This series of Everyday Conversations is about a family traveling to each of the 50 states in the U.S. Join the family members as they learn about local pastimes and history. These conversations are for intermediate-level English-language learners or higher.

In this conversation, the family talks about what they will do in New York City.


Claudine: I can’t believe we’re in New York City! What are we going to do first?

Gina: There’s so much to do in New York City, and we don’t have that much time. It’s too bad we won’t have time to see the rest of the state. The state of New York is quite large.

Paul: Let’s make the most of our stay here. And next time we can see the rest of the state. There’s plenty to do in the five boroughs.

Sam: Okay, so where should we go first? I know we’re going to a Broadway show tonight, but what should we do before then?

Gina: I’d like to go to some of the museums. We’ll go to the Met tomorrow. It’s so extensive that we’ll probably spend the whole day there.

Paul: Let’s take a ferry to Liberty Island and see the Statue of Liberty. We’ll also get a great view of the Manhattan skyline from the island.

Now let’s review the vocabulary.

The phrase can’t believe is used for emphasis to express surprise, shock or excitement at something that is true.

To make the most of something means to enjoy or use something as much as possible to get the best result or experience.

New York City has five boroughs.The boroughs are different areas in the city. Together, they make up the entirety of New York City. The five boroughs are Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Broadway refers to performances at 40 different theaters in the Theater District and Lincoln Center located on a street — named Broadway — in New York City. A Broadway show is a theatrical performance at one of these theaters.

The Met is short for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is the largest art museum in the United States.

Extensive means covering a large area, or large in size or amount.

A ferry (or ferryboat) is a boat that transports people, vehicles and things for a short distance between two places.

Liberty Island is an island near Manhattan. It is home to the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from France. It is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.

Manhattan (or Manhattan Island) is one of the five boroughs of New York City.

A skyline is the outline of tall buildings, mountains or other things, seen against the sky.

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. The American English for Educators Facebook page posts teaching materials for English-language teachers 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.

Learn more about planning a trip to the U.S. and applying for a tourist visa.