Anna: Today, Pete and I are meeting with a consultant who will help us with our new show. Yesterday, Pete had promised to meet me here at 8:00 am. but he did not come on time.
Prof Bot: Uh-oh. It’s bad to be late for a business meeting. But while we wait for Pete, let’s talk about a new verb tense -- past perfect! You know the past tense, right? Like, "Pete promised to meet me here at 8:00 a.m." Past perfect is a little different. When we talk about two things in the past, we can use the past perfect for the first event. Put "had" before the past participle. "Pete had promised he would meet Anna." Here's your assignment: find sentences with the past perfect tense. Remember, look for "had!"
Kelly: You two are late -- exactly 43 minutes late! What happened?
Anna: He had to get his "special" coffee -- SPECIAL coffee!
Pete: She had to feed her birds -- HER birds!
Kelly: Okay, I can see already that you need my help. You can’t both talk at the same time. You have to take turns. Alright, Anna, you go first.
Anna: Sure. Kelly, see, Pete and I live in the same building. So, we decided to meet at 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. to come to work together. I had waited 15 minutes when Pete arrived!
Anna: After Pete had wasted time waiting for coffee, we were late. I left you a message.*
Kelly: Hum. I didn’t get that message.
Anna: Oh. Sorry.
Prof. Bot: Anna left a message. That’s the right thing to do. Did you find some examples of the past perfect sentences? I did. Anna said,
Anna: "After Pete had wasted time waiting for coffee, we were late.
Look at that coffee! It looks more like dessert! Okay, keep watching for past perfect!
Pete: Yeah, that’s not why we’re late. This is why we’re late: I had arrived on time at 8:00 a.m. but didn’t see Anna. She was standing behind a tree. I think she was hugging it. I always walk to work. But she said that would take too long and that a scooter would be much faster. It was awful. I hated it. And it added too much time to our commute!
Then Anna stopped by a pond to feed the birds. She had named them after characters from books and yelled the names out loud … Romeo! Juliet! Sherlock!
By the time she had fed all the birds, we were late.
Kelly: This is what I think. You two see the same event very differently. Does this happen often with you two?
Kelly: Okay. This is good. This is good! It’s good to see things differently. I have an idea: we will call the show "He Said, She Said." For every story, you tell a different point of view.
Anna: That is a great idea, Kelly! Pete, we are different. That’s why I thought of you for this job!
Kelly: I think you two understand perfectly.
Anna: Let’s get to work!
Kelly: She named the birds? Really?
* Business people in the U.S. think you should come to a meeting at the exact time. If you are late to a business appointment, you should call and explain why.
The learning strategy for this lesson is Monitor. As you use English, you can check your understanding. Do you understand? If not, what is the problem? You can also check how you write or speak. Are you making sense? If not, what is the problem?
In this lesson, Anna monitored the time of her commute to work. She knew that she and Pete were late. She called Kelly to tell her. Later, Anna and Pete told Kelly the problem. Kelly monitored the different things that they said and had a great idea. They can have different ideas on their new show: "HeSaid - She Said!"
How about you? How do you monitor while you are speaking English? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email.
See how well you understand this lesson by taking a listening quiz. Play each short video, then choose the best answer.
LEARNING ENGLISH TV
VOA60: September 14, 2018
Huge Device Aims to Capture Pacific Ocean’s Plastic Garbage
Engineers have launched a huge garbage collection device to gather plastic material floating in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.
The plastic makes up what is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is the world’s largest spread of garbage, at two times the size of the state of Texas.
The organization Ocean Cleanup created the collection device. The group’s founder is Boyan Slat, a 24-year-old inventor from the Netherlands.
Slat was just 16 years old when he was moved to clean up the oceans. He had been on a scuba dive in the Mediterranean Sea and saw more plastic bags than fish. The problem has only grown since.
“The plastic is really persistent and it doesn’t go away by itself and the time to act is now,” Slat said.
He told the Associated Press that researchers with his organization have found plastic from the 1960s and 1970s among the material in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It contains an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in total. Most float on the surface of the water, or are within a few meters of the surface.
Last Saturday, a ship pulling the pipe-shaped floating barrier left San Francisco for the Garbage Patch. The barrier, called the floater, is 600 meters across. Attached to it is a screening skirt that hangs three meters down in the water.
The screen is designed to collect the plastic as it moves through the water. Sea animals can safely swim under the barrier.
The cleanup system also comes with lights powered by the sun, cameras, and other special devices. Slat said this will make it so the system can communicate its position at all times. That way a support ship can find it every few months to remove the plastic it has collected.
Shipping containers will hold all the plastic gathered, including bottles and fishing equipment. Slat said the containers are expected to be back on land within a year. Then the plastic will be recycled.
Slat said he and his team will closely examine the system’s use of time and energy. They will also study how it performs in severe ocean conditions, including huge waves.
“We still have to prove the technology,” he said.
The Ocean Cleanup has received $35 million in donations to pay for the project, including from the heads of companies likeSalesforce.com and PayPal. The organization hopes to launch 60 free-floating barriers in the Pacific Ocean by 2020.
“One of our goals is to remove 50 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years,” Slat said.
The free-floating barriers are made to survive extreme weather conditions and damage from continual use. They will stay in the water for twenty years and in that time collect 90 percent of the garbage in the patch, Slat added.
George Leonard is the chief scientist of the Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental activist group. He expressed concern about the cleaning project. He said even if plastic garbage can be taken out of the oceans, more continues to enter the water each year.
“We at the Ocean Conservancy are highly skeptical but we hope it works,” he said. “The ocean needs all the help it can get.”
Leonard said 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the ocean yearly. He said a solution to the problem must include preventing plastic from reaching the ocean. He said more education is need so people reduce the use of single use plastic containers and bottles.
Leonard said his group will hold its yearly International Coastal Cleanup on September 15. About 1 million volunteers around the world will collect garbage from beaches and waterways. Last year, the Ocean Conservancy volunteers collected about 9,000 metric tons of plastic worldwide in about two hours, he said.
Leonard also raised concerns that animals might be captured by the net that will hang below the surface.
But, Boyan Slat said he does not think that will happen. The system will act as a “big boat that stands still in the water,” with nothing for sea creatures to get caught in, Slat said. But a boat carrying experienced marine biologists will also be launched to make sure the device is not harming wildlife.
“I’m the first to acknowledge this has never done before and that it is important to collect plastic on land and close the taps on plastic entering into the ocean, but I also think humanity can do more than one thing at a time to tackle this problem,” Slat said.
I’m Anna Matteo. And I'm Pete Musto.
Olga R. Rodriguez reported this story for the Associated Press. Pete Musto adapted it for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor. We want to hear from you. What effect do you think this system will have on the Pacific Ocean? Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.
Words in This Story
garbage – n. things that are no longer useful or wanted and that have been thrown away
founder – n. a person who creates or establishes something that is meant to last for a long time, such as a business or school
scuba dive – n. a sport or activity in which you swim underwater using an air tank and a special breathing machine that you strap on your body
persistent – adj. continuing to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop
screen(ing) – v. to prevent something harmful from passing through
skirt – n. an outer covering that hangs down to protect something
recycle(d) – v. to send used materials to a place where they are made into something new
skeptical – adj. having or expressing doubt or uncertainty about something such as a claim or statement
acknowledge – v. to say that you accept or do not deny the truth or existence of
close the tap(s) – idm. to stop something from happening
tackle – v. to deal with something difficult