Anna goes to the D.C. State Fair and wins first place in a pet contest even though she doesn’t have a pet. Or does she?
Anna: Hi Ashley!
Ashley: Hey, Anna! How was your weekend?
Anna: It was great! I went to the D.C. State Fair.
Ashley: I would have gone, but I was busy. How was it?
Anna: It was awesome! I won first place in a pet contest!
Ashley: But, you don’t have a pet, do you?
Anna: Yes and no. What do you mean by “pet”?
Prof. Bot: A pet is an animal that lives with you. People love their pets. "Ashley said, you don’t have a pet, do you? She used a tag question, a small question at the end of a sentence. Let's look for more of them!
Anna: Look, a pet! Who’s this cute little dog?
Ashley: Oh, right. You haven’t met my dog, have you? This is Dublin.
Anna: Hi, Dublin! Nice to meet you. He’s so cute!
Ashley: Thanks! So, tell me about the fair.
Anna: Oh, there were the usual things -- fair food, cute babies, music. But there must have been a dozen different contests! And some were pretty strange.
Anna: There was a contest to see who could spit a watermelon seed the farthest. You should have seen all the people who wanted to spit a watermelon seed! And, it was pretty fun to watch. But Ashley, the pet contests were the best. There was a pet parade. Lots of people walked with their dogs.
Ashley: That sounds so fun. But Anna, tell me, how did you win a pet contest without a pet?
Anna: Okay, the closest thing I have is my pet rock.
Anna: I know it’s silly, but I’ve had it since I was a little girl. So, for a joke, I brought it to the fair. But then I was invited to enter the “One-of-Kind Pet” contest. And I won! (holds up first place ribbon)
Ashley: Anna, only you could have won first place in a pet contest with a pet rock. I should have brought Dublin. He would’ve won a contest!
Anna: It’s not very easy to win one of these. (shows her the blue ribbon) Does he have a costume?
Anna: They had a costume contest. You should have seen this little girl. She and her dog wore matching princess costumes!
Ashley: Dublin doesn’t wear costumes.
Anna: Does he know any tricks?
Ashley: Come this way. Now, watch this. (Dublin chases a toy)
Anna: You caught it, Dublin! And you killed it! Good dog! Ashley, he could have won the Best Catch contest! Aw, good boy! Ashley, pets are fun, aren’t they?
Ashley: Yes. And they become part of your family. (she drinks from her Dublin mug)
Anna: Ashley, I think I want a dog. No. I know I want a dog!
Ashley: It’s a big responsibility. You may want to spend time with a dog first.
Anna: That is a great idea. But where can I find a dog?
Ashley: You know, Anna, I have some shopping to do. Do you want to watch Dublin for a couple of hours?
Anna: Yes! I would! I will take very good care of him!
Ashley: I know you will. Here’s his leash.
Anna: Thank you.
Ashley: (to Dublin) Okay, I'll miss you!
Anna: Aw. I don’t want you to be lonely. Here, Rocky can stay with you. (puts pet rock on wall)
Ashley: Anna, I really don’t need … Okay. Thanks, Anna.
Anna: Sure. Bye, Ashley. (to Dublin) Come on, Dublin! Bye, Rocky!
Prof. Bot: Anna’s rock is cute, isn’t it? Oh, there is another tag question! You found some more, didn’t you?
You haven’t met my dog, have you?
Go to the VOA Learning English website to learn more.
contest - n. an event in which people try to win by doing something better than others
fair - n. a large public event at which there are various kinds of competitions, games, rides, and entertainment
leash - n. a long, thin piece of rope or chain that is used for holding a dog or other animal
matching - adj. having the same pattern, color, or design
owner - n. a person or group that owns something or a pet's human companion
parade - n. a public celebration of a special day or event that usually includes many people and groups moving down a street by marching or riding in cars or on special vehicles
princess - n. a female member of a royal family
responsibility - n. a duty or task that you are required or expected to do
seed - n. a small object produced by a plant from which a new plant can grow
spit - v. to force (something, such as food or liquid) from your mouth
watermelon - n. a large, round fruit that has hard, green skin, sweet, red, juicy flesh, and black seeds
The learning strategy for this lesson is Cooperate. When we are learning anything, we can cooperate, or work together, with others who help us learn. One of our website readers wrote to say she works on learning English every morning with her sister-in-law. They are cooperating to help each other practice speaking English.
Anna wants to get a pet dog. Ashley wants Anna to learn about the responsibility of being a pet owner. She says, "You may want to spend time with a dog first." Then, Ashley cooperates with Anna by letting her take care of Dublin for a short time. Ashley hopes that Anna will learn about taking care of a dog before she gets her own dog.
How about you? How do you cooperate? When you are learning English, do you act out conversations with a friend? Do you quiz a friend who needs to review for a test? 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.
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Grammar focus: Modals: Could Have, May Have, Must Have
Topics: Tag Questions; Pets; State Fairs
Learning Strategy: Cooperate
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