Everyday English Conversations Practice : Lesson 16 – At the Post Office

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POSTAL CLERK:

What can I do for you today?

 

CAROL:

I need to mail this package to New York, please.

 

POSTAL CLERK:

OK, let’s see how much it weighs … it’s about five pounds. If you send it express, it will get there tomorrow. Or you can send it priority and it will get there by Saturday.

 

CAROL:

Saturday is fine. How much will that be?

 

POSTAL CLERK:

$11.35 [eleven thirty-five]. Do you need anything else?

 

CAROL:

Oh, yeah! I almost forgot. I need a book of stamps, too.

 

POSTAL CLERK:

OK, your total comes to $20.35
[twenty dollars and thirty-five cents].

 

LANGUAGE NOTES

  • What can I do for you today? Notice that this question starts with “What,” so the
    intonation drops at the end of the question.
  • Or you can send it priority … Notice the stress on “or,” which emphasizes that there is
    another possibility.
  • $11.35 … $20.35 Notice the two different ways the postal clerk says the price. First he
    says eleven thirty-five (without the words dollars and cents), then he says twenty dollars
    and thirty-five cents.
  • Oh, yeah! is an expression used here to mean “I just remembered something.” It’s often
    followed by “I almost forgot.”
  •  Your total comes to … is a way of saying “the cost is ….”

Souce: Embassy of the United States of America


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