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Lesson 7: What Are You Doing?

Let's Learn English Lesson 7: What Are You Doing?
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Lesson 7: What Are You Doing?


Anna is starting her work at The News. She goes around the office meeting her co-workers. She learns they are all busy.


In this video, learn to say the new words. Also, learn how to use the Present Continuous tense and ask questions to clarify. You can also download the worksheet and practice with a friend.

Speaking Practice - Let's Learn English Lesson 7
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In this video, you learn about how Americans shorten verbs in the Present Continuous tense. You will also learn a shorter form of the question phrase, "What are you doing?"

Pronunciation Practice - Let's Learn English Lesson 7
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Caty: Come in.
Caty: Well, Anna, welcome.
Anna: Thank you.
Caty: I am your boss, Caty Weaver. But, please call me Caty.
Anna: Thank you, Ms. Weaver.
Caty: Just Caty.
Anna: Sure thing, Ms. Weaver.
Caty: Okay then. Are you excited?
Anna: Yes, I am excited!
Caty: So sorry, but I am busy. Please meet your co-workers. But remember, they are busy working.
Anna: Sure. Thanks, Ms. Weaver.
Anna: Hi there! I’m Anna.
Anne: Hi, Anna. I’m Anne.
Anna: Nice to meet you. What are you doing?
Anne: Um, I’m writing.
Anna: You are writing! You are writing a lot!
Anna: (Spills papers) Oh! Oh dear.
Anne: No! No! That's okay.
Anna: I am sorry!
Anne: That’s okay. Really.
Anna: I am sorry!
Anne: Please. Please. Please stop. Please.
Anna: Sorry. Sorry.
Jonathan: (in the studio) “and people all around the world are waiting to hear news about the next president…”
Anna: Jonathan, hi! Remember me? I live in your building.
Jonathan: Oh. Uh. Hi, Anna.
Anna: What are you doing?
Jonathan: I am doing my show!
Anna: Oh, sorry. Are you recording?
Jonathan: Yes! And, now I have to record again!
Anna: Sorry. Have a good show.
Jonathan: Thank you.
Anna: Sorry.
Amelia: The word of the day is social. Social -
Anna: Oh! Hi!
Amelia: - is an adjective.
Anna: Hi! I’m Anna!
Amelia: Hi. I’m Amelia.
Anna: Nice to meet you!
Anna: What are you doing?
Amelia: I’m reading.
Anna: Are you reading the news? Hi!
Amelia: No, I’m reading for my show.
Amelia: (to camera person) Can I read again?
Anna: Sorry.
Anna: This day is not going well.
Caty: Anna! Hi! What’re you doing?
Anna: I am bothering people, Ms. Weaver.
Caty: Let’s go to my office and talk.
Anna: I like to talk with you, Ms. Weaver.
Caty: It’s Caty.
Anna: Right. Thanks ... Ms. Weaver


What are you doing now? What are your friends doing? Here is an example: "I am reading and my friends are listening to music." Send us an email or write to us in the Comments section.

Lesson 7 Activity
Lesson 7 Activity

You can also download the worksheet. Practice writing the activity words.

Learning Strategy

Learning Strategies are the thoughts and actions that help make learning easier or more effective. The learning strategy for this lesson is Ask to Clarify.

In the video you see Anna ask Amelia: "What are you doing?" Amelia answers, "I’m reading." Then Anna asks a question to clarify: "Are you reading the news?

Asking a question to clarify is a very useful learning strategy, because it helps you get more information. You can also learn new words when someone explains more about what they said.

Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email about how you ask questions to clarify what you want to know. Teachers, see the Lesson Plan for more details on teaching this strategy.

Listening Quiz

See how well you understand the lesson by taking this quiz. Each question has a video. Play the video and choose the correct answer.

Listening Quiz - Lesson 7: What are you doing?

Listening Quiz - Lesson 7: What are you doing?

Start the Quiz to find out

(If the quiz does not work for you here please see the side column or use this link.)

New Words

bossn. the person whose job is to tell other workers what to do

botherv. to annoy someone or to cause someone to feel annoyed

busyadj. actively doing something

excitedadj. very enthusiastic and eager about something

nervousadj. having or showing feelings of being worried and afraid about what might happen

news n. information that is reported in a newspaper, magazine, or a television news program

officen. a building or room in which people work at desks doing business or professional activities

readv. to look at and understand the meaning of letters, words, symbols, etc.

recordv. to store (something, such as sounds, music, images, etc.) on tape or on a disk so that it can be heard or seen later

shown. a television or radio program

work v. to do things as part of your job

writev. to create (a book, poem, story, etc.) by writing words on paper or on a computer


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 writing and using action verbs in the Present Continuous tense.

For Teachers

Lesson 7 Lesson Plan
Lesson 7 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 focus: Present continuous tense; Questions for clarification

Topics: Everyday activities; Checking understanding

Speaking & Pronunciation Focus: Asking questions to clarify; Shortened form of Present Continuous verbs.


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