23. I used to drive to work every day.




alternative: a different choice

bother: to cause problems

commute: travel to and from work or school

daily: every day

expenses: costs

frustrating: a situation prevents or delays a person from doing something

kill two birds with one stone: This expression is used when a person is able to accomplish two goals with a single action.

nerve-wracking: a situation causes anxiety or nervousness

rush hour: the time during the day when there is a lot of traffic, usually the morning and the late afternoon.

I used to drive to work every day. The commute took almost 35 minutes each way, so the total time in the car amounted to over an hour daily. It never used to bother me until I started to think about how much time and money I spent in travel expenses.

Driving to work was also a daily, nerve-wracking experience. Traffic congestion and construction delays would create unsafe driving conditions. It was also frustrating to drive during rush hour. Heavy traffic in the morning forced me to leave early so that I would not be late for work. Then, on days when it snowed or when there was ice on the highways, I was concerned about losing control of my car and crashing into another vehicle or driving off of the road completely.

So when I changed jobs and found something closer to home, I was happy to learn that I had good alternatives to driving: I could ride my bike to work, I could take the bus, or I could walk.

Now I try to ride my bike or take the bus whenever it’s possible. I also like to walk. It doesn’t matter if it takes an hour to walk to work. An hour of walking counts as an hour of exercise. In this way, I can kill two birds with one stone.

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Now you try it. Read the paragraph above. If you have a microphone, you can record your voice.


How much do you remember from the reading? Fill in the blanks.  

  • 1A: How long did my commute take each day?
  • 1B: It took ________ _________.
  • 2A: What are two good alternatives to driving?
  • 2B: ____________ or ________________ are good alternatives to driving.

(ANSWERS: 1. 35 minutes;  2. Riding a bike….walking)

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