Good neighbours

    Two doors
    © okeyphotos/iStockphotos
    Von Dagmar Taylor

    1. What happened?

    Eric finds his elderlyälterelderly neighbour, Maggie, lying on the pavement (UK)Bürgersteigpavement outside her house.

    Eric: Maggie, are you all right? What happened?
    Maggie: I slipped on the ice. I just wanted to pop to the shop and get some milk for my tea.
    Eric: And I was just on my way round to put some gritSplitt, Streusandgrit on the pavement. Have you hurt yourself? Do you think you can get up? Let me help you.
    Maggie: (to groanstöhnengroans) Oh, my side hurts.
    Eric: OK, don’t move. I think we should call for an ambulance. Here, take my coat — it’ll keep you warm. Don’t worry, I’ll stay with you.
    Maggie: I’m sorry, Eric. You prob­ably need to get to work.
    I don’t want to put you to any trouble.
    Eric: Now, don’t you worry about that. I’ve got a day off today.


    • If you pop (UK ifml.) somewhere, you go there.

    • If someone is on their way round (UK), they are going to visit a person or place that is nearby.

    • You get up after sitting or lying.

    • You can say I don’t want to put you to any trouble if you feel embarrassedverlegenembarrassed that you have put someone out or created work for him or her.

    • A day on which you don’t have to do something, such as work, is a day off.

    2. Happy to help

    Maggie’s daughter, Jean, calls Eric.

    : Hello, Eric? This is Jean.
    Eric: Oh, hello, Jean. How’s your mum?
    Jean: She’s fine now, thanks. Nothing’s broken, thank goodness. But her ribRipperibs are quite badly bruisedgeprelltbruised on one side.
    Eric: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Will she have to stay in hospital?
    Jean: They’re going to keep her in tonight for observation, but
    they’ll let her out tomorrow. I’m going to take her to stay with me for a few days until she feels stronger.
    Eric: Yes, that’s probably for the best. We can take care of the cat.
    Jean: Oh, I’d forgotten all about the cat. Would you mind?
    Eric: Not at all — we’re happy to help.
    Jean: And Eric, thanks again for helping my mum this morning.


    • I’m sorry to hear that is another way of expressing sympathy.
    • When a hospital keeps someone in for observation, doctors want to make sure the patient is healthy before
      releasing them.
    • For the best is used to say that, although something appears bad now, it will be good in the end.
    • Would you mind (+ -ing)? is used to ask whether  someone would be willing to do something for you.
    • Not at all is a good response to a question beginning with “Would you mind...?”


    Related exercise

    Explore the topic further by following this link:

    Exercise: Good neighbours

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