Learning to speak English? Our Everyday Conversations help you practice. Click the audio link to hear a native speaker pronounce each word while you read. Key terms are explained at the end. Today’s conversation is about what to do at the playground.

Mother: Jeff, will you take your sisters to the playground today?

Jeff: Sure. Can I bring my skateboard?

Mother: Yes, but you have to wear your helmet.

Jeff: Of course. I’m sure Mia will spend most of the time on the swings.

Mother: Okay, but also ask her to spend a little time playing with her sister on the seesaw.

Jeff: All right. If both of them want to, can they play on the monkey bars?

Mother: Only if they are very careful and you watch them.

Now let’s review the vocabulary

A playground is an outdoor area where children can play. This area usually includes special equipment such as swings, slides and seesaws.

A skateboard is a small board with wheels on the bottom that a person stands on and uses to move across a smooth surface by pushing one foot against the ground.

A helmet is a hard hat worn to protect the head.

A swing is a seat hanging from chains or ropes that moves back and forth and is often used by children.

A seesaw is a long board that is balanced in the middle. Children play on a seesaw by sitting on each end and using their feet to push the seesaw up and down. (A seesaw is also called a teeter-totter.)

Monkey bars are bars in a structure that children can climb and swing on. Children can swing from bar to bar like monkeys in a tree that swing from branch to branch.

Only if: This is used to express a command or a requirement. For example: You can have dessert only if you eat all of your dinner.

The American English website offers a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English-language learners daily.

Everyday Conversations are developed by the State Department’s Heidi Howland, a senior program officer in the Office of English Language Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.