Learning English

Inspiring language learning since 1943

English Change language

English at University

Intermediate level

Episode 3 - Roommate

Episode 160929 / 29 Sep 2016

Episode 3 - Roommate

Mary's finally found her way to the university no thanks to new student, Daniel. She's managed to find her way to the accommodation block and is looking for her new room.

Language focus

Learn useful phrases about compromise:

Could we set some ground rules please?
Would you mind… keeping the room a bit more tidy?
It would be great if I could have some space on the desk to put my things.
Would that be a reasonable compromise?

Here are some other phrases you could use:

As there are now two of us, how about tidying up a bit?
Would you mind not making so much mess please?
Let's start as we mean to go on and keep this room tidy! 

Vocabulary

Synonyms for being untidy used in this episode:

  • this place is a tip
  • this place looks like a bomb's gone off
  • pigsty

Other words you could use:

cluttered
littered
chaotic 

Transcript

Narrator
Welcome back to English at University - the series that teaches some English phrases to help you through your first year of study abroad. Mary's finally found her way to the university no thanks to new student, Daniel. She's managed to find her way to the accommodation block and is looking for her new room. It's exciting isn't it Mary?

Mary
Well I'm at my room – room 101 – but the door's already open.

Narrator
Well you'd better go in. Good luck!

Mary
Oh hello, sorry, I thought this was my room? Room 101?

Abi
Yeah it's room 101 and you must be my new roommate. We share rooms here. I'm Abi, pleased to meet you.

Mary
Nice to meet you too – but I didn't realise I was sharing a room.

Abi
Oh don't worry, I won't bite. We'll have a blast.

Mary
A blast?

Abi
A laugh… a party… an amazing time. I've been here three years – it's great, loads of fit guys, parties…

Mary
And studying?

Abi
What's that! Listen, don't mind my mess. I tend to dry my washing on the window sill, that's when I actually wash it – sorry about the clothes on the floor – and all that stuff on the desk is mine. I'm sure you won't be needing the desk anyway…

Mary
Well errr….

Narrator
Mary, this place is a tip. That means it's really messy. It's time to put your foot down. It's your room too so she will have to compromise – you'll have to ask her to tidy up – and set some ground rules – you know, the basic rules of how something should be done.

Mary
Oh OK. Abi… it's great that we're going to be roommates but could we set some ground rules please? Would you mind keeping the room a bit more tidy? It would be a great help if I could have some space on the desk to put my things. And err… maybe you could keep your things on your side of the room and I'll look after this side? Would that be a reasonable compromise?

Abi
Oh, well, I suppose so.

Narrator
Well done Mary! This place looks like a bomb's gone off – it's really untidy! And if you don't say what you want then you won't get it. Even though you're the new girl, Abi will hopefully see that you're not to be messed with. Here are those phrases again…

Could we set some ground rules please?
Would you mind… keeping the room a bit more tidy?
It would be great if I could have some space on the desk to put my things.
Would that be a reasonable compromise?

Visit bbclearningenglish.com to practise these phrases and learn more about student accommodation in the UK. Now, has Abi agreed to tidy up this pigsty – this horrible messy room?

Abi
Well Mary, you're a bit bossy but I think we're going to get on very well…

Daniel
Anyone at home?

Mary
Oh no not him!

Daniel
Hi Mary, I found out that this was your room…

Abi
Hey Mary who's this loser? Stick with me Mary and I'll introduce you to lots of guys at Freshers' Week.

More 

Going away from home to start at university is a big move for any young person. Sharing a room with another student is not unusual, but, because of a shortage of accommodation, some are forced to share a single room. Listen to this BBC Learning English News Report to find out more.

Next

It's almost time for Mary's lectures to begin but before they do, there's an important event she can't miss. What can it be?

Latest English at University

  • 18 - Emergency

    18 - Emergency

    Episode 170116 / 16 Jan 2017

    Term's getting under way - and Mary is stressed! Does Abi have a solution so they can both chillax and take a break?

  • 17 - Take note

    17 - Take note

    Episode 170109 / 09 Jan 2017

    Term starts again at the University of Studies and Mary's struggling in Professor Not's lecture. Will she be able to keep up?

  • 16 - A home from home

    16 - A home from home

    Episode 161223 / 23 Dec 2016

    The first term is over at the University of Studies. All the students are packing up and heading home for the holidays – all except Mary that is! Where will she be spending the Christmas holidays?

  • 15 - Feedback

    15 - Feedback

    Episode 161219 / 19 Dec 2016

    It's almost the end of term and time for Mary to get her feedback from Professor Not. Will she be happy with what he's got to say?

  • 14 - Lost property

    14 - Lost property

    Episode 161212 / 12 Dec 2016

    Mary's got to hand in her assignment, but her memory stick has gone missing. Will she find it at the Lost Property office?

  • 13 - Deadlines

    13 - Deadlines

    Episode 161205 / 05 Dec 2016

    Mary's got an important deadline fast approaching. Will she finish her work on time?

  • 12 - Reboot!

    12 - Reboot!

    Episode 161128 / 28 Nov 2016

    Mary has to deal with a crisis when she accidentally loses her assignment

  • 11 - Study skills

    11 - Study skills

    Episode 161121 / 21 Nov 2016

    Mary attends Professor Not's study skills workshop but it sounds like she knows more about studying than him!

  • 10 - Getting down to business

    10 - Getting down to business

    Episode 161114 / 14 Nov 2016

    Finally, Mary starts to learn something about business - and how to ask for clarification

  • Episode 9 - Dinner time

    Episode 9 - Dinner time

    Episode 161107 / 07 Nov 2016

    Mary's feeling hungry

  • Episode 8 - The Library

    Episode 8 - The Library

    Episode 161031 / 31 Oct 2016

    Mary needs to borrow some books

  • Episode 7 - The Seminar

    Episode 7 - The Seminar

    Episode 161024 / 24 Oct 2016

    It's time for Mary's first seminar

  • Episode 6 - Lectures begin

    Episode 6 - Lectures begin

    Episode 161017 / 17 Oct 2016

    Mary's studying can finally begin

  • Episode 5 - Registration

    Episode 5 - Registration

    Episode 161010 / 10 Oct 2016

    Before Mary's lectures finally begin there's some paperwork to do

  • Episode 4 - Freshers' Week

    Episode 4 - Freshers' Week

    Episode 161003 / 03 Oct 2016

    There's an important event Mary can't miss

  • Episode 3 - Roommate

    Episode 3 - Roommate

    Episode 160929 / 29 Sep 2016

    Mary finds her new room and gets a big surprise

  • Episode 2 - Just landed

    Episode 2 - Just landed

    Episode 160926 / 26 Sep 2016

    Mary arrives in the UK but can't find her way to the university

  • Episode 1 - Leaving Home

    Episode 1 - Leaving Home

    Episode 160921 / 22 Sep 2016

    Mary leaves home to start her first year of study abroad