English & the UK: Manchester
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack and Rich continue a series of podcasts called 'English & the UK' which focus on Premier League cities. They will tell you more about what you can find in these cities and focus on some of the language you need when visiting places in these cities. The city they are visiting in this episode is Manchester and the language focus is on informal phrases to talk about football. You will hear a roleplay between a Manchester City fan and a Manchester United fan. Your task is to tell us about a football rivalry you know about. 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 - English & the UK - Manchester (talking about football)
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 continuing our series of podcasts that focus on English and the UK. In these podcasts, you will learn more about cities in the UK and at the same time lots of useful English words and phrases.
Jack: In each podcast, we focus on one UK city. In our last podcast, we spoke about Liverpool, the Beatles, who are from Liverpool, and music.
Rich: And we looked at 10 music words in more detail. Words like tune, lyrics and gig.
Jack: We also spoke about the Liverpool accent and words that are often only used in scouse and also why the Liverpool Derby is actually called the Merseyside Derby.
Rich: 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 ‘English & the UK: Liverpool’.
Jack: In this episode, we are going to talk about the city that’s home to the Premier League Champions: Manchester.
Rich: Before we start talking about Manchester I’m going to give Jack a little test.
Jack: A test? I don’t like exams.
Rich: It’s not an exam just a little test. It’s not too difficult. In the podcasts recently we’ve been talking about UK cities.
Jack: Yes, we’ve done podcasts about London, Birmingham, Liverpool and this one is about Manchester.
Rich: This little test is about UK cities too. I’m going to name a UK city and you have to say the first thing that pops into your head.
Jack: I think I can do that.
Rich: OK, let's go … London.
Jack: London Bridge, the Queen, Big Ben the Houses of Parliament.
Jack: Brighton beach, the sea, a pier, ice cream.
Jack: Brummie accent, spaghetti junction er …
Jack: The Beatles, scousers, docks.
Jack: Manchester United, City, football …
Rich: Enough. You passed the test.
Jack: How did I pass?
Rich: The first thing you connected to Manchester was football. Other UK cities are obsessed with football but there's probably not a city with a stronger association to the sport than Manchester.
Jack: It’s true. I used to live in Manchester and when I was away from the city a question I was asked all the time was ‘United or City?’ They were always quite disappointed and a little confused when I said Arsenal.
Rich: So, in this week’s podcast we’re going to be speaking about Manchester and informal language football fans use to talk about important matches.
Jack: In a moment you’re going to hear us talking a little about Manchester.
Rich: We want to tell you a little about the city and what you could do there if you visited.
Jack: And then we’ll have a roleplay for you. In this week’s roleplay, you'll hear a Manchester United fan (that’ll be me) and a Manchester City fan (that’ll be Rich) talking football.
Rich: And we’ll have lots of informal phrases fans use to talk about football matches.
Rich: In this week’s task, we’ll ask you about football rivalries that you know about. We’d like you to tell us about a city that has a strong football rivalry.
Jack: And don’t forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.
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: Last week I gave you quite an unusual phrase to guess.
Jack: Yes, it was difficult. Liubomyr from Ukraine needed two guesses and he nearly always gets it right first time!
Rich: That’s the perfect challenge then and Liubomyr wasn’t the only listener to get it right. Romakisel from Russia and Coreuser from Saudi Arabia also got the right answer so well done to them!
Jack: OK, it wasn’t impossible but I’ll give everyone a phrase that is a bit easier this week.
Rich: That’s because you are too nice! Anyway, let’s give everyone one more chance to guess last week’s phrase and we’ll give you the answer at the end of the show.
Jack: OK, here we go. Right, the football phrase was to ******* *** ****. This phrase is connected to getting the ball under control. It’s connected to your first touch. We often say he ********* *** **** beautifully when a player controls a long ball with his first touch. To ******* *** **** your body needs to be relaxed and not stiff or the ball may bounce away from you.
Rich: We’ll tell you the answer to this football phrase at the end of the show and Jack will also have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Jack: You are now going to listen to us talking about some of the things to do and see in Manchester.
Rich: While you listen, we want you to answer a question. The question is:
Jack: Where can you see dinosaurs in Manchester?
Rich: So, imagine someone’s just arrived at Manchester Picadilly - Manchester’s main train station. They’ve never been to Manchester before. What would you tell them to do?
Jack: Get back on the train! No, I’m only joking. Manchester is a fantastic city and I lived there for many years. There are loads of things to do.
Rich: I’ve heard there’s a football museum.
Jack: OK, let’s start with the football stuff as there are a lot of football tourists in Manchester. You’re talking about the National Football Museum so it’s not about City or United it’s about the history of football and has lots of different collections and interactive exhibits. There’s even a penalty shootout simulator.
Rich: And then, of course, there is Old Trafford and the Etihad?
Jack: Yes, lots of people go to United’s and CIty’s grounds to watch a match but there are things to do on non-matchdays too.
Rich: They have museums.
Jack: Both stadiums have museums and you can visit, see the history of the clubs, see the trophy cabinets and take a tour of the stadiums.
Rich: And there’s shopping.
Jack: Yes, both stadiums have megastores where you can buy all kinds of Manchester United and City merchandise.
Rich: Ok, so that’s the football. But what else is there to do in the city. Can you do a quick thirty-second summary?
Jack: Right, museums and art galleries. Manchester has some great ones. Visit the Science and Industry Museum and learn about the history of Manchester which is often named the world’s first industrialised city. Manchester Museum has dinosaurs, Manchester Art Gallery is worth a visit, the Lowry celebrates one of England’s best artists and you’ll find lots of interesting street art in the Northern Quarter. If you like shopping, Manchester city centre is fantastic and Manchester also has brilliant nightlife and a fantastic live music scene.
Rich: You had five more seconds!
Introduction to Roleplay
Jack: Did you get the answer to the question: Where can you see dinosaurs in Manchester?
Rich: The answer is the Manchester Museum. There’s actually a life-size fossil of a T-rex which I think is pretty cool.
Jack: Right, you are now going to listen to a roleplay.
Rich: You’re going to hear a Manchester United fan (that’s Jack) and a Manchester City fan (that’s me) talking about football.
Rich: After the roleplay, we’ll focus on some of the language we use.
Jack: While you listen we want you to answer a question:
Rich: What was the final score?
Jack: Did you watch the Derby then?
Rich: Of course, I did. I wasn’t going to mention it but seeing that you have …
Jack: I probably should’ve kept my mouth shut but to be honest we were robbed.
Rich: You think so. You have to be joking. You might’ve just shaded the first half but in the second half, we took you apart.
Jack: Shaded the first half? I was gutted that we were only one-nil up at the break. We could’ve had three more at least.
Jack: We hit the post, then the ref disallowed that goal for I don’t know what and then your keeper pulled off that unbelievable save.
Rich: So what are you blaming here? Bad finishing, dodgy refereeing or us for having a decent goalie?
Rich: I think we got a bit of a rollicking at the break. We came out like a different team and what a goal!
Jack: Unbelievable. It was his first in nearly three years. It could only happen to us. A draw would’ve been a fair result I could’ve handled it but then for you lot to nick the winner like that.
Rich: What do you mean? You had your chances but it would’ve been a travesty if we’d not won that game.
Jack: Yeah but a dodgy penalty in the last minute? Come on!
Rich: Dodgy? It was a brilliant call by the ref!
Jack: Did you get the answer to the question? What was the final score?
Rich: Well we said that Jack was a Manchester United fan and I was a Manchester City fan. Jack’s team took the lead and were winning 1-0 at half-time but my team scored twice in the second half so the final score was Manchester City 2-1 Manchester United.
Jack: OK, let’s look at some language. Let’s start with some general things about how we usually talk about football and football teams.
Rich: When we talk about the team we support they are our team and we always use we to talk about our team.
Jack: When we talk as a fan we talk in a way that sounds like we were playing in the match too. Some examples from the roleplay are: ‘We could’ve scored three more’ or ‘we were robbed’.
Rich: And when you are talking to a fan of another team you use you to talk about their team. In the roleplay, you heard sentences such as ‘you might’ve shaded the first half’ or ‘you had your chances’.
Jack: When we talk about other teams we use they. We say things like ‘I can’t believe they beat us’ or ‘they were so lucky’.
Rich: In British English, we usually use plural forms to refer to football teams. You will normally see things like ‘Manchester City have won the league’ or ‘Chelsea are on the attack’.
Jack: In American English, it’s more common to use the singular form and generally when we talk about the club in a more official way we also use the singular form.
Rich: Liverpool football club plays at Anfield. They are my team. I think it is actually something emotional too. We can’t refer to our team as an ‘it’.
Jack: Let’s look at some football vocabulary.
Rich: Most of the words we used in the roleplay are informal like most conversations about football. Let’s look at a few of the more difficult phrases we used.
Jack: Let’s start with the phrasal verb to take apart. I said to Rich ‘we took you apart’. It literally means to separate or dismantle. You might need to take apart a car engine if you have a problem - take all the different parts out of the car.
Rich: In football, to take apart is used to mean one team was far better than the other.
Jack: Rich said that my team shaded the first half. When we say one team shaded something we are saying that one team was a little better than the other.
Rich: Jack said his team was ‘one-nil up at the break’. At the break is another way of saying at half-time. We use nil and not zero when we talk about football scores - one-nil, two-nil, three-nil and so on.
Jack: And we say one-nil up to mean that a team is winning one-nil. We can also use ‘down’ to mean losing. Manchester United are 1-0 up or Manchester United are 2-1 down.
Rich: Gutted is a common football word. It means to be very disappointed. Football fans are disappointed if their team lose but are gutted when their team lose a local derby.
Jack: Goalkeepers are usually described just as keepers or sometimes more informally as goalies. It’s a keeper’s job to make saves but when they make a very good save we often use the phrasal verb to pull off. He pulled off an unbelievable save.
Rich: Let’s talk about referees or more informally just refs. Football fans often complain about dodgy decisions. Dodgy in a football context basically means bad.
Jack: When a team is losing at half-time or at the break a manager may shout at the players. This can be described as a rollicking - an informal word to describe a manager shouting and criticising his players for poor performance.
Rich: You might also hear the phrase a kick up the backside. The manager gave the team a kick up the backside at the break. This is the same as a rollicking.
Jack: And one final phrase is to nick a winner. To nick is an informal phrase that means to steal or to rob. When a team nicks a winner it’s usually very late in the game and a draw would probably have been a fairer result.
Rich: That’s lots of vocabulary to talk about a match in an informal way. Try listening to the roleplay again and see if you can hear all these phrases we’ve been talking about.
Jack: We’ve also got activities on the Premier Skills English website to help you understand all the language we’ve used in this podcast.
Jack: We’ve been talking about Manchester you heard a roleplay between a and City and United fan.
Rich: This week your task is to tell us about a city with a big football rivalry.
Jack: It can be a city in your country or a football rivalry you know well.
Rich: What city is it? What clubs are involved? Do you support one of the teams? What happens when the two clubs play each other? Why do you think the rivalry is so strong?
Jack: Write your comments on the Premier Skills English website.
This week’s football phrase:
Jack: OK, it’s time for this week’s football phrase. It’s my turn this week and I want as many people to get the right answer as possible.
Rich: So another easy one then. What’s the phrase ‘football’?
Jack: It won’t be that easy and anyway football isn’t a phrase it’s a word! This week’s football phrase is **** ** **** ********. This is a phrase that is used to describe two consecutive wins or two wins in a row. The phrase includes a part of the body.
Rich: OK not as easy as football. Let’s see who can get it right. Write your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website and we’ll announce your name on next week’s show.
Jack: Ok, and before we finish here’s the answer to last week’s football phrase. It was difficult so well done if you got it right. The answer was to cushion the ball.
Rich: 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?
Other UK cities are obsessed with football but there's probably not a city with a stronger association to the sport than Manchester.
The National Football Museum isn't about City or United it’s about the history of football and has lots of different collections and interactive exhibits.
Lots of people go to United’s and City’s grounds to watch a match but there are things to do on non-matchdays, too.
Manchester has brilliant nightlife and a fantastic live music scene.
It would’ve been a travesty if we’d not won that game.
It was a brilliant call by the ref!
There were a few more tricky words and phrases in the podcast. Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words. This can really help your understanding.
Manchester, as you probably know, is home to the current Premier League Champions (Manchester City) and as it's also home to one of the other biggest clubs in football (Manchester United) the city is a top destination for football fans from around the world. Manchester is fantastic for football fans; you can visit the National Football Museum and two of the biggest football clubs in the world. Both City and United offer tours and visits to their stadiums on non-matchdays. But, Manchester is much more than football. Let's find out a bit more about Manchester ...
Mancunian/Manc = the name for someone from Manchester (also the Manchester accent)
People from Manchester are called Mancunians or Mancs although Manc is often used in a negative way to describe Manchester United or City fans by fans of other clubs. Some famous Mancunians include:
- Noel and Liam Gallagher (from the rock group Oasis)
- Morrissey (singer from The Smiths)
- Alan Turing (computer scientist: credited with creating modern computing)
- Danny Boyle (film director: Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, The Beach)
- Emmeline Pankhurst (Political Activist: won women the right to vote in the UK)
The Mancunian accent is an accent from Northern England so words such as 'glass' and 'grass' are pronounced with short 'a' /æ/ sound like in 'cat', not a long 'a' /ɑ:/ sound like in 'car'. There are also some specific phrases that are very common in Mancunian. here are a couple of examples:
Y'all right our kid?
That's well mint that.
That is bobbins.
'Y'all right' is a common greeting and basically means 'How are you?'. 'Our kid' is how Mancunians describe a brother/sister or a very close friend. If something is 'mint' it means it's very good but if something is 'bobbins' it's very bad. If you want to learn a bit more Mancunian watch this video. It shows the ex-Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure, trying to learn a few Manc phrases. He doesn't find it easy!
The History/The City
During the industrial revolution, Manchester was famous for cotton production and producing textiles. The city grew and became known as the world's first industrialised city. More recently, the city has been regenerated. This was helped by the hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2002 when lots of new sporting facilities were built; including the City of Manchester Stadium which following the games became the Etihad Stadium and the new home of Manchester City FC. The city centre has also been regenerated with many shopping and eating destinations including the UK's largest city-centre shopping centre.
Music plays a very important part in Manchester's culture. Many famous bands from the 1980s and 1990s were from the city and some of these bands also formed what was called the 'Madchester' music scene in the city. Some notable Manchester bands include:
- Joy Division
- The Smiths
- The Buzzcocks
- The Stone Roses
- The Fall
- The Happy Mondays
Manchester United was created in 1878 but was originally called Newton Heath and played in green and yellow shirts. Newton Heath became Manchester United in 1902 and changed their shirt colour to red. The club moved to their current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester City was created in 1880 but was originally called West Gorton. The club changed its name to Manchester City in 1894. The team are the current Premier League Champions and are currently having the most successful time in their history.
"On derby day in Manchester, the city is cut in two. The Blues and the Reds invade the streets, and if your team wins the city belongs to you." Eric Cantona, ex-Manchester Utd player.
Talking about football
In the second roleplay, Rich and Jack spoke about a match between Manchester City and Manchester United. In the roleplay, they used and described ten informal words or phrases that football fans often use to talk about what happened in a match. Take a look at these sentences from the podcast and check that you understand the words in bold.
You might’ve just shaded the first half but in the second half, we took you apart.
I was gutted that we were only one-nil up at the break.
Your keeper pulled off that unbelievable save.
So what are you blaming here? Bad finishing, dodgy refereeing or us for having a decent goalie?
I think we got a bit of a rollicking at the break.
I could’ve handled it but then you lot nicked the winner like that.
Try the activity below, and complete the gaps with words and phrases you heard in this podcast.
A football rivalry
This week we want you to tell us about a football rivalry in your country or know well.
Manchester City and Manchester United are big rivals in Manchester. We want you to tell us about another city that has two big football rivals. You can write about:
- A city in your country.
- A rivalry you know about from another country.
Try to answer these questions:
- What city is it?
- What clubs are involved?
- Do you support one of the teams?
- What happens when the two clubs play each other?
- Why do you think the rivalry is so strong?
Write your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!