Christmas Podcast - The language of giving and receiving
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack and Rich are celebrating Christmas. The language focus is on the language we use when we give someone a present and the language we use when we receive a present. There is a special focus on phrases we might use when we don't like a present that we are given! Your task is to listen to Jack and Rich describing the presents that they give each other. You have to guess what the present is. As always, we also have a new football phrase for you to guess. Enjoy!
Christmas Podcast - The language of giving and receiving
Jack: What’s that?
Rich: It’s a present Jack.
Jack: Yes, I can see that. Is it for me?
Rich: Yes, I thought I’d get you a little something for Christmas.
Jack: Ahh! That’s very nice. You didn’t need to. Can I open it now?
Rich: Well, you shouldn’t open it until Christmas morning but as I won’t see you then, then yes, you can. Go for it!
Jack: Great. I love opening presents. I wonder what it is? It feels like a book to me.
Rich: Good guess. I’m sure you’ll like it.
Jack: Yep a book. Let’s have a look. Er … The Official Liverpool FC Annual 2018.
Rich: Do you like it? It’s bang up to date. It’s this year’s, in fact, it’s next year’s!
Jack: Er … yes … it’s just what I always wanted. Maybe I’ll take it to the Arsenal match with my dad on Boxing Day!
Rich: Brilliant! I thought you’d like it. Everybody loves Liverpool.
Jack: Just one question.
Jack: Did you keep the receipt?
Welcome - Christmas
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’re talking about Christmas and the language of showing gratitude or how to say thank you for things.
Jack: Yes, it really is lovely to get presents. It’s really nice that other people are thinking of you, but sometimes, especially when it’s something that you don’t really like, it can be difficult to be polite and say the right thing.
Rich: Like with the Liverpool book I got for you?
Jack: I don’t know what you mean.
Rich: Don’t worry about it. I’m really awful when I get presents. I don’t know why but I always feel slightly embarrassed or find it awkward opening presents - even when it’s from close family.
Rich: I don’t know. I guess I’m just strange. But in this podcast, we’re going to help you in this type of situation. We’re going to look at some words and phrases that you can use when opening a present from someone.
Jack: And not just Christmas presents … people get presents on birthdays, when they get married, anniversaries, when they leave a job … so we hope some of the phrases will be useful for you.
Rich: We’ll also look at some things that you shouldn’t say when opening a present - just for fun!
Jack: And don’t forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have another football phrase for you to guess. This week’s phrase has a Christmas flavour.
Jack: We’re going to do two dialogues. In each dialogue you have to decide whether we’re happy with the present we’ve got or not. Don’t only think about the words we use but try to think about how we say them, too.
Rich: Shall we get straight into dialogue 1?
Jack: Yes, here it is.
Rich: A present. Is that for me?
Jack: Yes, it is. I wasn’t sure what to get you but I hope you like it. You can open it now if you like.
Rich: That’s really nice of you. You really shouldn’t have, you know. I wonder what it is - let’s have a look. Maybe it’s a new football shirt.
Jack: I’m not made of money, Rich!
Rich: Hey! Brilliant. A scarf and gloves - and not just any scarf and gloves - look at that! You’ll never walk alone across the scarf and a little Liverpool badge on each glove. Just what I need for this winter weather. Thanks Jack!
Jack: You’re welcome! Merry Christmas!
Jack: Is that for me? That’s very nice of you Rich. I do have something for you too. It must have been delayed in the Christmas post.
Rich: Not to worry. I’m sure it’ll arrive sooner or later. Do you want to open it.
Jack: Yes, brilliant. Is it a new car?
Rich: Very funny. No not quite.
Jack: A pony?
Rich: No, it’s not a pony.
Jack: It feels soft like clothes. Have you got me an Arsenal scarf and gloves? That’d be funny!
Rich: Err .. no
Jack: Let’s have a look. It looks like a cat. It is a cat. A cuddly cat. You’ve bought me a soft toy cat. Yes, err it’s very nice. Err … I’ve been looking for one of these.
Rich: It’s not just a cuddly cat. Look up its bottom.
Jack: Er … its bottom?
Jack: Ahh! There’s a socket.
Rich: This is the best bit. Plug it in. Here. And play some music.
Jack: Ahhh! It’s a dancing cuddly cat. How lovely … it’s just what I’ve always wanted.
Rich: I knew that you’d like it! Better than a scarf, hey!
Jack: Oh yeah! Much better! Maybe I can take it to the match with me. It might become a lucky mascot?!
Jack: So, in the last section you heard two dialogues. In the first dialogue Rich was very happy with the present I got him but in the second dialogue I was less enthusiastic about the present that Rich had bought for me. To be honest I’ve never really wanted a dancing cat.
Rich: Well, that surprises me. I think something is missing in a person’s life if they don’t have a dancing cat.
Jack: Let’s get back to the language we used in the last section. When I gave Rich his present I said I wasn’t sure what to get you but I hope you like it.
Rich: When you give someone a present there are some common phrases you can use. I hope you like it is one of the most popular but we often use something else like I wasn’t sure what to get you …
Jack: In English, it’s quite common to make the present sound less important. We don’t usually say things like look at this fantastic present I’ve got for you. People often say phrases like here’s a little present for you or it’s only something small but I hope you like it.
Rich: Sometimes you might receive a gift in a more formal situation like at work. The same kinds of rules apply. People might use expressions such as this is a token of our appreciation.
Jack: A token means a symbol or something small to show that we are grateful for what you have done.
Rich: The second part of gift-giving is taking the present. This is before you know what it is. In the dialogues we said that’s really nice of you and you really shouldn’t have.
Jack: There are other expressions similar to this such as that’s really kind of you or, of course, thank you very much.
Rich: The final part of the exchange is when the person reacts when they see what present it is. In the dialogues you heard brilliant, it’s just what I need, how lovely, I’ve been looking for one of these and it’s just what I always wanted.
Jack: These are good expressions to use but you have to sound happy when you are using them so you don’t sound sarcastic. When Rich gave me my cuddly cat I didn’t say How lovely! It’s just what I always wanted! I said How lovely. It’s just what I always wanted.
Rich: To finish the dialogue the present giver could say you’re welcome or I’m glad you like it.
Jack: Sometimes the present giver might say something like I’ve kept the receipt in case you don’t like it or if it doesn’t fit when speaking about clothes. This is so you can change it in the shop.
Rich: This is less common and usually only close friends and family do this.
Jack: You can see lots more expressions and the expressions we used on the website page.
Rich: Because it’s Christmas this week we’re going to give you two presents.
Jack: Your task is to work out what the presents are.
Rich: Let’s do an example. Unwrap present number one!
Jack: Let’s have a look. OK, it’s about the size of a book but it’s not a book. It feels like a box with something heavy inside it. Let’s unwrap it. OK, nice. There’s a bottle in the box. Let me open it. Let me splash a bit on. It smells pretty good.
Rich: Do you like it?
Jack: Yeah, it’s great. I’ll definitely put some on before I go out on New Year’s Eve.
Rich: Do you know what present number one is? It’s aftershave.
Jack: What would you say if someone gave you aftershave as a present?
Rich: I’ve got a beard! I wouldn’t be that impressed!
Jack: This time you have to guess what the present is … unwrap present number two!
Rich: Let’s have a look. OK, it feels soft maybe it’s a woolly hat to go with my Liverpool scarf and gloves. Let’s open it and see.
No, it’s not a hat. OK, nice. Definitely a useful present. I’m always losing them and often have to wear odd ones because I can’t find a matching pair.
Jack: Do you know what present number two was? What would you say if someone gave you this present?
Rich: Let’s open present number three. Unwrap the present Jack.
Jack: It’s a box of something again. A bigger box than before. It feels quite light. I don’t know what it could be. Let’s unwrap it. Brilliant! I’ve been looking for a new pair. This is just what I need for work and for listening to music too! Let me try them on. They’re really comfy.
Rich: Do you like them?
Jack: What did you say? I can’t hear you!
Rich: Do you know what present number three was? What would you say if someone gave you this present?
Jack: Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Rich: Before we move on to this week’s football phrase we’ve got an extra quiz for you. It’s a photo quiz just for fun.
Jack: On the podcast page on our website premierskillsenglish.britishcouncil.org you will see the title Christmas Cracker.
Rich: You will see a photo of a Premier League player in a Christmas hat and jumper.
Jack: Do you know who he is? Write your answer in the comments section. We'll tell you the answer in next week's podcast!
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 off the ball incident. This phrase is used to describe something that happens on the pitch but not where the ball is. It often involves players being violent towards other players or maybe saying something to the crowd or the opposition bench. The referee doesn’t usually see what happens but television cameras do and players are often later suspended for off the ball incidents.
Rich: I didn’t think anyone would get this one right but I was wrong.
Jack: People who got the answer right include Liubomyr and Sabanoleg and from Ukraine, Lakerwang from China, Haruyuki from Japan, Ahmed Adam from Sudan, and Kwesimanifest from Ghana!
Rich: What’s this week’s football phrase Jack?
Jack: This week’s football phrase is ******* ********. In the UK football is a very important part of the Christmas holidays. In the holidays there is more football than normal! There are always matches on Boxing Day - the 26th of December and there are New Year matches too. The first word is used to describe the period of time around Christmas and the New Year and can also be used to describe the way people feel at this time of year. ******* ******** describes the matches that are played at this time of year.
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: We’ll be back next week with a new podcast for the New Year.
Rich: Bye for now and Merry Christmas!
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?
Maybe I'll take it to the Arsenal match with my dad on Boxing Day!
Did you keep the receipt?
There were a few more 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 gave each other Christmas presents. In English, there are some phrases that we use a lot when exchanging presents. Let's start with the language we use when we give someone a present or gift. Look at these sentences we used in the podcast:
I thought I'd get you a little something for Christmas.
I wasn't sure what to get you but I hope you like it.
When we give a present we often downplay (make something sound less important) its significance. We often say sentences like in the examples above to say that the present is a small thing and not too important. We might also be worried that the present isn't totally what the other person wanted. Here are some other expressions we might use when giving a present:
I hope it fits.
I hope it's the right colour.
I have kept the receipt in case you want to change it.
When we receive a present there are polite phrases that we use before we unwrap the present and phrases we use after we unwrap the present. Look at the examples from the podcast:
Before we open the present
That's very nice of you. You didn't need to, you know.
That's really nice of you. You really shouldn't have, you know.
After we open the present
It's just what I always wanted.
I've been looking for something just like this.
It's just what I need.
The final part of the exchange is reacting to what the other person said. The most common phrases to use here are:
I'm glad you like it!
In this activity, complete the dialogues with an appropriate phrase.
Look at the photo below. It shows a Premier League player in his Christmas hat and jumper. Do you know who he is? Write your answers in the comments section. We'll tell you the answer in next week's podcast!
Guess the gift!
Your task is to guess the presents that Rich and Jack receive. Listen to the two dialogues again (11:12 - 12:59??). What present did Rich receive? What gift did Jack get? Did they like their presents? Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
- Rich: OK, it feels soft and woolly... definitely a useful present ...I'm always losing them and often have to wear odd ones!
- Jack: It's a box of something. It feels quite light ... Great! Just what I need for work and listening to music. Let me try them on!
What do you think?
In this week’s podcast, Jack and Rich spoke about Christmas and presents.
Do you celebrate Christmas in your country? What's the biggest celebration or festival in your country?
When do you give presents in your country?
What's the worst and best present you've ever received? What did you say?
Look at the task above. What presents were Rich and Jack opening?
Which Premier League player is in the photo?
Remember to write your guess for this week's football phrase, too!