Family Album USA 10 — Smell the Flowers

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agreeing to do something for someone
telling time
talking about past customs: used to; would

ought to (awta)
used to (yoosta)

How do Americans feel about the free-enterprise system?

Do women and men in your country have equal job opportunities?

FAO Schwarz: a famous toy store in New York Cit

 approve: to say or write that someone’s work is go to say that something is OK

sketches: simple drawings, without much detail

client: a customer

Susan is a vice-president of a toy company. Today, many American women are managers in the business world. More and more, women are holding stronger position in large companies and in the professions, as doctors and lawyers, for example. In fact, in the U.S. today, almost half of all the people in the professions are women.

In your country, is there equal opportunity for both women and men in business?

model cars
model cars

production staff. A staff is a group of workers, or employees. A production staff works together to make something.

Will do. = Sure, I’ll do it. This is an informal way to agree to do something.

models: small copies of objects. Before something is produced in large numbers, a model is usually made model cars

Right. = I’ll do it. This is another informal way to agree to do something. People also say Right to agree with someone’s idea.

ought to: should. The informal pronunciation is awta.

eleven thirty
eleven thirty

What for? = Why?

the simple things in life. This phrase refers to simple things to enjoy, such as a good conversation, a beautiful sky, or a long walk.

Smell the flowers. = Take time to enjoy yourself.

the twelfth: the 12th day of the month. To refer to dates, use ordinal numbers: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, etc.

film maker: a person who makes movies. Alfred Hitchcock was a famous film maker.

eleven thirty. You may also say half-past eleven instead of eleven thirty.

twelve forty-five: You may also say a quarter to one instead of twelve forty-five.

I have a feeling . . . = I think . ..

twelve forty-five
twelve forty-five

reception room: a room in an office for receiving visitors or clients as they arrive

Businesses in the United States are usually owned by people, not by the government. This is called free enterprise. Most Americans respect the idea of  competition in business. Businesses must compete against each other for profits, the money that they earn. Many Americans believe that the free-enterprise system encourages equal opportunity. Part of the  American dream is the idea that every citizen has a, chance to own a business and become rich by working hard.


  • Does the free-enterprise system exist in your country?
  • What does being successful mean to you?




There is more than one way to refer to clock time. Study these examples. Then complete the exercises below.


A. There is Susan’s schedule for tomorrow afternoon:


Read the following paragraph. Then copy it on the lines below, but write each of the times in a different way. The first sentence is given. At two fifteen, Susan will meet with Mrs. Zaskey. She wiII go to a production meeting at two forty-five. Susan just remember to call the art department, however, at

three twenty. At three thirty, she will meet with Sam to discuss a new toy idea. She wants to call Harry at three forty-five to ask about his plans for the weekend. At three fifty-five, she has to review the budget for next year.

At a Quarter after two, Susan will meet with Mrs. Zaskey.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

B. Now imagine that Mrs. Zaskey will be five minutes late tomorrow. All of Susan’s appointments will be five minutes later than they are on the schedule. Rewrite your paragraph, but make each time five minutes later. The first sentence is given.

At twenty after two (or two twenty), Susan will meet with Mrs. Zaskey.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

picked (these flowers) out: chose (these flowers). Pick out is a two-word verb. You can also say, picked out these flowers.

shy: not comfortable with other people; timid

used to. Used to refers to past customs—repeated actions or conditions in the past. The informal pronunciation is yoosta.


embarrassing: making you feel uncomfortable about yourself, often because you did something foolish

enter: to write down. You use enter for business records, lists, and diaries.

the Biltmore: a hotel in Manhattan

What’ll it be? = What would you like? Waiters sometimes ask this question.

a big hit: very popular

lemonade: a cold drink made of lemon juice, water, and sugar

fireFire Island: a popular vacation spot off the south shore of Long Island, New York

would go: used to go. Like used to, would refers to past customs. With would, you must refer to a specific time period and frequency.

There you go. = This is for you. When putting food or drinks on a table, a waiter might also say Here you are.

ice-cold: very cold

girl talk: conversations between girls or women


Study these rules about used to and would. Then complete the exercise below.

Use used to + a simple verb to refer to past customs. Used to may refer to a condition or to a repeated event.  EXAMPLES: Susan used to be shy. (a condition)
Michelle’s parents used to take her on a ferryboat when they went to Fire Island every summer, (a repeated event)

With used to, it is not necessary to refer to a specific time period or frequency.
EXAMPLE: Michelle’s parents used to take her on a ferryboat.

Use would + a simple verb to refer to past customs only when you refer to repeated even is during a specific time period at a specific frequency. Do not use would to refer to past conditions.
EXAMPLE: When Susan was a young girl, her mother would give her piano lessons on Tuesday afternoons. (specific time period: When Susan was a young girl specific frequency: on Tuesday afternoons)

Note that you may always use used to instead of would to refer to past customs.
EXAMPLE: When Susan was a young girl, her mother used to give her piano lessons on Tuesday afternoons.


Read the sentence with used to below each picture. In which sentence can you use would instead of used to? Circle 1, 2, or 3.



Michelle’s feelings change in Act II. At the beginning of the act, she feels shy. Later, she feels comfortable. Read the sentences at the left. Write the letter of each sentence in the correct place on the time line to show the order of events at the seaport in Act 2. The first answer is given.

time_linea. Harry talks about the summer house on Fire Island.
b. Harry orders lunch.
c. Susan tells Michelle that she wants to be her friend.
d. Harry leaves the table to get some vegetables

It’s so nice out. = The weather is so beautiful Here, out means «outside.»

fill in for me: to take my place. To fill in for someone is to do someone’s job for a short period of time.

He can answer any questions. = If there are questions, he can answer them.

Good for you. = I’m glad to hear it; congratulations!

The South Street Seaport and Central Park are two of New York City’s tourist attractions. About 17 million tourists visit these places and other sites in the city each year. Central Park, in the center of Manhattan, is one of the largest public parks in the United States.


  • Which tourist attractions are popular in your city or town ?
  • Where might you go to «smell the flowers»?



Both Sam and Harry thought that Susan should «smell the flowers»—take time to enjoy herself. Complete the conversations below the pictures. Choose the correct phrases from the box.


Use the clues to complete this crossword puzzle.



1. Money earned by a business
7. Time to meet
8. Write down in an appointment book
10. An informal way to agree to do something (2 words)
12. Please wait in the _____ room.

2. _____-enterprise system
3. List of appointments
4. Business customer
5. Conference
6. Employees
7. Say you are satisfied with someone’s work
9. Build a _____  before making the final product
11. Can you _____ in for me tomorrow?

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