JOYCE: Should we take a taxi or a bus to the mall?
BILL: Let’s take a bus. It’s impossible to get a taxi during rush hour.
JOYCE: Isn’t that a bus stop over there?
BILL: Yes … Oh! There’s a bus now. We’ll have to run to catch it.
JOYCE: Oh, no! We just missed it
BILL: No problem. There’ll be another one in 10 minutes.
• Should we … or …? Is a way of asking “Which is better?” “Should” is used to ask for an opinion. Note that we do not say “Will” here.
• Take a taxi or a bus? The word “or” signals a choice here. Notice the rising intonation on taxi (the first choice) and falling intonation on bus (the second choice).
• Let’s (Let us) means “I think we should do this.”
• Rush hour is the time of day when most people are going to or from work. In most American cities, rush hour is from about 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. and from about 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Notice that “rush hour” is a compound noun, with the main stress on the first word.
• Isn’t that This is a negative question. The speaker expects an affirmative answer. It is used to check information.
• Bus stop is a compound noun, with the main stress on the first word.
• Oh! is an exclamation used to express alarm or surprise.
• Oh, no! is an expression used to express disappointment.
• We just missed it here means “We arrived a moment too late to get the bus.” Notice the emphasis on “just” to show the very recent past.
• No problem here means “It doesn’t matter.”