In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich talk about last weekend's big matches in the Premier League between Arsenal and Leicester City, and Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. They talk about how managers change games and ask you what your perfect birthday result would be. The language focus is on the 'passive voice' and how it is often used in match reports.
How much did you understand?
In this podcast, Rich and Jack used some football vocabulary that might be new for you. Try the activity below to see how much you understand:
"In the 53rd minute, Spurs were awarded a penalty for handball."
"Eriksen was played through by Lamela."
Christian Eriksen scored the winner for Spurs, against Manchester City, on his 24th birthday..
Language - The Passive Voice
In the podcast, Jack and Rich used some examples of the passive, which we create with the verb to be + past participle (3rd form of the verb). You can see two examples from the podcast below. We use the passive when it's not important or we don't know who did the action, when the main topic (the subject) isn't what did the action, or we want to put the most important thing at the beginning of the sentence. If you want to learn more, try the activity below and look at our Learn English Grammar Pages.
"Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming."
"Giroud had a shot but it was saved brilliantly by Schmeichel."
The answer to last week's 'What's my Team?' competition was Leicester City. Congratulations to Kwesimanifest from Ghana! Your prize is on its way!
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 an amazing weekend in the Premier League, and we’re going to talk about birthdays and about how managers change games. The language focus is on how we use the passive voice.
Rich: And later, we’ll tell you about this week’s vote and I’ll also make another Premier League prediction.
Jack: But first, we have the result of our final ‘What’s my Team?’ competition riddle. Over the last few months there have been 20 competiton riddles and we’ve had winners from all over the world.
Rich: We’ve had winners from Poland, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Serbia, Ukraine, Tunisia, Ecuador, Kuwait, Algeria, Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Egypt, Spain, Italy, Uzbekistan and Montenegro.
Jack: And we’ve had entries from many, many more countries, too. Last week’s Premier League fan was Jennie and her favourite team is Leicester City, who are the Premier League leaders at the moment.
Rich: We made it a bit more difficult last week. There were no club nicknames and no clues about players or the city where they play.
Jack: But Leicester City’s season is certainly a dream and Jennie also said ‘people think our bubble is going to burst’, which is an expression that I like.
Rich: Yes, it’s an idiom to mean to end someone’s hopes or happiness. You could say that Arsenal burst Leicester’s bubble last weekend.
Jack: Arsenal won, which I was very happy about but I don’t think Leicester’s bubble has burst yet. They are still top of the league! So, who was last week’s winner?
Rich: We have selected a winner at random from the correct answers and our final and twentieth winner of the What’s my team? competition is Kwesimanifest, a Manchester Utd fan from Ghana. Congratulations Kwesimanifest! We’ll be in contact with you this week.
Jack: Well done Kwesimanifest. In our vote this week, we’d like to ask your opinion about the podcast.
Rich: We want to know how long the podcast should be. Do you think it should be about 5 minutes, between 5 and 10 minutes, between 10 and 15 minutes or longer than that? Vote for your preference and we’ll make the podcast at the length you want next week.
Jack: In last week’s vote, we asked you who you think is going to win the Premier League. A huge 56% of you think Leicester City are going to win it, 19% of you think Arsenal will become Champions, 13% think Man City will win the title and 10% think Manchester Utd can still catch the rest to win the Premier League.
Rich: Only 2% said that Spurs are going to win. Most of our votes were entered before last weekend’s matches so I imagine that some people have changed their mind now!
Jack: We also asked you why Leicester City are doing so well this season. Amaral from Albania, LiverpoolChile from Chile and Grigor25 from Armenia think that it’s Claudio Ranieri - the manager. Safwan2000 from Saudi Arabia thinks it’s a combination of the players, the manager and the style of play. Nalssgair from Libya thinks it’s the players because they play together as a team and they have Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
Rich: We also had lots of people using so and such in their comments last week. This was nice to see. We also corrected some of your comments. If you want us to correct your English, just write ‘correct me’ at the start of your comment.
Jack: What’s been happening in the Premier League this week, Rich?
Rich: We’ve already talked about it a little bit, but the big winners in the Premier League were the North London teams - Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. There were also big wins for Chelsea, 5-1 against Newcastle, and Liverpool who won 6-0 away to Aston Villa.
Jack: I watched the Arsenal match on Sunday. It was an amazing match. Leicester defended very well but I think Arsenal deserved to win in the end, but it was such a late winning goal - the 95th minute!
Rich: I watched the Manchester City - Tottenham match. It was a very good match too, but maybe not as dramatic as the match at Arsenal. Spurs got a penalty that many people thought was a bit lucky. City equalised and they looked like the team that would win but in the last few minutes Christian Eriksen scored the winner for Spurs. It was his birthday, too!
Jack: What a perfect birthday for him! What would your perfect birthday result be, Rich?
Rich: I’d say Liverpool winning 6-0 away from home but it wasn’t my birthday this weekend. It is my birthday when Liverpool play the League Cup Final in two weeks so I’m hoping for a good result against Man CIty. What about you?
Jack: I’d take a 95th minute winning goal but it wasn’t my birthday this weekend either!
Rich: Tell me more about the Arsenal - Leicester match, I heard that it was the Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, who changed the game?
Jack: Leicester scored first when they were given a penalty, which was taken beautifully by Jamie Vardy, who now has 18 Premier League goals this season. It didn’t look good for Arsenal at half-time. The match changed in the 54th minute when a Leicester defender was sent off. Coquelin came off and was replaced by Theo Walcott who scored the equaliser a few minutes later. With just a few minutes left Oxlade-Chamberlain was substituted for Danny Welbeck who was playing for the first time in nearly a year. Giroud had a shot but it was saved brilliantly by Schmeichel. I thought it was going to finish 1-1 but in the last attack - Danny Welbeck got the winner for Arsenal.
Rich: It sounds like it was a very exciting match. I wish I’d watched it. When you were talking about the match you used lots of sentences that used the passive. The passive is used a lot when we talk about football matches. This is because we are often more interested in what happened than who did the action.
Jack: For example: ‘Leicester were given a penalty’. Here we are more interested in Leicester getting a penalty. We’re not that interested in who gave the penalty. And anyway, we know who gave the penalty - it was the referee - we know that, it’s obvious. It would be strange to say ‘the referee gave Leicester a penalty’.
Rich: Another example that you used was: ‘a Leicester defender was sent off’. Again the person who did the action was the referee.
Jack: Sometimes you might want to say who did the action in a passive sentence. For example: ‘it was saved brilliantly by Schmeichel’ We think the save was the most important thing here so we put it first in the passive but we also think it’s important to say who did it so we use the preposition ‘by’.
Rich: Another example could be:
Jack: We create the passive by using the verb to be + the 3rd form of the verb. What we would like you to do now is listen to Rich talking about the Manchester City - Spurs match and listen to see if he uses the passive.
Rich: The first half was very defensive and the score was 0-0 at halftime but the second half was much more exciting. In the 53rd minute Spurs were awarded a penalty for handball. The penalty was scored by Harry Kane. City needed to score and a defensive midfielder was replaced with Iheanacho - a striker. A few minutes later, City had the equaliser and it was scored by Iheanacho. It looked like City would win but with a few minutes left Eriksen was played through by Lamela and Spurs, and Eriksen on his birthday, could celebrate a famous win when he put the ball past Joe Hart in the City goal.
Jack: So, Rich used a few passive sentences there, did you hear them all? How many did you hear? And that brings us to our questions for today. Question 1. How do you celebrate your birthday? What would be a perfect birthday result for you?
Rich: Question 2: Can you use the passive to tell us about a famous or recent football match?
Jack: Question 3: Can you use a passive sentence to tell us something that a referee, a manager and a player did in a match without mentioning them?
Jack: Did anybody make the right prediction last week, Rich? I know that you got it wrong again! Which made me happy as it meant that Arsenal won!
Rich: Some of you predicted an Arsenal win... Well done to Elghoul from Algeria, SalvaGh from Spain, Shunka from Armenia, Aragorn1986 from Montenegro, and Mugemanyi from Rwanda. And a special congratulations to Rasha Nahas from Saudi Arabia, and Aroarm and Rafayel from Armenia who predicted the exact score 2-1 to Arsenal.
Jack: What match are you talking about this week, Rich?
Rich: The Premier League is taking a break this weekend. So I’m going to look at an exciting FA Cup match between Chelsea and Man City. Chelsea are in the best form of the season and are unbeaten in 10 matches and played with a lot of style in their last match - beating Newcastle 5-1. City have lots of matches in four different competitions and are not in great form after losing to Leicester and Spurs. Chelsea need to win to keep their season alive and I think they will. Final score: Chelsea 3-2 Manchester City
Jack: Right, anyway that’s it for today - we’ve run out of time! Thanks for listening. And don’t forget to write your answers to our questions, your predictions and anything you want to say about the website or football English in the comments below.
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!
What do you think?
How do you like to celebrate your birthday? What would be a perfect birthday result for you?
Can you use the passive to tell us about a famous or recent football match?
Can you use a passive sentence to tell us something that a referee, a manager and a player did in a match without mentioning them?