In this week's podcast, Rich and Jack talk about Manchester Utd's Wayne Rooney, who this week became England's all-time leading goalscorer. Rooney now has 50 goals for England and broke a record that had lasted since 1970! Jack and Rich talk about vocabulary connected with records and take a look at how you can use comparative and superlative structures. They also offer some advice on how to become a better listener in English and Rich gives a prediction on the Man Utd - Liverpool match that takes place this weekend.
How much did you understand?
Wayne Rooney celebrating breaking the all-time goalscoring record for England.
We usually use the words more and the most to compare things. We use more to compare two things and the most to say something or someone is the best from a larger group of things/people. Take a look at the examples below and think about how you can use these words.
"...Wayne Rooney has scored more goals than Bobby Charlton."
" ....Wayne Rooney has scored the most goals in an England shirt."
We also use these words with comparative and superlative structures followed by an adjective:
"Wayne Rooney is more prolific than Gary Lineker."
"Wayne Rooney is the most prolific goalscorer in the England team's history."
Wayne Rooney now has 50 goals for England. Bobby Charlton (1958-1970) has 49 goals and Gary Lineker (1984-1992) has 48 goals.
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.
Rich: Hi everyone. I’m Rich and every week we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: This week, we’re going to talk about Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, some Premier League records, the language of comparatives and superlatives, and Rich is going to make another Premier League prediction.
Rich: But, before we start: we recently had a comment from Cynthia in China. She found the listening activities in the ‘My Match Day’ section on our website quite difficult.
Jack: Listening in English can be quite difficult so we want to give you three tips to think about when you are listening.
Rich: The first is to think about what you going to listening to before you start listening. If you think about the topic and try to predict some words you might hear, this will help a lot.
Jack: An easy example are the football results. If you hear Manchester Utd 0 Arsenal….. you can predict that the next word will be a number.. probably 5 or 6!
Rich: Very funny, but yes, for example if you are going to listen to a teacher talking about food and cooking it’s a good idea for you to think about what you know about the topic.
Jack: Our second tip for listening to a video is: look at the pictures on the screen to help you. The pictures are usually connected to the topic so can really help you when you first start listening.
Rich: Yes, for example if you’re watching the weather forecast on the TV you can use the pictures to help you understand.
Jack: Yes and a football match’s commentary will often be the same as what you see on the screen.
Rich: Our last tip for listening online to language learning exercises like this podcast or the my match day listening is: read the transcript and listen again. This will help you with parts of the listening you didn’t understand. As you listen more and more often you will need to use the transcript less and less.
Jack: If you’re listening now, why don’t you tell us in the comments section if you think listening to these podcasts is easy or difficult. What do you do to improve your listening skills? Do you have any tips for Cynthia?
Rich: Right, let’s move on to this week’s football. What’s been happening in the Premier League this week, Jack?
Jack: As you know, there weren’t any Premier League matches this week, but there were quite a lot of international matches.
Rich: Yes, and every Premier League club had some players away on international duty.
Jack: This is a phrase we hear a lot: ‘international duty’. Can you explain it to our listeners?
Rich: Well, if you have a duty to do something it means that you have to do it because it’s your responsibility.
Jack: So when a player is chosen by their country they have a responsibility to represent their country and it is called international duty.
Rich: And this week Manchester Utd’s Wayne Rooney has created history while on international duty.
Jack: Yes, he has become England’s all-time top scorer. He’s now scored 50 international goals for England.
Rich: This record had lasted for 45 years!
Jack: It was Bobby Charlton who held the record before and he helped England win the World Cup in 1966 so it’s taken a long, long time to break this record.
Rich: There are a couple of interesting collocations that you used there: hold a record and break a record.
Jack: Yes, we use ‘hold a record’ to talk about the person who has the record so Bobby Charlton was the record holder. He held the record for 45 years.
Rich: And then Wayne Rooney ‘broke the record’: which means to do something better than before. We could also call Rooney a record breaker.
Jack: If we compare Rooney to Charlton we can now say that Wayne Rooney has scored more goals than Bobby Charlton.
Rich: Yes, we use ‘more than’ two compare two or more things. We can also say that Wayne Rooney has scored ‘the most’ goals in an England shirt.
Jack: And we use ‘the most’ to say that this is the greatest number or quantity of something.
Rich: So is Rooney the best striker in English football history? Is he better than Bobby Charlton, Alan Shearer or Gary Lineker who scored 10 goals in World Cup Finals for England?.
Jack: Here we are using adjectives to compare things and there are special comparative and superlative forms we use to do this. ‘Better’ is the comparative form of good which we can use to compare two things, like in these examples: Rooney is better than Charlton. Utd are better than City etc.
Rich: And ‘the best’ is the superlative form of the adjective ‘good’, which we usually use when saying the thing which is top, for example: Chelsea were the best team in the Premier League last season.
Jack: The adjective ‘good’ is irregular and doesn’t follow the rules of most comparative and superlative forms. If you want to learn more about these structures try the exercises we’ve put below the podcast or check out our Learn English website. We’ve put a link on the side of this page. http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/adjectives/comparative-and-superlative-adjectives
Rich: So who do you think is the best ever English striker, Jack?
Jack: I think it’s impossible to say who is the best or this player is better than that player because they played in different times and football has changed so much. But what you can say, is that Rooney is only 29 so he can score many more goals for England. He is the most prolific scorer in English football history and will hold this record for a long, long time and it will be very difficult for anyone to break.
Rich: That’s a very diplomatic answer. I like it.
Jack: Right, let’s move on. Have you got a prediction for us this week?
Rich: Wayne Rooney will be back from international duty and his record breaking week for England to play one of the biggest matches of the season, when Manchester Utd take on Liverpool at Old Trafford. Both teams will be trying to forget their recent results. Liverpool lost 3-0 at home to West Ham in their last match and Man Utd were beaten 2-1 at Swansea. There will be a fantastic atmosphere inside Old Trafford for this match as there is a huge rivalry between these fans. I think Liverpool will finish the match happier but will have to settle for a draw. Final result: Manchester Utd 1-1 Liverpool.
Jack: A draw. Now it’s your turn to be diplomatic!
Rich: Well, I can’t predict a Liverpool win every time!
Jack: If you’ve got a prediction for this match or any other Premier League match this weekend let us know in the comments section below.
Rich: Well that’s all for now. Thanks for listening.
Jack: If you’re listening to this on itunes or elsewhere, come back to Premier Skills English for some language activities, a quiz and lots more. You can find us at www.britishcouncil.org/ .
Rich: Don’t forget if you sign in, you can score points to see if you can get your club, your country and your name to the top of our leaderboard.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.