B1 Level Learner, Intermediate English, Listening, Pre-Intermediate Level English, Reading, Speaking, Teaching Resource

Our Furry Friends

Hello all!

Did you know there is a way you can take pets on U.S. flights for free?! Yes, it’s true! Get them registered as “Emotional Support Animals” and you can take advantage of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 which basically states that to prohibit an animal that has been registered as an aid to physical or mental impairment is a form of discrimination.


Before we watch the video discuss these questions either with a friend / partner / classmate or your teacher:

If you saw a stranger drowning, and you also saw your pet drowning, and you could only save one, who would you save? What would most people choose? 

Everyone would save a sibling, grandparent or close friend rather than a strange dog. But when people considered their own dog versus people less connected with them — a distant cousin or a hometown stranger — there were a lot more votes in favor of saving the dog. And an astonishing 40% of respondents, including 46% of women, voted to save their dog over a foreign tourist.

Can people be too attached to their pets?

Watch this video from CBS This Morning to see if they can even get a pig to fly!


  • to let something fool you: to trick you
  • paint with a broad brush: to generalise or to say everyone is this way (Idiom)
  • paws: what dog’s feet are called
  • something has gotten out of hand: something has become uncontrolled (Idiom)
  • to misbehave: to act in a bad or inappropriate way
  • to take on a whole new meaning: a new / different interpretation of the words can be made


So what do you think?

Who would you think would be more stressed on a flight – the other passengers, the pet itself or the owner? Why

Is it harmful for a dog / cat / pig to travel in a cabin on an airline under the seat where your carry-on bags go?

If you have a pet do you think you’ll take advantage of this Act?

Grammar & Vocabulary

As you know the English language is awash with (full of) idioms. Here are 3 of the most common that are connected to improbability which we either include in what we say to express something that is impossible or what we might give as a response when someone tells us something that we think is impossible or very unlikely.

Idiom 01:

The day I go sky diving is the day hell freezes over!

Idiom 02:

Person A “Do you think Sofia will give her dog away now she’s moved into a more luxurious apartment?” and person B responds “Yeah, when pigs fly! There is no way she is giving up that dog!” Person B thinks that it is very unlikely that Sofia will give up her dog for the sake of the apartment’s decor.

Idiom 03:

He only goes to the cinema only once in a blue moon. This expression comes from a lunar event (not its colour) that happens about once every two to three years. This expression also pops up in one of our previous posts – check it out

Does Human Blood Really Boil in Space

In English of course we have some more formal ways of expressing improbability such as:

  1. No, probably not.
  2. I don’t suppose my grandmother will repair her bike.
  3. I doubt my brother will ever buy tickets to a Katy Perry concert – he’s so serious!
  4. She is unlikely to return home early this evening, they have a very important deadline to reach tomorrow.
  5. I’d be surprised if he won because he has barely done any training.
  6. It’s unlikely he will find his lost keys, they’ve been missing for over a month now.
  7. He may not have lived in this town. Nobody seems to know him.
  8. She can’t have helped him in his crime as they have never met before.

Try expressing your views on this topic we discussed before using the above idioms and grammar:

Who would you think would be more stressed on a flight – the other passengers, the pet itself or the owner? Why


We’re strongly believe that really immersing yourselves in the English language on a regular basis is the key to success. Today’s homework is to sit back, relax, grab some popcorn and some wine or tea or mate and watch The Terminal with Tom Hanks in English. Based on a true story. I doubt you’ll have any problems finding it as it’s currently on Netflix (this one doesn’t have English subtitles so be brave and watch it without any, I’d be surprised if you didn’t enjoy yourselves!)

As always, we’d love to get your thumbs up or hear from you so don’t forget to ‘like’ this lesson and if you have time, write us a little comment.
All the best!

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