Session 4

Vocabulary: 13 uses of 'turn'

Sit back and enjoy the story of Hansel and Gretel and learn 13 different ways to use the word 'turn'

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Activity 1

Hansel and Gretel' part one - 13 uses of 'turn'

A sweet story that becomes sour
You may have heard the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel when you were younger. In this session, we bring you BBC Learning English's own version of this classic fairytale - and we've found many different ways to use the word turn in it. 

To do

As you watch part one of the story, listen out for the different uses of the word turn - and decide whether this summary of the story is correct or wrong:

  • Hansel and Gretel follow a trail of breadcrumbs which leads them to a little cottage.

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello, my name is Mariam. Today's story is one that you may have last heard when you were very young. It involves two children who head off into a forest where things take a turn for the worse.

These children are a girl and a boy called Hansel and Gretel. When they were very young their mother died but their father remarried. Of course, as is always the way in fairy tales, the children's new stepmother turns out to be cruel and evil.

This is how cruel she is – one day she leads the children deep into the forest. The children are scared, especially as their father has told them never to go there. But she turns a blind eye and leads them deeper and deeper into the forest, turning this way and that. And then she leaves them there all alone, apart from the birds and the squirrels and some other wildlife. But that smart-thinking Hansel has used some breadcrumbs that he found in his pocket, to lay a trail so they can find their way home. Simple!

Unfortunately, when they turn back to follow the trail they realise that those birds that I just mentioned, have eaten all the breadcrumbs, so the children are stranded in the deep dark forest. And to make matters worse, they walk further and further into the forest. By now they are hungry and tired – and there's no fast-food burger bar to be seen. Then there's an interesting turn of events. They suddenly turn up at a beautiful and colourful little cottage. Amazingly the cottage is made out of sweets and cakes – imagine that! So without delay, they start to eat it – hmm, it tastes delicious.

We'll leave the story there for now. But join me next time to see how this 'sweet' story turns into a sour one. Bye for now.

To do

How was that? The summary was wrong: Hansel and Gretel get lost when their trail of breadcrumbs is eaten by birds - they arrive at the cottage by chance.

Now, have a go at our quiz to check you know the first 7 uses of turn.

Hansel and Gretel - the story so far...

5 Questions

Let's check your understanding of the story - and the words and phrases with turn. Decide whether each statement about the story is true or false. Look at the vocabulary box if you need help.

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It's time to find out what happens next - 'turn' to the next page learn some more uses of turn! See you there.

Session Vocabulary

  • take a turn for the worse (C2)
    suddenly become worse

    turns out (B2)
    is discovered to be

    turns a blind eye (C1)

    turning (A1)
    changing direction

    turn back (B2)
    travel in the direction they came from

    turn of events (C2)
    outcome of a situation

    turn up (B2)

    turns into (B1)
    changes; becomes