Conversation Lesson 27
Lesson 27 - I Can't Come In

In this lesson Anna does not feel well. She calls her boss and her doctor. What do they tell her to do? And will she follow their advice?
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Lesson Video

Watch the video and then do the activities on this page.
Video Script

Anna: Hello! I am sure that today, in Washington, D.C,. there are a lot of great things to do. But I am not doing any of them. I am sick. Right now, I'm going to call my boss and tell her I cannot come in to work.
Caty: Hello?
Anna: Ms. Weaver, Hi. I can’t come to work today.
Caty: Why not? What is wrong?
Anna: Well, yesterday I felt fine.
Anna: In the morning, I painted for hours. In the afternoon, I cut wood. Then, I built a fire.
Caty: Anna, what do you mean? Why can’t you come to work today?
Anna: I do not feel well. I think I’m sick.
Caty: I’m sorry to hear that. I was sick last week, too. I had the flu.
Anna: (sneezes) What did you do?
Caty: I slept a lot and I drank a lot of water. Do you have a doctor?
Anna: Yes, I do.
Caty: You should call your doctor. And get lots of rest!
Anna: Thanks, Ms. Weaver. I’ll call right now. I'm calling my doctor.
Dr. Bennett: (to herself) Now, where does this thing go?
Dr. Bennett: Hello. This is Dr. Bennett. How can I help you?
Anna: Hello, Dr. Bennett. This is Anna.
Dr. Bennett: Oh, Hi, Anna. How can I help you?
Anna: I think I’m sick.
Dr. Bennett: Let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you have a sore throat?
Anna: Yes. I have a sore throat.
Dr. Bennett: Do you have a cough?
Anna: Yes. I have a cough.
Dr. Bennett: When did you start feeling sick?
Anna: This morning. Yesterday I felt great. In the morning I painted, for hours - in the afternoon I cut wood -
Dr. Bennett: Excuse me, Anna. But I don’t need to know all that. Do you have a fever?
Anna: Oh. My thermometer says 125 degrees?! What??
Dr. Bennett: Yeah, that’s not right.
Anna: Oh. Wait. The thermometer was in my hot cup of coffee.
Dr. Bennett: Please take it again, Anna.
Anna: Okay, the thermometer says 100.5 degrees.
Dr. Bennett: 100.5 degrees is not too high. I want you to drink lots of water. Rest in bed and get lots of sleep.
Anna: That is what my boss said to do. Um, Dr. Bennett, when can I go to work?
Dr. Bennett: Don’t go to work for a couple of days.
Anna: Yes! I mean, I don’t want to make my co-workers sick.
Dr. Bennett: That’s right. Call me back in a couple of days.
Anna: I will, Dr. Bennett. And thanks.
Anna: Well, you heard the doctor – no work for a couple of days. I need water, sleep and um … lots of movies! Well, the doctor didn’t say anything about movies. But it can’t hurt! Until next time!

Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.

Learn to pronounce the new words for this lesson. You also learn about irregular past tense verbs.

Use this video to learn about how to ask two kinds of questions: WH-questions and Yes/No questions.
New Words
  • cough - n. the act of forcing air through your throat with a short, loud noise often because you are sick
  • doctor - n. a person who is skilled in the science of medicine
  • fever - n. a body temperature that is higher than normal
  • fire - n. the light and heat and especially the flame produced by burning
  • flu - n. a common disease that is caused by a virus and that causes fever, weakness, body aches, and breathing problems; also called influenza
  • rest - v. to stop doing work or an activity
  • sick - adj. affected with a disease or illness; ill
  • sneeze - v. to suddenly force air out through your nose and mouth with a usually loud noise because your body is reacting to dust or a sickness
  • sore - adj. feeling or affected by pain
  • thermometer - n. an instrument used for measuring temperature
  • throat - n. the tube inside the neck that leads to the stomach and lungs
  • wood - n. the hard substance that makes up the stems and branches of trees and shrubs
Past Tense Verbs
  • cut / cut - v. to use a sharp tool (such as a knife) to open or divide (something, such as paper or wood)
  • do / did - v. to perform an action or activity
  • drink / drank - v. to take a liquid into your mouth and swallow it
  • feel / felt - v. used to describe someone's physical or mental state
  • hear / heard - v. to be aware of (sound) through the ear
  • hurt / hurt - v. to be a source or cause of pain
  • paint / painted - v. to cover (something) with paint or to put paint on (something)
  • say /said - v. to use your voice to express (something) with words
  • sleep / slept - v. to rest your mind and body by closing your eyes and becoming unconscious

What happens when you get the flu? Does your family have a special way to get well again? Write about it in the Facebook Comments section below. Then practice talking about health problems with a friend. Click lesson activity to get the printable PDF version. The page opens to a new window.
Source: Voice of America
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