Here is another vocabulary course for a classic UK TV show from the 1980’s. It’s a historical comedy, and this episode is set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the first. I recommend that you read the questions on this page, then watch the corresponding episode (try and find this online), then answer the questions and check your answers (scroll down to find the answers). Finally, retell the episode to whomever you are learning English with.

Vocabulary course

Vocabulary course

Blackadder the Second – Bells

Comprehension:

  1. What does Kate’s Father want her to do, and why?
  2. What does Kate decide to do?
  3. Who is Percy’s new girlfriend?
  4. Why does Blackadder fire Baldrick?
  5. Why does Blackadder go to the doctor?
  6. What cure does the Doctor prescribe Blackadder?
  7. Who does Baldrick recommend seeing instead of a Doctor?
  8. What is her advice for Blackadder?
  9. What is Nursey’s real name?
  10. Who would Blackadder like to be his best man?
  11. What does Blackadder do when he meets his father-in-law?
  12. Why is the wedding delayed?
  13. What does Lord Melchet say is the custom when Blackadder’s bride runs off with the best man?

Vocabulary Course

Match the words on the left with their definitions

Poverty A place selected as the aim for an arrow
A fortune A type of weapon shot from a bow
A beggar A lack of money
A target A lot of money
An arrow A friend
A thousand to one chance Someone who asks for money
A servant Strange
A willy Unable to see
A chum A person who performs domestic duties for s.o
Odd A very unlikely probability
Filthy To be very hungry or die from lack of food
Stark raving mad Very dirty
Blind Completely crazy
To starve To be attracted to s.o / to want s.t
To be fired To pretend to be someone else by altering your appearance
To wrestle To cut off hair with a razor
To fancy s.o / to fancy s.t A winkle (childish word for a boys genitals)
To disguise oneself as To fight with grappling and throwing
To shave To be sacked

Now use the words in the left column in the following sentences (in the correct forms)

  1. Kate went to London and ____ a boy in order to escape the ____ that her father and herself were in
  2. Lord Percy decided to ____ when Blackadder told him that his girlfriend liked beards.
  3. Blackadder’s ____ was called Baldrick, and unfortunately he got an ____  stuck in his ____ when the boys were shooting their arrows at the ____.
  4. When Blackadder started to ____ his ____ he decided to go to a doctor.
  5. When Kate arrived at Blackadder’s house, Baldrick ____ immediately.
  6. When Blackadder met his father in law for the first time he thought he was a ____ ____.

Vocabulary course

Second Conditional (Imaginary present)  IF + PAST/ WOULD + 1st 

 If I were you, I would be ashamed of myself! (Doctor to Blackadder)

Third conditional (Imaginary past) IF + PAST PERFECT/ WOULD HAVE + 3rd 

If I hadn’t watched Blackadder, I wouldn’t have known the answer

Here is a quick lesson on conditionals:

And please try the following quiz

CONDITIONALS EXERCISES

Come up with imaginary consequences for the following situations:

  1. If I were a rich man…
  2. If I hadn’t gone to university…
  3. I wouldn’t have told you if….
  4. I would have gone with you if…
  5. If I were you…
  6. If my best man had run off with the bride…(or if my bridesmaid had run off with my groom..)
  7. If I were Blackadder…..

Discussion Questions

What are the main causes of poverty?
Are there many beggars in your town/city? Where do they beg?
Do you know anyone who is blind, or partially sighted?
How often do you shave?
If you had a fortune, would you employ servants?
Have you ever been fired?

Answers

  1. He wants her to become a prostitute because they are poor and need money. He thinks it’s a good idea because she can work from home
  2. Go to London, disguise herself as a boy and seek her fortune
  3. Jane Harrington.
  4. Kate (Bob) tells him that his servant is the worst in London – Blackadder agrees. So he decides to employ Bob and get rid of Baldrick. Baldrick offers to do the same job, but for no wages, and Blackadder agrees again.
  5. Because he almost kissed his servant and he is worried that he may be sick.
  6. A course of leeches.
  7. The wise woman.
  8. He has three choices – kill Bob, kill himself, or kill everyone else in the whole world.
  9. Bernard.
  10. Lord Flashheart.
  11. He offers him ten pounds to clear off.
  12. Lord Flashheart, the best man, is late.
  13. It is customary for the groom to marry one of the bridesmaids.

Vocabulary Course

Poverty A lack of money
A fortune A lot of money
A beggar Someone who asks for money
A target A place selected as the aim for an arrow
An arrow A type of weapon shot from a bow
A thousand to one chance A very unlikely probability
A servant A person who performs domestic duties for s.o
A willy A winkle (childish word for a boys genitals)
A chum A friend
Odd Strange
Filthy Very dirty
Stark raving mad Completely crazy
Blind Unable to see
To starve To be very hungry or die from lack of food
To be fired To be sacked
To wrestle To fight with grappling and throwing
To fancy s.o / to fancy s.t To be attracted to s.o / to want s.t
To disguise oneself as To pretend to be someone else by altering your appearance
To shave To cut off hair with a razor
Vocabulary course

Vocabulary course

  1. Disguised herself as / poverty
  2. Shave
  3. Servant / arrow / willy / target
  4. Fancy / servant
  5. Was fired
  6. Filthy beggar

More of these vocabulary courses coming soon…

If you have enjoyed this vocabulary course, please try my courses for other TV shows, including Sherlock, IT Crowd and Willy Fogg:

English lessons for the IT Crowd: intermediate level
English lessons for Sherlock (UK): upper intermediate level
English lessons for Sherlock (US): advanced level
English lessons for Willy Fogg: pre intermediate level
English lessons for Father Tedintermediate level