Learn English with The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon helps Penny dress

Penny slipped in the bathtub and dislocated her shoulder. Now, she wants Sheldon to help her put on some clothes and drive her to the hospital.

In this blog post, you can have a lot of fun with a scene from The Big Bang Theory AND learn essential English Vocabulary at the same time.

For optimal results, please follow the five steps in the prescribed order:

  1. Watch with Subtitles (and try to understand as much as possible without looking any words up.)
  2. Read the Transcript (and again, resist the urge to look unfamiliar words up in a dictionary; guess the meaning from the context instead.)
  3. Now it’s time to learn the Vocabulary and Phrases used by Penny and Sheldon.
  4. Test yourself by watching the whole scene again (this time without subtitles).
  5. Test yourself with some quiz questions.

Step 1: Watch with Subtitles

Step 2: Read the Transcript

Sheldon: I see no organizational system in here whatsoever. Which panties do you wear on Mondays?

Penny: I don’t need panties, I just need shorts and a shirt.

Sheldon: My mother always told me one should wear clean underpants in case one is in an accident.

Penny: One was already in an accident.

Sheldon: That doesn’t mean one won’t be in another, especially if I’m driving.

Penny: Clothes, Sheldon. I need clothes!

Sheldon: Okay, here.

Penny: Seriously? Those shorts with that top?

Sheldon: All right.

Penny: No… No… Oh, that’s cute.

Sheldon: We should have you checked for a concussion.

Penny: Okay, now, you got to help me put these on.

Sheldon: All right.

Penny: But don’t look.

Sheldon: Don’t look?

Penny: I don’t want you to see me naked.

Sheldon: Oh. Well, that’s understandable. You may be interested to know that a prohibition against looking is well established in heroic mythology. Uh, Lot and his wife, Perseus and Medusa, Orpheus and Eurydice.

Penny: Yeah, great.

Sheldon: They always look. It never ends well.

Penny: Ok, now you got to help me get my arm into the sleeve.

Sheldon: Ok.

Penny: Is that my arm?

Sheldon: It doesn’t feel like an arm.

Penny: Then, maybe you should let it go.

Sheldon: All righty.

Step 3: Learn the Vocabulary

whatsoever = used after a negative phrase to add emphasis to the idea that is being expressed

Example: He has no respect for authority whatsoever.

panties (mainly US) = a piece of women’s or girl’s underwear

The word panties is mainly used in the US. In Britain, you’re more likely to hear the words pants or knickers when referring to women’s underwear. (Please note: In American English, pants means trousers. So, don’t confuse pants and panties in American English.)

Example: All she was wearing was a pair of panties and a bra.

one = You can use the word “one” to make statements about people in general.

Example: One ought to make the effort to vote.

concussion = temporary damage to the brain caused by a fall or hit on the head

Example: He was taken to hospital suffering from concussion.

prohibition = the act of officially not allowing something

Example: The country has announced a prohibition on/against smoking on buses.

heroic = very brave or great

Example: His heroic deeds were celebrated in every corner of the country.

mythology = a group of myths, especially all the myths from a particular country

Example: She’s fascinated by the stories of ancient Greek mythology.

Lot and his wife, Perseus and Medusa, Orpheus and Eurydice = figures from ancient Greek and Biblical mythology

all righty / alrighty = informal for all right

Example: All righty then, let’s get started!

Step 4: Watch without Subtitles

Step 5: Take the Test

SHELDON helps PENNY dress

1 / 4

What clothes did Penny want? (There can be more than one correct answer.)

2 / 4

How did Sheldon react when Penny told him to close his eyes? (There can be more than one correct answer.)

3 / 4

What would you say in Britain instead of "panties"? (There can be more than one correct answer.)

4 / 4

Which preposition is correct? The country has announced a prohibition ..... smoking on buses. (There can be more than one correct answer.)

Your score is


Scene taken from Season 3, Episode 8 of The Big Bang Theory: The Adhesive Duck Deficiency | Definitions and example sentences are partly taken from the Cambridge and Collins Dictionary.

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By Martin

Martin is the main contributor to this website. He loves to watch funny English sitcoms and inspirational videos and to read English books of different genres. Now, he wants to share his experience with you by posting funny and meaningful English lessons based on the sitcoms, videos, and books he loves so much.

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