elementary lesson

Learn English with Sherlock

This advanced vocabulary course is designed to work in tandem with episodes of the US version of Sherlock called ‘Elementary’. I advise students to do the following: read the exercises, check any unknown vocabulary, watch the show, answer the questions, and then retell it using the target vocabulary and grammar. The retelling is necessary to activate new phrases in an easy to remember context. I have written exercises for lots of the shows in season one, so please click on the links to go straight to the episode which you have studied. If you enjoy learning English with Sherlock, you are welcome to buy exercises for all episodes of season 1, or season 2. They are available for free to my online students, or you can buy them as pdf files.

Elementary 1 Pilot
Elementary 2 While You Were Sleeping
Elementary 3 Child Predator
Elementary 4 The Rat Race

Elementary 1 Pilot

Characters

Holmes, Watson, Captain Gregson
Dr Richard Mantlo (psychotherapist)
Amy Dampier (murder victim, and Mantlo’s wife)
Eileen Renfro (survivor of an attack similar to Amy’s murder)
Peter Saldua (friend of Eileen’s brother)

Advanced Vocabulary

rehab (A place for addicts to recover in)
sober (Not drunk and not high on drugs)
expose the flaws (reveal the weaknesses)
a surgeon (doctor who does operations)
to obscure (to make unclear)
a slope of 5 degrees (an uneven surface)
an alibi (A story which means you can’t have been the culprit)
to strangle (kill by putting pressure on the throat)
siblings (brothers and sisters)
terrible compulsions (awful impulses or desires)
to lose your temper (to get angry)
Bollocks! (very English. Mild swear word. Used often like ‘bullshit’, or the much milder ‘rubbish’)
to be (go) insane (crazy)
(sign a) pre-nuptial agreement (contract made before marriage)
a sore subject (a difficult theme or topic)
to let me in on (to allow someone to know a secret)
a temper tantrum (a childish fit of rage)
allergic to rice (oversensitive to rice)
odd (strange)

Complete the sentences with the advanced vocabulary

Sherlock had been in a ____ clinic.
The death of Watson’s patient was a ____ ____.
Sherlock managed to ____ ____ ____ of the security system of the rehab clinic.
Sherlock noticed that the room had a ____ of 5 degrees.
Before she became Holmes’ sober companion, Watson had been a ____.
Holmes had a ____ ____ and crashed Watson’s car into Peter Mantlo’s car.
Dr Mantlo had signed a ____ ____ with his wife, and so he would be entitled to none of her wealth if they divorced.
Dr Mantlo’s hands were too small to have ____ his wife.
It was rather odd that Peter had bought some rice because he was ____ ____ rice.

 

elementary lessons

Elementary, my dear Watson!

Questions

1) Why will Watson be living with Sherlock for the next 6 weeks?
2) Describe the crime scene. What do the police believe happened? And what does Sherlock believe?
3) Why did Sherlock think there must have been a body on the premises?
4) How did Sherlock know there must be a safe room?
5) Why does Holmes conclude that the husband didn’t kill the victim?
6) Why is honey dripping through the ceiling? What hobby does Holmes have?
7) How does Holmes conclude that Watson hates her job?
8) How does Sherlock conclude that Eileen Renfro is lying?
9) What did Watson find out from Eileen?
10) Why did Watson stop being a surgeon?
11) Who was Peter Saldua’s therapist?
12) Why did the victim have plastic surgery?
13) How did the therapist make Peter more violent?
14) What would happen if Dr Mantlo divorced his wife?
15) Why did Holmes crash Watson’s car into Mantlo’s?
16) How did they prove Sherlock’s theory about Dr Mantlo?

Answers

Complete the sentences with the advanced vocabulary

Sherlock had been in a rehab clinic.
The death of Watson’s patient was a sore subject.
Sherlock managed to expose the flaws of the security system of the rehab clinic.
Sherlock noticed that the room had a slope of 5 degrees.
Before she became Holmes’ sober companion, Watson had been a surgeon.
Holmes had a temper tantrum and crashed Watson’s car into Peter Mantlo’s car.
Dr Mantlo had signed a pre-nuptial agreement with his wife, and so he would be entitled to none of her wealth if they divorced.
Dr Mantlo’s hands were too small to have murdered his wife.
It was rather odd that Peter had bought some rice because he was allergic to rice.

Questions

1) Watson has been hired to help him rehabilitate from his drug addiction.
2) Police version: Wife has been kidnapped. Sherlock’s version: There have been 2 crimes. Murder and theft. Miss Dampier must have known her attacker. She let him in and poured him a drink. He tried to obscure this fact by kicking the door on his way out.
3) The victim had an arterial wound, but there was no blood outside on the pavement. So she must still be on the premises.
4) He noticed the slope of 5 degrees. The steel reinforcements of a safe room caused this slope.
5) His hands were smaller than the strangulation marks, and his shoes were also too small for footprint.
6) Bee keeping.
7) She has 2 alarm clocks.
8) She fiddled about with her crucifix, indicating she was nervous
9) Watson found out that Peter Saldua, her brother’s best friend, was responsible.
10) One of her patients died.
11) He was Dr Mantlo, the victim’s husband.
12) Dr Mantlo wanted Amy to change her face so that it matched killer’s desired type. So he persuaded her to have surgery
13) He gave him the wrong tablets. Not ones to calm him down, but to make him more violent and emotional. And then he made him deliver flowers to his wife.
14) They had signed a pre-nuptial agreement, so he would get nothing, even though his wife was wealthy.
15) He had a temper tantrum, because he knew that the culprit was Dr Mantlo, but he couldn’t prove it.
16) They found Peter’s phone in the bag of rice which is a natural dessicant. Peter Saldua had recorded their therapy sessions on his phone, but his phone had got wet in the wash. He had put it in the rice to dry out. The phone connected Peter with Dr Mantlo, even though he had denied knowing Peter.

Revise the advanced vocabulary with this lesson and quiz

[WpProQuiz 1]

More advanced vocabulary for Sherlock coming soon…

Please try my other advanced vocabulary course which accompanies the UK version of Sherlock (BBC), or alternatively try my English  lessons for the ‘IT Crowd’ which is a course aimed at intermediate students.

UK Sherlock English Course: upper intermediate level
IT Crowd English Course: intermediate level
Father Ted: intermediate level
Willy Fogg: pre intermediate level
Learn English Online with Blackadder: upper intermediate level

 

Elementary 2 While You Were Sleeping

Characters

Detective Marcus Bell (lead investigator)
Casey McManus (first victim)
Anna Webster (second victim)
Yvette Ellison (patient in a coma)
Rebecca Ellison (Yvette’s sister)
Michael McGee (formerly a police officer, currently a private investigator)

Advanced Vocabulary

Wrap s.t up (to finish e.g a meeting)

a sob story (a story told in order to attract pity for the victim)

finite (Limited. Opposite of infinite)
natterings (meaningless chatter)

go on a binge (drink a lot, or do a lot of drugs, in a small space of time)

the perpetrator (the culprit)

armoire (a type of antique cupboard)
a gait (a way of walking)

to do penance (to expiate your sins through suffering)

autopsy (medical examination of a corpse)

relevant (connected or related)

to sue (take legal action against s.o)

to be in a coma (to be unconscious for a long time)

fraternal / identical twins
To bear a striking resemblance (to be very similar to)
To bear a passing resemblance (to be a little similar to)

to have a lot on your plate (idiom: to be very busy)

no discernible link (no obvious connection)

to have a baby out of wedlock (to have a child without being married)

to leave a fortune to the heir (to pass on a large inheritance)
to bequeath your estate  (to pass on your property)
to inherit (to receive property/wealth due to the death of someone close)

an alibi (A story which means you can’t have been the culprit)

to assault (attack)

A crucial window of opportunity (an excellent chance)

Complete the sentences with the new advanced vocabulary

Watson asked Sherlock in what way the strange eye disorder was ____
Sherlock threatened to ____ Watson if she told Gregson about his time in rehab clinic.
Holmes’ attic theory claims that the human mind is ____ .
When they were ____ ____ the meeting Watson tapped Holmes on the shouler, and he shouted the word AMYGDALA.
At first they thought there was no ____ ____ between the two victims.
Yvette Ellison can’t have killed the victim as she had been ___ ___ ___ for 3 days.
The neighbour’s description of the lady he met on the stairs bore a ____ ____ to Yvette Ellison
Rebecca only bore a ____ ____ to her sister

Discussion

Is it true that the human mind is like an attic? We should only fill it with useful facts? How do we decide what is useful?
What the best way to deal with an addiction? Is it to talk about it with strangers?
Who do you bear a passing resemblance to?
Do you know anyone who has inherited anything?

Questions

1) What is Holmes’ ‘attic theory’?
2) How does Holmes correct the policeman’s version of the crime?
3) Why are Watson’s parents worried?
4) Why didn’t Sherlock tell the captain about his rehab?
5) Why did Sherlock threaten to sue?
6) Where do they find the lady which the neighbour described?
7) How do they test the patient’s coma?
8) What are the ‘discernible links’ between the first and second victims?
9) How does Holmes threaten the Private Investigator?
10) Why is Watson angry with Sherlock later?
11) How does the last addiction meeting help Sherlock?
12) How does Sherlock trick the doctor?
13) How did the pair commit the murders?

Answers

1) The human mind is finite.
2) There are 2 separate crimes: firstly the murder, and then the theft of the cupboard (by the neighbour). He thinks there are 2 separate perpetrators.
3) Because she used to be a surgeon, and now she is an addict-sitter (sober companion).
4) He wouldn’t have hired him if he had known he was an addict.
5) Because he was worried Watson would tell captain Gregson about rehab
6) In hospital. She has an alibi, as she was in a coma when the murder happened. This is why Sherlock suspects she is faking her coma
7) Sherlock suggests stabbing her thigh with a syringe, but Watson drops her hand on her face
8) Both victims suffered from same rare eye disorder, both shot from the chair also, and actually, they are related! Half brother and sister.
9) He recognises his amphetamine addiction, and threatens to reveal his secret
10) Sherlock asked her ex round for a party
11) A woman tells the group about her affair with a doctor, and he realises that the Yvette Ellison is having an affair with her doctor, and that’s how she faked the coma. Her doctor induced the coma with drugs
12) He pretends to accuse the wrong sister, and claims there is a third heir, giving the doctor (who overhears the whole scene) the name and address. They then set up a trap. Sherlock assaulted the policeman (Detective Bell), giving the doctor and Yvette only a small window of opportunity to kill the third heir, while Sherlock was in police custody
13) They faked the coma with drugs, and brought her out of it to commit the murders, but with a water tight alibi.

Complete the sentences with the new vocab

Watson asked Sherlock in what way the strange eye disorder was relevant
Sherlock threatened to sueWatson if she told Gregson about his time in rehab clinic.
Holmes’ attic theory claims that the human mind is finite.
When they were wrapping up the meeting Watson tapped Holmes on the shoulder, and he shouted the word AMYGDALA.
At first they thought there was no discernible link between the two victims.
Yvette Ellison can’t have killed the victim as she had been in a coma for 3 days.
The neighbour’s description of the lady he met on the stairs bore a striking resemblance to Yvette Ellison
Rebecca only bore a passing resemblance to her sister

Now please try watching the following video to revise some of the vocabulary and grammar from the episode:

Elementary 3 Child Predator

Characters


Marianna Castillo (Most recent victim of the balloon man)
Mr and Mrs Castillo (Marianna’s parents)
Lori Thomas (Mr Castillo’s mistress)
Adam Kemper (first victim of the balloon man)
Samuel Abbot (suspect)

Advanced Vocabulary

to dig through a file (to scrutinize the file carefully)

to lose track of time

a discrepancy (a lack of compatibility between two facts)

to make a plea (to beg for justice/help. Often used in legal sense)

a correlation (A relationship, often mathematical)

media exposure (publicity)

to distract (divert attention)

a birth mark (A distinguishing feature or mark on the skin, from birth)

An abduction/kidnapping (The crime of stealing a person or child)

presumed dead (thought to be dead)

feeble (weak)

immunity from prosecution (a legal deal offered in exchange for information leading to an arrest)


Complete the sentences with the new advanced vocabulary


The parents wanted to ____ ____ ____ to viewers to help them find their daughter
There was a ____ between the amount of ____ ____ the parents had, and the time taken for the victim to be killed
Adam Kemper was offered ____ ____ ____for all the crimes he had committed in exchange for information leading to the arrest of Samuel Abbots.
Sherlock accuses Watson of ____ him during his investigation
Because Adam Kemper had gone missing 7 years ago, he was ____ ____ by the local authorities
Sherlock identified Adam Kemper thanks to the ____ ____ on his neck
Sherlock considered Samuel Abbots to be too ____ to be ‘the balloon man’

Discussion


1) Who distracts you, at work?
2) Is there a correlation between crime and poverty?
3) Do you think it is fair to offer a criminal ‘immunity from prosecution’?
4) Do you have any birth marks?
5) Have there been any kidnappings in the news recently?
6) Should famous people be protected from too much media exposure?

Questions


1) Why didn’t Sherlock want the parents of the second victim to have a media interview?
2) How did Sherlock know the Father was lying, and what about?
3) How did Sherlock find out that the kidnappers van was an old police van?
4) Who did they find driving the van?
5) What story did Sherlock tell Adam in the interrogation?
6) Why can Adam Kemper get ‘immunity from prosecution’?
7) What were the ‘balloon man’s’ jobs?
8) How does Samuel Abbots die?
9) Who is actually the balloon man?

Answers

Complete the sentences with the new advanced vocabulary

The parents wanted to make a plea to viewers to help them find their daughter
There was a correlation between the amount of media exposure the parents had, and the time taken for the victim to be killed
Adam Kemper was offered immunity from prosecution for all the crimes he had committed in exchange for information leading to the arrest of Samuel Abbots.
Sherlock accuses Watson of distracting him during his investigation
Because Adam Kemper had gone missing 7 years ago, he was presumed dead by the local authorities
Sherlock identified Adam Kemper thanks to the birth mark on his neck
Sherlock considered Samuel Abbots to be too feeble to be ‘the balloon man’

Questions

1) He had found a correlation between the amount of media exposure and the speed at which the kids were killed
2) The father had not been out to buy wine. He had been seeing his mistress. He deduced this from the fact that the label wasn’t on the top of the bottle, and so he couldn’t have bought it in the bodega (Hispanic wine shop).
3) He found a vehicle which had the colours of brown, blue and white scraped on the side, due to a collision with the kidnappers vehicle. The blue and white were from when it had been a police van
4) The very first victim: Adam Kemper
5) He told him about his childhood. How he liked his bully at school. He was grateful to him for trying to ‘make him learn a lesson’. He believes Adam has also fallen in love with his abuser, and so he is looking for sympathy
6) It’s a legal deal. If he helps the police get the girl back, he will have immunity for any crimes he participated in with Samuel Abbotts
7) For the first 3 victims he was a pest exterminator, and the last 3 he delivered a subscription journal. This was how he identified his future victims
8) He shoots himself
9) Adam Kemper – he slept in the main room. As he grew up, he dominated and manipulated the man who abused him (Samuel Abbot). And he took pleasure in the grief of the parents of his victims.

Here is a lesson to help you remember some of the vocabulary and grammar from episode 3:

Elementary 4 The Rat Race

Characters

Peter Talbot (Employee of investment firm who has gone missing)
Jim Fowkes (Chief Investment Officer of Canon Ebersol: a massive investment firm)
Martin Rydell (Peter Talbot’s accountant)
Donna Kaplan (Fowkes’ secretary)
Aaron Ward (Watson’s date)

Advanced Vocabulary

ambush (an ambush date!)

articulate (Sherlock can be very articulate)
to loathe (Sherlock loathes bankers)

to show up (Peter Talbot didn’t show up at the meeting)

intention (I have no intention of discussing this with you)

to binge on (a bad habit)

a warrant (this is permission to see an apartment)

accidental overdose

sincere condolences (My sincere condolences to you, Mrs Talbot)

to crave oblivion, dull your senses (heroin users)

to slip up (make a mistake)

to miss my point (you’re missing my point)

to burst with pride

an unwitting adultress

trace amounts of heroin (in the salad)

a volunteer (with wilderness search and rescue)

to suffocate (She suffocated in 2005, when the gas line ruptured)

to drown (while swimming in the lake)

cunning (This killer is methodical and cunning)

awkward (well, this is a little awkward, but you are a good suspect!)
gossip (Gossip like this can destroy your career)

to let s.o in on a secret (Let me let you in on a little secret – we are all sociopaths)

political asylum (He married her to help her get political asylum)

a cloak of invisibility (like what Harry Potter has!)

to collaborate (did they collaborate in these murders?)

to frame (your boss)

to dig your own grave (She asked him to dig his own grave)

I categorically refuse to (dig my own grave)

to pick a lock, to pick a pocket (a pickpocket)

to invigorate and restore (Pure oxygen invigorates and restores)

a coincidence (The police turning up was too convenient

a flair (for our evolving Mother Tongue)

to take credit (Sherlock took the credit for Watson saving his life)

to hold s.o in esteem (The police held Sherlock in esteem)

to do s.o a favour (I’m gonna do us both a favour)

to keep a lid on s.t (I’m gonna keep a lid on this)

to blow s.o off (Watson’s date has decided to blow her off. V. American!)

Complete the sentences with the new advanced vocabulary

At the beginning Sherlock admits that he ____ bankers.
Captain Gregson promised to ____ ____ ____on Sherlock’s drug addiction.
‘Let me ____ you ____ ____ a little secret Mr Holmes: we’re all sociopaths.’
Sherlock explains that pure oxygen ____ and ____ the body.
Sherlock categorically refused to ____ his ____ ____.
Watson’s date got married to help his wife get ____ ____.
Sherlock claimed that there were probably ____ ____ of heroin in Peter’s salad.
Heroin users ____ ____and want to ____ their senses.
Peter Talbot had failed to ____ ____ at work the previous day.

Comprehension Questions

1) What does Watson tell the policeman at the start?
2) How was Watson ambushed at the café?
3) Why have Wall Street bankers contacted Sherlock?
4) What did Sherlock find at Peter’s house?
5) How did they find Peter Talbot?
6) Why does Sherlock suspect that Peter was murdered, or didn’t take an accidental overdose?
7) Why didn’t Watson kiss her date?
8) What kind of pattern does Holmes find with former employees of the company?
9) Why is the prime suspect (Jim Fowkes) unlikely to have committed the first murder?
10) What is Watson’s date’s excuse for lying about his marriage?
11) Who does Sherlock suspect, after he realises that Jim Fowkes can’t have killed the first victim?

Discussion

1) Can you think of anyone, or any group, or any particular idea, which you loathe?
2) Do you have any information at the moment which you should ‘keep a lid on’?
3) Who do you hold in high esteem?
4) Have you done any favours for anyone recently?
5) What kind of food or drink do you believe invigorates and restores the body?
6) Do you believe there should be a limit placed on the number of immigrants granted political asylum?

Revise the advanced vocabulary with this lesson and quiz

Answers

Complete the sentences with the new advanced vocabulary

At the beginning Sherlock admits that he loathes bankers.
Captain Gregson promised to keep a lid on Sherlock’s drug addiction.
‘Let me let you in on a little secret Mr Holmes: we’re all sociopaths.’
Sherlock explains that pure oxygen invigorates and restores the body.
Sherlock categorically refused to dig his own grave.
Watson’s date got married to help his wife get political asylum.
Sherlock claimed that there were probably trace amounts of heroin in Peter’s salad.
Heroin users crave oblivion and want to dull their senses.
Peter Talbot had failed to show up at work the previous day.

Comprehension Questions

1) She hasn’t seen Sherlock for a few hours. She also reveals her relationship to Sherlock: sober companion.
2) Her friend tried to set her up with an attractive man.
3) The manager of an investment firm, Peter Talbot, didn’t show up for work. Sherlock wants 12 times more cash for the work, in light of the fact that he loathes bankers.
4) A book of prostitutes. It was in the only book where the spine was creased.
5) They spoke to his accountant who was hiding the money he spent on prostitutes. He gave them an address. They pretended to be police to get in.
6) It doesn’t look like the typical flat of a heroin user.
7) She felt that he had lied to her when he said he had never been married. Sherlock found out her instincts were right, using the internet. He was indeed married.
8) He suspects several were murdered in ways which looked like accidental deaths. He suspects there is a sociopath killing his way up the career ladder.
9) Because he has a water tight alibi: he was having plastic surgery at the time of the first murder.
10) He married her to help her get political asylum. She would have been killed in her home country!
11) His secretary (Donna Kaplan), who also would have gained from the promotions of her boss.

ADVANCED VOCABULARY EXERCISES FOR ALL 24 EPISODES OF SEASON 1 OR SEASON 2 HERE