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Lesson 6: Will It Float?


Summary

Anna takes Penelope around the city on a tour vehicle. Is it a bus? Is it a boat? Yes! The Duck Bus/Boat. It goes on land. It goes on water.

Conversation

Penelope: Anna, thanks for taking me on a tour of D.C. today.

Anna: Sure thing, Penelope. You are new to town. And a tour is the best way to see more of the city!

Penelope: So, which tour are we taking – the one that goes through the city on a bus? Or the one that goes along the river in a boat?

Anna: Both!

Penelope: What? Anna, this isn’t going to be one of those trips, is it?

Anna: No. Follow me.

Professor Bot: In this lesson, you are going to hear lots of prepositions! What’s a preposition, you ask? It’s a word that shows relationships between things. Anna says they are going on a tour through the city and along the river. Through and along are both prepositions. Watch for more!

Anna: Well, Penelope, there’s our ride!

Penelope: What is it?

Anna: It’s the famous DC Ducks -- the boat with wheels! We will ride on the road and then sail on the water!

Penelope: Who thinks of these things?

Anna: I don't know. But I’m glad they do! Let’s get aboard, Sailor!

Penelope: (looking at a brochure about the boat) Hey, did you know that this bus … um, boat was created during World War II to carry people and supplies?

Anna: Wow. You know, a tour is so much more interesting with Fun Facts, like that one.

Penelope: I agree. I love Fun Facts!

Boy: Did I hear you say you love Fun Facts?

Anna & Penelope: Yeah.

Boy: Well, I have tons of Fun Facts for this tour!

Anna & Penelope: Great!

Anna: Penelope, where are his parents?

Penelope: Maybe - maybe he’s the Captain’s son and he helps his dad on tours!

Anna: Oh yeah! It would be so awesome to ride around the city in a boat all day with your dad!

Penelope: This is amazing, Anna. There are so many beautiful buildings along this road!

Anna: Hey, the Washington Monument is on the left!

Professor Bot: I have a Fun Fact too! Did you know that the Washington Monument was damaged in an earthquake? Whoa. Did you feel that?!

I heard: "around the city in a boat," "along this road and "on the left." All of these are prepositions showing place. Let's watch for more places and prepositions!

Penelope: Look, Anna, we’re across from the White House!

Anna: Penelope, the only thing between us and the President is the street … and a park … and a security gate .... and police officers … with guns.

Boy: Excuse me, do you want to know a Fun Fact about the White House?

Anna & Penelope: Yes!

Boy: Inside the White House there is a swimming pool, a movie theater and 32 bathrooms!

Penelope: Thirty-two bathrooms! That’s a lot of bathrooms!

Boy: I’d be happy with two. I live in a house with my mom, four sisters, two aunts and only one bathroom!

Penelope: Oh my! You know, Anna, we should give him a tip!

Anna: Of course! It is polite to tip your tour guide! Luckily, I have lots of dollar bills!

Penelope: That was a great Fun Fact! Here you go!

Boy: Thank you! I can tell you Fun Facts all day!

Professor Bot: Did you hear any more prepositions of place? I heard "between us and the president" “inside the White House" and "in a house."

And did you hear that the Duck Boat can go on the river? I don't believe it. Join us next time to find out which preposition we will use: The boat went ON the river or The boat went INTO the river?

New Words

aboard - prep. on or into (a train, ship, etc.)
across - prep. on the other side of (something)
along - prep. in a line matching the length or direction of (something)
around - prep.over or in different parts of (a place)
between - prep. in the space that separates (two things or people)
captain - n. a person who is in charge of a ship or an airplane
carry - v. to move (something) while holding and supporting it
inside - prep. an inner part of something (such as a building or machine)
pool - n. (swimming pool) a large structure that is filled with water and that is used for swimming
relationship - n. the way in which two or more people or things are connected
security gate - n. a place where people are checked to make sure they are not carrying weapons or other illegal materials
through - prep. used to describe movement within a place or an area of land, air, etc.
tip - n. an extra amount of money that you give to someone (such as a waitress or waiter) who performs a service for you
- v. to give an extra amount of money to someone who performs a service for you
tour - n. an activity in which you go through a place (such as a building or city) in order to see and learn about the different parts of it
wheel - n. one of the round parts underneath a car, wagon, etc., that rolls and allows something to move

Learning Strategy

The learning strategy for this lesson is Access Information Sources. When we are learning about something, we often have several choices for finding out the information we need. Sometimes we can read a book, or look on the internet. At other times, we can ask a teacher, friend or classmate for information. No matter what the source is, you can then add the information to your own knowledge.

In this lesson, Penelope looks at a brochure to learn more about the tour boat. Then a young man tells her some "Fun Facts" so she can learn more about Washington, D.C.

How about you? How do you access information sources? When you are learning English, do you look for information in books, dictionaries, or online? Are you able to ask teachers, friends or classmates to help you by sharing their knowledge of English? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email.

Listening Quiz

See how well you understand this lesson by taking a listening quiz. Play each short video, then choose the best answer.

Free Materials

Word Book
Word Book

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

For Teachers

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Grammar focus: Prepositions of place

Topics: Sharing Information​

Learning Strategy: Access Information Sources

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Let's Learn English - Level 2 is a new course for English learners. Certified American English teachers designed the course for intermediate learners.

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

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