Lesson 102 – A Brief History of Game Shows – Verbs + Infinitive with “To”

Curso de Inglés Gratuito C2




IN YOUR LANGUAGE (Top right > Select language > Click on the flags).


  • British game show
  • Transmitted live
  • A panel of guests
  • The show was short lived
  • Closing down
  • The launch of
  • To perform a mime
  • Yes-or-no questions
  • To work out the contestant’s job
  • A commercial station
  • It brought in revenue
  • To offer cash prizes
  • Qualification game
  • The question master
  • General knowledge questions
  • The host would try to
  • Legitimate prizes
  • A game show frenzy
  • One of the leading shows
  • Loss of the franchise
  • To fill in the void
  • Of any note
  • Highbrow
  • Political incorrectness
  • They aired their dirty laundry
  • Upstanding family
  • At its base
  • Family orientated
  • The strike culture
  • It was sweeping across
  • All-out strike
  • The highest ever rating
  • It kept the genre alive
  • They were set creative tasks
  • Nursery rhymes
  • News reports
  • Limericks
  • Dexterity tests
  • Spot the difference
  • Assault courses
  • Spatial awareness tests
  • Questions rounds
  • Head to head
  • The overall winner
  • Cashed in on merchandise
  • Sports bags
  • Appearing on the programme
  • An interactive DVD Board Game
  • Corporate entertainments
  • Orienteering
  • Mountain biking
  • Survival training
  • Obstacle course
  • The paying public
  • To take on


– Brief History of Game Shows –


Learn English – Lesson 102 – Brief Histori of Games Shows

The first ever British game show was Spelling Bee, in 1938. Transmitted live from BBC studios, the format of the show simply involved a panel of guests being asked to spell a series of words. The show was short lived as the second world war resulted in television closing down and on its return did not produce any notable game shows. In 1951 that all changed with the launch of What’s My Line?, a panel show in which contestants with unusual occupations perform a mime of the job that they do, then field yes-or-no questions from four celebrities aiming to work out the contestant’s job.

In 1955, ITV came into being, a commercial station that brought in revenue and allowed for game shows to offer cash prizes, the first one being Take Your Pick. The game opened with a qualification game where the contestants had to respond to the question master’s questions without saying “Yes or No”. Those who qualified were asked three general knowledge questions, and if answered correctly would get to pick one of ten keys, each one corresponding to a numbered box. The host would try to buy the key off the contestant, who would either sell back the key or open the box. Some of the boxes contained booby prizes, others contained legitimate prizes.

This bought on a game show frenzy and by 1958 there was a quiz show on six nights of the week. A similar fever existed in the USA and as a result, many different formats emerged and were subsequently copied. Shows like The 64,000 Dollar Question and Twenty One enjoyed  immense success. Take Your Pick remained one of the leading shows with audiences but was unfortunately axed due to a loss of the franchise. Despite the launch of the BBC’s second channel, in 1964, there were not many offerings to fill in the void left by Take Your Pick. Call My Bluff was the only game show of any note on this channel, whilst ITV aired the highbrow, University Challenge.

The 70s brought with it a political incorrectness as comedians and sitcoms aired their dirty laundry on ITV. To counter this, the BBC produced several game shows with the functional, upstanding family at its base, shows like Ask The Family and Generation Game. Though the Generation Game and shows to come like Family Fortunes, held with the family orientated format, the strike culture that was sweeping across Britain again altered the face of television game shows. ITV’s Sale of The Century capitalised on the BBC’s all-out strike and won over 21.2 million viewers, the highest ever rating for an ITV game show.

The translation of American game shows on to British television kept the genre alive but it was The Krypton Factor that was one of the first new-style game shows to be exported to the USA. Launched in 1977 by ITV, The Krypton Factor combined quiz, puzzle, and physical challenges and put four contestants through “the ultimate mental and physical tests”. The title of the show was a reference to Superman’s home planet Krypton. Each episode consisted of six rounds, Mental Agility; Response; Intelligence; Observation; Physical Ability and General Knowledge. The Mental Agility round was originally called the “Personality” round in which contestants were set creative tasks such as rewriting nursery rhymes as news reports or inventing limericks on a given topic. Other rounds included dexterity tests, spot the difference, assault courses, spatial awareness tests, and questions rounds. Contestants went head to head, with the overall winner of each episode moving on to the next stage with a chance to make it to the final to win the Krypton Factor Superperson of The Year.

The show aired for 17 series consecutively, with no show produced in 1994. It made a return  in 1995 but was not seen again until 2009/2010. Although it was very successful in Britain it did not do so well in the U.S. producing only two series. The first was a five-week limited series that aired in 1981 and the second premiered on September 15, 1990 and ran until September 7, 1991. So successful was The Krypton Factor that it has cashed in on merchandise including clothing and sports bags, made popular by the show itself as all contestants would receive these items with the Krypton Factor logo on them as gifts for appearing on the programme.

Several books have been published concerning the show and in 1989 a A Krypton Factor Quiz book was published. There have also been a computer game and an interactive DVD Board Game. Adrenalin, a company that offers corporate entertainments, paintball, orienteering, mountain biking and survival training in North Yorkshire, markets itself as the home of the obstacle course from the TV series, which offers the paying public a chance to take on the Assault course.


Interactive Video Comprehension Quiz 1

Summary Statements Comprehension Quiz 2

Drag and Drop Quiz 3: 


Today we will look at a list of verbs systematically followed by “to”.


Some verbs may be followed either by a gerund (-ing form) or an infinitive (+ to). But generally each use has a different meaning.

  • “To remember + gerund (-ing form)”: I remember paying the fine, so I can’t understand why I have received another notice.
  • “To regret + gerund (-ing form)”: I regret studying French instead of English.
  • “To go on + gerund (-ing form)”: I will go on looking.
  • “To remember to” is before the action is carried out: I must remember to pay the fine before the deadline.
  • “To regret to” means “to be sorry to”: We regret to inform you that you are fired.
  • “To go on to” means “to do or say something new”: After the meeting, she went on to talk about the next project.

Some other verbs that use either the -ing form or +to, have the same meaning in both uses. Some of those verbs are:



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