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Flat Tires
Flat Tires

Learn English with this flat tires English lesson

Date: Dec 12 2018

Themes: How To

Grammar: Third Conditional


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Have you ever seen someone stranded on the side of the road? Maybe it’s because the car ran out of gas. Maybe it’s because the GPS stopped working. Or maybe it’s because the car got a flat tire!

Your plans can fall apart suddenly if a flat tire stops you on the way to work or an appointment. It’s not always something you can avoid. Most vehicles do have storage space for jacks and a spare tire. The question is whether the person driving knows how to solve the problem. People who don’t want to fix the flat themselves can always call a mechanic or roadside assistance, but it might take a while for help to arrive.

Learn Jeff and Lily’s opinions on fixing flat tires in this English lesson.


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





Jeff:  So I’m driving down the highway the other day, and I see this car pulled off to the side. It’s somebody on their cell phone standing outside of the car, looking distraught. I wonder what’s wrong. I was in a hurry, so I couldn’t stop.

Lily:  Yeah.

Jeff:  I look over, and they have a flat tire.

Lily:  Oh.

Jeff:  They had to have somebody help them to fix a flat! They shouldn’t even be able to drive!

Lily:  Well, it’s kind of hard. I mean, you have to deal with the big heavy jacks and wrestling with the spare tire, and all that stuff.

Jeff:  Those things are tiny.

Lily:  Not really. Not if you have no upper body strength.

Jeff:  As long as you can steer a steering wheel, you can surely jack a car up. You shouldn’t be driving!

Lily:  I tried to learn. It was just hard, so…

Jeff:  So you called somebody.

Lily:  Yeah, I called someone because otherwise I would have been stranded on the highway for an indeterminable length of time.

Jeff:  Instead you were stranded for an hour and a half or however long it took.

Lily:  At least I knew.

Jeff:  What about a bicycle? Can you fix a bicycle flat?

Lily:  I have a kit, but I don’t know how to do it.

Jeff:  They have instructions.

Lily:  Then I guess I’ll learn.

Jeff:  Yes, you should.


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Jeff tells Lily about a stranded driver he saw. He was worried something terrible had happened until he saw the problem. It was a flat tire.

Lily feels badly for the person with the flat tire, but Jeff thinks anybody who drives a car should be able to fix a flat, including Lily! Jeff and Lily argue about how heavy jacks are and how much strength a person needs to be able to lift up a car.

Lily decides she would rather call roadside assistance than try to change a flat by herself. Jeff isn’t happy with her, though. He asks if she at least can fix a bicycle flat tire. Lily has a kit, but she hasn’t ever used it. Jeff tells her she needs to read the instructions and learn what to do.

Have you ever had a flat tire? Was it on a car or a bicycle? Did you fix it yourself or call someone to come help you?



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My last trip from Jakarta to Banda Aceh and back, we prepared everything and even kept two additional tires on the roof.  But the entire trip way nothing happened. And anyway there is no roadside assistance available in the jungle of Sumatra.;-)

04:08 PM Dec 13 2018 |


bora_78Super Member!


while  I went to work in the morning, I stranded in the fuel station after filled up, it’s because my car’s run out of battery.I called roadside assistance and they changed it.

08:54 AM Dec 12 2018 |

1 person likes this



Yes, Jeff is right everybody before hitting the road he/she should know how to fix some problems and equip with tools beforehand. If things not go well and you can’t fix it, then you will be stranded on the road side and you call out a mechanism or even a roadside assitance.  Of course it means that you’ll get a big bill to pay later.

05:19 AM Dec 15 2013 |

1 person likes this



Syrian Arab Republic

Yeas, i have had a flat tire .

when we were on our way to home. We had got confused till someone came with kit and jack and helped us

09:26 PM Dec 09 2013 |



Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

The great prob I’ve got is that I don’t know how to drive a car, I don’t even know how to fix it.

Maybe next year I’ll be trying to learn it.

Is it right ?

08:03 PM Dec 09 2013 |




what caught my attention the person who stranded on beacuse the GPS stopped working, I’ve never meet such case and i think it is rarely happened, because i belive the GPS in the car for emergency cases and inside the city only , but going for a long trip depending only on the GPS is not a good choice.

05:24 PM Dec 09 2013 |




Julito, yes, in Canada, it’s CAA, plus it gives different discounts with car maintenance and just not with car.

04:41 PM Dec 09 2013 |




During my last vacation when i was on my back  way to home i suddenly found out that my car has been got flat tire. It was raining and midnight. It never rain when it rain it pours. What should i do? I asked myself. Moreover, it was like be up the creek without a paddle. I’v really needed sb to give me a hand. Finally i fixed it by jacking up. this made a bad taste in my mouth and changed my terrific vacation to disappointed one. 

04:11 PM Dec 09 2013 |




Most drivers in the US are members of  AAA (American Automovil Association) an organization that provides  emergency roadside assistance  and travel packages  at a good  discount prices. My advice to Lily would be  to become a member ,they will help you  if you are  stranded on a highway.     

12:37 PM Dec 09 2013 |




Well, I never had such experience but I do agree with Jeff that we should know how to use the kit before we drive on the road. That’s for our safety.

09:37 AM Dec 09 2013 |



Bosnia and Herzegovina

ahh! Shit happens and we should learn how to fix it

09:08 AM Dec 09 2013 |




too bad that I don’t have a driver’s license.But I think for a man,one has to be able to fix flat tires.anyway,man has to fix things and has to be able to use kit. It’s ridiculous to have a woman do this kind of stuff.so,to get something fixed is to be a man.

Are you manish or girlish?

08:22 AM Dec 09 2013 |




I had flat tires on my bicycle several times. I fixed them at home. The problem is when you have to push your bicycle to home when you get flat tyre. I sometimes pushed my bicycle 3…4 kilometres by the time I arrived home.

06:11 AM Dec 09 2013 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

then , good for saudia arabia ladies who they always have driver with themselves!

06:08 AM Dec 09 2013 |




Yes, S&W, I was scared, I hit the curb mainly since already had one accidnet on my record with insurance involved. So, that was mainly the reaction of fight of flight to avoid the impact at any cost. It was just on the spur of the moment, within a second and the man was scared too, but offered to change the tire since he felt it was his more or less fault.

 Yes, Jeff is right, the car maintenance is very important. First, anything might happen on the road, and you shouldn’t be takien off guard. Second, if you know how to treat your car, it will save you some money. A proper car maintenance is not for the cheapskates. So car knowledge will save a little bit from the big cheque. And you can alway tell apart a proper mechanic job from the lousy one.

03:48 AM Dec 09 2013 |




Well, I did confronted a flat tire last month.  When I drove back home,I felt something worg with my car. Then I pulled off to the side of the road,there was a big nail inside a tire!

Then first I opened a kit,taked out the jack and lift up one side of the car. But as I never did that before, the screws are knocked so tied! I asked my brother in law for help in the end.,,,,,

Jeff is right. Before you drive on a road, you should know how to use the fixing tools. If it’s not a big problem of a car,no need to call the rosdside assistance. ...With this,you can save lots to time and money. :))))

03:35 AM Dec 09 2013 |




hey ola33,Fortunately your flat tire experience had avoid an car accident.It’s too dangerous to drive in breakneck speed.The man is so irresponsible.

03:18 AM Dec 09 2013 |

1 person likes this




I remember a flat tire in my car when I hit a curb in order to avoid an accident. I was pulling out on the main road and the car was rushing at breakneck speed from the main road. If I hadn’t swerved we’d’ve hit each other in a head collision. Anyway, I got a flat tire on my car from hitting a curb. The man stopped, and changed the tire of my car. So, he was both, the pain in the neck and my road assistance:)

02:50 AM Dec 09 2013 |




I can’t change a flat on a car or bicycle by myself.I even don’t have a kit.I have had a flat tire when i was in middle school.I called my dad to take my bike home and fix it.

02:36 AM Dec 09 2013 |

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