Bad Subtitles - Big Train - YouTube 2015-08-20 11-14-36

This is a lesson that improves learners’ spoken language and pokes fun at politicians.

It’s aimed at B2+ / C1 Business English learners.



1) Ask your learners to write down a list of 1 to 9.

2)   Tell the learners that you made some subtitles for a short film, but that you made 9 mistakes. Their task is to write down these mistakes.

3)  Play the video as many times as needed. Learners confer in pairs in-between each viewing.

4)  Check answers. Extend the task as you see fit.


1)  I don’t believe – I do believe (do here used for emphasis)

2)  It’s not a fraction of a second – it’s just a fraction of a second (just – a synonym for only here)

3)  the actual train wouldn’t be alright as fast as that – the actual train wouldn’t be quite as fast as that (quite used for emphasis)

4)  I would say – I should say (should here indicates a formal warning)

5)  fat small – that small (that used for emphasis, and to refer back to something that has just been said)

6)  much a big distance – such a big distance (such for emphasis)

7)  smaller version of anything – smaller version of everything (confusing every/ any is a common learner error – every refers to ‘every single thing’–there are limits–any refers to ‘any possible thing’–there are no limits)

8)  doesn’t that hand to reason – stand to reason (wrong verb used in the idiom to stand to reason – to be a logical conclusion)

9)  high ant – giant


Hope you enjoyed the second in the series of ‘Bad Subtitles’ lessons.

If you use this lesson let me know how it goes!



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