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

Grammartalk 7, Page 1 - Present Perfect Tense

How long have you been a barber?

A: How long have you owned that TV?
B: I’ve owned it since 1995.
A: And has it worked OK since you bought it?
B: Oh, yes. It’s worked very well since I bought it.
A: Mine has broken twice since 1998.
B: I haven’t had any trouble with my TV.
A: How long have Bob and Chuck been barbers?
B: They’ve been barbers for seven years.
A: Seven years? That’s a long time.
B: Yes. They’ve always enjoyed cutting hair.
A: I haven’t had a hair cut in a long time.
B: No, you haven’t. I can tell. Your hair is too long.
A: How many times has Julie traveled to Canada?
B: She’s traveled to Canada six times in the last few
A: How many parks has she visited in Canada?
B: She’s visited several parks. I don’t know how many.
A: Has she ever been to Toronto?
B: Yes, she has. She’s been to Toronto two or three
A: Have you seen any interesting movies lately?
B: Yes, I have. I just saw “Crouching Tiger, Hidden
A: And did you enjoy it?
B: Yes, I did. It’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.
A: I haven’t gone to the movies in a long time.
B: I know you haven’t. You’ve been very busy.
A: The weather has been very cold recently.
B: Yes, it has. It hasn’t been warm for a while.
A: It’s been especially cold at night.
B: Yes, I know it has. I’ve needed to wear my flannel
A: I’ve had my heater on all night recently.
B: It has sometimes been very windy, too.
A: Have you done the laundry yet?
B: No, I haven’t. I haven’t had enough time to do it.
A: Has Jack washed the windows yet?
B: No, he hasn’t. He’s been very busy lately.
A: Has little Jeff picked up his toys yet?
B: No, he hasn’t. He’s been at school all afternoon.
A: Have you read the newspaper yet?
B: No, I haven’t had a chance to. Is there any important
A: I don’t know because I haven’t read the paper yet
B: I bet Sally has already read the paper today.
A: Let’s ask her if anything important has happened.
B: She’s read the paper every day for years.
A: Has Tom interviewed the applicants yet?
B: No, he hasn’t interviewed all of them. He’s interviewing
them now.
A: Has he written the yearly report yet?
B: Almost, but he hasn’t finished it yet.
A: Has he telephoned the new client yet?
B: No, but he’s going to call her this afternoon.
A: Have you met our new neighbors yet?
B: No, I haven’t. Have they already moved in?
A: Yes, they have. They’ve lived here since Saturday.
B: Has P.G.. and E. turned on their electricity?
A: Yes. They’ve had electricity since they moved in.
B: I haven’t seen their lights yet.
A: Have you driven on the new freeway yet?
B: Not yet. How long has there been a new freeway?
A: There’s been a new freeway for a week.
B: Has there been much traffic on it so far?
A: No, there hasn’t been a lot of traffic so far.
B: There hasn’t been much publicity about the new
A: What countries have you visited in Europe so far?
B: We’ve visited France, Germany, and Italy.
A: Have you been to Greece yet?
B: No, we haven’t been to Greece yet.
A: I hope you’ve taken a lot of photographs.
B: Yes, we have. We’ve taken about fifty photos so far.

Grammar Exercise: Questions with "How long?"

Grammartalk 7, Page 2

A: What vegetables have you planted so far?
B: We’ve planted carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli.
A: Have you planted any squash yet?
B: No, we haven’t planted any squash yet, but we plan
A: Have you thought about planting flowers, too?
B: We’ve had flowers in our garden for a long time.
A: I’m Doctor Harris. How have you been ?
B: Not too well, doctor. I’ve had a bad cold since last
A: Have you taken anything for it so far?
B: I’ve taken some vitamin C and some lemon and
A: Have you had any fever or chills?
B: No, I haven’t had any fever or chills so far.
A: Have you ever tried Cold Eze?
B: No, I’ve never tried Cold Eze. Is it good for colds?
A: I’ve taken Cold Eze several times.
B: Has it usually helped you when you’ve had a cold?
A: It hasn’t always cured my cold, but it has always
B: I’ve never heard of Cold Eze, but I’ll try it.
A: How many patients has Dr. Harris seen today?
B: He’s already seen ten patients. He’s been busy.
A: Has he spoken with Mrs. Jones yet?
B: No, he hasn’t. She hasn’t made an appointment yet.
A: I’m surprised. Mrs. Jones has had a cough for days.
B: She hasn’t called our office yet. Perhaps she’s gotten
over it.
A: What cold remedies have you tried so far?
B: I’ve tried Cold Eze and Vitamin C.
A: Have either of those remedies helped you?
B: No, they haven’t. This cold has just gotten worse.
A: Have you eaten chicken noodle soup?
B: No, I haven’t eaten any chicken noodle soup.
A: It won’ t cure your cold, but it’ll make you feel better.
A: Melinda has always been an excellent employee.
B: Really? Has she ever been late to work?
A: No, she has always been on time to work.
B: Has she ever missed an important meeting?
A: No, she has always attended important meetings.
B: Has she ever made an accounting error?
A: Well, she has only made three errors in five years.
B: Has she ever had a problem with the boss?
A: No. She and the boss have gotten along with each
other since she was hired.
B: Has she learned all the new computer programs?
A: Yes, in fact, she’s taught the new programs to the other
B: But has she come up with new ideas for the
A: She’s come up with many new ideas so far.
B: Has she ever been employee of the month?
A: Yes, in fact, she’s been employee of the month six
B: Have you found a better employee than Melinda?
A: No, I haven’t seen a better employee here.
B: So, that’s why you’ve recommended her for the job of
vice president.
A: Robert has worked as an office clerk for six months.
B: Has he applied for a promotion yet?
A: He hasn’t applied for a promotion yet.
B: Why hasn’t he tried to get a promotion? Does he lack
self confidence?
A: He hasn’t learned all the computer programs yet.
B: Sylvia has already gotten a promotion, and she hasn’t
learned all the computer programs yet.
A: Hello, Mrs. Parker. Tell me, have you ever managed
a large apartment building?
B: Yes, I have. I managed a large building when I lived in
A: Have you ever collected rent from tenants?
B: Yes, I collected rent regularly in my last job.
A: And have you ever dealt with an emergency in the
B: Yes, I have. In my last job, I called the fire department
six times.

Grammartalk Six, Page One

Should I buy a bicycle or a motorcycle?

A: I can tell you’re not feeling well. What’s wrong?
B: I can’t concentrate. I have a headache.
A: You should go home and take some aspirin.
B: But, I shouldn’t miss this English lesson.
A: But, you should try to get over your headache first.
B: I hope I will be in class tomorrow.
A: What are you going to name your new baby?
B: We might name her Julie or we might name her Mary.
A: I think you should name her Julie.
B: You do? We don’t know. We really can’t decide.
A: You shouldn’t name her Mary. It’s too common.
B: I guess you’re right. We must name her soon.
A: What’s the matter? I can tell you’re having trouble.
B: I have to take my driving test, but my car isn’t working.
A: You should try to postpone the test.
B: You’re right. I can’t take it this week, but I can take it next week.
A: You shouldn’t worry about postponing it.
B: You’re right. I can’t take a test with a bad car.
A: What’s wrong? Are you having trouble?
B: Yes, I am. I can’t find my car keys anywhere.
A: You shouldn’t let it bother you.
B: Can you possibly tell me where they are?
A: You should try to remember the last time you used them.
B: I must find them in five minutes. I have an appointment at ten.
A: Should I buy a bicycle or a motorcycle?
B: I think you should buy a bicycle.
A: Why should I buy a bicycle?
B: They’re safer than motorcycles. That’s my opinion.
A: I can’t ride a bicycle. I never learned how.
B: I can teach you how. It isn’t very difficult.
A: When are you going to clean your apartment?
B: I don’t know. I might clean it today, or I might clean it next week.
A: I think you should clean it today.
B: I don’t have to clean it today. Nobody is coming over tonight.
A: You shouldn’t wait until you have visitors.
B: But, I can’t clean it today. I don’t have time.
A: Would you like to go to Jack’s party with me?
B: I shouldn’t go to that party. I don’t know anybody.
A: You should go. You might meet interesting people.
B: Also, I might have a terrible time.
A: Must you always be a pessimist?
B: OK. I’ll go to the party with you. But, can we leave early if it’s boring?
A: I want to get my leaner’s permit at the DMV.
B: You must take a written test .
A: How many correct answers do I have to get?
B: You must score 80 percent to pass the test.
A: When I have a learner’s permit, what can I do?
B: You can’t drive by yourself. You must drive with a licensed driver in the car.
A: Must I also take a vision test?
B: That’s right. You have to take a vision test also.
A: Must I bring proof of age?
B: Yes, you have to bring a birth certificate or a passport.
A: Can I use my alien registration card?
B: I don’t know. You should bring it to the DMV when you go.
A: I want to get a driver’s license. How can I get one?
B: You can practice driving. You should make sure you drive well.
A: I can’t parallel park. My brother said he would teach me how.
B: That’s good. You must take a road test for the license.
A: Is the road test very difficult?
B: It’s not difficult, but you have to prepare for it.

Grammartalk Six, Page Two

A: Bob is late to work today. I wonder what’s wrong?
B: It’s hard to say. He could be stuck in traffic.
A: Or, he could be sick, or his car could be broken.
B: He might be out of town.
A: Yes, that’s a possibility. Or he might be on the bus.
B: He’s never this late. He must have a good reason.
A: Mary swims a lot and also runs every day.
B: That’s wonderful. She must be in very good shape.
A: Jack has very few kitchen utensils.
B: He must not cook very much. He must eat out a lot.
A: Sylvia is getting a new passport picture.
B: She must need to renew her passport.
A: What’s wrong, Mary? You sound upset.
B: I am upset. I’m baby-sitting for my one-year-old nephew. He’s crying. I don’t know why.
A: Well, he might be hungry. You should feed him.
B: I already tried to feed him. He still cries.
A: His diaper might be wet. You should change him.
B: I tried to change his diaper. It was dry.
A: He might be very tired. You should try to put him to
B: I tried to put him in bed. But he’s still crying.
A: He’s just nervous. You should try to calm him down.
B: That’s a good idea. He might like music.
A: Yes, he might like your song. You should sing to him.
B: Wait. I don’t hear him crying now. He must be asleep.
A: Why is Stan returning the CD he got for his birthday?
B: I don’t know. He must not like it.
A: Joy is very bright, but she doesn’t get good grades.
B: She might not study hard enough. She should study harder.
A: Steve gets headaches when he reads books.
B: I think he might need glasses.
A: Mr. Jones, I’m really worried about your lungs.
B: Really, Doctor? Should I stop smoking?
A: Yes, you must stop smoking or you’ll have serious problems.
16. (cont)
B: But, Doctor, I can’t quit smoking, I just can’t.
A: Yes, you can. Anyone can quit smoking if they really want to.
B: All right, I’ll quit, even though it will be hard.
A: Mrs. Parker, I’m really worried about your high blood
B: Really, Doctor? Should I cut down on salty food\?
A: Yes, you must stop eating salty food or you’ll have serious heart problems.
B: I can’t stop eating salty food, I just can’t.
A: You shouldn’t say that. You can control what you eat.
B: All right, Doctor. I’ll stop eating salty food, even though it will be difficult..
A: I won’t be able to help you move tomorrow.
B: You won’t? Did something come up?
A: Yes, I’ve got to take my son to the doctor.
B: That’s all right. I’ll be able to move by myself.
A: I won’t be able to help Mary clean her garage, either.
B: No problem. I’m sure she’ll be able to clean it by herself.
A: Was Jimmy able to lift his grandmother’s suitcase?
B: No, he wasn’t able to lift it. It was too heavy.
A: Was Louise able to paint her house yesterday?
B: No, she wasn’t able to paint it. It was too windy.
A: Were your children able to see the fireworks last night?
B: No, they weren’t able to see them. There were too many buildings in the way.
A: It must be late. Could you tell me time?
B: Sure. It’s five thirty. You must be hungry.
A: Yes, I think I’ll have an early dinner. I shouldn’t stay up late.
B: I have to get up early tomorrow. I can’t stay out late.
A: There’s a good restaurant nearby, but I can’t remember the name.
B: I know which one you mean. They have excellent burritos there.
A: Let’s go grab an early supper.