This English course is designed to follow the episodes of the English TV show ‘the IT Crowd’. The level of the material is intermediate or higher. 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. Please click on the following links to choose which episode of the English course you would like to study. YOU CAN BUY EXERCISES FOR ALL EPISODES OF IT CROWD SEASONS 1 AND 2 HERE (pdf files)
Match the phrasal verbs and definitions
|Deal with s.t/s.o||Become acquainted with s.o|
|Get on with s.o||Faint|
|Get rid of s.t/s.o||Lie or invent s.t|
|Get to know s.o||Scrutinize s.o’s progress with a task|
|Make s.t up||Make a mistake|
|Check up on s.o||Have a romantic relationship with s.o|
|Slip up||Connect s.t to the power grid|
|Tell on s.o||Throw away|
|Pass out||Wait for s.t with impatience|
|Go out with s.o||Leave this place (rude)|
|Hit it off||Switch on/off|
|Toss away||Have a good relationship with s.o|
|Get out||Judge or estimate s.o|
|Look forward to s.t||Dispose of, exclude|
|Turn s.t on/off||Very quickly attract and be attracted to s.o|
|Size s.o up||Do business with s.o/ face s.t|
|Plug s.t in||Inform authorities about s.o’s misbehaviour|
Put the phrasal verbs in these quotes from the episode (include pronouns where necessary):
1) I hope this doesn’t embarrass you Jen, but I find that the best thing to do with a new employee is to ____ ____ ____ with a good, long stare.
2) Once the printer is fixed they ____ ____ ____ like yesterday’s jam.
3) ____ ____ of the lift!
4) Will you stop trying to undermine me! Now get in there and do some work to do with computers. I’ll be in there in a moment to ____ ____ ____ ____
5) You will ____ ____ one day, and we will be there when you do. There will be some piece of evidence that will prove beyond any shadow of a doubt, that you don’t know anything about computers.
– What are you doing?
– ____ ____ your computer.
6) I can’t believe you’re going to ____ ____ ____You’re like a pair of old women.
7) I’m a people person and people like you need a person to ____ ____ people. A people person like me. Oh my god. Ideas are coming. What would you say if I told you I had a plan to raise your profile by 100%? – It can’t be done! – What would you say Roy? Roy’s ____ ____
Grammar – Present Perfect/Past simple
Present perfect is used to ask questions about general events in life (if we don’t know when they happened, and we don’t know the details yet). Have you seen ‘Titanic’? Have you read ‘War and Peace’? Have you been to France? Or, from the episode:
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
It is also used to show results in the present. I have done my homework – here it is! Look! My car has disappeared. It has been stolen. Or, from the episode
Roy has passed out!
Lastly, it is used for long periods of time that continue into the present. These are unfinished periods. We have been married for 5 years and we still love each other very much. For example
Moss and Roy have worked at Renholm industries for a long time. Jen has been there a few days.
(‘have been working’ is also possible)
With finished periods we use past simple
They got divorced last year. They were married for 5 years.
Present perfect is NEVER used if we say, ask or know WHEN something happened. When Moss tells the story of what happened when they went to Amsterdam, he only uses past simple
When we went to Amsterdam we were so drunk that we decided to hire prostitutes. But when they arrived at the hotel we were too scared to do anything and so we brought them to the fair.
Some words are a signal to use present perfect. Yet, already, just, ever, never, for and since
Some words are a signal to use past simple. Ago, last week, 1998, in August, when
I have made 2 very simple lessons on this topic, if you are still unsure of the differences between these two tenses
Questions for discussion
Who do you find difficult to deal with at work? Is there anyone who you don’t get on with?
Who checks up on you at work?
In what kind of situations might someone pass out?
What are you looking forward to?
What have you plugged in so far today?
Have you ever gone out with someone and hit it off from the first date? What happened in the end?
When you’re getting to know someone, how do you size them up? By their appearance, or by their words?
|Deal with s.t/s.o||Do business with s.o/ face s.t|
|Get on with s.o||Have a good relationship with s.o|
|Get rid of s.t/s.o||Dispose of, exclude|
|Get to know s.o||Become acquainted with s.o|
|Make s.t up||Lie or invent s.t|
|Check up on s.o||Scrutinize s.o’s progress with a task|
|Slip up||Make a mistake|
|Tell on s.o||Inform authorities about s.o’s misbehaviour|
|Go out with s.o||Have a romantic relationship with s.o|
|Hit it off||Very quickly attract and be attracted to s.o|
|Toss away||Throw away|
|Get out||Leave this place (rude)|
|Look forward to s.t||Wait for s.t with impatience|
|Turn s.t on/off||Switch s.t on/off|
|Size s.o up||Judge or estimate s.o|
|Plug s.t in||Connect s.t to the power grid|
1) size them up
2) toss us away
3) get out
4) check up on you
5) slip up, plugging in
6) tell on me
7) deal with, passed out
More of this English course coming soon…
In the meantime, why don’t you try my other English courses for TV shows? I have a difficult advanced course which focusses on the vocabulary in the modern US Sherlock TV show, or an upper intermediate course for the UK Sherlock.
Match the verbs with the nouns to make collocations:
|Burst||war (on s.t/s.o)|
|Ask s.o||a pair of glasses|
|Declare||the emergency services|
|Turn off||a few tips|
|Pick up||a personal question|
|Try on||your voice|
|Get in||a soldering iron|
|Deal with||the safety clip|
|Look forward to||your feet|
|Be subject to||the nozzle|
|Speak||hearing from you|
Some more collocations:
Pick up – some ideas/a language/a hitchhiker/
Deal with – a difficult client/a problem/a situation
Aim – your gun/a missile/a weapon
Get in – your car/touch with/contact with
Raise – your salary/your arms/taxes/the alarm
Dial – the wrong number/999/
Burst – a spot/a blister/into tears/out laughing
Declare – oneself bankrupt/your goods (at customs)
Use these collocations in the following discussion questions:
1) What number should you ____ in your country if you require the ____ ____?
2) Do you think the government should ____ ____ or decrease them?
3) When you were a child, did you use to ____ ____ ____? How did you misbehave? How were you punished?
4) When was the last time you were so happy or so sad that you ____ ____ ____ or ____ ____ ____?
5) When you go abroad, do you usually ____ ____ ____ at customs, or walk straight through?
6) When was the last time your employer ____ ____ ____? What percentage did it increase by?
7) How do you ____ ____ stress? Do you have any tips?
8) How do you ____ ____ a language quickly?
Grammar – past simple, past continuous, past perfect
Past simple = did
Past continuous = was/were doing
Past perfect = had done
We use past simple for consecutive moments which are complete. We use past continuous for incomplete moments which often happen at the same time as other moments. For example
Roy screamed (COMPLETE) at the girl when she was waiting (INCOMPLETE) to try the stress machine.
We use past simple for consecutive moments (moments in the story that happen one after the other). We use past perfect in the narrative when we want to emphasize that something happened earlier than a past simple moment. For example
When Jen took off her shoe she saw that she had broken (EARLIER than other 2 verbs) her toe
Put the following verbs into the correct past tense
When Jen (get) to work that morning she immediately (have to) go to a meeting where her boss (declare) war on stress. During the meeting Jen couldn’t stop thinking about the shoes she (see) in the shop window on the way to work. So she (decide) to leave early. The boss also (invite) an expert on stress to give a lecture. The staff reluctantly (agree) to go only after they (be told) about the free buffet. When Roy and Moss (arrive) at the stress lecture, the expert already (start) and everybody (sit) and (listen) to him. He (ask) for a volunteer and a lady (get up) and (try) the stress machine. Then Roy (offer) to be the next volunteer and he (scream) at the lady while she (sit) in her chair.
More questions for discussion
If a fire breaks out in your place of work, what is the procedure for employees? How should they raise the alarm? Would you know how to use a fire extinguisher?
Do you have an IT department at work? How effective are they? Do they deal with your problems quickly?
Have you ever been fired? Have any colleagues been fired recently? How did they/you get in trouble?
Do you often raise your voice at work? What sort of thing causes this?
|Dial||the emergency services|
|Ask s.o||a personal question|
|Declare||war (on s.t/s.o)|
|Turn off||A soldering iron|
|Pick up||a few tips|
|Try on||a pair of glasses|
|Remove||the safety clip|
|Look forward to||hearing from you|
|Be subject to||terrible rages|
1) Dial, emergency services
2) Raise taxes
3) get in trouble
4) burst out laughing, burst into tears
5) declare your goods
6) raised your salary
7) deal with
8) pick up
2) had to
4) had seen
6) had also invited
8) had been told
10) had already started
11) was sitting and listening
13) got up
17) was sitting
1) How much has Roy won playing poker?
2) What conclusion does Roy make when he sees that Phillip wanted the copy of Heat magazine?
3) Who is the actual owner of the copy of Heat?
4) What kinds of scenes are included in the musical?
5) Which member of the cast does Roy want to meet at the backstage party?
6) Who likes the musical?
7) Why don’t Roy and Moss manage to go to toilet the first time?
8) How much does Roy give the toilet attendant?
9) Why does Moss tell Roy that he shouldn’t use the disabled toilet?
10) What does Roy tell the theatre staff in the toilet?
11) What description does Roy give of the man who stole his wheelchair?
Can you think of different words for the following expressions?
1) That’s settled then.
2) Catch you later
3) Don’t take this the wrong way
4) Where are you lot off to?
5) Would you keep it down, please?
6) I need to wee wee
7) Let’s get it over with
8) Are you slacking off?
9) For god’s sake!
10) Stop mucking around!
Grammar: Gerunds (ing), infinitives and to + infinitive
a) after prepositions
b) after MIND, STOP, FINISH, START, LIKE, LOVE, HATE, SUGGEST, RECOMMEND, CONSIDER, get used to,
c) as subject of the sentence
TO + INFINITIVE
a) after adjectives
b) after most verbs (including ‘would like’)
c) to express purpose
INFINITIVE WITHOUT TO
a) after modal verbs (should, would, will, could, can, may, might) also ‘had better’, ‘would rather’
b) after the object with the verbs ‘make, let, help’
Phillip invited Jen to come to the theatre:
‘Would you like to come to the theatre?’ (would like + to + infinitive)
Roy suggested getting a taxi:
‘Let’s get a taxi!’ (Let’s + infinitive)
And Roy thanked Phillip:
‘Thanks for coming down, Phillip’ (preposition + gerund)
Please use gerund or (to +) infinitive in the following sentences
1) Moss warned Jen not ____ what he said the wrong way (take)
2) He accused Moss of ____ off (slack)
3) I’m comfortable with my sexuality, but I don’t want ____ slapped in the face with their sexuality (be) 4) It must ____ so difficult: ____ gay and disabled (be, be)
5) Sorry, I love ____ him! (tickle)
6) I’d love ____ in that office! (work)
7) I just paid a pound not ____ to the toilet. (go)
8) Stop ____ around! I want a go on the wheelchair! (muck)
Moss says that he probably would have worked in the theatre if he hadn’t been a computer technician. What profession would you have chosen if life had been different?
Roy and Moss suspect that Phillip is gay because of the magazine he reads. How can you tell if someone is gay?
Have you ever been to the theatre? Have you ever met the cast or gone backstage? What would you say to your favourite actor if you had the chance to meet him backstage?
Do you ever park in disabled parking spaces? What would happen if you were caught?
Have you ever been on a work outing?
1) 450 pounds (quid)
2) He doesn’t know many heterosexual men who read Heat.
3) Richmond (the Goth)
4) Scenes of graphic homo eroticism.
5) Laura Knightley
6) Phillip and Moss
7) A toilet attendant stares at them and makes them nervous/embarrassed.
8) 1 pound
9) Its illegal /he’ll get in trouble.
10) That he fell off the toilet and someone stole his wheelchair.
11) Caucasian male, red hair, glasses, possibly disguised.
Can you think of different words for the following expressions?
1) That’s settled then.= That’s agreed.
2) Catch you later.= See you later
3) Don’t take this the wrong way.= Don’t misunderstand me
4) Where are you lot off to?= Where are you all going?
5) Would you keep it down, please.= Be quiet please
6) I need to wee wee.= I need to go to toilet
7) Let’s get it over with.= Lets finish this now
8) Are you slacking off?= Are you being lazy?
9) For god’s sake!= For goodness sake!
10) Stop mucking around! = Stop playing about
1) Moss warned Jen not to take what he said the wrong way
2) He accused Moss of slacking off
3) I’m comfortable with my sexuality, but I don’t want to be slapped in the face with their sexuality
4) It must be so difficult: being gay and disabled
5) Sorry, I love tickling him!
6) I’d love to work in that office!
7) I just paid a pound not to go to the toilet.
8) Stop mucking around! I want a go on the wheelchair!
1) Why does the secretary interrupt the meeting in the first scene?
2) What does Moss offer to do to Roy’s phone?
3) Why is Moss angry with the staff on floor 7?
4) When is Roy going to die, according to the website?
5) How long has Jen not been smoking? How did she give up?
6) Why does the new boss threaten to sack the IT department?
7) Who does Denholm’s son sack? Why?
8) Why does Denholm’s son want to delete the pension files?
Reporting Verbs English course
1) Want to do (+ to + infinitive) promise, threaten, offer
2) Tell s.o to do (object + to + infinitive) ask, warn, advise
3) Congratulate s.o on doing (object + preposition + gerund) accuse s.o (of)
4) Avoid doing (+ gerund) deny, admit, regret, suggest, recommend
5) Insist on doing (+ preposition + gerund) apologise for
6) Say that (+ that + clause) promise, insist, suggest, deny, admit
7) Tell s.o that assure, persuade, convince, warn, advise (NOT ask)
Put the following sentences into reported speech, using the reporting verbs.
1) ‘I’ll sort your phone out for you’
2) ‘You should take no notice of that website’
3) ‘Please, take this pen….’
4) ‘Some of you I won’t be seeing very much of, after today’
The new boss threatened
5) ‘Has anyone got the right time?’
6) ‘It clearly stated that you were going to die today’
7) ‘Just say ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ and move on’
8) ‘Death….death is coming.’
The priest warned
9) ‘I will not get involved in another sexual harassment case’
Denholm’s son promised
10) ‘We have some irregularities in the pension fund’
Have you ever seen the kind of website that Moss and Roy describe? Would you try it? What’s the most stupid website you’ve ever seen?
Jen says she used to smoke 40 a day. Have you ever smoked? What are the best ways to give up?
Denholm leaves a video message for the mourners at the funeral. What kind of message would you like to leave? Or is it better not to leave one?
How does the funeral differ from funerals in your country?
1) She came to warn Denholm that the police had arrived and wished to speak about irregularities in the pension fund.
2) To repair and improve the vibrate mechanism.
3) They disabled the firewall, so now there are lots of viruses in the system.
4) On Thursday at 3pm.
5) 3 years. Self-control.
6) Because they spoil the funeral and he doesn’t like them anyway.
7) The new boss, Mr Pippin. He might have seen him as a competitor.
8) To erase any evidence about money missing from the pension fund.
Reporting Verbs English course
1) Moss offered to sort out Roy’s phone.
2) Moss advised Roy to take no notice of the website.
3) Moss insisted on giving his pen to Denholm’s wife.
4) The new boss threatened to sack the IT crowd.
5) Roy asked if anyone had got the right time.
6) Moss reminded Roy that he was going to die on that day.
7) Jen suggested saying ‘I’m sorry for your loss’.
8) The priest warned them that death was coming.
9) Denholm’s son promised not to get involved in another sexual harassment case.
10) Denholm admitted having some irregularities in the pension fund.