Do you need to practise your English more? Do you want to practise having conversations? Improve your daily English conversation skills with a number of of lessons. Learn how to speak English for everyday use.
In these conversation exercises, you will also find grammar lessons, question-answers for improving your English language.
CHAPTER 24 – HALLOWEEN
Situation: Patrick and Sara are planning to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Because they are too young to go by themselves, their mom asks their two older siblings, either Christine or Ian, to take them around the neighborhood.
Patrick: Wow! Today is October 30th! Halloween is tomorrow already! Have you decided what you will be dressing up for Halloween yet, Sara?
Sara: I’m not sure what I want to be yet. I want to be either a butterfly or a pumpkin. But why do we dress up for Halloween?
Patrick: Halloween is a festival for children, and costumes make it more special. I think we have much more fun going from house to house asking for candies (trick-or-treating) after sunset dressed in our favorite costumes.
Sara: Yes, I remember having a lot of fun last year when mom took me around in a bunny outfit. Do you know what you want to be yet, Patrick?
Patrick: I want to be Batman! I like wearing the cape and the mask. I think you should be a butterfly. You are so much shorter than me, and dressed in a pumpkin costume, someone might think you really are one and try to make a pie out of you.
Sara: How could anyone mistake me for a real pumpkin? Real pumpkins do not have a head or arms or legs. But I suppose I will be a butterfly anyway. I can have pretty wings.
Patrick: Great! So you will be a butterfly and I will be Batman. Let’s go ask Mom if we can go trick-or-treating tomorrow night by ourselves. Although you are still young, I think I am old enough to watch over the both of us.
Sara: OK, let’s go ask mom!
Patrick: MOM! Can Sara and I go trick-or-treating by ourselves tomorrow? I can watch over Sara and make sure she stays out of trouble.
Sara: Yes, Mom. If we go by ourselves, then you can stay home and relax. You will not have to get cold waiting for us.
Mom: Thank you for offering, Patrick. However, I will be worried and I will not be able to relax if you and your brother go by yourselves while I stay home. Let me ask Christine or Ian if one of them can go with both of you. Then I can stay home and relax. Christine! Ian!
Christine & Ian: What, Mom? You called us?
Mom: Do you have any free time tomorrow night? Can one of you take Patrick and Sara around the neighborhood so that they can trick-or-treat on Halloween?
Christine: I can take them, Mom. I do not have any plans tomorrow.
Ian: Mom, I heard you wanted to go watch a movie tomorrow night with Dad. If you want, I can stay at home and give out candies to any trick-or-treaters who come by while Christine takes Patrick and Sara trick-or-treating.
Christine: Then you and Dad can have a little fun on Halloween too.
Sara: So Mom and Dad can relax!
Mom: Sounds like a plan, kids. Thanks a lot!
Patrick: Well, I think I am old enough to take Sara around by myself, but maybe we can get more candy if Christine comes. Hey Christine, how about you trick-or-treat with us, and give us your candy afterwards?
Christine: No way, Patrick. I will eat every Hershey’s, Reese’s, Snickers, and Twix I get. You can have my Jolly Ranchers though.
Ian: Well, it seems as though everything is settled and everyone will have some Halloween fun. I think I am going to have the most fun of all though. I get to eat all the candies that I do not give away, and I do not even have to trick-or-treat for it!
Q: Is there a festival for children in your country? A: Yes, we have the Mid-Autumn Moon festival.
|Q: When do you celebrate this festival?||A: We celebrate it on the fifteenth day of the eighth Lunar month every year.|
|Q: How did this festival come about?||A: It came about a long time ago when parents wished to spend more time with their children after the harvest season.|
|Q: How important is this holiday?||A: It is one of the most important holidays besides New Year.|
|Q: What do children do on this holiday?||A: They light up their lanterns and parade in the streets or around their neighborhood.|
|Q: Are they going to carry those big red lanterns that I see hanging in the stores?||A: No, they carry lanterns of all shapes and colors such as the shape of fish, stars or butterflies.|
|Q: What else do they do?||A: They sing Mid-Autumn Moon songs, eat moon cakes, and perform some traditional dances.|
|Q: What do their parents do in the meantime?||A: Most of the time, their parents drink tea and eat moon cakes while watching them have fun.|
|Q: Are there any other traditions?||A: People give each other boxes of moon cakes also.|
3) Comprehension test a) What is Halloween?
- When do people celebrate Halloween?
- What do Sarah and Patrick want to be?
- Why doesn’t their mother allow them to go trick-or-treating by themselves?
- Who is going to take Sarah and Patrick trick-or-treating?
- Why does Ian offer to stay at home to give out candy?
- What does Patrick want from Christine when they return from trick-or-treating?
- What is Christine willing to give Patrick?
- Why does Ian think he will have the most fun of all?
- What are the special holidays for children in your country? How do people celebrate them?
- What is your most favorite holiday? Why?
- Do we need holidays in our life? Why? Why not?
- Put a period at the end of a sentence.
I want to dress up as a butterfly.
- Use the period after an indirect question.
He asked when they would go trick-or-treating.
- When two or more independent clauses are connected by a coordinating conjunction (and, for, so, but…) in a sentence, a comma should be placed after the first clause. I like the pumpkin costume, but I will wear the butterfly costume instead.
- Use commas to separate elements listed in a series. Usually, add the word and before the last element.
- will eat every Hershey’s, Reese’s, Snickers, and Twix that I get.
Martha is a lovable child because she is friendly, thoughtful, and kind.
And sometimes should not be used with adjectives because doing so would not correctly describe the person or thing.
I always remember the good old days when we lived in San Francisco.
I always remember the good and old days when we lived in San Francisco.
- Use commas to separate a long phrase used for introduction from the independent clause.
There is no need for a comma in the case of a short phrase.
Besides buying the butterfly costume, Sara also wants to get the pumpkin costume.
Besides asking for long vacations, he also wants a five-dollar-per-hour raise. Last night I went trick-or-treating until 8 o’clock. (No comma after last night in this sentence because it is a short phrase)
- Use commas to set off nonessential clauses.
The decision made by the whole family, after everybody agreed, was no trick-or-treating after 9:00PM. (After everybody agreed is a nonessential clause)
The book on etiquette, which is on the table, was written by Nancy Anderson. (Which is on the table is a nonessential clause)
- Use commas between contrasting elements in a sentence.
Christine likes Hershey’s, but hates Jolly Ranchers. I went home early for a rest, not for more work.
- Use commas to address people in a personal or friendly letter.
- Use commas after transitional words such as then, nevertheless, moreover, of course, indeed, therefore.
Indeed, we have already discussed the situation with mom.
- told you what I did to save the situation. Nevertheless, I don’t want you to act the same.
- Use a comma after yes, no, well.
Yes, I want to go trick-or-treating.
Well, the dates were already set.
- Use commas to separate a direct quotation from the rest of the sentence when the source or speaker is identified.
The public cries, “Long lives the Queen!”
Jennifer Aniston gave this advice to her fans, “Life is rough, wear a helmet!”
- Use commas to separate the name of a city from the name of a state. I live in San Jose, California.
- Use commas in dates.
- finished building my house on December 15, 1975.
- Use commas to express light exclamations.
Wow, this is really fantastic!
Oh, what a nice surprise!
|Q: When is Halloween?||A: Halloween is always on October 31st.|
|Q: Is Halloween a festival for adults?||A: Halloween is mainly a festival for kids, but adults do have fun also.|
|Q: Why do kids have so much fun on Halloween?||A: They have a lot of fun because they get to wear costumes.|
|Q: Do adults wear costumes on that day?||A: Yes, some of them wear costumes to work or to Halloween parties.|
|Q: What is the other thing that kids like so much?||A: They love to go around the neighborhood asking for candy.|
|Q: How long do they usually trick-or-treat?||A: They usually start at 5PM, and they will stop at around 8:30PM.|
|Q: How do they go around the neighborhood?||A: Ordinarily, young children are accompanied by their parents. Older kids usually trick-or-treat in groups with their friends.|
|Q: Do they get a lot of candies?||A: Yes, they usually get lots and lots of candies.|
|Q: How do they hold their candies?||A: They always carry a bag to hold the candies that they get from trick-or- treating.|
|Q: What do they say when people open the door?||A: Before people give them candies, they always yell, “trick-or-treat.”|
|Q: What is the main symbol for Halloween?||A: Pumpkin is the main symbol for Halloween. Indeed, people sell a lot of pumpkins during this holiday.|