Coming to the UK: Getting from A to B
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rich is going on a day trip to Brighton from his new house in London. Jack tells him the best way to get there by public transport. The language focus is on the words and phrases that will help you when travelling by public transport in the UK. Your task is to tell us about public transport in your country. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess, too. Enjoy!
Welcome - Coming to the UK - Getting from A to B
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack
Rich: and I’m Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Rich: We recommend that you listen to this podcast on the Premier Skills English website because that is where we have the transcript, language examples, activities, quizzes and a discussion page to help you understand everything we talk about.
Jack: However, if you’re listening on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, you can leave answers to our questions in the review section. We do read all the reviews and would love to hear from you.
Rich: In this week’s podcast, we’re going to continue our series of essential things you need to do when you come to the UK to live or study.
Jack: Last week, we spoke about the language you need when getting a mobile phone. We looked at phrases like ‘Do you want a pay monthly deal? , ‘Do you want a pay as you go deal?’ and ‘How do I top up?’.
Rich: We also looked at lots of vocabulary we use when talking about mobile phones such as data limits, networks, add ons and discounts.
Jack: If you want to go back and do this lesson you can find it on the Premier Skills English website by clicking skills > listen>podcasts. If you are on Spotify or Apple Podcasts you’ll find it in the playlist it’s called ‘Coming to the UK - Getting a mobile phone’.
Jack: In this podcast, we are going to talk about the language you need when you’re travelling around the UK.
Rich: That’s right. If you come to work or study in the UK you probably won’t have a car, or not immediately anyway, so you’ll have to use public transport sometimes.
Jack: So, we’re going to look at some of the language you can use when catching the bus, getting the train or going on the underground.
Rich: We’ll have two roleplays for you. The first will be about deciding which is the best way to get from A to B on public transport and buying tickets.
Jack: And then in the second roleplay, Rich will be trying to get somewhere on time but it’s not going to be easy; he’ll find it a bit problematic.
Rich: There are never any problems with public transport in the UK, are there?
Jack: You should try getting a train on a public holiday!
Rich: After the roleplays, we will also have a task for you to do, which is when we ask you to use your English. This week we’re going to ask you about public transport in your country. Is it the best way to get around?
Jack: And, don’t forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have another football phrase for you to guess.
Football Phrase 1
Jack: But, before we look at all that, let’s look at last week’s football phrase. If you didn’t hear it last week we’ll give you one more chance to guess and give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase.
Rich: The phrase was _________. This phrase describes the time, in the middle of the season, with no club football because players are playing for their national sides. There were no Premier League matches last weekend because there was _____________.
Jack: Well done if you got the right answer last week - some of you who got it right were: Idzingirai from Zimbabwe, Liubomyr and Alex from Ukraine, Elghoul and Khaldoun83 from Algeria, Lakerwang from China, Rafael Robson from Brazil and Coreuser from Saudi Arabia - all of you wrote the correct answer on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: We’ll tell you the answer to this football phrase and we’ll have a new one at the end of the show.
Introduction to Roleplay
Jack: In this week’s podcast, we are going to talk about public transport in the UK. In the UK, there are usually two main options: the bus and the train.
Rich: Or the underground.
Jack: Yes, in some cities like London you can get the tube or the underground. You can also get the underground in Glasgow, Newcastle and Liverpool.
Rich: And there are trams in some cities.
Jack: OK, yes. In some cities like Manchester, you can also catch a tram. You can also get trams in Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham and South London.
Rich: To get around a city, you usually use the bus, the underground or tram if it’s available and to go from city to city you usually catch a train.
Jack: Or a coach.
Rich: Yes, you can also catch a coach from city to city or even a plane if you’re feeling flush!
Jack: We are going to do two roleplays. In the first, we’re going to be speaking about the best way to get from one place to another and how and where to get tickets.
Rich: And in the second roleplay, I need to get somewhere but I have a few problems on the way.
Jack: After we finish the roleplays, we will look at some of the language we use but the first thing we want you to do is to answer some questions while you listen.
Rich: We’ve just got two questions for each roleplay. The questions for the first roleplay are: What’s the best way to the train station? And, what do I need to buy?
Jack: Hi there. Are you settling into the new flat, OK?
Rich: Yeah, I like it. I already know my way around the area quite well. Actually, I’m going to get out of the city this weekend.
Jack: Where are you off to?
Rich: I’ve got tickets for the Brighton match at home to Southampton.
Jack: Brighton. Nice. You can go to the beach, too.
Rich: That’s what I thought, although I’m not that sure how to get there.
Jack: You need to get the train. It only takes about an hour from London Bridge.
Rich: London Bridge? I need to get the bus there, right?
Jack: Yeah, catch the number 57 right outside. It’ll take you all the way to London Bridge but it’ll take ages. You’re better off getting off the 57 at Finchley Road and catching the tube from there. Have you got an Oyster Card?
Rich: No, what’s that?
Jack: It’s a travel card that you can use to pay on the tube and on buses.
Rich: Where do I get them?
Jack: You can buy them online or get one at a newsagents or train and tube stations. You put some credit on it, like twenty quid for example, and then top up when you run out. You can’t use cash on buses in London so you should get one.
Rich: Can I use it on the train, too?
Jack: No, I don’t think so. Not to Brighton anyway. You’ll have to get another ticket. If you’re going tomorrow, it’s probably best to just buy it at the station.
Rich: Thanks for your help. I’ll have your rent next week!
Jack: Enjoy your trip!
Rich: The question for roleplay two is: What problems do I have on my journey?
Rich: Jack said the number 57. Here it is.
Rich: Do you go to London Bridge?
Jack: Yep. This service terminates at London Bridge.
Rich: No, sorry. Finchley Road. Do you go there?
Jack: Yep, five stops.
Rich: OK, I just put my Oyster Card here, there we go.
Rich: Press the bell. Here we are … Finchley Road Station.
Rich: What does this sign say … replacement bus service. What’s all that about?
Jack: Sorry mate. The station’s closed for repairs. You’ve got to catch a bus from around the corner. A replacement bus service.
Rich: OK, right back on the bus then.
Rich: Jack was right. The bus takes ages.
Jack: London Bridge. Everybody off.
Rich: Here at last. Hopefully, the train will be a bit easier.
Jack: How can I help you?
Rich: Yes, I’d like a ticket to Brighton, please.
Jack: For travel today.
Rich: Err … yes. Today.
Jack: Single or return?
Rich: Just one ticket, please.
Jack: Sorry? No, would you like a single ticket or a return. There and back?
Rich: Ahh! Yes, a return, please. Coming back today.
Jack: So, that’s an off-peak day return. That’ll be £22.50, please.
Rich: Can I pay by card?
Jack: Sure. The next train is at 950 from platform five.
Rich: Platform five. Thanks.
Rich: Here we are. Platform five. Five minutes to spare. Easy.
Jack: This is a platform alteration announcement. The 950 train to Brighton will now depart from platform seven.
Rich: What was that? Platform seven. I’d better go quickly.
Rich: Phew. Just made it I think.
Jack: The 950 to Brighton has been delayed by approximately 25 minutes. We apologise for the inconvenience.
Rich: Maybe I should sit down for a bit.
Jack: Before we take a look at the language we used in the roleplay, let’s give you the answers to those questions we asked.
Rich: The questions in the first roleplay were: What’s the best way to the train station? And, what did I need to buy?
Jack: Well, the best way to the station was catching the bus and then taking the underground. You could have got the bus all the way but that would have taken a long time.
Rich: And the thing I needed to buy was an Oyster card because you can’t use cash on buses in London.
Jack: And in the second roleplay the question was: What problems did Rich have on his journey?
Rich: Well, I had to take a bus when I wanted to get the train, I had to change platforms and then the train was late.
Jack: Now, let’s look at some of the language we used in the roleplays.
Jack: We used lots of words and phrases about public transport in the UK in the roleplays.
Rich: Let’s start by looking at some of the general language we use to talk about travelling by public transport and then we’ll look at some of the specific phrases we can use and hear at the station.
Jack: There are different types of transport in the UK. In London, you’ll find buses, trains and the underground. The underground in London is also called the tube.
Rich: In the roleplay, Jack said ‘You’re better off getting off the 57 at Finchley Road and getting the tube from there’.
Jack: An important verb connected to public transport is ‘catch’. You can catch the bus, catch the train or catch the tube. It means ‘to travel by’. We can replace ‘catch’ with ‘get’ or ‘take’. For example, you can catch, get or take the bus to the football stadium and they all mean the same.
Rich: ‘Take’ is important when we talk about transport. So, you can ‘take a bus’ but we also use take when we talk about the duration of a journey.
Jack: In the roleplay, you heard me say: ‘it only takes about an hour’ and ‘it’ll take ages’. When something ‘takes ages’ it means that it takes a very long time.
Rich: We spoke about Oyster cards in the roleplay. In most places in the UK, you pay for local transport on a type of travelcard.
Jack: A travelcard is something you buy once and put a specific amount of credit on it for example £10. When you have no credit left you top it up online, at a cash machine or station or newsagents.
Rich: It works in the same way as a pay as you go mobile phone which we looked at in last week’s podcast.
Jack: Right, let’s have a look at some of the language you might hear or use at the station.
Rich: Let’s start with the easy stuff. You will want a single ticket or return ticket. A single ticket is when you want to only go one way, for example, London to Brighton.
Jack: A return ticket is when you want to come back. London to Brighton and Brighton to London.
Rich: In the roleplay, you heard Jack say ‘an off-peak day return’. That’s a bit more complicated than just ‘return’.
Jack: Yes, in the UK there are lots of different prices on trains and it all depends on when you buy the ticket and what times you are travelling.
Rich: One meaning of ‘peak’ is 'busiest time'. Hotels talk about ‘peak season’ when they are busiest and businesses have ‘peak periods’ when they are busiest.
Jack: Trains have ‘peak periods’. These are in the mornings usually before 930 and then between about four and six in the afternoon.
Rich: When you buy an ‘off-peak’ ticket you have to travel outside of these busy times and then the tickets are cheaper.
Jack: We also used the term ‘day return’. This is when you come back on the same day. This is often cheaper than coming back on a different day, too.
Rich: So, an ‘off-peak day return’ is one of the cheapest tickets you can get?
Jack: Yes, if you buy tickets on the same day you travel but you can also get advance tickets which make them cheaper still.
Rich: Let’s leave prices there. In the roleplay, I had a couple of problems with public transport. Two phrases to look or listen out for are ‘replacement bus service’ and ‘platform alteration’.
Jack: Rich wanted to catch the underground but on weekends there is often repairs to stations and tracks. This sometimes means there are no trains.
Rich: When there are no trains you have to catch the bus instead. This is called a replacement bus service’.
Jack: Rich had to change platforms quickly in the roleplay because there was a platform alteration announcement. This means a train is arriving on a different platform, the places where trains arrive, than was originally said.
Rich: And then that train was delayed. This means that it was late. At least that is better than cancelled which means it is not ever going to arrive.
Jack: Very true. Right, we’ve got lots more vocabulary connected to getting public transport on the Premier Skills English website. Find this lesson on the homepage or in the skills section and you will find lots of activities, the transcript and a quiz to test your understanding.
Rich: And that’s where you can write your answers to this week’s task, too!
Jack: This week’s task is to tell us about public transport in your country. Is it any good?
Rich: Let’s compare the public transport we have in different countries and see which we think is the best and where it can be improved. Here are a few questions to help you.
Jack: One: What types of public transport do you have in your country? Is it more popular than private cars?
Rich: Two: Is public transport reliable in your country? Do buses and trains arrive on time?
Jack: Three: Is public transport expensive? Do you use travelcards or pay in cash?
Rich: Four: How could public transport be improved in your country? Newer buses? An underground system? Cheaper tickets?
Jack: Five: What about you? Do you use public transport a lot? Tell us about a common journey you make by public transport.
Rich: OK, so that’s your task this week. Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page on the Premier Skills English website or in the review section on Apple Podcasts.
This week’s football phrase:
Jack: The final section this week is our football phrase.
Rich: The football phrase this week is quite difficult. The phrase is ** *** **** *** *****. The phrase means to waste time because you are winning and want to hold on to the lead. A team might take the ball to the corner flag, take a long time about free-kicks and throw-ins, and substitutions will take ages as teams try ** *** **** *** *****.
Jack: Let’s see who can get it right! If you know the answer, write it in the comments section at the bottom of the page. We will announce your name in next week’s podcast if you get it right.
Rich: We also need to give you the answer to the football phrase we set at the beginning of the show. The answer as many of you know already was international break.
Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week. 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?
To get around a city, you usually catch the bus, the underground or tram if there is one.
You can also catch a coach from city to city or even a plane if you’re feeling flush!
You’re better off getting off the 57 at Finchley Road and catching the tube from there.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this delay.
There were a few more tricky words and phrases 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. This can really help your understanding.
In this week's podcast, Jack gave some advice to Rich about public transport in London. Here are some of the phrases that were used in the roleplay. Do you know the words in bold?
Catch the number 57 right outside. It’ll take you all the way to London Bridge but it’ll take ages.
You can buy Oyster Cards online or get one at a newsagents. You put some credit on it, like twenty quid , and then top up when you run out.
This service terminates at London Bridge.
Do you go to Finchley Road? Yep, five stops.
Sorry mate. The station’s closed for repairs. You’ve got to catch a bus from around the corner. A replacement bus service.
After listening to the roleplay, what do you think you need to remember about public transport in London. Try to use some of the words in bold above.
At the train station
In the second roleplay, Rich was at the train station trying to get from London to Brighton. Here are some of the phrases from the podcast:
Single or return?
A single (ticket) is when you want to only go one way, for example, London to Brighton. A return (ticket) is when you want to come back. London to Brighton and Brighton to London. What did Rich want in the roleplay?
So, that’s an off-peak day return. That’ll be £22.50, please.
This is a bit more complicated but can help you get a cheaper ticket! Trains have ‘peak periods’ which is when they are busiest. These are in the mornings, usually before 930, and then between about four and six in the afternoon When you buy an ‘off-peak’ ticket you have to travel outside of these busy times and the tickets will be cheaper. We also used the term ‘day return’. This is when you come back on the same day. This is often cheaper than coming back on a different day.
This is a platform alteration announcement. The 950 train to Brighton will now depart from platform seven.
The 950 to Brighton has been delayed by approximately 25 minutes. We apologise for the inconvenience.
What does this sign say … replacement bus service. What's all that about?
Rich had a few problems on his way to Brighton. Look at the sentences above and the words in bold. What was each problem?
Try the activity below, you need to read the dialogue between two people in a shop and write the missing words in each gap. All of the words were used in this podcast.
How good is public transport in your country?
This week’s task is to tell us about public transport in your country. Is it good enough?
Let’s compare public transport in different countries and look at some of the differences and similarities across the world. Here are some ideas to help you with this task:
- What types of public transport do you have in your country? Is it more popular than private cars?
- Is public transport reliable in your country? Do buses and trains arrive on time?
- Is public transport expensive? Do you use travelcards or pay in cash?
- How could public transport be improved in your country? Newer buses? An underground system? Cheaper tickets?
- What about you? Do you use public transport a lot? Tell us about a common journey you make by public transport.
Write your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at our football phrase.