Summer Jam

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What makes a perfect summer jam? It has to be a catchy, upbeat song. It should have the feeling of a carefree, sun-filled day. It should make you want to dance. And you’ll know it’s the hit of the summer when you can’t help but hear it every time you turn on your radio.

So what is this summer’s big hit? Is it “Alejandro” by Lady Gaga? Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”? Hear Jason and Devan’s nominees for this year’s song of the summer. Then add your own.

Jason: Well, it’s officially summer.
Devan:  It is. I’m packing up all my sweaters and jackets and putting away all my depressing, sad music and busting out the pop records.
Jason:  Yeah. Do you know what the song of the summer is going to be?
Devan:  There’s a few songs that so far have a lot of potential to be good summer songs, but I don’t know if they’re going to be the summer song.
Jason:  What was last year’s for you?
Devan:  Oh man, I can’t even remember that far back. Do you remember?
Jason:  LCD Soundsystem.
Devan:  Oh yeah, “All My Friends,” that was definitely the jam of the summer. But it’s always gotta be something that’s upbeat, you know, that creates like a happy mood when you listen to it, because in the winter you spend all winter being cold and gloomy and listening to some sad Elliott Smith or something, but once the weather gets warm I need something that I can just like kick back and kinda like listen to and…
Jason:  Yeah, it’s a balance, the summery song, because you need to be able to kick back to it, but you also need to be able to be energized by it and want to go ride your bike and play sports outdoors and stuff like that.
Devan:  Yeah, it’s gotta have a positive mood, for sure.

Now that it is summer, Jason and Devan are ready for some summer tunes. Songs of the summer are usually upbeat and catchy. They put you in a happy mood and make you feel both energized and relaxed.

Neither Jason nor Devan is sure what this year’s big summer hit is. Jason thinks that last year’s summer jam was “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem. Devan agrees that that was a perfect summer song.

What do you think the song of the summer is this year? Do you prefer listening to catchy, upbeat songs or sad songs?

Grammar Point
Be Able to
Jason thinks that you should be able to relax while listening to the perfect summer song. But you should also be able to feel energized.

To be able to do something means to have the ability to do it. Be able to is sometimes used in place of can or could. Instead of, “I can’t go,” you might say, “I am not able to go.”

You can use be able to in any tense. Just change the tense of the verb be. You can say, “I was able to go dancing last night,” or, “You won’t be able to get this song out of your head.”

Which is correct, “I wasn’t able to take a vacation this summer” or “I wasn’t be able to take a vacation this summer”?

❶ During the winter, Devan listens to _ music.

  •  upbeat
  •  catchy
  •  romantic
  •  depressing ✓

❷ Songs of the summer should make you want to __.

  •  sleep
  •  stay home
  •  spend time outside ✓
  •  turn off the radio

❸ Did you __ the dishes yet?

  •  put away ✓
  •  put off
  •  put on
  •  put in

❹ __ you be able to come to my party next Saturday?

  •  Will ✓
  •  Were
  •  Was
  •  Are

❺ If you lose weight, you __ to play more sports.

  •  were able
  •  will able
  •  be able
  •  will be able ✓