This episode's vocabulary
- Act up (phrasal verb) - if a person, especially a child, acts up, they behave badly.
- Reprimand (verb) - to express to someone your strong official disapproval of them.
- Come into your own - to be very useful or successful in a particular situation.
- Drop off someone/something (phrasal verb) - to take someone or something, esp. by car, to a particular place.
- Catchment area (noun) - the area served by a school.
- Climbing frame (noun) - a large frame made of bars that children can climb on.
- Bark chippings (noun) - small pieces of tree bark used chiefly for pathways in gardens or woodland.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory, did you like primary school?
R: Well, not overly so. I used to act up a bit and I was constantly getting in trouble and being reprimanded. I didn't really come into my own until after high school.
M: What did you like to do when you were in primary school?
R: Apart from causing trouble? Actually, I quite liked writing and anything connected to language. We used to have storybooks. They're similar to copy books in Russia. And we used to write about our weekends in them and write different fictional texts. That was quite fun.
M: How did you go to primary school?
R: Well, first, my parents would drop me off. But as I got older, I would walk there and back in the morning and mid-afternoon. Our home was well within the catchment area, so it wasn't really a big problem.
M: What did you do in your free time at primary school?
R: We didn't get much to be honest, just break time and lunchtime. But we had climbing frames to play on with bark chippings underneath just so that you didn't hurt yourself if you fell. There were always large grass playing fields to run around on, and trees to climb on. And I think oh, yeah, we had concrete grounds with permanent games painted on them. I think you can get chalk and draw your own on the ground if you wanted to as well.
M: Thank you, Rory, for your childish answers!
M: So primary school. First of all, what is primary school? Because in different countries, it means different things.
R: It does. Even in the UK it can mean very different things as well. However, usually in Scotland, primary school is for primary 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. So from the age of I think it is four or five years old, up until 11 to 12 years old, you're in primary school.
M: Is it a secondary school?
R: No, in Russia, I know that you have like grades 1, 2, 3 and 4, and then that's primary school. And then you have 5, 6, and 7 and that's middle school. We don't have this. We just have primary school and high school.
M: Oh, wow. Okay, so primary school, we have grades. So the first grade the second grade, the third grade, right? You can call it form. In the first form, the second form.
R: That's English.
M: Yeah, but can I say class? I was in the second class.
R: In Russian you can but class in English means something very different. Our class was the group of children that we hung around. Well, not that we hung around. It was the group of children that we were assigned to with our specific class teacher.
M: Yeah. So dear listener, please make sure that you use the word grade. I was in the third grade. Or I was in the first form, right? And I went to primary school. So primary school after kindergarten, after nursery school. Usually, people start the primary school at the age of seven or six. This is the time for you to use "I used to" because not anymore, right? So you did something and not anymore. So feel free to use this lovely structure. At primary school I used. I used to speak Scottish.
R: You used to learn times tables.
M: Oh, yes. Oh, yeah. I used to read a lot in primary school or I used to be quite naughty. At primary school or in primary school, or both?
M: Yeah, both are possible. When I was in primary school, when I was at primary school, and then you can go with Okay, in the fourth grade, I was getting into trouble. And Rory used to act up.
R: Yeah, act up just means to misbehave.
M: Did you misbehave?
R: Oh, yeah. I still do.
M: Naughty, naughty. And we have primary school then we have middle school or secondary school and then high school. Rory used to cause trouble to the teachers and his classmates. So Rory's classmates, if you're listening, please give us a shout-out and tell stories about Rory's past.
R: It isn't actually that bad compared to a lot of kids, but it still was pretty mysterious.
M: Mysterious. That's a nice word. Like, if you are naughty if you do some bad stuff. So yeah, mischievous like leprechauns. The question could be how did you go to school? How did you go to school like you walked to school or you went to school by taxi or you had a private helicopter? Rory, coming from poor Scotland didn't have a private helicopter and Rory's parents would drop him off.
R: No. You get dropped off in a car, for example. So my parents would go to work and at the same time I would be in the car and on the way to work, they would drop me off they would stop at the school I would get out, and then they would go.
M: Yep. It's interesting though, that first Rory used I used to, I used to have storybooks I used to act up. But then he started using, my parents would drop me off. Or I would walk to school, not stressing wood, but now I'm just like, making it more simple to you, right? But he said, my parents, will drop me off. I'd walk to school. Why would, it's not the future. It's not future in the past here.
R: I know.
M: What is it?
R: Why don't you tell us?
M: It's a phrasal verb, right Rory? Everything is a phrasal verb.
R: It's a modal verb if we're talking about certain verbs only match up with would. I'm guessing here it's phrasal verbs, because I said would drop me off?
M: Okay, shut up, Rory. Just stop it. Well, because here you said like, I would walk there? Like, did you do it often?
M: Right. Was it kind of your habit?
M: Right. So to say that it was a habit in the past you can use would...
R: But why don't I use you used to because we talk about "used to" perhaps in the past. So what's the difference? Yeah, now who's clamped?
M: You see, the difference is, that... No, sometimes you can use them interchangeably. You can say yeah, you can say I would walk there or I used to walk them. But it's even more advanced sometimes to say I would and you can't use I would with state verbs. There you go. You can't say I would be mad.
R: I would think.
M: I would think. There you go, you can't say that. I used to think, right?
R: Oh, look, I know what a state verb is.
M: But I know the difference. Yeah, but, dear listener, feel free to check up on this. You know.
R: There are things that happen in your head like you can't say I would think or I would believe, you have to say I used to think or I used to believe. For example, so for verbs describing things that happen in your head, you cannot use with them. Haha, grammar. I've done it. Yes, although we should point out that drop me off is a phrasal verb. And phrasal verbs are also very interesting. You can find out more about them in our Podcourse.
M: Thank you, Rory. Nailed it. Advertising. Excellent. Yes. So when you talk about primary school, make sure that you say first like what you used to do with some verbs, right? And then what you would do, I would walk there, I would read books. And then in your free time, Rory, you would what, climb trees? Because you used some crazy words like we had climbing frames to play on with bark chippings.
R: Yeah. But that's not anything unusual. There has to be some protection, you cannot just have climbing frames. You should say these are things that children climb on. And that's what their purposes, whereas trees have different purposes, they're not there to be climbed on, but children do that anyway. So you have climbing frames, but children fall from climbing frames. And if you fall from a climbing frame, you can hurt yourself. So to stop this from happening, they have little bits of wood taken from trees and to provide a soft landing.
M: These are specific words to describe this climbing frames and bark chippings underneath. Wow. Concrete grounds., also, when we talk about children's playground, so children run around, fool around,
R: Mess around.
M: Clown around. Phrasal verb Podcourse.
R: These phrasal verbs that can be found in our podcasts.
M: Oh, gosh. Yeah. Anyway, dear listener, are you ready to talk about primary school? Make sure you use this grammar. So like to shine on and to wake up the examiner.
R: Get in touch with your inner child.
M: Oh, get in touch with your inner child. Nice. Thank you very much for listening.
R: We'll see you next time! Sorry.
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