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Lesson 47: How Can I help?


Summary

Pete is fixing his car. Can Anna help him? She was fixing cars when she was a teenager.

Speaking

In this video, learn how to say the new words. Then learn about how to offer and accept help.

Pronunciation

Use this video to learn about the reduced form of "I will" in the future tense.

Conversation


Anna: Hi, Pete. What are you doing?
Pete: Oh! Hi, Anna. Right now, I am fixing my car.
Anna: How’s it going?
Pete: It’s going … not so good.
Anna: How can I help? I was planning to visit some friends. But if you need help, I can help. I like helping.
Pete: Anna, I can fix it myself. But thanks.
Anna: Pete, I think I found your problem. These are spark plugs. (holds them up)
Anna: They start the engine.
Pete: I know that, Anna. But there were too many spark plugs … in there. So I took out the extra ones.
Anna: There are no extras, Pete. You need all of them. Pete, can you fix a car yourself?
Pete: Well, Anna, last night I was watching the online video course, “You CAN Fix a Car Yourself!”
Dan: Yes, you CAN fix your car yourself!
Pete: And I watched the first 10 lessons. So, I think I know what I’m doing.
Anna: How many lessons are there?
Pete: Four hundred and fifty.
Anna: 450! That'll take too long! If I fix your car, I'll have it running in 10 to 15 minutes.
Anna: Where’re your tools?
Pete: I have this. (puts a useless tool in her hand). And this. (hands her another useless tool)
Anna: Great. Um, I’ll get my tools. I’ll be back in a flash!
Pete: But, Anna, I don’t need your ...
(She goes and quickly comes back with tools.)
Pete: … help.
Anna: Pete, when I was a teenager, I was fixing cars -- myself. I learned from a master.
Anna: You can trust me.
Pete: Okay.
Anna: Great! But we need teamwork. You sit in the car. When I say “go,” you start the engine.
Anna: Okay, go! ​
Anna: Stop!
Anna: Okay, go! Huh.
Pete: It's not starting! It’s not starting!
Anna: What’s wrong?
Pete: This car is stupid … stupid, stupid!
Anna: Pete, kicking the tires will not help.
Pete: Well, you did not help, Anna. You did not help!!
Anna: Pete, Pete! Pull yourself together, man. Give me the keys. I must feel the key in the ignition and turn it myself.
Master: Use the key, Anna. Turn the key, Anna. What are you forgetting, Anna?
Anna: Pete. Pete.
Pete: What?
Anna: You are out of gas.
Pete: I can’t be out of gas. (looks at gauge) I’m out of gas. Sorry, Anna. I’ll go get some.
Anna: Pete. You relax. Clean your face. You can watch the rest of your online video course. It’ll be faster if I go … in a flash. Until next time …
Dan (in the online video course): “Lesson 11. Always make sure you have a full tank of gas!”

Writing

In this lesson, Anna helps Pete fix his car. When was the last time you helped a friend or family member? What were they doing when you helped? What were you doing to help them? Write to us by email or in the Comments section.

Click on the image below to download the Activity Sheet and practice talking about common household problems and offering help. Please note, our activity sheets now can be completed on the computer.

LLE 47 Activity Sheet

LLE 47 Activity Sheet

Learning Strategy

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

The learning strategy for this lesson is Access Information Sources. In today's computer age, it is easy to learn online. But you can also learn from people who have experience.

In this lesson, Pete learns to fix his car by watching an online video course. Anna tells Pete that she learned to fix cars from someone who had many years of experience. She calls her teacher "a master," and she remembers her master's words when she helps Pete with his car. Both Pete and Anna are accessing information sources to learn.

What sources of information do you use, or access, as you are learning 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

course - n. a series of classes about a particular subject in a school
engine - n. a machine that changes energy (such as heat from burning fuel) into mechanical motion
face - n. the front part of the head that has the eyes, nose and mouth on it
fix - v. to make (something) whole or able to work properly again orto repair (something)
flash - n. a sudden appearance or occurrence of something
ignition - n. the electrical system in an engine that causes the fuel to burn so that the engine begins working
key - n. a device that is used to open a lock or start an automobile
kick - v.to hit (someone or something) with your foot
master - n. a person who has become very skilled at doing something
spark plug - n. a part of an engine that produces a spark that makes the fuel burn
stupid - adj. informal. used to refer to something in an angry or irritated way
tank - n.a container for holding a liquid or gas
tire - n. a rubber ring that usually contains air and that fits around the wheel of a car or bicycle
tool - n. something (such as a hammer, saw or shovel) that you hold in your hand and use for a particular task
video - n. a movie, television show or event that has been recorded so that it can be watched on a television or computer screen

Let's Learn English Lesson-47 New Words

Let's Learn English Lesson-47 New Words

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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 offering help and accept inghelp from a friend with common household problems.​

For Teachers

Lesson 47 Lesson Plan

Lesson 47 Lesson Plan

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: Review of past and present continuous; review of reflexive pronouns

Topics: Offering and accepting help

Learning Strategy: Access Information Sources

Speaking & Pronunciation: Reduced form of "I will" in American English

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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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