Episode 62: Impeachment Process

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 62: Impeachment Process

Before we begin, here are three important items:

  1. Buy the fifth Slow American English workbook now! It’s available on Amazon, just like the first four workbooks. You can use all the workbooks either with the podcast or without it. Teachers can use the pre-planned lessons for listening, reading, speaking and writing. Students can use each lesson for self-study. Get yours in print or Kindle version now!
  2. I want to give a big thank-you to my Patreon patrons for pledging a little money every month to keep the podcast going. Your contributions help pay for web hosting and other expenses. Without you, I could not help English learners all over the world. If you are not yet a patron, please visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become one today!
  3. Become a website subscriber at SlowAmericanEnglish.net. There are free transcripts PLUS links to become a patron and to buy workbooks. Follow me on social media from the website, too.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

If you have been following US news for the past few months (2019 and 2020), you might know that the US president was impeached. However, you might not know what that actually means.

It is important to understand that impeachment is not a criminal process. It is a political one. Article II of the Constitution states:

The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Impeachment is a two-step process. Congress is responsible for the actions. First, the House of Representatives brings impeachment charges against a federal official. Then, the Senate has a trial and votes whether to convict.

Here is the procedure:

  1. Members of the House of Representatives must either introduce an impeachment resolution just like they would a regular bill, or they can pass a resolution to start an inquiry. During the inquiry, evidence is gathered and charges are stated. After a few weeks or months of investigation, the representatives vote. If a majority of representatives votes to impeach, there is a trial in the Senate. This should be conducted like a normal trial in a court of law.
  2. Members of the House are appointed to manage the Senate trial, which means they act as prosecutors. The impeached official gathers a legal defense team. Senators act as the jury. After the prosecution and defense teams present their sides of the case, the Senators vote. If two-thirds or more of the senators present vote for conviction, the impeached official is removed from office and possibly prohibited from holding office in the future. There is no other punishment, such as fines or prison time.

Further charges can be brought against the removed official in regular courts, if anyone wants to do that. Additional legal procedures would then follow, including negotiations and even trials, but they aren’t guaranteed, and they don’t involve Congress.

More information about impeachment in the US:

  • The Constitution does not specify what “high crimes and misdemeanors” are. Therefore, the House of Representatives can decide.
  • If the president is convicted by the Senate and removed from office, the Vice President becomes president.
  • Other federal officials besides the president can be impeached by the House.
  • The House has begun 62 impeachment investigations throughout history.
  • Only 20 of those 62 investigations resulted in impeachment: 30 judges, three presidents, one Cabinet secretary and one US senator.
  • The impeached presidents were Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. None were convicted or removed from office.
  • Andrew Johnson was Abraham Lincoln‘s vice president; he became president when Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. He was impeached in 1868.
  • Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998.
  • Donald Trump was impeached in 2020.
  • Impeachment proceedings were started against President Richard Nixon in 1973, but he resigned before he could be tried in the Senate.
  • All states except Oregon can impeach state officials. The procedures are basically the same as federal ones.

### End of Transcript ### 

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, TuneIn and any other podcast feed reader.

Theme music is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 58: Higher Education in the USA

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 58: Higher Education in the USA

Before we begin, I have a couple of announcements:

  1. Please take the Slow American English survey. Your answers will help make the podcast better. Visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net and click the link to the survey questions. Every answer is valuable! To read some of the survey results so far, visit www.Patreon.com/slowamericanenglish.
  2. Podcast patrons can learn English faster! If you are not a patron, please consider becoming one. Choose from four levels, each with valuable monthly rewards. I recommend Level 2 as the best level for the money, which is $10 a month. But if that’s too much for your budget, Level 1 for English Learners might be right for you. For $5.00 per month, you get
  • a pdf file with three exercises you can use with the recording or the transcript to improve listening and reading comprehension,

  • a free Slow American English workbook,

  • a chance to win private English lessons with me, including a personal learning plan,

  • and a monthly live discussion of each podcast episode via Skype. Practice your English in a real-world conversation! This month’s discussion date: Tuesday, 22 October, 2019, at 09:00am US Mountain Time (GMT-6). Patrons, you MUST notify me via email (info@slowamericanenglish.net) by Monday, 21 October, 2019, at 5:00pm US Mountain Time (GMT-6) to let me know you will attend the live discussion. If you cannot attend because of your time zone, I can schedule an additional session if there are enough participants.

So, please visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become a patron today. Remember: all your contributions help me continue to bring this podcast to you.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

I’ve already told you about the school system for kids in the US in Episode 28. Today I will describe the optional higher education system, also called post-secondary education system, which comes after high school.

This higher education system in the USA isn’t regulated by the federal government. Because of this, there are many types of schools, such as public, private, small, large, religious, secular, urban, suburban, rural and online.

Most Americans use the word “college” to mean “university”, although there is actually a difference. A university is a collection of smaller colleges. Each college focuses on a specific area of study. There can also be standalone colleges that aren’t part of a university. Universities usually also offer masters and doctorate degrees.

Good schools are usually accredited, or approved by an official association, to make sure they meet a minimum standard. Accreditation also means a student’s degree is recognized as valid by other schools and employers.

More vocabulary:

  • major – main area of study for undergraduates; students can change their major multiple times until the third year
  • minor – second area of study for undergraduates requiring fewer classes
  • campus – the physical area of a college
  • dormitory/dorm – housing for students; if a student lives on campus, he or she lives in a dorm
  • ivy league – informal phrase for a group of prestigious colleges such as Harvard
  • tuition – fees paid to the college for classes; does not include dorm expenses, books or meals
  • freshmen – students in their first year of undergraduate study
  • sophomores – students in their second year of undergraduate study
  • juniors – students in their third year of undergraduate study
  • seniors – students in their fourth year of undergraduate study
  • community college – a smaller, local school offering a two-year associate degree

Many colleges require a student to take a standardized test before starting a four-year program. The most well-known such test is the Scholastic Aptitude Test, usually called the SAT.

Levels of post-secondary study:

  1. Undergraduate students work toward a four-year bachelors degree. The first two years are usually general classes like literature, science and history. Each class earns the student course credits. Students can complete these courses at a community college then transfer the credits to a four-year school.
  1. People with bachelors degrees might want to get a masters degree. They need to take the GRE test (Graduate Record Examinations) first. A university usually also has a masters program in addition to the colleges for undergraduate degrees. Masters degrees usually require about two years of courses and a thesis, which is a long research paper.
  1. After a masters, some students want to continue their education and get a doctorate, or Ph.D. This requires three or more years of courses and research, plus a dissertation, which is the doctorate research paper.

College is very expensive. Many students get scholarships, grants or student loans to help pay for it. A scholarship is money from an organization or school given to the student based on academic or sports performance. Grants are government money given based usually on low family income or other factors. Either the government or financial institutions can lend money for education. Scholarships and grants don’t have to be paid back, but student loans do. Many people graduate with heavy student loan debt, which is a big problem.

Some state universities offer free or reduced tuition programs. New York State recently became the first to offer free tuition for a full four-year or two-year program that isn’t based on academic performance. Other states offer similar programs, but they have more requirements.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via any podcast app or feed reader.

Theme music is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 55: The Liberty Bell

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 55: The Liberty Bell

Before we begin, I have some announcements:

  1. I hope you acted on the previous podcast, which describes how to become a patron of the podcast. Please visit the podcast website and click on the top menu bar where it says “Patron Level Details”. The link is www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net/PatronLevels. Your contributions will help me continue to bring this important podcast to the world.

  1. The next live discussion for Level 1 patrons and above will be on Thursday, 18 July, at 10:00am US Mountain Time. You must email me at info@slowamericanenglish.net to let me know you will attend. I realize that, if you are in certain time zones, it might prevent you from participating. If so, please email me and let me know. I will schedule a different time for groups in other time zones.

  1. Don’t forget to buy the fourth Slow American English workbook. It’s available on Amazon, along with the first three workbooks. You can use the workbooks either with the podcast or without it. They are full of ready-made lessons for teachers and students.

  1. Become a website subscriber at www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. There are free transcripts PLUS links to become a patron and to buy workbooks.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

It’s hard to think of a more famous symbol of the United States than the Liberty Bell. In addition to the bald eagle, Statue of Liberty, American flag and Uncle Sam, the Liberty Bell stands for freedom – it’s even in the name!

It stands now in Philadelphia, PA, which used to be the capital city of the USA before Washington, DC. You can visit it at Liberty Bell Center near Independence Hall, where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The Liberty Bell has a large crack. Legend says that ringing the bell on the day the Declaration of Independence was signed caused it to crack. Unfortunately that is not true. A magazine writer invented this story.

The bell was made by Philly (short for Philadelphia) metalworkers John Pass and John Stow. They melted down a defective bell to make this one in the early 1750s. It was installed in the State House (capitol) in Philadelphia. It was rung to call legislators and citizens to meetings.

An inscription is written on the bell, which says, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all inhabitants thereof.” A second inscription says, “By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania for the State House in Philada.” (‘Philada’ was a short form of ‘Philadelphia’.) A third inscription reads, “Pass and Stow/MDCCLIII.” The last part is the year 1753 in Roman numerals.

Although specific details are unknown, the bell developed a small crack probably around the 1840s. To repair it, a larger crack was created, but the repair failed. A second crack also appeared shortly after that, ruining the bell forever. It could never be rung again.

The bell was called the State House Bell until the mid-1800s. But even before it was called the Liberty Bell, abolitionists, women’s suffragists and Civil Rights leaders were inspired by the first inscription on the bell. In fact, it is said that people fighting for the end of slavery came up with the name ‘Liberty Bell’.

More Liberty Bell facts:

  • It weighs about 2,080 pounds.

  • It is made of bronze.

  • The original musical note of the bell was E-flat.

  • The bell rang to mark the signing of the Constitution.

  • During the Revolutionary War, the bell was taken from Philadelphia and hidden in a church in Allentown, PA. It was moved to prevent the British from finding it and melting it down for weapons.

  • It was rung to mark the deaths of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and other Founding Fathers.

  • It was last rung on Washington’s birthday in 1846.

  • Every Fourth of July, descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence gently tap the Liberty Bell 13 times in honor of the patriots from the original 13 states.

  • Every Martin Luther King Day, the bell is gently tapped in honor of this great Civil Rights leader.

  • Every state capitol received a copy of the Liberty Bell in 1950 as part of a fundraiser by the US Treasury Department. These copies don’t have cracks.

  • Normandy, France, also has a copy of the bell. It was created in 2004 for the 60th anniversary of D-Day in WWII, which was in 1944. It was the day Allied forces landed in Normandy to eventually end the war.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via any podcast feed reader.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Please become a Patron of the Podcast!

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is a special podcast to ask you for help.

Are you learning as much as you can from each Slow American English podcast episode?

You could be learning more faster as a patron of the podcast!

All patron contributions help me continue to bring this podcast to you.

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There you can choose from four levels of patrons, each with valuable monthly rewards.

Patreon Patron Level 2 is really the BEST level, with the most rewards for your money!

Here are the details for Patron Level 2: Instructors and Serious Self-Study Students.

I consider Level 2 to be the best level for the money. The cost is $10.00 USD per month, which is only about 34 cents per day.

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Episode 53: The Great Lakes

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 53: The Great Lakes

Hello Slow American English listeners! Before we begin, here’s some important info:

This week I sent out a question form to the website subscribers. I hope you all answer the survey because the information and opinions you give will help make this podcast better. Check your inboxes! AND, there will be a second question form for listeners who aren’t subscribers soon. Keep listening to this podcast for details.

Follow me on social media! Click the icons for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on the podcast website at www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net.

Buy all four Slow American English workbooks on Amazon now! You can use the workbooks either with the podcast or without it. Students AND teachers, you can use them for listening, reading, speaking and writing practice.

A million thanks to my Patreon patrons for pledging a small amount every month to keep the podcast going. This month I changed the Patreon benefit levels, so take a look at the changes and rewards at www.Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish.

Become a website subscriber at SlowAmericanEnglish.net. There are free transcripts PLUS links to become a patron and to buy workbooks.

Note: You can visit Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish for FREE bonus material related to this podcast episode. You can download a pdf file containing maps of the Great Lakes. It really helps you understand the Great Lakes when you are listening to the recording.

Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

The Great Lakes are five very large bodies of water in the upper Midwest area of the USA, north of the Mississippi River basin. We think of them as inland seas and call them the nation’s fourth seacoast. They lie on the border with Canada and measure more than 750 miles from east to west. They touch eight states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. The Great Lakes, along with their connecting rivers, form the largest fresh surface water system on earth.

The Great Lakes were formed by glaciers thousands of years ago, and they are very deep. They hold about 20% of the world’s fresh surface water supply and 90% of the USA’s. The Great Lakes provide drinking water for about 48 million people. In addition, the lakes are used for transportation, recreation, electricity, fishing and many other economic and ecological functions.

Weather can be very dangerous for ships on the Great Lakes, and there are dangerous reefs, too. Many terrible shipwrecks have happened there. One of the most famous was the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975. You may have heard the famous song about it by Gordon Lightfoot.

Because of pollution and other problems, the Great Lakes have been damaged. Now, there are lots of federal programs to help clean and restore them. Canada, 40 Native North American tribes and eight US states take part in the programs.

The lakes’ names are Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. You can remember the names of the Great Lakes by thinking of the word HOMES. Here is a little information about each one. They are listed in order from west to east:

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest in surface area and water volume. The name comes from the French phrase for “upper lake”, lac supérieur, because it is north of Lake Huron.

Lake Michigan

The name of Lake Michigan comes from the Ojibwa Native American tribe’s word mishigami, meaning “large lake”. Lake Michigan is the third largest Great Lake in surface area. It’s the only one that is located entirely within the US. It is connected to Lake Huron by the Straits of Mackinac. Some people consider Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to be two halves of one larger body of water.

Lake Huron

The name comes from the Huron, or Wyandot, Native Americans, who lived there. It’s the second largest Great Lake with the longest shoreline. Manitoulin Island is located in Lake Huron; it’s the largest island in any inland body of water on Earth.

Lake Erie

The name of Lake Erie was taken from the Iroquoi Native Americans’ word for “long tail” (erielhonan), which describes Lake Erie’s shape. It is the fourth largest Great Lake in surface area, but smallest by water volume.

Lake Ontario

The Native American Huron word for “lake of shining water” is ontario. This is the smallest of the Great Lakes by surface area. Water from Lake Erie flows into Lake Ontario by the Niagara River. Lake Ontario is at the base of the famous Niagara Falls. Water flows out of Lake Ontario by the St. Lawrence River, which leads to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and then into the Atlantic Ocean.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, TuneIn and any other podcast feed reader.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 52: San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 52: San Francisco, California

Hello Slow American English listeners! Before we begin, here’s some important info:

Now you can follow me on social media. Click the icons for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on the podcast website at www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. I send information about American English idioms on Mondays and podcast episode information every Friday. Plus there are additional posts with more information.

Don’t forget to buy the fourth Slow American English workbook. It’s available on Amazon, just like the first three workbooks. You can use the workbooks either with the podcast or without it. Teachers can use it for listening, reading, speaking and writing. Students can use it for self-study. For links to buy all my workbooks, visit the podcast website.

A million thanks to my Patreon patrons for pledging a small amount every month to keep the podcast going. Your contributions help pay for web hosting and other expenses. Without you, I could not produce this podcast every month. Thank you! To become a patron, visit www.Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish.

Become a website subscriber at www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. There are free transcripts PLUS links to become a patron and to buy workbooks.

Now for the podcast:

San Francisco, CA, is one of the most important ports in the USA. It is on the West Coast, on the Pacific Ocean, and has a large, safe bay and harbor for ships. The city and bay are famous for the quickly changing weather, especially fog and rain. In fact, the fog hid the harbor from European explorers for over 300 years. Before that, the Yaluma people lived there.

Beginning with the European settlers, San Francisco was a Spanish mission, and later a Mexican mission. Then, in 1848, gold was discovered in the nearby mountains. Many people poured into the area in 1849 hoping to get rich. This movement of people was called the Gold Rush, and the people were called the 49ers. This nickname is so popular that San Francisco’s football team‘s name is the 49ers.

San Francisco sits on very steep hills, and part of it is on filled-in marshland. The city lies on the San Andreas Fault, which means there is a high danger of earthquakes. In fact, the great earthquake of 1906 destroyed much of the city. Fires burned for three days afterward, destroying even more. More recently a large earthquake occurred in 1989. Highways, buildings and bridges fell, and many people died.

However, San Franciscans rebuilt each time, and it continued to grow. It is a very rich, crowded city, with many high-tech companies and a progressive culture. Writers and poets came to the city, including the beat poets of the 1950s. In the 1960s, the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood was famous as a center for the hippie counterculture. San Francisco has always been a place where many activists, including those for environmental, labor and feminist issues, live and work. In the 1980s, the Castro District area was a center for gay rights and a movement to help homeless people and those with AIDS.

Other interesting facts about San Francisco:

Thousands of Chinese immigrants came to San Francisco to work because of the discovery of gold and silver, and also because of the railroad. As a result, the Chinatown area of San Francisco became the largest Chinese settlement outside of Asia.

Visitors to San Francisco should ride the famous cable cars. They were installed in the late 1800s and helped the city grow on the steep hills.

Another popular sight is Fisherman’s Wharf, a historical part of the waterfront. While there, tourists like to see the hundreds of sea lions that visit Pier 39 every year. From this area you can take a boat tour and visit the famous ex-prison, Alcatraz, which is located on an island in San Francisco Bay.

But I have saved the most famous sight of San Francisco for last: the Golden Gate Bridge. That, and the Bay Bridge, were both built in the 1930s. They connect the city to nearby communities like Oakland and Marin County.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can get the podcast episodes via Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and any other RSS feed reader.

Theme music is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

As always, you can contact me directly via email at info@slowamericanenglish.net.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 49: President George Washington

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 49: President George Washington

Before we begin, did you know that you can buy Slow American English workbooks? Each workbook contains the Exercise Worksheets, answer keys, Bonus Material and transcripts from each podcast episode. There are three workbooks so far. Each contains a year’s worth of podcast episodes. Volume 1 has episodes 1 – 12, Volume 2, episodes 13 – 24, and Volume 3, episodes 25 – 36. You can buy all the workbooks on Amazon. The link is on the podcast website at www.slowamericanenglish.net.

And very soon there will be a new workbook, Volume 4, with episodes 37 – 48. I will announce it when it is published.

Also, I want to thank my Patreon patrons for pledging a small amount every month to keep the podcast going. Your contributions help pay for web hosting and other expenses. Without you, I could not produce this podcast every month. Thank you! If YOU think this podcast is helpful, please visit www.Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish and become a patron. It’s very inexpensive and helps everyone around the world who listens to this podcast.

In addition, you can become a website subscriber for free at www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. Find free transcripts there PLUS links to become a patron and to buy the workbooks.

Subscribe to the podcast feed via Apple Podcasts, Android, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and any other RSS feed reader.

Contact me directly via email at info@slowamericanenglish.net. Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

George Washington was born in Virginia in 1732. His family had a successful plantation, which he later owned. During the Revolutionary War for independence against Great Britain, Washington was commander of the American army. He became a national hero because of this. He was one of America’s Founding Fathers. They wrote the Constitution of the United States. He was the first to sign it, too.

The electoral college elected George Washington as the first president in 1789 and again in 1792. He is the only president to be elected unanimously. For this and many other reasons, Washington is called the Father of Our Country.

He decided not to be president for a third term, although everyone wanted him to. This tradition was followed by all other presidents for 150 years. In 1947, this two-term limit was made into law.

Washington knew that everyone was watching everything he did as the first US president. He knew his actions would be examples for all other presidents to follow. Therefore, he was very careful to be a very strong leader. For example, he organized the president’s Cabinet well. He also allowed the other branches of government to balance the power of the president.

Of course, you can look up all this history if you are interested. However, I want to tell you some of the things about George Washington that Americans learn as children:

  • There is a story about George Washington which is probably not true. It says that, when he was a child, George Washington chopped down his father’s cherry tree. It was a terrible thing to do. When his father asked who did it, George replied, “I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down the cherry tree.” This legend shows how honest he was.

  • Another story says that, as a boy, George Washington threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River in Maryland. This can’t be true. There were no silver dollars then and the river was too wide.

  • A true fact about George Washington: He had false teeth made of wood!

  • George Washington’s wife’s name was Martha.

  • Washington’s plantation and home was Mount Vernon, VA. You can visit it today.

  • When he led the army during the Revolution, Washington and his soldiers crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night, 1776. They went into New Jersey for a surprise attack on the enemy. There is a famous painting by George Cableb Bingham called Washington Crossing the Delaware.

  • Also during the Revolutionary War, Washington and his soldiers camped in Valley Forge, PA. It was the hard winter of 1777-78. They survived and trained there to become a strong army. They were able to defeat the British soldiers in the spring.

Today, George Washington’s face is on the US dollar bill and the quarter coin. In addition, many parks, streets, schools and even people have been named after him. The state of Washington and Washington, DC, are also named after him. In addition, the very tall Washington Monument stands in front of the nation’s capitol building in Washington, DC.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

For free transcripts and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and any other podcast feed reader.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 37: Money in the USA

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 37: Money in the USA

Before we get started, I have some announcements:

Are you a regular listener to the Slow American English podcast? Do you think it is helpful? Show your support and become a patron. For only $1.25 per month, you get free Natural-Speed Recordings for each episode. For $2.50 per month, you get the Natural-Speed Recordings PLUS free Exercise Worksheets for each episode, including answer keys. To become a patron, visit www.Patreon.com/SlowAmericanEnglish.

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And, as always, you can contact me directly via email at info@slowamericanenglish.net. Now for the podcast:

Transcript:

The money of a country is its currency, and US currency is the dollar. In America, pieces of paper currency are called ‘bills’ or ‘notes’. Small, round, metal pieces of currency are ‘coins’.

Bills are used for amounts of one dollar or more, and coins are used for smaller amounts. Paper money and coins together are referred to as ‘cash’. Money used in daily life is said to be ‘circulated’. The face value of a bill or coin is called its denomination.

The dollar is abbreviated either as USD, or, more commonly, with the dollar sign, which looks like a capital letter S with a vertical line through it: $. Therefore, to write one dollar, write either 1 USD or $1.

US currency uses a decimal system, which means it is based on the number 10. That means higher denominations can be divided by ten into smaller denominations. So, a ten-dollar bill is equal to ten one-dollar bills.

The dollar can be divided into 100 cents. To write amounts under one dollar, use either the cent sign (99¢) or the dollar sign with a decimal point: $0.99. For amounts over one dollar, use only the dollar sign. For example, one dollar and ninety-nine cents is written this way: $1.99. Use a comma to separate every three digits for one thousand dollars or more. For example, ten thousand dollars is written thus: $10,000.

Paper Money

All the denominations of US bills are the same size. A one-dollar bill is the same size as the 100-dollar bill. Also, the back of each bill is green, and so dollars are sometimes called ‘greenbacks’.

Older bills were green on both sides. Newer bills show greens, grays and other colors on the front, depending on the denomination. Also on the front of each bill is a famous US leader, and most of those leaders are past presidents. Therefore, if someone speaks about ‘dead presidents’, they are talking about money.

Here is a list of currently-circulated US paper money, whose picture appears on it, and other information:

  • one-dollar bill: $1.00; President George Washington
  • two-dollar bill: $2.00; President Thomas Jefferson; rare/not commonly circulated
  • five-dollar bill: $5.00; President Abraham Lincoln
  • ten-dollar bill; $10.00; Alexander Hamilton (first Secretary of the Treasury)
  • twenty-dollar bill; $20.00; President Andrew Jackson
  • fifty-dollar bill; $50.00; President Ulysses S. Grant
  • hundred-dollar bill; $100.00; Benjamin Franklin (not a president but an important statesman)

Coins

Unlike bills, US coins are different sizes, depending on denomination. The smallest coin, the penny, is the smallest denomination. The dollar coin is the largest. Coins, too, have pictures of presidents on them.

Here is a list of presently-circulated US coins, their value, the president who appears on each, plus other facts:

  • penny: one cent (1¢); President Abraham Lincoln; copper-colored
  • nickel: five cents (5¢); President Thomas Jefferson; silver-colored because of the nickel in the coin
  • dime; ten cents (10¢); President Franklin D. Roosevelt; silver-colored
  • quarter: twenty-five cents (25¢); President George Washington; silver colored; a ‘statehood’ quarter has a picture from one of the 50 US states on the back
  • half-dollar: 50 cents (50¢); President John F. Kennedy; also called a 50-cent piece; rather rare to see this coin
  • dollar coin: one dollar ($1); four different kinds: President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lady Liberty, Susan B. Anthony (who was the first woman to vote in the USA), and Sacajawea (an early Native American explorer); dollar coins are not used much; rather, people keep them for collections

A group of coins, such as may be in your pocket, is called ‘change’. For example, ‘change for a dollar’ is a collection of coins that adds up to one dollar. So, if someone asks if you have change for a dollar, they want to trade their paper bill for your coins.

A bonus document with additional information, slang words and idioms about Money in the USA is available for download FREE on the Patreon site at Patreon.com/slowamericanenglish. You will need the free download bonus material to answer some of the questions on the Exercise Worksheet.

### End of Transcript ###

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Google Play Music, TuneIn, Spotify and any other podcast feed reader.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 33: US Postal Addresses

Welcome to Slow American English, the podcast for learners of American English. I’m your host, Karren Tolliver.

This is episode number 33: US Postal Addresses

This podcast is about how to read and write a US postal address.

But, before we get started, remember that the old episode numbers and the podcast feed have changed. For details, please visit www.slowamericanenglish.net. There you can subscribe to the podcast and get free transcripts.

And, even though this podcast is free to you, it costs me money to produce and host it. If you like the podcast and think it is useful, please consider contributing money for it. Visit patreon.com/slowamericanenglish and become a regular supporter for as little as $1.25 per month. You can also make a one-time contribution on the podcast website at www.slowamericanenglish.net.

And, as always, contact me via email at info@slowamericanenglish.net.

Now for the podcast:

===

Transcript:

Even in this age of email, cell phones and text messages, understanding the format of postal addresses in the US is still important. To send a letter via the postal service or to find a place on a map or GPS, you will need the address. Other names for a postal address in American English are “street address”, “physical address” or, in slang, “snail mail address”.

Mail in the United States is handled by the United States Postal Service, also called USPS, the US Mail or, simply, the Post Office. It is a government agency responsible for mail delivery, issuing postage stamps and so on.

Postal codes in the USA are called ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) codes. Implemented in 1963, ZIP codes divide the country into sections. Each section has a five-digit code to make it easier for the USPS and other delivery companies to sort and deliver mail. Numerically, ZIP codes in the Northeast start with 0, and the numbers increase toward the west. Therefore, California ZIP codes start with 9.

Note that, in 1983, an additional four-digit extension was added to ZIP codes to further define delivery locations. This system is called ZIP+4. Although every street address technically has this nine-digit code, in reality, you usually need only the first five digits of a ZIP code to send a letter.

Some people and businesses rent a mailbox at the US Post Office or similar facility. In that case, instead of writing a building number and street, you would write “PO Box” plus the box number.

US postal addresses consist of three lines. Follow this pattern:

Line 1: Recipient’s name (and optional title for business correspondence)

Line 2: Building or house number + street name, or “PO Box” + number, then apartment or suite number

Line 3: City, state abbreviation ZIP code

Example:
Mr. Michael B. Hancock, Mayor of Denver
1437 N. Bannock St., Rm. 350
Denver, CO 80202

And remember the following formatting tips:

  • You can use abbreviations in a postal address for words like “Street” (St.) and “Road” (Rd.). Click on the Extra Materials link on the SlowAmericanEnglish.net website for a list of such abbreviations.
  • Use the official, two-letter, USPS abbreviations for state names. Click on the Extra Materials link on the SlowAmericanEnglish.net website for a list of those.
  • For a business address, write the name of the company on a separate line above or below the recipient’s name.
  • For international mail, add the country name after the ZIP code or on a separate line below it.

The following points are also useful:

  • The general format of a street address is smaller to larger. By that I mean that the first lines will be relatively small locations, such as a person or company.
  • Later lines will be larger locations, such as towns and states.
  • Addresses in the US territories follow the same format as domestic addresses.
  • Use the same format for the return address and the recipient address on an envelope.
  • Write the return address in the upper left corner of the envelope. Write the recipient address in the middle of the envelope.
  • It is best to omit the ZIP code if you don’t know it, rather than guess at it.

===

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via iTunes, Google Play Music, and any other podcast feed reader.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.

Episode 32: US Telephone Numbers

Today I will tell you about telephone numbers in the USA.

But before we get started, remember that the old episode numbers and the podcast feed have changed. For details, please visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. There you can subscribe to the podcast and get free transcripts.

And, even though this podcast is free, it costs me money to produce and host it. If you like the podcast and think it is useful, please consider contributing money for it. Visit patreon.com/slowamericanenglish and become a regular supporter for as little as $1.25 per month. You can also make a one-time contribution on the podcast website at www.slowamericanenglish.net.

And, as always, you can contact me via email at info at slowamericanenglish.net.

Now for the podcast:

==

Regardless of region or state, telephone numbers in America always have the same format. This is true for landlines and mobile phones. FYI (for your information), mobile phones in the US are called cell phones. This is because each tower that provides the signal for mobile phones covers a “cell” of geographical area. Those towers are called cell towers. Furthermore, if an American says, “Give me your cell,” he just means your mobile phone number, not your phone!

The format for US phone numbers consists of ten digits. First there is a three-digit area code in parentheses, then a space, then a three-digit prefix, then a dash or hyphen, then a four-digit individual number.

For example, the number for a time-and-temperature recording near where I live is (303) 398-3964. Looking at this number, I can tell that it is in Colorado because of the 303 area code. In the past, you could tell where a person lived from his area code. It’s not true anymore, though, because people can now keep their same cell phone numbers even if they move to different places.

If a person with a US phone number calls another person with a US phone number, he must dial all ten digits, UNLESS his phone number has the same area code. In that case, he can skip the area code and dial only the last seven digits.

If you dial a different area code from your own number, there may be extra, long-distance charges for the call, especially if you use a landline. But this depends on the phone service plan. Some area codes, however, are toll-free, which means there is no extra, long-distance charges if you call those numbers. Area codes that are toll-free are 800, 844, 855, 866, 877 and 888. Generally, only businesses have toll-free numbers for their customers because they are quite expensive. Sometimes people refer to toll-free numbers as “800 numbers”.

You may have heard the prefix 555 in a movie or on TV. This is a fake prefix. It is reserved for movies and television, and no one actually has a 555 prefix. If you hear it, you know it is fake.

If you are dialing a US number from a phone number of a different country, you must use the International Direct Dialing (IDD) prefix of the other country and the US country code, which is 1. For example, if you are calling from a phone in Germany, you must first dial 00 (Germany’s IDD), then 1 (the US country code), then the 10-digit number. Note that toll-free numbers usually don’t work for international calls.

Finally, as you might guess, sending an SMS in America uses the same phone number format as calls do. However, Americans say “texting” instead of “sending an SMS”.

Language note: Until 1963, telephones had no buttons or touchscreens. Instead, you had to pull on a hole in a rotating clear plastic ring around the face of the phone to dial a number. This was called “dialing the phone” because the numbers were arranged in a circle, or dial, and the plastic ring moved in a circle around the dial. Even though there are hardly any rotary phones nowadays, we still say “dial” when talking about phone calls.

==

That’s the podcast for this time. Slow American English is written and produced by Karren Tolliver. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

For a free transcript and to subscribe to the podcast, visit www.SlowAmericanEnglish.net. You can also subscribe via iTunes, Google Play Music, and any other podcast feed reader.

Theme music for this podcast is written and performed by SW Campbell and used by permission. Find more music by this artist at www.Soundclick.com/swcampbell.

This has been Slow American English. I’m Karren Tolliver. Thank you for listening.