English Listening Lesson 005 ‘A Patient in the Hospital!’

by Melanie on July 19, 2010


[To download, right-click on 'download' > Save link as]

005 A Patient in the Hospital



Last week my parents and I went to visit my aunt in the hospital after she had a stroke.

Pronunciation lesson:

The reduced form of ‘and’

This podcast is for intermediate to advanced English learners. I use core vocabulary to tell you a story about something that happened in my daily life in Canada. Each podcast also includes a pronunciation lesson that explains something I said in the story. You’ll hear the story twice. The first time, the story is a little slower than normal. After the pronunciation lesson, you’ll hear the story again, but at a regular speed. I speak naturally and with a standard American accent.



[I speak with a standard American accent, but sometimes my spelling is British. That's the way we do things in Canada!]

Last week my parents and I went to visit my aunt in the hospital. About 2 ½ weeks ago she had a hemorrhagic stroke. It’s a stroke that occurs when one of the arteries leading to the brain suddenly tears or bursts. She lives by herself, so it was pretty frightening for her. The entire left side of her body was suddenly paralyzed. She immediately called 911 & the ambulance came to her house & took her to the hospital. Her local hospital didn’t have all the necessary equipment to diagnose a stroke, so a couple days later she was transferred to a hospital in a larger city.

I really dislike hospitals. They’re full of sick people and I feel like I’m suddenly going to catch an illness just by setting foot in a hospital. I know it’s crazy but I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels like that.

Being in the hospital has been a horrible experience for my aunt. She is in a room with 2 other stroke patients who are in far worse condition than she is. One lady can’t speak so she just makes noises all day. Another lady is completely paralyzed on the right side of her body. She says terrible things to my aunt like, “I’m praying to God that something bad will happen to you.” To escape her room my aunt sometimes goes to the TV lounge, but once, a strange man tried to hit on her. Can you imagine hitting on someone after they just had a stroke? That’s a bit weird.

My aunt has almost fully recovered from the stroke now. She goes to therapy every day and she has regained the feeling in her left arm and leg. She can walk up and down the stairs by herself and she’s regained her balance. She doesn’t want to be in the hospital anymore and finds it very stressful, but she calmed down while we were there. We sat outside in a park in front of the hospital for the afternoon. We ate lunch, and talked & laughed for 2 hours. She felt much better.

Note: Health care in Canada is provided by the government, specifically the provincial governments [a province is similar to a state in the U.S.]. We have no access to private health care; we have to take what the government provides. When I talk about hospitals, I’m talking specifically about hospitals in my province (Ontario). Hospitals [and health care] may be different in other provinces.



Listen carefully to some groups of words from the story:

my parents and I

2 ½ = two and a half

walk up and down

her left arm and leg


Did you hear the word and in those phrases?

The word and is a conjunction. It’s a function word. It has to be in the sentence for the sentence to be grammatically correct, but it’s not an important word. In spoken English, it’s reduced and pronounced /ən/.

Listen again:
I didn’t say “my parents and I” I said “my parents /ən/ I”
I didn’t say “walk up and down” I said “walk up /ən/ down”

Here are some more examples of the reduced form of ‘and.’ They weren’t in the story, but they are common phrases.

Listen, and repeat after me:

rock and roll / rock’n’roll
boys and girls
night and day
black and white
open and close

Listen to the story again. Can you hear more examples of the reduced and?



How to practice listening
What’s the difference between 911 and 9/11?


Reference Vocabulary:

a hemorrhagic stroke
[My aunt] had a hemorrhagic stroke.
= a condition in which the blood supply to the brain suddenly stops. The victim then loses control of or cannot feel parts of their body.

…a stroke that occurs when one of the arteries leading to the brain suddenly tears or bursts.
= a thin tube in a body that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body

paralyzed [adjective]
The entire left side of her body was suddenly paralyzed.
= unable to feel or move all or part one’s own body
After the stroke, my aunt was (temporarily) paralyzed on the left side of her body.

to set foot in (a place)
I feel like I’m suddenly going to catch an infection just by setting foot in a hospital.
= to enter or to go into a place

stressful [adjective]
She doesn’t want to be in the hospital anymore and finds it very stressful,
= describes something that causes you to feel stressed (something that causes you to feel worried, tense, anxious etc.)


Phrasal Verbs:

hit on someone
To escape her room my aunt sometimes goes to the TV lounge, but once, a strange man tried to hit on her. Can you imagine hitting on someone after they just had a stroke? That’s a bit weird.
= to start talking to someone in order to start a relationship (usually a sexual relationship!), with her/him

calm down
… but she calmed down while we were there.
= begin to feel calm, relaxed, less upset, less emotional, etc.


Core Vocabulary

(What is core vocabulary?)

3*** words
patient [noun]
transfer (to)
sick [adjective]
park [noun]

2** words
stroke [noun]
tear [verb]
burst [verb]

1* words



(What are collocations?)

live by herself (one’s self)
call 911
transfer to
diagnose an illness
catch an illness
set foot in (a place)
in good/bad/serious condition
make noise
pray to God / a god
TV lounge
fully recover
regain feeling
regain balance


Listen to more lessons here!



1 FREE Audiobook RISK-FREE from Audible

Find out why Melanie recommends listening to audiobooks from Audible.com



Thank you so much for sharing this podcast with your fellow English learners! It’s because of you that this podcast is such a success, and I am grateful for your support!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tariq July 20, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Hello Melanie.I hope you aunt will bounce back to good health soon.I have never been a patient in a hospital before ,but I can tell you about the hospitals in my country.They are free as well as the medicines.I hope we won't have to experience that and we will have a good life full of love and joy.Regarding to the lesson today.I would like to thank you and keep up with the good work.


2 Eshan April 19, 2012 at 6:51 am

Hi Mrs Melanie,
Thank you for providing us all these interesting lessons.
I would like to know if you are having a school or classes
Best regards,


Melanie 3 Melanie May 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Hello Eshan,

I’m so sorry to reply so late to your comment. I didn’t receive any notification, so I just found it today!

I do teach private lessons, but unfortunately my schedule is full now & I am not taking on any new students.

= )


4 Samantha April 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Once I spent about 6 hours at the hospital because my stomach ached a lot and it was a bit disgusting because there were a lot of sick people and some of them were crying and I felt like I was going to catch a virus because there were some stretchers stained with blood.
In my country public hospitals are very crowded specially in emergency rooms, they are not comfortable at all and they don’t care quickly.
Public hospitals are well equipped but the problem is that there are few doctors for many patients.


Melanie 5 Melanie May 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Wow, Samantha! That does not sound pleasant at all! In your country, are there any private hospitals? We have no private hospitals at all, so we have to take what the government gives us.


6 Samantha May 9, 2012 at 1:19 am

Yes, in my country there are many private hospitals. I didn’t know that in Canada there are not private hospitals, it’s interesting to know something new.


7 Samantha May 9, 2012 at 1:20 am

By the way, I’m from Mexico.


8 laila May 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm

you are amazing teacher>i love you and thank you soooooooo much for your beautiful videos that helped me and my friends:)


Melanie 9 Melanie May 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Wow! Thank you for your kind words, Laila! Your comment encourages me to keep working hard! = )


10 rovk July 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm

In My Country Indonesia, the government doesn’t provide health care. the people must take care their health themselves. the hospital is just like a commercial place. if you have no money (in other word, poor people) you can not get in the hospital, the hospital will reject you. they will ask the deposit first. i guess you live in a better country then.


Melanie 11 Melanie July 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Hi, Rovk,

That’s a shame. Can people buy health insurance in Indonesia? Are there charitable clinics or hospitals that will provide free health care?

I think it’s important for a country to have two options: a public health care system (provided by the government) for people who cannot afford health care, and a private health care system for people to choose their own health care.


12 Gabriela July 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Here in Slovakia, quality of health care in hospitals is very good, I spent there more time than anybody else would spend in his whole life, but Im still a little scared when I walk into the hospital.

(I know I still make mistakes about articles, Im just consufed here) :D


Melanie 13 Melanie July 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I hope your health is good now, Gabriela! I think everyone is naturally a little scared when they walk into the hospital, especially if they are going in for treatment.

We are both so lucky to live in countries with good quality hospitals (even though I complain about the health care system a lot!).

= )


14 Maria August 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I have been at hospitals< they have done exams to me and ive been there waitng for the results .
In my country their are nice and horrible hospitals, the nica ones are very moderned ,ive been there and you are always well attended but in others , you find terrible things starting with the smell, the neatness, etc.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: