What's worse than finding a worm in your apple?
In this week's Premier Skills English podcast, Rich and Jack talk about the latest news from the Premier League and last weekend's FA Cup semi-finals. They also talk about Brighton & Hove Albion who will be playing in the Premier League for the first time after winning promotion. This week the language focus is on comparative and superlative structures as we talk about distances between some different Premier League football stadiums. As always, we have a new football phrase for you to guess and announce our Player of the Week. Enjoy!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. You can see two examples here:
Alexis Sanchez got the winner in extra-time.
Winning promotion is a fantastic achievement for Brighton.
There were a few more tricky words in the podcast. Can you remember all of them? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words in context. This can really help with understanding.
Comparatives and Superlatives - A Review
In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich spoke about the distances between some of the cities and football stadiums in the Premier League. When they spoke they used some comparative and superlative sentences. Can you remember how we normally use comparatives and superlatives. Here's a summary:
We use comparative adjectives to describe people and things. Normally, when an adjective is one syllable or ends with a 'y' we add -er to the adjective and when it is two or more sylables we use more + adjective. Here are some examples:
A porsche is much more expensive than a mini but I'm not sure if it's better.
I’m feeling happier now that Arsenal are in the FA Cup Final.
Brighton might need a bigger stadium now they've been promoted.
We use superlative adjectives to describe the best or most extreme quality of something within a group of things. Normally, when an adjective is one syllable or ends with a 'y' we add -est to the adjective and when it is two or more sylables we use the most + adjective. Here are some examples:
Theo Walcott must be the fastest player in the Premier League.
Winning the Premier League must have been one of the happiest moments in the Leicester player's lives.
Wembley Stadium is the biggest in the UK. It's capacity is 90,000.
Comparatives and Superlatives - Modifying Comparatives
When we want to talk about similarities and differences we can use adjectives in their comparative forms...
Newcastle to Bournemouth is further than Newcastle to Southampton.
or we can use (not) as + adjective + as
Newcastle to Southampton isn't as far as Newcastle to Bournemouth.
Remember that 'not as far as’ means ‘less far than'.
QuestionLook at these questions and think how you might answer them using the words in bold. Which two cities are the furthest apart in your country? Is there any player as good as N'Golo Kante at the moment?
What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple?
Rich: Did you read last week’s Fan of the Week article?
Jack: Yes, Abdallah from Kuwait. It was cool especially with him skydiving at the top of the article in his Chelsea shirt.
Rich: And, a picture of a starfish in the aquarium in Kuwait City.
Jack: Yes, that was good too but the skydiving photo is better.
Rich: I’ve got a joke for you.
Jack: Oh no! Really?
Rich: What fish is the most famous fish in the world?
Jack: Rubbish and easy. A starfish! And a starfish is not even a fish!
Rich: I’ve got another one. What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple?
Rich: Finding half a worm!
Jack: Another bad joke and disgusting, too! Is there any reason for these jokes?
Rich: Actually, Jack, there is. These jokes use comparatives and superlatives and we’re going to be looking at this grammar in today’s podcast.
Jack: But no more jokes.
Rich: No more jokes. I promise.
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 show, we’re going to talk about the latest in the Premier League, welcome two new teams to the Premier League, one for the first time ever. In this week’s language focus we’re going to look at a few difficult comparative and superlative structures.
Jack: But first, let’s look at the Premier League headlines.
Rich: Chelsea will play Arsenal in the FA Cup Final.
Jack: In last weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals, Chelsea beat Spurs 4-2 in a high quality match and Arsenal had a fantastic 2-1 win against Manchester City. Alexis Sanchez got the winner in extra time. Arsenal will play Chelsea in the final on the 27th of May.
Rich: The battle at the top continues.
Jack: On Tuesday, Chelsea beat Southampton 4-2 to go 7 points clear at the top of the table, but the following day Spurs beat Crystal Palace 1-0 to close the gap to four points once again.
Rich: Brighton and Newcastle win promotion to the Premier League.
Jack: Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle Utd will be playing Premier League football next season. Under Rafa Benitez, Newcastle have won promotion after just one season away from the Premier League. Brighton will be playing in the Premier League for the first time.
Rich: A fantastic achievement for Brighton or if we want to use their full name - Brighton and Hove Albion.
Jack: Brighton will be the 48th team to play Premier League football. And yes, it’s a fantastic achievement. 20 years ago Brighton nearly went out of business and out of professional football altogether.
Rich: Yes, it’s an amazing turnaround. But, I don’t think Newcastle fans will be too happy.
Jack: Why’s that?
Rich: I imagine Newcastle to Brighton (346 miles) is the furthest distance between any two stadiums in the Premier League.
Jack: Mmm, I’m not sure. Newcastle to Southampton (327 miles) is probably further and Newcastle to Bournemouth (356 miles)is even further!
Rich: Yes, some long journeys for those Geordie fans next season but I’m sure they won’t mind too much.
Player of the Week
Rich: There were lots of great performances in the Premier League and the FA Cup last week.
Jack: Yes, Willian was brilliant for Chelsea and Christian Benteke scored twice at Anfield for Crystal Palace - I bet you weren’t happy with those goals against his old club, Rich.
Rich: No, I wasn’t! But this week we chose a player for his performances throughout the season. Last Sunday Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante was announced as the PFA Player of the Year.
Jack: He’s been amazing for Chelsea and looks like he will win the Premier League for the second year running.
Rich: Yes, he’s been brilliant. We’ve got an article all about him on the homepage and there is a link to it on the side of this page, too. Do you know what car he drives?
Jack: A porsche? A ferrari?
Rich: No, a mini. He says he’s not very interested in cars and that he bought it in Leicester and doesn’t need to change it.
Jack: I’ve always wanted a mini.
Rich: Me too, but I wouldn’t mind a porsche or a ferrari!
Jack: So, Brighton will play Premier League football for the first time next season. You said Newcastle fans won’t like going because it’s so far away but I think lots of people will enjoy a trip there next season.
Rich: You’re probably right. Brighton is a famous seaside town in the UK and it gets lots of visitors from all around the UK and abroad. Have you ever been there?
Jack: Yes, I’ve been there a few times. It’s nice. You can walk along the promenade eating an ice cream, go on the beach or have a walk on the pier.
Rich: Promenade. Pier. These are very traditional words that you associate with the seaside in the UK.
Jack: Yes, the promenade is a public path next to the sea which people like to walk along. And a pier is a long wooden structure that sticks out into the sea. There are usually places for entertainment on a pier.
Rich: I’ve put a photo of the one in Brighton in the lesson below if you want to get a better idea. Lots of seaside places in the UK have them. They were all built in victorian times, about 150 years ago - the photo was taken in 1900!
Jack: You said earlier that the distance between Newcastle and Brighton football stadiums will be the furthest in the Premier League. I’ve checked - your wrong. Newcastle to Brighton is 345 miles. Newcastle to Southampton is not as far - it’s 328 miles but Newcastle to Bournemouth is 354 miles so that is the furthest.
Rich: Well they’re definitely three long trips for Newcastle fans.
Jack: Let’s take a look at those phrases. They use comparative and superlative structures.
Rich: You probably know that when we want to compare two or more things we usually add -er or -est to an adjective the adjective is one syllable like big or small.
Jack: And when the adjective is two or more syllables we usually add more or the most to the adjective like with more important or the most difficult.
Rich: But sometimes an adjective might be irregular and there are also other phrases we can use when we want to use a negative sentence.
Jack: The adjective ‘far’ is one example of an irregular adjective.
Rich: We say that Newcastle to Brighton is further than Newcastle to Southampton.
Rich: This is a comparative. We’re comparing the two distances. It’s a tricky one because it’s irregular. The adjective is far.
Jack: The trip from Newcastle to Bournemouth is the furthest. Here we’re comparing three places and using a superlative.
Rich: So the structure for ‘far’ is far>further>the furthest.
Jack: If you use an old grammar book, you might find far > farther > farthest, but it’s not very common these days.
Rich: No, I haven’t heard that for ages.
Jack: There are other irregular adjectives. The most common ones are: good and bad because we say good>better>the best, and bad>worse>the worst.
Rich: You said earlier that Newcastle to Southampton is not as far as Newcastle to Bournemouth. This is another way of saying Newcastle to Bournemouth is further than Newcastle to Southampton.
Jack: The structure we use is not as + adjective + as. Newcastle to Southampton is not as far as Newcastle to Bournemouth.
Rich: Let’s think of some other examples, mmm... let’s see…. Arsenal are not as good as Liverpool, Arsenal are not as interesting as Liverpool and Arsenal are not going to finish as high in the Premier League table as Liverpool!
Jack: Very good sentences although I don’t agree with any of them!
Rich: In the lesson below we’ve got some activities for you to practise these structures and some questions for you to answer in the comments section which give you an opportunity to use these structures.
Can you work out this week’s football phrase?
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 was extra-time. It’s the 30 extra minutes that are played in cup competitions if the scores are level after 90 minutes. Arsenal beat Manchester City 2-1 after extra time in last weeknd’s FA Cup semi final.
Rich: Well done to Liubomyr from Ukraine, Mon from Egypt, Elghoul from Algeria, RafaelRC from Brazil, Shobonenok from Russia, Kwesimanifest from Ghana and Ahmed Adam Mamado from Sudan. You all got the right answer!
Rich: What’s this week’s phrase?
Jack: This week’s phrase is ******** or ** ** ********. Last weekend Newcastle won ********* and Brighton were ******** to the Premier League for the first ever time. I used the noun about Newcastle and the verb about Brighton. Can you guess them both?
Jack: Before, we go we want to tell you about this week’s fan of the week! It’s Liubomyr who is a Watford fan from Ukraine.
Rich: If you want to know more about Liubomyr - head over to the new section - fan of the week - in the fans section - there is a link on the side of the page.
Jack: And if you want to be a Fan of the Week, just send us an email or a comment and we will help you put an article together in English.
Rich: We would love to get a Premier League fan from every country in the world!
Jack: We’ve got three now - Montenegro, Kuwait and Ukraine so let’s keep going!
Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week.
Jack: Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
What do you think?
In this week’s podcast, Jack and Rich spoke about Brighton and the distances away fans need to travel.
Have you ever heard about Brighton - either the city or the football club? Do you like visiting the seaside?
Do you think it is good that there are lots of away fans in Premier League grounds? Is it common for fans to travel to away matches in your country?
What's the furthest distance a football fan can travel in your country? Are distances as far apart in your country as in the Premier League?
Remember to write your guess at this week's football phrase and the questions above in the comments section below.