Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Get One's Ducks in a Row
Get One's Ducks in a Row English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English with this organization English lesson

Date: Jan 28 2014

Themes: Friend, Soap Opera, Work

Grammar: Present Perfect Progressive


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

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

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

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

Have you ever seen a family of ducks? When ducklings follow their mother, they often walk behind her in a line. This way, the mother duck can turn around and see each of her children. She knows that her babies are safe when she can see them all together. She can also tell her ducklings what’s happening and where they’re going.

Humans like to feel the same way. We want to know that our families are close and safe. We want to know that we will have our jobs every morning, that we’ll have enough money to buy food and clothing, and that we can come home to a dry, warm house. Just like mother ducks, we humans want to feel like we know everything that’s going on and that everything’s OK.

If someone tells you that she wants to get her ducks in a row, she’s saying that she wants to figure out what’s happening in her life and where her life is going. She wants to be able to look at the people and activities in her life and know that they’re all going to the same place together, much like a line of ducklings.

Amanda really hopes to get her ducks in a row with Marni’s help. Learn more about her plans in today’s English lesson.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


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

Log in to Listen

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





Amanda:  So, Marni. I’ve been thinking.

Marni:  Yes?

Amanda:  When the baby comes, I’m not really going to be able to come into the office for day-to-day stuff.

Marni:  Yeah, that’s true. I mean, you’re going to be so preoccupied. And sleep-deprived.

Amanda:  Right. So, I’ve been realizing that I should probably get my ducks in a row. I mean, I need AmericanDreamD8.com to be in good hands, so it doesn’t fall apart in my absence.

Marni:  That’s true. So, what are you thinking?

Amanda:  Well, I was thinking you’re the one for the job.

Marni:  What? Me?

Amanda:  Yup.

Marni:  But what about Lily? Or Mason? Or Jeff, even?

Amanda:  You know, Lily’s so new. She’s smart, but she doesn’t have the history that you do.

Marni:  That’s true.

Amanda:  And Mason? Come on, Mason? I love him to death, but he’s just not boss material.

Marni:  OK, well, then what about Jeff?

Amanda:  Jeff. Talk about preoccupied. He’s so involved in dating right now, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t want work to get in the way of his romantic life.

Marni:  I’m so flattered, Amanda.

Amanda:  Well, you’re organized, so I know you won’t forget about any of the details. And you’re tactful. There won’t be any problems with clients. And most importantly, you’ve been here, and you understand what I’m going through, and whoever takes this position needs to be in my corner.

Marni:  Well, I’m definitely in your corner. There’s no question about that.

Amanda:  Well, then what do you say?

Marni:  I don’t know. I have to think about it. I mean, one of the things I love about my job is the flexibility. I mean, I get to be with Dawn, and I just don’t know if I’m ready to give up that freedom.

Amanda:  I tell you what: You can bring your daughter into the office whenever you want or need. And I will pay you more because you’re doing my job. Does that seem fair?

Marni:  Uh, wow. Yes! I guess you’ll do anything to get your ducks in a row. OK. Let me talk to John. Let me sleep on it, and I’ll give you an answer in the morning. Is that OK?

Amanda:  Of course it is.

Marni:  OK. I’m actually going to call John.

Amanda:  Right now?

Marni:  Yeah. Hey! Hey. Yeah, it’s me. Amanda just gave me a pretty interesting offer. We should talk about it. OK. Bye.


Grammar Point

Go Super to learn "Present Perfect Progressive" from this lesson Go Super!


Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!


Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

The iTEP® test

  • Schedule an iTEP® test and take the official English Practice Test.

    Take Now >


Go Super to Listen Go Super!

Marni can’t believe what she’s hearing. Amanda wants Marni to do Amanda’s job while she’s away with her new baby. She knows that Marni can do it, and she’s certain that Marni’s the best person for the job. Marni’s been working at AmericanDreamD8.com for a long time, and she understands what the company is all about.

The offer surprises Marni in a big way. She wonders why Amanda isn’t asking Jeff, Mason or Lily to do it instead, but Amanda lists many reasons for her choice and they do make sense. Marni loves that the job she has now gives her flexibility to spend a lot of time with her daughter Dawn. Amanda will do anything to get Marni to say yes, so she tells Marni to bring Dawn to the office whenever she wants.

It’s a big change, but Amanda will pay Marni more money, too. Marni calls her husband John to tell him what Amanda is offering and to ask him for his opinion.

Do you think Marni will take the job? Is she the best person to be running the company? Why or why not?



Log in to Comment




I think Marni will take the job, it’s a good opportunity, Amanda is offering a good position, salary and flexibility.

As far as Amanda said, Marni has the skills, she is tactful, organized and she has been in the company for a long time.

Additionally it seems Amanda is the kind of person that doesn’t accept a negative answer, specially when she is going to be absent for her baby.

Good vocabulary :D

07:34 PM Feb 07 2014 |




Yep. She wills i suppose. There is nothing to lose for Marni. She will take the job, makes more money and see her daughter whenever she wants, feels free. That’s great. If i were her i did. 

According to Amanda’s idea she is. i think bcz she is tactful and also has a great historical memory as well as she is acquired enough knowledge of that work. I wanna say she is perfectly qualified for it.

11:46 AM Jan 30 2014 |

1 person likes this




I believe that if Marni had at the beginning  any doubt about taking up the  resposability  she was asking  for  ,the moment that  Amanda mentioned that  she would be duly compensated with  a raise in her salary, Marni`s eyes  couldn´t hide  that in spite  she needed first to sleep on it  and talk  to her hubbie into it , inwardly  she knew that  American dream from now on is going to have a new manager in charge.  :))))) 

04:28 PM Jan 28 2014 |

2 people like this



i think she say yes.thing is that it’s really good to help others to help when they want….......marni can do that job.amanda is so confident of that and also marni too.amanda already told why rest of the colleagues can’t do that. anyway hop for the best

02:09 PM Jan 28 2014 |

angel_ eyes


By the look on her face, it seems quite clear that  she will take  the job. However, asking me whether she will be  the best person to be running the company is strange, seriously, how can I know ? I don’t work with her.

12:35 PM Jan 28 2014 |

1 person likes this

Likes (23):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast