Saturday, September 11, 2010


"The Promenade", Marc Chagall, 1917

Grammartalk 17, Page One - Embedded Questions

A: I'm trying to find the man who robbed the bank. Can you tell me what he looks like?
B: I'm sorry. I don't know what he looks like. I didn't see his face.
A: Did you see his car? Do you remember the color of the car and the make?
B: I believe it was a Ford, but I'm not sure what color it was. It might have been blue.
A: It would be really helpful if you knew the license number of the car.
B: No. I definitely couldn't tell you what the license number was.

A: I don't know much about our parents' lives before I was born. Do you?
B: I'm only two years older than you. I don't know much about them either.
A: Do you by any chance know when they were married?
B: I have no idea when they were married. It might have been fifteen years ago, or even twenty years ago.
A: Do you know where they lived before they moved to Newport?
B: They told me once, but I forgot where they used to live. It might have been New York City, but I'm not sure.

A: Allan Fisher is doing a great job for the company. How long has he worked here?
B: You know, I have no idea how long he's been working here.
A: Has he always worked at that desk, or has he worked at another desk?
B: I'm not sure if he's always worked at that desk or not. He might have worked at the one next to the water cooler.
A: Did he use to bring his lunch to work, or has he always gone to the restaurant at the corner for lunch?
B: Steve Parker can tell you if Allan has always eaten at the restaurant on the corner or not. Why don't you ask Steve?

A: Could you please tell me what time the concert begins?
B: I believe it begins at 8:00 pm. But I'm not sure when it ends.
A: Do you happen to know if there is parking near the concert hall?
B: You can park in the garage, but it's quite expensive. If I were you, I'd arrive early and try to find a parking space on the street.
A: Is there a good restaurant near the concert hall?
B: I don't know if there are any good restaurants nearby or not. I've never been to a restaurant in that neighborhood.

A: I'm calling about the apartment at 379 Sanchez Street. Could you tell me if it's been rented yet?
B: Not yet. But a lot of people have called. Would you like to see it?
A: I'd like to ask you a couple of questions first, if that's okay.
B: Sure. I don't know if I can answer all your questions, but I'll do my best.
A: I understand it's a fourth floor apartment. I'd like to know if there are any elevators.
B: Yes. In fact, the building has two elevators. But I believe one of them is broken.
A: Do you know if the apartment has a modern kitchen?
B: I'm pretty sure the kitchen is modern. There's a problem with the garbage disposal, but they're going to fix it next week.

A: Grandma, when did you learn to knit?
B: I can't remember when I learned to knit. It was a long time ago.
A: Why doesn't mother like to knit?
B: I don't know why she doesn't like to knit. You'll have to ask her.
A: Grandma, I've been thinking. Why do elephants have long ears?
B: I have no idea why elephants have long ears. You'll have to consult the encyclopedia.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Grammartalk 8HB, Page Two - Adverbs of Frequency

"The Market" Diego Rivera, 1923

A: How often do you go to the movies?
B: I go to the movies about once a month.
A: I hardly ever go to the movies unless it’s really popular.
B: I almost never go to a concert. I should go more often.
A: I usually rent a movie from the video store. It’s cheaper.
B: I always eat popcorn when I watch a movie.

A: How often does Robert go bowling?
B: He goes bowling once a week. He loves to bowl.
A: Does he always use the same bowling ball?
B: Yes, he owns a bowling ball. He always uses it.
A: My brother sometimes borrows my bowling ball.
B: My wife and I don’t usually go bowling during the week.

A: Apples are sometimes expensive. And sometimes, they’re cheap.
B: Carrots are usually inexpensive. It depends where you buy them
A: Wine is never cheap. Good wine is always over ten dollars a bottle.
B: I never drink wine, so the high price of wine never bothers me.
A: These jars of jam are four dollars each.
B: Four dollars for a jar of jam? Let me out of here.

A: How often do you eat dessert?
B: I hardly ever eat dessert. I have to watch my weight.
A: I never eat dessert unless I’m at a dinner party.
B: I confess I sometimes eat something sweet between meals.
A: I understand that. Sweet treats always tempt me.
B: I admit I often think about eating chocolate candy.

A: Henry wants to be a professional tennis player.
B: That’s why he always practices after school.
A: He often practices more than six hours a day.
B: He usually plays excellently on the school team.
A: He sometimes gets very tired and can’t study at night.
B: Even when he studies, he always thinks about tennis.

A: At Marshall’s, the clothes are always on sale.
B: I know. They’re sometimes half the price of the regular store.
A: I can usually find a real bargain at Marshall’s.
B: I must always spend a lot of time shopping there.
A: You can never find exactly the clothes you want.
B: No, you can’t. But, I’m usually lucky. I find nice things.

A: What do we usually do in English class?
B: We usually study conversation and pronunciation.
A: I always learn a few new words in this class.
B: We usually have a listening exercise.
A: I’m glad we practice listening. I always have trouble understanding when people speak fast.
B: The teacher sometimes gives us a dictation.

A: The doctor always tells me to exercise more.
B: Do you usually have time to exercise?
A: I almost never have time to exercise. I always work or go to school.
B: Don’t you sometimes have a chance to walk?
A: Yes, I usually walk to school. I never take the bus.
B: If you always walk to school, you’re getting good exercise.

A: You should know that the boss is complaining.
B: She always complains about me.
A: She says you’re never on time to work.
B: That’s not true. I’m usually on time.
A: She says you never call the office when you’re going to be late.
B: She’s complaining about nothing. I always call if I’m going to be sick or late.

A: Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard are always embarrassed by their dog, Rex.
B: Rex is obnoxious. He always makes a lot of noise.
A: He never sleeps at night. He always has fleas.
B: He’s hardly ever nice to the mail person.
A: No, he usually tries to bite whoever visits the Hubbards.
B: He is sometimes a very sweet dog, but only if you give him his favorite dog biscuit.

Grammartalk 8HB, Page One: Adverbs of Manner

A: To be honest, I think Roger is a careless driver.
B: I agree. He drives very carelessly.
A: He shouldn’t drive carelessly. He might get hurt.
B: Also, I think Roger is a dishonest card player.
A: That’s right. I caught him cheating last night.
B: He plays cards very dishonestly.

A: To be honest, I think Maria is a beautiful singer.
B: I agree. She sings very beautifully.
A: She should audition for more musicals. She might get hired.
B: I agree. She’s also a very graceful dancer.
A: You’re right. I saw her dance very nicely last night.
B: She dances very gracefully.

A: Olga and David are good tennis players.
B: I agree. They play tennis very well.
A: They should play professionally. They might make some money.
B: I watched them play yesterday. They hit the ball very hard. They moved very fast.
A: Exactly. They’re also excellent tennis teachers.
B: Yes, their students improve rapidly.

A: Those teenagers are sloppy painters.
B: I’m afraid so. They paint very sloppily.
A: They should try to paint more neatly. They miss too many spots.
B: The trouble is, they don’t work hard enough.
A: No, they don’t. They always think about having fun instead of working.
B: They’re still painting the same wall? They work too slowly.

A: Fred shouted at his boss angrily yesterday.
B: Fred shouldn’t shout at his boss angrily. Fred might get fired.
A: He was upset because he didn’t get a raise.
B: He spoke angrily last week too. He shouldn’t get angry so frequently.
A: I told him to try to talk to the boss more calmly.
B: Yes, if he speaks more calmly, he might get a raise.

A: You didn’t translate the story very accurately.
B: Really? I translated it as accurately as I could.
A: Not only that, you didn’t type it neatly.
B: I didn’t? Did I make a lot of spelling mistakes?
A: You should use the dictionary regularly.
B: All right, next time I’ll translate the story better.

A: You should speak to your parents more politely.
B: I try to speak to them as politely as I can.
A: If you want to borrow the car, ask them nicely.
B: But I know they don’t need the car tonight. Why can’t I use it?
A: They’re willing to let you use it if you ask them respectfully.
B: I didn’t realize I was talking so impolitely.

A: The boss thinks Mike is doing very well on the job.
B: I’m glad to hear that. Mike is a good worker.
A: Mike files the letters very carefully.
B: Oh, I know. Mike is a very careful worker.
A: He speaks to the customers on the phone very politely.
B: Mike knows how to talk to customers.

A: The director thinks Sheila is doing very well in the
B: I’m happy to know that. She used to speak too softly.
A: Now, she’s speaking more loudly.
B: She also used to dance very awkwardly. Is she doing better?
A: Much better. Now, she dances very gracefully.
B: I hope she’ll be a movie star some day.

A: The teacher is happy about Billy’s progress.
B: That’s good. He’s doing better than before.
A: He used to arrive at school too late. But now he’s on time.
B: He used to hand in his homework late, too.
A: That’s right. Now, he hands it in earlier.
B: I saw him last week. He dresses much neater than before.
A: That’s right. He used to dress too sloppily.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Grammartalk 15, Page One - Should plus Present Perfect

A: Sally was very late to work yesterday. She shouldn't have been so late.
B: I know. She went to a party last night, didn't she?
A: Yes, she did. She was smiling when she came home. She must have had a good time.
B: But she really shouldn't have gone to that late night party.
A: Right. It would have been better if she stayed home.
B: I'll say. Also, she should have gotten up much earlier.

A: Jack's car broke down this morning.
B: I'm surprised to hear that. Jack has a new car.
A: Well, as a matter of fact, he ran out of gas.
B: It's easy to see what he should have done.
A: He should have filled up the tank before he left.
B: Exactly. He should have paid closer attention to the gas gauge.

A: Marvin failed his Spanish test last week.
B: He shouldn't have spoken only English with his classmates.
A: Right, and he rarely attended class. He only went to school when he felt like it.
B: Not only did he skip class frequently, but when he attended, he nodded off.
A: Oh, no. He definitely shouldn't have slept in class.

A: Maria is unhappy in her marriage. What went wrong?
B: She and Jerry rushed into marriage. They got married after going together for only one week.
A: They should have waited longer before deciding to tie the knot.
B: I heard that they started to fight over every little thing.
A: They shouldn't have fought so much. They should have tried to understand each other better.

A: Barry didn't do as well as he should have at his job interview.
B: Yes. He should have gotten that job. He's very well qualified..
A: What should Barry have done differently?
B: For one thing, he should have spoken more confidently.
A: His clothes were too flashy. They weren't conservative enough.
B: He should have dressed more conservatively.
A: She should have arrived on time for his appointment.

A: Barry asked a lot of questions about paid vacations.
B: He shouldn't have brought that subject up at the job interview.
A: He ate his lunch during the interview. That was pretty inappropriate.
B: Not only that, he spilled mayonnaise on the carpet. He shouldn't have eaten a turkey sandwich.
A: He should have left that terrible tie at home. It clashed with his other clothes.
B: It is a loud yellow tie.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grammartalk 9HB, Page One - Past Progressive Tense

A: There was a blackout last night in our neighborhood.
B: I was watching TV when the blackout happened.
A: We were cleaning the apartment when it happened.
B: Irene was brushing her teeth when it happened.
A: The cats were eating dinner when it happened.
B: When the blackout happened, nobody expected it.

A: You have a black eye. How did you get it?
B: I got it while I was arguing with my neighbor yesterday.
A: Mary has a bandage on her finger. What happened?
B: She burned herself while she was cooking dinner.
A: Your aunt and uncle look very worried. What’s up?
B: Somebody stole their car while they were shopping.

A: Laura likes to use her time efficiently.
B: She usually does two or more things at the same time.
A: Yesterday, she washed the dishes while listening to her English tape.
B: The day before yesterday, she fixed the sink while watching her exercise tape.
A: Last week, she vacuumed the rug while cooking dinner.
B: Too bad. While she was vacuuming, the soup boiled over.

A: There was a robbery at the Bank of America.
B: Really? When did it happen?
A: About 11:00 am yesterday. What were you doing?
B: I was attending class at Mission Campus.
A: What were your parents doing?
B: They were driving to the airport to get my sister.

A: There was an accident on Mission Street last night.
B: I know. I was leaving Walgreen’s when I saw it.
A: What was Patricia doing when it happened?
B: She was standing on the corner of Mission and 24th.
A: What were your other classmates doing?
B: They were crossing the street at Mission and 22nd.

A: Were you home when the fire happened?
B: No, I wasn’t home, fortunately. I was shopping.
A: Were your children shopping also?
B: No, they weren’t shopping with me. They were at the playground, thank God.
A: And your wife? Is she all right?
B: She’s fine. She wasn’t home, either. She was at work.

A: Do you think Friday the 13th is an unlucky day?
B: Not really. I had a great day on Friday the 13th.
A: So did I. What happened to you?
B: While I was walking on 24th, I found five dollars.
A: That’s interesting. While I was working, my boss gave me a nice compliment.
B: While my sister was waiting for the bus, she met a
very nice man.

A: Do you think Valentine’s Day is especially romantic?
B: Yes, of course. My husband took me dancing.
A: My husband and my children took me out to dinner.
B: While I was getting ready, he sang me a love song.
A: While I was getting out of the cab, he held the door open for me.
B: I like Valentine’s Day a lot. I wish there were more
Valentine’s Days.

A: Do you enjoy Mother’s Day?
B: Yes. What mother doesn’t like Mother’s Day?
A: Last year, my son gave me flowers.
B: Last year, my daughter gave me a CD with my favorite music.
A: Yes, I heard it. You were playing it while polishing your silverware.
B: I was feeling lonely when suddenly I got a call from
my grandchildren.

A: Henry is upset. His day started badly.
B: Why? What happened?
A: He lost his wallet while getting off the bus.
B: I’m sorry to hear that.
A: And before that, he cut himself while shaving.
B: That’s too bad.
A: And while he was looking for a bandaid, he slipped on the wet bathroom floor.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grammartalk 9HB, Page Two: Future Progressive Tense

"A Hand With Flowers" Mikhail Nesterov, 1896

A: Will you be home later tonight?
B: Yes, I will. I’ll be reading until ten o’clock.
A: Will your brother and sister be home also?
B: Yes, they will. They’ll be playing cards for most of the evening.
A: Would you like me to bring over some ice cream?
B: That’s a nice idea. Yes. We’ll enjoy eating some
ice cream together.

A: Hi, Gloria. This is Arthur. Can I come over tonight?
B: No, Arthur. I’ll be shopping all evening.
A: Can I come over and visit tomorrow night?
B: No, Arthur. I’ll be working late at the office.
A: Can I come over and visit this weekend?
B: No, Arthur. I’ll be visiting my sister in New York.

A: Hi, Gloria. This is Arthur again. How’s Wednesday?
B: No, Arthur. I’ll be visiting my uncle in the hospital.
A: Okay, Gloria. Let’s make an appointment for sometime next spring.
B: No, Arthur. I’ll be getting married next spring.
A: What did you think? I wanted a date? No, I’m engaged myself. I want to sell you an encyclopedia.
B: Oh, really? Then, come over this evening. I’ll be waiting for you.

A: How long will your Aunt Sophie be staying?
B: She’ll be staying with us for a few months.
A: How late will Jose be working tonight?
B: He’ll be working until around 10 o’clock.
A: How late will our daughter be studying this evening?
B: She’ll be studying until she finishes her homework.

A: We’re having some problems with our front door.
B: I’ll be glad to help. When can I come over?
A: You can come over at 7 o’clock. How’s that?
B: That won’t work. I’ll be repairing a window then.
A: Can you come over after you finish the window?
B: I’ll be working on it until 9 o’clock. I’ll come over
when I finish.

A: Welcome to San Francisco. I’ll be your tour guide.
B: What sights will we be seeing today?
A: Well, we’ll be going to Chinatown and North Beach.
B: Will we be visiting Civic Center?
A: Yes, we will. We’ll also be seeing Golden Gate Bridge.
B: But, when will we be having lunch? I’m hungry already.

A: We’ll be having lunch around noon.
B: And after that, will we be going on a cable car ride?
A: That’s right. We’ll also be taking a tour of the zoo.
B: Tell me, tour guide. Where will we be having dinner?
A: I’m glad you asked. We’ll be having dinner at the Cliff House, right at the ocean.
B: It sounds like we’ll be having a great tour of San Francisco.

A: I want to return the dictionary I borrowed.
B: I will be home this evening. You can drop it by then.
A: I don’t want to bother you if you’re going to be busy.
B: That’s OK. I’ll just be doing the laundry.
A: Then, I won’t be coming over this evening.
B: Don’t worry. You won’t disturb me. This evening is fine.

A: How old is Jessica now? She’s a big baby.
B: She’s growing up fast. She’s already one year old.
A: Soon, she’ll be talking and walking.
B: How old is Tommy now? He must be almost 12.
A: Yes. Soon, he’ll be driving and shaving.
B: Soon, he’ll be going out on dates. He won’t be a little boy much longer.

A: How old is Kathy now? She must be almost 18.
B: Yes. Very soon, she’ll be going to college.
A: I can’t believe how quickly time flies.
B: She’ll be living away from home for the first time.
A: It won’t be long, she’ll be starting a career.
B: She won’t be a teenager much longer. Soon she’ll be a young adult.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grammartalk 16, Page 1 - Present, Unreal Conditional

"Fire In The Evening" by Paul Klee, 1929

A: If I weren't just learning how to drive, I'd be less nervous.
B: Relax and breathe. If you were more relaxed, you would drive better.
A: If there were fewer cars on the road, it would be easier.
B: You have to get used to traffic. Just concentrate on what you're doing, and everything will be okay.
A: Thanks for helping me. I'd be much worse if you weren't with me.
B: If I were you, I would talk less. Don't think about the other cars. Watch out for that pedestrian. You almost hit him.

A: If I knew David's phone number, I'd call him right now.
B: Do you happen to know his email address? If you had it, you could email him using my laptop.
A: No, I don't know his email address, either. If I didn't have to borrow his car, I wouldn't need to get in touch with him.
B: No problem. You can borrow mine. If I had to work today, I would need it. But, today is my day off.
A: But your car is old and ugly. If you had a new car, I'd be glad to borrow it.
B: Boy, you're really choosy, aren't you?

A: Would you like to go hiking this weekend?
B: I don't have hiking boots. If I had hiking boots, I'd love to go.
A: Professor Jones is giving a lecture on modern poetry tomorrow night. How about going with me?
B: Thanks for asking, but I don't understand modern poetry. If I understood it better, I'd really like to attend that lecture.
A: Your father doesn't need the car tonight. Let's go to the baseball game on the other side of town.
B: Unfortunately, I can't drive at night. If I were able to drive at night, I'd enjoy going to that game.

A: Mr. Green, I'd like to talk to you about your daughter. She's very intelligent.
B: Thanks, I think so too. If she weren't so intelligent, I wouldn't send her to this difficult school.
A: Although Sally seems to understand everything, she doesn't do very well on her exams.
B: Also, Sally doesn't study hard enough. If she studied harder, she'd do much better on her exams.
A: Also, Sally doesn't hand in her homework on time. If she handed it in when it's due, she'd get better grades.
B: I'm not firm enough with her. If I were more insistent, she'd have to shape up and do better work.

A: I wish I had more energy, doctor. If I had more energy, I'd be able to accomplish a lot more in my life.
B: You don't exercise enough. If you got more exercise, you'd feel a million times better.
A: I'm afraid that I eat too much bread, cereal, and pasta. I like carbohydrates.
B: I know you do. If you cut down on the carbohydrates, you'd lose weight. If you lost weight, you'd feel more energetic.
A: If I were over fifty, I'd understand why I'm so tired. But, I'm only thirty-five years old.
B: You'd be surprised how quickly the energy will come back if you put your mind to it.

A: Would you mind if I asked you some advice? I'm shopping for a used car.
B: I hope you're not thinking of buying one from Rick Pollack's Used Car Lot.
A: If I bought a used car from Rick, would I be making a terrible mistake?
B: Yes. To tell the truth, I wouldn't buy a used car from that guy if I were you.
A: So what kind of cars does Rick sell? Aren't they reliable? Aren't they fuel efficient?
B: No way. If you bought a car from Rick Pollack, you'd probably spend a lot of money on repairs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Grammartalk 8, Page 1 - Present Perfect Progressive Tense

"At The Moulin Rouge" by Toulouse Lautrec

A: Sorry I’m so late. How long have you been waiting?
B: That’s OK. I’ve only been waiting for ten minutes.
A: Have you been working at the Post Office long?
B: Yes, I have. I’ve been working here for ten years.
A: Your sister is a fine piano player.
B: Yes, she is. She’s been playing the piano since she
was eight years old.
A: I just got home. How long has the phone been
B: It’s been ringing for five minutes.
A: How come you haven’t answered it yet?
B: I just got home myself. I’ve been shopping.
A: Hello? Oh, hello, Tom. I’m sorry no one answered
your call. We weren’t home.
B: It’s Tom again? He’s been calling all morning.
A: How long have Mr. and Mrs. Jones been living in
San Francisco?
B: They’ve been living here for the last six years.
A: How long have they been remodeling their kitchen?
B: They’ve been remodeling it for the last six months.
A: I hope they finish it soon. They need a kitchen.
B: Yes, they do. They’ve been using mine for the last six
A: What is your car doing? It has problems.
B: It’s been making strange noises all morning.
A: Have you taken it to a mechanic?
B: No. I’ve been trying to fix it myself.
A: You should take it to my brother’s shop. He’s been
fixing cars for years.
B: That’s a good idea. Please give me his card. I’ll call him
right away.
A: What are you and your friends doing?
B: We’re standing in line for movie tickets.
A: Oh? How long have you been standing in line?
B: We’ve been waiting in this line for a half hour.
A: The movie you’re going to see must be popular.
B: Yes, it is. It’s been playing in this theater for several
A: What are you doing? Why have you been running
from one room to another?
B: I’m upset. I’ve been looking for my car keys. I can’t find
A: When is the last time you used the car?
B: I haven’t been driving for a while.
A: That’s probably why you can’t find the keys.
B: There they are. They’ve been sitting on that table all
this time. I just didn’t see them.
A: You look tired. What have you been doing?
B: I’ve been writing letters since ten o’clock this morning.
A: Really? How many letters have you written?
B: You won’t believe this, but I’ve already written fifteen
A: Fifteen letters? No wonder you’re tried.
B: Yes, and I’ve already drunk three cups of tea.
A: Maria looks exhausted. What has she been doing?
B: She’s been baking cookies since nine o’clock this
A: Really? How many cookies has she baked?
B: I don’t know. I haven’t been counting her cookies.
A: Has she baked enough cookies for our big party?
B: I’m sure she’s already baked more than enough.
A: How long has Bob been taking photographs?
B: He’s been taking photographs since nine o’clock this
A: How many photographs has he taken?
B: Believe it or not, he’s already taken twenty pictures.
A: I’ve been trying to get my picture taken for two days.
B: I know. Bob is the best photographer in the city. He’s
very busy.
A: You’ve been going on job interviews all morning.
B: Yes, I have. I’ve been talking to many employers.
A: Have you had any luck finding a job?
B: Yes, I have. I’ve already received two job offers.
A: That’s great. You’ve been looking for a job for a long
B: Yes. I’ve been hoping to get a better job with a better

Grammartalk 8, Page 2 - Present Perfect Progressive Tense

"Rehearsal of a Ballet on Stage" by Edward Degas

A: You’ve been yawning all day. What’s up?
B: I haven’t been sleeping very well lately.
A: That’s a shame. Why haven’t you been sleeping?
B: I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night a lot.
A: You should try drinking Nighty Night tea. It will help
you sleep.
B: That’s a good idea. I haven’t been doing anything
about my sleeping problem.
A: You’ve been acting nervous all day. What’s up?
B: I’m going to fly in an airplane tomorrow.
A: Haven’t you ever flown in an airplane before?
B: No, I haven’t. I’ve been worrying about it for weeks.
A: Don’t worry! I’ve been flying in airplanes for years.
B: OK. I guess there’s nothing to be nervous about.
A: Toshi has been living in a small town in Japan all
his life.
B: Yes, and now he’s going to move to San Francisco.
A: He’s nervous, because he’s never studied English.
B: His cousins have been studying English for years.
A: They’ll be able to help him.
B: Toshi has been speaking Japanese all his life.
A: Toshi has never shopped at an American
B: Toshi’s cousins have been shopping in American
supermarkets for years.
A: That’s great. They’ll be able to help him to adjust.
B: Toshi has been eating only Japanese food.
A: His cousins have been eating hamburgers for years.
B: They’ve also been having stomach problems.
A: Toshi has been taking his girlfriend to the movies
for years.
B: Now, Toshi will have to leave his girlfriend.
A: Toshi’s cousins have been dating in America for
B: That’s nice. They’ll be able to introduce him to their
A: Toshi has never left his small town in Japan.
B: His cousins have been traveling around for years.
A: How are you feeling, Mr. Jackson?
B: Well, Doctor, I’ve been having a back problem.
A: How long have you been having this problem?
B: It’s been bothering me for two weeks.
A: Have you ever had a back problem before?
B: No, I haven’t. This is the first time.
A: How is your appetite? Have you been eating well
B: I’ve been eating a balanced diet, I think.
A: A lot of people have been coming to me with back
problems recently.
B: What do you usually recommend?
A: I’ve been advising my patients to exercise regularly.
A: This is a list of exercises. Do them twice a day.
B: Have your other patients been using these exercises.
A: Yes, they have. And they’ve been getting good
B: Well, thank you. Frankly, I haven’t been exercising
A: It’s not easy to make time to exercise. But, try it.
B: I’ve been thinking about exercise for a long time.
A: Mario has been assembling cameras since 7 A.M.
B: Really? How many cameras has he assembled?
A: He’s assembled 19 cameras so far.
B: He’s never assembled that many cameras in one day
A: I know. Fortunately, he only has to assemble one more
camera. Then, he can go home.
B: I bet he’s looking forward to a break.
A: Judy has been typing letters since 9 A.M.
B: Really? How many letters has she typed so far?
A: She’s typed 25 letters today, and she’s tired.
B: She’s never typed that many letters in one day
A: I know that. Fortunately, she only has to type one
more letter. Then, she can go home.
B: I bet she’s looking forward to a relaxing dinner.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Grammartalk 10, Page One - Passive Voice

A: Time magazine is read by many people.
B: Where is it sold?
A: It’s sold at many newsstands.
B: Is it translated into many languages?
A: Yes, it is. And it is published every two weeks.
B: Many news stories are written for Time magazine.
A: Soccer is played by millions of people.
B: Players are not allowed to use their hands, except the goalie.
A: The ball is controlled by the feet, head, and body.
B: How often are the World Cup games held?
A: They are held every four years. The best teams in the world compete.
A: In The U.S, soccer is not as popular as in other countries.
B: Yes. American football is more popular.
A: Heavy equipment is worn by players.
B: The ball is passed by the quarterback.
A: The ball carriers are tackled. They’re often injured in this rough game.
B: American football is televised. It is watched by many people.
A: Has my car been repaired yet?
B: Not yet. It’s being repaired right now.
A: Exactly what is being done to my car?
B: The brakes are being adjusted.
A: Is the oil filter being replaced?
B: Yes, it is. And the tires are being rotated.
A: You’d better work faster. You’re being watched.
B: I’m being watched? What about you?
A: Yes. All of the workers are being videotaped now.
B: I don’t want to be watched while I work.
A: This factory is being evaluated now.
B: Evaluated? I hope they don’t close it. I don’t want to lose this job.
A: When was the Golden Gate Bridge constructed?
B: It was built in the 1930s.
A: Who designed the Golden Gate Bridge?
B: It was designed by Joseph B. Strauss.
A: When was the bridge completed?
B: It was completed in 1937. It was opened for traffic on May 28th of that year.
A: These are good photographs of you.
B: Do you really think so? They were taken in the rain.
A: Who took these photographs?
B: They were taken by my aunt Sophie.
A: Where were they developed?
B: They were developed at Walgreen’s Pharmacy.
A: What’s your favorite movie?
B: My favorite movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
A: Who directed it?
B: It was directed by Frank Capra.
A: When was that movie made?
B: It was made in 1947. It wasn’t given a very good review when it came out.
A: Who composed that beautiful sonata?
B: It was composed by Beethoven.
A: Who wrote the novel “The Sun Also Rises?”
B: It was written by Ernest Hemingway.
A: That’s a great building. Who designed it?
B: It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
A: Who invented the telephone?
B: It was invented by Alexander Graham Bell.
A: Who flew the first airplane?
B: The first airplane was flown by the Wright Brothers.
A: What San Francisco landmark was named one of the “Seven Wonders of The World?”
B: The Golden Gate Bridge was named one of the “Seven Wonders of The World.”

Grammartalk 10, Page Two - Passive Voice Continued

A: Should I send the packages now?
B: No, that’s O.K. They’ve already been sent.
A: I want to help. Should I sweep the porch?
B: No, don’t worry. It’s already been swept.
A: At least let me help you pay the bills.
B: No problem. They’ve already been paid.
A: Have Bob’s birthday presents been wrapped yet?
B: Yes, they’ve already been wrapped.
A: Has the birthday cake been bought yet?
B: Yes, it’s already been bought.
A: Has it been decorated yet?
B: Yes, it’s already been decorated, and all
the invitations have been sent.
A: How have all the patients been so far?
B: There haven’t been any problems, Doctor.
A: Has Mr. Nelson’s blood pressure been taken?
B: Yes, and it’s lower than yesterday.
A: Has Mrs. Blue been given her medicine?
B: Yes, and she’ll be given her second dose in an hour.
A: Has June been told about her operation?
B: Yes, everything has been explained to her.
A: Is Mr. Warren ready to leave the hospital?
B: He’s already been sent home.
A: I wasn’t informed. Someone should have told me.
B: Mr. Warren was happy to go home.
A: Can we leave soon? It’s been a long day.
B: Yes, all the beds have been made.
A: Has the laundry been put away yet?
B: Yes, and all the dishes have been done.
A: But has the garbage been taken out yet?
B: Oh, no. The garbage hasn’t been taken out yet. I’ll do it right away.
A: When will the students be given an exam?
B: They will be given an exam next week.
A: When will they be told their results?
B: They’ll be told their results the following week.
A: When will they be registered for next semester?
B: They’ll be registered in May.
A: An important meeting will be held next month. Will you be there?
B: Of course. What subject will be discussed?
A: We’ll discuss the problem of drugs in our community.
B: Will any law officers be invited?
A: Yes, we’re inviting several police officers.
B: The drug dealers must be arrested or we’re going to have more problems.
A: Your back should be seen by a specialist.
B: Yes, my back is giving me a lot problems.
A: You should be given a list of exercises.
B: Yes, I want to be treated by a good physical therapist.
A: An anti-inflammatory medicine should be prescribed for you.
B: Yes, my pain has to be reduced or I can’t work very effectively.
A: I had my house painted last week.
B: Did you have your broken windows repaired?
A: Yes, and I got my sink installed finally.
B: Have you had your carpets cleaned yet?
A: No, I got them all replaced. The stains wouldn’t come out.
B: I heard your car was towed away last week.
A: Yes, and it’s really a shame. I was charged an arm and a leg to get it back.
A: Sorry. Your car can’t be repaired. It’s too old.
B: But, it has to be repaired. I need it.
A: No, there are several parts that can’t be replaced.
B: What do you mean, they can’t be replaced?
A: The carburetor for this car can’t be found anywhere.
B: You mean, parts can’t be located for a 1936 Ford?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Grammartalk 1, Page 1

A: Do you always sleep on the floor?
B: No, but I'm sleeping on the floor today because my bed is broken.

Present Simple Tense and Present Progressive Tense
A: Are you sleeping on the floor?
B: Yes, I am. I’m very tired.
A: Do you always sleep on the floor?
B: No, I don’t, but I’m sleeping on the floor today.
A: Aren’t you feeling kind of uncomfortable?
B: Yes, I am. But my bed is broken.
A: Are you using an old record player?
B: Yes, I am. I like to listen to music.
A: Do you usually use a record player?
B: No, I don’t. But I’m using a record player today.
A: Isn’t the sound kind of scratchy?
B: Yes, it is. But, unfortunately, my CD player is
A: Is Jose wearing his old blue shirt today?
B: Yes, he is. He needs to get to work early.
A: Does he usually wear that old shirt?
B: No, he doesn’t. He never wears that shirt.
A: Why is he wearing it today?
B: He spilled soup on his new blue shirt.
A: Is Maria riding her bicycle to school today?
B: Yes, she is. She has to be there in ten minutes.
A: Does she usually ride her bicycle to school?
It’s kind of dangerous.
B: She never rides her bicycle to school.
A: Why is she riding her bicycle today?
B: Her car is at the repair shop. It needs a tune up.
A: Are Mr. and Mrs. Blue shopping downtown today?
B: Yes, they are. They need to buy a birthday
present for their daughter.
A: Do they usually shop downtown? The traffic is
B: No, they never shop downtown.
A: They never shop downtown if they can avoid it.
B: I don’t know why they’re shopping downtown.
A: Maybe they’re buying something on sale.
A: Are those your best dishes in the bathtub?
B: Yes, they are. I’m trying to be careful.
A: Do you always wash your dishes in the bathtub?
B: No, I never wash my dishes in the bathtub.
A: Then, why are you washing them in the bathtub
B: My sink is broken, and the plumber is too busy.
A: Are you and Pedro taking the bus to L.A.?
B: Yes, we are. We’re going to celebrate my mother’s
A: Do you usually take the bus when you go there?
B: No, we don’t. But we’re taking the bus this time.
A: Why are you taking the bus? Isn’t it very slow?
B: Yes, it is, but we couldn’t get a plane reservation.
A: Is the washing machine working today?
B: No, it isn’t. That’s why I’m washing my clothes at
the laundromat.
A: Do you usually wash your clothes at home?
B: I always wash my clothes at home when the
washer works.
A: I don’t have a washing machine.
B: That’s why you always wash your clothes at the
A: Is Sylvia listening to the news on the radio?
B: Yes, she is. She wants to hear about the election.
A: Does she usually listen to the news on the radio?
B: No, she doesn’t. She usually watches the news on
A: Why isn’t she watching the news on TV now?
B: Unfortunately, her cousin is using her TV. Her
cousin is watching a football game.
A: I’m looking for Tom Parker. Is he around?
B: He’s in room 6. He’s writing a report right now.
A: I looked for him in Room 6. He wasn’t there.
B: That’s strange. Tom usually writes reports on the
computer in Room 6.
A: I saw a repairman. He was fixing the computer in
Room 6.
B: That’s right. The computer is down. Try Room 7.

Grammartalk 1, Page 2

A: I’m looking for Mrs. Lawrence. Is she here?
B: Yes, she’s talking on the phone in Room 9.
A: I tried to find her there, but Room 9 was empty.
B: She’s probably eating lunch. It’s 11:30.
A: Does she usually eat lunch this early?
B: No, she doesn’t. But today she’s going to a meeting
at noon.
A: Does Tom always kick the ball with his left foot?
B: No, he doesn’t. He usually kicks with his right foot.
A: He’s kicking with his left foot today.
B: He’s kicking with his left foot today because his
right foot hurts.
A: Does he always play soccer when his foot hurts?
B: No, he doesn’t., but he’s playing today even
though it hurts.
A: Are you playing cards with your neighbors tonight?
B: Yes, I am. The card game begins in ten minutes.
A: Do you usually play cards with your neighbors?
B: No, I don’t. But, I’m playing cards with them tonight.
A: Who do you usually play cards with?
B: I always play cards with my sister and brother.
A: Is Judy taking Tylenol for her headache?
B: Yes, she is. She wants to get over it fast and go to
A: Does she usually take Tylenol for headaches?
B: No, she never takes Tylenol. She usually takes
A: Why isn’t she taking aspirin today?
B: She found out that aspirin gives her a stomach
A: Are you going to Mary’s World Theater tonight?
B: I don’t know. What’s playing?
A: Every Monday night, Mary shows Italian movies.
B: Then, she’s showing an Italian movie tonight.. Let’s
go. I like Italian movies.
A: My friend Sally isn’t going to Mary’s tonight.
B: Why not?
A: She doesn’t like to watch Italian movies very often.
A: That stove is too hot. What are you doing?
B: I’m making a delicious dessert.
A: Do you always turn the burner up so high?
B: Yes, I always use a high flame.
A: Are you trying to burn down my restaurant?
B: Don’t worry. I always make delicious desserts.
A Does Rosa practice the violin very often?
B: Yes, she does. She practices whenever she can.
A: Is she practicing now?
B: Yes, she is. You can listen to her if you want.
A: Where is she practicing?
B: She’s practicing in the music room. She always
practices there.
A: Is Doris baking a chicken in the oven?
B: Yes, she is. She and her son are going on a picnic.
A: Does she usually bake a chicken for a picnic?
B: No, she doesn’t. She usually makes sandwiches.
A: But she’s baking a chicken for this picnic.
B: Yes she is, because she ran out of bread..
A: Robert is a taxi driver, isn’t he?
B: Yes, he is. He really likes his job. He meets a lot of
interesting people.
A: Why isn’t he driving his taxi now?
B: He isn’t driving his taxi at this moment?
A: No, he isn’t. He’s sitting in his cab and reading a
B: He never sits in his car and reads the paper.
Business must be really slow.
A: Are Olga and David eating hamburgers now?
B: Yes, they are. And it’s very strange.
A: They never eat hamburgers.
B: I know. They usually eat burritos at their favorite
restaurant on 24th Street.
A: But they aren’t eating burritos there now.
B: No, they aren’t.. Their favorite restaurant must be

Friday, August 14, 2009

Grammartalk 2, Page 1

I went shopping yesterday.

Simple Past Tense
A: I called you yesterday afternoon, but you weren’t
B: That’s right. I wasn’t home yesterday afternoon.
I was at the supermarket.
A: What did you buy there?
B: I bought fish, broccoli, lettuce, and potatoes.
A: Did you cook dinner for your family?
B: Yes. I did. It was delicious.
A: I left a message for you, but I didn’t hear from you.
B: I’m sorry. I wasn’t in town. I was away for the
A: Where did you go? Did you go to Los Angeles?
B: I didn’t go to Los Angeles. I went to Reno.
A: Did you have a good time in Reno?.
B: Yes, I did, except I lost some money when I gambled.
A: I wrote you an email last week, but you didn’t write
B: I’m sorry, I was very busy.
A: Oh, really? Why were you so busy?
B: Our company received a lot of orders, and I had to fill
A: Did you finish all of your work?
B: Yes. I finished all my work last week, but today I got a
lot more orders.
A: I sent you an invitation to my party, but you didn’t
B: I apologize. I was out of town on business.
A: Really? Where did you go?
B: I went to New York. I stayed there for two days.
A: Did you go sight seeing?
B: Yes, I did. I went to the Metropolitan Museum, and I
visited the Statue of Liberty.
A: Did you do anything special on the weekend?
B: Not really. I wrote letters and read a book. How about
A: I took my son to a baseball game.
B: Did you and your son enjoy the game?
A: Yes, we did. Only, the Giants didn’t win.
B: I know. I watched part of the game on TV. The Giants
weren’t very good.
A: Did I type the letters all right?
B: No. You didn’t type them very well.
A: What did I do wrong?
B: You made several spelling mistakes.
A: How many spelling mistakes did I make?
B: You made nine mistakes. You also typed the wrong
address for the company.
A: Did Mary cook the eggs all right?
B: Actually, she didn’t cook them very well. The eggs
weren’t very good.
A: Why? What did she do wrong?
B: She put too much butter in the pan.
A: Did Mark set the table all right?
B: No, he didn’t. He put the napkins on the wrong side of
the plates.
A: Did Stan paint the ceiling all right?
B: Yes. he did. He didn’t miss any spots.
A: He painted the walls, too.
B: Yes, he did. He did a fine job on the walls.
A: He was a painter for many years in his country.
B: I’m glad we hired him for this job. Our last painter
wasn’t very good.
A: Did Sally install the bathtub all right?
B: Yes, she did. I turned on the water, but I didn’t see
any leaks.
A: She repaired the sink also.
B: Yes, she did. That sink was in terrible shape. She did
a fine job.
A: Did you know that she was a plumber in her country?
B: I didn’t know that, but I’m glad we called her.
A: I was a baby sitter for three years. That was my first
job here.
B: Did you work full time or part time?
A: I was a full time baby sitter. I had a lot of
B: Was your employer nice?
A: Yes. She helped me a lot with my English.
B: I’m glad you’re first job was a good experience.
A: I went to Mission Campus and took English courses.
B: How many years did you study there?
A: Only two years, but I had good teachers.

Grammartalk 2, Page 2

Sacramento: Capital Building

A: I knocked on your door several times last week,
but you weren’t home.
B: No, I wasn’t. I was in Sacramento.
A: Oh. What did you do in Sacramento?
B: I visited my daughter and her husband.
A: That last time I talked to you, you said your daughter
was pregnant.
B: That’s right. She had her baby two weeks ago.
A: Did you hear what happened to Tony yesterday?
B: No, I didn’t. What happened to Tony?
A: He burned himself while he was cooking.
B: Did he put cold water on the burn?
A: Yes, he did. Fortunately, it wasn’t very serious.
B: I’m glad he didn’t burn himself badly.
A: San Francisco used to be a lot smaller than it is.
B: There weren’t so many large buildings.
A: People used to take the ferry to Oakland.
B: There weren’t any bridges a long time ago.
A: People took cable cars everywhere.
B: There used to be many more cable cars.
A: There was an earthquake in San Francisco in 1906.
B: Was it a big earthquake?
A: Yes, it was. And it was terrible. It caused a huge fire.
B: Did the fire destroy a lot of homes?
A: Yes, it did. People lived in tents for a long time.
B: I’m glad I wasn’t in San Francisco in 1906.
A: Highway 280 used to be a small, two lane road.
B: There weren’t so many cars then.
A: Highway 101 used to be the only large highway on
the peninsula.
A: I didn’t move to San Francisco until the nineties.
B: Silicon Valley used to be orchards and farms.
A: I know. I used to live in Palo Alto. But I moved when
the landlord raised the rent.
A: I used to work in a restaurant downtown.
B: How long did you work in that restaurant?
A: I worked there for four years. Then, I changed jobs.
B: What job did you change to?
A: I became an electrician.
B: How did you learn that skill?
A: I enrolled in a training program at Evans Campus.
A: I had a lot of trouble with my car last week.
B: What was the problem?
A: It didn’t start on cold mornings.
B: Your car runs fine now. How did you solve that
A: I took the car to the dealer where I bought it.
B: Was the repair work expensive?
A: Yes, it was. They charged me $200.00 to fix the
A: When did you move to this country?
B: I moved to the United States two years ago.
A: Did you come here alone or with your family?
B: I came here alone. My family moved here a year later.
A: Were you lonely that first year?
B: Yes, I was. But, when my family came, I was happy.
A: Tell me what you did when you first got to San
B: We did a lot of things the first day. We bought a car.
A: What else? Did you go out to dinner?
B: Yes, we did. Then, after dinner, we went dancing.
A: Did you have a good time?
B: Yes, we did. The next day, we drove around San
A: Tell me about your childhood. Where did you grow up?
B: I grew up on a farm near Guadalajara, Mexico.
A: Did you have a nice farm? Did you have animals?
B: Yes, we had a lot of animals. We had pigs, chickens,
and cows.
A: Did you take care of the animals?
B: Yes, I did. It was a lot of work. I had to get up very
early. I fed a lot of chickens.

Grammartalk 3, Page 1

It's going to be a beautiful wedding.

A: Jose and Patricia are going to get married.
B: That’s great news. When is the wedding?
A: They are going to attend college first.
B: So, the wedding will be in about four years.
A: Jose will take computer classes at U.C. Berkeley.
B: And what will Patricia study?
A: She’ll study psychology at U.C. Berkeley, also.
A: Patty, will you marry me?
B: Yes, I will, Jose. But I won’t marry you until we finish
A: But, Patty, that means we’ll wait four years.
B: Don’t worry. I love you. I won’t marry anybody else.
A: Will you still love me after four years?
B: Yes, I will. I know I will. I won’t change my mind.
A: I ‘m going to think about Patty for four years. I won’t
think about computers.
B: You’ll study computers very hard. Then, you’ll get a
good job after college.
A: I’m afraid I’ll fail my computer courses.
B: You won’t fail. You’re going to succeed.
A: I hope I’ll concentrate. I hope I’ll be a good student.
B: You’ll be an excellent student.
A: Jose and Patricia graduated. They’re going to get
married next month.
B: That’s great news. Where is the ceremony going to
A: It’s going to be in Saint Matthew's Church.
B: I don’t know where that is. Will you give me
A: Certainly. Are you going to drive or take the bus?
B: I’ll probably drive to the wedding.
A: Yes, I think I’ll drive there too.
B: Will there be a reception after the wedding?
A: Of course. The reception will be at Patty’s parents’
house, in their back yard.
B: How many people will be at the reception?
A: They invited all their friends. About a hundred people
will be there.
B: I’m going to give them a nice wedding present.
A: What are you going to give them, do you know?
B: I probably won’t give them silverware.
A: Mr. and Mrs. Parker are going to give them silverware.
B: I know, I’ll go to Macy’s and try to get ideas.
A: I’ll probably give them a set of sheets and blankets.
B: Good idea. I’m sure they’ll need those things.
A: I read the weather report. It’s going to rain tomorrow.
B: Is it going to rain all day?
A: The paper says it’s going to rain for two or three
B: We’re going to have a problem.
A: How will we have a reception in the back yard?
B: We’ll have to hold the reception in the house.
A: I don’t think so. That won’t work. There will be too
many people.
B: What are we going to do?
A: I know. If it rains, we’ll have the reception in the church
B: Good idea. The church basement is large. It will
accommodate a lot of people.
A: If it doesn’t rain, we’ll use the back yard of your house.
B: Either way, it’ll be a beautiful wedding and reception.
A: Patty, what will you wear for the wedding?
B: I’m going to wear my grandmother’s wedding dress.
A: Wonderful. What’s Jose going to wear?
B: He’ll wear a rented tuxedo.
A: Where will you go after the wedding?
B: After the wedding, we’re going to travel in Colorado.
A: Jose, you must be happy. You’re finally going to
marry Patricia.
B: Yes, but the future is uncertain.
A: Where are you going to live?
B: We’re not sure. We’ll probably live with my folks for a
while. I’m going to apply for a job in New York.
A: Will you move to New York if you get that job?
B: I’m not sure. If we move to New York, I’ll give you our
new address.

Grammartalk 3, Page 2

A: I have to do a lot of things tomorrow.
B: What are you going to do?
A: I’m going to buy flowers for the wedding.
B: What about the food?
A: That’s another thing. I’m going to hire caterers.
B: Will there be music at the reception?
A: Of course. I’m going to ask Tom to play his guitar.
A: Tom has other plans. He’s not going to come to the
wedding. He’s busy this weekend.
B: What is he going to do this weekend?
A: He’s going to paint his living room and his kitchen.
B: He’s certainly going to be busy.
A: I’ll have to find someone else to play music at the
B: That won’t be easy.
A: What are you going to give your fiancee for her
B: I don’t know. I can’t give her a necklace. I gave her a
necklace last year.
A: How about a bracelet?
B: No. I can’t give her a bracelet. I gave her a bracelet
two years ago.
A: Well, what are you going to give her?
B: I don’t know. I’ll really have to think about it.
A: Are you going to cook spaghetti for the wedding?
B: No, I’m not. I cooked spaghetti at the last wedding.
It wasn’t very good.
A: Are you going to serve champagne?
B: Yes, I’m sure we’ll serve a lot of champagne.
A: What are you going to make for dessert?
B: I’m not sure yet, but I think we’ll make a chocolate
A: Sylvia Reynolds will be our photographer.
B: Does she have a lot of experience with wedding
A: Yes, she does. I’m sure she’ll take beautiful
B: About how many pictures is she going to take?
A: She’ll probably take about a hundred photos.
B: Then, you’re going to have a very nice scrapbook.
A: Who will be the minister for the ceremony?
B: Our minister will be the Reverend Billy Boyd.
A: Is he going to speak for a long time?
B: His sermon is going to be around ten minutes.
A: That’s good. A ten minute sermon won’t put me to
B: I read the sermon. It’ll be very nice. I think Jose and
Patty will like it.
A: Jose, where are you going after you travel in
B: After that trip, we’ll return to San Francisco.
A: Will you try to get a job in the Bay Area?
B: I’m going to apply for several positions in Silicon
A: Are you going to work in computers?
B: Yes, I’ll probably get a job as a computer programmer.
A: You aren’t going to apply for the job in New York?
B: No, I’m not. I really don’t want to live there.
A: So, you won’t move to New York next year?
B: No, we’re going to stay in California if I can get a good
job here.
A: You’ll probably get a good job in the Bay Area.
B: Yes, I think IBM will hire me. I’m going to get in touch
with them tomorrow.
A: Will the soup be ready soon?
B: Yes, it will. It’ll be ready in a few minutes.
A: The ceremony is over. The guests will be here any
B: While it’s cooking, I’ll make the sandwiches.
A: We’ll have to hurry. The guests are going to be
B: I’m going to have a headache if you keep nagging me.
A: The weather is very nice today. We can have the
reception in our back yard.
B: But, it’s going to snow in Colorado.
A: Oh, dear. Jose and Patty will be there.
B: It’s going to be the worst snow storm in ten years.
A: Jose and Patty will have to stay in their hotel.
B: They’ll have to pack extra jackets and scarves.

Grammartalk 4, Page 1 - Comparative

Come on, man, get real! Fred is short, Shiela is shorter than Fred, and I'm the shortest!!

A: I think you’ll like my new apartment.
B: But I liked your old apartment. It was large.
A: Yes, but my new apartment is larger than my old one.
B: Your old apartment had a nice view.
A: Yes, but the view from my new apartment is a lot nicer.
B: The location of your old apartment was convenient.
A: I think you’ll agree that my new location is more
B: Is your new neighborhood safer than your old one?
A: Yes, my new neighborhood is less dangerous than my
old neighborhood.
B: How about your new neighbors? Are they noisier or
A: They're a lot quieter and friendlier than my old neighbors.
A: I think you’ll like my new refrigerator.
B: But I liked your old refrigerator. It was big.
A: That’s right, but my new refrigerator is a lot bigger than
my old one.
B: You also have a new sofa. Is it more comfortable than
your old one?
A: Try it. Sit in it. What do you think?
B: Yes, this sofa is the most comfortable sofa I’ve ever
sat in.
A: I think you’ll like my new dog, Rex.
B: But I liked your old dog, Rover. I was sad when he
passed away.
A: My new dog is a lot friendlier than my old one.
B: Yes, and Rex is also a lot cleaner than Rover.
A: Rover was a little bit ugly and obnoxious.
B: That’s true. Rex is a lot less obnoxious than Rover.
A: Your new kitchen sink is larger than your old one.
B: Yes, and my rent isn’t more expensive than my old
A: Is it less expensive?
B: Yes, a little. It’s a little less expensive than my old rent.
A: You have a better apartment for cheaper rent?
B: Yes, because this is Oakland. Oakland is cheaper
than San Francisco.
A: Should I move to Oakland or Daly City?
B: That’s a difficult decision. Daly City is closer to San
A: But Oakland is less crowded than Daly City.
B: True. And Oakland has better weather than Daly City.
A: Oakland is usually about ten degrees warmer than
Daly City.
B: Is rent cheaper in Oakland or more expensive.
A: I’m not sure. I think it’s about the same.
A: Should I take Bart to the city or drive my car?
B: I think you should drive your car.
A: Why?
B: If you drive your car, you’ll get to the city faster.
A: Not always. Sometimes there’s a traffic jam.
Then, it takes a lot longer to get to the city.
B: Taking Bart is more expensive than paying toll.
A: Gas prices are a lot higher than they used to be.
B: That’s true. I have to pay more to fill my tank.
A: Pretty soon, it’ll be cheaper to take Bart.
B: I think you’ll like my new car.
A: But, I liked your old car. It was very reliable.
B: You’re right. But my new car is more reliable than my
old one.
A: New York is more interesting than San Francisco.
B: I disagree. I think San Francisco is much more
interesting than New York.
A: Do you think the weather in New York is nicer than San
Francisco’s weather?
B: No, I don’t . The weather in San Francisco is much
nicer than New York’s weather.
A: New York is livelier than San Francisco.
B: I disagree. I think the people in San Francisco are more
energetic than the people in New York.
A: Should I plant flowers or vegetables?
B: I think you should plant flowers in your garden.
A: What makes you say that?
B: Flowers are prettier than vegetables.
A: But vegetables are more useful than flowers. You can
eat vegetables.
B: True. But flowers are much more fragrant than

Grammartalk 4, Page 2 - Superlative

A: I think your cousin is very friendly.
B: He certainly is. He’s the friendliest person I know.
A: He’s also very intelligent.
B: Yes. He’s the most intelligent person in the class.
A: Your cousin is the nicest person in our neighborhood.
B: He’s also the best tennis player in our neighborhood.
A: May I help you?
B: Yes, please. I want to buy a large refrigerator.
A: I think you’ll like this one. It’s very large.
B: Don’t you have a larger one?
A: No, I’m afraid not. This is the largest one we have.
B: Thank you anyway.
A: Sorry we can’t help you. Please come again.
A: I think your neighbors are very considerate.
B: You’re right. They’re the most considerate people I
A: They’re also very quiet.
B: I agree. They’re the quietest neighbors on the block.
A: They’re also very friendly.
B: You’re right. They’re the friendliest people in town.
A: Are you disappointed with your car?
B: Yes, I am. It’s the worst car I’ve ever had.
A: I agree. I think your car is very ugly.
B: It certainly is. It’s the ugliest car I’ve seen.
A: Couldn’t you find a better used car?
B: No, I couldn’t. I hate to say it, but this car is the best
one I could find.
A: May I help you find something?
B: Yes. I’m looking for a comfortable sofa.
A: I think you’ll like this one. It’s very comfortable.
B: Don’t you have a more comfortable one?
A: No. This is the most comfortable one we have.
B: Do you have a more attractive one?
A: This sofa is the most modern one in this city.
B: I’m not very interested in modern sofas. I want the
best one for my apartment.
A: You don’t think this sofa is attractive?
B: No. I want the most attractive one you have.
A: This sofa is the most attractive one in the store.
B: It’s the least attractive sofa I’ve seen.
A: I think you would be happier if you went to a different
B: But, your store is in the most convenient location.
A: The Bargain Store is the cheapest store in town.
B: Although it’s the cheapest, it isn’t the most popular.
A: Why isn’t it the most popular?
B: The appliances aren’t very dependable.
A: Where are the most dependable appliances?
B: The Big Name Store has the most dependable
A: The products at the Bargain Store are the worst in
B: No wonder people don’t like to shop there.
A: They have the least helpful salespeople in town.
B: That’s terrible. The salespeople should be more
A: The Big Name Store, on the other hand, has the best
products in town.
A: The Saver Store is the most popular store in town.
B: Why is The Saver Store the most popular one?
A: The clothes aren’t the most fashionable you can buy.
B: They aren’t the most fashionable?
A: The CD players aren’t the best you can buy.
B: They aren’t the best? Then, why shop there?
A: Their location is the most convenient, and their
salespeople are the friendliest.
A: Who is the most important person in your country’s
B: I think George Washington is the most important.
A: What is the funniest TV program, in your opinion?
B: I think “Saturday Night Live” is the funniest one.
A: In your opinion, what is the most interesting tourist
sight in San Francisco?
B: I think Mission Dolores is the most interesting tourist