Learning English

Inspiring language learning since 1943

English Change language

Session 4

Vocabulary: 8 uses of 'round'

Sit back and enjoy the story of Pygmalion - and learn 8 different uses of the word 'round'. 

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

0 / 11

  • 0 / 5
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 6
    Activity 2

Activity 1

Pygmalion part one - 4 uses of 'round'

The statue will never love him back!
The English word round has many meanings and uses. In this session, we bring you BBC Learning English's own version of the classic story Pygmalion - and we've found many different ways to use the word round in it. 

To do

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

  • Pygmalion meets his perfect woman in the street - unfortunately, she's not real!

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello, I'm Lizzie. Today I've got a story that dates back thousands of years. It involves a man who's a sculptor and who, through his skilful work, hopes to find the perfect woman. This man is called Pygmalion. A group of prostitutes are in the street, not behaving very well. These women have been punished by the goddess Aphrodite, for not believing in her, by removing their inhibitions – and their wild behaviour is driving him around the bend.

Pygmalion is not impressed. He hasn't met many women but soon he comes round to the idea that this is how all women behave and decides that he's going to ignore all women from now on.

Instead of talking to and meeting women, he decides to 'make' his ideal woman by carefully and delicately sculpturing an ivory statue. He works his way round and round the block, chiselling and carving away at pieces.

He works round the clock until eventually he creates a beautiful sculpture. In fact it is so lifelike that Pygmalion actually falls in love with the statue, almost believing it is human. He kisses it all over – yuk! But, sadly, the statue will never love him back.

What's the point of having an ivory statue to love? Join me for the next part to find out. Bye for now.

To do

How was that? The summary wasn't quite right - Pygmalion doesn't meet his perfect woman in the street, he makes her by sculpturing a statue!

Now, have a go at our quiz to check you know the first 4 uses of round.

Pygmalion - the story so far...

5 Questions

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

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y


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

Session Vocabulary

  • driving him around the bend  (C2)
    making him very annoyed

    comes round (C2)
    begins to accept something previously rejected

    round and round (B2)
    moving in a circular direction

    round the clock (C1)
    all day and all night