Beginning Conversation

CONVERSATION #1: On Shopping
Here is a typical conversation about shopping in the United States. Jim is an international student who has just arrived from Shanghai, and Anna and Will are introducing him to the shopping scenario in America.  Source.

Anna: As I was telling you, Jim, where you shop depends largely on what you need. So, if you want to buy an answering machine or a CD-player,your best bet would probably be an appliance store such as Radio Shack.

Will: Yup! Or Circuit City. I like Best Buy the best, though.

Jim: Why?

Will: Coz they usually have the best deals. They have sales on their TVs and CD-players every once in a while.

Anna: Hum. I’ll bet they send you their glossy ads loaded with so-called “SALES”!

Jim: (laughs)

Anna: Well, I still think the CD-player I bought from them was a rip off.

Will: I’ll admit some of their items are high-priced, but at least the shopper’s guaranteed quality. There are very few places that have such a wide selection.

Jim: I need to buy disks, at least two disk holders, note cards, transparencies, and that kind of stuff.

Will: For office supplies, I suggest Office Max.

Anna: Or Comp USA. One good thing about living in a campus town, though, is that you can easily get that stuff at any of the bookstores. No doubt they do overcharge. I try to get around that by shopping around.

Jim: Shopping around?

Anna: Yes. That simply means you go to different stores, check out the prices of items you need and purchase them from the store(s) with the lowest price or prices.

Jim: I see. Sounds very practical.

Will: And time-consuming, too!

Jim: Where is Office Max located?

Anna: There’s one in the mall, so we can stop by there this afternoon.

Jim: Great! Thanks.

Will: Hey, Jim. Just so you know, you can always run to the discount stores whenever you’re out of something you need right away. There are several around campus.

Anna: That’s right. And they carry pretty much everything a student needs. Pop, pasta, eggs, hair spray . . . you name it!

Will: They don’t usually carry milk, though, so you might want to walk down to White Hen (Pantry)Walgreens, or some other convenience stores close by.

Anna: I wouldn’t advise you to buy things in bulk from such stores, though. I mean, do your major shopping at the specialized stores. It’s much cheaper, and more convenient in the long run.

Jim: Good advice!

Will: Sort of like Mom’s!

Anna: Hey, watch it!

Will: Just kiddin’!

Jim (laughs). Life sounds great in this town! Oh! Before I forget, guys, where can I rent movies? I love watching movies in my spare time.

Anna: Me too! Let’s see. There are two video stores close to your apartment. Lucky you! One’s Blockbuster, and the other’s That’s Rentertainment. I believe they both have specials on weekdays, right Will?

Will: Yup. But not for the new releases. It’s usually a buck each for the older movies.

Anna: Are you guys ready to go to the mall?

Jim & Will: Sure.

Anna: Jim, don’t forget to take your shopping list with you.

Jim: Thanks for reminding me.

Anna: You’re welcome. What are we waiting for? Let’s go.

CONVERSATION #2: Getting Directions
Tourist:          Can you tell me how to reach the bank please?

Stranger:        Which bank? There are two: the Allied Irish Bank and the Bank of Ireland.

Tourist:          I have an AIB pass card and I want to withdraw money from the bank.

Stranger:        You need to go to the Allied Irish Bank which is near the local shopping centre, Dunnes Stores.

Tourist:          How do I get there. I have no knowledge of this area.

Stranger:        Cross the road and turn left at the other side. Walk along the footpath until you reach the traffic lights. You will see a shopping centre on the right hand side. Walk across the road and turn right after the shopping centre. Keep going straight for about 100m and the bank is to your left.

Tourist:          It sounds very complicated. How far is it from here?

Stranger:        It’s not so complicated. It’s about five minutes walk from here. I can draw a map for you if you wish.

Tourist:          Oh, I would really appreciate that . By the way will I be going North or South ?

Stranger:        You will be going northwards. You are now in the the Western part of the city and the Allied Irish Bank is situated in the North East. Here’s a rough sketch of the area.