Elementary Podcasts

In the episode Tess and Ravi talk about how they’re feeling, and their guests talk about Bob Marley, an unusual festival and British money. You can follow Carolina’s journey by train from London to Newcastle. Will she catch her train?

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].



Task 2

Carolina 1

Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [13:03].


Task 3

Carolina 2

Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [13:03].


Task 4

Tom the teacher 1

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [20:10].


Task 5

Tom the teacher 2

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [20:10].




Language level

Intermediate: B1
Pre-intermediate: A2


Hello everyone. I have a problem. I don't know what to do me. When I listen and read in same time I understand about 90 % text this level, But when I only listen I don't understand lot of words and phrases. I can translate and understand only commons words. Yes, many people told me I must listen, listen and listen... Yes I feel that I understand more and more. but it move too slowly.. By the way, acters speak too fast, I think so.... I am sad...

Hi Nikolay,

This sounds normal to me, though I'm sure it is very frustrating. You might want to consider listening to texts at a slightly easier level for a little while to see if that helps. Our Starting Out series might be a good option for you, though it probably won't challenge you quite enough. Still, I'd recommend trying it and seeing how it goes. We are working on new Listening skills pages and those could also be really useful for you, but I'm afraid it's going to be some time before they are ready.

You might also want to practise repeating some of the audio that you listen to. Improving your pronunciation will likely also improve your listening comprehension. It will probably not improve your listening comprehension quickly, but it is a method that many people overlook. You can find this an other ideas on our Frequently asked questions page.

I hope this helps you. Please let us know how it goes and let us know if there's anything else we can do to help.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk, Thank you for answer. I understood you. I'll be try better))

what do you prefer the book or the film?
I think the film is so much better than the book. Reading books is long then I feel bored. Maybe i can't imagine or be interested by the words. In the film I can watch actor, listen to music, look more things and think and feel the story

I have just read what you say here, I disagree with you. You write that you don't like a book. I think you just haven't had a good book. I think book and movie (film) are different things.. Try to found interesting book. And you will understand, no, you'll found out new world..

Can you explain something in transcript. Thanks for that !

Ravi: Right, that’s almost the end but we can’t go before we hear from Gordon, our producer. Hey, Gordon, I’ve got a joke for you this week.
Gordon: Oh yes? Erm, come on then, let’s hear it.
Ravi: OK. What’s red and invisible?
Gordon: Erm, I don’t know. What’s red and invisible?
Ravi: No tomatoes!
Gordon: Ho, ho, ho! That’s worse than mine. Leave the jokes to me Ravi.

I didn't undersrand what Ravi and Gordon talking in the converstation. "what's red and invisiable" and "No tomatoes", what were they talking ? what they mean?
Gordon: Yeah. A little while after that there’s a very sad scene. The dog starts crying its eyes out.
a bit strange at this phrase " its eyes out", is there a missing verb here, "its eyes are out"? if I'm wrong, can you tell me the structure in the sentence "The dog starts crying its eyes out.",which is subject, verb, object or anything else ?

Hello mitykg,

The comment about the tomatoes is a joke and is supposed to be absurd. Tomatoes are red, obviously, and you can't see them because there are none. It's very silly, which is why Gordon reacts as he does.

The phrase 'cry your (my/his etc) eyes out' is a fixed expression. It means to cry very hard. The implication is someone cried so hard that their eyes fell out.



The LearnEnglish Team

in Download Support pack and Transcript 1003KB/ Section 5 – Your turn there is a senstence.
"A good, serious book is always better than the film". Is it correct to compare objectives with using definitive article in one part (film) and indefinite article in the another (book)?
thank you

Hi ATi,

This is possible when the context has already told us something about the second noun. For example, if the context is that we are discussing a restaurant that has particularly poor food, you could say 'A homemade meal is always better than the lasagna', where 'the lasagna' refers to the unfortunate lasagna that the restaurant makes.

In this case, the sentence is understood to mean '... better than the film version of the book' and so this contextual information also makes it OK. 

Otherwise, as far as I can think, it would be unusual to have this kind of combination. As you are probably thinking, it would be better to use two definite or two indefinite articles.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Kirk or Peter. Could you help me!

in transcript,
Tess: You’re joking. I can’t watch TV for that long. I get bored. Anyway, I didn’t really like Lord of the Rings. I liked the book. The film’s never as good as the book, I think.

"Anyway, I didn’t really like Lord of the Rings. I liked the book."
To tell about hobbies, we often use simple present but in this case, why Tess uses simple past to tell about her hobbies? does she like books at the present ?
in transcript
Ravi: I haven’t read the book so I don’t know but, believe it or not, that’s exactly the question we asked people in ‘Your Turn’ this week – ‘Which do you prefer – the book or the film?’

'Your Turn' have not happened yet while Ravi is talking in this case. Why he uses simple past, not simple future "that’s exactly the question we will ask people in ‘Your Turn’ this week ?