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Lesson 5: Greatest Vacation of All Time


Summary

Anna goes to a travel agent to find the Best Vacation Ever! But does she? Travel agent Dan wants to sell her the Most Expensive Vacation Ever. But does he?

Conversation

Anna: “Do you need a vacation?” Wow. That was the best vacation I have ever had … in my head. A beach is much better than here. I need a vacation!

Professor Bot: I hear you, Anna. I need a vacation too but not at the beach. Sand is not good for robots! When we compare things, we use special forms of adjectives. "Better" is a comparative adjective. That is used to compare two things. "Best" is a superlative adjective. It shows that one thing has more of ...something than ALL of the others. Try to find more of these adjectives. Look for ER or EST at the end.

Dan: NO! You can’t get your money back. I don’t care that it was your worst vacation ever!

Dan: Hello! Have a seat! Welcome to the World’s Best Vacation Travel Agency!

Anna: Thank you and congratulations!

Dan: For what?

Anna: For being the world’s best travel agency.

Dan: Right … thanks.

Dan: Trudy, hold my calls. I am going to sell our most expensive vacation.

Trudy: Sure thing, Boss.

Dan: The Mountain Getaway is good for you. It’s a little pricey. But think of it -- you, on top of a mountain for seven days!

Anna: I’m afraid of high places.

Dan: Of course you are. That’s why our Deep Sea Adventure is better for you! It is pricier than the Mountain Getaway. Just you and the animals of the sea!

Anna: Shark! Shark!

Dan: No, there are no sharks in your dream vacation! You need the Safari Camp Out! It is our priciest vacation. But I think it’s the best one for you. During the day, you’ll see elephants, giraffes and lions. At night, you’ll sleep out under the stars.

Anna: Look, I think this was a bad idea.

Dan: Sure, you can leave. But then you won’t see the latest vacation technology.

Professor Bot: Did you find all of those adjectives? Dan started with good - The mountain getaway; then he moved to better - The Deep Sea Adventure. And finally, he said the Safari Campout was the best vacation for Anna!

Anna: Exactly what is the “latest vacation technology” … exactly?

Dan: I’m happy you asked. Meet the Travel Max 2000!

Anna: Wow.

Dan: So, tell me, how do you like to travel?

Anna: Well, I like travel that is cozy and romantic but still exciting.

Dan: Great. Tell me more.

Anna: I like traveling in a plane but not in a helicopter! Planes are a little scary but helicopters are scarier! My favorite way of traveling is by train. Ships can be the scariest! Have you seen the movie “Titanic”? Oh, and no horses. But I will ride a camel. And no bike tours. Biking is THE slowest AND least romantic way to travel. Excuse me, but I think the Travel Max 2000 is on fire.

Dan: Yes, we’re both on fire! We really want to sell you the most ex-, I mean, best vacation ever!

Anna: No, I mean it’s really on fire!

Dan: You killed it. You killed the Travel Max 2000!

Anna: I am so sorry! Can I help you fix it?

Dan: No, no!

Anna: Don’t cry. I know what you need -- a vacation!

Anna: The Safari Campout looks fun. It is the priciest. But I think you deserve it.

Dan: No, no!

Professor Bot: Oh Anna. This is the smokiest lesson yet! There were a lot of comparatives and superlatives but … I can’t breathe. Just go to the website to learn the best ways to use them!

New Words

agency - n. a business that provides a particular service
camel - n. a large animal of Africa and Asia that has a long neck and one or two large humps on its back and that is often used for desert travel
campout - n. an occasion when people go camping together
Congratulations -n. a message telling someone that you are happy because of his or her success or good luck
cozy/cozier - adj. small, comfortable, and warm
deserve - v. used to say that someone or something should or should not have or be given something
getaway - n. a short vacation
latest - adj. most recent
least - adj. smallest in amount or degree
on fire - expression. in the process of burning / feeling very strong enthusiasm, love, etc.
pricey - adj. costing a lot of money​
sink - v. to go down below the surface of water
smoke - n. the cloud of black, gray, or white gases and dust that is produced by burning something​
technology - n. the use of science in industry, engineering, etc., to invent useful things or to solve problems​
vacation - n. a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel​
worst- adj. least appropriate, useful, or helpful

Learning Strategy

The learning strategy for this lesson is ​Make Associations. We make associations between words and ideas each time we use language. When learning a second language, it is best to connect new words or sentence patterns directly with ideas or experiences, not with words in your first language. The associations may help you remember new words better.

In this lesson, Anna makes associations between mountains and high places. She is afraid of high places, so she does no want to go to the mountains. She is also afraid of wild animals, which she associated with the Safari Campout. So she decides not to take those vacations.

How about you? How do you make associations while you are speaking 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

Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.

Grammar focus: Review of ​comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives​

Topics: Asking for Information; Comparing different vacations and transportation

Learning Strategy: Make Associations

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