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Date: Feb 20 2009

Themes: Travel

Grammar: Phrasal Verbs


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

If your car breaks down and you’re very far from home, all you can do is hope someone will give you a ride.

Trying to get a ride from strangers is called hitchhiking. Some people like to hitchhike and use it as a free way to travel around. They sit on the shoulder with their thumb out and a sign with the name of the city they’re trying to get to.

Other people only do it in emergencies because it can be dangerous. You never know who will pick you up and you could be vulnerable in the car of a stranger.

But hitchhiking can be fun too. You could meet someone really cool or end up with a good story to tell. Listen to Marni and Jason talk about their hitchhiking experiences.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  So, have you ever gone hitchhiking or used hitchhiking as a…

Jason:  I have but only out of necessity. Like, I was on a bike trip and my bike broke down and I had to hitchhike back to civilization to get it fixed.

Marni:  Yeah. I resorted to it once in the same sort of situation where it was like, car ran out of gas. It was totally scary on the highway and a really creepy guy picked me up. Luckily, I was with my boyfriend at the time…

Jason:  Oh OK.

Marni:  ...so I wasn’t alone, but I was freaked out.

Jason:  Yeah.

Marni:  Yeah. But I was just thinking about…I have a friend who’s in the Peace Corps in Malawi right now and that’s how everyone in that country gets around, is hitchhiking.

Jason:  Just all the time?

Marni:  Yeah. So he just hitchhikes all the time.

Jason:  Wow.

Marni:  It’s just, like, how they do it.

Jason:  It’s not that dangerous though because it’s just the commonplace mode of transportation.

Marni:  Exactly. And I was just thinking how fascinating that would be if that was part of our culture, just hitchhiking everywhere.

Jason:  So is every street just full of people thumbing it?

Marni:  I guess. And I don’t even know…it would be interesting. I don’t know how he does it, like if that’s a universal symbol, the whole thumb thing, or maybe there’s some other crazy symbol that they have. Or maybe you just stand.

Jason:  And people stop and pull over.

Marni:  Exactly. It’s like a bus. It would be awesome.


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Both Marni and Jason have only hitchhiked once and only because they had to. But Marni has a friend who is working as a volunteer in Malawi, and she says people there hitchhike all the time.

Have you ever pulled over and picked up a hitchhiker or had to thumb a ride yourself? How common is hitchhiking where you live? How do people go about it?



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I had to hitchike one time when I was very young, therere was so dark and I was afraid to go through the dark park with no single light in it. So thumbed up and I it wasn’t quite safe. I just got off with nothing more than a fright; it’s not a save venture.

08:35 PM Jun 19 2013 |



Russian Federation

I dont know how common is hitchhiking  in my country , but I met some people who travelled such a way for a long time.

As for me,  I had it once,  several years ago,out of necessity, otherwise I would have to go on foot about ten kilometers or even more.

I did not know the place and  it  was late for the bus. So I had to hitchhike, and I felt uneasy about that, but the driver, who picked me up, was nice to deliver me to the place I needed to get.

Now, when I am in another  city, I try to make more elaborate plans of my trips around it not to be in such situation again.

08:29 PM Jun 19 2013 |

1 person likes this

La Princesse de la vie


No, I’ve never done hitchhiking and it’s not safe especially for girls..  Hitchhiking is not common here in Egypt.. 

11:15 PM Aug 10 2012 |

1 person likes this



Hitchhiking is not very recommendable in many latinamerican countries (Dangerous)

02:01 PM Aug 01 2011 |




i used to do it

08:27 AM Jun 08 2011 |



“tnumbing it” is not common scenario in our place and kinda dangerous… you might be even robbed or worst be killed….:(

08:14 AM Jun 08 2011 |



Sounds fun to experience it..

03:00 AM Nov 25 2010 |




hey folks… in INDIA its a talent.Cool.. the guy who knows to hitchhike he can could do what ever he desires,... its just the way of our communication skill and it talks lot about our gestures…

have a nice day….

03:09 PM Dec 13 2009 |



When it happened ,I think the most important thing is the money.i have ever experienced like that.Because fewer people are glad to give you a hand for free.They are afraid to be mistaken by others.

02:22 AM May 20 2009 |




I do not recommend.

03:52 PM Feb 26 2009 |




I think that the gesture to ask a ride is universal in all the countries…Here in Brazil it not different thumb on the side of the road and let's go there!

01:22 PM Feb 26 2009 |




I never needed to ask a ride to someone,but I already gave some rides…Here in Brazil is somewhat complicated to give ride to strangers,it is almost a “shot in the dark”!

01:17 PM Feb 26 2009 |





12:51 PM Feb 26 2009 |




09:23 AM Feb 25 2009 |




hmm i also dont have hitchhike experience. but my younger sister did before. its a horrible story. shes travel to my city and arrrive here airport alittle bite late and she asked his seatmate ( a girl) to take same taxi then they can save half money. but they r bad luck they take a underground taxi .. on the road the taxi driver want  money from them when they said dont want to pay he called his friend to come , the girl afraid and try to  run out  but the man catched her  during this moment my sister decieded to run too… and she was successed. he hitchhike a car (its a company car and there r have some people on it . and they pity hers meet with)

03:04 AM Feb 25 2009 |




01:14 AM Feb 25 2009 |


Hong Kong

when i was young, i tried hitchhiking.  my parents were farmer by that time and the fields were far away from our home, they sometimes had hitchhiking to get to the field.

04:50 AM Feb 24 2009 |



Marnie speaks too fast for me!!!

Hitchiking can be dangerous. I did it when I was young. I remember that it can be fun too.

10:26 PM Feb 23 2009 |



I consider it's danger, it isn't safe.

09:02 PM Feb 23 2009 |


Viet Nam

Have you all seen the movie Hitchhike (i don't remember the name exactly)? It's really horrible and i swear no hitchhiking or picking up hitchhiker. However movie is still on screen, and reality is different. Kindness still exists and hitchhiking is another way to show it.

08:57 AM Feb 23 2009 |

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