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Learn English with this holiday English lesson.

Date: Nov 23 2020

Themes: Holidays

Grammar: Present Progressive Tense


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No matter what race, religion, or ethnicity, on the third Thursday in November, most people in the US sit down to a Thanksgiving meal. For some, it’s a traditional dinner, with turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Others might serve all vegetarian food. Still others might include foods that reflect their cultural heritage, like turkey with kimchi or tamales instead of stuffing.

Whatever food might be on the table, Thanksgiving is about ritual. It’s about getting together with loved ones. And it’s about giving thanks and being grateful for what you have. Hear Marni and Greta’s thoughts about Thanksgiving in this English lesson.


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Greta:  Thanksgiving is coming up.

Marni:  It is indeed.

Greta:  Do you have plans?

Marni:  You know, I don’t. It’s usually big family get-togethers, and we’re all organized about who’s bringing what, and this year it’s just kinda up in the air.

Greta:  Huh! I have more than I would like to going on on Thanksgiving.

Marni:  Okay.

Greta:  My parents are divorced.

Marni:  Ah.

Greta:  And so usually we have Thanksgiving with my mom the day before, and then Thanksgiving with my husband’s family in the early afternoon on Thanksgiving, and then Thanksgiving with my dad at night.

Marni:  Wow. That’s a lot of eating.

Greta:  It is. But this year my mom can’t do the day before, so we are doing three back-to-back on the same day.

Marni:  My goodness. That is quite a commitment there.

Greta:  It’s going to be a lot of pumpkin pie and turkey.

Marni:  Yeah. You know, the one thing I do like about Thanksgiving is it does give you pause, and it’s good for everyone to stop and reflect and think about what they’re grateful for.

Greta:  Do you do the thing with your family where everyone goes around the table before it starts and says what they’re grateful for?

Marni:  We do. And I do really enjoy that, because it’s interesting just to take pause and realize that there is a lot to be grateful for.

Greta:  It’s true.


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Greta notes that Thanksgiving is soon, and asks if Marni has any plans. Marni doesn’t, though she usually does. This year, she doesn’t know exactly what she’s doing.

Greta is in the opposite situation. Because her parents are divorced, and she is married, she usually has three separate Thanksgiving meals. Usually, one is the day before, and two are on Thanksgiving itself. But this year, all three will be on one day. Marni points out that that’s a big commitment, and a lot of turkey.

Marni admits that her favorite part about Thanksgiving is actually that it provides the opportunity to take pause and reflect. It lets you stop and think about what you’re grateful for.

What do you know about Thanksgiving in the US? Is there a similar holiday in your country? What are you grateful for?



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Viet Nam

Although we don’t have this “Thanksgiving ” in our country, I feel that it’s very meaningful. It’s the time for us to give thanks to those who love and care for us; and it’s also a time for love ones to get together no matter how far they are.

07:38 AM Oct 30 2014 |


qq_babySuper Member!


Yes, I know about Thanksgiving. For us, the closest holiday would be the Chinese New Year, because we must celebrate it with our families.

01:34 PM Nov 26 2012 |



Russian Federation


You know, perhaps, you’re partially right about all this stuff and it no longer makes sense the way it did long time ago. Surely, for the time being there aren’t any settlers on the streets praying God for themselves not to let themselves die of hunger (sorry if my some remarks aren’t correct, I’m not well-read in this topic as well)) ).

But reasoning in this manner could lead us to that there’s no need to dress up a chrismas tree as well as giving people gifts on their birthdays (they’re able to choose more suitable ones for themselves), painting eggs at Easter and holding military parades are just not more than a waste of time.

I’ve to say that I couldn’t agree more as a response to your idea that such things like keeping peace, loving, respecting, greeting, feeling grateful and sorry towards each other, doing good and wishing ourselves well shouldn’t be carried out during holidays only. However, I don’t consider this to be a reason for giving up celebrating. Alas, the world we live in is far from ideal. Therefore, that’s so great when we can just smile and cheer up getting filled up with this unrepeatable feeling of joy, respect, gratefulness and happiness when the world seems to be a little bit better than usually although for awhile.

I beg your pardon for my hopeless romantic vibes +))) looking forward to your decisive conterarguments ;-)

09:24 PM Nov 25 2012 |



This words about Thanskigiving day like : ’’it’s time to take a pause and reflect’’ sound like bullshit, when people on the other day behave like a herd of sheeps.

Look at this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws4u_dPCGew

No comment.

10:18 AM Nov 25 2012 |



Hello guys)

05:50 PM Nov 24 2012 |

1 person likes this



Russian Federation

I wish we russians had had more such touching occaisions. This thing of gathering round the table and simultaneous saying “Thanks for everything” seems to be so sweet to me)). 

2 new-prototype: come on! don’t be so cynical)) All customs are changing since the life around us is rapidly altering too, yet I guess whole atmosphere must be still hospitable, doesn’t it?

04:44 AM Nov 23 2012 |




I knew nothing about Thanksgiving, but all the moment that to approximate the family is very important. In my city there isn’t a day as Thanksgiving, but all the days is day to thank for to be alive. 

12:02 AM Nov 23 2012 |

1 person likes this

i love life

Palestinian Territory, Occupied

I don’t care about what happens in The United state of America , For me I had a big respect to U.S.A But Now everything is change .

We Have an similar holidays , Really I’m Grateful to God Nobody else for I’m still alive after the war .

10:56 AM Nov 22 2012 |




Family outings often useful with family, relatives and loved to go out with them and congratulations to you

10:55 PM Nov 21 2012 |




christian have

10:43 PM Nov 21 2012 |




Snoopy, no kidding, a Wall Mart employee died after being trampled to death by a mob of shoppers on the first day of black friday ,the crowd of 2000 thousand broke down the store doors and ran over him. ” keep buying online”,Smile is healthier

10:18 PM Nov 21 2012 |




I think Thanksgiving is a great idea since it is an opportinity in order that the family members get together and take pause and reflect. This kind of holidays is neither in my country (morocco) nor in Germany where I am living now, but there are enough holidays where the familiy members come together and everybody can grateful for what he has or what he achieved. In my opinion we must always be gratefull for what we have or what we have to do;) 




 What am I grateful for?. God! Where do I begin? ;)  

  My Asthma inhaler is just like a knick knack in my bedroom and it has been so for a long time ;)—therefore my health is among the most important things I’m grateful to God for. But make no mistake, that list of things is endless ;). I also feel blessed that I have had the opportunity to meet some very significant people in my life so far: Relatives, caregivers, teachers, friends and confidents and the many others I look up to, I’m glad that I’ve met them all, they keep me grounded. I’m thankful for my sense of understanding, my openness, and my resilient optimism. My general personality traits that had influenced the decisions I’ve taken. The good experiences I have witnessed and enjoyed as well as the harsh circumstances that I’ve surmounted. If I were to tell you about all the things I’m thankful for this piping hot Turkey in the image would turn cold, so I must stop cold turkey ;)

   Concerning Holidays and family reunions ;) -Any holiday that calls for togetherness will appeal to me, I think thanksgiving in the US falls under that umbrella. For many families, celebrations like Christmas dinner and thanksgiving are reminders of the blessings of the dying art called “eating together”. I like the prospect of sitting around the family table and sharing more than just the meal. I can’t say that’s something that I’m used to ; but I’ve had moments like that in the past  on Christmas, New years’ eve and the days following until we run out of leftovers ;) . If any gathering is about thanking the almighty, bounding with loved ones while everyone is  binging on some homemade dishes….mmm let’s keep this going all year-long  folks ;)

Julito, there’s just no discounted item on earth that I will go overboard for. Besides, I hate standing in line, I’d rather order my gadgets online and avoid being trampled over when there on sale ;).



Viet Nam

In Vietnam, we have not Thanksgiving. But this year, i will go to my friend’s house and organize small meal. Hope we will have a wonderful time together

05:49 PM Nov 21 2012 |


Russian Federation

   Thanksgiving Day (Thanksgiving) is one of the major holidays in the US. It`s celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.

   Traditionally, families and friends get together to celebrate this Day. They give thanks for what they have, watch parades (for example, Macy`s Parade in NYC) and have a special meal. This meal consists of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, vegetables, sauce and pumpkin pie.

   Thanksgiving is not popular in Russia but I think it`s a good idea to invite people who are close to you, have a meal and think about things you are grateful for.

05:23 PM Nov 21 2012 |



I know that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated due to the colony’s first successful harvest in the 17th century and it was held between the pilgrims and the Native Americans.

04:58 PM Nov 21 2012 |


United States

Thanksgivin in the US now is: A day to buy products they DONT need with money they DONT have (credit) to impress people they DONT know. I heard it somewhere Cry

02:34 PM Nov 21 2012 |


United States

Thanksgiving in the US “was” a day to give thanks to guess who….the stores? mother nature? the country? NO! it was a day to give thanks to GOD for blessing us! Smile

Most of you say “we dont have something like that here” and that is because the United States was the only country to have a national holiday destined for giving thanks to God.

But today thanksgiving is just a secular “neutral” holiday full of excesses where people go camping outside of stores and fight each other in order to acquire superflous products. I wish you could see them ha ha! Money mouth

02:32 PM Nov 21 2012 |



I am Brazilian and here there’s no Thanksgiving day not even a similar holiday in Brazil. Last year I had the opportunity to go through Thanksgiving day in the US. Man, I loved it! I miss this day and I hope to soon be back there!

11:23 AM Nov 21 2012 |

1 person likes this




We don´t celebrate thanksgiving , and is not that we don´t have reasons to be  grateful for, This day is very important in American´s families , they will get together,  thanks, and  stuff their stomacs  with turkey and pumpkin pie , in some cases, pretend that they have forgotten  whatever rift they migh have had in the past , and officially  is when begins  the season of lavish spending as   Christmas is coming  up next . Have you heard of the black friday ? is on november 23, one day after thanksgiving , is when retailers , electronic shops , etc, advertised  their products at  a huge discount, people go overboard   to get into the shop first and snatch the merchandise before other shoppers  do.Undecided  

10:28 AM Nov 21 2012 |

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