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How to wash your hands in space

(by the Canadian Space Agency)

Level: Medium to High. Language: Prepositions, Phrasal Verbs

This is a video of a man called Chris who is on the International Space Station. Every week, Chris answers questions from school children in Canada.

Task 1: Watch the video once and try to answer the questions below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z2KNDGNnlc

a. What is attached to the bottle of water?



b. Why does Chris describe the water  as "special"?



c. What do astronauts do with the towel when they've finished? Why do they do this?



d. What does Chris compare the space station to?






Task 2: Now look at the sentences below, taken from the video. Try to identify the correct preposition for each gap by using the clues in brackets. If it’s difficult, look at the rules at the end of this worksheet. When you have finished, watch the video again to see if you were correct. The number refers to the approximate time in the video.

0'22 - look closely ____ the camera, you can see this

(collocation: look __ something)

0,33 - I'm going to squirt some water ______   

(where? - you need a preposition of movement)

0,42 - So we have a big ball of water and you put it ____ your hand

(where? - you need a preposition of location)

0,50 - And now I've got water, floating ________  ____ my hand

(what is the movement of the water? where is the water? - you need a preposition of movement and then a presposition of location)

0.52 - And so I wash my hands ____ with that

(phrasal verb meaning to wash clean)

1.05 - And then grab a towel. And then dry them _____

(phrasal verb meaning to dry completely)

1,20 - You squirt it. You float a ball of water ____  ______  ____ yourself (where? you need prepositions to describe location)

1,28 - … so that the evaporated water gets ______  _______ the space station again

(phrasal verb that means to return, then you need a preposition that describes the movement of the water) 

Rules for prepositions

Prepositions are difficult to study. If you're writing a sentence and you don't know which preposition to use, there are some things that you should think about. Which category of preposition do you need?

Preposition of location. These describe where something is - its fixed position. For example - The cat is under the table - My shoes are on the floor - The money is in my pocket.

Preposition of movement. These describe where something is going or how it is moving. For example - The man went into the building - The cat ran across the street - The boy walked down the stairs.

Preposition of time. These describe when. For example - Let's meet at 2 o'clock - I went to Manchester in July - I have a meeting on Wednesday.

Prepositions as part of a phrasal verb. Remember, a phrasal verb consists of one verb followed by one or two prepositions. For example - Get into the car! - Don't forget to put on your jacket - I wake up at 7 o'clock every morning.

Prepositions as part of a collocation. A collocation is two words which usually go together. For example - I'm interested in tennis - The group consists of three members - It depends on the weather.

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Answers:

Task 1 -

a. What is attached to the bottle of water?

A straw ("It is no-rinse body bath and it's a bag with a straw")


b. Why does Chris describe the water  as "special"?

The water contains a small amount of soap. This means that astronauts can wash their hands just with this solution. They don't need a lot of fresh water to wash off the soap.
("It's a special type of slightly soapy water so you don't need to have a bunch of fresh water afterwards")

c. What do astronauts do with the towel when they've finished? Why do they do this?

They leave the towel to dry in the air. This means that the water evaporates into the space station, so it recycles the water in a way.

("...and when you're done, we just tuck our towel somewhere to let it air-dry so that the evaporated water gets back into the space station and we can use that water again")

d. What does Chris compare the space station to?

A boat. Chris says that people on boats wash themselves using a similar method. Presumably, he means that they re-use the water.

("..so it's sort of like, if you were on a sailboat and you needed to take a clean, you'd do it sort of in the same way)

Task 2 -

0'22 - look closely AT the camera, you can see this

(collocation: look AT something)

0,33 - I'm going to squirt some water OUT   

(where?)

0,42 - So we have a big ball of water and you put it ON your hand

(where?)

0,50 - And now I've got water, floating AROUND ON my hand

(what is the movement of the water? IT IS MOVING AROUND

 where is the water? IT IS ON HIS HAND)

0.52 - And so I wash my hands UP with that

(phrasal verb meaning to wash clean: WASH UP)

1.05 - And then grab a towel. And then dry them OFF

(phrasal verb meaning to dry completely)

1,20 - You squirt it. You float a ball of water IN FRONT OF yourself (where?)

1,28 - … so that the evaporated water gets BACK INTO the space station, so we can use that water again.

(phrasal verb meaning to return: GET BACK

preposition that describes the movement of the water: INTO) 

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