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Date: Feb 20 2009

Themes: Travel

Grammar: Phrasal Verbs


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

If your car breaks down and you’re very far from home, all you can do is hope someone will give you a ride.

Trying to get a ride from strangers is called hitchhiking. Some people like to hitchhike and use it as a free way to travel around. They sit on the shoulder with their thumb out and a sign with the name of the city they’re trying to get to.

Other people only do it in emergencies because it can be dangerous. You never know who will pick you up and you could be vulnerable in the car of a stranger.

But hitchhiking can be fun too. You could meet someone really cool or end up with a good story to tell. Listen to Marni and Jason talk about their hitchhiking experiences.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  So, have you ever gone hitchhiking or used hitchhiking as a…

Jason:  I have but only out of necessity. Like, I was on a bike trip and my bike broke down and I had to hitchhike back to civilization to get it fixed.

Marni:  Yeah. I resorted to it once in the same sort of situation where it was like, car ran out of gas. It was totally scary on the highway and a really creepy guy picked me up. Luckily, I was with my boyfriend at the time…

Jason:  Oh OK.

Marni:  ...so I wasn’t alone, but I was freaked out.

Jason:  Yeah.

Marni:  Yeah. But I was just thinking about…I have a friend who’s in the Peace Corps in Malawi right now and that’s how everyone in that country gets around, is hitchhiking.

Jason:  Just all the time?

Marni:  Yeah. So he just hitchhikes all the time.

Jason:  Wow.

Marni:  It’s just, like, how they do it.

Jason:  It’s not that dangerous though because it’s just the commonplace mode of transportation.

Marni:  Exactly. And I was just thinking how fascinating that would be if that was part of our culture, just hitchhiking everywhere.

Jason:  So is every street just full of people thumbing it?

Marni:  I guess. And I don’t even know…it would be interesting. I don’t know how he does it, like if that’s a universal symbol, the whole thumb thing, or maybe there’s some other crazy symbol that they have. Or maybe you just stand.

Jason:  And people stop and pull over.

Marni:  Exactly. It’s like a bus. It would be awesome.


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Both Marni and Jason have only hitchhiked once and only because they had to. But Marni has a friend who is working as a volunteer in Malawi, and she says people there hitchhike all the time.

Have you ever pulled over and picked up a hitchhiker or had to thumb a ride yourself? How common is hitchhiking where you live? How do people go about it?



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hitchhiking, seems 2 be scary an it can be dangerous coz da 1 u gonna ride may be such stupid person.

02:16 PM Feb 20 2009 |




I hitchhiked before in Yellowstone but someone told me that it’s really dangerous to do that out of national parks. Luckily, I was safe.

01:38 PM Feb 20 2009 |



Saudi Arabia

in my live i hope to help everybody

but for this" word " when i drive my car for long distance "from city to city" and i see anyone want to arrive with me i fraid

may be he is dangrous\

01:02 PM Feb 20 2009 |




In our country many poeple are hitchhiking when they want to get another town. Our people are mostly friendly, but there are also exceptions.There be found some perverts….like everywhere 

12:05 PM Feb 20 2009 |



hehe, it looks very interesting, but i am afraid it will be terrible to do it  so in China!

11:06 AM Feb 20 2009 |



When I was a student in METU, we hitchhikes everytime. It is a common ting in METU because it is a kind of university that you can do it without fear. Everybody do it. Moreover I think it is a good way to meet someone :)

11:04 AM Feb 20 2009 |




hmmm….i've never had this  kind of experience be4 but i wanna have one for i believe it must be interesting and u can make frnds with some nice guys if u r lucky enough..unfortunately,in my place theres no such kind of thing b.coz people here dont believe in others easily so they wont stop even when u r in a hurry or need help like this…

10:41 AM Feb 20 2009 |




08:24 AM Feb 20 2009 |


Viet Nam

in my country, To hitchhike very easily. Everyone in my country is very friendly.I'm proud of that.

07:49 AM Feb 20 2009 |




yeah ! its not safe Smile

07:21 AM Feb 20 2009 |




i wanna have a hitchhiking,for it seem a interesting travel,but not alone .

07:15 AM Feb 20 2009 |




i never had a hitchhiking experience before ,i think it's scary

07:06 AM Feb 20 2009 |



Viet Nam

in my last holiday I was picked up by a cool guy. but i was so… stupid that I have to regret until now. I didn't ask for his mobile number Cry hoping to see you again, good boy.

06:29 AM Feb 20 2009 |




i have hitchhiked once too. When i travelled with my friends and we almost run out of money. Good luck that there were a nice guy to picked up. It's a best memories of that trip.

06:03 AM Feb 20 2009 |




I agree with you.

05:37 AM Feb 20 2009 |

Superior Lord


pesticide-niuniu,because "pick up " is a phrase verb ,you should put after the verb "thumb" a noun ,like "a ride" .So you see ,it is wrong .

04:46 AM Feb 20 2009 |





I guess I have a bit of interesting to do that! 

02:49 AM Feb 20 2009 |




i don't know why "thumb for pick up" not a way to say hitchhike? why?

02:02 AM Feb 20 2009 |

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