Escalators

Escalators

Apr 20 2018

Intro

Have you ever thought about how technology can be fun? For example, think about escalators. Sure, they help us out when we need to tote an armful of shopping bags up three stories at the mall, or when we have to transport heavy suitcases at the airport. But it’s also pretty entertaining to step on the lowest stair and automatically be carried to another level of a building. All you have to do is stand there and watch the floor get farther and farther away.

Sometimes people get carried away with the fun they have on escalators. Teenagers dare each other to run up the down side of the escalator, for example. These kind of antics not only seem like accidents waiting to happen, but they are also not convenient for other people who actually want to use the escalator to go down a level.

Lily loves riding escalators, but Rafael definitely doesn’t. Find out why in this English lesson about technology.

Dialogue

Lily: Rafa, I just had so much fun!
Rafael: Lily, what are you talking about?
Lily: I just rode this amazing escalator. It was like three stories tall. It was so cool. Escalators are basically the coolest invention ever.
Rafael: Well, do you want to know something? I’m terrified of escalators, aren’t you?
Lily: No. I don’t understand. They’re so convenient. They’re really nice. It means you don’t have to walk up a couple flights of stairs. I’m all for it.
Rafael: Don’t you ever feel like they’re just accidents waiting to happen?
Lily: I mean, if you’re on one, and your shoes are untied, and then your shoelaces get sucked into them, I can understand. But as long as your shoes are tied, it shouldn’t be that much of an issue, right?
Rafael: I’ve seen people fall down an escalator, and that was really what scared me.
Lily: Oh.

Discussion

Lily just rode an escalator, and she had a blast. She thinks escalators are more than convenient... they’re the coolest invention ever!

Rafael, on the other hand, doesn’t agree with Lily at all. He’s really scared of escalators. One time, he saw somebody fall down an escalator, so he doesn’t want to ride them anymore.

Lily talks about other ways someone could get hurt on an escalator. For instance, an untied shoelace might get sucked into the escalator and cause a problem. As long as everything is normal, though, there shouldn’t be any problem.

Where can you ride escalators in your country? Do you think they’re convenient or scary?

Grammar Point

Tag Questions

Rafael tells Lily, “I’m terrified of escalators, aren’t you?” He uses a tag question to find out if Lily feels the same way that he does.

Tag questions are two word tags added to the end of a statement to make a question. Tag questions give the other person a chance to reply to something that has been said. Although we can use different words to make tag questions, they all mean the same thing: “Do you agree?” or “Am I right?”

We can make tag questions with both positive and negative statements. Positive statements will always have negative question tags, and negative statements will always have positive question tags.

To make a tag for a positive statement, use the negative form of the first auxiliary verb + subject (or its pronoun), as in, “Jane has already seen the movie, hasn’t she?” or, “You are studying tonight, aren’t you?”

To make a tag for a negative statement, use the positive form of the auxiliary verb + subject (or pronoun), as in, “We didn’t eat very much, did we?” or, “He isn’t interested, is he?”

For sentences that do not have auxiliary verbs, use do, does or did. Like other tag questions, make a negative tag for a positive sentence and make a positive tag for a negative sentence. For example, “They don’t have a car, do they?” or, “I forgot my lunch again, didn’t I?”

Tag questions can be used in past, present, or future tense, so it’s important to match the tense of the tag question to the tense of the original statement. For example, “We didn’t get very far, did we?” or, “They will be there, won’t they?”

Add a tag question to this sentence: “We’re leaving at 8 in the morning…”

Quiz

  1. How does Lily describe escalators?

  2. Why is Rafael scared of escalators?

  3. If someone dares you to do something, what could it be?

  4. Which sentence does not have a tag question?


See the full English lesson at English, baby!