Here is the context, a girl comes to Washington D.C. from a small town, a kind neighbor welcomes her and tells her to call her roommate Masha.

Remember to call Masha at work.

I am aware that "at work" means Masha is doing her job at her workplace.

I cannot understand why the new come have to call her roommate at work. Could someone please explain a bit?

The context comes from VOA Learning English.

1 Answer 1


I watched the video you linked. I think an important sentence to explain your question is from Pete.

He says:

Remember to call Marsha at work.
Tell her you're here.

Since Anna is new in town, it's possible that Anna and Marsha have never interacted before. Anna does not have to call Marsha, but it is polite to do so. That is why Pete reminds Anna.

Marsha might not have expected a new roommate; we don't know. It's also possible Marsha is expecting Anna, but did not know when Anna would arrive.

If Anna calls Marsha, Marsha is warned before she comes home that she has a new roommate (Anna), and that Anna arrived safely.

Does this help?

  • The subsequent video tells that Marsha did know that she would have a new roommate. Neither episode tells whether Marsha knew when Anna would arrive, though. I guess it is reasonable to deduce that Marsha had knew that before Anna arrived, since Pete knew that and was waiting to welcome Anna. That's why I didn't figure out why Anna was supposed to call Marsha at work. I thought that would disturb Marsha. Your comprehensive answer get me through this block, namely, a matter of politeness. Thank you, that's very kind of you.
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 14, 2020 at 2:44
  • You're welcome! Good luck!
    – wanderling
    Mar 14, 2020 at 2:52

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