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Learning English - Welcome to London Big Ben
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Unit 1: Transport
Speak  1: Comparisons and the 'schwa' sound
The schwa sound
John and Fiona have been discussing which type of transport to use. In their conversation they often use the schwa sound when making comparisons about the different types of transport.
Instructions for exercise
Click on the link below to listen to the pronunciations. You will need Real Player to do this.
Have a look at the faqs section of the website if you have problems listening to the audio.
While you are listening, look at the highlighted parts of the sentences below. Can you detect the pronunciations in this part of the sentence? Try to speak them out loud yourself.
Listen  Listen to the pronunciation
Can you detect the pronunciations?
The Tube is quicker than the Airbus.

The Tube is cheaper than a taxi.

The Tube is not as quick as the Heathrow Express.

The Airbus is not as expensive as a taxi.
Language tips - Grammar
When we have 2 things to compare

The tube is quicker than the Airbus - quick is a short adjective (adjective + er + than).
The Airbus is more expensive than the Tube - expensive is a long adjective (more + adjective + than).
The Tube is not as quick as the Heathrow Express (not as + adjective + as). This is the same as saying 'The Heathrow Express is quicker than the tube'.

When we have 3 things to compare

The Tube is the cheapest (the + adjective + est). Remember, cheap is a short adjective.
A Taxi is the most expensive (the + most + adjective). Remember, expensive is a long adjective.

Unit 1: Transport
Listen 1: Choosing transport from Heathrow into town
Listen 2: At the ticket office
Listen 3: In the train station
Read 1: Comparing travel options
Speak 1: Comparisons and the 'schwa' sound
Unit 2: Hotel
Unit 3: Cinema
Unit 4: Shopping
Unit 5: Work
Unit 6: Eating Out
  Useful links
BBC London travel news