The Moon

The Moon

Jan 24 2018

Intro

What do you think about when you look at the moon? For some people, it’s a religious symbol. Others learned lunar poems when they were kids. Still other people use the moon to tell seasons or predict the weather.

Amazingly, the moon is something that brings the world together. People around the globe all see the same moon. It’s also something that makes countries compete against each other, like when the US and Russia had the “space race” to see who would make it to the moon first.

To tell the truth, the moon is pretty far away. It’s about 238,900 miles (384,400 km) from Earth. But astronauts have made the trip successfully in space shuttles since 1969. The moon is definitely interesting, but it’s quite expensive to travel there. Living there would require even more excessive costs. Everything would have to be imported from Earth. That’s a long trip!

Discover who’s dreaming about living on the moon in this English lesson.

Dialogue

Jeff: Last night I was looking at the sky, and I was thinking, “How cool would it be to live on the moon?” People have been talking about it for the last century. I can’t wait to go. I hope it happens.
Mason: Really? It kind of feels a little bit excessive. The whole idea of a lunar colony. I mean, space shuttles are not cheap.
Jeff: Well, it’s true. That’s why they’re not paying for them anymore, but I wish they would start again. You know I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut, but not just an astronaut.
Mason: You want to be a space pioneer?
Jeff: Yeah.
Mason: Low gravity, I get it. That seems kind of cool. But how is it in any way practical to think that we could justify all the expense and complexity? You’d have to build domes that hold in the air. Just think of how many trips you’d need to make back and forth to get the raw materials!
Jeff: Humans have always wanted to explore new territories. I think it’s part of our nature. Plus, it could be a fresh start.

Discussion

Jeff is interested in the moon. In fact, he’d like to move there.

Mason thinks some things on the moon would be cool, like low gravity, but overall he’s too practical to dream about living in a lunar colony. Transporting building materials would cost too much and take too many trips between Earth and the moon.

For Jeff, it’s worth dreaming about. He thinks humans always want to explore new places. He hopes he’ll get the chance to have a fresh start on the moon.

Would you like to live on the moon? Where would you choose to make a fresh start?

Grammar Point

Present Perfect Progressive

Jeff’s idea about living on the moon isn’t new. He tells Mason, “People have been talking about it for the last century.” Jeff uses the present perfect progressive tense (This is also called the present perfect continuous tense).

To form the present perfect continuous, use have/has been + main verb + ing. This tense indicates that an action began in the past, is still happening now, and will probably continue into the future. For example, space travel isn’t new. It began a long time ago. People are still talking about it now, and, like Jeff says, it’s an exciting future possibility.

If you’ve thought about taking a trip for a long time, and are maybe even saving money for it, you might say, “I’ve been wanting to travel to New Zealand for years.” You started wanting to take this trip a long time ago. It’s still something you are interested in. You will probably continue to have this desire until you actually get to travel.

Which is correct, “I’ve been dreaming of a new car,” or, “I have dreamed of a new car”?

Quiz

  1. Which argument does Mason have against living on the moon?

  2. How long does Jeff say people have been talking about living on the moon?

  3. Which word doesn’t belong?

  4. Identify the correct use of present perfect progressive.


See the full English lesson at English, baby!