Zak Washington's Guide to England - title graphic


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0.1. Discussion points. What is a typical tourist? What are the typical places that tourists go to? Describe the behaviour of a modern tourist? What are the positive and negative sides to modern tourism? In what way does your city benefit / suffer from tourism? They are red-faced, ugly and tattooed. They have little or no respect for the local culture or language. They speak English or German to each other, and shout at anybody else who doesn’t understand them. Who are they? No, not your English teacher! Are they idiotic foreign hooligans, or the saviours of your country’s economy? What is your opinion about such tourist ‘meccas’ as Spain’s Costa del Sol, or Portugal’s Algarve? What is your opinion about so called ‘sexual tourism’? In many top international tourist destinations, such as Bangkok, it’s possible to see fourteen year-old prostitutes, and drug-dealers working the streets. Discuss. Do you think that there is any difference between a traveller and a tourist? Describe the difference in appearance and ways of behaving. Have you ever been guilty of behaving like a typical tourist? Tell us about your experiences, or anything interesting that you have seen whilst on holiday.

It is said that the first tourists were Romans travelling to their holiday homes near the Italian coast. Since those days tourism has developed into, perhaps, the largest industry in the world. Nowadays every country with a middle class and valid passports are setting off to different climates. British tourists could possibly be divided into three categories. There are those who go in search of scenic, cultural holidays, and may even try to learn a little of the local lingo[1]. They can be found virtually anywhere where there is a bit of history, a crumbling old monument, and an expensive souvenir to buy. The next group are known as backpackers. The name comes from the bag that is worn on your back. It is also worth noting that the word is now commonly used as a verb ‘to backpack’, or ‘to go backpacking’. This is probably the modern version of what was traditionally called a traveller. The stereotypical backpacker would be a young adult, possibly just out of university. The backpacking apparel consists of boots for trekking, sunglasses, sandals, khaki military shorts and a sleeping bag. The idea is to travel light to places of cultural interest that are as far from home as possible. The English say, ‘Why go to Scotland, when you can go to Australia?’ Australians don’t want to go to Singapore or Malaysia; they want to go to Scotland. The standard accessory is one of those enormous budget guidebooks that cost more than a typical working man earns in six months in one of the countries that they are written about. The book also weighs a ton; it will direct you to places where you won’t actually meet any local people... only other backpackers. If you do meet a native speaker, you can guarantee that he only wants to talk to you to practice English. You can talk back to him in the language that you are trying to learn. Neither of you will understand a word that the other is saying, but you’ll both go home happy; you without your wallet. Anglo-Saxons tend to be the world’s predominant backpackers. The American variety embarrassing themselves and annoying everybody else across Europe, and the British form fornicating their way through Thailand, Malaysia, and the Far East, because they’re too ugly and pathetic to lose their virginity at home.

Either of the above are preferable to the third type of tourist; the Brit on a cheap package holiday. More that five million British tourists visit Spain’s Costa del Sol every year. The only thing that you won’t find around here is anyone or anything Spanish. You’ll find typical British bars full of British yobos (hooligans) drinking British bitter, eating British breakfasts, and dancing to Brit-pop This is the only place where you can successfully pick up normal respectable British girls who at home wouldn’t give you the time of day, but on holiday turn themselves into wild, drunken, party-crazed nymphomaniacs…  Torremolinos, Benidorm and the area around Malaga, are simply cheap, cheerful, relaxed Britain… with a beach. And the ironic thing is that you students are considering going to Britain to learn English?


0.2. General English Revision. Answers.

Her Royal Highness the Queen of England.

Buckingham Palace, London.

Dear Raji Fred,

Hello darling! How do you do?/How have you been? (‘How do you do?’ is a phrase only used when you first meet someone; it is incorrect, as the Queen is obviously on ‘intimate’ terms with Mr. Fred.) This is your favourite little Queenie here. It’s been so long/so long time (‘So long’ can only refer to time, and therefore, doesn’t need the word ‘time’.) since I last saw you. I’m absolutely dying to get my hands on you again, and pass/spend (‘Spend’ is the most common collocation with the word ‘time’ when the meaning is ‘accompany’.) some quality time together. Being/to be (The first is correct, and is an example of what is known as the ‘present participle’. This often used to begin a sentence.) a monarch can be so boring sometimes. I get tired with/of/from (‘Of’ is the correct dependent preposition with ‘tired’.) all those stupid diplomats and tedious European royals. Yesterday, I must have/had to (‘Had to’ is correct, as it expresses obligation. ‘Must have’ expresses certainty or deductions, not obligation, in the past.) spend all day long with the Danish royal family. What bored/boring (People can be either bored or boring. In this example the Queen was bored because the Danish royal family were boring. –ED is passive, i.e. it happens to you; -ING is active.) people! Then my usual meeting with the prime minister; I wish he’d brush his teeth occasionally. His breath smells terribly. Anyway/By the way, enough of this nonsense. (We use ‘anyway’ to change the subject in a conversation; ‘by the way’ is used to add an extra piece of information, or one that you have forgotten to mention.)

What was I saying? Oh, yes. I was going to suggest that you come up to my palace in Balmoral next week to talk around/talk over (‘To talk over’ means ‘to discuss’ or ‘to debate’. The other has no meaning.) some of the plans for the royal wedding. What a splendid event it is going to be! I hope it’ll even more successful than Charles and Diana’s. Between you and I, I never did care much for that Diana. My nephew/niece (A ‘niece’ is your brother or sister’s daughter; a ‘nephew’ is masculine.) Lady Sara Winthorpe is so excited and nervous. The press are following her everywhere. I’m really so glad that she is getting married to your son Ali. Ali is such a charming, handsome gentleman. He’s yet/already (‘Yet’ is incorrect as it is most commonly used with negative or interrogative sentences, and is usually placed at the end of the sentence.) become very popular with the British public. The only thing that really worries me is his English. He hasn’t spent as much time living in this country as you have, and I’m worried about him not understanding our language and culture. Therefore/Moreover, (‘Therefore’ has the sense of ‘as a result’ or ‘that is why’. ‘Moreover’ is an adverb that is used to add information. ) I’ve arranged for some special classes for him, to prepare him correctly for the wedding. He will have his own particular/personal (‘Particular’ is a ‘false friend’ –a cognate with a different meaning- in many romance languages. If you have individual classes, it would be with a ‘private’ or ‘personal’ tutor.) teacher, a very competent professional called Zak Washington. Ali starts studying with him tomorrow. The sooner, the better, eh? Write me/write to me (Technically, the verb ‘to write’ should be used with the indirect pronouns ‘to me/you/him/her/us/them’. Americans have a tendency to use the incorrect ‘write me’ in colloquial language.) soon, and tell/say (The correct structure should be either: ‘say … to me’ or ‘tell me’, but not ‘say me’.) me if you want to come and see your little Queenie in Balmoral Palace. I might have to punish you for not having kept in contact for so long! Naughty little boy!

                The Queen of England.


Dear Zak Washington,

I am/This is (‘This is’ is a correct impersonal form that is very common in written communications or on the telephone. ‘I am’ would be inappropriate in this type of situation.) Jack Lawton, the director of studies of The Bumsberry School of English, where you supposedly ‘work’. Where the hell have you been? I’ve had much/many/a lot of (‘Much’ or ‘many’ are only really used in negative or interrogative sentences.) students asking after you. Well, I’ve got a very important class coming up, and you’re the only teacher that I’ve got left who can teach it. It’s a private one-to-one class with a very important student. Have you heard of Ali Fred? He’s the son of Raji Fred, the important businessman, who owns half/the half (No article with ‘half’.) of Britain. He owns a couple of football teams, a few department stores, private jets, helicopters, etc. Therefore/Anyway,(‘Therefore’ -as mentioned above- means ‘as a conclusion’; whereas ‘anyway’ is used to change the subject, or bring the focus of the subject back to the main topic.) his son Ali is going to get married with/to (‘To’ is the correct dependent preposition.) Lady Sara Winthorpe, the Queen’s niece. Do you remember her? I remember you saying in the staff room, that she had the best bust in the whole royal family. Remember? Well, you can’t carry on making comments like that.

Ali Fred, has a quite high level of English already, but he speaks like someone from the 1920s. He needs a lot of practice. Also/As well, (‘As well’ is only normally placed at the end of a sentence; ‘also’ usually goes at the beginning.) he doesn’t understand much about the British way of life. I want that/want (speakers of romance language will be used to putting a word like ‘that’ after ‘want’. It is not correct, in English, we use WANT + PRONOUN + INFINITIVE) you to teach him about typical British customs, our culture, the food, the way of life, how to greet people, and that sort of thing. He will be doing a weeklong intensive course. You will have to look after him during the day; in the evening he will be returning to the Ritz, where he’s staying. I’m giving you a special expense account for this. Bring/Take (‘Bring’ is only used if you are already at the place mentioned. If you are not geographically there, you need ‘to take’.) him to the parks, nice restaurants, Speaker’s Corner, the museums and places of cultural interest. You’ve got a week to prepare him linguistically and culturally before the wedding.

I cannot express to you how important this job is for me, and for The Bumsberry School of English. So secure yourself/make sure (‘Make sure’ means ‘be careful that…’) that you look presentable…and it’s against this man’s religion to drink alcohol; so no bars or nightclubs! This is a chance for us to put the school on the map. Get in touch ASAP, and I’ll give you all the details.

                Jack Lawton, Headmaster/Director of studies. (A ‘headmaster/headmistress’ governs a school; a ‘director of studies’ does so in an academy, or language school.)


Dear Ms. Forbsworth, my divine aristocratic lady!

How are you? How is your new job as a nightclub stripper? They tell me that you’ve been dressing (or should I say ‘undressing’?) as a Victorian aristocratic lady. Nice touch! I can’t hope/wait (‘Can’t wait’ is a standard way to express the idea of ‘to look forward to’ or ‘to await with excitement’.) to see you in action. I bet you are the sexiest/most sexy (‘Sexy’ is a word that ends in the letter ‘y’ and therefore, has the comparative ‘sexier’ and the superlative ‘sexiest’.) girl in Soho.

I too, have been given some interesting job/work.(‘Work’ is, of course, uncountable, and needs to be used with ‘some’. Jobs are countable.)  Jack wants me to teach Ali Fred how to speak English. Do you know him? He’s the one getting married/to get married (For future arrangements we like to use the present continuous.) to Lady Sara Winthorpe next week. He’s giving me an expense account! All I have to do is teach this guy a little of/a bit about (A ‘little’ and a ‘bit’ are basically the same, but ‘a little’ doesn’t need a preposition.) British culture. He wants me to take him to lots of cultural places like the British Museum and the Tate Gallery, eat with him in the best restaurants, and teach him a bit of diplomatic English. What an easy job! I was thinking in/about (Another important dependent preposition. ‘Think’ is always followed by ‘about’ or ‘of’.) keeping the money, and just taking him to normal places like cafés/coffees (‘Coffee’ is only the thing that you drink; a ‘café’ is a cheap restaurant.) and bars. Above all/After all,(‘Above all’ means ‘most importantly’ and is thus incorrect. ‘After all’ means ‘the fact is…’) if he wants to learn about real British culture, there is no better way to do it than among ‘real’ people, not ‘posh’ snobs in ‘snotty’ restaurants. I have another small group of foreign students arriving this afternoon; I’ll probably take them with me too. I was thinking that it would be a good idea to do a kind of ‘alternative tour’ of all the tackiest and naffest places. What do you think? Do you want to know/meet them? (‘To know’ is a verb used to talk about knowledge of a subject, rather than a person. ‘To meet’ is used when you are introduced to someone for the first time, or if you have known them all your life.) We may/could (‘Could’ is a modal auxiliary verb that is sometimes used for suggestions. ‘May’ expresses either possibility or permission, but would be inappropriate here as Zak Washington is making a suggestion.)  meet tomorrow in the café, if you feel like it. Send me a message and let me know.

                Zak Washington.




1.1     Vocabulary for betting.

Betting shop, bookmaker, bookies, turf accountant, gambler, to gamble, to bet (bet, past bet/betted, past part. bet/betted), a bet (an amount of money that you gamble), a gamble, (meaning a risk) a stake, odds, pay out, lottery, horse racing, greyhound racing, favourite, underdog, outsider, jackpot, slot machine, fruit machine, casino, croupier, chips, dealer, blackjack, roulette, craps, bankruptcy, compulsive gambling, cock fighting, etc.

1.2 The betting shop.

What do you think people do in a betting shop? What will the inside of one of these places be like? How common do you think they are in Britain? Where else is gambling legal? What type of people do you think go to such establishments?

Betting shops (or betting offices, turf accountants, the bookmaker’s, bookies etc) are much more common than most foreign students think. You can find one in almost every high street or shopping centre. The reason that most foreigners don’t notice them is because they seldom write the words betting or gambling outside, for reasons of image more than anything else. In fact, most betting shops have their windows completely covered over, so that it is almost impossible to tell what happens inside. Modern betting offices are fairly respectable in appearance, at least from the outside. Neither are they synonymous with crime, the Mafia and corruption, as many foreigners think. On the contrary, as organisations, they are respectable, legal and well regulated businesses. As to the question about the type of people that you will find in these places, it’s worth mentioning that most betting offices are found in poorer or working class areas. The majority of the clientele are male, but apart from that, you will find a very colourful assortment of people inside. You should be warned; it gets a bit wild in there sometimes. People don’t always enjoy losing all their money, especially when the wife is waiting at home with the children to feed. Expect noise, and expect to improve your vocabulary with words that you won’t find in the dictionary.

The most famous betting offices are nationwide chains called ‘Ladbrokes’, ‘Coral’, and ‘William Hill’. These make most of their money on sports betting, the most popular being horse racing, greyhound racing, football, boxing etc. This is not all. A popular bet is if it will snow on Christmas day! Several of the bigger betting offices say they accept bets on anything at all. You can make a bet on whether they will discover life in outer space, or the sex of the next royal baby. A large amount of betting is done online, so for your homework, get on the Internet and put some of that new vocabulary into practice. Zak Washington, will, of course, expect the usual ten percent commission.


1.3. Betting shops tend to have a lot of different euphemistic names, due to the fact that, although gambling of this type is perfectly legal, it is still considered by many people to be a vice. ‘I saw your husband leaving the turf accountants!’ supposedly sounds better than, ‘leaving the betting shop.’ 


1.4. Grammar. Gerunds or Infinitives. These are some of the most common. For details of verbs that have a change of meaning after either the gerund or infinitive, see notes in chapter 15.






start (no change in meaning)



begin (no change in meaning)



continue (no change in meaning)

can’t stand


like (little change in meaning)



love(little change in meaning)



hate(little change in meaning)



prefer(little change in meaning)



go on (different meanings)

look forward to


mean(different meanings)

can’t help


stop(different meanings)



remember(different meanings)


can’t bear

forget(different meanings)



regret(different meanings)



try(different meanings)


1.5. WHAT TIME DO THEY START...+gerund or infinitive.






WHEN WE ENTERED THE BETTING OFFICE EVERYBODY STOPPED.... +gerund or infinitive, but with different meanings. Gerund= they stopped what they were doing. Infinitive= they stopped in order to...

THE ‘BOOKIE’ REFUSED... +infinitive.

I CAN’T AFFORD..... +infinitive.




THE RACE IS STARTING. I HOPE... +infinitive.




1.6. Phrasal verbs. These are sometimes referred to as ‘multi –part verbs’. They are defined as ‘verbs which change meaning when a preposition or adverb is added.’ Examples: ‘To look up at an aeroplane’, is not a phrasal verb because the meaning is ‘to look’ and the direction that you look is ‘up’. Neither is ‘to look into the bag’.  Compare these to the phrasal verbs in the following sentences: ‘He looked up the word in a thesaurus’, which means ‘to consult’; ‘The detective looked into the case of the missing diamond’, which means ‘to investigate’.

What students don’t realise is that many phrasal verbs have very strict limitations. Many are only usually used in imperative form. ‘Keep out!’ for example, is found on many signs and means ‘don’t enter’. It is seldom used like a normal verb. ‘He kept out of the building’, sounds unusual. ‘He didn’t enter the building’, sounds much more natural.

There are other important facts that should be considered. Does the preposition really change the meaning of the verb? Does it only change it a little? Does it completely change it?

Remember also that this is perhaps the most creative area of English. Native speakers sometimes make up (create) their own phrasal verbs by adding a preposition to an existing verb. This makes these verbs complicated for us too. English speakers often make mistakes by putting the wrong preposition on the end, so you shouldn’t worry too much.

The two most important things to consider when learning a new phrasal verb, are if it is transitive or intransitive (needs an object or not), and if it is separable or inseparable.

Obviously this is an area that needs a lot of work... and a teacher. The important thing is not only to learn them, but after to practice them with your teacher or friends, to see if you are using them correctly. Let’s get going. We’ll start with some easy ones!


‘Go over to the little counter against the wall.’ (intransitive/ inseparable.) to go in that direction. /Cross over to, etc.

‘Pick up one of the little pens, and one of the little betting slips.’ (transitive / separable) to take in hand. Some of the other meanings of ‘to pick up’ are ‘to learn without formal study’, ‘You’ll pick up Dutch in no time, if you marry Anja.’ ‘To have success in forming a romantic partnership’, ‘You only go to that club to try and pick up.’ ‘To improve’. ‘Business picked up after we fired that horrible receptionist.’

‘Now check out the newspapers.’ (transitive / separable) a colloquial phrasal verb meaning ‘to have a look at’, ‘to consult’ or ‘to investigate’

‘Find out which is the next race.’ (intransitive/ inseparable.) to obtain / to get knowledge about.

‘Pick out a horse.’ (transitive / separable) to choose / to select

‘Put down its name.’ (transitive / separable) to write / to make a note of. ‘To write down’ and ‘to note down’ are two more phrasal verbs whose particles change the meaning of the verb very little.

‘...we pick out the horse that has the most stupid name.’ (transitive / separable) to choose / to select

‘... head for the counter at the end of the room.’ (transitive / separable) to go in that direction /to cross over to / to go over to. ‘To make for’ is a synonym.

‘They’re off.’ to go / to begin / to leave / to start. You should note that ‘I’m off,’ simply means that ‘I’m going,’ or ‘I’m leaving.’

‘I think he’s going to pass by the others....’ (intransitive, separable) Often the preposition in phrasal verbs causes very little or no change in meaning. ‘To pass by’ means ‘to pass’ or ‘to overtake’. 

‘Yeah, he’s moving up through the field.’ (intransitive, inseparable) to make progress

‘He’s falling back.’ (intransitive, inseparable) to lose momentum/ground in a race.

‘He’s tripped up.’ (intransitive, separable) to fall over (no object needed.) ‘To trip over’ can be used with or without an object. ‘Don’t leave that shoe there someone will trip over (it).

‘The jockey has fallen off.’ (intransitive, inseparable) to fall. Not really a phrasal verb because it doesn’t change in meaning when the preposition is added. Always make a mental note of the opposite of prepositions of this type. With many phrasal verbs there is no logic to the prepositions, but  if it is simply a verb with an adverb or preposition, then it is much more logical. If you are in a tree, you would fall out of. If you are driving on the road, you would drive off. If you are on the bus you get off. Etc.

‘He’s going to end up last.’ (intransitive, inseparable) to finish / to have a final result as.

‘Oh, well....Let’s clear off.’ (intransitive, inseparable) Many phrasal verbs ending in ‘off’ are insults, or instructions for a person to leave. This is a particularly useful one as it is relatively inoffensive and means no more than ‘go away’. ‘This nightclub is terrible. Let’s clear off!’

‘I can’t afford to throw away any more money. (transitive, separable) ‘to waste’ ‘to use carelessly’. Note that this is the verb is most commonly used with ‘time’ (rather than ‘to lose’).

‘Let’s get over to the dole office.’ (transitive, inseparable) to go (colloq.)


1.7 Discussion Topics.

Is gambling legal in your country? If so, where and when can you do it? What kind of people go to these places? What kind of illegal gambling takes place? What forms of betting should be legal/illegal? Is gambling immoral? In most countries, gambling is very strictly controlled by the government. Does making gambling illegal create secret underground gambling dens? It is unlikely. If Mrs. Miggins wasn’t allowed to spend £2 a week on her lottery tickets, it is debatable whether she would join an illegal cock-fighting club. Britain has seemingly contradictory views on betting. There are several forms of gambling available on the high street. Betting shops are everywhere, and have no legal requirements except that you are eighteen years old. You can go and lose thousands there without even having to show proof of identity. Yet with such easy access to gambling, why do some British people still participate in illegal betting on dog-fights, bare-knuckle boxing bouts, or more commonly, back-room poker games, or speculations on pool or snooker matches? Casinos, unlike betting offices, require 24 hours ‘cool down’ time in which customers can apply for permission to gamble, and then presumably, come to their senses.

As already mentioned, it is ironic that the largest percentage of betting offices are found in the more working class parts of town, which could perhaps lead to one of two conclusions; that poorer people are more careless with their money, or perhaps, that this is many people’s only chance of making a large sum of money quickly.

As to the moral aspect of betting, the answer here is really a matter of personal opinion, although most of us seem to agree that excessive or compulsive gambling brings serious consequences, but that a little flutter once in a while, a bet on the Grand National (the country’s most important horse race) for example, does little harm.  

Should betting be permitted in class? What kind of gambling could we use in class to make the lessons more interesting? Decide amongst yourselves. Note that at the end of chapter one there is a discussion on organising a ‘league of champions’ for those of you who are really competitive. As you will have noticed gambling generates a huge amount of vocabulary and should therefore be encouraged.


1.8. Grammar. Sample answers.

You wanted a ‘normal’ tourist holiday, but you joined up with a group of badly behaved students on an ‘alternative tour’ of Britain. (regret) I regret coming to Britain./ I regret joining this bunch of imbeciles.

They interrupted the tourist itinerary and visited a local pub. (stop) They stopped sightseeing and went for a beer. / They stopped visiting museums and visited a public house.

It’s freezing cold in London, and you didn’t remember your gloves. (forget) I forgot to bring my gloves.

The weather is depressing. The people are unfriendly. The food is an insult to your Mediterranean tastes. (not recommend) I wouldn’t recommend going to England. / I don’t recommend eating English food.

You want to go home, but you haven’t confessed your secret to anybody. (admit) I haven’t admitted wanting to go home.

You would like to meet a rich Englishman/woman who would pay your bills. (hope) I hope to meet a rich...

Your English is terrible. People won’t stop shouting at you. (keep on) I wish people wouldn’t keep on shouting at me.

You have cash-flow problems that are limiting your tourist possibilities. (can’t afford) I can’t afford to visit all these places. / I can’t afford to spend more cash. etc.

Your bed in the hostel is like a rock. At home you have a lovely soft comfy one. (miss) I miss sleeping at home in my nice, comfy bed.

You wanted a ticket for ‘Phantom of the Opera’. There were four thousand Japanese tourists in the queue in front of you. They bought them all. (not manage) I didn’t manage to get / to buy a ticket because....etc.

You don’t want to be robbed, but you just look so foreign. People rob you. You can’t avoid it. (can’t help) I can’t help getting robbed. / I can’t help being a victim. etc


1.9. Explain the differences.

Bad drivers. / Women drivers. A debatable answer, this one. Women statistically have less accidents, but then, statistically, they spend less time in the car than men. Do they actually drive more carefully? Or just slower? Are they more annoying? Or are men more impatient? I’ll leave it to you to fight this one out. Just don’t hurt each other.

As there was a posh party at the Ritz, he decided to get dressed. / As there was a posh party at the Ritz, he decided to get dressed up. ‘To get dressed’ means to put on clothes. ‘To get dressed up’ means to put on your best clothes for a special occasion.

She picked up the phone in disgust. / She hung up the phone in disgust. ‘To pick up’ is to lift the phone. ‘To hang up’ is to put it back down when you finish a phone call. Illogical? Not really if you think about the original telephones that were hung ‘up’ on the wall.

At ten o’clock we broke out the bottles of champagne. / At ten o’clock we broke the bottles of champagne. ‘Broke out’ is a colloquial way of saying ‘to take out (from the fridge/cupboard etc)’. It is used for celebrations. ‘To break’ means to smash or destroy.

I’m anxious to tell my mum that I’ve got a new boyfriend. / I’m anxious about telling my mum that I’ve got a  new boyfriend.  ‘Anxious to’ is positive, and means that you can’t wait to. ‘Anxious about’ is negative, and means that you are worried about telling.’

An ancient mummy./ An old lady. / An antique doll. An ‘ancient mummy’ is probably from ancient Egypt. ‘Ancient’ is not used for people, ‘old’ is. ‘Antique’ is used for objects only, that are old but have a historic value.

Reuter’s News Agency. / Patel’s Newsagent’s. ‘A news agency’ is an international organisation that distributes news to different forms of the media. A newsagent’s is a typically British shop where you buy newspapers, cigarettes, sweets etc.

I missed the bus./ I lost the bus. In the first you didn’t arrive at the bus stop in time. In the second, you were the owner of the bus!

Little people live in the centre of London. / Few people live in the centre of London. Central London is inhabited by very short people. (Wrong!) / Most people reside in the areas out of Central London.

He came to the party wearing a three-piece suite. / He came to the party wearing a three-piece suit. It must have been a fancy dress party. A three-piece suite consists of a sofa and two armchairs. The suit is, of course, a jacket, waistcoat and trousers. ($ jacket, vest and pants. )


2.1 Vocabulary. Department of Health and Social Security. Job Centre. Job Club. Employment. Unemployment. Dole. Dole office. To sign on. UB40. To claim. New claims. Giro. Unemployment benefit. Housing benefit. References. Situations vacant.


2.2. Phrasal verbs.

‘...You turn up here´…’ means ‘to arrive’ ‘to get here/there’. It is inseparable and intransitive. Examples; ‘He didn’t turn up.’ ‘What time did Dave turn up?’

‘..Sign on..’. is ‘to register yourself unemployed’. (insep. /intrans.)

‘...Pick up your dole check…’ means the same as ‘to go and get’. (sep. / trans.) ‘He picked up the cheque.’ ‘He picked the cheque up.’ ‘He picked it up.’ (See 1.6 for more details.)

‘...Cash it in at the post office..’  this is what you do when you turn a cheque into cash. (sep. / trans.) ‘He cashed in the chips at the casino, and went home rich,’ or ‘He cashed the chips in....’

‘...put it down on a horse...’ ‘to bet (the money) on’ (sep. / trans.) Put all the money you have on Trumptown Nag in the 4.30 race. It’s definitely going to win...

‘...and throw all of it away...’  means ‘to dispose of’ ‘to get rid of’ or ‘to waste’. (sep. / trans.)

‘...Then you go home and face up to the wife...’ is ‘to confront’ ‘to deal with’ (insep. / trans.)

‘…who tells you off...’  ‘to scold’ ‘to nag’. This is a difficult verb to explain. Imagine this; you arrive home drunk at five o’clock in the morning. What would your wife say? ‘Look at you! You’re drunk again! You’re always drunk! You spend all your money on alcohol! You think this is a hotel...’  You have been told off (again). (sep. / trans.)

‘...because the children will have to do without a new school uniform this month...’ means ‘to manage without’ , ‘to continue as normal without...’ or ‘to survive without’. (insep./transitive) ‘We didn’t get to the shop in time. We’ll have to do without milk.’


2.3. Grammar. Conditionals. How many types are there? Many students will be disappointed to find out that there are literally hundreds of conditional types. One expert claims that there are 372 possible kinds! The idea of there being type zero, one, two and three, is only a method grammarians use to simplify the grammar. What are the most common forms? Traditional grammar books explain the above four types like this:

Zero conditional: (If + subject + verb in present simple......) , (subject + present simple.......)

Example: If someone comes to my place, I show them puppies. (Normal consequences and natural circumstances.)

First conditional: (If + subject + verb in present simple......) , (subject + future simple.........)

Example: If you come to my place, I will show you my puppies.

Second conditional: (If + subject + past simple...................) , (subject + would + bare infinitive)

Example: If you came to my place, I would show you my puppies.

Third conditional: (If + past perfect .................) , (subject + would + have + past participle of verb)

Example: If you had come to my place, I would have shown you my puppies.


The differences in meaning are as follows: Zero. People often come to my place, when they do, I show them my puppies. (i.e. it is a normal thing to do.)

First: I am inviting you, and you are probably going to come.

Second: It is improbable that you will come, but if you do.... puppies.

Third: (past situation) You didn’t come, which is why you didn’t see any puppies.


Often there is little difference between the zero and the first, except that the zero expresses the idea of natural consequences for things that always, or habitually happen, and the first expresses a single action. Compare: If you break the school rules, we expel you.. (We expel everyone who breaks them.) If you break the school rules, we will expel you. (Headmaster talking to an individual about his behaviour.) 

The difference between the first and the second is perhaps a little more marked. The emphasis is on whether the situation is real or not, or whether it is probable or improbable. ‘If I go to the beach this weekend.... (probable/possible) ‘If I were the first man on Mars....’ (very improbable/impossible). This is why this is such a common type of phrase; if you walk into any British pub, you will hear people say phrases such as: ‘If I were in the Liverpool football team, I’d...’ You are not. You are forty-five years old, fat, and in rotten physical condition. ‘If Claudia Schiffer were my girlfriend... She’s not. Beryl Schiffer, who works in the fish factory, is your girlfriend. You’re drunk!

A common mistake is for students to think that the second conditional is for past situations. It isn’t. It contains the past simple, yes. But the idea is in the future. ‘If I went on a Caribbean cruise next year, I’d be so happy. (Future.) The reason for this is that the past simple is arguably the same as the past subjunctive tense. There are other similar ‘unreal’ forms in English. ‘If only I were famous...’  ‘I wish I was rich...’ means you are not (or were not) famous or rich, but would like to be now. This is very similar to some tenses used in romance languages to talk about unreal or hypothetical situations. Spanish expresses the idea as ‘Si fuera rico...’  Italian has similar structures. French uses the indicative in its past form too, ‘Si j’étais riche...’

The only way to express past actions is with the third conditional, which always contains the past perfect (not the past simple).

As mentioned above, this idea of zero, first, second, and third conditionals is a simplification. Different past , present and future tenses can be mixed with almost any combination of different modal auxiliary verb. This gives dozens of possible varieties. Look at these different, but simple combinations:

                If she arrives, tell her that I’ve gone home. (Present + imperative)

                If he hadn’t stolen my bike, I wouldn’t be walking at the moment. (Past action + present conditional)

                If he has killed once, he might kill again. (Present perfect + modal of possibility)

Conclusion. Complete domination of conditionals depends on two important factors. (1) A complete understanding of the differences between normal consequences, possible / probable actions, impossible / improbable actions, and past situations. (2) A complete understanding of how modal verbs function.

As this is one of the main areas of difficulty, it might be a good idea to make a brief list of uses of these modal auxiliaries, although we will look at them in much more detail in the following chapters. RECOMMENDATIONS AND ADVICE should, shouldn’t, ought to, oughtn’t to (present) should have + past participle, ought to have (past actions) OBLIGATION/ PROHIBITION must, have (got) to, need to, mustn’t, don’t have to, don’t need to, needn’t (present) had to, to not be allowed/ permitted/ prohibited, didn’t have to, didn’t need to, needn’t have (past). DEDUCTION/ POSSIBILITY/ IMPOSSIBILITY must, could, may, might, can’t (present) must have + p.part. could have + p.part., may have + p.part., might have + p.part., can’t have + p.part., couldn’t have + p.part. (past)  PERMISSION can, may (present) could (past)  ABILITY can, to be able to (present) could, was/were able to (past)


2.4. Grammar exercise. Conditionals. GIOVANNI: This really is very depressing. If I were on the dole, I would be very sad.

TEACHER: Don’t worry, we won’t be here long, if we hurry up. I only have to go to a quick appointment with the ‘Job Club’.

MARIAY: What’s the Job Club?

TEACHER: Well, I have been ‘officially’ unemployed for eight years. The government will only continue to give me money, if I attend job interviews. In the Job Club they give the unemployed free stamps, envelopes and let us make free phone calls, to look for work.

GIOVANNI: This is very depressing, these poor people cannot get jobs. My father works twelve hours a day in the fields in Italy, six days a week. But for these poor people the situation is far worse!

TEACHER: What rubbish! If you had a brain, you would be dangerous. Most of these people like it here. Let me explain. But first, we have to go back to my flat. I need to take off these nice, smart clothes and put on some older, nastier ones.

MARIAY: Why? Are you going to repair the car?

TEACHER: No, I have a job interview.

GIOVANNI: I would wear a smart, elegant suit, if I had a job interview in Italy. I don’t understand you Englishmen at all.

TEACHER: Look. The Job Club wants me to go for an interview with a company. If I don’t go, they won’t give me my dole money, because they will think that I don’t want to work. If I don’t get the job, I will also lose my dole money completely.

GIOVANNI: If you get/got the job, it will/would be great!

TEACHER: No, it won’t! It’ll be a complete disaster. The job will be awful. At the moment they give me £75 a week dole money, and they pay my rent money. In other words, a total of £130. If I get the job, they will pay me £140. In other words, £10 extra for working forty hours more than I work now. Plus I would lose my UB40 and the right to cheap entrance to the theatre, cinema, art galleries, concerts, cheaper international flights etc.


2.5. Discussion Topics. Why do some young people in Britain like being on the dole? For several reasons. Firstly, is because there is little difference between Social Security benefits and the wages in the worst paid types of jobs. Another point is that Britain has a very well developed system of welfare, that is generous to those who really need it, but is taken advantage of by many that don’t. What is the social security system like in your country? If you come from one of the more affluent European countries like Holland, Germany or Scandinavia, then the answer is probably similar to the above. In Mediterranean countries, many people live with their parents until they get married, or at least, much longer than in the north of Europe. They are not as dependent on themselves, and have a place to live and food on the table. The welfare system thus isn’t as generous. Who has the right to ‘dole’? A good welfare system encourages laziness. Discuss. Which, in your opinion, is the best system, the British, or that of your country? Questions that are open to debate. But surely single parents, the sick, and the disabled will appear on your list of those who have a right to ‘dole’. If you’ve spent your entire life paying taxes and national insurances, then you might be very unhappy if you are only given ‘dole money’ for a limited amount of time. Consider the American welfare system that pays money to unemployed people only for short periods of time, seldom for longer than six months, in order to force them to go back to work quicker.


2.6. Grammar exercise. Conditionals.



YOU ARE VERY SHY. Sample answers: If I wasn’t/weren’t so shy, I would send that blond an e-mail. Inversion: Were I not so shy...

YOU ARE OLD. Sample answers: If I were / was younger, I would be able to... /

YOU HAVE NO MONEY. Sample answers: If I had more money, I could.... / Were I better looking, I’d... If I had unlimited credit.., I could.... /Were I to have unlimited credit...

YOU HAVEN’T DONE ANY EXERCISE FOR FIFTEEN YEARS. Sample answers: If I had done some exercise, I would look fantastic on the beach this summer.


YOU’RE BALD. Sample answers: If I weren’t /wasn’t bald, I’d have a hairstyle like my favourite pop stars’s. /Were I not bald... If I had hair, I would spend lots of money on hair care products.




2.7. Grammar. Third Conditional. What is the structure of the Third Conditional? (See above. 2.3.)

Sample answers.

If I had stayed on the dole, I wouldn’t have earned ten pounds more every week.

If I had had hair, I’d have got a haircut like my favourite pop star’s.

If I had got the job as carpet fitter, I would have had sore knees.

If I had worked as a civil servant, my wife would have got bored with me.

If I hadn’t been so thin and white, I’d have looked fantastic on the beach.

I’d have had to clean up a lot of disgusting mess, if I’d got the cleaner job.

I’d have had my own private jet, if I’d have become president.

I’d have dated that blond, if I hadn’t been so scared.


2.8. Grammar. Conditional inversions. Sample answers.

Had I stayed on the dole, I’d...

Had I had hair, I’d have....

Had I got the job as carpet fitter...etc.

2.9. Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs with ‘CUT’.

It wasn’t really the type of work that I was suitable for / have a vocation for but I took the job anyway. My job was to separate by cutting the ends of pieces of plastic. Later, the factory reduced the number of staff, and I found myself without a source of income. I signed on the dole. They soon stopped my dole, so I had to reduce the number of luxuries. I eliminated all the things that I didn’t really need, but one night in a moment of depression I cut dole card into pieces, after that they wouldn’t let me sign on and stopped my dole.

You may notice that there are distinctive patterns to the way that prepositions affect the meaning of phrasal verbs. With no particle there is one meaning, which is not particularly expressive. ‘To cut’ is what you would do with a knife of scissors but we are not told exactly what. ‘To cut up’, is much more specific, and means to ‘cut into pieces’. The meaning of other verbs such as break up, smash up, tear up, rip up, etc, all have the same idea of destroying, or reducing to small pieces. By the same logic, cut off, break off, smash off, tear off and rip off, all show the idea of separation.  But be careful, this way of thinking doesn’t apply to everything.               

2.10. Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs with ‘CUT’.

She was cut up when her husband left her to go out with a teenage ‘bimbo’.

She took out one of his photos and cut it up.

She promised to get a new image and cut down (on) the number of jam doughnuts that she ate to six a day.

Her family decided to cut her off when they found out that she was gambling.

As an act of rebellion against them she cut her hair off / cut off her hair.

I don’t really know if she is cut out to be independent.






3.1 Vocabulary. Pub, bar (the counter), bar stool, dart board, darts, pool table, beer taps, beer mats, beer guts, cigarette machine, slot machine, fruit machine, ash-tray, landlord, landlady, barman, barmaid, fireplace, benches, jukebox, public phone, beer barrels, etc.


3.2 Vocabulary. Some of these answers are debatable.


quite tipsy

a little merry

virtually comatose



completely unconscious


out of your head

a little bit jolly












3.3 Discussion Topics. Have you ever been to a typical British or Irish pub? There tends to be very little difference between British and Irish pubs. In fact, many of the pubs in England are owned by Irish landlords or breweries.

What was it like? Describe the interior. Although there are plenty of modern bars, ‘trendy’ pubs or wine-bars, what the British like the most is the traditional type of pub or tavern. The basic design of these places hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. Traditionally, they were known as inns or taverns; there were rooms upstairs for visitors and food in the bar. In those days, the interior would have looked much the same as it does in many present day pubs. A traditional pub will have a long wooden bar with the tall levers for ‘pulling pints’ of beer, or ale. There is usually a fireplace in older or more rural places. The walls are often covered in a type of wallpaper with a red velvet cloth design. There are almost always wall-to-wall carpets on the floor. In many pubs the walls and ceiling are decorated with collections of pictures, old bottles, beer jugs, antiques, stuffed animals, trophies, lamps, kettles, swords, anything in fact. It is not uncommon to see a bookcase, full of books. Modern pubs are often fitted in the same way. They are intentionally made to look like old fashioned, traditional public houses. You should also expect to find a jukebox for playing music, a cigarette machine in case you need to buy a packet of ‘fags’, a pool table, a fruit-machine (slot-machine) if you want to gamble a little, and maybe a pinball machine.

Do you remember any of the names of the pubs that you visited? There is no limit to the eccentricity of British pub names. The most common names are ‘The Red Lion’, ‘The King’s Head’, ‘The Queen’s Head’, and ‘The Rose and Crown’, but don’t be surprised to see ‘The Dog and Whistle’, ‘The Elephant and Castle’, and many other strange names.

What is the difference between a pub and a bar? How do bars in your country differ from those in Britain? Do people go to pubs only to drink? Is it possible to eat meals there? Tell us about the types of food available in pubs in your country. What time do bars in your country open and close? Do you think these times differ from British opening times? What type of people go to the pub? Are pubs in your countries for the whole family or just for adults? Are country pubs different from city pubs? Do different classes of people have different types of pubs? Many foreigners are surprised to learn that there are big differences between ‘European’ style bars and British pubs. Firstly, British pubs cater far less for the whole family than in other countries. You are usually not allowed to take children under fourteen years of age into the pub. In the evening many pubs don’t let under-eighteens in at all. This is because the main activity of the adult clientele in British pubs is drinking. Food is available, but probably only to stop the drinkers going home! In Mediterranean countries people go to the bar with the whole family to eat and drink, or maybe only to get a coffee. If you want a cup of tea or coffee in Britain, go to the café. In recent times, pubs have changed a lot. Twenty years ago it was virtually impossible to find a pub that sold coffee! Even now it is close to impossible to find a pub that is open for breakfast. (Most British pubs open at around midday and close before midnight.) In Italian bars breakfast time is the busiest time of day. Nowadays pub meals (pub grub) have become much more popular, most pubs having various hot meals as well as traditional bar snacks such as peanuts and crisps. Country pubs have always been more family orientated, being the centre of a village’s social activity, and often serving as a hotel where travellers would stay. Why don’t you let me show you? Look! There’s a pub. Come on, it’s time for some ‘hands on’ research.


3.4. Vocabulary.

1. A bar code. This is the little black and white stripped electronic code that you find on the side of supermarket products.

2. A bar mat. Pretty small. This is the little piece of cardboard that you put between a glass and the table.

3. A bar snack. A bag of crisps, or a packet of peanuts.

4. A crow bar. This is a type of tool for taking nails out of wood, or forcing things open.

5. A bar bell. A type of weight found in the gymnasium.

6. A bar stool. The tall seat that you sit on in a bar.

7. A barrel. The big round thing that you put liquids into.

8. A bar maid. How big is a barmaid? Is she bigger than a barrel? I’ve been asking myself the same question all week as I’ve studied the proportions of big Barbara Smith down at the Queen’s Head. She’s definitely bigger.

9. A bar. If we are talking about the thing that you put your drinks down on, then it comes before the snack bar.

10.A snack bar. The observant student will realise that this could be a small edible snack, or a little canteen or restaurant that specialises in snacks.

11.A barge. A long, thin heavy boat, found on a canal.

12.A barn. A giant building normally used in country fields or on farms for storing things.


3.5 Waiter! Give to me one beer!’ In a British pub you will find a bartender, a barman or a barmaid, but not a  waiter, who would work in a restaurant. You’ll also need the correct object pronoun: ‘Give me..’ not ‘give to me..’ When you count in English, the first unit is usually called ‘a’ and not ‘one’. So you say, ‘I’ve got a nice car’ not ‘one car’. (‘One’ is only used when the question is ‘how many?’) ‘Give me a beer,’ would be more appropriate, but as there are probably fifteen to twenty types of beer on sale, this still sounds unnatural. So in Britain we specify the amount (a pint or a half) and then the kind of beer or its brand name. ‘Give me a pint of bitter, and half a Guinness.’ ‘Give me seven halves of lager and a gin and tonic for Snow White here. Hihooo!’ Other ways of asking for things are ‘Can I have...?’ or ‘Could I get....?’


3.6 Grammar. Modal verbs for certainty and possibility.

What are the modal verbs for certainty? (Positive and negative.) If you are completely sure of something you’d say must. For example, ‘He’s wearing a kilt and drinking whisky. He must be Scottish.’ What is the opposite of this sentence? Think about it. If you answer ‘He mustn’t be Scottish’, you are wrong. You are getting confused with the modal verbs for obligation and prohibition. The correct answer is can’t. ‘He’s tall, good looking and speaks three languages, he can’t be Scottish. He must be Dutch.’

What are the modal verbs for possibility?  There are three possibilities. Could, may or might. In the context of possibility, there is no difference in meaning between these three. ‘He’s got ginger hair and scruffy clothes. He may be English, he could be Welsh, or he might even be Scottish. I’m not sure.’ Many students overuse phrases like, ‘It is possible that he is ...’ This is not really necessary when there is one single word that expresses the same idea. ‘He might be...’


3.7 Grammar. Sample answers.

Example. He had no beer left in his glass. You are sure that he has gone to order another drink. He must be buying another drink...

He saw a pretty girl standing on the other side of the bar. There is the possibility that he’s talking to her. He might/may/could be talking to her.

He has been drinking a lot of beer for three hours. That’s a lot of liquid! You are sure he’s in the toilet. He must be in the loo.

He hates playing darts. You are sure that he’s not doing that. He can’t be playing darts.

He said that there was too much smoke in the bar. There is the possibility that he is in the pub garden. He might/may/could be taking a breath of fresh air.

He didn’t have many cigarettes left. He was dying for a ‘fag’. You are certain he’s buying more. He must be buying cigarettes.

He doesn’t know how to play pool. It’s impossible that he’s playing. He can’t be playing pool.

He wanted to phone his mum. There is a phone near the door. It’s a distinct possibility. He might/may/could be phoning his mum.

He didn’t like the music on the jukebox; he had some change in his hand. You are sure he’s there. He must be putting some music on the jukebox.

He was saying that he was very tired. Maybe he’s on his way home. He might/may/could be going home.

Are you stupid? He lives in Paris. It’s impossible to walk there. He can’t be walking home to France. You must be stupid.


3.8 Discussion Topics. What is ‘last orders’? Whoever has been to London should now explain what happens in a British pub between 10.50 and 11.10pm. For many years in Britain ‘last orders’ has been the warning that the pub is going to close shortly. The bartender shouts ‘Last orders!’ and rings a bell, and then all the customers rush to the bar, desperate to take advantage of the remaining moments of drinking time. Many people order extra drinks. At precisely eleven o’clock the bar stops taking orders and there are begin ten minutes ‘drinking-up time’. At ten minutes past eleven the bell sounds again and you have to stop drinking. A not uncommon sight will be the barman ‘collecting’ glasses from people as they desperately try to finish their drinks!

What kind of effects do you think this had on drinking habits in Britain? The government was constantly promising to change the licensing laws to make it possible to drink later. The reality is that although most still close early, some pubs now do open until midnight or even one o’clock. Before all pubs closed at exactly 11.10pm. What this meant is that many people would drink a lot in a very short space of time, and, of course, end up completely drunk and in the street at exactly the same time. A typical scene would be many people shouting obscenities, men kissing their best friend’s wives, women urinating in the front gardens of their neighbour’s houses, a couple of people vomiting, and often a big punch-up with the drunks from the rival pub across the road. What wonderful days those were!

When do bars open and close in your country? Is there a difference between the laws for hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs? Should people be allowed to drink all night? Drinking all night at least means that people drink at a more sensible speed, and then don’t get as drunk. Or maybe they drink more because there is more time in which to do it. Discuss this delicate point with your classmates.

In Britain many people go out with the intention of getting as drunk as possible. It is acceptable behaviour to drink a lot and be drunk in public. Discuss. Contrary to common beliefs not everybody in Britain is an alcoholic. The royal family are just a bad example, that shouldn’t be followed. Similarly, British politicians, sportsmen, artists and intellectuals like their drink a little too much too. Maybe that’s just the way we grow up. Young people, for example, often go out and get very drunk, but that doesn't mean that it is socially acceptable to roll around the floor drunk singing rude songs about the vicar’s wife, when you go to the annual church fete. That said, drinking is a part of the way of life, in Britain and Ireland, as it is in countries like Germany, Poland and Russia, and even if you don’t participate, you’ll never be far away from people who do. Knowing drinking etiquette is important.

Who orders and pays for drinks in your countries? When do you pay? Discuss what you think you should and shouldn’t do in a British pub. What would you say if you wanted to offer to buy everyone a drink or a meal? In British pubs you always pay for your drinks when you order them. Don’t go and sit down, and expect to have an account kept for you like in some countries. It is normal to buy rounds of drinks, that is, one person pays for all the drinks for everyone, and when everybody finishes someone else does the same. This is dangerous, if it’s a large group, as it is extremely expensive. You could ‘go Dutch’ or ‘go halves’ which means that you pay individually, or you divide the price of something between you. To offer a round of drinks say, ‘This is on me’. Similarly, ‘Is this on you?’ would mean ‘are you going to pay for this?’ In many other languages this idea is expressed with a cognate of the verb to invite, which isn’t correct in English. ‘To invite’ refers more to ‘asking someone to go somewhere’ such as a wedding or a party. You could express this idea by saying ‘I’ll treat you.’ A typical argument in many other countries would be like this: ‘Let me get this one.’ ‘No, I insist. It’s on me.’ ‘No. No. No. I’m going to get this.’ ‘Please, it’s on me.’ Such conversations in Turkey and Argentina go on for between three hours and three days. Even though neither person has any money in their pocket. In Britain, you should offer to pay, but you don’t need to ruin the evening by being over-persistent. If someone wants to pay, let them. You pay next time. Also note that if you take out a packet of cigarettes, it is normal behaviour to offer one to the people you are with. As you are probably in an informal situation, you might consider a funny colloquial way of expressing this idea: flash your fags or crash the ash are two phrases that will get a laugh. Another faux pas (social mistake) is to sit in a pub without a drink at all, something typically done by foreign tourists when they see the price of drinks in pubs. You’re on holiday for God’s sake. Buy yourself a drink, and have some fun.  


3.9. Grammar. Past forms of modals for deduction.

What are the past forms of must, may, might, could and can’t? You will be happy to hear that these forms are (more or less) regular in the past! Simply use the structure MODAL + HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE. Modal auxiliary verbs for advice (should, ought to) have the same structure in the past.

Students now speculate about what has happened to François, but this time using modal verbs in the past. Sample answers: He might have gone to buy cigarettes. He could have walked home. He can’t have been at the bar, we would have seen him., etc.


3.10. Explain exactly what has happened to him. It hurts me to repeat such a cruel, horrible story. François went to speak to a girl who he didn’t realise was Dave the Hooligan’s girlfriend. Dave wasn’t happy and followed him to the toilets and ...attacked him. Dave put François head into the white receptacle of the loo and obliged him to drink the water. Like I said, it is an awful, awful story and we should continue to the next part as soon as possible, where I’m sure things will get better.


3.11. Grammar. Modal verbs for advice and recommendations.

What are the modal verbs for advice? (Positive and negative.) Should / Shouldn’t which mean exactly the same as ought to/ oughtn’t to.

What are their past forms? Their past forms, as already mentioned follow the same structure as past modal verbs for deduction. MODAL + HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE Another very useful and common way of expressing advice is with the structure had better... which is usually contracted ‘You’d better listen to me.’ What is the negative form? A good question. Had better not... Notice that this expresses advice in the present and although it has a ‘past’ word, cannot be used in the past.

I have wet hair. You should /ought to / had better go and dry it......

I have blood on my lips. You should / ought to / had better wash your face.

I feel terrible. I’ve drunk too much. You should / ought to / had better stop drinking. You shouldn’t drink anymore. You’d better not chat up anyone else’s girlfriend.

They have taken all my money. You should / ought to / had better call the police / ask your parents to send more / get a job.

I hate Great Britain. You should / ought to / had better go home to mummy. You should stop complaining.

How am I going to get back? My ticket was in my wallet. You should / ought to / had better hitchhike / start walking / ask for money in the street / swim.

What will I tell my family? You should / ought to / had better tell them the truth / make up an excuse. etc.

My head aches. My stomach is turning over. You should / ought to / had better have a glass of water / take a walk outside / think about something else.

I think I am going to be sick. You should / ought to / had better not be sick on me / go to the bathroom.

I’m never going to drink again. You should / ought to / had better stop talking nonsense.

What about informing the authorities? You should / ought to / had better not mention it, that hooligan is a friend of Zak Washington’s.

All I wanted was to come to London, see a few sights, and learn a bit of English. You should / ought to / had better find a more serious language school, with a real teacher.


3.12. Grammar. Past forms of modal verbs for advice and recommendations. Sample answers.

I was stupid enough to listen to Zak Washington. I shouldn’t have listened to Zak Washington.

I wish we had visited the Tower of London. We should have gone to the Tower of London.

I don’t drink regularly. I got drunk very quickly. I shouldn’t have drunk so quickly.

I drank far too much. I oughtn’t to have drunk so much.

I only wanted to chat up a pretty English girl. I should have tried to chat up a foreign girl.

How did I know that she was Dave the Hooligan’s girlfriend? I should have found out who she was first.

I took my wallet out. Everybody saw that I had a lot of money. I shouldn’t have taken it out.

I went to the restroom alone. I should have gone with someone else.

Dave the Hooligan said he wouldn’t hurt me if I apologised to him. I should have apologised.

I wish I had stayed at home in my own country. I shouldn’t have come to this horrible country.


3.13. Discussion Topics. Have you ever had a similar experience? What do you know about hooligans?  What type of people do you think they are? What motivates these people to do what they usually do? Why do you think it is that most football hooligans have jobs and are from well-off middle class backgrounds? Does your country suffer from similar problems? We should first consider what a hooligan is. The word has become synonymous with football, but the term can be applied to almost anyone who behaves badly, drinks excessively, fights, destroys things, causes trouble, etc. Britain has quite a reputation now for hooligans, yobos and troublemakers, and deservedly so. It perhaps has something to do with our temperament, or our Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Nordic blood. British people do have a capacity for aggressiveness, boisterousness and a have-a-go attitude. This can be seen throughout British history. But the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality of the British Isles is seen in excessive aggression in sport and leisure pastimes, as well as in the work place. Let’s get back to the original question. Who are these people? Where do they come from? Hooliganism is certainly nothing new. There were cases of rival football gangs fighting each other and causing disturbances in England and Scotland over one hundred years ago! The modern British hooligan typically comes from a well-off or semi-respectable background. There is the idea that these people are unemployed, illiterate, drug-takers, but this is not usually the case. The most notorious hooligans are almost always working men who are often married with children, and commonly live in respectable middle class parts of town or in the suburbs. Following your football team from city to city, or country to country, and drinking all that beer is an expensive business! Many other countries suffer from similar problems, and it could be argued that nowadays the British are not the worst hooligans, and are often antagonised just because of their bad reputation. This isn’t in any way an excuse for their behaviour. The solution? It might be pointed out that the mentality of football hooligans is a strange one, which has as its target other hooligans and the authorities. The victims of hooliganism are usually other hooligans, and not innocent bystanders.  Interestingly, one of the methods of reducing violence against the authorities in British football grounds was to remove the police from sight and put stewards in their place. Stewards are fellow members of the public and football fans, and therefore, not a target.

It would be go good idea to mention the misuse of certain English words among foreign speakers. There is a difference between a fan and a fanatic. The first is a genuine follower who loves their team, group, star etc. The word fanatic has, at times, negative connotations, being a person who is obsessively fond of something or someone.  A supporter is a synonym of fan and refers positively to sports. It is not a synonym of hooligan as it has become know in many European countries. How serious do you think the problem of alcoholism is in Western society, particularly in Britain? Does your country suffer from similar problems? How much is drinking a part of your local culture? Describe them. What are the causes of alcoholism, and who are the victims? Discuss the following: Alcohol and young people; drink-driving; alcohol and wife-beating; alcohol and the £3 billion National Health Service cost; alcohol and advertising; alcohol and having a really, really good time. Why is alcohol -a drug often related to violence and crime- legal, and cannabis not?



3.14. Grammar review. What is the difference between the following sentences?

‘I’m used to drinking eight pints of lager every night’ and ‘I used to drink eight pints of lager every night.’

Who is the alcoholic? The first. Who is the reformed alcoholic? The second. USED TO + GERUND means ‘to be accustomed to’ and can be used in the past, present and future. It is, therefore, very different from USED TO + INFINITIVE which can only talk about past habitual actions, not single actions.

I’m used to drinking eight pints of lager every night’ means that the person usually drinks eight pints every night and is physically accustomed to doing this. This person clearly needs help.

I used to drink eight pints of lager every night’ shows that this person was in the habit of drinking, but has since stopped.


The grammar for these structures is a little confusing for native speakers as well as foreign learners. So pay attention. In its positive form you can say USED TO + VERB I used to eat tinned food every day. The negative and interrogative forms of this sentence are logically DIDN’T USE TO + VERB and DID YOU USE TO + VERB ‘I didn’t use to have very good skin.’ ‘Didn’t you use to go St. Mary’s Secondary Modern School?’ Mistakes such as ‘I didn’t used to...’ (conjugating the infinitive) are so common among natives that they have become acceptable in modern English. This is a particularly irregular structure.  The structure differs from place to place. In many places such as Ireland the negative form is USEN’T TO + VERB and in works by some distinguished British authors include structures like USED YOU TO + VERB ? or USED NOT TO + VERB  

Confusing? Yes. But these are unimportant mistakes. This is an area in which natives make mistakes too, so consequently a little error won’t be that bad. Some mistakes in English are bad, because they cause a lot of confusion, and the speaker won’t know what you are talking about. This is what happens when you put the gerund after ‘used to’ instead of the infinitive. And vice-versa. So we need to check the grammar for USED TO + GERUND. This structure is most commonly used after ‘to be’ or ‘to get’. In positive sentences we say ‘He is used to getting up early.’  The negative is ‘He isn’t used to getting up early’ and the interrogative, ‘Is he used to getting up early.’  This is completely different in meaning and structure from, ‘He used to get up early.’ ‘He didn’t use to get up early.’ ‘Did he use to get up early.’ You will need to practice this a lot as all forms are very similar and are all very commonly used.


What is the correct pronunciation of ‘used to’? The ‘d’ is pronounced /t/ and as the next consonant is a /t/ sound only one is sounded.  /ju:stu:/ The two are pronounced as one word.


3.15. Discussion topics. Clothes, hair, music, entertainment and lifestyle in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s. There is some important vocabulary here. In the 1960s people still wore their hair in quiffs, until the Beatles came along and changed the world. They used to have ‘basin’ haircuts and ‘sharp’ suits. Other celebrities started wearing their hair long, like the Rolling Stones used to, or mini skirts and ‘bob’ haircuts like the model Twiggy. Then suddenly it was all marijuana and LSD, flowers, peace and love. Groovy! At rock concerts from the end of that decade people often used to wear... no clothes at all.

The seventies were sometimes referred to as ‘the decade that style forgot’. People used to wear platform shoes, flared or bell bottomed trousers. Look at your parent’s photos. They used to wear their hair long and have those enormous collars! Then came the punk revolution and everybody dyed their hair different colours and used to wear anything shocking. Ask your father if he used to have blue hair.

If the 1970s were bad, the 1980s were surely worse. At least people in the seventies used to have a sense of irony or kitch. In the 1980s those curly highlighted hairstyles were so tacky. People used to watch Miami Vice on the TV, and that Beverly Hills show. There used to be all those ‘yuppies’ everywhere, and everyone was obsessed with making money. Do you remember?

We all used to listen to a lot of dance music in the nineties. First acid house, then techno, then jungle. A lot of people were taking ecstasy tablets. At least we used to have better haircuts than the generations before. That was also the time when we started getting used to all the new technology like mobile telephones and the Internet. Now in the new millennium I’m getting used to being a bald middle-aged man with a wife and eight children. I haven’t enough hair to grow it long, and I’m too fat for my leather trousers. With all the children I don’t have time to follow fashion anymore. Shame really.


3.16. Grammar practice. Sample answers.

You’ve just left home for the first time.

What did you use to do? I used to come home before midnight.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to come home at six o’clock in the morning.

What are you getting used to doing?  I’m getting used to cooking my own food.

You’ve moved to a dirty flat in London with awful English students.

What did you use to do? I used to live in a nice clean flat with my family.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to have to clean up because my mother did it all.

What are you getting used to doing? I’m getting used to being unhappy alone in a cold, stinking, dirty city.

You’ve given up your job at the old people’s home.

What did you use to do? I used to listen to them repeating the same boring stories all day long.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to talk to them much. I had to shout. Most of them were deaf.

What are you getting used to doing? I’m getting used to being around young people again, and not having to shout.

You’re unemployed.

What did you use to do? I used to have a job, a career, a life, get up early, wash, have money, and be a healthy person.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to spend all day watching dreadful daytime television, and eating biscuits.

What are you getting used to doing? I’m getting used to not washing or going out. I haven’t got the motivation any more.

You’ve given up smoking marijuana.

What did you use to do? I used to forget everything, but it was cool. I used to eat enormous amounts of chocolate at three o’clock in the morning, listen to The Doors and talk about existentialism and conspiracy theories.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to work. I just sold drugs.

What are you getting used to doing? I’m getting used to being in prison.

You’ve succeeded in stopping gambling.

What did you use to do? I used to spend all day in the betting office.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to have any money to feed my family.

What are you getting used to doing? I’ve got used to being divorced.

You’ve got married to a strict feminist (men)/an awful male chauvinist (women).

What did you use to do? I used to make my girlfriends wash up and cook for me./ I used to have sensitive caring boyfriends, not sexist, beer-drinking slobs.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to get lectures all day on feminist nonsense. / I didn’t use to listen to puerile macho stupidly about offside, women’s breasts and lager.

What are you getting used to doing? I’m getting used watching my girlfriend do the gardening. / I’m getting used to a pig that talks.

You’ve become one of those old, miserable pensioners that you’ve always hated.

What did you use to do? I used to like people.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to shout obscenities at everybody.

What are you getting used to doing? I’m getting used to saying things like, ‘Bloody kids of today! In my day...’

You’ve become the millionaire author of a truly original book.

What did you use to do? I used to read rotten unoriginal nonsense.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to do anything because I was so busy writing the book.

What are you getting used to doing? I’m getting used to going to parties with Jackie Collins.

You’ve got married to the prince/princess.

What did you use to do? I used to go out with Leslie Wilson from the fish and chip shop.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to have afternoon tea with my mother-in-law the Queen.

What are you getting used to doing? I’m getting used to Prince Charles’ bad breath.

You’ve got divorced from him/her.

What did you use to do? I used to take the private jet everywhere.

What didn’t you use to do? I didn’t use to take the 73 bus very much.

What are you getting used to doing? I’m getting used to going out with that girl who always smells of fried fish again.





4.1 Explain the differences. (Using as much interesting English as possible).

In Dunkirk the troops went to the beach. / In Dunkirk the troops went to the seaside. Another case of two words, that refer to the same thing, but with an enormous cultural difference. The ‘beach’ is the place with sand near the coast. The ‘seaside’ refers to this place to but in the sense of leisure or holidays. That is to say, that you think of ice creams, donkey rides, sand castles, sunbathing, and swimming. Not exactly where soldiers would go.

He’s looking at her. / He’s seeing her. In the first he is using his eyes to watch her. In the second he is going out with her. That is, he’s having a relationship with her. ‘Seeing’ (the continuous form) is only used with this meaning. This is because it is a state verb. Other state verbs that cannot be used to in the continuous are: to understand; to believe;  to know; to like; to think (for opinions); to hate, etc.

Danish pastries. / Cornish pasties. / Italian pasta. The first are sticky sweet cakes found in a bakery. The second is an underrated traditional meat and / or vegetable snack from the west of England. Pasta is, of course, the substance that spaghetti and macaroni are made out of.

She told me how to get there. / She told me where to go. / She told me where to get off. To tell someone how to get there, is to give directions so that they find an address. The second is and third are very colloquial (slang) ways of saying that you have been insulted or have insulted someone.   ‘Why don’t you tell that boyfriend of yours where to go?’

An odd number. / A particular number. / A strange number. / An even number. An odd number would be 1,3,5,7 etc. The others are the even numbers: 2,4,6,8 etc. ‘A particular number’ means ‘a specific number.’ ‘A strange number’ means an unusual number.

I bought a paper at the station. / I bought some paper at the stationer’s. The first person bought a newspaper in a railway stations. But you guessed that, didn’t you? The second bought sheets of blank paper for writing from a shop that specialises in office supplies, pens, papers, and desktop equipment.





5.1. Discussion Topics. What time do people usually eat in your country? What are the names of different meal times in Britain? Which meals are the most important in your country? How does this compare to Britain? Breakfast is early for working people, and it’s not common practice to stop work mid-morning for a second breakfast in the café, like it is in many parts of Europe. The meal traditionally consisted of a big fried breakfast –bacon, eggs, sausages, tomatoes, baked beans, chips, toast, or fried bread- but many people eat cereals or a continental style breakfast of toast, croissant, coffee etc. Marmalade is like a bitter version of jam, which is popular with toast. Porridge, a Scottish breakfast dish made from boiled oatmeal is worth a try too. If you do want the big fry-up, you’ll need to go to a café, which are normally open all morning, and sometimes in the afternoon. The mid-morning tea break is standard practice for most working people. If you get a job in factory, for example, you will get 15-20 minutes break, and most people will have a cup of tea and a snack. Lunchtime is the next main meal, although this is confusingly referred to in many parts of the country as ‘dinner’. This will be around one o’clock in most work places and schools, and is often something light. Lunch-break in the work place will be either 30 minutes or an hour, but seldom more. In some jobs you might not get one at all. You’ll get your tea break in the afternoon, and you’ll finish at five o’clock. The main meal of the day, that you eat with the family will be between six and seven thirty, and is often called dinner, although many people call it simply tea. Be careful with this one. You might end up going hungry, if you say that you don’t want any tea. You’ve got the rest of the evening to yourself. Of course, if you eat at six o’clock, by ten o’clock you are hungry again, and you might have a little supper before going to bed. Which dishes are the most important? What do they consist of? Most students know fish and chips, (deep fried fish served with fried potatoes) and maybe roast beef and Yorkshire pudding; but the truth is that in modern multi-cultural Britain, the average person is more likely to eat or cook an Indian curry, Italian pizza, or a even a Turkish kebab. Anglo-Indian cuisine is everywhere, is cheap and is highly suited to specialised diets and vegetarians, and also is the perfect accompaniment for... beer. There is still a vast amount of interesting products on sale of every description. Every major city has shops that specialise in Caribbean, Asian, Cypriot, and Chinese produce. The question really is ‘what can’t you find?’ Explain the difference between sweet and savoury. Savoury refers to all dishes that are salted or not sweet. Which meals include sweet food, and which savoury? This question usually produces some interesting answers. In Britain, for example, people seldom eat sweet things for breakfast, but in many other countries cakes and pastries are eaten. Americans often eat sweet and savoury things on the same plate at breakfast time. There are several sweet sauces that are eaten with meats in Britain such as cranberry sauce, and mango chutney. If it’s sweet food that you like, then you have chosen the best country. The quality of English cakes and sweets is excellent. There is plenty of work for foreign dentists too. Where is each meal normally eaten in your country? The English eat breakfast at home, or in the café. Most cafés only serve breakfasts and are open until sometime in the afternoon. Like in the US, you will find signs saying ‘Breakfast served all day!’ Lunch is eaten either in or around the work place, or place of study, and dinner with the family at home. Are there many types of international cuisine where you live? Britain’s cuisine has always been fairly international. Even before modern transportation methods made it easy to import products, the British were importing large quantities of many different kinds of things. The Romans imported wines. Sugar began to arrive on a big scale from the Caribbean in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and teas from India and China. What type of food do you think is popular in Britain and why? Imagine the climate. The climate affects the British choice of diet a lot. Salads are a little less common than in the Mediterranean. There is perhaps a tendency to eat heavier, more oily food in the cold winter, especially the further north you go, as the temperature becomes colder. Perhaps you don’t like heavy, fried food much, but when it’s minus fifteen degrees in the Scottish Highlands, you might change your mind about that healthy Greek salad. Suddenly that fish and chip shop will seem like heaven.

Why do you think traditional English cooking has virtually disappeared? Think about the war, rationing, immigration etc.  Yes, you are right. The war and rationing had a very negative effect on traditional cuisine. The island suffered heavy rationing and a lack of imported products. Traditional recipes almost died out during this period. The end of rationing coincided with the entry of many immigrants who enriched Britain’s recipe books with dishes from all corners of the globe.


5.2. Fun is an adjective and noun that describes something that is entertaining, pleasurable or amusing, like a holiday or a trip to the beach. Funny is an adjective that describes something or someone who makes you laugh. So it is possible to use both to describe the same thing.


5.3. Vocabulary.

‘I’m tired of playing football. It’s cold. Let’s go and get a tea.’ That will be a cup of tea. No problem.

‘Lady Winthorpe, you are such a darling! Why don’t you come over one night for supper?’ This is a snobby, aristocratic way of saying ‘dinner’.

‘I’m a bit peckish. Do you fancy a bit of supper, a cheese sandwich or something?’ A small snack, or meal, eaten between dinner and bedtime.

‘What’s for dinner tonight mum? What again? But we had that for school dinner today! The first one refers to the main family meal at home in the early evening. The second to early afternoon lunch.

‘Oh my God, you Brits eat at such weird times. In the USA, at this time, we’d be eating brunch, in the diner. John Wayne here is talking about a meal that is eaten in the late morning. The word is the ‘br’ from ‘breakfast’ and the ‘unch’ from lunch. ‘Diner’ is not a meal time at all, but in fact a typical American place to eat somewhere between a café and a restaurant.

 ‘I can’t play football now. My mum has made tea for me, and I’ve got to go home.’ Not a cup of tea, but rather a working class or colloquial way of saying ‘dinner’.


5.4 Grammar.  Some of the answers can be put into both columns.



How many....?  A few.  Few. Some... A bit of... A great number of... Hardly any... A couple of... A handful of... A lot of... Several. Curry. Beer. All... Every... A bunch of.... Disgusting English meals.

Uncountable. How much....? Little... Some… An enormous amount of... Hardly any... A handful of... A spoonful of... A pinch of...  A lot of... Business.  Alcohol. Good news. Useless tourist information. Curry. Beer. Marijuana. Advice. All. Fun. Money. Tacky gold clothes. Disgusting English food. Rationing. Technology. Immigration. Bad behaviour.




Part Four. What to eat and drink in England.
















6.1Tense revision.

After leaving the curry house at one o’clock in the morning, we went to the disco.

Sophie started throwing rubbish bins at the cars that were passing.

There were a lot of people in the street. Most of them were going to the disco as well.

The police didn’t arrest Sophie at first, because they didn’t understand what she was talking about.

In the disco everybody was so drunk that they were falling over all the time.

Anja was breakdancing with a Jamaican man who wasn’t able to understand what she meant.

Giovanni didn’t realise that his ‘girlfriend’ was actually a man.

Ahmet spent the whole night trying to chat up a Norwegian woman.

Sophie was trying to pick up her teacher. She also tried to pick up Giovanni, Ahmet and François, but without success.

The reason that she was not able to pick up was because all of them had fallen in love with MariaY, earlier in the evening.

When the lights were switched on at the end of the evening, people didn’t want to go home.

They all fancied carrying on drinking

When the disco closed the bouncer threw us out.

As Ahmet was being thrown out, his jacket got torn.

Everybody shouted / was shouting the bouncer, who then called four other bouncers.

For ten minutes we stood there, shouting at the bouncers.

After we had shouted at the bouncers for ten minutes, Ahmet threw an orange plastic road cone at one of them, that Sophie had been wearing on her head.

One of the bouncers started to hit / hitting François, and didn’t stop hitting him until the police arrived.

When they arrested us they also detained Giovanni’s transvestite friend.



6.2. Grammar revision. What are the modal verbs for obligation? Firstly, and most importantly, you need to realise that these modal verbs have different grammar, and different meanings from those that we have already looked at. First we have the modal verbs for strong obligation must and have to. What is the difference? Which is the strongest? In modern English there is no difference in strength, and usually little or no difference in meaning. Both mean that ‘it is very important to…’ The important thing is to ask yourself, ‘Who decides?’ ‘Is it your authority or someone else’s.’ ‘You have to fasten your seatbelt’, means that it is the law, i.e. the government, who decides. All rules and regulations should use ‘have to’. On the other hand, a sentence like, ‘I must try and remember to go to the bank’ is a personal obligation, i.e. you decide. On the back of an aeroplane seat you might see, ‘You must fasten your seatbelt.’ Shouldn’t that be ‘You have to…’ ? You are right. This would be more grammatically correct, as it is not the airline company who makes the laws. ‘Must’ is possible here because modern companies like to personalise their instructions to the public. It’s like saying, ‘Hey, we’re your friends.’ Likewise, you could change the other example too. ‘I have to remember to go to the bank’ is common too. The difference is small, and there are few cases where you will sound incorrect using must in place of have to. A very important variation of have to is have got to which means the same thing. This is commonly contracted in sentences like ‘I’ve got to meet my mates’ which in turn is contracted to ‘I’ve gotta meet my mates’ and in slang and street language throughout the English speaking world you can hear ‘Gotta meet my mates.’ I wouldn’t really recommend trying to speak like this, but you should be aware of it.

The area of real difficulty lies in their negative forms. The negative of must is mustn’t. The negative of have to and have got to are don’t have to and haven’t got to. But the meaning is completely different. ‘You mustn’t shout at the desk sergeant’ means that it is strictly prohibited or very important that you don’t shout at him. On the other hand ‘You don’t have to shout at him’ / ‘You haven’t got to shout at him’ both mean that ‘you can if you want to’ but its not obligatory. In other words, must, mustn’t, have to, and have got to all show obligation, don’t have to and haven’t got to denote no obligation.

What are the modal verbs for permission and prohibition? What are the verbs for legal rights and entitlements? What are their negative forms? Can and can’t. ‘You can’t do that in here!’ May is sometimes heard for permission and may not for prohibition, in place of can and cannot in formal situations, although usually only in its positive form. (‘May not’ is more commonly used for possibility and deduction.) ‘You may turn over your papers and begin.’ Don’t forget that you can also use be allowed to / not be allowed to. ‘You are not allowed to leave the hall during the first thirty minutes.’


Sample answers.

Calling a lawyer. (Right) You can / may / are allowed to call a lawyer.

Filling out a form. (Obligation) You have to / have got to / must fill out this form.

Making a police statement. (Obligation) You have to / have got to / must make a police statement.

Showing proof of identification. (Obligation) You have to / have got to / must show your proof of identity.

Making a phone call. (Right) You can / may / are allowed to make a phone call.

Having a police photo (a mug shot) taken. (Obligation) You have to / have got to / must have your photo taken.

Singing rude songs about the policeman’s wife on the top of your voice. (Prohibition) You mustn’t / aren’t allowed to / may not sing rude songs about the policeman’s wife.

Leaving money and valuables at the sergeant’s desk. (Obligation) You have to / have got to / must leave all money and valuables at the sergeant’s desk.

Taking possessions into the cell. (Prohibition) You mustn’t / aren’t allowed to / may not take possessions into the cell.

Reading a copy of the bible. (Permission) You can / may / are allowed to read the bible.

Ringing the bell to attract the guard’s attention. (Permission) You can / may / are allowed to ring the bell…

Ringing the bell all night to annoy the guard. (Prohibition) You mustn’t / aren’t allowed to / may not ring the bell…

Making noise in the cell at night. (Prohibition) You mustn’t / aren’t allowed to make noise in the cell.

Eating meals in the cell. (Permission, right) You can / may / are allowed eat meals in the cell.

Counting the bricks. (No obligation) You don’t have to / haven’t got to count the bricks.

Learning how to be a successful criminal in the University of Crime. (No obligation) You don’t have to / haven’t got to learn how…

Getting a homemade tattoo of a teardrop on your cheek. (No obligation.) You don’t have to / haven’t got to get a home-made tattoo…

Having to answer the call of nature in front to all the other prisoners. (No obligation.) You don’t have to / haven’t got to answer…

Crying and asking for mummy. (No obligation) You don’t have to / haven’t got to cry….

Being allowed to leave whenever you want (Prohibition) You mustn’t / aren’t allowed to leave whenever you want.

Marking the days you spend there with white chalk on the wall. (No obligation) You don’t have to / haven’t got to mark the days…



6.3. Vocabulary.

ZAK WASHINGTON’S SCHOOL OF CRIME. Part One. The following list is by no means exhaustive.

To murder.

A murderer.


To steal.

A thief.


To rob

A robber (old fashioned and comical)


To pickpocket

A pickpocket


To mug (violent personal theft in the street.)

A mugger


To forge (illegally copying of documents, money, etc)

A forger


To embezzle (illegally taking money from a business or organisation)

An embezzler


To defraud (deceitfully obtaining money by use of false documentation, paperwork, etc)

A fraudster


To con (deceitfully obtaining money; similar to the above, but normally on a more personal level)

A con artist / A con man (It is said that English is a sexist language, but you will notice that there are few female words for criminals.)

‘A con’ would be the name of a single action of this type. There are no modern sounding nouns to describe crime of this kind in general. There are some less used synonyms below.

To swindle (a less colloquial synonym of ‘to con’)

A swindler

Swindling, trickery, deceit, larceny, etc

To libel (to print falsehoods about someone)

A libeller


To slander (like ‘to libel’ but spoken, not written falsehoods)

A slanderer


To shoplift (to steal from shops)

A shoplifter


To smuggle (to import / export illegal products, drugs, money, etc.)

A smuggler


To terrorize (to cause fear, distress, panic, etc. by violence, threats or illegal acts)

A terrorist



6.4. Grammar. Modal verbs in the past.

This is another problematic area in English because many of the above modal verbs are impossible in the past. Let’s look first at must and have to. What is the past of have to? That’s relatively simple; it’s had to. What about must and have got to? Not so easy. There is no past form. You need to look for an alternative verb that has the same meaning. The only thing in English that means the same thing is had to. So you can use either without problems, but only in the positive forms.

As you will remember, in their negative forms, mustn’t and don’t have to have completely different meanings. Mustn’t means ‘it is important that you don’t…’; don’t have to means ‘you can if you want, but there’s no obligation’.  It isn’t possible to use one single word for both these ideas. Don’t have to in the past is simply didn’t have to. Haven’t got to has no past tense. Mustn’t (like must) has no past form either. You need another completely different verb, which expresses prohibition. Which? You can’t think of one can you? You will have to use a structure like to not be allowed to, to not be permitted or to be prohibited (from + gerund). Some students use couldn’t which is more or less correct, but can cause confusion as it is also used for inability (‘She couldn’t swim.’); suggestions (‘Couldn’t you invite him to the party tomorrow?’); and to express many other ideas. Compare: ‘We weren’t allowed to watch the Benny Hill Show when we were younger. My parents thought it was too rude’ and ‘We couldn’t watch the Benny Hill Show when we were younger. We didn’t have a TV.’

Can in the past is usually could, especially when it refers to permission and ability. There are irregular cases that we will look at in more detail in 11.1. 11.4. 

May not, when it is used in formal situations for obligation has no past tense either. ‘She may not leave the court until she has paid the fine.’ In the past you would have to say, ‘She wasn’t allowed…’

In conclusion, we can say that this is an area that needs much practice, as you have to learn two completely different sets of rules for present and past. Spend time studying it because these structures often mean ‘it’s important that you do/don’t…’ ‘it’s not very important that you do/don’t…’ One little mistake can completely change the meaning of a sentence. Compare;  ‘You mustn’t answer all the questions.’ ’You don’t have to answer all the questions.’


6.5 Grammar exercise.

These are the police station rules from 5.2. Now put into the past tense.

Sample answers.

Calling a lawyer. (Right) You could / were allowed to call a lawyer. Note that ‘may’ has no past form.

Filling out a form. (Obligation) You had to fill out this form.

Making a police statement. (Obligation) You had to make a police statement.

Showing proof of identification. (Obligation) You had to show your proof of identity.

Making a phone call. (Right) You could / were allowed to make a phone call.

Having a police photo (a mug shot) taken. (Obligation) You had to have your photo taken.

Singing rude songs about the policeman’s wife on the top of your voice. (Prohibition) You weren’t allowed to sing…/ You were prohibited from singing… /You were not permitted to sing….  /Singing… wasn’t allowed.

Leaving money and valuables at the sergeant’s desk. (Obligation) You had to leave all money and valuables at the sergeant’s desk.

Taking possessions into the cell. (Prohibition) You weren’t allowed to take possessions into the cell.

Reading a copy of the bible. (Permission) You could / were allowed to read the bible.

Ringing the bell to attract the guard’s attention. (Permission) You could / were allowed to ring the bell to attract the guard’s attention.

Ringing the bell all night to annoy the guard. (Prohibition) You weren’t allowed to ring the bell… / You were prohibited from ringing… / You were not permitted to ring the bell….

Making noise in the cell at night. (Prohibition) You weren’t allowed to make noise… / You were prohibited from making noise in the cell. / You weren’t permitted to make noise in the cell at night.

Eating meals in the cell. (Permission, right) You could / were allowed eat meals in the cell.

Counting the bricks. (No obligation) You didn’t have to count the bricks.

Learning how to be a successful criminal in the University of Crime. (No obligation) You didn’t have to learn how…

Getting a homemade tattoo of a teardrop on your cheek. (No obligation.) You didn’t have to get a homemade tattoo…

Having to answer the call of nature in front to all the other prisoners. (No obligation.) You didn’t have to answer…

Crying and asking for mummy. (No obligation) You didn’t have to cry….

Being allowed to leave whenever you want (Prohibition) You weren’t allowed to leave whenever you wanted. / You were prohibited from leaving… /You were not permitted to leave whenever you wanted.

Marking the days you spend there with white chalk on the wall. (No obligation) You didn’t have to mark the days…





7.1. Phrasal verbs and expressions with ‘GET’.


1. Get over / b. to recover from, to recuperate

2. Get into / f. to enjoy, to like

3. Get on / k. to board public transport

4. Get at / a. to annoy, to irritate, to bother

5. Get away / d. to have a short holiday or break

6. Get to / i. to arrive at

7. Get off / e. to exit a form of public transport

8. Get around to / h. to eventually do something that needs to be done

9. Get up to / g. to have been doing something recently

10.Get on with / c. to have a good relationship with



7.2 Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs with ‘GET’.

TEACHER: (in the disco) Hey Maria! What have you been doing recently? (…been getting up to?) Can I fetch you a drink? (…get you a drink?) I was thinking that we could take a little holiday together. (…get away together.) Just you and I. We could board a bus, (…get on a bus) and exit the bus in the country. (…get off the bus…) When we arrive there, (…get there…) we could visit somewhere pretty... It has taken me a long time to say what I have wanted to say.... (…to get around to saying…) how can I put this? You know you are very special Maria. We are good friends and have a great relationship, (…get on well…) don’t we? In the future things will improve (…get better…) even more. It’s a long time since I felt like this about anybody. It took me a long time to recover (…to get over…) from my last relationship, and I haven’t wanted to become involved in (…to get into…) anything serious since then. But now I’m really starting to enjoy (…getting into…) being with you. Do you understand (Do you get…) what I’m saying? Oh Maria! I must (I’ve got to…) tell you! I love you so much!


7.3 Discussion topics.

If people in your country want to read about gossip, celebrities and scandals, what do they read? How do you think this compares to Britain? Are sensationalist newspapers popular in your country? Why? / Why not? In Britain celebrity gossip, celebrities and scandals are concentrated on in both magazines and sensationalist newspapers. These newspapers, which are sometimes called the tabloids, are enormously popular and consequently rich, powerful and influential. The most famous of these are The Sun,  a daily paper with a circulation of four million of a total market of fourteen million; The Mirror (three million) and The News of the World, a Sunday paper with a circulation of an incredible five million copies.  Of course, there are many other more ‘serious’ papers, which are known as broadsheets, such as The Daily Telegraph (circulation about 1.1million), The Times (750,000), The Guardian (400,000), and The Independent (250,000).  In many other countries tabloid papers have had little success, and you have to go to magazines to find gossip, star stories and scandal. Why? Perhaps because of the press’ code of ethics. In many countries the press refuse to pay for stories. In Britain this is standard practice. Not only do papers like the News of the World buy stories, but they pay enormous amounts of money. These large quantities of cash involved have attracted many sensationalist press agents, ruthless reporters and unpleasant characters ready to sell apocryphal stories, creating a market of scandals, corruption, lies, exaggeration, backhanders, sweeteners, bribes, and occasionally news. Think of the people who buy magazines. What type of people are certain magazines aimed at, and what kind of things do publishers put in them to attract people? Is what men read, different from what women read? The British choice of magazines is enormous. A look into any typical newsagents will show hundreds of magazines on just about every subject, but often aimed at specific groups of people. The highest selling magazines are those such as Radio Times, which list television programming and family friendly articles. Women have for years had a wide range of magazines such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Elle, covering women’s topics like glamour, make-up, fashion, style, health, advice, agony aunts, and how to satisfy your boyfriend in bed. Until recently this remained an unexploited area as far as men’s magazines were concerned. A few years ago the term ‘men’s magazine’ meant pornographic magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse. If you wanted to read about other subjects, you would have to look for individual magazines to cover each masculine interest. Nowadays a typical men’s magazine will feature sports such as football, semi-nude models, interviews with celebrities, music and many other subjects considered to be of male interest. Some of the more popular ones are Arena, GQ, FHM, Esquire and Loaded, the current market leader with a circulation of 200,000. These magazines are directed at men who have money to spend, the emphasis being on the consumer, and, like the women’s ‘mags’ mentioned above, contain more advertisements than anything else. Another area of high sales is that of the more ‘down to earth’ women’s magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Woman and Woman’s Own, which include more domestic subjects such as cookery, diets, knitting, household tips, as well as fashion and gossip. Then, of course, there are car magazines, computer magazines, the music press, interior decoration magazines and a whole range of sports magazines. Who are the people who have become celebrities in your countries, for appearing in the ‘gossip columns’? Describe them. Who are the interesting celebrities in your country? Who are the least interesting ones? Do you have any professional celebrities, people who don’t actually have a career or a speciality, but are famous just for being famous? What type of qualities do you need to be a magazine and TV celebrity? What do you think about people who make a living in this way? Is it a real occupation? Would you like to do something similar yourself? If we are going to talk about unemployed layabouts who don’t really work, or have ‘real’ occupations, and earn too much money, then we should start with the most famous of them all: The British royal family. They help sell more magazines and newspapers than anyone. The Queen Mother has long been considered the public’s favourite, but whether she fills more column inches than Princess Diana is not known. Princess Diana was the perfect celebrity to put on a magazine cover; glamorous, wide-ranging appeal, interesting love life, an enormous enviable house, and a soap opera like divorce. Her sons Harry and William are currently filling gossip columns throughout the world, not only in Britain. But basically any old royal will do. They don’t have to be British. Actors and actresses too don’t need to be from Britain either, but if you aren’t an English speaker you’ll have trouble joining the celebrity club. There are usually one or two footballers or sports stars amongst the list of people who actually have a ‘real’ occupation. For years George Best, Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer was seen in all the gossip columns, usually going out with the current Miss World and usually drunk. David Beckham has taken over his role, although he hasn’t turned into a professional alcoholic yet. His wife Victoria like so many other magazine page fillers, can’t seem to decide if she is a singer, model, writer, or actress. The criteria for being a magazine favourite don’t seem to be based on talent or intelligence. Nor, on being good-looking. The royal families of Europe handsome? Nor, on good dress sense. What then? A scandalous love life helps. Being seen at the ‘right’ parties must help. Being rich must help too. So that’s you and me out of the question.  What is your opinion about the quality of magazines, papers and reading in your country in comparison with those of other countries? Are there any subjects that you think shouldn’t be written about, or any photos that shouldn’t be printed? Think about topless celebrities, photos of dead accident victims, etc. British newspapers generally have a bad reputation as a result of the infamous ‘tabloids’. Their sensationalist material tends to concentrate on sex scandals, corruption, sleaze, hypocrisy, the lottery, celebrities and sports news. What they don’t often include are macabre photos of killings, accidents or anything that contains too much blood. This type of sensationalism is much more common in many other countries. Many magazines in Europe were ready to print the photos of Princess Diana in the car in which she died, while in Britain this would have been unthinkable. European media groups complained that the pictures issued by the American press of the World Trade Center terrorist attack, weren’t graphic enough. Which must beg the question: which form of sensationalism would you prefer? A topless model sat on the bonnet of a car on page three of a British daily, or a headless model sat in a written-off car on page three of a foreign paper?  Give me the topless model. Anyone will be fine.


7.4 Discuss the differences.

1. The children played in the classroom. / The children played up in the classroom.  ‘To play’, as you know, is what children and people who participate in games normally do. ‘In’ is just a preposition of place.  ‘To play up’ is a phrasal verb which means ‘to behave badly’ or ‘to misbehave’.

2. To recite a play. / To play a recital. ‘A play’ is not, as many students think, a game. It is a type of ‘drama’ that would be performed, or recited (read) in a theatre. ‘To play’ is what a sportsman or a player does; but is also what a musician does with an instrument. So ‘to play a recital’ would be ‘to give a concert.’

3. Sit up you fool! / Sit down you fool! ‘Sit up’ is the instruction given to someone who is not sitting upright in a correct position. This would be said by an angry parent talking to their child, or maybe a school teacher. ‘Sit down’ is the imperative for someone who isn’t sitting down but should be.

4. Three wise men brought gifts of gold. / Three wise guys took gifts of gold. These very little, but completely enormous differences in our beautiful language! ‘The three wise men’ were the three kings from the Bible who brought gifts to baby Jesus. A ‘wise guy’ is a well-known American term that usually means either ‘a gangster’, or is used derogatively to talk about someone who thinks that they are clever or smart. ‘Hey Tony! We’ve got a wise guy here who thinks he knows more about our  job than we do.’

5. He threw away his ice cream. / He threw up his ice cream. In the first case, the ice cream went into the bin. In the second, it was eaten and then brought back up, as ‘to throw up’ is a slightly less medical way of saying ‘to vomit’.

6. The pilot suffered some very bad turbulence. / The pilot suffered some very bad flatulence. The first pilot was experiencing rough wind currents in the air; the second in his trousers.

7. He beat his brother in a chess championship. / He beat up his brother in a chess championship. ‘To beat’ is ‘to defeat’ or ‘to win when playing against’. ‘To beat up’ means to aggressively assault. A big difference.

8. The couple made up after a big row. / The couple made out after a big row. A row is a synonym of ‘an argument’ or ‘a quarrel’. ‘To make up’ is what you do after. It means ‘to make peace with the other person and to go back to being friends’. ‘To make up’ is one of those phrasal verbs that have a lot of different meanings. It can also mean ‘to invent’, ‘to lie’, ‘to improvise’, ‘to apply cosmetics’ and even ‘to constitute’. It therefore needs special attention and study. ‘To make out’ is an American phrasal verb that means ‘to kiss’ in the sense of one of those disgusting, long teenage kisses that adults don’t usually do.

9. You have a fat chance of winning the race. / You have a slim chance of winning the race. Bizarrely, both sentences mean ‘very little chance’.

10. He filled in the form. / He filled out the form. Again, there is no difference in meaning with the different prepositions. A preposition is necessary though, as the meaning of ‘to fill’ on its own refers more to the three dimensional sense. ‘To fill’ would be appropriate for a glass with liquids, a concert hall with people, a petrol tank, etc.



7.5 Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs.

CHRIS OFF: ‘I’ve been very tied up (I’ve been very busy…) this morning. I woke up (stopped sleeping), got up (left the bed), went out (left the house), set off (began a journey), drove off (started to drive), broke down (stopped because of a mechanical problem), fixed up (repaired) the motor, set off (began a journey) again, pulled up (stopped the car), dropped off the kids (let the children out of the car) , then waved them off. (waved and said goodbye as they went) I went back home, rang up (telephoned) my friend Bill who turned up (to arrive) to help out (to assist) in doing up (renovate) the flat. We knocked down (demolished) a wall and put in (install) some new windows, but then got tired out (exhausted), fed up (bored and tired) and started fooling around (play / mess around / act stupidly). The wife told us off (scold / reprimand), Bill told her to shut up (be quiet), then she told him to clear off (go away). We sorted out the rubbish, cleared up (tidied / put in order)  and got rid of it (throw away / dispose of). Then cleared off (went away)  got in (boarded / entered) the car, drove off (started to drive), pulled up (stopped the car) at the drive-in (accessible by car) cash point, dropped Bill off (let Bill get out of the car) and then came down (went to) to the car park and turned up (to arrive) here. Now I’m worn out (exhausted) and want to tuck into (to start to eat with enthusiasm and enjoyment) some food! 



‘Tomorrow we will be very busy (tied up) in the flat. The place needs to be renovated (to be done up). We have to demolish (knock down) the garden wall, install (put in) some new kitchen units and tidy (clear up) all the rubbish left behind. We need to put the rubbish into the bin (throw the rubbish away). If the neighbours start to reproach us (tell us off) we can tell them to be quiet (shut up) and to go away (clear off). Call George (ring George up) and tell him to go in the car (get in), and stop the car (pull up) at the school and leave (drop off) the kids there. Tell him that if the children act stupidly and joke (fool around), he must reproach (tell them off) them. Those children really tire you (wear you out), and he will become bored and tired (get fed up) when they behave like that.


7.7. Optional exercise. Note that at times when a phrasal verb has different meanings, each meaning can have different grammar.

The following only relate to the meaning used in 6.5. and 6.6.


tie up (transitive, separable)

wake up (intransitive, separable)

get up (intransitive, separable)

go out (intransitive, inseparable)

set off (intransitive, inseparable)

drive off (intransitive, inseparable)

break down (intransitive, inseparable)

fix up (transitive, separable)

pull up (intransitive, separable)

drop off (transitive, separable)

wave off (transitive, separable)

rang up (intransitive, separable)

turn up (intransitive, inseparable when it means ‘arrive’)

help out (intransitive, separable)

do up (transitive, separable)

knock down (transitive, separable)

put in (transitive, separable)

tire out (transitive, separable)

fool around (intransitive, inseparable)

tell off (transitive, separable)

shut up (intransitive, separable)

clear off (intransitive, inseparable)

sort out (transitive, separable)

clear up (intransitive, separable)

get rid of (transitive, inseparable)

clear off (intransitive, inseparable)

get in (intransitive, inseparable)

drive off (intransitive, inseparable)

pull up (intransitive, separable)

drive in (intransitive, inseparable)

come down (intransitive, inseparable)

wear out (transitive, separable)

tuck into (transitive, inseparable)



7.8. Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs. ‘Taxi driver! Pull up (stop) here, in front of the supermarket.’

‘I’ve been so tied up (to be busy) lately at work, that I’m too tired (out) in the evening to cook and do the washing.’

‘If I get home late again tonight, my wife will tell me off. Then she’ll throw plates against the wall again.’

‘Hey Dave! Why are you waiting for the bus! I’ve got my car. Get in and I’ll give you a ride.’

‘Hey big boy! Next time you want a good time call / ring / phone (phone) me up. Here’s my number. Or if you’re in town, you can come and call on (visit) me. Here’s my address. You know I’m the hottest babe in town!’

‘They got into a fight! Ted knocked Derek down (hit, push, strike), and he just stayed there on the floor and didn’t get up for five minutes. It was horrific!’

‘That girlfriend of mine is always annoying me.’ ‘Why don’t you get rid of (reject, throw away, replace) her and get another one? There are five billion people in the world and half of them are women.’

‘I’m completely worn-out. I really need to sleep. I’m going to bed. Goodnight!’

‘What time did you turn up? I didn’t see you arrive.’

‘I’m fed up with (tired and bored) phrasal verbs. Can’t we study something else?’


7.9. Explain the phrasal verbs/phrasal nouns. CHRIS OFF: I can’t make my mind up. (decide) I might splash out (‘pay’ in the sense of ‘to spend extravagantly’) and get them to cook me up (cook for me– no difference in meaning) a big fry-up (a meal of all fried food). Pass over (hand me) the ketchup! (not a phrasal verb – a type of tomato sauce).


Why does Giovanni say ‘Cheers’? On what occasions can we use this word? ‘Cheers’, as you know, is what you say when you have a drink, just like ‘chin chin’ ‘salud’ ‘skol’ or ‘nastrovia’ in other countries. (The action of saying ‘cheers’ and clinking glasses together is called (to propose / to make) a toast. ‘I propose a toast to Johnny. Let’s hope he has a very safe journey. Cheers! ‘Cheers’ is also the most common colloquial way of saying ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you’ in the south of England. In almost the whole of the north and many parts of the south you will hear people say the more informal ta or ta very much, instead of ‘thank you’.


7.10. DAVE THE HOOLIGAN’S GUIDE TO SPEAKING ENGLISH BADLY. Vocabulary. Common contractions.







d. am not / isn’t / aren’t / hasn’t / haven’t

b. do not know,

a. give me,

f. going to

c. have got to (obligation)

e. want to


7.11. Vocabulary. Contractions.

‘Gimme, gimme, gimme a man after midnight.’ Give me, give me, etc. (A famous Abba song.)

‘What do you wanna do today?’ ‘What do you want to do today?

‘I dunno what you wanna gimme, but I ain’t gonna wanna eat it?’ ´I don’t know what you want to give me, but I’m not going to want to eat it.’


7.12. DAVE THE HOOLIGAN’S GUIDE TO SPEAKING ENGLISH BADLY. (Real English, street language, and slang.) Vocabulary. ‘AIN’T’. Notice the overuse also of the double negative – a very common characteristic of British colloquial language and slang, which when copied by foreign students merely sounds like they haven’t learnt the correct rules of English.

 ‘It ain’t nobody’s business (it isn’t anybody’s business), what I do, as long as I ain’t hurting nobody (..I’m not hurting anybody). I ain’t gonna (I’m not going to…) listen to my stupid neighbour telling me what I should be doing. He ain’t nobody (He isn’t anybody…) special. And I ain’t (I haven’t ever../ have never) ever told him what to do with his life. I said to him that he ain’t got no (…that he hasn’t got any…) right to tell my wife that we ain’t (…we aren’t…) looking after the garden properly. He ain’t ever (He hasn’t ever…) cleaned the path that goes between our houses. You ain’t gonna (You aren’t going to…) believe what he said to me....’


7.13 Vocabulary. ‘AIN’T’.

It ain’t half hot mum. (Famous situation comedy show on British TV.) This is a very colloquially way of saying ‘it’s very hot’. (The programme was about a British military squadron based in the Indian jungle.)

It ain’t nobody’s business. (Blues song and common cliché.) ‘It isn’t anybody’s business.’

If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. (Popular saying.) ‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.’

If you ain’t a farmer, you ain’t shit! (Rude tattoo on the arm of an American farmer.) This ironic (hopefully) tattoo should mean ‘If you aren’t a farmer, you aren’t anybody.’

‘What an ill-natured woman his mother is, an't she?’ (Quote from Nancy Steele, a character in Jane Austin’s novel Sense and Sensibility.) ‘…isn’t she.’ As you probably realise, question tags are very complicated, requiring considerable thought, not only by students, but, at times, by native speakers too. ‘Ain’t’ is a lazy man’s way of not having to think of the correct conjugation. It is commonly tagged onto the end of any sentence, but only by those who don’t understand even the most basic rules of English. Another slang question tag is ‘innit?’ This is an even uglier, more charmless word that might get a laugh, but shouldn’t be imitated either. 

‘You ain’t nothing but a hound dog!’ (Line from Lieber and Stoller’s Hound Dog sung by Elvis Presley.) This phrase needs completely restructuring to make any sense in standard English, and sounds more ridiculous when said correctly. ‘All you are is a hound dog.’ / ‘The only thing you are is a hound dog.’

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. (Popular saying.) ‘There isn’t such a thing as a free lunch.’

‘It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. (Mark Twain) Difficult one this! ‘It isn’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know for sure that isn’t so.’ Don’t worry. We don’t understand what the great man was talking about either.


7.14. Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs with ‘LOOK.

He spent all day looking after my sister...

...I really think he’s a nice baby sitter.

He spent all day looking into my sister....’s an investigation that will take months.

He spent all day looking at my sister....

....I think he’s in love with her

He spent all day looking for my sister....

...I hope that he found her.

He spent all day looking over my sister...

...if she wasn’t so short, he wouldn’t have seen the game.

He spent all day looking forward to my sister.

...he couldn’t wait to see her. They make a great pair.

He spent all day looking in my sister...

...what a skilful surgeon he is!

He spent all day looking through my sister.

...why does he have to ignore her?


CHRIS OFF’S FOUR-IN-A-ROW ESSENTIAL PHRASAL VERBS GAME. Here are some of the meanings of the verbs. There are, at times, so many different possible meanings that only the most basic are included here. Your teacher will tell you if your examples are correct or not.

PICK UP To collect someone in a vehicle; to find a boyfriend/girlfriend; to take something in hand.

CHAT UP To speak to someone with the intention of making them your boyfriend or girlfriend.

TURN OUT To have the result or consequence of.

SORT OUT To put into order; to tidy up.

CLEAR UP To tidy up; to clean up; to put things into their place.

WASH UP To wash the dishes, plates, cups, crockery etc. (Not clothes. That would be ‘to wash’ with no preposition.

TURN UP To arrive; to put the volume up.

SHUT DOWN To close permanently (shops, businesses etc.); to turn off large mechanical or electrical systems. 

SHOW OFF To behave with the intention of impressing; to boast; to brag; to display you talents.

KEEP ON To continue.

MANAGE TO To succeed in; to achieve something in spite of difficulty.

FEEL LIKE To have the desire to do something.

STAND FOR To mean; to signify (letters, acronyms etc.)

GET RID OF To throw away, to put into the bin, to reject, to eliminate.

GO OUT WITH To have a amorous relationship with; to partake in a social activity with someone.

KNOCK OUT To render unconscious; to produce or manufacture at an extremely fast speed.

LOOK AFTER To care for; to take care of.

KEEP OUT To prohibit entry into a place.

SET UP To arrange (meetings, reunions etc.); to mount; to establish; to equip.

TURN OFF To leave a road in order to enter another; to switch off.

MAKE UP To make peace after a disagreement; to apply cosmetics; to improvise; to invent; to create.

LOG ON To start using a computer system or network.

CLEAR OFF To go away.

SHUT UP To be quiet; to stop talking.

LOOK INTO To investigate.

PUT UP WITH To be willing to accept something/someone unpleasant.

PULL OVER To manoeuvre a vehicle to the side of a road in order to park. 

ASK OUT To ask someone if they would like to go out with you.

SCREW UP To make a mess of something; to make a bad job of; to spoil.

MESS UP To put something into disorder; to spoil; to make a bad job of.

GET UP To raise/lift yourself from a bed, chair etc.

TAKE OFF To leave the ground (aeroplane); to remove clothes; to imitate someone; to leave suddenly and quickly; to suddenly become popular or fashionable.

GET IN To enter (car, taxi etc); to arrive; to gain entry to.

STICK OUT To stand out from; to continue in spite of not wanting to; to go beyond.

BRING UP To educate; to take care of a child until it becomes and adult.

WALK OFF To walk away from someone or something.

OPEN UP At times not different from ‘to open’; to open completely.

THROW OUT To eject; to place in the bin; to reject; to get rid of.

CALL ON To visit in person (not on the telephone, which is ‘to call’ without the preposition.

SLEEP OVER To stay the night at a friend’s house.

GET UP TO To do; to do something mischievous.

READ UP ON To study; to research; to investigate; to familiarise yourself with a subject.

RUN OUT OF To finish a supply of (food, drink, petrol, money etc.)

ZOOM BY To go past very quickly (traffic, time, holidays etc.)

RUN AWAY To leave a person or place secretly or suddenly.

MESS AROUND To play; to act foolishly; to misbehave; to joke; to have fun.

CARRY ON To continue.

FIND OUT To realise; to acquire knowledge/information about something.

FIT IN To find space in a place for something; to be suitable; to find time.

BE OFF To leave; to go away; to have become mouldy, rotten or unsuitable to eat or drink.

GIVE UP To quit; to stop; to surrender; to admit defeat.

GET OUT To leave; to escape; to become public (secrets, information etc.)

HOLD ON To wait; to grab; to grasp.

CALL OFF To cancel.

DRINK UP To finish drinking.

COUNT ON To rely on.

DEAL WITH To be in charge of; to have responsibility for (jobs, tasks); to be about (books, lectures etc.); to take action.

BEAT UP to aggressively assault.

PUSH OFF To go away; to leave (usually informal and disapproving).

SPLIT UP To separate; to break up; to divorce.

FIGHT BACK To struggle against; to put up an opposition to; to rebel against; to offer resistance.

CLOSE DOWN To shut down; to close completely or permanently.

SHOW UP To arrive; to embarrass someone.

BREAK UP To split up; to fall to pieces; to disintegrate.



8.1 Discussion Topics. What is a squat? What are the arguments for and against squatting? What is your opinion? A squat is a house, flat, building or land that has been occupied, normally by a homeless person or people. These people, or squatters as they are known, live in the property without paying rent. The legal status of the squatter is complicated. In Britain your legal status could be summarised like this: it is illegal to break into a house causing damage to the building, but it is within the law to enter a property without causing damage. Once the squatter is inside a building, the building’s owner must get a court order to make the squatter leave. The objective of a squatter is to stay as long as possible in a Squatting is, therefore, far easier to do, if the house or flat belongs to the Town Council. The Town Council doesn’t take it personally if someone squats their property, and are not likely to arrive with their big brothers if you do so. If a person squats a privately owned house, there is often conflict between the house owner and the squatters. If the police arrive they will invariably take the side of the homeowner. On the other hand, it takes the Council longer to evict the squatter, and as a consequence most squats are on council estates (government owned subsidised rented housing) in big cities. The 1970s and the 1980s were, perhaps, the ‘golden age’ of squatting in Britain as well as in many other countries. Margaret Thatcher brought in draconian laws making squatting more difficult during the 1980s, but there are still many squats (the number being tens of thousands) and there will continue to be as long as there are housing problems. Do they exist in your country? What kind of people normally live in these type of places? The answer to the first question is almost certainly ‘yes’, although possibly not on a scale with Britain. Holland and Scandinavia are places with very high numbers of squatters. Most people will say that squatters are young people, such as punks and hippies, who never wash and live the life of artists without ever actually doing anything. This is not always the case. When you consider that all the world’s shantytowns, refugee settlements and gypsy encampments are types of squatting too, then we can see that we have a very narrow view of an enormous problem. It could be argued that squatting is the result of a general malaise in our societies. Is there a problem of homelessness in your city? Where do the homeless sleep? How do they survive? The answer is that if you come from a capital or big city the answer, again, will be ‘yes’. In Britain, Northern Europe and North America, the homeless situation is particularly depressing as the winters are so cold. It is common for drunken tramps and homeless people to fall asleep in sub-zero conditions and not wake up. In the USA there are frequently problems with homeless people who become so desperately cold that they break into empty buildings and start fires to get warm... and them the building catches fire. Shop doorways are a common place to sleep as they provide shelter, and don’t involve travel. The problem is increased by the fact that it is almost impossible to get a job, if you have no home; and also almost impossible to get a home, if you have no job. Begging in the street becomes one of the more ‘dignified’ ways of getting money; theft and prostitution being some of the least. In London there are an estimated 70,000 homeless people. The town council has 100,000 empty flats. Discuss. Obviously, it is very difficult to say exactly how many people are homeless, but you need to consider that many people go from house to house staying with friends (‘sofa-surfing’) and don’t actually have a place of their own either. However you speculate, the number is always enormously high. London is full of homeless people. Squatters argue that they are actually doing a service by maintaining the upkeep of the house or building. If the property is left empty, they say, pipes freeze in the winter then burst, the plumbing rusts, the garden becomes overgrown, slates fall off the roof and water gets into the house and causes expensive damage. Many squatters also criticise the Council for their cynical attitude to leaving property empty. There have been many cases of the authorities vandalising their own flats so that squatters cannot move in. Imagine that you find yourself homeless, jobless, friendless, penniless and without a family. How would you feel? Some interesting adjectives to describe your predicament would be ‘rock-bottom’, ‘down-and-out’, ‘desperate’, ‘destitute’, ‘distraught’, ‘lonely’, etc. What could you do to reconstruct your life? How would you begin? Well, first you would need help. You could go to the social security and as for welfare money for ‘N.F.A.’ (‘No fixed abode’, meaning ‘no permanent address’. This is a fixed amount of money that you get each day that gives enough cash to buy the minimum of necessities; food, drink, etc. Another option would be selling a homeless magazine. In Britain there is a famous one called ‘The Big Issue’. You buy a quantity of the magazines and you make a small profit for yourself each time you sell one. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself, without a home, money, or food, there are various centres in most big cities to help you:

Citizen’s Advice Bureaux. (CAB) You will find one of these organisations in every major town (2000 centres in total). They offer free, impartial, independent advice, on not only housing and homeless problems, but just about everything else too: the law, rights, immigration, tax, discrimination, employment, social security.

Centrepoint central office: Neil House, 7 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1DU.  Tel: 020 7426 5300. Fax: 020 7426 5301. Emergency accommodation number: 020 7287 9134 offers advice and services to homeless people in trouble. Earls Court YMCA works with homeless young people, providing emergency accommodation and support.

St Mungo's Main Office: Atlantic House, 1-3 Rockley Road, Shepherd's Bush, London W14 0DJ. Tel:  020 8740 9968 Fax: 020 8600 3079.

West London Initiative on Single Homelessness. WISH, 2, Clymping Dene, Feltham, Middlesex TW14 0JA. Telephone: 020 8890 0187. Fax: 020 8890 0187. Email: This organisation offers temporary accommodation and support to the homeless.

Shelter Line on 0808 800 44 44  (24 hours) another organisation offering support to the homeless.

The Advisory Service for Squatters (ASS) an unpaid collective of individuals giving useful information and advice. They are based at:  2 St. Paul’s Road, Islington, London. N1 2QN. They also publish The Squatters Handbook, an excellent cheap guide full of vital information.

Women’s Link. 020-7248-1200. An organisation dealing in Women’s housing problems.

Also you might considering consulting the internet using the search words ‘homelessness’, ‘squatting’ or ‘hostels’ as there are many other organisations to help you too.

8.2 Vocabulary. Dependent Prepositions.

‘I can’t wait to become fluent in English. I’m a little bit jealous of Ahmet because he never seems to worry about talking in front of the others. He’s so popular with the girls of the group, who seem very interested in him. Whenever I speak to them they make fun of me and boast about how good they are at English. Personally I don’t think that their fluency differs from mine. In fact, I think that Maria’s level is similar to mine.’

‘Let’s not spend all day arguing about / over this. I’m tired of all the competitiveness between you lot. Why can’t you just be content with what you’ve got. You’re never going to be satisfied with the level of English that you have. We are not capable of improving much in ten days. What does it matter if you’re good at, bad at, excellent at, or completely hopeless at speaking another language. In a few years we could all be married to different people, be responsible for big families, and be completely bored with our lives. Life is too short to waste. C’mon! Let’s live it up and enjoy ourselves!’

‘What do you think of Ali, this new student from the The Free People’s Republic of Zangonia?’

‘He seems OK. Good and bad really. Gentlemen of the The Free People’s Republic of Zangonia have some very positive characteristics. They are very generous to friends and helpful to people who want something. At least, he’s been very nice to us since we met him. He seems quite fond of  Sophie and Maria too.’

‘Yes, he seems keen on them. Maybe he wants to get married to both of them! Men from the The Free People’s Republic of Zangonia are not as rude to people as Londoners are. People here are very suspicious of foreigners. Especially our teacher and his crazy friends. Last night I was completely ashamed of their behaviour and frightened of / about how we are all going to end up. We should be really angry with them.’

‘Yeah, but it’s fun isn’t it?’



Team Ape’s Questions

I’m completely addicted to those little English chocolate bars.

Can I borrow that copy of Sherlock Holmes stories from you please?

I just can’t deal with people who fall asleep on my shoulder on the underground train.

My opinion about that girl who works in the fish and chip shop differs from yours.

I’m getting very tired of your complaining all day about tourist prices.

I think I’m allergic to that horrible brown sauce that they always have on the table in the café.

There’s no sun in this city. No wonder people suffer from such terrible skin.

How do you translate the sentence ‘take your guidebook and  put it where the sun never shines’ into Spanish?

Can I confide in you that I’m really in love with Maria?

Will you both marry me and come and live with me in the the Free People’s Republic of Zangonia? You’ll be amazed at how rich I am.

Are you conscious of the fact that you were snoring on the bus.

He is completely devoted to that blond barmaid.

Keep those boys separate from those girls.

Are you pleased at the progress you’ve been making recently?

We’re sick of always having to be the responsible ones whilst you’re out having fun.


Team Baboon’s Questions.

1. He’s always very generous to women, but very mean to men. Why?

2. Why do you always make fun of people with ginger hair?

3. Who does this Turkish/English phrase book belong of ?

4. We can’t decide to which will be the best film. ‘Confessions of a Window Cleaner’ or ‘Bimbos in Space 2?

5. Congratulations on remembering my name. Nobody else ever does

6. They are rumoured to be involved in the illegal immigration racket.

7. Although he is an obnoxious alcoholic, he has always been very helpful to the old people in this area.

8. The police accused him of selling cheap imitations of famous perfumes to gullible people outside Oxford Street tube station.

9. If you eat junk food all day and never eat any fruit, you are bound to get spots and probably a cold too.

10. This crazy guy got on the bus and sat next to me, so I pretended to be concentrating on my copy of the Evening Standard.

11. Oh my God! He’s going to be late for the kick off!

12. Apart from the fact that I don’t have my own place, don’t have any money, no qualifications, no job and all my friends hate me, I’d say that I’m satisfied with my life.

13. Due to a person under the train in Tooting Beck station, the next train will be fifteen minutes late.

14. He’s Irish and isn’t capable of spending more than two minutes in the sun without going red.

15. Do you think she’s rebelling against her parents or is it just that she likes men so much?


8.4. THE DEPENDENT PREPOSITIONS GAME. PART TWO. Answers. For the sake of argument, only the first should be used for the game, as this is the most common. If students can think of alternative possibilities, this doesn’t mean that they are wrong, only that they aren’t as appropriate. Don’t forget that some verb/preposition/adverb combinations are actually phrasal verbs and therefore don’t count.



















































make fun




at / by



















































about / with






























with / about


























































for / about



9.1. What does ASAP stand for? When do we normally use it? ASAP means ‘as soon as possible’ and is commonly used in text messages, in letters and in conversation too.


9.2. What is Chris talking about? CHRIS OFF: First we’ll head for (go in the direction of) the centre getting on (entering) a bus. Get off (alighting, exiting) at King’s Cross Station, go fifty metres down (pass along / through) the road and hop on (synonym of ‘get on’) the underground. We’ll get off (alight, exit) at Leicester Square look for (search for) the correct way-out (a noun for ‘exit’). I always get mixed up (confused) working out (calculating) which way to get out (leave) of that station. Then we’ll make for (go in the direction of) Soho going down (pass along / through) Wardour Street, cross over (go from one side to another) Shaftesbury Avenue, turning off (changing from one road into another) down a little alley and ending up (finishing) in the heart of Soho. Or else we can wake up (stop sleeping) Ali and talk him into (convince) forking out (spending - colloquial) for a taxi.


9.3 Vocabulary for transport.




A bus

To get on

To get off

an aeroplane

To get on

To get off

A taxi

To get into

To get out (of)

A horse

To get on

To get off

the underground train

To get on

To get off

A car

To get into

To get out (of)

A train compartment

To get into

To get out (of)

A bicycle

To get on

To get off

A boat

To get into

To get out (of)


9.4 Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs for directions.


1.Head for... h....The Union Tavern where they serve the finest ale in the land.(Go towards).

2.Keep on... a....walking directly ahead, you’ll find it right there in front of you.

3.Turn off... m....the street you’re on and into a more narrow one at the side.

4.Double back... l....because you’ve got lost again. What a terrible sense of direction you have! (Number 6 is possible here too.)

5.Turn into.. d....that long narrow side street that’s always full of buskers.

6.Turn around...’ve got lost, dummy! Go and buy yourself a map! (Number 4  is possible here too.)

7.Go straight on... c....and don’t turn off until you pass the Indian newsagent’s.

8.Cross over... the other side where we won’t get so wet.

9.Go through... e....that little tunnel where there are always lots of stray dogs.

10.Make for... k....the nearest cash-point (Go towards) because we can’t go out without money.

11.Don’t go down... j.... that road you typical tourist! You’ll get mugged if you go there.

12.Cross over.... f....that horrible little footbridge with all the graffiti on it.



9.5. Discussion points. What do you know about the transport system in Britain? Britain has a massive, busy, transport system, with an enormous amount of roads, railway lines, and services. So why is it so difficult to get around? Countless new roads are built, but they seldom seem to improve the situation. There are several reasons for this. One is that the actual road systems are built, not on an organised grid system like American cities (the avenues going up and down, the streets going across), but on antiquated city paths. These would have been perfect for walking and riding a few centuries ago, but don’t particularly suit the modern motorcar. In fact, it has been observed that traffic in modern London moves so slowly that the average speed of getting from one side of the city to the other is the same as it was over a hundred years ago on a horse and cart! You might consider leaving your car at home. The other principal problem is the enormous weight of traffic moving around in the cities. In London, taking a bus is the cheapest, but also the slowest way of getting around. The metro – known as the underground or the tube – is the quickest, but is also the most expensive. If you go to work, study or live in the capital, you will have to consider that transport costs could take 10-20% of your income. The underground works on a zone system; the more zones you travel, the more expensive it is. You will need a special ticket called a travelcard, if you are going to travel to work every day (to commute). If you want to live in cheap accommodation, you will probably have to live further away from the centre, where you will probably be working, and consequently have to travel more. You will need to consider this when looking for a flat or a job. Is it worth living in a cheaper area away from the centre, when you have to spend many hours travelling and much money on travel? Or would it be better to live nearer the centre with a higher rent, but few travelling expenses and more time to yourself? Remember that most people in the capital spend between one and four hours a day travelling to and from work. In other cities the bus may be the only option. How does it compare to the system in your country or other countries that you have visited. What are the differences in attitude between your country and others, regarding waiting in line or queuing? What is ‘road rage’? Does you country suffer from problems like this? What is the public transport system like in your city? People commuting to work in Britain seem perfectly comfortable in comparison to the Japanese who push as many people into the tube trains as possible. The British seem to suffer from hypocritical ‘double standards’; we queue up in a more civilised manner than the people of virtually any other country, when we are in the street, but we kill each other on the roads. In fact, it is considered very rude to push in, that is to try and get ahead of another person in a queue. Someone might say ‘Excuse me, there is a queue here!’ We are not so polite in our cars. The number of violent crimes committed over minor traffic infractions is frightening. This is known as road rage and is a fairly recent phenomenon. There have been many cases of killings, stabbings and violent assaults after arguments on public highways. Be careful! Push in at the grocer’s shop, but don’t try pushing in when in a traffic jam. What are the main problems that people have with moving around? Which, in your opinion, are the quickest ways of getting from one side of the city to another? And most economical? How could the transport system in your city be improved? Bad parking must feature high on anybody’s list. This blocks the street, makes life difficult for pedestrians and puts cyclist’s lives at risk as they have to drive around the illegally parked vehicle and into the path of the oncoming traffic. The lack of parking space is also a negative factor. 20% of the people driving around in central London are not going anywhere; they are actually looking for a place to park. Let’s face it, the main problem is too many cars. Motorbikes and scooters are almost certainly the quickest way to get around, but that is if you don’t mind dying. Cyclists are, of course, the most environmentally friendly, healthiest, best looking, and the obvious solution to the transport problem in all big cities, but in very few countries are they treated with any type of respect. The bicycle isn’t exactly practical for taking your five children to school in a dangerous part of town, in the rain either. Car drivers will complain that cyclists pay no road tax; cyclists will complain that they don’t cause any damage to the streets like car drivers do; car drivers will complain that cyclists use the roads and then slow down the traffic; cyclists will lose patience with the irritated car drivers and call them insulting names; car drivers will attempt to run over the cyclists; cyclists will fight them and probably win; meanwhile the fifty people at the bus stop will think that it’s the most exciting thing that they have seen in the two hours that they’ve been waiting for the bus…  


9.6. Explain what he is on about. ‘To go on about something’ is a colloquial way of saying ‘to talk’, but usually in a long, continuous sense. ‘My husband is always going on about football. He never shuts up.’

‘She’s making out (‘make out’ in this sense means ‘to pretend’) that’s she’s foreign and can’t make out (another use of ‘make out’, this time meaning ‘to understand clearly’) what he’s talking about (not actually a phrasal verb. Note that in many sentences in English the preposition goes at the end of the sentence). But he’s caught her out!’ (‘to catch someone out’ means ‘to show, or realise that someone is doing something wrong, false or illegal.’)


9.7. Vocabulary for roads and transport. Answers.


1. Bike Lane f. Special part of the road for cyclists.

2. Chauffeur p. A car driver employed to drive for somebody else.

3. Commuter l. Regular traveller from out of the city.

4. Fare k. The money you pay to travel on public transport.

5. Fare dodger q. A person who tries not to pay the price of a ticket.


6. Fine i. Penalty paid for parking or travelling illegally.

7. Motorist d. A car driver.

8. Reckless o. Without care or attention.

9. Rush hour e. The busiest period of the day for travelling.

10.Road rage a. Violence on the roads.

11.Road tax h. A fee to be paid before you can drive on the road.

12.Toll c. A fee to be paid on motorways, bridges etc.

13.Tow truck j. Vehicle that removes cars illegally parked.

14.Traffic jam m. A state of blockage on the road.

15.Traffic warden b. Person who gives out penalties.

16.Windscreen n. Car window (front end).

17.Wheel clamp g. Cynical device to immobilise badly parked cars.


9.8. Criminally bad English corrected.

TICKET INSPECTOR: What... you want to help me?... (‘Do you want to help me?’) and then me help to you? (‘…and then for me to help you?’) I am not needing help in this moment. Thanking you. (‘I don’t need any help at the moment, thank you.’)

9.9. TICKET INSPECTOR: Ah! I am understanding. (‘I understand’. This is a state verb and is not possible in the continuous.) You want for me to help you friends. (‘Do you want me to help your friends.’) Why didn’t I say that to you before? (What I think he means is ‘Why didn’t you say that to me before?’)  Good evening Sir! Can you help me? (Grammatically correct, but the wrong way round. ‘Can I help you?’)

9.10. TICKET INSPECTOR: Please for taking past the door one gentleman doctor and students of royal medicine school for to perform operation of emergency treatment most very important. Thanking me for helping you! (‘Please let me take this doctor and students from the Royal Medical School through the gate, in order that they can perform a very important emergency operation. Thank you for helping me!’)


9.11. Vocabulary. What’s the difference between the following?

1.My sister is a mermaid/My sister is a barmaid. ‘A mermaid’, if you remember from the introduction, is a mythical siren from the sea, half woman (the top half) and half fish (the bottom). ‘A barmaid’ works in a bar, and is all woman.

2.Oh no! She’s passed out! /Oh no! She’s passed away! In the first one the unfortunate lady has temporarily lost consciousness. She’s probably sick, or has experienced something extremely disturbing. The second is much more tragic. She’s died.

3. ‘Janet’s pregnant!’ ‘Get away!’/‘Janet’s pregnant!’ ‘Go away!’ ‘Get away!’ is a standard expression of surprise, similar to ‘Oh, really!’ or ‘You’re joking!’. ‘Go away!’ is self-evident. It is an imperative to tell a person to leave.

4.To pick up a friend from a party./To pick up a friend at a party. The first example means ‘to arrive in a car to take someone home’. The second implies a romantic conquest.

5.To kiss your friend’s mother./To French kiss your friend’s mother. This is a stupid example! Let’s just say that the second one involves using your tongue, and wouldn’t be appropriate… unless we are talking about Brian Jenkins’ mother who is an extremely attractive divorcee that lives above the corner shop…

6.To stone someone./To get stoned. If you are familiar with the Bible, you will recognise this way of executing someone by throwing large stones at them until they are dead. Not recommended really. The second example is a much more pleasurable way to die. This is similar to ‘to get drunk’ but probably involves marijuana instead of alcohol.

7.To chat to the prime minister./To chat up the prime minister. In the first you are around at 10 Downing Street talking about the weather and such pleasantries. In the second, you are trying to seduce, or ‘pick up’ the prime minister. You are obviously getting really desperate.

8.To call./To call on. ‘To telephone’ and ‘to visit in person’. Totally different.

9. The vet picked the cat up. / The vet put the cat down. The veterinary surgeon (the animal doctor) took the cat in his hands. In the second example the cat was probably very sick and had to be given a lethal injection. This is a euphemism for ‘to kill’, which is far too serious a word in such situations. It can only be used for animals.

10. Ali is married with eight girls. /Ali is married to eight girls. ‘Married with children,’ means you are married and you have sons and daughters. In the second we are talking about polygamy, that is, being married to more that one person. (Bigamy is being illegally married to more than one person.’





Adam and Eve believe

Alligator later

Apple pie sky

Bottle of water  daughter

Brown bread dead

Cain and Abel table

Canoes shoes

Cough and sneeze cheese

Current bun son

Dunkirk work

Finger and thumb mum

Fisherman’s daughter water

Frog and toad road

Hampstead heath teeth

Here and there chair

Irish stew true

Jack Horner corner

Jam tart  heart

Loaf of Bread head

Pig’s ear Beer

Plates of meat feet

Rabbit and pork  talk

Read and write  fight

Ribbon and curl girl

These and those clothes

Uncle Bert shirt

Uncle Fred  bread

William Tell smell



10.1. Discussion Topics. Does your country have an open mind towards the adult entertainment industry? Nothing shows the difference between cultures more than our differing attitudes to sex. Just about every country seems to have contradictory attitudes on the subject. Americans are prudish about putting topless women and racey scenes in their films, but are the largest producers of adult entertainment films. (After years of industriously researching this book, the author can conclude that the Germans come a close second.) The Dutch are famous for their open-mindedness, and look at how well-balanced that magnificent race of people are. They speak such beautiful English too, which obviously proves…something. Can a healthy sex life and good English be related? Does that mean that because the Spanish speak the worst English that they are also the worst in bed? I once had a Spanish girlfriend, and she wasn’t…. well….

Perhaps the most false stereotype about the British is that they are sexually repressed. This is simply untrue. Just look at your teacher. What a veritable God of sensuality! Perhaps we are not as liberal thinking as the Dutch, but statistics show that Britain has a multi-million pound adult industry, a much lower than average age for losing their virginity, an outrageously high number of unwanted teenage pregnancies... Does your city have a ‘red light’ district? What is it like in comparison with those of Amsterdam and Hamburg? They call prostitution ‘the oldest business’. Should it be legal? How legal is prostitution in your country? Trying to clean up and hide away the business of prostitution and only encourages the underworld of crime, criminals and exploitation. Discuss. Private adult intercourse between consenting adults is legal in Britain. Virtually all other aspects of prostitution such as ‘soliciting’, ‘kerb-crawling’ ($ street-walking) and ‘pimping’ (the ‘management’ of prostitutes) are not. London’s has several ‘red light districts’. The area Soho is the respectable side of the business. This part of central London has a multitude of ‘adult shops’ ‘peep shows’ and strip clubs, all of which are largely ‘respectable’. You certainly won’t see topless prostitutes in the window of shops, like you do in Amsterdam. The sleazier, less glamorous parts of town include King’s Cross, where there is a lot of prostitution, underage ‘hookers’, and illegal immigrants forced into the business, who are often ‘owned’ by ‘pimps’. It is arguable that most crime related to the adult industry is related to these mafias that run the business. We have, perhaps, a ‘romanticised’ view of what prostitution is, thinking that the majority of prostitutes were independent women working and making money for themselves. The reality is more likely to be that they are exploited, immature victims, brought illegally into the country from foreign countries, who work for a pittance (very little money) and are regularly beaten or abused by their pimps. If this is the case, then legal, controlled and sanitised prostitution must be a serious proposition. The Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales are experimenting with banning street prostitution, but semi-legalising it in certain ‘zones of tolerance’ and ‘massage parlours’ in the style of the role model of those wonderful Dutch people.  


10.2 Discussion topics. Discuss this problem as a group. Is Ahmet doing the right thing? Do prostitutes offer an important service to the community? What effect do you think that prostitution has on marriage? Can it be positive like some people claim? Is Ahmet’s wife’s dilemma a different case? What we are exploring here are the moral aspects of prostitution and students will doubtless have differing opinions. As most couples are against the idea of sharing their partners with a prostitute, we could conclude that he’s not actually doing the right thing … or his wife. There is little difference in their cases. It could also be argued that both are using the other’s faults (i.e. the other’s unfit, scruffy appearance and laziness) as a justification for sleeping with another. But there is always going to be someone else who is better looking and in better physical condition than your partner. That can’t be used as a reason to sleep around. Whether the third parties have a positive effect on the marriage is highly questionable too. Surely if you are spending time with someone that you consider to be more attractive and more exciting, then that logically means that you will find your own partner less attractive and more boring when you return to them. Ahmet is not going to return home thinking, ‘I’ve just slept with a prostitute, I feel fantastic, now a I’m going to be extra nice to my wife and children.’ Or is he? The fact that he is sleeping with another woman is a demonstration of marital discontentment, and not a way of saving it. Their problem is that they have both given up looking after themselves, and have stopped making an effort with each other. By the same token, the prostitute’s line that they offer ‘a valuable service to the community’ sounds rather like a poor way of justifying doing what is not a very good job. 


10.3. Grammar. Reported Speech. The main rule is that tenses take a ‘step-back’, if they can.

PRESENT SIMPLE becomes...... past simple

PRESENT CONTINUOUS becomes..... past continuous

PRESENT PERFECT becomes....past perfect

PAST SIMPLE becomes.....past perfect

PAST PERFECT becomes.....past perfect

WILL becomes.....would

CAN becomes....could

MUST becomes.....had to

SHOULD becomes.....should


10.4 Grammar. Reported Speech. Now get together with a partner, and write the exact words of the dialogue that were spoken between Giovanni and Desk Sergeant Reynolds, the policemen.

DESK SERGEANT REYNOLDS AND COLLEAGUE: Where is your transvestite boyfriend?

GIOVANNI: He’s not my boyfriend. People who are transvestites are often normal. Just because a man dresses up as a woman doesn’t automatically mean that he’s weird. He may be a very typical person.

DESK SERGEANT REYNOLDS AND COLLEAGUE: Shut up and get to the point! Have you seen him?

GIOVANNI: I don’t know where he’s gone and that’s why I’ve come here.

DESK SERGEANT REYNOLDS AND COLLEAGUE: We need to fill out a report. What is he called?

GIOVANNI: He’s called Dave.


GIOVANNI: I don’t know.

DESK SERGEANT REYNOLDS AND COLLEAGUE: Will you make a description?

GIOVANNI: Yes, I will. He has facial hair and could have grown a beard by now to disguise himself.

DESK SERGEANT REYNOLDS AND COLLEAGUE: What has he stolen from you? Could you help us make a photo-fit identity picture on the computer in order to be able to find him? We won’t be able to do it because the photo-fit programme is for a girl’s face, and the computer programme won’t allow us to put facial hair on the picture. We could use the men’s identi-kit programme, and we should add long hair to the picture afterwards, to make the person seem like a woman …this can’t be done either, because on the men’s programme, you can’t put make-up on the criminal’s face. Why don’t you draw a picture of Dave the transvestite, as this will be better than nothing? It is going to be difficult to get your wallet and money back, as there is so much petty crime in London, but I’ll do everything that I can to help.


10.5. Grammar. Reported Speech. What are the verbs that were used to introduce the reported speech? What’s the difference between them? How are imperatives reported? Positive and negative. These include: told: insist; order; demand; forbid, (all for giving orders or commands) suggest; recommend; advise; warn (all for suggestions, advice). Any of these can be used to report infinitives. The most common positive structure is subject pronoun + reported speech verb + (that) + object pronoun  + infinitive .

e.g. ‘Stop talking!’ They told us to stop talking.

‘Leave the library now! They demanded that we leave the library.


10.6. HOMEWORK! Try and report as much of the dialogue from the chapter as you possibly can.

Possible answers: The teacher wished all the students a very good evening.  He told us that it was nearly nine o’clock and we’d to go out. He said that he had been given the job of looking after a gentleman from the The Free People’s Republic of Zangonia and teaching him English. He told us that now he was completely drunk. He said that people from his country don’t/didn’t drink alcohol. He said that when he woke up, we would be in trouble. He told us that his father is/was Raji Fred one of the most powerful, rich businessmen in the world. He said that he plays/played golf with George Bush and is/was best friends with the Queen. He said that this student is supposed to be getting married to Lady Sara Winthorpe, the Queen’s niece. He asked us what we were going to do with him. He said that we had to have a good time in the name of diplomatic relations.

Ahmet suggested that we keep him drunk and tell him that he was suffering from the worst case of jetlag ever recorded. He said that when he got back to his own country, he would only remember having had a good time.

The teacher said that it was a fantastic idea. He told us not to let him sober up. He said that if anybody saw him sobering up, that we should give him another drink. He told us to tell him that it was a Traditional English Refreshment. He shouted at Ali to wake up, and asked him how is that terrible jet-lag problem was.

Ali asked him what he had said, hiccupped and moaned about his head. Anja told him (that) he was suffering from the worst case of jetlag that she had ever known in medical history. She said that there was only one good cure. She ordered someone get him some more Traditional English Refreshment quickly.

Ahmet said it was a disaster, saying that there was no Traditional English Refreshment left.

The teacher implored us to come on. He said that we had to get over to the Royal Revue Strip Club ASAP.

Sophie suggested getting a taxi. Teacher said that they are too expensive, and too slow. He said that we might as well take the bus and underground train. He asked Chris how we were going to get there.

Chris said that first we’d head for the centre, getting on a bus. He told us to get off at King’s Cross, to go fifty metres down the road and to hop on the underground. He said that we’d get off at Leicester Square and look for the correct way-out. He said that he always got mixed up working out which way to get out of that station. He said we’d make for Soho going down Wardour Street, and cross over Shaftesbury Avenue, turning off down a little alley and ending up in the heart of Soho. He said that we could wake up Ali and talk him into forking out for a taxi.


10.7 Grammar. Reported Speech. Read the following text, but instead of reading it directly, read it as reported speech, as if you are telling someone else about what was said.

The teacher wished the students a very good evening.  He said that we were here in the Royal Revue Strip Bar, in the heart of Soho…

Sophie said that this really wasn’t her style at all. She asked us what he could be thinking of taking us to such a filthy, disgusting place.

The teacher said that it might have been disgusting, but that it was a linguistic gold mine. He said that learning a language is/was not always good clean fun. He said that it was going to be a chance to speak to the real people of London, and make an in-depth study of their beautiful English language.

Ahmet said that we could make an in-depth study of some of those beautiful girls.

The teacher asked Ali how his headache was. Ali said that he felt terrible. He said that he needed some more traditional English refreshment and then hiccupped. Ahmet mentioned that there were many beautiful women, and asked what he should do. The teacher told him that he needed a chat-up line. Ahmet asked what that was, and if it was one of those erotic telephone lines that they advertise in newspapers and on late night television. The teacher told him that that is/was a chat-line. He told him that a chat-up line was a comical sentence that you say when you met/meet someone that you find/found someone attractive. He said that it had to be clever, fun, and romantic too. He asked to see him in action. He told him to go over to a redheaded woman and say, and then he whispered something in Ahmet’s ear. Ahmet went over to a beautiful redhead at the bar and asked her if they had met before.

The redheaded woman said that they had. She said that she worked in the Clinic for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and asked him if he had been there the week before. Ahmet went over to a beautiful blond woman at the bar and told her that she had to tell him her name, because last night when he had dreamt about her, she could only call him baby. The blond girl told him to clear off. The teacher told him to try something a bit less romantic and a bit more intelligent, and whispered something into Ahmet’s ear. Ahmet went over to a beautiful brunette and used a superb second conditional sentence. (This next sentence is not practical in reported speech.) He said that if he asked her if she’d spend a night of passion with him, if her answer would be the same as the answer to his question. The brunette asked him what he was talking about. She said (that) she didn’t understand a word that he was talking about, but that she was going to give him a kiss out of sympathy. She gave Ahmet an enormous kiss.


10.8.Correct him! TICKET INSPECTOR: I think I am liking very much this place, (I think I like this place very much) and would be liking for to try one of these chatting lines for me. (…and would like to try one of these chat-up lines.)

The teacher said it was a good idea and whispered something in his ear. The ticket inspector went over to a beautiful blond woman at the bar and asked if she would like to come to his house to eat pizza and to make love with him. The blond insisted that she would not. The ticket inspector asked her why not. Then he asked her if she didn’t like pizza.


10.9. Vocabulary. Adjectives. Adjectives in order of strength. First is the lightest. Most students, and indeed, many native speakers will have differing opinions about which is stronger. The answer is that they are used to refer to slightly different things, and therefore there might be a slight difference in answers in this and the next exercise. If you are that sure that you know better than Zak Washington’s answers below, you clearly spend more time looking at those disgusting magazines and films than he does. You need help. Your answers should be more or less like those below.





















Most of the above have nouns derived from them. What are they? Sleaziness is possible but not very common. Two amusing American nouns to describe people are sleaze and sleazebag. Blue describes adult jokes, films etc, but not people. (In many other languages green is used!) It isn’t possible as a noun. The noun from ‘sexy’ is sexiness and is normally used in a positive sense. Hard(core) can be used as a noun too, to describe people or a group, but in the sense of ‘the most radical, believers in a cause or an ideal’. Prudishness is from the same word family as prude which means ‘a person who is shocked or repulsed by anything rude or sensual’. Prudery is another old-fashioned noun, not in modern use. Kinkiness, according to dictionaries, doesn’t exist, but would be typical of a ‘made up’ noun that would be perfectly understood. I can’t imagine in what kind of context you are going to find it useful though! Kinky is a comical way of describing unusual, unorthodox, or exciting sensual behaviour with a normally positive connotation. If you wanted to talk about something unusual, bizarre or unnatural then you would need to use perverted. The meaning is always of disapproval. Softness and filthiness are common nouns mainly because they can refer to many other things, not only material of a sexual nature. Smut is a noun that refers disapprovingly to jokes, programmes, senses of humour etc, that have a high, unsophisticated level of sexual content. Suggestiveness would be possible as a noun, but again is not common. Innuendo is equally common.


10.10.  Again there is often no single, definitive answer. These are the adjectives that best fit.

a. ‘The Benny Hill show is smutty and filthy and should be taken off the TV.’ (Both words are disapproving.)

b. ‘The sleazy scandal of the president and one of his female assistants.’ (Meaning immoral, secretive and dishonest. You won’t be surprised to find out that this is one of the most common words to describe politicians.)

c. ‘Using a phrasal verb with a double meaning is smutty and childish, and I won’t tolerate it.’ (Disapproving.)

d. ‘A prudish catholic girl who gets embarrassed when someone mentions the word ‘procreation’.

e. ‘He is a sleazy / kinky conservative politician and likes rubber masks, sadomasochism, whips etc.’

f. ‘My son! I have found several filthy magazines under your bed, and you will be punished.’ (Again disapproving.)

g. ‘My boyfriend watches those blue films like Emmanuel, that are not very strong, but he can’t stand the hardcore ones that are very graphic.’

i. ‘Those postcards that they sell in London, with the blue / smutty jokes, are not very funny.’

k. In the rugby club they were singing a really, really filthy song about a policewoman and a root vegetable.

l. My boyfriend likes me to dress up in an England football shirt. It’s a bit kinky. Don’t you think? (Approving.)


10.11. Discussion Topics. What is your personal opinion about adult entertainment on television? Adult entertainment is a $8 billion business. Does this demonstrate real ‘community standards’? Should explicit films be allowed to be shown on public television? Is a more conservative attitude preferable, like that of the USA, where shirtless women are not usually shown on terrestrial TV? What should be allowed on television? What should be allowed on the internet? What should be censored, and who should be responsible for doing it? Is this against our ideas of freedom of expression? Discuss the following and their place in entertainment: nudity, intimacy, violence against men, violence against women etc. Nowadays, in the western world, virtually everybody has a television and / or a computer with Internet access in their sitting room, and often in their bedrooms too. The crux (the most important or serious part) of this argument must be what children should be allowed to see and what should be censored. What is the point of censoring national television, and only putting films and programmes with a high sensual content on late at night, if a child can have twenty-four hour internet and cable TV access? Online it is possible to see the most outrageous images on any theme at any time of day and night. This type of material with strong images and content must have a big effect on many children, but arguably has an enormous effect on many adults too. Many of the most dangerous violent criminals and perpetrators of sex crimes, fail to differentiate between fantasy and reality, and are undeniably influenced by material of this kind. So what is the solution? To censor everything? Who is going to decide who can or cannot handle certain information? Women are more often than not the victims. So should the logical step be to allow women to lead such campaigns? With so many brilliant female minds the task shouldn’t be a problem. No? So why in Britain and the US, do we have imaginationless, repressed Christian housewives such as Mary Whitehouse and the Washington wives doing the job? They simply object to anything that contains a swearword or a topless woman, but offer few worthwhile ideas. Spend the rest of the month arguing with your class-mates about this. If you need anything else to stimulate a debate, here are two quotes. The first is from the American First Amendment, and the second from Justice Thurgood Marshall in a Supreme Court decision in the USA:

                ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

                ‘If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch.’ Now pass over my copy of Playboy will you? …and turn the TV to Channel 69; they’re putting on a rerun of Hotbabes XXX.



LADY FORBSWORTH: Have you been waiting long for me boys? Yes, we have!

Do you think that I’m looking pretty tonight? Yes, we do!

Could you get me a gin and tonic from the bar? Yes, we could!

Can you put a little ice in it too? Yes, we can!

Are you going to watch me while I slip into something more comfortable? Yes, we are!

These Victorian dresses are very difficult to remove. Will you help me? Yes, we will!

Will you all close your eyes for a moment while I get out of this? Yes, we will! (The liars.) No, we won’t!

You don’t want me to leave this on, do you? No, we won’t!

Would you undo this button here for me? Yes, we will!

Do you want me to leave the corset on? No, we don’t!

Would you like it if I went home now, before I’ve finished? No, we wouldn’t!

Don’t you boys go home early either, eh? No, we won’t!  (Future tense.)

You wouldn’t like that now, would you? No, we wouldn’t!

Do you think you’re going to enjoy the rest of the show? Yes, we do!

Ooh! It’s still awfully hot in here, ain’t it? Yes, it is!


10.13 Grammar. Short answers and question tags. Discuss the grammar with the other students. Which question tags are used with positive sentences? Negative tags. With negatives? Positive tags. And imperatives? A more difficult question, because they are irregular. Grammarians are still divided on the correct tag. The answer is usually either ‘will’ or ‘won’t’. (Notice both parts are positive.) ‘Oh just shut up, will you!’ First person imperatives take ‘shall’ instead of ‘will’ just like ordinary questions. ‘Let’s take the night bus, shall we?’ Also notice: ‘I’ll get you a drink, shall I?’  When does the intonation go up at the end of the sentence? Usually when the question is a real one that needs a ‘real’ answer. ‘You haven’t got a pound, have you?’ is obviously a genuine question. When does it go down? Usually, when the question is a not a question at all. ‘I think that Giovanni is really nice, don’t you?’, is just a way of continuing the conversation, and doesn’t require a ‘real’ answer. Which of the following is a real question that requires a real answer, and which is a normal sentence, that is made to sound a little bit more friendly? You haven’t got the time, have you? (Real question.) Oh, I forgot. You haven’t got a watch, have you? (An affirmation, not a real question.) Which would have rising intonation? The first question would.


10.14 Grammar exercise. Question tags. MARIAY: ‘I bet that you haven’t seen a show like that in your life, have you? It was definitely one of the best shows that I’ve ever seen, wasn’t it? She’s a great dancer, isn’t she? There’s something really sensual about the way that she moves, isn’t there? It was a really artistic show, wasn’t it? It was a real declaration of feminism, wasn’t it? It was like when Madonna did that ‘Girly Show’, wasn’t it? She wanted to say that she was the boss, that she was in control, didn’t she? The way she made all those men in the audience look so foolish was clever, wasn’t it? I wish I had a personality like hers. I’m not that dominant, am I? I’m a much more quiet, passive personality, aren’t I? (This is another irregularity.) These English women aren’t as bad-looking as everybody says, are they?’

SOPHIE: ‘You talk a lot of rubbish, don’t you? Feminism? She’s just a typical nightclub stripper, isn’t she? And the audience were no more than a bunch of chauvinists, aren’t they? That wasn’t art, was it? It’s pornography, sexism, and exploitation, isn’t it? You haven’t ever read any German Greer books, have you?

MARIAY: Who? She’s that romantic novelist, isn’t she? I love it when the beautiful maid is seduced by the aristocratic prince, don’t you?

SOPHIE: No, I do not! I don’t read that rubbish. Germain Greer was one of the greatest feminists that ever lived, wasn’t she? You’d learn a lot about women from books like hers, wouldn’t you? You South American women could do with learning about fighting and defeating the masculine oppressor, couldn’t you?

MARIAY: Leave us alone, will / won’t you? You shouldn’t be so up-tight and take yourself so seriously, should you? Why do you bother coming out? You could have stayed at home with a copy of that book of yours, ‘Catholic Thoughts, Volume IV’, couldn’t you? Go and get yourself a drink, will / won’t you? You never know, you might even enjoy yourself!


10.15 Homework! Grammar exercise. Question tags.   

AHMET: Anja! You are a very talented woman, aren’t you? I always notice these things, ? You are a very attractive woman, aren’t you? You and I get on very well, don’t we? We’d make a great team, wouldn’t we? You understand what I’m saying, don’t you? We’ve got a special chemistry, haven’t we? I’ve seen the way that you look at me, haven’t I? Let me buy you a drink, will / won’t you? Let’s go to the bar, shall we? (In British English first person plural questions take ‘shall’ instead of ‘will’.)

ANJA: What are you talking about? You’re drunk, aren’t you? You wouldn’t say that type of thing, if you weren’t drunk, would you? You’re not my type at all, are you? You’ve just decided that you fancy me, haven’t you? A minute ago you were chasing those English girls, weren’t you? And then, when you didn’t get a result with them, you thought ‘who could I chase after now’, didn’t you?

AHMET: No, it’s not like that, is it? I’ve fancied you ever since I met you, haven’t I? Honestly. I’d do anything for you, wouldn’t I? We have that special bit of magic between us, don’t we? It’d be a tragedy to lose something as beautiful as that, wouldn’t it?

ANJA: I’ve told you, haven’t I? You’re not my type, are you? Look. Let’s just pretend that we’ve never had this conversation, shall we? It’s starting to get embarrassing, isn’t it?

AHMET: Well, it doesn’t have to be a permanent thing, does it? I’m not asking you to marry me, am I? I don’t want to force you into a serious commitment, do I? We could just form a romantic liaison for a shorter period of time, couldn’t we? You know what I mean, don’t you?

ANJA: You think I’m stupid, don’t you? You creep! You’re just trying to get me into bed, aren’t you? Go away, will you? Go and annoy someone else!


10.16. Discussion topics. What is a ‘stag night’? What is a ‘hen night’? See if you can guess. One is for groups of men only, and the other is for women only. The behaviour of both groups is normally quite bad, and there is normally a lot of alcohol and strippers involved. Any ideas? No. The answer is not one of Zak Washington’s English classes. We are, of course, talking about the night out for a man (stag night) and a woman (hen night) who are going to get married. The man getting married is called the bridegroom, or just the groom, and the woman is called the bride. Have you ever been on one? Describe what happened. Who usually behaves worse in groups? Men or women? Discuss. Traditionally in Britain, men behaved appallingly at such events and still do. Nowadays, it appears that women are equally badly behaved. What would a typical stag or hen night in your country involve? Where are the typical places that people go to? When it’s your turn to get married, what would you like to do for your stag/hen night? What is your idea of a really good night out? Imagine this scenario: A group are out celebrating a stag night when suddenly a policeman arrives. ‘Are you Jackie Williams?’ the policeman asks. ‘Errrr…. yes, that’s me,’ says Jackie terrified. The poor girl is in a state of shock. She asks herself if she has done something wrong, if she has parked her car badly, or if someone has found out that she stole a mini skirt from the clothes shop the previous week. By the time she has thought about this for a moment, the policeman has begun to remove his clothes. Not only is he taking his uniform off, but he is also doing something indecent with his truncheon (the stick that British policemen are armed with). Everybody else is shouting and cheering and taking photographs. What the hell is going on? This is the curious practice of hiring a stripogram or a kissogram.  (The words are a variation of the word telegram.) If you wish to do the same, you will have a choice of policemen / women, body-builders, French maids, drag queens, ‘roly-polies’ (fat people), or even a Mr. Bean stripogram! They will arrive in any private or public place, strip off, and completely embarrass their victim. The whole pathetic scenario will cost you about £70-£100. In Britain, like in many other countries, stag and hen nights have a bad reputation, and consequently a group of drunken lunatics can’t just turn up (arrive) at a nightclub and expect to get in. It is common then, to go to a special place that caters for this kind of night out. These establishments will have strippers, ‘rude food’ (food cooked into the shape of …. well… you know) and a special show. A common practice is to have special T-shirts printed, or to wear ‘accessories’ such as plastic breasts or plastic bottoms.