(Beginner English Learners: Definitions for Going to a Carnival and for This Lesson Are Inside this Blog Post.)
Hi English Language Lover,
So, you and your date are going to a carnival, but you’ve never been to one before and don’t know what to expect. Well, you will only need to worry if you didn’t prepare, and today, I will help you to prepare for your date. You will also learn nine carnival vocabulary words that will help you to talk to your date and to know the names of things at the carnival. Let’s start!
What to Expect
Carnivals are usually very crowded, so if you don’t want to be in a crowd, you should plan to go early in the morning when there are fewer people. Some carnivals don’t open until the evening or at night, so going early may not be possible for some people.
There may be a long line to get to the restroom, and since most carnivals use portable toilets, your restroom break may feel unusual. If you can use the restroom before heading to the carnival, you should. Also, remember to lock the portable toilet door once you are inside because if you don’t, someone may open your door by accident.
If you really want to enjoy yourself at the carnival, you and your date should expect to spend at least $30 to $40 each, because things will be very expensive. A small drink may be $4, a carnival ride could be $2 to $3 each, and playing games may cost a dollar or more per round.
The Ticket Booth
Every Carnival will have a ticket booth or a place to purchase tokens. Tickets and tokens are the carnival’s currency used to play games or to get on rides. You may even need tickets or tokens to buy food and drinks (you should ask a carnival worker about this because all carnivals are different). At the ticket booth, you will exchange your American dollars for carnival currency. Most carnivals do not offer refunds for tickets or tokens, so only buy as many as you think you will need.
Concession stands are the small buildings located throughout the carnival that sell food and drinks. Most carnivals sell fast food items such as hamburgers, popcorn, and slushy drinks. These are great foods to have if you are hungry and only want something to eat, but they could be boring to eat at a carnival. Carnivals also have a lot of foods that may be difficult to find somewhere else. It would be bad to leave the carnival before tasting at least one new food! Let’s talk about some of those foods now.
Candy Apples – This is a food commonly found at carnivals. Also known as Caramel Apples, Candy Apples are apples dipped in a caramel or chocolate coating. A stick is placed in the center of the apple. Some Candy Apples are decorated with toppings. Toppings are things like sprinkles, pecans, pieces of chocolate, or other small foods that are meant to go on top of a larger food.
Funnel Cakes – This is another popular food at carnivals. A funnel cake is a large dessert that looks like a pancake and a donut combined. Funnel cakes are usually served with a topping of powder sugar, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or whipped cream. It is hard to explain the taste of a funnel cake other than to say; they taste perfectly wonderful.
Cotton Candy – You may have tried this snack before since some grocery stores sell this. Cotton candy is a colorful candy made of colored sugar. It looks like the cotton that you would place inside of a soft toy, but you can eat it. Cotton candy at the carnival isn’t cheap, but the good news is, you will get to see the candy made in front of you. A really talented carnival worker may even be able to shape the cotton candy for you into a beautiful animal.
Snow Cones – A snow cone is made of ice and flavored syrup. Every carnival will be different, but you may be able to choose from 10 or more flavors. I think my favorite snow cone flavor is banana. You should try it too!
Carnival Games and Rides
Bumper Cars – Usually, when driving in a car, you should try to avoid hitting other cars. In this game, it is the opposite – the point of the game is to hit other cars. But don’t worry, it’s safe! The cars have a thick rubber padding all around them that keep the cars from crashing. Yet, if another car hits your car, it will cause your car to jerk.
Guess My ‘……….’ – In these games, a game attendant will guess your age, your weight, or your month of birth. If you win, it means the attendant was not able to guess the correct number or month – there is usually a prize given to the winner. If the game attendant wins, it means he or she made a correct guess.
Whack-a-Mole – In this game, players have to hit a toy animal that pops up randomly. If you hit it on the head enough times, you win the game. It is a very fast game, so it may not be as easy as you think.
Goldfish Catching – This would be called an ‘attraction’ more than a game. You simply catch a goldfish swimming in a large container of water. Most times, you get to take the goldfish home with you.
If you study these words, it will be easier for you and your date to communicate at the carnival. These words will also help you to speak to the carnival workers. In English, some words will have more than one meaning, so these words may mean different things when not speaking about things at the carnival.
- Prize – the item a person receives if he or she wins a game
- Station – a small building in the carnival that is set up for a particular event or service (also may be called a ‘booth’ or a ‘kiosk’)
- Station Attendant – a person that works at a certain station
- Kiosk – a small building in the carnival that is set up for a particular event or service
- Photo Booth – a room where people can take pictures (or have their pictures taken for them)
- Parking Lot – the area near the carnival where people place their cars
- First Aid Kit – a small box with bandages, scar cream, or disinfectant to care for small cuts/bruises of customers at the carnival
- Lost and Found – When people find lost items at the carnival, they leave them at this location; if you lose something at the carnival – ask a worker to lead you to the ‘lost and found.’
- Attraction – another word used to speak of an event or game at the carnival (because it is less specific, it could mean either an event or a game when speaking of an ‘attraction’)
Here are a few vocabulary words for beginners who read this blog post. Please remember that in English, some words may have more than one meaning. These definitions will only apply to how the words were used in this blog post.
- Date (noun) – This word has several meanings. It could mean date as in a ‘calendar day.’ It could mean the ‘lover’ you are about to go somewhere with. It could mean the ‘place’ you and your lover have fun at.
- Expect (verb) – to strongly think something will happen
- Prepare (verb) – to get ready
- Crowded(adjective) – to have a lot of people in one place
- Crowd (noun) – a lot of people
- Portable (adjective) – easy to carry and to take places
- ‘heading to’ (phrasal verb) – going to
- Accident (noun) – mistake
- Ride (noun) – a moving machine that people get insidefor entertainment purposes
- Round (noun) – when a player or players finish taking a turn
- Currency (noun) – money
- Exchange (verb) – to trade
- Refund (verb) – to give money back to someone
- Dipped (verb) – A past tense form of ‘’ To place an object into something else, and to then take the object out.
- Decorated (verb) – A past tense form of ‘decorate.’ To make something more beautiful by adding pretty things to it.
- Talented (adjective) – to be very good at doing something
- Flavored (verb) – A past tense form of ‘flavor.’ To make something taste a certain wayby adding herbs, sugar, or seasonings.
- Flavor (noun) – a certain taste (it can be any taste)
- Avoid (verb) – to go the opposite way
- Rubber Padding (noun) – something that makes a hit feel less hard
- Jerk (verb) – to jump or to suddenly move
- Guess (verb) – to try to find an answer based on what one thinks rather than what knows
- Randomly (adverb) – something that happens at any time
- Container (noun) – something that holds liquid, solid, or gas objects
- Communicate (verb) – to talk