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Lesson Transcript

Jonathan: Hi everyone, I’m Jonathan.
Dede: And I’m Dede! Getting Mugged in the US.
Jonathan: In this lesson, we’ll learn about the past simple and past continuous tenses from listening to a conversation on a Washington D.C. street at night.
Dede: Dave was just a victim of a crime and is speaking with a police officer.
Jonathan: Because they don’t know each other and are in a serious situation, they will be speaking formally. Ready to listen?
Dede: let's go!
ISABEL: Can you explain the incident sir?
DAVE: It happened so fast. I was coming home from work late and walking back from the Metro station; all of a sudden someone jumped out and hit me.
ISABEL: OK. What happened after that?
DAVE: Well, as I was falling down, he reached into my pocket and grabbed my wallet and my iPod. Then he ran off.
ISABEL: Did you see him clearly? Do you think you could identify him in a line-up?
DAVE: No, I was listening to music when he mugged me and he got me from behind. As he was running away, I could just see his back; he was my height but a lot more muscular.
ISABEL: We've been getting a lot of reports lately about this kind of incident. Try and be more careful when you are walking at night, I would recommend not listening to music so you can stay aware. But we'll file your report- at least maybe we can get your wallet back. Usually criminals ditch them after they take the cash and cards.
DAVE: I'm just glad I wasn't injured myself.
ISABEL: OK sir, thank you for filing a report. Here's my card if you have any questions or remember anything else that might help out with the investigation.
Dede: Oh dear! Poor Dave… Is crime really so common in America?
Jonathan: Well, crime in the United States has actually fallen a lot over the past twenty years, especially in cities, but it still remains a problem in many parts of the country and some major cities.
Dede: I guess you really have to be careful..
Jonathan: Depending on the neighborhood, it can be dangerous to walk alone at night. Similarly, crowded areas like train stations are infamous for “pick-pockets”, people that steal your wallet from your back pocket.
Dede: How can we be careful to make sure that doesn’t happen to us?
Jonathan: Be careful to keep your wallet in a safe place when you are in these areas. Sometimes, criminals even post signs that say “Beware of pick-pockets” because people usually check their wallets after reading the signs and the criminals know exactly where to steal them from.
Dede: That’s scary… but I have to admit kind of clever…
Jonathan: Yup… Americans certainly are creative…
Dede: Enough of this scary talk though, let’s move onto vocab!
Jonathan: Sure thing!
Jonathan: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Dede: The first word we shall see is:
Jonathan: incident [natural native speed]
Dede: event or occurrence (often negative)
Jonathan: incident [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: incident [natural native speed]
Next is:
Jonathan: to grab [natural native speed]
Dede: to take something quickly and forcefully
Jonathan: grab [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: grab [natural native speed]
Next we have:
Jonathan: to identify [natural native speed]
Dede: recognize, point out which
Jonathan: to identify [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: to identify [natural native speed]
Next is:
Jonathan: line-up [natural native speed]
Dede: a group of accused criminals shown to a witness to see if the witness can identify who committed the crime
Jonathan: line-up [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: line-up [natural native speed]
Next we have:
Jonathan: to mug [natural native speed]
Dede: to steal something, usually violently or with the threat of violence
Jonathan: to mug [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: to mug [natural native speed]
Next is:
Jonathan: to get mugged [natural native speed]
Dede: to be mugged by someone
Jonathan: to get mugged [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: to get mugged [natural native speed]
Next we have:
Jonathan: muscular [natural native speed]
Dede: strong, with a lot of muscles
Jonathan: muscular [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: muscular [natural native speed]
Next is:
Jonathan: to ditch [natural native speed]
Dede: to get rid of, to throw away
Jonathan: to ditch [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: to ditch [natural native speed]
Next we have:
Jonathan: card [natural native speed]
Dede: business card
Jonathan: card [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: card [natural native speed]
Next is:
Jonathan: aware [natural native speed]
Dede: alert, paying attention
Jonathan: aware [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: aware [natural native speed]
Jonathan: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Dede: The first word we’ll look at is....
Jonathan: muscular
Dede: Which means “strong, with a lot of muscles”
Jonathan: How was it used in the lesson?
Dede: Dave said: "He was about my height but a lot more muscular."
Jonathan: When we are being interviewed by police, they will ask us to provide a physical description of the person who committed the crime. Dave says that while this person was about as tall as he was, he was much more muscular and solidly built.
Dede: Ahh, so when you commit a crime and they ask me about you, how should I describe you?
Jonathan: Well, hopefully you will never have to do that, but I think you should tell them I’m tall and handsome.
Dede: Can’t you get in trouble for lying to the police?
Jonathan: Haha, ouch! Alright then, what’s the next word we have?
Dede: to ditch
Jonathan: And this means “to get rid of, or to throw away”
Dede: The sentence from the dialogue that used this word was: "They usually ditch them after they take the cash and cards."
Jonathan: “Cash” and “cards” are informal terms used for paper money (cash) and credit or debit cards (cards). She means that criminals usually only care about the money and usually “ditch” a wallet they have stolen after they take the paper money and credit/debit cards. This is good so that the victim can recover their ID, driver’s license, pictures, and anything else important in their wallet.
Dede: We’ll it’s bad that they lose their money, but at least they can usually get their documents back.
Jonathan: Yes, I think for a lot of people that is the most stressful part about having their wallet stolen.
Dede: I think so too. Let’s move onto the lesson focus.
Jonathan: Alright!

Lesson focus

Dede: The focus of this lesson is using the Past simple and Past continuous tenses.
Jonathan: Right, you probably already know how to use these tenses, but we will review them, go more in depth, and show you how to use multiple verbs in a sentence in order to describe what happened.
Jonathan: Dave said “I was listening to music when he mugged me”
Dede: In this case, Dave used a past continuous verb, that he "was listening", to describe what he was doing when someone did something else, which was the man mugging him.
Jonathan: Right. We use past continuous to describe one action when another one occurred during the first action. Let’s try making a sentence about the dialogue from this lesson.
Dede: Uhm. OK, how about “Dave was falling down when the criminal stole his things.”
Jonathan: Perfect! In this case, you used “when” as a connector for the two actions. Depending on the situation, we can use “as” or “during the time” as connectors as well. Remember that the connector can come in between the two verbs like you just used or at the beginning of the sentence. Why don’t you try to describe this situation
Dede: Alright… so I could say… “As I was eating dinner, the phone rang.”
Jonathan: Exactly! Check out the lesson notes for a more detailed explanation of these grammar concepts and to see some more examples. Let’s look at some other sentences when we use only simple past or continuous past.
Dede: OK, We can use two simple past verbs when we are describing actions in order that happened one after another.
Jonathan: Right – like…
Dede: "I went to the doctor’s office and then drove to the pharmacy."
Jonathan: And when do we use only past continuous?
Dede: When two things happened at the same time for the same amount of time.
Jonathan: Great. Care to share an example?
Dede: "At ten o’clock last night, I was taking a shower and singing."
Jonathan: Haha, You like to sing in the shower? You learn something new every day!
Dede: Sure, it's fun! Well, that’s all the time that we have for this lesson
Jonathan: We hope you enjoyed Upper Intermediate Lesson 5. Come back soon!
Dede: Bye, everyone!