Learning Vocabulary - Congratulations & Commiserations
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack and Rich host their fourth World Cup podcast. They give you two roleplays where you have the chance to learn the language you need to congratulate someone when they win something or do something well. They also give you the chance to learn the words and phrases you need to commiserate with someone when their team loses or something bad happens. Your task is to congratulate fans from teams around the world if their team has done well in the World Cup, or commiserate with them if their team has done badly or didn't qualify for the World Cup. As always, we also have a new football phrase for you to guess at the end of the podcast. Enjoy!
Rich: People take things the wrong way sometimes, you know.
Jack: What do you mean?
Rich: Well, you know that I live in Spain.
Rich: And Spain didn’t do very well in the World Cup.
Rich: And England have done a bit better.
Jack: Have you had problems being sympathetic?
Rich: I try my best but it’s difficult.
Jack: What do you say?
Rich: Unlucky about Spain’s result against Russia.
Jack: That sounds a bit sarcastic.
Rich: I’ve also said it’s only a game. There’s no point in getting upset about it. There’s always the next World Cup.
Jack: That does sound a bit mean.
Rich: I’ve also said ‘why don’t you support England?
Jack: I think you need a bit of help with this.
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich
Jack: and I’m Jack
Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: What’s happening this week, Rich?
Rich: In this week’s podcast, we have our fourth and final World Cup podcast.
Jack: That’s right. During the World Cup in Russia, all our podcasts have been connected to the World Cup in some way and are all part of our World Cup Community programme.
Rich: What’s our World Cup Community programme?
Jack: It’s a four-week programme of activities connected to the World Cup that will help you with your English. You can sign-up now for free on the Premier Skills English website. You need to click the tab on the homepage that says ‘live’ to join the programme.
Rich: It will be great to see you there and discuss the World Cup as well as practising English together.
Jack: In this podcast, we are going to focus on vocabulary and more specifically we are going to focus on the language of congratulations and commiserations.
Rich: What’s the language of congratulations and commiserations?
Jack: You know, when someone does something well or when their football team wins ... we congratulate them, we tell them well done that is brilliant.
Rich: And commiserations?
Jack: That’s the opposite. It’s something you’ve been having problems with in Spain. What do we say when something sad has happened?
Rich: Without sounding sarcastic, stupid or mean.
Jack: Exactly. You need to be sympathetic.
Rich: But more about that in the next section. Don’t forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess - connected to the World Cup of course.
Jack: In this section, we are going to do two roleplays. In the first roleplay, Rich is going to congratulate me on the team I support winning.
Rich: And in the second roleplay, I’m going to commiserate with Jack about his team losing.
Jack: Your first task is to listen to the two conversations and answer this question:
Rich: In each roleplay, who does Jack support?
Jack: Roleplay one.
Rich: You must be really happy this morning! Well done!
Jack: Yes, it was a great night, everyone was partying until the early hours of the morning. I don’t think many people have gone to bed.
Rich: It’s really good news and I was delighted to hear that Philippe Coutinho got the winning goal. He’s a great player and really deserves it you know.
Jack: Well done to all the players, you know. It was a team performance. The manager deserves a lot of the credit, too. He’s done a brilliant job.
Rich: They’ve won the World Cup six times now. Six times! Congratulations! Good job! Brilliant stuff!
Jack: Thanks. It means a lot to everyone. Right, I need to get back to the party! See you later!
Rich: See you!
Jack: Roleplay two.
Rich: You must be feeling a bit down this morning. I’m sorry about the match last night.
Jack: That’s alright. I think we did really well to get to the final though.
Rich: Exactly. It’s always good to look at the positives and it’s the first final you’ve been in since 1966!
Jack: It’s a bit of a downer though. If only we’d scored that penalty. I really didn’t think Kane would miss you know.
Rich: You were so close, you must be feeling awful. I don’t really know what to say.
Jack: That’s alright. It’s not your fault. Brazil were just too good I suppose.
Rich: You know, if you need cheering up, we can go out later if you like.
Jack: Thanks and thanks for calling. I’m sure I’ll get over it soon.
Rich: Just give us a call if you need anything.
Jack: Cheers. I will.
Rich: In the last section, we imagined that Brazil had beaten England in the World Cup Final. Jack was a Brazil fan in the first conversation and an England fan in the second conversation.
Jack: In the first conversation, I was really happy and Rich called me to congratulate me on Brazil winning the World Cup.
Rich: And there were some specific words and phrases I used to do this. The most common phrase to congratulate someone is to say ‘congratulations!’.
Jack: But, there are some other expressions we can use. ‘Well done!’ is another common way to congratulate someone.
Rich: Saying ‘good or brilliant job’ s another informal way of congratulating someone or ‘brilliant or good stuff’ is another although this more informal.
Jack: We can also use ‘must be’ to congratulate someone indirectly. We might say something like ‘you must be really happy this morning’ and both people know what you are talking about here.
Rich: If someone has worked hard for something we often use the word ‘deserve’ and say things like ‘you really deserve it’ which means you worked really hard for it and it’s right that you get it.
Jack: Another common expression to use when you hear something positive is ‘that’s really good news’ when someone tells you something or if you already know you could say ‘it’s really good news about …’
Rich: So if we meet and I say, ‘did you hear? I got the job’
Jack: I could say: That’s really good news.
Rich: But if Jack already knew that I had found a new job, he could say ….
Jack: It’s really good news about your job.
Rich: And, if you want to be a bit more formal you can say something like ‘I was delighted or thrilled to hear that …’ or ‘I’m really pleased for you’
Jack: Let’s move on to the second roleplay.
Rich: In this conversation, Jack was really sad about England losing and I called him to commiserate with him or to offer my condolences.
Jack: Again there were some specific words and phrases Rich used to do this. The most common phrase to commiserate with someone is to say ‘I’m sorry about’.
Rich: I told Jack that I was sorry about last night’s match to show him that I care and to be sympathetic. There are other expressions we can use too.
Jack: We can use the expression ‘you must be feeling …’ Rich said ‘you must be feeling down’ and ‘you must be feeling awful’ in the conversation to show sympathy.
Rich: I also said ‘I don’t know what to say’ which is a common expression in these circumstances.
Jack: And another common thing for people to do is to offer help. Rich said ‘if you need cheering up, we can go out later’ and ‘if you need anything just give us a call’. These types of expressions and actions are often helpful in sad situations.
Rich: We have some activities and more examples to help you with the language of congratulations and commiserations on the podcast page on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: Right, this week’s task is to write messages of congratulations and commiserations to fans of teams at the World Cup.
Jack: We want you to write messages of congratulations to the teams and fans who have won their quarter-final or semi-final matches.
Rich: We want you to write messages of commiserations to the teams and fans who have lost their quarter-final or semi-final matches.
Jack: Start your comments with: Dear England fans or Dear Sweden fans or whatever country you’re congratulating or commiserating with.
Rich: Write your answers in the comments section below.
Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week?
Jack: Yes, I have, but first, last week’s football phrase. The phrase was knockout stages. This is the part of a football or other competition where there are no second chances. It’s one team against the other. The winner goes through to the next round and the loser goes home because they have been knocked out.
Rich: Well done to everyone who got this right. We’re recording in advance so we’re not sure who did, but I’m sure our regulars all got that one right.
Jack: This week’s World Cup football phrase is ****** ****. This award is given to the player who scores the most goals at the World Cup. At the moment, England’s Harry Kane is in the lead to win this award.
Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below.
Jack: And hit the live tab on the homepage to join our World Cup Community programme.
Rich: If you have enjoyed this podcast or found it useful, leave us a rating or review and that will help other people find us.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?
People take things the wrong way sometimes.
That sounds a bit sarcastic.
The manager deserves a lot of credit.
If you need cheering up, we can go out later.
There were a few tricky words in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words.
In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich used lots of words and phrases connected to congratulating people on successes and commiserating with people if they have bad news. In the first roleplay, Jack and Rich looked at the language of congratulations. Look at these examples from the podcast:
You must be really happy this morning!
It's really good news and I was delighted to hear that Coutinho got the winner. He deserves it.
Congratulations! Good job! Brilliant stuff!
Do you know any other words or phrases to congratulate people?
In the second roleplay, Jack and Rich looked at the language of congratulations. Look at these examples from the podcast:
You must be feeling a bit down this morning.
I'm sorry about the match last night.
Just give us a call if you need anything.
Do you know any other phrases to commiserate with people if they are unsuccessful or have bad news?
If you would like to learn more phrases connected to congratulations and commiserations, try the exercise below.
Congratulating and commiserating:
Your task this week is to write some messages of congratulations and commiserations to football fans at the World Cup in Russia. We want you to:
- write messages of congratulations to the teams and fans who have won their quarter-final or semi-final matches
- write messages of commiserations to the teams and fans who have lost their quarter-final or semi-final matches
- start your comments with: Dear England fans or Dear Brazil fans or whatever country you’re congratulating or commiserating with
- write your answers in the comments section below.
What do you think?
In this World Cup podcast, Rich and Jack spoke about congratulations and commiserations.
Which teams do you think deserved to reach the final? Which teams didn't deserve to get knocked out?
Which team are you supporting in Russia?
Remember to write your guess at this week's football phrase and complete the task about congratulations and commiserations!