Real Exam English - B2, C1, C2

Short and Sweet - Camping

January 27, 2023 Real Exam English
Real Exam English - B2, C1, C2
Short and Sweet - Camping
Show Notes Transcript

In this short and sweet episode we ask a couple of questions about holidays and camping and analyse the answers for the best bits. We have some conditionals grammar, a couple of idioms, some camping vocab and an example of what is known is a portmanteau, nice.

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Music: Wholesome by Kevin MacLeod

Thanks to Leah Ann(from Ireland) for contributing.

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Hello and welcome to the Real Exam English podcast. This is the first episode in ages, right. Oh my god, anyway I’m really happy to be recording this and thanks very much for listening! This is a short and sweet episode, with just a couple of questions, but there’s loads of super language for us to take a look at, we have a bit of conditionals grammar, a couple of idioms, some camping vocab and an example of what is known is a portmanteau, nice.

Ok here we go:

Who would be the ideal person to go on a holiday with and why?

Probably my very good friend Lauren and my reason is because we have a lot of fun. We think the same way and we always chat about going on holidays in parallel. So it means that we can both do our own thing, but if they happen to be the same thing, then we do together. But if she wants to go on a day trip and I don't, there is no problem. And so yes, I love going with my friend Lauren.

Do you like camping holidays?

 I very much enjoy the idea of camping holidays. UM, but when it comes to the crunch, I haven't done it properly in years. So I did camping when I was in Australia many years ago. But it meant that we had a double blow up mattress on the ground we brought our hairdryers and everything else, and then the only other time was I did a bit of glamping at festivals in Ireland. Uh, actually this summer I did a couple of festivals, but we actually had tents that were already made-up for us with mattresses and beds, so I'm not sure if you could call that exactly camping. I like to pretend that I am, but I'm but, but I haven't quite done it properly. 

Yea I know, it´s hard isn´t it! People keep telling me, you should go camping with the kids. It´s like oh my god, it sounds like such a nightmare really.

Unless you're a dab hand at it, unless you are so prepared in you´re full, like Scout leader it is. 

Yea you need so much equipment.

Yeah, you need everything, and unless you're a regular campgoer I think I think it's really difficult unless you go to like the likes of France and have a big campsite set up. 


Ok, so in the first answer here we have our old friend happen to be, which we use when something occurs by chance. So the full sentence was “it means we can do our own thing, but if they happen to be the same thing, then we do it together”. Meaning, if by chance our activity is the same, we do it together. 

In the second answer we heard this great idiom, when it comes to the crunch. She said she likes the idea of camping but when it comes to the crunch she never does it. So we use this idiom when a situation comes to an important or difficult point and we have to make a decision or take action. For example, I was planning on moving to Australia but when it came to the crunch I couldn´t do it, because I would miss my family too much. Or England have a good football team, but when it comes to the crunch, they never win any tournaments.

After that she explained that she did a bit of glamping. So glamping is what is known as a portmanteau in English, when you blend two words together to make a new word. So for glamping, the words glamourous and camping are blended together. Other common examples of portmanteaus would be brunch, combining breakfast and lunch, Brexit, Britain and exit, hangry, mixing hungry and angry, anyone with kids can relate to that one I think. There´s lot of technological ones, like email, electronic mail, wi-fi, wireless and fidelity, internet, interconnected and network and of course podcast, mixing ipod and broadcast. Nice aren´t they, I love an ol portmanteau.

We then heard a lovely way to say you are an expert at something, a dab hand. So if you are a dab hand at camping, you are really good at it. You could definitely use this in an exam talking about your hobbies, like I love all kinds of racket sports, I’m a dab hand at tennis for instance. Or, my sister Maria is a dab hand at computer programming. 

We then had heard that unless you are a regular campgoer, it can be a nightmare. So, remember we use this suffix -goer to describe someone who regularly does something, and it is often used with the word regular, like I´m a regular churchgoer. Then she mentions a campsite, which is, of course, the place where you go camping.  A lot of people make mistakes with this word, and say things like we stayed in a camping, or there is a fantastic camping beside the beach. This is not correct, the place is called a campsite, so we stayed in a campsite, and the activity is called camping, we went camping last weekend. Or to combine them, we were camping in a campsite when we happened to meet our old friends. Got it, ok!

The very last thing to draw your attention to is where she says unless you go to the likes of France. So you could of course say unless you go to somewhere like France, or similar to France. But this way of saying it is nicer isn´t it, unless you go to the likes of France. Other examples would be, I don’t think we´ll see the likes of Messi and Ronaldo again, or I enjoy shopping in the likes of Bershka and Zara, or Zara, for our Spanish listeners. Lovely idiom, that. 

Well, that´s about it for today folks, hope you enjoyed that little mini podcast. Remember to like and subscribe to the podcast, in case you haven´t already done so. And once again, thanks a million for listening. 

All the best