Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Cell Phone Interruptions

Cell Phone Interruptions English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Mar 30 2007

Themes: Friend, Tech


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

These days, everyone has a cell phone. They are so common that we often forget how recently they became a part of our lives. Less than ten years ago, hardly anyone had a cell phone.

As cell phones are now everywhere, we have grown accustomed to hearing other people’s conversations in any public place, from the bus to the grocery store. And cell phones ring during movies and concerts. There is currently a debate going on about whether cell phones can used on airplanes.

The phone is now also a potential interruption to our time with friends and family. Watch what happens when Mason gets a cell phone call while he’s talking to Marni.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

Log in to Listen

2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  So I was just hanging out in San Francisco the other weekend…

Mason:  I love San Francisco…

Marni:  I know.

Mason:  ...Are you kidding me?

Marni:  What a great town.

Mason:  I mean, if it wasn’t so expensive…

Marni:  Oh, I know.

Mason:  I’d totally be there, like, right now, um…

Marni:  Me too. Exactly. God, and I was just thinking, you know, there’s so many things to do and I didn’t get to do nearly as much as I wanted to and…

Mason:  Did you hit up the… oh, hold on. Hello? Yeah, hey, how’s it going? No, no I mean, I’m kinda busy tonight. I don’t think I can… Really? Man, it sounds pretty cool. I don’t… let me… I’ll call you back. Alright. OK. Bye. I’m… sorry. What were you saying?

Marni:  You know, I just have to say, I, I’m sorry. I hate it when people do that. I think that is so rude. When we’re having a conversation and your phone rings and you just, you know… you’re so involved in your conversation and your insular little world that I’m left hanging.

Mason:  Yeah? I mean…

Marni:  I think it’s rude.

Mason:  I’m sorry. Like, I mean, don’t you… When people call you don’t you feel like, I don’t know, it could be something important, I should at least check.

Marni:  I actually, uh, don’t have a cell phone.



Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!


Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

Go to the TOEFL® page >


Mason and Marni are enjoying a casual chat when Mason’s cell phone rings. He immediately takes the call and talks to his friend while Marni waits for him to finish.

When Mason hangs up, Marni is obviously annoyed.

Mason and Marni represent two different views about how to handle a cell phone call in a social situation. In the US, if you need to answer your phone while you are talking to someone, it is best to ask the person you are talking to if it is OK, and excuse yourself. Everyone has different expectations, so be as considerate as possible.

What do people do in your country when their cell phone rings? Do they always answer it?

Click here for another English lesson about cell phones

Click here for an English lesson aobut buying a cell phone



Log in to Comment




Yeah well İ have to agree with Marni’s Opinion about stupid cellphone.İn other hand Mason’s view is reasonable too…But at least he was supposed to ask that if it is ok..

09:39 PM Jun 07 2015 |



United Kingdom

I wanna learn English :’(

03:48 AM Jan 23 2013 |



hi, Iam Aysel. I am from Azerbaijan. I want to learn English

01:13 PM Dec 17 2012 |




People will have different ways of handling a mobile phone call in a social situation. There are those who apologise and take the call, those who will just use the ‘hold on’ phrase and leave you hanging and those who´ll set their mobiles on silent mode and keep talking to you. I normally ask the person I´m talking to if it is ok to answer the phone or I´ll set my mobile on silent mode.

09:10 AM Apr 27 2012 |



yes actually when i have aconversation with people they already answer ,,of course i get upset but i think it might be something important

12:25 PM Jan 31 2012 |



im totaly agree with mason ,it could be somthing important

10:00 PM Jan 25 2012 |



YOU r absolutely right,ten years ago,really it’s tough to find the cell phone anywhere,i remember at that time i just have BP machine,and you know ,i m the fist one who have the BP machine in my clas,every time,if some one call me ,i can see the number from my bp machine,then i will call back asap,at that time i feel very happy,because i can standy if someone want find me,but as you can see,ten years later,almost everyone have cell phone,can pick up the phone directly for conversations,i think couple aspects here,convenient and not convenient,if sometime you want to get some info in time,maybe u want someone call u anytime,but most of the rest time,you r definitely don’t like someone call u when you r free time and without work,let’s image,sometime you r in your vacation,someone find u and you have to give up your vacation and back work,really not good for that, sometime in the midnight,you r in the deep sleep ,suddently the phone rings,you have to pick up the phone,really so annoying,so some time i just hope i have not cell phone never,no one can find me when i want keep quiet.i hate some calling me at midnight and my off dute time.

05:44 AM Oct 27 2011 |



I want to study English well.

07:57 AM Oct 26 2011 |



I don't actually have cell phone but I have gone through a lot like when I am having a conversation with others, there is a ring coming in and they do answer it and that could be something important and for me I feel like it's not that trouble to me. If you don't mind it don't matter huh? 

08:49 AM Mar 17 2010 |




01:20 PM Jan 14 2010 |




A little hard

06:43 PM Jul 25 2008 |

muddasar rasheed


i am agree with mason we should at least check

03:04 PM May 01 2007 |




ı agree with marni ıt is rude behaviour when u have a conversation,becouse somebody waiting u to go on conversation.despite this,there can be something important on the phone:)

08:14 AM Apr 27 2007 |

1 person likes this



South Korea

I hate people talking on the cell in the public esp subway so loudly that I could hear whatever they’re saying, which I simly didn’t wanna know.

10:28 PM Apr 10 2007 |

1 person likes this



the girl point of view is sooo true! I hate cell phones….the first question is always: Where r u? omg….i am not a house maid!

02:20 AM Apr 02 2007 |




cell phone is a good thing when you need not to spend your freetime with it

02:36 PM Apr 01 2007 |




the cellpohine has familiar problem which we can call interruption.you can see many places whic not suiteble has been ringing. ):
some it may risk your self during driving cars.

06:42 AM Apr 01 2007 |



Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

please please hepe us and speak slowly please

06:27 AM Apr 01 2007 |




its long-time radiation is really dangerous.

05:42 PM Mar 31 2007 |




Marni most live in her “little insular” prehistoric world, hehe ;-)

10:40 AM Mar 31 2007 |

Likes (189):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast