Goldilocks and The Three Bears

Hi, everyone. Hello from California. It’s a beautiful sunny summer’s day, 80 degrees outside. And all I can think about is how much I want to be spending the day on the beach. But I’m going to do something else that’s very fun and tell you a story. The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

You may know it. It’s one of the most popular stories ever written in the English language. And it’s also my daughter’s favorite. I’ve told it probably 500 times in the past six months. I’m not kidding. I’ve changed it in a crazy number of ways, elaborated. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve given the bears funny hairdos and Goldilocks different outfits. I’ve altered the ending. But today you’re going to get a very normal version of the story, not the original by any means, but a version that’s been adapted to modern American English. After all, it was written in the 1800s by an author named Robert Southee, and he was British. So of course it made sense to adapt it to American English. 

To amp up your learning experience, I’ve selected phrasal verbs, expressions, collocations, and a number of other fun things and inserted them into the storyline.

So listen carefully, there’s so much to be learned for an intermediate or advanced English learner.

Now, this story has been around for a long time and over the years it’s changed in a number of different ways. One of the original versions is odd and morbid, and I want to share it with you, so be sure to stay tuned until the very end to hear how that weird original version went. 

But before we dive into today’s normal story, you should know that this tale offers more than just 20 minutes of casual listening. Two very challenging tenses for non-native English speakers can be heard everywhere throughout the audio. These tenses are: the past perfect and the present perfect continuous. You’re also going to hear the third conditional.

I know a lot of you are listening and thinking, Oh, my God, what are you talking about? I have no idea what those are.


In a nutshell, we use the past perfect when talking about two events in the past. It helps us understand the order of those events. For example, Goldilocks had eaten the porridge before the bears arrived. We understand that Goldilocks ate the porridge first, and then the bears arrived second. She had eaten the porridge before the bears arrived. Right two events in the past.

You’ll recognize the past perfect in this audio when you hear had plus the past participle: had done, had gone, had been, had eaten, for example.


To access the full transcript and bonus material to practice English with this content, be sure to join Season 3 OR All Premium Content