Anna and Penelope are on a tour boat. A nice young man tells them many Fun Facts about Washington, D.C. But where are his parents?
Anna: Penelope, the Lincoln Memorial is coming up on your left!
Boy: You’re going to love my Lincoln Memorial Fun Fact!
Anna: Oh, please tell us!
Boy: On a wall inside the memorial, the word “FUTURE” was carved wrong! They carved “EUTURE”!
Anna: Well, we all make mistakes.
Boy: Yeah, but this mistake was carved in stone!
Anna: You’re right. That is pretty bad. Here’s another dollar!
Penelope: More fun facts, please! (Crossing the river) I love riding over bridges! The water looks so pretty from here!
Anna: Penelope, this is amazing! A minute ago, we were riding along the river, and now we’re riding in the river! Awesome.
Penelope: Hey, we’re passing by the Pentagon on our right!
Anna: Penelope, you love riding over the water on a bridge. But I love riding under a bridge in a boat!
Penelope: Anna, look! An airplane is flying right over our heads!
Anna: Wow! This is the closest I’ve ever been to an airplane in flight. Well, I’ve been inside a flying airplane. But not outside of an airplane as it flies over my head!
Penelope: And now we’re driving out of the water. I still can’t believe this thing drives and sails!
Anna: I know. It’s amazing.
Boy: After we ride along these railroad tracks, you’ll see my favorite part of the tour! The U.S. Treasury where they make money!
Penelope: Look, the U.S. Capitol is coming up!
Boy: I have a great Fun Fact about the U.S. Capitol.
Penelope: What is it?
Boy: There are tunnels under the Capitol. They connect the Capitol and office buildings of lawmakers.
Anna: I bet they built them years ago for secret reasons!
Boy: No. The lawmakers did not want to walk around outside in bad weather.
Penelope: We’re back at Union Station!
Boy: Do you want to know a creepy Fun Fact about Union Station? (he points to Union Station)
Penelope: The creepier the better!
Boy: Many years ago, inside Union Station, there was a funeral home!
Anna: A funeral home?! You mean, for dead people?!
Boy: Do you know another kind of funeral home?
Boy: Well, I’ve gotta run!
Anna: Thanks for giving us the great tour!
Anna: Captain, that was awesome! And your son is a great tour guide!
Captain: What son?
Captain: I’ve never seen that boy in my life! See ya, ladies!
Professor Bot: I learned many new Fun Facts in this lesson. Did you learn about prepositions?
Here’s a list of all the prepositions used in this lesson. Wow! That’s a lot! I know, let’s not read them. Let’s sing them! Hit it, boys! Take it away singers!
carve - v. to make (something, such as a sculpture or design) by cutting off pieces of the material it is made of
creepy - adj. strange, scary or causing people to feel nervous and afraid
funeral home - n. a place where dead people are prepared for burial or cremation and where wakes and funerals are held
security gate - n. the area in a place (such as an airport or building) where people are checked to make sure they are not carrying weapons or other illegal materials
stone - n. a hard substance that comes from the ground and is used for building or carving
tunnel - n. a passage that goes under the ground or through a hill
aboard on or into (a train, ship, etc.)
about used to indicate the object of a thought, feeling, or action
across from one side to the other side of (something)
around on all sides of (something or someone)
at used to indicate the place where someone or something is
behind in or to a place at the back of or to the rear of (someone or something)
by close to or next to (something or someone)
for used to indicate the thing that something is meant to be used with
from used to indicate the starting point of a physical movement or action
in (inside) used to indicate location or position within something
out (outside) used to indicate that a person or animal is moving from the inside of a building, room, etc., to the outside
like similar to (something or someone)
near close to (something or someone)
of belonging to, relating to, or connected with (someone or something)
on touching and being supported by the top surface of (something)
over from, to, or at a place that is higher than (someone or something)
through into one side and out the other side of (something)
to used to indicate the place, person, or thing that someone or something moves toward
until up to (a particular time) — used to indicate the time when a particular situation, activity, or period ends
with used to say that people or things are together in one place
The learning strategy for this lesson is Use Background Knowledge. That means you can make connections to things you already know to help you learn new things. For example, you can use words that are in your own language sometimes to understand English words that come from a different language.
In this lesson, the young man uses his background knowledge, the "Fun Facts" he remembers about famous places, to chat with Penelope and Anna. The three enjoy their tour as they learn more details.
How about you? How do you use background knowledge while you are studying English? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email.
See how well you understand this lesson by taking a listening quiz. Play each short video, then choose the best answer.
Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.
Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.
Grammar focus: Prepositions
Topics: Describing a place; Asking for & giving recommendations
Learning Strategy: Use Background Knowledge
Now it's your turn. Send us an email or write to us in the Comments section below or on our Facebook page to let us know what you think of this lesson.