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BBC Learning English How to Tell someone about funny incidents Neil: Hello, welcome to How to with me,

Neil Edgeller. In this programme well take a look at how to tell friends, or people you know quite well, about funny or unexpected things which have happened to you. Perhaps you saw someone famous, or bumped into someone you havent seen for years. How do you introduce the topic to your friends? How do you tell the story, and how do you finish it? Listen and find out more in this weeks How to Neil: Its a Monday morning at BBC Learning English and everyones talking about the weekend. And some very funny things happened. Funny here means unusual. First of all, listen to Jackie. What happened to her? Insert A really funny thing happened to me the other day when I was out with a friend. We were in a restaurant in London and suddenly I saw that she was just staring at something on the other side of the room with her mouth wide open and it turned out that Michael Jackson was sitting there and it was really unexpected, just a really odd experience to see this really famous person. Neil: Jackie went to a restaurant with a friend and Michael Jackson was in the same room, which is, of course, a very strange and unusual situation. How did she start telling the story? She says, A really funny thing happened to me the other day. Insert A really funny thing happened to me the other day when I was out with a friend. How to BBC Learning English 2007 Tell someone about funny incidents Page 2 of 4 bbclearningenglish.com Neil: This is a good way of introducing funny or unusual events to a friend or colleague you know quite well. Its for informal situations. After she introduces it, she can then tell the story. At the end, she comments on the story. Insert it was really unexpected, just a really odd experience to see this really famous person. Neil: She says, it was really unexpected, just a really odd experience Odd is another word meaning strange or unusual. Its typical with this type of story to end with a comment which tells us how you felt. Heres the whole thing again. Insert A really funny thing happened to me the other day when I was out with a friend. We were in a restaurant in London and suddenly I saw that she was just staring at something on the other side of the room with her mouth wide open and it turned out that Michael Jackson was sitting there and it was really unexpected, just a really odd experience to see this really famous person. Neil: Next I spoke to William. Something very funny happened to him over the weekend too. Insert Something very, very strange and unexpected happened. I was going to the park with my little niece. When we got there, there were about I dont know, about two hundred or more clowns, and they were all on bikes or unicycles or whatever and I had my little niece with me and she went absolutely crazy. She doesnt like clowns. Neil: He took his niece to his local park and there were about two hundred clowns riding bikes and unicycles. A unicycles a bicycle with only one wheel. How does he introduce the story? He says, Something very strange and unexpected happened. Insert

Something very, very strange and unexpected happened. Neil: And after that he tells the story. And, just like Jackie, he finishes with a comment which tells us how it ended and what the feeling was. How to BBC Learning English 2007 Tell someone about funny incidents Page 3 of 4 bbclearningenglish.com Insert I had my little niece with me and she went absolutely crazy. She doesnt like clowns. Neil: His niece went crazy because she doesnt like clowns. Now listen to it all again. Insert Something very, very strange and unexpected happened. I was going to the park with my little niece. When we got there, there were about I dont know, about two hundred or more clowns, and they were all on bikes or unicycles or whatever and I had my little niece with me and she went absolutely crazy. She doesnt like clowns. Neil: Lastly, heres Catherine. Something funnys just happened to her as well. Insert Youll never guess whats just happened to me. Listen to this, right. Ive just gone to get a sandwich and on my way back this woman came up to me and she said, I cant believe its you! Can I have your autograph? Can you believe it? Neil: She left the office to buy a sandwich and outside the BBC building, someone asked her for an autograph. They thought she was a famous person. Listen to how she introduces this story. She says, Youll never guess whats just happened to me. Listen to this, right. Insert Youll never guess whats just happened to me. Listen to this, right. Neil: After that, she tells the story and then ends with a comment, this time, Can you believe it? This shows that shes really surprised about what happened. Insert Can you believe it? Neil: Now heres Catherine again. How to BBC Learning English 2007 Tell someone about funny incidents Page 4 of 4 bbclearningenglish.com Insert Youll never guess whats just happened to me. Listen to this, right. Ive just gone to get a sandwich and on my way back this woman came up to me and she said, I cant believe its you! Can I have your autograph? Can you believe it? Neil: To recap. If you want to tell a friend about something funny or surprising thats happened to you, you can introduce it like this: Insert A really funny thing happened to me the other day. Youll never guess whats just happened to me. Something very, very strange and unexpected happened. Neil: You then tell the story and end by adding a comment: Insert It was really unexpected, just a really odd experience. She went absolutely crazy. Can you believe it? Neil: Thats all for this How to Next time you have dinner with Michael Jackson, youll know how to tell your friends. BBC Learning English How to Making an appointment How to BBC Learning English 2007

Making an appointment Page 1 of 4 bbclearningenglish.com Yvonne: Hello, this is "How to" from bbclearningenglish.com and I'm Yvonne Archer. In today's programme how to make an appointment in English! Coming upsome key words and phrases that are useful - whether we need to see a doctor, a dentist, a hairdresser, a lawyer or even a plumber. Listen out for the phrase Hina uses to make a doctor's appointment Hina makes a doctor's appointment RECEPTIONIST: Bushy Hill Surgery? HINA: Hello, I'd like to book an appointment please. RECEPTIONIST: Right, we have Thursday morning at 10 or Friday afternoon at 3pm. HINA: Thursday morning suits me and I'd prefer to see a lady doctor, if that's possible. Yvonne: Hina said "I'd like to book" "I would like to book" and then adds "an appointment, please" - "I'd like to book an appointment, please." Let's hear that again, but this time, listen out for Hina's special request once she's agreed the day and time for her appointment. It shows that she thought about what she needed before she made her phone call Fatima makes a doctor's appointment RECEPTIONIST: Bushy Hill Surgery? HINA: Hello, I'd like to book an appointment please. RECEPTIONIST: Right, we have Thursday morning at 10 or Friday afternoon at 3pm. HINA: Thursday morning suits me and I'd prefer to see a lady doctor, if that's possible. Yvonne: Hina decided that she wanted to see a female or a woman doctor, so she said: "I'd prefer to see a lady doctor, if that's possible." How to BBC Learning English 2007 Making an appointment Page 2 of 4 bbclearningenglish.com Hina makes a doctor's appointment HINA: Thursday morning suits me and I'd prefer to see a lady doctor, if that's possible. Yvonne: Like the word 'please', adding "if that's possible" is also a simple and polite way to soften a request and that probably encourages the receptionist or the person we're booking an appointment with to be even more helpful! IDENT Yvonne: Next, Finn has a terrible toothache and wants to make an appointment with the dentist. Again, we hear the same key phrase plus 'an appointment' being used. But what special request does Finn have and how does he make it sound polite? Finn makes a dental appointment RECEPTIONIST: Good morning, Northern Dental Surgery. FINN: Oh hello there, I've got a toothache and I'd like to book an appointment to see the dentist today, if you can. RECEPTIONIST: Hmmm we're kind of booked up today oh, actually, we could squeeze you in at 5. Yvonne: Finn adds "if you can" rather than 'if possible' to his special request so that he sounds polite when asking for an urgent appointment he wants to see the dentist at very short notice. Both phrases 'if possible' and 'if you can' have the same meaning and do the same job so you can use either! But back to our key phrase "I'd like to book" This time, "an appointment" plus the infinitive of a verb - "to see" - plus the job title of the person he wants to see 'the dentist' are all added. Listen again Finn makes a dentist's appointment FINN: I'd like to book an appointment to see the dentist today, if you can. How to BBC Learning English 2007 Making an appointment Page 3 of 4 bbclearningenglish.com Yvonne: So it's simple enough to make our key phrase longer when we want to add extra information. Finn didn't know the dentist's name, but if you do know the

name of the person you want to see, you can simply add the preposition 'with' plus their name to our key phrase. For example, "I'd like to book an appointment with Steve". And if you only know the person's job title, you can say, for example: "I'd like to book an appointment with the plumber please". Here's Finn again as he tries to make another appointment; which noun does he add to the key phrase "I'd like to book"? Finn makes an appointment with his hairdresser RECEPTIONIST: Good morning, "A Cut Above" FINN: Oh, hello there. I'd like to book a haircut for today please. Yvonne: Finn wants 'a haircut' so he simply says: "I'd like to book a haircut"- and of course, he adds 'please' Finn makes an appointment with his hairdresser RECEPTIONIST: Good morning, "A Cut Above" FINN: Oh, hello there. I'd like to book a haircut for today please. Yvonne: So to recap - we can book something, like a service for our car or a haircut Finn makes an appointment with his hairdresser FINN: Oh, hello there. I'd like to book a haircut for today please. Yvonne: But we book an appointment to see someone, like a doctor or a specific named person Finn makes a dental appointment How to BBC Learning English 2007 Making an appointment Page 4 of 4 bbclearningenglish.com FINN: I'd like to book an appointment to see the dentist today, if you can. Yvonne: Well, that's all for today's "How to", but why not visit us at bbclearningenglish.com for more on how to make an appointment plus test what you've learned with our quizzes, games and other programmes? BBC Learning English How to Making an appointment How to BBC Learning English 2007 Making an appointment Page 1 of 1 bbclearningenglish.com USEFUL TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT Making an appointment in English might seem more difficult than it really is. So here are a couple of helpful things we can do and think about before we speak to the receptionist the person who usually organises appointments TIP #1 - Jo You're not going to understand everything that a native speaker says to you at all times. But don't worry and don't be afraid to tell them that you haven't understood. Don't be scared; the most important thing is that you make your appointment and achieve what you want to achieve. As Jo says, it's perfectly okay to ask the receptionist to repeat anything that you don't understand. And if you're speaking in English on the telephone, it's easy to forget what you want to say because you get nervous. Here's what John does so that he doesn't forget anything in this case, when making an appointment with his mechanic: TIP #2 - John When I want my car serviced, before I even make an appointment, I make a list of all the things I want checked and all the things I know that need repairing. Like John, if you write down everything you want to say in English before making your appointment, you won't have to worry about forgetting anything! BBC Learning English How to make an appointment Quiz How to BBC Learning English 2007

make an appointment Page 1 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com For each question choose the one correct answer. 1: ____________ an appointment. a: I'd like book b: I like to book c: I'd like to book 2: I've got a terrible toothache; Id like to see the dentist _____________. a: now b: today, if possible c: right away 3: Id like to book _______________ please. a: a haircut b: a haircutter c: haircut 4: I'd like to book _____________ the plumber, please. a: to appoint b: with c: an appointment with 5: I'd like to book an appointment __________________Dr Lee please. a: to see b: to hear c: to meet 6: Hello, my car needs a service. Is Steve available to do it ______ Thursday? a: in b: on c: at How to BBC Learning English 2007 make an appointment Page 2 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com ANSWERS For each question choose the one correct answer. 1: ______________________ an appointment. a: I'd like book Wrong you need to use the infinitive of one of the verbs here. b: I like to book Wrong you need an extra word here. c: I'd like to book Correct this is a simple way to book an appointment. 2: I've got a terrible toothache; Id like to see the dentist _____________. a: now Wrong this request isn't polite. b: today, if possible Correct This is a good way to make a polite request for an appointment at short notice. c: right away Wrong this request isn't polite. 3 : Id like to book _______________ please. a: a haircut Correct This is a clear and simple way to make an appointment. b: a haircutter Wrong There's no such noun; someone who cuts our hair is 'a hairdresser' or 'a barber'. c: haircut Wrong you need a determiner before the noun. 4: I'd like to book _____________ the plumber, please. a: to appoint

Wrong we tend to use appoint' when we talk about formally giving someone a job or a position. b: with Wrong you need some extra words here. c: an appointment with Correct You can use this phrase before a job title or a proper noun. How to BBC Learning English 2007 make an appointment Page 3 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com 5: Hello, I've got a terrible cough, so I'd like to book __________________Dr Lee, please. a: an appointment to see Correct This is the right verb to use! b: an appointment to hear Wrong is this the correct verb to use here? c: an appointment to meet Wrong is this the correct verb to use here? 6: Hello, my car needs a service. Is Steve available to do it ______ Thursday? a: in Wrong we would use this preposition before a block of time, e.g." in a week's time". Try again! b: on Correct this is the correct preposition! c: at Wrong we would use this preposition before a specific time, e.g. "at 3 pm". Try again! BBC Learning English How to Asking for and giving directions Listening activity How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking for and giving directions Page 1 of 2 bbclearningenglish.com Listen to the directions and find which building on the map is the Post Office. You can find a transcript and the answer on the next page. How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking for and giving directions Page 2 of 2 bbclearningenglish.com Transcript: A: Hello, excuse me, can you tell me how to get to the nearest Post Office? B: Erm, yea, sure you go straight up this street. Take the second turn on the right. Keep going along there, across one junction, and its right there on your left. A: Thanks B: Oh, no, hang on, wait a minute, theres a closer one. Walk up this street, take the first left and theres a Post Office on your right at the next junction, sorry, I forgot about that one. A: Thanks again Answer: There are two Post Offices. One is building F but the nearest is building N. How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking for and giving directions Page 2 of 2 bbclearningenglish.com ANSWERS 1: If you go up to the fifth floor, you'll find his office ____ your right as you come out the elevator. a: on 2: Go to the end of the road and ____ left by the traffic lights. b: turn

3: _____ a right just after the supermarket. b: Take 4: You ____ his house, it's painted bright pink! b: cant miss 5: Go ____ up to the end of the road. a: straight BBC Learning English How to Asking for and giving directions How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking for and giving directions Page 1 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com Jackie: Hello, welcome to BBC Learning English dot com. I'm Jackie Dalton. Today's programme is all about giving and understanding directions. Our reporter Helen is new to London and has been out asking people for directions to various different places. We'll take a look at some of the key phrases that come up as she tries to find her way around. Let's start with a simple one. Examples Can you tell me how to get to the nearest toilet, please? To the nearest toilet? Yes, you just go down the stairs here, turn right and it's just on your right. Jackie: Nice and easy. 'Turn right' or 'turn left' a simple way of telling people in which direction they should go. And if you want to describe the position of a particular place in relation to the person you can say it's 'on your right', or 'on your left'. Let's listen to that clip once more. Examples Can you tell me how to get to the nearest toilet, please? To the nearest toilet? Yes, you just go down the stairs here, turn right and it's just on your right. Jackie: Now listen out for a slightly different way of telling someone to turn left or right. Examples Can I ask you how to get to the nearest bus stop please? How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking for and giving directions Page 2 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com Just go straight to the bottom there, just take a left turn, take a left turn and that's it, yeah, it's just round the corner. Jackie: That's another way of telling someone to go in a particular direction earlier we heard the phrase 'turn right' or 'turn left', you could also say 'take a left' or 'take a left turn'. A word that's already come up five times is 'just'. Listen to how it's used. Examples You just go down the stairs here, turn right and it's just on your right. Just go straight to the bottom there, just take a left turn, take a left turn and that's it, yeah, it's just round the corner. Jackie: 'Just' is a sort of filler and a way of suggesting that what the person has to do isn't difficult: 'Just go down the stairs' somehow sounds easier than 'Go down the stairs'. Listen again: Examples You just go down the stairs here, turn right and it's just on your right. Just go straight to the bottom there, just take a left turn, take a left turn and that's it, yeah, it's just round the corner. Jackie: One thing that can be confusing when it comes to directions is the use of the word 'right'. Listen to this clip the word 'right' is used in three different ways. Examples

Do you know how to get to Covent Garden? Yeah, yeah, you just goat the end of the street, go left and then go right and take the second right around the Aldwych theatre, go right up there, then go left and Covent Garden Market will just be right in front you you just walk down How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking for and giving directions Page 3 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com Jackie: Let's break that down. Examples go left and then go right Jackie: simple enough 'go right' means the same as 'turn right' or 'take a right'. What about here? Examples around the Aldwych theatre, go right up there Jackie: 'Go right up there' could be interpreted in two different ways and even a native English speaker could get confused here. The man could have meant 'turn right', or he could have meant 'go all the way up there'. 'Go right up there' - 'go all the way up there'. We say things like 'go right to the end of the road' to mean 'go all the way to the end of the road' very different from taking a right turn. A clue is often in the prepositions. If youre telling someone to turn, it often comes with the preposition 'at'. For example, 'Go right at the main road'. Whereas the preposition 'up' 'Go right up the main road' tends to mean go all the way up the main road. If you're not sure, just ask. So that's two different uses of 'right'. What about the third? Examples and Covent Garden Market will just be right in front you Jackie: 'Covent Garden will just be right in front of you'. He could also have said 'Covent Garden will be directly in front of you' or 'immediately in front of you' it's not far away. 'Right in front of you' in this context means 'it's not far How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking for and giving directions Page 4 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com away'. Lets listen to the next set of directions. Listen out for an expression in this clip which means 'it's very easy to see'. Examples I was wondering if I could ask you how to get to the nearest tube station? Err, you could use Holborn tube station, which is straight down Oxford street, turn right and keep going up Kingsway and you won't miss it, it's on the right. Jackie: Did you spot the expression? 'You won't miss it' is a nice way of saying 'it's very easy to see'. Now listen to the beginning of this sentence. Examples keep going up Kingsway and you won't miss it, it's on the right. Jackie: 'Keep going' is a good way of telling someone they will have to walk or drive for a while before they get to a certain point. Let's end with a couple of questions to check you've understood some of today's language. Which is correct: 'The building is at your right' or 'The building is on your right'? The second is correct we use the preposition 'on'. 'The building is on your right.' Which of these would be a correct way of telling someone to turn left: 'Take a left' or 'Have a left'? The first one is correct. 'Have a left' doesn't make sense 'Take a left' is fine. How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking for and giving directions Page 5 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com

Which of these phrases means turn right: 'Go right to the end of the road' or 'Go right at the end of the road'? The second one, with the preposition 'at' means turn right. 'Go right up the road' usually means go all the way up the road. That's all for now, but keep practising your English with our quizzes, games and programmes on BBC Learning English dot com. BBC Learning English How to Asking for permission Reading activity How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking for permission Page 1 of 2 bbclearningenglish.com For each question choose the one correct answer. 1: Can he ____________ to? a: comes b: come c: came 2: Could my brother __________ your car at the weekend? a: borrowed b: borrows c: borrow 3: Can I use that for a minute? means a: I want to use it for about sixty seconds. b: I want to use it for a long time. c: I want to use it for a short length of time. 4: Which of these sentences has the word please in a correct place? a: Could please I use your phone? b: Could I please use your phone? c: Could I use please your phone? 5: What is most important in speech to indicate politeness? a: Using the word please. b: Smiling when you are speaking. c: The tone of voice and pronunciation. How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking for permission Page 2 of 2 bbclearningenglish.com ANSWERS 1: Can he ____________ to? b: come CORRECT. After can use the base infinitive. 2: Could my brother __________ your car at the weekend? c: borrow - CORRECT. After could use the base infinitive. 3: Can I use that for a minute? means c: I want to use it for a short length of time. CORRECT 4: Which of these sentences has the word please in a correct place? b: Could I please use your phone? CORRECT 5: What is most important in speech to indicate politeness? c: The tone of voice and pronunciation. CORRECT BBC Learning English How to Asking permission How to bbclearningenglish.com Asking permission Page 1 of 5 Jackie: Hello this is BBC Learning English dot com, with me, Jackie Dalton. This programme is about asking permission which means asking someone if you're allowed to do something. We're going to hear examples from around the

office. Listen to this first example, which shows one of the most common ways of asking permission. Examples Hinna, can I use your computer for a minute? Jackie: Very simple: the phrase 'can I' followed by the verb. But what verb form comes after the phrase 'can I'? Listen to these two examples of asking. Examples Can he call you back later? Can I use your scissors? Jackie: 'Can' is the base form of the verb, which is the infinitive without 'to. Now let's listen to a slightly different way of asking permission. Examples Oh Emily, I forgot to bring my phone charger today, could I borrow yours for a minute please? Jackie: Instead of 'can I borrow', we hear 'could I?' Using 'Could I?' instead of 'Can I?' sounds slightly more formal. You might use 'could' if you want to be more polite. Like the word 'can', 'could' is always used with the base infinitive form of the verb. How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking permission Page 2 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com Examples Could she write me a summary of the report? Jackie: You may have spotted a phrase that came up at the end of a couple of the phrases we heard earlier. Examples Hinna, can I use your computer for a minute? Oh Emily, I forgot to bring my phone charger today, could I borrow yours for a minute please? Jackie: Both speakers asked permission to do something 'for a minute'. They didn't literally mean they would spend sixty seconds using the computer or borrowing the phone charger. But it's a way of showing that you only want to borrow something for a short time and you're trying not to bother the other person too much. Examples Hinna, can I use your computer for a minute? Oh Emily, I forgot to bring my phone charger today, could I borrow yours for a minute please? Jackie: We also heard the magic word 'please' at the end of that question. Parents often get very cross with their children if they ask permission without using the word 'please'. But the reality is that it's often fine not to include it. We tend to use intonation in our questions to sound polite, so we don't always need the extra 'please'. Listen to these examples. The first doesn't sound very polite. Examples Could I have that. (demanding) How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking permission Page 3 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com Jackie: But the second Examples Could I have that? (questioning) Jackie: Sounds more like a polite question than an aggressive demand because of the way the voice goes up. Examples Could I have that. (demanding) Could I have that? (questioning) Jackie: Listen to some more examples of the differences. Examples Could I see you.

Could I see you? Jackie: The second phrase came across as a polite question, unlike the first. What about here? Examples Could you give that to me? Could you give that to me. Jackie: This time, the first question was sounded more polite because of the way it was asked. As long as you ask your question in a polite tone of voice, you need a 'please' having said that, there's never anything wrong with using 'please' when asking permission. How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking permission Page 4 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com Jackie: Let's look at another structure for asking permission. Examples Matt, would it be OK if I took the afternoon off on Friday? Jackie: Would it be OK if fairly informal way of asking permission. You could also say 'Would it be alright if?' What verb form follows these questions? Examples Matt, would it be OK if I took the afternoon off on Friday? I'm not feeling well today would it be alright if I did this tomorrow? Jackie: In both these cases, the phrases are followed by the past subjunctive form of the verb. However, you could also use the present form this sounds slightly less formal. Examples Matt, would it be OK if I take the afternoon off on Friday? I'm not feeling well today would it be alright if I do this tomorrow? Jackie: So 'Would it be OK if? and 'Would it be alright if?' can be followed by the present or, for a slightly more formal effect, the past subjunctive. If you want to be even more polite, another variation on the structures we've just heard is 'Would I be able to?' Examples Would I be able to talk to you about something? How to BBC Learning English 2007 Asking permission Page 5 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com Jackie: 'Would I be able to' a polite way of asking permission. Now it's time to check you've understood the things we've looked at. Which of these requests is correct the first or the second? Examples Can she sits here? Can she sit here? Jackie: The second phrase is correct remember 'Do you mind if?' is used with the base infinitive verb form. Now, w hich of these two questions sounds the most formal? Examples Would I be able to talk to you about something? Is it OK if I leave early? Jackie: The first question is more formal 'Would I be able to?' sounds more distant than 'Is it OK if I? That's all for this week, but in a later programme we'll be exploring some of the structures you can use to answer these questions. BBC Learning English How to respond to compliments How to BBC Learning English 2007 respond to compliments Page 1 of 4

bbclearningenglish.com William: Hello, and welcome to How to our guide to the everyday language of life. My names William Kremer. I take every opportunity to shock my colleagues here at BBC Learning English dot com and earlier on I gave several of them a big shock. I went around the office complimenting them. Why did I compliment them? Did they look good? Had they made programmes that Id enjoyed? Well no, not really. I just wanted to see how they would react how they would respond - to my compliments. I started off by approaching Carrie at the photocopier. How did she react when I gave her a compliment? William: Hello Carrie. Youre looking lovely today Carrie: What are you after? William: What do you mean, what am I after? Im just saying you look lovely. I like your purple T-shirt. Carrie: Its just you dont ever normally give me compliments so you must be after something William: Well, I told you that my colleagues would be shocked by me paying them compliments. When I told Carrie that I thought she looked lovely she said: What are you after? William: Hello Carrie. Youre looking lovely today Carrie: What are you after? How to BBC Learning English 2007 respond to compliments Page 2 of 4 bbclearningenglish.com William: What are you after? means What do you want?. Carrie thinks that I am being nice to her because I want to ask her a favour. She said that I didnt normally compliment her so I must be after something. What are you after? is a humorous, and quite common response to an unexpected compliment. It is sometimes said that the British dont know how to respond to compliments. So after Carries rather disappointing answer, I thought Id try someone from abroad, so I approached my colleague Khalid. William: Khalid! Khalid: Hello! William: Khalids busy. But I just wanted to say erm youre looking fantastic today. As always, actually! Youre so smart. Khalid: Oh thank you! What do you want? William: Youre the second person thats said that! No, I dont want anything, I dont need you to translate anything at all I just thought I I I thought you look very smart. Khalid: Well thank you so much, thats very, very kind. I got my shirt from er Dubai actually erm, very cheap shop in Dubai erm it didnt cost me a lot of money but I think its nice, and you think its nice. William: Well, either I dont ever pay people compliments or my colleagues never receive any! Khalid also asked me if I wanted anything if I was looking for a favour. But then he said, Thank you so much, thats very kind. William: I just thought I I I thought you look very smart. Khalid: Well thank you so much, thats very, very kind. I got my shirt from er Dubai actually erm, very cheap shop in Dubai erm it didnt cost me a lot of money but I think its nice, and you think its nice. How to BBC Learning English 2007 respond to compliments Page 3 of 4 bbclearningenglish.com William: After Khalid thanked me for the compliment, he went on to tell me about his shirt specifically that it hadnt cost much money. In Britain this is quite a common way of responding to compliments about clothes to say that actually your clothes arent so special. We often say Ooh, it was only cheap or maybe

Ive had it for ages. Youre not disagreeing with the compliment, but saying this kind of thing shows that youre surprised by it. Next, I complimented Callum Robertson on his programme Grammar Challenge, and he replied using a standard phrase. William: So, I listened to one of your grammar challenges the other day and erm I thought it was fantastic Callum: Ah well, its very nice of you to say so, thanks William: Callum said Its very nice of you to say so Callum: Ah well, its very nice of you to say so, thanks William: Now, theres an important strategy that people use in reacting to compliments. That is to return the compliment to give a compliment back to the person who gave it to you! Listen to my conversation with Hina: William: No, I I thought that Id, Id come over and compliment you on the way youre looking today because I think youre looking very smart Hina: Thank you Will, thats very kind of you to say. Youre looking very smart and tall as usual. William: Im tall! Yes I cant help, Im always looking tall, thats just the way I am! How to BBC Learning English 2007 respond to compliments Page 4 of 4 bbclearningenglish.com William: Hina returned my compliment by saying that I was looking very tall. Normally, we dont say that people look tall, we say that they are tall thats why I told Hina that Im always looking tall. Hina: Youre looking very smart and tall as usual. William: Im tall! Yes I cant help, Im always looking tall, thats just the way I am! I am actually a very tall person, and I get a lot of compliments about my height. Old ladies are always saying to me Oh, youre lovely and tall. That sounds very nice, but actually it gets pretty boring. And, it can be quite difficult for me to return the compliment. It would be very strange for me to say Oh, thank you very much. Youre lovely and short! But, after someone compliments you, you always need to say something. Goodbye! BBC Learning English How to respond to compliments Quiz How to BBC Learning English 2007 respond to compliments - Quiz Page 1 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com For each question choose the best answer. 1: A: Youre looking very smart today, Neil! B: _______________ a: Thats very kind of you to say so b: Thats very kind of you to say it c: Its all very well for you to say that 2: A: Oh Anna, I love your dress! B: ______________________ a: Really? Why? b: Really? It was only cheap c: Yes, its lovely isnt it? 3: A: Well done on getting that contract, Paul. B: ______________________ a: Thanks but it wasnt all my work b: Thanks but it was all my work b: Thanks but it wasnt work 4: A: You look very swish, Lizzy!

B: ______________________ a: Thanks very much! You do two! b: Thanks very much! You do to! c: Thanks very much! You do too! 5: A: I like your shirt, Mark. B: ______________________ a: What are you doing after? b: What are you doing after me? c: What are you after? How to BBC Learning English 2007 respond to compliments - Quiz Page 2 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com ANSWERS 1: A: Youre looking very smart today, Neil! B: _______________ a: Thats very kind of you to say so Correct This is a standard way to receive a compliment b: Thats very kind of you to say it Wrong How do we refer to something someone has just said? c: Its all very well for you to say that Wrong This has a different meaning. You sound like you are going to disagree with the person 2: A: Oh Anna, I love your dress! B: ______________________ a: Really? Why? Wrong This is a slightly impolite way to receive a compliment b: Really? It was only cheap Correct This is one way to show surprise at the compliment c: Yes, its lovely isnt it? Wrong You can say this, but its slightly unusual to agree with compliments 3: A: Well done on getting that contract, Paul. B: ______________________ a: Thanks but it wasnt all my work Correct You are sharing responsibility for your success b: Thanks but it was all my work Wrong You need to share responsibility for the success c: Thanks but it wasnt work Wrong You need to share responsibility for the success 4: A: You look very swish, Lizzy! B: ______________________ a: Thanks very much! You do two! Wrong Check your spelling here b: Thanks very much! You do to! Wrong Check your spelling here How to BBC Learning English 2007 respond to compliments - Quiz Page 3 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com c: Thanks very much! You do too! Correct This is an easy way to return a compliment 5: A: I like your shirt, Mark. B: ______________________ a: What are you doing after? Wrong This isnt the phrase you need b: What are you doing after me? Wrong This isnt the phrase you need c: What are you after?

Correct This is a humorous and common response in the UK BBC Learning English How to make informal invitations Quiz How to BBC Learning English 2007 make informal invitations Page 1 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com For each question choose the one correct answer. 1: Do you _______ a pint? a: feel b: feel like c: like 2: Do you fancy a ________ ? a: museum b: new house c: chocolate bar 3: Are you ____ ____ a drink after work? a: up for b: up to c: up against 4: Are you up for _____ _____ a museum with me? a: go to b: to go to c: going to 5: Q. Do you fancy going to a concert this weekend? ____________________________________ a: Yes, Id love one! b: Yes, Id love to! c: Yes, I fancy! 6: Q. Are you up for another drink? ____________________________________ a: That sounds b: Sure, OK c: I love one! How to BBC Learning English 2007 make informal invitations Page 2 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com ANSWERS For each question choose the one correct answer. 1: Do you _______ a pint? a: feel Wrong - You need another word here b: feel like Correct This is one way to make an informal invitation c: like Wrong Do you like a pint is a general question, not an invitation 2: Do you fancy a ________ ? a: museum Wrong We use fancy to describe having something, but you cant have a museum! b: new house Wrong We use fancy to describe wanting small things, not big expensive things c: chocolate bar Correct This is the kind of object you might use this phrase for 3: Are you ____ ____ a drink after work? a: up for Correct to be up for something means to want to do or try something

b: up to Wrong This is correct English, but it isnt an invitation. Up to means able to do something c: up against Wrong Up against means in opposition to 4: Are you up for _____ _____ a museum with me? a: go to Wrong You need to use a gerund with up for when you are talking about activities b: to go to Wrong You need to use a gerund with up for, not an infinitive c: going to Correct This is a good way to invite someone to do an activity with you How to BBC Learning English 2007 make informal invitations Page 3 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com 5: Q. Do you fancy going to a concert this weekend? ____________________________________ a: Yes, Id love one! Wrong you use this to talk about objects, not activities b: Yes, Id love to! Correct This is one way to agree to an activity c: Yes, I fancy! Wrong you need an object here 6: Q. Are you up for another drink? ____________________________________ a: That sounds Wrong You need an adjective here, e.g. That sounds nice b: Sure, thanks Correct You can agree to informal invitations in this way c: I love one! Wrong This should be Id love one BBC Learning English How to make informal invitations How to BBC Learning English 2007 make informal invitations Page 1 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com SIG William: Hello and welcome to How to the programme from BBC Learning English that tells you well it tells you how to say things. TAG My names William Kremer and over the next three weeks, Im going to be telling you how to invite people to do things and say yes or no to other peoples invitations. And today were looking at informal invitations, and in particular, how to ask someone whether he or she would like to go for a pint. If you live in the UK, or have ever been to the UK, then you must know what I mean by a pint. I mean, a glass of beer, usually served in a pub: a pint of beer. We also often say a drink to mean an alcoholic drink such as beer. So, lets imagine that its five oclock on a Friday and youve had a hard week and its time for a pint. Whats a good way of asking other people if theyd like a drink too? Well, in the next clip, Diarmuid is going to invite Catherine out for a pint. See if you can hear what words Diarmuid uses to do this. Examples How to BBC Learning English 2007 make informal invitations Page 2 of 5

bbclearningenglish.com Diarmuid: Catherine, Im just going for a drink after work this evening do you fancy a pint? Catherine: Ooh, Id love one. William: Diarmuid asks, Do you fancy a pint? In British English, if you fancy something, it means that right now you want to have it. For example, I fancy an ice cream, I fancy a hamburger . Examples Diarmuid: Catherine, Im just going for a drink after work this evening do you fancy a pint? Catherine: Ooh, Id love one. William: Catherine says that shed love a pint, so shes agreeing to go for a drink with Diarmuid. Now lets hear another way of inviting someone out for a pint: Examples Diarmuid: Are you up for a pint after work Catherine? William: Diarmuid asked Catherine if she was up for a pint. Examples Diarmuid: Are you up for a pint after work Catherine? William: If someone is up for something, it often means that he or she would like to do something or try something. This is a common expression in spoken English. Examples Diarmuid: Are you up for a pint after work Catherine? How to BBC Learning English 2007 make informal invitations Page 3 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com William: OK, lets look at a third way of inviting someone out for a pint. Examples Diarmuid: Do you feel like a pint, Catherine? William: In this situation, if you feel like something, you fancy it. And so the question for Diarmuid is, Do you feel like a pint? Examples Diarmuid: Do you feel like a pint, Catherine? MUSIC and STING William: Now, see if you can hear a difference between the following sentences: Examples Diarmuid: Do you feel like a pint, Catherine? Diarmuid: Do you feel like going for a pint, Catherine? William: Well, the second sentence features a gerund going. We can use gerunds to talk about activities instead of objects. The activity were talking about here is going for a pint. Listen again. Diarmuid: Do you feel like going for a pint, Catherine? William: In this situation, Diarmuid can choose whether to talk about the pint itself Do you feel like a pint - or the activity of going for a pint Do you feel like going for a pint? But, sometimes we dont have a choice. For example, we cant say Do you feel like a museum? because you cant buy a museum! So we would have to say Do you feel like going to a museum with me? How to BBC Learning English 2007 make informal invitations Page 4 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com There are also gerund forms for the other questions weve heard: Examples Diarmuid: Do you fancy going for a pint, Catherine? Diarmuid: Are you up for going for a pint, Catherine? William: Now sometimes, in very informal situations like this, you dont even have to ask a question in order to invite people to do something. What do I mean? Well,

listen to the following conversation. Diarmuid has just finished working Examples Diarmuid: Right, thats me finished! I think I might go down the bar for a pint Catherine: Im up for that! William: Diarmuid tells everyone that hes going to the bar. He hasnt asked them if they want to come, but its clear that they can come if they want. And, as it happens, Catherine is up for it. Examples Diarmuid: Right, thats me finished! I think I might go down the bar for a pint Catherine: Im up for that! William: Now, a quick word about accepting invitations. At the start of the programme, we heard Catherine say yes like this: Examples Catherine: Ooh, Id love one. William: But if Catherines being asked to do an activity, the response is slightly different: How to BBC Learning English 2007 make informal invitations Page 5 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com Diarmuid: Do you fancy going for a pint, Catherine? Catherine: Ooh Id love to, what time? William: If were talking about activities, we should say Id love to not Id love one. There are lots of other ways of accepting invitations. She could say something like: Catherine: Thatd be fun. William: Or she could say: Catherine: That sounds lovely. William: Or she could just say: Catherine: OK, cool. William: Now if youve been listening to this programme and youve been thinking, But I dont like beer! well, were going to be looking at the more complicated business of saying no to invitations in a separate programme. But, for today thats me finished. I think I might go down the bar for a pint. BAR FX and Music BBC Learning English How to make polite invitations How to BBC Learning English 2007 make informal invitations Page 1 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com SIG William: Hello and welcome to How to the programme from BBC Learning English where we give you useful language for some everyday situations. TAG My names William Kremer. Now you may remember that in a different programme we found out how to invite people informally, by saying things like: Examples Diarmuid: Are you up for a pint after work Catherine? William: Today, were looking at making invitations again, but this time theyre going to be a little bit more formal. Lets start by listening to a short clip. Diarmuid is inviting Catherine to a barbeque, which is a kind of meal you can cook outside, usually in the summer. Examples Diarmuid: Catherine, are you free on Friday? Catherine: I think so. Why? Diarmuid: Well, Im going to have a barbeque on Friday night, in my back garden I

wondered if youd like to come along. Catherine: Yeah, Id love to. That sounds really nice. Diarmuid: OK, youre not vegetarian are you? Catherine: No, no Im not. How to BBC Learning English 2007 make polite invitations Page 2 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com Diarmuid: Ah, youll be fine with burgers. William: Would you like to hear that clip again? Would you like to hear it now? Well, Ill play it again a bit later, but first I want to look at this phrase, Would you like? Would you like means Do you want? but its slightly more polite. So a slightly more polite way of saying Do you want a banana? is: Examples Elena: Would you like a banana? William: and a slightly more polite way of saying Do you want to come for a drink? is Examples Elena: Would you like to come for a drink? William: So, Would you like to do something? is a very good way of asking questions politely. But, usually when were being polite, we try and make what we say longer by using other phrases. Listen to Diarmuid: Examples Diarmuid: I wondered if youd like to come along William: Diarmuid says, I wondered if youd like to come along, which is a shortened way of saying I wondered if you would like to come along but its sometimes hard to hear the -d, I wondered if youd like to come along. To wonder, means to think or to ask yourself but the meaning of the word isnt that important here; Diarmuid is just using the phrase to be polite. How to BBC Learning English 2007 make polite invitations Page 3 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com Let's practise using this phrase, I wondered if youd like. Youre going to hear Elena. After she says a direct question, see if you can change it into a sentence beginning, I wondered if youd like. Youll hear the correct answer after a short pause. Music Elena: Would you like a chocolate bar?... I wondered if youd like a chocolate bar. Would you like to come for a drink?... I wondered if youd like to come for a drink Would you like to see my photos?... I wondered if youd like to see my photos. End Music William: How did you do? By the way, you can also say, I was wondering if youd like. It has exactly the same meaning. Elena: I was wondering if youd like to see my photos. William: I was wondering if youd like to hear the whole conversation between Catherine and Diarmuid again. You would? OK, here it is: Examples Diarmuid: Catherine, are you free on Friday? Catherine: I think so. Why? Diarmuid: Well, Im going to have a barbeque on Friday night, in my back garden I wondered if youd like to come along. Catherine: Yeah, Id love to. That sounds really nice. Diarmuid: OK, youre not vegetarian are you? How to BBC Learning English 2007 make polite invitations Page 4 of 5

bbclearningenglish.com Catherine: No, no Im not. Diarmuid: Ah, youll be fine with burgers. William: Did you hear the question that Diarmuid asked Catherine at the beginning: Examples Diarmuid: Catherine, are you free on Friday? William: Diarmuid asked Catherine if she was free on Friday. Hes checking that she isnt busy. Another way of checking is to ask the opposite question: Are you doing anything on Friday? Hopefully, whoever youre speaking to wont be doing anything! Or, you could just ask What are you doing on Friday? Now, before we finish, lets hear a different conversation. This time, Diarmuid is asking Catherine to a dinner party. Examples Diarmuid: What are you doing on Friday, Catherine? Catherine: Er, Im not sure yet. I might be going out but I havent made any firm plans. Why? Diarmuid: OK, well Im going to have a dinner party at my house and I would very much like it if you could come along. Catherine: Oh right, yes Id love to. Is it a formal occasion? Diarmuid: No, its just a few old friends really. Youll youll youll have a good time, youll like the people. About nine oclock? Catherine: Thatd be lovely. Shall I bring a bottle? Diarmuid: Oh I think so! Catherine: OK then! William: This time, Diarmuid says I would very much like it if you could come along. How to BBC Learning English 2007 make polite invitations Page 5 of 5 bbclearningenglish.com This is very polite and very friendly, because it shows Catherine that her coming to his party is important to him. Examples Diarmuid: And I would very much like it if you could come along. William: When Catherine says Shall I bring a bottle?, shes offering to take a bottle of wine to Diarmuids dinner party. Examples Catherine: Thatd be lovely. Shall I bring a bottle? William: You can listen to both the conversations in this programme again on the How to webpage on BBC Learning English dot com, where you can also find out more about todays phrases. The next episode of How to will be published next Wednesday. and I would very much like it if you could come along. Goodbye BBC Learning English How to make polite invitations Example dialogues How to BBC Learning English 2007 make polite invitations example dialogues Page 1 of 1 bbclearningenglish.com Diarmuid: Catherine, are you free on Friday? Catherine: I think so. Why? Diarmuid: Well, Im going to have a barbeque on Friday night, in my back garden I wondered if youd like to come along. Catherine: Yeah, Id love to. That sounds really nice. Diarmuid: OK, youre not vegetarian are you? Catherine: No, no Im not. Diarmuid: Ah, youll be fine with burgers. Diarmuid: What are you doing on Friday, Catherine?

Catherine: Er, Im not sure yet. I might be going out but I havent made any firm plans. Why? Diarmuid: OK, well Im going to have a dinner party at my house and I would very much like it if you could come along. Catherine: Oh right, yes Id love to. Is it a formal occasion? Diarmuid: No, its just a few old friends really. Youll youll youll have a good time, youll like the people. About nine oclock? Catherine: Thatd be lovely. Shall I bring a bottle? Diarmuid: Oh I think so! Catherine: OK then! BBC Learning English How to make polite invitations Quiz How to BBC Learning English 2007 make polite invitations Page 1 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com For each question choose the one correct answer. 1: ____ _____ ____ to come to my house for dinner? a: Do you like b: Would you like c: Will you like 2: I ____ ____ ____ like to see my photos a: wondered if you b: wondered if youd c: wandered if youd 3: I ____ ____ if you would like to join me for a pint after work a: was wondering b: was wondered c: am wondering 4: Are you _____ on Friday evening? a: occupied b: vacant c: free 5: I ____ _____ _____ _____ _____ if you could come along a: would very much like it b: would very like it much c: will like it very much 6: Shall I bring _____ ______? a: a bottle? b: some bottle of wine? c: some wines? How to BBC Learning English 2007 make polite invitations Page 2 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com ANSWERS For each question choose the one correct answer. 1: ____ _____ ____ to come to my house for dinner? a: Do you like Wrong You are not asking about general likes and dislikes, so Do is wrong b: Would you like Correct This is a polite way to offer something or make an invitation c: Will you like Wrong You are not asking about a future plan but an idea, so the future tense is wrong 2: I ____ ____ ____ like to see my photos a: wondered if you Wrong you need to have would in this sentence, either in a full or contracted form

b: wondered if youd Correct this is a polite way to offer something or make an invitation c: wandered if youd Wrong Be careful! 'Wandered' has the same pronunciation as 'wondered but a different meaning 3: I ____ ____ if you would like to join me for a pint after work a: was wondering Correct this is a polite way to invite someone out for a drink after work b: was wondered Wrong This shouldnt be in the passive voice, so you dont need was c: am wondering Wrong We usually use simple past tense or past continuous with this phrase 4: Are you _____ on Friday evening? a: occupied Wrong This is correct grammar, but occupied is too formal b: vacant Wrong We tend to use vacant to mean empty, e.g. Is this seat vacant? c: free Correct this is a very common way to check if someone is busy How to BBC Learning English 2007 make polite invitations Page 3 of 3 bbclearningenglish.com 5: I ____ _____ _____ _____ _____ if you could come along a: would very much like it Correct This is a very polite and friendly way to invite someone b: would very like it much Wrong Check your word order here c: will like it very much Wrong This sentence is not in the future tense 6: Shall I bring _____ ______? a: a bottle? Correct This is a normal way to offer to bring a drink, usually wine b: a wine? Wrong wine is normally uncountable. So Shall I bring some wine? would be OK c: some wines? Wrong wine is normally uncountable. So Shall I bring some wine? would be OK