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Vocabulary Quiz
peninsula • suspension • atop
nozzle • round • skyscraper
  1. bridges are very popular in places with a lot of mountains.
  2. When this building was first built, it was the tallest in the city.
  3. My cat likes to sit that shelf and look out the window.
  4. That mountain has snow almost year .
  5. You should change the setting on the of that hose so it isn't so strong.
  6. The land on this is very expensive, because it has a great view.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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412 San Francisco
Todd talks about San Francisco.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.


The city is on a peninsula so it is surrounded by water.

A 'peninsula' is a long, thin piece of land that is surrounded by water on all sides except the small area where it's connected to the mainland. Notice the following:

  1. The people on the peninsula are very different from people on the mainland.
  2. There is a beautiful view from the tip of the peninsula.

suspension bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world.

On a 'suspension bridge' the part of the bridge where you drive is hanging by cables from the main bridge posts. Notice the following:

  1. The government is building a suspension bridge so people can walk across the river.
  2. Suspension bridges work well in places that have earthquakes.

sits atop, sits on

The Colt Tower sits atop Telegraph Hill, and Alcatraz sits on an island in San Francisco Bay.

We can use 'sits atop' in the same way we use 'sits on top of.' It is used to talk about a location that has an elevation or something that is located at a high place. If we just say 'sits on' it means that the location is on top of something, but not necessarily at a higher elevation. Notice the following:

  1. The whole modern city of Mexico City sits atop the ancient Aztec city.
  2. A big statue sits atop a hill to the west of the city.


The tower was designed to look like a fire hose nozzle in memory to the firemen who battled the Great San Francisco fire.
A 'nozzle' is something that is used to spray water. It is usually found at the end of a hose or plastic spray bottle for cleaning supplies. Notice the following:

  1. The nozzle on that bottle is broken.
  2. This nozzle has many different settings, so it's great for watering the garden.

year round

Alcatraz is no longer in use but is open for tourists year round.

Something that is open 'year round' doesn't close during a particular season. It is open all the time. Notice the following:

  1. Our gym has a beautiful pool for people that like to swim year round.
  2. Most of these players play soccer year round.


San Francisco has many skyscrapers, the most famous of which is the Transamerica Building.

'Skyscrapers' are very tall buildings that are found in the city. They have many floors and are usually used for offices or apartments. Notice the following:

  1. The city looks beautiful at night when all the skyscrapers are lit up.
  2. Saigon has millions of people living there, but there are almost no skyscrapers.