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].
• 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 ….”