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Test your vocabulary, listening or reading skills with the quizzes below.
Vocabulary Quiz
back up • attention • leash
startles • protect
  1. The sound of my alarm always me in the morning.
  2. When she first moved to an apartment alone, she decided to get a dog to her.
  3. You should bring a pair of shoes in case the first ones get wet.
  4. When you take your dog to the park, you are required to have it on a.
  5. My daughter is at that age where she cries when she wants to get.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
story image

596 Mornings with the Dog

Michael talks about waking up and his dog.

  • Transcript
  • Vocabulary
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview. Learn more here.

back up

I almost never need it, you know what I mean. It's like a back up.

A 'back up' is like a second plan if the first plan fails.  We also use this phrase to describe a replacement for something, like a back up cell phone, meaning one that is not used but we have it as a replacement.  Notice the following:

  1. And if that doesn't work we have a back up plan.
  2. I think I have a back up umbrella in my office.

to get attention

You start to hear her wagging her tail or scratching, or trying to get attention.

If an animal is trying 'to get attention' he wants you to focus on him.  Give him a scratch on the ears or pet him.  Notice the following:

  1. She throws her food on the floor to get attention.
  2. When my cat wants to get attention, she lies on my computer so I can't work.


In some countries or places you need a leash for your dog.

A 'leash' is a heavy rope used to keep a dog in one place or close to you when you are walking.  The leash attaches to a collar which goes around the dog's neck.  Notice the following:

  1. Where is the leash?  I want to take the dog for a walk.
  2. The police officer told me to keep the dog on a leash.


I'm running behind the owner of the dogs and so I might startle the owner, and startle the dogs.

If someone scares you by coming close to you when you don't see them, they 'startle' you.  Notice the following:

  1. He really startled her when she walked into her office and he was sitting at her desk.
  2. I didn't know you were here.  You startled me.


The dogs might be protective and attack me.

To 'protect' someone is to keep him safe from injury or danger.  Notice the following:

  1. We bought a dog to protect the house.
  2. She carried a can of pepper spray to protect herself.


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