30 - Rolling on the River
In this lesson Anna plans to have a dinner party. She
needs to buy seafood, so she goes to the waterfront. She
gets a surprise at the fish market.
Watch the video and then do the activities on this page.
Anna: Hello! Washington, D.C. sits on the Potomac River. This river is important
to the history and culture of the city. Today, I am at an outdoor seafood market
near the Potomac River. Some say it is the oldest outdoor seafood market in the
United States! I am here to buy seafood. Let’s see what they have!
Anna: Excuse me. Can you help me?
Pete: Sure! What do you need?
Anna: What are you doing here?
Pete: I work here. You know, it’s not easy to be a writer.
Anna: Yeah, I heard that. Sorry.
Pete: But this job is great. I work outside by the river. And I can eat all the
free seafood I want!
Anna: That is great, Pete. In fact, I am here to buy some seafood for my dinner
Pete: You came to the right place. They have the freshest seafood in town. How
much money can you spend?
Anna: I can only spend $50.
Pete: Okay. What do you want?
Anna: First, I want to buy some shrimp.
Pete: Sure thing. Follow me. How much shrimp do you want?
Anna: How much do I need for five people?
Pete: (yells to co-worker) Give her a pound of shrimp!
Anna: Ok, now I want to buy some crabs.
Pete: The crabs here are delicious! They are the best because they come from the
nearby Chesapeake Bay! Walk this way.
Pete: How many crabs do you want?
Anna: I want a dozen crabs.
Pete: You should get the larger crabs. They have the most meat.
Anna: Then I want a dozen large crabs, please!
Pete: Is that everything you need?
Anna: Let’s see … I have shrimp and crabs. And a friend is bringing a salad and
many ears of corn-on-the-cob.
Pete: Is that all the seafood that you need?
Pete: That’ll be $49.95. Cash or credit?
Anna: Credit, please.
Pete: Anna, you love to eat seafood. Did you grow up on the water?
Anna: No, I didn’t. But I love the water. And I love being on the water.
Pete: You know how to sail?
Anna: Well … this afternoon I am going on a boat.
Pete: You are full of surprises. What kind of boat? Is it a motorboat or a
Anna: It’s a special boat, Pete. Well, thanks for your help. See you later!
Pete: See you, Anna! Wow, Anna’s a sailor! Who knew?
Anna: Yes, rivers are important to the history and culture of Washington, D.C.
And now I am part of this city’s interesting waterfront culture. Until next
Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.
In this video, learn to say the new words for this lesson. You can also learn
about how to use count and noncount nouns.
Use this video to learn about the abbreviations for dozen and pounds.
- best -
adj. better than all others in quality or value
- Chesapeake Bay -
n. an inlet of the Atlantic, in Maryland and
Virginia. It is 200 miles (or 320 km) long; and from 4–40 miles (or 6–64 km)
- corn-on-the-cob -
n. corn when cooked and eaten straight from the
cob - the part of corn that the kernels grow on; an ear of corn
- crab -
n. a sea animal that has a hard shell, eight
legs, and two large claws
- credit -
n. money that a bank or business will allow a
person to use and then pay back in the future
- dozen -
n. a group of 12 people or things
- ear -
n. the part of a corn plant on which the seeds
- freshest -
adj. the most fresh
- many -
adj. used to refer to a large number of things
- much -
adj. large in amount or extent
- larger -
adj. greater in size or amount
- market -
n. a place where products are bought and sold
- money -
n. something (such as coins or bills) used as a
way to pay for goods and services and to pay people for their work
- most -
adj. almost all or the majority of
- motorboat -
n. a boat with a motor
- oldest -
adj. having the highest age of a group
- Potomac River -
proper noun. a river flowing from West Virginia
to the Chesapeake Bay. It flows between Maryland and Virginia
- pound -
n. a unit of weight that is equal to 16 ounces
or about a half of a kilogram
- river -
n. a large natural flow of water that crosses
an area of land and goes into an ocean or a lake
- sail -
v. to travel on water in a ship or boat
- sail -
n. large piece of strong cloth that is
connected to a ship or boat and that is used to catch the wind that moves
the ship or boat through the water
- sailboat -
n. a boat that has a sail
- sailor -
n. a person who works on a boat or ship as part
of the crew
- salad -
n. a mixture of raw green vegetables, such as
different types of lettuce, usually combined with other raw vegetables
- seafood -
n. fish and shellfish that live in the ocean
and are used for food
- some -
adj. refers to an unspecified amount or number
- spend -
v. to use money to pay for something
- water -
n. an area of water such as a lake, river, or
- waterfront -
n. the land or the part of a town next to the
water of an ocean, river or lake.
Where do you buy fresh food? Is there a seafood or
vegetable market near where you live? Tell us about it.
Try to use some of the words from this lesson, like
best, freshest, oldest, spend, money, and larger. Write
about it in the Facebook Comments section below. Then
practice using comparative and superlative adjectives
with a friend.
lesson activity to get the printable PDF version. The
page opens to a new window.
Voice of America
English conversation lessons. 30
lessons focusing mostly on communication and
lessons are for intermediate students.
This is a collection of 30 situational conversations
which focus on a wide variety of communicative and
natural encounters in English....these
lessons are for beginning students.
This is a collection of 36 situational conversations
which focus on spoken American English in a relatively
lessons are for intermediate students.
This is a collection of 30
situational conversations. Each conversation is
accompanied by language notes....these lessons are for