Everyday English Conversations Practice : Lesson 20 – How Old Are You?

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PATTY:

I’m really excited for Aunt Mary’s surprise birthday party
this afternoon! Aren’t you?

 

SUSAN:

Yeah! How old is she?

 

PATTY

She’ll be 55 on May 14 [fourteenth].

 

SUSAN:

Wow! I didn’t know that my mom was older — she’s going
to be 57 on September 2 [second]. Anyway, Aunt Mary’s
going to be so surprised to see us all here!

 

PATTY

I know! But we still have to get all the food set up before
she gets here … OK! We’re all ready now. Shh! She’s here!

 

ALL:

Surprise!

 

LANGUAGE NOTES

  • I’m really excited … Notice the emphasis on “really.” “Really” is used to emphasize the
    adjective “excited” here.
  • Birthday party Notice that the normal stress for a compound noun falls on the first
    element of the compound.
  • Aren’t you? This negative tag is used to show that the speaker expects a positive
    answer. Patty assumes that Susan is also looking forward to the party.
  • She’ll be 55 Notice that “55” is stressed here. This detail answers the question “How
    old is she?”
  • Fourteenth Notice that we use “th” for ordinal numbers, starting with 4 [but first,
    second and third]. The stress is on the second syllable [fourTEENTH]. Compare this with
    “fortieth: 40th” [FORtieth].
  • She’s going to be … Notice how this is pronounced like “gonna be.” Instead of four
    syllables “go/ing/to/be” there are three syllables “ga/na/be.”

Souce: Embassy of the United States of America


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