually use 'use' to refer to one of the different meanings a word can have. For example, if you follow the link to see the dictionary page for the word 'use', you'll see it has five different uses or meanings as a verb and three as a noun. Theses 'uses' are dependent on their particularl context.

We use 'usage' to refer more to the way words or grammar are used beyond a specific situation. Here, for example, Peter is remarking on the use of 'there is' with a plural noun -- although one could consider this not correct, the fact is that many native speakers speak this way; this is an example of a 'usage' of 'there is' that you can find in many different contexts or situations.

The distinction between the two is subtle and one that will probably require a little more practice to understand well. I expect you could find discussions of this on the internet if you're interested in learning more.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by DarkoMaxim on Fri, 11/05/2018 - 21:40

What does it mean " I’ve somewhere I want to take you." ? I have somewhere... or ? It is not understandable for me.

Hi DarkoMaxim,

Yes, that is correct. It is a somewhat odd construction, so I can understand how it strikes you as odd. It's somewhat similar to a sentence like 'I have a surprise for you' -- instead of 'a surprise for you', you could say 'somewhere I want to take you'.

Many people would probably say 'There is somewhere I want to take you' instead, and you could certainly use that if you prefer.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by safirasafirasafira on Fri, 04/05/2018 - 15:39

hello taecher. I've some questions.'so it's really up to you to do your own work' in this sentece I don't understand 'up'.how can I understand it? what does 'stuff' mean? 'when it's sunny and stuff it's beautiful'. 'go punting and stuff'.what does 'so fingers crossed' mean?and 'nice down here'? thank you very much

Hello safirasafirasafira,

The phrase up to you means it's your responsibility or it's your choice. We don't break phrases down into the meanings of individual words as the meaning comes from the phrase as a whole.

Stuff is an informal word in this context. It means something like et cetera or and so on.

We say fingers crossed  when we want to hope for good luck: I'm taking my driving test tomorrow so fingers crossed!

Nice down here means the same as Nice here. It's just an alternative phrasing we can use in informal conversation.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Trinh Phuong Anh on Mon, 25/09/2017 - 16:49

Hi Supporting Team, May I say “take a punt picnic on the river” instead of “ take a punt on the river with a picnic”? Thank you

Hello Trinh Phuong Anh

No, that does not sound right. Punting is a way of moving the boat, while a picnic is something you would do out of the boat on the bank of the river. I can't imagine doing both at the same time, which is what your sentence would suggest!


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Teacher, Thanks for your reply. That mean “ row a boat, then picnic on the river bank”. May I understand like this? And what about the sentence “ take a bus tour”. Is this “ go tour by bus”? Thank you so much Best regards Phuong Anh

Hello Phuong Anh,

Yes, that's the idea. 'take a bus tour' is correct, but 'go tour by bus' is not -- we just don't say it that way. 

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Pekkin on Wed, 26/07/2017 - 19:00

Hello. Why does student2 use word "stuff" so many times?

Hello Pekkin,

I agree the speaker seems to like the word a lot!

Different individuals have different speech habits and sometimes certain words are used a lot by individuals. The language on LearnEnglish is as authentic as possible so you will hear different ways of speaking from different people.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Adriancatanescu on Wed, 28/06/2017 - 12:34

Good morning everyone I really like to visit New cities and to discover new places but when I have decided to og and visite a city I try to have a look on the internet to discover something about about that place about what we will do when we'll be there.And when I arrive in that city I try to find a map, first time and if I found the tourist information office I try to spoke with them to ask what's the best thing to do in that City. But most of the time I go myself guided with the map and did the things that I decided to do before to get there,many of the time I tried to visit the most important things at the beginning and after that if I have more time I try to visit the rest. Talking about how to impress to someone and how to make it a surprise for someone now it dependes on the situation if is a birthday I tried to give the right present, if is a treat or to say thank you to one of the member of the family or to one of my friends I don't know exactly what I'll do but I think they're many of possibility to do. Maybe to go somewhere nice to buy a nice thing to go sightseeing ,go to a nice restaurant or maybe to buy you a nice thing that you can use in the house or you can buy item of clothes or maybe that person really want to have something and you known already that and if she doesn't and he doesn't find that stuff you can go and find it . Or maybe find that item to buy it for them I don't know and in the same time you can find a really good information before that person I don't know I think that's lovely to say thank you to a person

Submitted by Vartica Singh on Mon, 23/01/2017 - 08:57

could Ashlie ask like 'can i go first'? instead of 'can i have a go first'..which one is more appropriate?

Hello Vartica,

'have a go' means 'try' and 'go' can mean 'have a turn' in a context like this one. So really either one works in this situation, but in others only one might work.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Vartica Singh on Mon, 23/01/2017 - 08:25

Could you please help me with 'I've somewhere i want to take you'..

Submitted by Nizam Balinese on Wed, 18/01/2017 - 16:49

Hi Team. Could you help me to check this one, please? Stephen : How many colleges are there? Tourist Lady : There's around 39. ================== Stephen ask question with the auxilary "are" but why the lady tourist answer with "s"? Thank you very much.

Hello Nizam,

In informal speech, sometimes people say 'there is' when the standard form would be 'there are'. I wouldn't recommend that you speak this way, but it's good to know that some native speakers do.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team