Gramática: past simple
Craig had some visitors last week. They came to see the family. They didn’t have time for the beach.
Craig lived in London. Craig’s family came to Spain because his sister wanted to move house. (Use the Past Simple for things that happened in the past. There is no connection to now.)
Use DID to make questions: “Where did you live?” – Craig lived in London. Reza lived in Belfast.
No DID with the verb TO BE: “Where were you born?” – “I was born in London.” – “Were you a happy child?”
No DID with modal verbs like COULD: “Craig couldn’t run fast when he was younger.” – “Reza couldn’t speak Spanish when he lived in Belfast.”
Hello – how are you? – Are you happy? – Harry Potter – Have a cup of tea! – have a seat! – have a beer! Hello –
Hello, I’m Henry – Hello, I’m Henry and I’m happy! I’m a hairdresser hairdresser – I’m a happy hairdresser –
I’m from Helsinki I’m a happy hairdresser from Helsinki – How are you? I’m Henry the happy hairdresser from Helsinki, Ha! Ha! Ha!
Phrasal verb: get on
get on (continuar) – Let’s get on with the podcast
get on (well) (llevarse bien) – Craig gets on with his sister – Reza gets on well with his family. –
get on – (manage) – Craig isn’t getting on very well with his new timetable.
get on (subir) – The driver wouldn’t let Reza get on the bus. (GET ON a bike, a horse, a train. a plane, a bus, a camel etc – GET IN a car or a taxi)
take care of (cuidar) = look after – to look after someone or to take care of someone.
proud (adjective), pride (noun) – to take pride in (something) – take pride in your work, take pride in your appearance, take pride in your wonderful English. Take pride in your houses (like Reza and Craig’s mums!)
a joke – to take a joke – Some people are good at taking a joke – to take the mickey (burlarse)
to be taken to hospital (llevar) – take to school
take pity on someone – Craig takes pity on his neighbour.
Reza took great pleasure posing in Craig’s car.
to take advice – give advice TO somebody – take advice FROM somebody.
Reza’s Top Tip: Use a Thesaurus for a better grammar range.
A thesaurus in NOT a dictionary, but It can improve your range (alcance) of vocabulary by finding similar words (synonyms)
BIG: huge, enormous, giant, vast, gigantic, titanic etc.
Use http://thesaurus.com/ online
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called See You Later – licensed by creative commons under a by-nc license at ccmixter.org.
Si quieres mandarnos un comentario sobre este podcast o una pregunta sobre la gramática, la pronunciación or el vocabulario de inglés, Mandenos un email a firstname.lastname@example.org.
FULL TRANSCRIPTION (kindly contributed by Angélica Bello from Madrid)
Past simple, expressions with take, the ‘h’ sound, phrasal verb ‘get on’
C: Hello and welcome to episode 3 of Aprender Inglés con Reza y Craig. Hello Reza how are you?
R: Hi Craig how are you?
C: I’m fine, good week?
R: Yeah fine!
C: Fantastic, huge week, huge week, very very nice. Let’s begin this week with gramática, and what do you have for us this week Reza?
R: Well I thought we could talk about the past simple, since you ask me, good week?, I can ask you…did you visit your mom, like you said you would?
C: I did, I went last Wednesday.
R: How was she?
C: Very well thanks, she’s doing ok.
R: And how was the rest of the family?
C: Finally enough we had some people visiting from the UK, some cousins came over
R: When they did arrive?
C: They came last Friday, they stayed for the weekend and I saw them just for one day.
R: Where did you take them?
C: We went to a restaurant, we had lunch, I showed them Moraira, which is where my parents live, very nice town on the coast of Spain, and we spend some time talking about the family and old times.
R: Did they spend some time on the beach?
C: No, we, they didn’t have time for the beach, and it wasn’t that, it wasn’t beach weather, to be honest.
R: Did they get the chance to practice some Spanish?
C: No, because they were with me and my parents who don’t speak Spanish, so they don’t speak Spanish, they live in London so they just came to see the family.
R: Didn’t your dad want to try to learn Spanish, years ago?
C: Years ago when he first came here, but he gave up. He couldn’t learn Spanish.
R: When did your parents first settled here?
C: About fifteen year ago, fifteen or sixteen years ago.
R: Wow! And before that they lived in London, didn’t they?
C: That’s right, they lived in the center of London before they came here, and when I grow up they lived in a suburb of London, so we lived just on the edge on the outskirts of the city.
R: Did you enjoy life there? Sorry, did you enjoy life in London?
C: Yeah I did. I had a very good childhood, I enjoyed growing up in the suburbs and yeah, yeah it was good.
R: Why did they decide to come to Spain?
C: Because my sister wanted to move house and she saw that she couldn’t afford to buy a nice house in a nice area of London. She didn’t have the money to buy a nice house, but in Spain, back in the nineties, you could get a nice house for a good price. So, when my parents retired, she came to Spain with my parents and they bought a house together.
R: She could get a house for a good price today as well in Spain, the market went up, then it crashed and houses are cheaper now than they were four years ago, I’d say.
C: That’s right.
R: Do you remember when my brother came to visit few months ago?
R: and you met him.
C: yes, very nice guy.
- yeah? Being on holiday he did drink quite a lot though, didn’t he? I do remember
C: He like his beer.
R: he made a bit of a full of himself.
C: Well, I wouldn’t go that far. I don’t think he made a full of himself, no hacía el tonto.
R: Oh well I’m glad you say that, because he is going to come back again for a little visit soon.
C: Fantastic! When is he coming?
R: In a couple of weeks, and he wants to visit you.
C: OK, my pleasure. He can stay here if he like, we got a sofa bed for him. If you want to kick him out, if you want some time by yourself just tell him to come here.
R: I said I’d take him down to the Malvarosa and may be he could see you like he did last time.
C: My pleasure.
R: Ok, so Craig, I guess you’ve noticed we’ve been using a lot of past simple verbs there.
C: yes, you asked me about the past, you asked me about living in London in the past, you asked me about my cousins visit which was last week, also the past, to do en el pasado.
R: Past simple yeah?, things like you lived in London, lived. Yeah? Viviste. Or it could also be vivías, I think there are two ways to say it in Spanish, but it’s only one way in English. In Spanish it depends, but in English is a bit simpler. So past simple is for things like when you lived in London years ago. It’s finished. Now you don’t live in London, it’s over, that was in the past.
C: There is no connection to now, it’s something that happened in the past, no hay conexión ahora.
R: No connection with now. Soon we’ll be talking about that, that would be the present perfect, but we’ll be talking about that another day, but for now, if something happened in the past and it’s over, and it’s not really connected with now that’s past simple. And, as a lot of the listeners probably know, to make a question in the past simple it’s easy, but just add did.
R: Where did you live? Dónde vivías, dónde viviste? When did they arrive? Cuándo llegaron? Things like that.
C: But is important to remember that when you speak about the past with the verb I lived, when you make the question with did, the verb changes.
R: Right! Use the infinitive form of the verb without to, so you say, where did you live? Not lived. Just where did you live?
C: I lived in London. Where did you live before you came to Spain?
R: I lived in Belfast.
R: Now another thing, I’m sure the listeners know but just to remind them, that tricky verb to be, as ever, it has to be a bit different, so with the verb to be, with the past simple just like the present simple as we saw a few weeks ago, don’t use did! Just use the verb to be in the past, so for example, I could ask you Craig, where were you born?
C: I was born in London. Where were you born?
R: I was born in a place called Lisburn, near Belfast.
C: I thought you was going to say Portugal.
R: Yes, people have said that before, I got a funny story about that, but I will tell you that another day, about a misunderstanding.
R: And…were you a happy child?
C: Yes I was. My parents say I was a bad child, a naughty child, a horrible child.
R: I can’t believe that.
R: I can’t believe it!
C: They have stories, but I was happy, I was happy.
R: So, there we go, there is a couple of examples in the past simple with to be: where were you born? Were you a happy child? There is no date with the verb to be. Also, if you are listening closely, may be you noticed that Craig used the word could, could is also past simple. Is the past simple of the verb can. And, you will probably know that can is an irregular verb, can. We don’t add ed, we say could for the past.
C: Modal verb.
R: Modal verbs are tricky. So the past of can is could, ahhh, let’s see Craig, when you were young, could you run fast?
C: No, I was quite a fat child, so I couldn’t run very fast.
R: And now? Can you run fast?
C: No, no I’m old and fat, so I definitively can’t run very fast.
R: Are you even slower now than before?
C: I’m definitely slower now.
R: So you were a little bit faster before.
C: I was a little bit faster.
R: Bah! That’s life. That happens to all of us, doesn’t it?
C: When you lived in Belfast, could you speak Spanish?
R: No, I didn’t speak a word of Spanish until I arrived in Spain in…what year was it…1994, can you believe it? Yeah! I arrived in Cáceres in 1994 without a word of Spanish, and I, I picked it up, that means, I learnt it on the streets and speaking to people, I didn’t even go to classes.
C: You got street Spanish.
R: Yeah, with an extremeño accent, and the Spanish listeners will know what that means, very peculiar accent.
C: So to summarize then with the past simple, use did to make questions and remember to change the verb to the infinitive without to.
C: and you cannot use did with the verb to be, so you cannot say did you are, did you is or did you am.
R: Also NO did with the modal verbs. So we use can, the model past of can was could, so I asked you, could you run faster? There’s not did there.
C: Moving on, let’s move onto pronunciation, and this episode I’d like to look at the sound /hhh/ or h.
R: Are you correct, or are you having breathing problems?
C: Just cleaning my glasses! Which is interesting because Spanish speakers, when there’s a word with h at the beginning, for example hello, they tend to say the sound from the throat, desde la garganta, so it sounds like /jjj/.
R: Oh yes.
C: Are you familiar with that Reza?
R: Oh yes!
C: /jelou, jau are you?/ The typical Spanish /ja/ …
R: “ish very Spanish thing”
C: Now listen, if you take off your glasses, and if you are not wearing glasses, imaging you are wearing glasses, quitas las gafas y limpias las gafas así /hhha/ /hhha/ . That’s the sound you need with most words beginning with h. Hello,
C: How are you?
R: I’m fine thanks.
C: Are you happy?
R: Yes I’m
C: Harry Potter. All this words beginning with h, have a cup of tea, have a shower, have a beer. Hello, hello I’m Henry, I’m Henry and I’m happy, I’m a hairdresser. I’m Henry the happy hairdresser. So practice, practice that at home and repeat many times, so that you do not say /jjj/ because it’s not very nice to English ears. I’m from Helsinki. I’m a happy hairdresser from Helsinki. How are you? Practice de /h/sound.
R: Well if you are a happy hairdresser from Helsinki Craig, I guess you’d laugh hahaha.
R: Not jajaja
C: Oh no! No!
R: That would sound like you got a bad throat to an English speaker.
C: But that’s interesting because when Spanish people chatear or whatsappear or whatever it is, they put ja, which is /ja/. Isn’t it?
R: it is!
R: but in English ha, hahaha.
C: Hahaha, practice at home.
Next we move on onto our phrasal verb. What’s our phrasal verb for this episode Reza?
R: Well, the phrasal verb for today is get on, get on, a very common phrasal verb. Well, tell you what Craig? I got a little list here to remind me, let’s get on with the podcast with phrasal verbs. Did you hear that? Let’s get on with the podcast.
C: So get on can mean continuar?
R: Continuing without pausing, without a break, so let’s get on with the podcast, get on, continue, continuar, with the phrasal verb get on. Here is another one: Craig, I think your sister is very nice, did you get on with your sister?
C: We get on well, when I lived in England (past simple), we didn’t get on well, but when she got married, when she left the house and I got her room, the bigger room in the house, her bedroom, then we started to get on well.
R: To get on well. To have a good relationship. Get on, llevarse bien con alguien.
C: You get on with all your family?
R: Yes, I get on well with my sister and both brothers.
C: Although you can get on badly with somebody.
C: Get on well, get on badly.
R: That’s a good point, yes, if you just say I get on with someone, the meaning is positive, so llevarse bien. But you can say I get on badly with someone, and that specifically means that it’s negative. So, if don’t add a negative word like badly or terribly or horribly, then, we assume it’s a positive relationship.
C: Entonces si no dices badly, pensamos que esta relación es positiva.
R: Si. If I say to you, do you get on with your sister? And you say yes, that means you have a good relationship. If I don’t add a word like, do you get on badly with your sister, if I don’t add this word badly, we suppose I mean well.
C: OK, I understand.
R: OK, Craig, you got a new timetable, is October, new academic year, how are you getting on with your new timetable?
C: It’s quite difficult because I’m now teaching in the middle of the day at lunchtime, and before I taught in the evenings, so I’m having a few problems getting on with the new time.
R: Getting on with it, yes, coping, progressing, managing.
R: You could say, ¿Cómo lo estás manejando? ó ¿Cómo lo llevas?
C: Lo llevo bien. I’m getting on with it, yeah.
R: So, there is another meaning of get on. Now Craig as per usual, I nearly didn’t arrive here on time today, you know, the first bus that stopped in my neighborhood was full, so the driver wouldn’t let me get on! He said there was no space, he said that I couldn’t get on. I couldn’t get on the bus.
C: So to get on also means subir. Subir al autobus.
R: Subir al autobus. Well, there is a good point, subir al autobus, get on the bus, get on the train, get on the plane, get on the ship, get on a horse, get on a bike…
C: Get on a camel.
R: Get on a camel, any animal, but not a car.
C: Why is that? Why we say get in a car?
R: I’ve no idea. But it is important that our learners don’t forget it. Get in a car. Get in a taxi because a taxi’s a car, but get on most other forms of transport.
C: I have a theory.
R: Tell me.
C: May be, because a car or a taxi they are lower vehicles, son mas bajos, hay sentido de entrar, get in and get out. Pero los trenes, autobuses, aviones, son más altos, so you get on, subes. Maybe, I don’t know.
R: Could be, could be. Yeah, that’s a good theory. Who knows?
C: It’s a good way to remember. So if it’s high like a horse, or a camel or a motorbike we get on it, and if it’s lower, like a car or a taxi, you get in and get out of it.
R: Hey, that’s a good way to remember. Well that’s quite a few meanings of get on, that will do for now.
COLLOCATIONS WITH CRAIG (FROM NOW ON, VOCABULARY CORNER) (16:17)
C: OK, moving on to my collocations or colocarse con Craig, and you said to me, Craig…
R: I’m laughing, I’m laughing listeners, colocarse con Craig.
C: It’s not a good idea to say colocarse con Craig, and I didn’t know that well, what could it mean in Spanish, colocarse con Craig?
R: There is a double meaning as far as I know, in Spanish slang, colloquial Spanish, colocarse is to get high, taking drugs or alcohol or something. Colocarse, tomar droga o estupefacientes para que te suba a la cabeza. Colocarse.
C: Well, that’s not what we are going to do in this episode.
R: In English it doesn’t have that meaning.
C: So now, I learnt something today, so maybe we’ll change this part of the podcast to Vocabulary corner, which I think it’s probably better. So, we are not going to Colocarse con Craig, it’s Vocabulary Corner. And this episode, I’d like to look at the verb take, because take can collocate and go together with many different words. And on the same idea of phrasal verbs, take care of, is a phrasal verb which means…
R: Take care of? Cuidar, cuidar a alguien,
C: Also similar to look after. So you can look after someone, you can take care of someone. The verb proud, which is orgulloso in Spanish, is a noun, no, it’s an adjective,..what’s the noun? the noun is pride, so take can go together with pride. You take pride in something, you take pride in your work, you can take pride in your appearance, you can take pride in your wonderful English.
R: Or like both our mothers, if the listeners remember, take pride in their houses.
C: And if they take pride in their houses they are very… houseproud. Off course you remember. Another collocation with take is to take a joke. Some people are good at taking a joke, which means they have a good sense of humor, that they can laugh at themselves.
R: Craig, you mean, like take the mickey?
C: You could take the mickey, yeah, how would you explain take the mickey in Spanish? Aburrirse..?.
R: Tomar el pelo.
C: Tomar el pelo…aburrirse de alguien?
R: No. Tomar el pelo ó burlarse.
R: That’s it! Burlarse de alguien, tomar el pelo.
C: Burlarse de alguien.
R: Take the mickey. Some people might know that there’s a more colorful version of take the mickey, but we can’t say that word, because it’s a little bit rude. Begins with p.
C: To be taken to hospital. Llevar. The idea of using take as llevar. So you can take someone to school, you can take someone to work, llevarlo en el coche, you can take someone to a hospital, you can take someone to the shop. And to take pity on someone. Pity is pena, so if you take pity on a person, you feel sorry for them. I take pity on my neighbor because he is not very well.
R: Craig, can I just interrupt you a minute? You mentioned there take someone in your car. You remember, a week or two ago you took me to the shops in your very nice car.
R: To look for laptops.
C: That’s right.
R: I really enjoyed that journey because…I shouldn’t say journey, I really enjoy that trip in your car, because, in case the listeners don’t know, Craig has a very sporty little Mazda, is lovely. And he took me to the shops, and I took great pleasure in sitting there, posing in that car, with the roof down, it was a sunny day, yeah, I took pleasure in that.
C: So you can take pleasure in something, take pleasure in something agradable. And you can also take advice, you can take advice from somebody, you can give advice to somebody and take advice from somebody.
R:Oh really? How about, I gave my top tip? My tip for the day is very simple. From time to time why not, use a Thesaurus. Thesaurus. You might know that word, I will spell it for you, T-h-e-s-a-u-r-u-s, a Thesaurus. A Thesaurus is not a dictionary, looks a bit like a dictionary, but it isn’t. It does not define words like a dictionary. A Thesaurus simply has synonyms, similar words, so, the thing you could do with a Thesaurus that a dictionary can’t do is increase your range of vocabulary, your range. A dictionary helps you understand the word, a Thesaurus doesn’t, it just gives you more options.
C: Can you give us an example?
R: Yes, let’s see, I have a little Thesaurus here, let’s just pick a word at random, let’s see, the word ill. I double l. I’m sure most of the listeners know that word. So they prop…
C: Enfermo, enferma.
R: Enfermo, enferma, exactly. So, I wouldn’t be surprised that most listeners know the word sick. Ill means sick, ok? But did they know, I’m looking at my Thesaurus here, did they know the word ailing, infirm, off-colour, queasy, unwell, did they know those words? Perhaps not. There are more, I could go on but I won’t.
C: An example you gave me before we started recording of big. Most beginners, principiantes, know the word big, but there are more words that you can find in a Thesaurus to mean big.
R: Without even looking, you know I’m sure between the pair of us we could say loads, big, huge,
R: How do you said that?
C: I couldn’t think in one.
R: Enormous, vast.
C: Did you say gigantic?
R: Didn’t say gigantic, titanic…yes titanic, comes from the ship but its and accepted noun as an adjective in English to mean very big…awesome can mean big, there are loads …you look after the words big in a Thesaurus, you will find a huge selection of words.
C: And there is also a very useful Thesaurus that is free, online, at Thesaurus.com , so that’s dictionary.com, which is a free dictionary online, and is Thesaurus.com, which you can access on your computer or on your mobile phone.
R: Yeah, just one final thing to add to that, Thesaurus is a useful thing to have in class or just when you are at home and you are studying, it’s particularly useful for writing, when you got more time to think about your English, when you want to impress with your range, so specially for writing, a Thesaurus is great for using an impressive range of vocabulary. So you don’t always repeat the same words.
C: That’s a very good tip. So thank you very much Reza, I will finish there. Thank you to everyone for listing, thank you to Reza for helping me do this podcast, and remember, you can look at the short notes, las notas de este epiosdio, at mansioningles.libsyn.com. That’s mansion ingles.libsyn.com, you can read the short notes from of this episode and look at some useful links to other places. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you in the next episode.
R: Bye, bye.
Hi Reza and Craig! I knew this amazing web three days ago, and I think I am improving my English, so thank you very much. I understand around the 70% of the words you two use and it makes me feel good because I have been a lot of time without listen to or speak in English with someone. Both of you have won a new fan from Cáceres (I know Reza will smile remembering old memories when he read where I am)
Thanks for your comment Ignacio. We’re happy that you like the podcast. I’ll tell Reza about your comment and I’m sure he’ll want to say ‘hi’ to you on a future podcast.
Hi!! My name is Hugo and I am from Santa fe city in Argentina. Yours posts are very very wonderful, I enjoy they listening in my car when I am driving. Thanks so much.
Thanks Hugo. I’m pleased that you take us with you in your car. Remember, keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road!
Hola kiero aprender ingles
OMG, yeah.. we do have plenty of Happy Henry Hairdressers in Helsinki 🙂 They are worth visiting, welcome!
I’d love to go back to Helsinki again. I was there for four days about 9 years ago. Such a lovely city. Next time I go, we’ll have coffee:)
Thanks you very much for explaining all the topics so well
It’s our pleasure, Josele:)