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Lesson 1, How Long Have You Been Here? Will take you somewhere you may know very well: the INS office. You'll listen in on a conversation between two people waiting in line, which is something people unfortunately do very often, and which is also a situation in which Americans like to make "small talk". Then, you'll learn some vocabulary that will come in handy at the INS or anywhere you have to fill out forms. But that's not all. Lesson 1 also includes:Dialogue: Making Small Talk
• The Present Perfect Tense vs. The Simple Past Tense
• Using/or and since with the Present Perfect and Simple Past Tenses
• Phrasal Verbs with pick
• Idiomatic Expressions for Saying Goodbye
Finally, at the end of the lesson you'll read a culture note about casual greetings and acquaintances. But let's start with a pronunciation warm-up.
Sergei, a Russian immigrant, is waiting in line at the INS. The line is very long, and it's moving very slowly. Peter, an American standing in front of Sergei, turns around and strikes up a conversation. Sergei is surprised by his friendliness. Peter
: I guess we didn't have anything else to do today, did we? Sergei
: What? Peter
: I said I guess they think that we didn't have anything else to do today. It's just that we've been in this line for a very long time. lt seems like we aren't going anywhere very fast. Sergei
: Yeah. I know. I've been here since about 9:30. What about you? Peter
: I think I got here just a few minutes before you did. I decided to pick up a green-card application for my wife. I should've gotten it off the Internet. That way I could have just stayed home. Say, where are you from? Sergei
: Me? I'm from Russia. Peter
: Oh, whereabouts? Sergei
: I lived in Moscow for most of my life, but I moved around a little. I was in the military. Peter
: Interesting. I've never been to Russia, but I've always wanted to visit. It seems like such an interesting country. How long have you lived here? Sergei
: I've lived in San Diego for only a few weeks, but I've been in the U.S. since August. Peter
: Well, welcome to San Diego. I guess the weather must be a bit warmer than where you're from, huh? Sergei
: Yes, that's true. I've gotten used to it. Peter
: Have you visited the zoo or Balboa Park yet? Sergei
: No, but I really want to go to Balboa Park. I've heard about all the flowers and museums that are there. Clerk
: Hey. That's me. Gotta go. See you around. Sergei
: Oh. OK. See you. BUILD YOUR VOCABULARY
Perhaps you need to go to the I. N. S. to fill out some forms. Here are some terms you would see if you were to fill out an application to register for permanent residence. Many of these words have other meanings, but these are the usages you will see on I. N. S. forms and other legal documents. To be cited. | tə bi ˈsaɪtɪd |
To be summoned to appear in court. The police could cite you for littering if you throw trash out of your car. To be indicted tə bi ɪnˈdaɪtɪd |
. To be charged with a crime. Richard Hayward was indicted for espionage when he was caught selling U.S. documents to a foreign government. Ordinance |ˈɔːdɪnəns |
. A law or regulation, usually passed by a local government. The city council passed an ordinance permitting the use of marijuana by cancer patients. Beneficiary |ˌbenɪˈfɪʃəri |
. A person who is or will be the recipient of something of value from someone who has died. Harold and Gerry were the sole beneficiaries of their mother's modest estate. Rehabilitation |ˌriːəˌbɪlɪˈteɪʃn̩ |
. Treatment to help someone return to regular, acceptable, or normal behavior or abilities. Recovery from drug abuse or physical injuries. It was difficult to convince the governor that Sam had been successfully rehabilitated and was ready to leave jail and return to society. Clemency
|ˈklemənsi|. A lesser penalty than what a court originally suggested. Thinking that Ralph Smith had suffered enough for the crime he committed, the judge granted him clemency and gave him a shorter prison sentence. Amnesty |ˈæmnəsti |
. A pardon given to a large group of individuals. The government granted amnesty to all illegal immigrants who had come to work in the fields. Procure |prəˈkjʊə |
. To obtain, to buy, to take possession of something of value. Professor Hodges wanted to procure some ancient artifacts before returning from his sabbatical in Africa. To engage in. |tu ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ ɪn|
To become involved in something, to do something. Teresa would never engage in illegal activities, even if she disagreed with a law. To induce. |tu ɪnˈdjuːs |
To influence someone to do something. Robbie's older brother induced him to steal money from their parents. To conspire |tə kənˈspaɪə|
. To plan together in secret to do harm. Kathy and Jane conspired to make Mary look foolish. To solicit |tə səˈlɪsɪt |
. To ask for something of value, usually money. Raymond got a job soliciting money for his political party. To sabotage |tə ˈsæbətɑːʒ|
. To destroy or cause to fail. The lab technician sabotaged the experiment by deliberately mixing up the samples. Espionage |ˈespɪənɑːʒ|
. Spying. Espionage was a common practice during the Cold War, and it still is today. Affiliated. |əˈfɪlieɪtɪd|
To be in close connection. The local television stations are all affiliated with major networks. To persecute |tə ˈpɜːsɪkjuːt|
. To harass, to cause someone to suffer because of a belief. Many people have come to the United States because they were persecuted in their countries. To incite |tu ɪnˈsaɪt|
. To move to action, to cause. The Prime Minister's latest announcement incited the protesting crowd to become violent. Fraud |frɔːd|
. A false claim, trick; a liar or imposter. Sam Jameson created a false medical license and began practicing medicine until he was exposed as a fraud. Waiver |ˈweɪvə|
. A document that gives up a right or grants unusual permission to someone else. Juan signed a waiver giving his doctor the right to send his medical records to his insurance company. Custody |ˈkʌstədi |
. Having legal guardianship of a child or children, often part of a divorce settlement. When the Camerons divorced, Mrs. Cameron received custody of both children, and her husband won weekend visitation rights. ENGLISH UNDER THE HOOD
TOPIC 1: The Present Perfect Tense
vs. the Simple Past Tense
Let's take a look at the two most common past tenses in English: the present perfect tense and the simple past tense.
|Present Perfect ||Simple Past |
I have spoken
you have spoken
he, she, it has spoken
we have spoken
they have spoken
| I spoke |
he, she, it spoke
As you can see, the present perfect tense
is formed with the verb to have and the past participle of the main verb, in this case, spoken. The simple past tense
is just the past form of the verb, which in this case is spoke. These tenses are used a bit differently. The present perfect tense
expresses an event that happened in the past when the exact time is not known, or when there's a result or a connection being made to the present, or when the time reference is still unfinished, as in so far this week, or up to now, or during my entire life.The simple past tense
, on the other hand, expresses an action that happened when a specific finished time is given, such as yesterday or last week or in 1995. Sometimes these tenses are interchangeable, depending on what the speaker wishes to emphasize. Here are a few examples.
Julia has returned
from her trip. (No specific time is given or is important, and the speaker is emphasizing that Julia is now home.)
from her trip. (Perhaps this is part of a longer narration of events in the past.)
reading the novel last night. ("Last night" indicates a specific time in the past.)Has
Pam ever been
to New York? ("Ever" means "during her entire life.")
five days last week. ("Last week" is finished time.)
So far this week I've worked
three days. ("This week" is unfinished time.) PRACTICE EXERCISE 1: Complete each of the following sentences with either the present perfect or simple past tense.
1______________(drive) Mary her new car to Santa Barbara yesterday.
2______________(not try) Sam on his new pants yet.
3______________(buy) We a new house last week.
4______________(eat) you ever fried bananas?
5______________(not go) Mr. and Mrs. Denton out of town last weekend.
6______________(see) I never The Birds.
7______________(not speak) He much English during his trip last April.
8______________(miss) you me while I was gone?
9______________(dance) you ever the salsa?
10_____________(get) Richard a new car last week.
TOPIC 2: Verbs with Irregular Forms in the Past and Present Perfect Tenses
A lot of common verbs have irregular simple past and past participial forms. Here are some of the more common ones.
PRACTICE EXERCISE 2: Complete each of the following sentences.
|Present ||Past ||Past Participle |
|be ||was/were || been |
|begin ||began ||begun |
|bring ||brought ||brought |
|do ||did ||done |
|eat ||ate ||eaten |
|go ||went ||gone |
| have || had || had |
| know || knew || known |
| see || saw || seen |
|sing ||sang ||sung |
| speak || spoke || spoken |
| take || took || taken |
| write || wrote || written |
1. (sing) Who ______ that last song?
2. (do) Sarah _____ her homework last night.
3. (be) Where ______ you at breakfast?
4. (begin) Madeline ______ already __________ her new job.
5. (know) Henry _______ all of the answers.
6. (write) _______ you _________ that letter yet?
7. (begin) Angel ______ his university education last spring.
8. (sing) She _____ in Las Vegas many times.
9. (see) _____ anyone really ever _________ Big Foot?
10. (take) I had a headache, so I ______ some aspirin.
TOPIC 3: Using for and since with the Present Perfect and Simple Past Tenses
Use since when a specific point in time is given. Use/or when a period of time, rather than a specific point in time, is given.
|Since.. ||For... |
| yesterday |
Richard has lived
in Chicago since 1985.
Richard has lived
in Chicago for twenty years.
Notice that you can use for and since with either the simple past tense
or the present perfect tense
, depending on whether or not the action is still happening.
for Green Enterprises for three years. (I still work there.)
for Green Enterprises for three years. (Now I work somewhere else.) PRACTICE EXERCISE 3: Complete each sentence with either since or for.
1. We've lived in Los Angeles _________ before Barry was born.
2. We've lived in Los Angeles _________ ten years.
3. There's been a roadblock on the freeway __________ three days.
4. I haven't seen you _________ I was in high school.
5. Why haven't you called __________ two weeks?
6. Susan hasn't gone to work __________ last Tuesday.
7. They stayed at this hotel __________ three nights.
8. Roger and Martin have been gone __________ hours!
9. Have you been waiting for me __________ 7:30?
10. She hasn't spoken to me ___________ the night we got into an argument. PHRASAL VERBS WITH PICK Pick up.
a) To take something up off of a surface. Pick your coat up off the floor.
b) To meet and collect a person from a specific location. Who's going to pick Henry up at the airport?
c) To buy something Jordan picked up some milk on the way home.
*Note that to pick up
a person can also mean to meet someone, usually at a public place such as a bar or night club, and to become sexually involved with him or her after spending only a short time together. Pick out
a) To select, to choose. Melissa picked out a shirt and brought it to the dressing room.
b) To separate from. If you break a wine glass, make sure you pick all of the glass out of the carpet. Pick over.
To take the best of something and leave what is not so good. The shirts have been on sale so long that they've really been picked over. Pick on.
To tease. My sisters and brothers always picked on
me because I was the youngest. Pick from
To choose from a group of something. Mrs. Stefanson picked
a new assistant from
the group of applicants for the job. Pick at.
a) To take only very small amounts of food. Jessica ate almost everything on her plate, but she only picked at
b) To scratch or irritate something, such as a cut or scrape. Don't pick at
that cut! Let it heal. Pick up on.
To understand something, especially something that isn't intended to be understood. They spoke in Spanish in front of Dorothy, so she didn't pick up on
what they were talking about.
*Note that pick up, pick out, pick from, and pick over
are separable. This means the two words can be separated and a pronoun or noun can be inserted between them. Billy picked out the raisins or Billy picked them/the raisins out, but not Billy picked out them. Pick on, pick at, and pick up on are not separable. You cannot separate the verbs from the prepositions. REAL ENGLISH SEE YOU LATER!
Saying "good-bye!" is only one way to end a conversation. There are a lot of idiomatic expressions that people use when a conversation is over or when they have to leave. Here are some important ones, listed from most to least formal: Have a good day. Take care. Take it easy. (I'll) See you later. (I'll) See you around. See ya! Catch you later. Gotta go
. Note that these expressions are often preceded with Well. Well, have a nice day!
BRING IT ALL TOGETHER Now let's review everything we've covered in this lesson. REVIEW EXERCISE 1: Vocabulary
Place the correct vocabulary word in each space. Use each of the following words once: solicit, beneficiary, indicted, procured, waiver, persecuted, incited, affiliation, espionage, amnesty, conspired, rehabilitation, clemency, sabotage, cited, induce, fraud, custody, ordinance, engaging.
1. When we found out that Dr. Wells hadn't gone to medical school, we knew he was a___________
2. Learning new skills is essential to the successful__________ from a life of crime.
3. For some people, working is much harder than_____________in crime.
4. The well-known________________ International is an organization dedicated to encouraging governments to free their political prisoners.
5. Bill Jackson felt_________________because he had received a dishonorable discharge from the army and few employers would hire him.
6. The soldiers sneaked in behind enemy lines to____________the next shipment of weapons.
7. ______________by jealousy, Roberto accused his wife of having an affair.
8. If you let your dog walk around without a leash, you are violating a city________________.
9. I want to show you some new gems we've recently___________________.
10. The senator was forced to resign when his_________________with a racist organization was uncovered.
11. A sixteen-year-old cannot attend adult school without a__________________from high school.
12. Tammy went to several companies to______________money so that she could afford to travel
to the swimming competition.
13. Ralph was________________ for breaking and entering.
14. Mary was____________for driving with her lights off.
15. The Rangels filed for______________of their daughter's son.
16. A governor has the power to give______________to a condemned criminal, commuting a death sentence to life in prison.
17. The boys________________to scare all the girls in class on Halloween.
18. Wiretaps were placed on the ambassador's phone line in an act of____________________.
19. Tony named his wife, Susan, as the______________on his life insurance policy.
20. The labels of many poisonous products warn not to_____________vomiting in case of
accidental ingestion. REVIEW EXERCISE 2: The Present Perfect Tense vs. the Simple Past Tense Complete each of the following sentences with the correct form of the verb given in parentheses.
1. (arrive) The plane____________on time yesterday, but traffic was awful
2. (be) It _________ a long hot summer, and it's only August 3!
3. (not call) No one can believe he _________ you yet.
4. (put) Who __________ my keys under the couch last night?
5. (eat) We _________ dinner at six.
6. (go) Christian _________ to school already this morning.
7. (visit) We _________ the Metropolitan Museum when we were in New York.
8. (see) I _________ the Eiffel Tower several times, but never in the spring. REVIEW EXERCISE 3: Irregular Verb Forms Fill in the spaces with the missing verb forms. Present Past Past Participle
1. __________ was/were __________
2. Do __________ __________
3. __________ __________ gone
4. __________ gave __________
5. __________ ate __________
6. Write __________ __________
7. __________ __________ begun
8. __________ __________ seen REVIEW EXERCISE 4: For and Since Fill in each sentence with since or for.
1. I don't think I've seen you _________ high school.
2. They didn't speak to each other _________ several weeks.
3. How long has it been __________ you left?
4. We haven't spoken _________ three years!
5. Why did you keep silent __________ so many months?
6. I can't believe you've been in Boston__________ September!
7. I'm not sure why he hasn't called ___________ last week.
8. It hasn't rained __________ six months. REVIEW EXERCISE 5: Phrasal Verbs Place the correct phrasal verb with pick in the blank space in each sentence.
1. What time do you want me to ___________ you __________ from the airport?
2. Alex's mother and sister helped her __________ her wedding dress.
3. Look how you __________ your food. You eat like a bird.
4. Johnny, _________ all your toys and put them away.
Lesson 1: How Long Have You Been Here? 9
5. Evelyn _________ the label on her sweater because it irritates her.
6. Mrs. Russell told the class bully not to __________ the younger children.
7. Barry's a pretty smart little boy; he seems to __________ whatever anyone says.
8. I've a beautiful crystal vase for Bill and Cindy's wedding gift.
1H LISTEN UP!
Now let's work on your listening comprehension. Turn on your CD and listen to Section 1H. In this exercise, you will hear someone describing a situation. As you listen, choose the phrasal verb that could be used in the situation.
pick out, on, up
pick over, up, at
pick at, on, upon
pick up, from, at
pick on, up, over
pick up on, at, over 1H WHY DO THEY DO THAT?
Greetings and Small Talk
Have you ever heard a complete stranger say hello to you as you pass him or her on the street? Don't worry. That's not unusual. Americans often greet people they don't even know.
They may talk to strangers while waiting in line, or comment on the weather when standing in an elevator, or even strike up a conversation while sitting next to someone at a public event.
It's true that this kind of behavior may seem too casual—or even just plain strange—toothers, but many Americans consider it friendly. Of course, these little pieces of "small talk" aren't meant to discuss anything very serious or personal or make new friendships. When they end, the participants go their separate ways and rarely commit to any kind of social involvement.
This is normal for Americans, who often have a lot of acquaintances—at work, in their neighborhoods, at stores and restaurants, at the gym. But Americans also make an important distinction between casual acquaintances and close friends. Lesson 1: Answer Key Practice Exercise 1
1. drove. 2. hasn't tried, 3. bought, 4. Have/eaten, 5. didn't go. 6. have/seen, 7. didn't speak. 8. Did/miss, 9. Have/danced, 10. got Practice Exercise 2
1. sang. 2. did, 3. were, 4. has/begun, 5. knew, 6. Have/written, 7. began, 8. has sung, 9. Has/ seen, 10. took Practice Exercise 3
1. since, 2. for, 3, for, 4. since, 5. for, 6. since, 7. for, 8.for, 9. since, 10. since Review Exercise 1
1.fraud, 2. rehabilitation, 3. engaging, 4. Amnesty, 5. persecuted, 6. sabotage, 7 Incited, 8. ordinance, 9. procured, 10. affiliation, 11.waiver, 12. solicit, 13. indicted, 14. cited, 15. custody, 16. clemency, 17. conspired, 18. espionage, 19. beneficiary, 20. induce Review Exercise 2
1. arrived, 2. has been, 3. hasn't called, 4 put, 5. ate, 6. has gone, 7. visited, 8. have seen Review Exercise 3
1. be /been, 2. did/done, 3. go/went, 4. give/given, 5. eat/eaten, 6. wrote/written, 7. begin/began, 8. see/saw Review Exercise 4
1. since, 2.for, 3. since, 4.for, 5.for, 6. since, 7. since, 8. for Review Exercise 5
1. pick/up, 2. pick out, 3. pick at, 4. pick up, 5. picks at, 6. pick on, 7. pick up on, 8. picked out Listen Up!
1. out, 2. up, 3. up on, 4. at, 5. on, 6. over