Conversation Lesson 11
Lesson 11 - The Big Snow

In this lesson a big snow is coming. Anna and Pete work all weekend to report on it. Have they both prepared for the blizzard? Let's find out!
Conversations Lessons
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Lesson Video

Watch the video and then read the video script.
Video Script

Kelly: Hi, Anna. Why do you have all this weather stuff?
Anna: I love weather.
Kelly: Me too! Weather is so important.
Anna: It is. It affects people’s lives!
Kelly: Have you ever reported on a big weather event?
Anna: I have. I’ve reported on a blizzard.
Kelly: Do mean the one last weekend?
Anna: Yes! I had been waiting for that blizzard for years. When it came, I was ready.
Prof. Bot: Welcome to our most perfect lesson! Why is it perfect? Today we are reviewing the present perfect and past perfect verb tenses. These show that an action is completed.
Kelly uses the present perfect when she says,
Kelly: Have you ever reported on a big weather event?
Anna uses the past perfect when she says,
Anna: I had been waiting for that blizzard for years.
Listen for "have" or "had" and the past participle to find more sentences with the perfect tense. I'll color those words to help you.
Anna: I have wanted to report on a big weather event my whole life.
Kelly: Who hasn’t? Did you report all weekend ... by yourself?
Anna: No, no. I volunteered Pete to help me.
Pete: Why am I here on a Saturday? Why are you carrying things? Why? Why?
Anna: Pete, these are my supplies – food, a blanket; warm clothing. Where are your supplies?
Anna: Pete, Pete, Pete. This could be the “blizzard of the century.”
Pete: It’ll be fine.
Kelly: How else had you prepared?
Anna: Well, I had just bought the latest weather forecasting software. So, I brought it!
Kelly: Do you mean The Weather Genie Pro?
Anna: You know it. Pete thought it was pretty great too.
Pete: Do you have any games on that thing?
Anna: Yes! I have the best weather survival game. Boom!
Pete: Sounds fun.
Anna: It is. But right now, Pete, this computer is a work tool. It will give us the temperature, wind speed, wind direction and amount of snowfall … in real time! Boom, boom!
Pete: I can’t wait.
Anna: Pete, we need a name for this blizzard.
Pete: No, we don’t.
Anna: All the great storms have names.
Pete: No, they don’t.
Anna: I know -- “The Big Snow!”
Pete: I am not saying “The Big Snow.”
Pete: Welcome to “The Big Snow.”
Kelly: The Big Snow broke all kinds of records, didn’t it?
Anna: Yes it did. And every time a record was broken, we celebrated!
Anna: So far, in Washington, D.C. 29 inches of snow has fallen. That, my dear listeners, is a record! (Honks horn)
Anna: We just broke the wind speed record! (Honks horn)
Anna: Snow has been falling for 30 hours straight! That’s another record! (Honks horn. Pete comes into room and breaks the horn.)
Kelly: By Saturday night, stores and restaurants had closed. Did you bring enough food?
Anna: I thought I had brought enough food. But I ran out.
Anna: Hey, Pete, where is my bag of popcorn?
Pete: Maybe you ate it already.
Anna: No, I didn’t.
Pete: I haven't seen it. (Pete has popcorn in his beard. Anna tries to hit him.)
Anna: We had reported together for 48 hours straight!
Kelly: Wow. That must have been a great team-building exercise for you and Pete.
Anna: Yeah. You - you could say that.
Prof. Bot: I hope you found all the sentences with perfect tenses. Learn more on our website!

Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.
New Words
  • affect - v. to act on (someone or something) and cause a change
  • amount - n. a quantity of something
  • blizzard - n. a severe snowstorm that goes on for a long time
  • century - n. a period of 100 years
  • event - n. something (especially something important or notable) that happens
  • forecast - v. to predict (something, such as weather) after looking at the information that is available
  • record - n. a performance or achievement that is the best of its kind or at an extreme when measuring data
  • software - n. the programs that run on a computer and perform certain functions
  • straight - adv. without interruption
  • survival - n. the state or fact of continuing to live or exist especially in spite of difficult conditions
  • volunteer - v. to say that someone will do something without asking if he or she wants to do it
Source: Voice of America
Additional Conversation Lessons

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