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Lesson 43: Time for Plan B


Summary

Anna lost her wallet and needs to go to her class. She is calling her friends to get help. Who will help her find money for the train?

Speaking

In this video, learn how to say the new words. Then learn about using modal verbs, like "would" and "could," to ask for help politely.

Pronunciation

Use this video to learn about using informal pronunciation with "what are you" and "would you."

Conversation


Anna: Hey there! Tonight, I am teaching my ukulele class. It is far away. So, I am going to ride the Metro. Oh, no! I lost my wallet! It has my Metro card, my credit card and my money! Oh, no!
Anna: It's times like this I remember my father’s important words. He said, “Anna, never … ” No wait, “Always have emergency money.” .” (Anna pulls an envelope out of her bag and looks inside) It's empty. Time for Plan B. ‘Extra Emergency Money.’ (Anna pulls another envelope out of her bag and looks inside)
Anna: No! It's empty too! Anna, it's time for Plan C.
Anna: Hi, Marsha!
Marsha: Hi Anna. What’s up?
Anna: I’m stuck downtown without any money. Would you be able to come downtown? Please?
Marsha: Anna, I can’t. I’m too busy. I have to give a big presentation in one hour. Sorry!
Anna: That's ok. Good luck with your presentation!
Marsha: Thanks!
Anna: Time for Plan D.
Anna: Hi, Jonathan! How’s it going?
Jonathan: Hey, Anna. Things are great. What’s up?
Anna: Well, I was wondering if you could give me some money.
Jonathan: What?
Anna: See, I lost my wallet and I’m stuck downtown and I --
Jonathan: Anna, I wish I could. I'm at the airport with my mother. Her flight leaves in two hours.
Anna: That’s okay. Tell your Mom to have a nice trip!
Jonathan: I do wish I could help. Thanks.
Anna: 'Bye.
Anna: This is serious. Time for … Plan E.
Ashley: Hello.
Anna: Hi, Ashley! What are you doing?
Ashley: Oh! Hi Anna!
Anna: (Anna hears a child crying through the phone.) Ashley, I was wondering, uh, would you be able to come downtown? And could you give me $20?
Ashley: Anna, I can’t.
Anna: I’ll pay you back the money. I promise.
Ashley: Anna, I’m not worried about the money. I’m babysitting. (off-camera to niece) That was very, very, bad!
Anna: Well, losing your wallet is bad, but it's not the end of the world, Ashley.
Ashley: I was talking to my niece, Anna.
Anna: Well, thanks anyway, Ashley!
Ashley: Good luck getting money.
Anna: Good luck babysitting!
Ashley: Thanks.
Anna: Well, Plans A, B, C, D and E did not work. Think, Anna, think. Time for Plan F.
Anna: (singing) Won't you give, could -- Thank you very much, sir! -- would you give me money, won't you give -- Thank you very much! -- could you give, won't you give me money -- until next time! -- won't you give me money?

Writing

In this lesson, Anna needs help from a friend. Did you ever have a problem that a friend helped you to solve? Write to us by email or in the Comments section.

Click on the image below to download the Activity Sheet and practice using what you know to make polite requests and excuses.

Activity Sheet - Lesson 43
Activity Sheet - Lesson 43

Learning Strategy

Learning Strategies are the thoughts and actions that help make learning easier or more effective.

The learning strategy for this lesson is Use What You Know. When we use what we know, we solve problems in communication by thinking of familiar words or structures, and trying to communicate with them.

In this lesson, Anna learns that her friends cannot help her. She uses what she knows, playing the ukulele, to get the money she needs to ride on the train.

Do you ever use what you know when you speak English? Write to us about it in the Comments section or send us an email. Teachers, see the Lesson Plan for more details on teaching this strategy.

Quiz

Listen to short videos and test your listening skills with this quiz.

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New Words

airport - n. a place where aircraft land and take off and where there are buildings for passengers to wait in and for aircraft to be sheltered
babysit - v. to take care of a child while the child's parents are away
could - modal verb. used in speech to make a polite request or suggestion
downtown - adv. to, toward, or in the main or central part of a city or town
emergency - n. an unexpected and usually dangerous situation that calls for immediate action
empty - adj. containing nothing
flight - n. a journey on an airplane
presentation - n. an activity in which someone shows, describes, or explains something to a group of people
wallet - n.a small folding case that holds paper money or credit cards
without - prep. not having or including (something)
wonder- v. to have interest in knowing or learning something
worried - adj. feeling or showing fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen
would - modal verb. used to ask a polite question or to make a polite request, offer, or invitation

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Free Materials

Word Book
Word Book

Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.

Each Let's Learn English lesson has an Activity Sheet for extra practice on your own or in the classroom. In this lesson, you can use it to practice making excuses in response to requests for help.

For Teachers

Lesson Plan - Lesson 43
Lesson Plan - Lesson 43

See the Lesson Plan for this lesson for ideas and more teaching resources. Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.

Grammar: Could; Would; Be able to; Have got to; Too + adjective

Topics: Asking and telling about ability to do things; Review of Giving an Excuse; Expressing past & future ability or obligation

Learning Strategy: Personalize

Speaking & Pronunciation: Using modal verbs to make polite requests; Informal pronunciation of "what are you & would you"

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Let's Learn English is a new course for English learners. Certified American English teachers designed the course for beginners. The course continues for 52 weeks.

Each week, there will be a new lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. The lesson includes instruction in speaking, vocabulary and writing.

There are also printable worksheets, assessments and lesson plans for individual learners and English teachers. We encourage you to follow the weekly lessons and share your progress with us through comments and email.

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