Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
David: At a British Restaurant. David Here.
Kellie: Hello. I'm Kellie.
David: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to speak to a customer in a restaurant. The conversation takes place at a restaurant.
Kellie: The speakers are strangers.
David: So they will use formal English. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Waiter: How may I help you?
Katrina: Do you have a table for two?
Waiter: Please wait a moment, madam, and I will see what is available.
Katrina: Thank you.
Waiter: I'm sorry for keeping you waiting. Please, this way. (pause) Here is the menu. Do you want to order drinks before choosing a meal? I recommend the house wine.
Katrina: Oh, just a coffee for now, thank you.
David: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Waiter: How may I help you?
Katrina: Do you have a table for two?
Waiter: Please wait a moment, madam, and I will see what is available.
Katrina: Thank you.
Waiter: I'm sorry for keeping you waiting. Please, this way. (pause) Here is the menu. Do you want to order drinks before choosing a meal? I recommend the house wine.
Katrina: Oh, just a coffee for now, thank you.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: We’re in a restaurant in this lesson.
Kellie: Yeah! Eating out is popular in the UK and it’s a great chance to be social.
David: I’m sure that most restaurants are busy on weekends when people are off work and school, but how about during the week?
Kellie: They’re usually a little quieter then. In some restaurants, like the one in the dialogue, you’re likely to hear a lot of formal and polite language.
David: But not in all?
Kellie: Restaurants aimed at families, or fast food restaurants may not be as polite. They won’t be rude, they just won’t use the same formal language.
David: I’ve been in a few small restaurants that have tried to create a more homely and friendly atmosphere and they weren’t as formal either.
Kellie: Yeah, that’s common. The formal restaurants will make sure to call you “sir” or “madam” and remain polite though.
David: How about tipping? Do people tip in the UK?
Kellie: They do. It isn’t as strict and expected as in some countries like the US though. There is no set rate and people tip whatever they feel is appropriate.
David:That’s good to hear!
Kellie: Often, the tip is just the change from paying the bill.
David: Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
David: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Kellie: table [natural native speed]
David: furniture used in a restaurant to serve food to a customer
Kellie: table[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: table [natural native speed]
David: Next we have..
Kellie: madam [natural native speed]
David: a polite form of address used only for women
Kellie: madam[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: madam [natural native speed]
David: Next we have..
Kellie: moment [natural native speed]
David: a short period of time
Kellie: moment[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: moment [natural native speed]
David: Next we have..
Kellie: available [natural native speed]
David: not busy, easy to get or use
Kellie: available[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: available [natural native speed]
David: Next we have..
Kellie: menu [natural native speed]
David: list of dishes that can be ordered
Kellie: menu[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: menu [natural native speed]
David: Next we have..
Kellie: to order [natural native speed]
David: to request something from a business
Kellie: to order[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: to order [natural native speed]
David: Next we have..
Kellie: house [natural native speed]
David: a commercial establishment or business
Kellie: house[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: house [natural native speed]
David: And last..
Kellie: to recommend [natural native speed]
David: to endorse, to speak well of, to suggest
Kellie: to recommend[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Kellie: to recommend [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
David: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is..
Kellie: madam
David: meaning "a polite term to address a woman when you don’t know her name"
Kellie: This is a very formal term that will often be used in service situations, such as restaurants or hotels. The male version is “sir”.
David: Is it used for young girls, too?
Kellie: No, that is “miss” and “master” for boys. But be careful. If you don’t use this in the right situation, or if you use it with the wrong tone, it can sound very sarcastic.
David: I guess that it doesn’t sound as polite then.
Kellie: No, it sounds quite rude.
David: Can you give us an example using this word?
Kellie: Sure. For example, you can say.. Please, this way, madam.
David: ..which means "Please, this way, female customer." Okay, what's the next word?
Kellie: house wine
David: meaning "the wine of the restaurant"
David: This “house” isn’t the home you live in.
Kellie: No, it isn’t! “House” can also be used to refer to a business, such as a restaurant, hotel or casino.
David: So “house wine” means the wine of the restaurant.
Kellie: Yeah, it’s the restaurant’s own wine or one that they recommend.
David: I’ve heard house used in this context in a famous idiom - “The house always wins”.
Kellie: Yeah, that is famous! The “house” here is a casino and it means that the casino always wins, the customer always loses.
David: Can you give us an example using this word?
Kellie: Sure. For example, you can say.. Let's order a bottle of the house wine.
David: .. which means "Let’s order a bottle of the restaurant’s recommended wine." Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

David: In this lesson, you'll learn how to help a customer in a restaurant.
David: Let’s start by looking at gerunds.
Kellie: These are the base form of a verb + “ing.” They look like a verb in its present participle form, but they function as a noun.
David: So it’s words such as “walking,” “sleeping,” “studying,” and “waiting.”
Kellie: Yeah, ing, ing, ing! It means that we can say things like “I like sleeping” or “My hobby is eating”. We can’t use verbs in this way, but we can use gerunds.
David: In the dialogue, the waiter uses the gerund “waiting”
Kellie: Yes, he says “Sorry for keeping you waiting.” That’s a common use of gerunds - “keeping” + pronoun + gerund.
David: Can you give another example?
Kellie: “The noise is keeping me from sleeping.” Actually, “something is keeping me from sleeping” is another common phrase.
David: The waiter also gave commands to Katrina. “Please, wait a moment.” “Please, this way.”
Kellie: We looked at commands earlier, but they weren’t polite commands. When making polite commands, the word “please” is very important.
David: What other words do we need to use?
Kellie: Things like “Could you”, “Shall” or “Would you mind” are all polite, with “Would you mind” being the most polite.
David: They sound like questions, more than commands.
Kellie: That’s what makes them polite. It sounds as if the other person has a choice.
David: Even if they don’t.
Kellie: Yes. The informal command “Sit down!” can be made into the polite “Would you mind sitting down?”
David: The waiter also said “I will see what is available”.
Kellie: Here, he’s using the modal verb “will” – yes it’s those modal verbs again! – to say what he is about to do.
David: We learned about how these describe future actions before.
Kellie: This isn’t a future action as such, it’s more what he will do now. The sentence is formed in the same way, but the context tells the difference.
David: Yeah, it makes no sense for him to check if a table is available next week.
Kellie: Exactly. If I say that I will explain a grammar point, I mean that I will explain it now. Not in lesson 25.
David: Yeah, this is lesson 17. We don’t want to wait for lesson 25 for explanations!

Outro

David: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Kellie: Bye.

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Wednesday at 06:30 PM
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Hi Listeners! Have you ever tried British food?