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Car Troubles
Car Troubles

Learn English with this car troubles English lesson

Date: Oct 29 2019

Themes: Travel

Grammar: Be Able To


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Cars can help make our lives easier in so many ways… until they stop working, that is. Anyone whose car broke down on the side of the road, or got a flat tire, or had any other problem, can tell you that it’s no fun to be stranded.

When you have an old car, or a car that’s been in one or more accidents, it’s probably pretty unreliable. You never know when the next part will stop working. Your bank account is probably empty from all the trips to the mechanic.

Even though it’s tough to deal with car issues, especially when you have to pay for repairs out of pocket, it’s probably better than the alternative. People who drive to work or school, for example, can’t get along without their car. So if it breaks, they have to fix it.

Somebody is having problems with her car again. Learn who needs better transportation in this English lesson about cars.


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:  Oh my gosh. My car broke down again!

Amanda:  Well, that would explain why you took your bicycle here again.

Marni:  Well, I’m really lucky to have my bicycle, because my car is so unreliable. It’s constantly breaking down. And I can’t do any self-repair, so I just have to go back to the mechanic and, once again, deal with my issues. And it’s going to be expensive.

Amanda:  That’s kind of scary. Were you stranded on the side of the road all by yourself?

Marni:  Luckily I have roadside assistance, so I called and was able to get somebody to come out and help me.

Amanda:  Does insurance cover that, or is that out of pocket?

Marni:  Luckily I have insurance that covers it because I’m already spending so much money just to make all these repairs.

Amanda:  My heart goes out to you because I don’t know how you’re going to get along without it. I need my car.

Marni:  Yeah. You know, I’m starting to feel like I might just have to solely commit to biking or get something that’s more reliable, because having a car that breaks down all the time is just not worth it.


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Marni had to bike to her appointment with Amanda because her car broke down again. It’s clear that this is not the first time that Marni’s had car troubles, and it’s starting to make her really frustrated.

Marni complains about how expensive it is to take her car to the mechanic. Even though her insurance does cover roadside assistance, she has to pay for repairs herself.

Amanda understands Marni’s problem because she needs her car, too! She can’t get along without good transportation, and she isn’t sure what Marni will do without a car.

Should Marni buy a better car or just use her bike? Has your car ever broken down?



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I´ve been in Marni´s shoes before. I ended up trading my car in for a new one, after all the money you keep speding on repairs may well go towards a new car which will not leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

If she can´t get along without a car, committing to biking won´t just cut it.

01:45 PM Nov 22 2019 |


United States

My heart goes out to Marni because to have cars is essential to live in a surbarban area in the US.

Luckly I didn’t ever break down my car. I would say it is because I drive Japanese brands.

04:13 PM Nov 10 2019 |




Unfortunately i don’t have a car now.But i could understand it.

02:43 AM Oct 29 2019 |




If she is afford of buying without taking loan, it would be so better to her to purchase a new good one. It is necessary to have a car which is being developed by a great company and works in an excellent condition. Breaking all the time not only is frustrating but also it will take so much money for its repairing of owner. 

My bro’s car does not work very well right today. As a matter of fact, it other than teases us before in few cases. Actually, something was wrong with its battery power system. Moreover, it took more than 2 hours, even though we tried so hard but we finally did not be able to fix it. 

07:31 PM Mar 22 2014 |

habiba 18

habiba 18


Long live the public transport :D 

06:12 PM Mar 19 2014 |



If Marny has the budget she should buy a better car, otherwise she has to use her bike.  I think having a car is much confortable than a bike, specially when it’s rainy or you have to go far away from home or you need to be with more people.

Thank God my car hasn’t broken down.  I got to change the tyre twice but gentle guys helped me with that, so I didn’t do anything.  I pay for roadside assistance anyway.

My car is so useful, I can’t get along without it, because I travel everyday to my job.  Additionally I love driving, it’s relaxing to me :D

08:56 PM Mar 18 2014 |

1 person likes this




I am wondering how old is Marni`s car or how many miles has the car  being on the road .As it is proven that is a very unreliable car, why Marni is  not taking the decision to go to a dealer  that would gladly trade in  the old  one for a brand new, or   used car with low-mileage . Japanese cars are very reliable, hmmm. Honda, Toyota ,why not !!!! go for it Marni , sleep on this and do whatever is best for you.

09:20 PM Mar 17 2014 |

3 people like this




I live in a medium size city in the US and I have to rely on my car to do many things – grocery shopping, visiting doctor and dentist, going to a post office, getting a haircut, etc. There was a time I even had to drive to wash my cloths because I needed to use a launderette. So, just like Amanda, I cannot get along without a car and I hate that fact. 

The problems are, first of all, it’s costly – gas, tax, insurance, maintenance, etc.  Then, there is the risk of accident – what if I crashed into a Porsche!  Finally, the waste – when I drive for those chores I basically carry only myself and a lot of air. Meanwhile, I cause air pollution, road noise and greenhouse gas. I always had to feel a sense of guilt.

I try to walk when I can but many places are just too far away. Things necessary for a normal daily life are not in walking distances from where I live, and I live near downtown. American cities are hypocritical.

07:25 PM Mar 17 2014 |

2 people like this



it must be Marni’s decision :)) Bike is very nice machine but only in Spring,Summer..therefore,She must buy a better car, but as ı understand either she doesnt have enough money for it or she is stingy :))

of course, I have lived same experiences ,it was terrible moment..to stay in the road alone and hopeless..anyway,there is always hope and helpful people ..thanks to them,unknown helpful people :))

03:24 PM Mar 17 2014 |



We have purchased new car. we hope it will be good for years. i dont learn driving till now, but my husband started learning and take me to go outing. I have felt good experience sitting next to my husband and njoying outside things. he learnt driving quickly.

11:48 AM Mar 17 2014 |




she siad that she don’t have enough money to repair her car ,what if i ask her to buy a new car ,of course she wont ,, I just wanna tell her that she have to use her bike at least in this period of time ,until I figure it out for her ,just tell her to not worry I will do my best in her case ,,, haha

I don’t have a car ,, it’s just one time I used  my father’s car I went to drive back my sister from her school ,and when we got back home I wanted to stop the car in front of the door of the yard (the place where we put the car) so I can get off the car to open the door ,BUT instead of stopping the car I pushed it more till I broke the door of the yard and smashed it  ,,haha ,, so from that day up I didn’t drive any car at all and I don’t want at all ,,I have a bike I can go with it to any place I want in my city and I feel better with it ,, and if you need my advice buy a bike instead of car

06:48 AM Mar 17 2014 |

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