Views #422 | Low-Intermediate 4

Canada and the U.S.

Mike compares Canada and the U.S. from a Canadian's perspective.

Todd: Now, Mike, you're from Canada but you lived in America for a good period of time.

Mike: Right!

Todd: How would you compare the two counties?

Mike: Well, the most obvious difference is Canada is a lot colder, I think than the United States in general, that's cause were north of the U.S., but culturally, I think that the US has a lot, many more culturally different areas within the country than Canada does. Canada as a culture, even though it's different from east to west, for people in Atlantic Canada are quite different from, let's say, Ontario, or Quebec, different from the West Coast. In the U.S., there are many more of those cultural pockets like New York for example is very different from Florida, which is very different from Louisiana, or Georgia, which is very different from Texas of course and all of those are very different from California and all of those, again, are very different from the North West part of the U.S., Seattle and that area, so the U.S. has many, many more sort of culturally diverse areas, very, unique, and that's one, I think one significant difference between Canada and the U.S. Another difference is, Canada is obviously, one thing that many tourists point to, is a reason for going to Canada, Canada is safer than the U.S. Again, I think partly cause of gun laws and things like that, but just in general, I think the history of Canada sort of is a lot more, is a lot less, I guess, it was a lot less, there was no revolution really in Canada and there was in the U.S. so I mean I think the roots are a little bit less, more subdued, I'd say, so that makes a difference culturally. However, I think that because Canada is more safe, it's also more boring than the U.S., so the U.S., it’s maybe a little bit riskier but it's a lot more fun. Canada is safer but, again, more boring.

Todd: That's interesting, I mean, I don't know. I haven't been to Canada but I would like to go.

Mike: Definitely come up and visit and you'll know why you enjoy the States so much.

Todd: I'm not so sure about that. All right, thanks, Mike.

Mike: Sure.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!


The most obvious difference is that Canada is a lot colder than the United States.

If something is 'obvious' it is easy to see or understand without a lot of effort. It is something that is noticeable. Notice the following:

  1. There was a small sign next to the road, but it wasn't that obvious.
  2. It's very obvious that you aren't interested in what I'm saying.

cultural pockets

In the U.S., there are many more of those cultural pockets.

A 'cultural pocket' is an area where a group of people from one particular culture live in a community. Notice the following:

  1. Why would a cultural pocket of Puerto Ricans form in a place that is so cold?
  2. There are cultural pockets in the United States where you feel like you are almost in a different country.


The U.S. has many, many more sort of culturally diverse areas.

If a place has people who come from all different countries or cultural and religious backgrounds it is considered to be 'diverse.' Notice the following:

  1. One of the cool things about living in a big city is that the people are very diverse.
  2. The student population at my university is very diverse.

significant difference

I think diversity is one significant difference between Canada and the U.S.

A 'significant difference' is a different that is very big or important. Notice the following:

  1. The most significance difference about my life here is that I don't drive anywhere.
  2. The only significant difference between Sara and her twin is that one is a little taller.

point to

One thing that many tourists point to as a reason for going to Canada is that it's safer than in the U.S.

Used like this, 'point to' means the same as 'refer to.' The meaning of the sentence is that the reason that tourists give for going to Canada is that it's safer than the U.S. Notice the following:

  1. All of the evidence points to the fact that we are looking for at least 3 criminals in the bank robbery.
  2. She points to her desire to have a safe home for her family as a reason for moving out of the city.

roots or subdued

I think the roots in Canada are a little bit less and subdued.

'Roots,' in this sense, are cultural traditions or feeling of belonging or wanting to stay in a place. When something is 'subdued' it exists, but not in as strong or obvious a way as in other places. Notice the following:

  1. She put down very strong roots during only a few months in Asia.
  2. My dog is a lot more subdued now that he is older. He was wild as a puppy.

Vocabulary Quiz

obvious • pocket • significant • diverse
point • subdued • roots
  1. Our goal as a university is to create a environment for our students.
  2. The solution to this problem is pretty .
  3. There is a large of foreigners that live in this neighborhood.
  4. He was very after his surgery because of all the medication the put him on.
  5. All of these things to the fact that it is time for me to make a big change in my life.
  6. There is no real difference between the two computers.
  7. Although she has lived in England her whole life, she still feels strong in her birth country.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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