Feb 17 2014
Although they can be hard to find now, once upon a time, circuses were the main event of the summer. Posters of tigers andclowns would tell a town about the arrival of the annual circus months before it arrived. As soon as the circus truck or train rolled in, children would come by to stare at the large tents going up. They couldn’t wait for their turn to buy tickets and see the show. In the olden days, animals had a large role in the circus program. Lions, tigers, elephants, horses, and bears were all part of the show. The modern circus looks a little different, though. Today, humans do most of the entertaining. There aretrapeze artists, clowns, and other performers who try to make the audience happy. The circus has adapted to fit the times, and it’s still an extravaganza! Find out what Jeff is looking forward to this summer in this English lesson about live entertainment.
Jeff: You know how everybody can’t wait for summer for obvious reasons? I can’t wait for summer because every summer, I visit the circus. Lily: Really? They still have circuses? Jeff: Favorite part of summer. I mean, they’re a little different from the olden days. They’ve kind of adapted, still like three ring style circus. Lily: Like with animals and clowns and that sort of thing? Jeff: Yeah, a little bit. Not so much with the animals anymore because people aren’t into how they traditionally treated them. Lily: Yeah. Jeff: But it’s an extravaganza. Annual circus. Lily: So you go to the circus, to this arena, and you watch all of these amazing performers. Fill me in on what the modern parts of the circus are, then. Jeff: One I went to had guys and motorcycles in this cage doing loops and stuff. Lily: What? That’s awesome. Jeff: Yeah, it was pretty cool. I mean, it’s not quite the same as a Cirque du Soleil. That’s kind of the quintessential modern circus. Lily: Yeah. Jeff: I like the more traditional stuff: the trapeze artists, clowns, juggling, unicycles… Lily: You like clowns? Jeff: Oh, they’re great! They are great. Lily: Can I come with you to the circus this summer? Jeff: Sure thing. Lily: Awesome.
Jeff tells Lily he can’t wait for the summer. Instead of looking forward to anobvious activity, like swimming or playing outside, Jeff is totally excited for theannual circus. It’s an event he goes to every year, and he knows this year will be as good as ever. Lily seems surprised that circuses still exist. For her, it’s a form of entertainment from the olden days. She asks Jeff to tell her about what makes the modern circus special. Jeff agrees that things have changed. For example, there are not as many animals involved in circuses today. Instead, people have a bigger role. Jeff tells Lily that trapeze artists and clowns are common at the circus. He’s also seen other performances, such as motorcycles. Lily’s sold on the circus and she asks Jeff if she can go with him this summer. She’s excited to see it for herself. Does Jeff’s description of the circus seem exciting to you? Have you ever visited a circus? What was it like?
There, Their & They’re Talking about the modern circus, Jeff says, “They’re a little different from the olden days.” They’re is a homophone, a word that sounds the same as other words (there and their) but means something different. It can be very confusing to know when to use there, their or they’re. Here are some helpful tips: There is used to tell or show where something is, to refer to a place. For example, “There is a coffee shop down the street,” or, “The grocery store is overthere.” Their is a possessive adjective. Possessive adjectives are used to show ownership, or what belongs to whom. As an example, “The children are wearingtheir boots,” or, “They drink their tea with sugar.” They’re is a contraction of they + are. For example, “They’re going to Paris this summer,” or, “I don’t know if they’re coming with us.” Which is correct, “We’re going to their house tonight,” or, “We’re going to there house tonight”?