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Lesson 31: Take Me Out to the Ball Game


Summary

Anna wants to go to see a baseball game. The question is: what is the fastest way for her to get there? Her friends Jonathan and Ashley give her advice.

Speaking

In this video, learn to say the new words for this lesson. You can also learn about ​comparative adjectives like "faster," and superlative adjectives like "fastest."

Pronunciation

Use this video to learn about pronouncing "than" in sentences with comparative adjectives.

Conversation

Anna: Hi, there, sports fans! Baseball is America’s sport. Today, I am going to Nationals Park. It is home to Washington, D.C.’s baseball team -- the Washington Nationals!
Anna: Hi, Jonathan!
Jonathan: Hi, Anna! Where are you going?
Anna: I am taking a bus to a Nationals baseball game!
Jonathan: Don’t take the bus. A taxi is faster than a bus.
Anna: Oh, good idea. You know I love baseball.
Jonathan: That’s great. Have fun.
Anna: In fact, I wanted to be a baseball player.
Jonathan: Is this one of your memories? I’m really busy.
Anna: This won’t take long. I can see it now... I am at home plate. I wait for the pitch. The ball comes. I swing. It’s a hit! I run to first base, second base, third base, then home plate. It’s a home run! The crowd cheers! Woo hoo!
Jonathan: You really love baseball. Have fun at the game, Anna.
Anna: Thanks, Jonathan.Taxi!
Ashley: Hi, Anna. Where are you going?
Anna: Hi, Ashley. I am going to see a Nationals baseball game!
Ashley: What time is the game?
Anna: 7 o’clock.
Ashley: Do you have a ticket?
Anna: No, not yet.
Ashley: Anna, you should go a lot earlier than 7 o’clock.
Anna: That is why I’m taking a taxi. Taxi!
Ashley: Anna, Anna, that’s not a good idea. A bicycle is faster than a taxi.
Anna: Oh, Ashley. Ashley, Ashley, Ashley. A car is faster than your bicycle.
Ashley: In D.C. traffic sometimes a bicycle is faster than a car. And right now, there is a lot of traffic.
Anna: Good point. But I don’t have a bicycle.
Ashley: Okay, Anna, you can use my bicycle.
Anna: Thanks! I really want to learn how to ride one.
Ashley: What do you mean, learn how to ride a bike? Oh, Anna! Anna, Anna!
Ashley: You know, Anna, the Metro is faster than a taxi and a bicycle. You ought to take the Metro. It’s that way.
Anna: Good idea.
Ashley: OK.
Anna: See you later!
Ashley: Bye, Anna!
Anna: Bye!
Anna: The Metro was a lot faster than a bus, taxi or bike. And now I’m at Nationals Park! Look at all these fans! So many people like to watch baseball. There’s the ticket window. What? The tickets are sold out? Nooooooo!Nooooooo! But I really want to watch a baseball game. Does anyone have an extra ticket?
Fan: Next time, you should buy your ticket online.
Anna: Thanks. Thanks a lot. It is good advice. Being early is better than being late. Until next time …

Writing

Do you like to watch sports? Where do you watch them? Write to tell us about a game you saw. Try to use some of the words from this lesson, like ticket, crowd, fans, and cheer. Write to us by email or in the Comments section.

Click on the image below to download the Activity Sheet and practice using comparative and superlative adjectives with a friend.

Activity Sheet Lesson 31

Activity Sheet Lesson 31

Learning Strategy

Learning Strategies are the thoughts and actions that help make learning easier or more effective.

The learning strategy for this lesson is Visualize. Visualize means creating an image in your mind. When learning a new language, we can visualize to help us understand what we are learning.

In this week's video, Anna visualizes playing a baseball game. You can also say she imagines playing the game. Jonathan listens and makes an image in his own mind. He understands that Anna loves baseball. He says, "You really love baseball. Have fun at the game, Anna."

Do you ever visualize when listening to or reading English? Write to us about it in the Comments section or send us an email. Teachers, see the Lesson Plan for more details on teaching this strategy.

Quiz

Listen to short videos and test your listening skills with this quiz.

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New Words

base - n. any one of the four places a runner must touch in order to score in baseball
baseball - n. a game played on a large field by two teams of nine players who try to score runs by hitting a small ball with a long rounded stick and then running to each of the four places a runner must touch in order to score without being put out
better - adj. more attractive, appealing, effective or useful
bicycle/bike - n. a 2-wheeled vehicle that a person rides by pushing on foot pedals
cheer(s) - v. to shout with joy, approval, or enthusiasm
crowd - n. a large group of people who are together in one place
earlier -adv. before the usual or expected time
extra - adj. more than is usual or necessary
fan(s) - n. a person who likes and admires someone, such as a famous person, or something, such as a sport or a sports team, in a very enthusiastic way
faster - adv. with great speed
hit - v. to cause a ball to move by hitting it forcefully with a bat in baseball;
hit - n. when a baseball player is able to successfully swing the bat and connect it with the ball
home plate - n. the base that a runner must touch in order to score in baseball
home run - n. a hit that allows the batter to go around all the bases and score a run in baseball
Nationals Park - n. a baseball park located in Washington, D.C. that is the home ballpark for the Washington Nationals baseball team
online - n. done over the Internet
pitch - v. to throw a ball to the player who is trying to hit the ball in baseball
swing - v. to move your arms while holding the long rounded stick that is used to hit the ball in baseball with a quick, curving motion
team - n. a group of people who compete in a sport or game against another group
than - conj. used to introduce the second or last of two or more things or people that are being compared — used with the comparative form of an adjective or adverb
ticket - n. a piece of paper that allows you to see a show, participate in an event, travel on a vehicle
window - n. an opening in a wall or door that usually contains a sheet of glass

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Free Materials

Word Book

Word Book

Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.

Each Let's Learn English lesson has an Activity Sheet for extra practice on your own or in the classroom. In this lesson, you can use it to practice using comparative adjectives and learn more about baseball.

For Teachers

Lesson 31 Lesson Plan

Lesson 31 Lesson Plan

See the Lesson Plan for this lesson for ideas and more teaching resources. Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.

Grammar focus: Comparatives: faster, earlier

Topics: Making comparisons; Asking for & giving advice

Learning Strategy: Visualize

Speaking & Pronunciation Focus: Using comparative and superlative adjectives; Pronouncing reduced "than" in comparative sentences

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Now it's your turn. Send us an email or write to us in the Comments section below or on our Facebook page to let us know what you think of this lesson.

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