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Learn English meaning of 'penpals'

Date: Oct 03 2016

Themes: Friend, Hobbies, Travel

Grammar: Comparatives and Superlatives


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Do you remember life before the internet? Nowadays, we send messages at lightning speed. We use Facebook to talk to relatives who live far away. We use Instragram and Snapchat to share videos with friends. We can communicate with everyone, all of the time. But life wasn’t always like this.

Before the internet, people sent each other snail mail. They wrote letters on real paper, used real envelopes, and bought real stamps. If they needed to communicate pertinent information, they had to make a phone call. Sometimes, people had a penpal or a friend who lived in another city or country. Now, sending snail mail to a penpal is almost a lost art.

Marni and Andy have different opinions about penpals. Is it worth having a penpal? Listen to this English lesson to find out what they think.


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





Marni:  Andy, I just got the coolest thing in the mail from my penpal overseas in Taiwan!

Andy_H:  Snorefest.

Marni:  What? You don’t… what… what do you have against penpals?

Andy_H:  Um, it’s slow. I’m sorry. Snail mail is really old-fashioned, and I would much rather hear from my friend in India or Mexico today. Like, in several seconds.

Marni:  OK, sure. There’s all kinds of great technology that helps us communicate with people at lightning speed. I get it. I’m a part of that as well. But there’s like a lost art of communicating where you write letters, and you send it, and you wait for that correspondence to come in the mail. It’s just…

Andy_H:  And you have to buy stamps, which keep getting more expensive. And you have to wait and wonder. I mean, what if you actually have something pertinent to tell them? I understand it’s old-fashioned, but there’s a reason it went out of style. We used to do a lot of things that were old-fashioned, and they got replaced.

Marni:  OK, but some traditions are worth keeping around and worth participating in. And I’m still going to engage in handwriting letters.

Andy_H:  Well, I will email you my response to that.


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Not everyone wants to have a penpal. Some people think having a penpal is great, but others don’t agree. It’s not a secret what Andy thinks about penpals. Snorefest! He prefers to communicate with friends at lightning speed. He doesn’t want to buy stamps, and he doesn’t want to wonder if his letter was lost in the mail.

For Marni, having a penpal is worth it. She loves writing letters, sending letters, and getting letters. Because few people have penpals now, Marni says it feels like a lost art. Sure, snail mail can be slow, but it’s fun to get correspondence from a penpal. In fact, her penpal in Taiwan just sent her something really cool. Marni is going to continue writing letters to her penpal, even if Andy thinks it’s old-fashioned.

Do you have a penpal? Where does your penpal live?



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Thesedays people prefer to use internete more to communicate, But It could be amazing receiving letter or postcard from our friend abroad. Once my friend who is staying in Japan tried to send postcard to me, We were wondering how nice it is for experience that We had never done it before. but What a pity I didn’t receive his postcars, n the postcard was returned to his address :D

01:53 PM Dec 08 2016 |




Snail mail is kind of a lost art, but also, I feel it kind of a romance. Nowadyas, I only use email and other social media to communicate with my friends and relatives. It’s fast, convinient and also it can save lots of communication fees. But if I can get a penpals, I would really love to write a real mail on peper and send it to him or her. It would be a great experience.

09:53 AM Dec 08 2016 |



Nowadays you can communicate with the whole world not only in letters. Besides, with a penpal won’t practice spoken language. I write my thesis in English and I do know from an own experience how difficult it is for English second language speakers. By the way penpal have one more meaning: drawing on sand with your fingers.

04:31 PM Dec 05 2016 |


Saudi Arabia

I dont have it in fact the life become fast and everytihng totally changed

06:54 PM Oct 03 2016 |

1 person likes this




No, I don´t have a penpal now. I had when I was younger. Every week or fortnight I wrote my cousine who lives in another country. But there came a day when I found out that my cousines mother has read my letters first. Always. Because of that fact I was really sad and therefore I quit exchange confidences.

04:06 PM Oct 03 2016 |



I don’t have a penpal. Like Andy, I prefer communicate through internet, fast and easy. You don’t have to wonder if your mail is delivered or not, you don’t have to wait for days or weeks. 

04:50 AM Oct 03 2016 |

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