Lesson 15: Before and After

Latest Collection


Anna hires a trainer to get back into shape. Her trainer does not read her application carefully. So, he offers her a workout program that she does not enjoy.


Anna: Penelope, even though we both love speed walking, could we slow down a bit?

Penelope: No way! I think because I’m walking with you, I’m walking faster.

Anna: Come on, Penelope. Let’s take a break. We’ve been speed walking since 8 a.m.! You’re so competitive! You even wore your medals!

Penelope: You brought your trophies! You’re out of shape. When we were little girls, we could speed walk all day! (pulls ahead)

Anna: (chases her) Hey, wait for me! Hey, you know the speed walking rules! If both feet leave the ground, it’s running! You ran!

Prof. Bot: Anna and Penelope are doing something they both love – speed walking!

They are also using adverb clauses.

Adverb clauses tell us when, why, how, where and under what conditions.

For example, “since 8 a.m.” tells us when.

Adverb clauses are dependent clauses and need an independent clause to make a complete sentence.

Words like before, after, when, because, since, if and even though can signal an adverb clause.

Keep watching for more adverb clauses!

Penelope: Whew! That was great!

Anna: (Anna catches up) Wow, Penelope, you’re still really fast! Since I’ve been working in an office, my speed walking has been much slower.

Penelope: You are slower, Anna. Maybe you should hire a personal trainer.

Anna: That will be great. As long as the trainer understands speed walking.

Penelope: (hands her a business card) Try this company. After you fill out an online application, they will match you to the perfect trainer.

Anna: As soon as I get home tonight, I’ll do it! Thanks.

Anna: Are you my trainer?

Alaskan Albert: If you’re Anna, then I’m your trainer — Alaskan Albert. Because I’m from Alaskan wilderness, I’m skilled in all outdoor activities of the wild.

Anna: That’s great but what about speed walking?

Alaskan Albert: Speed walking? That’s funny! Since I’ve been living in the city, I’ve combined wilderness training with a city workout. I call it “Call of the Wild Parkour!” (He howls like a wolf.)

Anna: Okay … but seriously, when do we speed walk?

Alaskan Albert: Your application did not say how funny you are!

Anna: No. But it did say that I’m a speed walker! Did you read it? Forget it. We’ll have to cancel.

Alaskan Albert: Why?

Anna: We can’t train today because it’s too cold and too windy.

Alaskan Albert: No way! No pain, no gain! When you exercise in really cold weather, you feel alive!

Anna: Really? Because right now I just feel cold.

Alaskan Albert: You’re so funny. But seriously, after our training, you will be ready for any extreme physical challenge. Let’s get started!

(He leads Anna through some parkour exercises.)

Alaskan Albert: Anna, even though you’re trying really hard, you’re really bad at Call of the Wild Parkour. (he howls)

Anna: I’m bad at Call of the Wild Parkour because I don’t want to do Call of the Wild Parkour! (she howls) I am a speed walker. It’s what I do. It’s part of who I am.

Alaskan Albert: Why didn’t you say something?

Anna: I did. Several times! You thought I was joking.

Alaskan Albert: Now I understand. Anna, I can help you., if you follow my advice, I’ll put the speed back in your speed walk.

(He shows her how to improve her speed walking)

Alaskan Albert: Go, Anna, go!

Prof. Bot: For more about adverb clauses, visit our website!

New Words

advicen. an opinion or suggestion about what someone should do

application n. a formal and usually written request for something

challenge n. a difficult task or problem or something that is hard to do

competitive adj. having a strong desire to win or be the best at something

extreme adj. (sports) unusual and dangerous

fill out phrasal verb. to complete something by providing necessary information

follow v. to be guided by (something)

no pain, no gain expression. If you want to improve, you must work so hard that it hurts.

parkour n. the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing.

personal trainern. a person who teaches or coaches athletes or animals

physical adj. relating to the body of a person instead of the mind

skilledadj. having the training, knowledge, and experience that is needed to do something

thoughadv. used when you are saying something that is different from or contrasts with a previous statement

wildn. a wild, free, or natural place, state, or existence

Learning Strategy

The learning strategy for this lesson is Access Resources. That means to find help as you learn. Sometimes that help can come from a book or an electronic dictionary. At other times, you can find help from other learners or teachers.

In this lesson, Anna looks for help from a personal trainer. She has forgotten how to speed walk well. Penelope thinks that the trainer can help Anna, so she gives Anna his card. Anna accesses resources when she asks the trainer for help.

There are many resources you can access as you learn English. Which ones work best for you? Do you use online dictionaries or grammar guides? Do you work with friends who are good at English? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email.

Listening Quiz

See how well you understand this lesson by taking a listening quiz. Play each short video, then choose the best answer.

Quiz – Lesson 15: Before & After

Quiz - Lesson 15: Before & After

Start the Quiz to find out

Free Materials

Word Book
Word Book

Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.

For Teachers

Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.

Grammar focus: Adverb clauses (using even though, when, since, if, before, after, as, because)

Topics: Describing exercise; Indicating misinformation​

Learning Strategy: Access resources


Now it’s your turn. Send us an email or write to us in the Comments section below or on our Facebook page to let us know what you think of this lesson.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here