Lesson 8: Are You Busy?


Anna wants to apologize to her co-workers. She learns what they do at the same time every day.


In this video, learn to say the new words. Learn to talk about three times of the day. You can also download the Activity Sheet and practice with a friend.


​In this video, you ​learn how Americans make hesitation noises, like um, to give themselves more time to think of an answer. You can also learn how to use emphasis when you apologize and accept an apology.


Anna: Hello, everyone. Here I am at my new job! Yesterday at my first day of work … Well, let’s not talk about yesterday. Today is a new day! Today I want to apologize to my co-workers.

Anna: Hi, Anne. Are you busy?
Anne: Hi, Anna. Yes. At 10 a.m. I am writing. Every day I do my morning show. Sorry!
Anna: Okay. See you later, maybe.
Anne: Maybe I’ll see you later.
Anna: Hi, Jonathan. Are you busy?
Jonathan: Yes, I’m busy. When the studio light is on, I am recording my evening show.
Anna: Right. Sorry about yesterday.
Jonathan: No worries.
Anna: May I see the studio?
Jonathan: Um, maybe another time? Right now I am busy.
Anna: Sure. Okay, ’bye.
Jonathan: ‘Bye.
Anna: Hi, Amelia! Are you busy?
Amelia: I’m a little busy.
Anna: I want to say I’m sorry for yesterday.
Amelia: It’s okay, Anna.
Anna: Well, I am sorry.
Amelia: It’s okay, Anna. Come by this afternoon.
Anna: Okay.
Caty: Anna.
Anna: Yes, Ms. Weaver.
Caty: Are you busy?
Anna: Yes, Ms. Weaver. I am busy.
Caty: My office. 5:00 p.m.
Anna: 5:00 p.m.
Caty: Come in.
Co-Workers: Surprise!
Anna: A party! Awesome! And I still have my job! Phew!* Until next time!

* Phew! is a sound used to show that you are relieved, tired, or hot


What do you do every morning? You can see some examples in the Activity Sheet. Click on the image to download it. Write to us in the Comments section.

Let's Learn English Lesson 8 Activity Sheet
Let's Learn English Lesson 8 Activity Sheet

Learning Strategy

Learning Strategies are the thoughts and actions that help make learning easier or more effective. The learning strategy for this lesson is Use What You Know. We have knowledge about the world we use when learning a new language or a new skill. Here is an example.

In this lesson's video, Anna learns that her co-workers do things at the same time each day. She understands this idea because she also has to do work at the same time every day. She uses what she knows and remembers not to bother her co-workers at the times they are busy.

How do you use what you know in studying English? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email. Teachers, see the Lesson Plan for more details on teaching this strategy.

Listening Quiz

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New Words

afternoon - n. the middle part of the day : the part of the day between noon and evening

apologize - v. to express regret for doing or saying something wrong : to give or make an apology

evening - n. the last part of the day and early part of the night

job - n. the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money

later - adj. happening near the end of a process, activity, series, life, etc.

light - n. a source of light (such as an electric lamp)

maybe - adv. possibly but not certainly

morning - n. the early part of the day : the time of day from sunrise until noon

now - adv. at the present time

studio - n. the building or room where an artist works

surprise - n. an unexpected event, piece of information, etc.

yesterday - n. the day before today


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 a conversation about activities.

For Teachers

Lesson Plan for Let's Learn English Lesson 8
Lesson Plan for Let's Learn English Lesson 8

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: BE - Short answers; simple present tense to describe routine activities

Topics: Times of day: morning, evening, afternoon​

Speaking & Pronunciation Focus: Times of day; regular activities; hesitation noise "um;" apologizing with stress or intonation


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.