Lesson 25: Being Surprised

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Dialogue

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over this topic: being surprised. First, read the following dialogue out loud with your tutor, then switch roles and try again. 

Dorothy and Kevin are talking about being surprised.

Dorothy:
Kevin, something unexpected happened to me today. My purse was stolen.
Kevin:
You’re joking, right?
Dorothy:
No, I’m not. I was shocked!
Kevin:
Unbelievable! What happened?
Dorothy:
I was at the supermarket buying food. I was unaware that my purse was still in the cart, and I drove away.
Kevin:
No way!
Dorothy:
My jaw dropped when I couldn’t find my purse in the car.
Kevin:
I’m sure you were stunned.
Dorothy:
It amazes me why people have to steal things.
Kevin:
I don’t like surprises. The other day my wife dropped a bombshell on me. She told me she’s pregnant.

Vocabulary

Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

unexpected (adj) surprising, not expected
It was unexpected that she quit school.
you’re joking (expression) something you say to show that you are surprised
You’re joking! I can’t believe it!
shocked (adj) feeling very upset or surprised
I was shocked to hear my friend died.
unbelievable (adj) very surprising
It’s unbelievable how much a diamond ring costs.
unaware (adj) not understanding or realizing something
My brother was unaware that I was in the house. 
no way (expression) informal way to express surprise
 You lost 20 kilograms. No way!
jaw dropped (idiom) used to say that someone is very surprised or shocked
His jaw dropped when he realized he lost his wallet.
stunned (adj) very shocked or surprised
She was stunned when she saw the car accident.
amazes (v) to surprise and sometimes confuse someone very much
It amazes me when my husband forgets our wedding anniversary.
dropped a bombshell (idiom) delivered unexpected news
My friend dropped a bombshell on me. He quit his job.

Exercise

Practice answering the following questions with your tutors. You can use the sample answers to come up with your own answer.

  1. What are some reasons people think a bombshell was dropped on them?
    1. I was shocked when my girlfriend broke up with me.
    2. My jaw dropped when I heard my daughter was in a car accident.
    3. Your answer:
  2. What are some things that could be unexpected?
    1. It was unexpected when my mom died.
    2. It was unexpected to hear my friend was arrested for stealing a car.
    3. Your answer:
  3. Can you make a sentence using “you’re joking”?
    1. You’re joking that our cousin is getting married.
    2. Please tell me you’re joking that you lost my car keys.
    3. Your answer:
  4. Can you make a sentence using “no way”?
    1. You’re going to Australia. No way!
    2. I heard that you won $1 million. No way!
    3. Your answer:
  5. How can you use “unbelievable” in a sentence?
    1. I found it unbelievable that he finished his doctorate degree.
    2. It’s unbelievable how people throw trash on the streets.
    3. Your answer:

Conversation

Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Did you ever have a surprise birthday party? If yes, tell me about it. If no, do you want one? Why or why not?
  2. Tell me about a bombshell that was dropped on you.
  3. Tell me about something you were unaware of.
  4. What is something that is unbelievable to you?
  5. Tell me about a time you surprised someone.

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

 

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Lesson 26: Recommend Something

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Dialogue

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over this topic: recommend something. First, read the following dialogue out loud with your tutor, then switch roles and try again. 

Dorothy and Kevin are talking about getting a new job.

Dorothy:
Kevin, I want to work for Cambly. Can you put in a good word for me?
Kevin:
Yes, I can. I know a lot of people that speak highly of you.
Dorothy:
Thanks, I appreciate it. Perhaps I should talk with the owners.
Kevin:
I highly recommend it.
Dorothy:
Maybe we could talk with them together?
Kevin:
That’s a good idea, but if I were you, I would talk to them by yourself first.
Dorothy:
Ok, I will. What about my resume? Can you give it to them?
Kevin:
I can, but I think it’s best that you to give it to them in person.
Dorothy:
I understand. Can you look at my resume first? Maybe you could recommend some changes to me.
Kevin:
I would be more than happy to do that for you. Just remember to be confident when you talk to the owners.

Vocabulary

Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

put in a good word (expression) to say something good about someone
Can you put in a good word for me with your boss? 
speak highly of (expression) to speak well about someone; say really good things
Your boss always speaks highly of his workers.
perhaps (adv) used to express a possibility of doing something; to recommend a possibility
Perhaps you should edit your resume.
highly (adv) to a great degree
I highly recommend that you see the doctor about your cough.
maybe we could (expression) to express the possibility of doing something; a way to recommend
Maybe we could finish the research paper tomorrow.
if I were you, I would (expression) to express what you would do
If I were you, I would stay home until you feel better.
what about (expression) used to recommend or suggest something
What about taking a vacation to Italy?
I think it’s best (expression) to express what you think is the best thing to do
I think it’s best we end the meeting.
you could (expression) used to recommend or suggest something
You could always apply for another job.
just remember (expression) used to tell someone not to forget something
Just remember to include a cover letter with your resume.

Exercise

Practice answering the following questions with your tutors. You can use the sample answers to come up with your own answer. You can use the phrases you learned above.

  1. Your best friend wants to buy a car. What would you recommend?
    1. I think it’s best to buy a car that saves gas.
    2. Just remember to test drive it first.
    3. Your answer:
  2. Your spouse wants to go on a vacation next year. Where would you recommend?
    1. What about going to Saint Petersburg, Russia? I heard there are lots of things to do.
    2. Maybe we could go to Italy? They have lots of historical places to visit.
    3. Your answer:
  3. A co-worker wants a job in your department. How would you tell him you’ll put in a good word.
    1. My boss likes me so I will put in a good word for you.
    2. I will talk to my boss and put in a good word.
    3. Your answer:
  4. A student is trying to decide which university to attend. What would you recommend?
    1. Perhaps you should pick the university closest to home.
    2. I highly recommend Cambridge University.
    3. Your answer:
  5. Your brother wants to study English abroad. What would you recommend he do?
    1. Maybe you could go to New Zealand. My friend went there to study English and liked it.
    2. You can always ask your English teachers what they think.
    3. Your answer:

Conversation

Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Which city would you recommend to me to visit in your country? Why?
  2. Would you recommend learning English on Cambly to your friends? Why or why not?
  3. Tell me about a time you made a recommendation to someone.
  4. Which car would you recommend to me to buy? Why?
  5. Have you ever put in a good word for someone? If yes, who and why? If no, would you?

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

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Lesson 27: Asking for Advice

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Dialogue

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over this topic: asking for advice. First, read the following dialogue out loud with your tutor, then switch roles and try again. 

Kevin and Dorothy are talking about asking for advice.

Kevin: Dorothy, I need to ask you for some advice.
Dorothy: Sure, how can I help you?
Kevin: I am trying to decide whether to move to another city. If you were me, what would you do?
Dorothy: I would listen to your family since they have to move with you. What does your family suggest?
Kevin: I haven’t asked them yet. What do you advise me to do?
Dorothy: You should have a family meeting. Your family will give you guidance.
Kevin: Do you know what else I need to do to move? What would you suggest?
Dorothy: I’m not sure what is the best way. Perhaps you need expert advice.
Kevin: Yes, you’re right. I should find someone who has moved before, and ask them “What should I do?”
Dorothy: Sometimes people may give you advice without you asking. For example, “here’s a free bit of advice“.

Vocabulary

Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

advice (n) an opinion or suggestion about what someone should do
My advice to you is to travel the world.
If you were me, what would you do? (complete sentence) asking for advice thinking that person was you
I don’t have enough money to pay my rent. If you were me, what would you do?
advise (v) to give information to someone; a suggestion or opinion
I advise you to get more sleep.
What do you suggest? (complete sentence) a way to ask for advice
I’m having problems losing weight. What do you suggest I do?
What do you advise me to do? (complete sentence) a way to ask for advice
I can’t start my car. What do you advise me to do?
do you know (phrase) a way to ask for advice or help
Do you know where I can buy cheap gas?
guidance (n) help or advice that tells you what to do
She asked for my guidance about living abroad.
expert (adj) having a special skill or knowledge about a subject
He gave me his expert opinion on buying a car.
What should I do? (complete sentence) a way to ask for advice
My car was stolen! What should I do?
a free bit of advice (phrase) to give advice to someone when they didn’t ask for it
Here’s a free bit of advice. You better be prepared for the test tomorrow.

Exercise

Practice answering the following questions with your tutors. You can use the sample answers to come up with your own answer. Use the phrases and sentences you learned above.

  1. How would you ask for advice if you wanted to quit smoking?
    1. I really need to stop smoking. What do you suggest I do?
    2. My doctor advised me to quit smoking. If you were me, what would you do?
    3. Your answer:
  2. I’m always late for work. What should I do?
    1. I suggest you get up earlier.
    2. I think you should use two alarm clocks.
    3. Your answer:
  3. How would you ask for advice if you wanted help with the IELTS exam?
    1. I need to study for the IELTS exam. What should I do?
    2. I’m not ready to take the IELTS exam. What do you advise me to do?
    3. Your answer:
  4. How would you give a free bit of advice about learning English?
    1. Here’s a free bit of advice. Watch movies in English
    2. Here’s a free bit of advice. Read newspapers in English.
    3. Your answer:
  5. How would you ask for advice about studying English abroad?
    1. I can’t decide which country I want to study in. What should I do?
    2. I can’t find an apartment to live in. I need your expert advice.
    3. Your answer:

Conversation

Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Have you ever given a free bit of advice? If yes, tell me about it. If no, would you?
  2. Why do people ask for advice?
  3. Can advice be both good and bad? Why or why not?
  4. Has anyone ever asked you for advice? If yes, tell me about it. If no, would you give advice if someone asked you? Why or why not?
  5. I found an expensive watch in a coffee shop. What should I do?

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

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Lesson 28: Making Excuses

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Dialogue

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over this topic: making excuses. First, read the following dialogue out loud with your tutor, then switch roles and try again. 

Kevin and Dorothy are talking about making excuses.

Kevin:
Dorothy, the other day a student didn’t hand in his homework. He gave me a lame excuse.
Dorothy:
What was his reason?
Kevin:
He said his dog ate it. I prefer when people are honest.
Dorothy:
I agree. Sometimes I mess up too, and then I start by saying, “I’m terribly sorry, but…”
Kevin:
The other day, my son made an excuse for not cleaning his room. He said, “I ran out of time.”
Dorothy:
I wanted to go to the movies the other day with my friend. But she said, “Sorry, I can’t afford to go.”
Kevin:
I asked my boss for a pay raise. He said, “I wish I could, but I can’t now.”
Dorothy:
I like when people give a good reason. For example, “I can’t go because I’m sick.”
Kevin:
Someday I will stop making excuses.
Dorothy:
I don’t think that’s possible.

Vocabulary

Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

lame excuse (adj) weak and unsatisfactory excuse
Saying you’re too tired to see me is a lame excuse.
reason (n) the cause of an event or situation
I quit my job for a personal reason.
honest (adj) truthful
Honest people don’t lie.
I’m terribly sorry, but (expression) to start making an excuse
I’m terribly sorry, but I will finish it tomorrow.
ran out (v – phrase) past tense form; not enough
He ran out of money.
Sorry, I can’t afford to go. (complete sentence) when someone doesn’t have enough money to go somewhere
Do you want to go bowling with me? Sorry, I can’t afford to go.
I wish I could, but (expression) to start making an excuse
I wish I could, but I’m sick.
because (conj) to give a reason for something
She doesn’t like to read because it’s boring.
someday (adv) at some time in the future
Someday he will buy a house.
possible (adj) able to happen or be done
Is it possible to learn English in one month?

Exercise

Practice answering the following questions with your tutors. You can use the sample answers to come up with your own answer. Use the vocabulary you learned above.

  1. How would you give an excuse for being late for work?
    1. I’m terribly sorry, but I missed the bus.
    2. I was late because my car broke down.
    3. Your answer:
  2. How would you give an excuse for not being able to go to the movies with your friend?
    1. I wish I could, but I’m busy studying for a test.
    2. Is it possible for us to go another day?
    3. Your answer:
  3. What is an example of a lame excuse?
    1. I forgot your birthday because I was on vacation.
    2. I don’t want to go outside because it’s too cold.
    3. Your answer:
  4. How would you give an honest excuse?
    1. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel well.
    2. I wish I could go, but I’m busy cleaning the house.
    3. Your answer:
  5. How would you make an excuse for someone else?
    1. She can’t afford to go on vacation because it’s too expensive.
    2. He can’t go because he’s tired.
    3. Your answer:

Conversation

Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Tell me about a time you made an excuse.
  2. Why do some people give lame excuses?
  3. What’s a good reason not to go to work?
  4. Are people always honest when they make excuses? Why or why not?
  5. Have you ever made an excuse for someone else? Why or why not?

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

 

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Lesson 29: The Past

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Dialogue

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over this topic: the past. First, read the following dialogue out loud with your tutor, then switch roles and try again. 

Dorothy and Kevin are talking about the past.

Dorothy:
Kevin, do you remember when you were growing up?
Kevin:
Yes, I remember some things. Time flies, though.
Dorothy:
It sure does! When I was in my twenties, I used to go to the movies every Friday night.
Kevin:
That’s a great blast from the past!
Dorothy:
Can you tell me about a memory you have from the past?
Kevin:
Fifteen years ago, I traveled abroad in Europe. It was a great experience.
Dorothy:
I’m sure it was. Have you ever studied abroad?
Kevin:
No, I just traveled. However, last year I started to learn Spanish. so maybe I will go to study in another country.
Dorothy:
Good for you! Do you ever have family reunions?
Kevin:
Sometimes my family does, although it hasn’t been the same since my grandparents passed away. We don’t have them as much.

Vocabulary

Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

Growing up (v – phrase)  gradually become an adult
When I was growing up, I played soccer.
time flies (idiom) times passes quickly
Time flies when you’re having fun. 
in (my, her, his, etc.) twenties (n) the period of time in which a person is 20-29 years old
She looks like she’s in her twenties.
blast from the past (idiom) something or someone that makes you remember the past
That song playing on the radio is a blast from the past.
memory (n) something you remember from the past
My best memory of my childhood is visiting my grandparents.
fifteen years ago (phrase) to express how many years in the past; in this case, 15
Fifteen years ago I graduated from the university.
ever (adv) at any time
Have you ever been to Disney World?
 last (adj) most recent in time

Last year, I went to Turkey.

reunions (n – plural)  to get people together who haven’t seen each other in a long time
I like going to my high school reunions.
passed away (v – phrase) polite way to say someone died
Her dad passed away last year.

Exercise

Practice answering the following questions with your tutors. You can use the sample answers to come up with your own answer.

  1. Tell me about a blast from your past.
    1. I went water skiing with my friends one time. It was an awesome time.
    2. My friends and I played a game called Dungeons and Dragons almost every Saturday night.
    3. Your answer:
  2. Tell me a memory you have while growing up.
    1. I remember going camping with my family.
    2. I have lots of memories. The one I remember the most is the neighborhood I lived in.
    3. Your answer:
  3. Tell me something you did last year.
    1. I lived in Thailand for 4 months.
    2. I graduated from high school.
    3. Your answer:
  4. Tell me an important person in your life that passed away.
    1. My grandfather passed away twenty-eight years ago.
    2. My friend passed away five years ago.
    3. Your answer:
  5. How would you express an event that happened in the past?
    1. Five years ago I went to Chile.
    2. I got married one year ago.
    3. Your answer:

Conversation

Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Why do people lose their memories?
  2. Does your family have reunions? Why or why not?
  3. Have you ever traveled abroad? If yes, where? If no, would you like to and where?
  4. Do you think time flies? Why or why not?
  5. What is your happiest memory?

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

 

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Lesson 23: Expressing Concern

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Dialogue

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over this topic: expressing concern. First, read the following dialogue out loud with your tutor, then switch roles and try again. 

Dorothy and Kevin are talking about concerns.

Dorothy:
Kevin, are you alright?
Kevin:
I’m feeling a little under the weather. How are you feeling?
Dorothy:
I’m feeling okay. I hope you get better soon.
Kevin:
Thanks for your concern.
Dorothy:
How are your parents?
Kevin:
I worry about them sometimes because they live far away.
Dorothy:
I worry about my parent’s health. My dad had a heart attack last year.
Kevin:
I hope he’s feeling better.
Dorothy:
He’s doing a lot better, but he still has health issues.
Kevin:
It’s stressful sometimes when we have concerns about the people we love.

Vocabulary

Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

are you alright (complete sentence) to ask someone how they feel
Are you alright? Yes, I’m ok.
under the weather (idiom) not feeling well; a little sick or sad
I feel a little under the weather because I have a cold.
get better soon (phrase) said to someone who’s not feeling well or sick
I hope you get better soon.
concern (n) caring about a person or thing
I have a concern for homeless people living in the streets.
worry (v) to think about problems or fears; to feel concern
I worry about my children when they are at school.
heart attack (n) a serious medical problem with heart; pain in the heart
Her dad had a heart attack yesterday.
feeling better (phrase) an expression to someone who is sick
I hope you are feeling better soon.
 a lot better (phrase) an expression to someone who is sick; very much
I hope you are a lot better soon.
issues (n – plural) a problem or concern
I’m having issues with my car. It won’t start.
stressful (adj) making you feel worried or anxious
The English test was stressful.

Exercise

Practice answering the following questions with your tutors. You can use the sample answers to come up with your own answer.

  1. What would you say to someone who looked under the weather?
    1. You look tired. Are you okay?
    2. Is everything okay?
    3. Your answer:
  2. If someone said they were sick, what would you say to them?
    1. I hope you feel better.
    2. I’m worried about you. Did you see a doctor?
    3. Your answer:
  3. What are some things that are stressful?
    1. Driving in a big city is stressful.
    2. Seeing my parents sick is stressful.
    3. Your answer:
  4. What are some health issues people have?
    1. High blood pressure is a health issue.
    2. Some people have heart attacks.
    3. Your answer:
  5. What are some common concerns people in your country have?
    1. There are some concerns about the upcoming presidential election.
    2. Medical insurance is a concern.
    3. Your answer:

Conversation

Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. What do you worry about?
  2. Why do people express concern for other people?
  3. What are some issues you have with your job or school?
  4. What do people say in your country to people who are sick?
  5. What is stressful for you?

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

 

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Lesson 22: Saying Sorry

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Dialogue

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over this topic: saying sorry. First, read the following dialogue out loud with your tutor, then switch roles and try again. 

Kevin and Dorothy are talking about saying sorry.

Kevin:
Dorothy, have you ever hurt someone’s feelings?
Dorothy:
Yes, I have. However, I always try to apologize when it’s my fault.
Kevin:
That’s good. Speaking of which, I’m sorry about missing dinner with your family.
Dorothy:
No worries. There’s nothing to be sorry for. You were busy.
Kevin:
Will you ask your family to please forgive me?
Dorothy:
I’m sure they will be happy to accept your apologies.
Kevin:
They’re good people. I just don’t want them to think I’m impolite.
Dorothy:
It’s not a problem. Why don’t you come to dinner this week?
Kevin:
I hope you pardon me again, but I’m not free this week either!
Dorothy:
No problem. We’ll excuse you.

Vocabulary

Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

hurt someone’s feelings (phrase) when you cause someone to feel sad or offended
When you hurt someone’s feelings you should say sorry.
apologize (v) to express regret for doing or saying something wrong
Please apologize to your teacher for being late.
fault (n) responsibility for making a mistake or causing a problem
The car accident was my fault.
sorry about (phrase) a way to start to apologize for something
I’m sorry about not making my bed.
sorry for (phrase) a way to start to apologize for something
Sorry for making you late for school.
please forgive me (complete sentence) to ask someone not to be mad at you
Please forgive me for making a mess in the kitchen.
please accept my apologies (complete sentence) asking someone to understand why you are sorry; to agree with it
Please accept my apologies for forgetting your birthday.
impolite (adj) not being polite; showing bad manners
It’s impolite to eat with your mouth open.
pardon me (phrase) another way to say sorry
Pardon me for not coming to the party.
excuse (n) a reason to apologize
Excuse me for leaving work early. I was sick.

Exercise

Practice answering the following questions with your tutors. You can use the sample answers to come up with your own answer. You can use the sentences and phrases you learned above.

  1. What would you say if you hurt someone’s feelings?
    1. Please forgive me for yelling at you.
    2. I’m very sorry I forgot our anniversary.
    3. Your answer:
  2. What would you say if you caused a car accident?
    1. The accident was my fault. Sorry for not stopping at the stop sign.
    2. I’m so sorry for hitting your car.
    3. Your answer:
  3. What would you say if you were late for class?
    1. Excuse me for being late, but my car would not start.
    2. My apologies for being late for class. I missed the bus.
    3. Your answer:
  4. What would you say if you were late for a meeting?
    1. Please accept my apologies for arriving late. The traffic was bad.
    2. So sorry for being late. I got lost driving to the customer’s office.
    3. Your answer:
  5. What would you say if you forgot your wedding anniversary?
    1. Oh my god, honey! Please forgive me for not remembering our anniversary.
    2. I’m so sorry, dear! I forgot about our anniversary today. There are no excuses!
    3. Your answer:

Conversation

Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Why is it important to say you’re sorry?
  2. Can you tell me something you were sorry for?
  3. What excuses do people use when they are late for work?
  4. How can people be impolite?
  5. Is it easy to forgive people for doing something bad to you? Why or why not?

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

 

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