Nov 13 2018


Drip, drip, drip. Do you know that sound?

Water leaking out of a tap is a common problem for people with indoor plumbing. Not only is the sound annoying, but the constant drips can also waste a lot of water!

Not all waste is caused by a broken sink, though. You might not be a model citizen if you take long showers or leave the lukewarm water on until it is perfectly hot or cold. Water should be conserved whenever you can. It’s easier to save water than to recycle it!

Find out what Jeff and Mason think about water in this English lesson.


Jeff: You know what blows me away in this day and age, Mason, is that people waste water. Still. It’s a precious resource. For example, they’ll leave the water running while they brush their teeth.
Mason: Well…
Jeff: You don’t do that, do you?
Mason: It’s not really wasting the water if I’m just getting rid of the water that’s not right. I need really cold water for brushing and rinsing my teeth, and the water that first comes out of the tap? It’s just kind of lukewarm, right? That’s no good.
Jeff: Don’t you realize there are water shortages, droughts? Not even all over the world. In this country.
Mason: Yeah. But they recycle all that stuff, right? Everything that goes down the drain is conserved because we process it, and it just comes back.
Jeff: It doesn’t work like that.
Mason: What?
Jeff: You have a ways to go before you’re a model citizen, my friend.
Mason: That’s the way indoor plumbing totally works. We have municipal bodies, and they give me my water, and they take it back. I know it’s not a perfect system, but, come on, where does it go?
Jeff: Nothing is free, my friend. Nothing. Especially water.


Jeff is unhappy that many people waste water today, even though they know it is important to save water. Mason doesn’t worry about water that much, though. He thinks that running water until it’s perfectly cold is OK.

Mason trusts the local government to take care of his water, so he doesn’t really pay attention to how much he uses. Jeff thinks Mason should care more about the places where there is not enough water.

It may be easy to turn on the kitchen tap and fill a drinking glass, but nothing is free.

Do you try to save water? Is it more important to conserve it or to have the perfect temperature of water? How expensive is water where you live?

Grammar Point

Passive Voice

Mason says, “Everything that goes down the drain is conserved.” It’s unclear who is conserving the water (or how), so Mason uses the passive voice to explain his thought.

Passive voice is normally formed with the verb be + past participle, as in, “The exam was cancelled.” However, the passive voice can be formed with any tense of the verb be, such as, “Money is saved by eating at home,” or, “The beds are being made at the moment.” Passive voice emphasizes the person or thing an action was done to, not the one who did the action.

Which is correct, “The boy kicked the ball,” or, “The ball was kicked”?


  1. Which activity wastes water?

  2. Mason likes to brush his teeth with __ water.

  3. Which word does not belong?

  4. Finish the sentence in passive voice. “The cup of water was __.”

See the full English lesson at English, baby!