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ask (inf., to ask)

best (adj. superl.)

"Good" is an adjective, "better" is the comparative form (comp.) of the adjective, and "best" is the superlative form (superl.). Consider the following examples: "John is a good sport." (adj.); "Mary is a better sport than John." (comp.); "Pat is the best sport of all." (superl.).

board (noun)

"Board" here refers to "sign" or "billboard" (an object on which to advertise).

board, you (to board)

Another way to express this idea of "boarding a shuttle bus" is "to get into" or "to catch" a shuttle. One usually "climbs" or "gets into" a car (but never "boards" one). A person can also "catch" or "board" a plane.

bus (noun)

"Bus" is often a synonym of "shuttle."

cab (noun)

Another word for "cab" is "taxi."

catch, I (to catch)

cheaper (adj., comp.)

Note the words referring to paying for things in this vocabulary list: "expensive," "cheaper," "cost," "free," and "tip." "Expensive" and "cheaper" are adjectives; "cost" can be a noun or a verb (e.g., "What's the cost?" "It costs too much"). "Free" is an adjective meaning "gratis" or "at no cost."

city (noun)

Words often associated with parts of a city include "city hall," "downtown," "business/ financial/ commercial/ industrial districts" (or "zones"), "residential areas" or "suburbs," a city's "parks," "recreation areas," and "outskirts."

comes by, it (to come by)

cost, it (to cost)

In "How much does it cost?" Remember that you need to use a form of the verb "do" when making a question from a statement that has no helping verb or auxiliary (e.g.: "It costs a lot." - "Does it cost a lot?").

courtesy (noun)

decide, you (to decide)

A useful expression, "to decide to" can be followed by any infinitive, as in "Pete decides to drive to the store." One can also "make" or "make a decision" about something (as in "Pete is making a decision about driving to the store.").

depends, it (to depend)

doors (noun, pl.)

downtown (adj.)

"Downtown" usually refers to the city center. Some larger cities like New York (Manhattan) will differentiate between "downtown" (the lower street numbers) and "uptown" (the higher street numbers).

driver (noun)

faster (adj., comp.)

The three forms of the adjective "fast" are "fast" (adj.) "faster" (comp.) and "fastest" (superl.)

free (adj.)

"Free" in the context of this chapter means "without charge." "Free" also relates to the idea of "liberty," as in the word "freedom."

get to (inf., to get to)

You can ask someone "How do I get to downtown?" or "Can you give me directions to downtown?"

head for, you (to head for)

In the sense of "you go toward." (E.g.: "We're heading for Savannah." "We're going toward Savannah.")

help (inf. to help/noun)

"Help" is used as both a noun in this chapter ("Thank you for your help.") as well as a verb ("May I help you?"). One must use this expression with care, as it means not only to provide transportation from one place to another, but also to hook up or to get together romantically.

idea (noun)

indicates, it (to indicate)

limo (noun)

limousines (noun, pl.)

look (imper., to look)

made (past part., to make)

MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transport Authority)

minutes (noun, pl.)

outside (adv.)

Peachtree Plaza (prop. noun)

pick you up, he will (to pick someone up, fut.)

picked up, you (to pick up, past)

pictures (noun, pl.)

"Pictures" can refer to "drawings," "photographs," and "illustrations."

probably (adv.)

recommend, you (to recommend)

reservations (noun, pl.)

This word may be singular or plural. You can say "I have a reservation for a hotel room," or "I have reservations at the hotel." One can also have certain "reservations" (or "doubts") about doing something.

see, you (to see)

shuttle (noun)

so (adv.)

In the context of this line of dialogue, "so" takes on the meaning of "therefore." "So" is also used as an intensifier (e.g., "so glad"/"so much"), and in other cases as a transition word: "So, what brings you to...? Instead of "so," "well" could also have been used here.

staying (pres. part.)

Notice the use of the present progressive in this lesson's dialogue ("I'm staying at..."). As you learned in Chapter 2, the present progressive uses a form of "to be" plus the present participle ("-ing" ending).

sure (adj.)

take (inf., to take)

thanks (noun, pl.)

tip (inf., to tip)

"Tip" is additional money you give to someone in exchange for a service, such as the money you leave a "waiter" or "hair stylist." A "tip" can also refer to a valuable "piece of information" or "advice."

town (noun)

Other words often associated with "town" include "village," "community," "municipality" and "district."

want, you (to want)

wave (imper., to wave)

Imperative of the verb "to wave." This chapter's dialogue contains some other command or imperative verb forms, which will be discussed at greater length in Chapter 4.

way (noun)

In "What's the best way to get there?" besides meaning "route," "course" or "road," "way" may also refer to "manner," "method," "fashion," or "mode."

what's? (contr., "what is")

A contraction of the interrogative pronoun "what?" and a form of the verb "to be" ("is"). A complete list of the interrogatives appears in the Grammar of this chapter.

when (conj.)

you've (contr., "you have")


You've made it through customs, picked up your bags, and now have some U.S. currency. It's time to go to your hotel. You have reservations at the Peachtree Plaza Hotel in downtown Atlanta. You see a large board with pictures of Atlanta hotels. A sign indicates that a shuttle leaves for downtown every fifteen minutes. There are also taxis, limousines, and MARTA. You're not sure how to get to the city. You decide to ask a public transportation agent.

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